The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania on June 24, 2015 · A6
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The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania · A6

Allentown, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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NEWS 6 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24, 2015 THE MORNING CALL Parking or eating? Easton debates Council mulls Sette Luna's idea of using spaces for seating By Bill Landauer Of The Morning Call Easton, which in recent years has become the Lehigh Valley's restaurant row, isn't immune to the occasional dust-up about parking. So on Tuesday night, City Council waded carefully into a debate that pits the two against one another parking versus eating. Call it a parklet or a streetery at issue is the concept of allowing a restaurant to put seating in city parking spaces. Josh Palmer, whose Sette Luna, an Italian eatery on Ferry Street, is one of many upscale Easton eateries to pop up over the past decade, has asked for permission to take a couple of parking spaces in front of his restaurant to add outdoor seating for his diners. I () Scale: 316" 1'-0" RD ARCHITECTURECONTRIBUTED IMAGE A plan would expand outdoor restaurant dining into the street at Sette Luna Tuscan Trattoria at 229 Ferry St. in Easton from spring to fall. No Sette Luna diners will be eating in the street, exactly. Palmer is asking for Easton to allow him to put up a platform, buffers from the road, tables and chairs. While it would be the first arrangement of its kind in Easton, the concept has been popping up in other cities around the country. Seattle's Department of Transportation website says the first parklet came in 2005 in San Francisco, where an art studio blocked off some on-street parking for a two-hour event. Others are appearing in Seattle, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia spots where shop owners and businesses are extending their sidewalks a few feet and creating mini-parks. They're temporary. Palmer would install his floors and walls every spring and each fall he would disassemble and haul his parklet away. He introduced the idea at a City Council meeting several weeks ago, but members said they needed time to digest the idea. During a committee meeting Tuesday, the city presented an early draft of its own plan for parklets, though some of on council favor the name "streetery" to avoid the confusion that the spaces would be available to the public. Public Works Director David Hopkins and the administration staff researched the concept and suggested seating areas could appear on streets that have speed limits of 25 mph or less, providers would have to apply and the cost would be $5 per day. Please see PARKLET NEWS 8 State may take over key road for FedEx project Hanover Township frets over cost of maintaining its slice of Willowbrook Road. By Sarah M. Wojcik Of The Morning Call A small section of Willowbrook Road, which has been something of a speed bump in the development of the proposed FedEx facility in Allen Township, could soon be in the state's hands. As part of ongoing efforts to mollify neighboring Hanover Township, which expects to see increased truck traffic from the distribution facility without any of the tax benefit, PennDOT could soon take ownership of the little more than half-mile slice of road. Special legislation to address this change is in the drafting stages, according to Steve DeFrank, chief of staff for state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D -Northampton. 'This was the last little push that was needed" Steve DeFrank, chief of staff for state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton Trucks from the massive distribution center would only spend about 90 seconds on the section of the road in Hanover, part of a 3-mile route FedEx is spending $40 million to widen. But Township Council Chairman Bruce Paulus said the burden of upkeep would fall on his Lehigh County municipality of about 1,500 people. Hanover officials have been hesitant to sign off on the roadwork, saying they don't expect to see much of the benefit from the $335 million distribution center, which supporters say will bring thousands of jobs to the area Hanover would have to sign off on the roadwork within its boundaries. "Willowbrook Road was our ace in the hole," Paulus said. "I didn't want us to be stuck with a four-lane highway where we have no residents up that road anymore. This could have been a financial hardship for the township." The latest solution turning the 3,300-foot segment of road over to PennDOT is a much better way to deal with any potential costs, according to Paulus. For those who didn't want to see the project stall and sputter to a halt, the state takeover option seemed like an easy way to alleviate Hanover's lingering worries. Paulus and DeFrank said they were both told the developer behind the FedEx project, the Rockefeller Group, didn't want to miss out on the summer construction season. Representatives for the Rockefeller Group did not return messages seeking comment. "That project was spinning its wheels for Please see ROAD NEWS 8 ALLENTOWN PUBLIC SAFETY Q II: 0 Jl 1 11 , II- PHOTOS BY DONNA FISHERTHE MORNING CALL Dan Beers, executive director of Valley Housing Development Corp., and maintenance superintendent David DeCarlo examine window gates that were installed Tuesday at 702 Turner St. in Allentown, where two young girls recently fell from the fourth story. Child's death prompts use of window gates Agencies installing them after sisters' fall from fourth-floor window in Allentown. By Matt Assad Of The Morning Call The Allentown apartment building where 3-year-old Tamara Arnette fell from a fourth-story window is being fitted with window gates designed to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The toddler's tragic death June 5 has prompted building owner Valley Housing Development Corp. to install steel window gates on the more than 200 apartment units in IS buildings that it and the Lehigh County Housing Authority own across the Lehigh Valley. And it's prompted the donation of air conditioners that will be installed in all 12 of the apartments at 702 Turner St. that house formerly homeless families trying to get back on their feet, said Dan Beers, executive director of Valley Housing and the Lehigh County Housing Authority. "We want parents to feel that their children are safe in these apartments," Beers said Tuesday as he demonstrated how the gates work. "We're trying to improve the security and get some air flowing through here." The gates come less than three weeks after Tamara and her 5 -year-old sister, Tiana, fell through the screen of a window 42 feet above the Turner Street sidewalk. Tiana was initially in critical condition after the fall, but is now recovering in a local rehabilitation center, according to her mother, Jessica Tatum. "Tiana is doing great," said Shaquan Nelson, a family friend who works in the The new window gates at 702 Turner St. offer protection but still allow firefighters access in the event of an emergency. convenience store on the first floor of 702 Turner. "She's up, moving around and smiling like a 5-year should. She's a bright, beautiful girl who wants to thank everyone for the support they've given her." Because the large windows feature sills large enough to sit on, Valley Housing had installed window stops that kept the windows from opening more than six inches. But in the hot months, tenants routinely removed them to allow more air in, Beers said. Remembrances of Tamara's death are all around the block. On the sidewalk below the window is a makeshift memorial of stuffed animals, notes and candles. And a few paces around the corner, Jalil Rasheed runs a sidewalk fragrance stand, where people can also sign a petition, asking the city to require window gates on all apartment buildings. So far, more than 800 people have signed, he said. He takes some satisfaction that his dog-eared notebook of signatures may have played some role in Valley Housing's decision. "The community has really come out in the wake of this terrible tragedy," Rasheed said, pointing at the building's upper-floor apartment "All of these places have kids in them. Let's not allow this to happen again." Some had proposed putting bars on the windows. While bars may keep a child from falling out, they would restrict firefighters trying to get tenants out of a burning Please see WINDOWS NEWS 8 Lots of questions at DEP hearing on landfill expansion IESI is seeking permission to add six years of life to facility on Applebutter Road. By Charles Malinchak Special to The Morning Call Lower Saucon residents came armed with questions to a public hearing on IESI Bethlehem's bid to add about six years of life and 21 million cubic yards of waste to the facility off Applebutter Road. Among the queries: whether the proposal would create more odors, a huge topic of concern for residents who live along Applebutter and in the Steel City section of the township. The public hearing conducted Monday night by the state Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Waste Management was part of the department's permit review process. The nearly 90-minute session at Saucon Valley High School drew about 40 people and more than a dozen questions about IESI's plan to use new and existing space within the landfill to accept more trash. IESI's plan calls for converting 6 acres of new ground into landfill and modifying an additional 23 acres used as a landfill in the 1990s to take on more waste. The area is within the 201-acre site zoned for a landfill. Township Councilwoman Priscilla deLeon asked whether uncapping the land previously used as a landfill would create more odors and if the proposed height of garbage could be remedied so it won't be seen from the D&L Trail. IESI consulting engineer Rick Bodner said the new height is permitted to reach 725 feet above sea level, which is about 18 feet above the current height of 707 feet above sea level. "Seven hundred and 25 feet is what we are limited to. That was approved in 2003, but with construction of a berm on the north side, you won't be able to see the landfill," he said. DEP engineer Roger Bellas said odor control is oudined in their plan, but if that method fails, "That doesn't mean there won't be additional measures imposed to reduce odors." At least two residents wondered whether Please see LANDFILL NEWS 8

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