May 31, 2012

Abusing Cedar Park

It's hard to imagine that after $hundreds of thousands of dollars in park plans, $millions in park improvements, we end up inflicting this much abuse on our park. I understand that nature conspired against hope, with three days of continuous rain. But the operative word in MayFair is fair. Put a fair next to a lake in a floodplain, add three days of rain, dozens of trucks, and you produce massive damage. Take a park department down about one third it's staff from just a few years ago, and it will take the rest of the summer just to get the park back to normal. Normal is a relative term. By my standards, we will never return to normal. The new, highly successful destination playground places enormous demands on existing parking, especially with the Cedar Pool season about to begin. Had former park director Weitzel had his way with his proposed Destination Water Park, Cedar Park would be essentially an amusement park, instead of a city park. In terms of protecting one of Allentown's main assets, it's park system, the Pawlowski administration is useless. The organization, Friends of the Parks, is useless. Next Tuesday, June 5, I had scheduled a WPA meeting. We will expand our agenda to protect the park system in general. Please join us 7:00p.m. at the Allentown Library.

65 comments:

monkey momma said...

I drove past that gaping wound yesterday and almost cried. The entire place is completely trashed. No one will be able to enjoy that side of the park until next year. And, if Mayfair does live to see another year (which is highly doubtful) the damage will be repeated again. Who pays to fix this mess, anyways? The Mayfair organization, or the City?

Anonymous said...

Such neglect, such stupidity. Where are the protectors of the parks?
At Cedar Beach it's such a mess.
In the Parkway the big mower tractor was run right thru the springs along the gravel path below the Iron Bridge--all tore the hell up, big ruts,mud.
It goes on and on, gets worse not better.
Who is suppose to be responsible ?
Please.

Anonymous said...

We were so hoping you would address this issue.
Now with no one at the head of the parks, not that the last guy did much in the way of preservation, it's a free-for-all.
Look at Cedar Crest Blvd. Without Andrew's writing, would anyone know what's happening there?
The unexplainable part of Mayfair is that once the fence was installed, attendance seemed to drop year after year, and yet officials refused, absolutely refused to address this relationship between a fenced-in venue vs. freedom to come and go. Now, they are once again in the red. Oh, the surprise of it all.

Anonymous said...

FRIENDS OF THE PARKS ?

WHERE? WHO?

Anonymous said...

If only a group of Allentown taxpayers would file a
class action suit citing negligence of duty, it might change things. Were are the Trexler Trustees? Please don't say "On Vacation."

ironpigpen said...

I re-visited the issue of the Chairman's (misplaced?) Priorities and specifically mentioned the city's pool situation :

"CHAIRMAN PAWLOWSKI's TRANSFORMATIVE STUGGLE TO PROGRESSIVELY SPEND SERIOUS TAXPAYER MONEY"

http://www.goironpigs.com

Anonymous said...

For those of us who can't get down there today, could you post some more photos of the Mayfair site?

Anonymous said...

Please interview that all-inspiring
Friends of the Park president.

Anonymous said...

Here is the Allentown EAC IN ACTION AGAIN!

Have some pride EAC.

RESIGN. Have you no decency?

Anonymous said...

FRIENDS OF THE PARK = WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE, THE PARKS ARE £#*%ED. !

Anonymous said...

Greetings from the townships.
Allentown has got only one good thing going for it.
The parks.
Now they are in steep decline.
Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Where is Mr. Kliener in all this? He's still on the EAC?
He must be going wild.

Anonymous said...

MM Im confused. Who is actually in charge of the parks now? Anybody?
Also, would you please tell us more about this Friends group. Who are they? What are they supposed to be doing? Who do they answer to?

Anonymous said...

Hey, loved to death, right?
Right baby.

Anonymous said...

[I thought I'd save the Pawlowski apologists some time and write a response for them.]

MM -

There you are, once again standing in the way of progress.

Don't you realize this is taking the park back to the way it was before?

Yes that time may have been millions of years ago - before anything green actually grew on the planet - but it is restoring the park to its "natural" state.

When will you and your group of naysayers stop complaining. After all, we can't go back to the time when the city's parks were actually taken care of. You just have to understand that those days are long gone.

Anonymous said...

MM -

Perhaps we could help develop some slogans related to the park issue that Mayor Ed could use for his 2013 re-election campaign:

Here are my three suggestions:

Ed Pawlowski - Moving Allentown So Far Forward, It's Actually Going Backward.

Ed Pawlowski's Vision for Allentown - Paying More for Less

Ed Pawlowski - Willing to Dig a Hole in Allentown's Downtown, Its Finances, And Now Its Parks.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:24, click on the photo and it will enlarge; it says it all, more photo's are not necessary.

@10:08, Friends of the Parks was created under weitzel and pawlowski. i wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but their recent letter to the morning call praising weitzel as avisionary shows them to be nothing more than a political sham. people offended by overuse and abuse of the parks, please consider joining me tuesday evening at the library.

Anonymous said...

When the Mulenberg professor threw up his hands and left, there went the last best hope for the ineffectual EAC.
I can't imagine why Mr Kleiner stays on with that sorry crew.
I for one will give him the benefit of the doubt no matter who he has supported in the past.
His work these last few years has been both important and beautiful.
As for you MM, we may not always agree, yet your work is also very important.
Thank you sir.

Anonymous said...

Double check this-- Im pretty sure this mayor had little to do with the startup or planning of the FRIENDS OF group, and Weitsel nothing to do with it.
I think it came out of the law suit and TREXLER Master Plan.
Course the mayor got right on board.
Could be Weitzel, limited as he was, deserves less blame and TREXLER deserves more.
Check this out.

Anonymous said...

Say what you want, Weitzel was one smart cookie.
From small town Louisberg to Allentown. Built some plastic playgrounds and a resume and balled out just in time before the sorry reality caught up to him.
Pretty smart.
Cedar Falls, not so smart.

michael molovinsky said...

@11:45, the law suit and master plan occurred in 2004- 2005. Friends of the Parks was started in 2008.

Anonymous said...

The problem is way deeper ( pun ) than the grass Monkey Momma. The naturally soft bottom land along Cedar Creek has been pounded hard. Water that used to sink in to the ground now just lays on top, or zooms off into the creek to cause more flooding. That low laying ground is as impermeable as cement. Look for continuous drainage problems there. Before too long trees in the area are going to start dying. Count on it.

Anonymous said...

10:08 AM

NOBODY IS IN CHARGE.

FUNG-GOOED.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure FRIENDS OF ALLENTOWNS PARKS reallys exists?
Their web site is a year out of date and the programs they talk about I don't think exist either.
It doesn't seem like an active group. It could be like the EAC, down to a couple of people.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molavinsky,
While you are at it , would you please request a comment from the chair of city councils Parks Committee.
Thank you.

Monkey momma said...

4:06 I wouldn't doubt your prediction. That place is a mess every time it rains. And then there's the sewage issue. What a sad state of affairs for our beloved Cedar Beach.

Anonymous said...

This is the new normal Michael.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Joe, Lights in the Parkway/ It's a Done Deal Heydt, "Put it in the general fund" Roy and now, Mayor Ed, the new champ, have all done their share to hasten the parks decline. The old timers will tell you----- " it's never been worse."
How true.

Anonymous said...

Where are the people who defend the city and Friends of the Parks?
Come on, speak up. I really want to hear your side of the story.
Speak up. Please.

michael molovinsky said...

@5:11, Friends exists at least to the point where they have an office at the park building and a paid director.

@6:01 is referring to the new "normal" for the park, not the new normal for me ( I hope)

Anonymous said...

Who pays the director? I mean where do the $$ come from? Any idea what the director's compensation package is a year?

Anonymous said...

4:06 has it right about it isn't what you see it is what happened to the ground underneath. Water that would typically drain from point a to point b is now stopped with the compaction of dirt in this area. In the Marcellus shale area they have these issues with the hundreds of trucks carrying water to the wells is compacting the ground changing the dynamics of soil drainage. The roadways are also taking a huge beating. I am now seeing local farmland where farmers are putting down a ten foot wide stone apron to get to their plow able fields.
This is not good

Anonymous said...

City With No Limits' side of the story?

"All is well, as everywhere. A little bit of rain and a little bit of mud are actually quite normal this time of year. The dour Molovinsky's misguided intentions are simply overracting to Mother Nature. An expensive report issued by pricey out-of-town consultants has yielded the requisite ironclad assurance that the city's Parks Department has the situation completely under control."

Anonymous said...

Well, you made me late for dinner last night. Took a ride to Cedar Beach. Saw only a bit of the destruction. Perhaps this event may have violated state or federal environmental protection laws. Imagine visitors to the city starting at 7th and Hamilton and traveling West.

Anonymous said...

Maybe two years has passed since Andrew first took photos and wrote about the destruction of the grass meadows in Lehigh Parkway as city workers constantly use the lawns as driveways. This barren earth still today remains without any new growth. The traffic pattern has worked. Additionally, last year's I/78 repairs allowed huge earth moving equipment to travel past the Hunter's Cabin towards Fish Hatchery. Now barren earth replaces a once grassy meadow where families could picnic next to this log cabin. Here too the grass cannot compete.

michael molovinsky said...

@6:58, although andrew and I both have reservations about current park practices, we do not agree on what they should be. i will discuss those differences in an upcoming post.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is welcome to their opinion . You believe in the germ theory, I believe in foul vapors causing illness. Thats my opinion.
Facts, best practice, theories proven by the scientific method, peer reviewed and published in respected scientific journals...... That's more than opinion
I enjoy everyone's opinion. Some are tremendously entertaining.
When discussing important land use or thvironmental issues facing our declining parks, please deal in science, not faith, not fashion.
My opinions dog parks on wetland along streams are really cool.
The hard, cold, well established, fact of the matter is vert different.

Anonymous said...

6:58
Great example. There was concern about using that ground right by the covered bridge d when it happened. ( Concern not from Friends Of Parks.) Weitzel and the city swore up and down it would be fixed good as new. You can see the Parks Depts half assed attempt with the plastic netting pounded into the path.
A fine example of a botched job. Several years later a disgrace. That whole little area around the Hunters Cabin looks like hell.
Such a charming spot , trashed.
Cedar Rapids should see a photo of that.
FOR SHAME TREXLER TRUST!

Anonymous said...

By all means gentlemen, share your esteemed opinions, but do support them with verifiable facts.
And do discuss prioritys, again, a reasoned argument please.

Anonymous said...

Sorry MM, I don't believe Weitzel was smart enough, or had the social or political connections to come up with FRIENDS OF..

I can't believe the mayor advocated for it. Like he ever thinks about the parks.

Nope, gotta be somebody else. I'm thinking Attorney Gross. Not the Mayor.

michael molovinsky said...

dan poresky has checked in at the EAC Tool Post from the other day. he remains a staunch supporter and defender of the administration's policies

Anonymous said...

Guess Poresky can't admit failure.
To admit the parks are being and have been harmed is to admit he failed in his civic duty.


June 1, 2012 10:17 AM
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

dan poresky has checked in at the EAC Tool Post from the other day. he remains a staunch supporter and defender of the administration's policies

June 1, 2012 5:18 PM

Anonymous said...

What do you mean he checked in at the tool post? Dan P.?

michael molovinsky said...

the EAC deals with more than just the parks. although i believe the administration could care less about their opinion, it's unfair to say that he failed in his civic duty.


i meant he commented at that post.

i rejected a couple unnecessarily harsh anonymous comments.

Anonymous said...

As chairman he did the Mayors biding, in that sence he did his duty. He failed to deal with important issues, logging South Mountain, protecting Cedar Beach, sewage in the Little Lehigh, etc.
The EAC does have a job description, in blocking his fellow EAC colleagues from moving forward with this work ,he failed the citizens of Allentown he was appointed to serve. For him serving the mayor who appointed him chair was duty as he saw it.
This is not harsh, or a judgement call. This is a matter of record. This is the way it was.....period. Weitzel refused to give him the time of day. Good commissioners left the EAC, Dan protected the mayor. These are undisputed facts. Period. Talk to EAC people who quit in frustration.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 2:04, your comment would have so much more validity if you signed it. certainly there has been mass turn over at EAC. my sense is that people realize that the group is a paper tiger. although i can believe that dan protects the mayor, even a more independent leader could probably do little to influence pawlowski's agenda. at any rate, poresky has asked people to consider joining his group, so the potential still exists for it to have greater effectiveness. i will accept no more anonymous comments that punish poresky for having commented here.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday someone posted about the damage to the Hunter Cabin site. May we add that the base of this hill still includes black plastic, mud, stagnate water, and open rocky pathways. The I/78 construction should never have been allowed through this fragile once beautiful spot. An entire year and more has passed. Please check this.

Anonymous said...

I would like to have been able to sign my comment at 2:04, but I have a mortgage and a family , and can't risk losing my job. I trust you can appreciate that sir.

Anonymous said...

MM. How does a person apply to join Dans group?

You have said he has weighted in on these issues. Where can we find his remarks?

Thank you.

M

Anonymous said...

---- the Parks cover several thousand acres.

----Streams in the Parks = Drinking water.

-----Parks = Recreation.

-----Parks = Open space.

-----Parks = Wildlife

-----Parks attract business, tourists , $$$$$$
ALLENTOWN IS PARK CITY. That is why the EAC must have the parks as their FIRST issue. Not the only, THE FIRST.

Allentowns Parks are Allentowns number one resource.

ironpigpen said...

Personally, I contend that a major, major part of the problem - and not just here in Allentown - is that Big Government (read : resume-building hacks highly-skilled at the fine art of playacting) is utterly and completely lost in the weeds.

Chasing its own power, personal gain and glory, of course.

Big Government and all the wimpy and worthless Committees, etc., have thoroughly forgotten that it is they who serve We The People.

Certainly NOT the other way around.

The arrogance is shocking. The willingness to spend other people's money wildly with no respect for realities whatsoever is stunning. The calls for compromise are beyond laughable - can one really be half pregnant, for example?

I say, Big Government and all its buddies --- Dog and Pony Shows like the televised NIZ Debate included --- are the ones with a serious problem that needs to be fixed, NOT We The People.

I apologize in advance to all those who are offended (read : just cannot handle the obvious Truth).

ROLF OELER

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:32, i too have a mortgage and family. who would fire you, dan, the mayor?

anon 8:07, dan's comments are two posts ago, at "the mayor's tool board" just scroll down from this post

Anonymous said...

There is some good news here.
The administration & TREXLER TRUST get a do over and hire a top notch parks director. This is great news.
Mr. Poretsky can recruit new, independent members,with proper credentials, to his group.
Things have gotten bad, here is a golden opportunity for the mayor, council, and TREXLER TRUST to wake up and do right for Allentown's historic parks.
It's not too late to begin to turn the decline around.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:40, the problem is that they (mayor, council and trust) feel that they have been doing a good job.

Anonymous said...

Mr Oeler,
Big government is the reason our priorities in Allentown's parks are screwed up?
Maintainence has been delayed , deferred or ignored because ------- government is too big. The staff of dedicated park workers is cut back by almost a third, leaving necessary, critical work undone because -------- of Big Goverment.
Holy Cow! I'm glad I now know the truth.

Anonymous said...

Rolf, let's say we slash the cities budget by 1/2.
That helps the parks how?

ironpigpen said...

Missing larger point, no pun intended ... plenty of resources exist but are, perhaps, not properly appropriated, as Molovinsky consistently attempts to point out.

For example somebody found something like 35-40 million bucks to dig a big hole downtown ... no?

RO

ironpigpen said...

To further emphasize my point, exactly how much money does the City With No Limits blow on all these expensive out-of-town consultants I read about so often?

:)

Anonymous said...

Yes this is the economic destruction at the hands of 3past and 1current political parasitism robbing allentown of any future there may have been. Now Don Cuniligwist comming to poach more money from inner city funds and try to make the suburbs believe the arena will be good for them also. Not?

Anonymous said...

Don Cunningham is speaking out against the unconstitutionality of the NIZ?

KNOW-NOTHING SPEND-A-LOT

Anonymous said...

We have beautiful new plastic parks and plastic exercise contraptions. And the Rose Garden was redone by the landscape team that did the front of the Perkins pancake house. Really classy fake pavers and stuff.
Too bad Weitzel, the Mayor, and Mr Gross never got around to turning the stone farmhouse at Ott St into a "Tavern on the Green".
Those were the days.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Mr Oeler,
Big government is the reason our priorities in Allentown's parks are screwed up?
Maintainence has been delayed , deferred or ignored because ------- government is too big. The staff of dedicated park workers is cut back by almost a third, leaving necessary, critical work undone because -------- of Big Goverment.
June 2, 2012 10:20 AM

If a few locals were asked to label the exact moment Allentown's Lehigh Parkway at least began its decline, it might be traced to Heydt & Co. for its famous Lights project. Many strong and beautiful trees across the route were cut down on both sides of the road, including a cluster of tall Evergreens by the Log and Stone home. A new roadway constructed for more display and exit purposes installed. Electric wires and poles and meters and transformers (check out No. 6) encased the Parkway from its entrance to its exit with commercial hardware. Once more, influential figures remained silent.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Allentown's first self-proclaimed,"conservative republican mayor", William "Bill","The Master of Disaster", Heydt began the crass desecration of Allentown's park system. Weitzel and Mayor Ed are only the most recent practitioners.. ""It's a done deal" this conservative told " we the people" when citizens spoke out against this outrageous, cheesy display. Heydts number one boy, Ross Marcus first tried denying any trees were cut down, but was caught with his lying pants on fire. ( I know this is going to hurt, Rolf.) Marcus works for Northampton County today.Check it out Rolf,it's all true.

And it just continues. Who will turn this around? SHAME ON YOU MR GROSS!!!!
Your grandfather, General Trexler and Mr Benner must be spinning in their graves!!!!

SHAME ON YOU CITY COUNCIL, letting it happen,playing politics,putting a new councilman who never received one vote,and who knows absolutely NOTHING about the Allentown park system,chair the Parks Committee. Your a disgrace .

Just know a few people see what all of you are letting happen. I could just cry.

Anonymous said...

Mr Kleiner documents. Mr Poretsky denies.

I would love to see them in a meeting together.

Do they live on the same planet?

ironpigpen said...

Courageous Anon 10:41 and Courageous Anon 6:26,

Plenty of resources exist.

They are misappropriated.

Which part of this do you anonymous people NOT understand?

ROLF OELER

--------------

"FRIENDS OF ALLENTOWN's PARKS website has a section promoting plans for a dog park on Dixon Street ... These people get a city office and a paycheck for this while city park staff is cut back?"