Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bill Robinson's Call for "CBAs" (Community Benefits Agreements) have little on Al Sharpton

Sharpton urges police reforms and the activist threatens to lobby against Chicago's Olympic bid.
Construction site: From Pens Village

Sharpton may fight Chicago's Oly bid The Rev. Al Sharpton on Monday issued a series of recommendations for reforming the police department as he reiterated his threat to lobby against the city's Olympic bid if the mayor doesn't respond soon.
The headlines in the two daily papers show a bit of a contrast:

* Casinos' delay toll placed at $430M. (Trib)

* Casino owner won't heed 'ridiculous' design request (P-G)

This is begging at its best. I don't want to be a part of a community that feels it needs to 'beg.' As begging occurs, everyone becomes poorer.

Perhaps the CBAs are a way to step out of the rut where begging rules. But sadly, those with power have little need to interact with those without the power.
Citizens Benefit Agreement steps out into traffic and merges along the cross walks of community life. Joke: Why did the chicken Penguin cross the road?
Let's see, the delay of the Casino headline -- well -- to begin: It is NOT a casino. Don Barden has the right to open a 'slots parlor.' We didn't approve any casinos. Both the P-G and the Trib are calling this a 'casino.' They are wrong.

Slots parlor, slots parlor, slots parlor! Period!

When the operators of the slots parlor want to turn it into a casino, then they'll need to come back to the public approval process. Then we can extract another few billion from them. Another bid would be welcomed. And, this time, they'll bid on a casino that sunsets in the future. The slots parlor license goes forever, sadly, for now.

If the media gets it wrong, time and time again, then we'll have little leverage to get drunk again on the income of selling this exclusive opportunity with state-protection against competitors. We need to upgrade the slots parlor to a casino with a hefty price tag.

Suggestion: This is worthy of a few letters to the editor.

Finally, let's talk about the mega parking garage and the ridiculous request about its design. I'd like to 'pile on.'

Let's ask Don Barden (not beg, but ask) to put a football field on the top of his massive parking garage. The top floor can be a turf field to be used as the home field for the Perry High School team. And, we'll let the Pittsburgh Steelers hold their practices there too.

We need a multi-purpose football field, with ample sideline spaces for teams, bands, portable bleachers. Then we'll be able to hold state playoff soccer games, pee-wee football games, high school events and such there.

The next floor down can be community rooms, locker facilities and support spaces.

We'd want the field to be lighted for nightime use. In the winter, we'd want to be able to construct a bubble, such as with the one that protects at Duquesne University, but cover the entire field, please.

Really, I'd rather have a 50-meter swim pool, indoor-outdoor. Or, a speed skating oval. Or, even a velodrome would be nice. Provide a venue that is for international sport, not gridion. But, let's not be greedy in this begging exercise. And, it is going to be next to a slots parlor. So, football is a more natural fit for the roof.

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