Thursday, December 27, 2007

Celebrity Bartenders Benefit for PrideGLV

Date: Thursday, December 27, 2007

Time: 8pm-10pm

Place: Allentown Brew Works, 812 Hamilton St, Allentown PA 610-433-7777,

Join us for our winter bash with Bethlehem native USA Mr. Gay 2008, Jonathan Taylor and Philadelphia Mr. Gay 2007, Andy Petruzelli serve up drinks at the Allentown Brew Works!

All tips, as well asa portion of the proceeds from each drink go to Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley. As a special bonus, sign up for a Martini Club membership that night and the Brew Works will donate a portion of your membership fee to Pride!

Stop by before the event for dinner in one of the Brew Works three dining areas!

Sponsored and Produced by Velocity Mobile, Boys With Hot Phones Get Laid More,

Mr. Gay Logo is a trademark of, and used with permission from The Noble Beast Foundation,

SnowBlast Winter Festival

Hosted by the Emmaus Arts Commission, the streets of Emmaus will be filled with more than a dozen free, community-wide outdoor and indoor activities, musical performances, and an affordable ticket for the SnowBlast Blizzard Ball on January 19th. Just like last year, downtown ice sculptures will be featured throughout the SnowBlast weekend. Also on the schedule of events are roving musicians, carriage rides, storytelling, hoot hike, sunrise cross-country skiing, ice skating, Frostbite Fun Run for Kids - and more! For more details visit their website at

Allentown to invest millions in parks system

Today an article appeared in the Morning Call outlining many things Allentown park director Greg Weitzel told me about a few months ago. As part of a $5.3 million plan, Allentown intends to overhaul much of its park system to update facilities and add new amenities.

Renovate the more than 100-acre Cedar Creek Park, also known as Cedar Beach, in the West End. The park, one of the city's largest, hosts the annual Mayfair and SportsFest events. The renovated park will include a huge playground. The lake also may be dredged. There could be walkways along the creek with signs identifying wildlife, vegetation and trees. Another walkway could include sculptures.

Officials hope to make life easier on brides by allowing them to reserve a time to have photographs taken in the Cedar Creek's Rose Garden. The garden may be dressed up to include paved or brick walkways, which would allow chairs to be used for the first time. A reception area could be in the works, too, and a cafe.

Allentown's oldest park, West Park, will have a year-long series of events to mark its 100th birthday. The celebration will include improvements to the band shell, fountain, war memorials, signs and other amenities. Monthly programs will include scavenger hunts, block parties, an Earth Day party, dinner-and-a-movie nights and concerts.

The disk golf course in Little Lehigh Parkway could be updated in hopes of attracting the state and world championships.

The driving range at the golf course will be enclosed so it can be heated, with the goal of attracting more winter business. Other golf course improvements are expected to include new restrooms, cart paths and bunker sand.

A number of smaller but noticeable changes are planned too. New trash cans, benches, grills, picnic tables, lights and restrooms will be built at several parks. Targeted parks include Roosevelt, Buck Boyle, Percy Ruhe, Little Lehigh Parkway and East Side and South Mountain reservoirs.

Studies should be completed by the end of next year on how the city should proceed with connecting its trails and updating its swimming pools. Also to be studied is where to build Allentown's first dog park, an enclosed area where people can let their pets run leash-free.

The city is creating a ''Friends of the Park'' committee, a tool used in other cities to raise money and enlist volunteers. The committee would be created as a nonprofit organization. Its first meeting is scheduled in January.

A ''remembrance tree'' program is in the works to allow people to honor a loved one by making a donation and planting a tree in their name.

Canal repair delayed but in the works

From the Morning Call:

Running about four months behind schedule because of administrative delays, repairs on the flood damaged Delaware Canal between Easton and Raubsville won't begin until spring at the latest, officials say.

State officials had hoped to begin the $10.9 million repair project in the fall, but it has taken several months to complete a memorandum of understanding among the various state and federal agencies funding the fix, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources spokesman Terry Brady said the state's construction contractor on the project says it may be able to start some of the work in the winter if there is not too much snow and ice.

''So much of the work will be debris removal, silt removal, things that can be done that are not weather dependent,'' Brady said.

The repair work will be done in four sections, starting with the portion of the canal between Easton and Groundhog Lock in Raubsville.

In total, the project is expected to cost between $35 million and $40 million covering repairs all the way down to New Hope.

The repairs are expected to include a new towpath, used by bicyclists, walkers and joggers, that will be less prone to being washed away by flooding.

About $265,664 in repairs to a variety of flood damaged structures including the chain dam crib embankment, Easton fish ladder and Lock 24 are also awaiting administrative approval, Brady said.

Joe Szafran, executive director of Friends of the Delaware River Canal, said getting the repairs done is the first step toward realizing the canal's full potential as a historical and recreational attraction.