Monday, December 31, 2012

Police Looking for Armed Robbery Suspect

Two men were reportedly robbed at gunpoint Saturday evening, and Easton police are looking for the suspect.

Police say that some time before 9:50 p.m., when the crime was reported, a short black male wearing dark grey sweat pants and a black hooded sweatshirt armed with a handgun held up two young men, in an unspecified building near the corner of North Union and Northampton streets,

A 21-year-old victim had $60 cash, along with his ID, a debit card and his Social Security card taken, while an 18-year-old lost $20, his ID, a debit card and a cell phone, police said.

Police ask that anyone with information about the crime call Detective Matthew Rush at 610-250-6639.

This Week in Easton, December 31 to January 3

Bid goodbye to 2012 and say hello to 2013! It's about to be a new year, and that means it's a good time for new beginnings...


Monday, December 31


Today is New Year's Eve--the last day of 2012!

Looking to say goodbye to 2012 in style, close to home? There are a number of options! Click here for a list.


Tuesday, January 1

Today is
New Years Day Here's to a bright, happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!

There is no LANTA bus service today, and government offices are closed.

First Day Hike: 1 p.m. The walk will be less than three miles on level towpath terrain. All ages and abilities are welcome. Wear sturdy shoes, dress in layers and bring water.  Cancelled in the event of severe weather. Wy-Hit-Tuk Park, Route 611, Williams Township. 610-982-0161 or click here for more details.


Wednesday, January 2


Country Dancing: 7 p.m. Rivals Sports Bar & Nightclub, 5 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-392-9710 or www.RivalsEaston.com

Palmer Township Zoning Hearing Board meeting: 7:30 p.m. In the Palmer Library meeting room, at the Municipal Complex, 1 Weller Place (off of Newburg Road), Palmer Township.

Open Mic with Scott Harrington: 9:30 p.m. Porters' Pub, 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com


Thursday, January 3


Williams Township Landfill Advisory Committee meeting: 8 a.m. Williams Township  Municipal Building, 655 Cider Press Road, Williams Township.

Yan Carlos Sanchez of the Subtle Experience: 8 to 11 p.m. Porters' Pub, 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com

Bring (or wear) Your Own Vinyl night: 8 p.m. to midnight. DJs Ernie and/or Will. Black & Blue, 683 Walnut St. 610-438-3604 or blackandblueeaston.com

DJ RiskeOne: 10 p.m. Rivals Sports Bar & Nightclub, 5 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-392-9710 or www.RivalsEaston.com

"This Week in Easton" lists what's happening during the weekdays, from special events to who's playing to government meetings, all in one handy place. Not just in the City of Easton, but for the entire greater Easton area...Published every Monday morning!

Is there a community or entertainment event you'd like to see here? Are you organizing something you'd like to have posted? Did we miss something? Email us!

Hey! Did you know, The Easton Eccentric is growing daily? We've doubled our daily page views in the past few weeks--and all our readers are your potential customers. Show them the great things your business has to offer. Advertise with us! Email for more details...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ring in the New Year in Easton!

Looking for something to do on the last day of the year? Here are the special New Year's Eve events happening in the city and the greater Easton area...

Happy New Year from The Easton Eccentric!

Crayola Experience New Year's Eve, noon to 7 p.m.: An indoors family-friendly party. Enjoy all the exhibits at Crayola, including doodling in the dark and painting with melted crayons. In addition the little ones can burn off energy in two moon bounces, take part in a dance party and join a New Years Eve parade through venue with Crayola characters Tip the Crayon and Pip Squeak the Marker. Early evening family countdown with streamers at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. 30 Centre Square. 610-515-8000 or  www.crayola.com/factory

Todd Wolfe, noon. The Riegelsville Inn, 12 Delaware Road, Riegelsville. 610-749-0100 or www.riegelsvilleinn.com , www.toddwolfe.com


New Year's Eve Party with Joyous, 8 p.m. -  Chef Harry E. Cregar III has prepared a special menu. Joyous will be performing live from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Standard Package (No bar included): $75 per person or $125 per couple, Deluxe Package (Includes open bar all night): $100 per person or $175 per couple. Call ahead for reservations. Riverview Country Club, 1 Riverview Place, Williams Township. 610-559-9700


Two Rivers Brewing - Regular menu will be served along with some tasty specials Chef Jeremy has been working on. Champagne toast when the ball drops too! Two Rivers Brewing Company, 542 Northampton St. 610-829-1131

DJ Telly, 8 p.m. to closing - Valenca, 64-66 Centre Square. 610-923-5142 or www.valencaonthesquare.com

Kyle Yankowy acoustic show, 8 p.m. followed by DJ Kevin Rogers, 10 p.m. -  Rivals, 5 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-392-2932 or www.RivalsEaston.com

New Year's Eve Party, starts 8 p.m. - Mezza and buffet, music by Shady Younes and DJ FlyGuy. Cash bar. $60 per person, $30 per person for children 4 to 11 years. Children 3 and under are free. Proceeds benefit electricity projects in Lebanon. Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church, South Fourth and Ferry streets.

New Year's Eve Bash, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. - DJs and dancing. Dress to impress. No cover, midnight buffet.  Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

New Years Eve Bash - $20 cover, features DJ Zee. Drinky's, 5 Centre Square. 610-252-3800 or www.drinkys.com/2012/12/11/new-years-eve-bash/

Ring in the New Year at Porters' Pub -  Dinner specials, in addition to the regular menu. Champagne toast at midnight. Reservations suggested. 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com

Do you know of a public New Year's event in Easton or the greater Easton area not listed here? Let us know so we can add it! Email us.

Updated on Monday, December 31 at 4:25 a.m. and again at 5:45 p.m.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Weekend Guide, December 28 to 30

It's the last weekend of the year! Time to warm up for New Year's, celebrate the possibility of snow, or just enjoy some time off before reality hits again next week...


Friday, December 28


Nazareth Area Society of Model Engineers Train Show: 7 to 9 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring a small step stool for their children to help them see more of the layouts. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children. 212 Main St., Stockertown. nasme.tripod.com

Line Dancing: 7 to 10:30 p.m. Beginner lessons at 7:15 p.m. $5 per person for members, $6 for non-members. Tatamy Fire Company, 164 Bushkill St., Tatamy. 610-759-2786 or www.purecountrydancers.com

Laurie Vosburg and 519 South: 8 p.m. The Riegelsville Inn, 12 Delaware Road, Riegelsville. 610-749-0100 or www.riegelsvilleinn.com

B.D. Lenz & Lilica: 8 p.m. Valenca, 64-66 Centre Square. 610-923-5142 or www.valencaonthesquare.com
Trouble City All Stars, Video DJ Fly: Band at 8 p.m., DJ at 11 p.m. Rivals, 5 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-392-2932 or www.RivalsEaston.com


DJ Mikey Z: 9 p.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

"Teen Nyte": 9 p.m. to midnight. Aimed at teens 13 and above who are interested in meeting new people and having fun in a safe environment, the event is hosted by Positive Teens & Ambassadors for Change Keystone Club who is hosting their first-ever, Pre-New Year Celebration. Talk, meet new friends, pool tournaments, dancing, JUST DANCE game challenges and a place to get something to eat. "It will be real fun so stop by and have fun meeting and making new friends and help us celebrate the new year…and Team FRESHH will be in the house." Donation of $3 for current club members; for non-members, a $5 fee will be charged at the door. Easton Teen Center, 1101 Northampton St. For more information, call Dean Young at 610-253-5846 or Jackie White at 610-253-1101 before 9 p.m.

Ojespa Jazz Project: 9 p.m. to midnight. Two Rivers Brewing Company, 542 Northampton St. 610-829-1131

ReaLion: 10 p.m. Porters' Pub, 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com

Time Relapse: 10 p.m. Pearly Baker's Alehouse, 11 Centre Square. 610-253-9949 or www.pearlybakers.net


Saturday, December 29


Easton Farmers' Market Winter Mart: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fresh, local organic produce, all-natural pastured meat, farm-fresh eggs, artisan cheese and bread, baked goods, prepared foods, more. Plus holiday arts mart featuring local crafters and exhibits. Nurture Nature Center, 518 Northampton St. 610-253-4432 or www.eastonfarmersmarket.com

Nazareth Area Society of Model Engineers Train Show: 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring a small step stool for their children to help them see more of the layouts. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children. 212 Main St., Stockertown. nasme.tripod.com

Cover Story Band: 7 to 10 p.m. Bella Luna, 3417 Sullivan Trail, Forks Township. 610-253-7458

Funk Xpress: 7 to 10 p.m. Phenom, 161 Northampton St. 610-258-9777

Blue Jean Music: 8 p.m. Valenca, 64-66 Centre Square. 610-923-5142 or www.valencaonthesquare.com

The Hammers: 8 p.m. The Riegelsville Inn, 12 Delaware Road, Riegelsville. 610-749-0100 or www.riegelsvilleinn.com

Soul Ragga: 9 p.m. Black & Blue, 683 Walnut St. 610-438-3604 or www.blackandblueeaston.com

Mynus 6/Mike Gargone Band: 9 p.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

Soofy and the Walrus: 10 p.m. Porters' Pub, 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com

Christopher Dean’s Band: 10 p.m. Pearly Baker's Alehouse, 11 Centre Square. 610-253-9949 or www.pearlybakers.net

DJ Jeze Funk: 10 p.m. Rivals, 5 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-392-2932 or www.RivalsEaston.com

Sunday, December 30


Nazareth Area Society of Model Engineers Train Show: 1 to 5 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring a small step stool for their children to help them see more of the layouts. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children. 212 Main St., Stockertown. nasme.tripod.com

"Can't Fill These Shoes" stiletto heels decorating party: 1 p.m. Time has apparently been changed! 5 to 8 p.m. Decorated shoes will be auctioned with the proceeds to be donated to causes District Magistrate Gay Elwell supported during her lifetime, including the Easton Public Library, The Sigal Museum and the Center for Animal Health and Welfare. Easton Yoga, located at 524 Northampton St. (attendees should enter from the back entrance on Pine Street). For more information, click here.

Open Mic Hosted by Jim Stocker: 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

Easton's most comprehensive guide to what's happening over the weekend, in the city and beyond, is published every Friday.

Are you planning an event? Did we miss something? Let us know! Email us.

Pssst! Want a larger presence for your band or business, a permanent page link, and the adoration of a few hundred local readers a week? Sponsor this page! Email us for details!

Updated at 3:15 p.m., Sunday, December 30.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sharbel Koorie Announces Run for District Justice

Lifelong Easton resident Sharbel Koorie has announced his intention to run for magistrate of District Court 03-2-05, which was left vacant by the sudden passing of District Justice Gay Elwell earlier this month on Dec. 3.

At a press conference held at his home on South Ninth Street, accompanied by his wife and four children  along with four generations of his family, the Easton native said living in the West Ward and his day-to-day experience with residents and business owners gives him a clear perspective of the issues that face the city.

Currently, Koorie is employed as a city code inspector. He also operates a disc jockey business, is  landlord for a number of properties on the block on which he lives and is in the process of converting the former Northampton Glass building into a restaurant.

“This job requires a person who is able to understand the issues before them and make judgments based on the facts presented in each case,” he said. "“I’ve lived it here. Our neighborhoods have had murders, shootings, accidents involving loss of life, thefts, fires, vandalism, graffiti, domestic violence, carjacking, and the list goes on. Growing up in this type of neighborhood, you really learn to understand how things work and why."

Koorie said that he plans to be knocking on doors and meeting with constituents to ask for their vote.

“We need someone who will understand the issues and are able to read the people before them to make the right decisions when needed. I’m the person who has that unique insight of the issues that come before a district judge,” Koorie added.

District Court 03-2-05 covers Wards 1 through 6 in the City of Easton, which includes the Downtown district, as well as College Hill and a portion of the West Ward.

The court is currently being covered by retired local district judges.

While it's still possible, it seems unlikely that Governor Tom Corbett will appoint someone to fill Elwell's vacant district.

Koorie, along with any others that may vie for the magistrate position, will first go through the primary election on Tuesday, May 21. While judges are technically non-partisan, this step will whittle the possibilities down. Those who win in the primary will go on to the general election in November, and a new magistrate is likely to be sworn in in January 2014.

Updated at 11:24 a.m. to correct election details and at 11:50 a.m. to add photo.

Upcoming Presentation to Focus on Sustainable Community Initiatives

A "Curbside Chat" by Strong Towns, has been announced for Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 6 p.m. The event will be held in Room 224 of Oechsle Hall at Lafayette College.

Hosted by the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership, in cooperation with Envision Lehigh Valley, the presentation by Strong Towns, a non-profit organization from Minnesota, will focus on ideas designed to strengthen communities.
Charles Marohn, of Strong Towns

The presentation will be given by Charles Marohn of Strong Towns, a professional engineer (PE) licensed in the State of Minnesota and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He is the author of "Thoughts on Building Strong Towns (Volume 1)", the primary author of the Strong Towns blog and the host of the Strong Towns podcast and See it Differently TV.

The event is free and open to the public. A social hour with refreshments will follow the presentation.

To attend, please RSVP to Dennis Lieb via email.

More information on Strong Towns is available online at www.strongtowns.org.

The presentation in Easton is one of 11 presentations in Pennsylvania by "Strong Towns" between Jan. 7
to 11 as part of their Pennsylvania tour.

For more about the "Curbside Chat", click here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

This Week in Easton, December 24 to 27

Forget about doing anything official this week. Christmas is Tuesday, and nearly everything is closed on Monday with the exception of shops to grab a few last minute gifts and goodies. After that, we suggest you grab some 'nog, kick back and relax, and savor the chance to take a well-deserved break. It's all about getting together with the people you hold dear and celebrating the gift that is life.

(Which we plan to do too. So please, be good for goodness sake. Anyone who's naughty enough to make us need to cover anything on the 24th or 25th is going to have to face one very cranky news producer!  )


Monday, December 24


Today is Christmas Eve!

All local and county offices are closed today.

LANTA bus service ends at 8 p.m.

Need a last minute gift? Shop local! Most stores are open in the city until mid-afternoon, which gives you just enough time to do your Christmas wrapping...speaking of which...




Tuesday, December 25


Today is a federal holiday, and all state, county and local government offices are closed today. No LANTA bus service today either.

Have a very
Merry Christmas!

We leave you to the gifts and your egg nog with a little bit of  musical food for thought...
a slightly unconventional classic Christmas tune that somehow seems very "Easton",
not to mention, it's one of our favorites...
We're pretty sure Santa Claus would approve.


Wednesday, December 26


Nazareth Area Society of Model Engineers Holiday Train Show: 1 to 5 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring a small step stool for their children to help them see more of the layouts. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children. 212 Main St., Stockertown. nasme.tripod.com

Free Texas Hold'em: 7 & 9 p.m. Free! La Pazza, 1251 Ferry St. 610 515-0888 or www.lapazza.com

Country Dancing: Starts 7 p.m. Rivals Sports Bar & Nightclub, 5 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-392-9710 or www.RivalsEaston.com


Thursday, December 27


Nazareth Area Society of Model Engineers Holiday Train Show: 7 to 9 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring a small step stool for their children to help them see more of the layouts. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children. 212 Main St., Stockertown. nasme.tripod.com

Digital Getdown, DJ Reliq: Live music at 9 p.m., DJ from 11 p.m. to closing. Rivals Sports Bar & Nightclub, 5 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-392-9710 or www.RivalsEaston.com

Siska, Young & Cumings: 8 to 11 p.m. Porters' Pub, 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com

Bring (or wear) Your Own Vinyl night: 8 p.m. to midnight. DJs Ernie and/or Will. Black & Blue, 683 Walnut St. 610-438-3604 or www.blackandblueeaston.com

Quimby Mountain Band: 9 p.m. to midnight. Funk, blues, southern rock, reggae and soul with a jam-like flare. Two Rivers Brewing Company, South Sixth and Northampton streets. 610-829-1311

Sage: 9:30 p.m. Pearly Bakers, 11 Centre Square. 610-253-9949 or www.pearlybakers.net

"This Week in Easton" lists what's happening during the weekdays, from special events to who's playing to government meetings, all in one handy place. Not just in the City of Easton, but for the entire greater Easton area...Published every Monday morning!

Is there a community or entertainment event you'd like to see here? Are you organizing something you'd like to have posted? Did we miss something? Email us!

Assault Leaves One Hospitalized; Suspect Charged

One man is in critical condition and another in jail after an incident on the 400 block of Northampton Street Sunday night.

Easton Police say they responded to a report of an unresponsive male at about 12:45 a.m. He was transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition, they added.

Antonio Ortiz, 33, of the 400 block of Northampton Street, was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, according to a news release. He was arraigned and committed to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $50,000 straight bail, police added.

The relationship between the Ortiz and the victim is currently unclear. Police have reportedly been unable to interview the victim of the attack due to the severity of his condition.

Witnesses or anyone with any further information about the assault are asked to call Easton police detectives at 610-759-2200.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

An Interview with the Real Mr. & Mrs. Santa A. Claus

By Christina Georgiou

The real Mr. and Mrs. Santa A. Claus, who reside in Easton, Pennsylvania.
Most people believe that Santa Claus lives with his wife at the North Pole. But the much loved giver of gifts has a number of official helpers, many of who bear his name, and  one of them, along with his wife Dolores Claus, recently moved to Easton.

Despite the fact that this is the busiest time of year for Mr. and Mrs. Santa A. Claus, they were kind enough to grant The Easton Eccentric an interview while they were at Elaine Zelker's photography studio on Northampton Street this past week. We aimed to get the answers to some questions we imagine a lot of people have always wanted to ask the guy in red.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus, thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us today. The Easton Eccentric really appreciates it, and we think our readers will too!
Rumor has it that in addition to your home at the North Pole, you also have a residence in Easton. Is this true? How did you end up in Easton?

Santa A. Claus: We had been living in Susquehanna County. We moved to the Lehigh Valley in 2009 for better quality medical care. We'd been looking for a senior high rise, senior housing. We moved to Neston Heights earlier this year, in February. We figure we'll be in Easton for the rest of our lives.
I was born in Catasaqua...I didn't realize how much goes on here, that there's so much happening in Easton. I'd really like to get involed with the city.

Do you ever tire of eating all those cookies people leave for you on Christmas eve?
SAC: Nah.
Dolores Claus: Him? No, definitely not!
SAC: And kids bring them to me too, when they come to visit me...

How do your deliver presents to children that live in houses with no chimneys?
SAC: That's easy. I can get into anybody's house. I'm the greatest cat burgler in the world! St. Nicholas--he was a real person, a Greek bishop, living in what is now Turkey, you know--he used to use ladders. He'd use a ladder at night and crawl through people's windows!

What's the deal with the "Elf on a Shelf"? Is he really one of Santa Claus' elves? Or is he just a toy?
SAC: He's unaffiliated. But him and I talk all the time. He keeps track of all the other elves for me.

What's the most common thing children ask you to bring them for Christmas?
SAC: IPods and iPhones. Even at five years old. Cell phones--it's unbelieveable, even at three and four years old. I can't believe how much they want electronic stuff.
DC: XBox360. That's the other one.
SAC: When we were kids, we were outside all the time. Today, people are so uptight. The elves tell me I'm old fashioned. (Mr. Claus' cellphone rings. Christmas bells are the ringtone. He silences it.) I don't believe in the kids having cell phones and having iPods. They're for adults.

What's the most amazing or astounding thing a child has asked you for for Christmas?
SAC: Everything is unbelievable. The most amazing thing is when children ask for (people that have died) to be brought back. Or when children that are very sick or terminally ill ask to get well.
But there are things that I've been asked for that are just astounding too. I once had a 9-year-old ask for Santa Claus to stop at his house first and open a gift of a case of whiskey. I explained that Santa doesn't drink alcohol. But he insisted. He wanted Santa to drink it and pass out, so he could keep all the presents. He ended up on the "smart" list for having the ingenuity to think of it.

Do naughty children really just get coal?
SAC: No. Coal's too expensive. I've got lots of reindeer doodoo. I always tell kids, "Smell your stocking before your put your hand in it." If it smells bad, please don't put your hand in it.

Is a reindeer and sleigh still used to deliver all the gifts? Or has Santa Claus adopted a more modern conveyance these days?
SAC: For every day, I have a car and a van. But the sleigh still works. The reindeer need God's permission to fly. They fly on Christmas eve and Christmas only.
Training the reindeer takes a lot of time and effort. One of the best reindeer I ever had was named Dasher. He would allow children to sit on his back and be petted. No matter where I walked, Dasher would walk along the fence and follow me. I miss him.

Mrs. Claus, what's your role in all of this?
DC: I'm usually the silent one who usually takes care of things at home.
SAC: Mrs. Claus has been travelling with me lately because the kids that are scared of me like her. She helps a lot. Making little ones comfortable just takes a little bit of patience. A lot of parents are in a rush--"Tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Hurry up!" Give the kid a break!
That's why we don't do the malls anymore. I really like it here (at Elaine Zelker's studio). We can take our time. It's laid back.

Even with flying reindeer, managing to deliver all those presents to everyone everywhere seems an impossible task. How do you achieve that?
SAC: A lot of people ask me that. It does seem impossible doesn't it? But I'm very smart. I start at the very beginning of nightfall on Christmas eve, in the first place it happens. Then I work my way south to north and back to south, while the Earth turns under me. So my night is endless, and I have plenty of time. The world turns for me.

What's the hardest thing about being Santa A. Claus?
SAC: I have a hell of a time trying to make reservations. They think it's a joke and hang up!

What do you want most for Christmas?
SAC: Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. If there was no Jesus...there'd be no Christmas holiday season.
I want every child to be happy. That's all I want. And every adult to be happy too. I don't want to see one frown in the world. Oh, and I want to be the oldest living Santa Claus alive...

What do you do on Dec. 26?
SAC: Basically, we sleep!

I don't blame you! Thanks so much again for your time. Have a very merry Christmas!
SAC & DC: A merry Christmas to everyone!

For more about the Real Mr. and Mrs. Santa A. Claus, visit www.santa-a-claus.com

Library Presents Penn Patent Copy to Knights Templar

By Christina Georgiou

Knights Templar Generalissimo Robert Sarnofsky, of Stockertown,
Eminent Commander Lester Morrow, of Nazareth and
Captain General Louis Starniri, of Wilson Borough, with Easton Public
Library Director Jennifer Stocker and Marx Room curator Barbara Wieman.


Representatives from the Easton Public Library presented a high-definition digital copy of a Penn patent to Knights Templar Friday night as a thank you gift to the Masonic organization for donating the original document to the library's history collection earlier this year.

"The original has been restored and now hangs in the Marx Room of the Easton Public Library," library director Jennifer Stocker, accompanied by Mark Room curator Barbara told members of Hugh de Payens Commandery No. 19 as the facsimile was presented.

The copy, which is visually undistinguishable from the original, was presented in the same frame the original document was found in.

The digital copy, in the frame the original Penn land grant
patent was found in.
Knights Templar Generalissimo Robert Sarnofsky, of Stockertown, Eminent Commander Lester Morrow, of Nazareth and Captain General Louis Starniri, of Wilson Borough, thanked the library for the high-quality copy, and said they were happy the original is in a safe, temperature-controlled location where the public is able to view and enjoy it.

"But also, a copy has come home too, so I think it's the best of both worlds," Starniri said.

The Knights also quipped that the copy of the document being in the frame the original was found in was a bit like the custom "returning the Tupperware full."

The original Penn patent land grant, top center, hangs
in the Marx Room at the Easton Public Library.
The original, which hangs with other important Easton documents such as a portrait of Declaration signer George Taylor and where the original Easton flag is displayed, is available for viewing by the public during regular Marx Room hours.

The patent was discovered in a locked antique safe in the Masonic Temple on South Third Street after the long-lost combination was discovered while organization members were going through some old papers.

Dated Jan. 10, 1763, the nearly 250-year-old document is the original deed to the property on which the Masonic building today stands, which was the site of the first county jail. Signed by Richard Penn, the payment for the grant of the land was "one red rose", to be presented to the son of William Penn annually on March 1.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mesa Shows Mexican Cuisine's Elegant Side

By Christina Georgiou

Mesa quietly opened without much fanfare Thursday evening, but the new restaurant is unlikely to be a secret for long.

Completely remodelled in comfortable, rich earthtones, and softly but dramatically lit by realistic electric candles, the new Mexican restaurant is nothing like Mex Tex Trio, which formerly occupied the space, and neither is the food.

"We're taking Mexican culture cuisine and making it modern," said co-owner Juan Carlos Peredes. "A lot of people think (Mexican food) is heavy, but we're making it light with a lot of flavor."

Chef Rafael Palomino and Juan Carlos Peredes,
owners of Mesa.

Peredes, along with his business partner chef Raphael Palomino, also owns Tapas on Main in Bethlehem, and are obviously pros at making their guests feel special--and right at home.

"We never rush our guests," Peredes said, adding that the new restaurant aims to provide upscale service, food and drinks. "But we're really laid back."

That's a good thing, because diners will undoubtedly want to take their time savoring all that Mesa has to offer, starting with eight different kinds of margueritas and 40 brands of tequila, all offered in three varieties--silver, reposado and anejo--bringing the number of choices to 120.

Nine different Mexican varieties of beer, along with a selection of domestic and imported varieties, and a dozen wines are also among the bar's choices.

Menu offerings are not from a specific region of Mexico, but representative of the country as a whole, Peredes said.
 
Traditional Mexican choices are definitely represented on the menu.

However, the elegant presentation and addition of unusual ingredients, such as lobster quesadillas and bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, provide intriguing--and delicious--options. And, unlike a lot of the country's cuisine, a lot of Mesa's selections are not overly spicy.

Above,  lobster and vegetable
quesadilla appetizers. Below,
bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin,
which we can personally say
was delicious.
The dessert selection will vary, depending on what Palomino makes each week, Peredes said.

"The desserts are very good. We make everything. We don't like to buy anything. We don't like chemicals," Peredes said. "If we bought something and it wasn't good, we'd take the blame."

Palomino also owns several other restaurants in New York and Connecticut and is the author of four cookbooks. A native of Colombia, his Latin style cuisine has garnered "excellent" ratings from the New York Times, and his culinary arts institute recently received a $1.3 million grant to teach young Latin-Americans the craft. 

Peredes is also originally from Colombia. He became interested in starting a second restaurant in Easton after his fiance and her family, lifelong Easton residents, suggested the city would be a good place to invest.    
Pork and carne asada taco
appetizers


The "tequila room" is available for private
parties and is where Mesa's selection
of 120 kinds of tequila will live.

Mesa's opening has brought approximately 18 new jobs to the city, and all the employees seem enthusiastic about the new restaurant.

"I've been waiting for this day for three months," said manager Oscar Longas. "I'm very excited."

Longas wasn't the only one. As they streamed in, Mesa's first diners heaped lots of praise on the new establishment.

"This is fantastic. That's a big hit for me," one guest was overheard to say, trying a pork taco appetizer.

"We're next door. We're going to send people over," said others.


Peredes said Mesa's "soft" opening will give him and employees time to get everything "just right." Based on what was observed Thursday evening, they're already there.

Mesa is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 4 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The restaurant will be closed on Christmas eve and Christmas day. On New Year's Eve, the last seating for dinner will be at 8 p.m. Mesa will be open for regular hours on New Year's Day.
click on any photo for
a full-size view


Brunch and lunch hours will be added in January, and a grand opening party is planned for early in February. Live music on Fridays and Saturdays is also part of the plan for 2013.

To make reservations or for more information, call 610-829-2101

Visit Mesa on the web at www.mesamexican.com




 

Weekend Guide, December 21 to 23

It's the last weekend before Christmas, and today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter. Some people swear the world is going to end today, but we're pretty sure the Earth will be reborn at sunrise on Saturday morning. So feel free to party like it's the end of the world, and then do it again Saturday, to celebrate that we're all still here...Don't forget--there's free parking Downtown again this weekend!

Friday, December 21


Dancing: 7 to 10 p.m. Chacha lesson with Con Gallagher, 7 to 8 p.m., open dancing with music by DJ Carol Coffinger, 8 to 10 p.m. $10 per person, benefits Third Street Alliance. 41 North Third St. 610-258-6271 or www.thirdstreetalliance.org

Line Dancing: 7 to 10:30 p.m. Beginner lessons at 7:15 p.m. $5 per person for members, $6 for non-members. Tatamy Fire Company, 164 Bushkill St., Tatamy. 610-759-2786 or www.purecountrydancers.com

Steve Brosky & Jimmy Meyer: 8 p.m. The Riegelsville Inn, 12 Delaware Road, Riegelsville. 610-749-0100 or www.riegelsvilleinn.com

Edison's Hot Mess: 9 p.m. Two Rivers Brewing Company, 542 Northampton St. 610-829-1131

Trouble City All-Stars & End of the World Party: 9 p.m. Mothers Bar & Grille, 3 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-253-1012

DJ Chopper: 9 p.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

Maria Woodford Band's Blue Christmas: 10 p.m. Porters' Pub, 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com

Kill the Broadcast: 10 p.m. Pearly Baker's Alehouse, 11 Centre Square. 610-253-9949 or www.pearlybakers.net

Video DJ Fly: 10 p.m. Rivals, 5 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-392-2932 or www.RivalsEaston.com


Saturday, December 22


Easton Farmers' Market Winter Mart: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fresh, local organic produce, all-natural pastured meat, farm-fresh eggs, artisan cheese and bread, baked goods, prepared foods, more. Plus holiday arts mart featuring local crafters and exhibits. Nurture Nature Center, 518 Northampton St. 610-253-4432 or www.eastonfarmersmarket.com

Funk Xpress: 7 to 10 p.m. Phenom, 161 Northampton St. 610-258-9777

Holiday Dance: 8 to 11 p.m. Music by King Henry and the Showmen. Tickets are $10 per person. Charles Chrin Community Center, 4100 Green Pond Road, Palmer Township. 610-252-2098

Christmas Party with DJ: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Bella Luna, 3417 Sullivan Trail, Forks Township. 610-253-7458

Frank Giasullo: 8 p.m. The Riegelsville Inn, 12 Delaware Road, Riegelsville. 610-749-0100 or www.riegelsvilleinn.com

Austin Colon: 9 p.m. Two Rivers Brewing Company, 542 Northampton St. 610-829-1131

End of the Earth & Christmas Party with KJAMM: 9 p.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

Schubert & Binder Christmas Extravaganza: 10 p.m. Porters' Pub, 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com

Billy Bauer Band: 10 p.m. Pearly Baker's Alehouse, 11 Centre Square. 610-253-9949 or www.pearlybakers.net

DJ Prime: 10 p.m. Rivals, 5 Lehn's Court (just off Centre Square). 610-392-2932 or www.RivalsEaston.com


Sunday, December 23


Open Mic Hosted by Jim Stocker: 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

Easton's most comprehensive guide to what's happening over the weekend, in the city and beyond, is published every Friday.

Are you planning an event? Did we miss something? Let us know! Email us.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Moment of Silence Will Honor Sandy Hook Victims

To honor and remember the victims of the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last Friday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has announced he is calling for a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 21.
Next to Easton's Peace Candle on
Centre Square, the American flag at half-mast
in honor of those slain in the Sandy Hook
school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“I invite all Pennsylvanians to join me in this moment of respect and reflection," Corbett said.

Easton Mayor Sal Panto confirmed Thursday evening that City Hall will be joining in the moment of silence.
The move comes in response to a request from Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut on Wednesday, asking for other states to join Connecticut in observing a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. local time.

Malloy also asked places of worship in Connecticut that have the capability to ring bells 26 times, in honor of the 20 young students and six educators who lost their lives.

Trinity Episcopal Church in Easton has announced it will toll the church bells at that time and hold a short prayer service simultaneously with the declared moment of silence.

More than 1,500 churches across the U.S. will reportedly hold similar services as well.

"We will gather in the church yard at 9:25 a.m. and observe a time of silence while the bells toll, and then end with prayer," reads an announcement released by the church.

Trinity Epicopal Church is located at 234 Spring Garden St. All are welcome at the service.

Updated at 9:02 p.m. to add that Easton City Hall will be participating.

School District Seeks Public Input in Search for New Superintendent

The Easton Area School District is seeking approximately 8 to 10 community members to serve on a finalist screening committee for its Superintendent of Schools search in the spring of 2013.

Those wishing to be considered for membership on the screening committee should send a letter of interest with their name, address, occupation, email, telephone number, and a statement indicating why they wish to participate in the process.

The deadline for filing a letter of interest is January 4, 2013.

Letters of interest may be forwarded by email to this address, or sent via regular mail to:

"Easton Search" 
John Freund Esq.
King, Spry, Herman, Freund, and Faul, LLC
1 West Broad Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

The EASD is also conducting an online survey to determine the characteristics in a new superintendent and which issues the district faces that matter most to the community. The information gathered will be analyzed to help the school board select a new superintendent, according to a statement posted at the beginning of the survey. Public input is confidential and anonymous.

To participate in the survey, click here. (Participants must live in a community served by the Easton Area School District.)

The new superintendent will replace Susan McGinley, whose contract was not renewed by the school board earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mayors Coalition Urges Action on Illegal Guns


"Mayors Against Illegal Guns", a bipartisan group of city mayors across the country today released a letter to President Barack Obama affirming their support for increasing efforts and the passage of new laws to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable individuals.

It also makes specific suggestions of how the groups feels this may be best achieved.

It is cosigned by mayors from more than 750 communities across the country, including Easton Mayor Sal Panto, Wilson Borough Mayor David Perruso, West Easton Mayor Gerald Gross, Tatamy Mayor Luke Duigman and Stockertown Mayor Sherman Metzgar.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan are also members of MAIG and cosigners, along with the mayors of several other Lehigh Valley communities.

Easton Mayor Sal Panto says the actions the coalition suggests are a vital step to making city streets safer and are not in opposition to a Constitutional right to bear arms.

"I get upset that every time we discuss 'gun law reform', NRA members claim we are after their Second Amendment Rights. No one in MAIG is talking about the rights afforded by the Second Amendment. Mayors aren’t talking about gun control – we are talking about reforming the way individuals get guns and the consequences associated with that ownership...We are talking about common sense reforms," he said.

Panto said that a "lost and stolen" gun law that requires firearms owners to report a missing gun when they become aware of it, a "straw purchase" law forbidding individuals from buying guns for those that can't pass a background check, uniform and increased background checks, outlawing large capacity firearm magazines, and forbidding the sale of weapons to those on the federal terror watch list are all essential changes that need to be made.

"These are common sense reforms and do not limit the ownership of guns. It is time for the legislatures in states and Washington to do something proactive," Panto said via email. "It is hypocritical for these lawmakers to show up at a funeral of these victims when they have bowed to political pressure and not acted on common sense reforms."

He added that he feels the NRA needs to "take a leadership role encouraging reform."

"To do nothing is simply wrong. To do nothing does nothing to enhance the quality of life in our country. President Obama should challenge them to take a leadership role in this important issue," Panto said.

The text of the letter follows below:

Dear President Obama,

On Friday, December 14th the entire nation watched as parents stood outside the Sandy Hook Elementary School and waited, desperately hoping to be reunited with their children. That moment will never end for the families of the 20 children and six adults who were murdered that day at the school.

As mayors, we are charged with keeping our communities safe. But too many of us have sat with mothers and fathers of children killed with guns. Twenty-four children enrolled in public schools in your hometown of Chicago were shot to death just last year.


At the moving memorial service on Sunday evening, you said: “If there is even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that has visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that – then surely we have an obligation to try.”

Our bipartisan coalition of more than 750 mayors has joined forces with over 700,000 Americans and more than 100 survivors of deadly shootings, including the mass shootings you mentioned in your remarks.

Together, we urge you to put forward an agenda that is rooted in common sense and that will make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them. That agenda should:

· Require every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check: Background checks are the only systematic way to stop felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people from buying firearms. These checks are instantaneous and highly effective. Since its inception, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has blocked firearms purchases at licensed dealerships by millions of individuals who are barred by federal law from owning them. But criminals and other prohibited purchasers avoid these checks by buying firearms, including online and at gun shows, from unlicensed “private sellers” who are not required by federal law to conduct the checks. Millions of gun sales — estimated at more than 40 percent of the U.S. annual total — are conducted through private sellers. The Fix Gun Checks Act (H.R.1781 / S.436) would close this enormous gap in our laws by requiring a criminal background check for every gun sale.

· Get high capacity rifles and ammunition magazines off our streets: Military-style weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines have no appropriate civilian or sporting function. They are designed to kill large numbers of people quickly. They are also disproportionately used to kill law enforcement officers; approximately one out of five law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty is killed with assault weapons. The time has come to review the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and draft a new law that is clear and enforceable and will take these weapons out of our communities.

· Make gun trafficking a federal crime: Today, there is no clear and effective statute making gun trafficking a crime. Prosecutors are instead forced to rely on a weak law prohibiting engaging in the business of selling guns without a federal license, which carries the same punishment as trafficking chicken or livestock. As a result, according to the Justice Department’s Inspector General, U.S. Attorneys decline to prosecute 25 percent of those cases while declining only 9 percent of drug conspiracy cases. Mayors Against Illegal Guns supports proposals to empower law enforcement to investigate and prosecute straw purchasers, gun traffickers, and their entire criminal networks.

Those ideas require action by Congress, but there steps you and your Administration could and should take immediately to curb gun violence:


· Appoint an ATF director: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the federal agency responsible for enforcing our gun laws, has gone without a confirmed director for more than six years. During that time, criminals and those with serious mental illness have been able to take advantage of insufficient enforcement of existing federal gun laws, and an estimated 72,000 Americans have been murdered with guns. In 2011, for the first time in over a decade, more police officers were shot to death in the line of duty than were killed in automobile accidents. The need for leadership at the ATF has never been more urgent. The time has come for you to make a recess appointment to fill the vacancy at the top of the ATF.

· Prosecute prohibited purchasers who attempt to buy firearms, ammunition or high-capacity magazines: The Justice Department should vigorously prosecute felons and other prohibited purchasers who fail gun background checks. In 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation referred more than 71,000 such cases to ATF, but U.S. Attorneys ultimately prosecuted only 77 of them. Prosecuting these offenders is a goal broadly supported by our coalition and the National Rifle Association. The Department should also develop a mechanism for sharing NICS denial information with local and state law enforcement officials by sending them active alerts; or, at a minimum, posting the information at the National Criminal Information Center so state and local law enforcement officials can access it during investigations.

· Require federal agencies to report records to NICS: The NICS Improvement Act of 2007 requires federal agencies to submit mental health, substance abuse and other records that prohibit a person from owning a gun to NICS. However, few agencies comply. In October 2011, the FBI provided data to MAIG on reporting by 60 federal agencies. Of those 60 agencies, 52 had given zero mental health records to NICS. Although total federal agency reporting of mental health records increased by ten percent between March and October 2011, to 143,579, the vast majority of those records had been submitted by one agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs. Even fewer federal agencies are reporting drug abusers. Only three agencies — the FBI, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Court Services and Offenders Supervision Agency (CSOSA), the probation and parole services agency for the District of Columbia — have submitted any substance abuse records, and the vast majority of federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, have not submitted a single substance abuse record. The president should issue an executive order requiring all federal agency heads to certify twice annually, in writing, to the U.S. Attorney General that their agency has submitted all relevant records to NICS.

· Repeal remaining Tiahrt restrictions: While Mayors Against Illegal Guns and our law enforcement allies have made progress in relaxing the “Tiahrt restrictions,” which are riders to the federal budget that restrict access to federal gun data, some still remain. These remaining restrictions keep the public, particularly researchers and elected officials, in the dark about gun traffickers – specifically, who they are and how they operate. It also requires the FBI to destroy records of approved NICS background checks within 24 hours. That makes it harder to detect law-breaking dealers who fake their records, or to identify straw buyers who undergo the checks on behalf of someone who couldn’t pass. The Tiahrt Amendments also say ATF can’t require dealers to inspect their inventory, which could reduce the tens of thousands of guns that go missing or are stolen each year. Finally, the police and other law enforcement agencies that get trace data can’t use it in license revocation proceedings or in civil litigation. The administration should repeal these restrictions in its next budget.

In the past few days, the American people came together in a national outpouring of grief and sympathy for the families of victims slain in the mass shooting in Newtown. We share in that grief. But our constituents are also outraged and looking for leadership from the White House.

We look forward to working with you to find a solution to gun violence in our country.

Sincerely,

Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston, Coalition Co-Chair

Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, Coalition Co-chair



More about "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" may be found on the coalition's website, at www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org

Updated at 5:10 p.m. to add statements from Easton Mayor Sal Panto.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Two Rivers Brewing Company to Finally Open--After One Last Hurdle

By Christina Georgiou

Two Rivers Brewing Company is set to open to the public, after holding two preview nights for its Founders Club members and for those that contributed to its Kickstarter campaign over this past weekend, on Friday and Sunday.

The new restaurant and maker of on-site craft brews hopes to be open Tuesday evening, if the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board gives their final approval. Though the venue passed city health inspections and has been granted a certificate of occupancy, the LCB has delayed granting the establishment its liquor license because the second floor outdoor balcony seating, mentioned in its application, is not yet ready for use.

The by-invitation-only preview nights were jam-packed with friends of the pub. Because of the lack of liquor license, invitees enjoyed a night of free beverages.

Seating will be on the ground level of the old hotel until the building renovation is completed sometime next year, when the second floor--including the balcony--will also become restaurant space.

"We're just waiting for the LCB to come through, and then we can make this an every night thing," said co-owner Kathy Reynard at Sunday evening's preview event.

Co-owner Troy Reynard talks with dining
guests at the Sunday evening preview.
There were two seatings on Sunday, and more than 100 people showed up to sample selections from the pub's New Orleans-inspired, locally-sourced  menu.

"That's so good," and "Wow, I like that" was overheard from tables more than once.


For now, the restaurant is serving local craft brews other than its own, including selections from Weyerbacher, Victory, Troegs and Lancaster, along with two beers Two Rivers master brewer Wayne Milford created in collaboration with the Allentown/Bethlehem-based Fegley's Brewworks. 

The fully stocked bar also reflects the brewpub's commitment to handcrafted and quality, featuring a number of liquors not often found on the barscene, such as Root, an organic liquor made from the natural ingredients that make up old-fashioned, traditional root beer.

A rinser cleans and chills
every pint glass before
the beer is served.
Though the new brew pub isn't yet open, it has already established one house tradition--when city fire trucks roll out of Easton's Central Fire Station across the street, shots of cinnamon-infused Fireball whiskey are $2.

When the fire trucks across the street
roll out, so does Fireball whiskey.
Troy Reynard said they were worried the noise of the truck sirens would be disruptive to guests, so they're offering the special to offset the potential issue.

"But it hasn't been so bad," he said, noting that despite the non-issue, they have no plans to do away with the new "tradition."

Live music is already in the works, with the first band, "Last Small Town", a bluegrass band, set to play on Thursday night from 8 to 11 p.m. "Edison's Hot Mess" is booked for Friday evening, Dec. 21 at 9 p.m.

Co-owner Kathy Reynard chats with preview
guests at the bar Sunday evening.
All of that is dependent, of course, on Two Rivers Brewing Company's liquor license mix-up getting straightened out. But principals in the business say they've been assured they should have final approval by Tuesday morning.

"As soon as we get that license in our grubby little hands, we'll throw the doors wide open," said co-owner Troy Reynard.
Two Rivers Brewing Company
co-owner Brad Nelson.

Partners Judy and Brad Nelson said they can't wait for the moment. The Reynards and Nelsons have invested their life-savings in the restoration and establishment of the brew pub.

"It's been 17 months since we bought the building, and now...wow," Brad Nelson said.

Judy Nelson echoed the thought.

"Can you believe it?" she asked, adding she celebrated her 50th birthday on Friday, during the Founders Club preview night, the very first time the pub has invited a full-house of guests. "So it's a milestone in many ways."

A period reproduction lighting fixture
hangs over the bar, complete with
a reproduction turn-of-the-century light bulb.
Call 610-829-1131 to check the status of Two Rivers Brewing Company's public opening, or to make reservations once it does. They're not required, but if the crowd at the preview nights is anything to judge by, they might be a good idea!

 
Two Rivers Brewing Company is also on Facebook. Visit them at www.facebook.com/tworiversbrewing






Update, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 6:45 p.m. and again, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 5:23 p.m.: Two Rivers Brewing Company reports that the new establishment is still awaiting its  liquor license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board...

Update Thursday, Dec. 19, 2:45 p.m.: Two Rivers Brewing Company will open to the public tonight! Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight, seven days a week, with lunch/brunch hours to be added on weekends shortly.