Mar 22, 2010

A Runaway Train

Back in 2007, I would have coffee early in the morning, around 6:30, at a coffee shop at 7th and Hamilton. The shop is now closed, so is the building; that's another story which was told on this blog two years ago. Anyway, during this time I met Fran Dougherty, who would also frequent the shop. Fran was then the city manager, imported by Pawlowski from Philadelphia. Fran in turn interviewed Greg Weiztel, from Lewistown, for the Park Department job. Dougherty was impressed with a giant playground Weitzel had built, Weitzel's background is in recreation. But lets go back even further, back to Afflerbach. It appears Roy had dipped into Trexler Trust funding for routine maintenance and the Trust went to court to stop the misuse of their funds. They then commissioned a Philadelphia landscape firm to recommend the sort of projects which would be appropriate with the General's money. A report called the master plan would be produced which suggested some park projects for Allentown's future. WHO COULD HAVE IMAGINED THAT AFFLERBACH'S MANY MISTAKES , WOULD JUSTIFY PAWLOWSKI HIRING A CITY MANAGER (DOUGHERTY), WHO WOULD HIRE WEITZEL, WHO WOULD THINK EVERYTHING IN THAT REPORT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BUILT WITHIN 3 YEARS.

All these changes have been rough on the parks, especially Cedar Park. Although the "improvements" are not complete from the Cedar Park Plan, Weitzel is now working on the Trail Network Plan. Poor Cedar Park has so many paths being dug it looks like Venice when it rains. This picture of the flooded path ditch was taken by Andrew Kleiner, who has been doing an excellent job of documenting our park system. He has concluded that the paths are adversely affecting the streams, which are in desperate need of remedial attention, not more adjoining paths.

On April 7, City Council is to vote on the new Trail Network Plan. I request that Council members visit Cedar Park before the vote and see first hand how all the construction is overtaxing the park. Perhaps it's time to slow down the runaway train and put off approving any more plans. The parks themselves are in peril. One wouldn't expect the danger to come from the Park Department, but never the less, City Council must now save the pride and joys of Allentown from any more improvement.


Anonymous said...

Too late now Awdrew.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Some champion of the Park and its natural charm and beauty, that Kleiner fellow.

He has plenty, plenty, plenty of chances to speak out.

Anybody got a Gondola?

Forward such to City Hall.

That's the NEW plan for economic stiumulus in the City With No Limits --- Gondola boat rides for lovers in the new Park canals!

Venezian Gondolas would be exceptionally diverse!

And we all know how important diversity is.

Go Bulldozers. Defeat Everything.

Rolf Oeler

michael molovinsky said...

rolf, andrew has become increasingly skeptical of the "improvements". i don't want to put any words into his mouth, but i urge you to visit his blog and read his recent posts.

it's ironic that many of these plans are endorsed and funded by the trexler trust. as i said last summer, they are too much associated with the current administration and not enough with our meritorious park system.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Atty. Malcolm Gross, III.... for making this all possible [via your shameful support of this 'abomination' through your chairmanship of the Trexler Trust, and the funding thereof]. What a disgrace to a once proud Allentown family (father and grandfather.. former mayors).


michael molovinsky said...

anon 12:01, i can only assume that the trust hasn't really studied the plans. how could anyone approve cedar park adding more paved loops, breaking up the open space into little sections. they don't seem to comprehend that the park itself is being sacrificed to recreation.

Anonymous said...

I go to Kleiner's blog all the time.

His support of phony "Climate Change" Cap and Tax garbage makes me puke.

Kleiner is, in my opinion, a robot for certain interest groups with specific agendas to push.

Have you seen Kleiner's assessments of what the TNP will do for the local economy?

I can't wait until Kleiner is finished up his studies at Muhlenberg College and gets to take on the REAL WORLD.

He might find out he wasn't taught everything he really might want to know.

We'll see how much of his hard-earned money he is willing to shell out in taxes and for what, too.

michael molovinsky said...

RO, i would ask that you refrain from further roasting of kleiner here. i'm grateful for any opposition to the trail plan, even if it's coming late and for different reasons.

Anonymous said...

I think Kleiner and Molavinsky both deserve a big thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

It is 3:30 Monday afternoon and Allentown is getting a pretty good April shower. I bet it is making a real mess, what with the bulldozer and all, in the formally beautiful Rose Garden area of Cedar Beach.

michael molovinsky said...

i have rejected another comment critical of att. gross. although i am also disappointed that he signed on to the destruction of the open space and ambience of cedar park, he was not the architect or park director. further comments critical of him will be rejected without comment.

Anonymous said...

Passing by Cedar Beach and the Rose Garden last Saturday, one could see flooding everywhere and certainly covering the newly dug
cycling paths. This is a stupid project that is bound to cause
endless maintenance issues and labor for an overworked and understaffed (by 20) park crew!
Shame on the city and Weitzel.

michael molovinsky said...

it would have been bad enough to pave the existing walking/jogging loop. BUT to add another loop and then two north/south connections, all PAVED is tragic. when i asked weitzel why the second loop, he replied to facilitate senior exercise stations, when i asked why they couldn't be added to the existing loop, he had no reply. he is literally destroying the park. these redundant paths, and paving, are actually the cedar park portion of the trail network plan, which he will not acknowledge. hopefully council will say no to the trail network plan; apparently there is no control possible after a yes vote, regardless of what is said. i have learned that weitzel told runners who wanted the gavel path to remain, that he would add another path if they like, a gavel one. can you imagine that; he disregards the nature aspect of the park so much he would build two paths side by side.