Apr 10, 2009

At Least It's A Strategy


In 2005 I had a heated exchange with then candidate Pawlowski about Weed and Seed. After he would drone on and on about the benefits Allentown will derive, I called it a crab grass program. He thundered, "At least it's a strategy!" Politicians, and other merchants of the abstract, love presentations, strategies and proposals; they are the inventory of self-promotion. Last night, in regard to Michael Donovan's misfortune, Pam Varkony wrote, "If there is any upside to this, it is perhaps the extra police attention that will now be paid to Bucky Boyle Park and the surrounding neighborhood, which has been going down hill for a long time." I don't think so Pam, because the headquarters of our long term crime fighting strategy, Weed and Seed, is in that park. Allentown is long on motivational speakers, and short on solutions based on current realities. I don't think it will be much consolation to Michael or Pam, but lately a police car has been tucked up in the stadium property, near Muhlenberg Lake, waiting for speeders on Linden Street. I suppose we need income to pay the Weed and Seed Administrators.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we need to have "reality-based" alternatives...
The sad part is, there are many who actually justify what they did by saying, "He should have just minded his own business." Sad state of affairs...

- Alfonso Todd

LVCI said...

The intentions of the 'Weed & Seed' is to provide a neat & clean environment and they will take care of it. If that were true the recreation building over at Cumberland Gardens would be looking like it was when 1st built. The way Keck Park over at South Carlisle and East Mosser Streets would still be gleaming. There're NOT!

From Weed & Seed's own website : " Allentown's Weed and Seed strategy is to "weed" out drug trafficking, violent crimes and related offenses through coordinated law enforcement and community policing". Obviously the law enforcement at the park (home of Weed & Seed headquarters) was a little week yesterday when Mr. Donovan got sucker punched. If it's not safe even at it's headquarters......!

Weed & Seed has made great contributions and has vital programs. One which Allentown needs. However MUCH MORE accentuation must be geared towards OWNERSHIP. While the program does make jobs, after school activities available (all good things)... more emphasis should be made on HOME OWNERSHIP if this program is to be a success.

Patrons of Weed & Seed must be educated that this program's goals is more then just sports & after school activities, and policing, but rather that of education, then employment that will sustain their patrons to grow beyond the program to start a life of their own. This cannot be a program that sustains it's clients throughout their lives. If the peoples come to depend on Weed & Seed beyond a few years to get on their feet, then it will be nothing more then another 'poverty magnet' for Allentown.

I think they are headed in the right direction and there are success stories. But need to emphasize they are only a helping hand to those that seek to better themselves. I don't think many of their clients get that point and should be told.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe APD is putting a car on Linden St to get speeders. I live in the area and have seen patrol cars parked by the stadium across from the fire station for years. That is just a common area for the cars assigned to the West End to pull off to the side and do paperwork while they are on patrol.

I believe an arson fire occured a while back at the weed and seed building. So an arson and an assault at the same property. Weed and seed better watch out any more crime they will be shut down like the nuisance bars Hary's and Trinkles.

michael molovinsky said...

lvci, i respectfully disagree about home ownership. the last thing allentown needs is another home ownership program. i realize you see it as a solution to the "apartment situation". until people realize it's not the apartments per se that are the problem, but the people attracted here by all these programs, our problems will continue. 20 years ago there were just as many apartments, and allentown was the 'all american city". another problem with weed and seed and all the other programs, allentown's population is very transient. it matters not how successful a program is, if there is a new cast of characters every thirty days.

Chris Casey said...

Are any of these so called community improvement/revitalization programs worth a damn?

Would there be an appreciable difference if no public money was being spent?

Sometimes I wonder.

michael molovinsky said...

chris, there would be a big different if none of these programs were funded; they are the problem, they are the poverty magnet. ironically, HUD allows all that money to be spent on infrastructure if the town is below a certain income level, unfortunately, we qualify. imagine all those millions going to capital improvements, to induce the middle class to both move to allentown and not flee. (that was my campaign in 05)

Anonymous said...

The face of that community has changed drastically, people didn't need ANY of these ridiculous programs to live a decent life. The only solution now, which would be cheap, would be to give them all a one way ticket someplace where there is a reincarnated Joe Daddona serving as mayor.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 4:13, your comment, although laced with politically incorrect implications, is welcome here. however, i would like to say that although many "blame" daddona for our current diversity and the differences in the quality of life now, no mayor has publicly acknowledged this as a problem or did anything about it, quite the contrary. the downgrade in life quality isn't racial or cultural, it's social-economic. currently there are comments on several blogs from social cheerleaders who wish to repair the world, good for them, the opportunity here in allentown is more than ample for them. allentown with it's current leadership and plans cannot make it's streets more civil regardless of the programs or money spent, especially when the problems arrive daily on a conveyer belt.

Anonymous said...

Mike,


The Weed and Seed program was fatally flawed from the outset. Ed Pawlowski and Roy Affflerbach simply drew a line around Allentown’s highest crime area to determine the boundaries of the program. Those of us who were active community leaders at the time were appalled. We had advocated that the areas that bordered the high crime area be targeted for the program. These areas, like Franklin Park, and Eight Ward had existing community groups that would have facilitated the various Weed and Seed initiatives.
Now Franklin Park Civic Association no longer meets, it withered on the vine due to lack of support from the city. This area of the downtown that borders West Park on the east has deteriorated significantly. The same may be true of the Library Group, if the group still exists I haven’t heard of it, that neighborhood has gone downhill. I’m fairly certain the McKinley Group is also gone and we all know how bad that area has become.
It is all very tragic because so much promise has been squandered by incompetence. This incompetence was glossed over by the local media for political reasons.

Scott Armstrong