Saturday, April 27, 2013

Peduto: $1 / Car for the Greater Hill

Darrell Sapp, P-G

Count it:

The Dollar A Car Parking Benefit District is a fair, legal way to make sure that Hill residents and businesses share in the prosperity of redevelopment efforts. Let’s make it happen. (Songs of Policy, Bill Peduto #25)

It almost sounds as though it's a zoning district. Exquisite.

The Comet has been on board with the idea of structuring community benefits to actually trickle from highly subsidized, public-land seizing, elephantine developments into our actual neighborhoods since our adolesence. It has also been certain that a healthy, mainly residential, and presently existent Greater Hill (and geographically, it alone) is vital to the ceiling for the economic vibrancy, and the floor to economic weakness, of Pittsburgh's proper Downtown. This sounds like a responsible, grassroots and very appropriate way to go about reconstructing a vibrant Hill.

And it's about time we all came together and did that.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fifteen courageous local Electeds, dozens of Unions and other Orgs, out for a Mayor Peduto

While we fashion the Comet's own endorsement:

"We need a mayor who has a vision. A mayor who knows how to grow this community. In this election, it's quite simple." ... State Rep. Ed Gainey, Democrat, Newly Fighting 24th



Jarvis Jones pick places Football before Government

Behind the Steel Curtain


The injury occurred against Oregon on Halloween in 2009. By all accounts, it was a routine hit, but after staying on the turf for a few seconds, he was removed from the game. Within days, he found himself in the hospital, where a specialist told him he had a "mild" case of spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column. "I've seen this over and over again," Jones remembers the doctor saying. "If you play the game long enough, things like this will happen."

The doctor told Jones he would be fine and he could play again. But the Trojans' team doctors thought the injury was much more serious and refused to clear him for contact; they eventually recommended that Jones retire from football. So the then-20-year-old spent his days wandering from class to the basketball gym to the weight room. "Just like a regular student," he says. Just a 6'3", 241-pound student who considered trying out for USC's basketball team.

"But in my head," Jones says, "I never let go of the fact that the first specialist told me I'd be okay."
In fact, he's been better than okay. Now an All-American for the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs, Jones is arguably the best defender in college football, a master of technique with a sixth sense for tracking down quarterbacks. (ESPN, Jordan Conn)

Just as there must always be a Stark in Winterfell, the Pittsburgh Steelers must have dominating linebackers. The organization wasted no time. When it can, it also has a prejudice in favor strong character qualities enhanced by overcoming adversity. A lucky and suitable draft choice.

Now, if only we can get them to stop ripping off taxpayers at most opportunities. But that's our own fault, isn't it?

h/t Kovac & Kovacevic

Confidential to Mr. Jones: you can sponsor sandwiches, shoes or designer sports drink to your heart's content, but despite the obvious temptation I wouldn't be in any great rush to market hair products. That way flies Icarus. Welcome to the City of Champions.

Monday, April 22, 2013

In Race for Pittsburgh Mayor, J-Wags' pedestal still notable, embarrassing

Charlie Glickman

On Saturday, 52% of African-Americans convening in five neighborhoods voted to endorse State Rep. Jake Wheatley for Mayor of Pittsburgh.

A respectable 33% voted for City Councilman Bill Peduto.

Only 12% of black Pittsburghers endorsed former Harrisburg financial watchdog Jack Wagner -- which ought to be disqualifying in a city Democratic primary.

Not to worry, however. The CEO's of the Steelers and the Penguins are now endorsing Wagner. So we have a real clear "Man of the People" thing going on.

The 12% figure from over the weekend conjures Wagner's last run for Pittsburgh mayor. In that contest, despite his alleged ability to forge great relationships and demonstrate awesome leadership, Wagner somehow got shellacked 72-28% in a two-man race. How could Pittsburghers have failed to notice Wagner's relationships and leadership?

According to coverage, even back in 1993, Wagner failed to be seen as "the candidate for change". He lost by greater than a 2-1 margin to an opponent "derided as a reformer without a power base," whose lame proposals included spooling out a citywide riverfront trail system, upgrading City Hall technology, and partnering with universities to invest in environmental science and industry.

Jack Wagner today is emphasizing the feats of 45 years ago while eliding over whatever may be his "mission". We are left to assume that mission is to ease the sting of a 44-point loss to Tom Murphy twenty years ago, when Pittsburghers knew him better.

Since then he rose to inhabit the important but inscrutable office of state Auditor General.  There are clear indications that comically antiquated and immobile technologies were left unmolested and unquestioned by Wagner, and probably contributed to inefficiencies and a backlog.

The Wagner team responded indignantly that his opponent is being petty and unfortunate -- and, of course, the media more or less bought it without digging deeper.

After all, the Ravenstahl administration (now disgraced and on the lam) and its allies have been telling us Peduto is whiny and petty for years. We're accustomed to hearing it. And I mean, just look at him. Peduto's never worked in Harrisburg. Peduto's never been to Vietnam. Peduto's not supported by the entirety of the Ravenstahl administration. Peduto started standing up to them six years too early, and in this town being ahead of your time is no virtue.

Jack Wagner, meanwhile, operates on a totally different playing field. When the AG's office technology and backlog issue broke, the chief political scribe in the newspaper of record took a break from transcribing a Wagner advertisement (usually, you have to pay to air those) to mention curtly and in the third person that Peduto "seized on" the revelation... but only as a way to go back quoting Wagner's flack at 50-words strong, at the end of the article, explaining what a cad Peduto is for daring to mention his opponent's record in office.

When Wagner first embarked on his mission, Pittsburgh had an easy time shunting him into the "discard" bin. After a long absence from City issues and an expensive political makeover, Wagner is attempting to campaign from a pedestal so high that Pittsburgh can't even make out his features. With thirty days remaining until election day -- and a stodgy media easily impressed by sonorously-intoned fluff and the support of a shamed regime -- it falls to the rest of us to knock Wagner off his fabricated block.

The great news is, we are already mostly there. We hardly needed to write this post, but we didn't want to seem derelict.