Monthly Archives: July 2013

Tuesday: the Wheels in the Sky

Art of VFX, Vincent Frei

by Bram Reicbhaum

*-UPDATE: After amendments, this phase 1 of redevelopment plan is likely a go.

Despite assurances, residents in and around Larimer are of mixed mind as to where the redevelopment proposal forwarded by Burgess et al would take them.

Ms. Sims [of East Liberty] said she fears the plan will push out the low-income residents to make way for a demographic with deeper pockets. Low-income residents in the area, she said, have been burned by revitalization efforts in the past.

“We’re not fighting change,” she said. “We see the big picture, we just don’t want to get cropped out of it. [They] moved into this area for a reason … [They] would like to stay.” (P-G, Moriah Balingit)

Along the same lines but perhaps having a bit more to do with cost/value, a Post-Gazette Editorial Emanation offers a long and insistent, “Be careful.”

Meanwhile in InvestigatePGH news:

Debbie Lestitian, 47, of Brookline, entered the grand jury room of the federal courthouse Downtown, marking the first time in recent memory that a former member of a quasi-independent city authority has testified before the secret panel investigative panel. (Trib, Jeremy Boren)

The last time in recent memory the Comet wrote about Lestitian, it was during that which we will now call Stage AE gate, and she had questions of her own.

(And no, I have no idea where the Gateway Clipper is supposed to fit on the cork board. *-UPDATE: Nothing solid.)


Judge Colville said he assumed Judge James could undo the nomination if he agreed with the Ceoffe side, and that he would “chew on” the injunction request and review it with the other judge. “I anticipate, though not make the promise, I will not grant the motion” for an injunction,” he said. (Early Returns)

Such restraint is likely to remain the order of the day, but who knows anymore.

BONUS: The SouthSide Works will see more apartment complexes springing up if all goes according to plan, and the South Side Planning Forum and its Design Review Committee are blown away. (PBT, Tim Schooley)

President suggests U.S. replace Invisible Hands with Real Ones, do Stuff for itself.

Kids Activities Blog

by Bram Reichbaum

On Wednesday, President Obama delivered a hyped-up speech about the economy.


In the period after World War II, a growing middle class was the engine of our prosperity.  Whether you owned a company, or swept its floors, or worked anywhere in between, this country offered you a basic bargain — a sense that your hard work would be rewarded with fair wages and decent benefits, the chance to buy a home, to save for retirement, and most of all, a chance to hand down a better life for your kids.

But over time, that engine began to stall — and a lot of folks here saw it — that bargain began to fray.  Technology made some jobs obsolete.  Global competition sent a lot of jobs overseas.  It became harder for unions to fight for the middle class.  Washington doled out bigger tax cuts to the very wealthy and smaller minimum wage increases for the working poor. (Text; Video)

The President then laid out a vision for encouraging that which America’s social fabric demands, but which markets do not produce: a “middle class” capable of generating robust demand for a stable economy.

To do this he would raise the minimum wage; use the tax code to reward domestic manufacturing and energy production; put more people to work building transportation, power and information infrastructure; lower the cost of getting an education; lower the cost of having health care; and make it easier to afford a home.

In other words, he proposed doing stuff, as opposed to doing no stuff. And he allowed that although stuff occasionally fails or requires revisions, we oughtn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and commit ourselves to do no stuff ever again.
And the media, in unison and quite predictably, shrugged and dismissed the speech as nothing new; as yet another pivot to economic issues, and politically impossible as always.

What was striking was the seriousness of the approach.

The President was resignedly, plaintively clear that these were the same debates on which we have been stuck for the last 30 years. That there are no “new” proposals.

If you have a square peg and a square hole, the only solution is to insert the square peg into the square hole, that is if you are indeed interested in filling holes.

Obama sought to lay a political foundation by implying that with the speed of our national social regression, this is the only debate in America that matters at this stage. On it hinges our capacity to address anything else.

We can be the nation we were until recently or we can be a mere zone, a set of borders, where contracts are enforced but families are pretty much on their own, where a vast majority and therefore the whole nation is going to be needlessly disadvantaged. Like an inefficient engine, we’ll simply waste capable people who require assistance surmounting the pitfalls of global competition; we’ll either miss them or they’ll gum up the works.

Obama bluntly promised that the rest of his Presidency would be driven by this priority, for better or for worse. Implicit was the idea that whatever else may be on your mind, it is not quite this sort of existential American emergency: a crisis of confidence, a rejection of the idea that we deserve to address the most common obstacles to economic participation.

Beth Kobliner

Implicit in the “bargain” the President sees is that if you’re worried about getting a job that enables you to pay bills, if your family is struggling to receive medical care, or with rent or qualifying for a home loan, and if college seems like an unaffordable, dangerous luxury — then you very likely feel justified in placing the great debates of our time on the back burner, such as domestic surveillance, or how to keep a lid on foreign affairs, or the vagaries of whether natural gas is a worthwhile bridge fuel in this age of coal, or the latest trade deal in a world where free trade has been ascendant since Adam and Eve. Those are all problems to worry about if the underlying rationale for this nation is healthy and people are benefiting from it.

Of all the ungovernable quandaries we confront, the dream of a strong and reasonably accessible middle class to drive national economic demand is the one our President, at five-years in, judges to have retained what is closest to a critical mass of support. It speaks to that face of national identity most difficult to surrender. The engine upon which the rest of our capacities turn.

The speech certainly wasn’t about Obama’s legacy or popularity, so I’m not sure why it is being evaluated exclusively on those terms. Take him out of it.

Instead it was meant as the opening tone of what promises to be a long, relentless wake-up siren that America is overdue in making a decision. What are we? Are we a nation? Are we going to be a nation that thinks ahead and puts one foot in front of the other? That acknowledges that broad domestic tranquility is a valuable, perishable asset that does not simply grow on trees, especially not in the face of global market forces? That can rebuild a bridge once in a while, or maybe even run a bus?

Sooner or later we’re going to have to remember we are in fact a nation, and that it’s okay to be one. It’s better than the alternative.

Friday: Into your Weekend Warmongering…

Engaging Justice JWSS 1055

 by Bram Reichbaum

You can’t get into the Special Election in Dowdville, without discussing Buncher Comapny’s development plans!

Major riverfront development is rumbling as though to proceed regardless of the landowner acquiring sought-after public financing and regardless of getting to demolish part of a very long historic building.

Shame only in that the setbacks from the river bank for building probably ranked highest on my Buncher Country wish-list. As this comprises part of the public’s joyful right-of-way along its rivers at what should be a high-density spot and the environmentalists are raising alarms about river bank erosion… well, they’re not making any more land. So that’s a cost.

Strategies for how to proceed as Buncher signals its hand are hard to formulate. Ceoffe Jr. took a shot at explaining his approach on his “Neighbors for” Facebook page, and Deb Gross on her own page links pointedly to Pikes Place Market.

Not your favorite type of election issue? I don’t know. State oversight is always a fun one.

Speaking of state oversight and our financial situation, yes, in Darlene Harris’ possible bid for Mayor…

The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh board voted today to commit $16.5 million to a $106 million effort to replace or add hundreds of new homes in Larimer.

The authority board’s vote comes a day after Pittsburgh City Council postponed, for a week, its own vote to commit an identical amount to the revamp. (P-G, Rich Lord)

Councilman Burgess chairs the city’s quasi-independent Housing Authority, which can spend many millions from HUD for such purposes.

Councilman Peduto was among the several weighing whether, from what and how easily the City itself can pony up $16.5 million for this private residential development in Larimer. He took a moment to note that despite the plethora of excellent press Pittsburgh has been getting for not being Detroit, that our financial picture is actually a lot worse than is being reported. And it’s true, the core and region are making great gains in addition, while the City’s pension crunch will be exponential.

The Council of Nine are going to take another week to look at the $16.5 million.

But not before Council President Darlene Harris was adamant at length during the discussion that “figures lie and liars figure,” that Council has always found a way to come up with money when it wants to, that poor communities always get the short end of the stick and that Darlene Harris is all about poor communities.

Councilwoman Kail-Smith, referee extraordinaire, noted the political overtone.

Council members Burgess and Peduto seemed to work through the entire discussion without issue, for what it’s worth. Take that week by week.

Which brings us to finally: Council voted unanimously to throw a question on November’s ballot about the police residency requirement. I think I had the wrong impression of the likelihood of the arbitration panel ruling to allow residency to be fair game for the bargaining table under present conditions. At any rate, if I’m the only person in Pittsburgh who fancies there are more urgent things on the public policing wish-list, and who doesn’t think the residency requirement is proving to be all that determinative, that’s fine.

There was also some jazz about police training.

Look alive, friends and neighbors!

Justice is Not Blind

by Bram Reichbaum

Tired of this county’s painful living racial history. It’s maddening.

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The story of the killing of Trayvon Martin and the legal exoneration of his killer on grounds of self-defense should powerfully drive home the point that young black men in this country are not, to put it very politely, treated the same as others or given benefit of doubt. Based on race, and especially based on a certain unfortunate race, age and gender profile, people in this country are regarded differently in a lot of little ways and a lot of large ways that all together contribute to pernicious, heinous results – those of individually destroyed lives, failing communities, and a bitterly divided and limited nation.

Frequently segregated among themselves, many Black communities today require a lot of good work from within to build cultural capital, strength and health. But what a White person sometimes misses I believe, is that it must be a dreadful struggle to build scalable communities capable of fulfilling all aspects of that work, when those who comprise it labor from birth against relentless social, psychological and institutional adversities… to say nothing of withering hostility when any grievances are aired.

How not to turn resentful, to conclude the system is rigged in the ugliest way?

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Too many in this nation recoil from acknowledging racial privilege and all the contradictions in the social order it entails. The implications are upsetting.

The nation has a problem.


Rhonda Blackwell Siler

The tale of Martin and Zimmerman typifies the exhausting obstacle course facing those lacking societal privilege.

It started with the excited and hyperactive scrutiny of an armed community watchman.

It continued when civil authorities did not immediately arrest the actor responsible for a street killing and threaten to throw the book at him unless he plead guilty to something.

The 44-day delay in the eventual arrest begat the legal defense fund, enabling representation quite a bit superior to that of an overworked, under-budgeted public defender.

Later still came another atypical decision by police to collaborate with the defense, rather than the prosecution.

One might as well also mention what must have been the impact of the closest thing to an eye-witness, Rachel Jenteal, on a jury which we might as well also mention lacked a single Black voice among Trayvon’s peers.

Do we even need to conjure the fears which motivated passing a recklessly emboldening “Stand Your Ground” law, making armed confrontation with presumed rogues seem so noble and so necessary?

Does it matter what kind of kid Trayvon was? Why does that topic so frequently arise? Isn’t it enough that he was shot in the street? Can you imagine a young black man pleading self-defense so convincingly after any chaotic street shooting in which he pulled the trigger?


Each of us can do something to address these disparities in our daily lives, through reflection and awareness.

Yet in a society of mass and complexity, it is hard at the same time not to turn an expectant eye to leadership — whether that stems from government, or social activism, or yet another sector.

It is foolish to truly imagine leadership that is so skilled, broad, focused and politically intelligent that it can lift pressure from the weight of this tremendous cultural legacy grinding us down. It is foolish, but I imagine it anyway.

All I know is, we must insist upon illustrating hard truths if we are to become capable of visualizing a better future. And visualization is among the last cards we have to play.

Real Quick: Race for D7 hot like summer

by Bram Reichbaum

And getting litigious:

Tony Ceoffe Jr. of Lawrenceville lost the Democratic committee’s nomination for the vacant District 7 council seat in a vote Sunday to Deb Gross of Highland Park, with Ms. Gross narrowly beating him 47 votes to 43. An attorney for Mr. Ceoffe filed a complaint today in Common Pleas Court seeking to throw out the results, arguing it violated Democratic committee bylaws. (P-G, Timothy McNulty)

PREDICTION: My wager is no — certainly not enough bylaws were harmed, if indeed any.

UPDATE: Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills calls the injunction request “baseless and highly suspicious,” among other things (Early Returns).

UPDATE, THE DUEX: More on the allegations (Pittsburgh’s Blogh of Recordgh)

SPECIAL COMMENT: Readers of the Admiral! Of Infinonymous! My brothers and sisters. I sense in your minds the same apprehension that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the politics of our new “progressive” leadership fails, when we must forsake our allies and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of transgressions and broken promises when the Age of Peduto comes crashing down, but it is not this day! Not even particularly close.

We knew (it was telegraphed) that accusations of “dirty politics” were eventually going to come, mirroring those many successfully demonstrated against the “old guard” for years. This injunction request is in part a way to forge and amplify that narrative. The fundamental problem with such an argument here is, this is not the government, this is a political party — the correct place for Party leadership to do things such as, reach out to the City’s new leader, during a time of transition (from concern to invigoration, and from division hopefully to collaboration) and ask, “So, do you have anyone to recommend fill a vacancy on the Committee? Because after all, previous leaders fiercely opposed to you made the last 300 or so appointments. We’d like to make sure that if Pittsburgh doesn’t move forward, it’s not because our Party is out of step with the City’s leader.” Or to tend all manner of logistical details within the discretion routinely due to elected party leaders, which always can be interpreted or misinterpreted to aggrieve somebody.

Do not mistake, if political envelope-pushing takes place in the halls of government, or between government and the Committee, we will have a problem. But within a political party, I think some folks are just shocked at their new perspective: that of having lost the majority to another fresh figure.

Though they kept it close enough to justify a day in court. Whether the attendant hoopla surrounding the reactionary maneuver does anything for their campaign will be interesting.

The band: The Spice Girls

The label: Virgin

Spice Girls – Wannabe by starboymcfly

Demanding action: Group of concerned residents say, “Try this! Right stat now!”

Power Blog, Andre Fleites

by Bram Reichbaum

A letter of demands is being pointedly and precociously circulated throughout Pittsburgh in reaction to the Zimmerman acquittal, viewed by many as a fresh and chilling demonstration of racial inequality. Such comprehensive disparities have long been roiling on the City’s front-burner.

Let’s take a gander at this fresh playbook. What could go wrong?

1. We demand an official public step forward against injustice denouncing:

  • the now state-sanctioned murder of Trayvon Martin,
  • the initial lack of response by the police,
  • the inequitably enforced laws and judicial system that allowed George Zimmerman to be found NOT GUILTY of all charges.

That’s a proclamation. One with which I do not have much of an objection. It may be problematic for public officials to solemnly declare that a citizen who has been acquitted by our system is a “murderer,” but language is a wonderful thing.

2. We demand the City of Pittsburgh to denounce Pennsylvania’s version of the Stand Your Ground law.

The Castle Doctrine? That’s another proclamation, and another one that seems fine. There is already a right to self-defense. It’s dangerous to have additional extraneous laws floating around suggesting to random non-legal scholars that it’s increasingly okay to shoot people when they bother you.

3. We demand the Pittsburgh legal system begin in-depth investigation of its own verdicts and systemic criminalization, abduction, abuse and murder of Black people, demonstrated by countless cases of injustice including Jordan Miles, Avis Lee and Terrell Johnson.

This one may be the most problematic of the fourteen. Government attorneys naturally and understandably recoil from admitting institutional fault, and from publicly investigating the possibility of fault without overwhelming necessity for doing so. And government leaders are very prone to heed the strenuous counsel of their attorneys.

Grimes, Iowa

There is also a manpower concern. Who would be suitable to work on this (the District Attorney’s office?) and what tasks would these specially skilled individuals be dropping in favor of this project?

Problematic though it may be, it’s still a good idea. Surely someone could wrangle a Blue Ribbon Commission of some sort. I would be curious to see how it proceeds – and unlike these proclamations, it would focus and educate the public mind over time.

4. We demand continuous commitment to allocating the resources necessary to support the self-determination of Black communities particularly insuring the safety and freedom of movement for all residents.

This one I understand least upon reading it. But if we’re talking about doling out the City’s standard allotment of economic development petty cash to support self-determination, that sounds a bit in line with the community-based grassroots small-business incubating bottom-up flip-the-paradigm damn-the-torpedoes redevelopment policies promised at length by candidate Peduto.

“Safety and freedom of movement,” within the context of resources, sounds a bit like complete streets or public transportation? Or possibly policing guidelines? We shall have to learn more, but at any rate, no red flags here. We like self-determination and freedom.

5.  We demand continuous commitment to allocating the resources necessary to support Black communities’ self-determination in regards to property and land use, including but not limited to vacant properties and abandoned school buildings. We demand the halt to any development in historically Black neighborhoods that does not include community consensus or benefit as determined by the Black and senior residents themselves. We demand the financial and technical support necessary for community-directed development.

See my reaction to #4.

It bears acknowledging that many in the audience will now be sighing, “Resources, resources! They want money, money, money. It’s a shakedown, they want a nanny, cradle-to-grave.”

What may not be as widely understood, is that there already is ample provision in law and funding from state and federal government to provide resources flexibly to poor communities. Community Development Block Grants (CDBG funds) are only the single clearest example, as these are issued according to how many poverty-stricken census tracts exist in an area. The only policy difference is, these protesters are proposing that we use these funds as actually intended – gasp! – and with greater innovation and sensitivity.

6. We demand all development in Black neighborhoods directly benefit that community and be decided upon with meaningful neighborhood consent, participation and leadership.

Charles LeClair, US Presswire

Would this Larimer redevelopment plan qualify or not? Probably not to these particular protesters’ standards of participation and leadership – but I suppose there is time for debate.

Again, this proposal strikes a similar chord to that which elected the City’s next leader. Moving forward on this should be non-problematic, though forging that community consent in ways that satisfy most everyone’s appetites for jobs and development will be an ongoing challenge / opportunity.

7.  We demand the City of Pittsburgh actively support the creation of Black economic initiatives through policy, funding and other resources.

Is this in other words ensuring these issues become a structurally ongoing priority? As in starting, funding and appropriately utilizing a new Office of Urban Affairs? This too we have already been assured is on the way.

Another demand to file under “non-problematic” (this is getting routine).

8.  We demand the elimination of food deserts within the City of Pittsburgh and access to fresh and healthy food for all

A specific and appropriate policy goal. I don’t remember if it was Ruth Ann Daily or Heather Heidelbaugh, but one of those conservative pundits said during a round table years ago about grocery stores in poor communities, “This is what government subsidies should actually be for.” We are not a geographically large City and the costs of helping to underwrite grocer needs, relative to many other things, is not “nominal” but it’s acceptable.

Besides which there are models like community gardens and farmers’ markets, which are all the rage. Now that they’ve gotten specific in their demands, they could have chosen worse than “Make it easy on families to eat good.”

9. We demand a coalition of medical and wellness professionals, provider organizations, agencies and community activists to address the extreme disparities in the physical well-being of Black people as compared to whites in Pittsburgh which is demonstrated in part by the current Black infant mortality rate and the abysmal life expectancy of Black women.

That sounds ambitious, but we have enough academics and non-profits in the region who probably would love to work on this, were it organized and funded. It’s a longer-term goal, but with continued advocacy I can see this easily taking care of itself. Perhaps I should hasten to note that if medical and wellness professionals are organized and present in a Black community, they probably won’t kick White people out the door.

10. We demand Pittsburgh institutions attend organizational anti-racist training, conduct an examination of white supremacist tendencies and demonstrate equitable internal and external dynamics and distribution of power.

11. We demand all employees of government and service institutions attend anti-racist training and are held accountable for demonstrations of white privilege and supremacy.

Let me tell you, a lot of people do not like hearing or seeing the words “white privilege” or “white supremacy,” to the point of lashing back or switching off. I’m not sure why. Clearly in this country, white persons enjoy more routine social privilege and are culturally and socially supreme, and at least a part of that is due to self-reinforcing cycles.

Rick Stewart, Getty Images

I am skeptical that “anti-racist training” is very effective, or that it can be conducted with motivated and properly educated professionalism on a large scale. But on the flip side, I honestly don’t mind throwing the words “white privilege” and “white supremacy” in front of public representatives, making them engage with it, encouraging them to argue about it, and having somebody present who is accustomed to fielding the emotional objections and interactively illustrating what is meant by it. It’s not about making white people feel bad or guilty, it’s about coaxing them into examining their own routine experiences versus those of others.

12. We demand culturally-relevant emotional support for Black communities in response to trauma.

To me this emphasizes, “the things going on in our communities, they can be traumatic. And given our other problems, trauma is dangerous.” Putting some thought into how to address traumatized groups of residents seems fine and of minimal expense.

13. We demand the City of Pittsburgh create a Human Rights Bill as an active demonstration of the inalienable right for all to be, the immeasurable value of the lives, bodies and minds of all oppressed people and a commitment to true physical and emotional justice for oppressed people within the City of Pittsburgh.

Sounds like an ambitious and worthy project, though not one that is conceptually far-along yet. Rather than yet another quick-and-dirty proclamation, I wonder if the City could even pass a Human Rights Bill guaranteeing actionable rights and meaningful despite State and Federal law. This one seems a bit like a dream, but determined dreamers interested in framing such a bill can surely do so, as City leaders periodically meet with them to provide an awareness of prevailing senses of practicality, and to get inspired themselves.

14. Finally, we demand the City of Pittsburgh hold the tragic death of Trayvon Martin as a wake up call to the culture of white supremacy that produces, protects and inflicts emotional, institutional, legal, economic violence on Black lives and bodies.

In progress.

They make a bonus demand:

We demand Pittsburgh renounce “America’s Most Livable City” title until these demands are met.


Pittsburgh has so much going for it nowadays, we can do without one particular and dusty marketing slogan – one which rings increasingly dissonant internally (by which I mean, within the City, as well as in the mouth). City salespeople can dream up a fresher, more strategically advantageous bumper sticker – and meanwhile the City can make a momentous, unusual statement acknowledging challenges. I think a lot of people would be surprised by it and appreciate it. Spun correctly, we might even get another round of good press – as we remind everyone how Livable others find us, and demonstrate just how earnest and thoughtful we are these days.


In short, this is impressive work for residents gathered in the middle of a street and at a slumber party in City Hall.

Besides, why not confront the City’s single biggest, toughest challenge head-on with proportionate intentionality and concentration?

This Pittsburgher has yet to see a better blueprint for making civic headway, so until further notice, let’s all just work off of this. The recently initiated Pittsburgh Black Political Convention also just provided some great material in its Agenda. Ideally the two should merge at some point, but we recommend working that which is unique to the PBPC agenda into this new outline, because we’re rude that way.

I am not Trayvon Martin

MiketheFanboy (Bram)

by Helen Gerhardt

When I sat in the street next to a black friend protesting the death of Trayvon Martin, I knew there was little I could say or to do that could fix even a fraction of what she faced every day.

I knew that my friend’s rage and grief were justified. I knew that my action or inaction there at Freedom Corner would make almost no difference to changing the course of the flood of racism, exploitation and violence that have wrecked the lives of so many men and women and children for centuries in this country. I knew and respected several of the older black men and women who urged the women to stop blocking traffic, understood their arguments for more pragmatic planning for more effective mass action. I knew that I really didn’t want to get arrested. I knew I would be really relieved if my friend got up.

I knew mostly that I wanted to stay by my friend’s side.

I think most “-isms” are based in not knowing the people we attach them to. My friend was much younger than me, but many times over many months she’d been my leader in maturity, self-respecting kindness, hard work, humor, thoughtful courage.

I’m not Trayvon Martin. And I’m not my friend who decided to sit in the street. I haven’t been condemned to horribly unfair struggle for life because of the color of my body. But because I know my friend, my own white body wanted to stay sitting down next to hers.

For other blog posts on this subject, click on the links below.

The Pittsburgh Paradox: OTOH, Some Great News

by Vannevar Bush

I’ve recently written about my personal Pittsburgh paradox: namely, what I love most about Pittsburgh is Burgh Culture, but the two things that chafe at me about Pittsburgh are also culturally determined.

My two major disappointments with Pittsburgh are the acceptance of police violence (and police entitlement) and the acceptance of bicycle violence.

Police violence is generally against black citizens and if you want a specific model you wouldn’t have to look any further than Jordan Miles. Police entitlement is demonstrated by the sense that we’re here to submit to the police, rather than the police are here to serve and protect the citizens.

The great majority of Pittsburgh Police are good, virtuous, brave, honorable public servants who are besmirched by the bad apples among them. Just like a lot of populations, the police don’t willingly give up any of their own, and they suffer for it. That’s a universal.

This last week saw multiple examples of tremendous progress, both in terms of advocacy, organisational intelligence and leadership. I refer to

  • the reassignment of Jonathan Gromek,
  • the withdrawal of charges against teacher Dennis Henderson,
  • the assignment of Commander Rashall Bracknay to the Trayvon Martin protests, and
  • Bracknay’s advance work and handling of the situation.

It’s so good to see that much good news, and my compliments to all involved – especially the folks behind the scenes, who carried the bulk of the load and remain unnamed.

Wednesday: The Glide


by Bram Reicbhaum

In the race for City Council District 7, Deb Gross has a growing posse including Chelsa Wagner & featuring Bill Peduto, and the Ceoffe camp et al is well-organized for Tony Ceoffe Jr.‘s second run.

(And a belated welcome to the ‘burghosphere to Citizen Yinz!)

In Salt Lake City, not only did they make public transit plans for 30 years out, but voters approved an increase in the sales tax to hasten it forward 15 years. Now it’s ludicrously fantastic. Wonder what if anything else is making the difference, making transit investments palatable out there in conservative Utah.

The Allegheny Institute is on board with fracking the airport in order to help one day make it a big-boy Airport again.

We have a Democratic party candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania who came out if favor of fully legalizing marijuana by 2017. Just in time soar past Pittsburgh’s debt cliff and take off from under state financial oversight!