By Margaret Smyka
Contributing Writer 

Slopes Association considers changes to ‘free' membership, quarterly meetings


April 20, 2010

Discussion of proposed changes to the South Sides Slopes Neighborhood Association led off the neighborhood group's April 13 meeting.

The first major proposal, said Peter Kreuthmeier, is making all Slopes' residents members. If a resident comes to two meetings, the resident is eligible to vote.

Currently, members must pay a $5 annual fee. Under the plan, that fee will only be requested of people who want copies of the newsletters mailed to their homes. Otherwise, copies will be emailed as a "SSSNA E-Blast."

The second major proposal is the frequency of meetings. Instead of the current monthly meetings, the proposal is to move to a quarterly format.

The full text of the proposals will be presented at the May 11 SSSNA meeting.

Board president Brad Palmisiano said the $5 annual membership fee is not even enough to fund the newsletters. PNC has funded the newsletters the last few years. If 80 to 100 people pay the fee, it raises $400.

"We think we can do better by saying ‘you're a member, donate to us'," he said.

Mr. Palmisiano said sending a quarterly newsletter to everyone in the neighborhood "will cast a wider net."

He also said he gets a sense that "we're going through the motions"with monthly meetings.

In his brief presentation, District 3 Councilman Bruce Kraus said the Neville Ice Arena within South Side Park, which was destroyed in a fire last weekend, should be demolished within the next few days or early next week.

"It's a huge liability for the city," he said.

To a question of whether the debris at the site from contractors dumping there will be hauled away, he said yes.

He also informed attendees of a Responsible Hospitality Institute forum on June 8 at the Sheraton Station Square about the planning, managing, and policing of hospitality zones, which defines East Carson St.

There will be discussion of responsible hospitality practices, many of which have proven successful in other cities.

The keynote speakers will be the president of the New York Nightlife Association, and the chief of police of Gainesville, FL, who will talk about college students and nightlife.

The RHI's approach is communication, cooperation, consensus, commitment, and collaboration among stakeholders.

The goal is for businesses and residents to live in harmony, said Mr. Kraus.

The attendance fee is $120, but discounts can lower it. For more information, visit:

In other news, the next Zone 3 Public Safety meeting will be on April 21 at St. John Vianney Church on Climax St. in Allentown. Weekly police blotter information can be found at: burgh.

If residents want to set up and run a block watch, the police will send community-oriented officers to teach them how to get up and running.

Mr. Palmisiano said college students, and individuals sentenced to community-service by District Judge Gene Ricciardi, often help with Slopes cleanups. However, sometimes there are too many workers and not enough projects.

Therefore, volunteers who know the neighborhood are sought for suggestions on projects for the students and public service workers. The volunteers could direct five or six workers to a site, such as for litter pick-up, and instruct them.

Mr. Palmisiano also announced he will be before the Zoning Board at 10 a.m. on April 29 to put a fourth-story deck on his house. He has spoken with his neighbors, who do not object.

In her update of StepTrek 2010, Bev Boggio said the date of the event won't be set until the Steelers' schedule is released.

"We don't want to compete with the Steelers," she said.

But it is traditionally held on a Sunday in late September/early October.

As this will be the 10th annual StepTrek, she wants to do a photo collage of walkers over the past nine years, and a history of the event. She is also working on a theme.

The current monthly meetings for the event in volunteers' homes will become twice-a-month starting in July.

If interested in volunteering, email: Bev.Boggio@

Misi Bielich informed attendees that a presentation on an Aldi supermarket becoming part of the Goodwill development will take place at the May 11 South Side Planning Forum meeting.

In her presentation, Judy Dyda announced a list of upcoming volunteer events: April 24, REI Tireless Project; May 8, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Gardens; May 15, Historic South Side Home Tour; May 22, cleanup: LifeStone Church; and June 10, cleanup: Deloitte.

Both of the latter two groups are willing to do a variety of tasks, such as fence repair.

The Deloitte cleanup will involve about 500 employees who will do graffiti removal, and maybe volunteer at senior centers, and more.

She asked attendees to email her with volunteer ideas for LifeStone or Deloitte at

In mid- to late-June, trail development will take place in South Side Park.

The next SSSNA meeting will be held on May 11 at the St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center.


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