Jul 9, 2012

At The Trough


Uncle Sam has given the Lehigh Valley $3.4million dollars to study development. Our tax dollars will be spread out among the bureaucrats, and those in training, to insure that nothing tangible results from the money. Those in charge are experienced in the art of nebulous double talk. Holly Edinger, from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. said "This spending from HUD will enable the Lehigh Valley to have an unprecedented community conversation about our future." Allentown will use our share to study the now closed factory, where both Obama and Romney had press conferences. Community Development Director Sara Hailstone said "What this will allow us to do is bring jobs back to the core where people can walk to work and walk home from work and we believe that is one of the most sustainable projects we can be involved with." Actually, Sarah, in a time long before you, workers did just that, using the WPA Fountain Park Steps. Using our share to repair those steps would actually produce a return on both the money and your words. Phil Mitman said "This is really about our taxpayer money coming back to the Lehigh Valley." I suppose Phil's right, at least the money is being wasted in the valley.
Alan Jennings and Renew LV are dancing in their underpants about the HUD grant. Most of grant will fund the salaries in various such organizations to conduct public input meetings and other abstractions.
This post is a commentary on a Morning Call article by Scott Kraus.
 reprinted from November 2011
UPDATE July 9, 2012  I've known of Holly Edinger since 05, when I ran as an independent candidate in Allentown,  she  worked for the Chamber at that time. She has also since served on the Allentown School Board.   Today, she pretty much had The Morning Call to herself. Now working for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, an article featured the planned dog and pony show, as part of that organization receiving a $3.4 million dollar grant on regional planning. When the article mentioned affordable housing, I said, here comes Alan. Jennings showed up in the next paragraph. She also had the editorial space, to lip synch the regional patter. If any of this sounds familiar, it's because it is. Back in November, I first wrote about the grant. titling the above post, The Three Cities, hence the photo chosen. Here we are, eight months later, and you can go over to Steel Stacks Wednesday evening and give your opinion about the Valley's future. Will they entertain opinions about using our tax dollars for such grants? Now, there's an expensive question.
UPDATE: Although the original post from last November mentions Ms. Edinger,  as does  yesterday's update,  she is not the issue of this post; I have changed copy in the above update accordingly.  The issue is taxpayer value from such organizations, meetings and planning.  I'm sure that she is a conscientious employee of the LVEDC, performing the assigned task in a competent manner.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yea!! We need more pawn shops, dollar stores, urban clothes stores, and pizzerias! It is a shame that they tore down the life blood of this city that for the past 20 years has brought us to prosperity that we are at today!! Hold on a second!!! They did not bring prosperity?!?!? I guess by repairing FDR WPA projects from the 1930's will! Right Michael? Let us repair items that are 80 years old so that they will make us a competitive city again? The fact is that you are so out of touch. Your envision of growth and development is repairing the past. Do you realize how misinformed that sounds? But when you do truly hate everything Allentown that thought is natural to you. Is that why you moved to South Whitehall Township?

Yea!! We need more pawn shops, dollar stores, urban clothes stores, and pizzerias! It is a shame that they tore down the life blood of this city that for the past 20 years has brought us to prosperity that we are at today!! Hold on a second!!! They did not bring prosperity?!?!? I guess by repairing FDR WPA projects from the 1930's will! Right Michael? Let us repair items that are 80 years old so that they will make us a competitive city again? The fact is that you are so out of touch. Your envision of growth and development is repairing the past. Do you realize how misinformed that sounds? But when you do truly hate everything Allentown that thought is natural to you. Is that why you moved to South Whitehall Township?
How is New York Fashion doing at their new location? The word is that they are doing better than ever! The irony is that you say that you are an activist for the Hamilton St district, but the truth is that people who work there on a daily basis say that they never see you. It is sounds like you are very full of yourself. But then again you did run for Mayor… I am guessing that 3% of the vote you received made you feel entitled that you speak for the city.

P.S. There is no way in hell that Molovinsky posts this comment… Why? It is too truthful and critical about him. Molovinsky is the utter definition of censorship. This blog might as well be written from Pyongyang.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. A waste of taxpayer money. The conclusions to this process have already been drawn.

Attending this pseudo symposium is pandering to the people. Same old, same old. Nothing changes, nothing chsnges. It will be a progesterone charged folly.

The party people continue to be the cheerleaders and proverbial optimists spewing forth the deluded party drivel all the while ignoring reality.

What current gastronomical darling of his honor will provide the treats for this progesterone charged event.

michael molovinsky said...

@2:54 aka FDAA, sends such compliments on a regular basis, and often, i do not publish them. maintaining the irreplaceable stone icons in our park system, keeping our swimming pools open and keeping our metal bridges painted have nothing to do with a hockey arena or other developmental plans. we could have even built a hockey arena and keep the historical shopping area downtown, to the betterment of both. what really annoys FDAA is that i openly express the dismay of many citizens. we are told that the arena is for the whole valley, but i'm criticized for living a few blocks over allentown's border. we're told to get involved, but i'm criticized for having done poorly in an election. the displaced merchants certainly know me. those that were forced to move to 7th street, and elsewhere, are not doing as well as they were on hamilton, but that may change. Hamilton street has less shoppers all the time, because of less stores. the arena will not increase daytime foot traffic. anonymous FDAA, I suspect that you'll be at the Vision Meetingon wednesday, but this blog will proudly continue to tell it like it is.

monkey momma said...

2:54 AKA FDAA:

Where do YOU live? Are you living in Center City? I don't understand this argument that MM must live in Allentown proper to be able to write about it. Journalists routinely write about issues that are outside of their own zip code. You are holding blogging to an impossible standard. Expertise does not necessarily mean immersion.

Furthermore, and more importantly, you rip on the stores - or should I say the CANCER - that were torn down with absolutely no regard to the folks that owned and worked and shopped at these businesses. Yes, those were REAL hardworking people who had their lives completely re-arranged because the local government determined that they knew better than the market which businesses would succeed downtown. Those destroyed businesses did provide jobs and products and services that the REAL downtown consumer wanted and needed. Those businesses were run and staffed by people who put their heart and soul into the American Dream, only to have it destroyed by the local gestapo. Nevermind that the real jewels of this city are crumbling all around us.

The obvious truth is this: if an arena were destined to be successful at 7th and Hamilton, it would have been built on the private sector's dime.

By the way, "repairing the past" is known as "maintenance." It's what real city governments are known for doing. You maintain the assets you have before you build new ones. And you don't need a consultant to tell you that.

Anonymous said...

These "VISION MEETING", how many have there been in the past? Who could possiblely remember them all. Joyce Marin must have run a dozen herself. Weitzels were the biggest scams. Dozens of others. Jennings,ReNew LV,United Way,Poole Trust,and on and on.
What complete and total bullshit!

michael molovinsky said...

monkey momma, schreibers bridge, which this blog has warned about for months, is now closed in one direction. the entire south side is affected by these appalling failures of maintenance. traffic backs up on st. john street, waiting to turn left unto the 8th st. bridge. these inconveniences are what concerns allentown's reality, not a hockey arena money pit.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:45, these meetings cross the T's and dot the i's for the grants, which pay the salaries for these organizations to apply for additional grants.

Monkey momma said...

I agree, MM. I saw the news about Schreibers over on LVCI's blog this morning. I think most residents of Allentown would agree that maintaining conveniences such as bridges is the job of the government, not shady business ventures that benefit only a few well connected individuals.

Anonymous said...

A
ALLENTOWN,WHERE THE FIRST WORLD MEETS THE THIRD WORLD!

Is there a limit to infrastructure decline in this city?
No,not in the city with no limits.

Anonymous said...

And then the screaming-heads bitch and moan when things happen and then scream again "My brain is bigger than those 'planners'. I know more than a room full of people and I never got to say my 2 cents! This is just the power players messing with our lives again! Bah-Whaa!" Maybe it should be done in a cigar-smoked back room?
They are trying to chart our future. Maybe get on board and help instead of just bitching.

Anonymous said...

This is an unfair characterization of Holly. I disagree with many people on various issues, that doesn't mean I trash them in a one-sided hate-blog. I look at things differently than Holly does too, and our conversations have sometimes gotten heated. But I know she and others like her are good people trying to do their best for our area. And at the end of it, she is able to put those disagreements aside and continue to work with you with dedicated professionalism.
Its better to have a hard-working optimist in her chair than a tired curmudgeon. If it was the later, we would have no progress at all.

ironpigpen said...

Why not build a rink for $ 100.0 million dollars --- which has never been done before --- cut the ribbon, claim the credit and drop the puck?

If Big Government HAS to spent money on risky ventures such as minor league ice hockey rinks ...

... why not just build something for a lesser amount which has never been spent before --- call it a record (which it would be), cut the ribbon and pat yourself on the back already?

(maybe then someone would figure out where to get $ 160,000 to fix Fountain Pool)

"NIZ IS LAW OF LAND - WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR AHL's ASSISTED-LIVING TEAM"

www.goironpigs.com

michael molovinsky said...

@8:34, these grant compliance planning meetings have little to nothing to do with actual plans. none of the plans formulated by the vision meetings in allentown were ever used. the arena, which emcompasses allentown's treasury for the next 30 years, received no input from the public what-so-ever. those information meetings held were after the fact.

@8:53, i agree that this post could mischaracterize ms. edinger, and will make a notation as such in the post.

Anonymous said...

I could progress just fine without a record-setting $ 158.0 million dollar Palace of Sport.

I can not progress as well without a swimming pool to cool off in.

UNREPRESENTED INNER-CITY YOUTH

Anonymous said...

Holly is a very bright,capable and lovely person. Anyone who doesn't know that doesn't know Holly.

8:34 As far as getting on board and helpinging to chart the future----- these type of events have been going on for years. To call them window dressing would overstate there importance. The fools who constitute most of the Valleys political "leadership",the money players and the institutional players at the Joint Planning Commission,Airport Authority,Lehigh County Authority etc don't give a shit about what you or I or the other guy wants or thinks.
Wake up man. These events give a thin,very thin,vineer of democratic process to a completely autocratic reality.
Complete dog and piney show.... Total bullshit. TOTAL!
Don't kid yourself.

Bethlehem Native said...

The problem with bureaucracies is that when you get down to it, their primary purpose is not the ostensible one (i.e., transit, housing, road repair, etc...), but rather it's to sustain themselves and damn the cost to the taxpayers. They only restrain themselves when the public mood requires it.
Ms. Edinger's quote from Mr. Molovinsky's original post sums up government ineptitude very well: "This spending from HUD will enable the Lehigh Valley to have an unprecedented community conversation about our future."
You can have a conversation and talk about your future all you want. What really matters is to do something significant to improve that future.

Anonymous said...

8:53 -

What, in Allentown, do you you consider "progress"?

Ed Pawlowski has been leaving his mark on the city for over a decade, with seven years as mayor. All we've gotten is higher taxes, deteriorating neighborhoods, neglected parks, a diminished police and fire service, crumbling bridges, and numerous failed economic development projects. I could go on, but you get the point.

It's obvious why he needs the arena project built by 2013, his next election year. But let's be honest, even that is nothing more than a bailout from the state.

Pawlowski may have managed to keep the unions happy (with our tax dollars), but he's been nothing but a disaster for Allentown.

doug_b said...

Well I took the bait, and read what Allentown would do with their share of the money:

"What this will allow us to do is bring jobs back to the core where people can walk to work and walk home from work and we believe that is one of the most sustainable projects we can be involved with," said Sarah Hailstone, Allentown's director of community and economic development.

Wow – how absurd. This gal is trying to recreate the 19th century.

I can see her vision: People of Allentown will live in high density subsidized housing, atop of a supermarket / shoe repair / free public clinic. They will purchase their food with SNAP cards. If need be they will ride subsidized transit, to their life time job (that is next to their lifetime apartment) . Their employer’s taxes will be subsidized for locating in Allentown. However, the employer will never be able to fire anyone, due to the subsidy clauses.

This scenario reminds me of my Lionel train and plastic houses under the Christmas tree.

I think it will be a catalytic, sustainable, revitalization, participating, public, consortium, implementation of BS!

Anonymous said...

Here is how I envision the future in Allentown:
All bridges to South Allentown will be closed and one will have to drive to Bethlehem or wade across the Little Lehigh to cross the creek.

A vision for the future--- Camden on the Lehigh.

ONE BIG SORRY JOKE. I can't wait to leave.

Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting. While I have no use for LVEDC or RenewLV as they always have an agenda, the planning commission have always given the plain assessment of what's going on. It's just that nobody pays attention to that because they don't have to.

Besides any group the Donald dislikes is a friend of mine. They've got to be doing something right.

Anonymous said...

Compliments of the current administrations economic demise of allentown pa. This was all in mentoring and molding the king buy the corrupt organization that fuels allentowns political machine. Prop up the dummy and it won't even no what went on but it will think it does?

REDD

Anonymous said...

The Brooking Instution report on the Lehigh Valley was excellent. It was largely ignored. Holly and Ms Hailstone might start by reading it.
Ms Hailstones remarks are quite silly.
Two things in Hollys favor-- she bright and she has history in Allentown,as her family has.They are not carpet baggers
Ms Hailstone......
Jennings,well he is the voice of the people. Emma famously said of Jennings,"he thinks he's Allentown's own Jesus Christ".
You could look that up.

Anonymous said...

THE VISION COMMITTEE MEETS AFTER THE PLANS FOR THE NIZ AND HOCKEY RINK ARE FORMALIZED. YA GOTTA LOVE IT.