May 19, 2017

Who Owns Allentown's Litter


When I grew up in Allentown and graduated from Allen in the mid 1960's, the sidewalks were clean. Now, I don't mean just free from litter, but they were actually clean. Women would come out of their houses with buckets of water, and wash off their stoops and sidewalks. All that has changed. to say the least.  Today the sidewalks are covered with litter every morning. The following is a facebook dialogue between Jude-Laure Denis and myself.

Michael Molovinsky pawlowski didn't receive the support of any organized black or hispanic group. instead, he cobbled together the few necessary votes to win by handing out trinkets, and promising more if re-elected, all on the city dime. although calling people "littering transients from newark" might sound harsh, if you think the quality of life in center city hasn't radically declined, you're a much more tolerant person than me...(this comment was addressing Robert Trotner)

Jude-Laure Denis Let me just set you straight Michael Molovinsky you did not "offend" me. I personally don't care what you say. I don't know you and in fact I long ago stopped caring about what other people think. What I care about is facts. And blaming non-dominant culture folks for the election of Ed Pawlowski is a serious pile of caca.

Michael Molovinsky Jude-Laure Denis, i'm not BLAMING anyone. truth be told, i accurately predicted both the amount of votes that pawlowski would receive, and where they would come from. those predictions are on my blog for the last several months. today the Morning Call verified the facts.

Jude-Laure Denis For the record blaming, Michael Molovinsky, is exactly what you did. we all make mistakes and you made one. Not the end of the world. Own it and move on. As to the number of votes, anyone who understands how you get to a win number knew it would be this low. You predicted it. So did I and a lot of folks who know a heck of a lot more than both of us. End result is the same.


My issue isn't with Ms. Denis.  As she said,  we never met,  nor do we know each other.  She found some of my statements culturally insensitive,  fair enough.   I'll be glad to own anything I say, but I would like to know when the non-dominant culture is going to own the littering, not to mention the stabbings and shootings.

21 comments:

Scott Armstrong said...

They don't have to know you to accuse you of the most vile things, you need merely write something they don't think is "correct". Then they are obligated to "denounce" you. Then they get to feel good about themselves. That's "virtue signaling".

Bob said...

Mike,

You hate litter and so do I. My blood boils when I see my senior citizen Mom picking up litter around her West Park area home. There appears to be more litter than there was fifteen years ago.

Since you'd like to see less litter, may I respectfully suggest a way forward. Address the behavior you'd like to change, without commenting the race of the alleged litterers. When you note race, it sounds like an indictment of an entire group which in reality includes people who hate litter and want litter-free neighborhoods just like you do.

Hopefully you'll agree that if you believe a few people of color littered, it doesn't mean that all people of color littered or don't care. Hopefully you'll also agree that the inappropriate behavior of a few people doesn't indict everyone else of the same race or religion.

"I'll be glad to own anything I say, but I would like to know when the non-dominant culture is going to own the littering, not to mention the stabbings and shootings."

This statement sounds like you might believe that people of color, as a group, are ok with stabbings, shootings, and littering. Do you really believe that people of color somehow don't have the fundamental human need to live in safety and tranquility that you do? I'd like to hear on what basis you have reached this conclusion about an entire racial group. I'd also like to hear when was the last time someone asked you to "own" the behavior of white people or Jews to whom you are not related? What did that feel like? I've never had anyone ask me to own the behavior of white serial killers, and I wonder why that is.

Bob said...

Scott, who are you describing when you say "they"?

michael molovinsky said...

bob@6:55, do you really think that all that litter in center city is from just a few people? do you think that your comparison to white serial killers is rational? in the course of my business (renting apartments) i would be parked across from corner stores. i would see three generations drop their wrappers and bags on the street. dozens of people within an hour.

i have never littered in my life. never threw anything out the car window or dropped anything on a sidewalk.

west park is one of the cleanest area's bordering center city. drive down turner street to 6th on monday, and come back on chew st.

here's a suggestion for you, join neighborhood clean up days, and pick their garbage up for them.

Scott Armstrong said...

If someone can't figure out who "they" are in my post then they are not watching the media or reading any mainstream journalism. Question; now focus,who is it that is constantly impugning those who dare not share their liberal dogma as vile, racist, hating, selfish, ignorant.... people.

Still confused? Need more clues? OK, here's one, they think the world of themselves. Does that help?

Scott Armstrong said...

Mike,

West Park is clean because we keep it that way. Bob, just to be clear, "we" means the very diverse collection of people who live here.It is not a dog whistle for anything else that might enter your fevered mind.

Bob said...

do you really think that all that litter in center city is from just a few people?

I do not believe that everyone who lives in Center City litters. I also believe that the race of the people littering is irrelevant, and does not support the goal of changing behavior, if in fact that is your goal.


do you think that your comparison to white serial killers is rational?

Of course not - that was my point. And neither is it rational to insist that a person of color be responsible for the behavior of other people who happen to be the same color.


in the course of my business (renting apartments) i would be parked across from corner stores. i would see three generations drop their wrappers and bags on the street. dozens of people within an hour.

Thank you for sharing your observation. Have you concluded that all the people of a particular race living in Center City behave the same as the individuals you observed?


i have never littered in my life. never threw anything out the car window or dropped anything on a sidewalk.

Me either.


west park is one of the cleanest area's bordering center city. drive down turner street to 6th on monday, and come back on chew st.

Yes, thanks to people like my Mom, and also thanks to the efforts of her Puerto Rican neighbors who I have observed picking up litter and undertaking many other projects to beautify their home.


here's a suggestion for you, join neighborhood clean up days, and pick their garbage up for them.

Great suggestion. How about we meet there?

michael molovinsky said...

Bob@7:49,, actually for many years most of the garbage in west park was picked up by Scott Armstrong. I doubt that you or your mom pick that much up, or you would have known that.

the suggestion to pick up their garbage pertained to you, i don't do that.

Bob said...

Thanks, Scott, for pointing out that the West Park area is relatively clean thanks to a diverse group of people who keep it that way.

Sounds like you may have judged my mind to be fevered, my consumption of mainstream journalism to be non-existent, and maybe even my politics to be of a particular persuasion. Could it be that you don't have to know a person to accuse that person of the most vile things?

For the record, the reason for my question was that I wanted to know if you were speaking of a particular person or people in Allentown, or if this was yet another broad-brush diagnosis of the large and ideologically diverse group of people who don't see the world exactly as you do.

Jamie Kelton said...

Such an active board this morning, normally it's rather quiet. Can't help but notice how this conversation has evolved from a Root Cause Analysis of the Democratic primary election results into a discussion of the cleanliness of West Park and the streets of Allentown in general.

Litter on the streets is a problem inherent in larger cities. One good thing is that the residents no longer have sofas on their porches. Hopefully the municipal government will take stronger action in addressing the blight issues that seems to have replaced the sofas however.

Especially since Mayor Pawlowski now has the election behind him and can address such matters and not have to worry about such things as voters supporting him in the upcoming election.

Bob said...

Michael, I never said I picked up significant amounts of garbage in West Park. I grew up there and visit often, but I don't live there. My Mom, on the other hand, picks up lots of litter around her West Park home. Her Puerto Rican neighbor picks up lots of litter too. If you wish to be relieved of your doubts, I invite you to drive by or ask any of Mom's neighbors who will attest to this. She lives on Linden Street side of West Park.

Maybe you think I'm accusing you of being a racist. I'm not. I'm simply pointing out that it's helpful to avoid broad statements about specific racial or ethnic groups. You've observed Puerto Rican residents of Center City littering, and this does not mean that all Puerto Rican residents of Center City litter and/or don't care.

ironpigpen said...

I find it very interesting that the very same local Democrats who always work so hard at dividing people by sewing serious discord and division with incessant race / gender card hustles could or would not work hard at coming together and forming a viable coalition to defeat the tainted Ed Pawlowski.

I also found it interesting to note that, in its analysis, The Morning Call did NOT attribute Pawlowski's primary election victory to so-called "white supervoters" from the West End - in fact, if I did not know better, I would say TMC arrived at its conclusions from having read and studied Molovinsky's blog commentaries for the past several months. So much for "dog whistles".

Woof, woof.

Jamie Kelton said...

"white supervoters" is an interesting term I've not heard before.

Does this mean a vote cast by a person that lives near West Park counts more than a person who lives on Ridge Avenue ? Does the racial background of the voter also vary the value of the vote cast as well ?

All this identity stuff by the Democrats is new to me anyway. I'm a Republican, we value low taxes and economic prosperity over dividing up the voters like the Democrats do..

JoshLCowen said...

I remember by grandmother in NYC not only sweeping the 'public' sidewalks in front of her row home but then washing it with bleach. And yes, just for the race baiters, it too was an ethnic neighborhood. Civic pride is lost in a nation that has beat itself up for 40 years.

Bob said...

For the record, I am not a Democrat. Jamie Kelton and Pigpen and I are on the same page with respect to the undesirability of dividing people along racial lines. Which is why I am compelled to point out that ascribing quality of life problems to specific racial groups is needlessly divisive, and will never lead to a solution.

I've tried to avoid making accusations in this discussion, yet some appear to be hearing accusations. To those individuals, please know that I am not judging your motives or accusing you of holding racist beliefs. I'm merely pointing out that a minor adjustment in language would more effectively welcome everyone to the challenge of addressing the problem, which I presume is the goal of Michael's post.

Michael invited me go pick up litter at a Center City clean-up. I invited him to join me. His attendance would likely afford him the opportunity to meet Center City residents of diverse backgrounds who aren't ok with littering.

Dave said...

When I was assigned to West Germany while in the Air Force, I lived i a small town called Weilerbach, on 7 Ringstrasse. My next-door neighbor, Herr Bauer, was a machinist who worked in Kaiserslautern. He and his wife had two children and they appreciated that I was an American from Pennsylvania that spoke German, more or less. The Germans are very deliberate in their actions, they like to do things on a schedule, are very detailed-oriented and their homes are scrupulously clean. Because of my last name and the fact that I was an eighth-generation German-American who actually spoke German, we became friends and I was a part of the community. Not isolated by language and cultural issues like many other Americans are assigned there.

One of the things they did, and this was like clockwork, was that every Saturday morning was an outside cleaning day for the Bauers. He would bring his car into the driveway and wash it. Frau Bauer would have a bucket pail and scrubbrush washing the porch and their marble stairs heading up to the front door. The sidewalk would have a sweeping and a hose wash. When he was done washing the car and wiping it down, the driveway would receive a sweep and hosedown as well. This was every saturday, 12 months a year.

I noticed if my car wasn't washed, Herr Bauer would hose it down and wipe it off. I'd offer him a few marks for that but he never accepted it. He just had pride in his home and his neighborhood.

Americans are't that extreme as the Germans are... .but it would be nice to see at least some of the civic pride here that I saw in Germany... that made Allentown an All-America city twice in years past, before the mass immigration of the underclass into the city.

michael molovinsky said...

Bob@10:59, wrote, Michael invited me go pick up litter at a Center City clean-up. I invited him to join me. His attendance would likely afford him the opportunity to meet Center City residents of diverse backgrounds who aren't ok with littering.

bob, before commenting again, spend some time strolling back in this blog, or use the archives. you will discover that i have numerous associates and friends of diverse backgrounds with whom i do activities downtown. we all know that most members of any one group do not indulge in littering or crime.


Scott Armstrong said...

Bob,

You know exactly what you meant when you asked me who "they" are. Stop pretending you weren't.You aren't fooling anyone. Give it up.

Scott Armstrong said...

By the way, I don't identify my neighbors by race or ethnicity.They are just my neighbors. Sometimes they borrow my hedge clippers, sometimes they watch my wife's stupid cat.

Bob said...

Mike: I've been a regular reader of your blog for multiple years. Glad we agree that most members of any one group do not indulge in littering or crime.

Scott: You appear to have judged that I am pretending not to know what you were thinking when you used the ambiguous term "they". Rather than leave you guessing what was in my mind, I'll just tell you. "They" could refer to anyone, so I wanted to know who you were talking about -- all Democrats, all liberals, Allentown Democrats, Center City residents, the Obamas, three liberal Allentonians, or something else. Rather than make a faulty assumption like you just did, I asked.

Have a good evening.

Scott Armstrong said...

Sure Bob....