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Jan 14, 2009
In addition to the FirstTrust Bank at 7th and Hamilton being robbed Monday, the citizens and taxpayers of Allentown have been robbed of a realistic business plan for Hamilton Street. On Monday, close to noon, the bank robber actually walked down an empty Hamilton Street after robbing the center square bank. Had the Lanta bus stop, across the street, still been in operation, there would have been far too many witnesses for such boldness. Of course had the bus stop still been there, Rite-Aid Drugs, Hamilton Perk and MishMash Boutique would also still be open. Mayor Pawlowski again today illustrated his lack of business comprehension by stating he would look for grants to reopen the upscale Freeman Jewelers. Pawlowski, the suburban customers you want aren't coming, and you chased away the ones that were there! In the last decade a dynamic Hispanic business community developed on 7th Street without the city planning and $millions$ we wasted on Hamilton. These emerging proprietors match their service with the existing clientele. Recently an urban manager, Pete Lewnes, has been employed and is appropriately distributing facade grants. His success there, on limited funding, demonstrates how little is needed when reality is one of the criterion.
Photo shows former bus stop, at square, across from bank, after it was closed. Sign directs passengers and customers away from Hamilton Street to the Allentown Transportation Center