Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Trees of Politicians must be Pruned with the Shears of Primaries


A day after making certain everybody understood the potentially deadly stakes, Councilman Dowd launched a critique of Mayor Ravenstahl’s inattention to urban forestry:

“This is not a sexy issue,” Mr. Dowd said. “It is not a glamorous issue. It is, therefore, not an issue receiving the attention of this mayor.” (P-G, Joe Smydo)

In related news, Michael Lamb has quietly launched an electoral Twitter account (which features the only known image of Michael Lamb.)

I had once calculated that the best indicator as to whether or not Our Controller would seriously pursue a run at the Mayoralty this year, would be whether or not his ally Dowd adopted a discreet consensus-seeking approach or fiercely aggressive tone in regards to Port Buncher. Likely I was right all along, but this seals it.

Speaking of Donzi’s Landing, that development appears to be in the process of being dropped in the slow, slow, sloooow cooker if not the pickler. Give it about seven months, trust that Peduto and Rudiak will evaporate out, add a dash of Electoral Landslide and it should be ready to serve cold.

BONUS CONTENT, MARCELLUS SHALE NATURAL GAS DRILLING ENERGY #JOBS: We are informed that this is big news out of Penn State.

Monday: The Promises of Yesterday (are the Taxes of Today)

deviantART, kedemel

Cheer up, Pixburgh, the grey skies just turned blue!

1. Attention, citizens. There is a new litmus test for whether or not you love Pittsburgh, as former schools superintendent Mark Roosevelt helpfully informs us from beyond the grave. A certain think tank is failing this litmus test miserably.

2. I can pinpoint the exact moment the Pirates’ epic slide began. By which I mean this year’s epic slide, not that of last year or the full score of mud sliding years. Serious question: if the Pirates’ seeming futility is indeed the byproduct of a successfully executed business strategy, and that strategy is made possible by certain incentives, can institutions like the Stadium Authority and the Sports and Exhibition Authority act in ways which might impact those incentives?

“Fair warning,” Mary Conturo, the executive director of both authorities, might say. “You have four years to win the NL Central, or we are going to begin doing everything in our power to inconvenience you and erode your precious bottom line, such that you will have no choice but to sell off to an owner more willing to pursue a business model appropriate to the City of Champions.”

3. The Post-Gazette tartly inclines its head towards Peduto’s announcement, still wroth that in 2007, as Pittsburgh was mournful and fearful, he ought to have had the political cojones to lose by 50 percentage points to the late Mayor Bob O’Connor’s adopted son, County Executive Dan Onorato’s daughter, the Lord Protector of UPMC and Crown Prince of the Realm —  thereby obliterating his own career instantly and totally, all while making sure that the triumph of 26-year old Ravenstahl would be viewed as not only legitimate but impressive.

Of course, come to think of it, in 2007 did not newly elected city Controller Michael Lamb choose to bide his time under the impression that Peduto (who had narrowly bested Lamb for a distant mayoral silver versus O’Connor only in 2005) would take the field? So there must be legitimately felt grievances all around here. Jack Wagner could probably mount a campaign based around, “No more soap opera politics!”

At any rate, the P-G goes on to demand that the Republican party and its donors send forth a “credible” Republican candidate — these editorialists demand more sacrifices than heathen gods! — although evidently there was not enough space to stump for City-County consolidation and to demand continued fealty to state overseers. Though that is coming.

4. Patrick Dowd is encouraging us to imagine the old Produce Terminal as a hustling, bustling fruit and vegetable emporium. I’d like that too, but most people (the ones not already boldly buying fresh fruit in the Strip at Stan’s Market or the Market Outlet) are a-scared of Downtown and the Strip, a-scared of paying for parking, and much more comfortable in air-conditioned Giant Eagles or Whole Foodses off of highways. In order to re-produce the Produce Terminal, it seems like we’d have to sculpt the land and development all around it very carefully towards encouraging that outcome — and these guys, Buncher Co., they own all the land, and they just don’t feel like being in the damned fruit business. And I don’t feel like there is anything much we can say about it. We can tell them, “Don’t make your building so high,” but we can’t tell them, “Make it your purpose in life to help us sell fruit.” So I don’t know how this is going to go. He probably has an idea, though.