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mjcatl2

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That just frustrates me. This is a great city. More and more I am hearing people say how much they love it, how it is underrated, etc. So when the heck is the economy going to pick up? I can't help thinking that PA"s stupid tax system is largely to blame. Particularly business taxes. Sigh.

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If one was too look at the Pittsburgh companies Calgon Carbon stock (CCC) mid last week or Mine Safety Appliances stock (MSA) today (the 10th) Wall Street certainly doesn't think this area is "economically depressed".

Walk into your bank and ask to get an ANNUAL %age rate as much as CCC's 16% one day gain last week or MSA's 9% Tuesday gain. That is how impressive those rises are!

Is it just me or are these reminiscent of Silicon Valley stocks?

G I agree on the Harrisburg bums, not only with the tax situation but with the way they think a measly taxbase of 55 sq. miles (almost 1/10th of a Phoenix or Dallas or Jacksonville) can foster a metro powerhouse, but could never be the reason it is crippling it!

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Yeah. Rendel pissed with what he said at O'Connors inauguration. I don't recall the exact words but he strongly implied that the state is not responsible for the city's financial problems. I think he is bitter because Philly didn't get much state help back when it went through a rough patch. Not sure if he was Mayor then but he might've been.

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Yeah. Rendel pissed with what he said at O'Connors inauguration. I don't recall the exact words but he strongly implied that the state is not responsible for the city's financial problems. I think he is bitter because Philly didn't get much state help back when it went through a rough patch. Not sure if he was Mayor then but he might've been.

I think Rendel was pissed because if anyone is to blame for making the city's problems worse, it's O'Connor while member of the City Counsil. I think it got personal when O'Connor started talking about budget problems. We have such a lovely mayor. I thought his one strength, as a member of the pro-suburban establishment class, would be to have a strong working relationship with the state. Appearantly not. Then again, Rendell is not a part of the establishment set. I think we are very lucky to have a pro-city governor. Appearantly O'Connor functions by being twofaced. He talks about the city budget and comes up with scapegoats (anyone other than himself) to blame it on but turns around and supports things like the Mon Faye Expressway that no city official in their right mind should support.

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Was Rendell and O'Connor actually trading barbs at the ceremony? At least O'Connor making some statements and then Rendell politely crushing them later? I read some accounts of it, it seemed more to me like politics-as-usual (which unlike it's feel should be fine at an mayoral swearing-in) with Rendell trying to make it apparent that although he's here for Pittsburgh in every way, he is obligated to do what is best for the STATE, and that he can help but he can't lead this effort, that is up to the city to prove it is doing it's job.

Typical policy statement IMO, nothing wrong with it at all, I wouldn't expect anything different from the Governor really, his boss is as much the small shopkeeper in Williamsport the family of 5 in Scranton and the senior on a fixed income in Eire as it is the people of Pittsburgh needing more state aid, he has to look out for all of them, and sometimes honestly we don't deserve the $ as much as someone else does.

What I wish Rendell would HAMMER through is tax reform and metro government reform, I really think he is missing the boat big-time. With the GOP implosion over raises etc. (even though he tacitly supported it) he has a chance to gain ground on tax-reformer Swann by preempting his tax fixes RIGHT NOW. The support across the state for something, anything new, compared to the fat cats in the assembly and the graft and overindulgence, is at a fever pitch, Rendell would be superman if he delivered tax and metro govt. reform on a grand scale, he might even be there in 2008!

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Was Rendell and O'Connor actually trading barbs at the ceremony? At least O'Connor making some statements and then Rendell politely crushing them later? I read some accounts of it, it seemed more to me like politics-as-usual (which unlike it's feel should be fine at an mayoral swearing-in) with Rendell trying to make it apparent that although he's here for Pittsburgh in every way, he is obligated to do what is best for the STATE, and that he can help but he can't lead this effort, that is up to the city to prove it is doing it's job.

No, as far as I know nobody was trading barbs. I just read a quote from Rendell that kind of rubbed me the wrong way, is all.

What I wish Rendell would HAMMER through is tax reform and metro government reform, I really think he is missing the boat big-time.

And THAT is why is bugged me that he implied the city is responsible for its own problems. Because I know that STATE laws are what ultimately need to change in order to help ALL cities in PA. I wish the stat gov't would wake up and realize that the city can only do so much here.

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Great point, Rendell could have taken the high road and instead of being afraid of overexposure to the "Pittsburgh problem" in the minds of Williamsport, Eire and Lancaster voters . . . he should have stood up and said that ALL commonwealth cities are in danger from short sighted assembly members looking out for a commuter class that is over represented and is suffocating the lifeblood of the state--it's cities. That would have been a Churhillan move by Renny.

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PNC has updated Pgh with a FEB analysis, though it's largely unchanged.

An important note though and something that I have mentioned before - all that we discuss in positive things happening... it's all great, but until we see the lines in Chart 6 reversed -

http://www.econ.pncbank.com/pitt.pdf

until then, at the end of the day, we haven't turned the corner. Are we better than in the 80s. Sure, but better isn't enough.

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I really want to grab everyone by the shoulders and shake them. Wake up, this is a great place to live. It's beautiful, it's got everything you could want from a major city, with much less crime and traffic. Not to mention it's affordable. What more could anyone ask for? Really?

I guess the fact is that every major city loses people. But most cities have enough in-migration to make up for it. Until Pittsburgh is on people's radar, especially foreign imigrants, we'll never get enough new people.

Despite what some people would claim, I am convinced that at its heart our problem is only one of image. Most people who have never been here think Pgh is depressed, and data like that will only encourage that belief. And foreign imigrants just don't think of this as a place to go.

When people start to see what a nice place this is, they'll be more likely to come, more likely to start a business here, etc. We can see evidence of this by looking at companies like Google and Seagate, which are here because the talent they want desires to be here. More of that kind of thing could turn everything around. More jobs, more people, better numbers, better image.... But it's a chicken and egg thing.

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G,

It is a big question, how does one get people to take that first look.

The ASG will help as did BassMaster, a DNC convention in '08 would too, though those events are becoming security and crowd control nightmares (Boston got as much bad press as they did good for 2004), a presidential debate would be a nice touch but not nearly as much as a media event as a convention.

USAir was a help for over a decade, the airport is still getting rave reviews from people that flew through 5-10 years ago!

One thing I would LOVE to see is Pitt get PennState like #s for a change, instead of its big 17k student body, why not go truly big into the 45-50k like base similar to an Ohio State or Penn State. Pitt to me has that potential. A numbers boost by Duquesne, RMU, PPU, and even CMU would be nice as well. I know CMU and Duquesne have mulled adding medical schools about a decade ago, that would be a huge boost for the region.

With a student population metro of 150,000 already a Pitt expansion by 100% and some added thousands by DU, RMU, CMU, PPU and others could RETAIN more kids with degrees since more kids are seeking degrees here! A student population of closer to 250,000 would be a great boost for this region!

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I just wanted to add that I am a recent in migrant from California. I chose Pittsburgh because of the great potential it has to be an interesting 21st century city. Im in the coveted college educated 24-34 age group. I believe in reclaiming our cities instead of sprawling. That is why I left California. California is way over the edge and imbalanced environmentally. Los Angeles is very glamorous in some spots, but there are huge swaths that are larger than the city of Pittsburgh that are in extreme poverty and very violent. So if you can afford a million dollar 2 bedroom bungalow in a good area then you are fine, otherwise you will drive about 2 hours a day each way to your job, unless you are willing to live in the ghetto. Plus for such a large city,the public transit sucks, although its getting better. Since I've lived here, I have met many California ex-pats.

Pittsburgh has its problems, but if we can channel the energy for the Steelers into fixing the tax structure and the layers of government we'll be set. Also I think we need to reform the liquor laws, they are ridiculous!

http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/EndPALiquorControl/

Also, one thing that has annoyed me a bit is when I say I chose to move here and people say WHY? Perhaps WELCOME is a much better response! Im choosing to invest in your city please respect that!

Just a few thoughts from an INMIGRANT to Pittsburgh

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Thanks Mercury. I didn't realize just how many Californias were coming here.

As for people asking you why you chose Pittsburgh... This is a big problem. I have heard of people being scared away by that attitude. But unfortunately this region has a deep-set self esteem problem that sometimes manifests itself in that way. I do believe that the city needs to market itself internally as well as externally.

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Thanks Mercury. I didn't realize just how many Californias were coming here.

As for people asking you why you chose Pittsburgh... This is a big problem. I have heard of people being scared away by that attitude. But unfortunately this region has a deep-set self esteem problem that sometimes manifests itself in that way. I do believe that the city needs to market itself internally as well as externally.

Good point about "internal marketing"... there is a lot of self-loathing amongst Pittsburghers. Most people in the Pittsburgh region have new clue about the incredible assets and positive attributes of the region.

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The PG's article expanding on the Business Times one...

while Pittsburgh's office market continues to have a vacancy rate above the national average -- 19.6 percent vs. 14.5 percent -- the area's industrial real estate is outperforming the U.S. average. Locally, the vacancy rate for industrial space dropped from 12.8 percent to 8.4 percent in 2005, while the national average vacancy showed a smaller decline, from 9.1 percent to 8.4 percent.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06060/662598.stm

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Thats great news on the industrial space Mj, although I would love to have the suites in town too (ahem Siemens, and now Al-Judas-Coa) it is great to realize that Pittsburgh is still an industrial force to be reckoned with!

Mj make sure you add personal commentary to every post though, thanks!

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Let's hear it for slow growth!

While overall indicating a positive direction... the report seems to be suprisingly harsh... some of the data seems to run counter to similar data I've seen from the Cleveland Fed and Grubb & Ellis, for example.

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