Saturday, September 26, 2009

EXHALE: SUMMIT OVER, NOW LET'S GET BACK TO NORMAL!


ABOVE: A whale exhales. Yeah that about sums it up.



"CLEARING MY DESK"
                                     EDITORIAL COMMENTARY

Now that the G-20 Summit is over, it's great that we can finally get back to normal. It's also wonderful that the greatest image in the collective consciousness is of a group of sub-morons shoving a garbage dumpster down a steep street in the Arsenal Park distict of Lawrence"burg" (as one network reporter kept referring to the Lawrenceville area).

What makes people protest in such a stupid fashion? That's a question for the ages. Thankfully, the President defended Pittsburgh in his post-conference remarks. "There were 5,000 protesters here in Pittsburgh. In London, when they have these things there, they usually have 100,000 protesters."

What really angers me is when people come into a city from, say Berkeley, California, (as a group did) and make it look like the people of the host city are hostile or rioters. I would venture to say that 90% of those protesters were from outside of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Do they have a right to gather and voice their opinion? Yes, most definitely. Do they have a right to damage property, attempt to start a riot and make the host city look bad? Definitely not.

I understand that about 60 demonstrators were arrested. To my knowledge nobody got cracked over the head with a police baton. Too bad, there were a few that really needed it. Lucky for them, the police were very disciplined.


ABOVE: The cops meant business. Who in their right mind would take on this?

The President was very pleased with the way the summit was handled by the city and I have to say, the security  planning was extremely impressive. In fact, so effectively was the area around the convention center cordoned off that I would be surprised if more high security events aren't held here in the future. There are many kudos deserved and Mayor Luke Summitstahl and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato are to be commended (I couldn't resist the name gag).

Before your eyes roll out of your head about hosting more high security events, there's already word today that a Korean automaker wants to locate a plant here to build electric cars! They want to locate here because they will be working closely with CMU in developing a battery that will recharge more quickly. This will initially create 200 jobs. They're expected to announce the location of the plant within the next six months. I'm thinking that Braddock or Homestead would be great! Or how about Monessen or Donora? Can you imagine what the overall impact of the G-20 Summit being held here will be when we have a chance to look back on this event five or ten years from now?
_____________________________________


"Pittsburgh was a perfect venue for this work. This community has known its share of hard times. It picked itself up and dusted itself off. It serves as a model for turning the page to a 21st century."

                  -- President Barack Obama
___________________________________________

One thing that has become abundantly clear to me is that our many universities in the area are the "straw that stirs the drink that is Pittsburgh".
I'm looking forward to watching the Steeler game tomorrow and getting back to reporting on sports, but I'll always look back with fondest memories of being able to cover the CMU, Pitt, UPMC press conference and visiting the CMU Robotics Institute and Entertainment Technology center.

In fact, the tours were so well received that I'm planning on making a habit out of reporting on other interesting, seldom-seen things from around the city...things you're probably not aware of. Once each month you'll be able to look forward to seeing another special report showing up here, but the difference is going to be that in the future, I'm pleased to report that our pro photographer, Gary Gayda, is going to be along for the ride and taking plenty of pictures too!

If nothing else, the G-20 opened my eyes to the incredible things that are going on right here, things that are literally going to shape the future of our world. It also made me even more proud of this city than I was before!