Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday: Mimosas!

In the four years since Somali Bantu refugees started resettling in Pittsburgh after fleeing civil war and ethnic persecution in their homeland, they've faced segregation in the public schools, discrimination by local residents and major cultural adjustments. (P-G, Alexa Chu)

This is the kind of article some other journalists in Pittsburgh must wish they were writing right now.

Other Somalian youth also are embracing American culture. "In Africa, I really liked music, but I couldn't work in a studio, said Mohammed Mberwa, 10. "Now, a man in Lawrenceville offered to let me rap in his studio. I go with two of my friends and rap in my native language and in English."

See, it's not all bad news -- someone in Lawrenceville is hitting the jackpot!


We sympathize with the police in most of these situations. We really do. (P-G, Paula Reed Ward)

Yet we are afraid Mr. Walczak might be correct regarding the law, and even regarding some of the principles involved.

City attorney Michael Kennedy said he could not comment on the Hackbart case because it is pending litigation. He also could not explain the discrepancy between the police saying there were no other instances, and the 188 citations produced by the courts.

Phone calls to the police training academy and Sgt. Elledge's zone commander, Kathy Degler, were not returned.



"Joe Biden helps anybody," said Bill George, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. "I think he understands the problems working families struggle with." (Trib, Wereschagin & Ritchie)

Barack Obama might have dominated and overshadowed almost any running mate; a charisma gap could have been nothing but a drag. For all Joe's foibles, this just does not seem to be a problem.

"My husband is in a union, and we wanted to see Joe Biden," said Elaine Washburn of Dormont, who watched the parade along Boulevard of the Allies with her daughter Linda, 7. "I was going to vote for Biden until he dropped out."

Biden credited labor groups with some of his political success. He has spent 35 years in the Senate.

"Like everybody else, I came to march with my friends in labor. They are the guys, like they say, that brought me to the dance," Biden said.

It could have been just the genius, gutsy decision in this election that we'll remember this time next year. (Time, Newton-Small)


But as his staff worked on things like finishing the forms needed for a delayed disruptive property crackdown... (P-G, Rich Lord)

Right. Wot's all that, then?

Development is up, with the dollar value of building permits during the first half of this year higher than that for any of the last three entire years.

To keep that going, the city has to keep paring down the bureaucratic process, said Rich Stanizzo, business manager of the Pittsburgh Building and Construction Trades Council.

"We still see the same [delays] we saw a couple of years ago, despite the fact that it's getting better," Mr. Stanizzo said.

Streamlining the bureaucracy was Mr. Ford's mission.

Rich Stanizzo? No Motznik this time around?


Sensible things appearing in the critically acclaimed P-G Casino Journal:

Many fair points from Mr. Oltmanns, but here's a question -- why would anyone have expected smooth sailing? Did Mr. Barden really think that the construction of a casino in an urban area -- the very first casino in Pittsburgh -- would not be met with political resistanace? With interference from community groups? Lawsuits from neighbors and business foes? Maybe it's that simple in Las Vegas, but from Buffalo to New Orleans, from Philadelphia to San Francisco, experience tell us that casinos are nearly always controversial projects, and construction timelines are often delayed by years. Mr. Barden may have been unfairly villified to some extent, but he was also uncommonly naive if he truly believed that he'd have his casino up and running by March 2008 (his original projection, just 15 months after winning the casino license)

We can appreciate that -- but one feels one ought not expect late-in-the-game demands by the city for "shared parking arrangements" and "a variety of new parking facilities". That could be interpreted as extra squeeze, and one big squeeze too many.

There is easy, there is difficult, and there is conspicuously difficult. There is also our evident civic modus operandi, and there is what happened to PITG Gaming.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bram,

    Got any pics of Joe "Hill" Biden marching alongside his union brothers on Sept 1st?

    Just curious.