Tuesday, September 1, 2009

News Briefs Besides the G20

Hard to see through all the "news" about the G20 to what's actually going on around here.

So, what is going on around here?
  • 2 Violent robberies in the South Side on Sunday. Does this have anything to do with moving the police station up the hill? I sure hope not. But while I don't want to get robbed on the South Side walking back from the bar, in some ways, I'd rather there were robberies down on the South Side or over in Squirrel Hill instead of Garfield and Allentown. Maybe then the people that donate to political campaigns will insist on making all public safety a priority in this city.

  • "Still no state budget, Rendell talks taxes" [and pension takeovers]. Unlike the Mayor, I'm very torn on this issue. I think that Pittsburgh has clearly gotten itself in a pickle with pensions, but I don't trust the state to do any better. After all, we've been in Act 47 for over 5 years and we're worse than when we started in terms of pensions. As I see it, that's akin to putting someone in jail, telling them when to eat, sleep, and shit, then complaining about the results. How about the state takes off the handcuffs and gives Pittsburgh a chance to start again?

  • Faith trumps bureaucracy. Yet again, faith-based groups are showing that through hard work and determination, they can clean up neighborhoods and keep folks out of jail. Just imagine if they could strengthen their numbers by involving all the protesters from Planned Parenthood.

  • Pittsburgh Public Schools are solidly in the running for a big chunk of change from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Throwing more money at a problem never hurt, right? And they went through some pretty intensive hoops to get this money, so maybe it'll produce better teachers and improve college-readiness of Pittsburgh students as intended. If not, at least we'll all feel better knowing our latest Windows upgrade went to a good cause.

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