I’ve talked about Evan Mirapaul’s art house on Rialto Street in Troy Hill awhile back and said he was working on a second.  The second was created by Thorsten Brinkmann and they call it La Hutte Royal.  The first house they call Kunzhaus.  Viewing is free and by appointment only, both are opened two days a week and have listed hours you can book at their website troyhillarthouses.com.  The reason I listed the first link so you can see some pictures and get more of their back story.

Pittsburgh Brewing founded in 1861 out in Lawrenceville has another new owner.  Verus Investment Partners who purchased it in 2011 operated it out of Latrobe Brewer, formerly Rolling Rock sold it to Clifford Forrest, president of Rosebud Mining Company.  I assume he will continue operating out of Latrobe, although there’s not a lot going on with the supposedly redevelopment of it’s former headquarters.  That’s still sitting looking abandoned with just some jersey barriers blocking traffic on Penn Avenue.

Evil Empire Lamar Advertising, who got busted, bribing city officials during Lukie’s term trying to get a digital billboard on the new transportation center at 10th & Liberty where the old Grey House Bus Terminal was.  They bought the sign from Bayer on Mt Washington several years ago.   The Bayer sign was non-conforming to our newer sign law and was grandfathered for it’s current use and Lamar wanted to take the current non conforming use to a new non conforming use digital format.  They city said no so Lamar, who fought the bribery case choose to put an ugly yellow plastic cover over it because they didn’t get their way.  Unfortunately County Judge Joseph James sided with Lamar permitting them to leave that ugly yellow vinyl cover on it.  That’s like Wylie Brothers that tried to turn the vacant apartment building across the street from me into a hostel and they wanted the CO (certificate of occupancy) to reflect codes from the 1980’s, at least we won that one.

First Energy is trying to force us taxpayers to subside the coal fired Bruce Mansfield power plant in Beaver county and their nuclear power plant because they currently are not making the profits they want.  First Energy is threatening to close the plants, laying workers off and possibly disrupting our power reliability.  Like Lamar, do it my way or we’ll take our marbles and do what we want with them.  I have always been against nuclear power, we shouldn’t use a substance that is incredibly lethal longer than humans have been on earth and we can’t come up with a decent storage solution for the spent rods.

Possibly the only thing I like about winter is I’m slow and get to do projects I can’t tackle when I’m busy for a number of reasons.  I recently refinished the second floor landing:

And this project the crown molding and beaded ceiling had all kinds of cracks showing so I sealed them and then repainted the entire bathroom:

One of these days I’m going to remember to take the before pictures.  🙂

There’s new survey that says American are among the most dissatisfied with our government, business, media by leading global public relations firm Edelman Trust Barometer  they note this distrust comes at a time of high economic trends (they failed to mention that the high metrics are the stock markets making a lot of money for a certain segment of our country), they also mention this is occurring during relatively low unemployment (here the fail to mention the big job growth is in low paying service jobs, where wage earners need to work two jobs just to make ends meet).  This survey was taken of 33,000 people in 28 countries.  They surveyed “informed public”, ie people that are college educated and follow the news.  American trust of  charitable organizations fell from 58% to 49%, Business trust fell from 58% to 48% and media fell from 47% to 42%.  Trust in government fell from 47% to 33%.  There’s a reason for this, we are tired of being lied to by everyone.  Several easy examples are commercials on television.   Verizon can not have the best product available and happiest customers (so they say) at the same time ATT does (so they say).  Ford can’t have the best trucks, most loyal customers and longest lasting (so they say) at the same time Chevy, Subaru, Toyota, etc do (so they all say).  I live in Pittsburgh where Levin Furniture has incessant commercials touting the lowest prices EVER, this past December sale can’t be any less expensive than the lowest prices EVER they advertised in November, October, September, etc.  Then there’s the incessant commercials about drugs and supplements.  That pill is not going to make me loose 20# and that new drug is not going to cure my diabetes.  We’re not stupid, well maybe we are because we keep falling into their traps.  The more we hear them on the TV, radio, newspaper and social media, the more we seem to buy and encourage them to keep up this drivel.  I think hearing it so often lures us into believing them and thinking, well I’ll give it a try.

Our government deserves their own paragraph.  Here in Pennsylvania they haven’t been able to pass a budget on time in years as can’t the federal government.  I’m not going into basic human interaction they they seem to not have the skill set to be able to function, like civil discourse, compromise, integrity, etc.  Even if you don’t follow the news regularly, I’m sure you are aware of all of the sexual misconduct that’s coming out.  If that’s not bad enough, we are paying settlements at times to quiet the law suits.  We all watched as Detroit said the water’s fine, then saw what came up next.  The same thing happened with Pittsburgh water.  Two years after buying my property, I needed money to continue my renovations.  I went to the URA and Kennon, my contact and myself talked.  This was way before the water scandal here and I was aware of the age of many of our lines and the urban legend (?) that some of the lines are actually wooden from ages ago.  I have never seen any activity to upgrade the water system.  At the time I told Kennon that I believed PWSA should have a twenty year plan to replace the lines and he said PWSA did have a master plan.  Maybe they told him that and he believed it or maybe he made it up.  As PWSA did when they said our water was fine.  What business would not know the life expectancy of their fixed assets and not have a plan to replace as needed, a business that would fail.  Then there’s the campaign lies a recent example is Connor Lamb‘s local campaign for the federal house seat vacated Tim Murphy, Republican, that was adamantly pro-life until he got his mistress knocked up and couldn’t hide it and tried to get her to have an abortion.  The first thing I heard from Mr. Lamb’s campaign was that he thought Nancy Pelosi should be replaced as should the Republican majority leader.  He thought we should have all fresh people running the country.  Experience very valuable, but when it become entrenched, it’s killing us.  Now the multi million dollar campaign funded by Paul Ryan’s GOP super pack keeps harping on how close Lamb is to Pelosi.  The images of campaign rivals that have been photo shopped, do they really think we haven’t seen these people in the past and not realize the photo shop, that’s minor, compared to the lies the make.

Sorry for the tirade, but after reading the opinion poll, I just got worked up.  🙂  Just as the President has term limits, so should the Senate and House.  More than two, as with the President, as I said experience is important whether you are painting a house, running an Inn or governing a country.  The exception to this should be if they can’t pass a budget on time, they should all be fired!  I bet they could come up with a balanced budget on time (here’s another thing the budget should HAVE to be balanced).  Exactly who funds these super packs should be clearly stated and how much the contributed.  Corporations are not people, they cannot vote, they cannot drive cars, they cannot attend a concert or go to dinner.  And they should be treated as such.  Any contribution they make to a campaign should be totally transparent.  My last issue with campaign finance is lobbyists, they also need to be totally transparent what they pay, be it cash, dinners, gifts, travel, etc.  My final big suggestion is our system of governing by bills is great, but bills should be restricted to a single subject.  If the bill is designed to encourage or restrict solar power, funds for a bridge in Alaska should not be able to be included.

On a lighter note, do you want a restaurant Downtown?  Six Penn is closing February 17,  Eaten Park’s foray into Cultural District dining opened in 2005, one of the pioneers down there.  Eaten Park wants to focus more on their flagship stand alone diners we all know as well as their newer concept Hello Bistro  and The Porch.  So if you are looking for an equipt restaurant, this might be for you.

Da gerl update, we’ve doubled the length of her walk.  Tomorrow morning she’s going on a full walk with RJ to the park when we get up and see how she does.  She goes to the vet next week for her final check up.

Have a great day and keep warm,


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