As if Penn State didn't have enough problems with the child abuse scandal, now a subcontractor on a construction project at the school is saying the general contractor is molesting it and other subcontractors.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
PennEnvironment, in conjunction with Food and Water Watch, are rallying in Pittsburgh against gas drilling on Saturday. The event is at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 22nd at Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park. It's part of the Global Frackdown, so come to Flagstaff Hill and let your frack flag fly!
Monday, September 17, 2012
I recently spoke with Gloria in the Crazy Mocha coffee shop, near her home in Lawrenceville. She explained how she became aware of fracking after the natural gas drillers began quietly petitioning her neighbors to have them sign leases to place distribution pipes beneath their property. Then she and other neighbors heard the nearby cemetery had signed a lease for a well, and interest in the topic exploded.
At the time of our interview, I was helping out a two-man film crew from Arte TV, a public TV network in France, who was en route to interview her as part of a documentary on Pittsburgh. Fracking is banned in France, and some French are amazed that people are promoting it here in America.
While we were waiting, I figured why not ask her a few questions myself.
Why did you decide to speak out about fracking?
GF: Prior to that [cause], I was just a regular person trying to save Lawrenceville Library.
Are you surprised by the lack of outrage of people regarding fracking?
Our side doesn’t have the money they have—we don’t have the means to do the counter-campaign we need.
Do you think people are catching on to this contentious method of drilling for fossil fuel?
I think they are. I think we are reaching out into quarters… Marcellus Protest is becoming a lightning rod. We’re getting emails from people in small towns reaching out to us.
MP’s network now is in the hundreds of people, whose opinions are influencing thousands, perhaps many more. But people still say that you can’t smell or taste the fracking, so what’s the big deal?
You can smell it and taste it in the water—ask the people in Dimock, PA. Ask Ron Gulla from Washington County about his water. He’s been fighting fracking for years—and he worked in the gas industry.
Money is oiling all the wheels—even down to the local level in townships and counties. Many of the local politicians have vested interests, and they will not recuse themselves… But nobody’s giving me a dime for this!
What do you think people would be surprised to learn about fracking?
How expensive it is to attract gas [through the process], though the gas is in limited quantities… We’re talking twenty years of gas.
What are Marcellus Protest’s goals?
To stop fracking, and to make drillers pay an environmental impact fee… We know getting a ban is very difficult.
Are you hopeful that a fracking ban can be achieved in Pennsylvania?
Not in my life. I’m going to be a grandmother in February. It’s our duty to leave the world at least better than when we found it.
On Oct. 17, the state Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case pitting several municipalities against state legislators—a battle over Act. 13. The sweeping state law effectively overturned local bans and strictures on fracking, making the state law come before all others. Many people who are opposed to fracking in the Keystone State say the toxins from spent fracking fluid has tainted out public water sources. What do you think?
I think it’s in our water, yes. Thirty percent of the fracking fluid comes back out of the ground, and it has radon in it. And our state government wants to make a law that says if 75 percent of your neighbors want fracking, you have to do it.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
I could've kissed him on his wrinkly forehead for calling me 36.
"Don't be like me... You gotta have a famiglia! ... This world, what happen when you get sick, who gonna help you? You gotta have-a famiglia!"
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Sunday, September 02, 2012
The brewery’s open, garage-style growler room has a half-dozen patrons sipping samples and drinking pints of the brewer's tasty beers. The contrasts between Full Pint and my regular brewery haunt—the citified East End Brewing Company—are hard not to notice. Where East End Brewing has a narrow, cramped, hallway-like room with a bar manned by friendly growler-masters such as Nordy, Albert and others who always remember you and will recall your favorite brews and particular tastes, Full Pint Brewing’s equally attentive staff will remember you and what you like, but the large open room that serves as the pub (right next to the brew house), is as open as a football field. And you can buy full pints of beer there, too, since Full Pint has a pub license.
In addition to the bar space at Full Pint, the place has tables and chairs where patrons can enjoy a beer and the occasional homemade pizza, whipped up quickly and laid out for free by one of the brewing company’s owners. Some of the ingredients for the pizza come from the brewing process, giving the dough a more pita-esque look and a wonderful flavor. Freshly picked toppings added to the tastiness, which patrons quickly gobble while quaffing beers.
Not to bust on East End Brewing, since the company is working on expanding and will occupy a new space with larger brewing facility and roomier growler room in the not too distant future. But word has it that the new place won’t have a license to sell pints—a selling point that Full Pint obviously has over East End. Offerings at Full Pint also are more numerous and growlers, which require a $5 deposit versus East End’s $3 deposit, can be refilled for just $10. East End has growlers that range from $10 to $16, after the deposit.
East End Brewing offers the obvious advantage to me (at least while they remain in the current location) of being close enough to walk to from my Park Place home. It's great to stroll down and pick up a growler after having some beer samples and munching some of the ever-present hard pretzels, provided courtesy of EEB patron Eli Zloftas. Nothing’s better than kicking off work around 4 p.m. on a sunny Friday afternoon and taking a nice stroll down to the brewery to see some friends and have some beer. After a while, you begin to recognize other Friday regulars, who sometimes bring their dogs inside so everyone can pet them.
But on the other hand, Full Pint also offers cases of their excellent brews for just $30 at the brewery—a real steal, compared to the cost of the same beer in distributor’s coolers. These same yummy beers such as Chinookie, White Lightning and Night Of The Living Stout range from $5.50 and more per draft in local bars, such as at The Loft in Regent Square, where Full Pint Brewing co-owner Sean Hallisey bartends some nights. Next door, his brother Corey bartends at the Map Room, a favorite of the Irish-Scots music crowd, which often gathers there Sunday nights to hear music. At Map Room, though, East End Brewing’s beers—Big Hop, Black Strap Stout, and Fat Gary’s Brown Ale--are featured. All of the aforementioned beers, and generally speaking all of the beers brewed by both of these fine brewers, are top-notch. It’s really a question of one’s taste or for those more seasoned drinkers, a question of the mood they are in.
If you want to taste a really spectacular Belgian white beer that will put other very famous brands to shame, drink White Lightning. If you’re up for an excellent ale, either Big Hop or Chinookie will wet your whistle. For a dark stout, you’ll notice a smoother finish to Night Of The Living Stout, but you may feel like you’re getting more kick out of Black Strap Stout. Really though, when it comes to either East End Brewing Company or Full Pint Brewing Company, it’s simply all good.