Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday: Let us read this List from Red Core to Black Sky.

Random Updates:

PittGirl covers the Santonio beat.

Bob Mayo has generated 25+ comments on the Ashley Todd story. (See what going to Podcamp does for you?)

Messiah posts on Hank Williams Jr.'s electoral activities.

Correction at bottom.

Port Authority strike looming ever more loomily.

CEO Steve Bland may "declare" a "formal impasse" at today's board meeting. It is unclear what if anything this would trigger.

Perhaps mass hysteria, looting, cats juggling pies in the street. Perhaps another round of haughty newspaper editorials, op-eds, and Pat McMahon effigies dressed in clown suits. (P-G, Joe Grata; Trib, Jim Ritchie)

Patrick Dowd all worked up over police station shift.

Announced by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in July, the shift of the Zone 3 station from South Side Flats to Allentown was to occur by Jan. 1 but now seems unlikely to happen before late March, because of the need to get waivers on accessibility rules. (P-G, Rich Lord)

If it gets delayed another couple of months after that, it might have an interesting effect on the election map -- but that's not really today's story.

Councilman Patrick Dowd wrote to Mr. Ravenstahl saying the project "clearly falls well outside of the scope of the URA's mission" and demanding that he "immediately bring this question before City Council."

"Before a dollar is spent, council must approve," Mr. Dowd said yesterday. "There'll be people who will claim that council is petty, political and unfocused. ... The easiest solution is coordination and communication."

Mental note: suggest that members of council may be carrying water for the Mayor more often.

Mr. Dowd said that failing to consult council on such a major project, and then putting it into an involved budget, is "a tactic that's unacceptable. ... In a world where the council and mayor are working collaboratively, those kinds of decisions and conversations would occur before the submission of a capital budget."

This begs the question -- is this a wholly procedural objection, or does the Councilman bear some specific reservations about moving that police station up that hill and into that building, which would have to undergo certain restorations pursuant to some specifications?

Kuhn's grocery option in the Hill appearing a bit shaky.

It's hard to tell what's going on ... but it's starting to look like Councilwoman Payne and Radio Talker Meachem et al might have been right after all. Yet it might be gamesmanship. We'll see in a month or less. (Courier, Christian Morrow)

Pubic officials still thickheaded about public employees and resources.

A wealthy, powerful state senator deployed staffers as personal assistants who spied on his ex-lovers, chauffeured his children, oversaw mansion renovations and performed myriad other chores, federal prosecutors said yesterday. (P-G, Maryclaire Dale)

The scary part is, Fumo sounds like he's offering his explanations sincerely.

Channel 11 to broadcast special on violence this weekend.

It's amazingly refreshing to see a local TV outfit undertaking productions of this seriousness. Saturday at 9:00, Sunday and next Friday at 8:00. (Courier, Nikki Coffee)

Channel 11 website doesn't look like crap anymore.

Just noticed. (WPXI)

Judge Rufus Peckham gavels down the P-G's Tony Norman.

We'd like to say we understand what Our Columnist was getting at, but it did come across as an awful glib dismissal of Clinton supporters. Meanwhile, everyone should prepare for racial discourse on all sides to get substantially more choppy before it gets better. (Pgh Men's B.S.)

Bob Mayo is a Twit.

This means we'll have to learn how to do that. (Busman)

Here is a picture to make you happy:

OH FREAK!! CORRECTION: The Wagner + Peduto shindig is not this evening. Consider this hype...


  1. God Bless Ashley Todd!

    Finally, I have a costume for the Peduto shindig!


    The Gab

  2. Today is not the 31st, is it? Is my computer clock lying to me?

    I only scanned the PG story, but I am beginning to suspect PAT wants to force a strike rather than run out of money. Onorato would, I strongly suspect, vastly prefer that, so the union remains the bad guy (not PAT and especially not Onorato - who is with holding the proceeds of the drink tax and the state money that unlocks).

  3. Ed,
    Are you disputing Onorato's contention that even with the money, PAT goes under in 2009? Because the contract will go well past that. Or are you suggesting that PAT should sign a contract knowing that they can only meet its terms for the first year? Or that the county should ask a bunch of people whose own retirement funds are tanking for more money so that the drivers can still retire at 55 with their health care paid for?

  4. I don't know about Ed, but I'm saying I'm not convinced that PAT is coming to the table on some of the union's ideas. It seems like a very, very hard line.

    Think I should go to the bash with a backwards "L" carved on my chest?

  5. Oh geez Ed, thanks. I thought you were just making a comment about it being early for Halloween.

  6. If any of the union's idea would save an appreciable amount of money, I'm unaware of them. Which isn't saying much because the union hasn't put any effort into public outreach.

  7. That's true, MH, and usually that has been described as a weakness.

    One thing you can't accuse them of, though, is NEGOTIATING THROUGH THE MEDIA.

    "I would go to that board meeting today, guys. There are going to be fireworks!"

    I wonder if there's a script.

  8. Here's the script.

    1. Spend recklessly until there is a crisis.
    2. Use the crisis to raise taxes.
    3. Use the tax dollars to avert crisis without curbing reckless spending.
    4. Repeat.

  9. Bram, do I understand correctly that you are going to be on the radio on Monday with a former Pittsburgh blogger? I'm assuming you're not going to need a referee.

  10. Oh heck yeah, I was going to mention it Monday morning. Literary bon vivant Chad Hermann, burghosphere President Pro-Tem Daveyvoe DeAngelo, and yours truly. Hosted by Mark DeSantis of all people, on Lynn Cullen's old station. It's going to be a wild time.

    I am not sure if we're taking calls, but if we're taking calls, does the Judge have a voice?

  11. I'll be the guy asking, "What the hell happened to Doug Hoerth?"

  12. Let PAT go on strike... Pat McMahon (sp?) is AFRAID of letting his membership vote on any deal.. typical peacock-fluttering from an Union "leader" who draws his compensation from Union members and probably could get or hold a job in the real world.

    Hey Pat.. "What are you afraid of?