Lakemont Park is the people's park, a gift deeded to the people of Blair County, a treasure meant to be a part of a heritage for future generations.
A lake, walking paths, picnic tables, fishing, boating, ice skating, swimming. Lakemont Park. And it was free.
Autumn, winter, spring, summer and fall, Lakemont Park had so much to offer. We the people of Blair County lost that treasure when the county commissioners decided to commercialize our park.
The park's heritage is gone forever.
Now there is the barbed wire fence, admission fees, no boating, no fishing, no ice skating and a lot of concrete with an avenue of businesses. We had our heritage taken away from us by the politicians.
Now Valley View home is for sale. The Pennsylvania lottery sold, and I suspect there will be a lot of money exchanging hands with a different set of characters rewarded.
The commercialization of our Lakemont Park and Valley View Home destroyed values that made Altoona and the community as a whole our home.
The present commissioners are telling us they will ensure certain things remain the same in selling the home. They - you and I - know that is a stretch of anyone's imagination. Could anyone imagine a barbed wire fence around Lakemont Park?
I am repulsed by that fence.
Perhaps there will be a barbed wire fence, neon lights and a strip mall in the future for Valley View.
We have local government agencies making the Altoona area look like the distressed blighted big cities with pockets of residential homes sandwiched in between new malls, old malls and abandoned manufacturing plants and downtown.
And we have local government agencies planning, designing and seeking government (our) monies to change our neighborhoods, and there is not much we can do about it if our elected officials say aye.
And they will.
William Barger, Altoona