Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Can Allentown Make a Comeback? Tune in Thursday on WGPA 1100 AM


You've heard Billy Joel tell it like it is:

"Well we're living here in Allentown
And they're closing all the factories down
Out in Bethlehem they're killing time
Filling out forms
Standing in line ..."


Allentown is commonly regarded as the Lehigh Valley's armpit. Its homicide rate last year, 2 1/2 times the national average for cities of comparable size, is enough to make one hesitate about a little day trip. Much of its industry and downtown business is gone. And in his four years as Mayor, Mayor Roy Afflerbach seemed hopelessly unable to cope with city finances, which have turned into a nightmare.

But there are rays of hope and a new Mayor in town. Blogs like Our West End Neighborhood and Old Fairgrounds think Allentown's making a comeback, and point to things like 7th Street cleanups, the Allentown Preservation League, the Arts park, and refreshed awnings on 8th Street.

Tomorrow, my guests on WGPA 1100 AM will be Damien Brown, who operates Our West End Neighborhood. He'll be joined by none other than Allentown restaurantuer Louis T. Belletieri,whose family restaurant has been at 12th and Chew since 1958. He ran for Mayor himself and said then that the city could benefit from his business knowledge. Although Lou lost, Mayor Pawlowski drafted him to help revitalize the Lehigh Valley's largest city.

The show will run from 8 to 10 AM. Feel free to call in with comments or questions at 610-866-8074. You can livestream the show. If you can't call in, post your comments or questions here, and I'll try to get answers.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Allentown's the armpit, then you and all those liberls must be the asshole.

LVDem said...

Short answer... yes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hard to argue with that penetrating logic. You got me!

Mad batter said...

dear anonymous:
I have bet some other bloggers that you can't make a comment without using a vulgarity. Please make me a winner and prove me right. P.S. would you entertain doing a death cage match with Dem fly on the wall? I would pay good money to see that.

LVDem said...

oh my God, Mad Batter is advocating a hit on anonymous posters! He's not paying money for entertainment. He's paying is wife to end the madness.

Mad batter said...

No actually, I was thinking of using it as a fundraiser for my Buddy Chris Casey's state house campaign!

chriscaseyoflehigh said...

Hey, don't bring my name into this, Allentown used to be the heart and soul of the Lehigh Valley. Now it is the stomach, and it is having a really hard time digesting all the craziness.
Sometimes it looks like parts of Allentown have been regurgitated. Especially the alleys around Sacred Heart Hospital.
I lived just off the corner of Tilghman and Berks in the West End for over 7 years. I have always, and still do, think the 19th street theater district is a jewel to be treasured.

Mad batter said...

Hey Chris, don't be sore because I'm at the beach and you're NOT!!!
You know our favorite redhead could take any body, would you bet against her? Hey go read my blog, fathead, I got an idea from watching the news about your hometown. Think if you got your butt elected you could get funding for it?!!! LOLOLOL

chriscaseyoflehigh said...

You can post a blog comment but not answer your cellphone or an I-mail? I'm telling your wife about the dare you did at McD's in West Cape May!!!! You know what? Fogelsville is the bald spot of Lehigh Valley. Trexlertown is the groin! I'd rather be the groin!

Anonymous said...

Bernie --

I just wanted to comment on how refreshing it is to hear two guys talking positively about Allentown. We all know it needs some work, but change will not be possible without optimism, so this is a good start.

--Tom, Allentown

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom, Thanks for your remarks. I read them on the air.