As the July Fourth holiday draws closer, so do the calls and complaints to my office about fireworks activity.
This year, it seems as though the annual tradition in communities here and across the commonwealth has reached a heightened level of activity. Perhaps one might say people are especially keen on releasing extra stress brought out by the COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine that halted get-togethers.
To the Editor:
One day after the 2019 Coplay Community Days event, we were busy planning how to make the 2020 event even better.
Five months ago, the pandemic virus made its presence felt, affecting everyone’s lives and festivals across the entire country. We were faced with making the decision how to move forward.
My son, Benjamin, and I recently finished reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl. I am not sure who enjoyed the book more — he or I! Dahl provides children and adults great imagination through text.
Ben, who is only 3, and I love to create a picture in our minds from the chapters I read to him. He got such a kick out of the character Violet Beauregarde turning into a blueberry and the Oompa-Loompas rolling her around. We laughed for a few minutes!
Ben’s next choice to read is “James and the Giant Peach,” another popular book by Dahl.
To the Editor:
I was astonished when I picked up my local paper June 11 and read how the Whitehall(-Coplay) School Board voted to increase property taxes 4.5 percent.
During a time with record unemployed and families struggling to pay bills, the board voted to increase taxes again to the homeowners. While other school districts are holding the line or implementing zero increases and another with no teacher salary increase, Whitehall(-Coplay School Board) just can’t help themselves and passed this budget.
The images of crowds gathered, shoulder to shoulder and few masks in sight, haunt me.
There are people who would suggest to me that the decision to do this belongs to those in attendance and if I don’t agree, I should steer clear.
Maybe they are right. And I do stay away.
An acquaintance I encountered last week said he and his wife are caring for her frail, elderly mother in their home.
“I don’t know why she keeps hanging on,” he lamented. “She has no quality of life left.”
“Maybe she’s not ready,” I replied.
I could have said much more, but I bit my tongue.
The great COVID-19 shutdown changed lives for a lot of people.
More people are unemployed than in recent history. Some of us are working harder than ever.
Front-line workers who never worried about getting sick — or dying — from exposure at their jobs are now paying attention to having the right protective gear.
Some people are isolated and lonely. Another faction says the numbers are inaccurate and they are angry about staying home, wearing a mask and being restricted.
As you all know, Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative works with food, though we are not preparing meals right now with our current outreach programs. I have not allowed any refrigerated or freezer items to be accepted or distributed and have turned away eggs, meats, etc., that have been offered to me this spring.
Pennsylvania entered the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan June 5. One of the changes in the yellow phase is the allowance of outdoor dining at restaurants.
This has opened the door for Pennsylvania residents to get out of the house, sit at their favorite eatery and be served food and drink for the first time since mid-March.
And, boy, did people take advantage of the opportunity.
My Mother’s Day gift a few years ago was a designer Penn State purse. It also came with a wallet and wristlet, both bearing the Nittany Lion insignia. I am usually seen carrying one of these, and the larger purse celebrating my alma mater has become something of a trademark.
There is a small problem with it, however. For some reason, it sets off security systems. Perhaps there is a tag or chip buried deep in the purse’s lining, but no one can seem to find anything.