Thursday, March 18, 2004

Dear Neighbors -- pondering losses, firefighters, community spaces

Today was a hard day for all in Pittsburgh with a double funeral. The losses and time to mourn and pay respects are about giving and receiving care and love. The families, the firefighters, and the grief was open and honest.

Our messages of "thanks for the duty, and thanks for the jobs done well" are sent to all of the men and women who serve others in unselfish ways.

Thanks too for the vigilance and the kindness paid to our public lives. As we mourn, we think and reflect. Let's allow the concept of "duty" to linger long in many corners of our shared spaces.

Our personal lives are to be private. But it seems that the quality of life for each individual is made from a foundation that has one foot firmly upon the ground that is "common."

The public heros rushed to a church, of all places. The embers and tears meet and blend. Perhaps a different spirit is to come with the next dawn?

- - - -

There are many issues to yap about these days - but for the sake of respect let me just say:

1. Thanks for reading my messages.

2. Thanks for ongoing feedback and the sharing of your thoughts and concerns with me.

3. Thanks for furnishing me with your valid email contact(s).

4. You're invited to these three functions if you are willing and able:

6 pm, Wed., March 24, Mt. Washington's Duquense Heights Community Center:
A candidate for PRESIDENT of the United States is expected!
No charge - open discussions.

6 pm, Sat., March 20, Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network's banquet

10 am, Sat., March 20, East Liberty Branch of Carnegie Library to talk about
sports opportunities in Pgh Public Schools.

in other news: Ripped from the recent Pgh Business Times

Headline: GOP sets sights on mayor's post

Sub-Head: Lawyer John Pierce among possible candidates

Reporters: Patty Tascarella and Suzanne Elliott

DOWNTOWN -- Wanted: Republicans to lead Pittsburgh. Seriously.

Even though the city's next mayoral election isn't until 2005 and the GOP hasn't fielded a candidate since 1993 or won in more than 60 years, Pittsburgh's staggering fiscal problems have party officials eagerly talking about opportunity.

There were TWO GOP candidates for Mayor in 2001! And, we both predicted this pathway to bankrupt status. Furthermore, the wrongheaded actions of the city continue, such as yesterday's announced closings of all 32 outdoor swim pools, 19 recreation centers and our only indoor ice rink.

To close, let's talk again about the firefighters. Did you know that Joe King, union boss of Pgh Breau of Firefighters, worked with his rank-and-file and went to the Mayor and a city council member a few months ago with a plan? Their offer was to put two-percent of their pay into a trust fund so as to allow for the re-opening of Recreation Centers for the kids and the
layed off employees. Their solution included an offer that exceeded $800 K per year to help in this crisis.

Mayor Murphy sent them away and chooses to maintain the crisis. The fruit of this is a "financial crisis." But the roots of our problems are really a "cooperation crisis."

I said tonight on WTAT TV News -- 'We teach our kids how to play well with others at the parks, pools and rec centers.'

Thanks for the offer Joe King and Firefighters of Pittsburgh. Sorry it was snatched from the 'jaws of victory.' We'll fix ourselves and all our problems after we get serious about cooperation.

Pgh Business Times = 412-481-6397 x 203 Fax: 412-481-9956

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