Neighborhood groups begin to collect information on proposed casinos On the South Side, where Harrah's and Forest City Enterprises want to build a Station Square casino, the South Side Planning Forum has scheduled a Feb. 14 meeting to discuss the impact of a casino, which would lie about a mile to the west of the South Side's main business district. Officials from Forest City have been invited to the meeting.Did anyone ever see a report on the ridership of the "Free Ride Bus" that was provided last summer on the South Side? I'd like to see that summary report. What accountability is there?
'That's sort of the first step in organizing a community discussion about this,' said Rick Belloli, executive director of the South Side Local Development Co.
Mr. Belloli also sits on the Pittsburgh Gaming Task Force, the organization charged with studying the various casino plans and gauging their potential social and economic effects.
The development group has worked with Forest City previously -- last summer, Forest City, which owns Station Square, ran a shuttle from Station Square through the South Side, at the behest of the organization. Mr. Belloli hopes the two groups can work together again if Forest City is awarded a casino license."
So, Belloli is the exec director of the SSLDC, and a member of the gaming task force and his organization is getting handouts for major programs with Forrest City. Humm... And, the South Side option, where "the fix is in" (so said Tom Murphy at a prior meeting I attended) ... is getting the least opposition.
These guys won't be for nor against. But, rather than help run a scout troup, they'll re-use the scout's motto -- Be Prepared. So, the lesson delivered is it is okay to be a skunk in the middle of the road as long as you're a nimble one.
Carson Street might resemble a parking lot -- after a Steelers game, so he said. Well, it looks like one today, and last night too. There used to be a street sweep program. But, the organization couldn't make that work in a sustainable way for the long haul. They moved along to the bus program, Free Ride. And that was on the heels of the Ultra Violet Loop bus program.
These guys want a clean city -- but they have to push a broom to get it that way. Or, we might need a new broom.
The vision I fear is that East Carson Street is going to become a parking lot for tour buses.
As for residential parking -- we need to stop the TIF on the other side of the MON at Second Avenue. There they want to build new parking garages. Well, it seems to me that we have a parking problem in the established neighborhoods that should get the attention before parking resources are squandered on the other side of the river at some office park.
Zoning isn't going to allow neighborhood groups to "PRESERVE" the strip of South Side up to Sixth Street. Monitor the types of businesses.... give me a break. So far so good as to monitoring the tatoo shops too, or the bars, or the absentee landlords, or the afterhours clubs or the grafitti, etc.
As for D.U., "The school, he (DU's President) said, had "an obligation to our students to stake out a position on this matter."
Right, DU's boss is the salt of the earth. He takes a stand, because of an obligation.
Furthermore, the plan to put the casino on the South Side is not two blocks away from 10,000 students. But it would be 10 blocks away from 5,000 DU students. And, it would be 5 blocks away from another 5,000 downtown students who don't attend DU. Be it 2 blocks or 10 blocks -- I guess that is a long walk or short bike ride vs just a short walk.
The word, "obligation" is good to see in any news coverage of this sort. It isn't a value that is high on many agendas around here.
Meanwhile, what the heck are these groups waiting for?
On the North Shore, where Detroit businessman Don Barden hopes to build a casino near the Carnegie Science Center, community groups have yet to weigh in. The North Side Chamber of Commerce plans to poll board members, said board president Debbie Caplan, while the North Side Leadership Conference is searching for a new executive director and in the midst of revamping its business plan, said interim director Dana Jaros.Let's start a "leadership" group and then give a quote, "after that happens, we'll probably talk with business owners small and large." Let's give them a new name, The North Side Leaderless Conference. So retro and totally reactionary.