Aug 10, 2009

Line In The Sand

It's hard to come out against a playground. A mother who speaks regularly at City Council keeps referring to when children with disabilities were kept locked up in institutions. The Mayor's wife recommended that mothers bring their children and signs to influence the media and City Council. There is absolutely no way Allentown has the expertise, supervision or capacity for maintenance to promote a playground as a destination for children with special needs. I had a short meeting with the Park Director last month, and that is exactly the plan. This destination playground would include a special restroom and a separate changing room. We can buy the equipment, and we can built it, but we could never fulfill the expectations of those whom we would be attracting. I do not believe The City of Allentown should build such a playground anywhere. Such a playground should be built by organizations which specialize with these issues; such as LifePath, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit and the Good Shepherd. That said, I can support a playground at Cedar Beach, and of course it should be handicapped accessible. It should be no larger than 5,000 sq. ft., which can accommodate over 50 children at a time. Any larger playground would force Mayfair to expand across Ott Street just maintain its current size.

There should be an official declaration that Mayfair and the other special events will not be permitted to expand over Ott Street into the currently passive side of the park.

The jogging path at on the west side of Ott Street should not be paved or lighted.

Although the walkways should be completed in the flower gardens to allow for wheelchairs, no additional pavilion should be built in the Rose Garden.

Needless to say, the above guidelines represent only my opinion. Others feel because of the overuse of the park and the flood-plain reality, there should be no additional constructions what so ever. There is consensus, from an expanding group of citizens, that the current plans do not respect the history or tradition of our iconic park system.


  1. As much as people would like to blame the opposition to this plan on some form of "ism", it is just not true.

    I am concerned about the outcome of this process on the very people it is "supposedly" designed to "help".

    I do not think they, the disabled, are being "protected" enough in the planning process.

    The real issues are poor communication, an extremely bad economy, a city in financial difficulty and a lack of consensus on what the priorities are in Allentown.

    Administration seems to have their mind set on building this park regardless of others feelings or opinions or even consideration of the potential deleterious outcome.

    They want what they want when they want it. Be damned anyone who stands in their way. If you do, they will run you over. This mayor has no scruples.

  2. The simplest and most accurate argument that can be made is the city is broke. History, crying moms, people yelling racism, it's all immaterial.
    I am more and more of the conviction the city has no business investing anything in a park when it can't finance it's basic functions.
    Anyone in Allentown that ranted about the crooks on Wall Street who then demands a park playground should pause and reflect on their sense of fiscal responsibilities.

  3. Duty> Perhaps one has a judge as a golf buddy and could ask her/him off record. Does a city that boasts the largest playground in the East for disabilities be required to provide safety and first aid and licensed assistances. Where is "duty” Where is city's responsibility? All it will take is a tragedy for this city to face what Bethlehem has, an $8 million dollar judgment.

  4. Well if I ran a city that was broke, violent, depressed and lost, I'd build a Destination Playground too.

  5. Please review time place and date for this week's park meeting.

  6. Anonymous said...
    Well if I ran a city that was broke, violent, depressed and lost, I'd build a Destination Playground too.

    August 10, 2009 10:04 PM

    But a lot of it is Pawlowski's doing. He's been at city hall seven years.

  7. There is no reason anyone would pave a running track unless the plan is not to use it as a running track.

  8. "I never go along to get along"

    MICHAEL MOLOVINSKY, Real American Hero


    "If I ran a city that was broke, violent, depressed and lost, I would build a Destiantion Playground, too."

    ANON 10:04

    Sarcasm and Brilliance combined, very diverse


    The city is broke SHOULD be the MOST IMPORTANT consideration.

    One would think EVERYONE regardless of political orientation could agree that...


    Concentrating on how to lift a failing city financially, however, probably does not fit the "FEEL GOOD AGENDA", among other things of many people.

    The Mayor should be figuring out how to get businesses to come to Allentown to replace departed ones, like Mack Trucks, for example - PERIOD.

    Figure out how to get people off welfare rolls and onto employment rosters - PERIOD.

    Finally, as a resident who DOES NOT live in the West End, I can tell you FIRSTHAND the city is FAR LESS SAFE than it EVER was. Take care walking at night in WEST PARK, that would be my advice FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

    (At least I am sure I busted the nose of one of the three community organizers I met in West Park about two years ago now. I took my share of lumps, of course. The most maddening thing is the punks did not even attempt to steal the $ 50 in my pocket. So, I think there was a different agenda on the docket, but that's another story - I just do not give out a cigarette to anyone asking for one past dark anymore...)

    Just because JOHNNY MANANA'S blew up in the Mayor's face does not mean the Mayor should give up on trying to promote economic growth and instead turn his attention to Multi-Generational Destination Playgrounds!


    I think Molovinsky already knows not only is the Park idea dumb, the fact that this Multi-Generational Destination Playground seems to be the city's number one priority is EVEN DUMBER.

  10. Is the meeting Thursday a Council Meeting or a Political Rally?

    Have Ed At
    Your House!

    Ed loves the opportunity to update Allentown residents on issues concerning the city, the progress Allentown has made since he was elected Mayor and his vision for leading the city into the future.

    Hosting a house party is easy and casual. It is simply an evening or weekend afternoon when the Mayor comes to your home and makes an informal presentation. By holding a party at your home, your neighbors, friends and colleagues will have the opportunity to talk to Ed about a host of issues important to you.

    For more information about hosting a house party with Ed, click below:

    Dear Friends, The City of Allentown is so fortunate to have such a beautiful and expansive park system for everyone to enjoy. Our park system is the envy of the region, and we are working hard to make sure the crown jewel of the city does not lose its luster. Our goal is to enhance, preserve and update our parks so they can be safely enjoyed by everyone today and by future generations. To that end, we have worked with City Council to approve a $3.8 million Capital Project Improvement Program to renovate and improve parks throughout the city. ALL of these funds have been secured through grants from the Harry C. Trexler Trust, Lehigh County, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the federal government. In 2006, the City-Wide Allentown Parks and Recreation Master Plan was completed with the assistance of the Trexler Trust. In 2007, the newest park in our system, the Arts Park was completed. In 2008, renovations to West Park, Allentown's oldest park, were accomplished. Currently, we are working on renovations and restoration of various parks across the city (Keck, Stevens, Jordon, Roosevelt, Irving, Alton, Trout Nursery) concurrently and one of the city's largest parks, the Cedar Creek Parkway. Over the last several years, we have done our best to encourage input, address concerns, and establish support from our citizens for our parks as we diligently work to better our park system. Yet there are still some who have concerns and questions that have arisen due to misinformation that has been propagated concerning the proposed renovations of Cedar Creek park. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact the Department of Parks & Recreation at
    610-437-7750. Please join us on Thursday, August 13th, at 6:30 pm in City Council Chambers for a special meeting with City Council to outline the city's planning efforts to date and answer any questions concerning the park renovations. Thank you for your concern and interest in our great city and the improvement of our parks. Sincerely, Mayor Ed Pawlowski See the City-Wide Allentown Parks and Recreation Master Plan at

    Paid for by Friends of Ed Pawlowski

    PO Box 9366
    Allentown, PA 18101
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