Police Chief McLay’s Reading List

MORE: See the Courier

MORE: See the Courier

First:  hurry!  You have only until the end of this week to sign up for autumn’s Citizens Police Academy, an informal 15-week course designed to help you get better acquainted with how our city’s Bureau of Police works.

It’s a good class for everybody from neighborhood or organizational participants who want to work more closely with law enforcement on their block or at their events, to social justice activists seeking to deepen their understanding of the 5-0’s perspectives.

They don’t try to convince you that they’re all angels, so much as provide information as they see it and live it. It’s a good atmosphere for back-and-forth.

Meanwhile we caught up with Police Chief Cameron McLay the other day, and asked him his reading recommendations for understanding policing challenges in the modern era. Here is what he had for us:   Continue reading

Peduto Stance on Pensions Ruffles Party Feathers

When Pittsburgh’s mayor sided with state Republicans and against Governor Tom Wolf on the issue of public pensions, it was a one-day story for most of Pennsylvania.

But within Pittsburgh’s Democratic machine, his position may be adding fuel to what had been the quietly smoldering embers of factional division.

Peduto supports a Republican-backed state Senate budget proposal that would have switched new state employees, including legislators, from defined benefits to defined contribution plans similar to a 401(k), in which employees have the option to save and invest some of their paychecks, a portion of which the employer matches. (Trib, Bauder & Daniels)

A week later, at the Democratic Committee vote to nominate a new County Council member in the east (congratulations, Paul Klein!) our own Committee precinct rep criticized that proposal to us as placing the retirements of public safety personnel in jeopardy, Continue reading

Commission on Human Relations meets again, puts off more delicate decisions

Today, the City of Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations met for the umpteenth time to discuss their search for a new Executive Director.

Pittsburgh’s CHR is a law enforcement agency which derives its authority from the City Fair Practices Provisions found in Article V, Chapters 651 through 659 of the Pittsburgh City Code. These provisions make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, family status (housing), age, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, handicap or disability, [or] retaliation

Four months ago, the painstakingly reassembled Commission showed signs of trouble in its process of selecting a new Executive Director. The Personnel Committee continued to have strained relations with the rest of the Commission. Last month, they all thought they had come together on an agreeable selection. But alas, that applicant had withdrawn their interest.

Before Continue reading

Dems Correct Course, Will Replace Danko in District-Wide Vote

Rank and file Democratic Committee men and women representative of individual Allegheny County Council District 11 neighborhoods all will get to vote for the successor to Barbara Daly Danko.

Danko died of illness during her campaign, yet the voters of that District reelected her by a comfortable margin.

“After careful consultation with attorneys and members of Allegheny County leadership, I am pleased to announce that we are able to grant voting privileges to all committee members within this district,” Ms. Mills said in the release. “We know this is the most democratic — and most fair — way of conducting this election.” (P-G, Early Returns)

All’s well that ends well.  Continue reading

Transforming the ‘Burgh: Riding this Beast

Nova Place. The old Allegheny Center. Feast with your eyes, upon the drawings!

Super that we’re doing something about Allegheny Center after all these years. In the depths of 20th century American “urban renewal”, that was somebody’s idea of a classical Athenian paradise adjoining an indoor mall. A wide public crossroads, planned centrally, a lot of tall apartments for residential density, with cultural resources and libraries and sculptures within, and tables for chess and enlightened sociability.

Allegheny Center has long been regarded as a disappointment. It is known. Whether that is fair or not may turn out to be a bit more nuanced.

But now the City is doing away with much of that. The Peduto administration is proposing turning it into an innovation works, a 21st century technology hub, a high-end campus, featuring the “right kind of office space” Continue reading

Loading: A pop punk rejoinder…

Fitz down, Lamb up, Wagner up, Machine resurgent, Peduto weakened.

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Don’t believe that just because there are now 4 or more bosses, the Machine is “gone”. At the same time, don’t expect it to stick around any longer than four more years.

There are loads of light at the end of these tunnels…

Stay tuned during our editing process.

BREAKING/UPDATE:

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BACKGROUND: P-G, Lord and Born; and previously Molly Born.

That’s a wrap. Roll Footage!

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Chelsa remains County Controller. Lamb remains City Controller, winning lopsided. Discussion of these results and more go in the comments here. A more formal analysis coming later in the week!

Election Day! Get out, Vote for School Board officers, too…

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For the City School Board, the Pittsburgh Comet endorses WRENN, KALEIDA and CARTER. So, how can that be?

Continue reading

The Burgh’s Greatest Voter Guide: 2015 Historical Edition

It falls to the Comet again!

Welcome to the 2015 Voter Guide essay, which is in 3 parts.

In Part I after this introduction, we list our eight (8) endorsements, so you see them!

In Part II, we begin with President Lincoln and attempt to cruise methodically through the last 150 years of Pittsburgh political history.

In Part III, we reflect on our particular endorsements in this Tuesday’s local races, issue some honorable mentions, and recall how the political “machine” Pittsburgh is still singular, no longer of much practical use and generally malign. Our endorsements will demonstrate additional valid reasons to fulfill its effective dismantling at long last.

Ready? Okay.

YOUR PITTSBURGH COMET 2015 PRIMARY ENDORSEMENTS:

County Controller: Chelsa WAGNER

County Court of Common Pleas: Judge Hugh MCGOUGH

County Council, north: Dan CONNELLY

County Council, east: Barbara DALY DANKO

City Controller: Natalia RUDIAK

City Council, north: Bobby WILSON

City Council, east: La’Tasha MAYES

City Council, northeast: Andre YOUNG

See our latest blog post for City School Board endorsements, Comet Maniacs!

And here we launch into Part II: The History, which begins in the administration what would later be called the Grand Old Party, or GOP, of Abraham Lincoln.

Encountering an increasingly burgeoning metropolis on what was recently a frontier crossroads, the legendary politician who would later be known as the Great Emancipator enjoyed friendly receptions amidst the industrious, immigrant and Northern-elite voting precincts at the twin cities of the Forks: Pittsburgh, and Allegheny City, on what is now Pittsburgh’s North Side. Abe Lincoln’s Secretary of War Simon Cameron would become our first political boss. Continue reading

Loading, Election Week: On Stranger Tides…

Put on your thinking hats…