Hi,

Tomorrow is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s birth anniversary (1807), the Dominican Republic’s Independence Day (1844) and the anniversary of the Shanghai Communique (1972)-when Presidents Nixon and Chou En-Lai signed a treaty to start normalizing Chinese/American relations.

Coca Cola released a new “plastic” bottle in 2009, it’s a 30% plant and 70% oil based composition.  They plan on eventually totally eliminate the oil based portion.  Heinz has entered into an agreement where Coke is going to start making Heinz’s ketchup bottles.  It’s going to cost a bit more, not only is Heinz planning on absorbing this increase, they also say they just want to “do the right thing”.

When is someone going to do something with Allegheny County’s Port Authority?  In stead of fixing it so it operates efficiently, Steve Bland just keeps demanding more money from the tax payers.  They have the longest history of mismanagement and incompetency of anyone I watch.  They built that huge parking garage by South Hills Village years ago.  Their “studies” showed something like 6,000 cars would park there a day and use the T.  I think they’ve been averaging about 600.  After years of loosing money there, they’re now starting to looking into adding professional offices either on the ground floor of the garage or on property they own.  It’s only taken them about 15 years of loosing my money to figure out they should do something about it.  They undertook the project of making the old Wabash Tunnel into an HOV tunnel.  Their “studies” showed something like 1,000 vehicles would use the tunnel.  It’s actually about 20.  It cost more to keep it open than it’s worth, but they can’t close it because they did it with mainly Federal money and if they closed it before the next ten years, they have to pay the Feds back.  They’re building this extension for the T over here to the Northside.  I personally like it because it’s in my back yard.   This project doubled in price from what their “studies” showed it was going to cost.  Yes, it’s coming over to an area with two stadiums and some other things.  But Oakland would be the third largest city in Pennsylvania, if it wasn’t part of the city of Pittsburgh.  That’s where they should have done the T extension.  It would have given a great relieve to vehicle congestion, been full all the time, could have paid itself off, etc.  Yes, there’s a reason for this rant.  They just announce that “this cash strapped Port Authority will shell our $39.2 MILLION dollars (oops, I already said dollars), to cover risky financial bet it made seven years ago.”  Yes, part, probably most of the $39 MILLION they paid out covered the principle, but they were clever enough to give enough details for the press to cover without actually admitting how much of my money they actually lost with this bad investment.     And shame on the Trib for not following through to detail how much of my money they threw away this time.  Oh, I guess Steve and just demand more tax payer’s money to cover this one as well.

Anyone that follows my blog or has met me for five minutes, knows what a huge fan I am of small business.  There’s a very cool company over in South Side, Alpha Lab.  I’ve seen it over there, but never knew what it was.  It’s a non profit business incubator.  They provide space, professional marketing guidance, and start up funds for a 5% stake in the business as it grows.  One of the start ups over there now is Tim Kern and Chris Allen’s new web site, www.wawadoo.com.  It’s a site where guests basically vote on what local attractions are the best.  They’re hoping to become a Twitter like phenomenon.

Well, that’s about it for today, have a great evening,

ed

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