Dec 29, 2009

The Three Editorials

There is an old saying that no good deed goes unpunished. After having subscripted to The Morning Call for thirty-five years, my penance was to read three editorials, in a row, by our Valley Mayors. In honesty, I only did it for ammunition for this post, I wasn't expecting to learn much from their homilies.

According to Ed Pawlowski, there is a light shining on Allentown. He boasts of no tax increase, but fails to mention that it was only prevented by borrowed money. I wonder if that light refers to those blue surveillance cameras that have failed to provide a sense of security downtown. With the announcement of the Sterling Hotel bar joining its closed neighbors, the vaulted Entertainment District officially died.

John Callahan hawked the development and jobs on the former Steel Property. We all know that the decision on where to place the golden cows, aka Casinos, was a decision far above his pay grade. What he failed to mention, was that Bethlehem's biggest local developer, Lou Pektor, is fighting to keep his company afloat.

Perhaps the most honest assessment was presented by Sal Panto. Although he refers to a promising future, much like the Al Bundy High School Sports Museum he's pitching, he knows their best days are behind them. He admitted that there is not much capital between Easton and Act 47.

In fairness to The Three Amigos, it's their job to put the best possible spin on their respective cities. It's my job to inject some reality.


Looking To Escape said...

John Callahan hawked the development and jobs on the former Steel Property. We all know that the decision on where to place the golden cows, aka Casinos

Casinos are the product of a failed industrial development policy.
I was watching a news report on how Muncy, Indiana reversed it's decline (and casinos were not part of the mix).
South Carolina got a new Boeing plant.
One must wonder what is Pennsylvania doing wrong?

Katie Bee said...

"With the announcement of the Sterling Hotel bar joining its closed neighbors, the vaulted Entertainment District officially died."

Did you read the article? The venue is getting a new entertainment tenant, the restaurant and hotel part will even be open during the transition. The owner even secured new management for the Hotel Traylor restaurant.

Maybe you will inject reality in your next post?

michael molovinsky said...

katie, i read all the articles, and between the lines. as of wednesday evening, all the bars will be closed in the "entertainment district" i wish bodner luck with reopening both bar properties, sterling and traylor, but in real estate there is no deal until it happens. even then sometimes the money doesn't materialize. what i wrote is reality, what you read and wrote is promotion and anticipation

TheVoice of Christmas Past said...

One wonders if Miss. Katie will return to live in Allentown when her educaion is complete, or move on to greener pastues like her patron at city hall. Alas, so the "Entertainment Dist." is kaput. Whatever is left of that commercial neighborhood, can the Recreation Dept. connect it with a paved trail to the city's parks? With this comment, 501 people will have contributed to the "Trails planning"process.

ironpigpen said...

The former headquarters of the blog once known as the IRONPIGPEN is literally blocks from the Sterling Hotel.

I have gone home at all hours of many a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night in the past two years.

Once upon a time, in younger days, I used to patronize what I used to call the Triangle Trade.

B & G Station, The Sterling and Rock'n' Roll Cafe.

Lots of cute girls could be found there back in the day. Good thing I got old because that was then, this is now...

...and so, I ask, --- what "Entertainment District"?

I was under the impression the Triangle Trade died along time ago.

Perhaps my eyes deceive me.

As an old mortgage guy, however, I have to agree with Mr. Molovinsky that, in the world of finance, ain't nothin nothin til underwriters approve and papers get signed.

Old expression --- "Financing can die a million deaths on the way to a closing"

That is a reality they don't teach in college.


FYI - Mr. Molovinsky :

Dan Kehl at HORN AND BELL reports that, after a telephone conversation with the owner of Philadelphia Force, the NFP softball team will be back this summer at the city's historic Bicentennial Park venue on the South Side of Allentown.

Wonder if Pawlowski will throw out the season opening pitch...

michael molovinsky said...

iron, allentown historically makes up these slogans, such as entertainment district, gateway, arts district, west end theater district, etc. usually they put up banners and it costs the taxpayers big for planning and props. of course in reality they don't increase commerce, but in allentown reality is called pessimism.

glad to hear that bicentennial is getting a reprieve, hope it's permanent

Anonymous said...

RE: One must wonder what is Pennsylvania doing wrong?
December 29, 2009 8:07 AM

During my corporate life I communicated with several large companies looking to relocate. Almost universally the main argument to not locate in the Valley was the union environment. They looked at union difficulties of Steel and Mack trucks. I generally had success with companies like air reduction companies (they only had about 5 to 10 employees onsite.
Regardless of whateven one thinks about unions, they are a major problem for large industry, work assignments and rules, flexibility, salaries, strikes, grievances, etc.
Bob Romancheck

Anonymous said...

Mayor Sal Panto says:

Michael Michael. You are a real character. When are you going to run for office? You have all of the answers. But you don't do your research so your answers are tainted. For example, you continue to blast me for "taking the buses off of Northampton Street" yet that is not true. All LANTA buses will continue to stop at all locations on Northampton Street like the do now. the only difference is that if you want to TRANSFER to a different route you will stay on until you get to the transportation center. Just like every other city in the USA.

My door is always open, my phone is listed in the book, and I am more than willing to discuss your issues with me and the city of Easton. But the fact remains -- in less than two years we have eliminated our deficits, intorduced a budget with no increase in fees or taxes, increaased our police department by more than 20%, we've lowered crime, and on and on and on.

All that aside I would like to wish you a happy new year and please don't pick on my friend Bernie just because he happens to think this retread is doing a decent job. When I err he will let me know. And righfully so.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Bob should move to Mississippi or Alabama or another of those great "right to work states" and enjoy the anti union scene there. Great places to live for sure.

michael molovinsky said...

mayor panto, buses also still run on hamilton street, but business died there because the shopping took place while riders were waiting between the buses. it's the transfer element which provided the opportunity for shopping. (your friend bernie can confirm how many businesses actually closed because of the removal of transfer stops on hamilton st., or you can visit hamilton street, stop in any merchant on the 700 block, and they will confirm this.

michael molovinsky said...

another comment submitted by "mayor panto"

Mayor Sal Panto says:
Michael, you can read my earlier post about the fact that buses will remain on Northampton Street. This is in response to your continued comments about the HS Sports Hall of Fame. The grants you speak of will be going to the construction of the intermodal and parking deck -not the Hall of Fame. The HOF will be a nationally recognized facility with several national sponsors that will be announced in the near future. They will be a tenant of the city's and paying rent similar to the Crayola Center which attracts more than 300,000 visitors a year.

Things are looking up FOR EASTON!

Anonymous said...

Anon.5:46, Maybe Joe H. can go down south to one of those "right to work" states with Bob R. He's a real down with the unions guy too! Great places to live, send your kids to school, get quality medical services,etc., etc. Boy, I wish Pa.could be like that too.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 9:00 (and also 5:46) i printed both your comments with some hesitation. Joe H. has never commented on this blog, and to my knowledge, although he's conservative, has not mentioned unions. Bob R. simply stated that some larger companies were discouraged some locating here because of unions. i cannot help but notice that both joe h. and bob r. use their names, while your comments are anonymous.

Polish Eddie said...

During the middle third of the 20th century, Americans had impressive faith in their own institutions. It was not because these institutions always worked well. The Congress and the Federal Reserve exacerbated the Great Depression. The military made horrific mistakes during World War II, which led to American planes bombing American troops and American torpedoes sinking ships with American prisoners of war.

But there was a realistic sense that human institutions are necessarily flawed. History is not knowable or controllable. People should be grateful for whatever assistance that government can provide and had better do what they can to be responsible for their own fates.

That mature attitude seems to have largely vanished. Now we seem to expect perfection from government and then throw temper tantrums when it is not achieved. We seem to be in the position of young adolescents — who believe mommy and daddy can take care of everything, and then grow angry and cynical when it becomes clear they can’t. David Brooks
New York Times
January 1, 2010

michael molovinsky said...

mr. eddy, i was more than glad to host mayor panto's reply, it's only fair. however, in defending building a lanta terminal, he cited that all the other cities are doing it; i suppose he means all the other cities which are also experiencing decline. one municipality after another justifies making the same mistakes because so and so did it. if people have to wait for a bus transfer, and it's on a main street with some stores, they shop because of the convenience. but, they will not shop if it means making an extra stop, and then waiting again for an extra bus ride to the terminal. the allentown lanta terminal is closer to hamilton street than the easton one is to northampton street. over 25 merchants twice went to lanta board meetings to protest what losing the transfer shops cost hamilton street; 40% of their business. Lanta doesn't care, and panto can't seem to see past the grants and new construction. he should visit allentown and look at all the riders sitting there on the benches at the transfer terminal, formally they were spending that waiting time in stores on hamilton st.

Polish Eddie said...

You make a good point about the terminal and shopping.

Anonymous said...

I understand a new logo is to be announced at the next Allentown Ahead quarterly meeting.

With a labor statistics employment rate approaching 14% that is probably, at least twice that, the spin continues.

Allentown voted this administration in. So drink the Koolaid and be happy. Reality will bring a dark age to Allentown within the next four years.

That is after all the restaurant goers die of obesity and diabetic driven heart attacks or languish in health care resource sucking comas from eating all the beer soaked food in all the KOZ restaurants.

But the bully's prevail and continues to intimidate and discredit their detractors.

There is a consensus of the self-imagined elite in Allentown, many of them who have no idea what the city is about. Let'em build the park. It will never come off.

It is a joke. It will all be rusted junk soon. What will all the hired minions be required to profess they are being discriminated against next?

Any councilman in this city who believes using debt to finance a deficit should resign. You are useless.

Anonymous said...

Michael, the average wait between bus transfers is about 10 minutes --- hardly enough time for someone to do shopping. Besides, the real purpose of the transportation center is for buses going cross country, or to NYC, etc. Buses like Trans Bridge, Greyhound, etc. These are the people that will also be parking in the garage. LANTA will have a more convenient way of transferring riders and the riders will have a more confortable way to transfer -- hopefully raising the number of individuals using public transportation.

Downtown shops and businesses do not rely on bus traffic -- at least not in Easton. In Easton our businesses have constantly requested the moving of the bus stops. They create odor and look unsightly. We will be making bus stops on Norhtampton St but no longer will they be sitting there just idling.