Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Morning Call Restructuring

On July 21, the Morning Call announced a restructuring involving the lay-off of 25 to 30 news room workers. The proposed Morning Call layoff numbers were also posted on the Saturday edition of the Lehigh Valley Ramblings Blog.

Yesterday,the Morning Call (MCall) launched a new look and feel. According to the Morning Call Editor, the  "Morning Call's Opinion Pages will have a new look, new features ... and even a new name: ''Lehigh Valley Town Square". This is supposed to allow the MCall readers a chance to have input, debate, and even challenge the Morning Call editorial staff. I am convinced the blogger's and concerned citizens of the Lehigh Valley do not need an invitation from the Morning Call to express our opinions and ideas.

I am wondering about Madeline Mathias, the Morning Call reporter that covers Forks Township. She is good reporter and always tried to write a fair and balanced view of our township. At times, we disagreed on critical issues, but she always treated me fairly.  I am hoping to see Madeline at our next Board of Supervisors board meeting.

Get Involved - Every Voice Counts!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Steaming Cup of Joe Blog and the Express-Times Coverage of Local Candidates.


As you may know, Joe Owens is a Express-Times editor that happens to have a blog called a Steaming Cup of Joe. I was reading one of his blog entries today about a local school board.  I decided to post a comment on how the Express-Times covers local candidates.  I want to share my comments with you tonight.


"The quality of local candidates and various boards has been an on-going conversation in the Lehigh Valley. A lot of people have complained about the quality of the School Boards, Boards of Supervisors, City Councils, etc.

New people have run for local offices with various degrees of success. As a new candidate, one of the toughest aspects of running for local office (I know first hand) is getting press coverage. The Express-Times, yes I am challenging the Express-Time coverage, seems to provide good coverage of incumbents. They have a convenient platform to express their opinion; they are actually "in" office.

New candidates are lucky to get seven to nine lines in some general article covering a specific local race. Okay, you give the City of Easton and Bethlehem candidates lots of coverage, but the coverage for the local races in the townships, boroughs, etc. has been quite limited.

Here is my challenge to the Express-Times editorial board: Give the local candidates on-going opportunities to comment on critical issues facing their municipalities. I am sure the candidates will be more than happy to provide their views on the issues. It will give the public a better understanding of candidates’ opinions, whether they are the challenger or incumbent.

At the least, it will help to create informed voters".


Get involved! Every Voice Counts

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Forks EMS

Just in case, you did not see the Express -Times headlines yesterday. On a 4 to 0 vote, the Forks Township BoS voted to appoint Suburban Emergency Medical Services the sole provider of Advanced Life Support Services (ALS) to Forks Township.  The Forks EMS will continue to provide Basic Life Support Services (BLS) to our residents. The Northampton County dispatcher will triage the 911 call and send the appropriate EMS squad to handle the emergency.

The Forks Supervisors praised the professionalism and dedication of the Forks EMS Squad, but they wanted to ensure the residents of Forks Township receives the best emergency care available. The BoS emphasized this decision was not about the quality of care provided by the Forks EMS squad, but they worried about the financial viability of the squad.  In fact, all parties concerned praised the quality of care provided by the Forks EMS team of professionals. I agree !

The Forks EMS Squad is around $500,000 in debt, so they face a very difficult financial hurdle to remain in business.  Lets hope the Forks EMS can turn around it's financial situation and continue to provide quality emergency services to our Township.


Get Involved - Every Voice Counts


David Billings

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lehigh Valley Coffee Roasting Company

This is our fourth article in our buy local program.

I was very happy when I saw the sign for the Lehigh Valley Roasting Company Company Grand Opening. It is good to have a coffee speciality store in our township.

So, I decided to stop in and taste the coffee.  I also had a Sunday morning chat with the owner Greg Ozgas. We talked about the new shop, business seems to be good, and how we can re-develop the old Laneco property. 

The re-development of the old Laneco property is an interesting topic, but we can discuss that topic in a blog later.  Greg shop roasts it own beans, so you will always have a fresh cup of coffee. They have 7 blends of coffee that can be purchased by the pound or the cup.

  • Frost Hollow Blend
  • Mokha Java Blend
  • College Hill Blend
  • House Blend
  • Colombian Popayan  Supremo
  • Sumatran Mandheling Gr1 DP
  • Guatemalan Antigua Los Volcances


I tried the Frost Hollow Blend and it was very good. Job well done!  On your way to work this week, stop by to say hi to Greg and taste one of his many fresh roasted blends! You will not be disappointed.

Every Voice Counts!

David Billings

Monday, July 7, 2008

Forks Township Comprehensive Plan Meeting

A joint workshop between the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will be held on July 10, 2008 at 7:00 after the normal PC meeting.  The purpose of the workshop is to review the current version of Comprehensive Plan and gather additional public input.

The plan states" The Township cannot implement this plan alone. Involvement is needed by residents, neighborhood organizations, civic groups, businesses,institutions, property-owners, and many other groups".


The current plan can be view at the Forks Township web site.  The Comprehensive plan has the following sections:

1. Major benefits of the Comprehensive Plan.

2. Coordination with the Regional Comprehensive Plan.

3. Regional Location

4. Direction: The Major Goals of this plan.

5. Natural Features and Agricultural Conservation Plan.

6. Land Use and Housing Plan

7. Historic Preservation Plan

8. Economic Development Plan

9. Community Facilities and Service Plan (aka Recreation Plan)
10. Transportation Plan

11. Putting this plan into action.


It is really important the public attend this meeting.  I realize that public input is the cornerstone of any robust comprehensive plan.  Let me share one of the major goals of the Comprehensive Plan (Page 75): "Promote substantial Public Input, including making sure residents are well-informed about community issues and encouraging volunteer efforts to improve the community".

Every Voice Counts!

David Billings