Protestors march recalling Martin Luther King, Jr., just as attorneys frenzy over inner-city development

The permitted holiday march began with a rally at 5th and Bigelow, near the Pitt Student Union.

Many signs and placards decried racism and in glowing letters, for it was winter and evening fell early. Young and old came out. Drums sounded, booming low. Some horns, in a soft dirge. A few bicycle chimes.

The City Paper reported 1,200 participated in the three-mile march and demonstrations spanning from Oakland to Grant St., Downtown. A student observer estimated about 300 participants in the early going in Oakland, which was my own estimate. And of those, about 85% White. Both stats may have changed over the evening.

See also the P-G and the PIttNews.

Not all motorists were happy being rerouted up Bigelow Blvd. CMU officers manned the barricades against them Continue reading

Winter Guide: Dealing With the March of Progress

Today, we clarify all the region’s business.

In regards to public law and order, the Comet has five notes:

1. Howard McQuillan, representative of the Fraternal Order of Police Local 1 of Pittsburgh PA, does not like racism. He (and presumably those in his circle) was greatly pained at suggestions that there might be racism amidst the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. That’s a laudable instinct, full stop.

2. The difficulty lies in ill communication over what racism is. I do not know what the Right thinks racism is. But the Left thinks of it like Continue reading

COMET BIDS PITTSBURGH HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015

And a merry farewell to 2014; we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet.

We have no idea who this “Matsuda” is. But word around the campfire is that Dick Skrinjar may be in the race against Councilor Deb Gross, and Andre Young is almost certainly in the race against Councilor Ricky Burgess. Additionally, Pittsburgh has some public education problems, public transit problems and public safety problems. Economy looks nice. BREAKING: Chief McClay holds a sign up to us. UPPERDATE: And writes a post.

Stand Strong for Justice and Peace

Police officers involved in deadly force incidents would be investigated and prosecuted by special prosecutors, according to forthcoming legislation by State Sen.-Elect Art Haywood of Philadelphia. That’s a great idea.

Pittsburgh police chaplains are encouraging residents to display blue lights or candles in windows in memory of fallen officers and to call for peace. Also a great idea.

A fever is setting in among Americans, whether it be chagrined police leaders outrageously declaring “war” or barmy radicals calling for violent retribution. No matter what your prejudices when it comes to the state of race relations and police-community relations, it’s hard to be encouraged.

However, the Comet is convinced this polarization is a false perception. Continue reading

Mayor Rewards Good Service… Like a Boss

Last night on network television, our own “office-type” Mayor donned a wig and camouflage to show off the progress of our City, cavort with some of his employees, almost saw off his fingers, deliver a few Aesops and make a few dreams come true, Hollywood style, to much rejoicing.

Who could possibly find fault with that?

The show typically includes the boss helping out his employees in need when he reveals himself or herself, though Peduto noted he didn’t have the personal resources of a corporate CEO.

Instead, money to help the four came from donations by private companies and individuals, said city spokesman Tim McNulty.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority was authorized to handle and disburse up to $155,000 for the employees. Peduto, using donors’ money, pledged to help Nasiadka go back to school and make up for his lost overtime; get Allen a promotion, a scholarship for her son and money for law school and a house; help with Amend’s animal shelter, caring for his mother and his mortgage; and provide money so Smith could start his dream of becoming a minister, along with help for his foster kids and a program in which he would teach young Housing Authority residents carpentry.

“We said from the beginning, we wouldn’t spend one dollar of city money,” Peduto said after entering Cappy’s to cheers and applause. (Trib, Matthew Santoni)

See? Cheers and applause.

But wait a minute… so he or his own representatives worked the phones to solicit the Undercover Boss prize kitty, from “private companies and individuals?” Kind of like an inaugural ball?

Prizes that were given “by” Mayor Peduto during this nationally televised tear-jerker? Which, while great for the City, comes with a rather noticeable political benefit?

Should we… um… Continue reading

Friday: Calling Out Everything in its Turn

UPDATE: The ICA anticlimacticly approves Pittsburgh’s 2015 budget, concluding all major City Hall drama before Christmas. You see? You may now return to regularly scheduled troublemaking.

Bill Isler is leaving the School Board. For years it seemed, Bill Isler was the old white man at the end of the table reminding everybody of budgets, debt service and property tax rates. He was also informed, concerned and cordial enough to be a valuable resource.

Mark Brentley might be departing as well. For years it seemed, Mark Brentley was the frustrated black man at the center of the table reminding everybody of disparities, duties and equity. A wide-open race for that School Board seat might be very inspirational and productive, but then again so might a School Board with Brentley’s senior leadership.

Our public School District is plagued by daunting challenges Continue reading