Oct 16, 2017

The Butchers Of Allentown

photograph by Bob Wilt

A&B (Arbogast&Bastian), dominated the local meat packing industry for almost 100 years. At it's peak, they employed 700 people and could process 4,000 hogs a day. The huge plant was at the foot of Hamilton Street, at the Lehigh River. All that remains is their free standing office building, which has been incorporated into America on Wheels. Front and Hamilton was Allentown's meatpacking district. Within one block, two national Chicago meatpackers, Swift and Wilson, had distribution centers. Also in the area were several small independents, among them M. Feder and Allentown Meat Packing Company.

reprinted from February 2013

ADDENDUM MARCH 2016: Allentown Meat Packing was owned by my father and uncle. The area was criss-crossed with tracks, owned by both LVRR and Jersey Central. All the plants had their own sidings. molovinsky on allentown will be revisiting this area in upcoming posts. This is an era when commerce was measured in factories and production, not just relocated office workers.

ADDENDUM OCTOBER 2017:  Molovinsky On Allentown occasionally takes a break from the local political discourse to present local history.  My grandfather came to Allentown in 1893 and lived in the Ward on 2nd Street. By the time my father was born in 1917, they lived on the corner of Chew and Jordan Streets. 

Oct 13, 2017

A Lehigh Parkway Vendetta

Over the years each summer people began to look forward to the wildflower garden,  which surrounded the Stone & Log House in Lehigh Parkway.  In the winter, occasionally someone would joke that the bearded man who lived there should dress like Santa Claus for Lights In The Parkway.

Needless to say, Michael Adams was shocked and upset when he was recently evicted from the house, where he lived for over 10 years.  He felt  assaulted again when the park department completely tore away the flower gardens that he cultivated for over a decade.

He'll be the first to tell you that for a long time he was a Pawlowski supporter.  He was surprised when he first got the eviction order referencing a large amount for unpaid rent.  He had a long standing agreement that in exchange for living there,  he would at his own expense both upgrade and maintain the property. Unfortunately for Michael, that arrangement was never written out.

Much like Pawlowski turning on his former supporter, the changes made to the house's outside by the park department are both startling and stark.

Oct 12, 2017

Moral Turpitude Deep At Cedar Beach

According to The Morning Call, Mayor Pawlowski is upset that Public Works revealed to City Council last night that the new swimming pool has a leak.  He thinks that the pool is under the purview of the Park Department, and any such announcement should have come through them.  Actually, the announcement should have come from Pawlowski, and it should have been made last week.  Pawlowski should have announced that he was sorry to report that the new pool has a leaking pipe, and that it won't be open this season after all.  Instead, he directed the Park Department to engage in an expensive, elaborate charade, so he could stage an election stunt.

After I reported on this blog last week that the pool was leaking,  I was confronted on Facebook by a media person in Pawlowski's employ, who criticized me for my negativity.  Replacing thousands of gallons of leaking water every day isn't a matter of positive or negative attitude,  it was simply a fact.  Pawlowski and his park director, instead of announcing the leak,  sodded the grass just for the weekend. (Instead of just allowing the grass seed to grow as previously planned). They paid the park staff overtime for the weekend to stage Pawlowski's pre-election meet and greet, all the while adding water to the leaking pool.

It seems so indicative of Pawlowski's character that he is upset that the truth came out, rather than the fact that the pool is leaking.

Pawlowski's hoax took a lot of extra water.

Oct 11, 2017

South Whitehall Determined To Destroy Wehr's Dam

It's been almost a year since the voters of South Whitehall Township told the Commissioners and Administration that they wanted to keep Wehr's Dam,  even if it took a few of their tax dollars.  However,  the Commissioners and Randy Cope, the park director,  still wanted to accommodate the Wildlands Conservancy, and demolish the dam.  Randy Cope has multiple ties to the Conservancy.  In addition to his father being a director of that organization,  he has commissioned it to implement the township Greenway Project along the Jordan Creek. In the last 11 months since the referendum passed, the township hasn't said one word about the dam, giving no confirmation that they would abide by the voter's wishes.

The large tree trunk seen above has sat on top of the middle of the dam most of the summer.  The tree has a branch stuck in the silt behind the dam.  It should have been pulled away from the back of the dam months ago, taken to shore and disposed of.  Randy Cope is now Director of Township Operations.  A tree contractor is being hired to bring in a backhoe below the dam, and pull the two ton trunk over the dam with chains, even though it is caught up behind the dam.   Randy Cope must be hoping that the process smashes the dam, or at least destroys the cement buttress and platform below it.

Although, the dam has survived for over a century, and was supposed to be saved by the voter's referendum,  the forces waged against it remain very real.  The Wildlands Conservancy/Conspiracy has undermined the dam with contrived accusations questioning its structural integrity with the state. The township administrators and commissioners have done nothing to defend the dam against those accusations. Although, I have documented the correspondence between the Conservancy/State/Township, The Morning Call has refused to print my exposé about these sacred cows and their scheme.  This blog serves as the last line of defense for the historic structure.

Oct 10, 2017

Rumble In The Morning Call Jungle

In my post last Thursday,  I called the Morning Call/Muhlenberg College Poll flawed.  Somehow, almost arbitrarily,  they assigned 22% to Ray O'Connell, although he wasn't included in their original question about choosing a candidate on the ballot;  Ray is a write-in, and not on the ballot.  Blogger Bernie O'Hare wrote about this topic yesterday, and the Morning Call editor provided an explanation that is as vague as the original article in the paper.  I can certainly understand why Nat Hyman was perplexed about how contrived and labored it was for the paper to justify covering three candidates,  when they appear to ignore their own guidelines in doing so.

Hyman brings some unique qualities to the race and hopefully on to City Hall, come November 7th.  While Ed's surrogates deride Hyman because he's a property owner,  in truth housing is perhaps the biggest issue in Allentown, and Hyman knows the subject, inside and out.  The paper endorsed Pawlowski in his first term, and generally supported him until his behavior rose to the current criminal accusations.  It is refreshing to see a candidate who is willing to question the paper.  But Hyman didn't become the success he is by obsessing on perceived slights.  Allentown City Hall needs a completely fresh start, and Hyman has the skill set to provide it.

Oct 9, 2017

Answering A Critic

On social media this weekend someone wrote about me;  Have you ever published anything positive about Allentown?  Although,  this person apparently has a professional agenda for his question, let me respond first as if he didn't.  This blog was never intended to promote a particular party,  public official or policy.  Rather, it was meant to try and safeguard some unique  aspects of Allentown.  Consequently, I defend the traditional park system, among other institutions.

My critic(s) can't suggest that I attend meetings and try to change policy,  because I've been to countless ones.  My critic(s) can't suggest that I run for office, because I have.

I think that what Allentown actually needs is more critics.  Public meetings are sparely attended.  There are plenty of smiling faces to come out for a free swim. Give them a free hotdog, and they could care less about how much the project cost,  or what else was ignored to build it.

This is a focused blog with a mission.  Entertainment, popularity and/or comments are not my objectives.  I do appreciate the readership of those who find the posts here worthwhile.

Now, getting back to this weekend's criticism of me.  He was complaining because I posted that the new pool may be leaking.  My critic has done media work for Pawlowski.   I wonder if he also considers the FBI  to be naysayers in regard to his client.  Lisa Pawlowski liked his comment about me.

I use the Sidewalk Superintendent Photograph, shown above, as a representation of my efforts to scrutinize city hall.   

Oct 6, 2017

Pawlowski's Pool Party

I suppose with the trial judge coming, and the election a month away,  Pawlowski doesn't have much time or reason to act dignified.  He has been campaigning hard among the least informed in the city.  On those notes, he has announced that Cedar Beach pool will be open this weekend.
“It has been a long haul to overcome the setbacks and get the project completed,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski.  “The walls are plaster, so the pool is never emptied. The weather is going to be warm, and the pool has passed all the necessary inspections, so I want to give our residents an opportunity to enjoy it, or just come out to see it, even if it is only for this weekend.”
As an advocate for the park system, especially the crumbling WPA structures, I can only shake my head about Lindsay Taylor, the park director.  She apparently goes along with Pawlowski's nonsense, or has no say in decisions concerning her department.  If she's not embarrassed, she should be.

ADDENDUM:  I have observed city employees adding water to the pool every day.  A well placed source now informs me that indeed the new pool is leaking.  This delayed, over budget pool project originally started because the previous version of the pool was leaking.  Three years and $3 million later,  is it still leaking?

UPDATE:  Somebody on Facebook asked me if I'm sure the pool is leaking. That answer is NO.  I am sure that I observed them adding water every day.  My source tells me that the pool  is losing up to 6 inches of water overnight.

Oct 5, 2017

Muhlenberg Poll Flawed

Nat Hyman better not put too much faith in the current poll released by Muhlenberg College, and campaign as if he's behind, because he just might be.  The Muhlenberg polls are historically wrong, and this one seems no different.  Their lead question asked about the four candidates on the ballot, which excluded Ray O'Connell.  Although, the Morning Call article states that the poll puts O'Connell's support third,  behind Pawlowski,  it's unclear as it where that piece of data came from.

These polls are a joint project by the Morning Call and Muhlenberg College.  The article quotes one gentleman.
Leonard Glazier, a 91-year-old Democrat who lives in the West End, said he voted for Pawlowski in the primary but likely will support O’Connell in this election. The city is in pretty good shape under the mayor’s leadership, Glazier said, but the criminal charges against the mayor make him uncomfortable.“He’s going on trial supposedly after the election. What happens if he is convicted,” Glazier said. “The city doesn’t need that.”
What the article doesn't reveal is that this gentleman is closely related to a city official, and was well aware of the pending charges against Pawlowski when he voted for him in the primary.  Frankly,  I hope that Nat Hyman takes my warning to heart. Neither the paper or the college currently have the institutional memory to truly understand this election. In the 2005 mayoral race, The Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll was off by 26%.  

Oct 4, 2017

Stagecoach Back To Allentown

This past Friday I wrote a post referring to Allentown as Dodge City.  That post resulted from our police department determining that a shooting was justified.  Yesterday's double daytime shooting and killings have managed to get the police chief's attention.  He considers the daytime shootings less acceptable, because of the risk to school children.  A local coffee shop owner said that such things can happen anywhere,  even in the suburbs.

Actually, the incidence of such things happening in the suburbs is much, much less than downtown Allentown, north of Linden Street.  Normally, such violence for an incumbent mayor running again would be a problem. However, here in Dodge City/Allentown, nothing is normal.  We have an indicted mayor running for his fourth term while awaiting trial for corruption.  The dominant Puerto Rican/Hispanic downtown population rarely sees or hears anything, before the ambulance and police come to pick up one of their own off the street.

If this post seems insensitive,  you're at the wrong blog.

Oct 3, 2017

Disappointments Beyond Allentown

I was disappointed that United States objected to the Kurdish referendum on Independence. As John Bolton observed, Iraq as a sovereign nation is so shattered,  a new boundary in the north wouldn't much matter.  The Kurds have provided the only security afforded to Christians and other minorities in that strife ridden part of the world.  They have been on the front line fighting against our common enemies in both Iraq and Syria.

I was disappointed that Trump undermined Rex Tillerson with  his tweet about Rex wasting his time in regard to North Korea.  Tillerson was the adult in the administration, and his appointment was one of the main reasons that I have defended Trump on several occasions.  I would not be surprised to see Tillerson resign within two weeks.

Yesterday, the stock prices went up on firearm manufacturers. After each tragic mass shooting legislators react by threatening to restrict guns, and the public reacts by buying more.  I believe that we need to adopt the Giffords/Kelly* endorsement of the enhanced Brady type regulations, which puts more scrutiny on the who/purchaser, rather than the what/type of gun.

I wish that none of these above noted events happen, and that I could instead complain about Pawlowski and Cedar Beach.

*Giffords/Kelly started Americans For Responsible Solutions.

Oct 2, 2017

A Contested Race In South Whitehall

Come November 7th, the Lehigh County once again features many UNcontested races.  The political apathy of this area is truly remarkable;  It's a good thing that in addition to politics, I blog about local history.   Even the mayors race in Bethlehem is uncontested, as is that city's council race.  However, there are a few contested races, one of which is for South Whitehall Commissioner.

Mark Pinsley's campaign emphasizes that he is running to add a Democrat to the all Republican board of commissioners.  Both his opponents are Republican incumbents.  and voters are to pick two of the three candidates.  As an advocate who fought long and hard to save Wehr's Dam, I support Mr. Pinsley as someone who wasn't involved in the conspiracy to demolish the dam.  No one was more shocked when the referendum To Save The Dam passed, than the commissioners.  That ballot question was a disingenuous attempt by them to do away with the dam, with no political consequence to themselves. Before they connived  the referendum, they had ignored eight thousand signatures to save the historic structure.  Since the referendum passed,  the township has fallen silent, with not one word about the dam.

South Whitehall needs some new blood on its board.  With me, it's not an issue of Democrat or Republican,  but being responsive instead of arrogant.  I will cast only one  hyper-vote for commissioner, and it will be for Mark Pinsley.

photo: Wehr's Dam by K Mary Hess

Sep 29, 2017

Justified Killings In Allentown's Dodge City

Earlier in the week it was announced that a shooting death in August was justified, and that no charges would be filed.  A stabbing yesterday is being evaluated to see if it was justified.  I have no knowledge or interest in these particular cases,  but what grabs my attention is the number of potential predators downtown with lethal weapons.

In the old TV series Gunsmoke, all the cowboys carried a gun, and if the other person drew first, the shooting was deemed self-defense.  The marshall,  Matt Dillon would often comment that eventually civilization would come to the west, and men wouldn't have to carry guns.  I suppose in some ways civilization must have left downtown Allentown.

Sep 28, 2017

Signs Of The Times In Allentown

The other day I posted that Ray O'Connell was helping John Ingram's manager install a sign on Tilghman Street. Actually, Ingram's manager, Ed White, is doing quite well without any help. Scott Armstrong sarcastically noted on Facebook that the Phoebe Home must be supporting Ingrams, because his signs go down the 19th Street Hill. Likewise, apparently Sunoco Gasoline Corporation and The Lakes Apartments must be on board with his campaign, as his signs line Cedar Crest Blvd.

It's not the first time a candidate has been loose with sign placement, but it may be the most flagrant.  I must confess that as a blogger who concerns himself with local politics, among other topics,  I find this sign controversy funny.  Now,  if someone injected me with truth serum,  I might even admit that I find the signs themselves amusing.

Sep 27, 2017

Hurricane Maria And Pawlowski

As I reported before,  Pawlowski has been courting the minority voters, especially the large Puerto Rican community.  He does very well with them;  While some may be uniformed about his legal dilemma,  others simply don't care.  A sizable group of these constituents winter on the island,  and spend the spring and summer here in town. Maria has been a disaster and heartbreak for Puerto Rico, but for Pawlowski, that storm has a rainbow.  With the damage on the island,  many will stay here and/or return in time for the election.

I believe that Pawlowski will win the Puerto Rican vote in a landslide.  Although, Hispanics now comprise about half the population,  his opponent(s) are still viable because the Hispanic voter turnout has been historically low.  They support Pawlowski,  but if he can get them to the polls remains to be seen.

Sep 26, 2017

A CyberVisit To Allentown

The responses and comments to the political posts are usually within a day or two. The historical posts have a much longer shelf life. People using search engines find something of their youth often years after I wrote the post. I still occasionally get a comment from someone who worked at a Mohican Market, often somewhere in upstate New York. Yesterday, a former post on the 6th Ward received such a comment.

 Hello molovinsky, I found your blog today. I was born in the 6th ward in 1933. My grandfather, who died very young, long before I was born, was Emanuelle Markowitz and was, I believe, the first religious head of Aguda Achim. His wife was Ida Markowitz. We lived at 234 and then 244 Hamilton St. and went to Harrison Morton grade school before departing permanently to New York City. Arnold Fein (brother is Barry)

 My grandparents lived on Second Street in around 1900, and belonged to the Agudas Achim congregation. After Arnold and I exchanged a couple comments, I invited him to send me a note about Allentown via email.

  Yeah, Michael, I went back for a visit about 3 yrs. ago. All of lower Hamilton St,is part of a highway and the Jersey RR Station ,I was told, failed as a restaurant.The stores I remember on Hamilton between 2nd and 3rd were, Queenies Luncheonette, Bucky Boyle's Bar, Harry Gross Shoes,an A&P on the corner of 1st (Front?)and Hamilton, a "holy roller" storefront church, a travel agency with a large steamship model in the window,Taylors Plumbing Supply (now Weinstein's-I visited the place when I was there), a "Giant" supermarket on 5th and Hamilton across from the P.O., Francis the barber on the hill,the Colonial theatre,etc.Harrison Morton is still there and 2nd St.off Hamilton is still the same including the "A Treat" sign on the little store near HM, which I remember. Some friend's names from that time are: Stanley and Nancy Kulp (Culp?) who lived in an old wooden house next to the Lehigh Valley RR Freight terminal across from Taylor's. Michael Miller, Bobby Kressler, George Mevrides(sp?), Andrew Kent,Dickie Catalina(whom I'll never forget as the guy who came running out on Hamilton St. on 12/7/ shouting, "the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor"), the 4-5 Delaney kids,Dickie Gross who lived in a stone house on 2nd St.just off Hamilton where his father had his dental practice, Lucille Wiener, Phyllis Malatrott,Victoria Minner,Ronald DiLeo whose father was a Dr., (told me my first "off color" joke in the 1st grade while we were standing side by side at a HM urinal)), Marvin Karll, 2 HM footballers (who were not friends as such), Barney Garulla(sp?) and Albert Casium, whom I believe was Albanian.Other places were the slaughter house, Arbegast and Bastion (sp?). Couldn't miss that!, Riverfront Park, and a horse watering trough on the corner of Hamilton and Front(?)Lots of others. Something priceless about childhood, no matter where it's spent.

 Even in Allentown.

UPDATE: More memories from "Arnie" Fein
Also, my grand parents owned a store on 2nd St. around Tilghman, before I was born. My mother always remembered the few words she knew in Slavic because some of the customers spoke only "Slavisch".Another recollection was in 1943 when a lot of us went to the JerseyRR terminal to watch a train full of German POWs being transported west. Larry and Jimmy Whitman lived above the A&P on that picture you sent. Their name was anglicized from a Polish name their parents shortened.Harry and Jean Getz, friends of my mother, owned a small shoe store between 2nd and 3rd Sts.The name of the travel agency was, if I'm correct, something like Bortz. On Walnut St. around the corner from Weinstein's was the "Perkiomen Transfer Co." The local movie house was the Townie which I believe was in the 6th ward.Further up the hill were the Colonial, the Midway and the Transit.There was a trolley named the Liberty Bell which went from 8th St. to Philly and a trolley to Bethlehem along the "Bethlehem Minsi Trail". Other memories as they come from the distant past...

 photo supplied by Arnold Fein, showing him, brother and mother at Hamilton and the current American Parkway, next to the current Weinstein Supply Company.

reprinted from August of 2012

Sep 25, 2017

Allentown's Complicated Mayoral Election

I drove past Ray O'Connell's car wedged in between Ed White and John Ingram's vehicles off the  side of the road.  Although, I felt like an ambulance chaser,  I phoned Ray and asked what was going on.  Seems as if Ray had stopped to help Ingrams and his manage put a sign in hard ground.  That's what I call sportsmanship.

Ray's not concerned about Ingram's candidacy. Now, of course understand that it would be difficult for a write-in candidate to complain about an independent on the ballot.  Ray is miffed that Nat Hyman has been complaining about O'Connell as a spoiler, helping Pawlowski's chances of getting elected once again. He feels that Hyman should work on getting enough votes himself to win on November 7th,  rather than worrying about who is siphoning off what votes.  Of course, Ray is hoping that if Pawlowski is elected,  that he then resigns in a plea deal, and that Ray is appointed mayor by City Council.  Meanwhile,  for an independent,  Ingram is making a concerted effort,  with multiple billboards.

It is not a simple election to cover;  With all these candidates,  I'll have to assign more staff election night.

Sep 22, 2017

The Trump Speech

When I asked a liberal friend what she thought of the Trump speech to the UN, she replied, Well, he stayed on script. I suppose that is about all the credit a liberal in our current political environment can muster for Trump. On Facebook, I saw the usual anti-Trump cut and pastes. One said that he read a speech he didn't write or understand. Actually, Trump understood the speech completely. There was nothing in it that he hasn't said before.  Trump is no orator; He has less of a gift for the spoken word than any president in memory. Never the less,  he gave the exact speech needed on today's world stage. He bluntly stated that both Korea and Iran are roque regimes, threatening the world and their own people.  With which of these two countries would being subtle be more effective?

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.