"Pittsburgh these days is, of all things, a college town—there's not a single steel mill within city limits. With 60,000 students, it has one of the highest academic concentrations in the country. The hospitals—research and otherwise—are among the best and busiest. The biotech industry is booming.
"At Carnegie Mellon University, they build robots; at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, they replace body parts. Eventually, I can only hope, these trends will merge, and a Pittsburgh-bred Superman will play linebacker for the Steelers.
"The parks, museums, libraries, concert halls, theaters, schools—all are first class, a legacy of civic pride and the philanthropy of Carnegie, Heinz, Frick, Schenley and others.
"The 88 neighborhoods are remarkably intact—a rarity." (LINK)
Lovely! Cut and paste, festoon with ribbons, and distribute with merry abandon.
The rest of the article is the usual tedious pablum.
Well, not entirely.
On the one occasion Mayor Ravenstahl was quoted meaningfully on an issue of public policy -- ever (just kidding!) -- it went down like this:
The city and county are sharing 911 and purchasing services, but Ravenstahl and other city officials have little interest in giving up what power they have. A merger of city and county—a move made by many other regions—would extinguish Pittsburgh’s “voice,” Ravenstahl told me. “No one would pay attention to urban issues.”
That could be construed as a victory of demagoguery over necessity. However, at this early point in the game, it would surely be a mistake to deride Luke Ravenstahl's protective instincts. (UPDATE: Or would it?)
But what the city and region need most is unity and optimism.
These are the words of the author, Howard Fineman of Newsweek Magazine, and they are ridiculous.
h/ts the Busman, AS