Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday: NewsTracker 2750

Buon Giorno upsets its neighbors (P-G, Mark Belko)

But Mr. Gargani said he has no plans to build a stairway from the courtyard. He pointed out that he has all required city approvals, including that of the Historic Review Commission, for the deck.

If the deck really does cut in front of other businesses and encroach upon neighbors' mojo -- then that is something. Possibly a miss by the old Planning commission.

"The concept of a deck and people being able to interface with Market Square from two levels, I think, is a neat idea," he said. "I think it will really activate that corner, absolutely."

Needless to say, that is the voice of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, a major underwriter of the improvements. C'est la vie.

The LED story goes stealthy
(P-G, Team Effort)

Pittsburgh City Council has canceled a closed-door meeting with Solicitor George Specter on a resolution that would direct Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to put a six-month moratorium on the processing of sign applications.

The Comet is guessing -- guessing -- that council keen to avoid contributing toward any possible broaches of conduct involving conflicts of interest attorney-client privilege.

Curiouser: the P-G Edit Board whips out its editorial approval already.

Somewhat Related: Pierre 4 Pittsburgh.

Area mayor to marry some dudes (P-G, Anya Sostek)

The ceremony, which has no legal or religious significance, will take about three minutes to perform, but has been generating controversy for more than a month.

Mayor Welch is saying, "Bring it On." Problem is, will this bring a sense of urgency to the wily purveyors of the state marriage amendment?

The Obama has landed. The Obama has landed. (Trib, Team Effort)

Obama will travel to Hempfield after an 11 a.m. campaign event at Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. Doors open at 9 a.m.

They're probably lining up right now. How will he possibly live up to his advance hype?

Special Note:

Ed Rendell was on Charlie Rose last night. We will not embed it to the blog nor link to it, because frankly, he's too good.

One thing among many he wanted to impress upon us was his version of the expectations game. A 20-point win for Hillary, he said, would be colossal, inconceivable, of historic proportions, fuhgetaboutit. Hillary will be seen to have dealt a resounding blow if she wins by 10 points.

Ten points. That is 45-55. Adjusting for the malarkey factor from our Governor, whom we are guessing in this would want to get away with the biggest, boldest possible bite, the Comet is presenting a rational spread of 16 points.

42/58. That's not the game, that's gospel.

In other words, if Clinton gets up into the 60's, then Obama is in some actual, legitimate trouble -- but if Obama claws his way above 45 (bearing in mind the Pennsylvania terrain), then Hillary's situation in the whole race becomes completely untenable.


  1. maybe it's just wishful thinking, but i think obama can win between 46-48 percent. then again i did have davidson playing pitt in my bracket.

  2. I wonder if the deck for Buon Giorno will require the owner to import more eastern European girls to work in Pittsburgh.

    I can only hope.

  3. I think the Obama campaign put out the close it to 10 points figure is a win for us idea, ummm, several days to a week or more ago.

    Interesting that Rendell is spinning that same number too now!

  4. Jen, I didn't know that. Great minds think alike.

    The problem is, both sides can't have the same "win" point. There's got to be a four-point margin for "nothing major doing."

    Come to think of it -- a "big Clinton win" in Pennsylvania is halfway expected. The eyes are kind of on the following block of three, etc., adn.

  5. Dear Friends.

    I hope that the blogging community will pay attention to the latest attempt by the state legislature to legalize discrimination of people of the GLBT community. If only the members would read the Bill of Rights. I urge you to contact your state senators to vote NO to disolution of our civil rights.

    Feel free to read the amendments contained in the Bill of Rights in Honor of Blog For Equality Day.

    Here are a few of my favorites.

    Amendment I: Freedom of religion, speech, and the press; rights of assembly and petition
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment IX: Rights retained by the people
    The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

    (means States can't infringe upon your rights either)
    Some jurists have asserted that the Ninth Amendment is relevant to interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Arthur Goldberg (joined by Chief Justice Warren and Justice Brennan) expressed this view in a concurring opinion in the case of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965):

    [T]he Framers did not intend that the first eight amendments be construed to exhaust the basic and fundamental rights.... I do not mean to imply that the .... Ninth Amendment constitutes an independent source of rights protected from infringement by either the States or the Federal Government....While the Ninth Amendment - and indeed the entire Bill of Rights - originally concerned restrictions upon federal power, the subsequently enacted Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the States as well from abridging fundamental personal liberties. And, the Ninth Amendment, in indicating that not all such liberties are specifically mentioned in the first eight amendments, is surely relevant in showing the existence of other fundamental personal rights, now protected from state, as well as federal, infringement.

    Amendment XIV: Civil rights
    The Fourteenth Amendment was proposed on June 13, 1866 and ratified on July 9, 1868.

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
    Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

    Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
    Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    Amendment XIII: Abolition of slavery
    The Thirteenth Amendment was proposed on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865.

    Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Amendment XIX: Woman suffrage
    The Nineteenth Amendment was proposed on June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18,1920.

    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Perhaps, someday, we can all enjoy their mighty benefit.
    Happy Blog for Equality Day!
    Douglas Shields
    President, Pittsburgh City Council

  6. Doug,

    Thanks for writing! The method of your objections are really right up my alley, and your notes will make my job writing the piece tomorrow a whole lot easier. Thanks for your leadership on this issue and on so many issues.

  7. A Message From the President of City Council, Doug Shields

    We need the blogging communities help! The Council of the City of Pittsburgh believe mandatory reporting of lost or stolen handguns to the police is a common sense reform whose time has come in Pennsylvania.

    Law enforcement and police across Pennsylvania strongly support a lost or stolen handgun reporting law as a key tool to help police crack down on straw buyers of illegal handguns.

    The bill in question is an amendment to HB1845, and the amendment is sponsored by Rep. David Levdansky, D-Allegheny County. It simply, requires people who buy a handgun to report the handgun if lost or stolen to the police within three days of discovering the loss or theft. Violating this law brings penalties ranging from a summary offense for a first violation to a felony for repeat violators.

    It will be voted on Monday,March 31, 2008 in the House.Opponents in the House, led by the NRA, are raising a host of procedural objections.

    We need Allegheny County residents, to call their local state representatives and urge them to do the following when the House returns next week:
    Vote YES on the Levdansky Amendment (A0617 to H.B. 1845. This amendment is the lost or stolen handgun reporting law at issue.

    Phone calls to House members NOW can absolutely make a difference.

    Rep. Sean Ramaley, Leaning yes. D-16th, Allegheny/Beaver. 724-266-7774.

    Don Walko, D-20th. Undecided. PLEASE CALL. 412-321-5523

    Lisa Bennington, D-21st. Leaning yes. Call anyway. 412-361-2040.

    Joe Preston, D-24th. Yes. Call anyway.

    Joe Markosek, D-25th. Allegheny/Westmoreland. Undecided. "Interested but noncommital." 412-856-8284.

    Tom Petrone, D-27th. Leaning yes. Give a quick call. 412-928-9514

    Frank Dermody, D-33rd. Leaning No. PLEASE CALL. 724-274-4770.

    Marc Gergely, D-35th. Undecided/leaning No. 412-754-3500.

    Harry Readshaw, D-36th. Undecided/Leaning No. PLEASE CALL 412-881-4208

    Bill Kortz, D-38th. Leaning No. "Opposes gun control." 412-466-1940.

    Dave Levdansky, D-39th. Yes. Rep. Levdansky is the prime sponsor of the Amendment. Call him and thank him for his leadership on this important issue. 412-384-2258

    Matt Smith, D-42nd. Undecided. 412-571-2169.

    Nick Kotik, D-45th. Leaning Yes. Please call. 412-264-4260.

    Jesse White, D-46th. Alleghny/Beaver/Washington. Undecided. 724-746-3677

    John Pallone, D-54th. Allghny/Armstrong/Westmoreland. Undecided. 724-339-1990


    Mike Turzai, R-28th. Undecided/Leaning No. PLEASE CALL 412-369-2230

    Randy Vulakovich, R-30th. Undecided. 412-487-6600

    John Maher, R-40th. Leaning Yes. CALL HIM. 412-831-8080

    Mark Mustio, R-44th. Undecided. 412-262-3780

    8:24 PM
    Douglas Shields | 03.30.08 - 8:35 pm | #

  8. Okay, now you're just spamming us. :>

    Thanks for the phone numbers.