The 2011-12 legislative session wrapped up in November, and before we begin the new session Jan. 1, 2013, I think it is wise to take a look back and see what we have accomplished.
Of course, some years are more productive than others but, this past year, we have been able to make significant progress on several fronts that will help improve the business climate in Pennsylvania, increase safety and protection and honor our military men and women.
Governor Tom Corbett announced Nov. 9 PennDOT is launching two voluntary programs aimed at saving the lives of Pennsylvanians in emergency situations – the Yellow Dot and Emergency Contact Information programs.
"Both of these programs speak for people when they can't speak for themselves, so medical concerns can be addressed and contacts can be reached as quickly as possible," Corbett said. "When someone is in a crash or they find themselves in an emergency situation, it's critical that emergency responders quickly find out as much as they can about the victim."
On October 3, 1789, President George Washington proclaimed the Day of National Thanksgiving.
"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore his protection and favor," Washington is quoted as writing in his proclamation.
To the Editor:
My name is David Boyko and I am the emergency management coordinator for the Borough of Macungie.
First, it is necessary to thank all the emergency responders fire, police, ambulance and borough crew many who altered their schedules to serve their community during the recent natural disaster. This also includes their spouses and families who made sacrifices.
In the aftermath of Sandy, comes "storm chasers," aka rip-off repair people, who descend on areas after a natural disaster looking to scam those in need of home repairs.
Homeowners facing major repairs following Hurricane Sandy should be on alert for scam artists hoping to prey on older adults. AARP Pennsylvania wants to alert people about common contractor scams during a time when members may be most vulnerable.
I spent Sunday at a fund-raiser for the family of a 2012 North-ampton Area High School grad who died recently from brain cancer.
The benefit raised money to help the family of Alec Ferullo, a 2012 Northampton Area High School graduate who died Oct. 8. His parents had to take unpaid leaves of absence from their jobs in order to care for him during his last few months.
As I watched people buy raffle tickets, baked goods and souvenirs, I couldn't help but think how soon Thanksgiving will be here – and then Christmas and New Year's.
This past Sunday, we paid tribute to nearly 22 million veterans in the United States. Recognizing those who donned the uniform of one of our military branches, we think of the veterans from the Greatest Generation who served with tremendous courage during World War II; the young Soldiers and Marines sent to Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s; and the men and women who have served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight against global terror.
With the tumult and ballyhoo of the current election cycle behind us, let's look to the future with a keen eye toward our past.
Our veterans stood tall when the threats of fascism, communism and terrorism threatened our security.
Their blind and unyielding dedication to defending democracy and freedom has continually helped preserve all we hold dear as American citizens.
As we approach the Nov. 6 general election, the Whitehall-Coplay Press, Northampton Press and Catasauqua Press, in the interest of fairness, has halted the publication of columns by local government officials and letters to the editor submitted by those running for office.
The last week for publication of columns by local government officials was Oct. 11.
Letters to the Editor, written by members of the community in support of a candidate, needed to have been received at Lehigh Valley Press no later than 5 p.m. Oct. 19.
Johanna S. Billings