Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Allegheny Whitefish Report

Howdy there fellow anglers. After reading such insightful analysis on other burgh blogs, Ol' Skip just had to chime in.

Since the weather was so inviting, it was a perfect day to get out on the rivers. I set up with some heavy weight to fish the bottom to see if the catfish are bitin' and boy did I get a hold of a big one this afternoon. Unfortunately, it wasn't a catfish. An Allegheny Whitefish that got flushed down on Grant Street made its way to the bottom of the river and onto my hook.

After reading the Admiral's post on the mayor's overdue tax abatement plan I decided to call up Bernie Lynch (Director of Grants and Development, a top cabinet member in the mayor's office) to ask if there was a formal release date for the mayor's plan. Someone answered Bernie's line with "Kim Graziani's office". I confusingly asked if it this number was Bernie Lynch's office, the number I called. The woman stated that Bernie no longer works for the mayor. I asked if there was a formal release date for the tax abatement plan and she was not aware of one.

I was a bit shocked to hear that Bernie was no longer working for the mayor's office (read 'fired' here) but recalled the shenanigans over the summer when Mayor O'Connor was sick and there was a dirty power struggle in the mayor's office. Staff who were suspected to be 'disloyal' to Mayor O'Connor were fired and, in former county chief executive Roddey's words, "we've replaced the professionals with political hacks." The article reminds us that this is when O'Connor appointed loyalist Dennis Regan as Chief of (hack) Staff who, in turn, appointed parasite Yaronne Zober as the city's director of general services (a department the administration was planning to eliminate). Following this logic, Bernie Lynch must have been loyal enough to O'Connor to not have been fired last summer. But was she disloyal to Flip Flop (flipflop fish aren't keepers) Ravenstahl? Why would a veteran cabinet member who has past experience in property development in the mayor's office get fired? What did Dick Skrinjar, who worked closely with her in the last administration, have to do with or say about it? Any theories fellow anglers?

Well, that's the fishing report for today. Hopefully, we catch some fish next time and not more of the garbage that makes its way into the rivers.


Matt H said...

Bernie Lynch's leaving the administration had nothing to do with loyalty.

Skip said...

howdy matt. yupper, that's what i was wondering about. if it wasn't loyalty, what was it specifically? the MSM hasn't covered this issue at all and it's strange that a cabinet member would be fired during a campaign.

same said...

Matt's right. She was tired and quit. MSM discovered it was a non-event and didn't cover it.

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Pittsburgh Kenny said...

Hi Pittsburghers,

Way Back in the early to mid 50's, when I was living on the lower South Side and visiting the shoreline of the Monongahela every day to deliver Pittsburgh Press Papers to the Fire Patrol Boats just upstream from the Pitt River Bridge, I had the good/bad fortune to have seen many schools of Allegheny (Monongahela too) whitefish. I fished the river and caught carp and Catfish, saw alot of non- anadramous Goldfish in the river and also saw what we called Monongahela "Brown Trout" (Human Poop) at that period in time when Primary Sewage treatment was just getting started. I remember when the Steel mills went on strike for an extended period during the mid 60's, and there were big labor-management conflicts along Carson Street with bold fights and War. The Monongahela River was deprived of its normal steel mill pollution for 6 or 7 months. I saw an unbelievable increase in health of the river, with clear growth of minnow schools and then, after 6 months or so, the Strike was settled and the Mills started up again. Within a week or so, the entire shoreline of the lower South Side Monongahela River had a solid, continuous pile of dead fish and minnows. It stunk up the whole area, and yet had no impact on the city government, or people. It had an impact on me cause it was so obvious that the Mills, and the means of making money, had no respect for the river or the fish.
It's disrespect has impacted me my entire life.
Pittsburgh kenny

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