Monthly Archives: May 2011


Downtown: Presenting the “People’s Indictment”.

This afternoon, four “counts” of criminal activity were ceremonially alleged against city police officers who in early 2010 were involved in an altercation with Homewood teenager Jordan Miles — counts consisting of Racial Profiling, Assault and Battery, False Arrest and Perjury. We begin in this video at the presentment of the nonlegal Perjury indictment by event organizer Brandi Fisher:

For material related to that which Rev. Thornton alludes above regarding the role of the church, see also this essay by Tracy M. Jennings.

Here is East Allegheny’s own Paradise Gray:

And at about 1:15 below comes pastor Fred Dukes, uncle of the alleged victim:

The remainder is being added to the blog’s YouTube channel.

And for our Next Trick: The Green Tower

This is going to get G20-ish in a big hurry.

(Minus almost all of the protests I am sure.)

The PNC Financial Services website for the Tower at PNC Plaza is here.


To define what is beyond LEED Platinum, PNC’s project team has three aspirational goals:

  • Community Builder: Support Pittsburgh’s existing infrastructure, spur further development and business growth downtown and positively accentuate the skyline as a symbol of PNC’s commitment to the city’s sustainable future.
  • Workplace Innovator: Attract tomorrow’s leaders to Pittsburgh by utilizing innovative space planning and building systems that promote collaboration and productivity, and set the bar for a healthy indoor environment.
  • Climate Responder: Tuned to Pittsburgh’s climate by aggressively pursuing strategies and technologies that minimize resource use and maximize renewable energy opportunities.

PNC’s design team is currently considering the following technologies:

  • Fuel cells, solar panels, geothermal systems and other alternative power generation sources that will significantly reduce carbon emissions
  • Optimally oriented building facades, operable windows, occupancy-based heating and cooling systems and other state of the art energy reduction technologies.
  • Rain water collection, water reuse and retention systems that prevent wastewater release into Pittsburgh’s three rivers when sewers are at capacity

Shovels in the ground:

Design Phase Began – April 2011
Construction Begins – Spring 2012
Open for Business – Summer 2015

No. Forty stories tall, ultra-green skyscrapers do not happen every day.

Figure this should hit the Planning Commission towards the end of the year.

I’m mostly excited about this as an environmental / technological / municipal-ergonomics Manhattan Project, or moon shot. That and like, way more Primanti’s sandwiches sold.


… with a $5 million opening offer for the Civic Arena, embargoed for now in its specifics.

“If the area needs major economic development, that’s what should go there,” [Steve] Apostolopoulos said. (Trib, Bill Vidonic)

Still searching for a website for Triple Properties, Inc. Here is an entry for company patriarch Andreas. Here is the source of the photo from the Tornoto Star. Here is the current site for the Pontiac Silverdome, which sold for $583,000. Hard to Google anything comprehensive about the tale of Detroit’s Tiger Stadium after Mike Illich moved the team from Corktown to Downtown, the city sat on it for 7 years at a cost of $4 million, and what now sits there since they demolished it in ’09. However this guy seems to want to pay for our thing and not demolish it right away.

Steve Apostolopoulos of Toronto, president of the developer’s sports division, said the company is interested only in the arena, not the land around it. (ibid)

And hmm, to do what with it? Tractor pulls and lacrosse? Same thing eventually as the Penguins? No regal public thoroughfare, no colossal mural depicting the history of urban redevelopment? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

SPECIAL TO THE APOSTOLOPOULOSES: Thanks for engaging with Pittsburgh ‘n’at, eh!

Unsolicited Bit of Advice: Movements Grow

Two weekends ago:

About 90 demonstrators gathered Saturday at Pittsburgh police headquarters to repeat demands that… (P-G, Ryan Brown)

This last weekend:

The second of three planned weekend protests seeking “Justice for Jordan Miles” was held Saturday at the Strip District building housing the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations.

About 90 protesters decried OMI’s probe… (P-G, Michael A. Fuoco)

That’s not going to do it.

Inside with some element of surprise, possibly — but not outside and not with advance notice. Outside and anticipated, one will require at least 250. The next and final “emergency protest” of the trilogy is Saturday the 28th at 1:00, outside the Courthouse on Grant St. We should soon see whether or not this is an issue that is going to continue to produce consternation.


Thursday: Expectant City

Hopefully you’ve read three things already.

First, from the Post-Gazette’s Tim McNulty:


Luke Ravenstahl/The Network — Everybody knows by now how all the mayoral-supported challengers to Harris/Dowd/Bruce Kraus lost. And the money thrown at the challengers by the members of the Verbanac/Lieberman/Zappala “Network” went down the commode. Additionally, the council incumbent the mayor’s team supported, Ricky Burgess, fell short of getting 50% yesterday (though against two challengers).

Second, from the Gost-Pazette’s Nim McTulty:

Ravenstahl didn’t lose Tuesday

Council races are not referenda on a mayor’s performance, but rather about distinct issues and personalities. That’s especially true in the district era (council members were elected at-large until the late 1980s) but it was true before then too. Take Pat McFalls.

Third, from the City Paper’s Chris Potter

To borrow from Nietzsche, the danger of fighting a machine is that you become one. Do groups like SEIU back politicians who support their agenda, or do politicians back an agenda in order to garner the support of groups like SEIU? Is one man’s “network” just another man’s “coalition”?

That’s a question on everyone’s mind; an instant wedge issue.


Doug Shields is retiring as a Member of Council in 2012, so the on-record Harris majority will be down to four members — hence receding to a plurality. In January, Corey O’Connor can try to play hardball and become Council President himself (my guess is he would succeed) or he could almost certainly get away with picking the president of his choosing, from any faction. His two most obvious choices would be Darlene Harris again (“Progressive”) or Theresa Kail-Smith (“Mayoral”). Ricky Burgess is by no means out of the hunt. Patrick Dowd would make for an interesting statement. Bruce Kraus would be a crafty choice. To grant Natalia Rudiak the presidential nod in ’12 might be seen as overly provocative; she faces what all will expect to be a heated reelection contest in the spring of ’13. Bill Peduto still glows with radioactivity for some reason.


What then for Pittsburgh? The City, it does exist.

Expect the question of Council’s power to get its allocations turned into expenditures — for “pet projects” and otherwise — to grow more defined.

Expect the State, in the fall, to accept the City’s pledged future pension fund payments as sufficient to warrant not seizing control over City pensions management for being as irredeemably distressed as it is. Expect the operating budget to have to get chopped again and again. Expect money from the Parking Authority envisioned as part of the “Council-Controller” strategy not to come through. Expect another dramatic financial reckoning of some kind around year’s end, this one being one step closer to rank impossibility than the last.

Expect the Lease issue to come back. Expect a different conversation.

Expect the shape of the Hill District, Uptown and Penguins-Manhattan to evolve as an issue, perhaps resulting in a flash point or two. Expect the “Allegheny Riverfront” and East Liberty development both to begin emerging in corresponding lights.

Don’t expect widespread neighborhood crumbling to reverse itself.

Don’t expect the city and region’s impressive economic, employment and PR trends in relation to most of the rest of the United States to reverse, either.

Don’t expect we won’t hold it together.

Expect the City to secure access to a fresh revenue stream — a commuter tax, a payroll tax and/or business privilege taxes. Don’t expect any component of that to include ghastly overdue property reassessments at the County level. Expect a regime of fairer tax assessments to come later, eventually, statewide, really.

Expect some surprises. Expect no indictments. Expect the Steelers to remain dominant in the division. Expect the Pirates to flirt with .500 ball every now and again. Expect progress and forward motion. Expect to thrive. Expect the Comet to take the long view of history. Eschew the short game.



Have fun, Fitz.


Gubernatorial material in 2018?