A sure sign of spring in Salisbury Township is the annual Walking Purchase Park Cleanup.
This year, the cleanup will be held 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 30 in a portion of the 500-acre urban wilderness located between the Lehigh River and Lehigh Mountain in eastern Salisbury.
The park is accessible from Riverside Drive from the east and Constitution Drive from the west.
Although dumping is illegal in the park, annual cleanups are held to address the problem.
Volunteers are needed. The cleanup is to take place along Constitution Drive.
Third of four parts
The Salisbury Township Police Department more than doubled the amount of grants received in 2016, compared to the previous year.
The township police department received $133,416.89 in grants in 2016.
That’s an increase from $57,023 received by the department in 2015.
Salisbury Township Chief of Police Allen W. Stiles released the annual year in review report to commissioners and the media.
However, one of the big sources of grants is not guaranteed.
Sales of houses in the greater Lehigh Valley declined for the second straight month in 2017, but at a lesser rate.
Closed sales dropped by 4.4 percent in February to 433 houses sold, compared to 453 in February 2016, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR).
On a bright note again, pending of houses sales in the Lehigh Valley were again up by double digits in February.
Pending sales were up 16.6 percent in February to 687, compared to 589 in February 2016.
The Disney live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” is a spectacular movie musical that the entire family should enjoy. One of the chief recommendations to see the feature movie is the casting and performance of Emma Watson as Belle. Watson, best-known as Hermione Granger of the “Harry Potter” theatrical movie series.
The Bethlehem Press was again a big winner in the annual Professional Keystone Press Awards.
Overall, Lehigh Valley Press received 20 Keystone awards in the 2017 contest.
Of the total number of awards received by The Press newspapers, the Bethlehem Press and its contributors received 17 Keystones and the newspaper received the Sweepstakes Award in its division for the fourth year in a row.
Second of four parts
Reports of crime in Salisbury Township appear to be on the increase.
Criminal investigation activity was up in most major categories in 2016 compared to 2015, based on an informal analysis by The Press of statistics provided by the Salisbury Township Police Department.
In the category of burglary, there were 44 incidents reported in 2016, up from 26 in 2015.
In the category of theft, there were 202 incidents reported in 2016, up from 160 in 2015.
Salisbury Township Manager Randy Soriano has resigned.
The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners accepted Soriano’s resignation by a unanimous 5-0 vote with no discussion at the March 23 township meeting.
Soriano was township manager for eight years and seven months.
The reason stated at the meeting for Soriano’s resignation is that he requested early retirement, which by their vote commissioners granted.
The motion to bring the resignation to a vote was made by Commissioner James Seagreaves and seconded by Commissioner Joanne Ackerman.
The community garden at Franko Farm Park will be renamed the Charles J. Durner Jr. Memorial Community Garden.
The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners voted unanimously 5-0 to approve the renaming at the March 23 township meeting.
Board of Commissioners Vice President Robert Martucci Jr. made the motion, seconded by President James. A Brown, to bring the resolution to a vote.
The time and date of the dedication ceremony for the renaming of the garden is to be announced.
The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners, convening as the township Shade Tree Commission, chaired by Atty. John W. Ashley, Salisbury Township solicitor, and with commentary by Sandy Nicolo, Salisbury Township code enforcement officer, voted narrowly, 3 to 2, to reject an appeal March 23 by Stephanie and Michael Schawb to replace a tree.
At the half-hour hearing, with a court stenographer recording the proceedings, it was noted the tree was removed prior to the purchase of the property in July 2011 by the Schawbs.
Salisbury Township Recreation Director Genny Baillie, the Salisbury Township Recreation Advisory Committee and Joel Schware, Lehigh Valley League baseball director for the Salisbury Youth Association, will take a few more swings at the location of a baseball batting cage in Franko Farm Park.
A motion on the SYA request for the batting cage location was tabled at the March 23 board of commissioners meeting.
Commissioners asked Baillie, the recreation advisory committee and Schware to resolve the matter.