Friday, August 20, 2010

Opinio Triumphus: Open Thread

In terms of genre at least, I admire this style of clamorous, panoramic editorial:

The Post-Gazette was proud to be part of the vanguard that called for these new facilities, including the Consol Energy Center, and many of the arguments for building them and funding them were waged in this space. While the naysayers and the cynics wanted to keep public dollars out of the equation, thereby leaving this latest renaissance to chance, we were not willing to let decline take hold and turn out the lights on Pittsburgh. (P-G, Edit Board)

Ovations? Quibbles?

19 comments:

  1. Quibbles? How could anybody have quibbles about spending public money to replace a building that is apparently so awful that it took a whole week before it had a huge movement dedicated to preserving it? As long as millionaires, multimillionaires, and Canadians who are their way to becoming millionaires have a nice arena to play in, I’m happy to build it with my tax dollars and not at all bitter that they can build four sports arenas but can’t fund the buses. Or fix the streets. Or keep the Greenfield bridge from dropping chunks of cement on the parkway.

    The next time somebody wants to build a giant private building with public money, I’m going to encourage a crowd to stand outside the P-G offices with torches to remind them that we aren’t willing to “turn out the lights on Pittsburgh.”

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  2. Fast Forward to 2015

    The Post-Gazette was proud to be part of the vanguard that called for the leasing of the parking garages and many of the arguments for the short sighted giveaway were waged in this space. While the naysayers and the cynics wanted to keep public assets public, thereby maintaining control of a key revenue stream, we were not willing and helped to turn out the lights on Pittsburgh.

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  3. Correlation is not causation. The reason Pittsburgh is doing reasonably well these days is that the long-term effects of the steel bust are continuing to fade (and, somewhat ironically, they also shielded us from the recent real estate bubble and bust). So we're finally getting around to the urban gentrification wave most other comparable cities started in the 1980s or 1990s. Not surprisingly, we're going to see a lot of people taking credit for that macro-level trend, but in truth it is much bigger than any of these individual events.

    So public expenditures on significant projects is more of an effect than a cause of this macro-level trend. Which is fine in general, but are we always spending the available money on our highest priority projects?

    I'm OK with the convention center, and actually very supportive of the money being spent on improving the riverfront parks and trails. But it is far less obvious that the public money being spent on the sports/entertainment venues, and the North Shore Connector designed to serve them, has been addressed pressing needs. Everyone has their pet projects, but I think the bottomline is that we could have spent a lot more of that money making the City a more attractive, healthy, efficient place to actually live, not just visit for the occasional event.

    Oh well. Hopefully more and more emphasis will be placed on such "livability" projects going forward (although that is ultimately a political question, and in the near future may depend on the results of the next couple elections). And to be fair, the sports/entertainment venues can perhaps help attract additional resources that can be used on such projects--I just think that is likely to be an inefficient and roundabout way of doing so.

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  4. If I ever decide that sarcasm and vague threats are not appropriate, I'll sound like Brian.

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  5. MH,

    Yeah, that will happen. And I wouldn't take kindly to you stomping on my turf anyway.

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  6. The "no swearing" is hard enough. Especially when it comes to giant public-funded buildings.

    I'd forgotten the convention center until you mentioned it. Maybe we could burn it for the insurance money, use the insurance money to fund pensions, make the old hockey arena a convention center, and connect it to the hotels with a gondola.

    Look at me ma. Your boy's an urban planner.

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  7. Yeah, I was disappointed that the Convention Center somehow got lumped in with the stadia also. No fairsies! (BTW, we all know a little salty language is fine down here so long as it's not "at" somebody personally and not Supervile. F-bombs for example should be real special-occasion kinda things.)

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Bram:

    Geez, Privitzing Comet!

    Have you no shame?

    monk

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  10. Monk, if your particular brand of rambling makes it harder to comment here, I'm going to steal your lawn furniture and donate it to Goodwill.

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  11. Anyone notice that both PG articles about the McCartney concert and arena opening closed with lame, suck up references to "energy"?

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  12. Print media reporters are powerless to pass up even halfway decent opportunties for punning -- it's the only way they are permitted to inject a little levity into their passionless personae. Score one for the folks at Consol and the Penguins for exhibiting diabolical brilliance.

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  13. The Morehouse suckfest (er article) across the top of the PG said it all

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  14. How about the reuse of the word preservation ;)

    Then again the suckfest at the top of the PG on Morehouse's career an is streetfighter, election losing campaigns for Gore (green coal I say) and Kerry (cant see him windsurfing tho)...made me even sicker. PG reporter, said it wasn't written by a report it was written by a jock strap.

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  15. Terrible Moist ToweletteAugust 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    Oh yeah. That was a sports story on the front of the Sunday PG. Whoda thunk it, and who would dare complain?

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  16. Alright, yes, it's been a pretty shameless display all around. The P-G can be reliably liberal / progressive on several matters, but they kind of lose their minds when it comes to A) blowing up old buildings and erecting other new shiny buildings in the name of prawgress and B) anything sports related. Guess this represents the perfect P-G storm.

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  17. Let's put a new sports center onto the ground of the P-G on The Boulevard. Perhaps an expansion for Point Park.

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