The Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem(CADCB): Part 2

(Latest in a series of posts about Neighborhoods and the Southside)

Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem
409 East 4th Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Anna Smith, Director
http://cadcb.caclv.org/

“Empowering people and transforming South Bethlehem”

In the previous post this morning you saw the powerful impact on Councilwoman Negron of a presentation by the Southside Vision Housing committee.

That’s a good segue to Gadfly’s second post on the  Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem. Last time Gadfly promised info on the Southside Vision 2020 plan.

CADCB organizes “a steering Committee of community residents, business owners, clergy, non-profit organizations, city government, and community leaders . . . responsible for implementation of Southside Vision 2020.”

Gadfly had at least heard of CADCB. He just didn’t know what they did. Hence, his curiosity and the visit to Anna Smith.

But he had absolutely no idea about Southside Vision 2020. And he can tell you — after attending three meetings — that this is a group and a plan that we all should know more about.

Browse through the Southside Vision 20/20 web site with Gadfly.

“This Southside Vision Master Plan is a comprehensive strategy to continue the revitalization of south Bethlehem. It is an initiative of Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem (CADCB), a subsidiary of Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV), and is administered in partnership with the City of Bethlehem. Southside Vision began with the approval of a Neighborhood Partnership Program through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in 2001. Southside Vision leverages this funding to engage corporate, public, and private resources so that the community’s vision for a better future can be mobilized and realized. The goals described in this plan will be accomplished through strategic partnerships among community organizations, state and local governments, south Bethlehem residents, educational and healthcare institutions, law enforcement agencies, and the private sector.”

The plan consists of five interconnected areas:

  • Economic sustainability
  • Housing
  • Public spaces
  • Safety and well-being
  • Community engagement and communication

On the Gadfly blog, we have been hammering the need for affordable housing lately.

See the goal of the Housing group in the plan — who most probably made the presentation that Councilwoman Negron attended: “Through education, advocacy, and rehabilitation of the existing housing stock, south Bethlehem residents will have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing.”

“This committee will improve the housing stock of south Bethlehem through façades, emergency repairs, and code enforcement. Initiatives for increasing home-ownership will be prioritized.”

Remember that in a thoughtful previous post, Anna wrote: “I’d encourage anyone interested in getting more involved in the discussion [about affordable housing] to join us at the Southside Vision Housing Committee—send me an email at asmith@caclv.org and I’ll get you the details!”

Gadfly is pleased to point you to a valuable example of your tax and non-tax dollars at work!

Remember what CADCB and CACLV stand for. There will be a test.

CADCB: “Empowering people and transforming South Bethlehem”

 

“Thank you,” Mr. Antalics, “for always keeping us on track.”

(Latest post on such topics as Neighborhoods, Southside, Affordable Housing)

Heard on Jeopardy last night: “What Bethlehem resident wants the definition of family as five unrelated persons changed in order to stifle the negative effect of student housing on the Southside?”

Just kidding.

But everybody who follows the Gadfly knows the answer to that question.

Stephen Antalics.

Gadfly #1.

And he is not kidding.

This man has wit and whimsy, for sure, but at Council he is all business.

He’s a Southside warrior.

At Council Tuesday night Stephen challenged the “silence of the lambs” once more.

Classic gadflyism. A model for us all. Listen.

For once, Stephen’s words did not go unanswered.

The 11 o’clock news could well have led off with a fiery segment on the fired-up Congressman Callahan to which I have strongly urged you to listen.

That’s where the sensationalistic headlines would be.

But the precious jewel of the meeting was the easily overlooked — wedged as it was between Callahan fusillades — barely three minutes of Councilwoman Negron in response to Stephen.

Councilwoman Negron’s soft demeanor bespeaks her sincerity and belies her strength.

“Like [Mr. Antalics], the Southside issue is dear to my heart,” she said, recounting the consequence of listening to residents about affordable housing at a meeting of the Southside Vision Housing Committee:

  • “I couldn’t even sleep last night because I was so upset, especially because I heard the urgency in which they were speaking.”
  • “I am not going to go anywhere till something is done, or that will be my end on City Council because there is no purpose if that cannot be changed.”
  • “I just want to assure you [Mr. Antalics] that just because we are not talking about it every night as you have, and you have the right, and I’m glad you have, we are working on it.”
  • “The only reason I was glad to read the[South Bethlehem Historical Society] letter was to realize that I am not crazy or that I am just whining about something dearest to my heart.”
  • “So housing is getting to be a big distress on the Southside, and we are looking to make some changes in the near future.”
  • “Thank you for always keeping us on track.”

Beautiful.

Gadfly has sensed some momentum on the housing issue since that SBHS letter, some tide-turning, though, of course, there are such prior currents as that generated by Southside Vision that he was not aware of.

“We are working on it.” “We are looking to make some changes.”

Action.

“I am not going to go anywhere till something is done.”

Resolve.

Passage of the “Antalics Amendment” is playing on Gadfly’s mind-screen.

And — he knows it’s early — but Gadfly’s mind has been drifting ahead to the mayoral race.

A strong program to improve affordable housing will need the executive’s power.

And will take longer than Mayor Donchez’s term.

There were probable candidates for mayor in the room Tuesday night, and more watching on television. Gadfly thinks this is a cause the next mayor must take up.

Not too early for people to be thinkin’!

Thank you, Mr. Antalics, for always keeping us on track.

Thank you, Councilwoman Negron, for saying thanks.

Southside sights

(The latest in a series of posts on the Southside)

Gadfly is just catching up with this notice of a new eating establishment in the new 3rd and New building (is it still called Gateway at Greenway Park?).

Eat like an Egyptian
https://eategyptian.com/locations/

012

Looks like it may fill the third retail space from the corner heading up (south) New toward 4th Street.

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Wonder what’s happening with the other spaces — especially the corner one, which you would assume is the flagship location.

Seem like a long time with no action here?

One also can not help but notice the trash storage area at the entrance to the Greenway. Uck. Would assume that something is in the works for dealing with this unsightliness better in the streetscape plans for this stretch of New St.

005

“Someone needs to explain to us why 5”

(Latest post on such topics as Neighborhoods, Southside, Affordable Housing)

At the last City Council meeting the indefatigable Gadfly #1 — Stephen Antalics — did his “thing” (as we used to say) on the definition of “family” again, the definition that permits developers to load 5 students into a house.

Gadfly sardonically remarked that Stephen is like the Flying Dutchman — the legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever — on this issue.

El primo Gadfly raised this issue at least as early as 2012, and this Gadfly has heard him raise it at least a half-dozen times in his Council attendances in the last 18 months.

“After extensive research into the matter,” said the Ur-Gadfly, “Bethlehem may be the only college community in the state allowing five unrelated students to be classified as a family.”

Which is why we are so appealing to developers.

“The key to good community is the single family.”

No denying that.

“Someone needs to explain to us why 5.”

No denying that.

“It becomes incumbent upon you on Council to get an answer for us.”

Lay it on, Stephen.

“What’s happening is contrary to the welfare of the Southside.”

No denying that.

“Can you help us to get an answer?”

Aiii, here’s the rub.

Now the solution to affordable housing etc. on the Southside may be more complicated than Stephen says.

Gadfly refers you to the recent post by the wise Anna Smith, a post that should be read again for sure.

That’s not the point on which Gadfly would like to focus here (forcing himself, Tony, to avoid ending with a preposition!).

The point on which Gadfly would like to focus is communication — two-way communication.

There seems to be no mechanism to receive answers to questions.

Gadfly has posed some questions in regard to the Polk Street Garage that will not be answered.

There seems to be no mechanism to receive answers to questions.

Stephen’s “Someone needs to explain to us why 5” will hang in the air endlessly.

Gadfly feels a modest proposal coming on.

The Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem(CADCB)

(Latest in a series of posts about Neighborhoods and the Southside)

Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem
409 East 4th Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015
http://cadcb.caclv.org/

“Empowering people and transforming South Bethlehem”

If you watched the Bonn Place Brewing video in the previous Gadfly post, you saw Anna Smith.

Anna is a Gadfly follower and contributor of some of our most thoughtful, fact-based, experience-based posts on the Southside, affordable housing, and related topics — most recently, “It’s time to move forward with some zoning or code changes to address student housing.”

Anna is also — in her day job! — director of the Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem (CADCB).

Gadfly has been trying to familiarize himself with the myriad organizations in and related to our City. And seeing Anna in the video reminded him that he visited her a month or two ago to get a better bead on CADCB.

Unfortunately, such time has passed that his notes have gone cold. But we can work from the very good CADCB web site to get an idea what’s up there. Gadfly’s betting that, like him, most of you, though perhaps having heard of CADCB (or Anna), couldn’t describe in any detail what they do.

Let’s take a post or three to walk through the CADCB web site. Please click and browse along with Gadfly.

The ambitious CADCB mission:

The mission of Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem is to promote social and economic change by fostering business and other economic opportunities within the community of south Bethlehem.

CADCB is a subsidiary of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV). There will be a test on these acronyms! The mission of the CACLV is:

to improve the quality of life in the Lehigh Valley by building a community which all people have access to economic opportunity, the ability to pursue that opportunity, and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.

Wow! Missions to die for!

The nature of CADCB and CACLV is spelled out in more detail here:

  • As an ADVOCATE, CACLV is the conscience of the Lehigh Valley.
  • As a COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION, CACLV values neighborhoods that are economically self-sustainable.
  • As a HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY, CACLV values people.
  • As a NON-PROFIT CORPORATION, CACLV values responsible stewardship of the funds entrusted to us and the resources available to us.
  • As an EMPLOYER, CACLV values our employees.

Wow! You’ve got to like organizations that see themselves as the conscience of their communities.

CADCB organizes “a steering Committee of community residents, business owners, clergy, non-profit organizations, city government, and community leaders . . . responsible for implementation of Southside Vision 2020.”

More on the Southside Vision 2020 plan next.

CADCB: “Empowering people and transforming South Bethlehem”

Thank you Bonn Place Brewing, thank you TD Bank

(Latest post in a series about Neighborhoods and Southside)

You can watch TD Bank’s video of the Masottos at https://bit.ly/2YPijKH

Bonn Place

Morning Call photo

Building community is what the Gadfly project is all about.

You can watch TD Bank’s video of the Masottos at https://bit.ly/2YPijKH.

“Community” is literally the first word in this video, “Community means family,” says Gina Masotto. “This is the community we can change. What we can change is right here and right now.”

“Bonn Place is a catalyst for the regrowth of this community,” says TD banker Ryan Schuck. “They’re also now helping other young entrepreneurs get started. . . . How much they are committed to the growth of Bethlehem as a whole — that’s the real story. . . . The integrity of this community is real strong. This is just the beginning.”

Anthony Salamone, “Why a bank made one Bethlehem brewer the face of its ad campaign.” Morning Call, August 12, 2019.

The video opens with an introduction to the Masottos — Sam and Gina — who own Bonn Place Brewing Co. It heads into a bit of history about south Bethlehem, where Bonn Place is based, with Ryan Schuck of TD Bank highlighting how small businesses have led the charge in revitalizing the community from what was one of America’s greatest steel towns. The short film shifts back to the Masottos, who relate how they try to give others advice about starting a business.

“This is the community we can change,” Gina says. “What we can change is right here and right now.”

That change they hope to bring is what led to TD Bank recently honoring the Masottos and their brewery in an ad campaign about companies giving back. Bonn Place was one of three small businesses recognized throughout the bank’s eastern U.S. footprint; TD, based in Canada, honored seven in total covering North America.

TD is also donating $10,000 to Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley in the Masottos’ name toward a business program. . . . The money will be earmarked toward an arm of CACLV aimed at helping female-owned entrepreneurs and others who aspire to open a businesses.

Community Action, through its Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, loaned the Masottos $130,000 when they embarked on Bonn Place in 2015. That, and a boost from city officials and neighbors, they say, helped them launch the brewery in 2016. “We needed a bit of help to get this place opened … and everybody needs help,” Gina Masotto says on the video.

“I think the biggest thing that stuck out for us was their desire to help other local entrepreneurs and the transformation of Bethlehem at large,” said Orpello, senior vice president of brand channel and field marketing.

You can watch TD Bank’s video of the Masottos at https://bit.ly/2YPijKH

Info on the proposed market at Riverport

(Latest post in a series about Neighborhoods and Southside)

Ahhh, now here’s the info Gadfly was looking for when news of the state grant came out the other day.

Sounds good!

Nicole Radzievich, “Here’s how fast developers expect to open shuttered Starters Riverport as a public market.” August 7, 2019.

Bethlehem’s shuttered Starters Riverport, once the Lehigh Valley’s largest restaurant, could be home to a public market by spring.

The developers cast the Riverport Market as having a “clean, urban, industrial vibe” with about 35 vendors, a demonstration kitchen, anchor restaurant and a brewing tasting room sprawled across 24,000 square feet in part of what was once a former finishing mill that housed Bethlehem Steel’s alloy and tool division.

The market is expected to feature culture, music, art and culinary events daily. The hours would be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with the restaurant and tasting room to be opened later.

The project, owned by Lehigh Riverport Investors Fund LP, is being developed by Lou Pektor of Ashley Development in Bethlehem. He was behind the Riverport redevelopment project 15 years ago. The old industrial building was converted into a multiuse project that included a garage, 172 condominiums and commercial space, including Starters. Starters closed six years ago and has been vacant since.

Mayor Robert Donchez said he believes the market to be a good fit in a neighborhood that includes the Banana Factory arts and education center, which will be undergoing an expansion, and new office buildings.