Jun 8, 2011

Moving the Gooks

I support the downtown location of the proposed hockey arena. ...While I could care less about hockey, I have several reasons for supporting the downtown location:
•The investment and financial risk involve private investors who are typically wiser than government figures in assessing parking, traffic routes and ticket demand.
•Downtown needs a large footprint anchor to reset the Hamilton Street demographic. The arena will draw mixed-income, retail customers downtown and is our best bet for a downtown revival.
•We will get new faces downtown with continued growth in our restaurant and night spot usage.
•The arena has the potential to expand demand for true mixed-income rentals and home ownership in the city.
... I attended the first baseball game of my adult life at Coca-Cola Park; likewise, I hope to attend my first hockey game a short walk from my front door.
Charles Versaggi
letter in today's Morning Call

Just when I was complaining about Old Allentown being silent on the hockey arena, long time cheerleader Charlie Versaggi chimes in. Seems like the vanguard of Old Allentown sees this as their last hope for mixed income. Charlie, in the future, drop that private investor line, it makes Ed Pawlowski's eminent domain plans illegal. That fascism is suppose to be used for public projects and public good. Well, I suppose moving those gooks and their brown customers off Hamilton Street is for the public good. I don't know if you're going to get those new stores and white faces, excuse me, mixed income faces, but good luck with that. Enjoy your first hockey game!


Anonymous said...


Charlie is intelligent and a nice guy with the best of intentions but his time on the school board serves to demonstrate his poor judgment on what’s best for Allentown.
By the way, Charlie doesn’t have a bigoted bone in his body.
Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott, i certainly do believe that charlie is NOT motivated by racism. i identified allentown as a poverty magnet in 05, and also advocate for mixed income housing in allentown. that said, i strongly oppose the hamilton street arena location and the disruption to our mercantile district. the unrealistic hopes expressed in charlie's letter minimize the consequences of the plan. we are destroying the lives of 20 merchants, and jeopardizing a viable business district on pawlowski's current sugar plume gentrification hope and prayer.

Anonymous said...

The same blog that mocked the "Dollar Store" economic base of downtown Allentown now describes this as a mercantile district.

michael molovinsky said...

anonymous 7:30, if you're going to accuse me of being inconsistent, you should cite an example. i have been an advocate for the merchants for close to a decade. first regarding the parking meter increase, then the removal of the bus service, and now for their forced death march. i have also advocated for a level playing field and other ideas which i think would have improved the downtown. i'm not against upgrading the district, i'm against plans which are not reality based.

gary ledebur said...

Does this quote imply racism on the part of the mayor?

"... moving those gooks and their brown customers off Hamilton Street is for the public good. I don't know if you're going to get those new stores and white faces, excuse me, mixed income faces..."

michael molovinsky said...

gary, despite the provocative title of this post, i do not accuse anybody of racism. but there definitely is a wide spread attitude that this group of merchants and their customer base is expendable. in reality, the merchants serve the dominant demographic in center city. they operate well maintained stores, and contribute to the tax base and well being of allentown. anyone dissatisfied with the reality of downtown should look at city hall, not the merchants. although the pawlowski's and versaggi's hope for the well heeled shopper, it's not going to happen. the minor league hockey team will gladly accept an arena on the taxpayer's dime. a square block in the middle of the downtown will contain a white elephant. real improvements to this city could be done with $100 million, instead of the pawlowski sport palace.

Anonymous said...

Some 40 years ago, my wife and I bought a home in the 200 block of N 15th st. It had a small hardware store, post office, hospital in close proximity, as well as walking distance from my new job. Now that we live in Florida, I often think how much we loved the home, the neighbors, services, etc, and enjoyed the "giving" part of living next to others. Allentown seems consumed with "taking" people now, and as much as I would love the life we had living there, my current perception is clouded with high taxes, crime, and the general indiffernce of your neighbors. Gone are the days when you would "want" to live in center city Allentown, now it seems more like you "have" to live there, if you cant afford something else.

Anonymous said...

This is very simple! When the "entitlement mentality" groups move in, the working class and merchants move out. The liberal politicians created this mess and now realize that it needs to be fixed. Their solution? Bring in attractions that only the more affluent people will participate in, in the hopes that the "poor" will go elsewhere and the blight will go away. It's a temporary solution at best. Building a sport arena will just kick the proverbial can down the road. The real answer is to graduate as many poor as possible. That means to clean up the schools and get rid of school unions. Create an environment that the students can learn in and introduce discipline. Wishful thinking, of course! Without education, there will be people that are non employable and crime will increase, merchants will leave and the working class will stay away. We all want a safe place to raise our families and the city of Allentown is not a safe place.
Entitlements need to be eliminated for all but the real needy and the voters need to wise up and elect leaders instead of power hungry politicians who will do just about anything to get elected and re-elected. This has been going on now for better than 50 years and it is now crunch time. We are reaping what we have sown and this is just the beginning! It WILL get worse, so face reality and buckle up! Sounds bad, doesn't it? That's because it is! Note: Obama wants to build job "training centers". He should be the first to attend!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but this is all insanity.

CV sounds like he was solicited for a testimonial from this quote. Is his age showing?

Where are the economic impact studies used as a basis of this decision? Are there any? I doubt it.

Is this the last great sell out of Allentown?

The grand finale after a long string of empty promises and broken dreams.

In my opinion this is all about racism. That is the covert racism that has characterized the Palowski administration since day one.

The only place Palowski and his minions will take this city is into the dark silent abyss of municipal bankruptcy. Heh, thanks Ed.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Bulldozers.


Best of intentions are always what count most unless you want old people to die and children to eat dog food.

Elections never have consequences. Do not listen to that crazy guy. He NEVER knows what he is talking about.

Anonymous said...

On October 11, 2010, you sarcasticly remarked that perhaps the Morning Call could lease its first floor to a dollar store.
No single blogger has the market cornered on intellectual dishonesty.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 4:57, you really worked hard to find that, considering the blogger search widget is broken. the morning call was indeed looking to rent out it's main floor, and my comment wasn't meant to demean the merchants of hamilton street, nor does it. below, the entire short post from oct. 11, 2010.

The Morning Call has offered a significant portion of their first floor for lease. I suppose with the substantial staff reductions and everything else affecting the newspaper industry, it is no surprise that the sprawling building is under utilized. Although the advertisement is geared toward professional office use, they may have to lower their expectations, like everyone else in Allentown. Perhaps a dollar store?

no single anonymous commentator has the market on distortion. i think that you will find that the merchants consider this blogger a friend.

Anonymous said...

A dollar store in the MC building would very likely be a patronized and profitable business.

Anonymous said...

I never work hard, MM, I work smart.
Took me all of 15 seconds. Google Molovinsky and "Dollar Store" and see for yourself.
Your first mistake was challenging me for a specific example. Your second mistake was trying to use the broken gadget on your blog.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 4:10, sorry, i don't see your smartness i assume your premise is that although the 700 block is the most successful on hamilton street, it's not worth saving those businesses. even "molovinsky" said downtown was dollar store material. there's a dollar store at village west. the family dollar store in the 700 block of hamilton is very successful for the chain. my post of oct. 11, 2010 has to do with false expectations. nothing perhaps meets that definition more than pawlowski's palace of sport. pawlowski spoke of it attracting over 1.5 million people a year to downtown. that's over 4000 each day of the year. how's that for false expectations?

Anonymous said...

uh oh looks like even the folks in Easton got wind of our arena debate. a few of the hamilton street store owners are on the record. http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2011/06/downtown_allentown_business_ow.html

ironpigpen said...

June 8, 2010

"Allentown Property Owners Holding Out On Deal To Clear Way For Hockey Arena (Pawlowski Palace of Sport)"

by Andrew George / The Express-Times

..."(Chairman) Pawlowski predicts the arena will draw around a million visitors annually as it plans to host anywhere from 100-225 events each year."

I thought the Chairman's Concocted (Magic) Number was 1.5 million? --- was it the reporter that botched this or what?

100 x 8,000 (capacity) = 800,000
225 x 8,000 (capacity) = 1,800,000

This is relying on complete sellouts for each event, of course...

An American Hockey League team's home schedule consists of 40 games per season...

The average AHL team drew 5,380 fans to each home game this past 2010-11 season (www.ahl.com)

Anonymous said...

Charlie is intelligent and a nice guy with the best of intentions............. OMG is this a NEW scott armstrong,at least being civil or is it because hes commenting on a fellow republican.Mike, your moving the gooks remark is not cool and uncalled for.Not sure how you can justify when anyone and i mean everyone is being recruited for clustering buisnesses on 7th.Im not saying there is wisdom in the current effort to develop hamilton street but feel your drawing the race card is not right.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:42, first of all, i do not call charlie a racist, but point out that old allentown has been silent on this issue. your 7th street comment is strange. has butz or fegley been recruited to open on 7th street? or do you mean that grants given to hispanic merchants on 7th st. demonstrates that allentown isn't racist? my point was about the class attitude concerning hamilton street. do you realize that in all these years as community development director, then mayor, that pawlowski was never in one of those stores? those merchants and their customers are considered less desirable than mixed income retail, and their rights are being trampled.