Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We're Gonna Find Out. Next Time...

Okay okay okay okay okay. What's done is done. (P-G, Patricia Lowry)

"How on earth could the owners of the Penguins replace an iconic piece of architecture [Mellon Arena], one that was groundbreaking for its time, with one that looks like it belongs in an office park along the Dulles Toll Road in suburban Washington?" writes Mt. Lebanon native Jim Hiscott of Washington, D.C.

Our bad for not asking the tough questions a year ago, and for not paying enough heed to George Moses and Evan Frazier back in December.

"The real issue right now is money -- it's fine for me or the Planning Commission to pick at the design, but there is little chance that HOK will be able to make radical changes without increasing the price tag (already more expensive than Heinz Field) or delaying the schedule."

The focus now should be on civic design on and around the already iconic old civic arena site. One would assume this falls naturally to the Department of City Planning -- not to HOK Sport, Lamar Advertising, UPMC or Kellogg's. The Penguins needs should be given all due consideration, as should the needs of the neighbors.

That would have to apply no matter what.

Dr. Kimberly Ellis AKA Dr. Goddess expressed some concerns to the Comet about a provision in the tentative community benefits agreement that would seem to give the Penguins the opportunity to "opt out" of commitments after a certain interval.

Although Ellis was apprehensive that this clause could be "lorded over [neighbors'] heads," she did find cause for optimism within other portions of the negotiated and proposed CBA, which will be submitted to One Hill membership shortly.

The Comet believes it would be appropriate for the Penguins to exercise just such a cancellation option under certain circumstances -- AKA to enforce legitimate articles of a legitimate agreement. However, there are some inalienable rights (and responsibilities!) which can never be negotiated away.

A spirit of partnership and understanding would have to endure from any agreement for it to work. The question is, do we now have enough of a foundation for that to happen, or will this require at least another round of (inevitably public) negotiations.


Dr. Goddess blogs on recent elections results:

And it's a shame because Ms. Washington is probably a good person who got caught up in all of the negativity and mayhem Tonya was swirling around her. The reason for the division in the Hill District within the last two years is mostly due to Payne's poor leadership, petty politics, grudge-holding and a fanciful imagination. Certainly, there was division beforehand but she exacerbated and exaggerrated it.

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat.

FOOTNOTE: The Comet fervently desires that more voices emerge that are intimately knowledgeable of, and opinionated about, Pittsburgh's Hill District, as well as Pittsburgh's other 87 neighborhoods.
UPDATE: Here is one. (Blog of Josh Hall)

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