Friday, October 29, 2010

'Burgh Welcomes 2nd Strip Club This Year!

Hey, West End ... race 'ya till your opening!

The city of Pittsburgh and a pair of businesses seeking to open a Hustler Club in the Chateau neighborhood submitted stipulations in U.S. District Court today that would appear to clear the way for the adult entertainment establishment. (P-G, Rich Lord)

"Stipulations" ... as in, we settled with them.

The city would gain restrictions on signage at the club, including bans on the use of the words adult, exposed, naked, nude, nudity, sex, sexual, strip, topless, unclothed, and the symbol "xxx." Also restricted would be the content of Hustler Club radio and TV advertising in the market. (ibid)

Well, this is almost too much. Granny and grandson could wander in for a coke and be all, "I was not informed!"

ASIDES: Anybody remember watching the film, The People vs. Larry Flynt? Was not Mr. Flynt, founding publisher of Hustler magazine, the protagonist in that bio-pic? Does anyone else remember pulling for him and against the straight-laced, closed-minded, oft-hypocritical "values" junkies who do not value the First Amendment of the Constitution? Yeah, well there's that.

I feel awful for Manchester. These Hustler Clubs look irredeemably cheesy, and unlike the nearby casino I don't think the proceeds are even purported to lower our property tax burden.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


h/t my new fave nat'l politics blog, GQ's The Wire with Ana Marie Cox.

Parking Authority Eschews Council-Controller Plan

"Out of hand" is the catchphrase of the season:

"This is the worst example of reckless borrowing I've ever seen," board Chairman Scott Kunka said just before the 3-2 vote of the five-member board. Kunka is also the city's finance director. (Trib, Bill Vidonic)

I'm told that Admiral Chris of Just Ducky spoke eloquently on the problems the Authority would have encountered in terms of facilities maintenance, and on its own clear lack of necessity or motivation for purchasing these assets at such a serendipitous price.

ANALYSIS: At least it refused to pay for a study it'd just wind up ignoring for its own reasons. Score one for the Authority in terms of financial stewardship right off the top.

NEXT UP: Likely the original Council-President Plan of simply having the City take out the debt will be revisited. That will be interesting. Also, this time next week some real-world pensions facts from PMRS will arrive -- which among other things, will clarify what a state takeover would feel like.

MORE: Trib, Bill Vidonic;

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting Ready to Rumble, while Reflecting on the "Weekend News".

I'll handle this. You take the long way.

At 1:00 PM today, City Council President Darlene Harris will gavel in a special meeting which was called by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl by his own right, to discuss a possible state takeover of the city's authority to manage its own pension funds...

Likely, and possibly backbreaking, budget cuts that would go along with that...

The Harris-Dowd-Rudiak bill presently under consideration which purports to successfully and safely avert that state takeover...

And, unavoidably, on occasion, the Mayor's rejected parking lease proposal (though expect his rivals to spend more time than him on this subject). There will also probably be trial balloons floated for wholly new or adjusted plans and gambits.

This will all be LIVEBLOGGED by me if I can get a signal in that venerable old room. It will also be cablecast though not webstreamed, so as Don King would say, call your local cable operator, and make sure you're getting City Channel 13.


On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette led off its front page with what was unarguably a political analysis piece (if not an opinion piece) posturing somewhat as a news story.

This was the method it selected to frame a forthcoming discussion about the full scope, magnitude, and alarmingly significant proximity of Pittsburgh's fiscal nightmare and what if anything whatsoever can be done about it. The prior piece on the meeting in Saturday's paper also became catalogue of political assertions, spliced and edited together for maximum drama, passable humor and a certain effect.

I hope the coy score-settling is out of everyone's system finally, and that everybody can check their interpersonal and interoffice drama, not to mention long histories, at the door. I hope the local MSM in the coming days will be suffused with context from economics experts, prominent state officials, disinterested business people and individuals who understand Pittsburgh's unique and uniquely untenable financial position inside and out. The endless armchair psychoanalysis of our mayor by his direct political rivals, for example, and assumptions based off of assumptions about what might develop serving as story hooks and leads -- that all may have outlasted its conceivable utility, that is, utility for exposition rather than for legitimizing one's unique impression of politically charged moments.

Rich Lord is a special guy to this blog. His talent is enormous, yet conjoined with so much stagecraft and such extravagantly directed suspicion, he better resembles a blogger at times. Clearly that's a compliment but with stakes this high it's just an alarming observation.

If Lord were to be offered a regular column on the opinions page of the Post-Gazette, and were he to accept it, that would be super fantastic -- cheers would go up from all corners of this region, and I would be sponsoring the parade. If he were to start writing and getting paid for his own editorial-friendly web presence on PG+, which is only $2.99 per month and packed with content already, that would be just one more reason to join.

Until then, however, I think the public might better be served by placing an experienced, well-educated, fresh set of eyes -- and preconceptions -- on this narrowly urgent set of issues. There must be something Marcellus-related happening today. Sometimes if you're too close to too little for too long, you become a part of the story.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Lyricists: John Lennon and Paul McCartney

The Stanza:
Think of what you're saying

You can get it wrong and still you think that it's alright
Think of what I'm saying
We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night
We can work it out