Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Johnny Appleseed Visits Lehigh Valley

Johnny Appleseed, in the form of DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis, brought something better than seeds to the Lehigh Valley yesterday. He presented Lehigh's Don Cunningham and Northampton's John Stoffa with a check for $200,000 for trees for their downtown areas and parks. Its called TreeVitalize, part of a plan to plant 1 million trees over the next five years.

Cunningham notes that, in addition to the environmental advantages, "shade trees in downtown areas increase pedestrian traffic, reduce incidents of road rage, and create safer, more pleasant walking environments.”

The King of Renaissance Square gets $25,000 for 90 trees along Hamilton, Turner and Liberty streets, as well as other areas. “The TreeVitalize initiative is a great program, especially for areas like inner-city Allentown,” says Edwin I.

Yep. It gives people a place to hide during drive by shootings.

Northampton County Executive John Stoffa says trees are good, too. It's unanimous. Here's where they're going.

Allentown -- $25,000 –- 90 trees
Bethlehem -- $25,000 –- 88 trees
Catasauqua -- $3,500 –- 6 trees
Lynn Township -- $2,700 –- 10 trees
Lower Macungie -- $12,400 – 40 trees
Easton -- $25,000 – 100 trees
Tatamy - $3,000 – 10 trees


Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

Maybe if tasteless developers didn't make a habit of destroying trees every time they want to build a new subdivision some of those places wouldn't be so bald in the first place!

Anonymous said...

That photo of a lawyer running for cover brightened my morning!

Bob Jr. said...

The photos on this blog never cease to amuse. Is this one an inside joke about lawyers?

Lower Mack said...

Once again, I find something vaguely perverse about sending my money to Harrisburg only to have them send it to Allentown to buy trees. Whay can't we keep our money, and if Allentwon wants trees, raise their own taxes and have do their own damn tree buying?

michael molovinsky said...

allentown has tree boxes, area's in the sidewalk which have been cut out to allow tree's. Last week all the tree's on Hamilton Street between 12th and 10th were cut down to accommodate the new tree's and press conference. once again a phony dog and pony show by cunningham and pawlowski

Anonymous said...

MM, I head the trees that were cut down had some sort of disease that spreads rapidly?

I was working in Philly when the city had to cut down all the beautiful elm trees on the Art Museum parkway due to dutch elm disease (I think). It looked horrible but had to be done.

Do you know if those trees were diseased as well, or not?

The Banker

Glenn said...

Whoa.. $250-$300+ a tree! (Rent subsidies for the squirrels).

Shouldn't these be at least peach or apple trees to provide for the hungry?

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what streets, specifically, Allentown will have trees planted on and where about on those streets?

Anonymous said...

"Yep. It gives people a place to hide during drive by shootings."

Very irresponsible. Please name one innocent person that has been the target of a drive by shooting in Allentown.

If not, are you suggesting Allentown should not apply, or be denied, street trees over another community because some of its neighborhoods happen to be where criminals choose seek their justice on each other from time to time?

In theory, wouldn't the loss of things like trees make things worse?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:50,

Lighten up. It's called humor.

But there are plenty of drive-by shootings in A-town, and nobody deserves to die. You must be sticking your head in the sand.

7/17/06: A-town police respond to drive-by shooting (Morning Call)

5/11/08: Man killed in drive-by shooting in A-town(Morning Call)

5/1/08: Man shot and killed on the street (5th & Green)

And so on and so on.

A.J.C. said...

Perhaps I'm off base a little bit, but does it really cost $25,000 for 90 trees? Are they imported or something?

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that Allentown is the target of controversy around this issue. (i.e. drive by shootings, 90 trees vs Bethlehem's 88 for the same cost)

Just proves Allentown is the center of the universe and everyone loves being part of it in one way or the other.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:50, about 4 years ago, there was an innocent bystander killed behind jackson school, a high school girl(sandra yohe). to be an effective apologist, you should do more research

Anonymous said...


You are correct, Sandra YoHe was an innocent bystander but it was not a drive by shooting. Point being, there is no need to hide behind trees as Bernie's "joke" implies.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

Trees are very expensive, especially when you are planting them at the correct size so that they will be large enough and strong enough to survive and reach full maturity in their new locations.

Also, It could have been that the "fruit trees for the hungry" idea is someone's sick sense of humor, but just in case it was genuine: fruit trees are not ideal for shade trees in urban areas for several reasons - they typically are much more prone to disease, their fruit is not really edible due to how many pollutants the trees are exposed to, and the fruit, which is not "harvested" as it would be in an orchard is left to fall to the ground and rot/attract pests like squirrels, pigeons, rats, raccoons, etc...

michael molovinsky said...

dear banker, both the tree's and cut down trunks looked healthy to me, although i'm an expert on 900+ subjects, i have yet to receive my certification in arboriculture. the tree's and sidewalks have been changed out repeatedly on hamilton and 7th (gateway) streets, a real testament to the waste in government called "grants"

Anonymous said...

"Maybe if tasteless developers didn't make a habit of destroying trees every time they want to build a new subdivision some of those places wouldn't be so bald in the first place"

LOLV: You should be lobbying your state rep and state senator to enact tougher planning laws to provide local municipalities better tools to fight suburban sprawl. The developers are simply providing a product demanded by "tasteless" consumers.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

The one guy on the sidewalk looks like Harry Kalas.

That joker is "outta here!" treamendous shot with my saturday night special.

Anonymous said...

MM, neither am I, and the trees in Philly were absolutely beautiful and then they clear-cut the whole damn street in about a week! This is the road that runs from the Art Museum to the Franklin Institute.

Basically they had to get the diseased ones out quickly so the remainder would survive. It was tragic but couldn't be avoided.

I'm not defending this administration (they're beyond hope and you're absolutely right on the other stuff), just asking a question. I'm hopeful what I heard is right but wouldn't bet on it.

The Banker

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

anon 11:43, I have never been one to keep my opinions to myself, and I am an advocate for better planning and zoning laws.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

Also even though I obviously hate to see sprawl, I was merely commenting on the fact that in many developments, the builders tear down countless trees out of sheer laziness, even though there is considerable evidence that well-shaded properties sell at higher prices than the dirt-piles and flat-lawns that they leave in their wake. Even an ugly looking prefabricated vinyl siding piece of junk can been "spruced up" if they were built into a landscape with mature trees rather than built onto a bulldozed mud pit.

NLVlogic said...

While yer all speaking of treevilalize, a shameful plug on my own blog noted this commonwealth court case which cleared the Secretary of PaDCNR, Michael DiBerardinis, for approving the tree-vitalize grant program being managed by his wife, who runs the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
(PHS), a non-profit organization, which received $1.5 million for "TreeVitalize" See, McGinty was not the only secretary with his or her hand in the till.

Anonymous said...

Is that a picture of the lawyer who was shot outside some Courthouse about a year ago after he represented the guys wife.
If it is it is in poor taste, if not-never mind.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's not that picture.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to host one of those trees in front of my house but I do not live in the city. I had to cut two down because they were in bad shape and posed a hazard. I was going to wait until spring and was thinking of a nice flowering tree. Where do I apply for a grant.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Form a 501(c)(3) and they'll be pounding on your door.