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Remember: My Meeting with Greg Weitzel (4/9/2010)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Meeting with Greg Weitzel (4/9/2010)

First, the Cedar Beach stuff:

1. Greg stated that the paths that have recently been paved will have their edges contoured beginning this week, so as to remove the cliffs that have developed. 

2. Extra paths have been removed, some at the request of Cedar Crest College.

3. Playground construction is beginning and an entire new system of runoff containment has been developed and will be implemented to prevent significant runoff from reaching the stream on account of the playground. I will have more details on this in the coming days/week, my meeting with Greg was unfortunately short due to a doctor’s appointment I had to get to.

4. The ribbon cutting on Cedar Beach Renovations is on schedule.

5. Greg has given me permission to create a large rain garden in an area of Cedar Beach that is frequently inundated with water.  I am currently speaking with various experts and master gardeners and developing a plant list and planting plan.  I look forward to officially announcing this event and I thank Greg for allowing me to do this.

6. About those paved paths…


Greg told me that prior to the implementation of the asphalt paths, a study was done by LandStudies LLC.  (Link to their website) That study revealed through multiple soil samples, that excessive gravel had built up as a result of the paths that had been at Cedar Beach.  It was decided that asphalt was the best solution to the problem.

Before I go on, a note:

I do not agree with this decision, environmentally or aesthetically.  The paths do not adhere to the guidelines established by the DCNR for sustainable community parks.

That said, I am very pleased that during our meeting Greg gave me a firm commitment to “Grow Zones”, the development of the Cedar Beach riparian corridor, the planting of a large area towards Cedar Crest Boulevard that will be a native meadow (planting this fall), and his permission to build what may turn out to be a large rain garden.  Much much much more on that to come…

I hope that Greg recognizes the environmental issues at Cedar Beach and follows through on these commitments. 

I can’t help but be suspicious of these commitments given everything that has happened at Cedar Beach in the past year. 

However, I’ll keep my eye on it and report on it as I have been and will continue to campaign loudly as a blogger and a citizen to see that the right steps are being taken to deal with the problems not only in Cedar Beach but in the entire park system.

In other Park News:

1. The trees covered in broken asphalt and concrete in the Parkway were not the result of anything done by the Parks Department.  I was the first person to bring it to the attention of Greg and as it turns out, given the location, it is public works who is to blame. 

2.  WPA structures at Irving Park and the WPA stairs from Fountain Park upwards, have had repair work quoted by three companies and the work will be awarded this week.  Greg pledged that the stairs will be fixed this year.

3. Volunteers will soon be needed to deal with the Knotweed at Trout Creek Parkway, again, Much Much Much more on that in time.

Before leaving the meeting I reminded Greg that there is a serious environmental task before him that needs serious commitment and as the projects thus far have developed they have only served to exacerbate existing problems.

While I am very excited to hear these things from Greg and support him fully I cannot help but feel as if I may have heard this song before.  We will see.

Let me again thank Greg for sharing his time with me, and thank him for the commitment he has made by allowing me the permission to construct new rain gardens. 

Let’s see it happen.

Labels:

27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suspicious?

How about that.

Your education has only just begun, friend.

A lot more cynicism would serve you well.

April 14, 2010 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Hi Rolf,

What I have posted as commentary in this post is exactly what I believe should have been posted.

Mr. Weitzel told me exactly what I posted and I hold him at his word.

I suppose you would be satisfied, say, if I flipped out, called him a liar, ran around his office screaming and repeated said process in words on Remember.

I however, will remain a rational observer, and will continue to report and document on what I see and on what I am told. I will respond in kind to each depending on the validity of promised events once said events come to fruition.

In the meantime, I encourage you to come and lend a hand as the events I organize happen. We can all work together to better the parks and the communities around and within them.

That is the way one really makes a stand. Idle words on a blog page only go so far sir.

April 14, 2010 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Michael Donovan said...

Well done, Andrew.

April 14, 2010 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Katie Bee said...

Anon 8:32 - cynicism seems to have made your life just grand. thanks for not adding to the discussion or efforts at all, you're a real community treasure.

April 14, 2010 at 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trees covered in broken asphalt and concrete in the Parkway were not the result of anything done by the Parks Department. I was the first person to bring it to the attention of Greg and as it turns out, given the location, it is public works who is to blame.

But Andrew! Will they be removed?

April 14, 2010 at 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The trees covered in broken asphalt and concrete in the Parkway were not the result of anything done by the Parks Department. I was the first person to bring it to the attention of Greg and as it turns out, given the location, it is public works who is to blame.

Andew,
Think about this. Weitzel didn't even know this was done? How can that be? Doesn't he hike the park? What public works employee is going to destroy
a row a trees without the park director's approval?

April 14, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Anons,

I am seeking more answers about these trees in the Parkway, I will post as soon as I get them.

I agree with what you said and I believe a better explanation exists, whether it is an excuse or not remains to be seen.

I'll find out.

April 14, 2010 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Katie Bee said...

Did you happen to find out which paths had been removed? And were they paths that were in the plan, but never built, or were they paths that had been laid down, but ripped up?

It seems that Cedar Crest College holds some sway over what gets done in that area. I know you work extensively with M-berg's departments, how about knocking on some doors at Cedar Crest? Get some ladies to help you out!

April 14, 2010 at 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Young Andrew,
If life had afforded us such a gift as to have been appointed
Allentown's park director, everyday we'd visit every city park carrying a clip board to
seek public opinion and suggestion.

April 14, 2010 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Katie,

Lots of questions there, and it was a planned path that will no longer be happening. As in, it was part of the master plan, but turned out to be on CCC property.

Anon,

At what point do you and readers like yourself stop using young as a pejorative for a 26 year old man who is trying to make things better through observation, discussion and most importantly action?

What bitterness and or regret drives you to vilify me to such an extent?

April 14, 2010 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

andrew, your question on age may be a two way street, consider the following comment by katie bee at 6:49pm on march 23

"I want to do this and I figure it's worth trying. Even if a little good can come of it, it would be worth it. And, unlike some old fogey naysayers, I've got a whole lotta years left to fine tune a project like this and really make it float."

April 14, 2010 at 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,

At what point do you and readers like yourself stop using young as a pejorative for a 26 year old man who is trying to make things better through observation, discussion and most importantly action?

What bitterness and or regret drives you to vilify me to such an extent?

April 14, 2010 11:25 AM

Andrew,
We think you misunderstood the
use of the term "young" when referring to your park restoration efforts. Didn't your close family and friends use the word in protecting you on various blogs over the past few months? Pretty sure they did. Andrew, the word wasn't meant as an insult but more as a note of respect for youthful innocence that we all had at some point. If you are offended, we are very sorry and apologize and will not use it again.

April 14, 2010 at 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you post pictures (blueprints) of the paths that have been removed? I would like to see which paths we are talking about.

Same thing: Can you put up some digital images of the new runoff system for the playground? Mr. Weitzel should be able to provide you with digital blueprints upon your request and other helpful images to upload to this site. This would be extremely helpful when referring to specifics and we can always refer to past blogs to look at images when the need arises.

April 14, 2010 at 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew,
Might you know anything about
that Ott St. bridge? Is it
over or under the ground and are they planning to have it completed before Mayfair? Thanks.

April 14, 2010 at 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew, Three weeks ago you wrote asking for volunteers to help plant a water garden in Lehigh Parkway. More than 20 citizens volunteered. Do you think folks would waste a valuable spring Saturday if they did not respect your efforts?

April 14, 2010 at 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anne said...

Would you please post a link to the relevant LandStudies report that comments on " too much gravel in the soil". There are serious doubts among your readers that such a recommendation exists in any study. Please document this claim. Thank you. Keep up the nice work. Remember, " Trust but verify." R.R.

April 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy, it's good to know the ribbon cutting at the cluster %@#* at Cedar Creek is on schedule! You return again and again to drink their kool-aid Andrew. Wrong on this, specific paved paths are nowhere to be found in what is called the "Master Plan".

April 14, 2010 at 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew, you " fully support " a guy who has a history of not being upfront with residents, City Council and you? Whats with this man?

April 14, 2010 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is this, beat up on Andrew Kleiner day here ?
why all the negative posts here? instead of all of these negative comments I suggest that you all support him in his goal of improving Allentown's parks for all of it's citizens. this name calling and verbal abuse serve no one and is counterproductive to what Mr Kleiner is trying to do.

April 14, 2010 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Anonymous said...

Andrew, you " fully support " a guy who has a history of not being upfront with residents, City Council and you? Whats with this man?


I support environmental restoration, when Greg supports it, I support him. This is not an all or nothing deal, nothing is, an all or nothing deal is a logical fallacy.

From this point on, I will let the name calling and whatever internet lunacy occurs on here to run its course. I will gladly respond to real discussion provoking comments and I will continue to promote the real dialouge that we need to have to further the cause of Saving The Parks.

To do otherwise, that is, to not always be working as hard as I can for what I believe in, as I have been and am currently doing, is the only thing that I could do wrong.

April 14, 2010 at 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annon.3:01, how do you know what people who post on this blog contribute to the improvement of the parks? Andrew, sometimes you too assume that people who post on your site, and who are unhappy & freaked out about the condition and abuse of the parks, do NOTHING BUT complain. You have no idea what respondents may have contributed now or in the past. You do good work, but you ain't the only one dude, or the first. Those assumptions are pretty presumptuous on your part guys. Regarding the parks director; claiming to support something and actually doing something about it, are two different things. The dude seems to support most anything depending on who he's talking to. Look at what he does, not what he says. The track record ain't too good. Real dialogue ain't when one of the parties is always slinging the bull. Going back to have someone hussle you again and again ain't "rational" Andrew. Makes you looks like a punk. Someone can choose to see this as an attack on Andrew. I love what Andrew does, that is why I'm saying what I feel. SAVE THE PARKS,FOR REAL!

April 14, 2010 at 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Putting asphalt along the creek, in the flood plains and across the parks is not supporting environmental restoration. Fighting asphalt in the parks or removing asphalt in the parks is environmental restoration. This current parks department has done more damage, and neglect, than restoration. And you know that is true Mr. Kliener. Talk is cheap.

April 14, 2010 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Anon 4:22,

Talk is cheap, I agree. I hope to see you out helping at the events I have posted and will be posting in the future.

Also, is it that hard to spell my name right? It is part of the site address after all.

April 14, 2010 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help me out. I see strong feelings expressed here,and a few accusations, but I don't see anyone calling anyone else a name.

April 14, 2010 at 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this corner, the critical and ill-tempered.

In this corner, the happy*ss orphans of Hope.

And if this struggle can go on inside of one person (which it does), it will surely occur amongst the "people".

This is what a blog is for. What else is this daily genre of the human attention-span for?

frank

April 14, 2010 at 8:23 PM  
Anonymous monkey momma said...

I guess it just wouldn't be a blog if there weren't disagreement, as Frank suggests. If you want to evaluate this blog's success, all you have to do is look at the number of comments Remember is getting for these recent posts.

I would urge my cynical, even more elder peers to consider the impact of their words. Why squash Kleiner's efforts, which are obviously filled with good intentions? What if his unchecked idealism actually leads to results??

Keep on keepin' on, Andrew.

April 14, 2010 at 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monkey Momma --- if small,entirely well intentioned projects distract people from the work of major system change and quality leadership and management strategies,{or worse yet, provide the illusion of real sustainable change when there is just some tinkering on the margin} or sucks down the energy of good people for very tiny change, then these efforts, in the end, support the unfortunate status quo. These nice little projects don't make the park system any better in the long run, just treating the symptoms not the disease. Sorry, thats the way it is. Keep up the good work all.

April 15, 2010 at 4:09 PM  

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