Thursday, May 16, 2013
Attorney and district judge hopeful Tim Prendergast faces bench warrant for $273 in unpaid Allentown tickets.
Whoever becomes Easton's next district judge will likely spend a lot of time dealing with unpaid parking tickets. But one of the five candidates for the job has found himself on the other side of the bench, after racking up $273 in unpaid tickets in Lehigh County. Those tickets were issued to attorney Tim Prendergast on May 30, 2012 in Allentown, but went unpaid long enough for a bench warrant to be issued. Prendergast acknowledged Thursday that he should have paid the tickets, and said he would head to District Judge Karen Devine's office "first thing" Friday to take care of them. "It's not as though I'm trying to cheat the system," he said. "It'll be paid. I'm not a scofflaw." He said it was an oversight. He gets ticketed frequently when…
Sunday, May 5, 2013
A look at what's happening this week in Easton.
There's a new week upon us, which means it's time to take a look at some of the things that will be happening in Easton between Monday and Friday. 1. Easton City Council meets Wednesday at 6 p.m. On the agenda: a resolution that would create parking meter zones along the 400 block of Ferry Street, as well as the new city-owned lot on N. Fourth Street. The same ordianance would allow for two scooter-only parking zones downtown. 2. The Freddy Award nominations are expected to be announced Thursday. We've got photo galleries from this year's school plays at Easton Area High School and Wilson Area High Scool. 3. The Easton Area School Board will hold its monthly committee meetings Tuesday at 6 p.m. 4. Artist Todd Stone will give a talk about …
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Other stories include the city's new parking plan, and a West Ward drug raid.
The future of Easton's West Word newspaper is up in the air, due to a disagreement between its staff and its sponsor over the publication's direction.Managing editor Ghen Zando-Dennis said she fears the paper could either lose its funding or have its leadership replaced next month. There's never a good time for a school district to lose federal funding. But the "sequestration" -- which refers to host of federal spending cuts that could arrive later this week -- could be particularly tough on the Easton Area School District, which is already struggling to balance its budget. March is here, and with its arrival comes Easton's new parking meters, which were scheduled to start going in downtown in two phases: March 1 to the 15th, March 15th to…
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
But neighbors of new eatery say it will eat up already scarce parking.
Easton's Zoning Hearing Board has given its OK to a new restaurant in the city's West Ward. The board on Monday night voted to approve a parking variance for an as-yet-unnamed eatery at 1054 Northampton St., which owner Cesar Montesdoeca says will serve "Spanish style" cuisine. Montesdoeca needed the variance because parking is scarce in the neighborhood. "We don’t have any parking to offer them," he said. "I don’t see how we can fix that. If there was a vacant lot we could buy, we’d do that." Neighbors say that lack of parking is exactly why the board should have denied Montesdoeca's request. They say it's bad now, and worse in the fall, when the nearby Cottingham Stadium brings in scores of Easton Area High School football fans. "We …
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Council tables eminent domain vote after property owner agrees to meet with the city.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Tom Coombe
Thursday, January 24
Easton City Council will wait three weeks before voting to condemn and seize a downtown parking lot. Council made that decision Wednesday night after lot owner Scott Kindred said he would meet with city officials and try to work out a different arrangement, one that would possibly allow Kindred to keep his property and allow some public parking. After the meeting, Kindred expressed cautious optimism about the vote. "They're willing to talk, so I'm willing to listen," he said. Initially, the city had wanted to take the N. Fourth Street lot by eminent domain. Mayor Sal Panto said the city would use the parking lot -- which is now private -- as a public parking lot. The city's parking study identified the lot as a good place for another …
Monday, January 21, 2013
Council scheduled to make eminent domain vote Wednesday. Owner says to expect a challenge.
Easton City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to condemn a N. Fourth Street parking lot that could someday be the home of a new city parking garage. The new lot could be years in the future. But to secure the land, the city plans to take the land by eminent domain from current owner Scott Kindred. Kindred, of Martins Creek, says it won't be that easy. "They’re going to have to pay me," he said in an interview last week. "Probably more than they think. I’m trying to derail this thing before it gets too far along." Kindred bought the lot from Wells-Fargo in November 2010. He uses it to provide parking for his tenants, which include the Sweet Girlz Bakery, a hair salon and an insurance office. There's room for about 25 cars …
Friday, December 14, 2012
Mayor outlines plans for Easton parking for local merchants.
Panto says Easton needs to replace Pine Street garage and make meters easier to use.
Easton needs to replace its Pine Street parking garage and make parking at meters a less painful experience, Mayor Sal Panto said Friday. Two days after City Council voted for a budget that raises meter rates around the city, Panto presented a larger vision for the future of parking in Easton to members of the downtown business community at the Grand Eastonian. It includes extending the life of -- but ultimately replacing -- the Pine Street garage, and finding room for another parking garage downtown in addition to the planned intermodal unit on S. Third Street. Ideally, the second lot would be on N. Fourth Street, across from the Express-Times building, Panto said. "I’m not saying we build big Taj Mahals for parking and nobody comes," …
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Friday Chamber of Commerce event will focus on downtown parking.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Are you a downtown Easton business owner? And are you upset with the city's parking meter changes? Happy with them? This morning, you'll get a chance to hear more about the city's parking plan from Easton officials. The Easton Area Chamber of Commerce is holding an information session on parking Friday at 8 a.m. at the Grand Eastonian. The group is hoping to look for ways the city and business owners can work together to create "a positive atmosphere for parking." There will also be a question-and-answer session with city officials. Mayor Sal Panto, City Administrator Glenn Steckman, Police Chief Carl Scalzo and Lt. Matthew Lohenitz of the city's traffic division are all all expected to attend. The chamber says the event is free, but …
City's 2013 budget keeps property taxes flat, but raises rates at downtown meters.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Easton City Council has approved the city's budget for 2013, which keeps taxes at the same rate, but also includes controversial changes to both the cost and enforcement times of downtown parking meters. That's according to the Express-Times, which notes that the budget passed unanimously, although with "ambivalent" yes votes from council members Elinor Warner and Jeff Warren. The budget has meter costs going from 50 cents an hour to $1 per hour. Enforcement hours will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The new budget also includes an increased earned income tax on people who work but don't live in Easton from 1 percent to 1.75 percent starting Jan. 1, 2013. The city has raised the so-called "…