Mar 24, 2011

My Shoes and Spencer

After reading Spencer Soper's article today on Butzy's Building, I realize that my shoes know more about Allentown than him, but they're probably older. Soper reports that the Butz Building is 90% full. He doesn't report, but may not know, the taxpayer contribution to that occupancy rate. First, the Lehigh Valley Tourist Bureau moved in: They wanted to be close to the PPL Plaza free admission WaterPark. Tony glad-hand Iannelli moved the Chamber of No Commerce in. We gave Butz $450,000 to entice Sangria with no start up cost. Spencer does have one line of news, the last sentence. Apparently, Butz is behind the push to locate the Hockey Arena downtown. "The hockey arena will get a lot of people to do things they wouldn't do otherwise." Like come to downtown Allentown?


Anonymous said...

Soper is a picture child for exactly how far the MC has fallen in "Journalism". His weekly articles are completely ridiculous and his occasional assignments as a "business writer" are nothing but rehashed excuses for press releases (just like the Butz article is).

No wonder the MC is dying with "journalists" like this. I jsut wish it would die already and put itself out of its misery.

Unfortunately, the man thinks he's Citizen Kane but with that violently unkempt look about him.

michael molovinsky said...

despite my barbs, it was not my purpose to demean soper, he may well be a good reporter. i agree that the morning call assigns far too many reporters to mindless columns. i assume the purpose is for the news to be generic, as opposed to allentown, or any city, specific. they could eliminate the columns and assign an additional half dozen reporters to the news. but what's their motivation? i assume the formula comes from the tribune. to borrow a phrase from a former MC reporter, Daryl Nerl, there is no institutional memory at the paper. does soper have any idea how many incentives and connections are involved in butz's occupancy rate?- apparently not.

Monkey Momma said...

I think your issue is with what Butz said about the local economy, not necessarily Soper's report from the Chamber's latest meeting. I don't think Soper was assigned to stir the pot - just report on the meeting. It's a distorted view of reality, true, but not necessarily a reporting problem.

In terms of the hockey arena doing anything useful for Allentown, I would again refer the decision makers to such town as Camden and Newark. I go to a LOT of stadiums every year, and guess what? They're frequently built in VERY crummy cities or areas, and absolutely no economic improvement can be seen in the surrounding area. I really would like to see any evidence that shows an economic improvement in an arena's surrounding areas. (But I won't see the data, because IT DOESN'T EXIST.)

That said, I applaud the Butz corp for moving downtown, no matter what kind of sweetheart deal was made. I know Butz is a mouthpiece for the mayor, but he has also put his employees downtown, and I appreciate that. Say what you want, but Butz walks the walk and works in our city. Soper did make sure to mention, however, that Butz doesn't actually live downtown - he's out here in Upper Mac.