Northampton Press

Saturday, August 19, 2017

2017-18 season: Miller Symphony Hall leader sees renewed opportunity in Allentown renaissance

Friday, July 7, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Season schedule: Page B2

Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, home to the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, had a “great season” for 2016-17, and Allentown Symphony Association Executive Director Sheila K. Evans has an even better season in store for 2017-18.

“It was a great season. We had an amazing season last year,” Evans says.

Maestra Diane Wittry is in her 22nd season as Allentown Symphony Orchestra Music Director-Conductor, bringing world-class artists to Miller Symphony Hall, enhancing the cultural community in the Lehigh Valley.

Theater Review

Friday, July 7, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Inspector ‘Hound’

The howls you hear during “The Hound of the Baskervilles” stage play at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival aren’t those of the titular hound, although there is that.

No, the howls are nearly nonstop from the audience at “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” a regular laugh-riot through July 16, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley. The opening night June 23 performance was seen for this review.

Plans advance for renovations at Lehigh Elementary School

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

Plans for renovations at Lehigh Elementary School are underway.

D’Huy Engineering Inc., consulting engineering firm for Northampton Area School District, will look at access and egress to Lehigh Elementary School, 800 Blue Mountain Drive, Walnutport (Lehigh Township), as well as the building’s space allocation; heating, ventilation and air conditioning system; windows; plumbing; and sewage system.

The NASD Board of Education approved a $35,000 contract for resident project engineering services with D’Huy Engineering Inc., Bethlehem.

Review: ‘Cars 3’

Friday, June 30, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s called “Cars 3,” but there are many more than three cars in “Cars 3.” It’s named “Cars 3” because it’s the third in the Disney-Pixar feature animation series about a rambunctious group of cars with anthropomorphic traits. That’s not a stretch because many of us give our “chrome horses” affectionate or not so affectionate male or female names.

“Cars 3” again gives us vehicles that are quite the characters with cute, spiffy or clunky bodies, personalities and voices. The cars’ suspensions and tires animate like frisky puppies or barnyard animals. The grilles function as mouths.

Theater Review: ‘The Hound’ is afoot at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

- Sherlock Holmes,

“The Hound of the Baskervilles”

The howls you hear during “The Hound of the Baskervilles” stage play at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival aren’t those of the titular hound, although there is that.

No, the howls are nearly nonstop from the audience at “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” a regular laugh-riot through July 16, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley. The opening night June 23 performance was seen for this review.

School board approves textbook purchase

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Northampton Area School District has purchased textbooks, more than one-quarter million dollars’ worth, so that students can hit the books this fall for the 2017-18 school year.

NASD Board of Education voted 9-0 at the June 26 meeting, at the recommendation of the administration, to approve $226,130.08 in textbook costs, as included in the 2017-18 district curriculum, high school and special education budgets.

The textbooks run the gamut of subjects, including science, math, social studies, technology and world languages, for kindergarten through 12th-grade classes.

Medical marijuana: Salisbury Township amendment sent to LV planners

Sunday, June 25, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

A proposed amendment to the Salisbury Township Zoning Ordinance to regulate medical marijuana facilities has been advanced to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

The Salisbury Township Planning Commission voted unanimously 7-0 to submit the amendment to regional planners for review. Stephen McKitish, planners vice-chairman, made the motion to bring the matter to a vote, seconded by planner Richard Schreiter.

Lehigh Valley house sales rebound 14 percent in May

Saturday, June 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Sales of houses in the greater Lehigh Valley rebounded by double-digit percentages in May.

Closed sales increased 14 percent in May to 800 houses sold, compared to 702 in May 2016, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR).

For the year-to-date, closed sales are up 5.2 percent to 2,960 from 2,813 in year-to-date in 2016.

Pending sales posted even stronger double-digit percentage gains, up 21.9 percent in May to 958, compared to 786 in May 2016.

Review: MSMT ‘Hair’

Saturday, June 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s the 50th anniversary of “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.”

“Hair” was post-hairspray. Young women let Aqua Net on the shelf, ironed their hair, or went Afro. Young men let Brylcreem on the shelf and skipped the barber.

“Hair” was pre-”Hairspray.” It set the stage for other non-book Broadway musicals (“Company,” “Godspell,” “Pippin”).

“Hair” is of a time, a time that now seems long ago, naive and quaint. It not only seems long ago. It was long ago: a half-century long ago.

Legacy of the Lenape: Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum tries to set the record straight

Saturday, June 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

A new exhibit, “Native Americans: A Diverse & Evolving History,” opened recently at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, Allentown.

“The history of American Indians is shrouded in folklore and stereotypes from Western movies,” says Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the Museum. “Much of their history has been written by the cultures that conquered them and took their lands.”