May 23, 2009

Park Plans Examined


Please join us a week from today as we discuss and analyze the new plans, which change the historic nature of our park system. My personal goal is to promote awareness the of the WPA stone structures and the proper maintenance of those landmarks. What aspect of the parks do you want to protect? Allentown has been through many changes in recent years which the average citizen has had little control over, lets stand up for the parks.

13 comments:

Chris Casey said...

Good luck Mike. I can't help but thinking you are bucking the wind

michael molovinsky said...

chris, in a previous park plan, it was decided to tear down the trexler greenhouse. this was the pride and joy of mrs. trexler; remember the trexlers owned the orchard and were leading horticulturists of their era. the greenhouse was tropical, with full size banana tree's and exotic palms. i would have been proud to fight for that cause, results aside. any plan that lets the stone structures crumble, while they buy a playground out of a catalog deserves a battle

Anonymous said...

This whole issue of the future direction of the parks should be proactively aired/ discussed by the dysfunctional people who work at the Morning Call: These people are called editors, reporters, and columnists.

It's easier to habitually beat-up on Emma Tropiano, Lou Hershman, and Emma Tropiano, I guess.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

We plan to attend your meeting.
Please do not listen to naysayers who comment each of us cannot make a difference! If someone had protested the demolition of the glass greenhouses, maybe
the then park director whose name will not be mentioned here would have been forced to cancel his destructive plan.
We'll never know, but what we do know, especially this week, is that at college celebrations across the country, graduates are being challenged to "speak up" "make a difference" You are trying to make a difference.
As for the city's park plans,
when was the last "open" citizen input meeting and exactly what
citizen input is really considered?

Anonymous said...

9:24 PM posted:
This whole issue of the future direction of the parks should be proactively aired/ discussed by the dysfunctional people who work at the Morning Call: These people are called editors, reporters, and columnists.

While this writer agrees, sadly, there isn't anyone left at the Call to pursue such a topic.
Please notice the weight of the paper the past two weeks. Ads and photos take entire page lengths, no reporter necessary. Some stories originating out of state and have no bearing on local issues or readers. Classifieds and public notices...few.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky I'm behind you on the Parks issues. I'm shocked at how the parks have crumbled while the beauty of these parks is abused and neglected. Please restore the beautiful stone work. Please don't let fishermen park on the grass. Please don't let the city keep Christmas lights on trees through the year. Please don't let the pitbull dog owners allow their unlicensed dogs to share space with other people's children. Please get rid of the disk golf players who leave the park littered with beverage containers and fast food packaging. And please get the man who is living in the park to a safe place where he is not threatened nor is he a threat to anyone when he is yelling and screaming.

Thank you.

michael molovinsky said...

i know that many of you who share my concerns about the parks prefer to remain anonymous, but please consider at least attending the meeting this coming saturday. i can assure you city workers summoned people to attend the mayor's press conference when the disneyland like plans were announced several weeks ago. i'm a one man band, nursing a bad shoulder, however, a respectable turnout will be noticed by the candidates for november's election, including the mayor.

Anonymous said...

Seems Allentown's park executives and close buddies have decided what is best for the rest of us. Someone recently wrote a grandson of a former mayor wants to put a for rent reception hall in the former beautiful 19th century stone park office near the Rose Garden. Don't know if this is true, but the thought of Allentown competing against private for profit taxpaying businesses struggling to make ends meet in this recession is of major concern. Why should public funds go to pursue this venue? Who gets to decide? Just a few months back city residents witnessed bigwigs almost "give" golf course "pub" to political campaign contributing buddy. This week we read local builder to be awarded liquor license from forced-to-close downtown bar. What if that license happens to end up at Park Office/Wedding Reception hall? hmmmmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

As for fishermen parking on grass.

Mr. Molovinsky, all you need to do is drive down Lehigh Parkway roadway especially during those all fun field fishing beer drinking 4 letter word tossing
contests where signs clearly state
Do Not Park and there right in front or right under such signs are trucks SUVs, cars. Hdldl bent ondoing whatever they want. Trouble is no one enforces No Parking rule along roadway.
Also, by Little Lehigh Fly Fish area, SUVs park on grass when tons of space at very nicely constructed parking lot remains empty. Why? Vehicles destroy grasses as these folks rip up plantings rainsoaked, leaving
mud. How many times do park employees (excellent caring workers) have to plant, replant, replantk, on and on, wasting tax dollars not to mention what happens to city workers morale when they see their hard work and care treated with such disrespect.



Word for Word What this Writer Thinks Day In/Day Out:

May 24th: Anonymous said...
Mr. Molovinsky I'm behind you on the Parks issues. I'm shocked at how the parks have crumbled while the beauty of these parks is abused and neglected. Please restore the beautiful stone work. Please don't let fishermen park on the grass. Please don't let the city keep Christmas lights on trees through the year. Please don't let the pitbull dog owners allow their unlicensed dogs to share space with other people's children. Please get rid of the disk golf players who leave the park littered with beverage containers and fast food packaging. And please get the man who is living in the park to a safe place where he is not threatened nor is he a threat to anyone when he is yelling and screaming.

Thank you.

May 24, 2009 11:02 AM

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky:
Disc Golf Issue:
Please when you have time do a little research on Disc Golf courses.
They often are placed along electric right of ways or former train rails, not in city parks. We could not find one city park that allowed disc golf players with discs that can travel at least 40 MPH to intermingle with young mothers and babies,
children, bike riders, dogs,
runners, etc. The chance of harming a parkgoer of any age
is frightening. Disc golf by its very nature destroys tree branches and ground covers as players will do "just about anything" to retrieve these very expensive discs.

Anonymous said...

So glad to read someone wrote about Christmas tree lights up all year long.
Imagine strolling down Lehigh Parkway on a summer Sunday afternoon and there adjacent to the bridlepath are tons of old dirty light wires intermingled with the little tree limbs. Ugly as sin. Oh, and as for the broken glass lights...

Anonymous said...

MM -

As you probably know, the reason that we are getting an expensive, "destination" (out of a catalogue) playground and other unneeded improvements (for a total of $5 million) to one of the city's best parks is simple. The Mayor and his Park czar have formed a new 501(c)(3) called Friends of the Parks.

The reason this project was chosen is that it is highly visible and the Mayor hopes that this will attract other companies/individuals to join and contribute to the group. Whether or not the "improvements" are needed (relative to other park needs) is irrelevant. The public must be suitably impressed and the project must be grand enough to stroke the egos of those involved with the group.

Given that the public is easily wowed with even an architectural rendition (for any project), and most are ignorant about the many needed repairs in the park system, the first part should be easily accomplished.

I would argue that the new non-profit is actually a negative development. First, the non-profit could potentially compete with any private 501(c)(3) with the goal of improving a city park. This means that the city will have a monopoly (grants, private sources) on funding. With the monopoly on funding comes a monopoly on determining what is done to the park system. These monopolies stifle true citizen involvement and place an overreliance on government.

As an example, suppose you wished to start a 501(c)(3) to garner the interest and funding to restore the WPA structures. You would conceivably be competing with the Friends of the Parks 501(c)(3) not just for government grants (money FROM the federal, state, or county government) but now you'd also for be competing for grants normally restricted only TO private non-profits. Since the city (through the budget and through setting the focus of Friends of the Parks on Cedar Parkway) has already determined that the WPA structures are not a priority, your project gets squeezed out.

Some will argue that Friends of the Parks is separate from the City with a separate board to answer to, but the reality is the City will have a full-time representative on board (paid for with our tax dollars) to set the agenda and chase private grants.

I applaud your efforts in trying to inform the public about the WPA structures and hope the public can also grasp how the proposed "improvements" to Cedar Beach are actually detrimental to the nature of the park system (Trexler/Cedar/the Parkway).

I hope you get a good turnout and good press coverage at your meeting - you'll need both. Have you contacted Paul Carpenter? He seems mighty concerned when it comes to Lights in the Parkway, perhaps he'd be sympathetic to the fate of the WPA structures as well.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 5:45, it is no surprise that "friends of the parks" is in actuality a political entity for the sake of the current administration. what is a profound problem is the trexler trust. when you have the trust a defacto political arm, the newspaper in a survival mode, and a new demographic with no knowledge or concern with historical icons, it's a challenge! saving the wpa structures is a most worthwhile mission, and fortunately they have innate durability. i will remain persistent to this end