Rob Rossi and Jeremy Boren, the Trib. Know it, love it be it.
Now: Is this just a matter of needing someone to talk Mario down? Can anyone do that?
Or: is this just a canny, aggressive bargaining posture going into negotiations for Plan B+++.
The Real Story is:
With lazer-like focus, as always, on the upcoming Tostitos / Bank of New York Ravenstahl vs. Pedutobowl:
Who shall speak for Uptown and the Hill? By what means shall Pittsburgh First reapproach with the Kim Ellis coalition? Will the Rev. Simms break bread with Dr. Goddess?
Who speaks for the North Side? Here we find some characters:
The North Side Chamber of Commerce.
The North Side/North Shore Chamber of Commerce.
The North Side Leadership Conference.
The African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania.
"The Mexican War Streets"
Central North Side
The A.R.C. House
Other News (technically)
"Point Park Bones May Be Centuries Old" Allison M. Heinrichs, the Trib.
Also ... and I get this generically from 90.5 WDUQ Pittsburgh ... have you gotten a load of Ed Rendell on this? He's using our PITG casino as deflection as to whether or not some eastern licensees are too politically connected. If he can dance to this ditty all acrost Alabamma, can you imagine what he could accomplish with a majority?
THE MORNING LINE
Three persons are more important today than they were this time yesterday: Don Barden, Gladys Bettis, and Ken Sawyer.
Those of you getting your news from the sports guy on television got heavy doses of banners reading "PENGUINS UNCERTAINTY?" Sidney Crosby et. all were deployed to wonder and grieve at it all. Take a deep breath.
Nonetheless, the blue-ribbon for analysis goes this morning to Gene Collier at the PG:
The Penguins will get what they want, a new arena, at the site they want, adjacent to the old one, by the date they want, 2009. They just won't get it on the terms they want, which was to have Isle of Capri, one of the two losing bidders yesterday, pay for it.
Mike Wereschagin over at the Trib has a stealth must-read called "North Side Neighborhoods Wary, Hopeful" which highlights three new players: CCAC, the North Side Leadership Conference; and the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania (who knew?). Pres. Williams of the latter said:
"I'm being optimistic. I'm looking for procurement and employment opportunities," Williams said. She praised Barden's business acumen, and said the fact that the slots license was given to the only minority-owned company in the running in Pittsburgh was "icing on the cake. "It's about who's a good businessman, who's got experience in the industry. And he happens to be African-American. That's the context."
His article mentions the Western Ave. business district, East Ohio Street, and the intersection of Federal St. and North Ave as places on the North Side that Barden is prepared to help develop ... in addition to the Hill District.
Sidebar. If you are an Allegheny County parent who honestly believes there are no synergies and no conveniences to be enjoyed by having a casino nearby the ballpark and the science museum ... raise your hand.
Final tip: there should be a bear market for #87 jerseys in the coming weeks. Watch who sets the trends.