Jun 12, 2010

A Field of Dreams (2)

In the movie, Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner builds a ballpark in a corn field. Here in Allentown, Lanta is proposing to tear down a ball park, Bicentennial Field, to build a garage for hybrid buses, which will burn corn oil. I don't think much of Lanta. I saw their arrogance in action when they sacrificed the Hamilton Street merchants to justify their new Transportation Terminal. My fellow blogger, Bernie O'Hare, has more respect for government, authorities and boards. His journalistic, researched posting * on a recent board nominee, Steve Schmitt, credits the bike racks on the front of the buses to this individual. Here is where Bernie and I turn off on separate paths; Now, if those bike racks were for half-wits,** as portrayed by Pee Wee, I would have no problem. Now, if those bike racks were intended for the poor, who owned no car, I would have no problem. But Schmitt's motivation was neither poverty or mental infirmity; He is one of those alternative transportation, spandex wearing, starbuck drinking cyclists, who know it all, and justify taking the buses off Hamilton Street and tearing down a ballpark. To set the record straight, although Schmitt is Mr. Bike Rack, I'm using him to stereotype the board of directors who generally have too much self esteem and not enough common sense. If they insist on hybrid buses and recycled Starbuck cardboard cups, fine; but find someplace else for the garage. Don't tear down a field of dreams for generations of little league, don't tear down an icon which would cost millions to replace. Please join me this coming Saturday and speak out against this pending mistake.

* http://lehighvalleyramblings.blogspot.com/2009/05/schmitt-unfiot-for-lanta.html

** not an official term of the American Psychological Association

reprinted from May 25, 2009

Lanta announced yesterday, 13 months after this post, that the hybrid garage would be built on their existing property, sparing the stadium.


Anonymous said...

This is good news.

But, sooner or later, somebody does need to figure out what to do with this athletic facility for real.

Bicentennial Park is what it is - not Coca-Cola Park but I sincerely believe it could be productive under the right circumstances.

I also agree with the philosophy that says once the city loses something like this - it will never bring something like this back.

I hear our kids are too fat. So make them play ball...



gary ledebur said...

Molovinsky has once again contributed to making the world a better place. I live in a community that has over ten lighted ballparks for children. It is not fair or just that some have too much and other folks, usually children of color, have so little. Saving ball parks and fighting spandex. You are my hero.

Anonymous said...

Michael, your journalistic excellence is slipping on this one.

1. Schmitt is not a LANTA board member
2. I have never seen him drink Starbucks
3. Schmitt is a huge advocate for the poor, perhaps one of the strongest in the Lehigh Valley.

The bus system in the Lehigh Valley needs more buses to increase frequency, which will make life better for bus riders, many who are poor. It is regrettable that the park is being sacrificed for this objective, but you cannot have everything.

Anonymous said...

Spandex SHOULD be resisted fiercely at every turn.

(btw - spandex is most likely, as are many clothes, made with petroleum --- gasp --- OIL!)

People who bring up children of color out of nowhere are heroes, as well.

Once President Obama gets through redistributing all the wealth and implementing true social justice...

...THEN we can all live happily ever after in Utopia.

Patience, the Progessive Liberals are working hard to save us all.

Keep voting Democrat.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:03, sorry my post is confusing to you. yesterday, someone sent a comment (which i didn't print) which linked to the morning call story yesterday that lanta will NOT take over the ballpark at this time. that story is what prompted this posting. i also have the link included in the post script. This post is a reprint of a older post, which i indicated. schmitt was a lanta board member who had made rather callous remarks toward the merchants during the lanta terminal controversy. i repeat, this is a copy of a post from my archives, as was indicated.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I agree with your basic premise but what can be done with Bicentennial Park? It's current (and recent past) usage is a joke. Before we save it, there needs to be a plan on what to do with it.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:03 am, when the fairview yard was used by the trolleys, they were of course restricted by the tracks. buses do not have that restriction. if necessary, a satellite storage yard could be placed anywhere.

anon 8:37pm, i don't follow your reasoning. once it's gone, it could NEVER be used. currently it's used by professional women's softball.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
This is a little confusing. Did LANTA recently say it was definitely going ahed with the destruction of Bicentennial Park? LANTA's director has been at the helm nearly 30 years. Thirty years!!!

Anonymous said...

Mike, that's what I mean - it's used by a professional women's softball team from Philly that no one goes to. Let's see it used, and often - play little league tourneys, run a summer day camp, in the fall use it for football for the smaller kids. There are a bunch of ideas and it just sits.

I guess I'm just grousing as it's yet another city asset that is mismanaged. It gets tiring.

Anonymous said...

The bus system in the Lehigh Valley needs more buses to increase frequency, which will make life better for bus riders, many who are poor. It is regrettable that the park is being sacrificed for this objective, but you cannot have everything.

June 13, 2010 10:03 AM

If Lanta wasn't feet from the old Mack Truck facility now empty but for weeds, your argument might have merit. Lanta easily can build a new facility right across the street and qualify for stimulus dollars for its green

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:20. No, lanta has announced that they will expand their garage on their existing parcel, and do not need the bicentennial property at this time.

my post is a reprint from last year when lanta did want the park, however, under the reprinted article i did provide a link to the recent morning call article, saying that they will now make do without the ballpark.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,

With all due respect, the womens' pro softball team, the Philadelphia Force, went belly up over the winter.

I have a rock-solid ideas that have worked before in other places with respect about what to do with historic and irreplaceable Bicentennial Park...

...but the class warfare BS is a monster turn-off. The crying and the wailing about poverty and skin color. It's all I hear about when inner city sports comes up.

It is not an accident people who have the skills, experience and abilities to make a difference are, in large numbers, NOT involved in the inner city sports.


Anonymous said...

Hooray for the people who are involved in inner city sports, though.

Their social worker skills are far superior to mine and I acknowledge such.

I would not know what to say when a player comes up to me crying because his teammates are making fun of him because the player has two Dads and no Moms.

I don't want to hear my players bitching because some team in the suburbs has a fancier-looking uniform than my team does.

All I have to offer is a bunch of drills and philosophies such as "You have to pay if you want to play".

Attitudes like "One must MAKE THEIR OWN good fortune on the field" and "Trophies are earned and not just handed out for participation."

Pay terms of in sweat, blood, physical pain, this is.

This is the 21st century, however, and I am well aware of it.

So, I (wisely) remain uninvolved.

michael molovinsky said...

rolf, i didn't know that the force wasn't playing this season, thanks for that info.

if those engaged in local baseball, on all levels, met and agreed that the park no longer serves a need, either present or future, i could understand the city selling it to lanta. However, the situation last year suggested that lanta had spare money and the city needed it, thus the deal. at that time, several baseball people told me that they were very upset with the proposed sale

Anonymous said...

I think it is a mistake to limit thinking with resepct to Bicentennial in terms of a baseball field.

It is an athletic facility above all.

The city has tons of baseball / softball fields already.

People like to yack on about demographics and impending changes...

...great, capitalize on that.

Bicentennial could transform itself into a soccer facility (once upon a time, District XI staged their playoff games there).

How many soccer facilities does the city of Allentown proper have?

Considering how we are constantly reminded of how poor the unfortunate children of Allentown are, perhaps now is a good time to mention soccer is a sport that requires virtually no equipment per individual player...

Troy Reynard said...

Hey just because Steve's butt looks better in spandex than your wife's doesn't mean you have to insult him. Seriously though Steve has advocated bicycle use as transportation and you have to be insane or stupid not to see that as a positive thing.

michael molovinsky said...

troy, this post, reprinted from over a year ago, was to announce a meeting i organized to save bicentennial park. even then, i conceded that i was stereotyping mr. schmitt.

as an advocate for the park system, i believe the parks have been degraded at the expense of the bike lobby, i.e. trail network plan. cedar park especially has been compromised beyond comprehension. as you know, there are bike blogs, this is not one of them. respectfully, mm