Sep 21, 2017

The Mad Men Of Allentown

Back in the day, the titans of Allentown would fill the five barberchairs of the Colonial Barbershop, 538 Hamilton Street. That was when the town had three department stores. That was when Wetherhold and Metzger had two shoe stores on Hamilton Street. That was when Harvey Farr would meet Donald Miller and John Leh at the Livingston Club for lunch, and discuss acquiring more lots for Park & Shop. By 1995 all that was gone, but Frank Gallucci, 82, would still give some old timers a trim. The Colonial Barbershop property, closed for many years, has been purchased by J.B. Reilly. It is my pleasure to present this previously unseen portrait of Gallucci, toward the end of his career.


reprinted from January of 2015

Sep 20, 2017

Allentown, Activism and Anonymity

There are several subjects which strangers occasionally contact me about.  One of them is Fairview Cemetery on Lehigh Street.  The cemetery has a myriad of problems, and exasperated family members find my name after doing a google search.  In the past I have written numerous posts,  generated a newspaper story and conducted a public meeting on the issue.

This recent caller was wondering what could be done to organize other families, and exert some pressure for more upkeep.  I suggested a group Facebook page,  perhaps calling it Families Of Fairview Cemetery.  I then suggested that he start the page, which is free, and only requires a couple clicks of the mouse. At that point he started wondering if the cemetery operator might retaliate with some legal action against him.  It's not my intention to be critical of the caller, but I  realized that once again, another person probably wanted Mikey To Do It.  I suppose it's like anonymous said here on the blogosphere.  Most people using that name for comments do not have a sensitive job,  they just don't want to stand out. Understand, that unlike this fellow,  I do not even have a family member buried there.  In fairness to him, he seems like a conscientious  guy, and may well start the page himself.  However, if he doesn't, I think that assignment will have to be picked up by someone other than myself.  This mule is looking to lighten the load.

Sep 19, 2017

The O'Hare/Molovinsky War

Recently, I had written in both a post and comment that Bernie O'Hare excludes this blog from his blogroll because of a feud that started because of my comment that his disclaimer about Morganelli in March of 2016 was inadequate. Yesterday, he posted a piece which he claims proves that he deleted my blog because of hate, because it was 14 months after our Morganelli issue before he deleted this blog.  Of course, the only thing that proves is that O'Hare thinks of his readers as sheep, which he can lead to any conclusion he wishes.  This past May, Knit Knee Lion wrote in a comment on Bernie's blog, "he...kept a link to your "blog" on his sidebar whilst you have banished his from ye olde blog roll........ I'd say your treatment of Ken Heffentrager was very hateful, it was a real punch and judy show." Bernie replied;

I would have preferred if Bernie had let my explanation of why he excluded my blog from his sidebar stand, rather than have to expose his distortions.  However, since his post yesterday states that I was being loose with the truth, and that I'm hosting a hate blog, an answer is required. After I pointed out how much Bernie understated his support for Morganelli with his $25 contribution disclaimer,  O'Hare started taking shots at this blog. He would routinely refer to the Molovinsky Tabernacle Choir and other slurs. A number of people mentioned his increasing hostility toward me. I held my tongue for months, but then decided to start defending both myself and this blog. It was only then, after I started pointing out Bernie's flaws,  did he delete Molovinsky On Allentown from the list.

ADDENDUM: For viewers on mobile devices, in Bernie's screen shot shown above, he replies;  I have no obligation to link to a blog that repeatedly attacks me.  There is no mention of it being a hate blog.

UPDATE: Bernie now updated his post from yesterday, falsely claiming that I admitted that I lied. (He found an awkward sentence he could take out of context)  While others might enjoy his kind of propaganda,  I'm inclined to disengage from defending against his distortions.

The Lemon Trees Of Oxnard

In the summer of 1963, I got on a bus in Allentown headed for Oxnard, California, where I planned to work in the lemon orchards. I had with me a Give the kid a job letter from the boss of the Trexler Orchard in Orefield. The boss in Oxnard also owned a car wash, and I ended up working there. During WW2, homeowners in Oxnard were encouraged to build cottages for extra GI housing. I rented a small one room cottage at the far end of a back yard. The bathroom was added on to the backporch of the house. Every day I would walk to the square in Oxnard, and catch the bus to the carwash. In early August, I was rescued by Ken Huthmaker, whose family had moved years earlier from Lehigh Parkway to Hawthorne, California.  Ken was five years older,  and his friends were into body building, custom cars and gate crashing. They would attend events all over the Los Angeles area, and their sport was to sneak in, without paying. Ken would end up being a celebrity photographer and journalist in LA, and wrote a book on gate crashing*. I stayed at his house for two weeks. The next summer I would use my learned gate-crashing skills to see the Beatles in Atlantic City.

* The Gate Crashers by Ken Huthmaker, Which reveals the secrets of the society of the uninvited.  Huthmaker would become the photographer for Mickey Hargitay's televised exercise show.   Huthmaker photographed Hargitay and his wife, Jayne Mansfield,  by their pool. 

Sep 18, 2017

Charlie Tuna and The Allentown School District

Allentown School District is going the way of the old Charlie Tuna ads,  trying to convince students and their parents that it is the best option for their education. Like the tuna campaign, they're going to be using billboards, radio and social media. They will be creating a new communications position to implement this new strategy. Supposedly, the effort is directed to help stem the student flow to charter schools.

As someone with a background in both education and communications, I find the new approach truly uninspired. Apparently, this idea is the current fad of the day, and Bethlehem is also doing it. Bureaucrats are bureaucrats, whether at a city hall or the school district building, and seldom think beyond the ideas presented in their profession's current magazines.

Before large public school systems were gutted by cost cutting, after-school activities offered a large menu of activities and sports. These were the lures which attracted students, whether it be theater or football. As a taxpayer,  I would rather see the money spent the old fashion way, on coaches instead of communication directors.

photo: the former Little Palestra at Allentown High School

Sep 17, 2017

Early Morning In Allentown's Cedar Creek Park

Occasionally, I get to combine my passion for photography and the parks. By my criterion, the Allentown park system is in dire straights. While we have been buying plastic junk from catalogs, and allowing the Wildlands Conservancy to grow weeds along the creeks, the important features are crumbling. Pawlowski has been a disaster for the parks, and his succession of park directors are equally clueless. Although, it is my hope for a new mayor, my advocacy will continue, regardless of who prevails in November.

photo credit: molovinsky/Early morning winter scene along the Cedar Creek.

Sep 15, 2017

Growing Old Waiting For Cedarbrook

The Lehigh County Commissioners finally approved renovating Cedarbrook on Wednesday evening, with a 5-4 vote. I have posted on the nursing home over a dozen times, and most recently accused the commissioners of continued stalling on their decision. Supposedly, those against the renovation favored building a brand new facility. One would have to question how many more years the new construction option would have taken to study and actually happen, if ever.  There was no way that the old Scott Ott slate was going to stay in the nursing home business. From my point of view,  if we have to be in the prison business,  why not also fulfill an honorable obligation to our elderly citizens. In the meantime, just for PC, they funded farmland preservation,  which is actually a glorified subsidy for the landed gentry.

As a taxpayer, I addressed the commissioners on this topic twice since 2014. As a blogger, I endorsed Dan Hartzell, because he indicated support for our seniors and the facility. I'm hopeful now that the construction will move forward, and will be endorsing Brad Osborne for executive, who supported the project. I'm grateful that Tom Muller had the tenacity to keep the needs of our seniors on the front burner.

photocredit: K Mary Hess

Sep 14, 2017

Bernie and Anonymous Said

I've been holding my tongue for quite a while with this topic,  but as Popeye says,  "That's all I can stands, cuz I can't stands n'more." It's exhausting taking Bernie O'Hare on, for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost,  he thinks that he is never wrong,  and is certainly incapable of conceding as much.  Furthermore,  last time we sparred, he made a veiled threat to file a lawsuit.  He has some notion that criticism assaults his integrity,  and that he will defend his current integrity in court,  because of some issue earlier in his life.  He already  excludes MOLOVINSKY ON ALLENTOWN from his local blog list.

My complaint is his selective criticism of those who comment.  He has no issue with anonymous commenters who agree with his point of view,  but those who disagree are often called cowards.  Furthermore,  recently he has taken to identifying opposing comments from those that he is criticizing.  He recently labeled comments defending Justin Simmons as coming from Justin.   It's puzzling to me how he knows who certain anons are,  but not others?

An excerpt from this post was presented earlier this evening on Facebook

ADDENDUM: Bernie responded with a post on his blog.  Needless to say, he finds no fault with his comment policy.  His excuse that he doesn't link here because I host hate is really another  hostile misrepresentation by him.  He actually doesn't include this blog on his blogroll because I offended him by pointing out that his disclaimers about supporting Morganelli were inadequate. In Bernie's world loyalty is the main theme, in mine it is truthfulness.   He's allowing no comments on the post, he simply cannot stand criticism.

Park & Shop

Park and Shop Lots
Downtown Allentown boomed for about 100 years. During the prosperity years following World War II, the two car family emerged. Several business leaders of Allentown realized both the parking problem and the potential to enhance sales. Park and Shop was begun by Harvey Farr, Donald Miller and John Leh. The current small parking deck at 10th and Hamilton, above the current uptown police substation, was the first deck in the country. To make the parking lots, shown in the postcard above, houses were purchased and torn down. Although the gentlemen mentioned in this article profited from their influence, they always provided solutions for the betterment of the community. They seemed to be a benevolent oligarchy. As the viability of the Park And Shop enterprise declined along with the intercity shopping, The Allentown Parking Authority was conveniently formed by local politicians, and it purchased the lots using Municipal bonds; The process allowed the aforementioned gentleman to land on their feet, in a downward market.

Flash ahead thirty five years to another downward market, and we have one gentleman, J.B. Reilly, buying up center-city with municipal bonds backed by state taxes. Reilly has purchased far more property than ever owned by Park and Shop. He has purchased virtually the four square blocks surrounding the arena, a significant portion of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone(NIZ). Again the process was facilitated by our elected officials. Let us hope that the new monarchy will be as benevolent as the old oligarchy. reprinted from 2012

Sep 13, 2017

Depot At Overlook Park

Old timers have noticed that the contractor's building on Hanover Avenue transformed into a community center for Overlook Park.  But only the oldest, or train buffs, realized that the building was the freight depot and office for the Lehigh & New England Railroad.  Lehigh & New England was formed in 1895, primarily as a coal carrier.  The line ran from Allentown to Maybrook, New York.

In 1904 it was acquired by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company.  The line ceased operation in 1961.  Among it's infrastructure were impressive bridges across both the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers, both of which were dismantled. Ironic that a remnant  of our industrial era is being utilized by the successor of a public housing project.

reprinted from February of 2014

Sep 12, 2017

The Sunday Drive

My family wasn't much for recreation.  My father worked six days a week, from early morning until early evening.  We did go for a long car ride on Sundays.  Back then gasoline was cheap, and having no destination wasn't thought of as wasteful.  Children were more content to sit in the back seat and look out the window, now they want a video screen in the vehicle.

Even children's play then involved more imagination and interaction.  Howdy Doody was just a puppet on strings,who spend most of his time talking to an adult, Buffalo Bob, can you imagine?

 Sitting in that back seat in the mid fifties, I might well had

my "coonskin" hat with me.  Fess Parker was a genuine American hero.  It mattered little if he played both Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, both were king of the wild frontier.  The ride probably lasted for two hours and then we would go to a restaurant to eat dinner.  Compared to now, there were very few restaurants.

My mother would cook all the other meals that week, and we probably ate out more than most.  Supermarkets were the new rage in food shopping, but the butcher, baker and candle stick maker were still going strong.  If my father headed west or south, chances are we ended up at Shankweiler's Hotel, famous for chicken and waffles.   They were at the intersection of Old 22 and Route 100.  The building still exists and currently is a bank.  The family also owned another hotel on Route 309.  Both locations also operated adjoining Drive-In movies.

If my father headed north or east,  we would end up at Walp's, which was on the corner of Union Blvd. and Airport Road.  Walp's was a much more urban place.   While Shankweiler's was an old country inn,  Walp's was built as a modern restaurant.  I enjoyed those rides, they were a learning experience.

reprinted from April 2014

Sep 11, 2017

A Morning Call Editorial

As a local pundit and former under-reported candidate myself,  I found Robert York's editorial on the upcoming mayoral election promising.  It's York's first editorial,  and the first one the paper has printed in many years.  I personally hope that he decides to make it a habit.

My first encounter with Mr. York occurred shortly after he assumed his new position at the Call.  I appealed to him directly,  after receiving resistance for my op-ed piece prior to the Wehr's Dam referendum.  Although, he initially welcomed our dialogue,  that hospitality ended abruptly, when he decided that some of my statements were disparaging towards his staff.  From my side of the conversations, I never purported to be a diplomat,  and consider my candor unique, even here in the blogosphere.

York's editorial stakes out what factors will be used by the paper in reporting the upcoming election.  As the song says, I'm so vain, I like to think that my complaints about the 2005 coverage factored in his decision to go public.

My relationship with York and/or The Morning Call hasn't improved.  He states in his piece that through print and digital that they reach more people than ever;  I don't know about that, but I do know that this blog is on the Call's reading list.

Sep 8, 2017

Your Trusted News Source

I couldn't help but to shake my head at the paper's promotion, selling cups and shirts so that we may celebrate our First Amendment rights with our trusted source for real news, The Morning Call.

This is the same paper that never questioned why it was the only parcel on the north side of Linden Street included in the NIZ.  This is the same paper which promoted each new building by J.B. Reilly as if it were some actual revitalization,  instead of an overly generous taxpayer funded, privately owned incentive program.  Reilly now even owns the newspaper building itself.  Now,  rather than an honest reckoning,  we get offered cups and shirts from the FREE SPEECH COLLECTION.

Recently, I posted about how my op-ed on Wehr's Dam was rejected, along with op-eds by other informed readers.

Those seeking free speech and/or real news will have to look further than The Morning Call.

Sep 7, 2017

New Graveside Tears At Fairview in Allentown

In August of 08, after about a year of blogging on conditions at Fairview, The Morning Call ran the story shown above. I did manage to organize a small meeting between the cemetery operators and the public later that fall. Yesterday I received the following comment, submitted to a posting from that period.

Patti from California has left a new comment on your post "New Graveside Tears":

My family is buried at Fairview and 2 weeks ago I visited and was appalled at the horrible conditions and total lack of maintenance throughout the cemetery. I have been trying to reach Loretta or David most of the summer and was told they had taken an extended trip out of the country. (business must be good) They seem to be back now - but still no way to actually talk to them.

My mother is 97 - plans to be buried there with her parents and my Dad. I could cry at the thought ....

I googled Fairview and was led to your blog. Loretta told me in May I could get our plot maintained if I invested in their endowment for $1000. After seeing the total lack of care there, I feel like I would be throwing the money away. What do other people think or do about this appalling condition?

I feel sorry for this family, Fairview may have been a well maintained place when the father was buried there many years ago. I believe the cemetery is in better condition than it was two years ago, but that's not saying very much. I will occasionally revisit this topic, to at least continue a small noise on behalf of these families.

reprinted from September of 2009

ADDENDUM: Over the years I have published numerous posts about Fairview Cemetery. Today and yesterday, I revisited the cemetery to cast light on a problem; Allentown's orphan cemeteries. Although Fairview isn't really an orphan, it shares the same issues as the West End Cemetery, in center city. Our esteemed mayor took it upon himself to purchase two unnecessary parcels, ostensibly to add to the park system. In addition to their cost, $1.5 million dollars, there will be upkeep expenses by an already underfunded park system. City hall should instead concentrate on these cemeteries, which have been problematic for decades.

reprinted from November of 2016

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 7, 2017: In the picture above I'm shown walking in the small Jewish section of Fairview. Over the last decade, in addition to advocating for the cemetery's upkeep, I've made frequent return visits to keep checking on conditions. Starting about five years ago, I noticed new burials toward the rear of the sprawling cemetery, near Harrison Street. It certainly appeared to me that these new burials were on old family plots, probably no longer visited by any descendants. I mentioned my concern to several people associated with other cemeteries. They seemed to share my suspicion, but did not want to get involved. The new burials have continued, and now appear bordering old family plots even closer to the front of the grounds, near Lehigh Street. The current owner claimed years ago that the plot plan for the cemetery was destroyed in a fire. Let this post serve as public notice of what may well be a new problem at a very old cemetery.

Sep 6, 2017

No Dutchmen Need Apply

Mildred and Milton are upset. They lived and worked their entire lives in Allentown. They both started working in sewing factories after high school and spend their working lives there. During the late 60's they owned their only car, and always lived in apartments. They never sought any help from the government, their culture taught them to make it do, use it up, wear it out and do without. When they heard about these new public housing apartments overlooking the Lehigh, they thought that would be a nice reward for a life of hard work. They were told it would take years,years they don't have, to get on the list. It's hard for them to understand how brand newcomers to the area, who don't  speak English, go to the head of the line. They don't know about the poverty pimps, the social organizations, funded by grants; The professional advocates who know what buttons to push, who make a career out of political correctness. Maybe we need a Pennsylvania Dutch American Organization.

 reprinted from 2007 and 2010

ADDENDUM: Needless to say ,the previous times I published this piece some readers were offended by its bluntness. Here we are in 2017, and Mayor Pawlowski isn't even seeking Mildred and Milton's vote.

Sep 5, 2017

The World Of Mirth

Allentown at one time had two very productive railroad branch lines; The West End, and the Barber Quarry. The Barber Quarry, for the most part, ran along the Little Lehigh Creek. It serviced the Mack Truck plants on South 10th, and continued west until it turned north along Union Terrace, ending at Wenz's tombstone at 20th and Hamilton Streets. The West End, for the most part, ran along Sumner Avenue, turning south and looping past 17th and Liberty Streets.

The Allentown Economic and Development Corporation has received a $1.8 million grant, toward a $4 million dollar project, to restore a portion of the Barber Quarry branch to service it's industrial building on South 10th Street. This building housed Traylor Engineering, which was a giant back in the day. Recently it housed a fabricator who President Obama visited on his Allentown photo opportunity mission. The business has since closed, but let's not have that reality stand in the way of grants. Last summer, I fought against Allentown's Trail Network Plan, which catered to the spandex cyclist crowd. The new trail was to be built on the Barber Quarry track line. Not only didn't the AEDC oppose the plan, it's director was an advocate. Now they will be funded to develop that which they wanted to destroy. Where do I begin in Allentown's World of Mirth?

The wonderful photograph above shows the World of Mirth train at 17th and Liberty. World of Mirth was the midway operator at the Allentown Fair during the 40's and 50's. In the background is Trexler Lumber Yard, which burnt down in the early 1970's. The B'nai B'rith Apartment houses now occupy the location.
photograph from the collection of Mark Rabenold

UPDATE: The Barber Quarry branch was not the primary railroad access to the Mack plants on South 10th Street. The branch only provided service to Mack Plant #2 on South 10th and Mack Plant #1 on 7th and Mill Streets which both closed for manufacturing in 1924 in favor of Mack #3,3A,4 and 4A on South 10th. These were served by the Reading Railroad Mack Branch. There was a switchback that connected the Barber Quarry to the Reading west of Traylor Engineering and Manufacturing Co. Yet, that was built by the Reading to serve Traylor and did not provide access for the LVRR to Mack #3,3A, 4 and 4A.

Also the western terminus was not wenz's on Hamliton Street. The branch crossed Hamilton and served several businesses including Yeager Fuel on North St Elmo, several silk mills and Pepsi Bottling at 2100 Linden Street. The bottling plant closed in 1963 which then became a city parks department building. The LVRR sold and removed the track north of Hamilton street in 1969. Accordingly, in 1970, the Wenz company became the western most shipper and receiver on the branch. update information from anonymous comment in November of 2010

reprinted from September of 2013

Sep 4, 2017

Allentown On A Tightrope

Forty three years ago Philippe Petit walked above Hamilton Street on a tightrope. Two weeks earlier he had walked between the Twin  World Trade Towers above Manhattan. Back then, you could count on Allentown's retail titan Max Hess to bring the best to town.

Flash ahead over four decades, and now Allentown itself is on the tightrope. Our mayor, who has been alleged corrupt by the FBI, will likely be re-elected by a coalition of minority voters. Aiding in that election result is a city councilman, who will most likely divide the anti-corruption vote, hoping to enter the office through the back door early next year.

The public is distracted by some new buildings which poach tenants from elsewhere in the valley, and the local newspaper was incentivized to under-report that reality by the same real estate deal.

Those who still seek unbiased commentary may well be limited to this blog.

photocredit: The Morning Call/August 1974

Sep 1, 2017

Just Out Of View and Gone In Allentown

The photo above means a lot to me, for the things just out of view and now gone. You're at the crossing tower on Union Street, near 3th. There's another gate stopping the eastbound traffic, which has backed up toward the Jordan Creek. The same train has also blocked traffic further down the line, at Basin Street. It's the early 1950's and the tracks from the two rail lines, Lehigh Valley and Jersey Central, cross here.  At the end of Union Street you can make out my father's market, Allentown Meat Packing Company. The whole side of the building is a sign, painted directly on the brick in red and silver, Retail Meats, Wholesale Prices. You'll pass Morris Black Building Supply and The Orange Car before you get there. You'll also have to cross another set of tracks, which was the Lehigh Valley old main, before they built the Railroad Terminal over the Jordan Creek, at Hamilton Street. Our commercial past is now consigned to memory and future urban archeology.

reprinted from December of 2013

Aug 31, 2017

Selective Statues And Op-Eds

Much attention has been paid to the noble effort, in many parts of America, to remove offensive statues and memorials of past heroes of the south who are now recognized as villains by their beliefs and deeds. Most of the focus has been on statues depicting Confederate generals, statesmen, and even soldiers. Every day, it seems, brings news of another monument to those associated with protecting evil institutions being removed from a public space.

Sadly, no proper attention is being paid to another so called hero of the past.

This twentieth century president knowingly put a member of the Klu Klux Klan on the supreme court, deliberately excluded black gold medal athletes to a “whites only” White house welcome, refused to sign anti-lynching laws because he was afraid it would lose him white votes, declined to desegregate the military and federal work force that had only recently been segregated by America’s 1st progressive president, Woodrow Wilson, a little over a decade before. He did, however, sign legislation that introduced Redlining as official business for the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and, as one historian put it, turned the institution into one which “exhorted segregation and enshrined it as public policy.” This same president was the leader of a political party that was heavily populated with outspoken racists. All this said, these many detestable acts, and the tendency to give deferential political treatment to bigots, were just the tip of the iceberg.

This president interned over 120,000 Japanese-Americans in concentration camps simply because they were of Japanese ancestry. Many lost everything they owned, including land, homes, and businesses. During their time in these concentration camps they were separated from immediate family and acquaintances. He also denied Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany on the MS St. Louis entry into the United States, despite direct appeals to him. As a result, many of those poor souls ended up back in the hands of Adolf Hitler.

This President, of course, is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and even today, he is celebrated by many of the same people who are, at this moment, advocating for the removal of potentially offensive imagery from public spaces.

Now, one might say he did some of these things because that was the thinking of the times, or he had support from congress and/or the Supreme Court. But aren’t these the same excuses we rightfully dismiss when apologists for the confederacy try to justify that racism.? If ridding our public places of certain monuments will serve to unite America and shield the public from unnecessary offense and uncomfortable historical events, then how can we possibly justify memorials and a place on our coins for FDR? On that note, shouldn’t we also agree that the monuments to the five Democratic Senators that signed the racist “Southern Manifesto” Including the still beloved Sam Irvin and Former Senate Leader and Hillary Clinton mentor Robert C. Bryde be removed? Should we then remove the numerous statues, and the name from the many academic buildings of one of America’s most notorious racist residents, Woodrow Wilson.

Who out there, with what I assume are only the best of intentions, could demand we only remove some statues of disgraced historical figures, but leave these others standing? Surely no honest person of any integrity would do such a thing.

Scott Armstrong,

Editorial From Molovinsky; The above thought provoking Op-Ed was submitted to The Morning Call last week by Scott Armstrong. After not hearing back from the editor for over a week, Scott asked if I might be interested in printing it. In addition to its own merits, I'm also interested in addressing the paper's editorial policy. I've come to the conclusion that the Morning Call bases their decision on who submits the piece, rather than its merits. Both Armstrong and myself have had our submissions put off, I suspect for being too conservative for the paper's taste. In my case, I also suspect that they are providing cover for certain sacred cows. The red illustration at the top of the post is from Robert Trotner's Facebook page. He also is currently being put off by the editor.

Aug 30, 2017

A Small Break For Allentown School Taxpayers

Although, the Allentown School Taxes went up this year, one expense has gone down; Starting this year the teacher's union will pay their boss's salary, instead of the school district. This change is one result of a lawsuit filed by Scott Armstrong and Steven Ramos.

The Armstrong/Ramos suit also seeks back salary paid to the union leader, Debbie Tretter, since 2009. Tretter is an Allentown teacher, but is relieved of teaching duties to serve full time in her union position. This practice is known as ghost teaching, and is widespread throughout Pennsylvania.

Armstrong and Ramos, who often comment here, are tenacious advocates for their beliefs.  Armstrong would now like Allentown voters to realize that Ray O'Connell was a supporter of the arrangement, which paid Tretter with their tax money.

ADDENDUM: WEDNESDAY 11:00AM. My statement above about O'Connell  supporting the arrangement was a paraphrase from an Armstrong comment yesterday on Facebook.  O'Connell just contacted me to say that he never had any involvement in the negotiations that permitted that arrangement.  I had messaged O'Connell's Facebook campaign page seeking comment yesterday, but he apparently did not see the message.

This blogger attended Jefferson Elementary, shown above, starting in the 3rd grade. At that time, Lehigh Parkway only went through 2nd grade, and we were then bused to Jefferson.

Aug 29, 2017

The Mighty Atom

Years ago, at the Allentown Fair, as one would push through a sea of carney delusion, tucked back by the 4H animals, was an island of reality. There, in an old battered truck, an ancient Jewish strongman performed incredible feats of strength, to sell only homemade kosher soap. Standing on a platform on the rear of his truck, flanked by photographs from his performing youth, he would bent horse shoes and bite through nails. Many years earlier, my mother as a little girl in Bethlehem, saw him pull a truck uphill with his hair. Even as an old man, like a reincarnation of Samson, his grey hair was still long.
In the summers of 1964 and 1965, myself and a friend,(Fred Schoenk, retired Allentown art teacher) made and sold printed tee-shirts at the fair. We had the honor to know Joseph Greenstein(The Mighty Atom) and his wife. For those interested, there are various articles on the Mighty Atom and even at least one book. Enjoy the fair!

reprinted annually since 2007

Aug 28, 2017

Allentown Shootings

Statistics that crime is down are meaningless.  We have never had this many shootings and stabbings.   The consequences of the center city demographic shifts  have come home to roost in Allentown.  The changes were fueled about ten years ago by several organizations who would pay the first month rent and security deposit for the unemployed by choice, who flocked here from New York and New Jersey for those incentives.  Some of the new residents were actually set up twice,  after they were evicted the first time.

In 2005, as an independent candidate for mayor, I spoke up and out about what the consequences of this change would be for Allentown.  We could now be living in the end times of a former livable city.

Perhaps, with the proper leadership,  we could begin to restore some balance between productive citizens and the predators.  At best, it will take a decade of hard decisions, unencumbered by political correctness.

Nat Hyman had a letter in the paper this weekend outlining his proposals to reduce crime, if he were elected mayor.  Let us hope that the residents of Allentown decide to fight back, and that he prevails in November.

Aug 25, 2017

Allentown's New Dog Park

I'm in at least one Allentown park every day. Recently, I visited a dog park in another community a couple of times.  I can tell you that Allentown has an existing dog community in most of its parks. Owners and their dogs visit each other every day in Lehigh Parkway, Cedar Park, Trexler Park and other spots in Allentown.

There would be nothing wrong with establishing a separate dog park near Dixon Street, if the existing parks were maintained, but that's not the case. Every existing park has issues of neglect and deferred maintenance.

We have a mayor desparate to cut another ribbon, hoping it will garner him a few more votes come November.  We have a park director who is apparently more interested in adding new bullet points to her resumé,  than preserving our iconic park system.

Despite the reservations expressed here, the new dog park is under construction. If you visit with your four legged friend,  remember that the double stairway at Lehigh Parkway is falling apart, along with most of the other park structures which once made our city famous.

picture postcard, circa 1950, of Allentown's iconic Lehigh Parkway,  with the WPA Double Stairway 

Aug 24, 2017

The Post Journalism Era

Let me start with a disclaimer, I did not watch the speech/rally.  I started to watch a youtube of it, but loss interest very quickly.  What I did notice was that every article about it was an editorial, not a report. It compared what he previously said about Charlottesville, with what he said in Phoenix.

Trump complains that the media unfairly inserts their attitude into the news about him,  and the media in turn applies more attitude when reporting on his complaint.  Where does one find news in this climate?  It now appears that the BBC is channeling CNN: Scratch one more source.

Don't confuse me with a Trump supporter, I'm a defender of our democracy.  You couldn't have paid me to attend that Phoenix event.  Every complaint about him has some truth,  but the media should attempt to separate their opinion from their reporting.  CNN spent Wednesday asking various public officials if Trump is fit to be president?  The Democrats need to mound no opposition strategy,  the media is doing it for them.

The Trump era news' treatment is now being taught in our colleges and universities as journalism.  Revisionism, instead of taking decades, now takes minutes.

Aug 23, 2017

An Atlantic City Memory

The picture above by the Associated Press appeared on Facebook yesterday, in regard to the death of Jerry Lewis, the famed comedian. If the picture doesn't look like funny Jerry, there's a reason.

When I was about eight years old, my cousin and I stayed with our aunt, who had rented a house for the summer at the shore. Walking on the boardwalk, my consin and I were delighted to see on the marquee that Jerry Lewis was entertaining on Steel Pier. We both ponied up our week's money and went in to see the funny man. A rather gaunt man came out onto the stage and sat at a piano. When he started singing Great Balls Of Fire, we were confused. When he started pounding the piano with his feet, and his hair started unraveling, we were shocked.

Apparently, the young person at the Associated Press also confused Jerry Lewis with Jerry Lee Lewis, whose picture appears above.

Aug 22, 2017

No Real Nazis In Charlottesville

My post on Trump and the Jews received numerous back channel complaints from my fellow tribe members.  How could I possibly defend Trump from not speaking out more forcibly against Nazis?

When children came dressed to your door as super heroes on Halloween, did you think that it was really Superman and Batman?  The real Nazis took our relatives away in the middle of the night and put them in concentration camps, before gassing them.  What you saw in Charlottesville was real anti-semitism,  but not real Nazis.  I understand the concept of being vigilant, but don't trivialize the Holocaust because of your hate against Trump.  American Nazi are not new.  They were already marching against the Jews in Skokie 39 years ago.

While I'm airing complaints against this blog,  here's a different one from a black reader about the Ambush At 9th & Chew  post.
  Gangsters?? who the hell you calling gangsters??? Did they kill that women like racists in Virginia???? Its funny how you hypocrites will praise white drug dealers, and save white addicts. smh....freedom of speech is for cowards too!!!The real gangsters are in the White House. Why don't you write for Breitbart Mr M. they would love you there.  

It wasn't the racists in Virginia in Halloween costumes who killed the woman, it was a lone nut from Ohio, who was probably a week away from killing someone back home.

I don't believe that those swastika armbands in Charlottesville are a threat against me, but I do speak out in person against anti-semitic statements said in my presence.  I don't believe that Confederate statues are a threat against blacks, but I would be concerned about kids formulating gangs at 9th and Chew.

Aug 21, 2017

Trump And The Jews

The Jewish reaction to Trump's statements about Charlottesville can be viewed within the larger political arena;  The overwhelming majority of Jews are Democrats, and voted for Hillary Clinton.  They join those who haven't gotten over the election last November, and bash Trump as the numerous opportunities arise.  That said, people marching with torches shouting Jews Will Not Replace Us leaves quite a jarring impression.

As a political conservative of the Jewish faith, I have no delusions about anti-semitism. I think that it is everywhere, just under the surface. I think that many non-Jews share the misconception that there is some secretive Jewish network,  helping Jews succeed at the expense of everyone else.  If such a network exists,  they must have misplaced my address.  These misconceptions have existed for almost two thousand years,  and I choose not to blame Trump for them.

Trump's presidency has been a series of poorly worded sound bites.  His background in commercial real estate development didn't require political correctness.  He was suggesting that everybody who was protesting against removing a statue of Robert E. Lee wasn't evil,  and that not everyone favoring its removal was pure in their intent.  He was not defending Neo-Nazis, or their  hatred of Jews and blacks. In our current era nothing elicits more reaction than an accusation of racism.  Even Mitt Romney joined the drum-beaters this weekend.  I didn't realize that he was interested in 2020.

 Most of those criticizing Trump for not providing moral clarity last week would not be satisfied regardless of what he had said, or didn't say.

Aug 18, 2017

O'Connell's Back Door

Allentown City Council will hire an attorney and attempt to have Pawlowski removed as mayor.  What this effort indicates to me, this late in the game,  is that Ray O'Connell shares the belief that election night will go to Pawlowski.  Considering that most pundits feel that O'Connell's entrance into the race as a write-in is a boost to Pawlowski's chances,  I might question O'Connell's write in effort.

The City Charter,  short of conviction, leaves the mayor in office.  The best way to get him out is at the polls.  The best chance of an opponent winning is a two-way race.  O'Connell could withdraw his write-in campaign, and support Hyman.

The above two paragraphs are my gut reaction as a local political analyst to the city council vote to hire an attorney.  That said,  as a former third person myself on the ballot, and as an admirer of Ray O'Connell,  best wishes in his pursuit.

Aug 17, 2017

Jaindl Up The Creek

It's not actually a creek, but the Lehigh River.  It's not actually Jaindl up the creek, but Allentonians who care about history.  Talen Energy has announced that it will relocate from the PPL Plaza down Hamilton Street to Reilly's new Tower 6.  Jaindl was hoping to land Talen as his anchor tenant for his  project at the riverfront,  which also has NIZ designation.

Students of this blog may remember that I complained about the last spur route being removed from the riverfront,  to accommodate Jaindl's project.  Although,  they tried to spin the track removal with the Rail To Trail annoucement,  it was a historic loss for Allentown. The spur was part of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Old Main, with the last distributor in Allentown using rail service.

This town, and especially Pawlowski, has no knowledge or sense of local history.  The boards, authorities and commissions in Allentown, which are composed mostly of Pawlowski appointees, also have no sense of history.  Further adding to this problem, is the significant number of new residents in the area.  Whether they are the entitlement folks from the big cities, or the new middle class suburbanites, local history is of little concern to them.  Never the less,  local history will continue to be a major theme of this blog.

Photo shows the former last spur line in Allentown, which was probably removed for naught.

Aug 16, 2017

The Saga Of Cedarbrook

I snickered when I learned that the Lehigh County Commissioners last week were getting ready to decide the fate of Cedarbrook Nursing Home. They already decided in 2011, when they started postponing any decision. Now, six years later, they have decided? The decision back then in 2011 was rather than say no to the county elders, and suffer the political consequences, they could keep postponing their decision with more and more studies. Along these many years I credit myself and Tom Mueller for speaking out against the charade.

By now Cedarbrook could have been renovated and turned profitable. Recently, at least one former commissioner took umbrage at me for pointing out the folly of another board. Over the years from attending meetings and advocating for one issue or another, I have become friendly with many of our commissioners. However, for me not to speak out against their collective shortcomings because of friendship or courtesy would negate both my activism and this blog. I choose to put these missions first, whether it be the parks or the elderly.

photocredit: K Mary Hess

Aug 15, 2017

Ambush At 9th & Chew

A former neighborhood leader was ambushed at 9th & Chew Streets last week.  Youths with their faces covered by bandanas circled her car in ATV vehicles,  causing both damage and fright.   Although Pawlowski is featuring the new buildings in his campaign material,  I suspect that the ambush will not be mentioned. Neither will be the recent shootings, stabbings, home invasions and homicides.

In 2005, I predicted our current state of crime. As a independent candidate for mayor, and an inter-city property manager, I was well aware of the changes moving into Allentown.  Although my views were marginalized by The Morning Call at the time, those chickens have come home to roost.  Allentown has reached a critical mass of the hardcore under Pawlowski's tenure. Hideous crimes are a daily occurrence. The NIZ district will be full of new Reilly owned buildings, but there will be no revitalization. No yuppie with more than three brain cells will want to live downtown among the gangsters.

The screen shot shown above is from John Ford's 1939 epic, Stagecoach.  The movie was filmed in Monument Valley in the Navajo Nation.   That movie, and subsequent ones featuring the valley, made it a destination. 

Aug 14, 2017

Stoking The Fire

What occurred in Virginia over the weekend is certainly a tragedy. I don't watch cable news as most people do, my television viewing is very restricted. From the headlines; Three Killed By Supremacist March. Only later did I learn that one pedestrian was killed by the car ramming, and two policemen died when their helicopter crashed.

The march started as a protest to removing the statue of Robert E. Lee. It was originally conceived by the University Of Virginia itself, as a Day Of Reflective Conversation. The white national group's participation was defended by the American Civil Liberties Union.  No less of an informed American than Condoleezza Rice has spoken out previously against revising Confederate history. History is something you add to, not take away from.  The march also did attract neo-nazi's and the KKK. These subgroups are opportunists.

The person who weaponized the car is supposedly a Trump supporter. Juxtaposition Trump's weak comments with that person's background, and you have a media storm which will last indefinitely.  The media pundits are holding Trump responsible for the death.  Nobody of course would attribute any blame to Cornel West, the Princeton/Harvard professor who encouraged the counter demonstration.

ADDENDUM:  On August 16 I received the following note by email from a local reader/college professor.  Although, I don't find his sources any more substantial than mine,  I present his objection to above post.

The march/protest to removing statue was, of course, *not* originally conceived by the University—a day of reflective conversation was. Unite the Right organized the actual protest, which — obviously no one disputes this, including the groups themselves—is a coalition of neo-nazi, white supramicists, and the KKK. It is flat-out inaccurate to say “The march also did attract new-nazi’s and the KKK.” It was organized by them. A correction is called for, in my opinion. The stakes are obviously high on this.

Aug 11, 2017

Simmons Is Better Than This

I support the 2nd Amendment and own a gun. That said, I do not belong to the NRA;  I cannot  respect a group which tells its members for whom to vote.

I was disappointed to see Justin Simmons pander to gun owners with a concealed carry seminar.  Here again,  I'm not against the right to carry, just against politicians who play on it, one way or another,  These seminars are straight from Julie Harhart's old playbook, who was a Representative for eleven terms.  I could accept Simmons reneging on his term limit pledge, but he should be above  parlor tricks like this seminar.

Aug 10, 2017

Allentown's Planning Puppies

Longtime readers of this blog know that I have written about these puppies before, when they approved the arena itself.  At that time, I said that one of them tried to bark, but hadn't really learned yet,  but that they were so cute.   They're still obedient, and this week passed J.B. Reilly's plans for the Croc Rock site.  One planner praised the proposed design,  inadvertently acknowledging  that their previous approvals were devoid of architectural merit. Could you imagine them not approving a  Reilly proposal?

By coincidence, many years ago I  happen to be sitting with Joe Clark when the then mayor phoned him about his plans for that nightclub. Lets just say that he didn't get the cooperation that Reilly is getting, nor did he get to pay for it with our state tax money.

Also on the puppy's menu was Nat Hyman's proposal to turn the massive Phoenix Mill building into apartments.  I have an issue with these conversion projects.  On one hand,  additional apartments contribute to the poverty magnate, by making housing relatively overly abundant  and cheap in center city. However, I do believe in the right of property owners to utilize their investment, and alternative  commercial uses for such buildings no longer exist.  Some people on Facebook wonder if such a project is a conflict of interest for a mayoral candidate.  I think not, and Hyman will seek all necessary approvals before serving, if elected.

Aug 9, 2017

Pawlowski Park Crimes

Yesterday on Facebook, Mayor For Life Pawlowski was bragging about a grant to plan for a new park in Allentown. This park would be around the old incinerator plant off of Basin Street. As a long time advocate for the park system, especially maintaining the WPA structures, nothing represents Pawlowski's disconnect from Allentown values more than this proposal. There is so much wrong with it, it's hard to know where to begin.

Pawlowski spent $1.5 Million Dollars buying part of this parcel and another unnecessary one from a local developer in a questionable deal. The WPA double stairway in Lehigh Parkway is crumbling. One of the landings is starting to cave in from neglect, threatening the steps below. Although the city had to replace and repair part of the wall to reopen the park entrance, the remainder of the wall has received no attention, what so ever. Likewise, other WPA locations, such as Union Terrace, are in dire need of restoration.

It would be nothing less than a disgrace to open another park until the existing park structures are repaired. Likewise, the grant that Pawlowski is bragging about should have been directed to WPA structures,  instead of trying to justify one of his back room deals.

Aug 8, 2017

Airport Director Flies Coop

The director of LVIA is leaving,  and their board of directors issued the standard exit praise about the wonderful job he did.  In my opinion,  neither he or they do a good job.

As often the case,  people appointed to these boards are the same good old boys appointed to multiple boards.  Often they are appointed not because they care and study a situation, but because their cooperation can be counted upon.

The previous ill-advised acquisition of expansion land cost the authority over $26 million in punitive damages.  Factor in that the airport passenger volume has generally deceased,  the wisdom of those previous decisions is apparent.

When the board decided to do away with the previous management company,  they hired the guy who was representing the previous company, expecting better results?  In recent years they have modernized a perfectly modern facility for no useful purpose.  Their current useless project is to do away with the convenience of having the car rentals by the luggage claim area, and building a separate building as a transportation hub.  Again, expanding for expansion sake with no useful purpose.

In the meantime,  they continue to overcharge for parking, and fail to induce more flights to more destinations.

In the past when I questioned a board member about some of these decisions,  he knew little to nothing about them.  Of course that didn't deter him from voting yes.

Aug 7, 2017

What Now For Allentown

With Ray O'Connell entering the mayoral race as a write-in,  the dynamics of the contest change. Some students of the local political scene think that the anti-Pawlowski vote will be divided up between O'Connell and Hyman,  giving Pawlowski a plurality election eve.

Certainly,  O'Connell's entrance can only take votes away from Hyman.  While some Republicans complain that he is only one of them by opportunity, that accusation may actually be a plus in Democratic Allentown.  So far,  I haven't seen Hyman defend his recent Republican registration.

Although Allentown would certainly be better off with either O'Connell or Hyman, I'm refraining from any predictions, with one exception.  Regardless of who wins,  Allentown has been lessened because Pawlowski won the primary.  The fact that about 28% of the votes cast in the Democratic Primary were for someone with compromised integrity, doesn't bode well for Allentown's future.  These supporters will continue their own agenda, regardless of who wins in November.  Future politicians will have to pander to this element, who are more concerned with entitlements than ethics.

Aug 4, 2017

Being An Independent Blogger

The Morning Call yesterday reported that two independents have qualified for the mayoral ballot. In addition to reporting their names and backgrounds, they included a photograph of both. In 2005, although I was the first independent to run in two decades, they never once published my photograph throughout the entire campaign. They also excluded me from their sponsored debate with Muhlenberg College, televised by WFMZ.  Every day for two weeks they ran a quarter page photograph of both Pawlowski and Heydt in the paper, promoting the debate. I mention this inequity as a prelude to my thoughts about blogging.

 My exchange with a reporter abruptly ended when I mentioned a former reporter who covered the 2005 campaign, and his bias for Pawlowski. The former reporter was not only Pawlowski's first supporter, but ended up being the last person hired by Mike Fleck, before he flew the coop. The current reporter has remained friends with this guy, and apparently demonstrated his loyalty by ending our dialogue. A feud with a  local  blogger also involved loyalty. He claimed that I was being disloyal, when I scoffed at a disclaimer he made.

 Loyalty to me is something you give to your significant other and your country. It's not something which should extend to journalism, especially in the political arena. That's how you end up with a mayor running for his fourth term under indictment.

Aug 3, 2017

Pawlowski's Poverty Shuttle

I told readers that Pawlowski won the primary by campaigning in the minority owned beauty and barber shops. These people were flattered by receiving attention from a mayor. He subsequently attended every event and birthday party to which they invited him. On primary evening he had cobbled together over 1,700 votes, a plurality to win in the crowded primary field. Not being content with my analysis, I called it the Marion Barry vote, because these constituents are not turned off by Pawlowski's trouble with the law. He continues now to court this demographic.  A bus outfitted with a Re-Elect Pawlowski  sign fueled speculation that he was providing a free shuttle service around town.  Perhaps at night the shuttle could take shooting and stabbing victims to the emergency ward.

He certainly knows how to work these people for his gain.  A free shuttle service would be appropriate, since under his tenure most of the low-income moved to Allentown.  I saw another photo of him carrying a cooler, and handing out bottles of water in a park.  I suppose that's because he leased the city's water department.  He might also consider handing out models of city hall,  since he allegedly sold that as well.

Those looking for nice sentiments should buy a Hallmark card,  you won't find them here.

Aug 2, 2017

Morning Call's Farewell Missing Firewall

In Bernie O'Hare's obsession to criticize me on Monday, and ingratiate himself with Bill White, he dismissed an important story. When I had referred to Rolf Oeler's comment as interesting, Bernie commented on his blog; His explanation (Molovinsky) is nonsense, too. People going out for dinner on Friday nights or having a drink is indicative of nothing. 

Oeler reported that J.B. Reilly, Pat Browne and Bill White were at the bar.  Bill White, in a subsequent public facebook post, commented that the occasion with Morning Call personnel, was a farewell for Matt Assad, which we know from Oeler included Pat Browne, and J. B. Reilly.

I have been asking here on this blog for several years whether Matt Assad was reporting on the NIZ, or acting as a press agent for Reilly's City Center Real Estate Company? The newspaper articles, one after another, read more like press releases than news articles. Readers looking for critical analysis of the NIZ were left mostly with only this blog. The Morning Call would be hard pressed to prove that the proper firewall exists, especially now since J.B. Reilly literally purchased the Morning Call Newspaper building, and is their landlord.

Aug 1, 2017

The Dour Molovinsky

Bernie O'Hare wrote an attack piece against me yesterday, in which he claims that I allowed Rolf Oeler to threaten Bill White, because White called me dour. White did describe me as dour, thank you, several years ago. However, after seeing a psychiatrist numerous times, I came to grips with the description. It appears however, that Bernie O'Hare hasn't come to grips with his resentment towards me. He got angry when I called his disclaimer about contributing $25 dollars to Morganelli an understatement. Anyone who has read O'Hare's adulation of Morganelli understands that $25 pales in comparison to all the free public relations given to him over the years.

The comment by Oeler did have some hostility, but it was interesting and informative. It was about a politician and developer sitting in a place they created with our tax money, with the newspaper men who promote it for them.  It was in no way an actual threat against Mr. White.  I believe that the only real aggression was O'Hare's post about it.

Call me dour,  but don't tell me who can comment on my blog.

Jul 31, 2017

Allentown's New Political Era

In his column on Sunday, Bill White uses a Winnie The Pooh analogy,  that he hopes that Pawlowski supporters start wising up, and realize that he is not the leader that he purports to be.

Ed's supporters know exactly what he is.  They're not voting for integrity,  instead they're betting on someone who might share the honey with them.  They're not voting for a better Allentown,  they're voting for bigger piece of the pie for themselves.

The new constituency which Pswlowski cobbled together for his primary victory will continue on past November's election,  regardless of who wins.  Rather than looking forward to a more ethical Allentown,  I think that we have seen the beginning of a Tammany Hall.  Even if we luck out with someone other than Pawlowski for the next mayor,  he created a blueprint for a new era of self-interest politics.

I can appreciate that some of my readers may find this post less than optimistic in outlook.  Thst's good,  because we are going to need all the idealists available to counter the coming opportunists.

Jul 28, 2017

Allentown's Predicament

Pawlowski says that he isn't resigning because he did nothing wrong. I certainly believe the first part of his statement, that he won't resign.  Although, his support is limited almost exclusively to minority owned beauty and barber shops, that was enough to get him on November's ballot. The established business community and local government officials have made it clear to him that he is a liability, and that he should put the city ahead of his need for a paycheck. Perhaps these two segments should put their efforts together, and see if Pawlowski could be induced to resign with a payout. He is essentially totally ineffective now as a mayor, making the entire city hall payroll non-productive.

photocredit:The Morning Call

Jul 27, 2017

Schism In Lehigh Valley Democratic Party

The Lehigh Valley Democratic Party Committee has thrown Chairman (for now) Walter Felton and the new minority party members shown above under the bus.  Yesterday afternoon one of the committee members forwarded their statement to blogger Bernie O'Hare, stating that Walter Felton was speaking for himself, and not the local party. We are seeing a schism between the county suburban, mostly white establishment and the city urban core, which they had formally embraced to mint new voters.

When Ed Pawlowski was campaigning to win the Democratic primary,  I reported that he was courting the minority beauty and barber shop owners.  I called it the Marion Barry vote.  A Black Democratic political consultant accused me of being racially insensitive on facebook,  because of my bluntness.  A Black woman who moved here from Washington DC told me outright that she supported Barry in spite of his criminal wrongdoings.  She is now very comfortable supporting Pawlowski.

Now that Pawlowski's indictment has become very real,  Felton and the folks pictured above apparently spoke out of turn. They apparently were not authorized to endorse Pawlowski, who now is a full blown liability.

I believe that we're witnessing the beginning of a split between the city and county Democrats.  The County party wanted those urban votes,  but the white suburban voters aren't ready for Marion Barry moments.  Don't expect any committee members to verify my observations,  but the people shown above don't appreciate being dissed.

A local Democratic activist on the molovinsky on allentown sounding board contributed to this post.

Jul 26, 2017

Allentown, Pawlowski and Molovinsky

When I started this blog over ten years ago, one of the things that motivated me was the direction Allentown would be going in under Pawlowski.  The Morning Call writes today that Pawlowski began his political career defeating William Heydt in 2005 for mayor.  There was actually a third candidate, an independent,  also on the ballot that year.

Although, The Morning Call denied me equal coverage,  I held underreported and unreported news conferences on what would become Allentown's most pressing problems in the coming years.  While the paper held interviews and debates with seven Democratic primary candidates this year, they claimed that three was too many when they excluded me from their sponsored debate in 2005.

Back in this blog's earliest beginnings,  I was a chorus of one.  Even bloggers Bernie O'Hare and Chris Casey assumed that the issues I was raising were just sour grapes on my part.

I will not be reporting on the nuts and bolts of the indictment.  To me it's already old news.  I will be reprinting some of my early posts.   Despite the tone of this post,  I take no satisfaction with the current events.  Despite all these new buildings, Allentown has been depreciated over the last ten years.  Our center city streets have become danger zones.  Our schools are failing.  Even our famous parks are falling apart.

Below is a reprinted post from June of 2007.

June 23, 2007

Certainly Maxwell Davison and Robert Wood had Allentown's best interest in mind when they recommended a raise for Mayor Pawlowski. The same gentleman also recommended a manager style city government. There are those complainers who say Pawlowski should be paid less ,because although the manager style was not adopted, he hired one anyway, effectively reducing his own job description. But his supporters, and there are many, feel the mayor is reorganizing the ship of city government to lead us to better times. Here's an idea, why not let these cheerleaders form a collection to show their gratitude to the Mayor. Pawlowski will receive the compensation they feel he deserves, and us malcontents will feel less exploited.