May 24, 2011
A Better Arena Site
As a boy growing up three blocks from the Mack assembly plant, I was always fascinated by the giant doors at the S. 12th and Lehigh Street end. Only recently did I learn that Catalina Flying Boats were assembled there during the War (Second World). What I did see everyday was endless Mack trucks, in every color, filling the huge yard next to the plant. They would be driven away, piggyback, to destinations all over the country. That plant has been gone now about fifty years, with only the footprint still visible in the above photo. Since that time, Route 78 now intersects with Lehigh Street, 1.5 miles away. Imagine a public arena fronting on a major road, with easy access to a main highway. Ed Pawlowski probably doesn't know about the old Mack parcel, but he's welcome to use the idea. It sure beats destroying center city with an illegal arena. I do think it's illegal; At Wednesday's meeting, City Council indicated it had full knowledge of the arena plans. This secret knowledge allowed them to approve the location, and permit eminent domain with no due diligence between the first reading of the resolution and the passing of the vote. Although public comment was permitted, there was no public input or discussion. In an unusual move, the City Solicitor was there, instead of an assistant. Despite Attorney Snyder's presence, there appears to be multiple violations of the Sunshine Act of 1976.
UPDATE: Councilman Michael Donovan elaborates on Arena
Sign electronic petition against eminent domain