Tomorrow is Cabrillo Day, the anniversary of the discovery of California (1542) by Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, it is Al Capp’s birth anniversary (1909), Ed Sullivan’s birth anniversary (1901), the first night football game (1892) and Kate Douglas Wiggin’s birth anniversary (1856), she organized the first free kindergarten in Philadelphia.

Carol Pascuzzi of Pennsylvania Macaroni (aka Penn Mac) made the papers.  The Trib did a short profile on her, she’s the one at the cheese counter that calls everyone “dear heart”.  She’s been working there for over twenty-five years.  Her husband, Nick, orders the cheeses for Penn Mac.  So fromage runs in the family.  🙂  She’s an amazing lady, if you don’t already know her.  When they’re not swamped, take a minute and talk to her, she has all kinds of suggestions like a slice of pecorino Roman and add a dollop of honey-maple carmel creme and presto you have a unique and tasty dessert.

Starting Monday is Pittsburgh’s Fashion Week.  I’m just mentioning it in passing and passing their web site on for you if you want to review it to see what and where.  There’s tons of stuff all over the place.

Seventeen year old Nicolas Foley had a rough start in life.  Between his birth parents fighting all the time, living in a homeless shelter with his mother before she abandoned him at the age of six, bouncing from foster home to foster home before being adopted by his aunt Karen Foley and her partner Jeanmarie Byrge.  He’s come a long way, he just won the National Youth of the Year sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.  With this he’s getting a $50,000 college scholarship from the Rick & Susan Goings Foundation, $11,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corp and a new car from Toyota to start college right.  According to his teachers, coaches and the staff at the Sarah Heinz Foundation, Nick’s a very down to earth boy that’s turned into a natural leader.  Good for him.  🙂

It looks like the enemies won, they start tearing down the Igloo on Monday.  The preservation groups lost their last appear Thursday.  That was such a defining structure that always identified Pittsburgh.  Such a unique and special place it was.  I’m dating myself here, but I was in it for a concert when the roof still retracted and we listened to the music under the stars.  They could have left just the Igloo and a wide sidewalk around it and reconnected the Hill to Downtown.  They don’t have to tear it down.  But it’s easier to tear it down and start from a level surface (and more profitable).  That’s like the developer Buchner down in the Strip wants to tear a couple of blocks of the Terminal Building down to give him better access to the land over by the river he wants to develop.  Instead of tearing it down and reconfiguring the 17th Street intersection, why not leave the building intact and go down to 15th Street?  Makes sense to me, probably would cost him more.  The demolition is before the State Historic Review, hopefully they’ll side with us.

Common theme here with me, the greedy big banks are at it again.  Tuesday, the new rules regulating credit cards and banks took effect and Visa and MasterCard have already announced they will be charging the highest fees across the board they can legally charge.  What’s really bad is the seven cents they currently charge for a $3 transaction (say a cup of coffee) will triple.  That’s going to really impact a lot of mom and pop delis, coffee shops, bakeries and other of our smallest businesses.  I guess enough of their executives aren’t getting their $million bonuses.  Do you know what kills me about credit card processing?  When you come to my Inn, I swipe your card and the money is taken out of your account.  Sometimes I don’t get it in my account for four days.  They sit on BILLIONS of dollars.  They can make millions just holding the amount of money in the system over night.  And they’re going to triple the fee the merchant has to pay for Joe the Plumber’s coffee.  Obscene.

Merrill Stabile and his family, 501 Martindale Associates, LP are offering the City $10M for the parking lot across from the Del Monte Building.  The problem with this is North Shore Developers, LP, the partnership between the Steelers, the Pirates and Continental Real Estate Cos of Columbus have an option on the property for $1M.  The option is about to expire.  North Shore Developers did the same thing with the land under AE Amphitheater.  They waited until the last possible minute to develop it and again, there was an option on the table for at least twice the amount they paid.  I wish I could remember those numbers and quote them.  For a city, that is teetering on the verge of financial collapse, this is insanity.  I know the Stadium Authority is a separate legal entity from the city, but it’s all intertwined.

My brother Tom and family are moving back from Colorado.  They arrive today, they both have jobs with Alcoa.  Pretty tight schedule, finding a house to rent (they’re looking at four tomorrow), Friday they clean it, Saturday the movers arrive and they both start work on Monday.  Oh, and they have to find day care for the toddler and two infants.  Pretty ambitious.

Well, I have to run, have a great day,


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