Jun 17, 2009

A Hole Too Deep

This photo is a metaphor for the Park Plan. It shows that they dug the hole too deep and too fast, and are undermining the structure. (photo shows eastern end of pond, several bottom stones have already fallen along the southern side of the pond) A comment on the previous post mentions the lost of the Trexler Greenhouse. It shows what can happen when the Trexler Trust, for one reason or another, doesn't exert itself in the best interest of the parks. Today I imposed upon Park and Recreation Director, Greg Weitzel, for a short meeting. He is enthusiastic about improving the park system and the recreation venues within. My vision for the parks is totally different; I see maintaining the existing features as the highest goal. I see additional facilities as an imposition on something which was perfected years ago. Today I noticed that several flower beds in the old fashion garden have been planted in grass; it makes one wonder what will happen in the future, if and when city finances and the Trexler Trust, no longer wish to finance the on going upkeep for the new playground, pavilions and other aspects of this comprehensive makeover? Besides this destination playground, how do you feel about changes in the rose gardens? How do you feel about the new pavilions toward Cedar Crest College and the lighted walkways? Mr. Weitzel and I also disagree about the amount of public input these plans received. Although meetings may have been held, how much of Allentown was actually represented? Construction began today on the ponds; pond #1, shown in photo, is having the stones cleaned in preparation for stone masons.

ADDENDUM: Opening at top of wall in photo is supposed to be there, it is the spillway which takes the water from the last
pond back to the creek

Greg Weitzel, although aware that I am a critic of the park plan, was both courteous and forthright when I
imposed on him this morning.


Anonymous said...

Please ask Weitzel for an actual count, date and times of those supposed public input meetings. Some have said there was actually only one or two and after those were done, the plans were sent off to designers and it was a done deal. What possible excuse can Weitzel have for flower beds now just grass. Why hasn't he
organized daily restroom cleanup each morning, utilizing an old hose operated firetruck would do the trick. This "new is better" theme is like a girl constantly buying new dresses. It's a lot of fun but in the end, the old ones get pushed to the back of the closet, never to be seen again.

michael molovinsky said...

it was not my intention to punish weitzel for giving me some of his time. it is apparent from the amount of comment on this blog that there was insufficient public input. if this blog was not moderated, there may well have been twice the comments. i must also take the morning call to task for not reporting opposition to the plan. they have four consecutive stories about a hot dog vendor with a cart, these park plans will affect allentown for decades.

Bill said...

I agree with your perspective on priorities. What we don't save from the past will be lost forever. Plastic playground features are no replacement for our historic park system.

Anonymous said...

There is a meeting later today, I understand, and it will be interesting to see how many people attend this event.

Personally I missed the whole Cedar Beach issue. I do not understand what this is about. Someone said one handicapped kid needed a park.

The current design is getting schizoid already.

Really I think King P wants to turn Cedar Beach into the Fair Grounds and The Fair Grounds into a housing project of some sort.

We need to minimize the potential damage these two will do to the park before their political utility is spent and they are kicked out of town.

I also wonder what happened to The Trexler Trust.

Anonymous said...

There has long been talk of selling Fairground lands for development. Last man standing theme and tax dollars blinking in city hall eyes. What meeting is today? At this late notice, if folks already have plans, how can they attend? Of course not.

As for Cedar Beach Park electronic games and maybe we have this wrong, maybe there are not electronic games, is that really want young families want their children to do in a nature park setting? Might as well sit in the basement and play video games. Young families need to participate in this discussion as according to Call, Cedar Beach Park plan is for children and families to enjoy.

Can't imagine young couple on a date stopping by with 500 children and at least (hopefully) 500 or more parental escorts.

Anonymous said...

I have a few things to say here. First of all, for all i disagree that the park department does not maintain the parks. i use the restrooms when i go to the park, they aren't beautiful, but they aren't as bad as people here suggest. What do you expect from a public restroom in a city park? its not the ritz-carlton. "utilizing an old hoze operated firetruck would do the trick" do you have one lying around? I don't think the city parks department does. also, that would cause many hazards like a bathroom that is wet every day would be a very moldy place and have slippery floors.

This pond project is a perfect example of the city creating a headache for themselves just so they could do the write thing. the ponds were drained so they could be dredged, not so the stone walls could be worked on - but once they drained the ponds they realized that the stone walls needed repair, and so they have undertaken this unexpected, time consuming, and expensive maintenance and repair project because it is the right thing for the ponds. and all anyone can do is complain. they could have just filled the ponds back up with water the next day and you wouldn't have ever complained until the walls came falling down.

as for the improvements. i don't like them all, i think the rose garden should be left exactly how it is with no new paths and no new rotundas or anything else, but that is the only part that i don't like of the whole plan (at least, the plan as I saw it).

I am really excited for the playground. My child is not disabled, but I think having an accessible playground is a great and positive change.

Comments like this: " Someone said one handicapped kid needed a park." are clearly made without a single iota of sympathy for the hundreds of children in Allentown who are unable to play in public. How insensitive.

As to the location of this playground, that section of Cedar Creek Parkway has always been recreational. I could understand all of this anger over the playground if it were being built in the park near the rose garden or even if it were being built over near the pavillions where familys go to play kickball and softball, but this is being built in the section of the park where the pool, basketball courts, picnic tables, etc... are. people already go there to play, not to enjoy the pastoral beauty of the park. this is a good location for the new playground. vandalism will be an issue the same as it is at any of the other playgrounds in the city, and the staff will do their best to clean it up, the same as at any other playground in the city.

also, since you brought it up in your post, i did not find out about any public meetings for this plan, which was a bit disturbing, but after having become more diligent about going to the city's website and reading material there, i know that sometimes they publicize public meetings and the morning call never prints it. Even just a week ago there was a public meeting about another playground park in downtown, and the morning call only published the information in their blog. I was very dissappointed.

Anonymous said...

Check the Morning Call. See what they are doing to Donovan. Wonder if this has anything to do with his stand on Lanta.

BTW - The damn dog is gone. Thank God. It lived in the garage and barked all the time. It was a true nuisance.

I guess people get pissed when someone complains about quality of life issues.

May bring attention to other nefarious activities in the neighborhood.

All the noise issues, fireworks during drunken beer parties, people getting angry because they are confronted and getting in their vehicles and driving drunk and carelessly in the neighborhood.

Oh and by the way did I mention the drug dealing.

But what the H guy confronts a neighbor about something the city should have taken care of long ago and look what happens.

No wonder people move to Macungie.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I too saw Donovan in the McCall and all I can say is small town politics and small town press "seem" to be working together. But, THIS is why people tend to NOT get involved and become government and community leaders. I hope he takes it on the chin and keeps it moving...

Alfonso Todd


Anonymous said...

Did the print version of the story have a different tone than the online one does? I mean, I have to say I think it would be pretty irresponsible for the call not to report a resident suing a city council member - and I didn't think that the article was particularly biased.

Anonymous said...

No. The tone was the same. Huge picture in the police scanner section.

I guess big Daddy is mad at his underling.

There was supposed to be someone taking surveys at the park, it was not a meeting, a bunch of people went and guess what?

No show.

Michael keep up the excellent work.

michael molovinsky said...

i suppose as a city councilman the story is newsworthy. likewise, when he was punched, i'm sure many other people were assaulted on that day in this city. anybody who knows michael realizes he has much more toleration and civility than most of us. i have no doubt that the charges are completely baseless.

Anonymous said...

TO: Anon 8:11
For all of Allentown's glorious history in the 20th century, at least through 3/4 of it... all the children of the city used there neighborhood school playgrounds in the summer to hang out, play, and engage in various supervised and useful activities. Each school playground in the summer had several playground instructors who ensured that everything was run properly, was supervised, and was safe. Activities, crafts, field trips took place at each school playground.... these were a part of the whole Allentown summer school playground scene. Trexler Park and the area outside of the immediate Cedar Beach area were never intended to warehouse hoards of kids from the nooks and crannies of the city of Allentown. It is supposed to be a PASSIVE park.

To ignore this, is to cause the ruination of one of the nation's premier parks systems. Just because our city is run and populated by people who are not what you would call 'the best and brightest', and who are ignorant of the history of Allentown, is no excuse. Again, the dilapidated Morning Call bears a lot of responsibility for this decline in Allentown. What a mess the Bill Whites and Glenn Kranzleys of the world have left Allentown in!