Something called a Green Summit is coming to Pittsburgh in February. (P-G, Rich Lord)
In Mr. Peduto's idea of a green city, those who walked or biked to work might get incentives. People who drove hybrid cars or carpooled might get reduced rates in city garages, or preferred spaces.
Residents could garden on vacant lots, using compost made from city-collected vegetable waste. Schools would have botanical "green roofs" that reduce storm water runoff.
Recycling receptacles would dot parks and public places, and often-ignored rules requiring companies to separate out their bottles, cans and paper would be enforced.
Mr. Peduto could be settling in for a long, comfortable tenure as the Councilor Who Greened The Bejeezus Out Of Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Boren and Peduto team-up to bodyslam Luke Ravenstahl on the issue of street sweeping (Trib, Jeremy Boren).
Pittsburgh has 14 street sweepers -- half of which don't work -- and nine sweeper operators to cover 16 daily routes. City law requires parking enforcement agents to shadow the street sweepers to ticket illegally parked vehicles. The Pittsburgh Parking Authority, however, only has six such agents.
Sounds about right.
Part of the problem is getting motorists to obey street signs that ban parking on one day every other week on streets throughout the city. Peduto wants to raise the fine to a slightly more attention-getting $25 or more.
He has a case in point: Peduto said he has received and paid four $15 parking tickets this year because the threat of the paltry fine didn't motivate him to move his Mini Cooper.
So close to escaping both articles without appearing ridiculous.
He also wants to computerize street sweeping decision-making, and to issue parking citations regardless of whether or not streets are actually swept.
Joe Smydo kicks off the era of investigative City Schools reporting (P-G, Joe Smydo).
Carnegie Mellon University and UPMC say they're not looking to buy the Pittsburgh Schenley High School building in Oakland, but the University of Pittsburgh won't say one way or the other.
Is that loud and clear enough for everybody?
The denials haven't reassured school supporters, who have been poring over documents to try to poke holes in renovation estimates and debunk the district's concerns about an asbestos-related health hazard.
They say asbestos, cited as the building's main problem, would account for only $8 million of the $64 million in renovations. Though the district spent $750,000 last summer to patch 10,000 areas of worn plaster, they say there's little danger of building-wide plaster failure. They said documents released by the district support renovation, not abandonment.
$8 million is certainly the lowest figure we've heard so far.
Meanwhile, Bill Zlatos issues a City Schools article on efficiency and local control (Trib, Bill Zlatos). We hereby dub it Must-Reading.
"We do have to explore whether site-based budgeting has gone too far," said city schools superintendent Mark Roosevelt. "We see some schools where some decisions are at least perplexing."
Perpexity is in the eye of the beholder, friend.
Roosevelt would not identify the schools, but he said he is concerned that the system has led to reductions in expensive vocational and technical education in favor of adding assistant principals where they may not be needed.
Well this sounds entirely reasonable. Why pour money into excess layers of administration when we could add more direct value to our students.
"Of course you want to decease that. It is the major part of the tax budget. The goal is to save money without compromising the value of education," said Theresa Colaizzi, chairwoman of the Pittsburgh school board's negotiations committee.
We are reminded of Twanda Carlisle marching into a District 9 candidate forum in April and declaring with head held high, "We need to account for every dollar spent by Council!"