Jul 21, 2015
The New Watchdog
As some readers know, I keep the family's traditional butcher/baker hours. Also, as some readers know, I have back channels, especially with the school board. From the mail awaiting me early this morning, I can tell you that the school board is not happy with today's headline.
Last year, Abe Atiyeh pushed hard for an elementary art charter school in the former fitness center on Union Street, to fill one of his many buildings. I wrote, at that time, that he even used a public relation's firm to solicit parents, and voice support with the district. Although, the district rejected the application twice, such rejections are usually overturned on appeal to Harrisburg. Meanwhile, the district was formulating their own alternative high school, to both keep charter funds internal, and also be more relevant in today's school environment. The district was interested in the former bank call center, coincidentally owned by Atiyeh, which would give high school students intern access to the new offices on Hamilton Street.
In January, the district ended up approving the art charter school, before a Harrisburg appeal would have overturned their rejection anyway, and also leased the former call center. At the time, Atiyeh also included a letter, pledging to not submit future charter school applications. To the district, that letter was not the essence of the lease deal, but the lap puppy, turned watchdog, sees it differently. Puppies are supposed to be paper trained, but here in Allentown, the puppy, in it's haste to train the paper, is making unnecessary noise.