Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh’

Update 4 – A Rough Pitch

The Pirates did the unthinkable in July and actually sat atop of the National League Central Division…for about a day. There was actually a buzz in Pittsburgh with our baseball team doing good things this late in the season. They promptly went on a 10 game losing streak. I had the pleasure of attended when they got blown out by the lowly San Diego Padres 13-2. Not a great game to watch, but it was really hot and humid too. The organization did, however, provide some entertainment as the group Train played a set and we were treated to Zambelli fireworks.

Update 3 – A Rough Pitch

I had not planned for this to be a series, but somehow this story, like the Pirates themselves, just won’t go away. First of all congratulations to the Pirates for a great series against the powerful Boston Red Sox as they won two out of three games, taking the series. They are now one game over 0.500 after playing 77 games which is by far their best showing in years. There are actually 15 teams with worse winning percentages than the Pirates. I cannot say that Pittsburgh has caught Pirate fever, but even some local broadcasters have begun speaking about them in more positive terms. After 18 losing seasons in a row we are getting excited, somewhat, to have a “winning” team this late in the season. Oh and the Pirates are only four games back from the division leading Milwaukee.

Uncommon

Uncommon can best be described as a self-help book for men written by a famous NFL coach.  Tony Dungy is an interesting man and even though he only played and coached for the Pittsburgh Steelers for a few years he did stand out as an uncommon man.  Subtitled “finding your path to significance,” Tony Dungy shares many personal examples and experiences of others to reinforce his thoughts on such subjects as character, fatherhood, friendship, mentoring, career, priorities, and faith.  It is obvious how much his belief in God steers his life which might seem a little at odds with his life as a successful professional football coach.  It was nice that he gave some recognition to players who share his values.  As a Pittsburgh Steeler fan I, of course, loved the references to the organization and none more than to former coach Chuck Noll, the greatest NFL coach ever (how many others can claim four NFL titles?). 

Eminent Affront

There is good news and bad news behind this headline:

Crafton out $1.8 million over land dispute

First the good news…The Borough of Crafton (near Pittsburgh, PA) was ordered to pay $1.8 million to the previous owners of a property that the Borough seized through eminent domain in 1999.  The judgement included $1 million for the property, approx. $600,000 in interest, and $200,000 in legal fees. 

Update – Up In Your Business

A few months ago I wrote about how government likes to all up in your business. They just cannot help themselves. One of the examples was how the City of Pittsburgh through its Urban Redevelopment Authority used eminent domain to seize a local theatre in Pittsburgh. The Garden theatre had suffered from the decline of city theatres and the proliferation of suburban multi-screen venues. They somehow survived by catering to the XXX movie crowd. I obviously don’t know the details of their finances, but they stayed in business for decades screening those flicks. That is until the City of Pittsburgh decided that the area would be better suited to a retail development.

News Briefs – Volume XXV

News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories…

Brief 1: Never content to accept a win, special interest groups (perhaps the bane of our society) have already begun to dissect America’s victory when a team of soldiers killed Osama. The Onondaga Indian tribe released a statement criticizing the use of the code name “Geronimo” for bin Laden,

“Think of the outcry if they had used any other ethnic group’s hero. Geronimo bravely and heroically defended his homeland and his people, eventually surrendering and living out the rest of his days peacefully, if in captivity…Geronimo is arguably the most recognized Native American name in the world and this comparison only serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes about our people…Why would that be honorable to us? All they know is just cowboys and Indians, the stuff they saw on TV.”

Air Scare

I am reading a book titled The Science of Fear (book review to come soon) and was struck by a recent op/ed in our local paper that hit on the essence of the book. Pittsburgh has suffered under the “Smokey City” label for years even though most of the steel mills and major industry has been long gone. My mother tells of the days when she had to change blouses twice a day because of the soot in the air. Pittsburgh is not that city any more, but many folks behave and advocate as if it is and groups use the historic image to bash the area while seeking stricter and stricter regulations on air emissions.  It is as if some of these groups cannot accept that things are way better.

Moochers Lament

Way back in the early 1980s I worked at a restaurant atop Pittsburgh’s tallest building.  The food was decent; the service was good; the view was awesome!  The U.S. Steel Building now sports a “UPMC” (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) sign acknowledging their biggest client.  The famed building was recently acquired by UBS Real Estate Securities Inc. based out of New York.  Pittsburgh’s Tribune review reported that the investing group has skillfully locally recorded “is a consignment of leases and rents by the lender in the deal…UBS also recorded a mortgage document for a $220 million loan UBS provided for the acquisition to Manhattan-based Karasick and his partners.”  Neither action requires the payment of transfer taxes which was estimated to be $10 million. 

Predisposition (pree-dis-puh-zish-uhn)

The dictionary defines predispositions as:

  1. the fact or condition of being predisposed: a predisposition to think optimistically.
  2. Medicine/Medical . tendency to a condition or quality, usually based on the combined effects of genetic and environmental factors.

Synonyms: tendency, inclination, predilection, BIAS [emphasis added]

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

John Adams

A Charter Barter

To charter or not to charter is the question among many Pennsylvania school districts.  A flaw (in my opinion) in Pennsylvania’s school charter system is that any application for a charter school must be approved by the school district in which it will be located.  This was humorously described by Rep. Tom Killion as “saying McDonald’s gets to say whether Burger King gets to franchise in their area.”  The article about the Pennsylvania charter school system provided some statistics that may bear out this comparison,