|Village Voice, Michael Musto|
"Pitch Perfect" starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow and Anna Camp is Glee times Bring It On plus American Pie, and with all the fun of possibly mocking Twilight. If it gets you in the mood for all-female a capella stylings, check out the Sounds of Pittsburgh Women's Barbershop Chorus for weekly auditions or to procure a Telephone Singing Valentine for just $10.
Our Penguins of Ice Hockey are 3-3 after six games, and Penguins blogger Finesse finds the team stale, disinterested, mediocre, top-heavy, goaltender-deficient, and the horn too loud. Don't worry, gang, it's a long season... er, well, it's a season. It's definitely winter.
As muttered first at the Comet, it looks like Joseph Brimmeier is County ACE Fitzgerald's choice to head the Port Authority in place of Steve Bland. As an award-winning member of the semi-notorious Turnpike Commission and as a political-end specialist, first his lack of public transit chops came into question by transit advocates and budget hawks alike, then explanations of a contract sought by a family member failed to achieve an exemplary score on the smell test, now he's getting the Eric Heyl treatment.
In a perfect world, Fitzgerald would simply make a forthright case for whatever important skill sets Brimmeier brings to the table (surely if he's "politically connected" he might be able to better hit up Harrisburg for dedicated funding, right?) then the Port Authority board would vote, and Brimmeier would either be approved sans any suggestions of arm-twisting, or be routinely and dispassionately rejected without any need for loss-of-face or triumphal rancor; on to evaluate Fitzgerald's next candidate would be all.
But of course in this world there are ramifications, man. Varying ramifications. And it does not seem as though anybody is yet in possession of that rough outline of key skill sets. I do not doubt such an outline exists, but if by its nature it is not fit for broad circulation, maybe it deserves a second look. I'm not sure anyone would be content even with a temporary CEO without such bona fides.
[A] note on gas drilling on County land for County profit: This Region Be Fracking. There is no ignoring that. If we can identify and vet an Allegheny County site and get involved in pursuing a pilot project, the public oversight employed might turn the whole thing into an excellent laboratory experiment. That is, in addition to the revenue, which, once again, we seem to require in an awful way. (Comet 9/10/12)
Turns out we are learning more from that experiment faster than we thought. In a relative sense I think Airport lands are less-bad, due to the availability of pre-existing infrastructure and its remoteness from residences. But this I never expected:
Federal rules prevent the county from directly getting any of the airport's drilling money. So if Fitzgerald can't get the state's help, he and airport leaders plan to invest drilling money to lower fees to draw more flights to the airport, and add roads and water pipes to draw more commercial development to its 9,000-acre property. (Trib, Timothy Puko)
Man... see, I was sold on the project because I thought it could help close the County budget gap and keep taxes down, preserve or expand County health services, maybe even safeguard public transit. But now if the state doesn't play ball, which it should, but it probably won't -- why are we drilling public land again? Growth, again? Lower gate fees at a spinster airport? Mm.
And finally in property taxes:
This is where it gets tricky, but I'll tell you right now the county has to cut its rate about 10 percent further. That's exactly what county Controller Chelsa Wagner said last week, and she's right. We both know that because we -- and you -- can go to an online property tax estimator provided by Carnegie Mellon University economist Robert Strauss and his scary smart team of number crunchers. (P-G, Brian O'Neill)
The Fitzy & Chelsa Show generally is a boon to Allegheny County so long as one is not seated in the front rows or at least has plastic. But if O'Neill and the software have it correct, this is a rout on a hot-button issue.
Now me, personally? I wouldn't expect or desire everyone who endorses me to be a saint floating around on progressive rose petals. However I'd prefer that if anyone start seeming "foolish" or "redolent," they should take a backseat -- and nobody can afford to take a backseat these days. I do harbor this fantasy of the County Controller and the County Executive, bitter differences aside, endorsing the same person in the Democratic Party primary -- primary!, primary -- what a strong statement that would make, for everybody! But meanwhile and more to the point, it's almost as though Fitz needs to get back on the scoreboard with Joe Sixpack. On at least one of these issues.