Monthly Archives: September 2015

County, State & Beyond: More sheep shearing

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 6.46.50 PMThis will just about catch us up.


ALCOSAN, the City / County sewer authority, has begun investing billions in a centennial overhaul. But ALCOSAN officials are not shopping around for an engineering firm to manage the lion’s share, having settled into a favorite named AECOM. One board member actually resigned because contracting decisions seemed too thinly justified to be associated with.

It is probably time for elected-on-autopilot Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein, who chairs the ALCOSAN board and is responsible for how these decisions get made, to step into the limelight. He can begin providing real public accountability for the whole sensational undertaking, instead of public relations.


The new health care system is up and running Continue reading

City Edition: Shearing the Sheep of State

Let’s take care of some issues that have been festering:


Before we dive into such profound topics as architecture and who gets to design it, let me say one thing about Pittsburgh Penguins’ owners alleged interest in selling the hockey franchise and the 28 developable acres:  I don’t trust them.

Why would Mario Lemieux fight so long and ingeniously to become part-owner of huge and pristine tracts of Downtown land, then sell out at the very precipice of becoming a Duke?

Rather, it must be negotiating season once again when it comes to complying with community agreements. Much like his notorious feint towards Kansas City, Lemieux may Continue reading

HBO adaptation of August Wilson cycle will be a huge eruption

Home Box Office, or HBO as they like to be called, makes fantastic television.

The Brink was wonderful, Silicon Valley got better and better, and Ballers was exactly what it wanted to be at the outset, although that turned out to be disappointing. And I don’t even have to tell you about Game of Thrones and Last Week Tonight.

Quality source material helps make for good television. August Wilson is sometimes considered one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century.

It is remarkable how cable television has conditioned us to expect new content in ten-episode seasons, and here Wilson provides a tidy package of ten plays about a timely topic:  race in America, and the ongoing struggle to heal certain wounds.

All of which suggests that this HBO series is probably going to earn a lot of attention and acclaim.

Which is great, as  Continue reading