Round Up

So here's what you might want to check out

The trial challening California's Proposition 8 is underway.  While the video is on hold pending a Supreme Court review, you can follow it pretty well on Twitter using hashtag #Prop8. 

Potter has the latest take on the Prevailing Wage legislation.  My new City Councilperson, Daniel Lavelle, is the latest cosponsor. From a queer perspective, very important local discussion to watch … remember, economic issues are often at the top of the list for our families.  Hand in hand is my attempt to discern the “gay friendliness” of local unions.  I'm not making much headway in that regard, BUT I am trying.  I'm especially intrigued by the County employee unions … where do they stand?  Kevin McCarthy, what say you? 

In other local news, one of our strongest allies (and still relevant) City Councilman Bill Peduto has brought Pittsburgh City Council into the 21st Century.  Meanwhile, one of our strongest (and still relevant) leaders, City Councilman Bruce Kraus, is tackling the nuisance that is the Southside strip o'bars AND endorsing Congressman Joe Sestak for Congress. The progressive goodness does my heart good.  Plus, I'd love to stroll the Southside post-Cambodican dinner without tripping over drunken Duquesne University honor roll students (aka future “good Catholic” community leaders). 

A good read (what isn't, really?) from Pittsblog 2.0 on the future of Pittsburgh's leadership.  Note the hopeful note for diversity.

Cyril Wecht for Governor?  What?  KDKA just said it.  Did she just go there again?

Paul McKrell, State House Rep hopeful – again, has moved – again.  Yes, he's left Facebook in the largest Burgh “unfriending” in recent history, but the ever popular McKrell's social media savy move may pay off.

Local gay news?  The Mayor's LGBT Advisory Committee is having a sit down with their “LGBT Leadership” designees (including yours truly – must be the Xena video) sometime in February.  I'm sure looking forward to seeing City Councilman Bruce Kraus there. They wouldn't dare not invite him, would they?  I mean … we are moving forward in the spirit of cooperation, right?  Left? 

I'm off to the Steel City Stonewall meeting tonight at Panera Bread in Oakland.  Hope to see you there. 



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  • Are you out of your mind? You think it's good that the embarrsament Kraus is trying to eliminate business, jobs, taxes, tourism, etc. in our city. If you're so family friendly, don't families need jobs? Don't they need the services that these businesses provide though their taxes? Are you all independently wealthy and don't need jobs? Or you don't mind higher taxes? Why don't you move to one of the “wonderful” suburbs where they don't allow businesses; i.e., move into a gated community instead of turning Pittsburgh into one.

  • Keep the comments decent. You can disagree with the legislation without making crude, vulgar comments, Pissed Off SS Worker. Please try again.
    The legislation simply prohibits more restaurants from opening in the South Side zoning district. No existing businesses will be forced to close. Invoking images of empty storefronts is a stretch, unless the existing business owners cannot stay in business and that's really on them, isn't it?
    I am a supporter of Councilman Kraus and believe you grossly exaggerate the impact of legislation which I agree will improve the quality of life for residents, visitors, patrons, and business owners on the South Side. It also seems to me that if a restaurant cannot open on the South Side, they will actually consider the other business districts in the City. Maybe they will take their restaurant to Cleveland or Cranberry, but that decision wouldn't be based solely on this bill.
    Do you expect a Councilperson who is gay to be some sort of avenging angel on behalf of bars because of the legacy of gay bars?
    I wholeheartedly agree that families need jobs and I'm sure it is just your passion for the topic that led you to skip over the Prevailing Wage section of the post.

  • I need my job and its in southside. I make a good amount of cash…not from my employer but from my patrons. My employer provides a great environment for me to work and support my family.
    I don't need a living wage…on average I am making (as most restaurant/bar employees make over $20+ an hour)
    We all no businesses come and go. But this will result in NO NEW RESTAURANTS OPENING IN SOUTH SIDE. This is moronic.
    Mr. Kraus…get out of my pocket…get out of my job and please think about me and my family that I support. I need restaurants here in the south side where me and my family live!!!
    The big boys on Mt. Washington supported Kraus getting elected…I hope they wake up and tell Kraus to quit this crap and start thinking about me…yes me the worker…not his ego!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • So Sue, you're saying there are plenty of jobs on the South Side. Unbelievable. Pittsburgh needs to make it as EASY AS POSSIBLE to open and operate a business here. Otherwise, the WILL go to Cranberry or Cleveland. Question: What legislation or actions has Bruce Kraus taken to create a single job in Pittsburgh? Isn't that what our families need? I wish he'd focus on that.

  • Yes, let's give business owners free reign because we all know how well that works out for poor people and other minority groups. Thanks for chiming in, Ayn Rand.

  • I just don't agree with your analysis. First, I think there are plenty of other business districts for restaurants and the City can work to promote them. Second, you gloss over the importance of quality of life issues, public safety, sanitation and so forth for families, queer and straight. I suspect most people who live on the South Side don't work on the South Side so there has to be some balance between workers and residents, as well as visitors.
    Maybe it would be helpful for you to bring these questions to the Mayor's LGBT Advisory Committee, specifically what is being done to create jobs for our families. That seem like a good question for them to pose.

  • This is a PRIME EXAMPLE
    Kraus thinks he smells all pretty and trys to play the good man….until he is walking down Carson Street thinking he is king tut. Comfronting business owners etc.
    Look what he did to Penny Felino….she supported him then he went ape shit on her.

  • While the Southside nightflife culture debate is pretty intense, none of the anti-Krausians have brought up or even acknowledged the negative impact of the alcohol culture. You defend the people pouring the drinks and the people serving the drinks and the people making the profit from the drinks — is it fair to say that the people drinking the drinks AND the people living nearby are part of the dynamic? Your 'all bars/restaurants, all the time” approach isn't exactly nuanced.
    The bar/restaurant community does not define the Southside. There are plenty of other people who are part of the larger community and Kraus is responsible for the big picture.
    Are you saying any attempt to address health and safety concerns involving the sale of alcohol are unwarranted b/c they impinge on bars and business owners?

  • No I am saying where does personal responsibility come in here? Is is the bars fault that someone urinates on someones doorstep or is it a personal responsibility.
    Why don't we come up with creative ideas like outdoor urinals like they have in Europe.
    How do you expect developers (like South Side Works) which will be majorly effected by this legislation to survive??? If there are specific bar issues address them, but don't stop every restaurant and bar from opening in an area.

  • It is a bar's responsibility not to serve patrons to a point of intoxication, and it is their failure to do so that turns private property into a toilet on weekend nights. (If you're so drunk that you can't find or don't know that you should find a toilet for your bodily wastes, you've been served too much alcohol.)
    It is the bars' fault that Carson Street is a gauntlet for females on weekend nights, when the overserved male patrons take to the streets, to get to another bar for more alcohol, or worse, to their cars. Any woman who has the misfortune of being on the street unaccompanied by a man will face harassment from the drunken hordes, and it's a frightening and dehumanizing experience. And I'm not just talking about the girls going to the bars themselves, but residents doing radical things like waiting for buses or walking to their homes or going to the non-alcohol related businesses. (A few do still exist.)
    There are businesses which aren't bars or restaurants that have thrived on Carson for years. Schwartz's Market has been there longer than I've been alive. Copies@Carson has been around for more than a decade. Rynn's Luggage. Silver Eye. Philip Pelusi salon. I could go on.
    And there's room for more. Professional services ranging from photography to physical therapy, specialty or boutique groceries (like another Trader Joe's, just as an example) and specialty retailers could be all up and down Carson in greater numbers than they are now. But when you have to close at 6 in the evening on weekends (like Copies@Carson does) because of the bar crowds, you can't compete against places that can stay open until 9 or 9:30, have free parking and solo female patrons don't run the risk of hearing screamed and obscene comments about their physical attributes just trying to get into the shop.
    The only way to move South Side forward as a truly mixed use neighborhood is to cap the single most pernicious reason that mixed development hasn't moved forward, and that's the bars.
    And honestly, public urinals? Giving permission to drunken packs of guys to whip it out on public streets? Oh yeah, that's a great idea.

  • So what do you suggest? Public urinals would be one very small tool to the actual problems. How would you balance the public interest, the safety issues and the quality of life with the economic impact on the restaurant/bar industry?

  • Well I have to say – PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY has been lost in this conversation.
    It is a persons responsibility to pee in a toilet not in a street or someone's lawn.
    It is a persons responsibility to treat others (women) with respect.
    It is a persons responsibility to know right from wrong.
    America has lost the personal sense of responsibility. We need to care for ourselves and take credit for our actions.
    While I may agree that there are enough bars in a particular area…I totally disagree that its the business owners responsibility to control where people pee.

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