Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Artist: Kellee Maize

The song: Third Eye

Kellee Maize is from Pittsburgh and you will be hearing a lot more from her I am sure. I caught her live performance at media relations impressaria Jennifer England's first On the Spot benefit fundraiser, and it was all terribly legit and hardcore, notwithstanding the slight Ke$hakira vibe in the above music video.

"Spitting rhymes like a full clip," I believe is what it's called. You can access her other tracks here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Snowmaggedon Task Force: Prepare More, Communicate More, BUY MORE.

It has just recently grown debatable how immediate and dire is the City of Pittsburgh's financial peril, but today we are reminded that only six months ago, our vulnerabilities were laid bare to a more palpable kind of emergency.

Are there any correlations? It would appear so:

Recommendation #4: It is the finding of the Task Force that the City must invest in larger scale plowing and dumping equipment, especially large dump trucks, grades, back hoes and high lifts...

Recommendation #5: It is the finding of the Task Force that the City must make it a priority to purchase public safety vehicles that are capable of responding in all potential emergency situations, especially snow-related emergencies... (TFEOSP, click through to Final Report)

Those are two out of nine recommendations in the 275-page report, so clearly there is much more to chew over. I may read this one in its entirely; it looks set up to be a thriller.

MORE: Trib, P-G, newer P-G (with DPW director Rob Kaczorowski reacting a mite defensively).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Peduto: "The State Had a Plan" [*-UPDATED: with link to Lamb's plan]

Looks like I'm gonna have to eat some crow after all:

Those who oppose Act 44 try to scare people with claims that we will have to make severe cuts, or raise property taxes – or worse. They say that the state will come in and mandate terrible tax increases and harmful cuts to the city. It is unfortunate and of course it is not true. WE can also find a way to get to the additional $27 million – it is possible. If we do, we will then have a more stable pension plan, will not have to borrow money and will not have given away over $3 billion in revenue over the next 50 years. (People for Peduto e-blast)

Is Councilman Bill Peduto coming out provisionally in-favor of the state pensions takeover? If so that would require altering the rhetoric from something other than "state takeover".

"State plan". "Selfless relinquishment". "Not it." "Union kyrptonite."

ANALYSIS: My actual concern with the concept is this: let's grant his math is correct and under the "takeover" the city will have to scrape only an extra $27 million worth of ink out of the budget next year, and let's grant that this can be done. Would not those pension payments due to the state inflate to even crazier levels the following few years?

The political calculus reads: hmm, that's interesting, nobody needs to actually amass five votes to approve the takeover! One needs only to play a prevent defense against the Mayor's plan (the lease), the Council President's plan (bonded debt) or the Controller's plan (unicorn milk *-UPDATE: sell-hike-borrow) getting any five votes of their own -- and the takeover wins by default.

But even further, hmmmmm ... take a look at the swingingmost votes: Harris is singularly unlikely to stick a fork in labor's eye, and Dowd is singularly unlikely to jump onto a Peduto brand bandwagon. Maybe it would have been best to keep this effort entirely obfuscated like a Palpatine, but now it's been e-blasted and blogged upon. Whoopsie.