Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wednesday: Broadcast News

Dan Onorato spoke with Fred Honsberger on KDKA-1020 about the Hill Distruct situation.

(You can download the audio, but going to the site may be easier.)

Onorato spoke fairly well for himself, although he blatantly dodged a question about that neighborhood's singular history involving arenas and urban redevelopment.


Carl Redwood spoke with Marty Griffin, also on KDKA-1020.

Redwood spoke very well for himself.

The Comet does differ with him at the tail end, as to whether Community Benefits Agreements ought to be a citywide or regional model. We have no opinion on that.

Our only concern is a good and formal agreement here and now for Hill District residents, given the nature of the situation.


Redwood and the rest of One Hill also stated their case during bus tours of the Hill. (WTAE Ch.4: Bob Mayo)

"You know, these are opportunities that are staring right at us, right now," said Pittsburgh Councilman Bill Peduto. "The arena provides that as the opportunity. It's important that the community has the opportunity to speak and say what it is they would like to see."

That's right. Councilman Peduto is on the bus, so to speak.

Bob Allen of KDKA-Ch.2 got some good mileage out of the info tour / press availability also.

WPXI has something online called Advance Video, which looks suspiciously like raw footage.

Ch. 11 also has a text article online about the multiparty press conference of Monday evening.

"We want to be treated fairly, to be treated justly, and it's a tremendous insult in the way by which they responded to us," said Rev. Thomas Smith.

This remains the only occasion during this entire chapter in which "the minister's group" got any media love whatsoever. And that's okay. Just remember that their party does not benefit directly from the technical expertise furnished by labor and by foundations. (Background: BURGH REPORT)

UPDATE: In today's City Paper piece by Chris Young, the Rev. Thomas Smith of Monumental Baptist Church gets top billing, after the burning document of course.


That was just the airwaves. Now check out the P-G's Mark Belko.

Despite the pressure, Mr. Ravenstahl doesn't anticipate major changes to the proposed agreement, even as he said he recognized that the Hill District groups "have some concerns."

"I don't anticipate any significant movement from the seven points. ... I don't anticipate adding additional points," he said.

Fine, have it your way.


Oh, right. (P-G, Edit Board)

People don't take kindly to having something rammed down their throats.

Nice to have a clear topic sentence.

Community benefits agreements are supposed to be legally binding contracts signed by developers and community coalitions that stipulate "benefits" to the neighborhood as a result of a new development. All of the key elements were missing from the plan delivered last week: Nothing was signed, binding or detailed, and there was no "agreement."

Even if it's the government infrastructure that's going to provide these benefits at some point, the very least we can do is put it in writing.

Negotiating a community benefits agreement never was going to be an easy task, and the process was made more difficult early on when some Hill District representatives -- albeit not the One Hill group -- demanded $10 million in development funds to be controlled by residents. City and county officials oppose such a development fund, a position we share.

Come on, don't go soft on us now.

Development funds can certainly be allocated to a board of trustees composed of city, county, and community representatives, comprising a sort of local development clearinghouse corporation.

Hill District residents simply do not have the friends necessary throughout the government infrastructure to secure any tolerable outcomes, unless we get innovative.
The Tribune Review seems to be somehow at war with itself at present.


  1. Unfortunately, I'm coming to the conclusion that neither side is showing signs of reason, clever politicking, or intelligence/understanding of any sort. It'll soon be nothing but contentious heel-digging and mean-spirited one-upsmanship. The worst is emerging from everyone involved.

    In the same vein, I don't find it funny, clever, or powerful that they burned the freakin' document. I have seen little criticism of this (in my admittedly brief scan of the Pgh blogosphere), and I'd like to see someone who's on their side stand up and say that was wrong and ridiculously childish. No matter how aggrieved you feel, you don't do that. Why? No, not because it might hurt your image. But because it surely will hurt your actual changes of getting what you want. It's self-defeating silliness, and I, for one, was stunned by it.

  2. Oh, pshaw. Did you read the document?

    "But because it surely will hurt your actual chances of getting what you want. It's self-defeating silliness, and I, for one, was stunned by it."

    Hurt their actual chances? Do you still think the Mayor or anybody else was considering giving them some justice, if only they'd act nice and respectful? They burned a piece of paper and got on every television channel in the city. I'd say it was a good day's work in terms of getting what you want.