May 13, 2011

Hardball for Hockey

The following resolution authorizing eminent domain is being put through City Council by the Administration. The arena will have multiple ramifications for center city Allentown. In addition to altering the historic shopping district, center city residents will experience a sufficient increase in traffic, especially in the evening after events. If such a decision should have been made solely by the Mayor, is a fair question. Although another meeting with the affected merchants is scheduled for Tuesday, their opinion and options are apparently of no significance.
R 28 A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Allentown Authorizing the Preparation and Submission of Declarations of Taking and Related Documentation pursuant to the Eminent Domain Code of 1964, as amended, to Acquire Certain Properties bounded on the east by North 7th Street, on the north by Linden Street, on the west by North 8th Street and on the south by Hamilton Street within the City of Allentown – inclusive of the following properties, in the event any of these properties cannot be acquired by the City amicably before the institution of eminent domain proceedings in the Lehigh County Court:

Property Address
12 N. 7th St, . 22 N. 7th St., 38 N. 7th St., 40 N. 7th St
42-44 N. 7th St, 46 N. 7th St., 48 N. 7th St

21 N. 8th St., 23 to 27 N 8th St, 29 N. 8th St.
31 N. 8th St., 33 N. 8th St., 35 N 8th St.
37 N. 8th St., 39 N 8th St., 41 N. 8th St.
43 N. 8th St.

701-703 W. Hamilton St.,705 W. Hamilton St.
707 W. Hamilton St., 709 W. Hamilton St.
711 W. Hamilton St., 713 W. Hamilton St.
715 W. Hamilton St., 719 W. Hamilton St.
721 W. Hamilton St., 723 W. Hamilton St.
725-727 W. Hamilton St., 729-731 W. Hamilton St.
733-737 W. Hamilton St.

716 -718 W. Linden St., 720 W. Linden St., 728 W. Linden St.

UPDATE: City Council has been not given, nor has yet asserted, any role in this huge part of Allentown's future, except now being asked to sign off on legal confiscation.
UPDATE 2: Although I attended the first meeting with the merchants and city, and suggested the meeting for tomorrow (I also requested that Mayor Pawlowski attend), I no longer plan on attending. I have learned that the city just distributed a letter to the merchants outlining the Arena Plan, but predated the letter till early April. Merchants, to their credit, are willing to overlook the lack of good faith, and will be attending. Apparently, City Council is accepting the Administration's claim that many properties have accepted the agreement. I believe that those who have signed the agreements are those which have been long vacant, and see the opportunity for a bailout. I'm not surprised that the Administration once again has City Council under it's control.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

I suppose, Allentown needs to do something.. . . ANYTHING!

The facility planned is TOO SMALL to have any real impact on the Lehigh Valley. It's not a standout addition to Eastern Pennsylvania.

Then hockey team will have its schedule for a few months, but then what?

If the location doesn't include acres and acres of open, well-lit, surface parking (that seems removed from anything residential) it will be ignored by most area residents.

Anonymous said...

The unbelievable arrogance of worms.

Anonymous said...

Come on people.
Where is the outrage at this travesty being perpetrated against all the people of Allentown?
The people in the administration pushing this scam do NOT count.
They do not represent the interests or will of the citizens.
If they were not slimy reptiles they would be ashamed of themselves.
How many people REALLY want a hokey rink?
How many people believe that this is any sort of a solution to Allentown's woes?
How many acts of violence occured last night?
The current administration is incapable of providing a safe city now. They have zero interest in the needs of the citizens but are going to slam this boondoggle right down all of our throats.
Three people touting a terrible idea does not make it a good.
Where is the referendum???
Ask the citizens!

gary ledebur said...

Without doing a lot of research on the economic benefits of small town hockey, this seems like a lot of effort with minimal return. Nevertheless I applaud the mayor for taking the political risk to improve the economy of Allentown. The Queen City is at a nexus of dying or reviving. If nothing is down except hiring more cops (which seems to be the solution on this blog) or or admiring the beauty of the past, or cutting programs for the poor (another proposed solution guaranteed to require the need for more cops) Allentown will become the next Chester, PA. Where are the talented folks who are willing to take risks to save a great city?

Monkey Momma said...

The City is going to end up paying an enormous fortune in litigation costs on this, and the only folks who will benefit are the lawyers.

How many of those businesses are held by RENTERS of the first floor? Are those folks going to be compensated??

I am not necessarily against a hockey arena downtown. However, what I am against is one individual (Pawlowski) making extreme changes to the downtown landscape, seemingly with little oversight or control. It is as though we live in the Kingdom of Allentown, where King Pawlowski's wish is our command. And why have I only read quotes from admin officials and NOT from the King himself? He needs to be front and center on this very risky project if he expects others to get behind it.

I will be very curious to see what Council does on Wednesday - not that I have high hopes for Council to do much of anything except make some noise and then inevitably use their rubber stamp powers.

This is just a really sad example of how business is done in America now: by government thugs who can and will take what they want, when they want. It sends a seriously bad message to anyone else looking to start a business in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time for the ppl of allentown to stand up and tell this administration enough is enough! how dare they manipulate the law to fit their needs.. there are plenty of better suited areas this could be built with less impact on current and running businesses .. Hamilton st needs a face lift for sure but a arena is not the answer!!! There is one major problem with Hamilton St ... PARKING PARKING PARKING!!!!! instead of a arena tear down a few buildings and make Parking Lots Free with prof of purchase from a Hamilton store...Maybe a nice sitting park or two and push the parking authority out of downtown! they have done more damage then good! I still remember when there were public rest rooms, trees and a awning over the sidewalks the city admis have done all they can to kill the Hamilton st appeal just my 2 cents lol sry for the rant! ps. like this pic oh hamilton st in its glory ! http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Hmall-6th-looking-west-summer-1974.jpg

Anonymous said...

I ran a Google Search on this Sara Hailstone and found this!!!

http://dohertydeceit.com/id81.html

Another person appointed by the Allentown administration with no experience in the field of planning and community development that nearly wrecked Scranton!! With this person at the helm in Allentown, no matter what she does is tainted. I can not believe that they are even considering eminent domain to take people's homes and businesses for a stupid hockey rink. BTW, how much has the Iron Pigs really, really done for Allentown? I argue nothing measurable. IMHO

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that building this hockey arena will benefit a very small group of people.How much will property and local income taxes go up to pay for this.Property acquisition costs are soaring already.

Anonymous said...

Is the parking deck at Linden and Sixth St. operating at a huge loss?
Will an arena be needed to provide customers for the Allentown Parking Authorities empty parking deck?
The parasitic bloated ticks that are our many city authorities and agencies, and our arrogant Mayor's deranged plan to slam up an unwanted, poorly thought out structure for a violent sport is certainly making Allentown even less of a place to visit or live.

michael molovinsky said...

i remind readers that links will not work in my comment section without including the html hyperlink code

Anonymous said...

I cant wait to be sitting in a luxury box watching professional sports or concerts while the cell phone repair stores, Fashions of India stores, thug clothing stores, pawn shops, drug-selling barber shops and check cashing stores, etc. all have to be moved to another area of city.

Complain all you want about the Mayor or Hailstone, the Arena is coming and there is nothing the trash of Allentown....that has wrecked the city for years....can do to stop it!!! I love it!!!

michael molovinsky said...

the following comment submitted by david zimmerman

Eminent Domain Property Detail

Eminent Domain - Parcel Map (Google) by Owner

David Zimmerman

michael molovinsky said...

anon 11:35, your comment reflects the attitude of many citizens, HOWEVER, it is flawed thinking. I know that the merchants on third street in bethlehem are getting NO Residual Business from the casino, people go there and leave. same for the arena, they will leave after the event. secondly, the clientele for the stores is the reality of allentown. thirdly, i suspect you have not been in the stores; they are well stocked, and operated.

Anonymous said...

May 14, 2011 11:35 AM

Words from a shill at the mayor's office touting this travesty.

Anonymous said...

Anon shill above:

Such deluded and bigoted thinking and statements are the real heart of the issue. The world has changed. But the hedonists among us insist on having their way.

Anonymous said...

GL:

Dude, we are Chester. Catch as catch can economic development and chasing the grant pimps is shallow thinking. What courage? The man is only building his resume at the expense of a city and it's people he does not respect.

Anonymous said...

May 14, 2011 1:02 PM

I didn't hear a denial.
Arrogant bureaucrats.
The morning call poll is 3 to 1 against this at the moment.
Do the RIGHT thing.
Ask the people!

Monkey Momma said...

It's not the businesses that are to blame for the demise of Allentown. Geez, those are the working folks of this city! And isn't that what we all want - for people in Allentown to WORK and contribute? I also suspect anon 11:35 hasn't visited any of these businesses in question. He may not be their target market, but many folks rely on these businesses for things they need and want! Without those businesses there would be vacant storefronts - is that what folks want?

And anyways, this is America. Where a business owner gets to determine his/her product mix. If you don't like what a store sells, don't shop there! But you don't get to pull eminent domain just because you've decided those stores are crap. People have put their whole lives into those stores - it is their livlihood. It simply is not the right thing to do to give them one month to relocate on a non-negotiable deal.

This clearly is not fair, right or just. It is a tragedy, and should make every single business owner question the security of their investment. If this goes through, it will also confirm that the mayor has absolute power.

QUESTION: Is Wednesday the first time City Council will have an opportunity to comment on the matter? Or, have they been approached about this project before? I find Council's lack of involvment in the overhaul of Allentown's downtown shocking and extremely disappointing. This kind of major project needs serious deliberation in the open air - not back room deals and outright lies from the administration.

michael molovinsky said...

monkey momma, up to the meeting less than a month ago, the city hadn't even admitted that they were the unnamed buyer on the offers being presented by a realtor. i doubt if city council knew, if they did as individuals, it received no public disclosure as per the charter. meanwhile, down at the river, the front building of the brewery was virtually stolen from the owner (he was actually lured here and jailed), while we recently overpaid $800,000 for the garage in the rear portion. city council has been given, nor has asserted, any role in this huge part of allentown's future.

Valley Chief said...

@ Monkey Momma:
No, I am not their target market. Yes, I'd be ok w/ vacant store fronts because then the city can really clean up the downtown w/ little push back. And w/ state dollars funding the project, the legislators know the city has blue prints of what has worked in other areas and hold them accountable.

Do you really believe that the development folks have not looked into parking solutions?

Also, the city has offered above fair market value for the properties and cash to relocate. These owners have a chance to cash in. If they are well stocked and operated, their customer base will follow. It's like they are being relocated 5 miles away.

I also suggest that you check the Greater LV Chamber results on polling business owners....it is overwhelmingly in favor of the arena. The MCall polls are flawed, any cpu can vote where the chamber is for members only of more than 5000 businesses.

Some refer to developing the water front....believe me, it was investigated inside and out....it can't be done for at least 5, maybe 10 years (environmental).

Here is what's really sad....if you are against the mayor, then why did you put him in office more than once? Atown is democratic (not republican) city....yet Pawlowski and City Council continue to get reelected.

Again, the arena is coming folks. People from the right, left and center, including the state and federal all have a vested interest. There's been a ton of money invested by influential people. Blog all you want....that is what America is all about. Various strategies have been tried to clean-up Atown for the last 20 years....it's time to win the war.

Excuse me now....I'm off to Sangria for dinner....finally a nice place and a reason to drive into Atown. Maybe I'll grab a beer at Brew Works and get gas at 12th & Hamilton. I may even run across the street to Rite Aid at 7th & Hamilton for some minor needs. This is what development is all about....

michael molovinsky said...

valley chief, sangria might be in for a big surprise. if patrons only go to the arena and quickly leave without stopping at the brew pub, the only thing town will gain is traffic. if you were a regular customer of sangria, would you want to go downtown and deal with that traffic as it comes and leaves the arena? btw, you should spend some more time in town, then you would know that the rite aid is down in the next block from sangria. get my point?

michael molovinsky said...

valley chief, none of the merchants on hamilton street are members of the chamber, and the chamber has no members on hamilton street.(maybe their office landlord) after you clean up the merchants, perhaps you can put up barricades to keep their former customers from contaminating the area.

Anonymous said...

May 14, 2011 3:43 PM


Do you really believe that the development folks have not looked into parking solutions?
.
Yes! I do believe that statement.
.
Ask the people.
Where is the referendum?
Quit this propagandist blathering and find out if the people want this!
You criminals haven't got the guts.

Anonymous said...

The City of Allentown Charter:
>
ARTICLE X
CITIZENS' RIGHTS AND PARTICIPATION
SECTION 1001 GENERAL PROVISIONS
The Council shall protect and promote the rights of the citizens of the City of Allentown to participate in a positive and constructive manner in the government of the City. Any citizen of the City may participate in the government of the City by:

A. Seeking elective office of the City as prescribed by this Charter and voting for candidates for elective office;
B. Serving on boards, commission, authorities or other agencies of the City government when requested by the appropriate officials;
C. Attending and being heard at public meetings of the Council and other boards, commissions, authorities and agencies of the City government;
D. Addressing suggestions to the Council and others to provide guidance for their actions;
E. Exercising the right of initiative and referendum as provided in this Charter or as otherwise may be provided by law.

SECTION 1002 INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM
A. Initiative. The qualified voters of the City shall have the power to propose ordinances to the Council. If Council fails to adopt a proposed ordinance, the initiative process gives the qualified voters of the City the opportunity to adopt or reject the proposed ordinance at a primary, municipal or general election. (11/6/01)

B. Referendum. The qualified voters of the City shall have the power to require reconsideration by Council of any adopted ordinance. If Council fails to repeal an ordinance, the Referendum process gives the qualified voters of the City the opportunity to approve or reject the ordinance at a primary, municipal or general election. (11/6/01)

SECTION 1003
SECTION 1003 INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM; PETITIONERS COMMITTEE; AFFIDAVIT
Any five (5) qualified voters of the City may file with the City Clerk an affidavit stating they will constitute the Petitioners Committee and be responsible for circulating the petition and filing it in proper form stating their names and addresses and specifying the address to which all notices to the committee are to be sent, and setting out, in full, the proposed initiative ordinance or the ordinance sought to be reconsidered. Within five (5) days after the affidavit of the Petitioners Committee is filed and validated, the City Clerk shall issue the appropriate petition blanks to the petitioners.

Anonymous said...

Ledebur,

Usually, a risk-taker does so in the hopes of a reward.

Perhaps all the hopes of all the talented folks still in the city are now all officially dead.

Too many blatant lies.

Too many e-mails from the Mayor's wife.

Too many propaganda pieces from The Morning Call.

Too much Hope, too little Change.

What's more --- cheerleading from afar is aggravating.

Enjoy your hockey team at your beloved Mayor Pawlowski's Palace of Sport.

Valley Chief said...

@ Michael
Yes, I do get your point but you may have responded too fast. Rite Aid is at 7th and Hamilton and across the street from Sangria....just two blocks down. Maybe you missed the point, development brings people to those businesses.

And I assume the merchants you are referring to are the ones being relocated. If they didnt join the Chamber...shame on them for not supporting their trade association. After all, since they are well stocked and operated, then support the association that supports business.

Just for the sake of the argument, the Chamber has plenty of downtown members.

Sangria "might" be in for a big surprise....I'll take that bet and even given you 10 to 1 odds. I'll even take Cosmopolitan on that one as well.

How much do you want to bet that we attract another restaurant into Johnny Mananas vacant spot BECAUSE of the arena???

Remember all of those bars and restaurants (or lack there of on Union)...of yeah, that's right...they have tons of business because of the Iron Pigs!

I'm not going to go round and round w/ you on your blog. Clearly, we have two different opinions.

I'm in Center City every day, working my a$$ off. I wish others would do the same so I wouldn't have to travel to Bethlehem or Macungie to spend my money.

Nice reference to Nazi Germany times w/ the barricades. "Nonpartisan catalyst for policy change"....um yeah, ok.

Thanks for providing a forum for all points of view to be heard.

Anonymous said...

ICE HOCKEY ARENA ENTHUSIASTS:

Careful not to count your chickens before they are hatched.

Ice hockey is a much different animal than baseball, you will come to understand at some point.

Just for starters, you will be asking people to venture forth into Allentown during winter --- NOT summer. We will see how exactly how many people are consistently willing to drive exactly how far in exactly what type of winter weather to see minor league hockey. I hope the Phantoms have some enticing promotional giveaways in mind...

Plus, the would-be spectators will have to do a bit more than just drive a couple blocks down the street from the highway, which is the case over at Coca-Cola Park on the East Side.

Many IronPigs fans --- well aware of the true crime situation inside the city --- have stated publically (and often, as well) that they are thankful the stadium is located on what amounts to the edge of town.

And you will be relying on the 'rich' suburban people to support your hockey team because the 'poor' city folk will either not have enough interest or money to buy tickets.

Perhaps even both. Only time will tell for sure.

Now, should we even bother to discuss gas prices or can we move on to the next difference you will not be reading about in The Morning Call?

michael molovinsky said...

valley chief, although i encourage comments and yours is appreciated, i do wish more people were motivated to sign their name, especially those who suggest they have some insight. i do doubt that many people walk the two blocks from sangria to rite aid. please consider that most of the cosmopolitan patrons use valet parking, they don't even want to walk a quarter block on 6th st., i am very familiar with the merchants on hamilton street. they do not belong to the chamber because the chamber has done nothing for them for 20 years. where is iannelli on this major decision? lastly, as a jew, i assure you that the reference to barricades had nothing to do with nazi germany. it has to do with the attitude of gentrifying hamilton street. i believe with the area surrounded by poverty, that time has passed. hamilton street, like all area's of allentown can be improved, with realistic goals; base hits if you will, not grand slams, with nobody on base.

Anonymous said...

FRIENDLY ADVICE FOR PAWLOWSKI's PUCKSTERS :

Do not broadcast all home games on local television, as do the IronPigs, unless you are planing a pay-per-view arrangement.

Anonymous said...

Valley Chief and Asshat are likely both the mayor - or one of his minions.
This absurd cheerleading propanganda campaign for a widely detested plan will only serve to
anger more residents.
keep it up and be sure the room will be overflowing on Wednesday with resident citizens tired of BS lip service from from the likes of shills.
Imminent domain, deceit, arrogance and a hundred million dollars worth of "free" money is the deal under the table.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 5:35, i actually appreciate advocates for the plan expressing their point of view here. honestly, i do not know the general public's consensus on this plan. i suspect many could care less about the affected merchants. my concern is with the process, and lack of input by both merchants, citizens and council.

Anonymous said...

Where does the 'could not care less' crowd think the $ 80-100 million dollars is coming from?

Why do I think this CNCL crowd is the very first to shriek when funding for school breakfast programs is cut off?

Why do I find humor in telling all the laid-off union teachers in the Allentown School District that, perhaps, they can get a union construction job when the Pawlowski Palace of Sport breaks ground?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if half the Lehigh Valley will be screwed out of seeing the Phantoms on tv with some 'exclusive' contract going to only one of the cable companies. I'll bet that Iron Pigs fans are disproportionately SECTV subscribers.
--Only 40 or so minor league hockey games (with the NHL club on TV at the same time)
--Much less chance of getting 'entertainment' acts with the addition of Steel Stacks (plus the Morning Call is treating everything at Steel Stacts like it's a charity rather than a profit-making orgainzation)
--The poster above who referenced 'winter' vs' Pigs summer games is on to something.
--This is a strong HS sports community. Thousands of families each night of the Phantoms game will be a local school for b-ball, wrestling, etc. And you can be sure that whichever cable company does NOT get the Phantoms' games will really load up with televised HS sports.
--PRO hockey is already a 'minor' sport in the country. Not sure a minor league team of a minor sport is a winner for a loser like downtown Allentown.
--In this 'perception is reality' society of ours do not underestimate the role crime will play in keeping crowds away.
--Let's not underestimate the power of our local officals, most of whom have two or three government jobs; councilman, legislative aid, board members, etc.
--oh, what a tangled web....

Anonymous said...

uhhh, Valley Chief, you won't be able to run across the street to Rite-Aid if eminent domain goes through....because that is also on the list!

Anonymous said...

May 14, 2011 6:52 PM

Michael,
I am the general public.
I do care about the affected merchants, because I own my property in the city and realize that these "advocates" for this extremely flawed plan could and would seize any ones property on a whim.
Not only is the process crooked, their use of city employees to jam this down our craws is reprehensible.
Further, the thinking that if one is not a member of the chamber of commerce here in town that their beliefs and concerns don't matter is patently ridiculous.
This horrible travesty of a plan was foisted upon us by a SMALL group of individuals all having zero concern for the wants or needs of taxpaying citizens living in the shadow of this scam.
That no one was consulted or notified prior to this bomb being dropped in our midst only further insults us all.
The use of city employees as
shills should be totally unacceptable.
That being said, I have no problem with "real" citizens voicing their opinions on this issue.
I am grateful to you for ability to air my views (and the view of all of my neighbors) on this.

Anonymous said...

MM-
Wow Headline Story! Congrats.
You called this one. There really should be investigative awards for online bloggers. There must be more to this business plan. Maybe you'll find out who is behind this project and why? Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

How does Allentown's charter permit one man to destroy the downtown?
How is that possible? Anyone.

Anonymous said...

One of Allentown's center city major issues is affordable and attractive housing. Sunday's Morning Call features a Section 8 Housing story. "By Spencer Soper, OF THE MORNING CALL

10:37 p.m. EDT, May 14, 2011

Coming up with money for food and gas has been tough but Mernalys Reyes is really struggling to keep up with the $675-a-month rent she and her boyfriend pay for the Allentown apartment they share with her two daughters, ages 2 and 10 months.

Her boyfriend just returned to work after being unemployed for six months and the couple owes back rent that family members are chipping in to help them pay. Reyes, who is pregnant with her third child, said she will apply for federal government rent vouchers, a program called Section 8, in which they would pay a percentage of their income toward rent and the federal government would pay the rest. But she knows any relief could be years away.

"I know it takes a while," she said. "It took my mother eight years to get Section 8.""

Anonymous said...

10:37 p.m. EDT, May 14, 2011

And your point is?

Anonymous said...

I think the point is this country is clearly headed in the wrong direction.

So, when is the first ice hockey game at Pawlowski's Palace of Sport?

Monkey Momma said...

Valley Chief says, "Various strategies have been tried to clean-up Atown for the last 20 years....it's time to win the war."

Hey, I'm all about winning the war on the "trash" in Allentown. But, this arena wages war on the wrong people! Shop owners are not the enemy!! And the arena plan will do NOTHING to clean up the "trash" in Allentown. Other than that one block, Allentown remains basically the same, with all the same underlying issues and problems.

Even if unicorns and fairies suddenly appeared at Cedar Beach due to the magic trickle down prosperity wave coming from the hockey arena, the way this property is being STOLEN from hard working people is despicable. Try to imagine being in the shop owners' shoes. Some folks will be happy to cash in, but others are saying goodbye to a very personal investment and livlihood. Relocating is not as easy as you might think. And on such short order? That is outrageous and shows a serious lack of planning on the admin's part, don't you think?

Parking? Give me the plan for parking at this arena, and maybe I'll believe a plan exists. I mean, not too long ago there supposedly wasn't a plan to even BUY these properties - isn't that what Pawlowski said?? So why would I think anyone has a plan for parking 10,000 people in downtown on a winter's evening?? Same with traffic. I mean, I went to the Bryan Adams concert over a year ago, and traffic was a freakin' nightmare for just a Symphony show. (It was full to capacity at 1200.) But, major props to the cops helping direct traffic that night. Are the cops going to work all those extra hours to direct traffic at the arena?? How the heck are we supposed to afford policing the arena during events when we apparently can't even afford to maintain the force's responsibilities right now??? So, no, I don't think there IS a plan, but I would love to hear it if one exists.

Finally, LVCI's blog post on this matter brings up attendance at Phantoms games. Apparently, they're currently struggling to meet their attendance goals - they get about 3100 folks at games. ALLENTOWN'S ARENA PROPOSAL CALLS FOR 10,000 SEATS.

The plan is troubling. Like I said, I might be able to get behind the project itself, but the way it's being handled is RIDICULOUSLY WRONG. It is unethical. It is badly planned and not well thought out at all. Obstacles posed by me and others need to be addressed adequately, not with "just trust us" assurances.

Enough outta me. Sorry about the long rant. I appreciate the vibrant discussion, though. There is still time for the administration to do the right thing here. I hope they do.

Anonymous said...

This has been the normal course for what I have seen come out of Palowski's administration since the beginning.

The only rights that seem to count are the whims of ED (Eminent Domain)Palowski.

This is a stupid idea for all of the reasons stated above. It has not been thought out at all obviously.

Remember the intersection cameras, the ones with the blue lights?

Seems the current consensus, by the security industry, is that manning and monitoring video screens is ineffective.

The only value is any supporting evidence they might capture, if not erased.

What a waste, but the city will never discuss it.

Does the city ever do baseline studies or take any action to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs?

If they do they are hidden somewhere in the bowels of city hall?

What is worse, the only hope for intervention outside of private legal action, is the city council, a true set of buffoons all with political aspirations.

They are pathetically useless.

Anonymous said...

The view of "gouging","not in good faith","extortion" towards the merchants and residents impacted by this project is ignorant. The merchants are fighting to save their LIVELIHOOD - to provide education for their children, support their families, be able to pay taxes to the government, etc. - NOT to take advantage of this situation.

The City IS taking advantage of them by forcing them to sell, whether they want to or not. Therefore, their backs are against the wall to make a decision-a decision that they do not have!

Bottom line: None of these businesses were in the market to sell. Now, they are forced to. Property ownership rights and freedom of choice is a fundlemental right of all citizens! If citizens stay quiet from Ed(Eminent Domain) Polowski and associates clear violation of these basic rights then WHO's NEXT? Let's NOT PLAY THE POSSIUM, Lets goto the council meeting on Wed. May 18 7:30 pm at City hall in the council chambers and voice our opposition to this INJUSTICE!

Anonymous said...

Might the city plan to move the Soldier's Monument to ease traffic woes associated with the new arena?

Anonymous said...

Eminent Domain, the Fuhrer would be proud of Allentown's mayor

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

I'd be fine with the whole eminent domain aquisition thing, provided the building owners receive MORE than adequate compensation. It's really the only way to bring about immediate change. But, we all know, these owners will NOT receive appropriate compensation for their loss.

My problem is with the end result of this effort. Another 8500 seat arena will NOT attract significant economic impact to the region. Other medium size cities within reasonable distance of Allentown have already built such facilities. That niche has already been filled.

A 200,000 sq.ft. exhibition hall would be a much better addition to the community. The Lehigh Valley has no facility to handle large exhibits, trade shows, etc. An arena dedicated primarily to hockey with fixed, permanent seating is not nearly as valuable to this region. The hockey season is much too short for this level of investment.

If the hockey doesn't work out, what kind of space will Allentown have left to market?

The region does need a large arena, but the downtown Allentown site, as proposed, is not a big enough solution, nor the best choice of location.

There is no question in my mind, a large arena facility WOULD succeed if built within Bethlehem's SteelStacks development. Same is true for a large exhibit space there, too.

Forget Allentown's riverfront. That's not big enough either, and will require even more private property aquisitions than the current plan.

I'm afraid Allentown's leadership simply wants to reign in what it sees as "free" money, no matter what the end result. Sorry, at this time, the hockey project is a shortsighted and foolish use of resources.

Anonymous said...

Can we expect less from a guy raised in Chicago politics? How different is mayor P's eminent domain plan from Obama's rape of General Motors bond holders? He stole their money and gave it to his union thugs. The bond holders included little old ladies while the union thugs make about $70,000 a year in salary and benefits. Yeah, these are the ones who say they are for the little people.

Anonymous said...

How about the city paint some visible lines on our streets?
Can the road be seen when driving by the rose garden?
How about along front street?
And MLK drive?
Or American parkway?
Maybe some paint that's good for.... say.... more than one year.
Something a little reflective.
No problem managing a 100,000,000.00 debacle.

Anonymous said...

How about a futbol stadium?
somewhere else.
Like at the Coke ball field.
Lots of locals would attend.
A nod towards the swelling latino community.
The people living here....
And all over the Lehigh Valley.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

I suppose, Allentown needs to do something.. . . ANYTHING!

________________________________

ASD -

I appreciate your frustration, but that attitude has squandered millions of taxpayer dollars over the years.

If there's one thing that we all should have learned by now, it's that City Hall has no clue in the field of economic development.

No sane individual or group of individuals are willing to do with their own money what is being proposed. And it could be done privately for far less money.

That should tell us something, and set off alarm bells. But instead of thinking like prudent investors or business-people, we are fooled by those selling their snake oil.

Why people lose sight of the fact that the politicians are squandering our money baffles me.

Anonymous said...

There are well known and reputable individuals / firms that have a long history of analyzing the potential impact of these types of initiatives.

Makes sense to me but perhaps Eminent Domain does not care if he creates another Xanadu (Meadow Lands).

Anonymous said...

Ask the citizens!

Anonymous said...

All registered voters of Allentown! Tomorrow is the primary election! Two of the current council members who will vote on the resolution to use eminent domain--Peter Schweyer and Jeanette Eichenwald are up for re-election. Come out to the public hearing on WED @ 7:30PM and see how they vote on this matter.
Will they protect our rights to own property or will they just be a rubber stamp in the process of "redevelopment" that will line the pockets of the rich while pushing out the existing merchants and lower income families out of downtown with their "master plan".
You have the power to remove those who abuse their power! Don't think that you don't. Your vote and participation on issues can matter!

Anonymous said...

That would be "Fuehrer".

Please make a note.

DEUTSCHE GRAMMATIK POLIZEI

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Mike, I will also not be attending Wednesday's meeting. Although I once owned two properties in Allentown, I made the move out. It would not be fair for me to take up some of the limited space that will be available to actual residents of that city.

Allentown's leadership over the past 25 years has been abysmal. Created has been a mostly welfare population with no healthy civic investment.

This project will continue, despite what anyone expresses that night. The city leadership is determined to capture what they believe to be "free" money. Supposed free money to be directed at, frankly, ANYTHING.

In the end, the facility currently planned will prove to be a loser. But, the majority of the city's populace couldn't care less.

michael molovinsky said...

retired teacher, let me clarify; i will not be attending the tuesday morning meeting between the merchants and sara hailstone. i hope to attend the wednesday evening city council meeting.

Anonymous said...

I live and work downtown and I support the arena. Many of my coworkers that live outside of town also think it is a good idea. I wish the city could come to an amicable agreement with the property owners so that the plan could go forward. I do not support eminent domain for arenas.

Anonymous said...

May 17, 2011 10:48 AM

You are talking out of both sides of your mouth.
You can't have it both ways.
You can not support the arena in the selected location if you are not for eminent domain.
Show up on Wednesday ant tell the folks slated to lose their properties that it's no big deal!
And the same goes for the rest of the center city residents.
This is a scam and a travesty.

Anonymous said...

I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth. I would like to see a hockey arena, I support a hockey arena and I think a hockey arena is good for Allentown. I do not support eminent domain as a means to achieve that ends. As much as I would like to see a hockey arena I do not believe that the arena should trump property rights. I wish the owners would sell and I believe they are fools not to but it is there property and they should not have it taken from them.

Anonymous said...

May 17, 2011 12:45 PM

Sorry,
I misunderstood you.
Eminent should be used for schools and roads.
Taking property from one individual and giving it to another is wrong.
Shoving a project down residents throats without so much as a public
forum is also wrong.
Government employees and elected officials making threats about what will happen "if you don't comply" is also wrong.

Monkey Momma said...

I know better than to read comments at the Morning Call's website, but I just couldn't help myself today. I did find this VERY interesting link, though, from a poster:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/sports/a-companys-small-town-arenas-leave-cities-with-big-problems.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=us

I think this should be required reading for all of Council and everyone in the mayor's office.

What are we doing to Allentown?

Anonymous said...

I read this article and you are correct it should be required reading for those on City Council.

But would they? Then they might have to take a stand then.

It is a dark day in Allentown when this thug just takes businesses away from hard working citizens on another one of his whims.

For less than this in other countries revolutions have been started.

michael molovinsky said...

please place all new comments pertaining to the arena on the new post Quick Learner