Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday's News -- On Tuesday!!

The Mayor is moving forward with plans to install security cameras wherever they may be necessary, and of "wide-spread information sharing" with any other existent surveillance systems.

He and Police Chief Nate Harper dismissed concerns that cameras might be deployed or used in ways that disproportionately affect minorities. (Rich Lord, P-G)

They also seem to be dismissing privacy concerns, on the grounds that people in crime-ridden communities would prefer the added security.

Meanwhile, P-G columnist Sally Kalston just refuses to let the police promotions story die! She suggests that those cameras ought to be turned on the police themselves.

Way harsh, I know. But what reaction did Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper expect when he promoted not one, not two, but three police officers with domestic abuse allegations on their records?

Did he think the public wouldn't notice? That women, in particular, wouldn't view this as a giant step backwards? That it wouldn't reflect badly on the entire police force?

Also, we have not been entirely at peace with the selection we chose from last week's Tony Norman column. Here is a different one, which may be more representative:

There's a reason Chief Harper was popular with the rank-and-file. The cops knew he would put their interests and aspirations first. They especially liked the fact that their new chief would be an African-American family man who did not have a reputation as a mealy-mouthed pragmatist.


We don't have a link, but yesterday on WPXI we saw Mayor Luke Ravenstahl speaking some very gracious words at the Garden Party on the North Side, praising ten years of work by lots of individuals, and his being present only to acknowledge those efforts.

In related news, after weeks of the official city website featuring a photo of "a beautiful June day in Pittsburgh," it now bears a photo of the O'Connor family at the Bob O'Connor Summer Tennis Classic.


Finally, Luke hired a bunch of people.

The quintuple hiring "fulfills my commitment to diversity once again," Mr. Ravenstahl said. "Three of them are women, two of them are African American, and all are very highly qualified in terms of their previous experience and their educational experience." (Rich Lord, P-G)

Already, the most controversial hire is David White, who will be earning $88,859 annually to fulfill "a very interactive role with the community and various agencies, other outside community organizations, other government entities, boards, authorities and commissions, the business community."

He was the athletics trainer back when Ravenstahl played football at North Catholic High School, but since then has worked for UPMC Health Plan, among others.

Council President Doug Shields today called Mr. White "talented, seasoned. He's an experienced administrator."

Good will is in the air.


  1. Usually Doug is good at spotting good people.

    I'll trust the hire until he does something wrong. Always give someone a chance who hasn't done anything wrong.

  2. "Always give someone a chance who hasn't done anything wrong". Nice sentiment, but can we set the bar any lower? It's bad enough that people have that attitude about Luke - this is a democracy, not a monarchy - they have to prove themselves to the voters, not sit back and hope we don't catch them doing "anything wrong".

  3. I love the idea of security cameras. I just heard that some were placed in Lawrenceville and have made a huge difference. I can't understand why people are against this idea. I would even welcome them where I live which isn't as bad as other places.
    If people don't want them I can only speculate that they don't want to get caught doing something wrong.

    I at first was dissapointed at Nate Harper for giving these promotions without waiting for the outcome of the cases. After giving it some serious thought I respect Nate Harper and his decision.
    Nate is not a self serving individual and didn't do this for personal gain, that's so not like him. Knowing Nate, he selected the best individuals for the job. I highly doubt that Nate is going to ruin his own impeccible record by promoting 3 individuals that are not the best and are going to be a problem down the road. A high test score on a written test doesn't always mean that person is qualified for a higher position. Nate's worked with these men and would know what they are capable of. Nate is a great guy and one of the best I can think of wearing the uniform.
    I can't say anything about David White as I don't know him and I agree with Matt he, as everyone else should be given the chance.
    As for Anon. above WE ARE voters so we do merit the right to say
    "Always give someone a chance who hasn't done anything wrong".
    If you're always out there trying to "catch" someone doing something wrong you'll probably find something on everyone as I can't think of anyone that's perfect.
    After reading some of the out of control mean and hateful things I can see why more people don't run for office. An honest discussion is healthy but people on here talking about spouses and making fun of appearances is just plain wrong. It truthfully makes me want to vote for the people that are the butt of the jokes. It's the same for voters that get fed up with the negative political ads.
    To ease anyone's mind, I'm just an
    everyday voter who occasionally reads blogs and seldom comments(Comet being my favorite)

  4. Luke's hiring of White makes Luke an athletic supporter, no?

  5. Mike Seate states that many black have no contact with whites other than via the police or a caseworker;Sally Kalson has suggested that the police turn the cameras on themselves.On another occasion on this site,i posted a statement that a black associate of mine believes that the police are the source of discontent and turmoil in the black community. While that is certainly an exaggeration,the police are responsible for their overall negative public perception.Blunders at the top do nothing to dissuade the public of this perception.