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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stoffa Breaks Pawlowski's Heart

You'll never read too much about LVEDC meetings because most of them are at ungodly hours like 7 AM. Yesterday, with their lease at a Hanover Township Bethlehem office complex ready to expire, they discussed moving to somewhere in center-city Allentown.

Northampton County Exec John Stoffa knows that this is just the excuse County Council needs to shut off LVEDC's hotel tax spigot. He opposed this proposed change, adding that "Allentown is unsafe."

Well, that was all Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski needed to hear. He immediately started blowin' oil, claiming that he raises two kids in center city Allentown, and that Stoffa was essentially calling him a lousy father.

Stoffa did his best to console Hizzoner. I think he even agreed that Allentown is a City Without Limits, even though crime-ridden Allentown stole that motto from Owasso, OK. But somebody still had to throw Pawlowski on a lift later that day, and break out the duct tape.

Luckily for Pawlowski, Angle was taking his daily bubble bath and missed the meeting.

Word is that the LVEDC will now be looking at sites in Reading, Philly and Newark.
Update (8:30 AM): Bethlehem is bigger than I thought! That office complex is in Bethlehem, not Hanover Tp. My apolgies for yet another inaccuracy.
Update II (10:00 AM): The Express Times has a more factual account here.


Tony Hanna said...


LVEDC's current offices are on Avenue C in the "City of Bethlehem," not in Hanover Township. I am forever correcting MSM datelines in stories.

Interestingly enough, Bethlehem has a larger total area - over 20 sqauare miles - than Allentown - around 19 square miles - despite Bethlehem having over 30,000 less residents. Now I thought you would have known that, since you are now attending Bethlehem City Planning Commission meetings.


Anonymous said...

They should be really looking at an office in NYC, so that they can get all of those companies, tourists and train commuters to move to the LV

Anonymous said...


One might want to suspect the motives of anyone who says proudly they raise their kids in center city Allentown. It my guess that like my boys Ed’s kids will leave and not look back ASAP.

Scott Armstrong

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

the story of the missing 15 year old girl in yesterday's morning call was very disturbing. what i don't understand is that she has been missing for over a month, and this was the first article and picture? my prayers for her safe return.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Allentown is unsafe. Yes, Pawslaswki has no clothes on too! Finally, an elected official has the gumption to tell the head in the sand Mayor that his City is in deed scary. Thank you Mr. Stoffa.

Anonymous said...

Ah, LVEDC, another organization based in Bethlehem.

How about taking the show on the Road in general. Even if every other meeting is in a different municipality. It is important that they understand the needs of the entire valley. It wouldn't hurt for them to have to travel Route 22 and use those underfit ramps either.

monkey momma said...

If the meetings are at 7 AM, then there's no need to fear in Allentown.

What I find odd is that Mayor Ed lives in Center City, yet denies that it is unsafe. It is disheartening to hear his take on this town, when it so far off the mark. Residents who have lived here a long time KNOW what a safe town looks like, and the Allentown of today is not, sadly, an entirely safe town.

Granted, Allentown is not the worst of the worst towns, either - none of the ghetto trolls who make life miserable downtown would last 5 minutes in truly tough areas, such as south central Los Angeles or Oakland, California. That would make a great local reality show, actually! It would be way more entertaining than Business Matters, at least!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tony, I will correct my error. You know me well enough to know I still have a hard time tying my shoes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, I'm sorry about that young lady.

Anonymous said...

Personal opinions and discussion around the accuracy of the comment aside, it was a very unprofessional remark for Stoffa to make.

This is out of character for him.

Anonymous said...

That is a big problem. Not the unprofessional nature of the comment, but the fact that someone thinks the sentiment should not be voiced because it is, to some, unprofessional.

Spin, lack of candor, and outright BS are why we have a government that is full of itself and more worried about ceremony and protocol than in delivering results. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...

And Monkey Momma,

7:00 a.m. is safe? Tell that to the parents of the newspaper carrier who was mugged and killed, and that was when Allentown was, overall, a much more desirable place than it is today.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Spin, lack of candor, and outright BS are why we have a government that is full of itself and more worried about ceremony and protocol than in delivering results. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck..."

Bingo, and very well said. Stoffa was being honest.

michael molovinsky said...

the following few sentences is actually a letter to editor in today's morning call, in it's entirety.

Spring has returned to Downtown Allentown!

On Hamilton Street, trees are blooming, flags are waving, restaurants are busy, the weather is warm and so are the people you meet.

Come down and check it out.
-- Lee Butz, Allentown

lee, pardon me, but i think it's going to take more than that to convince people

Anonymous said...

Saying its "unsafe" is like saying "Blacks are stupid" or "Jews are greedy".

You can't objectively conclude such a thing. Sure you can find instances of truth in these statements but how can you qualify such broad opinion based comments when their foundations are not manifested in the majority everyday lives they represent.

If Stoffa would have said "crime rates in Allentown are higher in most categories" it would have been blunt and honest.

To say it is "unsafe" cannot be quantified. Considering the issue is such a sensitive one, particularly to people in the room, voicing this opinion was highly unprofessional.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is a lace curtain liberal who is not called on his racist attitude.

Anonymous said...

bad form stoffa. this guy normally is pretty solid but this was a below the belt response. he should have stuck to the point that it would have been a political no-no. he's a politician. he's allowed to make such points.

Anonymous said...

Is Allentown "unsafe?"

Be the judge:

Definition: Violent crime is the total number of murders, nonnegligent manslaughters, forcible rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.

Year # of crimes Pop. Rate

2002 615 106,685 576
2003 643 107,101 600
2004 652 106,308 613
2005 863 106,933 807
2006 1,082 107,087 1010
2007 870 107,397 810

According to my research, Allentown is less dangerous than Reading, Coatesville, Philly, and worse than Scranton, Bethlehem, Erie and about the same as Lancaster.


Source: http://projects.mcall.com/pa_ucr/compare/875/805/v_crime/

Bernie O'Hare said...


A-town is safer than Philly or Reading, to be sure. As far as those stats go, what happen when you have an undermanned PD that simply lacks the resources to respond to or investigate crime the way it did ten years ago? Isn't it safe to conclude thatsome people may be less likely to report? In the case of gang crime, do you really think gang members will rurn each other in?

Stats are dangerous.

Easton is remarkably safer now than it was just a few years ago. but if you llok at this years stats, you'll see crime is going up. That's what one person in the biz told me. Why is that?

As explained, Easton cops are enforcing the law much more vigorously than they did in years past.

Anonymous said...

More importantly, since Stoffa has issues with Allentown, here is a side by side with Easton:

Year # of crimes Population Rate

2003 643 107,101 600
158 26,378 598

2004 652 106,308 613
165 26,275 627

Stats from PA State Police.

As you can see for these two recent years (adjusted per capita), Easton is just as "unsafe".


Anonymous said...

You both prove "unsafe" is an opinion.

Bernie O'Hare said...


I posted a comment about Easton right before you. Perhaps you did not notice.

Anon 10:33,

Unsafe is an opinion, and Stoffa expressed his honestly. It is an opinion shared by many. Pawlowski will not change that opinion by cscreaming or talking about negative perceptions or doing power points. His blue cameras actally add to that negative perception. Pawlowski will change that perception by doing what Mayor Panto has done, hiring more cops and telling them to enforce the law. It's not complicated.

Given the number of parks in Allentown, they really should have some mounted cops, too. In addition to the sheer beauty, a cop on horseback is an awe-inspiring sight. That promotes a positive perception and actually attracts business.

I understand that a mounted force is expensivve.

Anonymous said...

"Blacks are stupid" and "Jews are greedy" are also opinions.

It was inappropriate. A person in his position should know better.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Allentown is great" is also an opinion. It appears to me that while you are allowing that opinion to be expressed, you are suppressing other views.

If A-town really is unsafe, and you suppress people from telling the truth as they see it, what does that make you?

I think Stoffa was doing his job. If Pawlowski does not like to hear criticism, he shouldn't go out.

Anonymous said...

Monkey Momma and others:

Ed Pawlowski is both delusional and a liar. Perhaps he is delusional to the point that he believes his own lies.

In any event, Allentown is less safe than Bethlehem. Take any rational, non-biased individual to both downtowns and ask them which is safer. It's an easy money bet as what the responses will be.

The sad part (for Allentown) is that it wasn't too long ago that the results would have been different (or at least competitive). Eight-plus years of Ed Pawlowski (as CED Director and Mayor) have done a lot of damage.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky -

I share your concerns for the missing girl and also wonder why the story took so long to hit the paper. However, both the stories about Allen this week have been disturbing.

The only thing surprising about the stabbing at the school was that it happened on school grounds. Residents around the school can tell the horror stories about groups of kids fighting after school - often with weapons - in the neighborhoods surrounding Allen.

I believe better and more honest press coverage would produce some positive change at the school and surrounding neighborhoods.

The school district certainly bears responsibility for pretending that if something happens off campus it isn't their problem. But the other reality is that they are forced to deal with the changes Pawlowski has brought the city.

Pawlowski's policies are not bringing jobs or the uppwardly-mobile to the city. His policies are bringing poverty and crime. No city can survive what he is doing to us in Allentown.

These students are tomorrow's adult residents of the city. Look no further to see what our future holds.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"lee, pardon me, but i think it's going to take more than that to convince people"

I'll say this for Mr. Lee Butz. He does honestly feel the way he feels. I had a lengthy conversation with him about it. John Stoffa is entitled to his opinion, and Lee Butz i entitled to his. Neither person is being "unprofessional."

Anonymous said...

Stoffa once again has demonstrated why Northampton County has been on auto-pilot for five years.

Anonymous said...

Hey don't blame Stoffa. He is just sitting in the office. Ron Angle really runs the government. Stoffa can't belch without getting Angle's permission.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is a clown. The worst county Executive in the history of the County. It is no secret the County has been on auto-pilot for five years.

Anonymous said...

Who cares where the LVEDC is located? In caring about that, you'd have to care about the LVEDC, and when was the last time they did anything that mattered?