Monday, January 28, 2013

This Week in Easton, January 28 to 31

Here's what's happening for the last week of the first month of 2013...

Monday, January 28


Palmer Township Shade Tree Commission meeting: 6:30 p.m. In the Palmer Library meeting room, at the Municipal Complex, 1 Weller Place (off of Newburg Road), Palmer Township.

Forks Township Historical Society Meeting: 7 p.m. This month: Ms. Lynn Klien, "History of Klein Farms, Forks Township." Easy parking and handicap accessible. All welcome. Faith Lutheran Church, 2012 Sullivan Trail, Forks Township. (Enter via Sullivan Trail or Zucksville Road.) For more information, contact Karl Miller at 610-253-1035.

Williams Township Athletic Association meeting: 8 p.m. Williams Township Municipal Building, 655 Cider Press Road, Easton (Williams Township).

Comedy Show: 9 p.m. to midnight. Rivals, 5 Lehn's Court. 610-392-2932 or www.rivalseaston.com


Tuesday, January 29


Duplicate Bridge: 11:30 a.m. Open game. Temple Covenant of Peace, 1451 Northampton St.

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

Nazareth Area Society of Model Engineers Winter 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 our layouts. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for kids. 212 Main St., Stockertown. Click here for more information and a full schedule of times for the season.


Wednesday, January 30


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

Country Dancing: 7 to 11 p.m. Rivals, 5 Lehn's Court. 610-392-2932 or www.rivalseaston.com

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


Thursday, January 31


Artist Reception: 4 to 6 p.m. "Lew Minter: Nature Relationships and Spirits" An exhibition of works from two series by Minter "Reliquary" Series of wall sculptures contains natural elements that we see all the time, but whose beauty and majesty we rarely pause to contemplate and "Spirits of the Wood" a series of digital prints that are offered as objects of meditation. Show runs through Feb. 3. Lafayette College, Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery, Williams Visual Arts Building, 243 N. Third St. 610-330-5361 or galleries.lafayette.edu

Lehigh Valley's Most Unwanted - A Panel on Invasive Plants: 7 to 9 p.m. Invasive plants can present substantial ecological, economic and social consequences for our Lehigh Valley communities. A panel of experts speak on ecological management of invasive plants. Speakers will include Rachel Wagoner, Art Gover, Betsey Lyman and Diane Husic. Nurture Nature Center, 518 Northampton St. www.nurturenaturecenter.org

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

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

Hootchie Cootchie Men: 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!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekend Guide, January 25 to 27

Can you believe that January is almost over? And it's the weekend. Here are some more reasons to be happy.

Friday, January 25

Easton Restaurant Week: Runs through tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 26. Click here for more information.

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

Organ Concert: 7:30 p.m. Dale T. Grandfield, director of music, performs Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Bach, Reger, and others. Tickets are $10. Trinity Episcopal Church, 234 Spring Garden St. 610-253-0792 Cancelled due to impending weather.

Easton School of Rock - "Tommy", Video DJ Fly: 8 p.m. The Who's classic album in its entirety. DJ follows at 11 p.m.  Rivals Sports Bar & Nightclub, 5 Lehns Court. 610-923-7625 or www.easton.schoolofrock.com, www.rivalseaston.com

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

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

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

DJ Mikey Z: 10 p.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

Saturday, January 26


Easton Farmers' Market Winter Mart: 10 a.m. to 1 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

Forgotten Felines Cat and Kitten Adoptions: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Petsmart, 3794 Easton-Nazareth Highway, Easton (Lower Nazareth). 610-509-8619


30th Annual Railroad Film Night: 7 p.m.  Film festival devoted to the Railroads of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Coridor. Admission is $5 for members, $7 for non-members. Elaine and Peter Emrick Technology Center at Hugh Moore Park, 2750 Hugh Moore Park Road. 610-991-0528 or www.canals.org

7th Annual Chocolate Lovers' Soiree: 7 to 10 p.m.   Spend the evening sampling decadent cholate desserts from eighteen bakeries, restaurants and chocolatiers. Live music, chocolate-inspired massage and a cash-bar round out this Easton Main Street Initiative fundraiser. Tickets are $30 per person and must be purchased in advance to attend. Visit www.eastonmainstreet.org for more information or to buy tickets online. Bank Street Annex, 316 Northampton St.





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

Doug Hawk, BD Lenz: 8 p.m. Valenca, 64-66 Centre Square Easton, PA 18042  Centre Square. 610-923-5142 or www.valencaonthesquare.com

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

Chuck Archey & Guests: 8 p.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

The Inn Mates, DJ Prime: Band at 8 p.m., DJ at 11 p.m.  Rivals Sports Bar & Nightclub, 5 Lehns Court. 610-923-7625 or www.easton.schoolofrock.com

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

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

Sunday, January 27


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.

Sponsoring the Weekend Guide is an excellent way to advertise your local business. Plus, you get a permanent link to your website, also a great way to drive more traffic to your door. It's affordable too. Email us for details.


Updated Friday, January 25 at 10:01 a.m.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Easton City Council Committee Discusses Violence Prevention

By Christina Georgiou

While crime in the City of Easton overall was down last year, six homicides combined with national headline news of shootings, especially the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, have local officials hoping to head off future violent incidents before they happen.

The Easton City Council public safety committee meeting Tuesday evening brought together police, local school officials, social agencies and others to discuss ways to make the city a more peaceful and better place for all, starting with resident youth.

Easton Councilman Jeff Warren, who heads the committee, said there are many factors involved in local violent incidents that have occured, including drug abuse, gangs, transplanted social values coming from outside the area, lack of education, mental health issues, to name but a few. He also praised the work the city's local service agencies do as having positive benefits to offset problems that plague some city neighborhoods.

"I think we need to not reevaluate the programs, but some of our strategies for reaching youth," Warren said. "I agree with what the mayor has said--we can't arrest our way out of this problem."

When it comes to school safety, in the wake of the Connecticut shooting deaths, police in Easton, as well as Forks and Palmer townships, are focusing on stopping by the schools more often, at varied times, and patrolling hallways. They're also talking with school staff, especially at the elementary schools, said Easton Area School District security coordinator and school police chief Louis Coxe.

More school safety measures are likely in coming weeks and months too, Coxe said.

"We're considering (more) cameras, entrances and exits, swipe cards," he said. "We don't want to waste any money. (All three local police departments and the school district) are going to put our heads together and do what we think is best to protect our children."

Mayor Sal Panto said he plans to hold a forum on community safety issues sometime in March at EAHS, likely on a Saturday. He added that the discussion is likely to include a wide variety of viewpoints from around the community, in addition to school personnel and law enforcement.

But curbing violent incidents and improving overall public safety in the city is not just about keeping kids safe in school, Warren noted.

"(It's) not only so (students) don't become victims of crimes, but so they don't become perpetrators as well," Warren said.

Easton Weed and Seed Director Laura Accetta, whose agency works with some of the most disadvantaged individuals and families in the city, agreed.

"Problems don't start in the schools. They start at home, and then the schools have to deal with it," she said.

Accetta estimated that of the 4,000 or so inmates at Northampton County Prison, some 2,600 of them take medication for mental illnesses. She added too that a large number of those released on supervised probation are also parents.

Added stresses, such as lack of employment and education, constant financial pressures, lack of food security, and sometimes substance abuse are also factors that lead to difficulties for children that contribute to neighborhood issues.

"This is normal to these children," she said.

Easton Area Community Center Director Anita Mitchell agreed, adding that children that attend the center often don't immediately see alternatives to violence because they haven't been taught otherwise.

"The don't realize that this isn't the world they see on TV," Mitchell said. "It takes so long for talking--to explain we can solve this with words, not our fists."

Panto noted that violence isn't just an urban issue.

"Everyone is having an issue with the culture of violence," he said, noting that recent mass shooting incidents have all happened in more affluent suburbs. "There's a vast amount of violence out there. The kind of violence that happens in the city is different from in the suburbs, but they all have problems."

He added that he thinks the amount of violence on TV and in video games, to some, makes it socially acceptable.

Easton Area Middle School Principal Charlene Symia said that positive reinforcement for children is something she's found to be more effective than negative punishments.

"We have some disconnected children that are facing things no one should face," she said.

The school district is working on "the Medici Group", a parent-suggested program that will help connect those kids with community leaders and other role models so they can share stories and positive messages of encouragement to succeed.

"We're going to work with these children to give them that message of hope," she said. "We teach, we model, and we reinforce positive behavior. We're expanding on it now."

Mitchell agreed a multi-faceted approach is needed to improve the current situation.

"I think it's really important that the agencies and the school districts start working closely together," she said. "Some kids feel they really don't have anybody."

Accetta agreed.

"The teachers have a hard enough time just teaching their classes. We can't expect them to be social workers too," she said. "But if there was someone to send them to..."

Those present seemed to agree that people working through their various agencies working together would provide the best outcome, though nothing was formally decided Tuesday evening. All said the meeting was a precursor to the larger community forum planned for March.

For his part, Panto also said the city plans to buy some houses to sell to working families to help them build equity.

"Many neighborhoods don't have role models," he said. "If we can bring in working families that can be role models...It takes more than parks and sidewalks. It takes houses."

Warren noted that while solutions won't be easily found to problems the community faces, talking about the issues is a good start.

"Even though we're just discussing, from discussions come solutions," he said.

Updated on Thursday, January 24 at 11:31 a.m. to correct the last name of EACC Director Anita Mitchell.

Monday, January 21, 2013

This Week in Easton, January 21 to 24

This week starts with the holiday that honors Martin Luther King Jr.--a good time to reflect on both how far we've come and how far we still have to go when it comes to civil rights and real equality in our nation...

Monday, January 21


Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Many local, state and federal offices are closed.

Martin Luther King Day of Service "Paying it Forward": 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Northampton Community College volunteers will work with children ages 5 to 15 on dance, drama, arts & crafts, and there will be a panel discussion about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Easton Area Community Center, 901 Washington St. 610-861-5300

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration and Open House: 3 to 8 p.m. Team basketball challenge games for children 5 to 18, and a number of activities emphasizing anti-violence and anti-bullying messages, including situational roleplay that includes how to avoid violent behaviors through conflict resolution, plus “A look at violence in our lives and what we can do to prevent it” presented by Guillermo Lopez, Director NCBI Cops and Community. Light refreshments will be served, along with a community meal at 7 p.m. Boys and Girls Club of Easton, 210 Jones-Houston Way. For more information, contact Dean Young at 610-253-5846.

Easton Zoning Hearing Board meeting: 6:30 p.m. City Hall, city council chambers, sixth floor, 1 South Third St.

Williams Township Land Preservation Board meeting: 7 p.m. Williams Township Municipal Building, 655 Cider Press Road, Easton (Williams Township).

Easton Restaurant Week continues through Saturday, Jan. 26.

Tuesday, January 22


Duplicate Bridge: 11:30 a.m. Open game. Temple Covenant of Peace, 1451 Northampton St.

Easton City Council Committee meeting: 6 p.m. On the agenda, a discussion with local organizations and EASD officials on initiatives, potential plans and ideas pertaining to school and community safety. City Hall, city council chambers, sixth floor, 1 South Third St.

Forks Township Planning Commission workshop meeting: 7 p.m. Forks Township Municipal Complex, 1606 Sullivan Trail, Forks Township.

Karaoke: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. College Hill Tavern, 420 Cattell St. 610-252-9456

Wednesday, January 23


Easton City Council meeting: 6 p.m. City Hall, city council chambers, sixth floor, 1 South Third St.

Palmer Township Environmental Steering Committee meeting:
7 p.m. In the Palmer Library meeting room, at the Municipal Complex, 1 Weller Place (off of Newburg Road), Palmer Township.

Williams Township Zoning Hearing Board meeting: 7 p.m. Williams Township Municipal Building, 655 Cider Press Road, Easton (Williams Township).





Country Dancing: 7 to 11 p.m. Rivals, 5 Lehn's Court. 610-392-2932 or www.rivalseaston.com

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

Traditional Irish open jam session: 7:30 p.m. Porters' Pub, 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com

Thursday, January 24


"Work of James A. DePietro – Mixed Messages: Art Narratives" Opening Reception:
7 to 9 p.m. A reception for a solo show of award-winning mixed-media paintings by James A. DePietro whose narrative works express a unique and imaginative point of view on a variety of contemporary themes. Nurture Nature Center, 518 Northampton St. 610-253-4432 or www.nurturenaturecenter.org

Tiffany & the Skyliners: 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. With DJ Will. Black & Blue, 683 Walnut St. 610-438-3604 or www.blackandblueeaston.com

Ritchie Romantz: 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!

Updated, Tuesday, January 22 at 1:10 p.m.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fourth Candidate Announces Run for District Court Judge

By Christina Georgiou

Tim Prendergast
Local lawyer Tim Prendergast announced today that he intends to run for the district magistrate seat left vacant by the sudden death of Judge Gay Elwell.

With a law practice in the West Ward, Prendergast said he has extensive experience arguing a wide variety of cases in district court, as well as serving as a part-time public defender.

"It is this practical experience and knowledge and skill set that I would offer the citizens of this District, along with my love of this city and its residents and a commitment to my profession," Prendergast said.

Prendergast also cited his family's deep roots in the city, that his father and grandfather were Lafayette College graduates, and a family history of community service in a variety of roles.

"It is this commitment to serve this community that I now seek to emulate in seeking this position, and I believe that I not only have the legal knowledge necessary to perform the duties of magistrate, but the temperament, energy, compassion and commitment that this particular district requires," Prendergast said.

"This district will be best served by an experienced attorney, versed in criminal and civil procedure and the rules of evidence and capable of making the fair and appropriate decisions from day one," he added.

Prendergast said he will be knocking on doors and meeting with local residents in the coming months, asking for their votes.

Prendergast is the fourth to announce his intention to run for magistrate of district court 03-2-05, which covers the Downtown, College Hill and part of the West Ward neighborhoods in the City of Easton.

Others that have announced they will vie for the position are Easton codes enforcement officer Sharbel Koorie, Downtown attorney Antonia Grifo, and Northampton County Constable Lance Wheeler.

It is rumored that Easton City Controller Tony Bassil is also intending to run, but he has not yet made an official announcement.

It is still possible that Governor Tom Corbett might appoint someone to fill the vacant position, but this is seeming more and more unlikely as time passes. It is expected that the declared candidates will all crossfile and run in the primary election in the spring, with the final winner to be decided in the November election.

Weekend Guide, January 18 to 20

If you haven't been felled by the 'flu, that is reason enough to get out and enjoy this weekend. (Or even go jump in an icy river for a good cause.)


Friday, January 18


Dancing: 7 to 10 p.m. Foxtrot instruction with Con Gallagher, 7 to 8 p.m.; dancing with music by DJ Caro Coffinger, 8 to 10 p.m. 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

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

Easton School of Rock - "That '70s Show", Emily's Toybox: 8 p.m. Tribute to the music of the 70s. Emily's Toybox follows at 11 p.m.  Rivals Sports Bar & Nightclub, 5 Lehns Court. 610-923-7625 or www.easton.schoolofrock.com

Go Trio: 9 p.m. to midnight. Jazz. Two Rivers Brewing Company, 542 Northampton St. 610-829-1131 or www.tworiversbrewing.com

Chuck Schubert & Co. with Erik Binder: 9 p.m. Colonial Pizza & Spaghetti House, 136-138 Spring Garden St. 610-252-3033 or www.colonialpizzapub.com

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

J2: 10 p.m. Pearly Baker's Alehouse, 11 Centre Square. 610-253-9949 or www.pearlybakers.net

DJ Primetime: 10 p.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com


Saturday, January 19


1st Annual Lehigh Valley Polar Plunge: In-person registration, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Individuals that have committed to raising $50 or more get to plunge into the icy Delaware River! Too chicken? You can still participate. Benefits Special Olympics Pennsylvania Athletes. Scott Park, Larry Holmes Drive. Click here for full event  details.

Easton Farmers' Market Winter Mart: 10 a.m. to 1 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

Low Cost Pet Vaccine Clinic: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dogs must be on leash, cats in carriers. $12, rabies; $15, distemper or bordetella; $25, heartworm/lyme test or fiv/felv; $20 lyme vaccine; $25, microchipping. Charles Chrin Community Center, 4100 Green Pond Road, Palmer Township. 610-252-2098

Care Net Mark Schultz Concert: 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets may be purchased on-line at www.itickets.com or by calling 317-363-2443. Calvary Baptist Church, 5300 Green Pond Road, Palmer Township. www.calvarybaptistpa.org

Ricky Bell & Ian Frey: 8 p.m.  The Pickled Egg, 2049 Northampton St., Wilson Borough. 610-258-1576

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

Easton School of Rock - "That '70s Show", DJ Mo Rada: 8 p.m. Tribute to the music of the 70s. Followed by DJ at 11 p.m.  Rivals Sports Bar & Nightclub, 5 Lehns Court. 610-923-7625 or www.easton.schoolofrock.com or www.RivalsEaston.com

Yard Byard: 9 p.m. to midnight. The Lafayette Bar, 11 North 4th Street 610-252-0711 or www.lafayettebarjazz.com

Austin Colon: 9 p.m. to midnight. Acoustic rock. Two Rivers Brewing Company, 542 Northampton St. 610-829-1131 or www.tworiversbrewing.com

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

Scott Harrington: 10 p.m. Pearly Baker's Alehouse, 11 Centre Square. 610-253-9949

Rocky & Friends: Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com


Sunday, January 20


Easton Restaurant Week: Begins today, runs through Saturday, Jan. 26. Click here for more information.

Mike Lorenz: 11 a.m. Jazz, brunch. Sette Luna, 219 Ferry St. 610-253-8888

Camp Papillon Adoption Day: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Petco, 3895 Dryland Way, Easton (Lower Nazareth). 570-420-0450 or www.camppapillon.org

Film - "October Baby": 6:30 p.m. Bethel Memorial Baptist Church, 715 Chestnut Lane, Palmer Township. 610-253-2565

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

Save the Date!

The 7th Annual Chocolate Lovers' Soiree is set to happen on Saturday, January 26 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Bank Street Annex, 316 Northampton St. Spend the evening sampling decadent cholate desserts from eighteen bakeries, restaurants and chocolatiers. Live music, chocolate-inspired massage and a cash-bar round out this Easton Main Street Initiative fundraiser. Tickets are $30 per person and must be purchased in advance to attend. Visit www.eastonmainstreet.org for more information or to buy tickets online.

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.

Sponsoring the Weekend Guide is an excellent way to advertise your local business. Plus, you get a permanent link to your website, also a great to drive more traffic to your door. It's affordable too! Email us for details.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Police Find, Raid Another Meth Lab

Another local area suspected methamphetamine lab was raided and shut down today, Easton Police report.

Two adults were detained after police executed a search warrant at 1415 Pine St. at about 2:12 p.m. today. The Easton Police Vice/Narcotics Unit and Pennsylvania State Police SERT and Clandestine Laboratory Team were involved in the operation, authorities said.

Arrested was Michael Williams, 52, who lived at the raided address and will face charges of manufacturing methampthetamine and possibly other related offenses, police said.

The other person who was initially detained was released without charge, police said.

Police say methamphetamine cooking materials were located in the residence, and that their presence indicates the illegal drug was being produced there.

The potentially hazardous materials were removed safely from the dwelling by the PSP Clandestine Lab Team and will be held as evidence, police said.

The investigation and associated raid today is related to the one that happened last week, on Jan. 11 at 120 North 15th St., authorities confirmed.

Updated at 4:52 p.m. to include mention of the release of the other person that was initially detained.

Easton Restaurant Week Begins Sunday

A couple of Maxim's 22 regular menu offerings...
Eleven local bistros plan on showcasing their culinary prowess for Easton Restaurant Week, beginning this Sunday, Jan. 20.

Sister establishments Maxim's 22 and Sette Luna, along with the State Theatre and 99.9 The Hawk are sponsoring the event, where each participating restaurant is offering multi-course lunch and dinner specials for one fixed price for the duration of "The Most Delicious Week of Winter".

Other participants include:
  • Black & Blue
  • Leaf Restaurant Cigar Bar & Lounge
  • Marblehead Grille & Chowderhouse
  • Megs & Mads Casual Dining
  • Mesa Modern Mexican
  • Ocean
  • The Pomfret Club
  • Porters' Pub
  • River Grille
  • Valenca
  • Vintage Restaurant & Bar
Mesa Modern Mexican, one of Easton's
newest Downtown restaurants will be
participating.
The event runs through Saturday, Jan. 26. Reservations are suggested, and hours,  offerings and prices vary depending on the establishment.

For more about Easton Restaurant Week and to view each participating restaurant's specials menus for the week, visit www.eastonrestaurantweek.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Third Bid for District Magistrate Announced

Lance Wheeler, a local Pennsylvania State Constable for the Northampton County Sheriff's office, announced Tuesday at a press conference in front of his West Ward home that he will run for the open district magistrate position left vacant last month by the sudden death of Judge Gay Elwell.

Wheeler said that working in the district courts of Northampton and Lehigh counties provides him with first-hand knowledge of the mechanics of civil and criminal procedures, and that living in the most densely populated part of the City of Easton places him in the middle of the issues a district judge will face daily, from traffic violations to truancy, homicides to domestic violence and landlord to tenant disputes.

"As a constable I am familiar with the mechanics of the system and the necessity of discerning through the facts with impartiality," said Mr. Wheeler. He added his experiences have prepared him "to discern through the facts with impartiality and wisdom."

A registered Democrat, he will be cross-filing on the spring primary ballot he said.

Wheeler is the third declared candidate in the likely magistrate election for District Court 03-2-05, which covers the Downtown and College Hill districts of Easton, along with part of the West Ward.

Sharbel Koorie, another West Ward resident and City of Easton code enforcement officer announced his intention to run in late December, and Antonia Grifo, a Downtown city attorney, announced last week she too will run in the expected election for the vacant seat.

Two other candidates, attorney Tim Prendergast and Easton City Controller Tony Bassil, also seem likely to vie for the judgeship, but neither have yet made official announcements.

It is still possible that Governor Tom Corbett might appoint someone to fill the vacant seat, but this seems unlikely. Any gubernatorial appointment would have to be approved by the state senate as well.

Update, Thursday, January 17, 10:00 p.m.: Magisterial District Judge candidate Lance Wheeler has posted a Facebook page entitled "Elect Lance Wheeler". Listed are a number of public events in coming months where members of the public can meet and chat with him

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Preliminary Work on Long-Vacant Buildings Gets Nod from Historic District Commission

By Christina Georgiou

Work on 118 and 120 Northampton St. will begin with pulling off the old
boarding to see what's underneath. Architect Jeff Martinson said
he hope to restore as much as possible of the long-vacant, dilapidated
buildings and renovate the rest.
Work is set to begin on two long-vacant and dilapidated buildings 118 and 120 Northampton St., after the City of Easton's Historic District Commission gave a nod of approval for preliminary work to begin on the structures Monday evening.

The removal of the existing plywood that has boarded up the buildings' facades and windows needs to be removed so the construction team can get a better idea of the work that will need to be done to restore and renovate the structures, project architect Jeff Martinson told the board.

Additionally, the construction team plans to restore the wooden doors and other historic features of the buildings, as well as demolish a one-story later addition on the rear of one 120 Northampton St..

"We're looking to honor Northampton Street," Martinson said of the building revitalization effort, noting that the current deteriorated condition of the buildings combined with the old plywood boarding is an impediment to the effort. "The reason we're doing this in phases is because we don't know what we want to add, but we know what we want to take away."
A window on 118 Northampton
St.,  one of many that is in need of
restoration.
Easton Redevelopment Authority Director Gretchen Longenbach noted that current grant  funding for the project doesn't yet include replacement money for features that are  not restorable. She added that there are earmarked state funds that cover environmental remediation, applicable to lead paint, asbestos removal and other hazardous conditions on the properties.

"The problem is that these funds will give you money to pull an asbestos-containing roof down but won't give you a penny to put a new roof on," Longenbach said.

But she expects further funding for some of the revitalization work to be forthcoming, which would mean things like windows would be replaced shortly after the initial facade work is done.

"It will either be the final windows...or painted plywood (going in after the existing boarding is removed)," she said. "The best scenario is that the second funding phase comes through, and there's no real boarded-up phase."

"We want to take away some of the hazard that is there," Martinson said. "Ideally, the new work follows on the heels of this work."

Both Martinson and Longenbach added that as much of the existing historic storefronts as possible will be preserved.

The back of the two buildings. The one-story addition at 120
Northampton St., on the left, is set to be demolished, and
a stucco coating is planned after windows are added to
the bare wall.
"We're looking for historic photographs to see what was historically there," Martinson said, adding that by the time the shop was used as a cafe, in the 1980s, modifications had already been made. "We don't really know how much of the original storefront exists...(The entrance) was vaulted, but it's been altered."

In any case, the vintage stained glass window above the entrance of 118 Northampton is set to stay, Martinson promised.

"Worst case is, it would be removed, brought to a stained glass shop and put back," he said.

The western wall of 120 Northampton Street will be stabilized, and eventually is set to have a protective stucco coating, after windows, whose placement is yet to be determined, are cut into bare face.

But some agreements need to be ironed out before that happens, Martinson said, adding that the walls lays right on or even over the adjacent property line.

A postcard of the former Terminal Hotel. The site is now a
parking lot. 120 Northampton Street can be seen on the
far right of the image.
Permanent easements will be necessary for the wall to be allowed to have windows, but given that the neighboring property, once the site of the Terminal Hotel, is now a parking lot and dedicated to the nearby Eastonian hotel, he feels being granted the permission is quite likely.

"I want to make this an elevation that we can be proud of because I think this will be there for quite a while," he said. "It's not going to be a blank facade."

All present members of the Historic District Commission voted to approve the preliminary phases of the project for both buildings, with the exception of board secretary Karen Johnson, who was absent, and chairman Rob Jacobs, who is an attorney and whose firm represents the project developer.

Scott Voelker, a Downtown resident who is also a project manager for Spillman Farmer Architects in Bethlehem, voted in his first session as the board's newest member. He replaces former board member Lynne Holder, who declined a renewal of her appointment when her term ended in December.

Further approvals are expected to be sought for both 118 and 120 Northampton Street in coming months as Martinson and developer Borko Milosev, principal for Post Road Management, make more concrete plans for the restoration and renovation of the two buildings. Commercial shop spaces are planned for the ground floors of both, with residential apartments on the upper floors.

Monday, January 14, 2013

This Week in Easton, January 14 to 17

Nice mix of things happening this week, from opportunities for community involvement to fun...

Monday, January 14


Easton Historic District Commission meeting: 5:30 p.m. City Hall, city council chambers, sixth floor, 1 South Third St.

Wilson Borough Council meeting: 7 p.m. 2040 Hay Terrace, Wilson Borough.

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


Tuesday, January 15


Duplicate Bridge: 11:30 a.m. Open game. Temple Covenant of Peace, 1451 Northampton St.


Easton Cops and Community workshop: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Weed and Seed Office, 1201 Ferry St. opportunity to develop new relationships and learn new ways to improve the relationship between the local law enforcement and the community.Participants will learn to recognize the obstacles that prevent building relationships with community members, listen to personal stories and experiences from community members and the law enforcement, listen to each other's opinions and help to increase the safety of the community as a whole. For more information, call Guillermo Lopez at 484-450-6224 or email him.

Easton Recreation Board meeting: 7 p.m. City Hall, third floor, 1 South Third St.

Palmer Township Recreation 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.

Lecture - "Computer Security for You and Me": 7 p.m. Dan Brashler, senior computing consultant at Lehigh University, with assistance from Becky Rosenbauer, director of engineering computing at Lafayette College speak. Sponsored by the Easton Branch of the AAUW.  Lafayette College, Pardee Hall, Quad Drive. 610-330-5000


Wednesday, January 16


Easton Redevelopment Authority meeting: 5:30 p.m. City Hall, third floor, 1 South Third St.

Easton Business Association Mixer: 5:30 p.m. Mixers are open to all EBA members (everyone can be a member by filling out a membership form - FREE) and are hosted by a different business each month, hosts provide refreshments and the EBA promotes the event. They are an informal gathering where people get to know each other a little better. This month at: Two Rivers Brewing, 542 Northampton St. Click here for more details.

Easton Planning Commission meeting: 6:30 p.m. City Hall, city council chambers, sixth floor, 1 South Third St.

Williams Township Planning Commission meeting: 7 p.m. Williams Township Municipal Building, 655 Cider Press Road, Easton (Williams Township).

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

Country Dancing: 7 to 11 p.m. Rivals, 5 Lehn's Court. 610-392-2932 or www.rivalseaston.com

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


Thursday, January 17


Envision Lehigh Valley Public Input meeting: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. College Hill Presbyterian Church, 501 Brodhead St. For more information, click here.

Easton Parking Authority meeting: 6:30 p.m. City Hall, city council chambers, sixth floor, 1 South Third St.

Forks Township Board of Supervisors meeting: 7 p.m. Forks Township Municipal Complex, 1606 Sullivan Trail, Forks Township.

Salute to Veterans: Game begins at 7 p.m. The Lady Leopards basketball team will honor veterans during their game against Army. Veterans and their families get in free. Autographs, posters, post game reception for the vets. There will be a special half-time tribute for vets. Come support the Lady Leps against Army! Lafayette College, Kirby Sports Center. Click here for ticket info. Click here for campus map. Email Rebecca Windover for more information.

Yan Carlos Sanchez: 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

Jon & Terri Fadem: 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!

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Scene in Easton: Selectronics and Dada Trash Collage at Porters Pub

By Christina Georgiou

Josh Finck is Selectronics, whose art is as much visual as it is electronic music.
William Freed, aka Dada Trash Collage, creates his unique
sounds with vintage synthesizers.
Two Easton artists teamed up for a live show last night at Porters' Pub that brought the city's deeper-than-most-people-realize well of creative talent to a packed Saturday night house.

Josh Finck, who performs under the name Selectronics, and William Freed, aka Dada Trash Collage, created a blistering live psychedelic melange of electronic audio and visual effects who's style is somewhat hard to describe.


Their music and Finck's live visual art is the product of synthesizers and electronic equipment that was cutting edge in years past, and each artist has a style that is entirely their own, futuristic, yet hauntingly familiar.

While both have day jobs, their art is clearly their passion.

Dada Trash Collage's tenth disc release, "Can't Pause People", is set for somewhere around Febrary 20, while Seletronics has a full-length disc and three EPs on offer.

Maybe this is the first you've heard of these two creative and unusually-talented Easton audiologists on the local music scene, but we think it's a good bet that it won't be the last.


Scene in Easton: Chase the Chill 'Bombs' Southside

Angela Boehm, Rachel Hosterman and Susan Huxley
prepare to hit Southside and drape the neighborhood
with warm, handmade scarves.
Since their last stealth giveaway in November, when they "bombed" the West Ward and Downtown with more than 500 warm, colorful handmade creations, Chase the Chill stitchers have been busy knitting and crocheting more new scarves.

With about 100 more in hand, four of the group—Susan Huxley, Robin Phelps, Angela Boehm, and Rachel Hosterman—decided to do another random scarf bombing on Easton’s Southside.
Rachel Hosterman, in stealth scarf "bombing" mode, looks for a
likely spot for a random act of kindness in Easton's Southside
on Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday, they drove around looking for suitable spots, hanging a handful at each place they stopped.

Information contributed by Susan Huxley, photos by Robin Phelps. Thanks!

Are you part of a community group that's having an event or contributing to the quality of life in the community? We'd love to know about it! Email us!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Raid Shuts Down Suspected Meth Lab

A methamphetamine manufacturing lab was found at a
residence in this apartment complex on North 15th Street
in Wilson Borough, on the edge of the City of Easton.


Four people were arrested and charged with various offenses this morning after police raided a Wilson Borough apartment on the edge of the City of Easton this morning as part of drug trafficking investigation.

The Easton Police Department's Vice/Narcotics Unit, Special Response Unit and Northampton County Drug Task Force executed a narcotics search warrant at 120 North 15th St. in Wilson Borough at about 6 a.m., according to a media release issued by the department.

Twelve people were found at the residence, including four juveniles. All but two of the people found in the home at the time are residents at the address, police said.

Arrested and charged were:
  • Thomas Stocker Jr., 30, charged with manufacturing of a controlled substance
  • Ferdinand Inacay, 47, charged with manufacturing of a controlled substance
  • Tarick Badger, 18, for possession of a small amount of marijuana
  • Lindsey Whitney, arrested on a county bench warrant

Stocker and Inacay were residents of the raided residence, police said. It is unclear where the other two that were arrested reside.

A several weeks-long investigation into methamphetamine trafficking in Easton is what led to the raid and subsequent arrests, police said.

While searching the residence, authorities found evidence associated with methamphetamine manufacturing, and as a result, the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Team was contacted and processed the scene, Easton Police said. They added that the lab was not operating, and the special team was called due to possible hazards associated with handling and transporting the chemicals such set-ups typically involve.
No one was injured during the event, police said.

Updated at 2:08 p.m.

Weekend Guide, January 11 to 13

So, you've made it through another work week and now it's the weekend...What's happening in Easton this weekend? Plenty...

Friday, January 11


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

Sal Ritz & Joe Mixon: 8 p.m. The Riegelsville Inn, 12 Delaware Road, Riegelsville. 610-749-0100 or www.riegelsvilleinn.com

The School of Rock - "The Music of CBGBs", Video DJ Fly: School of Rock 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

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

Paulie Knakk Band: 9 p.m. The Pickled Egg, 2049 Northampton St., Wilson. 610-258-1576

DJ Mike: 10 p.m. Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com

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

Crobot: 10 p.m. Pearly Baker's Alehouse, 11 Centre Square. 610-253-9949


 

Saturday, January 12


Easton Farmers' Market Winter Mart: 10 a.m. to 1 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

Forgotten Felines Cat and Kitten Adoptions: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Petsmart, 3794 Easton-Nazareth Highway, Easton (Lower Nazareth). 610-509-8619

Basset Hound Basket Bingo: 1 to 4 p.m. $20 for 20 games. Benefits Mid-Atlantic Basset Hound Rescue. Palmer Township Fire Hall, 950 South 27th St., Palmer Township. 908-319-3324

Film - "The Smurfs in 3D": 7 p.m. Big screen showing, free. Forks Township Community Center, 500 Zucksville Rd., Forks Township. www.forkstownship.org/recreation

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

Ultra Kings Duo: 9 p.m. to midnight. Rockabilly unplugged. Two Rivers Brewing Company, 542 Northampton St. 610-829-1131 or www.tworiversbrewing.com

Billy Bauer Band: 9 p.m. The Pickled Egg, 2049 Northampton St., Wilson. 610-258-1576

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

Selectronics and the Dada Trash Collage: 10 p.m. Porters' Pub, 700 Northampton St. 610-250-6561 or www.porterspubeaston.com

The What Nows: 10 p.m. Pearly Baker's Alehouse, 11 Centre Square. 610-253-9949

Robbie & Ronnie: Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Road, Riegelsville. 610-510-3030 or www.riegelsvilletavern.com


Sunday, January 13


Artists' Reception: Noon to 3 p.m. Reception is with the artists of the Paint Box Art Club's Gala Winter Art Show, on display Sundays through Feb. 24, with artists' talk set for Feb. 3. Gallery at St. John's, 330 Ferry St. 610-258-6119 or www.stjohnseaston.com/gallery

Furry Feet Rescue Inc. Cat and Dog Adoptions: Noon to 3 p.m. Petsmart, 3794 Easton-Nazareth Highway, Easton (Lower Nazareth). 610-767-7096 or www.furryfeetrescue.com

Artist Reception with Theo Anderson: 2 to 4 p.m. 18 color pigment prints from Anderson's limited edition book, "Pennsylvania". An artist talk is also set for Feb. 4. Williams Visual Arts Building, High and Hamilton streets. 610-330-5361 or galleries.lafayette.edu

Open Mic: 7 to 9 p.m. Sitgreaves Coffee House, Trinity Episcopal Church, 234 Spring Garden St. 610-253-0792

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.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Parking Rate Increase Still Months Away

By Christina Georgiou

Easton's City Council approved an increase in metered parking rates from 50 cents an hour to a dollar per hour in December, and the law officially will take effect on Jan. 11, but the motorists aren't likely to be charged at the new rate until April, officials said Wednesday evening.

"We need to buy the (new smart) meters and install them," said City Administrator Glenn Steckman, estimating that the city will actually begin charging the new rate and enforcing extended hours--from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays--beginning on April 1.

Switching to the new hours and rates isn't something the city can accomplish overnight, Steckman noted.

"You're talking about 500 to 600 meter heads here," he said.

Not all the Downtown parking meters will be converted to smart meters that accept credit cards, Steckman said--those will be placed at the busiest locations.

Meters in areas further from the commercial center of Downtown will be electronic Duncan meters, though those still need to be recalibrated to reflect the new rates. They also will get stickers to indicate the new hours of operation.

The city will also change the older meters batteries more frequently--every three months instead of every six months--to hopefully cut down on inoperative devices, the city administrator said. The city is also considering adding a phone number on the meters' stickers that people can call to report problems or inoperative devices, he added.

City parking lots will also be converted to central pay-box systems in the coming weeks. The parking lot pay boxes will be installed soon by city public works employees, Steckman said.

Those boxes, along with the new smart meters, will display the rates and hours of operation automatically, once placed.

"They'll have everything you need to know," Steckman said.

He estimated the converting the whole parking system over to the new rates and hours will take city workers a total of 30 to 40 days, barring bad weather.

"If we get a foot of snow, all bets are off on certain things, " he said.

Mayor Sal Panto said the city will be communicating with Easton Main Street and the Easton Business Association to keep city businesses in the loop about the coming changes, and that the city doesn't plan to take a hard line on enforcement as the new system is implemented.

"The first couple of weeks, we'll (have parking enforcement officers) give warnings after 6 p.m.," Panto said.

Brazilian BBQ Restaurant to Open in February

By Christina Georgiou

Ana and Antonio DeMattos, accompanied by business
consultant Howard Lieberman, smile outside city
council chambers after getting city approval of their
economic development liquor license application for
their new restaurant, Batuque, which is set to open next month.

Add one more cultural culinary choice to the amazingly diverse array of offerings Easton's Downtown eateries has to offer, beginning next month.

Easton City Council Wednesday evening unanimously gave its approval for an economic development liquor license application for Batuque, which will offer Brazilian cuisine  at 154 Northampton St., the former location of Phoenicia.

The new restaurant will open in advance of its anticipated Liquor Control Board approval of the application, said co-owners Antonio and Ana DeMattos.

Representing the owners, business consultant Howard Lieberman, said he expects the PLCB will finalize the restaurant's license in 60 to 90 days.

While awaiting approval, the new restaurant will at first either be a BYOB or offter a complimentary glass of wine to patrons over 21 with their meals, as is allowed by state law.

The economic development liquor license will be tied to both the property and the restaurant owners, Lieberman noted. Only two per year can be issued in Northampton County, he added.

The restaurant seems likely to be a sure hit--the DeMattoses, along with business partner Joaon Roquetti, already own two other successful, popular eateries, Rios in Nazareth and Made in Brazil in Allentown.

Batuque will offer similar authentic Brazilian fare, said Ana DeMattos.

Lieberman said Easton's location, as well as it's vibrant culinary scene, is part of what attracted his clients to open another restaurant in the city. He added he expects due to the city's proximity to New Jersey will attract some patrons from as far as 50 to 60 miles away.

City council members said they welcome having yet another choice and a number said they plan on dining there when Batuque opens.

"I'm very excited about this. I've been to the restaurant in Nazareth two times, and I'm looking forward to going to the one here," said Councilwoman Sandra Vulcano.

"I want to thank you so much for deciding this is the place you want to invest in," added Councilman Jeff Warren.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sigal Museum a Candidate for "Building of the Year"

The Sigal Museum, located at 342 Northampton St., has
been nominated for American-Architects.com
2012 "Building of the Year" award.
 
Easton's Sigal Museum is in the running for American-Architects.com 's "Building of the Year" award for 2012, it was recently announced.

Featured as a "Building of the Week" on the site last year, the final determination of the "Building of the Year" is determined by readers by online vote. Fifty buildings across the country were featured weekly by the online publication, and any can be voted for for the annual award.

"The most popular project will be presented in our eMagazine #6|13 and on our website starting from February 11, 2013," reads the description of the contest on American-Architects.com.

And, undoubtedly, the prize and feature in the online publication will be a source of pride for both the winning building and its architect.

The museum, located on Northampton Street, was designed by Spillman Farmer Architects. The Bethlehem-based company has also been nominated for its work on the ArtQuest building located in the Steel Stacks complex, the former site of Bethlehem Steel.

The Sigal Museum, owned and operated by the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society, opened in summer of 2010, offering its visitors interactive exhibits, self-guided and docent-led tours, special children’s programs, and a lecture series on local and American history. 

It is one of four museums operated by the non-profit organization in Easton, the county seat. In addition to its exhibits, the Sigal Museum is home to the Jane S. Moyer Library, a rare set of local resources for students, scholars, and genealogical researchers.

Voting for is open until Monday, Jan. 28 and members of the public can vote one time per email address for their favorite recently completed new building on the list. To vote for the Sigal, or any of the other 49 projects on the list, visit www.american-architects.com/en/projects/voting/41

For more about Spillman Farmers' involvement, click here.

Strong Towns "Curbside Chat" Says Urban Revitalization Is the Way to Go

By Christina Georgiou


The City of Easton's efforts to revitalize are the way to go and ahead of the coming trend of development, which need to lean towards urban revitalization over suburban-style sprawl types of construction, if the opinions of professional engineer and certified planner John Marohn are correct.

"We've been doing a lot of this for the last five to six years and seen more investment than in the last 50 to 60 years," said Easton Planning Director Becky Bradley. "It's always nice to hear reinforcement that we're going in the right direction."

About 75 members of the public gathered in lecture hall at Lafayette College Tuesday evening to hear Marohn's views on municipal planning and community revitalization at a "Curbside Chat" gathering.

Marohn's Minnesota-based non-profit organization, Strong Towns, is dedicated to supporting models of growth that allows communities to be strong and financially resilient.
Strong Towns' Charles Marohn

Click on any photo for a full-size view.
As a result, the organization has been  studying the effects of suburban-style development over the last 60 years, a trend he says is not only not sustainable, but is now actively hurting communities. A return to and the revitalization of older urban neighborhoods, as well as pre-suburban planning styles, is urgently needed, Marohn says.

Marohn claims that a large part of the current recession and municipal woes can be blamed on post-WWII development, nearly all focused on suburban development and designed for cars, which created a huge infrastructure that is not able to be maintained. 

Calling the system a Ponzi scheme, he presented numerous facts and figures pointing out that the money most new development under this sort of planning brings to communities is less than the money such development costs in the long run, unlike former community layouts, which remained largely unchanged--because they worked--for centuries.

"The idea of designing around cars and highways...is a very, very new idea," he said. "It's an experiment, and we're all the lab rats."

The small tax contributions of municipalities for larger contributions from the federal government to build ever-increasing sized infrastructures that made the suburbs possible, usually at the expense of the urban environments people moved away from, may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but ultimately, the cost of maintenance has become a huge liability, Marohn said.

"You have to spend far more than you got to maintain it," he said.

And, especially with various tax incentives to developers, a lot of new large-scale development doesn't even break even for years or decades--often around the time the infrastructure investments municipalities have made to support such projects needs major maintenance or replacement.

Many times, the solution presented to this problem is another proposed large-scale project, but since the next project also requires more infrastructure whose erection and maintenance falls upon the municipality--and taxpayers--the debt cycle only continues.

"We need to create those Peters to rob to pay for the Pauls of yesterday," Marohn said of such development projects.

The accumulation of this kind of debt, however, will not continue in the near future, he opined--simply because it is not sustainable.

"At the local level, it's critical...we need to build our places differently. We need to build our places so they're financially sound," Marohn said.

Urban revitalization is key to financially sound communities, he said.



Using examples from his home town of Brainerd, Minn., Marohn showed how even the most run-down city blocks generate more value to a community than suburban-style new development.

City blocks generally hold several properties, all individually paying taxes and requiring less infrastructure, while suburban-style development will generally support only one property or business on the same amount of land. Therefore, the "old" planning style will generate more tax revenue while costing less in the way of municipal services and maintenance than the single property.

Additionally, this old style of planning lends itself to building reuse, while when suburban shopping centers and big box stores go out of business, they are hard if not impossible to repurpose.

"We need to start talking about rational responses instead of irrational responses. We need to start looking at our communities and considering rational responses to the problems we face."

This long-term investment in suburban-style planning has also led to the development of "stroads"--that is, a combination of streets and roads, but being neither, they fail to serve the purposes of either and also fail to bring value to the community.

Roads are built for traveling from one place to another efficiently, while streets should be platforms for creating and capturing value, he said.


"Stroads" on the other hand, while built wide with highway-type travel and turn lanes, usually have slow speed limits and are lined with individual large chain retail establishments. Despite that many do have sidewalks, their multi-lane widths make pedestrian travel dangerous, intimidating and inconvenient, while the style and spacing of the stores that line them encourage vehicular traffic, not pedestrians.

"A 'stroad' is the most dangerous and unproductive environment we have today," Marohn said.

They are also hugely expensive to build and maintain too, he said, using an example in Florida that cost more than $3,000 a foot to build.

"We could literally build the equivalent of the Champs d'Elyssee for $3,000 a foot," Marohn said.

Comparing newer, suburban-type development to revitalizing and investing in pre-WWII style urban neighborhoods, nationally, the sustainable choice is clear, he said.

"You have an incredibly robust pattern of development versus and incredibly fragile pattern of development," Marohn said. "We've spent a gargantuan amount of money to make 'new and shiny' possible...(Downtown), we've spent nothing We were bequeathed that by the crazy people that built it...And you can still double the value and get more out of it."

To find out more about Strong Towns, visit www.strongtowns.org

To read more about the Strong Towns "Curbside Chat", click here.

Strong Towns also runs a social network for those interested in sustainable community and land use initiatives, which can be found at www.strongtowns.net

Boys & Girls Club to Host Zumba Classes

Zumba Gold classes are coming to the Boys and Girls Club of Easton, beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 15.




The workout sessions are targeted to beginners, senior citizens and anyone who wants to dance at a lower and easier pace. 

Two sessions per week will be offered: Tuesdays from 9:05 to 9:50 a.m. and Thursdays from 9:15 to 10 a.m.

The cost is $5 per class.

Registration will be accepted at the club, located at 210 Jones Houston Way, Monday through Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Zumba® Gold is a fitness class that helps to build cardiovascular health by challenging the heart and working the muscles of the hips, legs and arms with Latin dance moves. It is targeted for beginners, senior citizens and anyone who wants to dance at a lower and easier pace. The dance moves are broken down in a slow and manageable manner.

For more details contact, Rosalind Lucien at 610-253-5846.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Attorney Antonia Grifo Announces Bid for Magistrate

By Christina Georgiou

Downtown Easton attorney Antonia M. Grifo announced her intentions Monday to run for the magisterial justice seat vacated by the sudden death of District Judge Gay Elwell.

"I am running for this judgeship at the urging of many friends, family members and colleagues who believe that I have 'the right experience, right from the start' to serve this district, as district judge," Grifo said at a press conference held at her office in the 300 block of Spring Garden Street.

Grifo said her roots and lifelong residency in the city, in addition to her law experience, would be beneficial to the magisterial office.

"My legal career and my community service, the wide range of clients I have represented over the years, and the many people I have come into contact with provide me first hand knowledge of the legal concepts I will be required to apply, and a unique insight into the types of situations I will be required to consider and rule upon," she said. "It would be an honor to succeed to Judge Elwell’s legacy as District Justice and with my solid footing in this community, I think I can fill her shoes."

Grifo, 56, is a lifelong resident of Easton who has two college age sons. She shares a law office with her husband, attorney Ronald Shipman, who is semi-retired and son Christopher Shipman, who is also an attorney.

She is the daughter of Lee T. Grifo, described as a community leader, and the late Judge Richard D. Grifo, both also lifelong residents of the city.

Grifo said she doesn't expect that having family members in the legal profession locally will present a problem.

"Certainly, they couldn't appear before me (or represent clients)," she said, adding that such cases would be transferred to another nearby district court. "It's not uncommon for family members to not be able to appear before a particular judge due to a family relationship."

Despite the fact that as a practicing attorney she is already qualified, Grifo plans to take the state certification course for district judges in June.

"I don't need to take that course, but I plan to take that course," Grifo said. "It's a very good review of what the job requires...There's an administrative component as well."

Grifo said that her approach to the election will be bipartisan.

"I come from a solid Republican background, but I am a long-time registered Democrat. As is appropriate, judicial races and my appeal are bipartisan," she said. "I will cross-file and appear on both the Republican and Democratic tickets in the primary."

She added, "I am now at a place and time in my career where serving in the justice system not as a practicing lawyer, but as a public servant, has become important to me. This is not a step on the way to another career for me, but a logical continuation of both my legal career and my community service...The people of this District can rely on the fact that I will hit the ground running in January of 2014...ready, willing and honored to serve this District, as District Justice."

Grifo is the second person to officially announce interest in serving as magistrate for District Court 03-2-05, which serves College Hill, Downtown and parts of the West Ward in the City of Easton.

While it's still possible that Governor Tom Corbett could appoint someone to Elwell's vacant seat, the governor's office has to date made no indication he will do so.

Sharbel Koorie, a code enforcement officer for the City of Easton and also a lifelong resident, announced his intention to run on Dec. 27.

Northampton County Constable Lance Wheeler is also expected to make a statement with regard to a possible bid for the judgeship on Jan. 15, and it is thought that attorney Tim Prendergast may also make a bid for the seat, possibly later this month.

Easton City Controller Tony Bassil has also expressed interest in running for magistrate, but has yet to announce if this is a certainty.