The Steelers and a Columbus developer won't start construction of a proposed $12 million entertainment venue on the North Shore until April, four months later than required under a term sheet approved in August. (P-G, Mark Belko)
I guess there's no reason ever to hold the Steelers to anything.
Stadium Authority Executive Director Mary Conturo said she did not believe she needed board approval for the change in the start date, arguing the term sheet simply set forth the "basic intent of the transaction."
Do we have any legitimately functioning authorities?
UPDATE: Allegheny Institute.
Based on this and maybe a few other things, the Pittsburgh Comet has a lot of confidence in both the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office and the Court of Common Pleas. This is major-league problem solving. (P-G, Edit Board)
The head of Allegheny County's Health Department said today that restaurant inspection has been up to par.
Dr. Bruce Dixon testified before County Council's Health and Human Services Committee this afternoon, responding to a recent article in the Post-Gazette detailing shortcomings in restaurant inspection. (P-G, Daniel Malloy; h/t Pgh Is A City)
The long-awaited Henry Sciortino post should appear tomorrow. If anyone out there would like to scoop me or provide some input in advance as to what I might include or be wary of (it will neither be an exhaustive nor definitive piece), you should have about 24 hours.
Bruce Vilanch: Yeah, there aren't many cities where you can look down on skyscrapers. (Pittsburgh Hoagie)
City solicitor George Specter is now on the record independently regarding the developments.
"This so-called cease and desist letter, which is what it was, was sent to them, and they were given thirty days in which to come into compliance." (KDKA, Marty Griffin)
"They were told to come into compliance, based on the issues that were brought forward to our attention, and our understanding is that they did come into compliance." (ibid.)
Now in today's paper:
A building inspector looked at the outside of the building a week later but didn't enter or write a report, said Bureau of Building Inspection Chief Sergei Matveiev. He did not know why the inspector didn't go in. (P-G, Rich Lord)
Had the club never been visited at all by BBI, that might have been explained by overworked departmental staff or even "things getting lost in the shuffle."
The only reason I can imagine to inspect a building's exterior in response to a situation involving these specific kinds of alleged non-compliances is to log or otherwise demonstrate the semblance of an inspection, and to purposefully look the other way while doing so. That seems more likely to me than sheer staff incompetence -- and there's plenty of motivation to look in that other direction.
From a comment on the Comet by Anonymous 4:43 AM:
This place has been around for years. Has always stayed off the radar. I will not be surprised to find that this poor guy died from some type of natural condition or exposure to a controlled substance.
Drugs are every where. Straight bars, gay bars, clubs, dive hotels, fancy hotels.
IF this is a private club, then what is the harm? As long as everyone is an adult, there are no illegal activities inside? And the patrons do not cause problems inside and out? Leave them be.
Also, there was F-Dzerzh:
This whole thing is a story because a man died, but the relationship between gay bar owners and city officials is a well-known and longstanding fact of life (and not only in Pittsburgh). It began in the pre-Stonewall days when they had to pay off the cops and other officials to prevent raids by the vice squad, and it never stopped. My understanding is that this fact is well-known in the gay community...
No doubt other bars, other businesses, and other building owners pay the equivalent of protection money to keep the regulators away. This is not a trivial fact, and specific examples ought to be exposed, but it is also wildly commonplace.
My response to all of that is that we definitely have to be sensitive, but we don't have to be reflexively tolerant. I don't know that anyone benefits from a double-standard, particularly one both institutionalized and shrouded in secrecy. There is an argument to be made about the bigotry of low expectations -- also I think the oft-cited "under the radar" nature of the club tells us something about its owners feelings on gay pride.
I'm not blind to the fact that Club Pittsburgh provides, perhaps tangentially, a needed service. I do wonder in 2009 whether this particular service is still so desperately necessary that we need to coddle it in all forms and deprive it of regulation. Things grow moldy in the dark.
It's also important to note that according to previous blogging by Sue (who is now admirably focused on the Big Queer Rally), some of these business operators and contributors (in some cases through prominent advocacy organizations) acted as near-formal liaisons between the GLBTQ community and the Ravenstahl administration, and were in the process of helping to organize the city's formal GLBT Advisory Board.
Now, a RETRACTION:
"As to its fate: the owners are obviously being fantastically coy about what they are operating, and are playing what one might call the sexual orientation card."
I think I must have been dreaming this. Certainly some anonymous commenters have started to play the sexual orientation card (and Mr. Karlovich certainly played the "I'm rich and people be hatin'" card) but I can find no evidence of the owners attempting to stifle public discussion by means of crying specifically homophobic persecution.
I don't know to what degree these two club owners are "respected in the community", but they do have my sincere apologies for that lack of respect and attention.