|KDKA: Marty Griffin|
Swiftly on the heels of Mayor Yarone Zober's appearance before the grand jury, Frontman Luke Ravenstahl is taking aim at federal prosecutors, saying he is preparing an aggressive defense of what may turn out to be theft-by-perks charges.
If that is what is up, Ravenstahl claims he was duly "ordered" to take bodyguards with him wherever he goes. The prosecution might argue that he himself appoints whichever Public Safety officials issue those orders, and may have selected them according to their willingness to let him utilize what he wanted, when he wanted, no questions asked -- or else pressured them to do so afterwords.
However, that whole idea fails to explain a few things about the course of InvestigatePGH:
- Why were parking lot lease and valet permits examined?
- Why was the ousted head of the Stadium Authority questioned?
- Why were URA documents subpoenaed?
- Why in March upon learning more about the investigation did Ravenstahl decline to seek reelection and then go to ground for so long and so utterly?
I don't know the answers, but none of the above would be explained by one simple flag for "Excessive Use of the Bodyguards."
The City's historic preservation planner issued an affirmative defense of the Produce Terminal's nomination as an historic structure. Such a nomination would put a crimp in Buncher Co.'s plans to demolish part of it, as its seeks in its Riverfront Landing project in the lower Strip District. But it would not necessarily prevent them from doing so. It would require a lot more work though.
Future Mayor Bill Peduto called attention to Philadelphia's plan to develop the shoreline of the Delaware River, which calls for "high quality recreational, cultural and commercial activities" and "high quality investment in public parks and trails as well as maritime, residential, retail, hotel and other improvements". In that order.
Yesterday's workshop on Inclusionary Zoning featured Frank Hammond of BNY Mellon describing how other areas have adopted legislation to encourage developers to provide more affordable housing: through bonuses for greater density, fast-tracking of certain permits and waivers of certain fees, alternative design standards, subsidies (the kind with strings actually attached) or tax abatements, and partnerships with public housing authorities. He also outlined several reasons that serious shares of honestly affordable housing is advantageous to developers, who are sometimes in a rush to maximize rents yet not necessarily thinking through of long-term implications. Bob Damewood of Regional Housing Legal Services got into an analysis of what the Penguins refer to as "affordable housing" in their proposal that is geared toward affluent young professionals -- anticipating likely monthly rents between $1,000 and $1,500 even in that subcategory, and how this would price out almost all Pittsburgh-area African-Americans and the great majority of other Americans.
Meanwhile the Penguins are circulating as part of their very own development plan a sketch of a richly verdant deck over the Crosstown Expressway that they are not planning on building, nor cognizant of when benefactors might build such a thing for them (sometime after the Garden Walkway, most likely).
Tim McNulty, covering yesterday's election-oriented event in District 7, seconds the Comet's take on Tony the Tiger's cautious fence-sitting predilection. Ceoffe himself prefers the part where Deb Gross for an instant takes a measured view of her opponent's community group's awesomeness. The Comet endorses Warren G. Harding.
Governor Tom Corbett, in a desperate last-ditch effort to avert a failed reelection bid, has proposed doing something that would benefit some Pennsylvanians. Keystone Politics analyzes Corbett's proposed "alternative" to Medicaid expansion aka Obamacare and finds it will save consumers less money, is less smart dealing with risk, and parts of it outright irrational. And it necessitates the President altering the terms of the nation's Affordable Care Act even to be implemented. Aside from that however, it's a bullseye.