Northampton Press

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Winners lauded in contest for 'library of the future'

Thursday, June 6, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

It's called "The Library of the Future."

A recent contest for students emphasized just that, said Melissa E. Hawk, director of the Northampton Area Public Library, 1615 Laubach Avenue, Northampton.

It's "what they imagined for us," Hawk said in a presentation attended by contest winners at the May 20 Northampton Area School Board meeting.

An 'Epic' disappointment

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The animated family feature movie,"Epic," is beautiful, especially in the 3D format in which it was seen for this review.

Unfortunately, "Epic" lacks a cohesive storyline, the clever dialogue we've grown accustomed to in animated features and memorable animated characters.

That's not good. The art form is, after all, about character animation.

Moreover, the concept for "Epic" is ill-conceived.

Newcomers Maranki, Frantz, Longacre and incumbent Odenwelder win; Erdo loses

Thursday, May 30, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Based on unofficial results in the Northampton County May 21 primary, and if the Nov. 5 election follows course, there may be three new faces on the Northampton Area School Board next year.

NASD school board Vice President Jane Erdo lost in her re-election bid for a third term, with newcomer Charles J. Longacre the primary victor.

Erdo was appointed to the NASD school board in 2005. She was elected and re-elected. She was also on the school board 1995-99.

Longacre is a consulting engineer for Forensic Engineering Sciences, Easton.

'Star Trek Into': sci-fi boldly

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Star Trek Into Darkness" is that all-too-often rare sci-fi movie that has spectacular special effects, a screenplay with an actual storyline, character development and surprise plot turns.

J. J. Abrams ("Star Trek," 2009; TV's "Aliens," "Lost"), directs a screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman ("Transformers," 2007, 2009; "Star Trek," 2009) and Damon Lindelof ("World War Z," "Prometheus," "Cowboys & Aliens," TV's "Lost") that mixes action set pieces and character-driven scenes.

Demolition, excavation under way

Thursday, May 23, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

The campus landscape is changing as excavation and demolition continues for the Northampton Area Middle School and Secondary Campus Renovation Project.

"The progress they are making there is quite impressive," said Northampton Area School District Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik at the May 20 school board meeting.

"The vocational school came down today – maybe about one-quarter of it is down," Kovalchik said.

"Tomorrow, they're anticipating installing the storm water system," said Christopher W. Haller, project engineer, D'Huy Engineering Inc.

Erdo faces challenge in re-election bid; new faces in NASD board races

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

The May 21 primary election for the Northampton Area School Board may hold some surprises.

NASD board Vice President Jane Erdo of Bath faces a challenger in Region 3, which covers Bath Borough, Chapman Borough and Moore Township.

Chuck Longacre of Moore Township is challenging Erdo, longtime school board member and education advocate.

Erdo was appointed to the NASD school board in 2005. She was elected and re-elected. This is her third bid. She was previously on the school board 1995-99.

Groucho returns for 'Evening' at Miller Symphony Hall

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When Frank Ferrante performs "An Evening with Groucho," 8 p.m. May 18, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, the ghost of Groucho may be with him.

First, a personal aside. My father, Paul, once told me that when he was an usher at Miller Symphony Hall (then The Lyric), the Four Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo and, Zeppo) performed their musical-comedy, "The Cocoanuts," there before it was a Broadway hit (1925 - '26) and film (1929). Allentown was a "try-out town," where Broadway-bound shows or stage acts were tested for audience reaction.

Creativity discovered anew in Young Playwrights' Lab

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Instead of teaching to the test, the Young Playwrights' Festival reaches for the stage.

The creative process, the writing and the plays' staging are key to its success, says Mary Wright, Touchstone Theatre Ensemble Associate and Young Playwrights Lab Coordinator:

"With schools' budgets getting cut further and further, anytime the arts can get reintroduced to the schools is a big deal."

Playing here in Allentown

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Everyone saw it on the program: "Allentown."

And when the time arrived to perform the song which landed Billy Joel on the Top 20 charts and in hot water with Allentown officials, piano man Joe Boucher couldn't have put it better.

"I grew up in a factory town. And when I heard this song, it spoke to me," Boucher said in introducing the song from Billy Joel's 1982 "Nylon Curtain" album that reached No. 17 and charted for six weeks in Billboard.

"The song has had a major place in my heart and it's so great to be here and see that Allentown's thriving," Boucher said.