Feb 20, 2012

Morning Call Distortion


Imagine having a shop on downtown's busiest block, and then ending up in a small strip mall on the other end of the city, miles from your customer base. Imagine knocking on doors looking for a new spot, then read that the city helped you relocate. Imagine investing everything you have, for the second time, in a city that just kicked you off the main street. Then imagine the newspaper writing Allentown hockey arena critics land on their feet. Many merchants who protested removal are now thriving in new locations. Worse yet, the reporters, Matt Assad and Scott Kraus, know that the article spins the reality. Matt Assad attended the meetings with Sara Hailstone, when the merchants complained of no help from the city. If they really had help, why would they have to knock on doors or end up on the east side? I'm friends with the merchants mentioned in the story. They are intelligent, hard working people, who know that they must put the best face on their current situation. Their shops are more than just speculation for a newspaper story, or a blog; Their shops are their home mortgage payments and their children's college tuition. A relative of mine, who survived a concentration camp, built a huge business in Cleveland. I suppose Assad and Kraus would say he landed on his feet. The merchants of Hamilton Street certainly were not submitted to a Holocaust. They were uprooted after building businesses for over 20 years, and forced to relocate. They were deceived by strawbuyers, and threatened by eminent domain. Most received near double the original offers, because they resisted the City's illegal bluffs. The City paid the higher amounts, because eminent domain is illegal when the intention was essentially a private business (arena), including new storefronts. Now there's a real story for Assad and Kraus!

photocredit: molovinsky

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Remember when it was reported in the Morning Call that I had two sons, one was in college, the other was attending school in western PA. When I called the reporter on this error(my younger son attends Allen) he accused me of giving him the wrong information. It could not have been his fault. Exactly how could I have done that? How could I have told him something that never was? None the less, he stood by his story and his methods. This is typical.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Monday's Call includes story about two Korean businessmen now doing so much better in their new home thanks to the mayor's vision. Funny, the story reads how they walked from store front to store front trying to find a new home but following their description, a certain city worker tells how she worked so hard too.
Really?

Anonymous said...

Part of Allentown's problem is it lies in a media dead zone. AND, the populace seems content in allowing it to be steamrolled. This mayor looks innocent, but he is a real piece of work. He recognizes an opportunity. Only because I don't know- Are there mayoral term limits in this "city without limits"?

PS- Mike, maybe more folks would comment if not forced to decypher and duplicate bizarre code words before submitting.

VOR

Anonymous said...

"Are there term limits in this 'city without limits'?"

Hopefully not.

What a brilliant piece from Comrades Assad and Kraus!

VIKTOR TIKHONOV

michael molovinsky said...

@8:13, if you closely read the article once again, they never said that they're doing better in their new location. they said that they are doing better than when they first opened up at the new location. the 600 block of 7th street does not have anywhere near the volume of foot traffic as hamilton street. they are very intelligent gentleman, and know enough to say positive things. if kraus and assad wanted to ask them a relevant question, it would be; Where would you rather be, back in your old store, or here in your new store? they had to spend everything they received to duplicate what they had on hamilton, no windfall there. kraus and assad succeeded in whitewashing a terrible chapter in our city. there's so many things they could have covered. where are the seniors at the highrises on 8th and union street getting their prescriptions filled? the ones who can't walk to 14th and tilghman.

Anonymous said...

they never said that they're doing better in their new location. they said that they are doing better than when they first opened up at the new location.

Thank you for correcting me. I easily could have read it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love it when local media serves as cheerleader for the administration. The Assad/Krause story was accompanied by a puff piece on the wonders of the AHL. Let me make this bet: one year after the Phantoms are in Allentown take a poll of locals and ask them to name 2 players on the team. In fact, go out there now and ask the average Allentonian to name 2 guys on the current FLYERS.

Monkey Momma said...

With "land on their feet" and "thriving" in the headline, the article does seem to put a positive spin on things. However, upon reading the whole article, I found very few positive remarks from displaced business owners. Quite a few of the displaced did not land on their feet, and they don't sound like they're thriving.

I wish all of them well and admire their stoicism, optimism and grace under enormous pressure. The Call's article is a curious presentation of the state of affairs downtown, I must say. Thanks for highlighting what Assad and Kraus either missed or chose to ignore.

michael molovinsky said...

monkey momma, the guys at new york fashion wish they were doing as well as the article suggests.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Once your vies are blasted away. At what point are you willing to admit that you are wrong.

The irony is that the people that you supported to teeth are doing very, very well.

http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/69-News-Investigation-Did-Allentown-overpay-for-arena-properties/-/132502/8821854/-/ovvy8lz/-/index.html

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

*views

michael molovinsky said...

ms. future, that was the starting premise of the story in the morning call and on channel 69, but it's not generally true. the inflated real estate prices paid, acted as compensation for business lost, just not the price of the bricks and mortar. ny fashion ended up going from prime hamilton street to 7th street. another business went over to hanover ave, and is doing very poorly. you discount the fact that they were forced out of their locations, because you have never had respect for them in the first place. several are closed now, and no longer have any business.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

NY Fashion is quoting as saying that they have resumed the same level of business as before and expect even more business then what they had before. Also they are quoting as saying that they invested all the money that they received back into Allentown.

Are you that blind that you can't admit that someone is actually doing better off since they moved from Hamilton St. Because Hong and Paredes are both saying they are.

Anonymous said...

What?

"Several are closed now and have no business."

Wow!

Did not read THAT in The Morning Call ... I have every confidence the demise of these businesses is purely coincidental.

Shaibu!

VIKTOR TIKHONOV

Janice Bowman said...

It is amazing how our media lives in virtual reality world! Even in the economy how rotten it truly is, all we hear is how much better we are at $4 to $6 a gallon gasoline; food prices going up 5% to 23 % on some items; increase of home foreclosed; the lie about unemployment being 8.3% when in fact if they count everyone WITHOUT FUZZY MATH it is closer to 11%; the increase of people on food stamps and welfare; property values down and taxes up! HOW CAN THIS BE SO GREAT!
It is also so interesting to see ASD, DR MAYO and Atty John FreundIII say meeting after meeting how safe we are and how caring they are for the students and staff when raping of 5 children ages 6 and 7 years old was not very important for telling the police to STOPTHE RAPES! Today, we still have a counselor and other staff that was here at that time do the same old same old! So, your guess is as good as mine how many other rapes or abuses are going on with the support of our taxpayer dollars now?

Oh, guess all I can say is MEDIA IS DEAD! It is the time in our history when we listen to news for down time not the time to actual learn anything, because we know who they are in the tank with! So, we have to do our own research and put the NEWS ON THE BACK BURNER! Their information is more likely tainted! Thank you (mike) for doing the research the MEDIA OR GOVERNMENT REP FAIL TO DO!

Anonymous said...

not the slanted story but the comments:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/pa-city-pays-too-much-to-buy-off-businesses-to-clear-way-for-hockey-arenataxpayers-foot-bill/