First, Jefferson Pooley's Allentown Afterthoughts nails MM for a post aimed at “brandnew comers” who “don’t even speak English,” i.e. Latinos. Although stopping short of calling Molovinsky a racist, Pooley concludes that Michael is fanning the flames with "nativist pandering." Molovinsky is a miserable bastard, almost as rotten as me, but he's certainly no racist. No one who knows him would consider him a "nativist." Geez, his family is from Transylvania.
So Pooley's jeremiad failed.
But Easton Mayor Sal Panto knocked Molovinsky out of the ring. Let me describe what has happened. MM, by his own admission, has been taking cheap shots at Hizzoner since he was elected. I suspect, but do not know, that some of this is because Panto is a Democrat.
Whatever his reason, Molovinsky has convinced himself that a new bus terminal in Easton will spell disaster for merchants along Northampton Street. Kinda' like what happened on Allentown's Hamilton Street. But what Molovinsky fails to realize is that Panto's whole focus as Mayor has been to attract more people to Easton sidewalks, even those with more limited incomes. Unlike what happened in Allentown, nobody is trying to sweep poor people under the rug.
Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski hid from Hamilton Street merchants, but Panto will speak to anyone. This is what he told Molovinsky, after noting some of the differences between what happened in Allentown and what is proposed in Easton.
"Now let's talk about how we help these few businesses -- I invite you to come to Easton and make some purchases. You see the whole mission here is to put more feet on the street. That's what our merchants need the most -- a clean and safe business district. We in Easton have a tough time ridding ourselves of this perception that there is crime in our city and our downtown. That is simply not true and with more and more people experiencing our town restaurants and shops they are now realizing that it is just a perception.
"I also invite you to talk to the people, not just me. Talk to the 310,000 visitors last year to the Crayola and Canal Museums. Talk to the 110,000 patrons of the State Theatre (who come to town at night).
"And look for the new projects this year. You will be amazed.
"The urban cores are thriving with art, culture, entertainment and tourists. They appreciate what we have. They even envy what we have. Unfortunately it is easier to sell our cities value to outsiders than to native Lehigh Valley residents.
"I will again invite you to meet face to face. You speak a lot about me on blogs but A) you have never met me; B) you have not accepted my invitations and C) you still want to keep spreading accusations and rumors when you have been given the facts."
Molovinsky mentions this on his blog, but has yet to take Mayor Panto up on his suggestion that they meet face to face. That tells me all I need to know.
Mayor Sal, if MM does eventually make an appointment, it will be after sundown. Make sure you wear a few cloves of garlic around your neck.