Online Survey Will Help Redesign Downtown Hazleton

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hazleton residents can help remodel the downtown by voting in a survey for their favorite style of banners, buildings, crosswalks, lights, landscaping, benches and bike racks.

They will find the survey at http://www.derckandedson.com/hazleton through the end of September. Photos show examples, and residents can click a thumbs-up for the styles they like.

Derck and Edson, a design firm in Lititz, Lancaster County, posted the survey after winning a commission to write a strategic plan for the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress.

Read more: http://standardspeaker.com/news/online-survey-will-help-redesign-downtown-1.1739962

Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Company Town (Lititz, PA)

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LITITZ, PA—This town of 9,400 people in Amish country tells the story of the modern concert industry.

In 1968, when Frankie Valli and his group rolled in for a show, two young brothers who did sound for local dances turned the Four Seasons into one of the first music acts to tour with its own speaker system. The brothers built a reputation on the road, but they never moved out of Lititz. Their company became an anchor for a cluster of businesses that now supply the sound and spectacle for many of the world’s biggest acts.

The effect that lets pop-star Katy Perry soar over her audience while clutching a bunch of balloons. The battalion of speakers blasting Paul McCartney’s voice in stadiums designed for sports, not music. The sliding catwalk that takes a singing, dancing Justin Timberlake from the stage to the rear of an arena. All this gear, currently crisscrossing America in tractor-trailers, was engineered and built in Lititz, along with the apparatus for blockbuster tours of the past by U2, the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Michael Jackson. The place has an air of secrecy: Because entertainers want a surprise when the curtain goes up, much of the work here is done in secret by companies that don’t put their names on their buildings.

Once wired with tinny speakers and harsh lights, the world of live entertainment is now powered by computer systems that control sophisticated video displays on sets worth tens of millions of dollars.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/articles/rock-n-rolls-company-town-1407452570?tesla=y

Arts Alive 2014 – Behind The Scenes

Arts Alive 2014 – Behind the Scenes

The second installment of the Arts Alive! 2014series,“Behind the Scenes” features Curtis Dretsch, stage designer for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot. Dretsch is the Director of Design and Technical Theatre for Muhlenberg College, and has designed sets, costumes, and lighting for more than 100 theatre and dance productions on local and national stages. Guests will get a glimpse into his design process—from concept to scale model to the completed stage set.

Behind the Scenes” will be held on July 12, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College (2400 W. Chew Street, Allentown, Pa.). Tickets are $10 for Members / $15 for nonmembers; space is limited.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR “BEHIND THE SCENES” !

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Rock Lititz Starts Push To Make Lititz Area An Entertainment Technology Hub

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When The Rolling Stones or Maroon 5 hit the road, their production crews have spent months practicing, making sure the lighting’s just right, the special effects are perfect, along with the staging, video, pyro and all the theatrics that wow the audience.

Bands used to start tours in smaller towns to work out the kinks on the road.

Today, anyone can take a video and post it online, so that first show has to be perfect.

The question is how to do it. And a couple of Lancaster County music business powerhouses have a solution.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20140114/BUSINESSWEEKLY/301149999#.UtW9L_RDsxI

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Task Force Wants To See Plan For Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE. PA — Sherman Hills Realty LLC submitted a 150-page improvement plan that has not yet been publicly released to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright’s office said Thursday.

Cartwright’s office, like The Times Leader, requested an expedited copy of the plan to address problems at the sprawling housing project through the Freedom of Information Act.

Sherman Hills Realty submitted its plan on Monday in response to a Managerial and Operational Review that classified its management and operations of the troubled Sherman Hills Apartment Complex as “unsatisfactory.” HUD provides rental assistance to 340 households at Sherman Hills, which has been the scene of many violent crimes and incidents involving drugs in recent years.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1033228/Task-force-wants-to-see-plan-for-Sherman-Hills

HUD: Sherman Hills Issues Life-Threatening

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Sherman Hills tenants are experiencing life-threatening security issues that include inoperable surveillance cameras, broken windows and more than half of exterior lights not turned on or broken, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report said.

The report, made public Thursday, follows a two-day HUD inspection in September of six of the eight “garden style buildings” within the complex, including Building 328, where two girls suffered gunshot wounds in August.

The sprawling 344-unit apartment complex off Coal Street has been plagued by violent crime in recent years, including the shooting of the two girls and a fatal shooting of a woman on Nov. 11.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1001665/HUD:-Sherman-Hills-issues-life-threatening

Pottstown School Board Seeks Input On Stadium Lighting

POTTSTOWN — The school board has deciding against using as much as $225,000 in money it had not expected to receive from the state to replace the football stadium’s aging light poles.

Instead, the board agreed to reach out to the community to solicit ideas for how to raise the money.

“I’ve had a lot of feedback from the community about this,” said board member Amy Francis.  “And we’re really between a rock and a hard place.”

 “I think we need to find a way to make it happen, but we need to find a more creative way,” she said.

Lansdale Slated For Downtown Makeover

Location of Lansdale in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Downtown Lansdale is getting “spruced up” soon thanks to a $500,000 federal grant procured by U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz and an additional $1.8 million dollars in funding from the Transportation Equity Act of 2005.

A ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled for January 24th at Railroad Plaza, on the corner of Main and Madison Streets.  The construction will take place on several streets in downtown Lansdale.

New sidewalks, streetlights and (dare I say) shade trees are being added to bring curb appeal to the downtown shopping district.  Wonder if Mr. Hylton was consulted about this???  

The contractor, Wexcon Inc., will be establishing a construction headquarters in Lansdale, which is expected to cut costs.  Wexcon is trying to make the project minimally invasive to downtown merchants by doing construction in one block increments and on one side of the street at a time.  Sounds better than ripping up the entire downtown all at once!

A webcam installation is being considered so residents can watch the progress on the borough website.