Sep 23, 2010

Saving the Queen


When I grew up on Liberator Ave., I would walk up Catalina Ave. toward school, which was at the end of Coronado. The streets were named for the Vultee-Consolidated WW2 planes, and the neighborhood was next to the airport built as part of the war effort. Vultee Street was built to connect the hangers with the Mack 5C plant, which was given over to Vultee-Consolidated for plane part manufacturing. Today this small airport is known as Queen City, and is threatened by Mayor Ed Pawlowski.

Pawlowski covets this unique part of our history to expand the tax base. What he doesn't understand is that more housing or commercial space is not in Allentown's best long term interest. Unfortunately, long term interest is not a term understood by our current leadership. There is a whole development of started houses off S. 12th St. and Mack Blvd. which were never completed. There are filled in foundations on 8th Street, also never completed. More housing is the last thing both the real estate market and school system need. Likewise, the existing commercial sector has been struggling to maintain an acceptable occupancy rate. Queen City airport is an unique asset to Allentown. If LVIA does successfully expand, a separate airport for small planes is very desirable for safety. Considering Pawlowski's predetermined objective, I question whether he should have been appointed to the LVIA Board.

Dennis Pearson, long time community activist from the East Side Rittersville area, reports last night that a portion of the State Hospital grounds had been given to the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Corporation. Just last week, Dennis requested that the City inform him of any plans concerning that land. Although representatives of the Administration were present, nobody had the consideration to response to Pearson's statement. These open spaces in Allentown, both Queen City and the State Hospital, are too important to let Pawlowski and Cunningham squander them for a short term, politically expedient, tax fix.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

MM -

Doesn't the federal government have to sign off on closing Queen City? Have you contacted Congressman Dent on this?

Anonymous said...

Sorry MM. I appreciate your nostalgic concern for these sites by as a city resident and taxpayer planning a future in the city of Allentown I want to see that both of these properties put to productive use.

A lightly used airport off an interstate exit and over a hundred acres of good land and empty buildings in a safe quiet part of town are not good uses for these properties. Air traffic will continue to decline and the State Hospital is gone. Its time to move forward.

Care and discretion should be used but both sites should be developed at some point.

Anonymous said...

MM
First, can someone somehow privately email you anymore?
Secondly,
Queen City just received several million Washington stimulus dollars and while the feds in office may be of the same political party as Pawlowski, seems they support this little "queen" of an airport. In the past years, millions of federal dollars have gone into airport upgrades--new hangers, new runways, new lighting, new underground fuel tanks. What makes you think Pawlowski has the power to destroy all that. Not saying he can't, just wondering. Did something recently happen to draw you into this concern? Nothing new about Pawlowski wanting that land for development. He's been salivating since first an Afflerbach appointment.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what else the mayor wnats. Allentown is getting about 300 more apartment off of MLK drive and they are low cost. I agree Michael, we do not need more housing. We are surrounded by shopping centers. We do not need anymore. Industrial, who wants to manufacture in Allentown. So what happens if Queen city closes. Just a big vacant lot of nothing.
We need Queen City airport. It does serve a necessay function.
And before anybody says it is just a convenient field for the rich folks, I am not rich and I fly out of the strip. Save Queen City Airport.
Bob Romancheck

michael molovinsky said...

anon 9:09, Pawlowski has been appointed to the LVIA board of directors by cunningham. the fate of queen city rests in their hands, and we know what pawlowski wants. I believe with such a preconceived notion, his appointment was inappropriate. pawlowski appoints all members to the redevelopment authority and various other boards. far too much power in the hands of someone with no history of the area.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:13, doesn't it seem ironic to spend millions of dollars on county "open space" initiatives, but then develop the remaining open space in the city? btw, the old mack 5C land is only a mile or so further east on Lehigh St, why not develop that?

Anonymous said...

michael molovinsky said...

anon 9:09, Pawlowski has been appointed to the LVIA board of directors by cunningham. the fate of queen city rests in their hands, and we know what pawlowski wants. I believe with such a preconceived notion, his appointment was inappropriate. pawlowski appoints all members to the redevelopment authority and various other boards. far too much power in the hands of someone with no history of the area.

September 23, 2010 10:24 AM

Trust Your Gut!

Here's one point of view sadly city residents are forced to consider. Today's news headlines cite new terrorism threats to our country. Queen City Airport is the ONLY source of quick transportation in and out of this city, and if destroyed by development will forever landlock residents in case of emergency needs. One has only to look at the three recent I/78 highway tragedies to see firsthand what happens when the regional highways become clogged. It took eight hours to reopen I/78, and while first reponders did their very best, the region's other arteries remained clogged for hours. Queen City provides a lifeline to the outside world.
Perhaps you can go from that angle to save the airport.

Anonymous said...

As residents of S. 12th Street neighborhood, your comment is right-on.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:13, doesn't it seem ironic to spend millions of dollars on county "open space" initiatives, but then develop the remaining open space in the city? btw, the old mack 5C land is only a mile or so further east on Lehigh St, why not develop that?

September 23, 2010 10:29 AM

Anonymous said...

michael molovinsky said...

anon 9:09, Pawlowski has been appointed to the LVIA board of directors by cunningham. the fate of queen city rests in their hands


Are you sure it doesn't rest with the feds? What criticism the new administration would receive, if after spending million at QCA, it is torn down. Just imagine Republicians in campaign-mode.

Anonymous said...

In response to above post:

"The nation's top counterterrorism officials were blunt. The threat from within---of Americans willing to commit terrorist acts--- is growing. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told a congressional hearing today that a spike in recent terrorism cases is direct evidence of the evolving threat.

"Groups affiliated with al Qaeda are now actively targeting the United States and looking to use Americans or Westerners who are able to remain undetected by heightened security measures," Mueller said. "It appears domestic extremism and radicalization appears to have become more pronounced..."
Courtesy: Drudge Report

Guy Williams said...

After the great depression and the war,neighborhoods like little lehigh,midway manor,walden terrace,Westbrook park,Hamilton park sprung up all over the city.Builders like leroy bogert,sol greenburg, the roncas were also building homes targeted to the middle class.In housing it was their finest hour and should be done again.

Anonymous said...

great point MM.

Actually, it may be in Allentown's best future interests to contract...become a smaller entity. Right now it is a city of 100,000 and about one third of the residents are below poverty level. At this pace, factoring in "white flight", by 2030, Allentown will still have 100,000 or more folks, 50% minority and 40% - 45% poor. What will become of the school district?

Bad situation.

VOR