Tuesday, October 24, 2006

911-plank - PittsburghPlatform - concerning the NEW 3-1-1 phone do-hickey from Pgh, PA

Hop over

The 3-1-1 phone system is now working. This is a success. And, I'll take the credit for hatching the idea in public.
911-plank - PittsburghPlatform 911-plank
(Revision as of 20:26, 1 Mar 2006)

* The city should start a 311 system, like 911, but for less urgent calls.
Back in March, 2006, this page was on the Platform.For-Pgh.org.


At the Post-Gazette editorial board meeting with all the candidates in the city council race in 2006's special election, I raised the 3-1-1 system as something that I'd be sure to start. And, the P-G editors wrote about it, giving credit that I've raised plenty of good ideas.

Another feature that should also be considered, if anyone is listening, is Reverse 9-1-1. In the time of an emergency, we should have the technology tools to make phone calls out to various citizens and give warnings and updates.

Don't crash

The benefits of a Reverse 9-1-1 system are clear when you think about the events that unfolded on Friday in New Brighton. A freight train went off the tracks and a fireball was created. Some of the train's cars went into the river. Residents were evacuated.

With a Reverse 9-1-1 system, the authorities would have been able to call everyone within a mile of the accident telling them of the dangers, how to exit the area and where to turn for more insights.


Another big concern with the 3-1-1 system and today's announcement from Grant Street is the second point in the platform, also published formally in the Platform.For-Pgh.org months and months ago. I would NOT and we SHOULD NOT use the services as a way to self-promote. The 3-1-1 line should not be known as the Ravenstahl Response Line. That's wrong Luke.

I hated how the "Mayor's Complaint Center" was branded by Tom Murphy. I hated how it operated. I hated how it was closed as well.


Those that are on Grant Street should not be sending out postcards and putting up billboards for self-promotion on these technical matters of city life.

Otherwise, we'll need to counter with their names on things that are also failures and not around here any longer.

Should we name the soon to close Wabash Tunnel the Alan Hertzberg Tunnel?


Should we name the City's Charter Amendments after Jim Ferlo, in that we can't tell when to hold an election after the passing of Bob O'Connor due to its conflicting text?


Should we name the city's lone, closed indoor ice rink after Gene Ricciardi, a long-time councilmember and past head of the Committee that directed Citiparks.


Should we name the absent Halloween Parade after Tom Murphy. The South Side used to have a wonderful parade down East Carson Street with nearly ten marching bands. The dancers and musicians were often dressed up in costume too. Then the kids of the region were able to march and compete for prizes and even cash. But, the Haloween Parade on the South Side is just a memory now -- thanks to Tom Murphy. So, let's name it after HIM -- a Ghost Parade in 2006.


Then the Market House Youth Soccer League can be named after Jeff Koch, D, City Councilmember. There was a league there last year but it is GONE now. More than 90 kids used to play in three different levels three night s a week -- until Jeff came into office. See some photos -- as you can't find it in the real world now.


Those that want to slap their name onto things for self-promotion with public money need to watch out. The folly of that move can backfire.


Luke, you'd be wise to NOT call the 3-1-1 system the Ravenstahl Response Line.

Remember, I thought of 3-1-1 for Pittsburgh, published the idea, blabbed about it, was quoted in the newspaper about it too -- before Luke took the 3-1-1 concept over from Bob O'Connor. Bob O'Connor took a page from my playbook, again, and I'm happy he did.

I'm going to be happy to use the 3-1-1 line and services as necessary in the months to come. I'm not going to be happy to see self promotion on any city property from any politician.

In Australia, they use two words that are of interest to this conversation. One is "nick." The other "flog." To nick someone's idea or work is to take it, use it, re-deploy it and keep a low-key approach to the lifting. But to "flog" is to steal the idea and be overboard with boasting and of a grand attitude of the idea.

I don't want to see Luke "flog" just as I hated to see Tom Murphy put his name on garbage cans on sidewalks and grafitti trucks.

Furthermore, there are hundreds of additional ideas, great ideas, that can flow from my domain. Use them all you want. Put them into the system so we can fix the city. The ideas are not 'mine' really -- as I often harvest them from elsewhere anyway.

Nick freely and repeatedly.


Footnote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_slang

Hold up and horse around, not over. Not easily.

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