Thursday, October 29, 2009

You've Got Mail!

Well, by now all of yinz have heard about this little bit of alleged cyber-snooping:

Some Pittsburgh City Council members think someone's peeking at their e-mails. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration insists the alleged snooping is a figment of council's imagination.

That's the standoff that emerged yesterday from debate on legislation sponsored by Councilman William Peduto that would require the sign-off of the top city lawyer and Ethics Hearing Board chair before anyone could browse the e-mail in-box of an elected official or director.

"If there are people who are reading our e-mails ...," began Mr. Peduto.

"And you know there are," interrupted Councilwoman Tonya Payne.

"... They're going to be referred to the District Attorney" under the new policy, Mr. Peduto continued.
And while City CIS denies it, let me assuage Council's fears that they are being spied on: you are. I should know, it's my job.

Here's what I've uncovered:

* Councilmen Peduto and Dowd have had an ongoing email thread about which Star Trek Captain is better, Kirk or Picard. (Surprisingly, Peduto says "Picard").

* Councilman Motznik has replied to 35 spam emails about "How to regrow your hair" and three about "Xtending your P3N1S 51ze".

* Councilwoman Harris has forwarded on 382 picture of dogs with stupid captions.

* Council President Doug Shields has only sent one email, but it was 5,389,203 words long.

* Councilwoman Smith believes that if she forwards a certain chain email, Bill Gates will give her $5.

* Councilwoman Payne prints off all her emails, writes a response on the printed copy, and sends the response via USPS.

* Both Councilmen Burgess and Kraus actually use their email for Council related business, which makes their emails totally useless to read.
Still, to be fair I've been reading the emails of the Mayor's Office staff too -- it's mostly Smurf erotica from John Verbanac.

Pittsburgh Foundation Match Game

As you may have heard, yesterday The Pittsburgh Foundation matched donations for Pittsburgh not-for-profits in a whirlwind online event. The available pool of matching funds of $300,000 was tapped out in 23 minutes with many potential donors locked out of the system and left unable to donate.

Among the 350 organizations that received funding were the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, the Pittsburgh Public Theater and Pittsburgh City Theatre. There were, however, many non-profits that didn't receive any funding whatsoever:

* The Luke Ravenstahl School for Legislating Good and Stuff,

* The Zober Evil Foundation,

* The Pittsburgh Pubic Theater,

* Steel City Goat Spankers,


* The Pittsburgh Pothole Appreciation Society,

* The Jeff Reed Fund for Kicking, and

* The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Better luck next time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SWM 29 ISO BBI Chief

This should surprise no one:

Sergei Matveiev, head of Pittsburgh's Bureau of Building Inspection, has resigned effective Nov. 20, he said today.
I haven't received a copy of the job description yet, but I imagine it to read (in part) as:
A qualified candidate must
- be able to function on less than 2 hours of sleep per night, following late night phone calls from the Mayor's Office and City Council persons...
- be able to withstand blistering criticism and humiliation in the press...
- be able to manage a department that is understaffed and overworked...
- show no possible hope of advancing anywhere, ever...
- be willing to be fired with out warning at any time...
- be able to "creatively interpret" rules for developers who are friends of the mayor...

Brown-nosing, book licking, and proficiency in Microsoft Excel a plus.
I wonder if John Verbanac has any recommendations for the post.

Friday, October 23, 2009

PA State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe Believes Dwarves Are Stealing His Socks

In an official interview to ADB+, PA State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has admitted to our editorial board that he believes that dwarves are stealing his socks.

"I´m not saying that all dwarves are stealing my socks -- the longbeards and firebeards are particular exceptions -- but my socks are going missing, and the only explanation is that dwarves are doing it."

Rep. Metcalfe met with our editorial board (which he collectively refered to as "Alan" throughout the meeting) yesterday, and discussed topics ranging from his recent disagreement with Iraq war veterans to his belief that the current President is not a citizen of the United States. He spent most of his efforts, however, in discussing dwarves that are stealing his socks.

"They´re probably using them to make formulas to brainwash us. That´s why I always keep my feet in water -- they´re like ants, they can´t get through the water. And they need you´re socks to brainwash you... no one else´s socks will work. I caught one of them once. He looks like my Bassett Hound Terry, but I could tell the difference. They´re sneaky bastards."

The interview ended abruptly when Rep. Metcalfe yelled "Bats!" and lept out the window.

More tomorrow in ADB+.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

John Verbanac Responds to Acklin Debate Allegations

Cranberry businessman John Verbanac today denied allegations that he was, in fact, exerting influence on the Ravenstahl administration.

In a televised debate last night, candidate for mayor Kevin Acklin suggested proof that Mr. Verbanac was a Dark Lord of the Sith, as evidenced by emails intercepted by Bothan spies.

"Such accusations are baseless," said Verbanac in a written statement, "I am just an old man and a Senator from the Sovereign System of Naboo."

These denials were immediately rebutted by the Acklin campaign, who has evidence that both Verbanac's aprentices were slain by Jedi in mysterious circumstances: former advisor Dennis J. Regan was found sliced in two at the bottom of a shaft on Mr. Verbanac's home planet, and Patrick Ford's severed head was found after a confrontation with Chief of Staff Yarone Zober. According to Acklin, both had become "extraneous" to Verbanac's plans, and were allowed to die.

Kevin Acklin today released a statement indicating that Verbanac held key influence over the hiring and firing of city employees, the crafting of city policy, and is secretly creating an "ultimate weapon" in the form of some sort of moon.

Several Jedi have anonymously offered their opinion that the Mayor has been under the influence of a Dark Lord for some time, although they say that the dark side is clouding their vision of who this Dark Lord actually is.

Emails released make a veiled reference to an "Order 66," which was to be carried out should the Mayor win the November election.

Pittsburgh City Council has begun hearings on the issue, and is expected to refer the matter to a committee.

Allegheny County Names Ego After Cyril Wecht

Allegheny County has officially renamed its County of the Second Class Ego after forensic pathologist, local Democratic Party fixture, man about town, and former coronor Cyril H. Wecht.

Earlier this year, federal prosecutors dropped corruption charges against Dr. Wecht, 78, who had been accused of using his former county staff for personal gain. A criminal trial in the case had previously ended in a mistrial, although it was repleat with the phrase "cadaver stealing".

When reached for comment, Dr. Wecht said it was "a great honor, although, frankly, Dr. Cyril Wecht was hoping for a bigger honor, for me, Dr. Cyril Wecht."

Under Commonwealth statute, municipal entities are entitled to egos once they reach second class status, and become unbearable once they reach first class status.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ADB Responds to Proposed Public Drinking Ordinance

Hey Bruce Kraus! You don´t know me! You don´t know any of me! Why should I, when you with your hair, and your big words look after and I when I knew you before... You used to be cool man! you used to be cool! And then, you with you and your coming down and... this guy, this guy, I mean... shit man. Shit.

It´s like, society man, with all of the stuff and their street paving things, you know?

That one time when we went off and ggreat with weio dfio lk jdio gin & tonic over apple watter sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Five dollars? Get out of here!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Judge Wettick Orders Reassessment of Monopoly Board

In a stunning break from board game common law, Allegheny County Common Please Judge Stanton R. Wettick Jr. Ordered Parker Brothers, Inc. to reassess the value of its properties on its classic board Game Monopoly

"It is our determination that property values on the Monopoly Board, which have not been adjusted since its original creation in 1935, are fundamentally unfair, and we are ordering a total, and complete reevalution within 30 days."

Local players had argued in front of Judge Wettick, that their purchase of Baltic Avenue at $60, was not commensurate with similar properties along the right side of the board, and were therefore being unfairly taxed once they built homes and hotels.

"This is a victory, not only for us, but for property owners from Oriental to Pennsylvania Avenues," said R.U. Pennybags, Esq. who represented the plantiffs.

The Parker Brothers have indicated that they will appeal the ruling.

This is not the first problems the classic board game has faced this year. Several bankers went to jail in April, after it was determined that they were secretly embezelling money to fund the construction of hotels along Boardwalk. They were order to go to jail, directly to jail, without passing Go or collecting $200.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Senate leaders boycott Senate leaders' budget proposal

(AP) Harrisburg - State Senate leaders today boycotted a conference committee meeting organized by state Senate leaders to discuss a state budget proposal and to introduce their own budget plan.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, said today that Senate Republicans are fashioning a revised budget bill to compete with another revised budget bill that they released yesterday. The measure could be down voted in the Senate in favor of their other measure.

If the House were to agree with the disagreement, their bill or their other bill could be on the governor's desk by late this week, or not.

Details of the bill were unavailable at the time, but the other revised budget bill is believed to be $100 million smaller than the other budget bill that was previously agreed to the day before.

House Democrats are proposing an alternative-alternative plan which is $1 billion less than the amendment to the previous amendment that substituted an alternative amendment to a section which was previously amended.

Earlier, an aide to Representative Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, threw up his hands and said "I dunno, you tell me what's going on."

The budget should have been adopted by the start of the new fiscal year July 1st, although the start of the new fiscal year had been previously amended to start December 1st.