A contrarian strikes again - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Here's the pressing question for a Pittsburgh City Council featuring one member who says 'there's absolutely no room for discussion' of its tentatively approved ban on indoor furniture being used on outside porches:To the credit of Mr. Kraus, but really to employees of public works, the South Side is clean this morning. On Sunday, the clean-up from the weekend was in full swing. The place looks good.
Why is such furniture on an unenclosed porch, balcony or deck that's not visible from the street or sidewalk any less of a supposed public hazard (for fire and/or vermin) than such furniture that is visible? At least that's how the proposed law, set for final approval this week, appears to be styled.
The legislation ostensibly is designed to thwart torchings during spontaneous street celebrations -- think Oakland, think Super Bowl XLIII -- and to eliminate yet another place for rats to supposedly plot The Siege of the Cathedral of Learning. Author Bruce Kraus, the councilor who has appointed himself the no-discussion Kraussissar, er, kommissar, says 'Rome is burning.'
How many aggravated couch burnings does Pittsburgh have in a given year again, Herr Kraus?
Yes, Mr. Kraus, Rome is burning -- the city remains in state receivership, the pension funds remain virtually bust and systemic budget flaws soon likely will metastasize like a voracious ugly cancer.
And City Council is 'prioritizing' by regulating outdoor furniture. Can dictating the color of our homes, what flowers we plant and the number of scoops in our coffee makers be far behind?
Yesterday, a neighbor was using some green paint to cover a mailbox that had been a vandal magnet. I asked if she was painting the green with the left overs from St. Pats Day. Thanks for that effort. I dare not give more details as she isn't a union worker.
But, back to the couch.
What if a couch shows up in front of Mr. Kraus' home? Does he get to pay the $500 per day fine?
Couches are able to burn. But, worse than a couch are the Eucalyptus tree. Let's ban all Eucalyptus trees too. And, pine trees burn. Let's ban all pine trees. And, what about a top cause of fires -- Christmas Trees. It would be better for Mr. Kraus to ban all Christmas Trees than to ban indoor couches placed outdoors.