Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Depends on What Your Definition of "Dig" Is...

(P-G, Team Effort)

Police Chief Nate Harper said he was personally intervening to address concerns in his bureau that Public Works was slow to hand over names of workers on the site.

"Personally intervening to address concerns in his bureau" -- duly noted -- but all in all, the whole P-G statement today comprises sort of a pop fly to short.

(Trib, Jeremy Boren)

Public Works Director Guy Costa said yesterday that a foreman's report -- written by [Redd Up chief Kevin] Quigley this week -- was sent to [Police Cmdr. Catherine] McNeilly.


"We feel it's pretty clear-cut -- that criminal charges are appropriate -- but without further investigation, that determination is premature," McNeilly said in an e-mail message.

Then it is good that Chief Harper is personally intervening to address concerns within his bureau.


said Monday that Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration did not provide Varner with crucial details of the incident five weeks ago, including the names of the public works employees involved, which he needs to advance the investigation.

McNeilly has a stack of Get Out of Jail Free cards from here to the moon.


A copy of the report says high-lift operator Rock Pastin was asked to retrieve a bucket of dirt from a hillside near the Termon Avenue overpass abutment where the gas line was ruptured.

Camptown Ladies sing this song, Doo-da, Doo-da...

The dirt was used to spread on areas along Verner Street that the crew had cleared earlier that day of trash, trees, overgrowth and other debris. Quigley wrote that the crew thought the hillside belonged to the city.

The land is owned by Jason Watkins...

Camptown racetrack's five miles long, Oh, de doo-da day.

[DPW director Guy] Costa said he believes the 1 1/2-inch gas line was buried at too shallow a depth, but he was uncertain how deep it was at the time of the incident or how deep it is supposed to be.

Columbia Gas spokesman Matt Pitzarella said such lines should be at least 18 inches below the surface, but erosion and shifting land can make them deeper or shallower.

"That's why you're supposed to call (Pennsylvania One Call) before you dig," Pitzarella said.

Goin' to run all niiight, Goin' to run all day...

Quigley's report acknowledges the One Call system wasn't notified "as there was no digging to be done on this job."

The P-G dutifully reports that DPW reports that Rock Pastin was working in a closed machine that requires hearing protection -- and that the other workers were at least 400 feet away. Hence the overlooking of the rupture of the gas line despite the noise and the smell.

What remains unclear is whether or not that "closed machine" was some sort of digging apparatus, and whether or not it was engaged in digging-type activity as it was transporting and distributing the bucket of dirt.

We bet our money on a bob-tailed nag. Somebody bet on the gray.

1 comment:

  1. "Our lives would have been in jeopardy, too," [Quigley] said."

    Gee, I'm comforted to know where they draw the line.