About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Lehigh Valley Blogosphere Continues to Expand

The blogosphere is defined in the Devil's Dictionary as a "poisonous environment of methane, self-satisfaction and other hot gases," where it is said the only creatures who survive are "low-order molds, able to feed off the waste of others.” And a blogger is "anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives."

Is it me, or is that a shot?

Well, I'm taking my fellow narcissists on a tour de blog here in the Lehigh Valley. Here are some of the latest trends.

1. State Legislation Coverage, Lehigh Valley Style.

Blue Coyote has really found a useful niche posting legislative proposals from Lehigh Valley state reps and senators. He clues us in on items that might not hit the mainstream but are nonetheless interesting. The latest example is Rich Grucela's link-to-learn idea for kids in private schools.

2. Christmas City Rising.

Bethlehem has two newly-discovered blogs. AJ's Web Blog offers the perspective of a 24 year-old dude. He shares my concern that our society is still too divided. Down and Out in Bethlehem, the product of BethlehemDem, is a welcome spotlight on Bethlehem city hall. In one of his first posts, BethlehemDem tells us there are actually two Democratic parties in Bethlehem - the Callahan and Schweder factions.

3. Placeblogs Rising.

Anyone who reads NewsOverCoffee (Nazareth) or Our West End Neighborhood (Allentown), knows the value of a placeblog. It's a place to spotlight topics specific to a particular community. The print media must appeal to a much larger community, so placeblogs fill an important niche.

The Morning Call is attempting to fill this niche with an Allentown-specific blog called the Queen City Daily. It has cast a glaring spotlight on Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski's most recent campaign finance report. The Express Times also has a few community blogs, including Jim Deegan's Around Town (Easton) and Nick Falsone's Bedlam in Bethlehem.

Queen City Daily is the most informative mainstream placeblog, while Jim Deegan's Around Town is by far the most entertaining. Look at his headline about old Fleck campaign signs - You won't Fleckin' believe this ...

4. The Voice of Women Rising.

Early this year, prominent blogger Kathy Sierra was forced to cancel a public appearance and suspend her blog. She was, in fact, locked inside her home. She had been the victim of all kinds of verbal use, including death threats. When she finally spoke out, she had this to say.

If you want to do something about it, do not tolerate the kind of abuse that includes threats or even suggestions of violence (especially sexual violence). Do not put these people on a pedestal. Do not let them get away with calling this "social commentary", "protected speech", or simply "criticism."

Unfortunately, some women in the LV blogosphere have already been subjected to exactly that kind of treatment by Bernie Kieklack, chief of staff to state senator Lisa Boscola. He's even given the same stupid defenses.

In spite of, or perhaps because of, this abuse, there has been a refreshing outburst of female bloggers with their perspective. Pam Varkony's Perspectives is a must read. Look Out Lehigh Valley, Aphrodite's Daughter and UpperMacQueen have their own blogs, but all of them post frequently at LVPoliblog. I'd offer them mine, but I get too many libel threats. They have mounted a campaign to force both Boscola and Kieklak to apologize personally for Kieklak's sexist rants.

And fortunately, even more women are speaking out. Lehigh Valley Housewife, Dottie, RadCenter and others have proven to be a forceful and much appreciated voices, and I hope they start their own blogs, too.


Blue Coyote said...

Thanks for the plug, Bernie! Although I am a blue dog democrat, I should be more balanced in reporting R's initiatives. That way, we can see what all Harrisburg and Easton pols are doing. There are some moderate R's out there and I would like to see our common ground.

One drawback on my site, is no commentary. There are two reasons. One, I hate blogjacking. Two, I am not very good at answering people with an unbiased opinion. I would rather have people walk away with their own opinions without attacking one another. You on the other hand are gracious enough to say when you are wrong.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, thanks for mentioning the mcall queen city. an article there on city councils june 20 meeting describes the heated discussion on possible email violations at city hall and should illustrate to any fair minded person the disservice done to me by chris casey with this headline article accusing me of baseless accusations of crap. He further wrongfully insinuated that perhaps the city council incident resulted from my comment on his blog. the posting by the reporter who covered the meeting shows how weak the email policy is, and how absurd casey calling the mayors office was, and how twisted his comments against me were. its interesting how people with agenda's can twist the truth, take for instance this comment on the queen city site" am surprised that councilman Tony Phillips would make such a sexist remark about Betsy Levin resigning because of "too much testosterone in the room." I think the women who voted for him deserve an explanation.

Posted By: Angie | Jun 26, 2007 8:00:31 PM"
angie is not concerned that perhaps the mayor lost his only top female cabinet member because her privacy was violated(casey ,note, i say perhaps and not by whom). anyway bernie, you guys were awful quick to blast me.......

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, I looked at Casey's post again. He reports your claim that "the worst kept secret at city hall is the huge blowout about Pawlowski intercepting and reading her emails." He then reports that he spoke w/ Fran Dougherty, who denied that Pawlowski had done any such thing. He also confirmed, from another source, that any email intercept would require the solicitor's approval.

After reporting his findings, he concludes that you're full of shit. You're entitled to spread rumors you won't substantiate. Casey is entitled to say you're full of shit.

It amazes me that you can't even identify one source for such a "huge blowout."

Remember, this is not the Bobby Gunther WSalsh show. If people disagree with you or think you're wrong, expect to be challenged.

The comment you mention just proves to me that city council is willing to do what Casey did, check out the rumor.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, you just don't get it. first of all, the city council inquiry indicates i was correct, there was a wide spread rumor about this. asking fran dougherty or ed pawlowski is absurd, they "may" be the guilty parties. Casey then citing IT was absurd. they admitted to council up to four people have access and that the policy is vague. you know there is a tradition of government workers keeping silent, its unreasonable to expect confirmation from betsy levin, even Jennifer boger won't confirm 6 years later. city council said the same thing i did, they just used the word rumor instead of secret. if i was a liberal dem my posting would have been considered a scoop. casey didn't write addicted was liar about mendleson, although he never had contract with allentown. finally bernie, stop this waeb stuff, i'm not the director of the show, they just occasionally read and post some of my emails.

Bernie O'Hare said...


The point I'm making is you must defend your views here. At WAEB, you're preachinng to the choir.

I saw those minutes and nothing in them substantiates what you say. There is no report about a "huge blowout" over the mayor intercepting and reading email.

I don't have a problem with you reporting a rumor as long as you ID it as such, and you did. I also have no problem w/ Casey claiming he checked with the mayor's office and one other source and was unable to substantiate your claim.

On one hand, we have unsubstantiated allegations. On the other, we have denials from the accused. Since Mr. Dougherty was willing to go on record, I tend to believe his version. That doesn't mean you're wrong. It means the other version has more credibility.

I don't really care about political affiliation on a local level. There are bastards from both parties who don't belong in office.

It disturbs me that so many people are leaving Pawlowski's office. I have not made up my mind about him.

But I'm not willing to jump on your bandwagonm, on the basis of unsubstantiated rumor, and accuse him of invading someone's privacy without a little more substance. And Casey did the right thing by trying to check it out.

Now the topic of this post is how some of the new blogs are affecting the local blogosphere.

If you want to carry on about Casey or Pawlowski or the liberal conspiracy, send me an email and I'll be happy to post it separately. But I'd appreciate it if you could try to stick to the topic and not make this about you.

LVDem said...

Looks like you got a new Billy here Bernie! Hey, what ever happened to him?

Chris Casey said...

Gee, you would think that Mike would appreciate that when you "announced " his blog, he got a whole post to himself!
Aphrodite's daughter made a good point the other day about the issues not being R VS. D, but right versus wrong, with no affiliation. I'm glad the conversation is speading, and in so many divergent paths!

michael molovinsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blah Society said...


Thanks for the plug. Knowing so many local blogs exist encourages me to blog more about local issues.