|We Present the Truth, But You Do Not Comprehend
By Dennis L. Pearson
(c) 2009 by Dennis L. Pearson --- All Rights Reserved --- No part of this work
may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying and recording or by any information
storage or retrieval system, without permission from the author.
The historic record in regard to regional wastewater treatment needs these
many years has been problematic.
We know that a lot of taxpayer dollars (whether collected locally, statewide or on
the federal level) had already been spent on attempts to remedy the “mistakes”
of the past.
Of note – long-time Allentown City Councilman Benjamin Howells Jr
requested of John Brosious, Chairman, Lehigh County Board of
Commissioners Planning Committee, to provide him with statistics in regard to
the total accrued cost of providing sewage service for the Stroh/Schaefer
Brewery since the original industry/county sewage agreement made in 1969.
Howells, of course, made his request at a public hearing March 18, 1985
conducted by Brosious to facilitate citizen comment in regard to a proposed 31
million dollar plus Pre-treatment plant.
The fixed reality being for the County that it had obligated itself by virtue of an
agreement made with Allentown December 29, 1981 to either construct a Pre-
treatment plant to bring loadings from the Lehigh County Authority within limits
of its allowable loadings by December 29, 1986 or present an alternative solution
to said overloading problem which would be acceptable to the city. Importantly,
city acceptance of any alternative solution would be dependent on the following
factors being met. That is, the alternative solution would not reduce or infringe
upon the rights of other parties of the 1981 Agreement in respect to hydraulic
flow allocations and/or allocated loadings.
Importantly, the before said proposed Pre-treatment plant would serve as the
second generation replacement for the now defunct and totally inadequate first
generation facility in Upper Macungie which water and sewer activist Carl W.
Auchenbach had termed that “Stinking Abortion on Route 100 above
Carl W. Auchenbach today is not counted among the living. Neither is my friend
Harrison E. Forker. But just the same, they speak to us, the living, through the
writings they have left behind. Auchenbach lays all the blame in regard to the
location of Schaefer’s Brewery in Upper Macungie Township, the Pre-treatment
Plant, the Western Lehigh County Interceptor, the Loan Agreement of 1969 and
the Prime Agreement of the same day at the feet of A.L Wiesenberger
Associates – the designer of the pre-treatment plant.
Apparently, the County of Lehigh agrees, for whatever motive (the side of
environmental justice or political pressure) it initiated legal action against A.L.
Wiesenberger Associates in a much publicized but oft-delayed case that was
finally settled out of court in April of 1985 for $7.07 million. The Co-defendants in
the case were Stroh/Schaefer Brewery, and Ethyl Corporation.
Historically, the first generation pre-treatment plant was built in 1971 at a cost of
$803,901, but closed forever January 27, 1976 after experiencing unsolvable
Seemingly, the closure action by the County violated the 1969 Prime Sewage
Agreement which, obligated the County to construct and operate or cause to be
constructed and operated all necessary Pre-treatment facilities, and additionally
violated equally binding provisions of Allentown’s Comprehensive Sewage
Ordinance of 1973 – Ordinance 12003.
But paradoxically, the same Benjamin F. Howells Jr. we introduced earlier, who
describes himself as the long-term conscience of City Council giving that
organization, its sense of direction, was involved in City of Allentown decision-
making that removed the following language from Section 4 (E) of Ordinance
12003, Section 941.04 (e) of the Codified Ordinances of the City:
“Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as prohibiting any special
Agreement or arrangement between the City and any person whereby industrial
waste of unusual strength or character may be admitted into the sewerage
system by the City subject to proper continuous pre-treatment prior to
discharge into the sewerage system.”
The purpose of such removal was to facilitate the decision-making to convert
the Lehigh County Authority Pre-treatment Plant to a Chemical Feed Station and
allow for the addition of other Chemical Feed Stations along the Little Lehigh
Creek Interceptor in the hope that the sewerage could cause no problems in
transmission and at the Kline’s Island Plant. Thus, Ordinance 12145 (passed
October 15, 1975) produced the following changes in language to Section
941.04 (e) of the codified Ordinances of the City:
“Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as prohibiting any special
Agreement or arrangement between the City and any person whereby industrial
waste of unusual strength or character may be admitted into the sewerage
system by the City subject to payment of a surcharge therefor by such person
or by proper and continuous pre-treatment prior to discharge prior to discharge
into the sewerage system. The surcharge shall be revised annually, and shall be
initially determined by the following formula:
Quarterly Surcharge: 0.00834 Q<(BOD – 3000) $21.39 + (SS-360) $22.23 >
Where: 0.000834 is a constant to convert waste strength expressed in mg/l of
bod and/or ss to thousands of pounds of BOD and/ or SS per million gallons of
Q is the quarterly industrial waste flow from an improved property expressed in
million of gallons.
BOD is the biochemical oxygen demand of the industrial waste in mg/l.
SS is the suspended solids of the industrial waste in mg/l.
300 and 360 are the allowable waste strengths in mg/l prescribed in this section
for biochemical oxygen demand and suspended solids.
In order to ascertain the strength of every industrial waste requiring a
surcharge, the City shall cause appropriate sampling and analysis to be made
four (4) times each year. Said appropriate sampling shall consist of seven (7)
twenty-four (24) hour composite samples taken every day for seven (7)
consecutive days. Results of each analysis shall be used to establish the
surcharge for the particular quarter during which, the particular sample is taken
and quarterly billing shall be made by the city.”
Referring back to Benjamin Howells’ question, Robert Fulton, who handled
most of the pre-treatment planning effort before his appointment as County
Human Services Director, provided us with the following statistics in regard to
the total accrued cost of providing sewerage service for not only Stroh/Schaefer
Brewery but Kraft and residential developments as well:
o 1971 - $578,673
o 1972 - $225,228
o 1973 - $88,796
o 1974 - $97,805
o 1975 - $341,423
o 1976 - $440,139
o 1977 - $385,543
o 1978 - $583,576
o 1979 - $637,502
o 1980 - $609,546
o 1981 - $1,265,102
o 1982 - $965,631
o 1983 - $869,721
o 1984 - $972,099
o 1985 – (estimated) -$656,661.
The grand total being 8.6 million.
As noted by Lois Simonds, Globe-Times staff writer, these costs include
$803,901 to build the now defunct plant in Upper Macungie; additional funds to
chemically treat wastes; and $2 million in engineering costs for a pilot plant
which, is the precursor to the County proposal to build a new $31 million plus
But of interest - the total cost of planning and construction of providing
Wastewater Interceptor andCollector service to the Stroh/Schaefer Brewery, and other industries in
westernLehigh County is noticeably absent. This $4.2 million activity (we term the Little
Lehigh Watershed Sewer Complex) resulted in the 1971 issuance of a $2.74
million Sewer Revenue Bond by the Lehigh County Authority, the agent for
Lehigh County in operating the sewer system. The brokerage firms of Warren
W. York & Co., Allentown and L.F. Rothschild & Co., New York handled the sale
of the Sewer Revenue Issue for the LCA. We note – both the principal and
interest (calculated on a sliding scale for redemption) would be payable to bond
holders over a forty-year period (that is, in the years 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011)
leaving total rental of $8.65 million over the forty years.
The annual combined rentals for all participating municipalities was determined
to be $200,000 for the years 1974-1976 and to be raised to $230,000 in 1977 and
Chester S. Dutton, Lehigh County Authority Chairman, in commenting on the
Authority decision to pursue a 40 year long-term bond issue rather than one of a
shorter duration commented: “ We had to lengthen it to the point where
repayment does not over burden the municipalities, and so the people would
not have an exorbitant amount to pay.” Dutton believed that no municipality
could have afforded the cost of putting in the sewerage infrastructure had the
term of the bond issue been cut to twenty years. The net effect of Dutton’s
action resulted in the transfer of payments for a defective system to a
generation not yet born and who will be asked to pay for environmental and
monetary mistakes of an earlier generation.
*** *** ***
Initiation of construction activity in regard to the Little Lehigh Watershed Sewer
Complex began July 1970 with the construction of the Lower Macungie
interceptor. The Lower Macungie Interceptor would extend 80,000 linear feet
(15.1 miles) and connect with the Allentown-Emmaus Interceptor along the Little
Lehigh Creek near Keck’s Bridge.
The Upper Macungie Interceptor would link with the Lower Macungie line along
Route 100 and Spring Creek. It would extend 25,000 linear feet (4.7 miles) along
Iron Run and Schaefer Run Creeks. Iron Run Creek is on the west side of Route
100. Schaefer Run Creek is south of and parallel to Route 222.
(We note – in lieu of a finalized bond issue and receipt of state and federal
money these projects were temporarily facilitated by loans of $500,000 each
from local banks – the former Merchants National Bank of Allentown and the
First National Bank of Allentown. As it would happen both of these banks would
eventually come together as part of First Union Bank system, a North Carolina
financial holding Company.)
Chester T. Dutton in September 1970 reported that the federal government had
allocated $368,530 and the State Health Department $258,470 toward the costs
of construction of the Lower Macungie Interceptor. The bottom line for the two
intergovernmental grants was $627,000.
In regard to similar grants to assist the construction of the Upper Macungie
Interceptor, Dutton reported that the federal government through the Federal
Water Quality Administration had allocated $350,000 and the State $251,400 –
the total being $602,300.
Together the combined total of federal and state grants for the two Interceptor
projects totaled $1,229,300 or about a third of the proposed $4.2 million bond
issue that was to be floated for the Western Lehigh County project.
In building a new wastewater pre-treatment tower, it was our hope at the time
that the County would have sat down and calculated all the circumstances and
possibilities that would arise so as to stem the past practice of failure.
The tower, of course, is the replacement facility to what sewer and water activist
Carl W. Auchenbach referred to in 1978 as that “Stinking Abortion on Route 100
May we add, from whatever source the present project had been financed, the
expenditure of funds would not be economically beneficial if the product
produces would be rated in operation as a non-agricultural lemon.
Therefore, common sense required the careful review of all design
specifications so that all issues affecting the future performance of the
contemplated wastewater treatment facility in Upper Macungie are resolved
least we repeat the history of the now defunct pre-treatment plant at Upper
*** *** ***
Before the County Commissioners at a hearing March 18, 1985, we
expressed a concern related with the operation of a James M. Montgomery
proposed soft biological process pre-treatment facility.
But we can go no further in providing the details, for we hear a voice cry:
“ Enough, Enough, Have we all gone mad?”
“What benefit is it to society that we spoil rich fertile farmland deemed
undeveloped only in the viewpoint of utilities, developers and builders? Sad
that some men of greed should value warehouses or distribution centers more
than the wealth produced by the cultivation of the land. After all, the land
provides subsistence and substance; and in doing that, it maintains life.”
“Has anyone ever seen a pear or an apple grow from seed in a can or bottle?
From where do you suppose corn-on-the-cob comes from or the ingredients
used in making of bread or your favorite pastry?
Will this planned assault on our best farmland not end?”
But alas, the voice can speak no more for the masterminds of the
transformation of the Lehigh Valley forewarn their arrival with an eighteen mile
parade commencing from Allentown’s Kline’s Island in which the lead band, a
highly irreverent group from Lehigh and Berks County, renders the tune
“Schaefer, is the, one beer to have, when your having more than one”
alternately with a rendition of the immortal “Chicken Dance; and, every so often
they shout out: “Eine, Zwei, Drei, Fufeh, Trinke, Trinke, Trinke, eine Prosit.”
tWhat is noticeable about this group is its un-military like bearing despite their
Prussian like military uniforms. Their march apparently lacked military discipline and
cohesion among members, and some appeared so wobbly in locomotion that one
would assume they could not pass a simple DUI test. My friend there is a large
difference between nine drinks and three. For some, even one drink is too
much. The masterminds follow behind in close military order determined to
begin another campaign against the land but they themselves can’t resist
animating themselves into the famed chicken dance when motivated by the
music. Some among the masterminds even carry and play the legendary Boom
Bas percussion instrument.
For most part, they offer the cry: “ Give us more allocation. We will provide jobs.
Furthermore – what is good for us is good for you.”
The cry, of course, from time to time has been directed toward Joseph S.
Daddona, four time Allentown Mayor, who as Director of Streets and Public
Improvements helped facilitate (the eventuality of) the Arthur L. Wiesenberger
Associates designed Lehigh County Authority Pre-treatment Plant whose
historic inadequacies has so frustrated the wishes of the utilities, the
developers, and the builders since public concern in regard to obnoxious odors
which had their source in and around Trexlertown among other concerns presented itself.
*** *** ***
The drama heightens as the ghosts of Kline’s Island Past arrive bearing a
sleeping bag with mystical qualities. With a touch, the masterminds of Lehigh
Valley transformation and their political allies are taken back into the past.
One ghost exhorts: “ Behold the beautiful flat cornfield, alfalfa field and potato
bog as it was. The land to some seems empty and of little value but in actuality it
was not as unproductive as some men would say or have us believe.”
The other ghost exhorts: “True but the campaign nevertheless was initiated to
transform that land to what some men say to be a higher usage and that
cornfield, alfalfa field and potato bog is now a thing of the past as far as Upper
Macungie is concerned.”
Again the first ghost speaks: “Indeed, all the environmental tribulation we have
suffered through seemingly evolved from the first day of 1968 when the F. & M.
Schaefer Brewing Company of New York City expressed a desire to relocate its
Brooklyn facility to the Lehigh Valley. However, as it happened their day came
to an end too, as did the day for Stroh; and it surely will happen for Pabst Blue
Ribbon. Meanwhile, the Neuweiler Brewery on the west bank of the Lehigh
River in Allentown still stands in dilapidation and ruin as a symbol that nothing
“Yes, I remember…” said the Second Ghost, and continued…” The fulfillment of
the Schaefer desire had to involve the Supervisors of Upper Macungie
Township, the County of Lehigh and surely, the Lehigh County Authority.”
“Don’t forget the solicitors of the same,” reminded the first ghost.
“No, I don’t forget,” asserted the second ghost…” And, neither do I forget the
sweetheart contract made with Schaefer that the same solicitors helped
negotiate. Interestingly, Schaefer had insisted that the absolute condition for its
relocation to the Lehigh Valley would be the important incentive that it would be
absolved of the responsibility of pre-treatment of its waste discharge; and of
course, this absolute condition was met. Obviously, the Schaefer people were
experienced with the after effects of their product line in more ways then one. It
is equally true that our people in the Lehigh Valley were not educated on what
their actions would wreak.”
“Your right,” said the first ghost; and then directed the attention of the second
ghost to two desultory individuals in the midst of the gathered group.
“Look over there – Arthur L. Wiesenberger and Joseph S. Daddona.
Interestingly, Wiesenberger in business as A.L. Wiesenberger Associates – both
consultant and contractor of the Little Lehigh Sewer Complex – rounded out the
team that satisfied not only F & M Schaefer but also Kraftco. Wiesenberger, of
course, contacted Daddona about hooking up the Little Lehigh Sewer Complex
to the Allentown system. Of course, it was convenient for Wiesenberger to do
so. Allentown held a NPDES permit to discharge treated wastewater into the
Lehigh River and Wiesenberger deemed it more economical not to duplicate
services. Then too, it was also known that the state environmental agency –
DER would not allow the communities of the Little Lehigh Sewer Complex to
dump its effluent into the Little Lehigh Creek anyway.”
*** *** *** ***
But before we continue let us take a look at the following snapshot of the
history of the F & M Schaefer Brewing Company
By permission of the author, the following is reproduced from Will Anderson's
fine book, Breweries of Brooklyn, published in 1976.
THE F. & M. SCHAEFER BREWING COMPANY
Longest operating brewery in New York City, last operating brewery in New
York City [as of 1976], and America's oldest lager beer brewing company --
these honors, plus many others, all belong to The F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Co.
"F. & M.” as most breweriana buffs know, stands for Frederick and Maximilian,
the brothers who founded Schaefer. Frederick Schaefer, a native of Wetzlar,
Prussia, Germany, emigrated to the U.S. in 1838. When he arrived in New York
City on October 23rd he was 21 years old and had exactly $1.00 to his name.
There is some doubt as to whether or not he had been a practicing brewer in
Germany, but there is no doubt that he was soon a practicing brewer in his
adopted city. Within two weeks of his landing, Frederick took a job with
Sebastian Sommers, who operated a small brewhouse on Broadway, between
18th and 19th Streets. Frederick obviously enjoyed both his job and life in
America, and the next year his younger brother, Maximilian, decided to make the
arduous trip across the Atlantic also. He arrived in June of 1839 and brought
with him a formula for lager, a type of beer popular in Germany but unheard of in
the United States. The brothers dreamed, and planned, and saved - and in the
late summer of 1842 they were able to buy the small brewery from Sommers.
The official, and historic, starting date was September 1842.
Sommers' former facility was a start, but that's all it was, as it was much too
small. New York beer drinkers immediately took a liking to "the different beer"
the brothers brewed, and in 1845 Frederick and Maximilian developed a new
plant several blocks away, on 7th Avenue, between 16th and 17th Streets (7th
Avenue and 17th Street is today, of course, well known as the home of
Barney's, the giant men's clothing store). This, too, proved to be just a
temporary move; the plant was almost immediately inadequate to meet
demands and the brothers wisely decided to build yet another new plant, and to
locate it in an area where they could expand as needed. Their search took them
to what were then the "wilds" of uptown Manhattan. In 1849 the brewery, lock,
stock and many barrels, was moved to Fourth Ave. (now Park Avenue) and 51st
Street. Here, just north of Grand Central Station, the Schaefers brewed for the
next 67 years, ever-expanding their plant. The only problem was that the
brothers were not the only ones to locate "uptown." The area in the 40's, 50's
and 60's grew rapidly all during the last half of the 19th century, and especially
after the opening of the original Grand Central Terminal in 1871. Frederick and
Maximilian had wisely purchased numerous lots between 50th and 52nd
Streets, and by the time they passed away (Frederick in 1897 and Maximilian in
1904) the brewery was, literally, sitting atop a small fortune. Maximilian's son,
Rudolph J. Schaefer, fully realized this when he assumed the Presidency of the
brewery in 1912. In that same year Rudolph purchased the 50% of the company
owned by his uncle Frederick's heirs. He thus had complete control of the
brewery, and one of the first matters he turned to was the suitable location for a
new, and presumably everlasting, plant. In 1914, in anticipation of its move,
Schaefer sold part of the Park Ave. site to St. Bartholomew's Church. This sale,
for a reputed $1,500,000, forced Rudolph to intensify his search for a new
location. Finally, in June of 1915, it was announced that the brewery had
decided on a large tract in Brooklyn, directly on the East River and bounded by
Kent Avenue and South 9th and 10th Streets. Here, starting in 1915, Rudolph
constructed the very best in pre-Prohibition breweries. The move across the
river to their ultra-new and modern plant was made in 1916, just four years
before the Volstead Act crimped the sails (and sales!) of all United States
breweries, new or old alike.
While it must have seemed a real shame to brew "near beer" in his spanking
new plant, Rudolph Schaefer obviously felt that near beer was better than no
beer at all; consequently, the brewery remained in operation all during
Prohibition, producing mostly near beer but also manufacturing dyes and
In 1923 Rudolph J. Schaefer passed away at the relatively young age of 60.
Control of the company thus passed to his two sons, Frederick M.E. Schaefer
and Rudolph J. Schaefer, Jr. Frederick guided the brewery for several years but
was troubled by poor health, therefore, in 1927, only a few years after his
graduation from Princeton University, Rudolph Jr. was elected President.
Although he was by far the youngest brewery President in the United States,
Rudy, Jr. provided excellent leadership. Several months before that magic
Repeal date of April 7, 1933, when 3.2% beer became legalized, he beat most of
his New York City competitors to the punch by launching an extensive
advertising campaign, centered on the theme that "Our hand has never lost its
skill." Rudy, Jr. also personally outlined and designed many of the new
buildings added to the brewery in expansion programs in the 1930's and early
In 1938 Schaefer joined that exclusive group of brewers that sold 1,000,000
barrels in a year, and the 2,000,000 mark was passed in 1944, two years after the
company celebrated its 100th birthday in 1842. Sales continued strong
throughout the 1940's and, to increase capacity, Schaefer purchased the former
Beverwyck Brewery Co. in Albany, New York in 1950. They remained a two-plant
company until 1961 when, with an eye toward expanding into large areas of the
mid-west, Rudy Schaefer purchased the Standard Brewing Company, of
Cleveland, Ohio. This, however, did not turn out to be a wise move; Schaefer
beer just didn't seem to catch on in Ohio, and within two years Schaefer sold
the plant to C. Schmidt and Sons, which used it as their midwestern brewing
arm. In what almost seems like musical breweries, however, Schaefer added a
plant in Baltimore in the same year, 1963 that it disposed of its Cleveland facility.
Ironically, Schaefer purchased the Baltimore plant from Theodore Hamm, a
large St. Paul, Minn. brewer that had, with little success, sought to move into the
east coast. The grass may always seem greener in the other brewer's territory,
but it certainly wasn't so for both Schaefer and Hamm's in the early 1960's!
Schaefer's most dramatic move with respect to plants was the decision, in 1971,
to build a brand new, ultra-modern brewery just outside of Allentown, Pa.
Realizing that all three of its plants at the time, Brooklyn, Albany, and Baltimore,
were old and inefficient, Schaefer management decided it had to go the route
being taken by Pabst, Schlitz, Anheuser-Busch and Miller - build a brand new
and thoroughly modernized brewery rather than continue to try to upgrade old
facilities. To construct a new brewery is extremely expensive, of course, but
when it was opened in 1972 Schaefer could be justifiably proud - their Lehigh
Valley plant was one of the most modern and efficient breweries in the world!
What does a company do, however, when it has one ultra-modern plant and
three that appear very dated by comparison? The question is really rhetorical, of
course; strive to add to the modern plant while phasing out the less efficient
facilities. And that's exactly what Schaefer did. The Albany plant was shut down
almost immediately, on December 31st of 1972. In 1974 the Lehigh Valley plant
was expanded from its original 1,100,000 barrels-per-year capacity to 2,500,000
and then, in 1975, it was decided to expand again - to 5,000,000 barrels plus. By
1975, therefore, it was obvious that one of the two less efficient plants should
and would be closed, the only questions remaining was which plant, Brooklyn
or Baltimore, and when. Both questions were answered on January 22, 1976
when Robert W. Lear, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The F. & M.
Schaefer Corp., announced the closing of the Brooklyn plant. This
announcement, only one week after Rheingold disclosed its plans to also shut
down in Brooklyn, left Brooklyn and New York City without a single producing
brewery. While both Frederick and Maximilian Schaefer, if they were alive today,
would undoubtedly be proud of Schaefer's history and many years of brewing,
and would certainly be impressed with the modern brewing techniques
reflected in the Lehigh Valley plant, I suspect they'd feel very badly about the
closing of the company's brewery in New York City, the city that's had a love
affair with Schaefer lager for over 134 years.
[Editor’s Note - In 1981, the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company was purchased
by the Stroh Brewery Company which, continued to sell Schaefer Beer through
the end of 1999. However, with Stroh's pending sale to the Pabst Brewing
Company (to be completed by the end of 1999), the future of the venerable
Schaefer label is uncertain.]
*** *** *** ***
Who was Gottfried Piel?
Gottfried Piel was the founder of the Piel Brothers Brewing Company of
Brooklyn, New York. Piel left his home in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1882 at the
age of 29 to emigrate to the United States. In 1883 he convinced his brothers
Michael and Wilhelm to join him in the purchase of the Landzer Brewery.
Piel's first year beer production was 850 barrels and in ensuing years, Piel Bros.
continues to grow rapidly. It became a Brooklyn tradition and, although the
brewery closed after some rough years in the 1960s and 1970s, the brand name
is still in use. The Schaefer Brewing Company purchased the Piel name in 1973.
*** *** *** ***
The second ghost pondered for a few moments over the knowledgeable
statement of the first ghost and then if as inspired proceeded to move toward
the sleeping bag possessed with mystical qualities and with a touch produced
two documents which, were then brought to the attention of Daddona and
The text of each document is shown forthwith:
A.L Wiesenberger Associates
Architects and Engineers
3440-8 Hamilton Boulevard
Allentown, Penna. 18103
Telephone – (215) 435-6761
September 20, 1968
Joseph S. Daddona, Director
Department of Streets and Public Improvements
City of Allentown
Re: Sewerage Treatment for: Lower Macungie Township. Upper Macungie
Township, Macungie Borough, Alburtis Borough
Dear Mr. Daddona:
I want to express to your sincere appreciation for taking time out of your busy
schedule to attend the conference on Tuesday, September 17, 1968, relative to
sewerage for the communities located on the Little Lehigh Watershed. As you
know, in addition to yourself, in attendance were: City Engineer William A.
Jacoby, Mr. Ralph Swartz, representing the Lehigh County Authority, Messrs.
Park and Walters, representatives of Gannett, Fleming, Corddry and Carpenter,
Inc., Consultants to the County Authority, Mr. C.J. Hitchcock representing
Metcalf and Eddy, Consultants to the City of Allentown and Messrs. Bradley,
Kachelries and myself, all of my office, as Consultants to the four subject
In pursuance of this meeting, we wish to formally request confirmation of the 1.7
million gallons per day capacity reserved and available in the expanded City of
Allentown Sewerage Treatment Plant for: (1) the Township of Lower Macungie;
(2) the Township of Upper Macungie; (3) the Borough of Macungie; and (4) the
Borough of Alburtis.
In view of the fact that the original commitment for this reserve was made by the
City prior to your tenure as a City Official, I wish to cite the history and
background of this important obligation by the City.
When the Borough of Emmaus contemplated a sewerage system, the City was
instrumental in precluding its construction of a treatment plant along the Little
Lehigh in order to protect this important watershed and agreed, in lieu thereof,
to treat the sewage from the Municipality. Shortly thereafter, the Township of
Whitehall and the Borough of Coplay initiated a program leading to construction
of a comprehensive sewerage system and in this instance, the Pennsylvania
Department of Health prevailed upon the City to accept for treatment the
sewage from these municipalities in order to protect the Lehigh River water
Salisbury Township and South Whitehall Township followed closely thereafter.
And it became evident, at that time, that a Metropolitan Sewage Treatment
District was in the making. Early in 1962, the Borough of Macungie embarked
upon its sewerage program, with the Borough of Alburtis and the Townships of
Upper Macungie and Lower Macungie following suit. Again the City of
Allentown and the Pennsylvania Department of Health evinced a vital interest in
protecting the Little Lehigh which would unavoidably be the receiving stream
for any treatment plant or plants constructed to serve these four municipalities.
Accordingly, on May 14, 1963, the City adopted resolution number 19574
agreeing “to accept into its sanitary sewerage system for handling and
treatment, sewerage from the following Municipalities and Townships or parts
thereof which have or may signify their interest in such an arrangement.”
Among the eleven Municipalities included in this resolution are the four subject
subdivisions. The resolution also stipulated that the commitment was
contingent upon the negotiation of a mutually satisfactory Agreement providing
for a method and payment of such services.
In view of this official action by the City of Allentown, our Firm, as Consultants
for all four Municipalities, advised the governing bodies that the commitment
had been made and that this precluded further consideration of a sewage
treatment plant or plants along the Little Lehigh. We were advised by Metcalf &
Eddy, on May 20, 1964, that the reserve capacity being set aside for the four
Municipalities in the expanded Allentown Treatment Plant was to be 1.7 million
gallons per day and in all subsequent memoranda and drafts of the “proposed
Agreement for STP Enlargement between Allentown and Townships (Exhibit A
and Exhibit C)”, this was affirmed. Predicted upon the City of Allentown’s
commitment to treat the sewage from the four Municipalities, the Little Lehigh
Watershed Sewer Complex was formulated and our Firm was instructed to
proceed with the design of the comprehensive system. Therefore, the time is
rapidly approaching when this gigantic project will progress to bid and the four
Municipalities now require a firm and unequivocal confirmation that the 1.7
million gallons per day reserve capacity in the expanded Treatment Plant is now
available to them.
As you are aware, the situation has become more critical with the advent into
Upper Macungie of several huge and vital industries and the Complex must
anticipate discharge to the City of Allentown for treatment not only the 1.7
million gallons per day presently reserved in the expanded plant, but an
additional 2.8 million gallons per day which will emanate from the Upper
Macungie Industrial Park. We wish to make clear that the 1.7 million gallons per
day capacity reserved by the four Municipalities in the expanded plant will
suffice at least until 1972 which would be the earliest date on which the two
large industries to be constructed in the Industrial Park could come on stream.
Mr. Hitchcock of Metcalf & Eddy, stated that undoubtedly the additional loads
not only from the Industrial Park but also from the progressively increasing
requirements of Salisbury Township and the other signatories to the
Metropolitan District Pact would ultimately entail further expansion of the
Allentown Plant, and this has been conveyed to the four Municipalities.
On behalf, of the four Municipalities comprising the Little Lehigh Complex, may I
express our appreciation for the understanding and keen interest you, the
Mayor, and other members of Council evinced in this problem. We know this
stems from your genuine concern and devotion to not only the City of
Allentown but the entire Lehigh Valley. We, therefore, earnestly solicit your
continuing assistance in advancing the Little Lehigh Project to fruition.
Very truly yours’
Arthur L. Wiesenberger
City of Allentown, Pennsylvania
Joseph S. Daddona, Director
Department of Streets and Public Improvements
September 24, 1968
Mr. Arthur L. Wiesenberger, President
A.L. Wiesenberger Associates
3440-48 Hamilton Boulevard
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18103
Re: Sewage Treatment for: Lower Macungie Township, Upper Macungie
Township, Macungie Borough, Alburtis Borough
Dear Mr. Wiesenberger:
Thank you for your letter of September 20, 1968 reviewing the September 17
meeting. I also appreciate your acquainting me with some of the background
regarding the “1.7 mgd” capacity of Allentown’s Sewage Treatment Plant and its
relationship to the four municipalities your firm represents.
I am forwarding a copy of your letter to mayor Bracy, and members of City
Council so that we may discuss you request at our next Council meeting. In line
with this matter, we are awaiting a written reply from Mr. Hitchcock of Metcalf &
Eddy on our request for his firm’s confirmation of the Plant’s reserve capacity
as related to Allentown’s needs; and the needs of the subject municipalities;
and present allocations to the primary agreement signatories (i.e. Salisbury,
Whitehall, South Whitehall and Borough of Coplay).
We (Mayor and Council( as you know are well aware of the benefits to all
concerned that can be derived through a “Little Lehigh Watershed Sewer
Complex.” We are also cognizant of the great potential impact on our area of the
proposed industry in Upper Macungie Township. Therefore, we shall do
whatever we can to cooperate and assist in efforts to resolve the problems
inherent in such a venture.
In the near future I expect that you shall hear from the Mayor stating the City’s
position regarding the Allentown Sewage Treatment Plant and its availability for
the treatment of sewage from the municipalities referred to in the May 14, 1963
resolution (No. 19574).
Very truly yours,
Joseph S. Daddona
CC: Mayor Ray B. Bracy, Councilmen: Cramsey, Reinert, Ritter
City Solicitor, Roy Reabuck, City Clerk, Charles Saeger
City Engineer, William A Jacoby, Mr. C.J. Hitchcock,
Vice President Metcalf & Eddy
Joe Daddona replied: “ But - But – That commitment was made at the
beginning of my political career. Why, must I defend myself now?
In response the Second Ghost replied: “ Your commitment and decision-making
in that earlier period proved to be one benchmark from which all that happened
or will happen was made capable of occurring. Indeed, other individuals and
interests contributed to the tribulation we have seen; but your decision-making
was crucial at that moment.. In life, we all might go astray and commit sin, and receive forgiveness
when we offer sincere contrition but we still may bear the consequences for these sins."
A nervous Wiesenberger interjected: “Don’t be too hard on Daddona. After all – I
was the man who reasoned upon Daddona to cooperate.”
In that case relied the first ghost, “ It is toward you we shall presently direct our
The first ghost assuming the role of a prosecutor commenced with the
questioning: “ Is it true that F & M Schaefer Brewing Company once the
sweetheart contract with Lehigh County and the Sewer Agreement with
Allentown was negotiated proceeded to construct its new plant in the industrial
park of Upper Macungie Township at an expenditure for equipment,
manufacturing process and facility of almost $60 million?”
In response Wiesenberger replied: “ That is true, Rudolf J. Schaefer December
8, 1970 upon the completion of a scheduled cornerstone-laying ceremony on-
site for the $60 million Schaefer Brewery thanked a group of 200 Lehigh Valley
leaders at a noon luncheon at the Lehigh Country Club for accepting his
company as both a resident and property holder in the Lehigh Valley
community. Among the honored guests were former Allentown Democratic
state representative James P. Ritter and former Macungie Republican state
representative Marian E. Markley who jointly sponsored state legislation
allowing breweries with out-of-state ownership to locate in Pennsylvania.”
The first ghost continued: “ Then sir, you must remember that in December of
1970, information came to the attention of the Schaefer technical personnel
concerning odor problems associated with municipal pre-treatment plants of a
design similar to the one proposed by the Lehigh County. Is that correct sir, and
when did Schaefer contact your company.”
Wiesenberger responded: “ Yes, that is correct. After checking out these
reports in regard to a plant in North Carolina and determining their accuracy,
Schaefer brought the information to our attention during a course of a meeting
attended by the three commissioners January 7, 1971.
Can you tell us the nature of Schaefer’s concern? Injected the second ghost.
“Yes,” said an irritated Wiesenberger, “ On numerous occasions Schaefer was
concerned that the changing make-up and quantity of additional industrial
waste into the waste stream of the pre-treatment plant might affect the efficient
operation of the pre-treatment plant. And also, their representatives questioned
whether our pre-treatment plant was designed with the necessary nutrient
additives required to maintain and sustain the life function of necessary
bacteriological life for when an inadequate supply of industrial nutrient was
The second ghost interrupted: “ Did Schaefer offer at its cost to provide the
cooperation and services of Dr. Jerry Schwartz, being an highly regarded
expert on sewage odors problems and an employee for the St. Louis consulting
firm of Svereup & Percel?”
Wiesenberger replied: “Yes, the offer was made January 7, 1971.”
The second ghost allowed a moment to pass before he continued the
examination: “Then, sir – Why was the services of the Schaefer consultant
ignored or rejected?”
Arthur L. Wiesenberger fidgeted a moment but answered: “ I regarded the
presence of the Schaefer consultant as a covert intrusion upon our work and
was professionally offended by this attempt to interfere in the design process.
At this time our work was in the last stages of preparation and we intended to
initiate the bid process.”
To this response the second ghost replied” “ You poor soul, as long as
construction activities had not been initiated or the first spade of ground had
not been broken changes could have been made in any project to correct
obvious defects in design regardless of whether these defects were pointed out
by others or inadvertently discovered by yourself. The same principal can also
be applied to human lives as well. That is, as long as man breathes he can make
one self better in the sight of God.”
The first ghost upon hearing what Wiesenberger had said also was prompted to
speak, but at first he shook his head and raised his hands to the sky so as to
speak to a greater spirit then he. Then he said: “ What is man but a stupid
creature, he forsakes help from others due to professional pride. Why did this
man born of woman not listen to the well-intended help of the Schaefer
consultant nor take advantage of Donald Hoffman’s suggestion for him to
review the project and take whatever action was required to prevent the
possibility of a coming odor problem. The inexcusable historical fact being that
this man did not take advantage of the Commissioner’s personal leave with the
result that odors were not prevented. Indeed, this lack of foresight would lead to
an era of madness and trouble in the Lehigh Valley.”
The second ghost added: “The Schaefer Consulting firm had studied sewage
plants using trickling filters to treat brewery waste and found that most of them
emitted odor. Yet Wiesenberger ignored the Schaefer Consultant’s advice to
install domes and Ozonator’s on the plant to stop odors.”
The first ghost then asserted: “Without this and madness, citizen activists such
as Carl Auchenbach, Harry Forker and Dennis Pearson might not have found
the need to question the decision-making of current and past public officials.
Certainly they might have spent more time in pursuit of less stressful activities.”
An emotionally drained Wiesenberger interrupted painfully: “ I am now an old
man, and death approaches. Let me again assert that as far as we were
concerned it was too late to make last minute design of additional equipment to
meet the needs as raised by the Schaefer consultant and additionally, we had
confidence that the problems detailed elsewhere were not comparable to our
An equally shaken Joe Daddona who had overheard all that was said now
found it necessary to speak to Wiesenberger” “But-But (pause) Hoffman told
you to do what was necessary to eliminate the possibility of odors. Even if you
had confidence that the problems detailed elsewhere were not comparable, the
possibility still existed that odors might occur. Schaefer told you this. But you
took no precautionary action. In other words, you left the design, as it was not
allowing for the possible addition of domes and ozonators if needed. Why?”
An agitated Wiesenberger replied to Daddona: “For the same reason you did in
1976 when you finalized plans for the expansion of the Kline’s Island Plant. You
said that it was to late to change the course of then current planning and that
was my contention in 1970 as well. In other words, both of us were in a hurry to
get the job done. With justification, both of us stand accused in history of
contributing to the tribulation that occurred here in the Lehigh Valley. Therefore,
we both must live with responsibility even until our deaths for different reasons.
You sir was concerned more about losing a federal grant then the workability of
the project itself. As for myself, we relied on Ethyl Corporation supplied design
criteria for the trickling filter operation and skipped the pilot plant stage because
we wanted the plant ready for the two industries.”
To this the second ghost replied: “ Poor souls, obviously you are more attuned
to the theory of equations then the reality of real life. In algebra, two negatives
numbers can at times become a positive number, but in real life two wrongs can never become a
right. Woe to us if the third attempt to meet the needs of the
industries in Upper Macungie Township fails. Why? The financial burden on all
sewage users, property holders, and wage earners might become too high to
make living in the Lehigh Valley worthwhile.
Then too, the horrible thought persists, that industries that were given tax
benefits to locate here, might abandon us once these tax benefits expired.”
The first ghost now began to cry and spoke to both Daddona and Wiesenberger
in a serious tone. He said: “ This ground is too sacred for both of you to remain
here much longer. Please leave our company, incredibly you have not
recognized whom we are. We are the living beings who died in your service
while looking for leaks in the line that one of you had constructed and the other
had allowed. Gentlemen, we died in your service, but there is another exiled
soul, compelled by fate to be our attempted rescuer, that still lives. That soul,
although seriously impaired both physically and mentally stands taller in the
eyes of God, the creator, then all those whose main purpose in life is to seek
fame and fortune. Begone, you poor desultory creature, we would like to pray to
the spirit who is greater then we are! And greater then you are!
Thus with the departure of both Daddona and Wiesenberger, the two ghosts
shook their heads in sorrow and then raised their arms and eyes to the sky
seeking audience with the spirit that is and always will be greater then they. In unison
they prayed for environmental understanding and self-control on behalf of
those still living: “ O”Great spirit, whose voice we hear in the winds, and whose
breath gives life to all the world, hear us! We are small and weak. We need your
strength and wisdom. Let us walk in beauty, and make our eyes ever behold the
red and purple sunset. Make our hands respect the things that you have made
and our ears sharp to hear your voice. Make us wise so that we might
understand the things that you have taught our people. Let us learn the lessons
you have hidden under every leaf and rock. We seek strength, not to be greater
then our brother, but to fight our greatest enemy – ourselves. Make us always
ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as
the fading sunset, our spirit may come to you without shame.”
Upon the end of personal meditations, the ghosts of Kline’s Island Past once
again looked at the beautiful flat cornfield, alfalfa field and potato bog as it was,
and remarked in unison: “ The Townships of the Little Lehigh Sewer Complex
began enacting new land use regulations in 1970 to facilitate the growth of
industrial and residential land development. By their action this land was
doomed to transformation, the traditional agricultural way of life was in many
cases to be superceded by something else.”
The second ghost asserted: “Most assuredly, the traditional family owned farm
would come under the twin economic pressures of market, that is, competition
from larger agri-business operations and development value of land.”
The first ghost then inquired: “What impact did the imminent construction of a
sewer interceptor along the Swabia Creek in Lower Macungie Township have
on land development in the same township?
In response the second ghost answered: “An estimated 1,200 acres of Lower
Macungie Township that surrounded the Borough of Alburtis and took in the
area along the old Reading Railroad right of way between Alburtis and
Macungie was rezoned for industry June 17, 1970 by Township Supervisors
Harold C. Harig, Kenneth E. Weil and Kenneth J.M. Dorney.
The first ghost again inquired: “What benefits would be gained by the location
of the industry in the township?
Again the second ghost responded: “Let me answer that inquiry in this manner.
Ralph C. Swartz as representative of both the Pennsylvania Power and Light
Company and the Allentown Chamber of Commerce demonstrated October,
1957 before a historic gathering of Lehigh Valley Municipalities that a
community can be stable, can grow and expand in wealth only “by mining,
manufacturing, and processing commodities to sell.” Hence, the wealth of a
community depended on its industry. Historically, Swartz’s equation on
community wealth was reiterated before the Supervisor of Lower Macungie
Township June 1, 190 by John Traunch, executive director of the Industrial
Development Corporation of Lehigh County and Attorney Robert K. Young,
Chairman of the East Penn Industrial Corporation who would be in 1984 be
appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh to a Judgeship on the
bench of Lehigh County. Both Traunch and Young commended the
Supervisors for taking their rezoning action. They noted that it would enable the
East Penn School District to reap benefits when industry, which had shown an
interest in locating in the area, actually located in the area.”
“I see,” said the first ghost, “the local school district would reap the benefit of
higher tax revenue to provide for better schools and more quality teaching, at
least in theory. Property owners were led to believe that they would benefit by
higher land values that could be derived should they seek to sale and liked the
promise of lower millage rates.”
“Exactly, “said the second ghost, “but these same land owners did not want
their communities to become bed room communities because that would
increase both the quantity and the cost of services necessitated by the
Township government to serve a larger population; and of course, that
eventuality would mean a higher millage rate on the top of a higher assessment
on the land.”
“Interesting,” said the first ghost, “ It seems that among township residents who
favored rezoning there was a welcome mat out for the location of manufacturing
facilities like the one actually located there by Mack Truck, Inc., but no such
welcome mat was put out for Mack employees or other city folk seeking to
escape the confined and costly living of the urban environment some may call
the gritty ghetto. But try as they would like, this inflow of population or migration
came with the territory. My friend, what became of Ralph C. Swartz?
“Gone to Florida to live…” said the second ghost, “Just as the projects that he
promoted or helped to promote began to take form. For example, GDM
Construction Company, Inc. of Souderton submitted a low bid of $1,953,417
June 11, 1970 for the construction of an eighteen mile Lehigh County Authority
sanitary interceptor sewer system to serve Alburtis, Macungie and Lower
Macungie Township. Interestingly, just a few weeks before, May 31, 1970 to be
exact, Swartz, now suddenly old, stepped down from the directorship of three
voluntary Lehigh County appointed posts – the posts being the Lehigh-
Northampton Airport Authority, the Industrial Development Corporation of
Lehigh County and its financing arm – the Lehigh County Industrial
Development Authority. Prior to these posts Swartz was also executive director
at the formation of the Lehigh County Authority and was a supervisor of South
Said the first ghost: “ Pity he did not stay to the finish, he might have been
enlightened. He could have been told that in 1985 a 72-year-old long-time
resident of the rezoned area has expressed druthers about the enfolding of
events related to the creation of the Allentown metropolitan wastewater
treatment district. The long-term Lower Macungie resident expressed
annoyance that the sewerage user rated have become too high in his opinion
and that industrial development in Lower Macungie has been stymied by the
inter-locking sewage agreement with Allentown. That is, he inferred that if the
communities of western Lehigh County had built their own wastewater
treatment plant like Topton, these communities could do what they want. But
now they are hindered by all the mistakes that occurred in the system.”
Replied the second ghost: “On the surface that man obviously appears not to
be a fan of Arthur Wiesenberger, Joe Daddona not that fact John Durr.”
*** *** *** ***
But the ghosts of Kline’s Island Past could continue no more on the subject for
there was a disturbance among the host of the masterminds of the
transformation of Lehigh Valley.
The first ghost then observed: “Look over there at the gathering of the
masterminds of the transformation of the Lehigh Valley. Can you believe what
Daddona is now doing after leaving our company?
The second ghost replied: “I see it, but I still don’t believe. Daddona is in the
process of making inquiries among the masterminds for the service of a
bulldozer to crash down the 80 year old General Harry C. Trexler Greenhouses
and Tropical Palm House located in the Trexler Memorial Park. He will crash
down the greenhouses once he gets back into the present which will be the
past when our discussion is read by the reader.”
Please note – Daddona who had been dressed in his traditional navy blue
blazer highlighted by a patch proclaiming Allentown as the All-American City
was now dressed in a red, white and blue jogging outfit highlighted by a tee
shirt with the personal slogan on the front “Allentown Wins with Daddona.”
Said the first ghost: “Pity the Daddona Administration has not demonstrated the
courage nor the vision to update City Council Resolution 23315 of April 21, 1970
which in the long-term produced the structured process which led to the
deterioration of the Trexler Greenhouse to the point hat the city did not want to
take corrective action. After all, the exotic plants contained within the now
destroyed Trexler Greenhouses besides having been a cultural and educational
gift to the City from the late General Harry C. Trexler, also could have served
another function in its rededication and restoration. That is, the jungle-like
atmosphere contained within could have served as a living monument and
memorial to those members of the armed forces both living and dead who
trustfully served their nation during the Vietnam Conflict or as Gordon D. Sharp
Jr. visioned it could have been the central structure in a park dedicated to world
But the discussion was interrupted by a disturbance at the site where the
sleeping bag with mystical qualities lies.
Out of the bag pops Daddona’s boyish Director of Community Development
Donald M. Bernard who yells: “ You can’t discuss this issue, the last word has
been said.” Political neophyte Todd Stephens standing nearby scribbles some
notes and says to himself: “I’ll write that down for future reference. Those
words may be of use to me in the future.”
The mystical sleeping bag erupts again upon these words and out pops the
essence of a man who once lived.
The essence speaks: “Young man, by what authority do you close debate on
Replied a stunned Bernhard: “I based my actions on a logical evaluation of the
expressed need of the citizens of Allentown.” Said Stephens: “Oh I get it,
Daddona and his brain trust put those words in your mouth. Didn’t they.” Said
Bernard: “Be quiet Todd.”
Again the essence spoke: “Young man – What is the meaning of the phrase
Bernhard seeking a way to escape the essence’s questioning replied: “
Perpetual I think means forever.”
“Young Man, that’s what I thought it meant! The essence intervened. “But, all I
see before my eyes is a parking lot devoid of any Greenhouse. It saddened me
to see the ruins created by the destruction of the Greenhouses July 23, 1985.
Indeed it makes one wonder. The City, the benefactor of a great gift apparently
has applied quite a different definition to the term Perpetual Care. Tell me, young
man, how do you explain this? Have the wizards of Hamilton Street, whom had
built the sludge brick road and whom had proclaimed that the City would go
bankrupt if tax reform legislation was not enacted, been in contact with the spirit
whose generosity Allentown has benefited from and gotten a different
A terribly shaken Bernhard wiped his eyes before responding: “We based our
actions on a logical evaluation of the expressed need of the citizens of
Responded the essence: “The young man has virtually repeated a statement he
made before. Explain yourself sir?
Responded Bernhard: “Far more people have contacted us to request
additional parking then ever expressed any concern over the discontinuation of
“Young man,” replied the essence, “What is the prime directive of the Will of
Harry C. Trexler?”
Responded Bernhard: “To provide for the perpetual maintenance of
Springhouse farm, the Greenhouse and plants contained within.”
Then said the essence: “ Has the prime directive been met?”
A nervous Bernhard replied: “No, it hasn’t, I repeat, far more people have
contacted us to request additional parking then ever expressed any concern
over the discontinuation of the greenhouses. Besides, the discontinuation of
operations at the Greenhouses and their destruction will allow us to continue
and accelerate improvements at Trexler Memorial Park and other City Parks in
An interested essence then questioned: “What improvements do you plan at
the site of the old greenhouse?”
Bernhard replied: “A parking lot - Don Marushak suggested the possibility of
incorporating some tropical plants in a newly constructed a sculpture garden.
However, this idea was not pursued when there was no public support
forthcoming for the idea, besides, the mayor was not for it. The mayor believe
what is lost can not be rebuilt.”
Replied the essence: “That may be true in the world of Joe Daddona and those
who think like him, but in the world of other people, what has been lost can
eventually be restored. I get the feeling that the idea was not actively pursued in
the local media. Worse then that, it might have been sabotaged. After all, had it
been accepted, the Lehigh Valley Council for Regional Livability would have
accepted the idea. But the Daddona Administration was not very tolerant in
working with concerned citizens that have an independent point of view to
express. The truth is, how did the greenhouse get in the condition it was before
it was destroyed? And, who holds the ultimate responsibility? The answer is the
City was negligent in giving the greenhouse the proper maintenance required to
prevent deterioration, and to its discredit the City used the estimated cost of
such rehabilitation and reconstruction as an excuse for its destruction. It is
good that the City made efforts to control development on South Mountain by
the acquisition of land for parkland of the wilderness type. Likewise, it is good
that the City expanded its park system to allow for the construction of
recreational sites such as Canal Park and Kimock’s Lock. But just the same, it is
bad the City allowed for the Greenhouses and other City facilities to deteriorate
for the lack of maintenance. I can’t believe it, the Daddona Administration
preferred a parking lot to greenhouses. Moreover, the Daddona Administration
was responsible for the closing of Keck, River Front and Roosevelt Swimming
Pools. If it had its way Irving Swimming Pool would be history too. Young man,
fetch your master and Don Marushak.
*** *** *** ***
Balloons are aircraft, regulated under the same Federal Aviation Regulations as
every other category. Balloons are aerostats (static within the air) - once a
balloon is aloft, it moves in sync with the air mass in which it floats. The modern
hot air balloon is made up of three main parts: the envelope, the basket, and the
The envelope is the colorful “balloon” part and is sewn into many patterns -
geometric designs and custom shapes. It is made from heat resistant, rip-stop
nylon. It is coated internally with a plastic, which helps contain heat. The
envelope is folded, rolled, and stored in a canvas-like bag kept in a cool, dry
place to avoid mildew and is continuously checked for any heat damage or
tears. If well maintained, a balloon envelope should last 500 or more flying hours.
The wicker basket (sometimes called the “gondola”) is woven with a tight,
vertical weave, well suited to resisting entanglement in branches or power lines.
A finishing urethane coating inside and out ensures the wicker will resist
becoming brittle or rotten from exposure to moisture. This maintains the
wicker's ability to flex, absorbing and distributing any bumps during landings.
The basket contains the propane tanks and an instrument panel - usually a
compass, altimeter, rate of climb indicator, fuel quantity gauge and pyrometer
(envelope temperature indicator).
The heart of the balloon is the burner, usually rigged on a rigid brace over the
pilot’s head and controlled by means of a hand valve. Hot air balloons use plain
old air as the lifting gas. By heating the air inside the balloon (with blasts from
the burner), the pilot makes that air less dense (lighter) than the outside air, and
the balloon rises. As the internal air-cools, the balloon becomes heavier, and
*** *** *** ***
Taking advantage of the absence of Bernhard, the essence went to site of the
sleeping bag containing mystical qualities, and with a touch there emerged a
crew whom quickly attached a balloon to a basket and pulled it out of the
Upon the return of Bernhard with Daddona and Marushak, the essence led the
trio to the hot air balloon; and instructed them to look inside the balloon as it
started taking shape by virtue of a fan filling it with cold air. Then he instructed
the trio to watch as a thoroughly trained and licensed pilot lighted the burner
and heated the air inside the balloon, bringing the gentle giant named
Springwood Farms One to its feet. The thin outer shell of the balloon when fully
extended would depict the image of a great general on horseback looking down
from a height towards a small pond and glass buildings that contained an
immense array of exotic plants.
Said the Pilot to the trio, “. I thank Captain Benner for doing his duty. Pardon my
manners – before we I go on let me introduce myself, I’m the essence of General
Harry C. Trexler, and I would like a word with you. Have you ever laid on the
grass under a shade tree, looking skyward, wondering how peaceful and
serene it would be, floating along like one of those big white clouds. Then
Springwood Farms One will be you ticket to that dream come true even if its not
your dream or cup of tea if you know what I mean. Now kindly hop in without
any opposition and we will go for a ride in the gentle breezes of mother earth.
Balloons fly with the wind, and therefore you will not feel wind or turbulence.
Our vertical control will be finite, but steering left or right is normally controlled
by the wind. You will notice the roar of the burner breaks the silence of the flight
periodically. Up we go anywhere from 500 feet to 3000 feet above the ground as
well as at treetop level and in whatever direction the wind normally will take us.
But you will see that this balloon has some very special features that will
*** *** *** ***
With the majestic rise of Springwood Farms One into the calm sunlight early
morning sky, the ghost of Kline’s Island Past sing in unison the following
original refrain: “ There goes Joe Daddona, the P.R. Loving Mayor; With Bugle
in his mouth, he loudly intones, the end of perpetual Car-r.”
This being a new couplet for “Hurray for Captain Spaulding” a tune made
famous by the Marx Brothers in their movies and which became the personal
theme song for Groucho Marx when he hosted the game show “You bet your
Allentonians remain thankful to General Harry C. Trexler, the father of
Allentown's park system and the Trexler Trust, which continues to provide
funds to maintain the City's expansive park system. Around 1900, General
Trexler, an industrialist, convinced the City to preserve a tract of land in the
middle of a fashionable residential section. He helped to raise the money to
build West Park, thus forging the first link in what would become Allentown's
world-class park system.
Over the years, his grants and property donations aided in the development of
Trexler Park, Cedar Parkway, the Allentown Municipal Golf Course and the Trout
Nursery in Lehigh Parkway.
A man of vision, General Trexler bequeathed the City he loved with unique and
beautiful parks stretching for mile upon natural mile. Because he imagined his
hometown as Pennsylvania's Park Place, Allentown's citizens and visitors are
enriched by his legacy today and hopefully will be enriched for many
generations to come.
The Allentown Park System is still splendid, despite neglect and some shocking
acts of irresponsibility in recent years in all the Administrations since Joseph S.
Daddona. In the opinion of Morning Call Columnist Paul Carpenter, the most
egregious is a sleazy commercial light display in Lehigh Parkway. (Mayor
William Heydt according to Carpenter once had beautiful park trees chopped
down to make room for the light display's electrical power lines.) But as far as
we are concerned, Joseph S. Daddona must be regarded as the mother/father
of all park busters.
*** *** *** ***
As we left off last time, the essence of Harry C. Trexler was in command of a hot
air balloon gently rising into its element proceeding in an easterly direction.
Accompanying the great Allentonian was a trio of disgruntled companions –
namely, Allentown Mayor Joseph S. Daddona, Allentown Community
Development Director Donald M. Bernhard and Allentown Superintendent of
Parks Donald Marushak.
Said the General: “It is good that we take leave of the alfalfa field, corn field and
potato bog as it was for soon workmen will arrive to lay the Upper Macungie
interceptor tying that system into that of the Lower Macungie interceptor at the
township’s line on Rural Sportsmen’s Club property near Trexlertown. The
Lower Macungie sanitary sewer system will un turn hook up with the Allentown-
Emmaus Interceptor along with the Little Lehigh Creek near Keck’s Bridge. A
linkage that one member of our present policy allowed.”
Daddona immediately gave the General a hard look. Visibly annoyed that he
was not in control mumbled: “My followers would not like this.”
The General replied: “ Oh balderdash – What can you and your misguided cadre
of elitists do to me now. Tell me sir, you will seek the recall of all copies of my
secretary’s memoirs and other historic documents pertinent to my existence
and burn them as to give credence to your false historic claim to one Jean
Scheirer that the greenhouses located in Trexler Memorial Park were never
a part of my legacy or bequeath to the City.”
The General paused a moment to give his disgruntled guests an opportunity to
respond. But the unhappy trio voiced no word or thought.
“Very well, “ the General continue, “Good Soul, that Benner, he truly
understood what my untimely death would mean to both Allentown and the
Lehigh County. And also, he cared so much about what would become of my
farming operations upon my death. But even Benner as both Executive Director
and Trustee could not avoid evolving the Estate in development schemes that
strained political relations between South Whitehall Township and the City of
Responded Marushak: “Please describe what happened,”
“Indeed, I will,” said the General. But he stopped momentarily to observe the
countryside as it enfolded in the course of the Balloon’s passage.
He continued: “Why, it’s the rolling terrain of my old South Whitehall Township
farming operations and my summer estate. How beautiful it is! Can’t you all see
how the sun reflects off the greenhouse walls and roof?"
Interrupted Marushak: “Each November a display of 10,000 chrysanthemums
was enjoyed by thousands of people who toured the greenhouses. New
varieties were added yearly to the over 160 varieties already there. In February, a
spectacular orchid display was also staged there.”
Daddona out of curiosity likewise looked down at the Balloon’s passage and
gave a look that indicated that he was about to faint and said weakly: “But, but
the Greenhouses still exist. How
can that be! My mayoralty destroyed it, the chrysanthemum and orchid shows,
and the exotic garden as well.”
The General laughed and said: “Ho, ho is that a confession good for the soul.
What do you expect, this is the year 1970 and the Greenhouses, part of my
legacy to Allentown, still existed But Allentown as of yet did not have a Mayor
Daddona. I told you that this balloon has some very special features that will
surprise you. As Gomer Plye would say, ‘Surprise, Surprise.’ We went back into
time. In fact, when Nolan Benner announced the Trexler Estates sponsored
Research and Industrial Development Park Program in 1965, Allentown, in fact,
did not have a councilman Daddona either. What do you say fellow time
Interrupted Marushak: “General, can you please explain the Trexler Research
and Industrial Development Program? That project was promoted before my
tenure started with the City of Allentown in 1970 as an Environmental Specialist
in the Mayoralty of Chips Bartholemew.”
Replied the General: "Yes, I can do, but let us first establish the historic setting.
In 1962, South Whitehall Township officials recognized the need for sewerage
service that existed in certain areas of the township, and recognized the
benefits that could be provided by hook-up to the Allentown Wastewater
But at the same time South Whitehall Township Officials worried the existence
of these sewered developments would encourage Allentown City Council to
annex these areas of development within South Whitehall Township causing a
loss of tax base for the township."
Interrupted Marushak: "Very well and good, but how did the Trexler Estate fit
into the picture?
Responded the General: " Historically, the Trexler Estate held title to much land
in the township, and in the course of doing business, the Trustees found it
necessary to petition the Allentown City Council to annex certain tracts of land
then found in South Whitehall Township. The Trustees had hoped that
Allentown annexation of new acreage would lead to early installation of water
and sewer lines serving these tracts. No such service was quickly expected
from South Whitehall Township which did not then provide for township wide
sewer and water service.
Responded Bernhard: "Obviously, there existed no compelling reason for
South Whitehall Township to provide for a township wide water and sewer
Responded the General: " That is correct, but in the early to mid sixties
pressures indeed mounted upon South Whitehall authorities to provide for such
service in Cetronia, Bungalow Park, Sterlingworth, the Baine's Tract, Parkway
Manor and Parkway Court ..... These areas, interestingly, on the fringes of
Allentown ..... Perhaps, in their own way the end result of all these Trexler Estate
land annexations by Allentown provided the political pressure or was the
political tool that forced South Whitehall authorities to consider water and
Responded Marushak: " You mean these historic annexations of Trexler Estate
land into Allentown and the future prospect of continued annexations forced
South Whitehall Township to join Whitehall, Coplay, Salisbury in a sewerage
front against Allentown."
Responded the General: "That is correct, the end result of this sewerage front
was the Allentown Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment District Agreement of
March 17, 1965. But of course, it must be understood that South Mountain
responded to the step by step annexation with varying degrees of concern.
Certainly South Whitehall officials would not take issue with any move by
Allentown to annex Trexler Memorial Park or the Municipal Golf Course."
"The fact is, the existence of these passive and active recreational facilities
provided a convenient service that residents of South Whitehall Township
could enjoy as much as Allentonians at a benefit to the Township that no tax
money would be used to pay for service."
"Likewise, with churches then enjoying an unquestioned exemption from
property taxation, the Township Supervisors from a short-range economic
standpoint would not stand in the way of Allentown annexation of the Trexler
site that the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown had elected to construct its
edifice upon..... Logically, once the Church was constructed the tax base it
would have provided to the Township would have been lost anyway; therefore,
it made no difference to Township Supervisors whether the Church tax rateable
address was Allentown or South Whitehall Township."
"However, Township officials would be concerned at each and every occasion
a petition was brought before the Allentown City Council for the annexation of
taxable South Whitehall property into Allentown."
As of February 3, 1965, Allentown had already annexed almost 608 acres of
Trexler land from South Whitehall Township. Of that total, the acreage that really
concerned South Whitehall Township was 284 acres ... That is, the 252 acres
known as Springwood Manor N., Springwood Manor S., and the Trexler Park
Apartments; and also, 32 acres of land acquired by Thomas Fuller. And more
importantly, as of February 3, 1965, the Township faced the loss of a hundred
additional acres of Trexler land in addition to a constant worry that 750 acres of
non-Trexler acres would be eventually annexed by Allentown."
Replied Marushak: : Let me guess, that 100 acre Trexler Estate Project was the
Research and Industrial Development Park that was alluded to earlier."
Respnded the General: " Exactly, Nolan Benner announced February 2, 1965
that the Board of Trustees for the Trexler Estate planned to petition the
Allentown City Council for annexing 100 acres of South Whitehall Township
land bound roughly by Route 309 on the west, the Joseph Flamish Estate on
the South, Sagamore Hills on the East and Parkway Manor on the South."
Then the General paused a moment to observe the appearance of a sleeping
bag containing mystical quantities upon the terrain below and smiled.
Resuming his dialogue with his still disgruntled guests, he said: " Gentlemen,
1965 was a year of challenge, diversion, and sorrow for Nolan Benner. Did you
know that his first wife died that year?"
"Gentlemen, I will not give any clue as to whether Benner became a staunch
supporter or merely served as the Trustee's spokesmen for the proposed
project. Instead, I will simply convey to you his words as spokesman for the
Trustees in regard to the project."
"Benner said: 'There is a great need for an area in which research laboratories
can be installed, where industrial experimental stations can be placed and
where office buildings, easy to reach from any point of the compass can be
" And in synopsis, Benner envisioned the development to be one of Allentown's
most beautiful sections. The Research and Industrial Park would be laid out so
each structure would be surrounded by landscaping in keeping with Trexler
Memorial Park and the Municipal Golf Course."
Responded Marushak: "A most commendable concept that may be workable."
Replied the General: " I am a dead hand so I won't cast judgment. But I note the
project sparked the enthusiastic interest of Arthur L, Wiesenberger of A.L.
Responded Daddona: " I've dealt with him too."
Replied the General: "Indeed you have, sir... Indeed you have. But it is time for
this dead hand as you referred me to take my leave."
And, with that statement the essence of General Trexler vanished leaving this
band of disgruntled city officials up in the air without a pilot.
Said Marushak: "Time erodes the memory of most men, but, in the Lehigh
Valley the impact of General Henry Clay Trexler and his vision of "Parks for
People' remains indelibly stamped on the terrain. I propose that in Trexler
Memorial Park within my tenure we build a sculptural garden with an attached
greenhouse and small exhibition hall for year round exhibits to replace what
Said Daddona: "I think we have reached a point of crisis, Would you settle for
that plan incorporated into the construction of a nearby Mall. In the wind I hear
faintly from the Masterminds of Lehigh Valley's Utopian Transformation an
urgent cry for additional wastewater treatment allocation from my facility in
Allentown. I am most anxious to facilitate their request with their agents. How do
we get this thing to Land?"
Responded one of the Dons: " Most importantly, Sir, I think we must cool off the
Replied the other Don: "In that case, we might as well get comfortable for we
may be up here a very long time. But don't worry Mr. Mayor, Karl Kercher in your
absence will act in you name; and besides, the City's Law Department relying
upon technical advice from City Engineers associated with the City's
wastewater treatment operations busy themselves in constructing legal
phraseology aimed at granting to the communities of western Lehigh County
additional treatment allocation.
Replied Daddona: "Yes, but I would be more reassured if I could presently talk
with long distance operators from either MCI, Sprint or American Telegraph and
*** *** *** ***
With Joseph S. Daddona, Donald N. Bernhard and Donald Marushak still up in
the air our attention returns to the site in Upper Macungie Township we left our
melodic ghosts of the time continuum .... That is, the ghosts of Kline's Island
past. The ghosts as living beings now for the first time identified as Thomas R.
English and Wayne A, Nagle ... But the scene as we last viewed it, is not what it
was, that is ... the alfalfa field, the corn field and the potato bog no longer exist in
its pure state. The essence of General Trexler had indicated as much to his
disgruntled guests as he took his hot air balloon into flight.
Historically, we find evidence of much activity toward industrial development in
and around the industrial park of Upper Macungie near Fogelsville beginning as
early as 1965; and this activity led to the development of all infrastructure
necessary to service the activities of this industrial development.
Said the first ghost: " The sleeping bag containing mystical qualities has moved
from this site. But I am sure we have not seen the last of it."
Said the second ghost: "Yes indeed, the masterminds of the transformation are
in awe of the sleeping bag containing mystical qualities. But the message it will
give to the masterminds will leave them greatly perplexed."
Replied the first ghost: "Perhaps, they will never come to understand or
appreciate the message that is being presented to them."
Replied the second ghost: "Surely the people become a prey, and the people
become the meat to every man of self and greed, because there was no leader
who would act in a manner of a Shepard benignly tending his flock, but it
happened that these masterminds fed themselves and fed not the people."
The ghosts were joined in their conversation by Raymond R, Snyder, General
Manager of the Lehigh County Authority from 1973 to late 1985 who asserted: "
You know, the wastewater treatment system that we developed was not the best
way to do it."
Responded Benjamin Howells Jr., Allentown City Councilman ( from 1972 to
1993) who had accompanied Snyder to the place where the ghosts were
speaking: "Ray, I don't think that the LCA could have improved on the record.
What we need is the implementation of land value taxation, tax based sharing
and most importantly, less bickering or political resistance."
Responded Snyder: "Perfectly said from a man who in the heat of a political
campaign once believed in not sharing political power with the Republican
Party or less 'liberal' Democrats, but at the same time wanted the townships and
the boroughs of Lehigh County to share some of their revenue and wealth with
Allentown. Let us close hands and work toward the secret agenda of the
Allentown-Lehigh County Greater Community Council. Surely, this agenda
would cause decision-making to be made in a setting that is less tension filled
and scrutinized by the watchdog public. What does the common citizen know
about the need or priority for our proposed public works projects? These
projects are over their head and we must guide them or coerce them even
against their better judgment for their own good. Least they be guided or
coerced by others who might have a secret agenda of their own."
Responded the first ghost: " Such an elitist group might bring forth a disaster
for the people. What are the masterminds trying to do, subvert the democratic
process and the institutions established to protect it by taking major planning
decisions from the people and put them in the hands of a small group of so-
called experts which for simplicity purposes we shall call the regional
Responded the second ghost: " At present the levels of government or their
agents want to be our economic partner in life whether we desire it or not. They
want to regulate and fine tune every detail of our lives even if we believe it is not
to our best interest. The question is - Do they want to create a generation of
garbage bears that have become addicted to government hand outs or decision-
making that for self preservation these garbage bears must aggressively seek
to preserve the system established because they lost the instincts to forge or
think for themselves.
"Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the 3rd
President of the United States under the Constitution 0f 1787 said: '
Government is best when it governs least.' "
"Gentlemen, government is supposed to be the servant of the people, not its
Responded Howells: "People can have too much freedom. Society has become
too complex for anyone other then the trained or the educated to determine in
many issues what the best course for action on any given problem is."
Responded Snyder: "Well said Ben, Public hearings are a nuisance we can do
away with. We don't need the likes of Harry Forker or friends questioning our
Responded the second ghost: " I disagree. Unfortunately our society has by
design become as sophisticated, so inter-dependent that the end result of this
madness is the formulation of law upon law, regulations upon regulations, and
bail out program upon bail out program to the extent that the average citizen is
simply overwhelmed by the resultant complexity of society and consequently,
gives up trying to understand the nature of society's problem. No wonder
people are boycotting the election process to their detriment."
"This is to the advantage of the masterminds of confusion, (whether of
government or private interest who want decent citizens to subject themselves
to the absolute will and authority of municipal, County, authority and private
leadership who have not rid themselves of the human weakness of self-motive
and have taken on the appearance of a beautifully embroidered pillow of the
Orwellian style --- that is, presents the image of being nice outside but within its
substance is simply made of straw."
"In stages the machine operates, and in stages we will perhaps lose our political
rights and civil freedom. But is there anyone out there that cares and can make
Responded the first ghost: "These masterminds seek to accomplish what they
plan by first establishing an effective regional sewerage or solid waste authority
which would expand into other services like data processing, emergency
communication, water supply and distribution, parks and recreation,
specialized public safety services, land development, mass transit, and public
works before giving away to a not for profit service corporation."
Responded Snyder: "Very perspective of you, it seems you know what some of
Replied the second ghost: "Yes, we know. The state of crisis is purposely being
created with the aid of environmental agencies and certain environmental and
private groups to accomplish the purpose of the masterminds. We know this
also --- intensified land or economic development schemes and the attack
against a healthy political pluralism will encourage its development. As they say,
the forces of the transformation and intolerance emerge, establish itself and
then seize power. Woe is us if these forces are allowed to operate completely
Responded Howells: "Well, its going to happen. It has to happen. We must
address the interests of those who seek to transform the land and those who
seek to transform our society. The unified goal of our so-called political machine
is only to produce something that we think is wonderful and correct.
Remember, you can't say I am always in agreement with Daddona."
Responded the first ghost: " Ambitious some are, they seek power, but that is
all so vain. Power is fleeting, it fades away, it rarely comes taking full reign. Mr.
Howells are we seeking but a prelude of what is coming. Perhaps in the
machine's insecurity to solidify power won't it be tempted to burn books or
supress thoughts of others that differ with its thinking. Remember --- according
to the German poet Heinrich Heine in 1820, where books are burned, human-
beings will be burnt in the end."
**** **** **** **** ***
The discussion could not continue for the thoughts of present were turned
towards the dark, rumbling sky that blew a fierce wind to the freight of the
masterminds present. When conditions finally calmed, all eyes suddenly
noticed the reappearance of the sleeping bag containing mystical qualities, and
with it was essences of two beings serving as drivers of a hay wagon that was
pulled by a team of mules ... (Meanwhile back in 1990 another fierce wind began
to blow at the frontier between Allentown and South Whitehall Township.)
The sudden appearance of the mule team with its attendant drivers stimulated
Allentown City Councilman Benjamin Howells Jr. to mutter: “Ray, am I dreaming
this? Can this scene be nothing more than fantasy and illusion concocted by
Replied Ray Snyder, General Manager of the LCA: “Ben, if this is the product of
your imagination, then your imagination has a great influence over my mind
also, for I see what you see.”
A perplexed Ben Howells shrugged and responded: “O.K. then – who are they?
What is their business her? And, why does their presence seem so
threatening?” Then he paused.
Looking directly at the ghosts of Kline’s Island Past, Howells continued: “Has
this anything to do with your fate?”
However, the ghosts would not answer!!!!
The Councilman again said: “Has this anything to do with your fate?”
But again, the ghosts would not answer!!!!
Then a third time the now frustrated and emotional Councilman sought a
response saying: “Please, I must know, has the appearance of the mule drivers
have anything to do with your fate?”
Replied the very grim looking ghosts: “Indeed, we were human beings no less
mortal than thee. But in that pit we were overwhelmed and succumbed to the
unannounced aroma of death.
Responded Snyder: “Can it be that we are in the presence of the one’s that died
in the LCA Metering Station.”
Replied the first ghost: “Indeed, you are correct, sir.”
Replied the second ghost: “that was a most tragic period for our family and
friends for their dreams for our future ended in a few moments.”
Replied the first driver: “The shock of the loss of a loved one and/or friend so
unexpected leaves one at a loss of words. It leaves one feeling so limp and
Replied the second driver: “Important too, it was a setback for the masterminds
of the transformation.”
Responded Snyder: “ Indeed, that tragic event gave the LCA cause for great
anxiety. The Authority became a defendant in three cases relating to the death
of these two individual and the substantial permanent injury to a third party
arising out of the toxic gases in a sewer metering station.”
With that been said, there was no more comment between the ghosts, the mule
drivers and our representative duo from the masterminds of the transformation.
The reason being, the ghosts, the mule drivers and all the masterminds of the
transformation including the duo could not help but notice that the seal on the
sleeping bag containing mystical qualities had once again been opened.
Importantly, the masterminds watched and listened as the spirit of Chester S.
Dutton, a former Chairman of the LCA emerged and spoke. He said: “ I have no
statement to make at present. We’re trying to assemble the facts.”
Unfortunately, this statement had little substance; therefore the masterminds
could not comprehend or understand. Yet the mule drivers who grimly
requested of the ghosts that they board the mule drawn wagon understood the
The masterminds watched in curious apprehension as the first ghost boarded
the mule wagon, but did not sit down in the normal fashion. It happened that a
strange disorientation and confusion had overcome the entire being of the first
ghost. And suddenly, in an unconscious condition, he fell prostrate to the floor,
his face encapsulated with the stinky slimy muck that had occupied that portion
of the hay wagon. Gradually both his body and brain functions ceased, he had
become lifeless and inert.
This curious apprehension became even greater as the second ghost boarded
the hay wagon. Finding his companion prostrate on the floor, he crouched
down in a half-kneeling position to ascertain his companion’s condition. Thus,
this act of concern sealed his fate. The second ghost once in the grip of the
aroma found it difficult to rise up from his half-kneeling position. The reason
being, he had only enough energy to pull slightly away from the position of the
first ghost before falling backward in the same half-kneeling position against the
side of the hay wagon.
*** *** *** ***
Please note – the Lehigh County Authority (Chester S. Dutton, Chairman) had
contracted with Kelly Labor Division – Allentown to provide twenty-four hour a
day service to the Number 5 LCA Metering Station.
Kelly Personnel at thirty-minute intervals would take samples of raw sewage
that would ultimately pass through the metering station from locations in
western Lehigh County. These samples would then be placed in a portable
cooler for transportation to a lab for testing as required by the provisions of
sewer agreements with Allentown.
As it happened, Wayne A. Nagle aged seventeen and a son of Mr. & Mrs. Nagle
of New Tripoli R.D. # 1 was scheduled to work the afternoon shift ( that is, 4:00 P.
M. to Midnight) Friday, July 13, 1973. He would work alone.
The #5 LCA Metering Station is located where Keystone Avenue crosses over
the Little Lehigh Creek at Keck’s Bridge in Southwest Allentown. The metering
station is located approximately 100 yards from the Old Fink’s Farm homestead
where John S. Nevins, a city of Allentown Water Bureau employee and family
In order to perform his duties, Nagle first would have had to unlock the door of
the enclosed metering station. Then, once inside, proceed to turn on or check
the operation of a blower whose function would be to prevent the toxic
accumulation of methane or other sewage gases found contained within the
confined area of a sump pit – 14 feet deep.
Methane gas is created from decaying material and is colorless, odorless and
flammable. We note, a warning on the door of the metering station stated that no
person should enter the sump pit if the blower had not been in operation for at
least five minutes.
Tofg take samples, Nagle or any responsible personnel wold had to enter the
sump pit through an opening at ground level approximately two and one-half
feet square and proceed to climb down a ladder to the floor of the sump pit. Of
importance, we have seen no evidence of either a stationary or portable gas
alarm to warn Meter Station Personnel of the build up of gases to a potentially
Tragically, sometime during Nagle’s shift the gases contained within the sump
pit built up to a toxic level, and Nagle had no way of knowing it was happening.
Thus it was that Nagle lay dead and alone for hours on the sump pit floor wt
with leakage of raw sewage. But the world did not know nor could it
As it happened, Thomas R. English aged twenty and a son of Mr. & Mrs. Richard
B. English of Coplay R.D. # 1 was scheduled to work the night shift (that is,
Midnight to 8:00 A.M) Saturday, July 14, 1973. He too would work alone.
Unfortunately, English would stumble upon the truth that the masterminds of
the transformation did not yet know. But tragically for his family and friends, fate
would place English in no position to tell the masterminds what happened. After
all, English lay dead at the base of the fourteen-foot ladder, leaning against it in
a slumped but half-kneeling position.
**** **** **** ****
As it happened, Charles Alley aged nineteen, then of 235 N. 8th Street,
Allentown was scheduled to work the day shift (that is, 8:00 A.M to 4:00 P.M)
Saturday July 14, 1973. It would be his second day on the job.
Like Thomas R. English, Alley would discover a truth the masterminds of the
transformation did not yet know. But unlike English, Alley would live to inform
the masterminds as to what happened. The reason being, Alley never actually
entered the sump pit that day to perform his duties for the position of English at
the base of the ladder alerted Alley that something was amiss.
Not knowing for certain whether English or for that fact Nagle was dead or alive,
Alley knew that the situation required medical or rescue assistance. However,
as it was, inside the brick LCA Metering Station, Alley was not able to inform the
outside world of the silent disaster then in progress. Unfortunate to all, there
was no communications link with the LCA lab or the outside world.
Consequently, Alley’s only recourse or option was to seek aid elsewhere. The
big question was where. Unfortunately for John S. Nevens aged thirty-five, Alley’
s frantic 100 yard dash to his home in search of medical assistance for co-
workers already dead would complexly re-direct his future.
The fact is Nevens aroused from sleep would call rescue personnel to the site.
But after doing this, Nevens would follow Alley to the LCA Metering Station;
and, without waiting for rescue personnel to arrive or giving thought to the
dangers present, John Nevens, a city employee, would then enter the sump pit
chamber without the aid of an air pack to begin rescue operations, But tragically
the unannounced aroma of death was still present at toxic levels in the
chamber. The would-be rescuer in this manner also became a casualty.
Interestingly, fate would have it that John Nevens would not die. Rescue
personnel would carry John Nevens unconscious from the sump pit chamber.
But as it happened, on July 14, 1973 John Nevens suffered permanent muscular
injuries and irreversible brain damage.
Unfortunately for John S. Nevens aged thirty-five, this would mean that he
would never be able to perform his duties with the City of Allentown Water
Bureau again. Sadly, this also meant that the bureaucracy of the first Daddona
Administration would move to evict the Nevens family from the Old Fink’s Farm
homestead, which John Nevens as a city employee had rented from the City;
and, the Nevens family would eventually move to North Carolina.
In addition, the Nevens family had to engage in a legal battle with the City to
determine whether Nevens would receive workmen’s compensation benefits for
his disability. The Scrooge-like position of the City was that Nevens had not
been injured in line of duty and therefore was not entitled to workmen’s
compensation. Additional points of contention between representatives of John
Nevens and the City of Allentown were heard over health and pension benefits.
The Old Fink’s Farm homestead where the Nevens family had resided would
eventually become the future home of the son of Salisbury Township
Commissioner and Little Lehigh Watershed activist Janet Keim. The younger
Keim would be granted a long-term lease to renovate the property, which had
deteriorated during the tenancy of successive city employees.
The first driver of the mule team asked Allentown City Councilman Benjamin
Howells Jr.: “Councilman, I demand to see Allentown Mayor Joseph S.
Said the Councilman: “He’s up in a hot air ballon, you cannot see him now.”
A moment later the same driver again asked the Councilman: “Councilman, I
demand to see Allentown Mayor Joseph S. Daddona!”
Said the Councilman: “didn’t I tell you in regard to his whereabouts a moment
ago, he’s up in a hot air balloon, you cannot see him now.”
And, a third time the same mule driver asked the Councilman: “Council, I
demand to see Allentown Mayor Joseph S. Daddona.”
Replied the exasperated Councilman: “Again you make that demand. For the
third and I trust the last time, he’s up in a hot air balloon, you cannot see him
now; and quite frankly I rather fix my automobile and soak by broken foot at
present then visit or speak with the Mayor.
Responded the first driver with a giggle and a smile: “ I know, I know … But
when you do see him please don’t raise the issue about the fake union bug
incident in the 1985 campaign, or the disposition of ESM Investments or about
the political connections of the new city solicitor … Okay? It might put Daddona
on the defensive and that might ruin his day.”
The first mule driver paused a bit to allow for comment from those people
gathered before them, but no comment came. Consequently the first mule driver
“Imagine what would happen if the majority of Allentown citizens would protest
like Mrs. Aquino of the Philippines and reject the results of the most recent
Daddona election. After all, recent developments pinpointed by the Mack
situation and the Police lawsuits do not indicate that Allentown is especially
winning with Daddona. But the question remains where would Daddona go for
exile. Perhaps to the town of Winnsboro or Fairfield County, South Carolina to
run for a government post or perhaps to San Blas Islands off the coast of
Panama where he could fit in with the natives. Imagine Daddona rowing out to a
tourist ship in a dug out canoe begging for money. It would be natural for
Daddona; he indeed has experience going to the federal government for
handouts. Except that we know that Daddona has developed a slight aversion
to tropical vegetation. Isn’t he credited as being the Mayor who destroyed
Trexler’s Greenhouses in Allentown?
Maybe this quatrain written by some anonymous prophet will share us some
insight as far as his future. I quote: A mayor in the town where the Liberty Bell
was formerly hid will in his post mayor years emulate the Mayor of the Big Apple
by becoming a radio host sharing airtime with a devotee of uncouth political
satire. This alleged voice of moderation after wearing out his welcome would
move on in future years to become mayor of a senior citizen manor, a good post
for those who have a problem remembering things said in the distant past or for
that matter the present. Unfortunately with politicians it’s hard to tell when they
start losing their memory by virtue of old age or by deliberate design. ”
But the first driver could no longer continue. It happened that the before said
comment brought forth an angry response from one of the gathered
masterminds. Karl Kercher, Daddona’s Cabinet Director and Executive
Assistant from 1982 until 1993, shouted out defiantly: “Please don’t spoil my
day. We can’t have this. Someone’s head will roll. Hey, we simply can’t have
Kercher’s statement however, was not well received by the second mule driver
who replied: “ Now, Now Karl … I believe that a teacher in the classroom would
advise an unruly student to be good or be gone …” Then the second driver
paused a moment to allow Kercher to reply. But Kercher would not say a word.
Continuing in a different vain the second mule driver said: “I can’t wait to leave
this site, since we arrived the air has become more and more saturated with a
stench that some describe as that of sour beer.”
Again there was an angry response from one of the gathered masterminds. This
time a spokesman for F & M Schaefer Brewing Company pleaded: “Spare us
your wrath … Don’t blame us. We had warned Wiesenberger. Indeed we have
warned Wiesenberger about his pre-treatment plant design.”
But the mule drivers would not return comment; and with that comment, the
mule drivers prodded the mule team to move from the site where the
masterminds had gathered. Indeed it was none to soon as the residents of
Upper Macungie, Trexlertown and Fogelsville had encircled the masterminds
encampment --- determined to win the day in environmental battle. Interesting
this encirclement began even before the masterminds stood in curious
apprehension or anxiety over the unexpected behavior of the ghosts of Kline’s
**** **** **** ****
With the departure of the hay wagon containing the inert essences of Wayne
Nagle and Thomas English, a disturbed Benjamin F. Howells Jr. said to
Raymond Snyder: “You know what Ray. A lot of this activity actually occurred
before you and I were entrusted with our longstanding positions, power and
authority. In 1973, I was a candidate for the Allentown City Council not an office
Replied Snyder: “You’re right Ben, indeed you and I have inherited some of our
present day problems from those who were responsible for decision-making
before both of us came on board. But these problems, no matter how bad,
should not provide us an excuse for not solving them at this stage in our tenure.
Certainly a lot of what we do is for projects to correct work inadequately done
before our tenure. This work we must really resolve before we can advance
further on the long-range planning and growth objectives of the masterminds.
But the truth is, have we resolved these problems or have we wasted a lot of
taxpayers dollars? Then too, have we left future generations a staggering bill
and price to pay for our own errors and our own mistakes? Ben, I hope not, for
that is not the kind of legacy I wish to be remembered for after I leave the post of
General Manager of the Lehigh County Authority. Do you know that when I
came to the LCA we had just three water customers? Yes, that included the big
customers Schaefer Brewery and Kraft Foods. But nevertheless LCA growth
has been staggering. We now have roughly 4,100 customers, including
residential customers throughout Lower Macungie and Upper Macungie
Please note --- at this point Howells and Snyder were joined by David Bausch,
Lehigh County Executive who was content for the time being to listen to the
ongoing conversation between Snyder and Howells.
Responded Howells: “Who could have imagined that the Lehigh County
Authority would begin quietly in 1966 as an agency to prepare plans to bring
water from the then-proposed Trexler Reservoir.”
Observed Snyder: “yes, our active life began in 1969 when the County, the
brewery, Kraft, Lower Macungie and LCA signed water and wastewater
agreements. That is when we received our marching order to develop a water
system for these industries in Western Lehigh.”
Replied Howells: “ Of course, your ability to process industrial wastewater
depended on the cooperation of officials in Allentown. And also, let us not
underestimate the historic significance that a convenient western Lehigh
County link was available. Historically, the City in 1959 promised to provide a
trunk line from Kline’s Island along the Little Lehigh Creek, in through the City of
Allentown and that portion of Salisbury Township to a point located on the
Clarence W.R. Keck Farm near the Little Lehigh Creek to receive sanitary waste
which had its origins in Emmaus. That project, of course disturbed the natural
serenity of the Little Lehigh Creek and surrounding lands that were part of an
important Allentown recreational site whose main utility would be the
preservation of Allentown’s drinking water resources.”
Responded Snyder: “Then in 1969, Daddona facilitated the Little Lehigh Sewer
Complex as it was called then by allowing the LCA hookup with the Allentown
system at the same Keck’s farm point which is also known to local residents as
the Old Fink’s Farm.” Pausing a moment Snyder continued: : That of course,
allowed the construction of the Upper and Lower Macungie Interceptors and
also, the Lehigh County Pre-treatment Plant.”
Observed Howells: “sad to say, the historic record since then has been one of
watershed destruction, I & I leaks in to the Little Lehigh and storm water
sedimentation. All factors which have contributed to the degradation of the
water quality in the Little Lehigh; and whatismore, developmental activity in the
watershed area has threatened the reliability of the Little Lehigh as a continuing
water resource for Allentown and surrounding communities. Who would have
imagined that in 1985 after much discussion and attempts at I & I correction the
LCA would finally be constructing the very same or similar relief line that George
Kandra in 1973 with prodding by John Durr had ordered to alleviate sever inflow
and outflow problems in the existing interceptor.”
Responded Dave Bausch: “For the sake of moderate growth and economic
development, we have to suffer some changes and inconveniences.”
Responded Snyder: “Dave, 1985 was certainly the year of the bulldozer in
Allentown’s Lehigh Parkway. The acquired serenity and dignity of the Lehigh
Parkway again was violated. This time for the purpose of installation of LCA
sewage infrastructure on a wide sweep through Allentown’s Lehigh Parkway
from Keck’s Bridge to the LCA Parkway Pumping Station near Jefferson Street. I
note the LCA Park Pumping Stated, completed December, 1983 during the
course of the LCA Park Pumping Station --- Jefferson Street Force Main Water
Control Construction Project, also representing an intrusion on the serenity and
dignity of the Lehigh Parkway Watershed.”
Replied Howells: “You’re right on that account. But don’t forget th “Green
The surprise reference by Howells to the ‘Green Monster’ cause Snyder to
(The ‘Green Monster’ being of course, a green colored above ground sewer
interceptor constructed with money provided by western Lehigh County land
developers within the Allentown Park System to facilitate continued
development in western Lehigh County. The ‘Green Monster’, of course, being
for the most part dismantled with the completion of the LCA Park Pumping
Station --- Jefferson Street Force Main Water Control Construction Project.)
Then Snyder commented: “Essentially that means not counting the ‘Green
Monster’ that three times since 1959 the serenity of the Little Lehigh Creek has
been violated for installation of sewage infrastructure. But the worst damage to
the Little Lehigh Creek has come close since 1969 when Daddona allowed the
communities of the Little Lehigh Watershed to hook up with the Allentown
system. Important too, everything, for us, has been a fight since the deaths of
the two young men at the LCA Metering Station and also, since the failure of the
Wiesenberger designed Lehigh County Pre-treatment Plant. More then anything
else, these incidents brought about the environmental coalition that stopped in
its track the Trexler Dam Project and also delayed the successful completion of
I-78. I must add too that the proposed Route 33 connecting road from Route 22
to I-78 in Northampton County will not see its first vehicle until the turn of the
next century. The fact is, the failure of the Wiesenberger designed Lehigh
County Pre-treatment Plant to effectively process sewage from the F & M
Schaefer Brewing Co. since industrial discharges were received from that plant
in May 1973 had the effect of placing every move we made since then under a
looking glass and subjected our every move to suspicion and legal action….
Even the City of Allentown sued the LCA. That beats all, doesn’t it?
Responded Howells: “Yes, the City of Allentown had filed suit against the
Lehigh County Authority but found it inadequate; therefore, it dismissed the
case without prejudice subsequent to December 31, 1976. But a more inclusive
suit was filed by the City of Allentown naming both the Lehigh County Authority
and the County of Lehigh As Co-defendants. This action alleged that the Lehigh
County Authority was introducing into the City of Allentown Sewage Treatment
System sanitary sewage waste, which did not comply with the specifications of
the agreement between the Lehigh County Authority and the City of Allentown.
The suit arose out of the failure of the County of Lehigh’s Pre-treatment Plant to
be operative and to pre-treat the sanitary wastes as discharged by F & M
Schaefer Brewing Company and Kraft Foods to levels, which were in
compliance with the statutory requirements of the agreements between the City
of Allentown, the County of Lehigh and the Lehigh County Authority.”
Interjected Bausch: “Ben isn’t it true that the City lawsuits were never really
settled in court but proved to be the bargaining point from, which the new
sewage agreement of 1981 evolved.”
Replied Howells: “I guess your right.”
**** **** **** ****
Please note – the mood among those who encircles the masterminds remained
ugly and intense. The Upper Macungie Taxpayers Association by virtue of good
intelligence and a well-organized plan were able to capture and thereby isolate
the Supervisors and solicitor of Upper Macungie from the rest of the
masterminds. And in doing so, they were able to capture and isolate the one
who had been authorized to design the source of their problems, Arthur L.
Indeed the Upper Macungie Taxpayers Association was surprised that
Supervisors Howard Sechler, Kermit Gore and Harry Johnson declined to
comment on the odor problem or the report the brewery was discharging more
sewage than an agreement with the township permitted. And also, they were
surprised that the Supervisors remained mum despite repeated requests by
association members for their opinions. But Township Supervisor William
Schantz defended the Supervisors silence with the claim that the municipality
was indeed concerned that the township air was being seriously polluted and
that residents were sickened by the stench, which was like sour beer, especially
in the Trexlertown area.
As it happened, the Upper Macungie Taxpayer Association was not pleased
with what Arthur L. Wiesenberger would tell them. The taxpayers group did not
want the odor problem to continue for any length of time and Wiesenberger did
not make that guarantee. Therefore, the Upper Macungle Taxpayer Association
greeted Wiesenberger’s comments with moans and shouts. Wiesenberger had
told the group:
1. That the Lehigh County Authority had received no cooperation in its
running battle with the contractor (Pollution Control Construction Company)
and was ready to contract a new builder to modify the plant.
2. That the Upper Macungie Taxpayers Association must understand that
the Trexlertown facility was not a full treatment plant.
3. That brewery discharges had fluctuated greatly, and of importance, the
waste had been much stronger than had been anticipated. The result being that
the plant odor was caused from a fungus problem that was more difficult to treat,
4. That the recommendation of a brewery waste authority from the South to
chlorinate the sewage continually had failed and whatismore this solution had
brought forth additional complaints of offensive chlorine odor.
5. That a national survey of the major brewing companies revealed that all
breweries had waste disposal problems in varying degrees.
6. That the oxidation towers would have to be dismantled and rebuilt,
possibly with domes.
7. That estimated construction changes would require a time period of six
Please note – historically the Upper Macungie Township Associations appealed
to their township supervisors June 7, 1973 to help eliminate the stench from the
Lehigh County Authority’s sewage pretreatment plant located in the township
just north of Trexlertown. As it happened, Township Solicitor William Schantz
told members of the Upper Macungie Taxpayers Association that they should
register their complaints at a June 21, 1973 public hearing conducted by the
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources. The issue being
whether DER should extend the LCA’s variance from the states cleans air
As it happened the taxpayers association did forcefully register its complaints.
In doing so, the association proclaimed that it did not want the DER to extend
LCA’s variance from the State’s clean air standards. Citing, that the fixed reality
of such extension would represent a status quo position; and of course, that
would guarantee that the air of Upper Macungie and Trexlertown would
continue to be filled with an obnoxious odor or stench. A condition that drew
the following testimony from David Torrey, the President of the Upper Macungie
“The daily living patterns of thousands of people residing in, working in or
passing through this township the past eleven months have been affected by
the noxious odors … If the Lehigh County cannot eliminate odors from the (pre-
treatment) plant, then the contributing industry must be shut down until all
necessary steps have been taken to eliminate these odors.”
**** **** **** ****
Of course at the site were the masterminds had gathered (the site of the newly
constructed F &M Schaefer Brewing Company) the spreading news of their
encirclement and the cries for the closing of the F & M Schaefer Brewing
Company had produced reactions of horror from representatives of the
Industrial Development Corporation of Lehigh County.
Attorney E.G. Scoblionko of Allentown warned: “A forced shutdown would
create catastrophic conditions affecting all industries in the area.”
L. Cyrus Gutman, IDC President pleaded to DER official present that action not
be taken that would cause serious and irreparable harm to the people of the
Lehigh County. But Gutman did not seem to understand that a portion of the
people of Lehigh County comprised the 800 that encircled the encampment
where he was.
Both men were very much concerned at any suggestion that a LCA variance
from the state’s clean air laws not be extended. After all, as masterminds of the
transformation their vested interest was not the same as the citizens; and of
course, they could not understand why the citizens would not want to make the
supreme sacrifice for their vested interest.
But hear this, good people; ask yourself how you would respond if you were
put in a position to be awakened from your sleep many times by a disgusting
stench. If you were put in a position to have your appetite ruined by the same
stench; and finally, if you were put in the position of becoming physically ill.
Would you not join those who encircled the encampment of the masterminds of
the transformation, and tell the masterminds a thing or two about their vested
Recognizing that the 800 were in an ugly mood and that they were not without
allies (State Representative Joseph R. Zeller was among them), the
representative from Schaefer moaned and shouted out: “Spare use your wrath.
Don’t blame us! Don’t shut us down or place sanctions on us! We had warned
Wiesenberger about his pre-treatment plant design.”
Shouted a concerned citizen back: “Why did you begin operations if you knew
that the pre-treatment plant design was flawed? Better had you waited until
everything was right for your operations.”?
Shouted back Gutman: “What dream world do you come from. Paradise only
comes after we experience moments of hell and you are now in your hellish
Beyond the realm of the streetlights the sky drew dark, allowing the winter stars
to cast their heavenly glow upon the top most reaches of South Mountain. In the
sub-freezing temperatures of mid-November 1985 this observer, Dennis L.
Pearson, a scion of the famous Lehigh Valley American Revolutionary War
Patriot, Peter Kohler, had joined other members of the public at the Lehigh
Valley Amateur Astronomical Society’s headquarters to view in the northwest
sky a planetary voyager known as Halley’s comet. The Astronomical Society’s
headquarters located upon the top most reaches of South Mountain off East
Rock Road in Salisbury Township.
As it happened an amazing thing occurred as this observer took his turn to view
the exotic object. The truth being – the fuzzy ill-defined icy looking object
enclosed in a wall of dust suddenly had a companion sailing a parallel course.
Incredibly, the companion was the mystical sleeping bag we had seen before in
this study on numerous occasions. And, of course, the bag was giving a
message to those straightforward in their proclamation of the truth.
The fixed reality being, given the fact that Halley’s comet had been to be a
reliable visitor to this end of the Sun’s solar system, we mus also heed this
warning: “One must shudder at the prospect that concerning the living
environment in the Lehigh Valley there is no future, only the past happening
over and over again given the attitude of those who seek to control its public
**** **** **** ****
Please note – the popularity of the public’s desire to see Halley’s comet caused
this observer to park his car at least a mile from the site that the comet was
being observed. This fact necessitated a walk through a dark wooded area. An
experience that I did not revisit until I trekked through a dark pine wooded area
in New Mexico to participate in a star watching party that was an scheduled
activity of the International Space Development Conference in Albuquerque.
What made me nervous about this adventure in the hills of New Mexico was that
the wind picked up and the sky streaked with lightning flashes from a distant
storm. What I thought that it definitely wouldn’t be good to be caught in a
thunderstorm in the hills of New Mexico.
The Astronomical Society had suggested that guests carry flashlights for
safety, but, although prepared, this observer knew from past experience that
man’s eyes in the absence of strong light sources will adjust to a dark
environment; this physical capability having been visually learnt as a by-
product of a nighttime hike near the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona and on
the floor of Bryce Canyon in Utah.
But as it happened, as this observer walked to his car an incredible thing
happened, the mystical sleeping bag appeared, turning night into day and
transporting this observer to a quiet secluded spot along the Little Lehigh
Creek. Thankfully, at this location the laying of man’s economic development
infrastructure has not violated the serenity and dignity of the Little Lehigh Creek
and the plateau that surrounds it. But be it noted, this secluded spot along the
Little Lehigh Creek cannot be found in this plane of existence, and importantly,
the masterminds of the transformation will have great difficulty in locating the
key of the continuum that provides entrance to this forbidden territory. The truth
being if the masterminds could gain easy entrance, they in their self-importance,
abusiveness, hatreds, love for nothing but money and self would destroy what
God declared good.
**** **** **** ****
As it would be, this observer would not be alone in this undiscovered paradise;
he would be joined by the environmental consciousness of a colleague,
Harrison E. Forker.
Forker, an avid fly fisherman, could not wait to see if the brown trout were biting.
But first he commented: “The Little Lehigh Creek not only is a vital asset to the
Lehigh Valley, but is the main formation of the Allentown watershed. The fact
being, both the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Resources hold key responsibility for its
Forker then paused, checked his thigh boots, and then waded into the stream,
at the same time casting out his line. Then he commented again: “Denny, this is
a great spot. The water is clear. Hey look at that – Do you see all those brown
trout? Hey – Do you see that natural sand bar in the stream? Hey – Do you see
those muskrat tracks and those racoon tracks on the bank? Hey – This is great.
Unfortunately, in another plane of existence, this would not be the case
universally concerning this stream. But what can we do? We try but not enough
people are helping us; and some who help us are very shallow in their
Said Pearson: “Harry, I know what you mean. Our leaders have been so foolish
in allowing this stream to deteriorate.”
Replied Forker: “At the moment, silt and sediment through the neglect of storm
water control poses the most serious threat to the viability of this waterway. Our
first area of concern being at the southeast corner of Keck’s Bridge where run-
offs occur from mountain slopes from the east toward the southwest and
concentrate entry on city of Allentown park property.”
Responded Parson: “ Then the silt/sediment has been an eyesore for many
Replied Forker: Yes Denny, the silt/sediment has been building up its mass in
the stream. Just a minute, Denny, I think I got a bite. Yes, this is fun. Hey – It’s a
big one Denny, about twenty inches long.”
Responded Pearson: “ I’m impressed. Hey, it can’t be. Isn’t that a hot air ballon
in the sky?”
But be it noted that before Forker could respond, the essence of a great native
son of Lehigh County spoke: Yes, my friends, I submit to you that, that indeed is
a hot air balloon up in the sky. But don’t be afraid, it is not possible for that
aircraft to land here. You may be very amused to learn that I left your good
buddies up in the air without a pilot. The fact being that Daddona is now fit to be
tied not being in control of the situation and not knowing what the future will
bring. Mr. Forker, finish what you were saying about Keck’s Bridge, then we will
be off on the sludge brick road to meet the dynamic wizard of Hamilton Street if
and when he comes down from his present high attitude.”
Responded Forker: “Gladly General … It is estimated that 1100/1200 net tons
are deposited into the stream at the Keck’s Bridge location each year. This, of
course, restricts the waterway by blocking the surface water with silt bars
protruding as much as 12 to 18 inches high in some parts of the bars. This fact
causes the southern section of the stream at the bridge to become entirely
blocked. An example being in August 1981 the silt bar at times has extended
across the stream close to seventy feet, allowing only a small passage of
surface water to flow through. Consequently, most of the streams upstream
flow is obligated to pass subsurface to the downside. The net effect being, the
silt/sediment can fill the stream be within the first approximate seventy yards to
the point of exhaustion. The point being, where water flow is restricted to low
velocity, the accumulation of undesirable silt is shallowing the stream bed for
miles downstream and this decreases the streams aquatic and aesthetic
Responded General Trexler: “Yes, this great and useful waterway should be
carefully protected whenever possible against such degradations. Harry, a bully
presentation, a bully presentation … Okay Mr. Forker and Mr. Pearson shall we
now commence our march. But first, Mr. Pearson should know that his great
uncle, Irwin Kohler, a fishing buddy of mine, will join us on this trek.”
Please note – with that, the General, Harry Forker and this observer began their
trek along the sludge brick road.
**** **** **** ****
It was for the stated purpose of protecting Allentown’s Water Resources that the
regional wastewter treatment system was established and, allowed to expand.
Unfortunately, the movement of the time continuum did not end the potential for
the disruption of Allentown’s water supplies. Whether these water supplies be
percolating ground waster as the case of Schantz Spring and Crystal Spring or
surface waters as the of the Little Lehigh Creek. Interestingly, the United Gas
Industries (U.G.I) Development Corporation plan for commercial and residential
development near the Little Lehigh Creek representing just one of many
projects having the potential to cause damage to the Little Lehigh Watershed.
**** **** **** ****
Importantly, the Devonshire Project was facilitated when Salisbury Township
changed the xoning law in 1971 to allow for the construction of homes or
industry on the tract that became owned by U.G.I. Historically, this fixed reality
occurring after the 1969 Sewage Agreement between Allentown, Lehigh County,
and the Lehigh County Authority, which paved the way for industrial
development in western Lehigh County.
We ask – Was the change in zoning coincidental or was it part of the plot
relating to the developing scenario?
Remember this – logistically the Devonshire tract would have easy access to
the Lehigh Street interchange of Route 309 via Devonshire Road and Oxford
Drive. Route 309, of course, providing easy access to points north and south
and points east and west if a turn off was made on Route 22.
From this analysis, we therefore conclude that Devonshire was designed to be
a bedroom community to serve industrial development interests:
1. Whether they be in the townships of western Lehigh County;
2. Whether they be in South Whitehall, Whitehall or Hanover Township;
3. Whether they be in Salisbury or Lower Saucon Township;
4. Whether they are in Allentown.
**** **** **** ****
Please note – After much opposition and delay, work began on the commercial
phase of the UGI Development Corporation’s Devonshire Project in July 1985.
The commercial phase called Devonshire Park comprises a 44.5-acre tract
between the (Hess’s/Bonton’s) South Shopping Mall on Lehigh Street and the
Emmaus boundary. The current plan for the second phase called for the
construction of 351 single-family homes on an adjoining 141-acre tract between
Hess’s South and Allentown’s Lehigh Parkway.
Critics of the before stated project contend that the development as planned
would present a clear and present danger for the protection of Allentown’s
watershed. That being their belief, they seek public remedy with the suggestion
that at least 85-acres of the Devonshire Project be preserved as open space and
This concern formalized by the following petition first circulated actively in the
spring of 1986:
o “Whereas, the Little Lehigh is a major water supply for Allentown and
surrounding communities; and
o Whereas, the Little Lehigh is one of Pennsylvania’s finest trout fishing
o Whereas, the Little Lehigh is an integral and vital part of Allentown’s
beautiful park system; and
o Whereas, it is essential to protect its watershed thereby preserving the
stream for all to enjoy.
o Be it resolved that, we the undersigned urgently request that all the
elected officials and responsible parties cooperate in this undertaking to:
Acquire the critical watershed land through both public and private
Work with U.G.I to develop an equitable agreement to sell without “profit or
loss portions of the U.G.I tract “adjacent to the Allentown park system.”
**** **** **** ****
Historically, U.G.I officials were alleged to have promised the following at a
meeting held September 4, 1980 in the office of Attorney Robert Johnson,
Counsel for U.G.I:
1. The donation of land upon which artifacts of the Paleo-Indian era, said to
date back 10,000 years, to Salisbury Township. Donation of land effective upon
verification of authenticity by archeologist Dr. Fred Kinsey and conditioned
upon the approval by Salisbury Commissioners of the 351 lot U.G.I subdivision.
2. Donation of land in the area of Keck’s Farm, Lehigh Parkway, would also
be conditioned by Salisbury Township approval of the U.G.I subdivision.
Public officials attending the meeting included State Representative Kurt Zwikl,
Lehigh County Commissioner Kenneth Mohr Jr., Allentown Community
Development Director Jim Shultz, Allentown City Planner Debbie Laubach and
Salisbury Township Planning Commission member Robert Hobelka.
Representing U.G.I were Johnson and Richard Mester.
Quite interestingly, Mohr later related that U.G.I officials refused to put any
promise into writing. Their preference was for the assembled group of public
officials to simply trust their word.
But please note – the assembled U.G.I officials did not automatically express a
trust for those concerned citizens whose activities delayed Salisbury Township
approval of their proposed subdivision. As reported by Mohr, U.G.I initial
reaction to the report of artifact finding was to denounce the report as another
red herring tossed in to halt development of the Devonshire homes.
**** **** **** ****
Historically, the petitioners concern that the water quality of the Lehigh Creek
could become despoiled at a critical point in the stream’s ecosystem seems to
be verified by statistics forwarded to Harry Forker by Barry J. Pollock, Assistant
Supervisor for the South East Region of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission
dated February 22, 1983.
The thirteen (13) data sheets provided Forker (compiled in 1977) were
interpreted by Forker’s good friend Rian Siska of Kunklestown, Pennsylvania
as follows: “I looked at all data for (1) (being 300 meters downstream from
Township 867 bridge) which is farthest upstream to (13) (mouth of Jordan
Creek). Notice that upstream water is very poor; and not until one gets to Poole
(wildlife) Sanctuary does one see any appreciable numbers of trout. The data
supports what knowledgeable fishermen already know: Prime water is from
Keim home (a.k.a – Fink’s Farm, Keck’s Farm and the Neven’s Homestead)
downstream to bridge at Policeman’s Home. Springs in Catch and Release area
plus hatchery water vital in maintaining this stretch. It is really the line between
good and bad water. The fast water habitat here helps keep siltation to a
minimum. Water above and below this prime water is slow for most part and
**** **** **** ****
Initiative-wise, the 1986 petition campaign was the work of the Little Lehigh
Watershed Coalition, Inc. whose prime mover can be said to be the enigmatic
Janet Keim, a Salisbury Township Commissioner.
As evidenced by her involvement with the Little Lehigh Watershed Coalition (a.k.
a – ((WOW)) WATCH OUR WATER), Janet Keim does not act alone in her current
but long-time confrontation with the U.G.I development Corporation. Instead she
depends upon the involvement of allies in the momentary present. Often
allowing others in the momentary present to serve as spokespersons for the
movement. This certainly not being an isolated occurrence for Mrs. Keim had
allies in the past that is now history that also performed the same usefulness in
advancing her environmental or personal causes.
Fred Mussel of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission being one such present and
past ally. For example, Fred Mussel expressed a few concerns in a letter written
February 7, 1982 to John Wrobolski of the Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Resources that the proposed project would impact on the Little
Lehigh Creek, a very popular recreational stream.
One concern being that accelerated runoff from paved areas and roofs would
cause flooding and erosion problems for the Little Lehigh.
Another concern being that the proposed development might prevent rainfall
from soaking into what probably might be considered an important water
recharge area for the Little Lehigh.
We ask – Was Mussel correct in his assertion that the area in the vicinity of Keck’
s Bridge in Salisbury Township should constitute an important water recharge
Please Note – We do not dispute Mussel’s claim for we are fully aware of the
historic record as provided by the appearance of the Little Lehigh in the fall of
1963. Just the same the reader should be aware of these important facts.
First – the Lehigh Valley region had experienced record drought conditions
between 1962 and 1966.
Second – the average daily pumping figures in gallons for the Allentown Water
Filtration Plant for the years 1962 to 1966 beings:
Third – the average daily pumping figures in gallons for the Little Lehigh Creek.
Crystal Spring and Schantz Spring for the years 1962 to 1966 being:
1. Little Leigh Creek
1962 – 10,970,877
1963 – 12,000,114
1964 – 12,904,192
1965 – 13,170,658
1966 – 14,089,151
2. Crystal Spring
1962 – 3,837,315
1963 – 3,331,562
1964 – 3,505,096
1965 – 4,048,082
1966 – 4,182,630
3. Schantz Spring
1962 – 7,144,986
1963 – 6,655,425
1964 – 6,115,616
1965 – 5,501,507
1966 – 5,242,110.
Fourth – in 1963 the Upper Little Lehigh rated as one of he finest trout streams
in the east went bone dry over a 10 mile stretch above Swoyer’s Mill, and
downstream to where the Swabia Creek enters the Little Lehigh just west of
Laudenslager’s Mill about a half mile north of the Brookside Country Club.
And lastly – it can be recognized from the above data that the City of Allentown
had enough flow in the Little lehigh Creek downstream from the Brookside
Country Club to meet its average daily pumping needs during the fall of 1963
and throughout the drought years.
Of importance the above data adds creditability to Fred Mussel’s concerns in
regard to the Devonshire Project. Mussel corresponded the following to DER
February 7, 1982:
“ This proposed development can have an adverse effect on the Little Lehigh
Creek in two ways, first by causing flooding and erosion problems by
accelerated runoff from paved areas and roofs and secondly by preventing
rainfall from soaking into what probably is an important water recharge area for
the Little Lehigh. The Little Lehigh went dry this past fall for a number of weeks
in an area about 1-½ miles upstream from the U.G.I tract. Probably the major
reason for its continuing flow downstream was the recharge areas located in
the golf course, U.G.I tract area. Should a major portion of that area be paved
and covered with buildings, water recharge to the stream might be severely
reduced. Along the area where the Little Lehigh went dry in 1981 are several
housing projects such as Mill Brook Farms, Hidden Valley, and Winding Brook
etc. These projects, with their deep wells and impervious covering of the soil
might be responsible for causing a serious problem on the Little Lehigh. They
take water out of the ground water table and allow very little to return. They have
also been responsible for a great amount of silt that has been allowed to run
into the Little Lehigh.”
**** **** **** ****
Please note – As it happened, Janet Keim informed Mussel that DER would
meet in the near future with U.G.I to discuss plans for residential development in
Salisbury Township. And of course, Mussel has publicly admitted that his letter
of February 7, 1982 to DER was prompted by a conversation he had entered
into with Janet Keim.
Historically, this meeting held February 9, 1982 was the one that Allentown
Mayor Joseph S. Daddona was referring to when he wrote to Mr. Glenn Stinson
of the Norristown Branch Office of the Pennsylvania Department of
Daddona, we stress, in that communication of March 4, 1982 was greatly
influenced by his bureau chiefs. Thus we conclude that his concerns reflected
the end product of decision-making that began October 5, 1979 during the
Fischl Administration when the plan for the Devonshire Subdivision was
submitted to the Allentown Bureau of Engineering.
“Pursuant to the meeting of February 9, 1982, the City of Allentown will
cooperate with the Township of Salisbury and the U.G.I Development
Corporation with regards to the following matters:
1. U.G.I financed riprapping of the channels from the Devonshire detention
ponds to the Little Lehigh Creek per subdivision agreement with Salisbury
2. U.G.I sponsored and financed excavation of the Paleo-Indian Site and the
U.G.I sponsored and financed excavation and/or preservation of the Middle
Woodland Site, referred to as Keck Site 36LH4, listed in the Pennsylvania
Archaeological Site Survey…”
However, we also conclude that Daddona did not wish to alienate citizen
activists opposed to the Devonshire Project so soon in his new Administration.
The fact being, the President of the Lehigh Fish & Game Association had
spoken to Daddona concerning the development and was led to believe that
Daddona was against the development.
But Daddona wrote the following to Stinson: “Ideally, we would prefer no large
scale development on this site, (therefore) we are protecting the interests of
Allentown in relation to the previously mentioned issues by pursuing
cooperative agreements with U.G.I and Salisbury Township.” Yet Daddona was
cautious in granting City of Allentown cooperation with the U.G.I sponsored
project. First, he wanted to convey the point of Stinson that this cooperation
was based on the assumption that the Devonshire Project would be
constructed as planned and that storm water management projections were
accurate. And second, he wanted it understood that none of the agreed to
cooperative actions should be constructed by the public as an endorsement by
the City of Allentown.
Thus in analysis, we find it to be of great historical interest that Allentown Mayor
Joseph S. Daddona delicately avoided expressing a direct concern to Stinson
in regard to the negative complications that the Devonshire Project might have
on the Little Lehigh to be a safer political alternative to concentrate on the
negative complications resulting from increased traffic on certain Allentown
roads then to concentrate at any length on argument aimed at saving Allentown’
s Little Lehigh Watershed.
The fact being, the City of Allentown had again elected to explore the feasibility
of going to the Lehigh River for its water resource needs. City officials, of
course, believing that up to 28 million gallons a day of “soft” water could be
pumped from the river and blended with the city’s existing water supply to
guarantee a constant supply during periods of sources became contaminated.
As planned, the Lehigh River Project would begin with an intake and pumping
station about 1,400 feet upstream from the new Hamilton Street Dam and follow
a 12,000-foot path to the water works via a 36” transmission line.
Please note – the Daddona communication did not indicate what these
concerns about traffic were, but upon review, Harry Bisco, Allentown Director of
Operations, presented the following traffic concerns to James A. Kelley,
Allentown Planning Director in a memorandum dated November 13, 1979. Bisco
“ As a result of this development, traffic volumes on several city streets will
increase significantly, especially Devonshire Road and Oxford Drive, However,
we do not have any engineering data to evaluate. We (therefore) feel a new
traffic study should be required.
Due to the anticipated traffic volume increase, a traffic signal will probably be
required at the intersection of Devonshire Road and Oxford Drive. Also,
Devonshire Road only has a 30-foot cartway with parking on both sides. In
order to effectively increase capacity, either parking would have to be
eliminated on one side of the street, or the street would have to be widened to
36 feet. We feel that widening of the street is a better solution. The developer
should be required to participate in both of the above.
Due to the narrow width of Devonshire Road and its basic construction, the City
will not allow construction traffic to transverse this street.”
**** **** **** ****
Returning our attention to the site where the masterminds of the transformation
had gathered. Please note – the encirclement of the masterminds of the
transformation had soon ended. The fact being, that the representatives of the
Pennsylvania Department of Environment Resources and the United States
Environmental Protection Agency had worked a deal between public officials of
Allentown and Lehigh County.
The deal, in fact, being reflected but not mentioned in the City of Allentown
Ordinance 12145 of October 15, 1975, which amended the 1973 City of
Allentown Ordinance No. 12003. Historically, Ordinance 12003 was the first
comprehensive sewage ordinance in the city’s history.
Indeed the deal would be satisfactory to the 800 for the source of their
discontentment would be eliminated. After all, one would reason that
malodorous conditions at the infamous Wiesenberger designed pre-treatment
plant in Upper Macungie Township would be gone with its closure.
Indeed they were. Only to be translocated to the neighborhoods surrounding
the City of Allentown’s Kline’s Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.
**** **** **** ****
This occurrence, of course, caused problems for City of Allentown wastewater
treatment managers who noticed that certain citizen activists were mobilizing
In due course, Harry Bisco, City of Allentown Director of Operations since 1974
and Director of Public Works as his Department was renamed in 1982, was
provoked to state:
“Oh boy, these people are serious.”
In response, Bill Engle, City of Allentown Administrator for Water Resources
opined in a half-serious and half-amused demeanor:
“Harry, if citizen deployment upon the top most reaches of South Mountain of a
government unauthorized and unapproved Sewage Odor Defensive System
otherwise known as SODS constitutes a serious move. Then we have trouble.
Gorbachev does not like America’s so called “Space Wars” initiative. In the
same vain, we do not like SODS. It’s bad for our public image. Harry, should we
attack, infiltrate, negotiate or capitulate?”
Please note – at this point, Karl Kercher, City of Allentown Executive Assistant
to the Mayor and a former Allentown City Councilman, interrupted the
conversation of Bisco and Engle. He said” Hey, we can’t have this.”
Responded Engle: “ Well, Karl, sad to say, it is happening. A liberated city wide
coalition of east side, south side and other interest groups are deploying a
Sewage Odor Defensive System.”
Responded Kercher: “You said SODS, didn’t you? You know, this can not be
permitted! This simply cannot be permitted. This is not part of our game plan.
Somebody is going to lose his or her head for this. Let me see, who do we have
that can infiltrate and confuse the operations of this campaign? Oh boy … I’ve
got to get in touch with Daddona. I’ve got to get in touch with Bernhard. Maybe
we should form a Mayor’s Ad Hoc Committee to study the course of citizen
participation in Allentown and dictate its future direction.”
Interrupted a bemused Benjamin Howells:
“Karl, don’t get excited, you can’t get in touch with Daddona and Bernhard at
present. The fact is, they are up in a hot air balloon and cannot be reached
thanks to the influence of General Trexler. The last message we received from
Daddona being that he lost faith in the American system of justice…. Karl, it may
be the strategy of the citizens that this Sewage Odor Defense System would be
programmed to intercept and force down Daddona’s hot air balloon taking him
captive or forcing him into exile to facilitate their cause.”
Replied Karl Kercher: “You’ve got to be kidding.”
Responded Howells: “Sorry to say, I’m not. Please read the following two
documents presented to the public by Dennis Pearson. The first was presented
before the Allentown City Council in December, 1981 and the second, was
presented in the printed media in April, 1982.”
Please note – with that having been said, Kercher apprehensively proceeded to
read the first document. The document reads as follows:
“I find it interesting that after the mid-campaign Sewage Seminar to educate
candidates, rhetoric concerning Kline’s Island referred back to odors that
existed prior to the most recent expansion of the plant.
In my belief such talk served only to confuse the public on the issue. The point
is that the odor that now exists in many wards of Allentown is of a different type
being more variable and more pervasive.
Don’t we owe the residents of the first, sixth, fourteenth, parts of the fifteenth,
sixteenth and other relevant wards something for the depairment of their living
Of course we do! And today I will suggest what damage reparations would be
Until the odor problem is abated 70% below current levels a discount or total
exoneration of current or new sewage charges to residential property owners in
these areas should be given.
Understand this, if Council found it necessary to modify the Fischl
Administration’s Wastewater Treatment Agreement with LCA and the other
suburban signatories by attaching a sidebar agreement providing a penalty as
an incentive against LCA exceeding the stipulated level parameters then, it
stands to reason that the citizens of the odor belt need a side bar agreement
with the City to protect themselves against a situation wherein the political
leaders and the consults have once again failed to solve the problem.
This discount or total exoneration shall provide the incentive for our political
leaders and their consultants to solve the odor problems at Kline’s Island.
It’s simple as this – reparations to the odor belt shall be paid by the Allentown
Sewer Authority through the loss of sewer revenue as long as the problem at
Kline’s Island is not abated.”
Please note – at this point Kercher stopped reading and stated to Howells: “So
what! This Administration has reduced the odor problem 70%. ”
Replied Ben Howells: “Karl, at least we hope that has been the case. After all,
City Council has allocated and the Administration has expended a great sum of
money since 1982 in hope of achieving the before mentioned objective of odor
reduction. And more is planned to be spent in future city budgets. But
remember Karl, Pearson said this before the second Administration of Joseph
S. Daddona took office. Whatismore, didn’t he with the cooperation of Harry
Forker later make an attempt to present the mayor with a sleeping bag in late
May of 1982.”
Responded Kercher: “Yes, I remember. I can’t nor dare I forget. I was right there.
You know what, Ben, that incident was very embarrassing. At the time I didn’t
know what to make of it.”
Replied Howells: “Then, please read on.”
Please note – Kercher did in fact read on. The continuation of the Pearson text
reads as follows:
“I realize that a few concerned citizens may wish to ask questions and express
some doubts about this proposal. Some will maintain that the effort to achieve
the political accountability of political leaders and their consultants comes too
late. They will express concern that the perceived and possible loss of revenue
will place another burden on the operation of the wastewater treatment plant.
Questions will be raised as to whom will now bear a possible extra share for the
special consideration granted to the odor belt; and finally, concern will be
raised as what effect this proposal would have on Allentown’s AA Bond rating.
I will not argue that these concerns are not valid but I will state that we should
consider the principles of equity, justice and common sense as well.
We all know what promises were made before the expansion of the wastewater
treatment plant was completed; and surely, it is not lost upon us the fragrance
the expanded plant now emits.
Let us assert today, that the residents of the Odor Belt have been burdened
these many years by mistaken or unknowledgeable decisions of the past and it
is time to remedy this injustice!
We are told that a plan now exists to effectively eliminate off –site odors at Kline’
s Island. Once again we are reminded that the opinions of consulting
engineering firms are repetitive and experimental because wastewater treatment
is said to have an in-exact art rather then science, Therefore, we have no
guarantees that any new work performed at Kline’s Island will be effective.
One shudders at the prospect, that concerning the living environment around
the wastewater treatment plant that there is no future, only the past happening
over and over.”
Responded Kercher” “Ben, these are hard words.”
But before Howells could respond, an unidentified spirit replied: “Yes Karl,
these are, in fact, hard words! But thank the lord that there exists somebody
who has the courage to say them.”
Caught off guard by the expected appearance and statement of the mysterious
spirit, Kercher sought to ask Ben Howells if he knew the identity of the
individual that had spoke so disobediently in regard to current authority. But as
it would be, Kercher would equally be surprised with the discovery that Howells
and for all the masterminds of the transformation had disappeared. The truth
being it was the fate of Kercher that he be isolated from the masterminds and
removed away from the site where the masterminds were forced to gather.
Thus Kercher, whom in the past found a measure of relaxation by fishing, found
himself transported to a location in time that was both unserene and
undignified. The stream before which Kercher stood was once young and free
flowing, abundant with fish, insect, and other aquatic life. But no longer was that
The spirit handed Kercher a fishing pole equipped and provisioned with the
finest line, tackle, bait and lures. But Kercher politely declined the invitation due
to a stomach condition induced by the sight of decaying native brown trout by
the thousands floating lifelessly in the warm, slow moving, rancid waters of
what had been one of the Lehigh Valley’s finest fishing and recreational streams.
Then it occurred to Kercher that nearby was a pavilion in which a large
gathering of people had assembled. Seemingly their attention was focused on a
number of speakers who made their presentations from a podium or altar that
looked strangely like a sleeping bag.
Kercher commented: “Who are these people, and what is their business?”
Responded the spirit: “These are the descendant children of those who fought
to preserve the air quality, water resources and farm lands of the Lehigh Valley. I
think these descendant children would describe this gathering as a memorial
Replied Kercher: “A memorial Service, for whom, for what?
Replied the spirit: “Yes, I reconfirm that what you see is indeed a memorial
service. The service being a tragic reminder of the hidden destructive nature of
that beast – the developing Megalopolis of the Lehigh Valley.”
Responded Kercher: “Can we avoid this?”
Replied the spirit:
“It can be as you wish. We do have a measure of control over the future, but just
for a moment. Certainly, it would be very wise of you to consider the following
1. Conservation groups, fishing societies, watershed associations and
neighborhood groups should be enlisted to supervise activities aimed at
protecting critical open space and aimed at preserving all Lehigh Valley
2. Government and industry should have a continuing dialogue with
community groups in order to protect the environmental resources and
guarantee the continued livability of the region. Importantly, government and
industry should check its operation to avoid repeated fish kill occurrences in
3. The water quality of all Lehigh Valley streams should be monitored for pH,
oxygen depletion, turbidity, and dissolved solids;
4. Excessive siltation and sedimentation in waterways indeed present a
problem in maintaining stream quality regardless of the source point; an d
5. Bank erosion, a serious factor in waterway siltation and sedimentation,
can with proper vegetation be prevented. Whatismore, the proper mix of
vegetation upon the banks of water courses should provide for an abundance
of aquatic and insect life necessary for the maintenance of a healthy and
abundant fish population.”
But Kercher instead of commenting on the merit of the above recommendations
made by the spirit suddenly remembered that he had not yet learned the identity
of his unsolicited host, and this curiosity consumed the executive assistant to
the mayor more then the spirit’s urging to consider the above points.
Thus. Kercher inquired of the spirit: “ Please identify yourself, and please
present your credentials to say what you have been saying?”
To this request, the spirit commented: “Can you not recognize that I am the
spirit of Carl W. Auchenbach.”
Thus it happened that a surprised Karl Kercher responded: “ But, but you are
And of course, Auchenbach in response stated: “Yes, Karl, I am dead, not
among the living. But do you know that the essences of some men still live even
while their bodies lie cold and crumble into dust. Then too, Karl, have you not
perceived that some men eventhough their bodies are quite warm are in reality
quite dead or useless because that is the condition of their eternal essence?
Karl what will it be with you?
**** **** **** ****
Please note – at this point Kercher was returned to the site where the
masterminds of the transformation were forced to gather. Karl Kercher deep in
thought would decline Ben Howells suggestion to read the second Pearson
document and politely begged his leave of Benjamin Howells, Bill Engle and
Harry Bisco; and slowly walked away in the state of contemplation still holding
the fishing rod given to him by the spirit of Carl W. Auchenbach.
All individuals found at the site where the masterminds of the transformation
were forced to gather quickly knew the sudden disinterest of Karl Kercher with
the affairs of the masterminds of the transformation.
One of these individuals Arlene Wallach, the former chairperson of the
Allentown Community of Neighborhood Organizations, Inc. Environmental
Issue Committee simply could not understand why it would be her fate to be
included among the masterminds of the transformation.
Consequently, she yelled out to the masterminds: “You know, I got a problem
with me being here.”
In reply, John Harry, former Allentown City Councilman and Mayor Daddona’s
designee to serve as the Chairman of the Mayor’s new Ad Hoc Committee on
Citizen Participation stated: “We would be obliged to give you assistance to
escape, but a Stalag 13 this ain’t.”
As it would be, it would be Mrs. Wallach’s fate to read the second Pearson
document, not Kercher’s. This, of course, would be poetic justice, as Mrs.
Wallach played a key role in delaying the events as described by Dennis
Pearson in his letter to the editor released to the printed media. The text of this
document reads as follows:
“ I spoke before the Allentown City Council in December (1981) representing the
concerns of my neighborhood in relationship to the wastewater treatment
problem at Kline’s Island.
The East Allentown-Rittersville Neighborhood wanted action to resolve the long-
We were prepared to sponsor a forum on this subject. We announced our
intentions to the Environmental Issue Committee of the Allentown Community
of Neighborhood Organizations who requested that we merge this unilateral
approach into a citywide effort.
Despite misgivings, I agreed to do this and urged Harry Forker to join me in
meeting with representatives from the CNO staff and the CNO Environmental
Issue Committee for purposes of planning the forum.
At first the forum was scheduled to be held March 11, 1982, and then it was
delayed to April 1, 1982, on the request of CNO. CNO had indicated that
Allentown Mayor Joseph would be in attendance April 1.
Around March 15, I went away for two weeks; and when I returned I discovered
that the April 1 forum was canceled.
I can only speculate on what motives, insecurities, fears, pressures or strategies
provoked the cancellation.”
(Historical Side Bar: Pearson left March 15 on a trip to Hawaii. During the trip in
which he had many find moments. But at the same time he experienced
disturbing events such as a few moments of being paralyzed in the ocean with
no one rushing to help, as he could not speak out. A sudden flattening of a jeep
tire on a Hawaiian Hill in a rainstorm. And finally, while returning home, an
engine on his four engine Boeing 747 over Los Angeles caught on fire and
exploded. He survived all this incidents, but became very perturbed when on
returning home the scheduled forum was canceled)
Please note – at this point Mrs. Wallach stopped reading and said: “That’s why
they sent me here with the rest of the Mayor’s new Ad Hoc Committee on Citizen
Participation. That’s why they did not allow me to join them on their march along
the Sludge Brick Road. Did you know that General Trexler, Forker and Pearson
linked up with that Hay Wagon, which left this site just before the encirclement
of the 800 began?
Replied Harry Bisco: “You mean our contras did not trust you? Of course, they
wouldn’t. They must have realized that you have been very helpful to our cause.
Of course, maybe you were unaware that you were aiding us. By the way
Arlene, your question at the Roosevelt Area Neighbors meeting conducted in
the cafeteria of Kline’s Island in April 1983 was very helpful. You forced people
to take a positive immediate position on an issue that should have been studied
in detail before approval or disapproval could be rendered. That was your
motive of operation on most issues. Many are confused that you did not chose
to be consistent on this issue.
Responded Ben Howells: “Dennis had more to say in his communication,
please read on.”
Replied Wallach: “No, I can’t. No, I won’t read on.
Replied John Harry: “Should neighborhood groups be encouraged? Should
the City fund neighborhood groups? Should neighborhood groups be
controlled or owned by the City as a result of this funding?”
**** **** **** ****
Meanwhile, along the Sludge Brick Road General Trexler, Dennis Pearson, and
Harry Forker were able to link up with the hay wagon that left the site where the
masterminds of the transformation were forced to gather. The identities of the
hay wagon drivers revealed to be none other then the essences of Homer
Zimmerman, an Upper Macungie farmer, and Irwin Kohler, a retired Director of
Construction for the Lehigh Portland Cement Company.
Please note – the hay wagon prior to the link up had made stops at the former
and proposed sites of and for the Lehigh County Wastewater Pre-treatment
It noteworthy that the essence of Homer Zimmerman voiced grave concern that
his daughter Verna Christman had sold a 6.2 acre tract of land to Lehigh County
for the purpose of facilitating the construction of the new Pre-treatment facility
in Upper Macungie. In life, Zimmerman had vigorously opposed any County
right-of-way on his land for purposes of providing assistance to the
development of additional water and sewer infrastructure.
But interestingly, back at the site where the masterminds of the transformation
had gathered, there were also voiced a grave concern from David Bausch,
Lehigh County Executive and Jim Creedon, Lehigh County Planning Director
for different reasons. The fact being that Stroh Brewery’s contemplated
expansion plans would most likely frustrate the nearly completed J.M.
Montgomery design plans for the proposed $30.2 million pre-treatment plant.
Then too –the fixed reality being that any Stroh expansion would necessitate a
redesign of the pre-treatment plant at additional cost. A prospect that brought
inquiries from certain masterminds concerning who would pay for added Stroh
capacity in the pre-treatment plant – Stroh Brewery or the County Taxpayer)
(Please note – the position of this observer even in 1981 being that any pre-
treatment facility constructed by Lehigh County to serve the industries should
be financed totally by the industries rather than the Lehigh County taxpayer or
the residential LCA water and sewer user. And also, a new concern being that
the nearly completed design of the new pre-treatment plant would be
undersized to meet the sewage requirements of the contemplated Stroh
expansion. It being announced that the Stroh Brewery Company intended to
increase its annual production of beer from 3.5 million barrels to 7 million
Historically, it being announced August 12, 186 that the County Executive of
Lehigh County, David Bausch had agreed to increase the design capacity of the
County’s proposed pre-treatment plant to meet projected production increases
by the Stroh Brewery Company in Upper Macungie Township. The agreement,
when approved by the Lehigh County Commissioners, paved the way for
construction activities to begin in the spring of 1987 with completion completed
in 1991. By agreement, the County paid any capital cost accrued under $25
million for pre-treatment plant construction and engineering costs related to
initial pre-treatment plant design. Additionally, the County financed any costs
accrued over $40 million. The brewery was expected to pay all capital costs
accrued above $25 million but under $40 million for necessary construction
expenditures and an estimated $1.3million for engineering costs relating to the
design of the plant.)
**** **** **** ****
Inevitably, the link up of Harry Trexler’s Expeditionary Force with the Hay
wagon would be achieved in the vicinity of the Devonshire tract near Keck’s
Bridge despite the surprising resistance of certain Allentown citizens.
Interestingly, the link up occurring in time for a memorial service. The memorial
service representing a tragic reminder of the hidden destructive nature of that
bast – the developing Megalopolis of the Lehigh Valley. And, symbolized by the
placement of the inert essences of Wayne Nagle and Tom Nagle inside the altar
that strangely looked like the mystical sleeping bag we have seen many times
before in this study.
Taking his text from the Second Book of Timothy 2:15, “ Study to show thyself
unto a God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word
of truth,” the presiding minister eulogized:
“Life is a matter of workmanship not only work. Consequently, to divide the
truth one must know it.”
A comment that brought the refrain “Amen” from Dr. Elmer P. Kohler, a
preeminent Professor of Organic Chemistry at Harvard University and brother of
Irwin Kohler, who spent a lifetime devoting his work to the propagation of the
**** **** **** ****
Thus we find, upon the conclusion of the memorial service, a band of
concerned citizens marching along the Sludge Brick Road toward Kline’s
Island. Their mission was to confront the wizard of Hamilton Street sewerage
policies that made all this destruction possible, their disgust ever growing with
revelation of evidence that the wizard of Hamilton Street had built his power
base on political intrigue and intellectual fraud. His constituency toiled in their
concern for a better community for just a pittance; and concerned citizens
wearied themselves for a mere nothing. Their reward for their unselfishness
being symbolized by the destruction seen in Allentown’s park land areas during
the spring of 1986.
**** **** **** ****
But alas the multi-directional future operates to provide us with many possible
scenarios as to how our story might end.
Dare we suggest that one scenario might find a trio of perturbed individuals,
originally sent aloft by General Trexler in revenge for the destruction of his
greenhouse, being forced to land by the power source of the Sewage Odor
Defense System (SODS) as constructed by Irwin Kohler and operated by
General Trexler himself.
Being filthy, tired and semi-wet after landing in a pile of humus sludge” or
“Night-soil,” Allentown Community Development Director Donald Bernhard and
Allentown Superintendent of Parks Don Marushak, being abandoned by Joseph
S. Daddona, would quickly allow capture by a group of Nineteenth Century
Allentown area residents known as the “First Defenders.” It being enrolled in
the pages of legend that Captain Thomas Yeager, the commander of the “First
Defenders,” would delay his company’s patriotic march to the nation’s capital to
defend the Union so as to turn these twentieth century Allentown public officials
over to General Harry C. Trexler.
Captain Yeager, in his brief inspection of the twentieth century, having said to
“Eventhough devastation and violence confront me in my own generation; and,
strife breaks out, causing discord to raise its ugly head. I am both amazed and
astonished by the psychological and physical misery I see in the latter half of
the twentieth century. This wicked generation has it so good, but it is making
things so bad. Indeed the wicked attempt to outwit the righteous, and so justice
comes out perverted.”
Deeply moved by the Yeager statement. General Harry C. Trexler quickly
debriefs Marushak and Bernhard. In the course of the debriefing session, the
General obtained a promise from the Allentown public officials that a new
modern greenhouse and tropical garden with additional added features such as
an aviary and an aquarium would be advanced as a future capital improvement
project in Allentown. Additionally, the General obtained the promise that
Allentown’s badly scarred Little Lehigh Watershed and Parkland open space
and recreation facilities be repaired and perpetually protected from future water
and sewer abuses.
But unconvinced Yeager stated: “General, I must advise you to take a wait and
see attitude on those promises. Some people treat promises as moments of
convenience. They make promises only to break them when the heat is off. For
the good of the community, keep up the heat until what these individuals have
just promised actually becomes reality.”
A solitary and surprised Daddona on the run after his balloon was forced to
land would mystically find himself in the past. Incredibly, he would be captured
in a virtually untouched Lehigh River basin wilderness by a brigade of early
American patriots and their Lenape Indian allies. The location of capture in the
future seeing the development of a canal to haul coal and other products to its
residential and industrial market and later, seeing the development of railroad
facilities to accomplish the same.
Peter Roads, a Northamptontowne merchant who would become the first
burgess of a town later known as Allentown and the first sitting Judge for
Lehigh County in 1812, led the early American patriot Brigade. Peter Roads
having married Sabrina Kohler the daughter of Jacob Kohler, the Swiss-born
first settler of Whitehall Township who also had constructed the first Grist Mill in
Daddona, of course, would be escorted to a undeveloped island located at the
confluence of the Lehigh River with the Little Lehigh Creek within a half-mile of
Trout Hall, the summer home of James Allen. Daddona, in time was handed over
to General Trexler.
(Please note – The Early American Brigade once being dismissed next received
orders to set up a check point on the King’s Highway in Hanover Township
(now Hanover Avenue in the East Allentown-Rittersville Neighborhood of
Allentown) to intercept and provide final escort for the Liberty Bell, which had
been sent from the Statehouse in Philadelphia to its secret hiding place in the
basement of the Zion Dutch Reformed Church in the town of
However, with Daddona presence on this island, the island no longer could
remain in its untouched or natural state. Consequently, Harry Forker and
Dennis Pearson would lead a dedication ceremony for the wastewater treatment
plant that suddenly appeared on the island. Their decision was to name the
plant in the honor of the Mayor. Additionally, Daddona would be presented with
keys to a newly constructed condominium on the island called Anne’s Mansion.
Please note – Anne’s Mansion, would serve as the eternal living quarters for not
only Daddona but for many of the political masterminds of the transformation
and their consultants as well. Thus Donald Hoffman and the rest of his
contemporary County Commissioners, David Bausch, James Ritter, Arthur
Wiesenberger, Harry Bisco and others would eternally experience the quality of
life in and around the Daddona Wastewater Treatment Plant on Swartz’s Island.
Swartz’s Island, formerly Kline’s Island, named in honor of Ralph C. Swartz the
first chairman of the Lehigh County Authority.
Daddona it is said protested his new accommodations. The Mayor said that his
destiny is to become the Mayor of Allentown Manor, a future Assisted living
facility that would be established on the site of the former Hamilton Plaza
located across the street from the Allentown City Hall. Even his longtime friend
and political adversary Emma Tropiano could not convince Daddona to take up
residence in Anne’s Mansion. Mrs. Tropiano once took up temporary residence
at Anne’s Mansion to convince Daddona to move in. But Daddona did not want
to become a bedfellow of Tropiano.
As suggested by others, another scenario might also find a trio of perturbed
individuals force to land by the force of a powerful weapon aimed from the top
most reaches of South Mountain. The fate or disposition of Bernhard and
Marushak would be the same as the earlier scenario. But in regard to Daddona,
a surprised and stunned Daddona, deprived of sympathetic companionship,
would immediately upon transfer by Peter Roads to General Trexler be again
placed in a balloon and launched back into the air. Daddona, of course, quite
interestingly would receive the farewell remarks of “Tally Ho” from General
In conclusion, we add that the last reported visual sighting of Daddona was
received from Gordon D. Sharp Jr., a Lehigh Valley Common Sense Herald
correspondent on special assignment in Atlantic City. Mr. Sharp reported that
Daddona’s balloon had over-passed the gambling Mecca in the early evening
hours. The balloon pushed seaward in a northeastern direction by the wind with
its final destination unknown; and, Gordon Sharp Jr. stayed on watch to follow
the story that fueled the public’s interest.
**** **** **** ****
Unknown to Mr. Sharp, Daddona’s worried thoughts returned to the moment
that the essence of General Harry C. Trexler had vanished with purpose from
the hot air balloon Daddona had shared with the General, City of Allentown
Community Development Director Don Bernhard, and City of Allentown Parks
Superintendent, Donald Marushak. This moment of truth also very symbolic of
an administration more determined to avoid the big mistakes of the past then to
pursue excellence with a real master plan of community planning.
In flashback, Daddona saying the following:
“I think we have reached a point of crisis. In the wind I hear faintly from the
Masterminds of Lehigh Valley’s Utopian Transformation an urgent cry for
additional wastewater treatment allocation from my facility in Allentown. I am
most anxious to facilitate their urgent needs with their agents. How do we get
this thing to land?
Responded one of the Dons: “Most importantly, sir, I think we must cool off the
Responded the other Don: “In that case we might as well get comfortable for we
may be up here a very long time. But don’t worry Mr. Mayor, Karl Kercher in your
absence will act in your name; and besides, the City’s Law Department relying
upon technical advice from City engineers associated with the City’s
wastewater treatment operations busy themselves in constructing legal
phraseology aimed at granting to the communities of western Lehigh County
additional wastewater treatment allocation.”
Replied Daddona: “Yes, but I would be more reassured if I could presently talk
with the American Telephone and Telegraph long distance operator.”
**** **** **** ****
Please note – Daddona’s thoughts suddenly are interrupted by a distractive
noise in the distance.
Almost immediately Gordon Sharp reports from Atlantic City that the mayor’s
balloon is about to be intercepted by a flock of loudly honking Canadian Geese
traveling north in their typical V formation style.
Obtaining access to close-up visual detail by satellite, Mr. Sharp reports that the
leader of this avian task force appears to be carrying a federal legal document in
his beak citing Daddona for the violation of their civil rights. The violation being
the end-result of their forced removal from their Allentown habitat.
Sensitive satellite audio equipment allows us to listen to the conversation
between Mr. Daddona and the leader of the avian task force.
Said Daddona: “If you sue, I’ll take the case to the highest court in the land.”
Replied the leader of the avian task force: “Honk, Honk, Honk …”
The official English being: “ Have it as you wish. That will only cause us to take
that issue up with the highest celestial judge in the universe, this judge
possessing even greater judicial powers then Judge Hyuett. The fact being that
you will ask, but in truth will already know, whether your judgments were just.
That is, whether your decision-making was decided impartially between man
and man. Then too, this judge will already know the manner of violence that
your rule has wrought in your domain and allied territory. But importantly, let it
be said that your efforts to remove our kind from your Allentown habitat was all
done in vain because this Judge had already sent to you our replacements.”
Replied Daddona: “Uh oh!”
But as it happened the satellite audio transmission immediately ended with the
sudden observation of an object having the profile of a sleeping bag floating at
parallel attitude nearby the Daddona balloon.
**** **** **** ****
But importantly, we learn that he sleeping bag was beaming the following
message to those who had the wisdom to intercept.
The message repeating: “Unless the lord builds the house, its builders will have
toiled in vain. Unless the Lord keeps watch over a city, in vain the watchman
stands on guard. In vain you rise up early and go late to rest.”
If you remember when we last touched the story of Joseph S. Daddona and his
epic hot air balloon flight to a destination unknown, his balloon which, until then
was shadowed solely by a piqued gaggle of Canadian Geese in flight, was
suddenly joined in the air by an object that had the look of the same mystical
sleeping bag we have seen time and again in our dialogue.
The sleeping bag, we previously learned was beaming a message that only
those with wisdom and perception could understand and act upon.
Daddona, of course, was unaware of the meaning of the sleeping bag’s
message for he was preoccupied with his own thoughts as the hot air balloon
adjusted to the calm and turbulence of the wind. He had been in this state ever
since the great Allentonian Harry C. Trexler released the great flag raiser into the
air from the launch point at Kline’s Island.
Then too, unnoticed by Daddona the seam of the mystical sleeping bag
suddenly opened and an elongated metallic structure possessing the physical
features square in length and width but rectangular in depth slowly advanced
toward the superstructure of the hot air balloon gondola. The futuristic
technology exhibited in this movement being that of tether engineering, a type
of engineering that will advance the human quest to reach and inhabit other
planets of our solar system and to push on from there to other star systems
within our galaxy and beyond.
When the multi-purpose space tether had docked with the hot air balloon, its
massive metallic door opened revealing the presence of three troubled
individuals whose eternal essences unwittingly had allowed themselves to
receive the mark of the beast of the coming metropolitan age. This troubled
triumvirate interestingly consisting of Daddona’s peers whom like the mayor
had occupied the high position within Allentown’s government. The eternal
essences now identified as Donald Houck, Jack Gross and Ray Bracy.
Upon recognizing their presence, Daddona could only comment: “Good day, I’
m pleased to be in your company, whoever or whatever you are. Have you
come to rescue me from my current plight?”
Replied the spirits in unison: “No, we have not come to rescue you. But, we
come to offer you the opportunity to save yourself from your past record of
destructive decision-making. Son of earth listen to this plea by a mid-nineteenth
century chieftain of a Native American tribe: ‘ What ever befalls the earth befalls
the son earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand on it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself’…”
Responded the mayor: “I don’t understand what you say.”
Again replied the spirits in unison: You don’t understand. We believe you. That
is why we are disappointed with this particular son of the earth. He does not
understand what has been forewarned to him. That is his pattern. That is his
Modus Operandi. The important fact being that this son of the earth has twice
followed the same pattern. The historical record suggesting that the public both
forgave him and excused him for his first transgressions. The question is
should the public do the same for his second round of trangressions.”
Responded the mayor: “The Allentown public is very forgiving.”
Responded the spirits in unison: “That unfortunately is very true. Clearly it is
our concern that your established bureaucracy has been too much concerned
with the process of achieving a goal or objective then actually achieving the
goal or objective itself.”
“In analysis, if we think of the city’s administrative branch as divided into two
parts, a center for making decisions and several points of contact with the
public, which operate as both sources of information and agencies for action,
we realize that decisions in absence of strong central management controls or
supervision tend to be made at the edges of authority by some local “Oliver
North” rather then at the center of power. Accordingly, entrenched
bureaucracies are normally left free to define their own goals and launch upon
sometimes-unneeded empire building projects outside the intent and watchdog
eye of legislative review. Of course, unconcerned or lazy legislators will sit back
and allow this to happen as long as local tax money is not used. The end result
being, bureaucratic program and financial decisions are often based upon
known availability of grant money whether the sources be federal, state or
foundations rather then acknowledged and long-term needs of the community.
But what happens when the federal government ends a program or the
commission for the program expires? The answer is simple – if the program is
to continue it must be supported by local taxation efforts; as follows, as it
happened, the local taxpayer becomes additionally burdened.
Sadly we note – twice in the political career of our subject Son of the Earth the
local taxpayer has become additionally burdened by short-sighted fiscal
A shaken Daddona replied: “But … But, my advisors suggested such policy.
Responded the spirits:
“We cannot argue that they didn’t, but the fixed reality of history inscribes that a
frequent critic of your current administration did actually forewarn the public of
the events that in future years occurred. His current concerns believed to be the
1. To meet the threat and challenge of the “trans-industrial revolution” in
regard to its impact on Allentown and the region;
2. To preserve and strengthen every Allentown neighborhood;
3. To encourage the enactment and enforcement of beneficial zoning and
land development concepts;
4. To limit the level of services the City provides to that, which is both
affordable and clearly within the function of activities that could be best
provided at the municipal level;
5. To protect Allentown’s Watershed and Park lands from destructive
upstream economic activity and misguided regional planning;
6. To preserve and expand the recreational value of Allentown’s fresh water
streams in regard to current and enhanced fishery opportunities; and above all,
7. To work for tax reform, which is both fair and just. His belief based on the
idea that services that benefit the property should be taxed on the property at
the value of such services, and that, services that directly benefit the individual
should be levied on the individual.
Replied Daddona: “But … But my advisors say his ideas are unrealistic.”
Responded the Spirits: “Have you not considered the reverse axiom of your
statement; that is, the truth being that your advisors are really the ones that are
unrealistic. The fact being your administration is the most expensive and free-
spending administration in Allentown’s history … But may we ask, has this
spending produced productive results… And Common Sense now tells us that
this interview or visit is at an end.”
Accordingly it happened with the end of the interview the tether tube retracted
back into the mystical sleeping bag from whence it came. The sleeping bag
disappearing after a voice from within shouted “Tora, Tora, Tora” to the Canada
Geese that still followed close behind Daddona’s hot air balloon.
Please note – after the attack Daddona no longer had to contend with the calm
and turbulence of the wind while floating under the clouds in his majestic hot air
balloon nor the unnerving tailing of the Canada Geese. The reason was,
Daddona's punctured hot air balloon fell from the sky onto a sparsely vegetated
high plateau of uninhabited rocky island that possessed no beach nor safe
harbor for the anchorage of ships.
**** **** **** ****
We interrupt our tale for this short historical statement.
Many people may well recall the serious nature of the underground coal fire that
threatens the town of Centralia in North East Pennsylvania.
Less recallable is the fact that underground fires and associated odors related
to the operation of a municipal dump provided serious problems for
approximately 6,600 residents Allentown’s 3rd census tract (14th Ward) for 12
years before the City of Allentown declared the situation an emergency and
proceeded to correct the problem assisted by federal and state aid.
Historically, we sense that such corrective measures were taken in the spirit of
pragmatism rather then from the sense of civic sincerity.
After all, 33 years after G. Edward Leh, Elizabeth Keck Leh and Andrew Leh had
donated an old limestone quarry to the city for intended usage as a park did
Keck Park become a reality in June of 1973 at a cost of $87,000.
In the interim the city established a municipal dump in 1946 and except for a
neighborhood campaign that closed the dump from 1950 to 1956, the Carlisle
Street Dump operated continuously to 1967.
The truth is that the special Allentown amenities that Allentown Superintendent
of Parks Donald Marushak spoke about at a City of Allentown budget hearing in
1987 was only obtained by Allentonians and especially East Allentonians
through far-sighted vision and hard sell. Amenities that in his watch Don
Marushak had seemingly cutback upon grudgingly or voluntarily. The fixed
reality is, given the mentality of the Daddona Administration, if the public didn’t
show the same far-sighted attitude towards Allentown’s park system as it did in
the past, the Daddona Administration would continue its policy of “Parks for
Developers” and “Smaller is better.” As evidenced by the its attempt to sell of
Lehigh Parkland land for development and its achieved goal of reducing the
number of swimming pools available for public use during the summer
recreation program of the City.
**** **** **** ****
Please note – when he last touched the story of Joseph S. Daddona and his
epic hot air balloon journey into the unknown, his hot air balloon now revealed
to have been re-flagged to fly the flags of New York, New Jersey and Puerto
Rico had been torn to shreds by a gaggle of Canada Geese in flight angry that
their Allentown habitat had been disturbed by Daddona’s vision of a Hare
Krishna boating lake.
The landmass that served as a final resting place for Joseph S. Daddona’s hot
air balloon was a barren, craggy island whose perimeter was constantly bashed
by high surf and strong undercurrents.
Thought Daddona: What a revolting place to be in, not a good paved path to
practice for the New York Marathon nor a safe harbor for boats of any kind to
land.” Then in an audible voice Daddona yelled: “Why couldn’t Harry Trexler
allow me to delegate this journey to Harry Bisco, Joseph Rosenfeld, Wayne
Stephens or Karl Kercher?”
To the surprise of Daddona the rocks answered: “Because municipal
accountability rests ultimately with you, Mr. Mayor. Municipal accountability is
not just a 5 hour fourteen minute 42 second foot race.” And the earth trembled
and broke out into verse: “Where are we going? What directions do we give?
The meaning of life is so myriad. Fortunes are amassed and fortunes are lost.
People are seen scurrying about. Look to the divine to see the hold word.
Understand the love we often just observe. Nothing matters except from above.
Our soul is more important than body. Some people live to be 100 years old.
Other people die before they are even born. Some people are dead while they
remain alive. Other people live while they lie cold. Where are we going? That’s
for us to decide. Will our actions be constructive or will they lead to eventual
decline. Fortunes are amasses and fortunes are lost. People are seen scurrying
Replied Daddona: “who will rescue me? But this time neither the rocks nor the
earth spoke. Again Daddona spoke: “What Am I going to do? There is nobody
here to tell my story. I have no water, nor do I have any food, and neither do I
have shelter against the elements. How will I sustain myself? But again there
was no response as the only noise that could be heard was the rush of the surf
and wind against the craggy walls of the desert Island.
**** **** **** ****
From Atlantic City, Gordon D. Sharp Jr., on the watch for Joseph S. Daddona,
filed the following report to the Lehigh Valley Common Sense Herald;
THEY CAN’T PUT KLINE’S ISLAND ON OUTER SPACE
(Sewage Treatment as a Space Age Spinoff)
By Gordon D. Sharp Jr.
Despite the spending of millions of tax dollars on odor controls at Allentown’s
sewage treatment plant on Kline’s Island (now Kline’s Peninsula), the stench
from the place was unpleasantly perceptible as far west as 15th Street on the
night of April 14, 1985 from approximately 9 p.m. onward into the wee morning
The basic problem is that, while the 20th century has moved mankind into the
Age of Space, sewage disposal technology is only one step removed from the
19th century, when industries and town simply dumped their wastes into the
nearest water. The only difference today is that the waste is “treated” (more or
less) before it goes into somebody else’s drinking water.
The Kline’s Island expansion over the past decade is a case study in the
primitive nature of political and technological thinking on sewage. When
Allentown was growing in the 19th and early 2oth centuries, it was decided that
the city’s sewage could be handles “on the cheap” by simply letting gravity take
the stuff to Kline’s Island and thence to the Lehigh River.
Unfortunately, when city and county officials decided in the 1960’s that Kline’s
Island could handle county-wide sewage, they again opted for the cheap gravity-
flow solution. This turned out to be no solution at all, but a tidal wave of
problems. The millions that could have been used to develop a new sewage
treatment technology were wasted instead on “odor control.” So much for
Now, following the successful Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Soyuz programs,
mankind is preparing to inhabit outer space. Discounting the military aspects of
President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (ISD, otherwise known as “Star
Wars”), all the available technology has been developed to do so. Mankind must
go to space. It’s there.
So … what will NASA do with the sewage once we have hundreds, if not
thousands, of astronauts and non-astronauts such as Senator Jake Garn living
in outer space? We can’t build sewer lines from here to the moon, and there’s
no running water on the moon in which to dump the stuff. LCA couldn’t even
build a line from here to Fogelsville and make it work right.
Somewhere deep in the recesses of NASA’s public/private laboratory network,
there must be scientists working on the space station waste disposal problem,
employing everything from chemical disintegration to lasers and particle beam
vaporizers. Here on earth, too, the old days of Dark Ages dependence on
gravity flow and BOD (biological oxygen demand) sewage treatment must slow
down before “growth” and “development” devolve the Earth into the galaxy’s
Space Age sewage treatment may be a long way off, but it’s got to happen here
in the Lehigh Valley or, like the predicted “Nuclear Winter” following an atomic
war, the tired and abused old Earth will enter a permanent “Sewage Season”
brought on by our urban self-polluting scocietu’s disturbance of the delicate
balance of our aquatic planet.
And that stinks.
**** **** **** ****
Gordon D. Sharp Jr., unbeknownst Daddona, was able to pinpoint the exact
longitude and latitude of Daddona’s force landing through the use of
sophisticated NASA tracking equipment and radar. Relaying these coordinates
to Harry Forker, Forker contacted Harry Trexler who successfully petitioned
Judge Peter Roads of the Lehigh County Court to authorize the roundup of
some of Allentown’s leading citizens for deportation to Daddona’s Island also
called the IL Duce’s Dementia Bureaucratic Tot Lot.
Accordingly, with Harry Trexler at the controls of the Allied Air Forces lumbering
C-47 Transport and Dennis Pearson serving as flight navigator, a reluctant Karl
Kercher, Joseph Rosenfeld, Gary Gurian, Donald Marushak, Donald Bernhard
and Mike Hefele were transported on a "You Land, We don’t” basis to Daddona’
s Island. Such service absolutely required because of the absence of a suitable
landing field on the island.
Please note – “You Land, We Don’t” service normally requiring many hours of
instruction in regard to the proper positioning of parachutes when jumping from
an airplane. But in the case of our reluctant deportees they did very well in their
first minutes of training as everyone landed safely on Daddona’s Island. Yet,
their ultimate or long-term survival would depend on providing themselves with
clean water, and an adequate diet without outside help or re-supply missions.
The good news was, these reluctant adventurers have one advantage over their
brethren in space travel. That is, being earth bound, they have an adequate
supply of fresh air to sustain life under normal conditions. The bad news being,
on the earth, the processes of man and nature can temporarily contaminate the
quality of fresh air.
**** **** **** ****
We leave our story for the time-being as a rectangular object shaped like a
sleeping bag floats down from the sky against a big red setting sun.
**** **** **** ****
Editor’s Note – Our intelligence trawler operating in the North Atlantic just off
Nova Scotia picked up the following bottled message from Daddona’s Island
also known as IL Duce’s Bureaucratic Dementia Island. We believe that our
reading public would like to be briefed concerning our intelligence find
**** **** **** ****
I Karl Kercher, Assistant to Mayor Joseph S. Daddona, have been parachute
dropped onto an isolated, destitute, and seemingly uninhabited island
apparently located in an uncharted area of the North Atlantic or Artic Ocean
because as part of the Administration of Joseph S. Daddona I had a role in
decision-making contrary to the wishes of General Harry C. Trexler and many of
Allentown’s electorate who had entrusted us with temporary stewardship over
Allentown’s ship of state.
Not knowing how long we will remain on this potentially frigid isle or icebox, I
write this journal as a record of our daily activities.
The mystical sleeping bag, which in the past has intervened into the affairs of
the Daddona Administration, landed on this barren rock subsequent to our
forced arrival, and benevolently provided us with the basic necessities for our
short-term survival in addition to providing us with a primitive means to contact
the outside world.
Mayor Daddona sent a message of protest by carrier pigeon to the outside
world expressing his Administration’s “great indignation and strong protest”
against the dead handed intervention of General Harry C. Trexler into the affairs
of the City of Allentown.
The note rationalized Daddona’s reasons for approving Bernhard’s Luxury
Condominium plan for part of Lehigh Parkway.
The message the lone carrier pigeon was carrying apparently was received by
the City of Allentown Communications Station, but since the origin of the
message was not located in either the Allentown-main, Mountainville or the
planned Kuhnsville exchange the message was selectively routed to the
appropriate communication center. That is, in this case the message was
selectively routed to Helsinki, Finland of all places) where it was received by
Lehigh Valley’s Congressman Don Ritter.
Accordingly, Daddona’s day was not made when he received the following
message from the Congressman by return carrier pigeon”
“I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to contact me.
Hearing from the people I represent, like yourself, and responding to them is
very important to me. People of the have a right to know that their Congressman
listens to them, and that they can feel free to contact him at any time.
Please be assured that you will be hearing from me in response to the matter
you contacted me about. I just wanted to drop you this note to let you know that
I am preparing a more detailed answer for you. In the meantime, please accept
my best personal wishes and my sincere thanks for getting in touch with me.”
Commented Daddona: “I wonder how Michael Dukakis or Ed Reibman would
have responded to my carrier pigeon message? Said I, “Let us hope that this
rocky isle is not going to be used as target practice for NATO or Warsaw Pact
exercises. Hey, is this island called Valezquez?”
Said Don Bernhard: “Joe, I think we are no way near that Puerto Rican
subsidiary where our Navy conducts Target practice. For our sake, let us hope
that his uncharted isle doesn’t turn out to be made of incinerator ash, sludge
and processed garbage.”
The mystical sleeping bag gave us today its first indication that it intended only
to provide us with the basic necessities for survival for just the short-term.
It was late morning and broad daylight, yet the biggest electric sign we ever had
seen was flashing away full blast the following message: “If you’re going to live
free of any concern in regard to survival, and be more than just a visitor here,
you’ve got to develop a system that will make you independent.”
Of interest, this sign was soon re-enforced by a large rock engraving, which
soon thereafter popped out of the seam of the sleeping bag. The large rock
engraving depicted the desire of a primitive people for the establishment of a
kind of “island earth” that was ecologically sufficient.
Unfortunately, neither Daddona, Don Bernhard, Don Marushak, Joe Rosenfeld,
Ben Howells or Barbara Irvine knows what is meant by ecological self-
sufficiency. And perhaps, neither do I.
Consequently, Daddona again utilized the service of a carrier pigeon to inquire
into the meaning of what the mystical sleeping bad presented.
The carrier pigeon somehow was selectively routed into the Mountainville
exchange returned with the following message in form of a poem from Mrs.
Charles Breiner, a neighbor of that water and sewer guy Harry Forker.
“ Mother, Dear Mother, please pray tell what is that awful, sickening smell?”
“Daughter, Dear Daughter,” came the mother’s reply, “Our Sewage Plant is sick
– about to die.”
“Mother, Dear Mother, can’t they make it well? I’m so tired of smelling that awful
“Daughter, Dear Daughter, you see little honey to make it get well takes lots and
lots of money.”
Years go by and the odors remain, now my grandson sings the same refrain.
“Grandma, Dear Grandma, please pray tell what is that yucky stinky smell?
“Grandson, Dear Grandson, I’ll try to explain our sewage plant is sick and has
lots of pain.”
“Grandma, Dear Grandma, I thought it was new then why must I hold my nose
and put up with that stinky phew?”
“Grandson, Dear Grandson, it had an operation, it cost eighteen million dollars
plus to repair its filtration.”
“Grandma, Dear Grandma, it still not well, all that money was spent and still have
“Grandson, Dear Grandson, don’t expect answers from me, ask our city
engineers with their college degrees.”
“Grandma, Dear Grandma, they better get the job done, so that you won’t have
to hear this from my son.”
“Great Grandma, Dear Great Grandma, please pray tell what is that icky smell I
The Mayor to say the least was not pleased. Apparently he liked this poem
better in 1979 when it first ran in the Morning Call and the appropriate CNO
publications while he was temporarily out of office and Frank Fischl was mayor
for a fortnight that turned out to be four years. A four year period in which
Daddona worked to repair his relations with Charles “Chubby” Noti, an east
side political kingpin. The Mayor realize that Harry Forker, Dennis Pearson and
other citizens still want him to honor his pledge to sleep at Kline’s Island one
day a week until the problem is resolved. But what the heck, campaign
promises, as these are only promises that are made for the moment.
But I must remember that we who now reside on this isolated piece of terra
firma are not at this time in control of our destiny. We are hostages at the mercy
of that intimidating sleeping bag. Accordingly when the sleeping bag speaks
through its behemoth flashing sign we listen. Please note – the sleeping bag
currently flashing the following message: “Ideally, a closed Ecological Life
Support System would provide humans with clean water, fresh air and an
adequate diet without help or re-supply missions.”
My problem simply stated is, I don’t know what the sleeping bag meant by a
Closed Ecological Life Support System. Joe Daddona supposedly the wiser
head suggested that it must have something to do with the selective
discrimination policy practiced by our political machine. But determining the
true and exact definition for the Closed Life Support System is Don Marushak’s
problem as he was given orders by the mystical sleeping bag to read Beth
Dickey’s article entitled Seeding Space that appeared in the April 1987 edition of
the Space World Magazine of the National Space Society.
Consequently, Marushak our environmental specialist will emulate the
Allentown School District USSR reading program with a reading session
tomorrow in our presence; and of course, Daddona must pay attention or be
sent to the Principal’s Office of Allen High School for remediation. …. Word is,
that the sleeping bag has gathered Chips Bartholomew, Jack McHugh and Ray
Erb in the Quantum Leap waiting room to interrogate Daddona should it be
necessary. …. Then too, I get the horrible vision that Janet Keim, Harry Forker
or Emma Tropiano would be trained as human time travelers to make a
Quantum Leap into Joe D’s body at different points inorder to improve upon his
End of bottled message
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Editor’s Note – with the purposes of establishing a kind of “Island Earth” that is
ecologically self-sufficient, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s
Office of Space Science and Applications developed the Closed Ecological Life
Support System, also known as the CELSS Breadboard Project.
Freelance Reporter and radio correspondent Beth Dickey in Seeding Space
wrote the following in regard to the CELSS Biomass Production Chamber
located at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida:
“The CELSS biomass chamber at Kennedy is a two-story tubular structure that
stands vertically inside NASA’s life sciences hanger at Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station. The Steel chamber is just over 23 feet tall and almost 12 feet in
diameter. Each of the two compartments measures about eight feet from the
ceiling to floor and is equipped with growing racks and trays. Inside the
chambers are high intensity lights, nutrient intake values and instruments to
monitor photosynthetic radiation, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide
concentration, oxygen and nitrogen percentages and water pressure. One or
two people can work comfortably on each level. According to a NASA
description, the chamber’s primary function “is to recycle, in a controlled
system, solids, liquids and gasses needed to support man and plants.” (1)
(1) Dickey, Beth, “Seeding Space, “ Space World, (April, 1987, p. 15).
In analysis, before the inmates of Daddona Island can find paradise on their
forbidden island, they have to learn to feed themselves; CELSS and synthetic
seeds could be the answer.
But then again we are talking about an Administration that was short-sighted in
its rejection of an Lehigh Valley Council for Regional Livability proposal
concerning the establishment of an Allentown based environmental institute.
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Karl Kercher on the rocky and barren Il Duce Island sought out and found a
secluded spot to gather his thoughts before continuing his entries in the daily
log he was keeping of the merry adventures of Joseph S. “the solicitor’s mayor”
Daddona and company. But our readership will never know his thoughts, as
Kercher’s reality was only part of a dream. A dream that lost its reality when
Joseph S. Daddona awake from a restless slumber at his family home on West
Walnut near the Union Terrace pond.
Daddona’s encounters with the ghosts of Kline’s Island past, Kline’s Island
present and Kline’s Island future left him perplexed and worried.
For Daddona, 1989 would be year he would face another election challenge, as
his term would expire in early 1990. As any politician, Daddona’s ego made him
eager to be loved by the people; but the question to be answered was whether
the people still loved Daddona; and the answer would be yes in a love-hate
relationship. Daddona would face a primary challenge from Emma Tropiano, a
childhood companion he loved in a Platonic way, for Mayor on the Democrat
Ticket. And remarkably, despite his baggage, the Republican Party offered no
challenger. This vacuum resulted in a second front for Tropiano and Daddona
as they also competed for the write-in votes on the GOP side of the ballot. In the
end, Daddona would emerge the winner despite Tropiano’s popularity and
campaign antics, such as setting up camp at Kline’s Island to make a point
about a campaign promise made by Daddona in the Democrat Party primary of
1981 against Louis Hershman a future Tropiano ally.
The 1989 Mayoralty race in which Daddona in the end had no General Election
opponent and his name appeared on both the Democrat and Republican
ballots, proved to be his last run for Mayor. In 1993, Republican Bill Heydt would
achieve victory over the Democrat Jack Pressman, a former state representative
and Lehigh County Commissioner.
What is remarkable is that a short time after Heydt took office in 1994 the
combination of a winter storm and a sinkhole caused the Corporate Plaza Office
building on 7th Street to collapse.
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Some people are important not because of what position or title they hold in the
world, but because of the fact they became victimized by politics of envy or
political posturing without reason.
As far as our role is concerned, we spoke to the world whether the world
listened to our eternal based teaching or not.
That is why we confuted the world, and showed where wrong and right and
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We repeat, how long, O’ people of Allentown, the Lehigh County and the Lehigh
Valley region have we spoken to you unanswered.
We present the truth, but you find it difficult to respond and to overcome prior
conditioning, which confuses any response.
Why have we allowed such people of proven weak wisdom and foresight to
manipulate your futures? Whether these people be representatives of
government or government associated special interest groups.
They show you no justice. They only want to outwit you and divide you to
obtain their secret and unknown end, and there is work afoot now and over the
past, thirty or so years, which out of innocence and trust you don’t want to
believe (or will find it difficult to respond to) as it is told to you.
What we spoke about was planned or unanticipated destruction of the
character of the Lehigh Valley’s landscape from largely rural to urban sprawl in
the name of progress, economic development and an ideal called Megalopolis.
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We give this advice to people dealing with all government officials:
“If you sit down and eat with a ruling prince, keep you mind on the business at
hand; if you come out of greed and self gain, stop what you are doing and go
home for you will become overwhelmed by the enticements of the ruling prince.”
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Would you think of building a tower without first sitting down and calculating
the costs to see whether it was feasible to finish it? Of course you wouldn’t
because if you did lay down the foundations and could not finish it that would
leave you open to much ridicule.
It being stated by a wise Chieftain of a mid-nineteenth century Native American
tribe: “Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not
weave the web of life, he is merely a strand on it. Whatever he does to web, he
does to himself.”
With regret, we look at the transformation of the Lehigh Valley from largely
agricultural in nature to megalopolis in nature, and view the haphazard, wasteful
work of the wastewater treatment network with sorrow; and then profess to
ourselves could we have done better?
With confidence, we say yes!
Why? We realize that we share our neighborhoods with individuals and families
of diverse needs, interests, backgrounds and beliefs. When neighborhoods
respect their diversity on their collective decision, their neighborhood
consensus can be just. Similarity, our neighborhoods share city and world life
with other neighborhoods. When neighborhoods respect their diversities and
inter-dependence in inter-dependence decision and action. Justice will be
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We have in our INSTALLMENTS attempted to present the truth as to what
happened the past thirty or odd years. Do you now understand or do you fail to
comprehend even now?
If that be the case, let me remind you of what the lord said:
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on to an old coat; for then the patch
tears away from the coat, and leaves a bigger hole. Neither do you put a new
wine into old wineskins; if you do, the skins burst, and then the wine runs out
and the skins are spoilt. No, you put new wine into fresh skins; then both are
In short, our leaders whether they be from the Country, City or the townships or
boroughs have built towers that will be hard to finish.
Il Duce’s Island is an island built upon Sand. We say this eventhough Joseph S.
Daddona in 1989 defeated City Councilman Emma Tropiano to remain
Allentown Mayor though 1993.