Northampton Press

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Oscars will have surprises

Friday, February 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It was another good year at the movies in 2016.

In North America, movies grossed $11.4 billion in 2016, besting the record of $11.1 billion in 2015.

Walt Disney Studios held the top three positions: “Finding Dory,” $486.3 million; “Rogue One,” and “Captain America: Civil War.”

None of these was a Best Picture nominee for the Academy Awards, to be telecast at 8 p.m. EST Feb. 26. Here are my picks for the seven categories of the Lehigh Valley Press “Readers Pick the Oscar recipients” contest:

NASD may see $300,000 more from state

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

Northampton Area School District may receive an additional $300,000 in its 2017-18 budget from the Pennsylvania Department of Education under Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2017 budget, if the state budget is approved by the legislature.

NASD administration isn’t counting on it.

In his Feb. 7 budget address, Wolf proposed a $100 million increase in basic education, $25 million more for special education and $75 million more for preschool.

Movie Review: ‘Fences’

Friday, February 17, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Good fences make good neighbors.”

- Robert Frost,

“Mending Wall”

“Fences,” the film version of August Wilson’s 1987 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play is set in Pittsburgh circa 1956 where Troy (Denzel Washington, who also directs), is a municipal garbageman and former Negro League baseball player standout.

Troy and his wife, Rose (Viola Davis), have a son, Cory (Jovan Adepo, TV’s “The Leftovers,” 2015-17, in his theatrical feature debut), who excels at academics and football in high school and is being scouted for a college scholarship.

NASD in ‘complete compliance’

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Audit gives district ‘clean bill of health’; superintendent recognizes board

On a night when Northampton Area School District Board of Education members were honored for their service on the board, they learned the district received a “clean bill of health” in its annual audit.

“You have a very good audit report,” William H. Gorman, CPA, Gorman & Associates, P.C., Northampton, told board members and administrators at the Feb. 13 meeting.

“You’re in complete compliance,” said Gorman of his firm’s audit of the NASD 2015-16 school year.

Movie Review: ‘The Founder’

Saturday, February 11, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

After seeing “The Founder,” you may never look at a Big Mac the same way.

For that matter, you may never think about a fast-food restaurant the same way, either.

“The Founder” is about Ray Kroc (a splendid Michael Keaton), a milkshake device salesman who bought out the McDonald brothers, Richard “Dick” McDonald (a great Nick Offerman) and Maurice “Mac” MacDonald (a fine John Carroll Lynch), whose San Bernardino restaurant was the model for fast-food efficiency.

School board approves commencement at Stabler

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Northampton Area High School’s Class of 2017 graduation ceremony again will be held at Stabler Arena, Lehigh University, Bethlehem.

The Northampton Area School District Board of Education voted unanimously 9-0 at its Jan. 23 meeting to approve an agreement with Lehigh University to rent Stabler for $8,238.40, plus expenses.

Graduation is set for 4 p.m. June 3.

In other business at the Jan. 23 meeting, school directors voted 9-0 to approve:

Jessica Finlayson, assistant boys volleyball coach, at $2,024;

School board votes to approve budget with tax hike

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

District hits ‘historic benchmark,’ saving $1 million+ in bond refinancing

Northampton Area School District Board of Education was ready to strike up the band when it learned of a windfall savings of more than $1 million from the successful refinancing of two of its bonds. While the Big “N” Band didn’t perform, band members, officials and band parents were honored by school directors at the Jan. 23 meeting for Northampton Area High School’s marching band’s two-years-straight state championship. (See next week’s edition of the Northampton Press for a feature on the band and its achievement.)

11th annual ABEs salute Lehigh Valley Stage Records set, anniversaries observed, quality astounds

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

To power-phrase, it was the best of times and it was the best of times in Lehigh Valley regional theater in 2016.

There didn’t seem to be a down side to the up side of theater in the Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton area, which continued with a robust mix of the innovative and familiar in-locally-produced shows, plus national touring productions that stopped in the Valley.

It seems that Valley residents who are theater-goers and those who travel to the Valley to see theater couldn’t get enough.

NASD budget may have tax hike

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Proposed 3.47-percent increase could change before June 30 deadline

Taxpayers can expect to pay on average $103.41 more annually, which breaks down to $8.62 more monthly and $1.99 more weekly, under the 2017-18 preliminary general fund budget for Northampton Area School District, as presented at the Jan. 9 board of education meeting.

Based on 2016’s average property assessment in NASD of $58,094, the average annual tax bill would be $3,080.14 for the 2017-18 school year. That’s an increase from the $2,976.74 average annual tax bill for the 2016-17 school year.