Mar 2, 2012

Open Mike

Long time readers of this blog know that previously my Open Mike sessions were illustrated by a radio microphone. This lone blog publishes no political press releases, bashes no political opponents, and promotes no politician's agenda. Nothing is off topic today.


Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Just a shout-out to Bethlehem's South Side.

I continue to be pleased by the transformation going on there. Maybe it's the healthy reclamation of the Bethlehem Steel land, the growth of the Lehigh Campus, or the district's appeal to persons who respect the arts.

We find ourselves shopping and dining there more and more. There is a vibe that seems to be headed in the RIGHT direction. Yes, there can be a risk of crime after normal hours, but I don't think the area exudes the same intense fear (real or imagined) that emits from Allentown.

Several good restaurants, unique shops, great architecture, and an ethnic mix of regulars that seems to work very well. Reminds us of Pittsburgh's South Side, or parts of Lower Manhattan.

If the steel property comes to include a high-end apartment building (with balconies), we'd definitely consider moving there for the final phase of our lives.

ironpigpen said...

Why is GITMO still open?

I thought closing it was one of the first things 0-bama bragged he would do?

Why did the U.S. military just spend $ 744,000 on a new soccer field at GITMO?

I thought closing it was one of the first things 0-bama bragged he would do?

doug_b said...

Since 1750 the Lehigh Valley was built by the hard work of the citizens. It was a unique melding of agriculture, industry, capital, and quality people. From this – Allentown and Bethlehem evolved. There were no city planners, or park boards, or parking authorities. Things got done because of the enormous amount of productivity, they had too much to do – endless planning meetings weren’t required. I’m sure Hess’s wasn’t built with any public money. It didn’t need to because it could occur naturally in the socio-economic environment.

All those important, good paying jobs have been shipped to China, Asia, Japan, etc. What you are left with is a dying shell of a city – stripped of all of what make it grand. Your politicians believe an entertainment venue ( hockey rink) is going to do what? Make things look pretty? Make all those industries return?

More disturbing is that Steel Stacks. Beth Steel represented the greatness, strength, of the US. After it’s demise the best thing that has been done is to erect an Art’s center – and use the Bethlehem Plant as a backdrop.

See how many full time jobs there are at the hockey rink. What’s the pay for these courtesy, janitorial, waiter, hospitality jobs? Do they get sick leave? vacation? pension? Health care? This isn’t 0.001% of what you have lost!

It’s a band aid on a shotgun wound.

michael molovinsky said...

@2.08, i share your irony that the backdrop for an art center and casino once employed 18,000 people, supplied the steel for the empire state building and helped produce a ship a day during the war.

Monkey Momma said...

I am curious about Cynthia Mota's quotes in the Express Times regarding the new Allentown trash project. After her "NO" vote on this project, she describes receiving threatening, anonymous phone calls. I would like to know more about these calls. Are they being investigated? What is the content of the messages? Has the mayor or city council commented on these threats?

There is definitely something wrong here, and I wonder if anyone in Allentown is taking it seriously.

LVCI said...

Significant is the fact that not a single person left a comment on the Express-Times article.

Also check out The Morning Call article

Like I said the other day,
"When it comes to reporting anything of significance, indicators are Americans statistically speaking...Don't Give A.."

So apparently no one seems all excited, other then those who might have made these calls.

michael molovinsky said...

monkey momma, i've been exasperated because ms. mota was already preparing to change her vote the next day. i'm more concerned about the political pressure from her peers, than any unverifiable anonymous threats. i will be posting about her turn around this week. i believe that she has already failed in her stated mission to represent hispanics in allentown.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Monkey Momma,

Overall, comments at the Morning Call site are down significantly. It's entirely possible, the Call is choosing not to post some opinions that come in.

Also, the recent careless comments from a Call poster that led to a judge investigating him probably drives away others who are afraid to question "Big Brother." These are scary times for liberty and freedom.

I now believe Ms. Mota's revised vote will result in the incinerator. She's been bought-off (so to speak).

To me, the City of Allentown is quickly being taken to a point of
bankruptcy. I'm glad I no longer own properties there.

Monkey Momma said...

I look forward to reading more about this issue on your blog, MM. I am very disturbed by Ms. Mota's and Ms. Eichenwald's quotes in the LehighValleyLive article. I am also disturbed about the poltical component of this project. Wednesday's council meeting ought to be interesting!

Retired ASD Teacher - You're totally right about the impending bankruptcy of Allentown. It's just a matter of time before the house of cards crumbles. With regards to online comments that LVCI mentions, at least Morganelli gave that commenter a pass this time. The judge was, by all accounts, way out of line. The comments in question were obviously threatening - I can see why the judge was concerned. But he didn't follow due process. I think anyone posting online (myself included) should realize that if the "authorities" wanted to find out who we are, they totally can. And who's to say they shouldn't in certain cases? Much like I want to see the Mota phone calls traced and identified, I want to know that commenters who threaten other people's lives online will be held criminally accountable.

RS said...

To Retired ASD teacher

Maybe the comments on the MC website are down because they're charging to use the site. I'm a home subscriber and refuse to pay to access the website after overpaying for the paper itself.

Anonymous said...

Privacy? What privacy?

I am behind a young man in a convenience store yesterday who is buying a pack of cigarettes, they scan his license into the computer.
I comment, he looks at me and says "computer chips in the arm are next."

The corporation you work for can read every email you write and listen to every phone conversation you have, at work.

Link to your work site and work from home, most large corporations have policies in place where they can scan your home computer and even your smart phone.Lin to the corporate intranet and your home becomes a legal extension of your workplace.

Ever wonder what the government and corporations know about you? They know everything medically and financially and increasingly about your spending habits and political leanings. Does it bother anyone there is no privacy anymore?

Think not? Apply for a life insurance policy and you will be amazed how much confidential information they have access to.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure no one cares. Still curious.How much has JM grant writing expertise netted our financially ailing ASD?

Anonymous said...


I know that some people object to the city of Allentown's way of going about "transforming" itself. We can debate the methodology all day and both sides are correct. Use of eminent domain for this purpose seems dastardly; The tax zone issue is very troubling; it's debatable whether enough research was done regarding the need for an arena, plus a hotel, plus more office space... on and on...

My biggest issue is found here -

...and to ignore demographics is a major mistake. Did downtown additions in Trenton, Reading and Camden make crime go away? I fully understand what is going on here - "Doing nothing has not worked", so "let's do something". And of course, while we're at it, let's do something big, dynamic, impactful.

I just think that Allentown's root problems must be attended to first, otherwise we're looking at a classic case of "ready? fire. Aim!"

Voice of Reason

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher said:

"Just a shout-out to Bethlehem's South Side..."

I'm with you. Thirty, forty years ago, the two things no one would have seen coming were the demise of steel, and the reclamation of the south side. Both things happened and as an Allentown guy, you have to be noting that cities do not need to "stay down" if they have fallen. Bethlehem proves that there is a way to reinvent. I think Allentown's trying, but... fundamentally, Bethlehem has a couple of things going for it that Allentown is lacking.