New Tenants for Downtown: National Penn Bank To Relocate Corporate Headquarters

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National Penn Bank announced on Tuesday, October 16, that they will move their corporate Headquarters to downtown Allentown into the new Two City Center building being built as part of the arena project at Seventh and Hamilton Streets.  The company will relocate 275 employees form its current home in Boyertown.

“We’re glad to welcome National Penn to Allentown,” said Mayor Pawlowski.  “This is great news to have a bank based in Center City again.  It’s another sign of the turnaround that Allentown is experiencing, and we’re happy to have them as the first tenants in the new building.”

Center City Two is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2014, and will be part of the arena complex that will also include a hotel.

The company also announced a restructuring plan that will also include a new building in Spring Township Berks County, and will consolidate all the company’s divisions under one name, “National Penn.”

“The economic benefits of relocating to Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone combined with the strategy of operating under a single name allows National Penn to be well positioned for future growth while maintaining our focus on expense management,” said Michael J. Hughes, National Penn’s group executive vice president and chief financial officer.

National Penn Bancshares, Inc., with approximately $8.4 billion in assets, is a bank holding company. It operates 120 branch offices comprising 119 branches in Pennsylvania and one branch in Maryland through National Penn Bank and its KNBT and Nittany Bank divisions.

Coming Together as One City: First Neighborhood Summit Announced.

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Mayor Ed Pawlowski announced on October 3rd that the Allentown Presidents’ Council and the City of Allentown Department of Community & Economic Development will hold the first Allentown Neighborhood Summit on Saturday, October 20, 2012. The free event will take place from 10am until 2pm at the Sacred Heart Hospital Conference Center, 421 Chew Street in Allentown.

City of Allentown Neighborhood Coordinator Phyllis Alexander and St. Luke’s Neighborhood Center Elementary and Teen Coordinator Hector Sanchez joined the Mayor for the announcement.

The Summit will offer workshops for residents who want to make their neighborhood a better place to live.  Topics for adults include: How to Effectively Communicate with Adolescents, How to be Prepared in an Emergency, and Housing and the Empowered Resident.  A workshop for teenagers is being offered in conjunction with the City of Allentown Week Without Violence and will be presented by staff from Turning Point and the Crime Victims Council.   Topics will include:  Dating Violence, Sexual Harassment, Sexting and Cyber-bulling.

Residents will connect with other empowered and engaged residents and learn information and practice skills that lead to safe and dynamic neighborhoods.

The Summit will close with an honest and open conversation between adults and youth entitled: What you Always Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask. Please bring your questions!

Registration can be done on-line at http://www.allentownpa.gov. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided, and parking is free in the Sacred Heart Hospital parking lots and the 5th Street lot, which may be the most convenient. For more information, please contact the City of Allentown Neighborhood Coordinator at 610-437-7679 or email Phyllis.Alexander@allentownpa.gov.

Unity To The Community: Week Without Violence Events

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Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, the Allentown YMCA & YWCA and the Week Without Violence Committee recently announced that this year’s Week Without Violence will be observed from October 14–20.

“The Week Without Violence is an opportunity to reinforce the message that we can, and will all live peacefully together,” said Mayor Pawlowski.  “Violence is simply not the way to solve things.  The programs this week will provide safe and productive alternatives that our community can use.  It’s a week of great educational tools adults and our youth will benefit from.”

The Schedule of Events is as follows:

Sunday, October 14 – 11:00 a.m. Out of the Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide
Lehigh Parkway, Allentown. Register online www.outofthedarkness.org

Tuesday, October 16 – 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. YMCA & YWCA Allentown
Anti-violence Programs for Children
Anger Management – Crime Victims of the Lehigh Valley
Character Counts – Center for Humanistic Change

Community Forum YMCA & YWCA Allentown
5:30 p.m. – Roger MacLean, Chief of Police City of Allentown
Poster Contest Winners Crime Victims Council of Lehigh Valley
5:45 p.m. – Panel Discussion on Youth Challenges
Children’s Program – New Games – Center for Humanistic Change
6:30 p.m. – Free Spaghetti Dinner – (must pre-register early 610-434-9333)
6:45 p.m. – 4 Corners Activities
Red E Fox – Allentown Communications Center
Hands are Not for Hurting -Turning Point of Lehigh Valley
Bullying Prevention Program – Allentown School District
Internet Safety – Crime Victims of the Lehigh Valley
Free babysitting – (must pre-register 610-434-9333).

Wednesday, October 17 – 4:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. Lights On After School (3)

(1) Boys & Girls Club of Allentown – 6th & Green streets – Free memberships available, anger management techniques demonstrated
(2) Mosser Elementary School – 129 S.Dauphin St. Allentown
(3) Sheridan Elementary School – 521 N. 2nd St. Allentown

Thursday, October 18 – 4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 4 Corners Fun & Education/ Free Family Swim – YMCA & YWCA Allentown

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. 4 Corners Activities-Allentown School District – for Y Child Care only 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Free Family Swim (limited to first 50 people) – register (610) 434-9333.
6:00 p.m. Domestic Violence Vigil at Cedar Crest College conducted by Turning Point of Lehigh Valley.

Saturday, October 20 – 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. Neighborhood Summit at Sacred Heart Hospital Conference Center Allentown

The Summit includes adult programs on communicating with teens, emergency preparedness, housing and the empowered neighborhood and youth programs on dating safety and sexual violence.

Participating agencies in the Week Without Violence include the City of Allentown Health Bureau, City of Allentown Neighborhood Coordinator, Allentown School District, Allentown Public Library, Allentown YMCA & YWCA, Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Center for Humanistic Change, Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley and Turning Point of Lehigh Valley.

Award-Winning Performances Highlight 250th Parade and Festival

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The award-winning Kutztown University Band marches in the Points of Pride Parade

The City of Allentown was the big winner during the Points of Pride Parade and Festival, which celebrated the 250th anniversary of the founding of Allentown, held on Saturday, September 29th.  Thousands of people lining Hamilton Street were treated to a fantastic parade and Community Festival.  The parade proceeded down Hamilton from 17th Street to 9th Street and featured seventeen marching bands and 16 floats, along with nearly 2500 people marching in the event.

Each division of the parade represented a 50-year period of Allentown’s future, with the final division representing the future.

“What a great day for Allentown,” said Mayor Pawlowski.  “The turnout was amazing.  The parade and festival were a huge success, and I can’t thank the organizing committee enough for all their hard work, as well as the partners and all the volunteers.  They all did a fantastic job, and the whole weekend will go down as one of the greatest celebrations in our history.”

Former Dieruff H.S. and Buffalo Bills star Andre Reed served as Emcee during Opening Ceremonies at William Allen High School as well as the start of the festival.  The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps – the premier band of the U.S. Army – kicked off the Opening Ceremony, which also featured the William Allen High School Chorales’ signature version of the Star Spangled Banner.

Grand Marshals of the parade were 97-year-old Margaret “Peg” Brennen and 87-year-old Stephen “Doc” Blaschak who were chosen for their families’ contributions to the history of Allentown.

The Community Festival, which immediately followed the end of the parade, featured over 100 community organizations and vendors, as well as live music at three different entertainment venues.  One of the artists, Barte Shadlow, debuted new, updated and upbeat lyrics of the Billy Joel song, “Allentown,” to a raucous and appreciative response from the audience.

The “Celebration Weekend” began on Thursday, September 27th with a Peace and Prosperity Ecumenical Service, followed by a Hess’s Hollywood on Hamilton Restaurant Night on the 28th and concluded with the Points of Pride Parade and Community Festival on the 29th.

A dozen bands, community organizations and businesses received prize money for their award-winning performances in the parade.

The following were voted parade prize winners:

Best Band:
1. Kutztown University ($500)
2. Parkland High School ($300)
3. William Allen High School ($200)

Best Float:
1. Lehigh Valley Child Care ($500)
2. Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum ($250)
2. Zion’s “Liberty Bell” Church and Museum ($250)

Best Representation of a Historical Event
1. Zion’s “Liberty Bell” Church and Museum ($500)
2. U.S. Army Fife and Drum Corps ($300)
3. Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum ($200)

Most Allentown Pride
1. Allentown Public Library ($500)
2. William Allen High School ($300)
3. The Burning Hearts ($200)

Cleaning Up the Waterfront: Mayor Pawlowski announces EPA Grant

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Historic Neuweiler Brewery

The City of Allentown will receive a $365,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help cleanup two sites, Mayor Pawlowski recently announced.

The funds will be spent on environmental cleanup of the waterfront and South 10th Street corridor including the historic Neuweiler Brewery and Allentown Metal Works sites.

“This is another important step in the revitalization of both areas,” said Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski.   “The Waterfront Project is important to the revival of Front Street and the city, and in conjunction with the continued cleanup efforts the waterfront redevelopment will provide significant job creation opportunities while restoring environmental integrity to this area.  Likewise, it is important to get the Allentown Metal Works property back into productive use.”

The abandoned beer brewery sits on 2.3 acres of land and contains six contiguous buildings. The site cleanup will include the abatement of asbestos; removal and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste; and securing the site to prevent future waste. The cleanup should begin soon.

The U.S. EPA previously approved more than $565,000 in a Revolving Loan Fund for the Neuweiler project which is supplemented by the new grant of $365,000.

Allentown Metal Works closed its doors last year leaving the property vacant. Negotiations to sell the property have failed in part over insufficient environmental information.

The city’s allocation is part of $69.3 million in grants awarded recently across the country for new investments to provide communities with funding necessary to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and create jobs while protecting public health. Seven awards were made in Pennsylvania totaling $4.465m.

Playground Makeover: A New Bucky Boyle Playground is born

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Mayor Pawlowski, Cynthia Mota, and Allentown children cut the ribbon at the new Bucky Boyle Park.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski and City Councilwoman Cynthia Mota recently cut the ribbon to formally reopen a section of the Bucky Boyle Park playground that had been destroyed by a late 2009 arson fire with brand new equipment for young neighborhood children to enjoy in one of the most popular parks in the City.

The play structure is a Landscape Structures Custom Playshaper, designed for children ages 2 to 5 years.  It contains custom play panels that provide the imaginary theme of a “cityscape” that includes banks, recycling centers, a barber shop and school play panels.  The play structure design also protects children from direct sunlight exposure by providing a large 7’X7’ (49 square feet) poly roof and three smaller deck roofs.  The new rubber safety surface provides great handicap accessibility as well as a non-slip surface for active feet throughout every season.

“This equipment is fantastic for young children,” said Mayor Pawlowski.  “I’m sure they will get plenty of enjoyment out of it with their friends.  I am pleased to be able to restore equipment to this popular playground.”

Councilwoman Mota said, “Today is the not only the rebirth of Bucky Boyle Park, but the mission of providing a safe place for the citizens of our city to raise children and wholesome families is also being reborn. This is one of many projects where we plant seeds in our fertile city for our children to enjoy for years to come and beyond.  By investing in our children, we are investing in the future of our city.”

The Playshaper and rubber surface combined cost just more than $60,000 which was paid out of the city’s Risk Management Fund.

City Parks Department crews demolished the fire damaged equipment and installed the new equipment which matches the original design.  The safety surface was installed by a contractor.

The Bucky Boyle Playground is also home to a section specifically designed for older children and is also one of the city’s two spray parks.

Mayor Announces Police Promotions

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Allentown promoted two of its Police Officers recently when Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Police Chief Roger MacLean announced the promotions of Glen Dorney to Captain and William Reinik to Lieutenant in the Allentown Police Department.

“In my nearly seven full years as mayor I can say with confidence that we have been and continue to be served by a number of talented leaders in the Allentown Police Department,” said Pawlowski. “These officers are a credit to the department and the citizens of the city.”

Captain Dorney was hired on February 17, 1997 and was assigned to the 3rd Platoon. He worked various details and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in November 2005, and then to the rank of Lieutenant in January 2011. Captain Dorney is a member of the Emergency Response Team and accepted the position of Team Commander in August 2007. Captain Dorney is in charge of PSA4 and has assumed the duties formerly held by recently retired Captain Stephen Mould.

Lieutenant Reinik was hired on February 22, 1993 and was assigned to the 2nd Platoon. He worked various details and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in November 2005, serving at the Allentown Police Academy. Lieutenant Reinik was a member of the Emergency Response Team. He will be in charge of the 4th Platoon.

“We have made a determined effort to prepare qualified men and women to assume leadership positions within the Allentown Police Department,” said MacLean. “Captain Dorney and Lieutenant Reinik have climbed through the ranks. They have earned the respect of the rank and file and the command staff.”

Captain Dorney graduated from Nazareth Area High School and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Penn State University in Exercise and Sports Medicine. Captain Dorney has received six Commendations: three for Bravery, one for Heroism and two for Merit.

Lieutenant Reinik served eight years in the United States Marine Corps. He is a graduate of Salisbury High School and attended Arizona Western College. Lieutenant Reinik has been awarded a Commendation for Merit.