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Preview: The People's Republic of Pittsburgh

The People's Republic of Pittsburgh

A Chronicle of Absurdities as Seen from the Banks of Our Three Rivers

Updated: 2017-06-21T22:41:32.531-04:00


America's Most "Leavable" City Claims Another Victim


A Merger Within the BurghosphereWhen I first started The People's Republic, there were a lot of things that I didn't realize, and a few things that I never even imagined were possible. I never realized (although I certainly suspected) just how messed-up Pittsburgh's political scene could be. But I certainly never imagined that it could actually get so bad that we would end up with uncontested

Time for More Sea Pay


The People's Republic of Pittsburgh regrets to announce that the Admiral is currently underway conducting a yet another round of exercises to prepare for a future deployment. He also feels compelled to spend some time with his maternal parent on this Mother's Day Weekend. The Admiral anticipates his return to homeport in a few days' time. During this interval, new commentary may or may not

Update on Ravenstahl Porn Portal


Somebody has a sense of humor. Earlier this week, I did a quick post (as did PittGirl over at The Burgh Blog) concerning the fact that a cyber-squatter had registered the address, and was operating it as a porn portal. Someone with a keen gift for irony has apparently taken action to fix this situation, and the site no longer operates as a pornographic link fest. Instead,

More Koch Fumbles


The Post-Gazette's Rich Lord is reporting on an ever-lengthening list of ethical problems inside the re-election campaign for Pittsburgh City Councilmember Jeff Koch. At this stage, it might actually be more efficient to ask for a list of the election laws that Mr. Koch isn't suspected of breaking so far. The latest accusations include campaign phone calls being made by city employees from Mr.

Not A Machine, Right?


In an op-ed piece that appears in today's Post-Gazette, Allegheny County Democratic Committee (ACDC) chairman Jim Burn tries to argue that there is no longer a Democratic political machine here in Pittsburgh. He describes some of his efforts over the past 10 months to give his committee members "... the tools, training and technology to better engage voters on the issues and to become more

Some City Councilman Broke the Election Laws, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt


This story is all over the place. I'm not sure, in the grand scheme of things, just how important it really is. But it involves clear political misconduct and taxpayer-financed campaigning by city employees, so we can only be talking about Pittsburgh city government. And since the constant missteps of Pittsburgh's city government can only be foiled by the harsh spotlight of public attention, they

Oh Yeah Baby, Spank Me With that Great Big Ethics Board of Yours!


The Post-Gazette's Early Returns blog is reporting that a cyber-squatting firm has registered a web address using the name of Pittsburgh's interim mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, and is currently operating it as a porn portal. As "one of America's great newspapers", the Post-Gazette has a certain degree journalistic integrity. It also takes a sensible approach to the sensibilities of its ever-graying

Thoughts on Le Petit Massacre


Just over one week ago, Pittsburgh's interim mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, finally took some long-overdue steps to establish an administration that is truly his own. Ever since last September, when he was elevated to his post by the death of the previous mayor, Bob O'Connor, Interim Mayor Ravenstahl had retained the bulk of Mr. O'Connor's appointees in his office. For a brief period of time, this idea

Peduto, Politics, Paving and Pointlessness


There is a heck of a lot for me to catch up on. I haven't even begun to really examine all of the implications of the mini-massacre that took place in Interim Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office last week, but there seems to be no end to the blog posts that are buried in that event. A fantastic sampling of the available topics so far can be found over at the Burgh Report, starting when the story first

Humble and Profuse Apologies


No, really; I am still alive. I won't go into everything that has been keeping me away from the burghosphere over the past few weeks. It started out as an innocent trip out of town for a few days, then grew longer as I spent more time outdoors hiking with my children. Then it progressed into a mountain of work for my employer. I have also been quite busy applying for and negotiating about a

Praying for Today's Victims


As the grandson of a former Virginia Tech faculty member -- and the son, brother, and brother-in-law of Virginia Tech alumni -- I am deeply shocked by the shooting rampage there. I spent a good portion of my childhood on that campus, and my family continues to return to it on a regular basis. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.

A Few Questions Remain on Secondary Employment


Late last week, a small number of articles appeared in both the Post-Gazette and the Tribune-Review concerning the police secondary employment. As discussed in an earlier post at the beginning of the month, Pittsburgh's interim mayor has finally decided to institute a cost-recovery fee whenever city police officers whore hire themselves out to perform security functions for private employers.

Getting Old... I Missed the Most Important Story of the Last Month


It sucks to get old, to get trapped in work and family and... well, life... so that I end up missing the news that -- years ago when I had no cares -- would have been at the foremost reaches of my mind to the last month. But bettter late than never, I guess.Rush has a new album, titled "Snakes and Arrows", coming out on the 1st of May! They've already released "A Far Cry", a single from the new

Peduto Saves Pittsburgh From Divisiveness By Euthanizing Democracy


In a move that was in no way surprising, Pittsburgh City Councilmember and former mayoral candidate Bill Peduto has hammered the final nail into the coffin of this year's mayoral election. The Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review are both reporting that Mr. Peduto, who pulled out of the Democratic primary late last month, has finally decided not to run as an independent candidate in November. The

McNeilly to Publish an Open Letter in The Post-Gazette


With her Federal lawsuit against the interim mayor and the police chief now settled out-of-court, Police Commander Catherine McNeilly has come out swinging, and swinging hard. In the settlement, she was personally awarded the sum of $85,000. Ms. McNeilly has now, according to a report which aired this evening on WTAE, spent $4,000 of that money to purchase space in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for

Another Bipolar Day At the Post-Gazette Editorial Board


Today's editorials in Post-Gazette illustrate much of what is genuinely bad about local Pittsburgh politics. In one case, the newspaper's editorial board comes down, far more solidly than I had anticipated, on the correct side of the issue. In another, they tacitly endorse -- almost without even realizing that they are doing so -- one of the primary reasons why our city and region continue to

Now that Someone Else's Ass is In the Hot Seat, Ravenstahl Thinks the Ethics Board is a Damn Fine Idea


The Post-Gazette has been very busy today, constantly expanding their coverage Pittsburgh City Councilmember Twanda Carlisle's indictment on a number of criminal charges. They have posted a PDF file of the original criminal complaint, which details all of the offenses that Ms. Carlisle is charged with. The final tally looks like three charges of theft by deception, another three charges for

Carlisle Arrested... uh, Detained... uh, Something


The Tribune-Review is reporting that Pittsburgh City Councilmember Twanda Carlisle will be arraigned this morning in District Court. She is facing charges of theft and criminal conspiracy. At the moment, there are no specific details about the criminal offenses that Ms. Carlisle is alleged to have committed. District Attorney Stephen Zappala is not commenting, but his office has been

Another Victory for the Burghosphere?


Over the Easter weekend, my household received yet another mailing from the City of Pittsburgh. This time, we were treated to an invitation to the grand re-opening of the new " sportsplex" at the Schenley Park oval. As you might expect, it announced it very large letters that our invitation was from none other than "Mayor Luke Ravenstahl" himself (so nice of him to think of me). But what truly

Gun Control and Democracy in Pennsylvania


Over on the other side of the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania's largest city is in the midst of a bloody wave of violent crime. So far this year, more than 100 people have been murdered within the city limits of Philadelphia, and more than 400 have been shot. To put that into perspective, Philadelphia has had more murders thus far in 2007 than all five boroughs of New York City, despite the fact that



The People's Republic of Pittsburgh would like to apologize for the lack of posts in the last week or so. Any readers who have the privilege of singing for a church choir probably understand why last week was just a tiny bit busy for the Admiral, who is only just now getting his voice back and his body readjusted to a more normal schedule.With Holy Week now behind us, things are turning a bit

A Safer Crosswalk For Evelyn


A few years ago, I had a very pleasant afternoon conversation with a former co-worker (and occasional babysitter for my children). I hadn't seen her for a while, and we shared stories of what we had been up to and what we had planned for the future. It was delightful to catch up with her once again. She was by far one of the nicest people I ever worked with, and her research was simply

Ravenstahl Does Good


It's been a very long and busy week out in the Pennsylvania Operating Area. Endless man overboard drills, simulated boardings and searches of merchant vessels, deceptive lighting competitions, main space fire drills, formation steaming, DIVTACs, flight operations, and a constant stream engineering casualty exercises (BECCEs) kept us up through all hours of the night. The battle group finally

Fleet Exercises


The People's Republic of Pittsburgh regrets to announce that the Admiral is currently underway conducting a FLEETEX in preparation for a future deployment. There are hydrographic surveys to be done, enemy defenses to be probed, and new liberty ports to be explored. All units from the regular battle group, combined with vessels of intense historical value and selected ships from foreign navies,

How the Endorsements Killed Democracy


In the past few days, I have encountered a few viewpoints that have forced me to reexamine the events of the past month or so. The first was an excellent post over at Pittsburgh Comet, which examines the stated reasons behind Pittsburgh City Councilmember Bill Peduto's decision to pull out of the Democratic primary. The second was an email that I received from a loyal reader, which challenged a