Allentown won’t have its ‘miracle’ without affordable housing

advocacy, economics, justice, politics, spirituality, writing

Please click through to my recent op-ed in The Morning Call.

 

“In the wake of John Tarbay’s death at the Hamilton Street Bridge, just yards away from the Allentown Rescue Mission and not far from other agencies, a familiar chorus from social service providers and even some activists is likely to emerge: “Someone like John just didn’t want to come inside,” or “John was a ‘rough-sleeper.’ We tried,” or “John was this, that, or the other. John couldn’t live by the rules of society, or didn’t want to.”

All of those things may be true.

With the worst winter in memory finally behind us, it’s tempting to let the calls that more be done for Allentown’s and the Lehigh Valley’s homeless subside. It’s tempting to forget that “not being able to live by the rules of society” is obviously another way of talking about mental health, and mental health issues are the reasons most folks are on the street…”

Read more:

Tune In To Prolifick Radio Tonight at 9

advocacy, culture, economics, justice, politics, spirituality

I’ll join John Hardt and host Treymane Tatem to talk about the transforming nature of faith in community, and how it relates to Allentown’s urban context specifically.

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Chris Cocca Is Wrong About Everything + Novels + Hess’s Department Store + Paul Ceglia and Facebook: Search Term/SEO Answer Bag #57

writing

I’ll start this edition of the Search Term Answer Bag by admitting two things:

  • It’s not really, sequentially, #57.  That’s just its name.  Probably because I like ketchup.
  • I stole the whole idea from David Letterman’s old “CBS Mail Bag” routine.  “Letters, we get letters, we get lots and lots of letters! LETTERS!”

and a suspicion:

  • I am approximately one half of this blog’s audience who gets a kick out of this bit.  Good enough for me.

Now, on to the search terms!

First, my favorite:

chriscocca is wrong about everything?

Even here, I was only wrong half the time.

Classic.  There are a few other Chris Coccas out there in the world, so I won’t be big-headed enough to claim that this was a query about me as a matter of fact.  But for the sake of this post, we’ll go with it.

I appreciate that this was searched with a question mark and not a exclamation point or, even worse, a period. As far as an answer goes, I’m willing to say that I’m probably not wrong about every single thing, but we can’t really be sure.  I also think chriscoccaiswrongabouteverything would be a great name for a website not called The Daily Cocca, and it would be an excellent follow-up album to the still-on-hiatus uppityupalexvanderpoolera.

Searching for verbs and/or prepositions:

what to when you are almost finished a novel?

It’s unclear here whether the asker is almost finished reading or writing said novel. If reading, I’d say get ready to pick your next book. If writing, I’d say get ready to revise. That’s when the real writing happens.  If you’ve done that, and have met with good writers groups and gotten feedback you trust and then revised again and then again and are sure you manuscript is exactly what it should be, then I guess you start sending query letters to agents and try to start publishing excerpts.

A get a lot of hits from people looking for information about Hess’s Department Store.

Behind the South Mall in 2011. Image by Frank Tienstra.

And rightly so. It was an amazing place.  Today’s proper question:

when did hess’s dept store allentown pa remodel the front of the store

Sadly, I don’t know the answer to that, but I’m guessing it was before I was born (1980).  Can any Allentonians/Lehigh Vallians help me out here?  I’ve been getting a lot of hits from people looking for the famous rainbow-colored sugar from the Hess’s Patio Restaurant.  I know you used to be able to buy it at MusikFest, and I’m willing to bet you can find it on ebay if not at places like the Moravian Bookstore or the Lehigh County Heritage Center.  Sadly, I can’t be much help with those seeking strawberry pie recipes.  But I can share this post, with 30+ commentators sharing their favorite Hess’s memories. Really a special place. I can also share this bittersweet, recent image sent to me by Frank Tienstra. It’s one of the old Hess’s trucks still sitting behind the South Mall as of January.  Sad for anyone who knows what Hess’s was all about.

Lastly, a question about Facebook:

is facebook layout changing again for the summer 2011

I really don’t think so, but this could be one of the things I’m wrong about.  Mashable has some of the best coverage of social media developments: here’s the Facebook news aggregator-inator.   Soon, you may have better luck asking this guy:

Not Mark Zuckerberg

Never heard of Paul Ceglia?  He’s the chap that might (ooops) own half of Facebook.  So who knows?  Maybe Paul has a few design ideas stashed with all those old emails he keeps finding.  When I first heard about this case last year, I thought it was a long shot.  But the plot keeps thickening. When I try to imagine what might be the next big thing to come along and knock Facebook off the block, I have a pretty hard time.  But you know what?  It might just end up being Mark Zuckerberg.