This Just In | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pol Dancing

Summary: Pittsburgh City Council President Doug Shields tours a part of Greenfield prone to landslides. Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: Keith Jones When it Aired: April 13 Running Time: 2 minutes, 36 seconds Visuals: The subsiding hillside, replete with debris, and the road that is crumbling along with it. Highlights: * When a resident conveys his predicament: "I'm 77 years old. I've been here all my life. ... Where am I gonna go?" * When Jones explains, "That's [this man's] answer when someone says, 'Why don't you just move?'" * When Jones adds, "The only way on or off his property is well, to trespass. He has to use his neighbor's yard. Ivondale -- well, you can call it a road -- just above his house, is the same shape as his yard, falling away. It's begged the attention of city officials, including [Shields]. He wanted others to see what was happening here ... and as if on cue, Shields learns the hard way how poor the road is." * When Shields is speaking as he walks along the road, and is suddenly interrupted when he trips, and shouts, "Whoa, look out! We're gonna fall over the hill!" * Doug "Wallenda" Shields, recovering his balance quite nicely, preventing what could have been a serious fall -- and perhaps what would have been an interesting lawsuit. * When Jones illuminates, "The dark patches are where the city tried to fix it up on prior occasions. The guardrails bow, and just on the other side, a false move could be a critical mistake." * When a female resident offers her assessment of the situation: "It's real bad, and I actually had pizza men tell me that they would not deliver to me because of the street." * When Jones reports, "[T]he most reasonable solution so far for the city is a buyout." When he adds, optimistically, "Well, Doug Shields ... says that they have funds coming from the feds, possibly the state and the city, and with that, he's pretty sure they can make each of these residents a deal they can't refuse." What We Learned: You just can't find a pizza delivery man with the same ethos as a mail carrier. Unanswered Question: How come we never hear about the offers people can refuse? News Value: 7. Nice to see you do some solid reporting, Mr. Jones. I expect a full follow-up and then a report that details the overall problem of landslides around here, mister.


Summary: A truck wrecks on a fence. Station: Channel 11 News on Fox 53 Reporter: Peggy Finnegan When it Aired: April 13 Running Time: 13 seconds Visuals: Traffic along Greenlee Road, as it passes the scene of what appears to be a very minor accident. Highlights: When Finnegan reads, "An unwelcome surprise for a homeowner in Brentwood: A pick-up truck smashed through a fence in this yard on Greenlee [Road] this afternoon. No word on the cause of the crash or if there were any injuries." What We Learned: How to kill 13 seconds. Unanswered Question: And the point of this story is? News Value: 0.

"Collecting Cats"

Summary: A councilor in Dawson, Fayette County, proposes a controversial approach to solving a neighborhood "wild cat" problem. Station: WPXI Channel 11 Reporter: Katrina Owens When it Aired: April 14 Running Time: 1 minute, 31 seconds Visuals: * A map illustrating the location of Dawson, which runs along the Youghiogheny River and has a population of about 450, in relation to Pittsburgh. * A single cat roaming a sidewalk. Highlights: * When Owens relays, "Some residents [here] say there are too many wild cats, and they agree that something should be done. But one woman wants to take matters into her own hands. And those residents don't agree with that." * When Owens introduces us to a woman who says she'd be very upset if anything happened to her indoor cat. "[B]ut that could happen if Pumpkin went outside without a license tag at the wrong time," Owens warns. * When Owens tells us, "At a [meeting, the council woman] said she would take any cat on the street, have them spayed or neutered, and adopt them out." * When Owens interviews a female resident and cat owner who says, "We need some [cats] down here, because it takes care of the woods problems with the mice and the rats." She adds, however, "I think it is the people's responsibility to take care of their own animals." Unanswered Question: Isn't this idea what you'd call for the birds? What We Learned: That cats are unwitting mouse-control mercenaries. News Value: 1. I hope Pumpkin fares a lot better than this story, which had no interview or statement from the councilor who proposed this impractical idea, and gives us no statistical or visual evidence indication as to how serious the problem is.

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