May 14, 2009
LANTA Mugs City
LANTA, with the consent of our city government, is preparing to once again mug the citizens of Allentown by tearing down Bicentennial Park. Yesterday, the son's of the current stadium's founder, Earl F. Hunsicker, pleaded with the Lanta Board to spare the iconic ballfield. I doubt if they knew that among those unsympathetic eyes staring back was Peter Schweyer, Allentown City Councilman and establishment up and comer. I doubt if the Hunsicker son's know that less than two years ago the same board threw the Hamilton Street merchants under the bus to justify their new terminal. Although Dan Hartzell, The Morning Call's Road Warrior, wrote a story today, the Hunsickers should not expect much more coverage. Hartzell is dependent upon the transportation czars, both Lanta and Penndot, for material for his column, and he doesn't bite their hand. Perhaps the Hunsickers will get some late lip service from Tony Phillips. When Tony finally submits his contribution list, it will reveal most of the support came from the Hamilton Street merchants, although Tony wasn't there when it counted to help them. Lanta essentially wants the field to build a garage for hybrid buses, how green of them!
Bicentennial Park is virtually the history of baseball in Allentown. First opened in 1939 as Fairview Field, it was home to the minor league team of the Boston Braves; The Allentown Dukes played there through 1948, when Breadon Field was built in Whitehall, site now of the Lehigh Valley Mall. Over the years thousands of Allentown kids had the yearly thrill of playing "Under The Lights". In addition to hosting the Allentown Ambassadors, it currently serves women's fast pitch softball.
In addition to the outrage in our park system, I will be adding the ballfield as a topic in my upcoming SPEAK OUT ALLENTOWN MEETING. If there is someone else I forgot to offend, please let me know...