Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Officials say easing rules will decrease state prison population, costs.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
By Caleb Taylor | PA Independent Reforming mandatory sentencing laws is one solution to a surging prison population and soaring costs for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, say some officials. From 1980 to 2010, the state Department of Corrections, or DoC, budget increased by more than 1,700 percent, from $94 million to $1.7 billion. During that same period, the prison population swelled from 8,243 inmates to 51,321 inmates. The 2011 prison population numbers were not available. In the recently passed state budget, DoC accounted for 7.4 percent of the general fund, or $1.89 billion--the third largest chunk behind the state departments of education and public welfare. This crisis has some lawmakers advocating for changes to …
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Three municipalities are expected to be in new districts next year.
This fall, voters in Williams Township will have to decide whether to keep incumbent Mike Dowd on Northampton County Council or replace him with challenger Robert Werner. But no matter who wins, they won't be representing Williams Township, which is part of council's second district. Similar scenarios would play out in the communities of Freemansburg and Bath. All three municipalities would move into other council districts at the end of 2011 under an ordinance council will consider later this month. Under the county's home rule charter, all four council districts need to have roughly the same population. The 2010 Census showed Williams had grown by 31 percent, which means it's moving into District Three, which currently includes the …
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
New Latino residents could follow the Italian path to integration--through America's stomach.
On my blog, I've been posting excerpts from A History of Italian Immigration to the Easton Area by Richard D. Grifo and Anthony Noto. It was published in 1964 by the Northampton County Historical and Geneological Society, and you can buy a copy at the Sigal Museum. The most fascinating thing about this history is thinking about Italians as an ethnic Other, since they're now widely considered to be "white." This was not always the case. Italians arrived later than other ethnic groups, mostly between 1900 and 1930: In 1890 there were only 341 [Italians]; in 1900, 1582; in 1910, 3723; in 1920, 4427; in 1930, 4552; and in 1940, 4065... Keep in mind that these figures represent only Italian born residents. The number of residents of Italian …
Monday, March 21, 2011
Council president said the Easton area has grown too much for District Two to remain unchanged.
It's redistricting time for Northampton County Council. Council President John Cusick says the population growth of the Easton area shown in the 2010 U.S. Census means the lines of council's four districts will need to be redrawn. While Easton itself only grew by two percent in the last decade, census figures show the suburban townships around the city saw significant growth. One of those townships--Williams, which grew by 31 percent--would most likely move out of its current district two and into district three, Cusick said. District three encompasses the boroughs of Bath, Nazareth, Northampton, Freemansburg and North Catasauqua, and the townships of Allen, Bethlehem, East Allen, Lower Nazareth and Lower Saucon. Of those communities, …
Thursday, March 10, 2011
2010 U.S. Census data released today indicates that both Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township experienced modest population growth over the last decade.
New data was released by the United States Census Bureau today, revealing that the populations of both Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township grew modestly between 2000 and 2010. According to the data from the 2010 U.S. Census, Hellertown's population increased by 292 people, from 5,606 individuals in 2000 to 5,898 in 2010. Lower Saucon Township's population increased by 888 people--which represents a slightly more substantial rate--from 9,884 individuals in 2000 to 10,772 in 2010. The total number of housing units in Lower Saucon in 2010 was 4,340, of which 4,120 were occupied and 220 were vacant, according to the census data. In Hellertown, the total number of housing units was 2,774, with 2,604 occupied and 170 housing units vacant. The …