Emily Previti / WITF

  Pennsylvania’s Community Revitalization & Improvement Zone is meant to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars toward new development for communities.

It’s off to a slow start. The program is new, officials say, some kinks are expected, and working them out could make all the difference.

But to state Sen. Lloyd Smucker, there are a couple things that just don’t make sense.

So, just a week or so after a report on first year’s lackluster results came out, the Lancaster County Republican wants to double-check the state Department of Revenue’s math.

Citizen Internet Comes To Allentown

Oct 20, 2015
Jennifer Szweda Jordan / 90.5 FM WESA

Meta Mesh is making one Pittsburgh neighborhood one of the few places in the country with a free community wireless network--called a mesh network. By putting up what are called nodes--routers along with more substantial antennas--Meta Mesh offers Wi-Fi along Warrington Avenue in the Allentown business district.

Adam Longwill got the idea for Meta Mesh a few years ago when he was using a slow DSL connection. As he considered borrowing his neighbor’s Wi-Fi but instead he came up with a better plan.


“It got me thinking about, ‘How would I connect to my neighbors?’” Longwill said. “I would need a bigger antenna, a parabolic antenna. And I started looking at how radio frequencies work, and how I could get better range, better speed. And then I thought ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could have a whole neighborhood doing this?'”

The Hilltop Alliance has announced a six-year, $1.5 million dollar economic development and community services grant aimed at bringing the struggling neighborhood back to life. Allentown, nestled between Mt. Washington and the South Side Slopes, has a high vacancy rate, nearly double that of the city's median rate and property values about half the city's median value.

Allentown Mayor Promotes 'Thinking Outside of the Box'

Oct 24, 2014
Lehigh Valley PA / Flickr

Pittsburgh is often hailed as a success story of Rust Belt recovery. Despite the lyrics of a certain Billy Joel song, Allentown, PA is also gaining ground as a more broadly based, post-industrial economy.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is in Pittsburgh talking with local officials and sharing his experiences as Mayor of the 3rd largest city in the Commonwealth.

He joins us to discuss the moves that Rust Belt cities can make to rebuild their economies in the twenty-first century.

wyliepoon / flickr

Cities are comprised of neighborhoods varying in their socio-economic status, especially Pittsburgh. Each year a city magazine is sure to devote an issue to ranking neighborhoods. However, neighborhoods, like cities, can see their fortunes rise and fall. Case in point, the South Hills neighborhoods of Allentown and Beltzhoover.

Emerald View Park has a new trail.

Unveiled Sunday by The Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC), the trail connects Sycamore Street to Bigbee Field where it joins other trails leading to Grandview Park.

Ilyssa Manspeizer, director of park development and conservation with the MWCDC, said the trails add another dimension to the city.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The parents of a young Pennsylvania girl who was sexually molested by their neighbor have sued the man in a bid to force him to buy their house.

Sixty-five-year-old Oliver Beck pleaded guilty in September 2011 to indecent assault of a child under 13. After getting out of prison, he moved back to his home near Emmaus, about 55 miles north of Philadelphia.