Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday: What Would Benson and Stabler Do?

We've been obsessed with our money woes, but as others have pointed out, one thing we cannot fail to address is crime.

Pittsburgh's homicide rate rose 38 percent in 2008 compared to the year prior, even though homicides decreased nationwide and property crimes and violent crime overall were down in the city.

Statistics released Monday by the FBI show that violent crime dropped 2.5 percent nationwide and 2.8 percent in Pittsburgh. Violent crimes are homicide, aggravated assault, rape and robbery. (Trib, Jill King Greenwood)

An indelicate question: since the city has seen a significant spike in homicides which have been concentrated in relatively few neighborhoods -- suggesting a sort of mob rule -- should we be assuming that instances of assault, rape and robbery in those areas are being under-reported?

City police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said disputes between gangs over drugs played a part in driving up the homicide rate.

"There is a high availability of guns, and people are not afraid to use them to settle even the smallest dispute," Stangrecki said. (ibid)

Instead of reporting a robbery, for example, under those circumstances one might meekly stand pat and count one's blessings. So I wonder if things are at least a little worse than they appear. See also P-G, Jerome Sherman.


Which is not to say we don't have serious money issues. (Null Space)

One popular solution to the airport's chronic money woes may be leasing the parking lots. (P-G Edit Board, PGH is a City)

Dan "The Tax Man" "The Outsider" Onorato gets set to take on Tom Knox, Don Cunningham and Jack Wagner for the Democratic nomination for Governor in this deceptively excellent article. (Trib, Brad Bumstead)

A grassroots community group is organizing IN FAVOR of a development. Now I've seen everything. (OneFiveTwoOneOne)

Prodigious great-great-grandmother and probable Comet reader Flossie Carter celebrates her 109th birthday today. She doesn't look a day over 70. (Trib, Chris Togneri)


BREAKINGish: US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan drops the long-running Cyril Wecht case like it's hot and slippery, following an adverse ruling several weeks ago.

The judge wrote in his opinion that had a supporting affidavit of probable cause been attached to the warrant applications, the problem would have been resolved.

Ms. Buchanan admitted that a mistake was made by not attaching the paperwork, but she continued, it was left out so as not to reveal too much information about the ongoing investigation. (P-G, Paula Reed Ward)

An object lesson on the importance of paperwork.

"We have a lot of other criminals we can go after," she said. (Trib, Jason Cato)

Boogity boogity!


  1. Now what am I going to do with all of these "Free Cyril" t-shirts?

  2. It is looooong past time for some enterprising reporter to determine through some good old fashioned public records research how much taxpayer time and how many millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted by Mary Beth "We will charge you but we can't convict you" Buchanon in her bogus investigation of Cyril and former Mayor Murphy...

  3. According to Mary Beth, justice has no price. Justice has no price? Everything has a price, someone has to pay it!
    Taxpayers paid it alright. Why didn't the issue of improper attachment of paperwork come out earlier? Why was it a mystery? If the feds are coming in to seize and search your files, aren't you allowed to know why?