|Major League (1989)|
Our State Legislature (R-Fox News) did not pass a sorely needed transportation bill, did not liberalize liquor sales or distribution, and did not tackle state pensions this season. And it certainly did not take part in Obamacare Medicaid expansion, thank you very much. But it did pass a structurally balanced budget on time and without raising taxes for the third year in a row, just like Mayor Ravenstahl used to do.
Corbett commemorated the occasion of those failures and that adequacy by taking credit for some modest job growth. The boasts are being questioned.
We know that liquor privatization became "tied to" paying for roads, bridges and public transit. As in: some Democrats would have caved in and voted for liberalizing liquor sales and distribution in some GOP fashion -- if the transportation bill was of commensurate seriousness.
And so we learned that having "roads and bridges" tied to public transit is also crucially, subtly important. A third rail, if you will. And high voltage - it can evidently short out a neighborhood.
Civic transportation is a sizable government expense that is executed in this world - and in this very nation - to magnificent economic and other social results. Yet that does not deter many in the Legislature who see only intrinsically corrupt and fundamentally bloated transportation authorities, which entail organized labor forces (gracious!) with which to contend. So they would really like to toss out the bathwater, baby or no.
Fortunately and so far, their attempt to kill urban public transit by attrition is taking place in what is essentially a Blue-minded state. Although you would not know that to look at its Legislature, thanks to the unpopularity of Governor Ed Rendell (D-Philadelphia) by the end of his terms, some Bonusgate razzle dazzle from Attorney General Corbett, and routine gerrymandering.
The evidently questionable detention of two Black men standing outside of a community meeting leads the Post-Gazette to voice mainstream concerns about instances of seemingly arbitrary and capricious policing, out of line with what many find acceptable even appreciating the challenges of the job. Out-front City and Bureau leadership on this aggravation is naturally at ebb tide.
Homewood Nation has been chronicling this latest thread intimately and doggedly.
See also Homewood Nation's stirring musings on incorporating new land-bank powers optimally as part of a strategic, "overall" muni-regional development plan that can transcend both community-group wish lists and brute imperialism.
Allegheny County rechristened the Comet publisher's go-to bridge, the Fighting 16th, after hometown hero historian David McCullough. Regional historian and local columnist-of-record Brian O'Neill summons us to aid a worthy project: brainstorming what is both "right" and "wrong" with Pittsburgh. I am a fan of high-low poker, so my answer is "small town sensibilities."