Don Orkoskey | Pittsburgh City Paper

Don Orkoskey 
Member since Jan 26, 2012

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Re: “By your pie, this holiday season, you shall be judged

My wife's pie crust is incredible (and I'm not a crust guy, I could live without it, and as a kid wouldn't really eat the crust that my mom or grandmothers would make). Her crust is flaky, flavorful, crisp on the outside and soft and moist on the inside and she never uses lard.

That said if you're not into making your own, don't want to show up with one from the Massive Eagle or Whole Paycheck, (and my wife won't make one for you), check out Eliza's Oven in the Pittsburgh Public Market - WOW her pies are amazing and they're made from scratch and with booze. You won't mind telling people you didn't make it yourself because let's face it, they're your family, they know you, they know you can't bake. Besides Eliza's Oven pies are so amazingly good that you'll be proud to tell everyone where you got it. I mean, I'm not being paid to write this, I like Eliza's pies that much that I've written this big ol comment here without getting so much as a free sample. Seriously they're that good!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Don Orkoskey on 11/19/2014 at 8:18 AM

Re: “The Congress

While the book was better than the movie I still really liked The Congress (the book is The Futurological Congress) and wouldn't mind owning a (digital) copy. Maybe because I've read the book and experienced the extreme trippiness of it those rabbitholes didn't bother me in the least. In fact I was expecting more of them or for some of them to last longer since they do in the book.

If you've read the book you should certainly see it, if you've not read the book - go see it and then read the book. The book will make you question this reality that we find ourselves in. The film will provide a lot of laughs and some things to think about, has a great soundtrack, and wonderful visuals.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Don Orkoskey on 09/03/2014 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Anti-immigrant sentiment reaches fever pitch over Central American child refugees

I hope Tom Corbett and those on the right do "look into the background of this" because they'll see the history of us propping us right wing dictators, over-throwing centrist and left leaning elected officials, dumping industrial waste, destroying whole economic sectors, deporting violent gang members, lusting after illegal drugs (which created the cartels), and generally causing this refugee crisis.

Now we want to refuse the refugees that our actions caused, WTF????

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Don Orkoskey on 07/30/2014 at 8:00 AM

Re: “Hidden Harvest: Nonprofit will put city's wasted produce to good use

What an incredible idea!!!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Don Orkoskey on 07/09/2014 at 8:05 AM

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

This land bank is a very bad idea.

The land bank not only takes the power away from communities and forces them to work with outside groups when it comes to them shaping their own future but it also takes away the power of the individual resident to make a difference in the immediate area around their home. Despite that it, as Councilman Burgess points out, it will leave large amounts of "undesirable" land idle until such time that gentrification makes that land attractive.

It's hard enough for folks in these neighborhoods to deal with the realities many of them are dealing with (drugs, shootings, blight, police intimidation). Adding the stresses of gentrification and therefore forced relocation in the near term is mean, ignorant, and even if not intentionally racist, clearly will impact low-income minorities to a larger degree.

There are other ways forward as Councilman LaVelle points out by fixing the current process which is designed to protect neighborhoods in ways the land bank simply cannot. Another idea is to look into owner-occupier grants for these properties. If there is still a house on this piece of land the city could offer grants that would turn into loans if the owner didn't occupy the property. This has been done with some success in other cities. Better still by tweaking the YouthBuild programs that exist in low-income communities we could help youth to learn skills through helping to rehab these properties or even build new houses from the ground up on vacant land.

I hope that the land bank doesn't pass but that, instead, City Council and the Mayor work to find a better solution that isn't top-down and that not only helps clear this land, but also helps to make sure we keep affordable housing in these neighborhoods, that skills can be learned and that jobs can be created for some of our residents that have the hardest time finding employment.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Don Orkoskey on 03/26/2014 at 8:59 AM

Re: “Museum and library workers are looking for better treatment at work.

These are the folks that help the museums function - the folks that keep the front desk, that direct visitors, that keep people from defacing priceless works of art, that build the displays and hang delicate old paintings, that sort and reshelf books, that make sure the book you requested is held for you, that tell stories to children, that create the magic in these institutions.

Without these workers the collections at these museums and libraries are just that collections. These workers bring those collections to life and bring them to the public and they don't deserve to be denied healthcare or treated like their work doesn't matter.

21 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Don Orkoskey on 02/19/2014 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Productive Debate

It's important to remember that some of those leading the push to "save" the building are doing so because they want to redevelop it themselves. Said parties stand to gain significant financial benefits even though their plans would use public money and would either fall flat or would cannibalize Penn Ave.

The plan put forth by Rob Pfaffmann (for example) where he can't make the math work even when including gobs of public money would be a disaster for the Strip. Too, for all his talk of saving the building his plan is to cut a bunch of holes in the building, a proposition that was already shot down in a 106 historic review.

This may be one of the first articles I've read that does a fairly good job of presenting the facts. The media overall has done a very poor job when talking about the Produce Terminal. Having studied journalism I assume it had a lot to do with The Buncher Company's choice to keep fairly quiet. That sort of thing can bring out the passive aggressive nature of those who feel they deserve access and that when refused retaliate with lopsided articles and misinformation.

For me, the one point that I wish the media would not keep overlooking is that Strip is still largely a wholesale district despite a decline in sales from where were at the height of the baby boom.

Many of the stores people love to shop at on Saturday do a majority or at least a significant amount of their business as wholesalers, some do more than 80%. Too, the Strip was about wholesale before the terminal was built. That building just served as a consolidation point (and thank you Chris for mentioning that).

Redeveloping the Produce Terminal, in the manor that The Buncher Company has agreed to do will not destroy the wholesale or the retail that we love on Penn Ave. Their plan is to use their own money to save 2/3rds of the building and to turn it into a destination with restaurants, shops that are complementary to Penn Ave, and lots of services (eye doctors, dentist, etc) that will help support current and future residential development.

I hope that now that Peduto has won the election and Luke is shrinking in the rear-view-mirror that the media will begin to report the truth about the project, about The Buncher Company's plans, about the items they've agreed to as conditions of the sale, and about the laughable and terrible proposals by hacks like Rob Pfaffmann (the man who wanted to save the Civic Arena so he could train horses in there).

Maybe now we can have a real discussion about just how amazing all the stuff that is happening in the Strip District is!

We've got wholesale that helps reduce cost and maintain freshness across the region. We've got amazing local food that you can eat on the spot or take home, we've got some of the most amazing imported goods from all over the world and every type of cheese you can imagine at truly magical places like Penn Mac. We've got great booze! Wine, whiskey, rum, and beer - pick your poison! We've got manufacturing, R&D, and innovation. We've got an entire museum devoted to the history of our region, cultural gems like Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh Ballet, and Pittsburgh Opera. We've got some other truly amazing non-profits that incredible work like Gilda's Club and the Homeless Children's Fund.
We've got incredible places to work, to shop, and to live in too. We've such an amazing diverse neighborhood with so much going on. The Strip is not just one big long empty crumbling building. The Strip District is so much more.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Don Orkoskey on 12/11/2013 at 10:25 AM

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