Thursday, January 29, 2009

Allentown City Council Race Shaping Up - Schlossberg, O'Connell & Hershman?

I first met Mike Schlossberg about two summers ago for lunch in Hellertown. At that time, he was helping small business development there on behalf of the Greater LV Chamber of Commerce. Passionate, optimistic and energetic, he has another unusual quality for a twenty-five year old - the ability to listen. These skills are badly needed in urban centers like Allentown, where Mike announced his candidacy for city council last night at the Brew Works.

Because I'm a moron who was busy paying my phone bill, I was unable to attend Mike's official announcement. But he sent me his statement, in which he unabashedly declares, "I am a progressive. I firmly believe that the role of government should be to expand dreams, not create nightmares." He then details a pragmatic, nuts and bolts, approach to Allentown's problems. But I have a few questions.

Allentown's Crime Problem

"The biggest challenge still facing our city is crime. And let me be crystal clear here: We need more police. As an Allentown City Councilman, I will make it my mission to hire additional officers to aid in the fight against crime. I will work to ensure that our city’s fine policemen and women are given the best in technology and the most effective training. I also fully support the new Community Policing plan as an innovative way of increasing police presence. How many of us have had someone say that they are afraid of Allentown: they are afraid of shopping on 7th street, of exploring the arts on 5th or 19th or of walking down Hamilton Street or Union Boulevard? No one should be afraid of buying a home in West Park or Midway Manor. No one should fear walking in Center City or the South Side. I know we must fight this false perception, and I know that the best way to do this is to put more officers on the streets."

Mike, if this is just a "false perception," why does Allentown need more police? Either there is a crime problem or there is not. You don't hire police to fight ghosts.

City Finances

"I would be remiss if I didn’t mention city finances in light of these tough economic times. First, let me pledge that I will do everything in my power to avoid tax increases. City residents and businesses are already overtaxed, and I fully understand the stifling effect that further tax hikes will have on our community. In order to avoid this, Allentown must be more careful with its resources than ever before. I believe we can save money in a variety of ways, including working with other governments on joint purchasing agreements, expanding our grant seeking efforts and controlling energy costs. But, more than anything else, Allentown City Council must understand that we are not spending our money; we are spending the money of our fellow residents."

According to an analysis by Morning Call reporter Jarrett Renshaw, $8.1 million of the city's $14 million surplus is actually borrowed money that must be paid back. And Allentown's residents will be paying interest, too. Fiscally responsible? Just a tad deceptive?

Business Attraction/Retention

"We must also strive to continue to attract and retain business. Allentown has recruited over $400 million in new development in the past three years, including Coca Cola Park, the Butz building, and the beautiful Allentown Brew Works in which we are standing. We must continue to bring in more businesses, and if I am elected to City Council I will continue to use every available resource in the recruitment of similar projects. That being said, the city should do more to help the already existing small businesses that make up the core of our community. We need to provide them with information on marketing and promotional tools, how to properly utilize technology and what grant and loan programs are available to them. This will help these businesses to continue to succeed and thrive during these tough times."

Mike, if a business like the House of Chen, which has operated in Allentown for thirty years, calls with a problem about bus routing changes that damage their business, don't you think city officials owe this existing small business the courtesy of a return call? Would you agree that Mayor Pawlowski really dropped the ball here? His failure to respond killed a number of Hamilton Street businesses.

Open Government

"We must also continue to develop our community and provide a more open government. We need to work closely with our crime watch groups that provide invaluable information and stability to the city. If possible, I would like to see the city hire staff that worked exclusively with these groups to help them grow and prosper. We must also work to enhance our website and internet communications in order to better inform Allentown residents. We also can and should make City Council meetings available over the internet, bringing access to government into every living room in the city."

Allentown is the only LV community whose Internet communications have gone backwards. How hard is this? Doesn't this reflect a disdain for the common man, the one who can't afford to make $1,000 donations to the Pawlowski campaign?

You can read biographical information about Mike here. I hope to be able to sit down and get answers to some of these questions, as well as Mike's views on Allentown's systematic (and mandatory) inspections of low-income home owners.

Four seats are up in this year's city council election. Since three incumbents will probably seek reelection and win, this race may very well be for the one open position that has resulted from Tony Phillips' decision to run for mayor. Retired Allentown School District Administrator Ray O'Connell is also reported to have announced his candidacy yesterday. Veteran Lou Hershman, who spent 24 years as Controller and another 8 years on City Council, may also be interested in making a comeback. He's been spotted jogging the streets of Allentown at 5 AM every morning.

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

The trend of 'placing' candidates from groups like the Chamber is disconcerting. I think they should be apolotical and not be running for local office where they twist legislation to the benenfit of the few.
Also this is like Jenn Manns minnion getting on City Council, these guys are mini-Pawlowski's in training. Transplants brought in to solidify the 'new' approach tp governemnt that you bemoan O'Hare.

Kiss small businesses goodbye. Only the connected and those willing to pay chamber fees will be helped.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I don’t share your optimism. Big government means big spending. Where does the money come from? Democrats see government as the solution; Republicans see it as a necessary evil. Even those full of good intentions that see government as the solution end up making government bigger while the problems remain.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

I hope that Mike Schlossberg has the good sense to ignore you and run as far away from you as possible. You have your hatchet, ready, you and your toady Scott Armstrong have already made up your minds. It doesn't serve Mike or the constituents who live in Allentown in any way to have you twist anything he says to serve your own agenga, which is slamming anyone affiliated with Jen Mann.
Run Mike, Run, as far from O'Hare as you can.

Anonymous said...

"I know we must fight this false perception"

Bernie,
what's false about crime in Allentown? first candidate states
more police needed than he at least as i read it says it is a
false perception about crime. maybe i read this wrong i'm wrong a lot.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Please tell us who are the returning council candidates? Did that lady have her home nspection? How did it go?
Please write your thoughts about the Raub Middle School Monday morning thug invasion.

Anonymous said...

In your follow up comments, Bernie, it sounds like you are ready to drill Schlossberg for Pawlowski's shortfalls and errors. He's not Ed Pawlowski. Let him run on his own merits and not with strings of the mayor (for better or for worse).

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with acknowledging that yes, Allentown has a crime problem and it absolutely needs to be addressed, but that in the eyes of many suburban residents Allentown's crime problem is greatly exaggerated.

Just a recent example that comes to mind: I was in a discussion about the new Thai restaurant on Main Street in Bethlehem, someone remarked that it is overpriced and suggested that if you are interested in paying those prices, that the Bay Leaf on Hamilton Street would provide an excellent alternative with much higher quality food and service. People who live in Allentown or work in Allentown were generally receptive to that suggestion - people who don't spend any time in Allentown all reacted with horror at the mere thought of going to Hamilton Street in the evening hours. The crime in Allentown is a problem, it is probably the biggest obstacle Allentown faces as a city trying to revitalize and provide a good quality of life to its citizens, but there is a false perception that Allentown is a no-man's land and by even setting foot within the city you are likely to be shot. Those of use who live and/or work in the city know this to be untrue, but good luck convincing those who don't.

Anonymous said...

re: 7:50 post. I agree. Let's give this fella a chance.

Anonymous said...

I hope he doesn't sit down with you. Your line of follow up questions is down right hostile. Each question was about the administration, not about what a city councilman could do to make the community better.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"He's not Ed Pawlowski. Let him run on his own merits and not with strings of the mayor (for better or for worse)."

I agree that Mike should rise or fall pon his own merits. But I'd be remiss if I failed to note that "false perception" argument concerning crime is straight out of the Pawlowski playbook. It really drives me nutz because it is pure sophism and a way to justify ignoring a very real problem.

"I hope that Mike Schlossberg has the good sense to ignore you and run as far away from you as possible."

That's an option for Mike. I like Mike very much, and sent him a list of questions when I first became aware of his interest. They are tough. If my questions are unfair, then shame on me. If he ducks them, then shame on him. But your advice to Mike is a big part of the reason why Allentown is such a mess. Instead of frankly acknowledging real problems, heads are buried in the sand.

Anon 7:53,

I don't think you're wrong at all. I'm confused by that part of Mike's statement.

"Please tell us who are the returning council candidates? "

Aside from Phillips, the council members whose seats are up this year are Mike D'Amore, Julio Guridy & Dave Howells. I believe those council members are safe, meaning there's only one real opening.

"Did that lady have her home nspection? How did it go?"

She did, and I'd spoke to a friend of hers about it, but still have not had an opportunity to speak to her directly. I will post about it once I can speak to her myself.

"Please write your thoughts about the Raub Middle School Monday morning thug invasion."

It's why my grandson may live in Allentown, but will never go to their schools as long as we can afford to send him somewhere else.

Fly on the Wall said...

Don’t expect BO to be nice for very long! It’s his modus operandi, be nice until he finds a weakness, then he trashes!

Glenn said...

I suffer from the conditions of "Golden Throat Oratory". We have some of the finest orators in the nation, right here in Allentown. What we seem to lack is specificity. I hear of wondrous precepts and philosophical statements.

Pleeeeassse! Could we just for once have someone who is seeking a leadership role be specific, just for once? We all know the problems. It doesn't take a Einstein to explain to the little folks the problems Allentown faces!

* We all have access to the city budget online. Could anyone of these reference [line by line] the specific item within the budget and how he/she plans on cutting?

* Yeah, we need more cops. Please be specific how you intend to pay for them and make that happen.

* "I believe we can save money in a variety of ways, including working with other governments on joint purchasing agreements, expanding our grant seeking efforts and controlling energy costs." < Yeah, don't we all... How? Please be specific.

These are all ideas that not one person in Allentown would disagree with. All this fuzzy comfort talk is fine if there's something specific to back that up. Otherwise blah, blah, blah... yawn.

Anonymous said...

I like Mike S. too and I am hoping he doesn't get caught up in the politics of A-town instead of trying to find true SOLUTIONS for A-town. I also agree with ANON 8:13I have to admit, in my earlier blogging and interviews, I did believe it was only a "perception" but as time has passed, it HAS and is getting worse. Not Newark, NJ or Miami, FL bad but in comparison to what it USED to be in this area. I think the crime is exaggerated also, but only to a certain extent. It's not exaggerated to the young woman's family who was shot last year in an alley or the young man's family when he was shot on a friend's porch. It definitely is not exaggerated to the people effected by the RAUB Middle School incident. It seems like we have two sides of groups in A-town, those who see ONLY the darkest side and those who are living here with rose-colored glasses. Since I live and associate and have alot of friends in the "hood" and also deal with the leaders in City Hall and numerous organizations, I will tell you this: WE MUST FIND A MIDDLE GROUND AND STOP THE US AGAINST THEM MENTALITY, because until people feel they are included or are a part of something (like their Allentown community) crime will run rampant and people will "wild out" no matter how many policeman you put on the streets.

Alfonso Todd

Anonymous said...

Alfonso, I agree 100%... I have heard rumours and you have hinted that you may be interested in seeking a seat on the city council. I know that I personally would like to see that happen... is this the year in which you will give it a whirl?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, ask him questions on the solutions for allentown, not seeking him commentary on the administration. If you want his commentary, do a radio show. When you deal with the reality of problems on a daily basis, commentary is crap and you specialize in providing commentary, not solutions.

Anonymous said...

A suggestion for Mike:
Yesterday as ice coated cars in downtown Allentown making moving them impossible, the Allentown Parking Authority according to some center city residents ticketed the cars!!!
Maybe Mike would talk to APA director to discuss a review of
this conduct by her staff.

Bernie O'Hare said...

A "Fly on Wall" interview,

1) Wow! Are you great or what?

2) Allentown is sure lucky that you're running for office, isn't it?

3) We know some naysayers have been complaining about goofy things like systematic home inspections and pay to play politics. Aren't they silly?

4) Can you do anything about outlawing government critics? They're so damn annoying. I get headaches.

5) The Brew Works is really a super place for dinner, isn't it? Are you going to have all your campaign events here?

6) Do you think Billy Joel should be shot on sight?

7) Have you noticed Allentown is in the midst of a Renaissance?

8) Don't you think people should start genuflecting or bowing when Pawlowski walks by?

9) Hey, look at these pictures I took after a snowstorm. It covers all the litter. Isn't the city pretty? Do you seee how the parking tickets are color coordinated with ice bound cars?

10) Do you think you could get me a job working for the city?

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:19:
I like commentary. Leave Bernie alone.

atown-liker said...

If I were running for city council, hiring police and reducing crime would be my mantra. Cops, cops, cops. Crime, crime, crime. Reducing it will reduce the perception.

Joe Hilliard said...

Alfonso,

I agree with you 100%. However, when anyone asks questions or points out facts, we are labeled as "complainers", "partisans', etc. Then the Mayor doesn't answer the questions, he attacks the motives of the people who raise the issues.

We offered an alternative to the HUGE bond refinancing deal which added $75+ million in future payment obligations. (How much of that future money could go to police or community projects instead of paying debt?) 2% of spending cuts and we could get through the "debt spike" Pawlowski whined about - which was created by an earlier bond refinancing.

Republicans warned about the police contract BEFORE it was approved. They were attacked.

We warned that City Hall was depleting the water and sewer funds. We were ignored and ridiculed. Even by the local paper. More than a year later, everyone acts surprised that the funds are depleted.

If I only saw the "darkest side" I wouldn't live here. I have been trying to get those with the "rose-colored glasses" to take them off and look around. This includes politicians, community leaders (including wealthy Republicans), the media, etc. They keep them on.

We have to agree about the real situation about Allentown - crime, finances, business climate, neighborhoods, etc. - before we can have realistic policy debates.

But my biggest issue is we cannot hide deficits by borrowing money. That will only lead to far greater problems in the near future.

Keep doing what you're doing my friend.

Joe Hilliard said...

Bernie,

Are you posting a Morning Call editorial board interview?

Sure sounds like one.

Anonymous said...

huge error in your presumption here bernie. Herschman, Guridy and Howells all voted for the police pension plan that led to our police shortage. Those three men need to be held accountable for their votes. Will you join us in that effort or are you happy to support such recklessness.

Timothy Russo said...

I wish pols would stop talking about Coca Cola Park as if it is this grand money maker for Allentown.

When the golf course of choice for the Iron Pigs is Bethlehem Municipal, and not Allentown you know where the loyalties lie.

When visiting teams stay in Bethlehem and spend their money there, it is a direct insult to proclaim CC Park as a great investment for Allentown.

When the Iron Pigs themselves are seen in Starters, and not beautiful Renaissance Square, the truth comes out.

Local pols for Allentown continue to push CC Park and use it in their reelection campaigns (IE jen Mann), but in truth there are no benefits other than a nice day at the park every now and again.

If this guy is serious about bringing business into Allentown, let's stop losing industry and manufacturers to Bethlehem. Let's deal with the crime issue and recognize that community policing will not work unless we have an a police force that is fully staffed.
Let's deal with the corruption down at City Hall and find out why most of the monetary benefactors to King Edwin are Bethelehem/Center Valley residents.

These are issues City Council needs to addres, but they won't.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

Joe Hilliard, when you and Scott Armstrong and other critics complain about being called naysayers it strikes me as somewhat laughable. Its the same small group of people who keep calling critics naysayers or complainers or partisans, the rest of the world generally either agrees with you or disagrees with your overall outlook but still agrees that you make valid points. I don't think you should stop criticizing, but the whole "we get called names" complaint is getting old. There are about 12 people calling you a naysayer and 12,000 people calling Allentown a dump.

Anonymous said...

I must have falsely perceived this week's story of two animals barreling into Raub Middle School to assault a twelve-year old. Good grief. The place is more frightening every day.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Well said, LOLV! Problem is, those who represent that 12,000 are NOT getting the message.

This Mayor, this newspaper, this school administration, and this local Latino leadership is choosing not to acknowledge reality, maybe in hope the obvious problem will go away on its own.

michael molovinsky said...

lolv, perhaps i bring out the worst in people, but if i had the propensity to look up the old lvpoliblog, and if those archives still exist, you certainly were among those you called me names. actually, didn't you resign saying you didn't want to be associated with conservatives the like of hilliard?
while i'm here, no offense to michael schlossberg intended, the last thing this city needs is another grant seeking bureaucrat in training, soaked in optimism.

Anonymous said...

“and your toady Scott Armstrong have already made up your minds.”

If you’re not man enough to sign your name to this infantile insult then you are a mere coward. If I were a Democrat I’d be ashamed of your actions.


Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

ah, does anybody else have hurt feelings.

My goodness, no wonder you people are on the outs of power. You have no skin.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

MM, I'm not going to go back into the archives of the poliblog to find out if you are right, but my disagreements with you are many so I'll concede that its very possible. I'm not pro or against name calling in general, I think its immature and pointless, but that doesn't mean I don't engage in it sometimes - my point here is simply that the excuse "every time I bring up a criticism someone calls me a partisan" may be valid, but I'm just pointing out that its kind of a snoozer at this point because for everyone who calls you a partisan or negative nancy, there are 9 gazillion other people cheering you on calling the mayor "special ed" or "king edwin" and going on and on about the decline of Allentown.

You're part of a big chorus of people who (rightly) find fault with the city and the mayor - positioning yourselves as though you are the shouted down minority comes across as rather exaggerated and perhaps insincere.

Anonymous said...

another coward, another Democrat coward. Is this a pattern?

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

lolv, i don't see us as a big chorus, on the contrary, a small voice. election results for the last two cycles seem to indicate i'm right about being the small minority. with the problems this city faces, it's amazing to me that there are any liberals, it's good to be butz or fegley, but the rest of you unsubsidized cheerleaders need a reality check.
p.s. butz must be wondering too, he's no dummy

Anonymous said...

Scott Armstrong- "another coward, another Democrat coward. Is this a pattern?"

PLEASE.. Save it for the Commentator! I too remain anonymous because of your blog's numerous attacks after I posted a very reasonable post on there. That is the reason I unsubscribed months ago. I dared express a view that wasn't in lock step with McCain. Then got unfairly tap danced on just like this screaming at anyone who isn't Republican [at least what you consider one in your eyes]. Now you come on here with that same crap.

I hold nothing against you except the vicious discourses on your Commentator. This is exactly what your bringing to the table here with this post. It is because of these kind of posts that many of us prefer to remain unknown. I respect Bernie's site at many levels above that of the Commentator. So please don't use this as a platform to scream at people you perceive as Democrats [no where did they claim to be].

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'll have more to say later. For now, I'll note that Scott Armstrong's comments are welcome here. He brings intelligence and a different viewpoint from what is commonly accepted, and it scares the hell out of people. He's already been called a toady and a number of other names, just on this blog thread. He is well within his rights to respond to these ad hominems.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

About the only common thread we have is the belief that the right of speech/civic discourse is of paramount importance to good government. It is unfortunate that too many local Democrats prefer slander to a healthy exchange.

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

"huge error in your presumption here bernie. Herschman, Guridy and Howells all voted for the police pension plan that led to our police shortage. Those three men need to be held accountable for their votes. Will you join us in that effort or are you happy to support such recklessness."

I would not penalize a person based on one issue. But as it happens, I today received some information that tends to show that these council members were actually and actively misled conmcerning that pension contract. I do not want to say more until I get a few more facts, but I will post this topic soon.

Anonymous said...

"Save it for the Commentator! I too remain anonymous because of your blog's numerous attacks after I posted a very reasonable post on there."

By the way, oh boo hoo, poor baby. It must have been so traumatic to have your sentiments challenged.
Just for the sake of an intellectual exercise, imagine yourself as a Republican activist in Allentown, now play out the reverberations of that.

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

When someone criticizes his country, he is often called unpatriotic by those who have an interest in perpetuating the status quo. On a municipal level, a government critic is called a naysayer.

I've seen it on a local level as it is exercised against the likes of Scott Armstrong or Michael Molovinsky. They are called naysayers by far more than 12 people. It starts from the top, i.e. the mayor. One of his bad qualities is that he responds to criticism with virulent personal attacks. He's done it to MM. He's even done it to me.

Not only does he engage in ad hominems, but has actually forced city employees to check into some city critics. I can't go into more detail than that, but heard that information from a Pawlowski supporter who is disgusted by Pawlowski's paranoia.

People who see the mayor's behavior realize they can advance themselves by engaging in the same kind of behavior. Michael Molovinsky was regularly gang tackled whenever he commented at LVPoliblog. It was nasty and demeaning. LOLV, you should know this, because you were one of the participants, dropping snide and personal remarks at him, attempting to marginalize him. Unfortunately, so was I.

I blog about many topics and the most vicious personal attacks come when I post about Allentown. I've seen Scott brutally attacked, as well as MM. I've outed Ed DeGrace, one of Mayor Pawlowski's henchman, as one of the persons making these disgusting and sick attacks. Another outee is George Speros Maniatty, a Democratic committeeman. And so the list goes on into all of the former LVPolibloggers and some current bloggers who are hoping to ingratiate themselves with Hizzoner.

The truth is that Michael and Scott are very much in the minority, and one way to stifle their dissent is to shout them down. If the situation were as you suggest, Pawlowski's candidates would not do so well at the polls and there might even be an R in office.

I think it's part of A-town's problem, to be honest. Allenphiles do not want to hear anything even remotely critical so they marginalize and ostracize critics. Then someone breaks into Raub Middle School and terrorizes everyone and everyone is shocked.

Timothy Russo said...

I have to point out that I have engaged in many political conversations, with both parties that rarely result to 4th grade name calling.

I don't have to agree with most of what anyone says, but to insult someone takes away from true rhetoric and political discourse.

IRONPIGPEN said...

How is Coca-Cola Park a detriment to Allentown and nothing but a positive, revenue generating venture?

I understand the visiting team stays in Bethlehem. Perhaps the IronPigs drink in Bethlehem. Not all advertisers are in Allentown. The team name is LEHIGH VALLEY IRONPIGS, in case you don't look at the standings too much.

By the way, I pass through Renaissance Square quite frequently. I do not choose to drink or be seen there. It's not necessarily safe all the time. Period.

Read my blog. Tell me I don't support or know anything about Allentown whenever you like. That's what the comments are for.

How is it that when Coca-Cola Park is 10,000 full, somehow, someway this is not productive for the city of Allentown? The 10,000 all wait until the get outside city limits to put gas in their car?

They wait until they are far enough away in Bethlehem or where ever to eat at a restaurant?

I met people at Coca-Cola Park from as far away as New York City, Poconos, Reading area, Phiadelphia area (of freaking course, its their minor league team) ALL THE TIME.

When people spend money at Coca-Cola Park, they tell general manager Kurt Landes, "Only pay the people who work here who live outside the city of Allentown."?

Read about the guy from Northeast at my blog. Figure out how much dough he probably dropped in the community. I could do tons of those stories. I went to many, many, many ballgames.

So did other people apparently. IRONPIGS FINISHED 2ND IN AVERAGE CAPACITY ATTENDANCE at 8,479 per game for 71 official home dates. I would hardly call that once in a while for a couple people. Actually, 602,033 people officially saw the IronPigs this season. Amazing none of them spent any money outside of Coca-Cola Park but inside the city limits. None - of course that's ridiculous.

Make no mistake, I have no love for Pawlowski. Or Democrats these days. I've seen what's in the latest Bailout. Shameful, wasteful, spend spend spend. You would only be fooling yourself to think otherwise. (Hooray to 11 Dems who voted no!)

I would be very interested to hear how Coca-Cola Park is nothing but a positive, revenue-generating venture for the city of Allentown.

I will admit I like sports and therefore could potentially be biased. Perhaps I need further education.

Anonymous said...

No question this is another Chamber-BrewWorks-Pawlowski plant. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, oh boo hoo, poor baby. It must have been so traumatic to have your sentiments challenged....

Scott Armstrong"

Thanks.. my point exactly. I express myself and this exactly how you are.

"poor poor baby" is not a point of view but bashing and demeaning. And you expect people to come to your way of thinking!

My last response on this matter.

Timothy Russo said...

So Easton and Emmaus benefit from CC Park? How about Phillipsburg? Bath, Bangor, Slatington, etc?

All those cities are part of the Lehigh Valley so I am curious as to how they benefit from the park?

Using CC Park as a talking point for any LV Pol is deceptive, especially if they had nothing to do with it. The park itself is great. I enjoy sports as much, if not more, than the next guy. But it is not a benefit for the LEHIGH VALLEY as a whole.

Anonymous said...

bernie, we're good friends. You know my sentiments about local gov't in general and we've talked about it in the past. You know my concerns about Allentown. Frankly, I'm one of the people who got cut down by armstrong on several postings and by others at commentator. I've never once, in any forum, met the man. he knows absolutely nothing about me. Any time I've tried to reach out to him in forums, he resists. To pretend, even for a moment, that he hasn't done his fair share of hatchet jobs is just insincere. To act as if he is part of a minority that hasn't done the same thing that King Ed has done is ignoring what he has done.

You've mentioned me by name on a few occasions as somebody in Allentown doing good work. I understand politics. I know it's rough and tumble. it's why I don't do it any more. Good people can disagree as we did a few weeks ago on the phone. But disagreement doesn't warrant the crap that happens on BOTH sides of the political spectrum in allentown. When we finished our argument, we agreed to disagree, recognized that we both care about the city and we said good bye, and meant it... it was a conversation amongst friends. Please, for the sake of honestly, stop pretending that one political party is more guilty than the other. The truth is that one political party is better at it than the other and BOTH are guilty of seeking to win elections... nothing more, nothing less. I'm not a political party committee member. I've never contributed to King Ed. Still, b/c I've decided to work with city gov't, have some success and build some relationships, I've been cut apart by one side of the political spectrum. I'll work with anybody to better allentown. but I won't work with people who find it appropriate to cut apart other people who volunteer their time.

they lost my sympathy for their political standing a while ago. they want my vote and my attention, they have to earn it. I may not vote for the mayor, but until i see a reason to support the other side, I'm not voting in that particular election. Mike has my vote b/c I know him and respect him like a brother.

Volvo Driving Soccer Mom said...

And so the list goes on into all of the former LVPolibloggers and some current bloggers who are hoping to ingratiate themselves with Hizzoner. - Bernie O'Hare

Well, well, aren't we using the great broad paint brush tonight!

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Someone who bothered to publicly protest an action of the mayor called me to complain that his property was vandalized the same night. I told him that it was par for the course and he should expect more if he was going to continue to speak out. He now lives in Upper Macungie. One of the last times I attended a city council meeting Ed Degrace really got in my face, I was supposed to be intimidated. At the same meeting city union workers who filled many of the chambers seats directed crude homophobic remarks towards Mike Molovinski as he attempted to address the dais. It was a pathetic display of brute force. Be proud of what you have created Allentown Democrats.


Scott Armstrong

Volvo Driving Soccer Mom said...

Hi Bernie! remember me?!

Nice tactics!

Attack those people who aren't even commenting on the thread.

Looks like you can't help yourself. You start losing the argument on your own blog, start crying your "Ad hominem" chant, and now one of your henchmen, Scott Armstrong is crying in his beer.

And you call Villa a "Tool"

Why don't you stick to Northampton County?

Oh wait, I forgot, Dertinger and mcClure might kick your rear, so now you are over here looking for a fight you can win.

That's what bullies do. Go pick on the kids they think they can beat up. Just like you, kicking Sam Bennett.

One of these days you will run against someone who will put you in your place. I hope I have a front row seat.

In the meantime, I hear there's a lunatic in Orefield who wants to have a beer with you. Go drop by, I'm sure you are man emough to handle him.

Anonymous said...

"bernie, we're good friends. You know my sentiments about local gov't in general and we've talked about it in the past. You know my concerns about Allentown. Frankly, I'm one of the people who got cut down by armstrong on several postings and by others at commentator."

Jeff Pooley? If this is your complaint then please post our exchange right here for everyone to see.

Scott Armstrong

IRONPIGPEN said...

Well, for starters, if anybody from Easton or Emmaus or where ever in the Lehigh Valley go to a game and have a good time, they just enhanced the quality of their life, didn't they? I could stop right there but why, there's much to discuss:

The company I work for did business with the IronPigs. We are small (three people). Two guys don't like baseball, have never been, etc. They live in Orefield. Company made money though, guys got paid. We could very well get work this season as well. Plenty of money business-wise associated with Coca-Cola Park is spread around the Lehigh Valley, I am quite certain.

Everyone guy at that construction site working to put the place up lived in Allentown? Construction is done. Point is same. All IronPigs employees and people who make money as a result of the IronPigs, etc. do not live exclusively in Allentown I am quite certain. Actually, I know for a fact.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the major sponsor, is located where? Where do the people who work there live? Where do they spend their paychecks?

Air Products is located where? Where do the...

Let's talk about the lease. Currently, it's a wash. County put up dough, IronPigs pay it back. I understand some people are pissed. One day, the IronPigs rent will not go towards paying back a loan, the IronPigs rent will go into the County of Lehigh's (stadium owner) pocket. That will be what's called profit.

Last I checked, Lehigh County is a part of Lehigh Valley.

I still fail to see how Coca-Cola Park does not benefit everyone in Lehigh Valley economically. It is true, not ALL people will gas up their car or eat inside Allentown. They never stop in Emmaus for some pizza or gas or beer or something?

Timothy Russo said...

http://www.wfmz.com/view/?id=294046


The land is tax free. So now taxes for Allentown.

Quality of life is currency now? Great, there is no economic crisis my world.

I know people who worked for the Pigs and it is barely enough for a family of four to survive.

You talk about the families not living in Allentown. You are correct because the families in downtown Allentown cannot afford, nor get to the games.

There are numerous economic studies that prove a major leage sports stadium does not provide economic strenth for a community. They might spend AT the park, but not AROUND the park. Combined with 6.1% unemployment in the Lehigh Valley and you still fail to show how the park effects the economic revenue of Allentown.

My initial argument is that Allentown basically gains nothing from CC Park. I have yet to stand corrected.

IRONPIGPEN said...

By the way, I support Coca-Cola Park. Not necessarily any and all positions taken by any politician, local or otherwise.

If Bath, Slatington, etc. pay county taxes I imagine they will get theoretical share of profits some day.

For now, trickle down economics will have to do in some places and a big improvement in quality of life will have to tide people over.

Perhaps the public would notice the lack of advertising at the IRONPIGPEN. My brother puts up cash, I put up time. We believe in the city and, in turn, the Valley. Truth is, he believes more than me.

If we ever make even five bucks and then go out and celebrate with a beer in a Lehigh Valley tavern, the Valley will have profited economically, as we have. When we pay taxes...

If only one person ever comes to anywhere in the Lehigh Valley and spends one dollar anywhere, that is one more dollar that came to the Lehigh Valley that would have otherwise and therefore benefits the whole Valley, no matter where the dollar was actually spent. That's why we have taxes (Hopefully not too many!).

Coca-Cola Park is an economic benefit to all the Lehigh Valley, if only because there was nothing before they arrived. One is bigger than zero. Right now, my brother and I make zero. We expect that to continue for quite some time.

Go IronPigs!

P.S. What town do YOU live in. If we ever have that beer, we'll do it in the bar or other establishment of your choice, provided it is in the 'Lehigh Valley'! We would be happy to have you join us! We'd be happy to write an article about interacting with the local community and we'd be happy to plug the establishment we visit in that article. We'll make you fan of the week and mention where you work if you wish.

Anonymous said...

Although I do not know Mike S., I agree with everything Alfonso Todd said in his 10:06 AM post.

This is one of the sanest posts about my home town I have read in some time.

Bill

Timothy Russo said...

Allentown. Grade school in Allentown. High school in the heart of Allentown. College is still in the Lehigh Valley. and I helped run a campaign this year IN Allentown this year and am trying to get involved in LV Politics.


I've played sports in allentown. And worked for a family run grocery store that couldn't afford to exist in Allentown any longer. I've seen plaenty of good, and I've seen plenty of bad.

I was in Hess's when it shut down. I have seen the deterioration of the Allentown Rec Leagues. I have played and coached in CYO. I have seen plenty of cars being broken into at my High School's parking lot.

I have seen and heard the threat of two hockey stadiums into an area that does not a hockey stadium. I watch Parkland build a school where my high school should have gone.

I could keep going, but I don't need to defend myself.

IRONPIGPEN said...

The cheapest ticket for Coca-Cola Park is six dollars.

To show you what a ludicrous statement that downtown people cannot afford to go games - contact me.

Find out how much I make. Then give me a lecture on being poor. After you get done laughing, of course. Find out I have no car and WALK to the games. Talk to me about what is and isn't possible. How many times have you been down Front Street after extra innings?

Then listen up, if you wish:

I will also PUBLICALLY HERE AND NOW, SPONSOR ONE ALLENTOWN CITY KID PER WEEK OF YOUR CHOOSING ONE SIX-DOLLAR TICKET and A TICKET FOR THAT KID'S CHAPARON FOR A GAME OF MY CHOOSING EACH AND EVERY WEEK. THE IRONPIGPEN BLOG WILL, OF COURSE, PICK-UP THE TAB FOR THE TWO TICKETS.

ONE CITY KID, TWO TICKETS - EACH WEEK 2009 SEASON AT COCA-COLA PARK FROM THE IRONPIGPEN FOR WHOEVER YOU LIKE.

lvironpigs.wordpress.com

Leave a comment on an article (that immediately gives me your email). Or rolf@goironpigs.com

I think my brother and I will call it the HERITAGE PROGRAM. Of course, we are open to suggestions.

Okay, ball's in your court. Get a hold of us. Our offer is legitimate and sincere...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Volvo Driving Soccer Mom, aka PO Naked Blogger.

"aren't we using the great broad paint brush tonight!"

Not at all. You are one of trhe LVPolibloggers who regularly dumped on Michael Molovinsky with the needless and baseless personal attacks. Now, one of your new targets is Scott Armstrong. I regularly have to delete your comments concerning him because you just go off on a personal rant. You are the one who ends up looking like an idiot, as you often did in your comments and posts as PO Naked Blogger.

"Attack those people who aren't even commenting on the thread."

I've done no such thing. After listening to LOLV try to minimize the personal attacks that come from people like you, I decided to point out that it happens with some regularity, and it is most often directed at anyone who criticizes A-town. You are part of the anonymous crew who gang tackled MM, and now you are part of the crew that gang tackles and takes personal shots at Scott Armstrong instead of arguing with him on the merits. When the facts are against you, you abuse your opponents.

"And you call Villa a 'Tool'"

Hate to break it to you, but I've never called Villa that name. I've read Villa claim that I call him that name, but he claims a lot of things. What he claims and the actual truth are very far apart, as you must know. Not that something like the truth matters to you. You outrageously claimed that I was stalking you and your sister-in-law, a baseless and false charge.

"Why don't you stick to Northampton County?"

This blog is called Lehigh Valley Ramblings, not Northampton County ramblings. I will write about a situation in A-town that should be addressed. Knowing how much it annoys you is all the incentive I need to continue.

"That's what bullies do. Go pick on the kids they think they can beat up."

I see you as part of a group that kicks people like Molovinsky or Armstrong whenever it suits your fancy. You do it anonymously. And you're personal. You also run interference for the real bully, who collects $200k over 3 years and then rewards his contributors with jobs and contracts. It's so much easier to be on that side, isn't it?

You must think blogs exist to promote the agenda of whomever is in office. I think blogs exist to poke at those who those who pretend they are models of saintliness but are venal, be they mayors or state representatives or judges or party bosses or the msm or even other bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Iron Pig Pen said "How is Coca-Cola Park a detriment to Allentown and nothing but a positive, revenue generating venture?"

What bothers me is that this is a much touted Lehigh County project and the team stays in a Hotel over the Northampton County line. I find this troubling. Most economic studies show very little economic gain from such a huge PUBLIC TAX investment in a Stadium. At least we should have the team stay in our county. Lehigh county is getting the short end of this stick on this one.

Bill

IRONPIGPEN said...

BTW- speaking of city children and opportunities.

If you happen to know of children in the city who wish to pursue sports journalism with respect to the IronPigs, we are not afraid to provide opportunities and real-life experiences with our project.

Specifically, we can envision trading a city student a ticket for a game report somewhere down the line.

Not as exciting as arms for hostages but hey...a lot less trouble in the press.

We have the domain name goironpigs.com and we intend to grow it.

For now, we can be reached at lvironpigs.wordpress.com

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon Friend (8:25),

I would be wrong to suggest that the personal attacks are one-sided, and you are correct to admonish me. We all fall victim to the temptation to take a cheap, personal shot at someone with whom we are arguing over an issue important to us. I'm sure Scott has done it, as have I.

What bothers me is the sheer number of personal attacks that are thrown at Scott or MM, especially when it involves A-town. I suppose that if the Rs were entrenched in power, it might very well be the other way around.

My point is that we really need to try to listen to each other. Scott is a voice that needs to be heard. So is MM. So are you. When we resort to the name-calling and baseless personal attacks that some employ, we diminish ourselves and this medium.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Scott, the anon friend is not Jeff Pooley.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I never cry in my beer. I always decant into a pilsner glass, this vessel does not accommodate tears but only quality German brews.
Perhaps we would all be friends if we confined our discussion to this delicious subject.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

None the less, he must be destroyed.

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

IronPigPen,

What a great offer! I'll tell you nothing is more fun than taking a kid to a ball game. I think we can work on something like that. You, Tim and I should get together and talk.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Scott,

My friend is Lucifer. He can't be destroyed.

Anonymous said...

Bill,

Regarding the Ironpigs staying in Bethlehem, it's actually the visiting teams. Ironpig players have to find their own housing.

If I remember correctly the Ironpigs bid out the hotel contract for the visiting teams, and Hotel Bethlehem won the bid. The hotel in downtown Allentown bid as well but they lost. And honestly, if you had a choice where would you want to stay - downtown Bethlehem or downtown Allentown? Unfortunately that's a pretty easy decision.

I agree w/ your premise that Lehigh County got the short end of the stick, but it's because Northampton County had more to offer in this matter.

The Banker

IRONPIGPEN said...

Bill -

I'm not in love with the current hotel deal, but I would imagine the current deal can't last forever. Seriously, how long is the current deal?

I agree someone inside Lehigh County should be standing there with a good proposal two seconds after the Bethlehem one expires. Anyone on Ninth Street paying attention to what I just said?

My brother did flip when he heard about the lease deal.

A big part of my argument is you have to START SOMEWHERE and GROW from there.

Name another business that is dying to come to Lehigh Valley besides something in health care?

How will everyone feel when the existing lease for Coca-Cola Park is done, the loan is paid back, and a new lease in excess of one million dollars is now profit for Lehigh County? I realize that day is not tomorrow but it will come...

By the way, what do you think is going to happen to the Yankees and Phillies either sooner or later with their ticket prices? Where will people come to spend their entertainment dollar? Minor League Baseball? Has anyone seen the numbers the past five seasons? People will always have the need to occupy their time. They might choose to do it cheaper...

I still have to believe Coca-Cola Park and the IronPigs are good for the economy. Especially when I think about nothing sitting there.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I'll paraphrase Ronald Reagan - "There are no Democrats or Republicans after 5pm." Then I'll add to it - we should get together and hoist a few.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Iron Pig Pen -

I am not dissing base ball, and thought that bringing a team to the area was a good idea. I was really put off by the hotel deal, and wonder how in the world our Lehigh County officials allowed it to happen.

I wish the team and the stadium well.

An Exorcist said...

Bernie,

Regarding your comment at 9:58 PM, I think we need to talk about who your friends are. Maybe you need some new friends, eh? Nice guys might finish last, but there is a place up front in a better venue...

Peace be with you, ~~Alex

IRONPIGPEN said...

Anon 10:08

Yeah, I told Bill. I don't like that either. At all, truth be told.

I believe The Banker would have good insight as to how it all went down. I don't think reality can be ignored.

I personally believe Bethlehem outhustled Allentown. They obviously put in the winning bid. Allentown got to bid so I have to assume if fair was fair Behtlehem just flat out won.

Barry Nagle, my high school coach, would have told me something like, shake the guy's hand (Bethlehem) then get to practice tomorrow and work on beating him in the next game later in the season.

So it's up to Allentown to forget about yesterday's game and focus on tomorrow's with the hotel deal.

Anonymous said...

Ironpigpen, you're right on all counts. It was a fair bid and Hotel Bethlehem won. I don't remember how long the current deal lasts, but Allentown should listen to Barry Nagle and try harder next time.

The Banker

An Exorcist said...

Picture of The Buddy Jesus.

I stand corrected.

Two points for Bernie.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was about another Pawlowski pawn running for office. By the way Bernnie he fully supported the LANTA service cuts on Hamilton Street.

Anonymous said...

Bernie-

Ii hate to rain on your "WE are victims of King Ed's Oppression" support group blog, but...

After reading all the comments, it really looks that way.
After reading your point by point, two hour composition in rebuttal to the Soccer Mom, I drew this conclusion:

She nailed you!

And you don't like it when a woman puts you in your place.

If it didn't have any merit, you would have ignored her, but you felt you had a position to defend, and she needed to be attacked.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 6:10, aka Villa,

Volvo Driving Soccer Mom, aka PO Naked Blogger "nailed" only herself with her typically personal rants. For every comment I let stand, I have to delete three from her.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" By the way Bernnie he fully supported the LANTA service cuts on Hamilton Street."

I'll ask Mike. He's agreed to sit down with me.

michael molovinsky said...

Bernie, in a way it's too late to ask anybody about their position on the lanta changes. it's easy now to say those changes were insensitive to the merchants and detrimental to business on hamilton street. however, if you didn't speak up at the time, it's just political expediency to do so now. considering michael works for the chamber of commerce, which watched the small merchants being sacrificed for the establishment, you can ask the question, but i won't listen to the answer

Anonymous said...

Some of these comments have a hidden meaning and I think I know what is going on. Mike is getting some of the same flack that Scott gets even though they are on different sides of the political fence.
This is about sexual orientation and people are doing some of this because they are homophobic. These guys should be judged on their actions and words, not whether they are gay or straight.
After a while it gets old.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:13,

You imply that Schlossberg and Armstrong are both gay. While I respect that lifestyle, it's important to be accurate. Michael Schlossberg is engaged and one of the people he thanked was his fiancee. Scott Armstrong is married. Neither is gay.

In my last post about Schlossberg, several comments were posted to imply or suggest that Schlossberg is gay. Although he supports gay marriage, he himself is a heterosexual.

I'll close by noting that someone's sexual orientation is irrelevant and will delete comments that attempt to explore anyone's personal lifestyle unless it is directly related to fitness for office.

Anonymous said...

Another Mann puppet to help her build her empire so she can get more and more for herself (free SUV, dinners, trips, etc.).

And Scott Armstrong is a toady (at times, a good thing).
Toady:
–noun 1. an obsequious flatterer; sycophant.
–verb (used with object) 2. to be the toady to.
–verb (used without object) 3. to be a toady.

Anonymous said...

Ironpig:

I think the imbalance of the 'deal' for Lehigh County is a direct result of electing a former Mayor of Bethlehem Executive of Lehigh County. Do you think if CC Park was in Northampton County that those elected officials would have stood by and blessed the idea that economic benefits would go to the neighboring community?

How much exactly did Bethlehem/NC invest in the Ironpigs? How much were the tax benefits Lehigh County extended worth? These are not trick questions: I simply do not know. The process should have included a return on investment appropos to the investments made.

You can say it was all a result of a competitive bidding process, but we all know those things can be rigged. On an 'appearance' level, it smells.

I've got nothing against CC park. It is an asset.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Why do many of the comments here have an "I vs.you" mentality. Like it or not, our Lehigh Valley is made up of 3 contiguous cities, and many smaller communities. Taken together, this community is significant in size. But,. . .

We don't act as ONE.

We reject what's good for Bethlehem, because it doesn't include Allentown, Easton, etc. Don't you folks realize the three cities CAN'T be separated if our Lehigh Valley is to prosper?

The whole IronPigs thing is a wonderful addition to the ENTIRE community. It should never be seen as an Allentown thing, a Bethlehem thing, an Easton thing.

The choice of Hotel Bethlehem as host to visiting teams WAS THE RIGHT CHOICE! At the present time, downtown Bethlehem is FAR more welcoming to guests than downtown Allentown and Easton. So. . . Allentown and Easton, GET TO WORK!

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

P.S. -

Ray O'Connell as Allentown city councilman would be one of the BEST things to happen to that city!

Ray is a "no nonsense" guy who will tell it like it is, without fear. He is highly capable of making things happen without care for what is politically correct.

Ray is a PROVEN leader who has faced tough problems, ACKNOWLEDGED them (unlike Pawlowski) and met those problems straight up.

What more would Allentown citizens want?

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON!!! I totally am diggin' the RETIRED ASD Teacher's thought process,

Alfonso Todd

Bernie O'Hare said...

Alfonso, I had dinner w/ Retired ASD and I owe him and his wife a measl at Rios in Nazareth. He also knows Allentown inside out.

Volvo Driving Soccer Mom said...

O'hare, you are such a liar. I rarely comment, and when I do, I use my nom de plume, so you know it's me. You aren't removing my comments, you can't remove what I haven't made.
And I appreciate your quiet slam of Schlossberg, the "He's not Gay" wink. No he isn't gay, but by the way you approached it, you left it hanging.
The invitation for you and Armstrong to walk in my office is still open, but you are both to cowardly to do it. I'm sure the blog world would love to see pictures of two so called men running away in terror from little ol me.

Squirrel said...

On topic!

Have seen the kid in action. Not overly impressed.

Too young. Too inexperienced.

Reminds me too much of a budding career politican.

Gawd - how awful - another one.

oh, for pete's sake said...

"The invitation for you and Armstrong to walk in my office is still open, but you are both to cowardly to do it. I'm sure the blog world would love to see pictures of two so called men running away in terror from little ol me."--Volvo Driving Soccer Mom (8:00 pm)

Wow. Was that an invitation or not-so-veiled threat? Even more threatening were your earlier comments (8:42 pm):

"One of these days you will run against someone who will put you in your place. I hope I have a front row seat.

In the meantime, I hear there's a lunatic in Orefield who wants to have a beer with you. Go drop by, I'm sure you are man emough [sic] to handle him."


This statement came on the heels of your very own definition of a bully:

"...so now you are over here looking for a fight you can win.

That's what bullies do. Go pick on the kids they think they can beat up. Just like you, kicking Sam Bennett."


By your own definition, you appear to be a bully--with understood threats of public humiliation, and possibly even bodily harm caused by some person in Orefield. If you support Mr. Schlossberg and Ms. Bennett, why cast them in such a bad light by associating them with these sorts of statements? You are hurting them (and they, as far as we can tell, are innocent of having any personal involvement in the comments section of this thread, let alone involvement with any statements that may be construed as threatening), not Mr. O'Hare.

And finally, if you did indeed once accuse Mr. O'Hare of stalking you, why invite him to your place of business now? Wouldn't a restraining order be more sensible, or simply more logical?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Pete,

Logic is not her strong suit. I have no idea who she is, but I'm supposed to visit her office. I'm supposed to visit her office, yet I stalk her and her sister-in-law. I condemn an attempt to incite some homophobic fear of Schlossberg, and I'm trying to paint him as gay. I am trying to plaster Scghlossberg, yet this is the second post I've written specifically about him.

I hate to say this, but I think she's nutz.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she could tell us where her office is so we could avoid it.


Scott Armstrong

Justin B said...

I am 23 and I am considering running for city council next term. I am not a progressive, I am not a Democrat, and I am not a Republican. I am a citizen, that beleives the government should fear the people, and that all government, be it on a national scale, or in a single city, should be of the people, for the people, by the people. I do not believe it is right to tax one person and give to another. I know this city needs to get back on the right track, the easiest way to do this is to make common sense decisions and use what we have, not to take what we want from our citizens. Lets face it, we elect these officials and all they do is take more of our money, and do things that don't need to be done. Coca-cola stadium anyone? Yea, it is nice to have a baseball team. But tell me why the family that has a low income, and will never go to a game, why did their tax payer money pay for it? My personal e-mail address is justin@electekinc.com. I am putting this out as a feeler to see if I will stand a chance. If you have a question or want to know how I would respond to a question, feel free to ask. When the time comes, I hope you will trust me and trust that with someone that is just a regular person we could change things for the better. Also, give my e-mail address to anyone that wants to ask a question, or anyone interested in local politics. I know I will need all the local help I can get. All is appreciated.