Tomorrow is the anniversary of the founding of Los Angeles (1781), civil rights school integration Little Rock Nine (1957) and the first electric lighting of lower Manhattan (1882). Birth anniversaries include French poet Francois Rene De Chateaubriand (1768), radio broadcaster Paul Harvey (1918), American architect and city planner Daniel Burnham (1846) and Austrian composer Anton Bruckner (1824).
Business has been great. Last August The Parador hosted 142 guest rooms and this August we hosted 177. Last September we hosted 103 for the month of September and we started this September with 140 on the books.
Be prepared, the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a very cold winter with lots of snow. In print for 197 years, it seems to have an 80% accuracy in predicting weather. I just ordered another 12 windows for installation this fall. I better see improvements in may heating bills this winter. (These 12 are in addition to the 18 installed this spring).
OK, what was going on in Russian artist Konstantin Altunin’s mind when he hung three of his works in a public display? After how the Russian judicial handled Pussy Riot’s performance in a church, did he really think he was going to get away with making and then showing a picture of Vladimir Putin in woman’s undergarments fixing Dmitray Medvedev’s hair (he’s also in woman’s undergarments). The picture is too funny and Vladimir doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor, other than “leading a flock of geese home piloting an ultra light, noiseless aircraft” (I hear the picture was staged).
The word Twerking is official, it makes it into next year’s Oxford dictionary. That’s the grinding dance moves that’s the rage with youthful dancers across the nation (actually, I imagine it’s global). Mt Lebanon High School has been battling it at their school dances for several years now. Miley Cyrus actually did it the other night on stage at the MTV VMA music awards. As if Miley didn’t already have a trashy reputation.
Birds don’t have fingers. They also don’t have teeth. So they have to get pretty creative with their Beaks and Talons. The National Aviary has created a double header line up to show how they utilized both of their beaks and talons to accomplish eat, grab, grip, court, preen, climb, build nests and groom each other. These fall shows run through January and as the weather becomes less pleasant, a nice break from gloomy weather and a chance to see these amazing creatures that you may have seen a robin do, but when the emcee at the show points out what’s all involved, you see how amazing these creatures are. The shows are no longer included in the general admission, the individual shows are $5 on top of the admission price, you can do both for $9.
Trib reporter and a regular guest at The Parador, Brad Bumsted is releasing his book Keystone Corruption next Monday. Brad’s a reporter for the Trib that lives near Harrisburg and frequently covers events out there. He personally knows (I don’t believe as in friends, but has interviewed, followed and done other reporter duties) many of the recently convicted as well as many of the older political convicts from past disgraces. Brad doesn’t just treat the book as a ledger of crimes committed, but also ads humor and insight as to how people that were once respectable have been corrupted by power and influence. I’ve read many of Brad’s articles in the Trib, haven’t read his book yet, but it’s on my list.
The second biggest polluter of Pennsylvania streams is acid mine drainage. The state has plugged many mines up to stop the flow of sulfur leaden water into our waterways and there are a number of active and passive treatment facilities around for years. The active treatment facilities are fairly pricey to build and operate. When the concept of passive treatment came around a number of years ago, it was hailed as a cost effective way to deal with this pollution. Unfortunately, they have turned out to be a challenge to keep operating, most sit idle these days. Hedin Environmental cleans and dries the sludge out of a number of Western PA treatment ponds and refines the iron oxide out. Last year they recovered around 1,000 tons of it. After the processing, they sell the oxide for dyes in stains for wood and concrete, but it also is used by Crayola crayon’s burnt sienna crayon. That’s pretty cool, making money and helping clean the environment. This is my problem with nuclear energy, coal mining and now fracking. They extract the energy, make their money and then we are stuck with the legacy costs.
People have been raising chickens for thousands of years as a food source, both for meat and eggs. We went from many, if not most households in the village to having a few chickens to farmers that specialized in chickens and then into the agribusiness. Many individual families these days are planting gardens in their yard for food and some are even raising chickens and bees. Many cities have put restrictions on what kind of “farming” they permit within the city limits. This coming Sunday, September 8, “Swick’s Chicks” will have a self-guided tour of 12 homes raising chickens in Swickley. You will get to meet a dozen chicken farmers and get insight into not only some local rules and regulations, but also the pros and cons of raising your own. The tours run from 10 am until 2 pm and they start at the Penguin Bookshop, the cost is $10 which goes to the food bank.
The Detroit citizens subsidized the 1997 $300M Tiger’s stadium, then they subsidized the 1999 $450M Lion’s stadium. The largest city in the country to go into bankruptcy seems now to be on the verge of subsidizing the Red Wings new $200M stadium. The city of 700,000 residents, down from over 5M residents in 2000 has long term debt of $18B and their current budget has a $400M projected deficit and have shut down 40% of their street lights to save money. Am I crazy, or do other people see an issue with subsidizing billionaire Mike Illitch, owner of the Tigers, Red Wings and Little Caesar’s Pizza chain?
Have a great day and enjoy this in between summer and fall weather,