Saturday, September 21, 2013

Scene in Easton: A Night of Benefit Events

By Christina Georgiou

Christopher Black, as John Adams, center, sits with Matthew Phifer and
another Sigal Museum volunteer at the Bachmann Publick House Friday
evening after the dinner theatre event.
Three separate events benefiting local organizations took place in Easton's Downtown Friday evening, and while the nature of each was different, the one thing they all had in common was  that each, in some way, centered around food.

At the Bachmann Publick House, Christopher Black portrayed John Adams at a dinner theatre event where attendees enjoyed a catered meal and the company of the founding father as he was in 1777.

Later to become the second president of the United States, en route to York, where Continental Congress members were to meet, Adams stopped briefly in Easton and is said to have stayed at the Bachmann.

Proceeds from the event benefited the Sigal Museum and the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society.

At Drinky's manager Tommy Urglavitch, top center, poses for a photo with
rapper Young Chizz, right, and representatives of the Steelhawks
Pro Indoor Football team. Food and proceeds from their Tackle Hunger
Food Drive benefited Third Street Alliance.
At Drinky's, on the Centre Square, the Tackle Hunger Food Drive drew a crowd that donated a substantial amount of food to benefit Third Street Alliance. In addition to filling the pub's pool table a couple layers deep with non-perishable goods, a single donor that prefers to remain anonymous pledged additional two pallets of food for the shelter dedicated to housing women, children, and families.

Rapper Young Chizz, along with representatives of the Steelhawks Pro Indoor Football team, who offered free game vouchers to those donating five or more items, made this event more than just the average canned food drive.

About 90 people, including numerous local elected officials, candidates, judges, and a majority of Easton's city council, attended the Easton Area Democratic Committee's third annual Gala in Blue at the Bank Street Annex for the group's annual awards ceremony, plus a formal dinner and dancing.

Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA17) addressed about 90 local Democrats
at the Easton Area Democratic Committee's Gala in Blue
Friday night. Cartwright was the keynote speaker for the event, which also
included an awards ceremony, dinner, and dancing.
Event keynote speaker U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA17) took the opportunity at the podium to condemn the House of Representative's decision to pass a new farm bill that would reduce food stamp assistance by $40 billion over the next ten years, as well as eliminate food assistance to 4 to 6 million people. The bill was passed on Thursday by a narrow margin, 217-210.

"It is ineffable, my disgust for something like this," Cartwright said, noting that 40,000 households in the 17th congressional district, which includes Easton, rely on food stamp assistance , "and fully half of them are children."

While the bill will not likely be passed into law as it stands by a Democratically-controlled Senate, that most Republicans supported the reduction of food aid "shows that they just don't care," Cartwright said, noting that the vote on the bill was split down party lines, with all House Democrats voting against its passage and the related food-assistance cuts. Only a small handful of Republicans similarly rejected the measure--the rest voted in favor of the cuts.

Cartwright attributed some of the support for cutting food assistance to people not understanding the nature and depth of the problem.

"All too often, we as American, we don't see the hungry, we don't see the needy," he said.

The most conservative Republicans and those elected on the tea party platform, however, are not willing to hammer out compromises that benefit everyone and are currently working against the Affordable Care Act's implementation, he said.

"Their plan is now to defund it by holding the entire U.S. government hostage," Cartwright said.

"The ultimate answer about how to deal with the tea party is something you here in Easton have already figured out...It's not about making friends with them. It's not about finding common ground with them. It's about replacing them," Cartwright concluded.

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