Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday: Milking It.

1. Somebody ordered a wild card? ORDER UP: Bond Buyer, Jennifer DePaul c/o Null Space.

I can't imagine any amount of plain English and basic Arithmetic is going to rouse the Commonwealth of Pa to seize responsibility for managing the City's pension fund (they already turned craven and ran for the hills), nor do I imagine we are going to rack up any $35 Insufficient Funds Fees within the next eleven months. Nor do I even imagine Our State will forcibly discomfort ensconced city leaders within that time frame. But if you happen to be in the market for an atmosphere of peril and uncertainty appropriate to the theme from Halloween, this is legitimately, surely, and exclusively it. Though the Jaws theme might be more appropriate.

2. Hats off to the City Paper for a tremendous story and cover image.

3. The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program is more universally celebrated and well-endowed than ever. Now, some students will receive college scholarships named for its foremost corporate donors, though hopefully not tattoos and politically triggered microchips. But will the scrumptious carrot of a subsidized secondary education prove popular enough to convince families to engage with the school district after the system releases over 250 teachers -- even those objectively demonstrated to be the best at teaching children? How are we evaluating all these claims about the impact on students and residents in a way that approaches thoroughgoing science? I'm not dismissive of the program by any means, but there's no mistaking that as an educational program it's a Rube Goldberg device underpinned by conservative principles about behavior and about how to support a community while circumnavigating the government.

4. Air rights? Did somebody say, "air rights?"

5. What's so special about Bloomfield that its reapportionment amongst one, two, or three Council members has become such a flash point? And is Burgess really advocating a map which would leave only one African-American district? That seems awfully counter-intuitive. Perhaps his plan rolls the dice on the present two with an outside chance on three, but a possibility of one? The School District seems to have managed three.


  1. HA! Doug Shields is a fine one to talk about "tossing brickbats willy-nilly"...

  2. Why is Burgess coming out on this issue before the release? I smell a rat as always.

  3. Usually, one loops in the public as a last resort when the odds are against one otherwise. So it's interesting here, given that the reapportionment committee is a reflection of Council and Burgess is in the nominal majority.

    I'm pretty sure the issues in Lavelle's district are incidental / proxy to the real conflict. Burgess's district needs to grow somewhere, the question is where and whom.

  4. #3 "even those objectively demonstrated to be the best at teaching children" Surprised that you are confident enough in the measurement tools to make that statement.

  5. Is is true that the 5th is slated to lose Regent Square and everything north of Forbes?

  6. Maybe someone will leak their whole back-of-the-napkin map, but its all pretty early to say anything's "slated".

    There's no question but that with Merriman-Preston and Carter on the committee, reapportionment will evince some political stoichiometry. Try not to clutch your pearls too tightly -- ideally they'll balance each other out.

  7. Oops -- that should read, "on or near" the committee. It all boil back to Council anyway, it's not like a judge gets to draw the maps.

    Unless Council can't pass something. Mwahaha.