Bram R | Pittsburgh City Paper

Bram R 
Member since Sep 21, 2007

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Re: “Environmental group takes concerns to Pittsburgh City Council

I only wonder whether we are also soon going to see movements to divest from private prisons, military contractors, tobacco producers, GMO agribusiness, Israel, and companies with notable anti-union stances like Wal-Mart. Because if this turns out to be a trend, our earning the sorts of returns capable of paying our pensioners really would get difficult.

Posted by Bram R on 01/06/2016 at 11:40 AM

Re: “UPDATED: Arrests in Downtown Pittsburgh T station lead to confrontation with officers, onlookers

The Pittsburgh Police Bureau runs a program called the "Citizens Police Academy" where they teach regular folk how the bureau operates.

During the class by the Canine Unit - which I actually attended twice - officers described the dogs as essentially highly trained and specialized tracking tools, locators: of drugs, explosives, and occasionally fleeing actors. Class members asked each time whether dogs should be or are being used for crowd control, or just to make for an intimidating police presence. Both times we were assured by senior Canine Unit officers that crowd control is not a recommended or legitimate reason to deploy canines.

That's all I can see or read here that's truly out of whack, not having been there.

31 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Bram R on 12/16/2015 at 10:38 PM

Re: “Police union gives opening arbitration presentation, compares Act 47 to "crack for mayors"

If I were to come down from Mars and look at the city's unfunded pension liability, I would attack.

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Bram R on 04/08/2015 at 6:18 PM

Re: “End of an Era: Pete Wagner replaced as 19th ward chair

I like what Kelly said about this being the end of it. But I assume the Chairpersonship of the County committee will remain a lasting flashpoint for such clashes.

I was sort of hoping there would soon be a push for the ACDC to cease endorsing candidates in primaries. Do you ever hear anything about that, Chris? It may be time.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bram R on 07/01/2014 at 1:59 AM

Re: “Burgess asks to withdraw his district from land bank bill (UPDATED)

I guess I fall somewhere in between Anon 7:13 on the one hand, and Rebekka on the other. Best of luck to Homewood Borough Coordinator Ricky Burgess.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bram R on 04/06/2014 at 12:22 AM

Re: “Blight Plan: Is a proposed land bank the best way to deal with city's dilapidated properties?

Don Orkoskey, I respectfully disagree as to whether the current system allows residents to "make a difference in the immediate areas outside their home" and whether it is "designed to protect neighborhoods" whereas a land bank would be otherwise. Since the land at issue is owned and tied up by others (absentees landlords, banks), the issue we are all frustrated with is it cannot be effectively managed by neighbors… and the City cannot come close to afford perpetually maintaining all of it without a dedicated revenue source. The only route that land can take is to sit fallow for generations, until a developer with the capital to back a long legal play and the business plan to make that long & expensive game worthwhile comes along… hence gentrification.

I am with you 100% on the rest of your priorities.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Bram R on 03/26/2014 at 10:49 AM

Re: “Vote on Produce Terminal delayed ... but not before Burgess drops a reference to apartheid

Isn't there a very clear, deliberative process laid out for making adjustments to a building designated historic -- like partial demolitions -- when other factors such as economic development come into play? I'm having a hard time understanding why City councilors don't want to cover their butts and see that process engaged to handle these complications. The historic review and planning commission both recommended the designation; that's enough political cover right there, and partial demolition through the Historic Review code means councilors wouldn't have to play architect by drafting retrofits and sufficient protections at the table.

I've heard it floated around that "They granted St. Nick's Church historic designation, and look at what a mess that turned out to be!!" but it's too easy to pick out the single most complicated instance in the City (no matter how irrelevant to this case) and malign the entire process.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bram R on 12/11/2013 at 1:49 PM

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