Northwestern Press

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Editor's View

Thursday, December 4, 2014 by JOHANNA S. BILLINGS in Opinion

Be careful; it's a jungle out there

I wasn't on MacArthur Road in Whitehall for very long before I knew something was dreadfully wrong.

Traffic was backed up. Two diamond-shaped orange signs warned, "Accident Ahead."

This was the morning of Nov. 19. I knew it was bad, even before I learned the accident claimed the life of a Moore Township man.

I really wasn't all that anxious about being stuck in traffic. Mostly I was grateful to be alive.

A total of 33,561 people were killed as the result of motor vehicle crashes in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Editor's View

Thursday, November 6, 2014 by JOHANNA S. BILLINGS in Opinion

Two cats make 12-hour journey to Maine

I've heard it said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.

Ever since we bought our cabin in Maine in 2013, we have had an alternate definition of insanity – taking two cats on a 12-hour ride from Pennsylvania to the Pine Tree State.

Then we tried it.

The idea started because Kira Kat is now 15. The formula for translating her age into "cat years" is 21 years for the first two human years and then seven years for every year thereafter.

Editor's View

Thursday, October 10, 2013 by JOHANNA S. BILLINGS in Opinion

Government shutdown hurts in many ways

Babies and spoiled brats.

Yep, I'm talking about members of the United States Congress.

The recent government shutdown is an example of the abysmal failure of our elected officials to behave like responsible adults and work out their differences in a respectable and professional manner.

I am not going to mention political parties or the issue Congress is fighting about. Both are irrelevant because, when you strip away the rhetoric of party politics, you can see the shutdown for what it is – grown-ups behaving badly because they suffer no consequences for their actions.

Editor's View

Thursday, August 22, 2013 by JOHANNA S. BILLINGS in Opinion

Buying secluded cabin in Maine leads to treasure hunt and duct tape heaven

If you've ever seen the "Red Green Show," then you will have a true understanding of my story.

If you're not familiar with Red Green, you've probably heard of the TV show "Hoarders."

If neither show is familiar to you, just look up the lyrics to Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" and pay particular attention to his descriptions of the garbage.

That's kind of how it was when we bought our cabin in Maine.

Editor's view

Thursday, July 4, 2013 by JOHANNA S. BILLINGS in Opinion

Customer beware: You don't know who you will find in the store dressing room

I was trying on clothes at a local department store recently when I heard a male voice.

Putting my own clothing back on, I opened the stall door to find a young couple discussing clothing the woman was trying on. They were not just near the dressing room. They were well inside it.

"This is a woman's dressing room," I said. "You need to leave."

The man didn't argue but his girlfriend got angry and, when I refused to back down, she called me "crazy" and stormed out saying, "I guess I'll have to go change in the men's room."

Lehigh Valley Zoo chosen chamber biz of the year

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by JOHANNA S. BILLINGS in Local News

An armadillo is a tough act to follow.

When Sherry Peters of the Lehigh Valley Zoo, Schnecksville, accepted the Business of the Year Award from the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce recently, she brought along a three-banded armadillo.

"We're really happy and really excited to be accepting this award," Peters said. "It does show the Lehigh Valley Zoo does matter."

As she spoke, the armadillo, which was about the size of a cantaloupe, squirmed in her hands.

She told the approximately 100 chamber members the zoo conducted a survey to find out why the zoo matters.

Coplay artist paints caboose for IRT

Thursday, April 25, 2013 by JOHANNA S. BILLINGS in Local News

A Coplay artist has donated a painting to the Ironton Rail-Trail Commission.

Rocky Petzuk, a neighbor of Mayor Joseph Bundra, took a picture of the recently restored caboose before the lettering was completed.

He called Bundra, requesting a photo of the historic rail car with the lettering finished.

Bundra suggested Petzuk paint a picture of the caboose but Petzuk said he didn't have time.

Bundra knew that meant his neighbor was already working on the painting.

Bundra showed off the painting, framed in old barn wood, at a recent borough council meeting.

Bill Leiner running for commissioner's seat

Thursday, March 7, 2013 by JOHANNA S. BILLINGS in Local News

Coplay Councilman Bill Leiner Jr. is looking for bigger fish to fry.

Leiner recently announced his intention to run for Lehigh County Commissioner.

"Because it's District I, I'll have the capability to stay very plugged into Coplay," he said.

Leiner said he plans to regularly attend Coplay council meetings, even if he wins the commissioner's seat.

Editor's View

Thursday, November 8, 2012 by JOHANNA S. BILLINGS in Opinion

For many in the Valley, Sandy meant living off the grid

After more than six days without power, the popping drone of the generator began to sound as normal as the chirping birds and the occasional passing car I used to hear.

"When are you supposed to get your power back?" I was asked Friday.

"Christmas," I said.

The other person paused briefly as if startled.

"Oh, my word," she said. "You're serious!"


A sense of humor definitely helped my husband, Sean, and I deal with the circumstances. But beneath the humor lies a grain of truth.