Friday, September 12, 2008

follow those stories

Not the most prescient of predictions, but I think I mentioned that the Steelers' worth had hit the Billion dollars that Forbes now reports as the franchise's worth.

Equally unremarkable was my point that we all should expect more mining in unexpected places. Looks like the folks who run the airport saw the cash cow at their door. Any predictions on where next the drill will be pointed?

Dennis Roddy breaks a story about the nexus of computers and politics in Harrisburg. It does not exactly follow, but it reminds me of the story of computers used for the 2000 Pennsylvania reapportionment. The 2010 reapportionment is coming pretty soon and will be an equally contentious issue. In the Roddy story the commercial company involved is called Aristotle, which was founded by a fellow I learned about in college. He was kind of a legend in that his senior thesis designed a nuclear bomb. As a result it was supposedly classified and they say it's the only thesis that is not held in the Princeton thesis library.

Another take on the Port Authority negotiations are in an oped in the Wednesday PG. See: Don't Punish Transit Workers, by one Joseph J. Pass. I have to admit, I didn't even realize there were Wednesday opeds. With the deadline for acceptance or rejection of the state factfinder's report coming due, maybe there will be some interest in the prediction market I set up to look at whether there will be a strike at the Port Authority.

The AP version of the Supreme Court hearings the other day over the Constitutionality of the base year assessment system. No news coverage as best I can tell of what I pointed out that Judge Wettick's standing order (no matter whether the Supreme Court makes it ruling or not) is that a mass reassessment needs to be completed in the next 6 months? Do I misunderstand the ruling?

Eureka Financial says it will write down its fannie mae/freddie mac holdings. I just have to wonder if there are any more local stories like that out there. Maybe a few pension funds as well? It would be surprising if there weren't, but that is pure speculation.

Maybe a chair is just a chair from now on? Pat Ford's ties to the URA come to an end. Does it spell the beginning of the end for the Burghosphere? I mean, will there be enough fodder for people to write about going forward. It's debatable. People are surprised that there is a cash 'settlement'. I say the only semi-rational explanation for the irrational exhortations of Mr. Ford's lawyer of late was to throw up a bunch of chaff into the air to occlude the fact that he had no legal case to make. So like a puffer fish he blew up the story for the public so that when a settlement came it would all appear a painful, but acceptable deal for the URA to make. But in the end, it's worth some $$ amount to have this all come to an end as quickly and conclusively as possible.


Blogger Bram Reichbaum said...

Interesting pufferfish theory. Obviously there was some of that going on, but I had thought the intended target was the administration, not the populace. I'm still not sure how we can rationalize a $$ amount beyond the term of his contract; is it not enough of a hit to pay him for 2/3 of year he was on leave, why add the extra 6 months?

And don't worry -- as long as that half a sign that's not a sign still stands at the corner of Grant and Liberty, the Burghosphere will have plenty to feed off of.

Do you have thoughts on the fact-finders report? Did I miss them?

Friday, September 12, 2008 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does Hurricane Ferlo get off blustering about accountability at the URA when he is on the board and his hand chosen protege' is the Chair of the Board? That guy is a cancer in this community.

Pufferfish or no, the only plausible explanation for the URA Board action is to buy silence, not to avoid legal fees. Even more so when you layer in Alicia Sirk's payoff as well.

Also, why is a community development career lieutenant being given the reigns to our business and community development authority, especially when he presided over more questionable bid award practices? Oh, I think I answered my own question.

Friday, September 12, 2008 2:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Rauterkus said...

There is plenty to blog about.

Friday, September 12, 2008 3:19:00 PM  
Blogger EdHeath said...

How is the URA story over (see Doug Shields action today)?

Friday, September 12, 2008 4:59:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

yeah, I stand corrected. Clearly Pat Ford will inhabit the news cycle in perpetuity. Maybe he ought to have reporters assigned just to him. Lord and Boren may feel like they are already there.

Friday, September 12, 2008 5:21:00 PM  
Blogger red said...

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Sunday, September 14, 2008 6:59:00 PM  

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