Archive for category Bethlehem

Nine things to know about e-cigarettes

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

The Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy lists information about regulations and usage of e-cigarettes.

With the e-cigarettes trend picking up across the Lehigh Valley, let’s go over the basics.

What are e-cigarettes?

“E-cigarettes” — or electronic cigarettes — are devices that allow users to mimic the ritual of smoking a cigarette while inhaling nicotine. Many glow at the end when activated as real cigarettes do. Instead of smoke from burning tobacco, users inhale vapor containing nicotine (with the exception of versions which claim to be free of nicotine), flavor additives and other chemicals.

How do they work?

When users inhale from the end of an e-cigarette, a battery-operated vaporizer heats a liquid solution into a vapor.

Are e-cigarettes approved by FDA?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved e-cigarettes as smoking cessation devices. E-cigarette packaging is not required to include health warnings, unlike packaging for conventional cigarettes and FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products.

Where are e-cigarettes sold?

E-cigarettes are sold over the Internet, in specialized mall kiosks and by some “vaping” retailers. Some stores are located in Bethlehem, Easton, Lower Nazareth, Clinton, Phillipsburg, Allentown and Lehighton.

How much do they cost?

About $60 gets you the e-cigarette, a charger and a liquid cartridge. Refills of the liquid cost $7 to $10 for a 10-millimeter bottle.

How dangerous are e-cigarettes?

The risks posed by e-cigarettes are unknown. The FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis investigated the components of a small sample of cartridges from two e-cigarette brands. Test results of the sample of cartridges found them to contain nitrosamines (a known carcinogen), as well as other toxic chemicals, including diethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze.

Who’s against e-cigarette use?

The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics say electronic cigarettes could lead to an increase in nicotine addiction and youth tobacco use. Of particular concern is that e-cigarette cartridges are sold by some vendors in fruit and candy flavors that appeal to youths and that laws prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to minors may not be written broadly enough to cover e-cigarettes.

What is the legal status of e-cigarettes?

The FDA will regulate e-cigarettes under its authority to regulate other tobacco products. The FDA at one time detained or blocked incoming shipments of e-cigarettes from overseas manufacturers on the basis that e-cigarettes are unapproved drug delivery devices that must pass through the FDA’s New Drug Application (NDA) process before they can legally be sold. Lawsuits have been brought against the FDA to prevent the regulations.

Where can users of e-cigarettes smoke?

The law prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in public places where conventional smoking is also prohibited.

Source: Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy

Lehigh University students host dance marathon to benefit children’s hospital

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Lehigh University in Bethlehem Saturday hosted its second annual dance marathon to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. More than 800 students were expected to attend. Held at the university’s Grace Hall, the event runs from 4:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday. Last year’s event raised nearly $40,000 and organizers this year set a goal of $50,000.

Lehigh University in Bethlehem Saturday hosted its second annual dance marathon to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. More than 800 students were expected to attend.

Held at the university’s Grace Hall, the event runs from 4:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday. Last year’s event raised nearly $40,000 and organizers this year set a goal of $50,000.

Center City Bethlehem parking lots proposed to become apartment complex

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

A developer is proposing a three-story, 30-apartment building on two vacant parking lots off East Elizabeth Avenue in Bethlehem.

A developer is proposing a three-story, 30-apartment building on two vacant parking lots off East Elizabeth Avenue in Bethlehem.

Chelsea Commons is proposed to be built along Chelsea Avenue behind Roosevelt’s 21st. The developer, Peron Development, which is headed by Michael Perrucci, needs several variances for the project and will go before the Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board on Nov. 19.

Peron is seeking to transfer the development rights from another parking lot it owns off East Greenwich Street to allow for the 30 apartments on the Chelsea lots. It also needs variances for the length of the building and the size of the apartments.

Peron’s application to the city notes the apartment building will redevelop an underutilized site and improve the appearance of a commercial corridor. Peron Director of Development Rob de Beer declined to comment on the plans.

Another Perrucci company, BethWorks Renovations, recently proposed another apartment complex called Greenway Commons on the South Side. It includes 110 high-end apartments along East Third Street. Company officials have said they see robust interest for downtown apartments in Bethlehem.

Chelsea Commons renderingView full sizeA 30-unit apartment complex called Chelsea Commons has at Chelsea Avenue and East Greenwich Streets in Bethlehem. (Courtesy image)  

Nearby business owners were mostly optimistic about the plans, saying an apartment building would be an improvement over the vacant parking lots.

“My view right now is not-so-great – I have a view of a bunch of cars,” said Marilyn Day, a stylist at Cutting Edge Salon on Merino Street. “It would have to be prettier than what this is.”

Jumbars General Manager Emily Hoffert also said she thinks an apartment building would be an improvement over the vacant parking lots but hopes street parking doesn’t become too challenging.

“I’m excited to hear they’re doing something with the lots because they’re not letting anyone park there, but I am concerned if it will affect parking,” Hoffert said.

Bethlehem City Council President J. William Reynolds lives in the neighborhood but had not heard of the plans. He said he’d want to review them before making any comments.

The 1300 block of Chelsea Avenue, where the apartment complex is proposed, can sometimes be full with parked cars. The complex is proposed to have 30 parking spaces behind the building bordering Merino Street and 23 shared parking spaces in nearby parking lots also owned by Peron. In addition to the Chelsea Avenue parking lots, Peron also is under contract to buy a nearby office building at 35 E. Elizabeth Ave.

While three stories would be taller than nearby residences, the neighborhood also is home to the 10-story Santander bank building at Elizabeth Avenue and Center Street, and part of 35 E. Elizabeth Ave. is five stories.

The plans go before the Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board at 7 p.m. Nov. 19. The board is meeting that night at Northampton Community College at 511 E. Third St.

Lynn Olanoff can be reached at lolanoff@express-times.com. Follow her on Twitter @LynnOlanoff. Find Bethlehem news on Facebook.

South Side Bethlehem complex, including 110 luxury apartments, gets first approval for economic incentive

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

The Bethlehem Revitalization and Improvement Authority voted unanimously to approve Greenway Commons as a qualifying project in the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone.

Three new buildings with 110 apartments in addition to stores and offices along Bethlehem’s East Third Street got its first approval for the city’s powerful economic incentive Thursday.

The Bethlehem Revitalization and Improvement Authority voted unanimously to approve Greenway Commons as a qualifying project in the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone. The designation allows state and local nonproperty taxes from new businesses in the zone to help finance new development within it.

Developer BethWorks Renovations, which is headed by attorney Michael Perrucci, hopes to start construction on the two apartment-and-retail buildings in March, according to documents submitted to the authority Thursday. The 63,000-square-foot office building would be built once construction starts on a parking garage the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority plans to build at Third and Fillmore streets, the documents say.

BethWorks Renovations doesn’t have any tenants lined up but does have interest in both the office and retail space, attorney Seth Tipton said. The tenant agreements will depend upon how much financing the developer gets from the authority, which will be the next step in the process, Tipton said.

BethWorks’ plans note they expect that area of East Third Street to become a new “restaurant row” in the Lehigh Valley.

greenway commons overviewView full sizeAn overview look at the proposed Greenway Commons. 

The one five-story and two four-story buildings are planned on top of parking lots across from Northampton Community College. Authority member Ann McHale noted those lots used to contain buildings until they were torn down for Bethlehem Steel Corp. parking lots.

“History is repeating itself,” McHale said.

McHale asked Tipton if the developer might undertake the project without CRIZ funding, which Tipton said is a possibility but current plans include the funding.

The properties back up to the South Bethlehem Greenway trail and the apartments are described as luxury.

“All urban planning principles encourage ‘feet on the street’ development,” the complex’s plans note. “Having a solid core of residents living along Third Street will both enhance this development and stimulate more residential growth and economic development opportunities.”

Lynn Olanoff can be reached at lolanoff@express-times.com. Follow her on Twitter @LynnOlanoff. Find Bethlehem news on Facebook.

Bethlehem City Council Celebrates Cinco de Noviembre

Posted by Lehigh Valley Ramblings.

I know Cinco de Mayo is a pretty big deal in this country, especially those who use it as an excuse to get schnokered. But Cinco de Noviembre? Si. Three people got up last night to deliver speeches to Bethlehem City Council in Spanish. I have no idea what they said. Nor did City Council. But that makes no difference. They are just as good at ignoring people who speak Spanish as they are for those who speak only in English.

The first one of these wanted City Council to appoint Olga Negron to Karen Dolan’s vacant seat. He only spent half his time speaking in Spanish, and then  Council should have interpreters on hand to translate. Kinda like the United Nations. A second fellow, who was as big as Baby Hughey, did that, too. “I deserve representation of my own people,” he said in English. He added he happens to be Negron’s nephew.

A third person just got up and just went off, spending her entire five minutes speaking in Spanish. It must have been a powerful speech. A red head in the audience wiped away tears. Basilio Bonilla told Council they missed a good one. So, apparently, did he, if the report that he speaks no Spanish himself is true.

It was that kind of night. It started at 7 pm. I left around midnight, unable to take it anymore. But I got most of what happened.

I was there to see who they would pick to fill the vacancy created by Karen Dolan’s resignation.

Though thirteen people had applied, Council members were doing all their talking with candidates one-on-one, with the idea of getting someone picked right away.

But though they were ready to move quickly, Olga Negron in particular wanted to put on a show, and drummed up a number of people to speak on her behalf. On top of that, the Birkenstocks were there in force to oppose Developer Dennis Benner’s proposal for a 9-story building at 4th and Vine.

It made for a long night.

On my way in, walking past a “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” van next to the library, I saw all kinds of signs opposed to the development. One of them stated, “Size Does Matter.”

Inside the Town Hall were all the wimpy kids with more signs. One of them told Council he’s on the fencing team. Even Gloria McVeigh was there, holding more signs, fresh off the crushing defeat she experienced just yesterday in her effort to get Mike Beyer elected over Justin Simmons.

Between the candidates, their supporters, the Birkenstocks and the Lehigh Professors, there were around 100 people jammed into the room.

Since the public gets to speak first, we were treated to condemnations of Benner’s 89-story building, interspersed with endorsements of candidates.

Spadoni Fails to Get One Nomination. 

Obviously, the most qualified of these candidates was the person who sat there for 16 years as Council’s legal advisor. That would be Chris Spadoni. He sat next to me. That was his first mistake.

The second mistake was when Republican Tom Carroll, who ran for Council himself in 2011, got up and endorsed Spadoni. Strike two.

Strike three came when Carroll, who is openly gay, claimed Spadoni would “plug all the holes.” He was referring to the budget, but the Beavis and Butthead in me was laughing.

Chris failed to get a single nomination.

Esther Lee Actually Makes Sense

The Queen of Race Cards, Esther Lee, was another applicant, After listening to numerous people claim that Bethlehem needs more diversity, she claimed she wanted to be considered, not as a “tall black woman,” but as a citizen.

That’s a first for Esther.

She also failed to get a single nomination.

Barron Claims Council “Sold Out”

Controller Steve Barron was there as well, in his capacity as President of the South Bethlehem historical Society. “You sold out for $9,700″, he accused Council, referring to campaign donations they had received from Benner. “We all do vote,” he warned. He also called South Bethlehem a “magical place.”

If Barron believes that Council members sold their votes in exchange for these campaign donations, doesn’t that mean that he sold out, too, when he accepted all that union money in his own races?

Reynolds addressed that accusation.

“The idea that anybody on City council or the Mayor would do anything they didn’t think was in the best interests ofthe city is ridiculous and insulting.”

Grace Smith Threatens To Speak Gaelic

One of the applicants for Dolan;s job, Grace Smith, claimed she learn a lot about compromise by living in a twin home with one bathroom shared by nine family members.

But I think she was as puzzled as everyone else by the audience members who insisted on speaking Spanish. During a break, she threatened to speak Gaelic.

Sarabeth Brockley, Lead Birkenstock

The coordinated attack on Benner’s 9-story building began with Sarabeth Brockley, a Lehigh University Research Fellow  She spent the fist half of her speech demeaning and condescending to council, doing things like defining the word “expert” and telling them that she was leading a procession of experts who were going to TEDx everything. As a Lehigh professor handed out papers, she spent about two minutes that essentially equated Karen Beck Pooley, a planning expert, with God.

Pooley did make some good points, noting that the density in that area of south Bethlehem is equivalent to Boston. Instead of more density, she argued that people need a reason to come there.

Then came a mixture of Lehigh people, many of whom don’t live in Bethlehem, telling City Council how to run the City.

Some south side residents and two business owners spoke in opposition to the 9-story building too. But Lucy Lennon, who does work for one of Benner’s sons and is a realtor who specializes in rentals, ticked off about ten businesses that have closed shop on the city’s south side. She stated there is an “urgent” demand for housing on the south side, but students want a”nice place” to live. She believes the 9-story building will provide that and attract business.

The 9-Story Building Gets City Council Backing

In the end, Bethlehem City Council voted 4-2 to back the Benner building, as he sat in the room. Cathy Reuscher, who voted No, called it a “hard decision.”  Waldron was not “comfortable” with the proposal. It was supported by Willie Reynolds, Eric Evans, Bryan Callahan and Michael Recchuiti.

After that, the wimpy kids left.

Council Names Louis Stellato

Despite the speeches in Spanish, Council went with an old fart. Louis Stellato was picked as a 14-month Council member by Eric Evans, Willie Reynolds and Bryan Callahan. Three members are a majority of a quorum,and that was good enough, according to Council Solicitor Jack Spirk.

Recchiuti wanted to nominate three people, but Spirk said he could only name one. He went with Dave Sanders, owner of Lump’s Deli and its table of Knowledge.

Lynn Rothman, president of temple Beth El and a regular attendee at city council, got a vote from Waldron.

Reuscher went with Olga Negron.

Dem Party boss Matt Munsey was slinking about in the hallways s the meeting went on.

Bethlehem to start installing artificial Christmas trees on light posts in 2015

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Bethlehem's Citizens Christmas City Committee announced Wednesday it plans to install artificial instead of live Christmas trees on city light posts starting next year.

The Christmas City is going to look a little different come Christmas 2015.

Bethlehem‘s Citizens Christmas City Committee announced Wednesday it plans to install artificial instead of live Christmas trees on city light posts starting next year.

The pre-strung LED light trees will save electricity and installation costs as well as the costs to purchase the trees themselves. It’s also better for the environment, said Lynn Collins Cunningham, senior vice president for Bethlehem initiatives for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, which oversees the volunteer Citizens Christmas City Committee.

“We cut down a small forest every single year, and many of them don’t make it to the Christmas season as green trees,” Cunningham said.

Because of the significant workload to hang and string lights on almost 800 trees, city workers start on the effort Oct. 1.

“Every year, I get a lot of phone calls pointing out where the brown trees are and can I get them replaced?” Cunningham said. “We won’t have that problem with artificial trees.”

The change won the unanimous support of the Citizens Christmas City Committee including its most hardened traditionalists, Cunningham said. She said, however, she expects blowback from some residents.

“Nobody likes change,” she said.

The Citizens Christmas City Committee has been hanging Christmas trees on light posts throughout the city for 50 years, Cunningham said. The effort costs $20,000 annually, with $15,000 of that going for purchasing the trees.

The artificial trees will cost $40,000 and will last more than 10 years, Cunningham said. The committee plans to phase them in starting in 2015 with the hope of full implementation by 2017, Cunningham said.

The committee did a test run of the artificial trees last year, placing eight of them at the intersection of West Broad and Guetter streets. Cunningham said she told the Citizens Christmas City Committee, Downtown Bethlehem Association and Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce boards to look for the trees in a Center City intersection, but none spotted them until after Christmas.

“Nobody called me until January when all the other trees were brown and they were the only green ones – that’s the reason they knew they were the fake ones,” Cunningham said.

The city of Bethlehem pays for the trees to be installed and shares the trees’ electricity costs with the Citizens Christmas City Committee. The city estimates the artificial trees will save them more than 50 percent in labor costs alone.

“Currently, the trees have to be secured in place by three zip cords. Once that is done, the men have to string the lights on every tree,” Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez said in a statement. “With the new trees, once the bracket is installed into the posts, the tree gets snapped in and get zip tied once. The trees already have lights strung on them, so the effort is cut in half.”

Bethlehem’s Christmas decorations cost the city about $225,000 between labor and electricity, Public Works Director Michael Alkhal said.

Six employees are deployed for a total of about two months to both put up and take down the trees, and the city spends significant money on gas for its three bucket trucks used for the work, as well, Alkhal said.

The Citizens Christmas City Committee raises its funding each year through the sales of its annual Christmas City Seal. The committee is starting a special effort to purchase the artificial trees, asking both businesses and residents to consider donating $100 to sponsor a tree.

The Air Products Foundation has donated $5,000 to kick off the effort.

“This is exactly the kind of project that we are proud to get behind,” Laurie Hackett, Air Products’ manager of community relations and philanthropy said in a statement. “We are happy to play a part in this important sustainable initiative.”

Anyone interesting in sponsoring a tree can contact Cunningham at LynnC@lehighvalleychamber.org or 610-739-1510.

Lynn Olanoff can be reached at lolanoff@express-times.com. Follow her on Twitter @LynnOlanoff. Find Bethlehem news on Facebook.

Suspect in Liberty High School 911 hoax cleared of all charges

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Shae Quawn Najee Watson walked out of the Northampton County Courthouse a free man after being cleared of terroristic threats and three conspiracy charges.

Whoops of joy burst outside a Northampton County courtroom after a jury found an Allentown man not guilty of all charges for involvement in a hoax 911 call that locked down Liberty High School in April.

Shae Quawn Najee Watson pinched tears from his eyes after embracing friends and family in the Northampton County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon. A jury needed less than an hour and a half of deliberations to clear him of terroristic threats and three conspiracy charges.

Liberty High hoax suspect Shae Quaw Najee Watson.JPGA jury found Shae Quawn Najee Watson not guilty of allegations he aided in a hoax 911 call that spawned a lockdown at Liberty High School April 16, 2014. 

“I think the jury actually made the right decision,” said defense attorney Michael Corriere.

The FBI was able to trace the April 16 911 call to a pre-paid phone purchased the same day at a Bethlehem Township Wal-Mart. Video surveillance showed a disguised man wearing a fake beard and sunglasses pay cash for the phone, but footage showed Watson drive him there and back.

Watson cooperated with police and identified the disguised man as his brother Tyrell Coleman, who needed a special phone at his halfway house. Coleman wore Watson’s beard and sunglasses inside the store, but Watson testified he had no idea what his brother was up to.

Prosecutors acknowledged they mostly had a circumstantial case but argued they had proved Watson’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Watson hung back from the disguised man at the Wal-Mart, and it was too much of a coincidence to believe Watson just happened to have a disguise for Coleman to use, said Assistant District Attorney Michael Thompson. Watson had to have known the caller would summon hoards of police officers to the Bethlehem school in a fruitless search that terrified students, staff and parents, he argued.

“We put in the case that we had. We put in the evidence that we had,” Thompson said.

Thompson accepted Judge Emil Giordano’s offer to receive a certified transcript of the court proceedings. Giordano noted the testimony could be used in future court proceedings. Coleman has not been charged with a crime, and he exercised his Fifth Amendment rights when called to testify.

“I’m not thinking about that today, and I probably won’t be thinking about it until the end of the week,” Thompson said when asked if he would proceed with charges against Coleman.

Watson, dressed in a National Guard dress uniform, walked out of the courthouse surrounded by loved ones. He declined to comment, saying with a smile, “I’m on my way to work.”

Jury mulls evidence in trial over Liberty High School gunmen hoax

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Authorities said Watson assisted in placing the phone call that sparked an hours-long lockdown at Liberty High School April 16.

A Northampton County jury has begun deliberating what role, if any, an Allentown man played in in a hoax 911 call that forced the lockdown of Liberty High School earlier this year.

Law enforcement agents know someone used a pre-paid phone to call the Bethlehem 911 Center on April 16 to say three gunmen had entered the Bethlehem school. The FBI was able to trace the call to a phone purchased the same day from a Bethlehem Township Wal-Mart. Video surveillance from the store showed Shae Quawn Najee Watson drove a disguised man to the store to buy the phone.

Defense attorney Michael Corriere argued during his closing statement Wednesday that his client had no idea what the phone would be used for. He cooperated with police, told them where they could find the phone and identified his brother Tyrell Coleman as the disguised person who purchased the phone.

Police grilled Watson to come clean and admit his role in the hoax, Corriere said, but they never gave him an opportunity to provide a timeline of how things happened. The defense explained that the beard was in Watson’s car from a costume party weeks earlier and that he wasn’t with his brother when the phone was activated. Corriere pointed to Watson’s clean criminal record and military service — he’s in the National Guard — as proof of his good character.

“The interview was ‘Confess!’” Corriere said. “My client never got from Point A to Point B.”

Corriere asked jurors to clear Watson of all charges. After hearing him testify for an hour Tuesday, they should be able to tell the voice on the 911 call is not his, he said. Watson’s willingness to cooperate with police speaks volumes, especially when Coleman refused to answer police’s questions and exercised his Fifth Amendment rights Tuesday at trial, Corriere said.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Thompson asked jurors to cast a critical eye at Watson’s explanations. He is the only person who can identify Coleman as the disguised man, and his story is too convenient to be believed.

To find Watson not guilty, jurors would have to believe it was a coincidence that Coleman had a fake beard and sunglasses on hand to protect Coleman’s identity, he asked. Coleman needed the phone, but wasn’t it odd that he chose to leave it at their mother’s home, he questioned. Inside the store, Watson stayed near the disguised man at all times, but he never stood next to him at any point, Thompson noted. Is that normal behavior for a man doing his brother a favor, he asked.

“That’s the type of web you need for conspiracy,” Thompson said.

Thompson asked jurors to use their judgment to determine if they heard Watson’s voice on the 911 tape and convict him if they found it to be a match. If not, he said, the circumstances prove Watson and his brother planned to make the call from the pre-paid phone, which allows the jury to convict Watson of three counts of conspiracy.

“People buy that phone for a reason. The reason is people want anonymity,” Thompson said.

Coleman has not been charged with a crime. Watson is the only person who has identified him as the phone’s purchaser.

Bethlehem man launches projects to help other Lehigh Valley residents with muscular disorders

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Shane Burcaw, who writes the Laughing at My Nightmare blog, on Monday announced he's starting a project called No More Nightmares to provide local muscular disorder sufferers with wheelchair accessible ramps and vehicles and other technological devices to improve their lives.

Bethlehem man with spinal muscular atrophy is launching a new project to help other Lehigh Valley residents with muscular disorders.

Shane Burcaw, who writes the Laughing at My Nightmare blog, on Monday announced he’s starting a project called No More Nightmares to provide local muscular disorder sufferers with wheelchair accessible ramps and vehicles and other technological devices to improve their lives.

While Burcaw, 22, said he has a very strong support system “many people with muscular disorders don’t have that.”

Also Monday, Burcaw announced a $14,000 donation from his nonprofit organization Laughing At My Nightmare to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Faith McKay, executive director of the MDA’s Greater Lehigh Valley chapter, accepted the donation at Burcaw’s event, which took place at Moravian College, his alma mater. McKay said the No More Nightmares program would especially help muscular dystrophy sufferers with two working parents, who often can’t get funding for some equipment needs.

“A program like Shane’s will help bridge the gap for those families,” McKay said.

Laughing at My Nightmare also gave a $3,500 donation to the local MDA chapter in 2013. The organization was founded in 2012 and gets its funding through donations, merchandise sales and an annual 5k race, said Erinn Malone, the organization’s treasurer.

Burcaw said his organization won’t be able to help every person in the Lehigh Valley with a muscular disorder but he hopes to be able to assist many.

“We would like to make a significant impact in as many lives as possible,” he said. “We want to let people know we’re available.”

Applications for funding will soon be available at LaughingAtMyNightmare.com.

Burcaw also recently published a memoir called “Laughing At My Nightmare.”

Bethlehem student struck by vehicle suffered non-life-threatening injuries; school reinforces safety rules

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

The elementary school where Friday's crash occurred is among the majority of Bethlehem schools that lack school zones, city police said.

The Bethlehem school where a student was struck by a car Friday morning is reinforcing with students the importance of crossing the street to the school at crosswalks, the principal said.

Eric Smith, principal at the Bethlehem Area’s Spring Garden Elementary School, also said he would check into the process for requesting a school zone speed limit change outside the school at North Boulevard and Linden Street.

Bethlehem police say no charges are expected in the 8:49 a.m. crash involving a 9-year-old boy. As for how the boy is doing, Smith said he could not comment due to health-privacy laws. Police Lt. Jeremy Alleshouse said the boy suffered injuries deemed not life threatening. He hadn’t gotten an update Monday, and that bodes well: Usually when he hears an update on a patient condition following a crash it’s bad news, he said.

The boy was able to stand up after getting knocked down by the vehicle, Alleshouse said. An off-duty firefighter nearby came to the boy’s aid immediately and told him to lie still until an ambulance arrived, Alleshouse said. The boy was strapped to a backboard, his head immobilized, and taken to St. Luke’s University Hospital, Fountain Hill.

“He was alert and conscious,” Alleshouse said.

Police are not identifying the boy or the driver, who was alone in the vehicle and uninjured. The boy had emerged from in front of a vehicle parked along the south side of North Boulevard to cross over to the school when the crash occurred near Montgomery Street, Alleshouse said.

Crossing guards patrol two crosswalks at the school, Smith said.

“We’re really encouraging our kids to cross where an adult’s there, where the crossing guard is,” Smith said. “That’s clearly the safest thing to do.”

A newsletter going home to parents also offers a reminder about no-parking areas and urging care when driving through the area of the school, he said.

Spring Garden is among the majority of Bethlehem schools that lack school zones, Alleshouse said. The process toward implementing a 15-mph school zone begins with the school district applying to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and initiating a traffic study, he said. The school district covers all costs until the school zone is created, then the city takes over maintenance costs such as electricity for any flashing signs, he said.