Saturday, August 30, 2008

And So It Begins...

"McCain and Palin made a morning stop at Tom's Diner in Pittsburgh's trendy Southside neighborhood" (i.e. our neighborhood). Tom's is pretty good, but I would have recommended 1889 Cafe down the street. A couple weeks ago, McCain chowed down on a Primanti Brothers sandwich.

Mr Biden is leading our Pittsburgh Labor Day parade on Monday.

After spending my formative years in staunchly Democratic states, it's still really weird to be wooed by presidential nominees.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Poor Mr Ford

Poor bitter Mr Ford. He's such a professional, and on top of whatever severance package I'm sure he will procure, he's been paid his $117,875 salary since April without doing any work.

I do really pity Mr Ford. He's had from April to August to simmer in his well-paid anger, and all he can come up with is an angry bitter unfounded letter of resignation. There surely is corruption and all sorts of under-handed dealing going on in Pittsburgh government (and it doesn't solely revolve around Mr Ford's antics) but if you refuse to actually name names and state facts, name-calling is just that. We need some sticks and stones, Mr Ford instead of your lawyer telling us we have a "gutless mayor."

And Mr Ravenstahl, please clean up your act. Paid leave for Mr Ford?? How about we sue Mr Ford for that extra $60,000 he'll get by the time his official resignation happens in December? That would show some guts.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh Well

A couple months ago, I was pleased to learn that PA does not use federal abstinence-only education funding. Unfortunately, Harrisburg is about to change that. They promise no state money will pay for abstinence-only education, but what does that mean for us? It could mean that any community running short on money might be encouraged by Harrisburg to pursue abstinence-only education. It seems to me that it will result in less state money for sex education (or lack thereof) and it can only mean bad things. Well, you had a good fight for 5 years, but eventually everyone wants their millions of extra federal dollars.

I can just envision the stodgy conservative dimwit now, "but why does it hurt you if some small community in four-trailer-one-stoplight, PA teaches abstinence-only in line with their strong morals? Why are you inflicting your wanton ways on these poor people???" Pretty soon, we'll just have an exception for Philly and maybe Pittsburgh and the rest of the state will be all-abstinence all the time. Yippee for Harrisburg!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

No Fear

Transit ridership rose 6 percent during July.

To those concerned about rising usage of the bus and how it's going to affect the Port Authority budget, never fear. Gas prices have dropped since July, and commuters will back off. They'll jump back in their cars. They'll consider trading in their new Prius for a used SUV, and Port Authority will be in the same mess it was in a few months ago but with a higher gas bill. Never forget the fickleness of mankind.

In good news, I just got off the bus this morning after experiencing the best deal in Pittsburgh. $3.10 for a bus-ride to the airport from the South Side. $2.60 if you're coming from downtown. The second best deal? Free wi-fi at the airport.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One last Cinnamon Raisin Bread Loaf

Being a relatively new arrival to the Pittsburgh area, I have not had the opportunity to try out many bakeries. I've had a cannoli in Bloomfield, and I've jumped on the cupcake craze in Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. Of course, I've stopped by the Strip to try Mancini's, but I've never ordered a cake from a bakery in Pittsburgh. As of Saturday, there will be one less bakery in Pittsburgh, and it makes me realize that I need to get started before any others bite the dust.

Rest in Peace, Jenny Lee Bakery.

(reference: )

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What next?

Green boats, green cars, what will they think of next? Green airplanes and trains? How about a light rail to the airport or an express train to Harrisburg??

Surely, we live in interesting times. Hopefully, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County can capitalize on them.

In other news, how's Port Authority's budget doing now? Just one bus, the 33X had an increase in ridership of 80% in June. The way I see it, that's a $60,000 (an extra $2 per ride at 1450 riders per week-day) bonus for June. If the lines for the buses downtown at rush hour are any indication of ridership, I believe that statistic. Hopefully, we can turn around and use this impetus to get some solid planning in for the future benefit of Port Authority. Speaking of which, everybody (all 1 of you), should visit and contribute to the pghwiki.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Your Days Are Numbered, Comcast!

Comcast, the day is coming when you will not have a strangle-hold over Pittsburgh, and I will enjoy the day.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Who's Paying?

I really have no opinion on the URA debacle involving Pat Ford. My only opinion involves who is paying Pat Ford's leave salary, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I am.

Pat Ford has been on paid leave since April undergoing a potential investigation from the State Ethics Commission. Since the State Ethics Commission has been unethically dragging their feet in this case, can they please pay Mr Ford's salary for the past 3 months? I'd rather pay for him with my state taxes than my city or county taxes.

Or perhaps we should discuss the ethics of giving someone a three-month paid vacation? Why not investigate him while he's still working? Or if he's that much of a liability, can we please just fire him??

"Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said yesterday he would wait to hear from the Ethics Commission before commenting on the matter." Luke, have you tried giving them a call? Or do you and Mr Ford have a golf outing in the Bahamas you're attending next month?


Monday, August 4, 2008

I'll Make an Exception

Thanks, Harrisburg! Philadelphia clearly needs more exceptions! Maybe Pittsburgh can hop on board next year!

Why all the exceptions for Philadelphia and sometimes Pittsburgh? Perhaps the other representatives in Harrisburg are sleeping or hunting when they're supposed to be voting? Or maybe they're just taking their money and bonuses and running and being happy while everyone who lives outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh is fuming?

Lastly, can Pittsburgh please get that really good exception of charging commuters a wage tax like Philadelphia does? I'll get behind a merger with the county if that's one of their concessions, but then maybe we wouldn't actually need a merger!