City block party
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership may not be old enough for drinks, but its 20th birthday celebration came with salsa dancing, walking tours and even Christmas in July. The organization’s eight-day “Celebrate Downtown” event, which runs through Monday, is designed to highlight the city’s new developments as well as classic fixtures such as the U.S. Steel building, which is offering rooftop tours. On Sunday from 8 a.m. until noon, Sixth and Market streets from the Roberto Clemente Bridge to Market Square will shut down to make room for yoga, Zumba, dance and other activities designed to get the city moving. A full list of events can be found at www.downtownpittsburgh.com/.
Pennsylvania taxpayers who believe state aid equals free handouts could be taking their grievances to Consol Energy Center. A 2007 deal to build the $321 million arena originally called for $7.5 million in state assistance annually for 30 years. However, state records show taxpayers have paid an additional $5.08 million and will need to pay another $5.6 million over the next five years. Local stakeholders said the 2008 recession and financial crisis forced interest rates on the bond used to finance the arena to skyrocket, forcing the state to make up for the shortfall. The commonwealth isn‘t the only entity dipping into its savings to fund the arena — the Penguins’ original contribution has jumped from $4.1 million to $6.1 million since the deal was set.
The surveillance economy is trending downward, specifically for Google Street View Cars tasked with sniffing the streets to detect gas leaks. The New York-based Environmental Defense Fund has teamed up with Google to map nonhazardous gas leaks coming from leaky pipes in three U.S. cities. The interactive maps noted that one gas leak per mile was discovered in Boston and Staten Island, areas with pipes made from cast iron and unprotected steel. In Indianapolis, which has modern pipes made of plastic, leaks were one in every 200 miles. EDF and Google are taking requests from cities seeking to monitor gas leaks.
Quote of the Week:
“Being part of a family business is kind of like a marriage; if you never fight, there‘s something wrong. The important thing is we always resolve our disagreements. And we never talk business at the dinner table.”
— Anthony Mascilli, co-owner of East End Plumbing and Mechanical in Sharpsburg, discusses the day-to-day issues that come with working with relatives.
Deborah M. Todd: email@example.com or 412-263-1652. Twitter: @deborahtodd.