1-19-2005 Quad 3 reports


Hmmm. Even more on Allison Walzer. From the e-mail inbox:

*******Hey Mark,

Please keep this email confidential. It was with great surprise and interest that I heard about Mizz Walzerís dismissal from the times leader. It seems your sources are better that anyone elseís on the circumstances of this issue. But donít expect the Times Leader to change into a kindler and gentler newspaper anytime soon. The two other staff people who set the tone at the leader are Dave Janoski and Dave Iseman. Both share Allisonís slash and burn philosophy on covering our community. These guys have been known to spoon feed venom to the various beat reporters as they leave the door to report on news stories. It seems that when you cut off the head of a hydra, two more take its place.

Keep up the great work,
XXXXX*******

My...uh, sources. Jeez. I feel so frickin' important. I think Forty Fort Dude pretty much nailed it. He deals with the employees of that outfit on a regular basis, so I figured his intel was probably right on the mark. Like I previously said, I used to have a couple of acquaintances at the Leader, but guess what happened to them. As a matter of fact, one in particular still owes me eight cases of beer for providing him with some narly-sized scoops on city business and whatnot during the McG years. I will stalk his skinny ass pretty soon.

By the way, check out this Times Leader "What's happened to Walzer?" blog page. Talk about a feeding frenzy.

More from the e-mail inbox:

*******Mark,

The engineers report says the building is structurally sound, needs a roof, and some remodeling on the second floor. I accompanied the engineers to the roof when they inspected it. They both stated that the structural integrity of the building was in great shape. If the city is so committed to re- opening that firehouse, then they should put a roof on the place and re-open it with the 2 man proposal that was ignored by the administration when it was offered. The residents of the Heights deserve better than being told "We don't want to throw good money after bad". I guess putting firefighters at the scene of an emergency in the Heights is considered "Bad".I'm going to have to agree with Mr. McCarthy on the engineers estimates being a bit high. If the interior renovations are kept to a minimum, the 2nd means of egress isn't required. The report doesn't state that if the roof is fixed, the 2 men and their apparatus can be moved back in until the additional funding is secured for the renovations to the second floor. The engineers made their inspection in mid-December. If there was such great concern from the administration about the status of the engine house, why hasn't some sort of decision made regarding it's re-opening? Or has the decision already been made?.................PXXX*******

Yeah, the report does state that the building is structurally sound. But there are many other less than definative lines stated within. Little things like...not an exhaustive investigation of all of the elements of the structure...but generally appeared sound...it is possible that isolated areas...generally in good condition and appeared sound...has a slight bulge outward...for further observation...can be further evaluated...The true extent of structural repairs cannot be determned until more areas are exposed for observation...

Oh, yeah, and it concludes with...Please note the construction budgets shown above are preliminary in nature. They have been based on a very limited investigation and are intended only as an order of magnitude. Accurate costs can only be determined from a Contractor engaged in a competitive bidding situation using final design documents.

I don't agree with Jim McCarthy at all. And what's he gonna say for the cameras if the city ends '05 wallowing in red ink? That's easy enough to predict: The Mayor did it!!! Ironically, I spent my entire day today at a seminar partly devoted to doing thorough interior and exterior building inspections, visual and otherwise. And as far as preliminary cost estimates are concerned, you cannot inspect what you cannot see. You folks are literally talking about applying Band-Aids to an aging structure that might not warrant any further monies being put into it. But who knows? He might just say funk it and throw a few tarps over the freakin' place until some more revenue streams come available. Okay, I'm being a dipsh*t. Maybe he'll decide to put the roof on it.

And what's up with the emotional ploy that feeds right into the hysteria being whipped up? The residents of the Heights deserve better than being told "We don't want to throw good money after bad". Sure they do. But they also deserve some responsible leadership that won't waste money for a change. Do the folks in the Nord End also deserve better than to have a much, much, much newer firehouse all but boarded up? Sure we do. But unlike some of the folks in the Heights, we didn't freak the funk out and start hurling accusations and such when the mayor said he'd work on replacing it.

If there was such great concern from the administration about the status of the engine house, why hasn't some sort of decision made regarding it's re-opening? Or has the decision already been made?.

And there it is. What it all boils down to is a matter of trust. Hey, I sound like Billy Joel all of a sudden. Seriously, I know you have some experience with politicians dicking your department over, but I'm not so cynical as to just brand them all as liars, and cheaters and people like Hillary.

If the mayor doesn't seriously address that much called-for firehouse re-opening in one form or another, whoever rises from within the ranks of city council in an attempt to unseat him will use that issue to scald his ass at re-election time. He may be financially prudent, but he's also politically astute. Do we really believe he's more than willing to piss off the entire Heights?

You agree with Jim McCarthy and I don't. You apparently distrust the mayor and I don't. So be it. But at least we've got a place where we can debate such things without causing a riot.

Well, so far.

I really have to cut this short tonight. I find sitting in meetings all day much more draining than physical exercise ever could. I sat on my behind all day and I'm beat. Does that add up?

Anyway, before I got myself so hopelessly sidetracked by Gentleman Jim's e-mail, I promised to post those firehouse reports so here they are.

They tell me the Times Leader is publishing a story about the firehouse reports tomorrow, so we'll where that leads. Today's Voice story on the same subject was a just-the-facts-mamm piece, but the Leader does have that nasty habit of trying to create controversy whenever possible. I can't wait to see that headline.

Let them eat cake, perhaps?


New Fire Station Report

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South Station Report

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Headquarters Report

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CYA