Jan 30, 2012

A Question of Priorities

I was surveying and photographing demolished Hamilton Street yesterday. My thinking is that there is less asbestos floating around on the weekend. While I worried about the hypothetical, some Allentonians were devastated by the all too real; But first, The Family Dollar story. In the Allentown of my youth, the building held the McCrory Five and Dime. Considering that history, it wasn't inappropriate to end up a dollar store. The building's landlord just had a lucrative 14 months. Purchased for $325,154.00 in November of 2010, the City ponied up $1,100,000.00 in the beginning of this month. There has been a number of such home runs involving the arena, but not within such a short time frame. Meanwhile, Easton Express Times reporter Colin McEvory was checking out the homeowners displaced by last month's water main break and sinkhole on 10th Street. While the City was prepared to exhume graves in the adjoining cemetery, the homeowners have learned that Allentown will not assist them. We were going to treat the dead better than the living.
Through no fault of their own, they have been made homeless, and in some cases, penniless. While this City can spend $35million to acquire and demolish properties for the arena, we leave the sinkhole victims clinging to the edge of the precipice. Allentown is serviced by water pipes over 100 years old. It is City policy to never admit that a water leak caused a sinkhole. While I won't debate their legal strategy, it's apparent we could do much more for these victims; It's a matter of priorities.

photo: The Express Times


Bill said...


Anonymous said...

who footed the bill for the Mendelson building that had to be taken down with dynamite?
The property over the sink hole that the arena is to be built on?

Monkey Momma said...

A property owner needs sinkhole insurance. Regular homeowner's insurance does not cover sinkhole damage. My single family home's sinkhole rider is about $100 extra a year, so it's not an expensive policy. If your insurance company doesn't carry sinkhole coverage, SWITCH INSURERS. No property owner in the Lehigh Valley should be without this coverage - we are all on a limestone shelf.

That said, it's reprehensible that the City would not offer some kind of assitance to the victims of this tragedy. You'd think they'd assist just for some PR benefits. Priorities, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Stupid question and I'm sure that the Gestapo that runs Allentown would never provide the figures.
1) How many gallons of water enter Allentown's water system in a period? (month, quarter, etc)
2) During the same period, what is the customer consumption? (billed)
Subtract 2 from 1 and it tells you how much the system is leaking.
I'm sure the figure is astounding.

DeFarge said...

interesting observation. my take is that the city caters to businiess and could care less about its taxpaying citizens. I hope i live long enough to see the new hockey taj mahal sink like the previous structure. time will tell. Downtown will be busy game nights but it will be the same human cesspool the rest of the time. the whole thing reeks of backdoor deals. ahch, the whole thing isn't even worth my time.

Capri said...

To quote a better writer than I, "there is some shameful s*** going on around here."

Its just so disgusting.

Anonymous said...


I read that article in the EXPRESS TIMES also. It's intereseting how people have INVESTED in the city through homeownership and now are told there's nothing that can be done, although, the sinkhole is through no fault of their own. I am sure people will ay, "Well, they should have invested in sinkhole insurance. So, it's their responsibility." Unfortunately, I thought the City and it's Leaders were supposed to take care of its' residents. I am not saying welfare or hand-outs, but at least compassion and involvement. Does anyone think that maybe the City will bulldoze these unrepairable homes, (many residents have said they cannot afford to repair and some insurance companies have already denied claims)and confiscate the land as they did with the other "orange sticker" locations ?

Alfonso Todd


Guy Williams said...

To be honest I am having a hard time with this situation and its current debate about responsibilities.Seems to me to be similar to the current debate about health care.Just WHO is responsible and the role of government.Not easy to find solutions.

Anonymous said...

Growing up I loved this place. Over the years things have changed so much...it really does suck that the mayor the city only cares for money. This place we were proud to say is our home. Now I say im embarrassed. There are alot of messed up streets n holes every where that your constantly dodging the sidewalks with cracks some missing homes closed down.now hamilton buildings downtown hamilton was a good place to just go and walk and shop. Its beautiful buildings tore down for? An unnecessary place hockey rink.. sinkholes gas leaks broken pipes people jumping off the 8th street bridge it upsets me everytime I hear about a hockey rink and how much money is being spent because there are alot to be done hockey is the least of my worries money should be used for roads to be fixed so we aren't dodging and almost hitting cars sidewalks so we can walk safely not trip or have to go to the street to walk. Homes fixed buildings such as closed down buildings could be used for recreational purposes for kids get them off the street have something positive to do put a fence to stop people from jumping off the bridge make this a safe place. Mayor spends spends spends city just cover their behinds and we are just left in the cold with no one to go to nothing to do about it it's disgusting. I love historical structures I've seen it has a history to where we live a story behind it and now everything just gets destroyed.