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View Article  Post Gazette agrees with PghLesbian -- City Hall Reeks

It is always nice to get a little opinion-love from the fine folks down at the PG's editorial board.  They did not fail me in detecting the wafting odor of business as usual hanging over the City-County Building like the mill smell that has so deeply permeated my father's pores its become part of his essence.  And its just as corrosive.

As Post-Gazette reporters Rich Lord and Ann Belser discovered, the City-County Building, which has long been officially smoke-free, is a place where smoking bans are subjects of nods and winks and where the happy band of surreptitious smokers also includes some in top offices. Allegheny County police have no plans to enforce the ban on Grant Street, and so diehard smokers will continue to grasp their cigarettes like John Perzel hanging on to his chair.

Top offices would include the City Council President.  I think Barbara Harris' dismissive attitude is condescending and arrogant, but I don't expect much from her but bluster.  Doug Shields, on the other hand, is supposed to be one of the good guys.  So why does he not care if his nasty little habit ferments malignant tumors in the lungs of his associates and constituents?  I don't want cancer, Doug.  I also don't want to breathe in your disgusting second-hand smoke or deal with its smell lingering in my clothing and hair.  And I don't want the President of City Council to laughingly tell a reporter that he plans to break the law.  Its embarrassing and pathetic. 

The city employees that I know have told this sort of crap goes on all over the place --- any why the heck not?  If Doug Shields can smoke in his office, why can't the minions who toil away in the backoffices? 

I guess this just yet another way for Pittsburgh residents to clean up City Hall.  Perhaps we take comfort that our Mayor isn't old enough to buy cigarettes ...

View Article  Will City Council Honor Smoking Ban? It Don't Look Good ...

What is it about smoking that still seems cool to people in this day and age?

In a classic example of the good old boy (and girl) mentality that keeps dragging us to the backwaters, the Post-Gazette ran a little article about illicit smoking in the City-County Building.  They refer to it as "surreptitious" but that's just fancy talk for sneaky.  

Apparently, our elected officials are already breaking the rules on smoking INSIDE the building.  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge ... all the kids are doing it giggles Student Body President Doug Shields.

"We're not allowed to smoke in the building, though I've been known to -- eh, heh heh -- in a closed room," said City Council President Doug Shields, an on-again, off-again smoker.

Is it just me or is Shields trying to sound ...cool?  First, "eh, heh, heh" is just an incredibly creepy and disturbing quote for a grown man in an elected position of power and authority. Second, its nice that Shields has such respect for the health and welfare of all his employees, colleagues and the residents of Pittsburgh (and the county) that he would smoke in a closed room.  Because we all know how effective that closed door is at preventing cancer.  Finally, it sort of gives support to the claim that Shields is firmly wedged up the ass of the powers that be if he doesn't have the gonads to set a good example on SMOKING.  What kind of leadership is that?  A "fuck you, I'm hanging with the cool guys like Luke" type. 

Our newest elected Councilwoman Darlene Harris' has solved the problem by spending tax payer dollars to purchase a smoke eating machine, the Trion Eliminator Series SE 800E.   Its to keep the office from being so stuffy.  Harris rationalizes that a long day in City Hall justifies breaking the rules b/c she's a hard working gal ...

Does she smoke in the office? "If I'm here until 10:30 at night, yeah, I'll have one," she said.

That's the kind of superior, self-satisfied Chesire Cat mentality you folks in our neighboring Northside communities have saddled yourselves with for the next term.  Good luck with that. 

Here's the best part --- Harris justifies the purchase b/c she took advantage of the county contract that got a better deal.  The same county that passed the smoking ordinance paved the way for Harris to say "fuck you" to county residents in the City-County building.  That's delicious irony. 

County Council President Rich Fitzgerald does a nice job of passing the butt, er buck, on enforcement.

"I'm sure we're going to get all kinds of reports about people smoking," said County Council President Rich Fitzgerald. "It's not up to County Council to arrest people. It's up to people to follow the law."

Does that include elected people who get paid by tax dollars?  Should they follow the law  Rich?  Will the PG article prompt you and Doug to call your members (and yourselves) to task on this bad behavior?  Or will you continue to wallow in the delusion that shirking the law somehow adds to your allure? 

Has the ascension of the boy who would be mayor dragged the entire city back to high school?  Or has it merely brought to light that we've been there all along?

View Article  Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from PghLesbian.com

View Article  Joey Porter AND a Casino .... Could Life on the NorthSide Get Any Better?

Its a great time to be a North Shore dyke.  Our most high-profile neighbhors are harboring a stupid homophobe in their midst and feel no compunction about it.  Those same neighbors (The Rooneys in case you missed it) are concerned about the selection of the North Shore as home of Pittsburgh's newest folly, the C-A-S-I-N-O. 

Just what I am looking forward to ... even more drunken fools driving unfamiliar streets and spewing their suburban venom all over my neighbhorhood.  More mighty suburban white folks on the North Shore looking for drugs who now have yet another stupid excuse to offer up as to why they aren't polluting their own backwater with drug traffic -- trying to find the casino dude.  More big haired yinzerettes drawn by the classy lighting.  More free booze for everyone!  More reasons for the cops to stay out of my street and down somewhere protecting the mighty whites. 

What won't change will be the afterschool programs, summer youth programs, or anything else actually relevant to the quality of life on the North Side. 

They should have built it at Station Square right next to Philthy McNastys.  Not in my backyard.

The City Paper's DiPerna calls out the Rooney family on Joey Porter:

As far as the Steelers go, the Rooney family's non-response is disappointing. They're supposed to be the good guys, but they appear not to worry about what the gay and lesbian population of Steeler Nation thinks. They didn't have to fine Porter: Simply making a public statement decrying his statements would have been enough.

Too bad the media won't let it go.  

View Article  Gay & Lesbian Community Center Seeking New Home

According to the City Paper, the GLCC is on the prowl for new digs.  Currently located in Squirrel Hill, the GLCC occupies the 2nd floor of an office building near the intersection of Forward and Murray.  The site has served its purpose but remains woefully inadequate in terms of accessibility, size, parking and more. 

Folks have been talking about this move for years. I was part of a strategic planning session three years ago which explored how a new community center could look as well as what it would take to make it happen.  The buzz has always been that a former school building would be most ideal.   That's probably still true as long as its a fully accessible school building. 

The current crop of GLCC Directors have raised $20,000 to launch this new phase of the project. I hope that bodes well for the sure to be forthcoming capital campaign.

GLCC Vice Chair Kat Carrick, head of the new building search committee, emphasizes that the location must be in the City of Pittsburgh: Unlike the county, the city has an anti-discrimination ordinance that covers sexual orientation along with factors like race and gender.

It would be great to see the GLCC move to the Northside, Garfield or Lawrenceville.

View Article  Beaver County Resident Defends Gay Kids

Michelle Manzo of Monaca in Beaver County deserves a nice little shout out from those of us living outside of that hallowed little 'burg for her nice letter to the editor in today's Beaver County Times.  Michelle picked up her pen after reading about all the fuss over the Gay-Straight-Alliance at Ambridge High School.

 I wavered between anger and amusement at the comment by the parent who was afraid the members would become "militant" and "force" others to join the club. What in the world does this person think this organization represents? They are not al-Qaida terrorists, waiting to snatch your unsuspecting youngster into their dark underworld. They are regular kids, just like yours, who just happen to be struggling, because they are aware they are different from most of their peers, and simply need to be a part of something that gives them support and understanding.

With that, Michelle profoundly reduces things to their most basic components.  Kids-Need-Support.  

She also rightfully identifies the true problem -- Grownups are afraid of people who are different from them.

Kudos to Michelle for reminding everyone of what's really important.

View Article  Ambridge students claim gay harassment

Student members of the Gay-Straight-Alliance of Ambridge High School claim they are being harassed according to a story in the Beaver County Times.

 
AMBRIDGE - The gay issue just won't go away.In fact, Daniel Zak, an Ambridge Area High School senior, told the school board Wednesday night that attitudes have worsened toward gay students and their friends since a new gay and lesbian club was established.

Last month, Adam Smith, an Ambridge senior who founded the Gay-Straight Alliance, spoke publicly, saying that he was offended over some derogatory terms used by board member William Scherfel, who referred to the group as a "sex club" and "the faggots." The board approved the club in October.

Smith explained the club's mission: to promote diversity and confront discrimination and homophobia.

"That was very brave of him, it took a lot of courage, but it's gotten to be worse than it was before," Zak said.

Specifically, Zak said there have been more remarks, jokes, and people pointing and laughing. "Now it's really blown out of proportion. They're getting fingers pointed more than if they hadn't started the club," he said.

An Ambridge parent, who refused to give the board her name, asked about the need for the club, its dress code, potential speakers and field trips.

She also said she worried that club members could become militant and force other students into joining.

Principal Alan Fritz said students in the club will have the same rules and dress code as other students.

Fritz said that he respected the woman's views but that there are gay or lesbian students in the school who unfortunately are "targeted, harassed and picked on."

"It's not a free-for-all down there. I don't see any of these kids pressuring anybody. The majority there are not even homosexual. They are friends of the young man."

Superintendent Kenneth Voss said he attended the initial meeting, which was pretty much "routine." Voss said the students discussed election of officers, fund-raising activities and community service.

"I didn't hear anything about pressuring from GSA," Voss said.

Board member Brian Padgett said perhaps the entire student body should participate in diversity training if they are targeting those who are different from them.

Dress code?  From my trips to Beaver County, I'd say the lives of a more than a few breederettes could use a nice dose of a gay dress code. 

My favorite line, however, is her fear that the club could become militant and force people to join.  Honey, that tactic has been all sewn up by the Christian mini-mes decked out in chastity belts and a swayin for Jesus in front of the school flag pole.  I'd take a militant homo any day of the week over a determined "Virgin for Christ."

Maybe the GSA will schedule a field trip to an abortion clinic and then stop by the local gay bar for illicity sexual encounters with smooth chested men from the big city? 

View Article  NJ Civil Unions Result in Mixed Bag of Benefits for LGBTQ couples

New Jersey's legislature has passed legislation legalizaing civil unions which should be signed by the Governor in the near future.

Hurrah for a step forward.  But LGBTQ couples should take heed of just how complicated this little step can be  .. a few twirls, hops to the right, touch your nose and hope for the best sort of step forward.

Read here to learn how the best civil union legislation in the world cannot confer the full rights of marriage ...

A good step forward nonetheless. 

View Article  PG Editors: NFL right to fine Joey Porter

The PG editors got it right on this one:

WHO SAID TALK is cheap? Probably not Steelers linebacker Joey Porter. On Thursday, the National Football League fined him $10,000 for calling a Cleveland Browns player a derogatory term associated with gay men. (Earlier in the season, he was fined $15,000 for other comments made to an official in a game at Atlanta). To his credit, the Steelers player apologized for the anti-gay remark to anyone who was offended -- anyone, that is, except the target of his wrath, Kellen Winslow. Unfortunately, that is part of the problem -- an insult draws from a common pool of prejudice and a player can't throw it at one person without splattering the larger group. Not too long ago, anti-gay slurs were part of the common language of men's sports, but then so were racist remarks. The NFL is right not to tolerate hate-filled words of any sort.

Interesting aside ...Leo Patterson of Derry took the time to write in to the Trib and share his belief that the media has made a mountain out of a molehill on this issue.

Enough is enough. No one in this country has a right to not be offended. Winslow got over it. Any other "victims" can tell Oprah how Joey's comment impacted their already pathetic lives.

He couldn't just leave it at "get over it" could he?  He just couldn't resist the little underhanded "you pathetic loser" slam!  This is Joey Porter's fan base. 

View Article  Joey Porter blames media for Fag Slur upset (and $10,000 fine)

Joey Porter thinks he's being treated too harshly for describing Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow as a "fag" following a recent game.  Apparently, Porter grew up in the neighborhood where men don't take responsibility for their actions, but point their fingers and petulantly stomp their feet when they are called on the carpet for misbehavior.  Here's Joey from Friday's Post-Gazette:

"I just don't understand how you can get a DUI or fail a drug test and nothing happens," Porter said. "You say something, you get fined. That just don't make any sense.

"You'd think if you get a DUI or something, you should get fined. If you fail a drug test, you should get fined. But for saying a word, you get fined. That's kind of backward to me."

While it is an interesting point, I doubt Joey is leading the charge against drug and alcohol abuse in the NFL.  He's just deflecting attention and trying to minimize the seriousness of his offense.  

Joey also thinks its the media's fault. 

"There was enough publicity about it," Porter said. "Y'all keep talking about it. Y'all going to make them do something. If y'all wouldn't have just kept talking about it, [the fine] wouldn't have happened. Y'all need a story so you keep talking about it. So they say, all right, let's fine him then because everybody seems to be upset about it."

Earlier in the week, he blames his childhood b/c "everybody used that word."  Today its the media. How much longer til he actually blames the gay community?  Note how he thinks his fans are simple sheep without the capacity to recognize a slanderous comment when they hear one. 

But in one sense, the fans are to blame.  Whether Hollywood or professional sports, we create these meglomaniacal bastards to keep us entertained and amused vis a vis the cult of celebrity.  Pay someone $14 kajillion for anything and it goes without saying that you've created hubris beyond all proportions of decency.  I'm sure that short of actually murdering someone - perhaps a child - in cold blood, these is little Joey Porter could do that would cause his fans to turn on him OR force him to grow up and act like a man instead of a spoiled little child.

Except lose football games.

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