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Remember: My Opinion: Where did everybody go?

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Opinion: Where did everybody go?

Writing this blog has taken me on a journey entirely of surprise. I would never have guessed that engaging myself in this sort of an activity could have possibly yielded the countless wonderful experiences I have had but it sure has. Without this blog, in truth, I have genuinely no idea where I would be today but I can tell you with certainty that it would not be anywhere half as pleasing.

One of the biggest surprises along the way was the sudden flare up of local controversy this past summer over "renovations" at Cedar Beach Parkway. All of the dissent and support built up to one, long, hot, crowded City Council meeting that trended towards over the top generalizations and wild accusation. Behind all that though was genuine concern, expressed by both sides of the argument and demonstrated by a truly involved citizenry. Without a doubt, that is something good to see.

Now, here in November, the hot fires of that argument have been extinguished. Work is continuing at Cedar Beach Parkway, for better or for worse depending on how you look at it. This post today is not about Cedar Beach Parkway. It is about my wonderment at the ability of that same citizenry, to now be so quiet regarding the future of our parks.

In particular, there are two things that have occurred or are occurring that have me wondering where everybody went.

First, the arson at Bucky Boyle Park. At the height of the Cedar Beach frenzy, most other local blogs were littered with posts regarding the subject. The Morning Call was actively running opinion pieces and news articles about it. WFMZ covered it as well. Excluding the initial story in the Morning Call, there has been little to no coverage or discussion of the sad vandalism that happened at Bucky Boyle Park and as a matter of fact, the "blogosphere" has been entirely silent about it. I cannot help but wonder why? If the construction of a playground in one park can cause such a fury, does not the deconstruction of one through an act of crime warrant a similar if not more furious response? I think it does. I think that what has happened at Bucky Boyle should be a rallying point for the community of Allentown and by community, I mean of the entire city. Strange how little noise has been made about this. It is actually sad and makes me curious about something that will lead into my second point. It makes me wonder if people think one park is more important than another one.

I ask this because, as you are reading this and I have documented many times, there are parks in Allentown that are in the crapper. There are no demonstrations for Trout Creek Parkway or Jordan Park or Canal Park. There is nothing out there excepting what I have put out there on here. These parks are in a bad way and now in the new cold of November, with added time for reflection, do they not warrant the same attention as say the Parkway?

Of course they do! And as a matter of fact, they need more attention considering the state they are in.

If I would be so bold as to call upon the same citizenry that showed up in droves to that Council meeting, I would ask them to relight the fire. I would ask them to bring these parks to the front of attention for City Council, Greg Weitzel and Mayor Pawlowski. I would demand upon them, as the lovers and defenders of the parks they claimed to be in support or protest of the Cedar Beach plans to make these parks the priority of the future of park development in Allentown.

So, where did everybody go?

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9 Comments:

Blogger LVCI said...

In case you haven't figured it out. In some parts of Allentown citizens care more then others. Plain & simple truth. Especially people in certain areas around those parks when they pay $1,000's in city taxes and want some say about their neighborhood. In Certain other parts of the city.. well you can figure that one out yourself. This isn't about racisms. It's about attitudes.

Some people don't contribute economically nor on a social level. We all know some person(s) who no matter how expensive or nice a gift you give them.. to put it nicely are 'hard on things' and break them. I have 4 people on my Christmas list this year who I'll just slip $20 in a card because they neither appreciate the gifts I already gave them that they didn't have to pay for and wrecked them.

To say there aren't people like that is to be in denial.

Generally speaking (this doesn't apply to everyone). Sorry if I'm not all fired up (pardon the pun) about tossing good (my) money away to an area where they do not appreciate and wreck things. Concerning Bucky Boyle. Please tell me somebody didn't see something or know something and just won't "snitch".

Perhaps... just perhaps if we weren't spinning our wheels repairing damage we could use the monies for Jordan park, Canal park, etc.

Perhaps... just perhaps the Parkway "warrants" the attention because it will be taken care of. Number two, grass doesn't burn. Let's see how that goes for the planned plastic fixtures that will be installed next year in the Cedar Beach area.

I'm going ugly or negative. Just practical and realistic.

November 13, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger LVCI said...

Oops!

Meant "I'm NOT going ugly or negative. Just practical and realistic."

November 13, 2009 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

LVCI,

I look forward to your comment whenever I post something like this because I always know you will be first on the scene.

Anonymous,

In no way did I mean to insinuate or hint at any sort of racism present on blogs or in newspapers.

My post was about using the voice of democracy that was wonderfully displayed this summer to raise awareness about parks that are in danger and to draw more attention to the community affected by the arson at Bucky Boyle.

It is unacceptable to leave comments meant to stir up emotional responses of a negative nature on a post that is trying to draw from the positive aspects of our city.

I want people to care about our parks in disrepair. I do not want them to accuse one another of being racists for not sharing the same viewpoint.

That's inane.

November 13, 2009 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Also, please do not spam my blog with commentary not related to the topic I am discussing. I will remove any comments that are unrelated to my post. Place those comments wherever they belong, they don't belong here.

November 13, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 14, 2009 at 5:08 AM  
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

andrew, I was saddened by the vandalism at bucky boyle, but not shocked. senseless vandalism is nothing new. if anything, it's a reason why we need neighborhood playgrounds, which can be looked after by neighborhood groups, such as St. Paul's Jackson Street playground.
to your greater point, I for one am profoundly disappointed in the priorities of the park department and the trexler trust. We continue to put the emphasis on recreation, at the expense of the park infrastructure. running up and down restored WPA steps at fountain park would provide more exercise than something purchased from a catalog and installed in former open space.

November 14, 2009 at 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many 5-10 year olds do you know, MM, who would enjoy running up and down a set of stairs for their daily activity? It might be better exercise, but that's besides the point if no one wants to do it.

November 14, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:59, i have nothing against playgrounds, especially neighborhood ones which could potentially be monitored better against vandalism. i know from experience children will run around a park, which is much more meaningful than climbing around some oversized tupperware. btw, you can't melt the steps

November 14, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Jeff Pooley said...

An excellent post, Andrew. From LVCI one of the most vile comments I've read in a long while. It's also wrong but depressingly predictable. I live downtown and can flat-out refute his disgusting dismissal of thousands of people with thousands of different stories, many of whom care a *lot* more about their community than rich suburbanites.

November 30, 2009 at 4:26 PM  

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