Jan 3, 2010

The Reality of Regionalism


Yesterday, after reading two articles in The Morning Call, I wondered for a moment if there was a wizard behind the curtain. The first article, an editorial by the bureaucrats for regionalism, touted all the benefits; such as water distribution by the Lehigh County Authority, transportation by Lanta, and plans for a bi-county health bureau. The second article, by a reporter, was about the State of Pennsylvania considering whether The Little Lehigh needs some special oversight and protection. That article failed to mention that the biggest threat to the creek was the regional Lehigh Authority sucking out all the water to feed the water bottling industries on route 78. The article does mention that the Authority objects to the creek receiving protected designation. Also mentioned as opposed to oversight was the City of Allentown and Mayor Pawlowski. "The city believes that the department's(DEP) decision will needlessly hinder the economic viability of the city...."

The editorial promoting regional collaboration was written by the Director of Renew Lehigh Valley, Steven Bliss. Among the arrows in his regionalism quiver, it mentions The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. In the creek article, the Planning Commission states it doesn't believe that there is "sufficient scientific justification" for watershed oversight. Bliss cites the quarter million dollar rail study, hawked by Paul Marin to the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., as an accomplishment. Close to my heart, he even then goes on to promote bike trails.

Steve, glad you have a job, but if the truth be known, I wish there was a wizard behind the curtain. Years ago people with ties to Allentown, looked after Allentown. People with ties to Easton looked after Easton. Now we have bureaucrats, subscribing to the same national government magazines, seeking grants for the same cookie cutter solutions. It's called mediocrity.

Rob Hamill is a local expert and advocate for The Little Lehigh Creek. He explains the entire situation in an excellent two part article.
PART 1
PART 2

14 comments:

LVCI said...

In a few years it will be interesting to see where Allentown thinks it going to get water to sell to the West of the city. This being the case after the developments to the West tap out the Little Lehigh and Schantz Spring.

Not in the too distant future it appears we will have to pipe it up from the Lehigh River.

I hope we do that upstream from the sewer plant. Unfortunately we're downstream from everyone else's sewer plants to the North anyway. Along with the former zinc operations, etc.

There goes Allentown's water quality!

The point is the Little Lehigh & Schantz formerly had few, if any, pumping stations nor sewer operations upwind of us. That's changing.

It's been said shortly water will be worth more then crude oil. It appears those to the West are staking out their claims on it.

It so obvious it makes you want to scream!

Without the state oversight all those communities upstream will tap it dry and then sell water to Allentown. And there won't be a damn thing Allentown can do about it w/o state oversight protections.

Maybe it's not our local leaders fault. Perhaps they went to college and lost all cognitive logical thought processes along the way. Possibly because they never saw a need to drink water.

Perhaps they imbibed on alternative beverages through the entire four years. Could that be the problem right there?
:-)

dick nepon said...

Mike,

I agree. The LCA is the biggest culprit here with regard to the water, but Pawlowski must take lumps as well for his failure to protect the City and its residents from LCA, instead taking the quick cash he needs to make a budget and sacrificing the future much as he has done with his borrowed funds that he claims as surplus. In this case, he is stealing from the future through a resource that will be gone when needed. It is the moral equivalent of using a credit card to pay for an overdue bill, while not knowing where the funds to pay the credit card will come from.

Allentown should be at the forefront of protecting the entire watershed, instead we are vying for leadership at selling it out.

Have a happy 2010.

L.V.Native said...

Wake up and smell the coffie {brewed with water from the Little Lehigh watershed}. Allentown's Mayor,the Lehigh County Authority {controlled by Mr. Don Cunningham, make no mistake about that}, the Lehigh Valley Joint Planning Commission, Renew Lehigh Valley and sham environmental groups have just signed on to the destruction of the Little Lehigh and Jordan creeks. { Sort of a regional coalition for destruction of an irreplaceable natural resource. Regionalism at it's most distructiveness.} This makes concern for Allentown's beloved parks a side show. What a sad and tragic joke. Shame on the lot of them.

voice of christmas future said...

To LVCI, No imbibing at Moody Bible Collage you can be sure! Didn't Andrew Kleiner and conservation groups in general support the mayor at election time? I have heard that the Wildlands Conservation group is a big backer of the mayor and his recreation director. Am I missinformed? Selling out the Little Lehigh is worse than chopping down the trees on South Mountain to patch up the budget. Wildlands supports this? I agree that Lehigh County is implacated also. Bad news this.

Anonymous said...

Allentown already draws water from the Lehigh River. I voted for some of these people. I wish i could take my votes back.

ironpigpen said...

Bliss.

What an outstanding name for a propaganda minister!

You can't make this stuff up :)

West End Betty said...

Michael: Thanks for continuing to keep us apprised of our potentially serious water problem. Pawloski and his West End friends only drink water from bottles so they don't care about the rest of us. I live in the West End, not even Parland SD, and I drink water right from the tap as God intended. Keep us informed, MM.

Polish Eddie said...

I love West End Betty. I also drink water from the tap. Thanks MM for leading the charge to save our water!

michael molovinsky said...

eddie, rob hamill is leading that charge. my charge is that the priority of the park system should be saving icons which made our park system nationally famous. many groups, even conservation groups, have been turning a blind eye to the current administration agenda

Polish Eddie said...

sorry MM, saving icons--yes, that is very important. thanks.

Polish Eddie said...

Mr. Molovinski: with the resignation of Bill Leiner, I beg you to apply to be a county commissioner. Please notify the Lehigh County Democratic Committee and send applications to the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners, 17 S. Seventh St., Allentown, PA 18101-2400. Applications must be received by Jan. 21. The commissioners must then choose a replacement by Feb. 25.

michael molovinsky said...

eddie, as you may know, the replacement must be a democrat, i'm an independent. mr. leiner is featured on one local blog, which is operated by a democratic couple, perhaps they will step forward.

Anonymous said...

Great observation. Want to know who is behind the curtain?

Go to the Regional Health Bureau meeting this coming Monday and pan the audience.

If you are astute enough, you can see the Wizard of Oz.

[speaking in a booming voice into microphone] I am the great and powerful...
[then, realizing that it is useless to continue his masquerade, moves away from microphone, speaks in a normal voice] Wizard of Oz.

LVCI said...

Referring to you remarks, "biggest threat to the creek was the regional Lehigh Authority sucking out all the water to feed..."

Michael as for folks who may have not read my comment posted back on August 28, 2009 3:20 PM