Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday: Carry it Forward

In June, the [water and sewer] authority's contract with Chester Engineers expired, and it has been continued on a month-to-month basis while the authority figures out what to do. One of the largest city-related contracts, it paid Chester $4.3 million last year, according to documents the authority provided to the Post-Gazette. (P-G, Rich Lord)

Northside United, a consortium of labor, environmental and community groups, has been trying to negotiate a community benefits deal with Continental for months over a proposed Hyatt Place Hotel development closer to PNC Park, but so far has been unsuccessful. Yesterday, the group turned its attention to the four-acre riverfront site that is expected to house would house the year-round entertainment complex. (P-G, Team Effort)

Lamar Advertising has appealed a city of Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment decision barring a half-completed Downtown sign and a proposed "ticker" sign that stirred controversy in city government last year. (P-G, Rich Lord)

In 2006, a jury found -- and the Superior Court this week agreed -- that Mr. Sciortino shifted $244,000 from a joint account with Mr. Johnson into one he alone controlled; that he spent $248,000 in Fairmont funds on things including his home driveway and car lease payments; and that he interfered with Fairmont contracts to the tune of $225,000. (P-G, Team Effort)

With discrimination against homosexuals a hot-button issue in today's society, a gay superhero is hitting television at just the right time. While fighting villains and seeking justice, Creed could very well deepen his viewers' understanding along the way. (P-G, Edit Board)

"I've been very angry about it," Grabowski said. "(Claire) keeps telling me to get over it. But I just look at that list of schools. Philadelphia Community College is eligible. Why is that covered and Grove City, which is 60 miles away, is not? Why in the name of peace would anyone from Pittsburgh want to go to Philadelphia Community College?" (Trib, Debra Erdley)

Margaret Philbin, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said today that Buchanan and other U.S. attorneys were asked last week by President Barack Obama's transition team to stay in their positions for now. The request also was made of U.S. marshals. (Trib, Jason Cato)

President Obama is getting to work. (ABC News)


  1. Pull 10 items off the internet, hope they make sense.

  2. Many topics to comment on, Bram, but I'll stick to one.

    I am still struggling with the "controversy" about the Pittsburgh Promise only applying to certain schools, all of which happen to be in the Commonwealth and most in Allegheny County. I understand that students and their parents wish that the Promise extended to every college in the country, but I think that the 96 schools offered present a pretty good set of options.

    I have yet to hear a compelling argument for expanding the list outside the Commonwealth. I think the list provides ample opportunities at schools that span the spectrum of post-high school study. And if leaving the Commonwealth is worth $5,000 per year to you, then I admire your passion and zeal.

    I went to Pitt after applying to three state schools, all because of in-state tuition discounts. Sometimes you have to go where the bargain is.

  3. Well, P & G, let's take a look at that. It's a given that extending the Promise to every old college is not wise. My question is that of Ms. Grabowski - how in the name of peace did Philadelphia Community College get on the list and not a college like Grove City? Are there any patterns to be discovered regarding the colleges that qualify?

    As I am given to understand, two years ago then-Interim Mayor Ravenstahl and Superintendent Roosevelt had a one night stand, and Our Mayor delivered unto the world a non-profit. Dan Onorato and Mike Doyle lined up behind him, and the non-profit was lifted up to the sky and called the Pittsburgh Promise. And the skies parted and the sun shone down upon it.

    A year later, we learn that UPMC expects city tax credits in return for the great generosity which salvaged the struggling non-profit (its donations evidently being what they call Payments In Lieu of Taxes).

    It just makes you wonder what else may be redolent. By what methodology were the colleges chosen? Clearly geography was not a strong factor.

  4. Admittedly, if I've come to learn anything about Pittsburgh city government (complemented nicely by religious watching and re-watching of The Wire, which good for fostering cynicism), it's that things are rarely as they appear and an ulterior motive almost always exists.

    On the topic of geography, I believe - and I could very well be mistaken - that the only private schools included in the Promise are in Allegheny County, so there is some geographical consideration. But the question of how those 96 schools came to be on the list is a valid one.

    I guess, as with anything else, more information is needed, particularly with regards to UPMC's involvement (actually, more information is needed with regards to everything UPMC is involved in; they should set up a commission whose sole purpose is to be a watchdog over UPMC).

    Transparency. I'd say it's becoming a buzz word, if it's not already.

  5. "* All Pennsylvania state-funded schools, community colleges and private schools in Allegheny County that offer two OR four year degree programs, including many trade schools. For a complete list, click here."

    Seems pretty straightforward.

  6. Bah! Who invited Pgh Is A City? :->

    Okay, if it's that cut and dry, maybe there's not much to that particular line of thought.

    The Promise still seems to be arousing a notable amount of populist dissatisfaction, and I chalk it up to a degree of protective insularity throughout. I wonder whether an even more satisfactory scholarship might have developed in several aspects if, during its gestation, it had been exposed to occasional public vetting and tempering.