Pittsburgh needs to start taking care of business

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Pittsburgh

Infrastructure

Pittsburgh does not take care of business.

Pittsburgh’s $158 million 2022 capital budget contains $7.25 million for bridge upgrades.

Oxford professor Daniel Armanios, previously of Carnegie Mellon University, and CMU doctoral student Cari Gandy said Friday that Pittsburgh and area bridges need hundreds of millions of dollars to address poorly rated structures.

The two researchers said in an email to PublicSource that 12% of Pittsburgh bridges have a poorly rated component (such as the road deck, the superstructure or substructure), and they estimated $458 million is needed to improve them.[7]

What’s not said here is how much of that $458 million price tag is due to the maintenance having been deferred.

Ed Blazina et al., “‘A boom, then a monster sound’: 10 hurt after bridge over Pittsburgh’s Frick Park collapses,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 28, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2022/01/28/pittsburgh-bridge-collapse-forbes-braddock-avenue-point-breeze-squirrel-hill/stories/202201280075

Emma Folts, “From a burning bridge to a sinking road, 5 times Pittsburgh infrastructure raised worries,” Public Source, January 28, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/from-a-burning-bridge-to-a-sinking-road-5-times-pittsburgh-infrastructure-raised-worries/

Megan Guza, “‘It is outrageous’: Pittsburgh leaders, residents seek answers after poor-rated bridge collapses,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 28, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/it-is-outrageous-pittsburgh-leaders-residents-seek-answers-after-poor-rated-bridge-collapses/

Tony LaRussa, “Over 40 bridges in Alle-Kiski Valley are rated the same as span that collapsed in Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 28, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/here-are-the-bridges-in-the-alle-kiski-valley-rated-the-same-as-span-that-collapsed-in-pittsburgh/

Brian C. Rittmeyer, Megan Guza, and Jason Cato, “10 injured in bridge collapse in Pittsburgh’s Frick Park,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 28, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/frick-park-bridge-collapses-natural-gas-smell-in-area/

Charlie Wolfson, “Collapsed Pittsburgh bridge and 175 others rated poor in county drive home need for investment,” Public Source, January 28, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/bridge-collapse-pittsburgh-allegheny-infrastructure-biden/

WTAE, “Gov. Wolf signs proclamation of disaster emergency for Allegheny County following bridge collapse,” January 28, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/bridge-collapse-pittsburgh-gov-wolf-signs-proclamation-of-disaster-emergency/38928541

Julia Felton, “‘It’s a resource problem’: 1 in 8 bridges in Pa. rated in ‘poor’ condition, records show,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 29, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/its-a-resource-problem-1-in-8-bridges-in-pa-rated-in-poor-condition-records-show/

Lauren Lee, “Mayor Gainey signs Disaster Emergency Declaration following Fern Hollow bridge collapse,” WTAE, January 30, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/mayor-gainey-to-sign-disaster-emergency-declaration-following-fern-hollow-bridge-collapse/38934884


Police White supremacist gangs

John Archibald, “Brookside police patrolled social media, threatening town’s critics,” AL.com, January 27, 2022, https://www.al.com/news/2022/01/brookside-police-patrolled-social-media-threatening-towns-critics.html

Cory Doctorow, “Cops’ imaginary fears send addicts to real jail,” Pluralistic, January 27, 2022, https://pluralistic.net/2022/01/27/extraordinary-popular-delusions/


COVID-19 Pandemic

Doctors and charlatans

I have only seen a few stories describing what it’s like to work in a COVID-19 intensive care unit or to watch these patients die.[8] But Megan Guza’s[9] is, by far, the most raw:

Leaning against a desk at the nurses’ station, [Andrea Dugan] stares through the wide wall of windows into rooms in the unit and describes what her job has been like for the past two years.

“In a word, hell.”[10]

To read an account like this, having listened to people in my car, is simply infuriating. These latter assholes are criminal. That’s all there is to it. They’re criminal. There can be no excusing the inhumanity in their denial of the reality of COVID-19, in their refusal to wear masks or get vaccinated.

I don’t care about their excuses. I don’t care about their misinformation. I don’t care what their favorite sources of information told them. I don’t want to hear about their presidential preferences. I sure as hell don’t want to hear about their “freedom.” I don’t want to hear any of that shit. I want these assholes locked up. Forever. If you have to ship them off to Guantanamo to do it, then do it. And if you decide to abandon them without food or water, that’s fine by me.

Associated Press, “Pregnant New Zealand journalist stranded by quarantine rules says she turned to Taliban,” Guardian, January 29, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/29/taliban-helps-pregnant-new-zealand-journalist-stranded-by-quarantine-rules

Megan Guza, “Finding hope amid darkness,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 30, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/holding-onto-hope-inside-a-covid-icu/


Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Ed Palattella, “Election libel or just free speech?” Erie Times-News, January 30, 2022, https://www.goerie.com/story/news/2022/01/28/free-speech-case-erie-postmaster-project-veritas-james-okeefe-richard-hopkins/6632611001/


John Fetterman

Conor Lamb, who, like many Democrats, is just barely to the left of Attila the Hun, fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for a Pennsylvania state party endorsement in the race for for Pat Toomey’s old U.S. Senate seat. John Fetterman was far, far behind.[11] But I’ll tell you a secret: When I’m driving around, especially around Erie, I see yard signs for Fetterman. I rarely, if ever, see signs for Lamb.

“No endorsement means no change in the existing trajectory of this campaign,” said J.J. Balaban, a Pennsylvania-based Democratic strategist who is not working for a candidate in the Senate race. “Given that John Fetterman has a substantial lead in the polls and the most money in the bank, he benefits the most from no one being endorsed by the state Democratic Party.”[12]

The question will be how he stacks up against a Republican.

Holly Otterbein, “Pennsylvania Dems decline to endorse in Senate primary,” Politico, January 29, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/29/pennsylvania-democrats-decline-to-endorse-senate-00003442


  1. [7]Charlie Wolfson, “Collapsed Pittsburgh bridge and 175 others rated poor in county drive home need for investment,” Public Source, January 28, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/bridge-collapse-pittsburgh-allegheny-infrastructure-biden/
  2. [8]Karen Gallardo, “On the front lines, here’s what the seven stages of severe COVID-19 look like,” Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-08-26/pandemic-covid-19-stages-vaccination-intensive-care-respiratory-therapist; Maria Godoy, “How COVID-19 Kills: The New Coronavirus Disease Can Take A Deadly Turn,” National Public Radio, March 17, 2020, https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/14/805289669/how-covid-19-kills-the-new-coronavirus-disease-can-take-a-deadly-turn; Oliver Laughland and Jessica Glenza, “Inside a Tennessee hospital grappling with Delta and vaccine hesitancy,” Guardian, July 24, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/24/tennessee-coronavirus-covid-delta-variant-cases-vaccines; Brittny Mejia, “ICU doctors, nurses demoralized over ‘needless’ COVID-19 misery. ‘Patients are still dying,’” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-24/covid-icu
  3. [9]Megan Guza, “Finding hope amid darkness,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 30, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/holding-onto-hope-inside-a-covid-icu/
  4. [10]Megan Guza, “Finding hope amid darkness,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 30, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/holding-onto-hope-inside-a-covid-icu/
  5. [11]Holly Otterbein, “Pennsylvania Dems decline to endorse in Senate primary,” Politico, January 29, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/29/pennsylvania-democrats-decline-to-endorse-senate-00003442
  6. [12]Holly Otterbein, “Pennsylvania Dems decline to endorse in Senate primary,” Politico, January 29, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/29/pennsylvania-democrats-decline-to-endorse-senate-00003442

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