Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday: Links, Fellow Babies!*

YES!!! (P-G, Tony Norman)

Go baby, go baby, go! (P-G, Ruth Ann Daily)

This is a bold one. I don't know much about State Rep. Bill DeWeese, except his name is usually associated with evil. I guess that's what he's protesting. Unless someone wants to draw me a map with a big red X over it, I'll present this link without much further comment. (P-G OpEd, Bill DeWeese)

Illegal Search, Question Mark? It is true the judge is now questioning into how the feds searched for evidence. Guilty, innocent or something in between -- I am sure Dr. Cyril Wecht would in any event be arguing that certain evidence must be thrown out. And as Mr. Wecht is doing the arguing, I am sure any judge would be compelled to examine that contention very thoroughly. (Trib, Edit Board)

And now, the electronic media...

Maria ties some events together in an enlightening and entertaining way. (2 Political Junkies)

Also she posts a truly great video. (2PJs)

D-6 candidate Robert Daniel LaVelle has a nuanced, almost must-read position on no-bid contracts and campaign contributions. He seems heavily into the green economy and environmentalism. Additionally, he would not particularly recommend the Hill District CBA as a model. (View from BurghChair)

The Allegheny Institute has actually been on fire lately. Too much to link to separately. Just read it for a while. (Allegheny Institute)

A major-league chronicle of development efforts on Mt. Washington broke out over here! It sounds like a classic tale of Lucy taking the ball out from under Charlie Brown again and again and again. The story continues tomorrow. (15211, 15211 and 15211)

Schultz presents us with an interesting chart:

Luke almost tripled-up Dan Onorato in terms of contributions with paper trails? That's unpossible! (Thoughts on Government & other stuff)

Speaking of our County Executive, the question we must ask ourselves is: is our governments saving? (Pgh Conservative)

Very important: Patrick Dowd addresses the shuttering of Schenley. [LINK]

* UPDATE - Two more electronic essays of today trip the light fantastic. (Pgh Is A City; the HUDDLER) Also, Patrick Dowd and Darlene Harris agree on something. (P-G, Rich Lord)

And now...

[Dowd] said he'll detail his stance on campaign donations today. Council meets at 1:30 p.m. to discuss Mr. Ravenstahl's proposal to put a $4,600 cap on contributions by individuals and partnerships to any given campaign, and a $10,000 limit on political action committee donations. (P-G, Rich Lord)

No where in the article did it state that Patrick already voted in favor of strict regulations on contributions as part of Councilman Peduto's prior excellent campaign finance reform package.

No where in the article does it point out that $4,600 / $10,000 caps are ludicrously high by the standard of commonplace reform legislation for major metropolitan areas.

Cringer, anyone? I thought we were past appeasing authority.

The debate on the mayor's contribution bill now shifts to council, where Councilman William Peduto plans to amend it. He wants lower contribution limits, a legislated ban on no-bid contracts of more than $25,000 and an online database of contributions and contracts.

"I will not vote for a bill that does not contain all three of them," he said. (P-G, ibid)

Good man.

We trust that greater clarity will emerge on Mr. Dowd's position during today's proceedings. It seems about that time, or at least it will.

Meanwhile, Carmen Robinson came off sounding very well in this piece. I hope the print edition ran a photograph of her as well.


  1. All great links--thanks for putting them up!

    I really hope some real discourse breaks out regarding local government!

  2. Mayor Fluke? As in a fluke that he is mayor, or are you trying to say F Luke? Both?

  3. I watched the first moments of the Dowd talk about Schenley High School closing (and his big important role in that) and nearly choked to death.

    After a cooling off period, (15 seconds) the resumed the watch brings the following.

    Schenley's capacity was strong. There are district problems that were ignored for too long -- thanks in good part to Patrick's in-action. But, the capacity at Schenley wasn't one of them. And, by closing Schenley, the rest of the problems got ignored still. And, a new set of problems came into the scene.

    With too much capacity, why endorse a plan to open NEW high schools? New U-Prep. New I.B. New Sci-Tech. The U-PREP is in a building with ability to hold 1,000 plus students and the first year had less than 150. So, thanks to Patrick -- we've got bigger problems.

    Still no change in sight for Westinghouse nor Peabody nor Oliver nor Langley. Zippo -- still.

    Schenley wasn't a problem! But, Dowd closed it and made it worse.

    Dowd said, "For years, and years, and years (3x), people ignored the problems at Schenley." Well, Schenley's new windows were like 5 years old. The entire facade of the building, and roof, was brand new. BLIND SPOT.

    Same crap was said by Mark Roosevelt. He said on the radio that the physical structure of Schenley had not changed for 90 years. Except the new swim pool, new gym and addition -- all modern in recent decades. Lies.

    Money was spent on Schenley. Not enough on the walls. But, elsewhere.

    The 'Rightsized plan' (old news on Dowd's tenure) was to close 20+ ELEM Schools. Except 1 = Schenley H.S. Some how that school, Schenley HS, was put into the mix with Elem Schools. Go figure. That was on Dowd's watch. We fixed that with outrage at the board.

    The merry-go-round didn't stop on Patrick's watch. It tripled in speed, IMNSHO.

  4. Thanks Mark, I would add, the School Board, including Dowd, NEVER answered the questions parents had, NEVER showed the "overwhelming evidence" they supposedly had, NEVER actually proved any of the assertions that they reiterated over and over and over. Dowd standing there now and saying that "I did what had to be done!" doesn't actually answer the Schenley question at all, its merely a rhetorical slight of hand. Something Dowd seems particularly adept at. And to be honest I'm pretty sure Dowd doesn't know he's doing it. I think he THINKS he is open and honest and giving "strait talk." But thinking doesn't make it so.

  5. I never believed the District was being totally forthcoming and transparent about the Schenley situation, either. In this video I was at once gladdened, impressed and confounded that Dowd quotes a $40 million to $80 million spread for rehabilitating the building -- I don't think the administration ever conceded anything less than $75 million or so.

    Nonetheless, it became very obvious that most Pittsburghers came down with Patrick on the larger issue. It plays as a net plus. We can return to wage the Schenley war at any time, the building is still sitting there, in the District's hands. More later.

  6. Most Pittsburghers did NOT come down with Patrick on this larger issue. There is no "net plus."

    On paper, Dowd is a much better candidate - 1 vs. 1 - over Luke Ravenstahl. However, in actions, that is another story yet to unfold.

    Scheneley (and Dowd's associated actions) presents a serious problem for Dowd. To ignore it is one approach.

  7. "To ignore it is one approach."

    That's the point, Mark. He addressed the issue in front of citizens and reporters. One of those wrote about it; another one posted it onto the Net. Nobody is ignoring anything. It's obviously an important issue. There's just more than one way of thinking about it. More than two ways.

    Suggestion for a new topic: Anyone who didn't read the Danny LaVelle Q&A yet should go. Also, check out Hoagie's blog for Tonya Payne paraphernalia.

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