Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday: A Banner Week

Looks ugly, anyway. (h/t Channel 4 Action News Artists)


"They were great people and I enjoyed them immensely," developer Susan Eastridge said yesterday. "However, the thing is, they don't know how to make something like this happen." (P-G, Timothy McNulty)

Ooh, burnnn.

"We still clearly believe in this project. It's a fantastic location. When the credit markets rebound, that will allow us to move forward again. But we have to re-evaluate," [Pittsburgh Cultural Trust CEO Kevin McMahon] said last night.

We may be waiting for some time. As we understand it, credit markets are collapsing because for too long, too much money has been lent by creditors with too little diligence. Eastridge's scathing analysis may in fact be a case in point as to why this unfortunate market adjustment must occur. New normal, anyone?


"We're thinking of filing unfair labor charges against him," Mr. McMahon said, claiming Mr. Onorato has "backed himself into a box" by insisting upon contract cuts to help justify his support for a controversial 10 percent drink tax and $2-a-day car rental tax to subsidize transit. (P-G, Joe Grata)

Standing in a dimly lit corner of The Carlton restaurant yesterday, Michele Burchfield, executive director of FACT, outlined the "top 10 untruths," that Mr. Onorato and supporters of the drink tax have put forward since the levy was proposed and approved last year. (P-G, Karamagi Rujumba)

It just seems like Onorato has more than his share of enemies, doesn't it? No wonder he's branding himself as a fighter. Little choice.


After initially asking the city Law Department for a ruling on whether he could accept free tickets as part of the trip, Mr. Ravenstahl decided yesterday to pay for all expenses out of his own pocket, spokeswoman Joanna Doven said. Tickets to the first two games will cost him $350 each. (P-G, Mark Belko)

Once again, brazenly stealing ideas from rival Bill Peduto.

Phone calls and e-mails made by the Comet to the office of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, inquiring as to whether or not he plans on attending any Stanley Cup Finals games in Pittsburgh as a representative of the City of Detroit -- and if so, how those junkets will be furnished -- have as yet gone unanswered.


It sure looks like he's running to us. (P-G, Diana Nelson Jones)


BONUS GAME: Tell us what to think about this story, and we'll buy you a sandwich.


  1. For 'fish n chips' -- patronage. The streamline is necessary because jobs are always a touch-stone to local political dealings. Big piles of money are leveraged for power, generally.

    Challenge to anyone: Do a look-up of the 15 'managers' and make a family tree of relationships. Would take real investigation and reporting.

  2. Mercer said the city's 15 fund managers are too many for a municipal pension plan and it will likely recommend getting rid of a few in its next report in August

    It would be interesting to take the performance(s) of the pension fund managers and compare their results to various low fee index funds. Chances are very good that they underperformed. High management fees make it very difficult beat the market which is obviously not a good thing when you have an underfunded pension plan.

    Mercer may have a point. More managers + more management fees = poor performance. It would be helpful to see who is managing the fund, their results, and the fees they charge. Is this information disclosed to the public somewhere on the net? If not, it certainly should be since ultimately, we the people are responsible for the obligation.

  3. I was wondering if the onset of the new municipal pensions board had an impact on the news. Wasn't this the first meeting at which Dowd's legislation to put reps from Council and the Controller on the board were in effect?

  4. Some of the money was lent because of forced moves from legislation. Hence, the "market" was poisoned and the collapsing blame may rest elsewhere, beyond the 'free markets.'

    The "new normal" is also linked to the war and the dollar. The decline in the dollar is given -- as the feds spend so much on bombs and war, by printing new money.

    We need to get out of the war and shut down dozens of foreign bases. That will help the finance markets more than anything.