Jul 22, 2015

Allentown's A-Treat Of News

The headlines in Allentown change quickly. What's top of the heap at noon, may be back page by the morning. Because of this, molovinsky on allentown is negotiating with J.B. Reilly, for a center city satellite office. Yesterday's Morning Call Watch-Dog report has attracted the attention of state auditor general Eugene DePasquale. But as everything else in this valley of mirrors, it's not for the reason presented. Education insiders explain the backside political reason. Governor Wolf has issues with charter schools, and the funds that they siphon off from the brick and mortar public schools. Although the Allentown lease was innocent enough, it's another excuse to review guidelines for charter school applications.

As a citizen and taxpayer of Pennsylvania, I would prefer if Mr. DePasquale would spend his time in Allentown examining the NIZ. With a $Billion Dollars of development, and $40 million or so of our tax dollars going to pay the debt service for private owners, that might be something for an auditor General to examine.

Meanwhile, back here in the valley of few questions, the natives are happy that Jaindl is rescuing their favorite tooth rotter. After all, at the end of the day, why worry about taxes and corruption, when you can sip some flavored corn syrup.


Anonymous said...

Cloying syrupy "tooth rotter" drinks might fit the order of the day..

After all, a sugary pseudo success story is what our local toothless media prefer to focus on.

Anonymous said...

This is good public relations for Mr. Jaindl. The Riverfront project will need lots of taxpayer assistance. A "good guy" image helps.

Fred Windish

michael molovinsky said...

fred@8:20, the waterfront project is actually by his brother, mark. i do agree that purchasing A-Treat is good PR, for the whole family and their business interests. i have nothing against the product or purchase, i'm just amused how "locals" are more concerned about their soda than their government.

Anonymous said...

I find the obsession with A-Treat bizarre. It was an extremely poorly run company for many years whose customer base is getting older and drinking less of the product. The younger generations if they drink soda, are drinking something other than A-Treat and have no loyalty to or memories of the brand.

Even if you can cut costs, where's the profit unless the master plan is to turn the flavors into another product like ice cream?

Plenty of local companies have died in the Lehigh Valley with not even an 1/8th of the fanfare or concern.

monkey momma said...

People want the A-Treat version of the news: something that tastes good and is easy to consume. Too bad it has no nutritional value, in either case.

Make no mistake about it - the Call is not in existence to be a watchdog of any kind. It exists for profit. This is how it has always been, for all facets of for-profit media. Trust in any one news source is very misplaced in even the best of news markets. But here in Allentown, there is real reason to think the Call has been infiltrated by people in power wishing to influence the electorate. One look at the NIZ map ought to raise serious questions about the separation of the government and the local media.

One would think the internet would bring about more information and thus, more activism. But instead, we find meaningless Kardashian-type content everywhere, drowning out voices of reason and knowledge. Our society is completely wasting its freedom of speech. There are small beacons of hope: Molovinsky, Ramblings...but the average news consumer has no idea these sources exist, and what will happen in the future when these brave blog warriors can no longer carry the torch? (Hopefully this is very far in the future, but I'm a worrywart.) You know who would have loved the internet? I don't say this lightly, but Adolf Hitler demonstrated how the media can be used for ill intent - he loved the radio dearly, and he used it so effectively at getting his propaganda to the masses. The Nazi's controlled all German radio broadcasts so they could control the people, and it worked. Are we so arrogant or complacent that we think media control by the government can't happen again? As consumers of news, smart blog readers will know to ask questions about the intent of our news providers. Their intent is to make money, not to inform. They are selling A-Treat, not fresh juice or even finely crafted beer. (The fresh, clean water was sold off already because of our complacency.) And in the case of the Call, I very much suspect their intent is to serve their masters in City Hall and Harrisburg.

But hey, it's so much easier to read the A-Treat of news than it is to think about corruption and government overreach. The effect of too much soda is obesity. The effect of too much stupid news is ignorance.

Anonymous said...

monkey momma makes several excellent observations as usual. I am also concerned about the rapidly growing segment of America choosing to remain naive about significant issues that WILL determine the future they'll have. Some, in a negative way.

In retirement, I've been fortunate to have time for study, lots of study. Study well beyond what the Morning Call has to offer. Things ain't so pretty right now.

But, wonder how Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner's new television series will go over. Probably do quite well.

Fred Windish

Concerned Allentonian said...

It's nice. It's soda. It's a small company that basically sells in the local area and in a few other places where the company has distribution rights. It's nostalgic, but it's really a drop on the bucket compared to the Allentown of years past.

It would be a lot better if Allentown could regain its industrial base. Have Mack start building trucks here again. How about General Electric manufacturing appliances. Whatever the most recent version of Western Electric making communications equipment. Traylor Engineering made industrial machinery sold around the world. Things of substance, things that are important to society, a manufacturing base that creates durable goods. Not service jobs such as working at Arbys, or a warehouse. or working for the government.

Then it would be cause for a real celebration. Until then, have a glass of Ginger Ale.

Chris Cocca said...

I get where you're coming from. but it's sort of passe, isn't it, to lament how little attention most people pay to the real story? It remains true that most people who live in Pawlowski's NIZ, for example, are just trying to get by.

As far as A-Treat and the purchase or the fanfare or whatever, yes, it's a smart move for Jandl. They're not buying any infrastructure but are going to try to put some people back to work. If it fails (and there's really no sign that we, as a nation, are drinking less soda), it fails and he can write it off. If it works, it's a good story. I'd think we'd all want to root for the revitalization of a 100-year-old Allentown brand, especially when the food and beverage industry is increasingly dominated by huge conglomerates.

So, it's bad that not more people do (or can) pay close attention and ask hard questions about the NIZ or the FBI probe or the charter school system. It's not surprising that local media would at the same time run with a feel-good story about a local brand. Hess's is over. Leh's is done. The Steel isn't coming back. Here's a story about something uniquely Allentown coming back. That's a good thing.

As far as younger generations not caring about A-Treat, consider that the millennials moving to Allentown long for localism and for authentic banners of their environs. It will work.