Arena with signThe day that the City of Allentown has been waiting so long for is finally here:  The new PPL Center opens tonight with a concert by the Eagles, one of the biggest selling acts in music history.  The Eagles are currently on their “History of the Eagles” Tour, playing all the hits that span their 43 year career.  They last released a record in 2007, “The Long Road Out of Eden.”

“I can’t believe it’s finally here, but I’m glad that it is,” said an excited Mayor Pawlowski about the anchor to the downtown revitalization that has been rising at 7th and Hamilton for the last two years.  “It seems like yesterday that we had the groundbreaking, and tonight we have the grand opening.  I said it then, and I’ll say it again, it’s a great day for Allentown.”

On November 29, 2012, the Mayor, dignitaries, members of the Lehigh Valley Building and Construction Trades and hockey fans gathered on a cold blustery day for a groundbreaking ceremony using shovels that resembled hockey sticks.  In reality, site preparation work had been going on for several months, and tonight the finished product will host its first ever event.

“I can’t thank everyone who worked on this project enough,” said the Mayor.  “We are so proud of what the arena represents.  We put hundreds of building tradesmen and women back to work, we built this with material from right here in Pennsylvania, we brought hundreds of permanent jobs to city residents, we have new restaurants, and we’ll soon have new apartments.  It’s been a long road to get to where we are, and the best part is that this is just the beginning.  There is more to come, including the development of the waterfront.”

The Eagles are the first of several concerts that will open the arena, before the permanent residents, the Philadelphia Phantoms Hockey Team, drop the puck on their season next month. On Monday, Cher will perform, followed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on Tuesday.  Several other musical acts are booked, as well as events like the Professional Bullriders Association, the Harlem Globetrotters, and a Philadelphia 76rs pre-season game, to name just a few.

“The PPL Center is offering entertainment for everyone.  We’ve waited a long time for this day.  This is your arena Allentown, so please come out and enjoy it,” concluded the Mayor.



Arena Opening CeremonyOn Wednesday, a Grand Opening Ceremony was held at the PPL Center arena, complete  with rubber commemorative pucks shot by dignitaries, followed by giant rubber puck shot through the front door by meLVin, the new mascot for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey team.

“Tom Petty sang ‘the waiting is the hardest part,’ well the wait is over,”  said Mayor Pawlowski to loud applause from a crowd of about 300 that moved into the lobby of the $177 million arena to hear speeches from the major players involved in the planning, financing, and building of the arena.

“Wow, what a place, this event marks a new era for Allentown, said the Mayor.  “It is a rebirth Into the next generation of the city’s evolution into what I call Allentown 4.0.  I’d like to thank State Senator Pat Browne.  There were 500 construction workers who put in 900,000 man-hours to get this place built.  Thank you to all of our men and women in the building trades, you did a great job.  This one building, this single building, is having ripple effects not only in this city, but in the region and entire state, all built from local trades.  In this building there is 2.2 million linear feet of wire, 105,000 feet of pipe (14 miles of underground piping just for the ice floor), 7,000 light fixtures, 65,000 square feet of glass, 5,000 pieces of steel weighing 4,000 tons from Erie, PA, and 36,000 cubic yards of concrete from Lehigh and Berks county.”

Also speaking at the event were City Council member Ray O’Connell, Rob and Jim Brooks, owners of the Phantoms, and Alan Walker, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development representing Governor Corbett, and several others.

After the speeches concluded, Gunner Fox, General Manager of the Arena, was joined by the Brooks brothers to pull back a curtain to reveal the inside of the Arena to the gathered crowd, who were invited to test the seats and atmosphere for themselves.

The arena features a video scoreboard which is 27 feet wide and 17 feet, with a higher-resolution picture quality that the Wells Fargo Center Jumbotron.

“We need to create a “sustainable” city which addresses income inequality, focuses on creating global trade, and trains a skilled workforce for the future through a high quality public education system,” added the Mayor.  “This is how we will continue to succeed.  Yes, today marks new dawn for Allentown, and that dawn is creating economic synergies they are having a rippling effect throughout the Lehigh Valley and the state.”



Arena Open HouseTonight is the opening night of the new PPL Center with a performance by the classic rock band the Eagles.  Tomorrow the City of Allentown will celebrate the latest addition to 7th and Hamilton with a community celebration like it has never seen before, and it will all be for free.

The “Rise Together Allentown” PPL Center Community Open House and Allentown Arts Celebration will begin at 1:00 pm.  Free tours of the new PPL Center are available along with activities for the kids in and around the arena.  Just down the block, the Arts Walk and Arts Park will be the site of music and dance performances.  The Allentown Art Museum and Miller Symphony Hall will offer fun things to do, and Pip the mouse will greet children at the Liberty Bell Museum.

“The new arena is a fantastic building with all the modern amenities,” said Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “This is the chance for the public to get an inside glimpse of the facility for free. It is also a tremendous opportunity to acquaint the public or reacquaint the public with other organizations within walking distance of the arena.”

The Allentown Parking Authority is reducing parking fees to $3.00 at its facilities on from noon until 5pm. Parking will also be reduced to $3.00 at the Arena Reserved Deck which will be open from noon until 5pm.

There will be an open rehearsal of the Allentown Symphony as well as tours of the newly restored historic theatre balcony at Miller Symphony Hall, and music lovers of all ages can try out orchestra instruments at the instrumental petting zoo in the Arts Park.  The Allentown Art Museum will be free to mark the occasion.
The arts celebration is supported by Air Products, City Center Lehigh Valley, Alvin H. Butz and the Allentown Arts Commission.

In addition, Allentown ArtsFest is taking place at Cedar Beach Park this weekend, so after taking in the activities around the Arena, head on down to enjoy a variety of fringe art forms that make up the three day outdoor festival, including; upcycled sculptures & installations, breakdancing, chalk art, technology, graffiti, film, improvisational theater, stand-up comedy, two stages of music & performances, a skate park with live demonstrations and more.

Local restaurants and food vendors will serve unique dishes as well as festival favorites. Shangy’s will be hosting six local craft breweries with a wide variety of beers for sale.

More than 50 art vendors, small businesses, organizations and non-profits are participating.

Here is a full list of the all of the events going on tomorrow:


“Rise Together Allentown”

PPL Center Community Open House & Allentown Arts Park Celebration

Saturday, September 13, 2014


All events are free* and open to the public.

Allentown Parking Authority facilities and the Arena Reserved Deck are reducing parking fees to $3.00 on September 13 from 12-5 PM.




PPL Center

701 Hamilton Street

1-5 PM

  • Self-Guided Arena Tours
  • Bounce Houses, Face Painting and Balloon Twisters
  • Book Drive presented by Cops n’ Kids

Bring a book to donate or bring $1 to donate to a new book. Books will be donated to local schools.

  • Community Action Stations

America on Wheels, LVHN, The Morning Call, Muhlenberg College, PPL, WFMZ

  • Mascot Central
  • Local Live Entertainment


Arts Walk

Hamilton Street, between 6th and 7th Streets

1-5 PM

  • “Broadway on Hamilton”

Musical Performances by Actors of Civic Theatre of Allentown


Arts Park

North 5th Street, between Linden and Hamilton Streets

12-1:30 PM

  • Tim Harakal Music


1-5 PM

  • Rise Together Allentown, Community Sculpture, Charlie Brouwer

Allentown Art Museum

  • Instrumental Petting Zoo

Allentown Symphony Hall

Children and adults can try out orchestra instruments.

  • Ceramics Raku Firing, Renzo Faggioli and Ceramics Students

The Baum School of Art

Raku is an exciting traditional Japanese process of firing ceramics that includes the removal of pieces from the kiln while still glowing hot. Several firings will take place throughout the day.

  • Pip the Mouse and Arts Activities

Liberty Bell Museum

Children will be able to create Liberty Bell pictures and get their picture taken with Pip the Mouse.

  • Community Music School Information Table


1:30 PM

  • Rise Together Allentown Dedication


2-3:30 PM

  • Billy Bauer Band


3:30-4 PM

  • Xcape Dance Company

Youth Education in the Arts


4-7 PM

  • Noches de Ritmo

La Ola Radio personalities will host this interactive musical event, featuring prizes, ticket giveaways, dance performances and a musical set by the amazing performers of ‘Due Perfecto.’


Miller Symphony Hall

23 N 6th Street

1:30-2:45 PM

  • Open Orchestra Rehearsal

Allentown Symphony Orchestra


2:45-5 PM

  • Miller Symphony Hall Tours


8 PM (and 3 PM September 14)

  • Classical Season Opening Gala (*tickets are required)

Allentown Symphony Orchestra


Allentown Art Museum

31 N 5th Street

11 AM-4 PM

  • Allentown Art Museum is Open


Allentown ArtsFest

Cedar Beach Park, 2600 Parkway Boulevard

September 12-14, Friday & Saturday 12-8 PM, Sunday 11 AM-5 PM

ArtsFest is hosted by the Alternative Gallery of Allentown and brings together a variety of fringe art forms into a three day outdoor festival, including: upcycled sculptures and installations, breakdancing, chalk art, technology, graffiti, film, improvisational theater, stand-up comedy, two stages of music and performances, a skate park with live demonstrations and more.



CameraPartnerNewserThe City of Allentown recently announced a new partnership with City Center Investment Corporation which will bring 14 new surveillance cameras to Hamilton and Linden Streets as well as the Allentown Arts Walk.

Mayor Pawlowski and City Center Cofounder and President J.B. Reilly made the announcement during a news conference in Allentown’s Center Square.

Through this partnership, City Center will donate $150,000 to the city to replace eight of its older surveillance cameras, which are seven years old, with new and more powerful High Definition (HD) versions as well as adding three new HD surveillance cameras along the Allentown Arts Walk.  The City will cover the cost of placing three additional cameras on Center Square, bringing the total number of new HD surveillance cameras in Allentown to 14.  The eight older cameras that are being replaced will be used elsewhere in the City to further enhance safety measures for more residents.

The new cameras will be monitored by the Allentown Communications Center, who currently monitor the 130 cameras around the City.  The partnership will allow the three new cameras on the Arts Walk to be monitored by AlliedBarton, the security provider for City Center.

“The cameras are a very effective part of Allentown’s overall crime-fighting strategy,” said Mayor Pawlowski. “They are one of many tools we use to enhance public safety. It will continue to be our policy to give our citizens our maximum preventive, investigative and enforcement effort. We will continue to do everything we can to make things uncomfortable for lawbreakers,” the mayor added.

The city installed its first 12 surveillance cameras in 2007 along Hamilton Street, adding more cameras every year to form today’s 130-camera network throughout the city. The city has seen a 20 percent drop in violent crimes and burglaries in areas near the cameras, and Allentown’s graffiti problem has diminished by almost 90 percent. Camera operators regularly monitor and record activity in public areas and also monitor particular areas in response to emergency calls to the Comm Center.

“City Center is committed to helping create a safe and secure environment for our tenants, staff, visitors and the community,” Reilly said. “We want people to feel comfortable downtown, so in addition to City Center’s sophisticated security program led by AlliedBarton, we’re pleased to help add the latest surveillance technology to our neighborhood to increase situational awareness among our own security officers and the Allentown Police Department. City Center is proud that our gift will also allow several cameras to be repurposed to benefit other neighborhoods in Allentown.”

The new cameras will be installed at these locations:

• 6th & Hamilton St. N
• 6th & Hamilton St. S
• 8th & Hamilton St. N
• 8th & Hamilton St. S
• 9th & Hamilton St.
• 10th & Hamilton St.
• 8th & Linden St.
• 6th & Linden St.
• 7th & Hamilton St. (2)
• 7th & Walnut St.
• 5th & Court St.
• Emery & Court St.
• Miller Symphony Hall & Law St.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe City of Allentown continues to make its streets safer by expanding its police force with the addition of new officers who were recently sworn in during a ceremony in City Council Chambers.  Mayor Pawlowski administered the oath of office to the newest members of the force, while a recent Police Academy graduate received his badge.

The Mayor swore in new officers Jose Ozoa Jr., who is currently attending the academy, and officers Daniel Sullivan, David Clouser, Arthur Owens II, Gary Walsh and James Nuskey. Officers Sullivan, Clouser, Owens, Walsh and Nuskey also received their department badges.  Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald presided as a badge was pinned on academy graduate Officer Adam Dennis.  The hirings bring the count of sworn police officers in the city to 203.

“I am truly inspired by the day to day determination and dedication of the men and women who wear the uniform of the Allentown police department,” Pawlowski said. “They do an incredible job under difficult circumstances. We are able to sleep somewhat easier knowing that police officers are doing their utmost to protect the city. It has been my pleasure to swear-in dozens of new officers. It is important that we take the time to acknowledge their performance at ceremonies like these.”

Officer Dennis graduated from the 20 week course at the Allentown Police Academy and underwent three more weeks at the academy on advanced training techniques and department policies and procedures specific to the Allentown Police Department. He is currently undergoing field training. Officers Sullivan, Clouser, Owens, Walsh and Nuskey had previously obtained their Act 120 certifications and will begin field training.

Officer Dennis holds a BA in Criminal Justice from Penn State University. He is assigned to the 1st Platoon.

Officer Nuskey holds a BS in Business from Albright College. He will be assigned to the 1st Platoon.

Officer Ozoa holds a BA in Sociology with a concentration in criminal justice from East Stroudsburg University. He will be assigned to the 3rd Platoon.

Officer Sullivan is Act 120 Certified from the Montgomery County Police Academy and attended Montgomery County Community College. He is assigned to the 1st Platoon.

Officer Clouser is Act 120 Certified from the Montgomery County Police Academy. He is attending Northampton Community College. He is assigned to the 3rd Platoon.

Officer Owens attended Northampton Community College and Susquehanna University. He is a graduate of the Allentown Police Academy and is assigned to the 3rd Platoon.

Officer Walsh attended Northampton Community College. He is a graduate of the Allentown Police Academy and is assigned to the 1st Platoon.






Wolf for PABelieve it or not, Election Day is just two months away.  It is time for a change in Harrisburg, and Tom Wolf is the person who can put Pennsylvania back on the road to prosperity.

Severe cuts in Education funding have hurt our schools here in Allentown, where our students are not getting the education that they so desperately need in today’s economy.  Our working families are struggling to make ends meet, as our Republican Legislature refuses to move on raising the minimum wage above $7.25 an hour.

There are several opportunities to help out the Wolf campaign here in the Lehigh Valley, so please visit their web site at www.wolfforpa, or their Facebook page at  Most importantly, vote for Tom Wolf for Governor on Tuesday, November 4th.