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Volume 4, Number 1

Spring 2018

West End Living



Know Your Neighborhood

Eat like a Firefighter

Custer says the following concoction is a huge favorite at the West End station. Who’s “Lieutenant Bob?” We’re not sure, but the man knows how to build a burger. Lieutenant Bob’s “Belch Burger” Pile high: 1 slice of toast 1 hamburger patty Pepper jack cheese Fried egg Lettuce Bacon Another slice of toast Another hamburger patty Cheese Lettuce Bacon A third slice of toast Apply mayo as desired

If you live in the West End, you’ve driven, walked, or biked past the West End Fire Station at 2145 W. Turner St. Because it’s so familiar, you may forget it’s there—unless, of course, you need their emergency services. But there’s more to the station than putting out fires. Though Allentown’s fire department formed in the 1860s, the West End station originated in 1983 by combining and relocating the former Franklin station at 14th and Turner Streets and the old Keystone station near 19th St., says Lieutenant Jason Custer, a longtime member of the station’s crew. Custer says that three firemen are on duty at the station at all times, each running four-day stretches of nine-hour workdays. “Although we can handle many fires by ourselves, we will call in other stations for assistance when we need it,” Custer says. The station’s engine is equipped with a 24-foot extendable ladder that can reach second- and thirdstory buildings. Their fire truck carries a 500-gallon reservoir of water and 150 feet of pre-

Photo by Jane Geist Photography

West End Fire Station

Firefighter Will Gaunter shows the look of a firefighter with full gear. Gaunter is a part of a squad with two other men.

IN THIS ISSUE 1 Know Your Neighborhood 3 West End News 4 Focus on the Arts 8 Community Event

9 St. Patrick’s Day Information 17 School District News 18 Students of Note 19 Ron’s Ramblings 20 Restaurant Spotlight

connected hose. “In many cases, that’s all the water needed to knock down a fire,” Custer says. “And that means the bulk of the fire is out, so we can go in and make sure there are no hot spots that could flare up.” The station also packs some sophisticated hardware, such as a pair of thermal imaging cameras. “Sometimes a situation is so smoky, we can’t easily see the exact source of the fire. A

21 Real Estate Update 21 Send Us Your Photo 22 Existing Business 22 Transportation News 23 Where Is It? SPRING 2018 WEST


Know Your Neighborhood

thermal imaging camera lets us ‘see’ through the smoke and attack the fire,” he says. “We use those cameras to keep track of firefighters who must enter a burning building, and to help us find people or pets that might be trapped inside.” They’re also equipped with several meters for detecting the presence of hazardous gases. The West End station responds to about 2,400 calls per year, encountering everything from major structural fires to inadvertently trapped animals (more on that later). “We go out on many ambulance calls, too,” Custer says. On those scenes, “Sometimes our biggest job is just calming people down… getting their names, social-security numbers, medication list, and other important information. But we can also be the ‘front line’ for EMS workers, if we arrive first. We carry a full first-responder bag—oxygen tank, oxygen uptake sensor, collars for neck injuries, and so on. Our crews can provide many basic life-support services until the ambulance arrives,” Custer says. And those animals? “Well, we have been known to rescue animals,” he says. “One time, we encountered a cat that had

To save time, Lt. Jason Custer (above) can wear his oxygen tank while traveling to the fire.

What’s the Statue?

It’s called the Fallen Firefighters Memorial. It features a life-size sculpture of an “everyman” firefighter. The plaque reads: “This monument will serve as a lasting memory to all the firefighters that have served our city so well, those who died, and those who were killed in the line of duty.” Another plaque, on the eastern side of the base, lists the names of all of the city’s firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1884. The statue was erected in 1988.



PhotoS by Jane Geist Photography

In the fire station kitchen: FF Will Gauntner (seated); FF Paul Taus, (left) driver of the engine; Lt. Jason Custer, (right). This ‘squad’ works together on four day or night shifts. The squad says they’re like a small fraternity of brothers. Lots of laughing, fun times, and good-hearted digs at one another.

fallen into a sump pump pipe. We rigged a mop bucket and rope and lowered it into the pipe. We coaxed the cat into the bucket, raised it, and set the cat free. We’ve also rescued ducklings from storm drains and, of course, saved people’s pets in fires.” The West End firehouse does not have its own dog, but there is Judge, a yellow Labrador that works mainly in arson investigations. Judge visits elementary schools and received the award for top Arson K9 in the United States in 2016. He covers Lehigh, Bucks, Berks, and Northampton Counties. The West End station offers additional community outreach. The public is welcome to tour the facility—be sure call ahead and register. The department also sponsors a citywide essay contest for elementary school students. The first-place winner at each school receives a special prize: riding to school in a fire engine with siren wailing and lights blazing. To arrange a tour of the West End Fire Station, or for other information, contact the Allentown Fire Department at 641 S.10th St., Allentown, Pennsylvania, 18103-3173; 610-437-7765  n

Schools, day cares, and preschools visit the firehouse. This fire hydrant picture in this photo was colored by one of those children.


West End Living: Now Online! Did you miss an issue of West End Living? Want to revisit one of our articles? Simply visit and enter “west end living” in the search bar to access free digital versions of prior issues—no registration needed. The site also offers a free app for both iOS and Android mobile devices. n Volume 3, Number 3

FALL 2017


Volume 3, Number 1



Volume 3,

renovation proper, new seats and of the stage and auditorium or walls including preservation frescoes. restoration of the original an allPhase two will result in “Our new lounge for patrons. excited members seem really said. “It about that,” Glassman or will let them enjoy a beverage after snack before, during and performances.” s Other scheduled improvement ce, and include a new box offi various backstage renovations. Finally, phase three will and adapt the costume shop on other underused spaces floor for the building’s second as additional functions, such children’s rehearsal areas and the theater school. Glassman added that are contributions of all amounts E welcome. “We are a grassroots of our CAMP CRAN organization, and many parents, donations come from and other people of Theatre, located members – the Renovations to the Civic a new modest means. Remember cultural include Street, 19th at 527 North theater, your and seats. The Civic is your lounge, box office, ceiling ■ auditorium will home.” original frescoes in the on the restored. For more information also be preserved and capital campaign – including , a pledge naming opportunities Inside: video, -form and a 10-minute Your guide to St. Patrick’s visit http://www.civic festivities in the nextact/ or contact Hughes West End Theatre District. s managing director John or 610-433-8903 ext 206, 2017 mark at Special 8-page e john@civicthe sinc


Civic Theatre unveils $5.5M renovation plans

off its Civic Theatre kicked campaign first-ever major capital going last November. “It’s been campaign swimmingly well,” said t Sharon chair and past-presiden Glassman. and “Our goal is $5.5 million, nearly we have already raised noting $4 million,” she added, a that the funds represent state million $2 a of combination Capital Redevelopment Assistance Program -- requiring matching funds – as well as contributions the Butz from the Century Fund, Cable Foundation, Service Electric ons and TV and Communicati . other organizations an The campaign will finance renovation ambitious three-phase targeted for of the theater, which is H. Butz completion in 2020. Alvin Construction will be construction manager. Phase one encompasses s: infrastructure improvement a new ceiling in the theater

Annual The 60th Parade n St. Patrick’s Allentow place on will take at 1:30 pm March 19th before that! Sunday, starts well

But the



with us!

the 1970’s. days in Presifounding Committee us six weeks Our currentChaya, has taken less than Parade, dent, John phase, moving group, with next March 1975 the beautiMcLaughlin, into the until the try to put a parade route to The was to Joe, Francis Thomas the parade of Allentown. by decided Mayor Daddona brother Cramsey, first is End held, the ful West Patrick’s Parade together. meetings were J. Raymond St. others ran first and event in current contacted, invitations extended Egan and the and biggest in Alnet An Allentown of the century through for at least two the turn far the best of the parade last minute marchers. The parade the heart only, Around and was ward was the history to bands a 5-division parade sixth wards1958 the parade the sixth community. Most Street 12th lentown. result was down Hamilton years. By to go from to the Imof the Irish its ImPresibelonged large enough Streets to the on that came Weber, the first Presiwill celebrate 19, Irishmen Conception church Church on March The Parade with Jerry McGee – Vice and Hamilton (Allentown’s maculate and AllenConceptionparade ran Avenue. 60th Anniversaryfrom the 1857) dent, Dick maculate This on Ridge Nolfa-Treasurer, y. pm. Church, when 2017 departing at 1:30 dent, Jim Ridge Avenue. Avenue oldest Catholic except 1974 of on Ridge called itself town Fairgrounds TemOrpha Ockenhouse-Secretar every year and the deaths In addition,a Young Men’s committee Parade or to parHiberThis new Day a fuel crisis active committee information there was and the time, Patrick’s the Society Social Club For more the 2017 Allentown the “St. some of led to the dissolution At the same perance in hay to www. Company ticipate In their Committee”. sixth ward old- on members belonged Parade go nia Fire and Irishmen believe Hall St. Patrick’s the first of this committee. ran suppleWe where many the Harugariholding a committee Morning activities. allentownstpatrickspa timers at the days this for social groups had events Street were ball was green in Day. Gordon large banquet ments in ball. The all of these St. Patrick’scertain hosted a to honor the around St. Patrick’staken over by Call and Hall that a on and Irish. the it is said and movedin ultimately at Agriculturalsaluted the However, stood atop who McNulty Parade Committee citizens Fire Company or Apartment Barney the ball, Belleview to the Fearless In 2013 five story Ridge and Gordon it is sixth Present every the 1980’s. Celebration as first and 1975 to house on blew his bugle evigroup of a banCoronation was moved back A small attending Streets and Day. No other Hall. Italian now called, at Agricultural ward citizens, St. Patrick’s of the celebrations with the Allentown remorse to its home quet at goes on dence exists ago. expressing 1974 members The committee the Club were of 100 years the original Spang the other that Among many of to each Jim to the was cancelled.Weber, 1974 still belonging. goes back first and parade 1955 to were Jerry of mostly politiSue past President this group and Jim Nolfa, flag raising A committee The business am. The Allentown Dick McGee, at 11:45 sixth ward formed a St. Patrick’s Jim Spang. greater Men Flood, and and the Plaza, Allentown the HonorSociety. cal leaders and Hall Allentown Inc. City his Day Observance raised at to form and grow Street, Allentown. will be John McHugh, Parade Committee, such as of Ireland who helped St. Patrick’s at 435 Hamilton Flag Raising Republic heritage is located flag of the of those of Irish of the Allentown City Hall 2017 the President City of Allentown the occasion. March 17, A. Chaya, the contributions by John will mark On Friday, commemorate remarks to and brief of the City of Allentown event is pipe salute Mayor area. A Pawlowski, able Edwin


invite you



IN THIS ISSUE 1 Civic Theatre 2 Focus on the Arts 8 New to the Neighborhood 9 Established Business


pull out section! 100 years


Come fest with us at the West End World of Food festival is right around the corner on September 16, to be exact! This annual celebration of global cuisine attracts thousands of hungry visitors who stroll and munch their way through an array of food trucks, stands, beverage stations, live music, crafts, children’s activities and lots more. The fun starts at 11 a.m. and continues until 10 p.m. along 19th Street between Liberty and Allen Streets. Food varieties include Caribbean, Mexican, Egyptian, European and many local




West end L

favorites. Visitors can enjoy free live performances throughout the day by School of Rock, jazz by the Dan DeChellis Trio, the pulsating Latin rhythms of Angel Merced, pop and rock by Secret Treaty,

Volume 3,


Lend a Hand

The festival is looking for volunteers to help with set-up, ticket sales, pouring beer and wine, and other activities. Visit to learn more.

n Allentow ds Fairgroun ed transform into WWI e military bas

U.S. ente 24 Car Seat Inspection 10 Irish Recipes I 25 Tree Planting 12 WEA News WW of Community 26 Sense 150 13 St. Patrick’s Section more Goodies Pub Crawl 28than After still lineisup 21 Ron’s Ramblings it? to 30 Where years, people for ticketsNumbers 22 Students of Note 30ceImportant the box offi 23 Resident Newsat at the Allen- 2017 WEST END LIVING 1 SPRING the next showunds. But 100 town Fairgro whole different years ago, a calling as the crowd came Army transAgricultural the into United States Army eyed Fairgrounds the for Society. “The formed as a great an army base Fairgrounds medics Camp Crane, nce drivers for Allentown training the .” infantry in training ambula location for the French nce drivers service with ghting and the ambula I. had been fi years said World War The French government for three long “The French ambulances and the Germans getting their we really need s Bonnie Brosious, and needed help battlefield the medics,” explain r of The Great wounded from Directo County Marketing Fair and Lehigh Allentown IN THIS ISSUE 1 Camp Crane er 3 Mike Bruckn Arts the 4 Focus on 9 New to the Neighborhood

Food Fest with us on September 16th

Number 2


IN THIS ISSUE 1 World of Food Festival 2 Contest Information 3 Focus on the Arts 6 New to the Neighborhood

8 Ron’s Ramblings 8 Tree Planting 9 Schlossberger Column 10 Civic News 11 Cleanup Info



12 Veterans’ Healing Garden 13 History of Veterans Day 14 Local News 15 Where is it?


Cadets, Section 527 1917 USAAC PA Allentown Camp Crane,

Send Us Your West End Story Ideas! The Theatre District is your neighborhood, and West End Living is your publication. We strive to cover the stories and

West End Living


West End Alliance, Inc.

PO Box 173, Allentown, PA 18105 PUBLICATION STAFF Editors — Paul & Meghan Kita Writer — Frederick Jerant Designer — Publication Design, Inc. Photographers — Jane Geist — Hub Willson Intern — Olivia Hurtado Editorial Consultant Michael Drabenstott ••• ADVERTISING Neighborhood Coordinator Ann Biernat-Rucker For advertising information, contact Ann at 610-703-8004



In Formation,

for ltural Society revenue County Agricu than half the fair. s. $37,000, less to aid station Jeff ted by the to over typically genera According the Army took of “And literally Fairgrounds,” says Klinger, PhD, wn the Allento the Ambulance the Brosious. 255 Project, Army May 1917, and “This was in later, they opened United States Service a month s from about Ambulance recruit rst fi to meet and had theiralready training,” was formed in France. Philadelphia Assistant n primarily en, End functio that wn’s West adds Jill YoungkLehigh Valley the section In 1917, Allento Director of y populated m. was a sparselthe time. Recruits Heritage Museu went on hiatus of the city at and countless The Great Fair trained Crane went on long h rural towns and personnel. while Camp drivers and marches throug minutes from ambulance staff became known just leased countryside Recruits and The U.S. ArmyLehigh the camp. from the the fairgrounds Q&A 20 Muhlenberg Column 21 Schlossberg ngs 10 On the Move s Rambli 22 Ron’s 12 Picnic RecipeNote it? of 24 Where is Numbers 14 Students Update 24 Important s 5k 15 Sportsfest Bank Patrick LIVING 1 16 JFS Food ne Oaklander 24 St. WEST END SUMMER 2017 18 Dr. Christi

Dan Amouya



Jouman Barakat Shuxiu Huang

Muhlenberg Shelby MacPha il diverse set and they also bring a of perspectives the surrounding Narges Mahdi Muhlenberg too.” Lehigh Valley volunteering by small liberal College, being a in Allentown. Muhlenberg said the Lehigh She a close-knit arts college, fosters community she liked the small Valley has community, a big part in it offered. When allows studen which her experie played about her impres asked Muhlenberg nce at sion of the each other. ts to learn from Lehigh Janis describ and diversi due to the community Valley, MacPhail said Muhlenberg es what ty it she has seen improvement Before comingoffers. students lives.brings to international area and even of the downtown to Muhlenberg College, Dan “The studen close surrou themselves ts areas of Muhlen nding gain from Jerusal Amouyal a senior berg’s campu of life, culture a broader sense em, served over her four s in the Israeli Army and values USA” said of the “This has beenyears at Muhlenberg. Janis. part of mandafor there years as a a good commu A senior at tory to use service as nity Muhlen a time served berg College from Afghan in the army, . After his in a new stepping stone to live By Olivia Hurtado city,” said MacPh began the college Amouyal Mahdi, said istan, Narges who plans ail, search and found Muhlen on Muhlenberg that she, “expected in New York living and working Muhlenberg uncle’s dentist berg through his but now it’s to be a community, College has graduation. City or Boston after introduced more of a family. searching for who also had a son about 100 interna often colleges. Amouy Shuxiu Huang students to tional refer hear students on campu” You said that Allento life al , a sophom from Guang to “the Muhlen s Valley. Thoma in the Lehigh ore, is for international wn is a good place zhou, bubble describe the said that during China. Huang students to the Office of s Janis, Director of way in which ”, to to an america campus has the n way of life. adjust year of college her freshman Support at International Student become an Shelby MacPh Muhlenberg word of its insulated campus often , she did not leave ail, Said, “Intern College, a own senior Muhlen that studen because she at berg hesitant, or ts are not familia bring diversi ational students even afraid, Medicine HatCollege, is from r with the area. was ty to the campu Mahdi has to the Allento a city in Alberta made strides to leave. s at Canada. MacPh wn Farmer Visits the Muhlen down the street s Market ail explained , bubble and to leave she is from that explore a were her first from campus at home, so small community impres sions when looking area surrou nding Muhlen of the at IN THIS ISSUE Huang said she likes the berg. 1 International 7 New to the ability to 2 WEL Online Students Neighborhood 13 Sleepy Cat 3 Holiday Arts 8 Mink’s Candie Urban Winery Focus 4 Focus on 10 All-American s the Arts 14 Mike Donne Graphics lly 11 The Spirit Remembered Stores 12 Two Thanks 15 Where Is givings It? 15 Important Numbers

Muhlenbe rg College fosters sen of family se Internatiofor Students nal



Number 4



events that matter to you. What stories would you like us to investigate? Perhaps you know a West End resident with an unusual hobby? Or there’s a neighborhood “character” we ought to know better? Send your suggestions to us at westendlivingmagazine@ with “Story Idea” as the subject line. n

••• West End Living is published quarterly by the West End Alliance, Inc. to promote the West End Theatre District. ••• EDITORIAL Editorial suggestions or comments? Contact us at

Designs by

Maria Anastasia Think Spring!

Easter is right around the corner ... Brighten your home or office with vibrant colors of the season! Delivering throughout the Valley ••• West End Living is published quarterly by the West End Alliance, Inc. PO Box 173 Allentown, PA 18105 Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, photos or artwork. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from publisher. Printed in U.S.A.


Fresh Flowers, Plants, Silks, Candles, Cards, Purses, Scarves, Placemats, Aprons and so much more!

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Your Talented Neighborhood Pines Dinner Theater

n Love is a Many Splintered Thing The Pines kicks off its 2018 season with this fast-paced musical about relationships, set to a nostalgic Top 40 hit parade. The story follows a cast of characters as they attend their high-school prom and then navigate life and love during the years to come. You might get “Hooked on a Feeling” and wonder “Should I Do It?” with friends saying “Don’t Fall in Love With a Dreamer” because he’s a “Wanderer,” all the way through “Wedding Bell Blues.” When love dies, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” to renewal “You Make My Dreams Come True.” You get the idea! Through March 25 Matinees (12:30 p.m. dinner & 2:00 p.m. show): Thursday, Sunday Evenings (6:30 p.m. dinner



The Church Basement Ladies

& 8:00 p.m. show): Friday, Saturday Dinner and Show:  Adult: $50 Student (10 to 16): $35 Child (2 to 9): $20 Show Only: Adult: Preferred seating - $30, General admission - $25 Child: Preferred seating - $20, General admission - $15 n A Second Helping: The Church Basement Ladies Sequel The ladies of the church basement are back. This time around, the year is 1969 and the world is changing. As folks protest the Vietnam War and women are demanding equal pay for equal work, the ladies of the Lutheran church basement kitchen are dealing with changes of their own in their small, rural Minnesota community. From the elderly matriarch of the kitchen to the young mom-to-be, these women

find strength in each other as they deal with joy and upheavals Inspired by the book Growing up Lutheran, this performance mixes original music with endearing characters and plenty of comedy. April 6 through May 13 Matinees (12:30 p.m. dinner & 2:00 p.m. show): Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday Evenings (6:30 p.m. dinner

& 8:00 p.m. show): Friday, Saturday Dinner and Show:  Adult: $50 Student (10 to 16): $35 Child (2 to 9): $20 Show Only: Adult: Preferred seating - $30, General admission - $25 Child: Preferred seating - $20, General admission - $15

n Yankee Doodle Dandy This ode to the music of George M. Cohan features many of his hits. An original musical revue, it showcases The Pines’ talented cast as they sing and dance their way through “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Give My Regards to Broadway,” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” All members of the military, both past and present, will receive free admission and dinner with presentation of military I.D. for all performances May 25 to May 27 and June 27 to June 29. May 25 through July 1 Matinees (12:30 p.m. dinner & 2:00 p.m. show): Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday Evenings (6:30 p.m. dinner & 8:00 p.m. show): Friday, Saturday

Dinner and Show: Adult: $50 Student (10 to 16): $35 Child (2 to 9): $20 Show Only: Adult: Preferred seating - $30, General admission - $25 Child: Preferred seating - $20, General admission - $15

Mosaics Class

Jewish Community Center (JCC)

Stagemakers Youth Theater’s Production of: n Once Upon a Mattress In this musical version of The Princess and the Pea, Princess Winnifred is an ungainly, brash girl competing for the hand of Prince Dauntless, whose domineering mother Queen Aggravain has declared he must marry a “true” princess before anyone else in the kingdom can marry. May 10 at 7:00 p.m. May 13 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Adult: $15 ($11 for JCC members)

Child: $11 ($8 for JCC members) Purchase tickets by calling 610435-3571 or visiting Stagemakers. n Mosaics Class for Adults Create your own beautiful mosaics. Instructor Cindy Schneider will teach participants how to safely handle glass and glass-cutting tools. Whatever your

art level, Schneider will support and encourage you to grow as an artist and designer. All materials included. Mondays, March 12 through April 16, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Price: $144 ($114 for JCC members) Register by calling 610-435-3571 or visiting

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Art Gallery Exhibit Opening Reception: n Carole Rose This one-woman show features the paintings of The Gallery at the J’s co-founder and dedicated promoter. Her passion for art has allowed the gallery to flourish, and her artistic talent is stunning. Opening event receptions are free to the community and include refreshments and live music by the duo Just So, featuring Mickey Freeman and Jon Fields. Opening reception: March 15, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Exhibit runs through May 4 Price: Free n Let’s Make Stuff (Parent/Child Workshop) Explore your own creativity and witness your child’s development. Children and adults work independently to explore art materials, techniques, and ageappropriate concepts through activities including painting, collage, sculpting, and drawing,



Carole Rose’s one-woman show

and then share their creations and experiences with each other. One adult is required for every child. Class size is limited to 20 children. April 8, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Price: $25 ($20 for JCC members) Register by calling 610-435-3571 or visiting

Muhlenberg’s Martin Art Gallery

n System Failure Muhlenberg’s Martin Art Gallery presents a solo exhibition by interdisciplinary New Yorkbased artist Katya Grokhovsky. The work explores the complexities of failing patriarchal regime through immersive site-specific sculptural installation, video, and performance. Through April 10


Performance: March 14 and April 10, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Public artist talk: March 21, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. n The Particular Past This Martin Art Gallery exhibit explores the spaces between knowledge and belief. Works in The Particular Past question the broader implications of our actions and attitudes toward truth and justice. Looking to the past for inspiration, these artists work within a critical framework that aspires to an ethical, just, and self-aware humanism rooted in democratic principles. For more information, contact Paul Nicholson at 484-664-3467 or paulnicholson@

23rd Annual Jewish & Israeli Film Series

n Fever at Dawn In 1945, after having been freed from a concentration camp, a 25-year-old Hungarian man, Miklós, is being treated at a Swedish hospital. The doctors diagnose him with a severe lung disease and tell him that he has no more than six months to live. Based on the true story of director Péter Gárdos’ parents. Language: Hungarian and Swedish with English subtitles. March 13, 7:00 p.m. Showing at Civic Theater, 527 N. 19th St. Price: $10 ($7 for JCC members; $6 for Civic Theatre members) n Saving Nur Afflicted with a rare genetic disease, a 9-year-old girl has only

one chance of survival: crossing the border from Gaza into Israel, where doctors are capable of performing a liver transplant. Meanwhile, her Palestinian parents fight for the life of their daughter while their family struggles back in Gaza. In this documentary, director Nili shows the transformative power of humanity and hope. A Maimonides physician will introduce and discuss the film. Language: Hebrew/Arabic with English subtitles. Co-sponsored by the Maimonides Society of the JFLV. March 27, 7:00 p.m. Showing at JCC of the Lehigh Valley, 702 N. 22nd Street Price: $10 ($7 for JCC and Maimonides members) n 1945 On a sweltering August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled “fragrances.” The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village’s deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back, originally lost during the Second World War. Language: Hungarian/Russian with English subtitles. Introductory remarks by Muhlenberg history professor Thomas Cragin, who teaches a course on WWII in film. Panel discussion following the presentation with Professor Cragin and IJCU Director Peter Pettit. Co-sponsored by the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding (IJCU) and the Holocaust Resource Center of JFLV. April 3, 7:00 p.m. Showing at Muhlenberg College’s Moyer Hall in the Miller Forum, 2400 W. Chew St. Price: $10 ($7 for JCC/IJCU members; free for college students) n The Wandering Muse From ram’s horn to beatbox, this movie explores the kaleidoscope of Jewish identities through the ever-changing music of the Jewish Diaspora. Cantor Jeff Warschauer was involved in the film’s production. He will introduce the movie and perform some klezmer music following the presentation.

Language: English. April 29, 7:00 p.m. Showing at Congregation Keneseth Israel, 2227 Chew St. Price: $10 ($7 for JCC/KI members) Purchase tickets for the series by calling 610-435-3571 or visiting n Directing Class Explore the process of putting on a production from the director’s point of view. Come learn what it’s like to be the creative driving force behind the scenes, from auditions to opening performance. Then get hands-on and direct a short scene of your own. Class is open to grades 6 through 12. Thursdays, April 5 through June 14, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Register by calling 610-435-3571 or visiting


EVENTS | 610.434.8001 | 1746 West Allen Street, Allentown

Miller Symphony Hall Centennial Event

The festivities begin with a concert, “Bernstein at 100, Copland and Gershwin,” followed by a talk-back in the hall with concertmaster Eliezer Gutman and guest soloists soprano Laquita Mitchell and baritone Lester Lynch. JCC guests will enjoy a private cocktail reception at Symphony Hall following the post-concert talk. April 15, 3:00 p.m. Premium Front & Center Orchestra seats: $150 per seat (38 available) VIP Box seats: $200 per seat (eight available) Purchase tickets by calling 610-435-3571 or visiting n

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Mayfair Is Back with Strong Lineup, New Setup The Mayfair Festival of the Arts is returning to the West End. The free three-day event, from May 25 to 27, will take place entirely on the upper part of the Cedar Crest College campus. Yes, you read that correctly: It’s free. The gates are gone, as is an admission charge. “We didn’t want to create a barrier to people’s enjoyment of the festival,” says Lauren Condon, Cedar Crest’s director of student union and engagement. “Our guests are now welcome to come and go as often as they please.” The festival will be open to the public from noon to 10:00 p.m. each day and will host a broad mix of artists and artisans, including sculptors, painters, photographers, and jewelers. “Some of our artists have exhibited at earlier Mayfairs. Others will be new, and want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity,” Condon says. And

while most of the art exhibit space will be outdoors, there’s also an option for indoor space. Visitors can also enjoy numerous free musical acts during the festival’s run. At press time, these bands are on the books; others may be added. The Philadelphia Funk Authority They’re considered one of the best dance and party bands in the region. The band plays everything from current hits to Motown, disco, rock, and soul. Saturday, May 26, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Jimmy and the Parrots They’re one of the most requested Jimmy Buffett cover bands in the country. They play songs from Buffett’s entire catalog; new and classic rock songs from bands like the Beach Boys, Zac Brown, and Bob Marley; and originals. Saturday, May 26, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Go Go Gadjet They play rhythms of dance music and familiar melodies, combined with traditional instruments and modern synths and controllers. In 2017, Go Go Gadjet partnered with Coors Light to promote their debut single, “Make You Feel Good.” Sunday, May 27, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Lucky 7 The Valley-based band is known for its vibrant renditions of classic funk and dance music. Backed by the Casino Horns, Lucky 7 is known for getting the crowd on its feet. Sunday, May 27, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Condon added that there will be free kid-friendly activities during Mayfair, as well as many

favorite food vendors, including Heaven on a Bun, Take-a-Taco, and Caribbean Noodles. The event offers free on-campus parking, and many connecting campus roadways will be closed to vehicles, thus allowing easy access to strollers, wheelchairs, and similar transports. “Mayfair has been in my memories since childhood,” Condon says. “We’re thrilled to help bring it back.” Note: Mayfair still needs volunteers. If you’re interested in helping out, register at n

Who are you? What do you stand for? Why do you matter? Before anyone will buy your product, retain your service or contribute to your cause, they want answers. We can help.

Marketing and public relations counsel

(610) 417-0503

Proud to live and work in Allentown’s West End. 8 WEST END LIVING


The 61st Annual Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade will take place on

Sunday, March 18th at 1:30 pm But the celebration starts well before that!


invite you to celebrate with us!

An Allentown Tradition...

Around the turn of the century the sixth ward was the heart of the Irish community. Most Irishmen belonged to the Immaculate Conception church on Ridge Avenue. (Allentown’s oldest Catholic Church, 1857) In addition, on Ridge Avenue there was a Young Men’s Temperance Society and the Hibernia Fire Company Social Club where many Irishmen belonged for social activities. We believe all of these groups had events on and around St. Patrick’s Day. However, it is said that a certain Barney McNulty stood atop the five story Belleview Apartment house on Ridge and Gordon Streets and blew his bugle every St. Patrick’s Day. No other evidence exists of the celebrations of 100 years ago. 1955 to 1974 A committee of mostly first and sixth ward business and political leaders formed a St. Patrick’s Day Observance Society. Men such as John McHugh, his

brother Joe, Francis McLaughlin, J. Raymond Cramsey, Thomas Egan and others ran the first parade through the first and sixth wards only, for at least two years. By 1958 the parade was large enough to go from 12th and Hamilton Streets to the Immaculate Conception Church on Ridge Avenue. This parade ran every year except 1974 when a fuel crisis and the deaths of some of the active committee members led to the dissolution of this committee. In their hay days this committee ran supplements in green in the Morning Call and hosted a large banquet at Agricultural Hall to honor citizens who saluted the Irish. 1975 to Present A small group of first and sixth ward citizens, attending a banquet at the Allentown Italian Club were expressing remorse to each other that the 1974 parade was cancelled. Among this group were Jerry Weber, Dick McGee, Jim Nolfa, Sue Flood, and Jim Spang. The

group, with less than six weeks until the March 1975 Parade, decided to try to put a parade together. Mayor Daddona was contacted, meetings were held, last minute invitations extended to bands and marchers. The net result was a 5-division parade that came down Hamilton Street with Jerry Weber, the first President, Dick McGee – Vice President, Jim Nolfa-Treasurer, and Orpha Ockenhouse-Secretary. This new committee called itself the “St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee”. At the same time, the first and sixth ward oldtimers at the Harugari Hall on Gordon Street were holding a St. Patrick’s ball. The ball was ultimately taken over by the Parade Committee and moved to the Fearless Fire Company in the 1980’s. In 2013 the ball, or Coronation Celebration as it is now called, was moved back to its home at Agricultural Hall. The committee goes on with many of the original members still belonging. Jim Spang the past President goes back to the

founding days in the 1970’s. Our current Committee President, John Chaya, has taken us into the next phase, moving the parade route to the beautiful West End of Allentown. The current St. Patrick’s Parade is by far the best and biggest event in the history of the parade in Allentown. The Parade will celebrate its 61st Anniversary on March 18, 2018 departing from the Allentown Fairgrounds at 1:30 pm. For more information or to participate in the 2018 Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade go to www.

City of Allentown Flag Raising On Friday, March 16, 2018 the flag of the Republic of Ireland will be raised at City Hall Plaza, Allentown at 11:45 am. The flag raising event is to commemorate the contributions of those of Irish heritage who helped to form and grow Allentown and the greater Allentown area. A pipe salute and brief remarks by John A. Chaya, President of the Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, Inc. and the Honorable Edwin Pawlowski, Mayor of the City of Allentown will mark the occasion. City Hall is located at 435 Hamilton Street, Allentown.




Schedule of Events West End Pub Crawl

Saturday, March 10


Sponsoring West End Pubs

Flag Raising

Friday, March 16


Allentown City Hall 435 Hamilton Street

Coronation Celebration

Friday, March 16

7:30pm -11:00pm

Ag Hall, AgriPlex Annex Allentown Fairgrounds

Irish Community Day

Saturday, March 17

Noon - 4:00pm

Ag Hall, AgriPlex Annex Allentown Fairgrounds

St. Patrick’s Parade Mass

Sunday, March 18


Immaculate Conception Church, 501 Ridge Avenue

Parade Breakfast

Sunday, March 18

10:00am - Noon

Ag Hall, AgriPlex Annex Allentown Fairgrounds

West End St. Pat’s 5K

Sunday, March 18

12:15pm sharp

Memorial Hall, Muhlenberg College, 2300 block, Liberty Street

Grand Massed Pipe Band Exhibition

Sunday, March 18


500 block of N. 19th Street

St. Patrick’s Parade

Sunday, March 18


Beginning at the Fairgrounds

Congratulations to our Annual Poster Contest Winners! See All 7 Winners in the 2018 Parade Program! Vanamarie Huynh 1st Place Senior Division, St. John Vianney School


Evan Cardiges 1st Place Junior Division, St. Joseph the Worker School

The West End Pub Crawl

Join us for a night out! 1926



Supervised Cross‐Walks



17TH ST.

18TH ST.


19TH ST.


20TH ST.

Assembly at each sponsoring pub and starts at 4:30 pm. The pub crawl begins promptly at 5:00 pm. T-Shirts to benefit the parade are $15.

Pub Crawl!

22ND ST.





The Parade Pub Crawl will celebrate it’s 10th Anniversary in 2018! Initiated in 2008, this year’s crawl will take place on Saturday, March 10, 2018 throughout the West End of Allentown. Proceeds from the Pub Crawl benefit the Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade to pay for marching units and bands. There are eight sponsoring pubs; Jack Callaghan’s Ale House, The Tavern on Liberty Street, Ringer’s Roost Tavern & Restaurant, Volpe’s Sports Bar, The Shanty on

19th, Fairgrounds Hotel, Sleepy Cat Urban Winery and Greg’s West End Saloon.

23RD ST.

Fun in the West End...

New! Long-sleeved design!

Official 2018 St. Patrick’s Parade T-shirts! Only $15 For the latest on all events, check out our WEBSITE... SPRING 2016 WESTEND ENDLIVING LIVING SPRING 2018 WEST

11 11

The Coronation Celebration

You are cordially invited! An exciting evening to start off the weekend’s festivities... Brian and Kate Johnson will be crowned the 2018 King and Queen of the Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade at the Coronation Celebration to be held March 16 at the Agricultural Hall Annex at the Allentown Fairgrounds.

The Coronation Celebration begins with doors opening at 7:30 pm and the Coronation takes place at 9 pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and include a copy of the 2018 St. Patrick’s Parade Program Book, complimentary beer, soda, and a door prize ticket. The event is BYOB. There is no cost for anyone under 21. The Allentown Fairgrounds/Agricultural Hall Annex is located at 19th and Liberty Streets, Allentown, PA 18104. For tickets to the Coronation Celebration email or go to

Entertainment will include: •Chinese Auction and Door Prizes •Walk the “Green Carpet” and get your photo taken •Performance by The O’Grady Quinlan Irish Dancers •The Mackay Pipe Band •The Official Coronation of the 2018 King & Queen •Recognition of all Past Kings & Queens •Vendors including Eight Oaks Distillery and Artists at Heart •DJ playing music to dance the night away!

Join Us!

The Only Place to be this St. Patrick’s Day is the annual Coronation Celebration! Present this coupon to receive $5 off the price of admission at the door (Regularly $20)!

For the latest on all events, check out our WEBSITE... 12 WEST 2016 12 WEST END ENDLIVING LIVINGSPRING SPRING 2018

Congratulations to 2018 St. Patrick’s Parade King & Queen Brian & Kate Johnson! Meet the Johnsons!

Brian and Kate Johnson are honored and excited to serve as King & Queen of the 61st Annual Allentown St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They both grew up in Allentown; Kate in the 6th Ward and Brian in the Hamilton Park area. Kate’s family has deep roots in the parade. Her parents, Jim and Betty McGorry, served as king and queen in 1972. Her aunt and uncle, Joe and Edna McGorry and cousins, Dennis and Maryellen McGorry, were kings and queens in 1980 and 2005, respectively. Her uncle, Raymond Cramsey, was one of the original parade organizers in the 1950s. As a very Irish-looking little girl, Kate served on the “courts” of her mother and father and many other kings and queens in the parade. For many years, the McGorrys held an open house immediately following the parade. Brian’s sister and brother-in-law, Bob and Cathy Boyle, were king and queen in 1982 and his sister, Sheila, then a senior at Allentown Central Catholic High School, was the St. Patrick’s Day Observance Society’s queen in 1964. Brian and Kate met in 1982 and married at Immaculate Conception Church in 1984. Kate grew up in Immaculate Conception Parish and Brian in the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Siena Parish. They both graduated from Allentown Central Catholic High School. They have been members of St. Thomas More Parish for 28 years. They have continu-

of Brian and Kate 21 years later.

Passing on a tradition....

ously lived and worked in and around Allentown, Brian first as a lawyer and now as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, and Kate first as a nurse and now as an admissions manager with Lehigh Valley Hospital Rehabilitation Center. They have reared 4 wonderful children, Brandon, Sarah, Matthew and Emily, and were blessed with their first grandchild, James, last Spring. Kate’s Irish heritage includes the Rodgers line through her mother

back to County Donegal and the McGorry line through her father back to County Tyrone. Brian’s Irish heritage includes the Johnson (in Ireland, MacSeain) line through his father back to County Derry and the O’Donnell line through his mother, back to County Donegal. For generations, Kate’s family lived in Allentown and Brian’s in the Hazelton area. Brian’s uncle, Andrew O’Donnell, is responsible for inspiring Brian’s family to move to Allentown in 1961 and for effecting the fateful meeting

The honor of being King and Queen of the Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade is held close to the hearts of those who have been chosen to represent the Irish Heritage of the greater Lehigh Valley. Each Queen proudly wears the silver crown pin emblematic of their reign as queen of the Irish community for the year. At each coronation, past Kings and Queens are recognized in a special way during the crowning ceremony. They are introduced individually and form a semicircle around the thrones where the incoming royal couple will be crowned by the couple completing their reign. The semi-circle signifies the bond among the former Kings and Queens, and provides a message of support and love for the newly crowned couple. All former Kings and Queens are mentioned in the Parade Sponsor Book by their year of reign, and featured in a gallery of coronation photos for all the modern day couples on the official parade website. The incoming King and Queen are presented with flowers as a tribute to their royalty for the year, and they are provided a spectacular dance routine by the O’Grady-Quinlan Academy of Irish Dancers. Following that they move to the dance floor for their first dance as King and Queen, and then joined by all the other former Kings and Queens. SPRING 2016 WESTEND ENDLIVING LIVING SPRING 2018 WEST


Community Day The whole family is welcome! Learning and laughter...

The 5th Annual Irish Cultural Community Day will be held Saturday, March 17, 2018 from noon to 4:00 pm at the Agricultural Hall Annex at the Allentown Fairgrounds. The Community Day is presented by the Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, Inc. and is sponsored by the West End Alliance as a contribution to the community to highlight the Irish culture in dance, song, art, music, and theater. The Community Day is a family friendly, free event and features demonstrations in Irish dance, hurling, Celtic games, art, bagpipe, fiddle, and all will have children and audience participation. This is an event where the audience and the actors interact to perform a

children’s play, and have a lot of fun.

Upon entering, each child will be given a Passport which will guide them on their journey through the various areas of the

event. Stations will be set up for the children to answer questions and learn something unique about Irish Culture. Each station (art, history, crafts, sports, health, etc.) will “stamp” their passport, and when the children complete their “journey” they can enter their name into the drawing for some really great prizes (first prize is a $100.00 gift card from GIANT, 2 $50.00 QVC gift cards donated by RCN and many other prizes). Everything at Community Day is free (admission, soda, snacks, flags, face paint and fun). And for the adults there will be three Irish Themed Vendors (general merchandise, jewelry and pottery) to shop at with something for everyone. Participants in the West End 5K race can pick up their race bags and numbers in the Ag Hall vestibule and then come in to join the Community Day!

Activities will include... •Face Painting •Hurling Demonstration by the Allentown Hurling Club •”Caber “Toss •Performance by The O’Grady Quinlan Irish Dancers •Bagpipe Demonstration •Painting with Out of Our Minds Art Studio •Fiddle Workshop •Irish Music ...and much more!

This event is free fun for the whole family!

Sponsored in part by:

New For 2018! Prizes for BEST FLOAT!

Over $1,000 in Cash Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Schools, Businesses, and Family/Non-Profit. Winners will be announced during the parade, and the awarding of prizes will be televised! Missed your chance to enter this year? Registration for the 2019 Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade will open in October of 2018! Visit to fill out your official registration form, and join in the fun! 14 WEST END LIVING SPRING 2016 14 WEST END LIVING SPRING 2018

Community Awards It’s a House Decorating/Porch Party Contest... The 2018 Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade Committee is once again hosting a house decorating/ porch party contest to be judged by an independent person chosen by the Parade committee. The theme of this year’s contest is “You are Invited”. Prizes will be awarded for the “best porch

party” and “best decorated house” along the Parade route. The Parade route will form at the Fairgrounds track near the Liberty and 17th Streets gate ( Main Gate vicinity) The Parade will proceed West on Liberty, turn North on 19th Street, West on Tilghman to 25th Street, South on 25th Street to Liberty Street then East on Liberty Street and disband at the Fairgrounds 19th

neighborhood affair!

Street gate. All homes along the Parade route are encouraged to participate. Prizes will be awarded immediately upon conclusion of the Parade.

Food Drive The Parade is hosting a food drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley. The Parade is partnering with several local businesses and the Minsi Trails Council to help collect food the day of the Parade. Members of Boy Scout Troop 439 will be marching behind the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley truck in the Parade to collect food brought to the Parade by spectators. Brown paper grocery bags donated by GIANT will be distributed doorto-door in the West End neighborhood the week before the Parade and will also be distributed at some of the Parade sponsored

events. The Food Drive kicks off at the annual Parade Fundraiser event being held Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Christopher’s at the Columbian Home. Donations will also be taken at the Coronation Celebration and the Irish Cultural Community Day being held March 16 and 17 respectively at Allentown Fairgrounds. The Parade is asking all spectators of the parade to bring a nonperishable food item to donate.

10th Annual West End St. Patrick’s 5k adds to parade festivities...

The West End Alliance is celebrating the 10th running of the West End St. Patrick’s 5K, Sunday, March 18, 2018, along the parade route. Preceding the annual St. Patrick’s Parade, the race provides hundreds of runners with the chance to race through the beautiful West End and enjoy the pageantry of the Lehigh Valley’s best St. Patrick’s parade. Registration is available at until March 13 or the limit of 1,000 runners has been reached. No race-day registration will be available. There is a $30 registration fee through March 1; $35 thereafter. Commemorative glassware ($5) and shirts ($8) will be available for purchase through March 1. Extras will be available for purchase on race day. Race amenities include post-race food, immediate race results by text and e-mail, personalized race bibs, indoor restrooms, and bib pick-up on Friday and Saturday in addition to race morning. The race starts at 12:15 p.m. in front of Muhlenberg College’s Memorial Hall on Liberty Street between 23rd and 24th streets; post-race events occur in Muhlenberg’s Seegers Union. Proceeds from the race support neighborhood development efforts and beautification in the West End Theatre District. Race Photos by Euniece Santiago SPRING 2016 WEST END LIVING SPRING 2018 WEST END LIVING

15 15

Parade Day A truly

spectacular day!

It all kicks off with a grand performance...

Parade Presenting Sponsor

A Massed Bands Exhibition will take place immediately before the Parade at 1:00 PM on North 19th Street between Tilghman and Liberty Streets. All pipe bands will perform in unison under the direction of Drum Major Jason Litz. After the Parade the pipe bands will proceed to a Pub Crawl Sponsoring pub to perform additional tunes.

“The West End business community has benefitted greatly over the past 10 years that the St. Patrick’s Parade has been presented in the community. After the long winter with the challenges of snow, ice and cold, the St. Patrick’s week provides an important revenue boost, helps us shake off the winter doldrums, and gets the community smiling and moving out and about. It really had an amazing effect on our businesses”.

The big event... The 2018 Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade, now in its 61st year, will start its march at 1:30 pm on Sunday, March 18, 2018. The Parade route will form at the Fairgrounds track near the Liberty and 19th Streets gate (Main Gate vicinity). The Parade will proceed West on Liberty, turn North on 19th Street, West on Tilghman Street to 25th Street, South on 25th Street to Liberty Street, then East on Liberty Street and disband at the Fairgrounds 19th Street gate. The Parade

will include the 2018 King and Queen riding in a white coach drawn by a team of Belgium

horses followed by Parade divisions each led by a pipe band.

See it all...

Live on Service Electric Cable Tv the day of the parade and rebroadcast on RCN Television March 18th at 6 pm and March 21st at 8 pm.

Parade Day Breakfast...

The annual Parade Breakfast is open to everyone and will be held at the Agricultural Hall Annex at the Allentown Fairgrounds on March 18, 2018 from 10 am to noon. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Proceeds benefit the Allentown St. Patrick’s Parade. The Agricultural Hall Annex is located at 19th and Liberty Streets, Allentown, PA. To purchase tickets to the Breakfast go to or email

For the latest on all events, check out our WEBSITE... 16 WEST END LIVING SPRING 2016 16 WEST END LIVING SPRING 2018


Talking Allentown School District and Pierogies with Thomas E. Parker a lot of diversity, too. Lots of people live here, but it still has a small-town feeling. My wife and daughter like it here. Our daughter, London, is 10 and a fifth-grade student at Muhlenberg Elementary School. One difference is that I’ve been eating a lot more pretzels and pierogies. Fortunately, I love them both!

Thomas E. Parker became the superintendent of the Allentown School District in July 2017. Previously he was the superintendent of Ecorse Public Schools (a suburb of Detroit) since 2013. There, he restructured the district’s administration for greater efficiency and implemented initiatives to improve student achievement. He talked with us about his history and plans for ASD.

West End Living: How do you compare life in Allentown to Ecorse? Thomas E. Parker: The two areas are pretty similar in terms of climate and temperature. There’s

WEL: The Ecorse district had 1,100 students, but ASD has about 16,000. That’s quite a jump. TEP: It is, but my background is pretty diverse. I’ve worked in several public school districts, including as an assistant principal at a high school that had 1,800 students. I’ve worked in large districts and in small ones. So even though I’m now in charge of the district, I can appreciate the concerns of the various departments. I’ve had to deal with many of them myself. WEL: What challenges and opportunities do you see in the Allentown School District? TEP: The biggest challenge I see is the district’s fiscal health—and that’s something that’s common to many urban school districts. The Ecorse School District had been mired in some financial challenges for several years. One of my first tasks was to restructure the way

the district did business. I wanted it to be more efficient and to save money. It’s not too dissimilar from a corporate restructuring, but not as drastic. In schools, you’re not operating with lots of extras and fluff, so you concentrate on improving the strategic framework, analyzing data, and becoming more efficient. I hope to take the same approach with ASD.

WEL: There are achievement challenges in the district as well. Do you have plans to address them? TEP: We need to find new ways to refocus and rebuild our academic work so we can better meet the needs of the kids we serve. I’ve already met with hundreds of individuals and groups to talk about communications and transparency. If people are open and honest about these challenges, we’ll be in a better position to address them. People need to believe in students’ ability to be successful. I’ve seen many dynamic teachers in ASD and kids who are excited about learning. We just need to get all of them on the same page. WEL: You’ll also need to deal with teachers, staff, and the

union. Have they been receptive to your ideas? TEP: Change is difficult for any organization, and ASD is not an exception. But everyone recognizes, after reviewing student achievement data, that we have to do better. We may not always agree on everything, but we need to be respectful and cognizant of others’ perspectives on an issue. If we do that, we’ll have a solid working relationship. One of my duties is to be a support system for teachers and principals. I have my own “scars” from teaching, so I have loads of respect for what teachers do every day. In my view, the teacher is the CEO of the classroom.

WEL: What can ASD parents do to help improve the district? TEP: We invite people to join the ASD Mentoring Corps. We’re looking for very positive individuals who want to help motivate a kid or to be a positive role model. Another way is to become part of a positive narrative about the district. We have great schools in Allentown, but sometimes negative news dominates the public’s perception of the district. If you visit Muhlenberg, Trexler, Allen, you’ll see many teachers working hard to support our students. n

William Allen High School Awarded as a Safe Sports School The National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) recognized William Allen High School for student athletic safety. The award champions secondary schools that provide the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment for their athletes. In order to achieve Safe Sport School status, athletic programs must do the following: n Create a positive athletic health care administrative system n Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical

examinations n Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities n Plan for selection, fit function, and proper maintenance of athletic equipment n Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes n Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions

n Provide or facilitate injury intervention n Create and rehearse a venuespecific Emergency Action Plan n Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education n Be sure athletes and parents are educated of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities WAHS received the Safe Sports School award in January. WAHS is the eighth school in the Lehigh Valley to receive the award. More

than 700 schools nationwide are designated as Safe Sports Schools. “We remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices, and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship, and good health,” says Scott Cooperman, athletic director at WAHS. “Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players.” n SPRING 2018



Meet This Season’s Scholastic Superstars Muhlenberg Elementary School

Ilanie Cruz is a 5th grade Muhlenberg student in Mrs. Cavuoto’s class. She is a responsible student who always does her best. Ilanie is a polite and caring student who is accepting of others and is always lending a helping hand.  She goes above and beyond to support her peers with anything they need.   

Trexler Middle School

Eighth-grader Sandra Ramirez is a shining star of the Allentown School District! She is enrolled in advanced classes and still makes time after the school day to get involved in several clubs and activities at Trexler: Cheerleader captain, a member of our Step Team, TWIST Club, and the Latin Dance

team. Sandra recently attended the Adelante Leadership Conference in Lancaster as the point person to meet-and-greet the conference facilitators, and made an amazing impression on the attendees. When she is at home, Sandra loves to spend time with her two dogs.  We are proud of her at Trexler Middle School.    

Allen High School

Jordy Mercedes is an outstanding senior at William Allen High School. He started at Allen with advanced courses and now has 19 advanced, AP and dual enrollment courses to his credit, and is ranked 11th out of 608 students, with a 4.3 GPA. He is currently taking a Young Scholars course at Lehigh University. He is an AP Scholar, an honor he earned from the College Board for his performance on his AP tests. He

fine dining Where the OWner Wears

an aprOn, nOt a tie!

1926 West Allen street AllentoWn 610-434-2628



Ilanie Cruz

Sandra Ramirez

is the vice president of Mu Alpha Theta (Allen’s mathematics honor society), and has attended the National Convention the past two summers. Jordy is also involved in his school community. He’s been active role in all spring musicals during his time at Allen, Mitchell designed the lights and sound for our ‘16‘17 school year productions, and is currently production manager. He is a drama club officer, and has been involved in William Allen’s Chorale during his junior and senior years. He is Vice President of Students Against Destructive Decisions, and is a four-year participant in Canaries for Life, which raises money for the American Cancer Society. Finally, he is a student representative in our Parent-Teacher-Student-Association and on the school board’s education and finance committee. Jordy is interested in mechanical engineering and has applied to schools such as Lehigh, Drexel, NC State, and the University of Chicago. He is always willing to get involved or lend a hand. This polite student is an overall joy to be around, and it has been a pleasure watching him grow into this wonderful young man.

St. John Vianney Regional School

Mitchell Cowen a sixth-grade student at St. John Vianney, is a role model for other students as he consistently demonstrates Christian character traits. Mitchell is a High Honors student, and a member of the SJV advanced band and chess club. He plays basketball and soccer, and is a devoted Boy Scout, and supports an Eagle Scout project at St. Paul Catholic Church in Allentown. Through scouting, Mitchell has assumed many leadership roles for


Jordy Mercedes

Brighid O’Keefe

service projects in the community. For example, Mitchell joined veterans in VFW 2124 to replace the flags on more than 1,000 veterans’ gravesites in Highland and Grandview Cemeteries. Mitchell also participates in Camp Blue Line, an opportunity to develop a relationship between law enforcement and our youth. Brighid O’Keefe is a consistent example of a hardworking, polite, and caring St. John Vianney student. Brighid is a seventh-grader who has attended our school since preschool. She is always respectful and seeks ways to support her fellow students. Brighid is involved in many activities at St John Vianney. She is a Student Ambassador, an altar server, and a member of the Careers Club as well as the Yearbook Club. In her free time, she enjoys Girl Scouts and is on the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania Girl Advisory Committee. She also enjoys ballet and hip hop dance. Brighid worked with the West Park Civic Association and Episcopal Church of the Mediator to beautify the West End. She earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award, and Allentown’s the “Catch a Young Person Doing Something Right” award. Brighid hopes find time and resources to build a children’s library for refugee children in conjunction with Church of the Mediator’s Refugee Program. n

Ron’s Ramblings

Although the West End is now widely recognized as one of the city’s more desirable sections, it wasn’t always that way. For many years, a certain stench permeated the area. And it wasn’t the “stink of political corruption” either. It came from the lack of a sewage system. In the early- to mid-19th century, Allentown was known for its excellent drinking water, most of which came from Crystal Spring, near Lawrence St. (now Martin Luther King Blvd.). But sanitation systems were primitive, at best. People used outhouses and cesspools, and that human waste eventually ended up in caverns. Over the years, materials leached through the porous limestone and polluted the Little Lehigh and Schantz Creek. In 1900, the city annexed the 11th

Ward, which includes much of what is now the West End. That same year, mayor James Schaadt delivered his annual message to city council and referred to the “leaking mass of corruption” that was affecting the city’s drinking water. Schaadt called for the construction of a sewage plant. Schaadt’s cries went unanswered, even after a typhoid fever epidemic swept through the city in 1902 and killed 65 people. Physician Dr. Charles D. Schaeffer, who served a 1907 to 1908 term, also requested a water treatment facility to no avail. In 1912, a diphtheria epidemic captured city council’s attention, and the council proposed a bond issue in 1913 to raise funds for the plant. Despite the deaths and the stench, voters rejected the proposal because they were afraid their taxes

Photo by istock / Nikita Shevchenko

A Real Stinker

would increase. That same year, The Morning Call and various city groups campaigned for the plant, but little progress occurred despite fatalities. In one death, an old man used an outhouse and struck a match to light his cigarette. He tossed the match into the hole, and the collected sewer gases exploded, killing him. In another, outhouse gases asphyxiated a veteran of the Spanish-American War. By 1917, World War I was underway, and the Army had

established Camp Crane at the Fairgrounds. At its peak, 7,500 people camped there, and you can imagine how much their “output” affected the air and water in the West End. After the war’s end, council tried again, with plans to build a facility at Geissinger Farm. It wasn’t until 10 years (and countless arguments) later that the sewage treatment plant at Kline’s Island finally began operation, closing the final chapter on the situation known locally as “Allentown’s great shame.” n



Restaurant Spotlight

The Center for Spiritual Awakening RELAX RENEW BE CENTERED

O’Brien’s Really Good Food Company

Christ Lutheran Church │ 1245 W. Hamilton St. Allentown, PA 18102 │ │610-433-4271

Quiet reflection in the presence of God


Owner Hugh O’Brien and his friendly staff of 18 at 1922 W. Allen St. have had a West End presence since 1999. Before he opened his Allen St. location, O’Brien bought his food stand (next to Dan’s Bar-B-Qued Chicken) at the Fairgrounds Farmers Market. At the time, he offered homemade soups, breads delivered daily from New York, unusual salads, and desserts. After his success at that location, he took on two partners and opened the Allen St. location. O’Brien’s Really Good Food Company is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The café offers an all-day breakfast menu (scrambled eggs, bacon, egg sandwiches, croissants, bagels, and the house-specialty breakfast burrito). Lunch fare includes chickennoodle and chicken-pot-pie soups, as well as more adventurous flavors, such as chocolate chili, buffalo-wing chowder, Thai chicken peanut butter soup, and halupki soup. “We serve two different soups each day,” Hugh says, “so you can have 10 different choices in a week.” Heartier fare includes the “inside-out” grilled cheese sandwich (a standard sandwich with a crispy cheese crust on top), turkey and roast beef melts, a BLT with a fried egg inside, and the French onion burger, which is topped with sautéed onions, crumbled potato chips, and a crispy layer of grilled provolone. The Allen St. cafe seats about 40 people, and all food is available for take-out. “We can also deliver food

Guided prayer & supportive conversation

3 Saturday of each month

Every other month

MAR 17 │ APR 21 │ MAY 19

MAR 14 │ MAY 16 │ JUL 18

5:00 - 5:45 PM

1:30 - 3:30 PM

Ample parking in the lot across Hamilton Street.

Photo by Jane Geist Photography

In the City for Good. In the City for Change. Christ changes EVERYTHING!



Hugh O’Brien, owner of O’Brien’s, and employees at work that day. Hugh’s sister, Jane, is second from left.

within a two-mile radius,” Hugh says, “with a $25 minimum order and about two hours notice.” Beyond regular restaurant service, O’Brien’s caters 500 meals a day to two schools and six daycare centers from Easton to Macungie. The company has also served corporate functions for organizations like UGI, Lehigh County, and Allentown Fair entertainers. O’Brien says he’s provided food for (and mingled with) Graham Nash, Gene Simmons, Meatloaf, James Taylor, and Taylor Swift. Despite O’Brien’s storied history, there’s one menu item they offer that’s never been ordered. “That’s our Monster Sammich,” Hugh says. “For $9.95, you can get bacon, sausage, cheddar cheese, American cheese, fried onions, tomatoes, eggs, and a pair of hash browns packed into a hoagie roll.” Who’s up for a challenge? n O’Brien’s Really Good Food Company  1922 W. Allen St. 610-435-3911


Neighborhood Home Sales Continue to Trend Upward You already know that the West End is a great place to live. It’s a quiet neighborhood, yet there’s always something to do. It’s close to many amenities, yet removed from the bustle. It’s close-knit, yet not crowded. Now others are starting to catch on, too: The local real-estate market is humming—and the value of many homes is increasing. Amands Belletieri owns One Valley Realty, a real-estate agency at 2030 W. Tilghman St., Suite 203. “According to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors, the general realestate market is up about five percent,” she says. “Homes in the Allentown School District, which includes the West End, have gone up 7.3 percent,” she says. “Twin homes seem to be doing best. The average price for a twin in 2016 was $140,000. It’s now $150,000.”

And it’s a seller’s market. “People want to live in this area, and they’re often willing to pay the asking price, or even go above it,” she says. In a slower market, sellers often struggle to attract a single offer. “But these days,” Amanda says, “multiple-offer scenarios are happening. Several parties are going after the same house simultaneously.”

Offers come quickly, too: “If your home is reasonably priced and well-maintained, it might be on the market for just seven days. I’ve seen properties get listed and go under contract practically on the same day.” When Belletieri lists a home, she says, she always stresses the beauty of the neighborhood, the charm and character of the older

homes, and the proximity of the Fairgrounds, Farmers Market, theaters, and restaurants. “People are eager to get in,” she says. n Amanda Belletieri One Valley Realty 2030 Tilghman St. #203 610-248-8863

Send Us Photos of Your Stained or Leaded Glass! Among the Theatre District’s many charms is the use of stained and leaded glass in windows or door panels. Do you have stained or leaded glass in your home? If so, we’d like to feature a photo of it in a future issue of West End Living. Please send your photos to, and use “Stained Glass” as the subject line. Include your name, phone number, and any background information you may have about the stained or leaded glass. Be sure to include a high-quality, clear photo, or arrange to have our staff photographer visit your home. n




B L I N KO N 1 9 TH .CO M SPRING 2018


Sleepy Cat Wins for Wine







HAIRCUTS & STYLING y FACIALS MANICURES & PEDICURES y SKIN CARE MASSAGE y WAXING Please call us to hear about our monthly specials!


1741 Liberty Street, Allentown, PA 18104

Mark and Carrie Gerencher, owners of Sleepy Cat Urban Winery, took home a bronze medal in January from the 102nd Farm Show in Harrisburg. The farm show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event. More than 30 Pennsylvania wineries entered the competition. The Gerenchers medaled with a 2016 vintage called Kitty Kisses. Mark describes it as a mid-sweet white wine made from Cayuga grapes. “We’re really excited,” he says. “This was the first competition we entered and we won.” The winery depleted its stock of Kitty Kisses shortly after receiving the award, but the Gerenchers released a new batch in mid-February. Mark added that some other favorites are back in stock as well: Feline Fine Fredonia, Smokey’s Midnight Treat (their best-selling wine), Sleepy Cat Red, and Bashful. Stop by 1840 W. Allen St. for a taste. n

Photo by Jane Geist Photography



Owners of Sleep Cat Winery and their award winning wine.




*From the LVAR® Multiple Listing Services ranking report

610-435-9669 x 222

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Our company offers full service property management and property listing services for sales and rentals for a very affordable fee. Our team is here to help you every step of the way! Call today for a free consultation! 22 WEST END LIVING


LANTA Offers Cheaper Bus Fare for Students Students who take the bus to their Allentown School District schools will now enjoy less expensive fares, thanks to an agreement between the school district and the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA). Those students can buy a round-trip day pass for $1—a 50 percent discount. The new arrangement, which began February 5, allows students to travel on any LANTA bus to go to school and eliminates transfer charges. “The $1 DayPass not only permits students to go to and from class, but also can be used to get to after-school jobs and other activities,” LANTA’s executive

director Owen P. O’Neil says. “That can make the discount even greater than 50 percent.” The new passes make it easy for students to purchase at their school site and speed up the boarding process by eliminating the need to stop and purchase tickets at the fare box, O’Neill says. LANTA is in talks to make the same offer available to all school districts in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Allentown School District superintendent Thomas E. Parker says he expects that consistent access to reliable transportation will help increase school attendance and decrease student lateness to school. n

Where Is It?

By March 31, 2018. One winner will be randomly selected from all the correct entries. Congratulations to Karen Friebolin, winner of our Winter contest!

Photo by Jane Geist Photography

Do you recognize this image? Identify its location in the West End Theatre District and you could win a $25 gift certificate from a restaurant in the neighborhood. Send your entry by e-mail to michael@ or mail to: M. Drabenstott, 2346 W. Allen St., Allentown PA 18104


FIRST Becoming a musician is all about firsts. Your first guitar, first live performance, first sold-out show. School of Rock provides experiences like these through performing, rehearsing and playing in a band. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a budding rock star, we will get you to that next level.

SCHOOL OF ROCK West End Allentown 621 North 19th St. Allentown, PA 18104 610-434-7625



Minuteman Press Your Neighborhood Post Office


$1.00 PA Instant Lottery Ticket with any purchase Expires 3/31/2018. Limit one per customer. Must present original coupon at time of purchase. Not redeemable for cash. Only redeemable at Tilghman St. location.

OUR SERVICES • US Postal Services - Stamps - Priority & Express - Package Shipping • Boxes & Packing • PA Lottery • Fax Service


• Copies & Color Copies • Printing & Mailing Services • Creative Design • Blueprints • Posters & Banners • Custom Apparel • Promotional Products

Postal Services at Regular Prices!

Visit Our New Packaging Station!

• Efficient and Friendly Staff • Post Office Services & Prices • Located at 18th & Tilghman with FREE Parking • New Fully-Stocked Packaging Station • FREE Priority and Express Mail Packaging • Monday - Friday: 8am-6pm Saturday: 8am-2pm • Prepaid UPS/FedEx Drop Offs • Shipping available from our City Center Store • PA Lottery Retailer with On-Line & Instant Tickets • Customer Use Computer Station with Color Printer • New Services Coming Soon! -New Notary Services Coming Soon! - On-Site Shredding • Notary -•Package Receiving Service On-Site Shredding • Package Receiving Service

1801 West Tilghman Street, Allentown, PA 18104 Phone: 484-223-3311 | Fax: 484-223-3314 | 24 WEST END LIVING


Spring 2018 West End Living  

Learn about the West End Fire Station; St. Patrick's Day 5K, Parade and Pub Crawl; A conversation with Allentown School District's superinte...

Spring 2018 West End Living  

Learn about the West End Fire Station; St. Patrick's Day 5K, Parade and Pub Crawl; A conversation with Allentown School District's superinte...