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March Neighborhood Meetings

3rd: Midway Manor
3rd: REACH
4th: West Park (Board)
5th: Mountainville 30
6th: Hamilton Park (Board)
6th: Raub Area
10th: 10th Ward
11th: 1st Ward Riverfront
11th: 8th Ward
11th: Franklin Park
12th: Muhlenberg Area
12th: Old Allentown (Board)
13th: Muhlenberg Elementary
17th: Library Area
17th: Neighborhood 7
19th: Fairviewers
20th: Crime Watch Presidents' Council
25th: 4C's
25th: Little Le-Hi
26th: Old Town


Town Meeting with the Mayor

2nd in a Series:
TOWN MEETINGS WITH THE MAYOR
Roy C. Afflerbach, Mayor

South Mountain Middle School Auditorium
709 W. Emaus Ave., Allentown
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

CABINET IN THE COMMUNITY
* Attending: Cabinet Directors and Bureau Managers
* Format: Discussion / Question & Answer

For more information, contact the Mayor's Office at 610-437-7546.


Budget Basics Class

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Lehigh Valley, a division of Money
Management International, is offering a free Budget Basics class, sponsored by
Sovereign Bank. The class will be held on Thursday, February 27, from 6 to 8
p.m. at the CCCS Whitehall office. Topics to be covered include: how to set up a
budget, budgeting for non-monthly expenses, budgeting mistakes, and cost cutting
measures. The class is free and open to the public, but it is necessary to
register. Call Kathy Kresge at 610-821-4011 ext. 121 or register online at
www.consumercreditlv.org.


B104 Drug Free Fair

B104, the Allentown Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) are teaming up to sponsor another Drug Free Fair, Saturday, March 1, 11 am
- 3 pm, at the Muhlenberg College Life Sports Center, 23rd St. between Gordon &
Liberty. Featuring a variety of games and activities for children and free hot
dogs and Pepsi. Meet the men and women of the Allentown Police Department, the
DEA, the Allentown Fire Department, the PA State Police and others who serve to
protect our community. For more information, go to www.allentownpa.org


8th Ward Oldies Dance

The 8th Ward Neighborhood Block Watch is sponsoring an Oldies Dance, Saturday,
March 1, 7 - 11 pm, at the Polish American Club, 446 N. Front St. $10 admission
includes food, soda, raffles and the entertainment of DJ Brian Keith of the Hawk
99.9. A cash bar will be available so admission is restricted to ages 21 or
older. For tickets, call Brian at 610-433-2782 or Carol at 610-740-0403.


Allentown Art Museum Winter Festival

The Allentown Art Museum's annual Winter Festival will take place on Sunday,
March 2, 1-4 pm at the Museum, 31 N. 5th St. The theme for Winter Festival 2003
is Celebrate India, and the festival will focus on the special exhibition, "The
Magnificent and Sacred Art of India," with classical Indian music and dance,
artist demonstrations, a presentation on Indian culture, hands-on art projects,
Indian henna hand painting, food, and more. Winter Festival is an all-ages
event and is part of Free Sundays at the Museum. For more information, call
610-432-4333, ext. 10.


National Senior TRIAD Program

The Allentown Police Department, in partnership with the Lehigh County Sheriff's
office, has organized a national Senior TRIAD Program, which is in its beginning
stages of operation. This program focuses on all senior concerns across the
nation and will begin with the specific issues of seniors in and around the City
of Allentown. The program has organized a Seniors and Law Enforcement Together
(SALT) Council of members who are conducting a survey of senior residents within
the City of Allentown. To obtain a copy of the survey form or for more
information about the Senior TRIAD program, call Judith Liberman at
610-791-7729.

[NOTE: A copy of the survey is also attached for your reference.]


Tree Seedling Sale

The Lehigh County Conservation District is again conducting its annual Tree
Seedling Sale. Orders will be accepted through Friday, March 28. The
distribution of seedlings ordered will be held Saturday, April 12, at the
Agricultural Center on Dorney Park Road, South Whitehall. Orders must be placed
in advance and payment must accompany orders. Four varieties of evergreens are
being offered. These include Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, Douglas Fir and Scotch
Pine. All of the evergreens are 3-year-old seedlings and are sold in bundles of
25. Sugar Maple seedlings and White Flowering Dogwood seedlings are available
for those who are looking for leaf trees. The Sugar Maple seedlings are
1-year-old and are sold in bundles of 10 seedlings. The Red Oak seedlings are
1-year-old and are sold in bundles of 10 seedlings. The Dogwood seedlings are
also 1-year-old but will be sold in bundles of five. To request an order form or
for more information, call 610-391-9583. Remember to order early.


March of Dimes Walk-a-Thon

Each spring the March of Dimes conducts a fundraising walk-a-thon called,
"WalkAmerica". Funds raised by participants in the walk are used to research and
combat birth defects and premature births. If you are interested in
participating as a walker on behalf of this charitable organization, or if you
are interested in serving as a volunteer team captain to organize volunteers to
participate in the walk, please contact Barbara J. Edwards, Division Director of
the March of Dimes at 610-439-7420 or e-mail bedwards@marchofdimes.com. This
year's Allentown walk will be held on Sunday, April 27. Registration is at 8:00
am with the walk beginning at 9:00 am. As in the past, registration and the
start of the walk will occur at Dorney Park/Wildwater Kingdom.


Disruptive Conduct Appeals Board Hearings

The City of Allentown Disruptive Conduct Appeals Board meets in City Council
Chambers, first floor, City Hall, 435 Hamilton St Allentown PA on the 1st
Wednesday of each month at 2 pm. The Board hears appeals by tenants and
landlords of Disruptive Conduct Reports filed by Police Officers, and Inspectors
from Health, Building Standards & Safety and Fire. These meetings are open to
the public. The next meetings are March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4 and July 9.
For further information, contact Nicholas Butterfield, Human Relations Officer
at 610-437-7616 or e-mail butterfield@allentowncity.org.


Something to Think About: The Value of Family Time for Children and Youth

* A University of Michigan study of children's time found that more meal time at
home was the single strongest predictor of better achievement scores and fewer
behavioral problems. Meal time was far more powerful than time spent in school,
studying, church, playing sports, and art activities. Results were statistically
controlled for age and gender of child, race and ethnicity, education and age of
the head of the family, family structure and employment, income, and family
size.

* The largest federally funded study of American teenagers found a strong
association between regular family meals (five or more dinners per week with a
parent) and academic success, psychological adjustment, and lower rates of
alcohol use, drug use, early sexual behavior, and suicidal risk. (Results held
for both one parent and two parent families and after controlling for social
class factors).

* A medical study of children ages 9-14 found that children who have more
regular dinners with their families have more healthful dietary patterns,
including more fruits and vegetables, less saturated and trans fat, fewer fried
foods and sodas, and more vitamins and other micronutrients. (Findings were
based on children's own reports of what they ate in the last 24 hours, and held
up after statistical controls for household income, maternal employment, body
mass index, physical activity, and other factors.)

* In a 2000 national YMCA poll of a representative sample of American teens, 21%
of teens rated "not having enough time together with parents" as their top
concern. This tied with educational worries as their chief concern.



Cyndie Geosits
Community Planner II
City of Allentown
Bureau of Planning & Zoning
435 Hamilton Street, Room 320
Allentown, PA 18101-1699
610-437-7613
Fax 610-437-8781
geosits@allentowncity.org

 

An Open Letter From Brian Terry
Our Acting Treasurer As Published In The Morning Call

I write this as an open letter to the people of Allentown. I am also writing in response to The Morning Call article on Jan. 31 that covered the first quarterly town meeting held by Mayor Roy Afflerbach and his cabinet.

The town meetings are a promising and welcome opportunity for the citizens of Allentown to have a voice in the affairs of their government. They give all of us the chance to meet our elected officials, have our questions answered, and offer our ideas and solutions. There is a growing element in these forums, however, that I find disturbing and counter-productive, and it needs to be addressed. This issue affects all of us, and we need to stop it if we are to make Allentown the type of place we can be proud of.

As a member of a neighborhood group founded last year named the Old Town Neighborhood Watch, (http://otnw.tripod.com), which covers the Historic District, I read with great disappointment of something that appears to have become a regular occurrence at these functions. The occurrence I speak of was referred to in the article as a ''drumbeat of criticism'' regarding the actions, or lack thereof, of those in office. Often they are the same complaints, rehashed again and again. This also seems to happen at many City Council and neighborhood group meetings I have attended.

Often, these people derail the meetings by weighing them down with complaints, but very few offers of solutions. The mistaken assumption, it seems, is that loudly voiced complaints, oft repeated, indicate constructive participation. Frankly, I find this disturbing, and somewhat indicative of what has become a ''culture of complainers'' in Allentown. It is a troubling trend that should concern all citizens living and working in this city.

Even at our own monthly meetings for OTNW, there are people who show up and do nothing but complain. Ask them to come up with concrete solutions, and there is silence. Ask many people to participate in sidewalk cleanups, neighborhood outreach, volunteering to help manage the organizations, or something as simple as handing out fliers, and instantly, personal schedules don't allow for such things.

This isn't just within our own group. This is representative of many neighborhood community groups and organizations in Allentown. The same core people who hold these groups together cannot, and should not, continue to be the only ones to work tirelessly while most citizens don't participate, and still expect to reap the benefits.

It is not enough to criticize and then go home, close your doors and hope someone else will ''fix it.'' To have those criticisms is valid, but they begin to ring hollow when you don't step up to the plate when called to be part of the effort to turn things around. The old adage, ''actions speak louder than words'' certainly applies in this instance. We need actions. The government in this city needs actions. The actions we undertake, with everyone's help, will directly affect our families and make Allentown the place we all know it can, and should be.

Grassroots efforts by people living and working here are the only way we are going to keep the momentum going. Already, results are being seen with the barest minimum of volunteers. They continue to devote time so that everyone can benefit. Imagine what would take place if more people became an active part of it.

This will take time and effort, and will no doubt be painful and controversial, but this is part of the price we pay as we struggle to fix the problems we face in Allentown. Let us all stop making excuses why we can't be a part of the solution, and come up with good reasons we can.

This is a wake-up call to the residents of Allentown. Let's stop thinking our responsibility ends once we elect someone into office and expect him or her to fix the problems, then simply criticize when the solutions don't come quickly enough. It takes all citizens participating with the elected officials and community groups not ''armchair editorials'' and complaints to make this effort work, to make this democracy work.

Let's get to work and become a city of ''doers,'' not ''complainers.'' Surely, our actions will speak much louder than words ever will.

Brian Terry of Allentown is the acting treasurer of the Old Town Neighborhood Watch, which meets at Cleveland School on N. Ninth Street.
Copyright 2003, The Morning Call

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