Jun 14, 2024

Visiting Easton

Being one of the last warm days of the year, I thought we would visit Easton. I thought perhaps it would be more interesting to do the trip circa 1948. Lehigh Valley Transit had a trolley that went from 8th and Hamilton, through Bethlehem, to the circle in Easton. In the photo above, we're coming down Northampton Street, just entering the Circle. The Transit Company was using both trolleys and buses, until they discontinued trolleys completely, in 1953. At this time, Hamilton, Broad and Northampton Streets were the shopping malls of the era, and public transportation serviced the customers. The Transit Company, now Lanta, currently serves the Allentown population from a prison like facility at 6th and Linden Streets; It just needs a fence. Easton mayor Sal Panto is now also abandoning the merchants for a remote transportation/correction facility, which will entertain the inmates with the Al Bundy High School Dropout Museum. Hope you enjoyed the trip.

above reprinted from November of 2011

ADDENDUM JUNE 14, 2024:At the time this was written in 2011, Sal Panto was trying to build a National Museum of High School Sports, thus  my cracks about Al Bundy from the Married With Children TV show. But, what is truly amazing is that he is still mayor, 900 years later. Is he that good, or is Easton that politically indifferent?

Jun 13, 2024

Around The Corner

Yesterday's post about the zoning hearing for Rite-Aid, out on North 7th Street, showed a classic 1950 black and white photograph of Hamilton Street. Today, we go right around the corner, on South 7th Street. Being the oldest blogger in the valley, and being an aficionado of old photographs, you will be submitted to these excursions. Before we begin, a few notes about yesterday's image. Notice that there are many more shoppers on the north side of Hamilton, than the south. This phenomenon always existed. Were the better stores on the north side? Real estate prices and rents were always higher on the Hess's side. OK, lets go around the corner. The Suburban Line Bus is getting ready to head west, the county poor home being the last stop; Today it is known as Cedarbrook. The Lehigh Valley Transit Company had their main stop a block west, on S. 8th Street. The bus is parked in front of the YMCA, which housed a market at street level. If the photograph was extended on the right side, you would see the monument. Across Hamilton Street is Whelan Drug Store, that location currently occupied by a bank. The billboard above, then advertising local Neuweiler Beer, was a prime sign location. Behind the drug store stands the Dime Bank, which will remain as part of the new transformational Arena Complex. Glad you could join me, now get off the bus, and back into 2011. 

reprinted from November of 2011

Jun 12, 2024

City Of Allentown Hires Molovinsky

No, rest assured that they didn't hire me. On the contrary, because of this blog, they would like to drag me in front of an eager district magistrate, and throw the book at me. 

However, they did hire my father's Uncle Harry in about 1935.  At that time, same time that they were building the magnificent WPA structures which the city is now allowing to go to seed, Earl Price was the City Forester, and in charge of maintaining the parks. 

By 1900,  my great grandparents and all their offspring were living in the Ward.  I'm now the last Molovinsky left in Allentown, so this blog cannot embarrass any family members.  It can, however, if I do my job correctly, cause some distress among those who are failing to properly honor the city's history.

Harry Molovinsky is in the back row, fifth from the right, in the light colored jacket.

use of photo courtesy of the Price family

ADDENDUM: It has been three weeks since I requested to be included in the new Allentown Parknership...There has been no response. While the new non-profit is being financed by the Trexler Trust in cooperation with the city administration, apparently a deep knowledge of the parks is not one of their requirements.

Jun 11, 2024

Allentown's Jewish Band And Scrap Iron

In 1915 Allentown's Judaean Band was the first Jewish band in the United States.  It had started with a group of young men at a 6th Ward soda fountain.  Many of the original members didn't have, or even know how to play an instrument.  Jacob Max, the Tilghman Street scrap dealer, took the group under wing and sponsored the music lessons, instruments and uniforms. The band had great  success for a few years, until its ranks were depleted by service in the Great War.

Among the members was Harry Molovinsky, my grandfather's youngest sibling, and Jakey Max, a prizefighter who became Allentown's first Jewish firefighter.

Jakey worked at the extended family scrapyard for a short while, after both Jacob and his son were killed in separate traffic accidents. The scrapyard stayed in the Max family until 1972.  Today it's called Liberty Recycling. 

reprinted from June of 2020

Jun 10, 2024

A Jewish Neighborhood In Allentown

At the turn of the last  century along with other ethnic groups, Allentown's Jewish community was centered in the 6th Ward. On 2nd Street there were two synagogues and numerous Jewish merchants. Among them was Louis Sussman, who operated a bakery and construction business from the corner of 2nd and Allen. His building also housed a textile scrap operation in the basement, and a special event rental hall on the second floor.

There were several kosher butchers, my great grandfather among them. Currently, with the closest supermarket being at 4th and Tilghman, numerous corner markets still operate on 2nd Street. Today's merchants have the same motivation as those who operated from those stores in 1924.

While I have some knowledge of the history of those buildings, it's a new day for both the current merchants and their customers. Shown above on Allen Street are the garages Louis Sussman built in 1912 for his growing construction business.

Jun 7, 2024

The Allentown Parking Authority Monster

Although the shopping district in Allentown has shrunk down to only Hamilton and 7th Streets, the meter district remains as it did during the heydays of the 1950's. The meters extend from Walnut to Chew, from 5th to 10th, well over 1000 meters in 20 sq. blocks. Parking meters extend out to 10th and Chew Sts, three full blocks beyond the closest store.* These meters are a defacto penalty for the residents, mostly tenants. In essence, it is a back door tax on Allentown's poorest citizens. The apologists claim the tenants can purchase a resident meter pass, however their friends and visitors cannot. To add insult to injury, in 2005, to help finance a new parking deck for the arts district, the Parking Authority doubled the meter rate and fines. Testimony to City Council permitting the rate increase indicated it was favored by the merchants. At that time I documented to the Council that in fact the merchants were not informed, much less in favor. The vote was 5 to 2, with Hershman and Hoover dissenting
* I used the above copy on my posting of October 3, 2007. In the past several weeks the Parking Authority finally removed the meters in the 900 block of Chew St, 50 years beyond their legitimate need.

UPDATE: The post above is reprinted from September 2009. I have published dozens of posts on the Parking Authority. In 2005, I conducted two press conferences on their abuses; One conference was at 10th and Chew Streets, and concerned the oversized meter zone. The second conference, directly in front of their office, concerned the fabricated merchant survey that they  presented to City Council. Old tricks die hard. Forward ahead to 2015, and the Parking Authority will once again penalize both existing merchants and residents.  The new plan is to double the meter parking rate from $1 an hour, to $2, and extend the metering time to 10:00pm.  They claim that the merchants are in favor of this plan. Although I will not conduct my own survey, as I did 2005,  their survey defies logic.  Why would any of the few surviving merchants want their customers submitted to a destination city parking rates in Allentown? Despite the hype,  Allentown is not Miami Beach or N.Y.C.. In reality, just as the taxpayers are subsidizing the arena zone,  now the merchants and residents will be subsidizing the arena plan through punitive parking rates.

UPDATE Memorial Day Weekend 2015: I did end up asking several merchants, and no, they were not surveyed. Eight years from the original date of this post, and the Authority is still up to the same shenanigans.   Reilly's City Center tenants, merchants and customers will get a free pass for the Authority's inconvenient parking lots. Other existing tenants in the NIZ, such as the south side of the 900 block of Walnut Street, will not be eligible for residential parking permits.  If you have a problem with any of this, remember, you must now put money in the meter at night, before  complaining to City Council.

UPDATE MARCH 20, 2020:  As of noon yesterday, the Parking Authority suspended tickets in the residential permit zones.  However, normal parking meter tickets will continue.  This would have of course punish merchants still open for business during this virus crisis. However, while there are virtually no merchants left on Hamilton Street since the NIZ revitalization, the punishment would have mostly affect the minority merchants on 7th Street....or in other words, life as usual in Allentown. Governor Wolf has declared that all non-essential businesses must close. Will the monster also now stand down?

UPDATE OCTOBER 20, 2020: Numerous voters trying to drop off their ballots at Government Center at 7th and Hamilton, report that the monster has awoken, and is giving out tickets. 

UPDATE AUGUST 10, 2021: I've been writing about the Parking Authority corruption for over fifteen years.  You will not read about this corruption in the Morning Call, because the paper has always benefitted from their association with it, going back to the days of Park & Shop.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 18, 2021: The Authority is now accused of munching on the poor waiting in line to pick up their children at the inner-city schools. Welcome to the Authority's menu, and welcome to Molovinsky On Allentown, which has been reporting on the monster's diet for the last fifteen years.

ADDENDUM JUNE 7, 2024: More than one parking authority director has left Dodge before his/her shenanigens came home to roost. Up there on that list is building parking decks under specs, which then needed extensive rebuilding. Tied for first place is selling off the original long paid off, convenient surface lots, to save connected developers a few bucks for their new projects. (Which in turn required  more expensive decks.) We now find out that the APA is a couple $mils in the hole...Their solution, adding back new meters where they don't belong and increasing parking fines. Allentown hired a former FBI agent to investigate discrimination in city hall, they should instead hire him to investigate the Parking Authority Monster.

Jun 6, 2024

Cannibal Valley

During the summer of 1952, Lehigh Valley Transit rode and pulled its trolley stock over to Bethlehem Steel, to be chopped up and fed to the blast furnaces. The furnaces themselves ceased operation in 1995, and are now a visual backdrop for young artists, most of whom never saw those flames that lit up that skyline. Allentown will now salvage some architectural items documented on this blog, and begin tearing down its shopping district, which was serviced by those trolleys. As young toothless athletes from Canada, entertain people from Catasauqua, on the ice maintained by a Philadelphia company, Allentown begins another chapter in it's history of cannibalism.

photo from August 1952, showing last run on St. John Street to Bethlehem Steel

reprinted from December of 2011

Jun 5, 2024

The Misconception Of Hamilton Street

There's not many mid size cities that can boast having two national chain stores within one center city block, Allentown could. Not too many cities could say that one of those stores was one of the biggest producers in a chain of over 7000 stores, Allentown could. There's not many cities that are ignorant enough to tear down their most successful block, a virtual tax machine, Allentown is. This horrible mistake took a combination of political arrogance and public misconception. The arrogance is well known, so let me concentrate on the misconception. The perception was a few undesirable people, buying cheap things. The reality is Family Dollar sells the same merchandize in their suburban and rural stores. Rite Aid fills the same prescriptions and sells their standard merchandize. The new upscale stores, visioned for the arena front, will never produce the sales tax produced by Family Dollar and Rite Aid. The arena will never have that amount of employees, nor produce that much earned income.* The traffic congestion and lack of parking for arena events will destroy the new restaurants. Welcome to the white elephant, welcome to the ghost town.
Shown above and below is the early morning delivery to Family Dollar, every week of the year.
*sales tax and earned income currently going to city and state will now go to debt service for arena
above reprinted from December of 2011 

ADDENDUM JUNE 5, 2024:Since I wrote the above post almost thirteen years ago, nobody can say that there is still shopping on Hamilton Street. I know that there's a few stores still open, but it's certainly no longer a shopping district. Exactly what kind of district it is is debatable. I think urban office park is most descriptive. One would think that after $2Billion of taxpayer dollars, there would be much more vitality.

Jun 4, 2024

Whine and Cheese

Decades ago I could be found at an Allentown Art Museum opening. As the years passed and I became more cynical, I started referring to those events as Whine and Cheese. Now of course, I call those people yuppies, and have long since been removed from their mailing lists. In the last several months my regard for them, and the Old Allentown Preservation Association, has grown even lower. Both groups sat silently by, while the architectural and historical gems of Allentown were destroyed. Allentown only had a few significant facades. I captured the above image this summer. We need not speculate if the new arena will last 80 years, or if people in the year 3000 will consider it's architecture significant; It will be long gone.

above reprinted from January of 2012

ADDENDUM JUNE 4, 2024: Needless to say,  the bulldozer ate the beautiful facade above for the our underused arena. What's bringing me back to again complain about our cultural institutions is their silence about the irreplaceable WPA art deco post office, sitting there being submitted to vandalism and theft.

Jun 3, 2024

Allentown's Vanishing History

A reader sent me the above image last night. It looks down the hill from 7th and Hamilton, north, toward Linden Street. He has been attempting to locate the old Lafayette Radio store on 7th street, because of a pleasant memory from his childhood. By my day, the store had moved onto the southern side of the 700 block of Hamilton Street. History is quickly succumbing to the wreaking ball in Allentown. All the buildings shown above, on the left or west side of 7th Street, have been knocked down for the arena. Most of the buildings on the photo's right side are also gone. I suspect the few remaining ones will be gone soon, as they have been recently purchased in speculation of the Transformation Phrase 2, the Event Center. With the departure of Salomon Jewelry, Tucker Yarn remains Hamilton Street's last remaining business from the glory days. It's first store, on 7th Street, can be seen on the left side of the above photo.

The above image can be found in Doug Peters' Lehigh Valley Transit

above reprinted from January of 2012 

ADDENDUM JUNE 3, 2024:None of the buildings shown above, or businesses mentioned, still exist. Worse, new comers to Allentown know nothing of what was here before they arrived. Those of us with such memories of Allentown's past are in short supply, and of no value to the new guard. Never the less, I persevere with this blog and Allentown Chronicles, the facebook group. My solicitation to join the new park non-profit remains ignored.

May 31, 2024

Social Engineering Designs Allentown's New Zoning

Allentown's new proposed zoning ordinance incorporates every progressive notion of 2024. We will address affordable housing by allowing alley and backyard tiny houses. We will address higher urban unemployment rates by enlarging industrial and commercial districts into formally residential zones. In other words, they will codify and further accelerate our decline.

In the real world of litter plagued Allentown, the unemployed are the chronic unmotivated.  If we create more commercial space, we'll have to create* more business people for them, because real entrepreneurs have no trouble finding space for their businesses.

According to our city planning director....Increase opportunities for housing supply, walkability and vibrancy, and also to introduce new regulations that are employment friendly, focus on manufacturing,”... listing several of the goals of the zoning overhaul.

Apparently, Allentown has found the  solution to the off shore manufacturing situation and the Chinese trade imbalance.

*Community Action of Lehigh Valley used to set people up in business. Instead of giving them a fishing pole, they gave them a fish market. 

I'm taking this opportunity to display a photograph of 8th and Hamilton taken by Bill Schoenk in 1941. Mr. Schoenk worked at Mack Truck and raised a family on S. 9th St. His wife Betty was a crossing guard for many years in the neighborhood.

May 30, 2024

Allentown Needs More Boots On The Ground

Whenever a politician comes to town with a grant, it makes the paper.  Casey and Wild were both trying to take credit for a new grant for the Allentown Police Department. Chief Roca wants to use the money for more cruiser cars. We have used previous grants for more cameras and gun shot detectors. Mayor Tuerk wants to use the money for a new building, I'd like the money to go for more officers. 

Yesterday, I saw a Parking Authority vehicle drive past a double parker, without even slowing down to wave the lazy S.O.B on.  News has it that the Authority is in financial trouble. Someone has to start moving the double parkers along, and it doesn't have to be done from a new cruiser. I seen too many cops also past by the double parkers. Perhaps if we have more officers, we'll end up with a few who don't ignore quality of life issues. Most of the cops I see now-a-days are directing traffic from the parking decks on Linden Street. 

Shown above is an officer from 1912 by the then new West Park.  I can tell you that now in 2024 we could use him again back in that same park, especially around 3:00, when school lets out.

May 29, 2024

Flash From Past

Occasionally, some of the older boys in Lehigh Parkway would get saddled with taking me along to a Saturday matinee in downtown Allentown. We would get the bus from in front of the basement church on Jefferson Street. It would take that congregation many years to afford completing the church building there today. The bus would go across the 8th Street Bridge, which was built to accommodate the trolleys operated by Lehigh Valley Transit Company. Downtown then sported no less than five movie theaters at any one time. Particularly matinee friendly was the Midway, in the 600 Block of Hamilton. Three cartoons and episode or two of Flash Gordon entertained our entourage, which ranged in age from five to eleven years old. We younger kids, although delighted by the likes of Bugs Bunny, were confused how the Clay People would emerge from the walls in the caves on Mars to capture Captain Gordon, but our chaperones couldn't wait till the next week to learn Flash's fate. Next on the itinerary was usually a banana split at Woolworth's. Hamilton Street had three 5 and 10's, with a million things for boys to marvel at. The price of the sundae was a game of chance, with the customer picking a balloon. Inside the balloon was your price, anywhere from a penny to the full price of fifty cents. The store had a full selection of Allentown souvenirs. Pictures of West Park on a plate, the Center Square Monument on a glass, pennants to hang on your wall, and picture postcards of all the attractions. Hamilton Street was mobbed, and even the side streets were crowded with busy stores. Taking younger kids along was a responsibility for the older brothers, the streets and stores were crowded, but predators were limited to the Clay People on the silver screen.

reprinted from April 11, 2011

May 28, 2024

Renaming Allentown

As an advocate for the Allentown park system, especially the WPA structures, I often write about Joseph Daddona Park, which I refer to as Union Terrace, its former original and long term name. Likewise, I refer to Andre Reed Park as Irving. Even Martin Luther King Drive is still Lawrence Street to me. 

As a local historian, these name changes reflect fads and wokeness. What brings me back to this topic is the recent decision by the Allentown School Board to rename a couple of our schools. 

So there are two sixty year olds talking. 

 I remember you in third grade at Ruby Bridges School. 

Bridges School, where the hell is that?

That's what they call Lincoln now.

Who's Bridges?

I have no idea

photo of future blogger at Mayday 1952, Lehigh Parkway School, at least still for now

May 27, 2024

Another Diner Gone In Allentown

This weekend diner expert and Allentown native Richard Gutman had a special treat in Dearborn Michigan, the Henry Ford Museum is featuring a retrospective on Gutmans' works. If it involves diners, Gutman has been involved with its history for over fifty years.  Congratulations Mr. Gutman!

Here in Allentown we have lost a few diners in the past several years. On Tilghman Street, both Dina's downtown, and Nick's, farther west on the same street. 

We still have our share, and most of us have our memories of time spent in one or more of them.

May 24, 2024

A Force In Allentown

I received a nice compliment the other day, somebody told me that I was a force in Allentown. I'll take the compliment as remuneration for the time and effort put into this blog. I see blogging as a component of community activism. My posts, in addition to Allentown politics, also cover local history. These subjects are not unrelated, as local political ambitions and projects are often at the expense of our history and culture. I regret my lack of diplomacy, but blame genetics. Today's photograph predates the current concrete Hamilton Street bridge, with its two west side entrance ramps. The former old metal bridge, had Union and Hamilton Streets merged into one ramp, passing the massive Arbogast & Bastian Meat Packing Plant. Next week, another historic bridge is in jeopardy. Although structurally sound, Lehigh County has appropriated funds to replace the stone arch bridge by Union Terrace. More on that later....

reprinted from March of 2012

ADDENDUM MAY 24, 2024: I fought successfully to save the historic Reading Road Bridge referenced above. I was also successful, with the help of others, with Wehr's Dam. Although official committees are not my style, I'm hoping to be appointed to the new park non-profit board, as an ambassador for the WPA structures.

May 23, 2024

The Lost Bridge Of Union Terrace

The waterway around Union Terrace is divided. Cedar Creek, in addition to running in front of the Amphitheater stage, also runs on the elementary school side of the former ice skating pond. The leg of the creek that connects the two branches runs along the north side of the pond. Two bridges used to cross that creek leg; one for former train branch line and one for park users.  The train branch line ended service to Wentz's Memorial Company years ago. The park department has also ended service to park users...The people bridge has also been removed. The park can no longer be entered from Walnut Street.  

On the north side of the park along Walnut Street, the steel plates from which the metal skaters were cut, now stand stranded from their cutouts. Between them, across the now bridge-less creek leg, the pond is full of algae. 

Union Terrace was the last major WPA project in Allentown. Ice skating at the pond was an Allentown ritual. The park was a former source of pride for all citizens, regardless of where they lived in Allentown. 

As an advocate for the traditional park system and the WPA, I get very frustrated by having to use the adjective former so often when writing about our park features.

reprinted from June of 2022

ADDENDUM MAY 23, 2024:Today we learn that a new non-profit is being started to complement the Allentown Park Department. They apparently are looking to fill seats on their director board. I know of a certain blogger who is actually quite knowledgeable about the park system.

May 22, 2024

Joseph S. Daddona

Joe Daddona was mayor of Allentown four terms. Yesterday, when I visited the Reading Road Bridge, I saw the For Sale sign on the Daddona house, which adjoins Union Terrace. Actually, the park is now named for the former mayor. One of Joe's many accomplishments was to refurbish the historic Reading Road Bridge in 1980. It was under his leadership and pride that the adjoining pedestrian bridge was added at that time. Built in 1824, it was one of first bridges in Lehigh County. The current leadership takes campaign credit in replacing the bridges throughout the county. Although all identified defective bridges have already been replaced, they are now simply replacing older bridges. This bridge, in addition to being part of the county history, is part of the park's charm. Please join me this evening, and convince the County Commissioners to retain this important part of our past. Your presence would be appreciated at either one, or both, of two meetings on the topic. The committee meeting will be at 5:45 on the 4th fl. of Government Center. The main Commissioner Meeting, and vote, will take place at 7:30, in the first floor chamber.

file photograph from The Morning Call archives. 

above reprinted from March of 2012

ADDENDUM MAY 22, 2024: Although nobody did join me, I managed to save the historic Reading Road Bridge. However, the small park bridge from the Walnut side of the park was removed several years ago, rather than repaired. This missing park entrance significantly degrades Union Terrace*. To enter the amphitheater area from the north, one must now walk down to St. Emmo Street.

*In all respect to Daddona, I prefer to use the historic name of parks in Allentown. I do not believe that parks or streets should be renamed.

May 21, 2024

Before The Transformation

For most of Allentown's past, there was no need for a Transformation. We were the ideal city, so much so, that in the early 60's, we were proclaimed The All-American City. We were Mayberry, only much larger. Our little leagues played under the lights, and our fathers worked for top union wages. Imagine a city that could boast that it actually manufactured in own fire engines! Imagine a city that had no litter. We now have so much litter, not only do we need trash cans, we need trash compactors. We once were a destination and envied; We are now resented, and sued. This blog will continue to report current city events as I perceive them, engage with the bureaucrats as my energy permits, and occasionally share a glimpse of our past.

above reprinted from March of 2012

ADDENDUM MAY 21, 2024:Although a dozen years have passed, this blogger proudly remains a thorn in the side of the exploiters. In some ways the mission is more important than ever, because the local press, while remaining non-confrontational as in the past, is now reaching far fewer people. It's a good time for the exploiters... with a depleted middle class, those that remain are either too poor or too wealthy to concern themselves about our modern robber barons.

May 20, 2024

The Landed Gentry

One of the popular misconceptions in our granola society is that our open space is threatened. Consequently, in addition to welfare and corporate welfare, we now have landed gentry welfare. We purchase land, at almost market value, and even allow the owner to keep it. Although there is a deed restriction prohibiting development, who can guarantee it will be enforced in future generations? In every case I'm personally familiar with, the owner never had any intention of development; In one instance, the owners were compensated over $1million.

In some cases the owners are working farmers, in many, just gentlemen farmers with country homes. An article in Sunday's Morning Call laments the reduction in the farmland preservation funds. Nothing in the land preservation compensation really guarantees continued farming, that would be somewhere between indentured servitude and slavery. In 2006, Pennsylvania spent $102 million in Growing Greener handouts. Although the program has been cut back in recent years, there is a long list of applicants hoping to get some of this handout. The granola eaters should drive across Pennsylvania. There is a lot of open space even in this heavily populated state, over 8 million farm acres. While we close mental hospitals and sell nursing homes, we pay yuppies playing weekend farmer, development rights on land they never intended on subdividing anyway.

reprinted from August 9, 2010 

ADDENDUM MAY 20, 2024:As you can see from the post above, I'm a long time critic of farm preservation. Drive a few miles north or west from Allentown, third largest city in Pennsylvania, and you're in country. Last week we learned that David Jaindl sold a parcel in New Jersey for $27.5 mil that he purchased five years ago for $11mil.. the state bought it for preservation. They could have saved the taxpayers $16mil by purchasing it from Talen as Jaindl did. New Jersey cares less about the taxpayers than Pennsylvania, which is no easy trick.

May 17, 2024

Sy Traub Approves Fox To Inspect Henhouse

Seymour Traub recently suggested that the ANIZDA commission some entity to do an independent analysis of the NIZ, and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission was appointed to the task. 

Pat Browne created the NIZ by throwing it into a state bill unread by most of the state house, only Allentown qualified by its definition of population. I have observed the NIZ since the beginning. I debated the proposal with Sy Traub on Business Matters before the first bulldozer came. I championed the former property owners who were bullied with threats of Eminent Domain by straw buyers. 

Assigning Lehigh Valley Planning Commission as an independent arbitator is comical. Years ago they literally wanted to appoint Jaindl, largest property owner in Pa., to the board, before a public outcry against the absurity. They are handmaidens of the first class...

The big offense against the state taxpayers is that the new companies/employees on Hamilton Street were paying state taxes elsewhere in the Lehigh Valley, and were poached by Reilly to the NIZ. The cigarette tax is largely responsible for the "growth" figures, and taking that revenue away from the CHIP was another loss to the state. This has been the quintessential insider game. Even the LVHN is complicit, by moving department head offices to above the arena entrance, so that Reilly could harvest the highest paid employee taxes. The crime figures cited by LVPC are also misleading...the quality of life in Allentown has only gone down. 

If you drive down Hamilton on a Sunday, the street certainly looks much more prosperous. You would assume that during the week the street must be teeming with people...you would be very wrong. By poaching those tenants he put suburban office parks in financial straits, and they weren't subsidized by the taxpayers. So growth ISN'T growth when the playing field is so crooked. That cigarette tax was going to CHIP, Children's Health Insurance Program, now it's going to Reilly. Those doctors' taxes were going to the state, now they're going to Reilly. 

I believe the motive and timing for the report was damage control against Jarrett Coleman's effort for scrutiny in Harrisburg. The Morning Call dutifully took the hook and carried water for the NIZ once again.

The Dinosaurs Of Sumner Avenue

Up to the early 1950's, Allentown was heated by coal, and much of it came from Sumner Avenue. Sumner was a unique street, because it was served by the West End Branch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The spur route ran along Sumner, until it crossed Tilghman at 17th Street, and then looped back East along Liberty Street, ending at 12th. Coal trucks would elevate up, and the coal would be pushed down chutes into the basement coal bins, usually under the front porches of the row houses. Several times a day coal would need to be shoveled into the boiler or furnace. By the early 1970's, although most of the coal yards were closed for over a decade, the machines of that industry still stood on Sumner Avenue. Eventually, they took a short trip to one of the scrap yards, which are still on the same avenue, but not before I photographed them.

reprinted from 2011


May 16, 2024

State Of The Parks

The Park Master Plan, done by a Philadelphia planning firm, and commissioned by the Trexler Trust in 2005, concluded that Cedar Park was being loved to death. Since then, construction and activity in that park has at least doubled. The mega destination playground attracts hundreds of children whenever schools out. The parking lot for the swimming pool is filled with cars for the playground. This summer, pool patrons will be forced to park on the grass. All the paths on the rose garden side of Ott Street have been paved, and a new path constructed across the former open space between the garden and picnic pavilions. Also, a new water line has been laid through that section to feed the demands of western Lehigh County, while the waste return will flow along side the Little Lehigh Creek, through Lehigh Parkway. The parks are just plumbing for the county and recreation for the city. In the Parkway, the entrance road has been made one way, and one side of the bridle path closed, because of the leaning WPA wall. Although $millions of dollars have been spent on over-using Cedar Park, not one cent was spent on maintaining the iconic WPA stone structures. In addition to the wall problem in the Parkway, the steps and pillars at Union Terrace are structurally endangered. While the park department goes ahead with plans to connect the various parks with more bike paths, the WPA steps at fountain park are deteriorating. Welcome to Allentown, where community, infrastructure and history are all ignored, while new projects are planned.

above reprinted from April of 2012

ADDENDUM MAY 16, 2024:Since I wrote the above twelve years ago, some specifics have changed, but the premise has stayed the same... The WPA structures remain very low on the park department priority list. The Robin Hood Bridge shown above has been despoiled, with the rubble of the former small dam piled around the stone bridge piers.

May 15, 2024

Small Victories

In the best case, molovinsky on allentown chronicles my efforts in community activism, in addition to being a source of analysis for local issues. Last week a small victory resulted from such efforts. Our local dignitaries broke ground for a new garage at Lanta. Several years ago, when the garage plans were first announced, it was to be built on the parking lot of Bicentennial Park. Allentown needed money, and Lanta had a grant to build a new garage. Lanta claimed that the ball park property was the only feasible location, and the City claimed that Bicentennial Park had outlived it's usefulness.
Bicentennial Park is virtually the history of baseball in Allentown. First opened in 1939 as Fairview Field, it was home to the minor league team of the Boston Braves; The Allentown Dukes played there through 1948, when Breadon Field was built in Whitehall, site now of the Lehigh Valley Mall. Over the years thousands of Allentown kids had the yearly thrill of playing "Under The Lights". In addition to hosting the Allentown Ambassadors, it currently serves women's fast pitch softball. In addition to the outrage in our park system, I will be adding the ballfield as a topic in my upcoming SPEAK OUT ALLENTOWN MEETING. from Lanta Mugs City, May 14,2009  
I conducted a meeting at a small local church, which attracted a couple members of City Council and the Hunsicker Family, who led the drive to build the park, decades ago. City Council went on to pass a resolution recommending that the park not be sold, and Lanta did eventually figure out an alternative space for the garage. Needless to say, I wasn't one of the dignitaries invited to the ground breaking, nor were my efforts mentioned in the newspaper article, but a small victory, never the less.

Baseball Memoirs, June 3, 2009 

above reprinted from April of 2012

May 14, 2024

Wokeness Over Common Sense In Lehigh Valley

With affordable housing being such a fashionable buzz word, Bethlehem is now promoting alley houses.  Small structures, in narrow, behind house streets, have been frowned on by zoning for most of the century. In addition to increasing density, they prove a challenge to public safety vehicles, such as fire engines. Allentown just last year went through a commotion about parking in alleys. Beyond the unnecessary congestion this new woke plan causes, money, aka our tax dollars, are no object. Already a $million in grants is being spent planning one or two such houses in Bethlehem.

Allentown is also reversing track on industrial sites along the Lehigh River.  The Allentown Economic Development Corporation several years ago sought a grant to replace the tracks to S. 10th Street that they didn't object to being removed several years prior.  Governor Shapiro arrived with a grant last week to build a new industrial/commercial building along the river, where previous such buildings were removed with grants. Several years ago the rail tracks along the river were removed. 

If the above paragraphs sound confusing and contradictory, it's the causes of the day tweaking yesterday's realities. Although real industry and commerce can't get enough real workers, there appears to be higher unemployment in certain groups. Rather than admit the reality of the unmotivated, we'll build a factory for a non existing industry to hopefully occupy, and then hire these underemployed. Likewise, we'll provide affordable housing no matter what it costs.

shown above an engine coming back from a former industry on the former Barber Quarry rail-line.

May 13, 2024

Molovinsky and the Morning Call

April of 2011 was a big month for this blog. On April 14, I broke the story that former school superintendent Zahorchak had hired Joyce Marin,
 to accommodate Ed Pawlowski. The hiring was snuck into a long list of minor personnel changes, and unnoticed by the school directors. Two days later, I broke the story that the City was buying up the arena block, and using a straw buyer to boot. As I worked the Marin story, it would come to include an email exchange between myself and Zahorchak, acknowledging the hire, and a public statement by school director Zimmerman. Zimmerman's note confirmed the subterfuge used by Zahorchak. On April 19, Morning Call caught up on my stories about Joyce Marin and also the Arena. Education reporter Steve Esack wrote about the Marin hire, crediting this blog. His editor, Mike Miorelli, changed "molovinsky on allentown" to "local blogger". Needless to say, I didn't take that well. I wrote a post criticizing Miorelli for failing to give proper attribution. Yesterday, the School Administration announced that Marin's position was eliminated. An article in today's Morning Call mentions the controversy and Zimmerman, but not this blog. Although it's my normal practice to link to Morning Call stories I refer to, and credit the reporter, I'll skip that courtesy today.
 UPDATE: Several days ago I noticed that my November post, entitled Mayo Can't Add, which took the new superintendent to task for not undoing some of Zahorchak's manipulations, was getting multiple views. Yesterday, Mayo announced the elimination of some new positions created by Zahorchak. Regardless of what factors influenced Mr. Mayo, I congratulate him for tightening up the ship.

above reprinted from April of 2012

ADDENDUM MAY 13, 2024:Miorelli's dislike of me only increased over the years. A few years ago when it was revealed on my facebook group that the remaining photographic archives were discarded when the paper sold the building to J.B. Reilly, Miorelli really blew his top. Name calling and threats of a lawsuit came my way. Although Miorelli has retired, his underlings who remained, honor him by rejecting my letters to the editor. I no longer search for news, and seldom use anything that still comes my way anyway. I still champion for the traditional park system and against local delusion about the NIZ. While I continue to be resented by the new establishment, I remain on their morning read list.

May 10, 2024

Allentown Parks Can Kill Your Dog

Poison Hemlock has invaded the riparian buffers along the creeks in Allentown Parks.  These buffers are to accommodate the Wildlands Conservancy,  which essentially dictates all park policy, except recreation, in both Allentown and South Whitehall.  I suppose now the Wildlands can add pet killer to their dam buster credentials.

Allentown has been trying to control the problem by high rough cutting in spots where they see the hemlock.  The real solution is to go back to the way the parks were designed, without riparian buffers.

Frankly, I haven't had much success in curtailing the Wildlands Conservancy's influence in these park decisions. So far,  we lost two small historic dams, and the iconic Wehr's Dam is soon to go. We lost the view and access to the creeks in the park system, around which the parks were designed, by Harry Trexler's landscape architect. I have succeeded in creating a public record of these losses, and I will continue to speak out against how our parks are being compromised.

above reprinted from July of 2016

ADDENDUM JUNE 8, 2022: Park visitors may have noticed that the buffers have been cut down, except for a strip right along the creeks.  The cutting was done because the buffers were full of invasive species. Ironically, the remaining strips are almost exclusively Poison Hemlock, the worst of the invasives. More ironically, the park department has taken to planting the new trees on the outer edge of the buffer (instead of along the creeks), so now cutting the grass is so much more labor intensive. Thank the Wildlands Conservancy for this bastardization of the park system. The solution is to cut down the remaining strip, and start cutting the grass to the creek's edge, as prescribed by the park architect in the 1930's.  Furthermore, start planting willow trees along the creeks to combat erosion. 

ADDENDUM MAY 10, 2024:Cedar Park along the creek is once again infested with Poison Hemlock. It will always be that way until they start mowing the creek banks on a regular schedule. For the last five years or so, they control the Hemlock by cutting it down in late May, early June, just when the ducklings have hatched. I have no expectation that their schedule will change. Last season, not one duckling on the west side of the park survived. There were two families born on the Island in Muhlenberg Lake which fared better. If they would cut the creek banks along with the grass, the ducks would find safe places to nest. Instead, we have a stubborn park department, Poison Hemlock and ground up ducklings.

May 9, 2024

Rant and Raving Trump Into the White House

I'm not sure that there are any undecided voters for the 24 election.  People have been so very polarized about Trump and politics since the last election. If there are any undecided, and that is the factor of victory come November,  Stormy Daniels just handed victory to Trump. Actually not Stormy herself, but the New York court system. 

Just as the financial analysts refer to something already being baked in the stock price, Stormy has long been baked in the public's perception of Trump. They know that among his other weaker points that he is a womanizer.  However flawed as a trait that may be, people have a sense of fairness. They sense that the trial is on the 2016 election, which to them seems irrelevant at this point in time. I'm not discussing the legality of the trial, but its effect on 2024.

So those that couldn't stand Trump before the trial are huffing and puffing... Who knows, Daniels may end up a host on the View.  Those that were going to vote for Trump in 2024 are not in the least deterred. However, those that may have been undecided about Trump for president again, see a candidate being disenfranchised by what appears to be a judicial farce in the heart of blue America.

May 8, 2024

Saving The Spring Pond

As a small boy growing up in the twin homes above Lehigh Parkway, I would go down the steep wooded ravine and cross the Robin Hood Bridge. The stone lined spring pond and miniature bridge was just the first in a series of wonderful WPA constructions to explore. Last year, when I organized the reclamation of the Boat Landing, my memory turned to the pond. Although overgrown with several inches of sod, I knew the treasure was still savable.

In the spring of 2010 I met Mike Gilbert of the Park Department, and pitched the idea of a partial restoration. On May 26th, I posted A Modest Proposal, which outlined my hopes for the pond. By July, Gilbert had the Park Department clear off the remaining stones, and clean up around the miniature bridge.

Park Director Greg Weitzel  indicated to me that the pond features uncovered will be maintained. Any further clearing would be at the discretion of Mike Gilbert. In our conversation he also stated that there are virtually no funds available for the preservation of the WPA icons.

I will attempt to organize a group and contributions for this most worthy cause. Between the Spring Pond and The Boat Landing there was once a bridge to the island. Wouldn't it be nice if a small boy could go exploring.

above reprinted from 2010

UPDATE August 2013Mike Gilbert has retired, and the Park Department has a new director. Although grass and sod are starting to again cover the remaining stones that surround the pond, the miniature bridge is still visible. I will make it my mission to again pitch the new personnel.

UPDATE June 18, 2014. The grass and sod has reclaimed the stones that surround the pond. Only the very top of the miniature bridge is still visible to those who know that it's there. Unless there is an immediate intervention, it's days are numbered.

UPDATE February 2017:In 2015, in cooperation with Friends of Allentown Parks, I supervised college volunteers to clear the new sod off the pond stones, and the new bush off the miniature bridge. Allentown is on its third park director since this post was first written, and has acquired two large parcels to create new parks. To be planning additional parks, when our existing park features are left to abandonment, is incredibility poor management.

UPDATE May 1, 2018:  This past weekend the pond, miniature bridge and spring channel to the creek were once again cleared.  The work was done by volunteers from Faith Church, Asbury Church, Igesia De Fe and Salem Bible Church,  through Karen El-Chaar, director of Friends Of The Parks. Although the park department provided assistance in the two clean ups over the past several years,  they have  not provided ongoing maintenance to the site.  Understand that in the past few years they have constructed the exercise area at Jordan Park, the cement disc golf pads in the parkway and other recreational features. It is long overdue that the WPA structures be returned to the regular park budget and schedule.

UPDATE JANUARY 14, 2020:  Karen El-Chaar is now Director Of Parks. Hopefully she will have a soft spot for this particular WPA structure. I continue trying through this blog and facebook to keep these structures on the public agenda.

UPDATE MARCH 7, 2023: There's a new park director, Mandy Tolino. I haven't met Tolino, but I suspect that this blog might appear on her radar.  Those who visit the pond this spring will discover that the sod has once again overgrown the surrounding stonework. It is my understanding that Tolino has a background with the Delaware&Lehigh Trails, and hopefully will develop an appreciation of our unique WPA structures.

May 7, 2024

The Boat Landing

Getting to the Boat Landing, for six year old boys who lived above the park in 1953, was quite an adventure. There were three other wonderful WPA structures to navigate on the journey. Unfortunately,  poor foresight by a previous park director has erased some of the WPA's monuments in Lehigh Parkway. As the postcard from the mid-50's above shows, the Boat Landing (my name for the structure) was a source of pride for the city and park system. It is located at the end of the park,  near Regency Apartments. I use the present tense because remnants of this edifice still exist,  buried under dirt and debris. Other attractions lost in that section of the park include the Spring Pond near the Robin Hood parking lot, and the bridge to the "Island", plus the mosaic inlaid benches which were on the island. ( Island halfway between parking lot and boat landing). Neither the Mayor or the Park Director knows that these centerpieces ever existed. These are irreplaceable architectural treasures well worth restoring.

UPDATE: The above post was written in May of 2009. Later that year I organized a small group of volunteers, and we unearthed a portion of the boat landing. The next year I prevailed on the Allentown Water Shed Foreman, Michael Gilbert, to expose the remaining stones around the Spring Pond and remove the growth hiding the Miniature Bridge.

Trexler Smiles, Landing Revealed
I believe that today, for the first time in decades, General Trexler had something to smile about. Most people never understood why three steps were near the lower entrance of Lehigh Parkway; they seemed to lead nowhere. This morning eight people joined a grass root effort to unveil, for the first time in decades, the structure I called the Boat Landing.
Buried under the dirt and grass were several more steps leading to a landing. Chris Casey was the first to arrive and cleared these steps and the first landing himself. A second set of steps led from the landing to the main landing on the creek. These second steps had a foot or so of ground and plants.
The quality and condition of the stonework is excellent, as was all our WPA icons. I will be polite and say only that it was a crime to have let this neglect occur. On the main landing the accumulated earth was two and half feet thick. The crew dug out the curving retaining wall several yards in each direction, and cleared off the top of the wall.
Eight people working four hours managed to reveal about one third of the landing at the bottom of the steps. It was a thrill to realize we were standing at creek's edge as the WPA architects had envisioned. I stood there often as a boy. There still remains a large portion of dirt to remove at the steps base, but you can now experience the Boat Landing. 
The retaining wall and the landing continue for fifty feet or so in both directions. Unfortunately a huge tree has grown on the landing to the right, but the left appears reclaimable.
We who worked there today, hope to return and clear off the remainder of the dirt at the bottom of the steps.

Perhaps others will be motivated to clear off the remaining portion of the landing to the left. Now that might even be an idea for the City; imagine restoring an irreplaceable icon instead of buying something from a catalogue. I'm most grateful to all those who helped today, and will reveal their names with their permission.

Michael M,
I just wanted to thank you for organizing today’s cleanup at the “Boat Landing” in the Lehigh Parkway. It’s not often that one gets to help unearth a treasure while barely leaving home, but that’s exactly what happened today.

It was truly impressive what big difference a small group of people can make. I can’t even estimate the amount of dirt that was moved with nothing more than a few shovels and a lot of hard work.
We can only hope that the City and the Trexler Trust will become aware of this location and start giving all the great structures in the Parkway the care they deserve.
However, the best part of the story for me came after we all left. I got home and my daughter Lucy (age 7) wanted to know how things went. We hopped in the car and soon we were walking up to the stairs leading to the landing. The sun was shining, and the sunlight trickled through the trees and onto the freshly-exposed stairway.
Lucy asked if she could go down to the landing by the water and next thing I knew we were both there at the waters edge, standing on what had been buried only a few hours earlier and marveling at the beauty of the location.
We spent a few moments there - a father and daughter both enjoying something completely “new” to us (even though the landing is over 70 years old). We talked briefly about what was – and more importantly what could be again.

Thank you for making that moment possible, and I hope many others take the opportunity to visit the landing in the near future.
Mike Schware
P.S. – After visiting the landing, Lucy and I walked further upstream and saw the remnants of the bridge to the island (near the water fountain). The remaining supports of the bridge confirmed what you had told me earlier about the island being much smaller years ago.

I organized the excavation shown above in 2009. We did return and remove the remaining dirt at the bottom of the steps.
reprinted from two separate posts combined

above reprinted from October of 2009

May 6, 2024

WPA, A Work In Progress

On Labor Day in 2011, The Morning Call ran a story about my efforts in regard to the neglected WPA structures, and announced my upcoming meeting at the Allentown Library. Among those in attendance at that meeting was Karen El-Chaar, director of Friends Of The Allentown Parks. Later that year, I took El-Chaar on a tour of the WPA structures throughout the park system. In 2013, I conducted my first tour of the WPA in Lehigh Parkway, in conjunction with Friends Of The Parks. This year, El-Chaar successfully secured a grant from The Trexler Trust, which is currently being used to restore the steps at Fountain Park. The grant is being supervised by Lindsay Taylor, Allentown Park Director. The work is being done by Dietrich Stonemasonry, and managed by parks supervisor, Rick Holtzman.

Although much work remains to be done, it's my sense that all the decision makers mentioned above, are developing a greater appreciation of the unique gift that the WPA bestowed upon the Allentown park system.  I'm hoping that both that interest and work continues this coming spring and summer, especially in preserving the remaining portion of the wall in Lehigh Parkway.

reprinted from October of 2015

UPDATE JANUARY 21, 2022: Although restoring and preserving the WPA structures has been a mission of mine for well over a decade, as a blogger I paid a price.  My criticism of local government and the local press has not helped either with publicity or funds for the WPA projects.  Nevertheless, l will continue advocating for the iconic stone structures throughout our park system, and opining about our local government...There remains a need for both.

May 3, 2024

Allentown's Solution Is Its Problem

When I ran as an independent for mayor in 2005,  my message was shunned by The Morning Call and the establishment.  I stated that Allentown had become a poverty magnet, and very soon that density of poverty would create urban problems not normally associated with cities this small.  Multiple social agencies were giving hardcore transients "move in" money.  Lo and behold eleven years later,  despite a $Billion dollars of development,  the city still thinks that the problem is a lack of affordable housing.

Allentown doesn't suffer from lack of affordable housing,  Allentown suffers from too much affordable housing, and too much political correctness.  Stand across from a corner market and watch three generations of people throw their empty snack bags on the sidewalk,  even though they are only 25 feet away from a trash can.  We don't need $2 an hour parking meters, we need $25 dollar littering fines.  We don't need a Parking Authority,  we need a Littering Authority.

The City and the NIZ board are going to do a study about affordable housing, hire a consultant and probably include some local neighborhood advocates.  The Morning Call will write some articles about it.  When they come up with a solution they should share it with Detroit, Camden, Los Angeles, and the other 100 poor urban centers.  Gotta love government studies.

ADDENDUM: If the above sounds harsh,  understand that as someone who grew up in the 1950's, Allentown was a wonderful place to throw away, and thrown away it was.   Although the town has changed radically,  that toothpaste is not  going back into the tube.  New pragmatic leadership is needed.  Nothing could be less relevant to overall Allentown than a few blocks on Hamilton Street.

above reprinted from July of 2016

ADDENDUM MAY 3, 2024:In an addendum I would like to point out how things have changed and improved in the last eight years, but this is Allentown. There's certainly no lack of new buildings on Hamilton Street, funded by diverted state taxes and owned by one man. To his credit, he is sharing his windfall with various institutions, most recently DeSales University.

May 2, 2024

The Bricks of Allentown

When Mildred Gehman.1908-2006. portrayed the house on the southeast corner of 12th and Walnut Streets in 1950, it was already about 60 years old. Another 60 years have passed, and the house still looks the same today. The bricks of Allentown hold up well.

Gehman starting teaching at the Baum Art School in 1946. At that time, Baum was on the southwest corner of 12th and Walnut Streets, across the street from the house shown above.

reprinted from May of 2012

May 1, 2024

Guarding The Parks

I never imagined that as a boy growing up in Lehigh Parkway, that 60 years later, I would have to spend my time defending the parks. Especially defending them against the Park Director and The Trexler Trust. Weitzel thanked the Trexler Trust in his departing statement last week. He left town for a new job, with his resume enhanced by all the plans we paid for. Pardon me, but I have been saying for years that he was building a resume at the expense of our treasured park system. His Water Park plan was so over the top, that even City Council asserted themselves, an exercise they hadn't performed in years. Supposedly, Trexler Trust, still subservient to Pawlowski, was prepared to fund this absurdity. How sad that Fountain Park Pool has been closed for several years over $160,000 worth of repairs, when we just spend $80,000 for the Swimming Toward The Future Presentation. That study claims that it will cost $4 million to renovate our existing pool system. I believe that they exaggerated that figure, to justify their proposed $11 million Water Kingdom. I have learned that Allentown is conducting a nationwide search for a new park director. We would be better served by someone already working in, and familiar with our park system. We had enough grandiose plans and projects in the last five years to last us for many decades to come.

above reprinted from May of 2012 

ADDENDUM MAY 1, 2024:We had at least four park directors since I wrote the post above, and twelve years later I'm still defending the traditional park system. Needless to say the Trust  isn't still enamored about Pawlowski, but they still don't push very hard for things that Harry Trexler valued. If Harry saw the stagnant pond in front of his summer house in Trexler Park, he wouldn't be a happy benefactor. Too much flow is obviously going around the pond, instead of through it, as intended. Likewise the western pond at the rose garden needs attention. Although my unsolicited advice receives no appreciation from the powers that be, they do read it, and more so, they know  the public shares my viewpoint.

Apr 30, 2024

Images Of Allentown's Past

Tillie's Bakery, on the narrow 900 block of Liberty Street, was actually a family factory outlet store. Behind the house, whose living room served as the store, facing an alley called Fountain Street, was Long's Bakery. Long's produced small plastic wrapped shoefly pies and breakfast cakes, which were distributed in local grocery stores throughout Allentown. Tillie Long would open the bakery store several hours each day, and the small selection of wrapped bake goods would quickly be snatched up by knowledgeable neighbors. Peter and Tillie operated the factory and bakery front for the better part of a century. Afterwards, the business was operated by their son, William. The bakery building on Fountain Street is now apartments.

reprinted from May of 2013  

ADDENDUM:I'm drawn to write about places which I knew and experienced, such as Tillie's Bakery. Sometimes, I even have the pleasure of using my own photography from back in the day.

Apr 29, 2024

A Disdainful Blogger

The email was accidentally sent to me from a cellphone during a three way communication. I was pitching a Morning Call reporter to publicize an issue, and he was requesting permission from an editor. The email said yes Molovinsky is disdainful, but it would make an interesting article. I earned the disdainful tag by taking the reporters to task for their shortcomings reporting the news of our community, and failing to credit myself and other bloggers when appropriate. My ability to alienate has hurt the success of my efforts on community issues. More diplomatic advocates receive the publicity which moves their agenda forward. As a younger man I was apparently too dumb to learn, now, I'm too old. With that introduction, let me take a swipe at the On The Cheap columnist, Spencer Soper. Spence, the big news isn't that House of Chen ended their economy buffet, but that J.B. Reilly is ending their business. Those buildings are being bought with the same threatening tactics used by the City against the merchants across the street, now home to the hole. This dour, misguided, disdainful blogger will appear this evening on Business Matters on WFMZ69 at 8:00p.m. During the program I insult the host, Tony Iannelli; It figures.

above reprinted from May of 2012

ADDENDUM APRIL 29, 2024:A dozen years later and I remain disdainful, at the nicest. Time hasn't been that kind to the Morning Call either. Most the staff from 2012 is long gone. Tony Iannelli is holding his own as head honcho of the Chamber. Although J.B. Reilly is prospering beyond comprehension, the same can't be said for Allentown. This past Friday evening at 5:15, Hamilton Street was virtually deserted.  Although cars were entering the city for a hockey game, how much benefit the restaurants get from the after game crowd is questionable.