Jul 12 2010 11:58:38:063PM
M E R I C A’ S
R E AT
E W S PA P E R S
VOL. 83, NO. 347 7/13/10 final
TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010
BP puts new cap in place on well
NEW CONTRACT FOR COACH TOMLIN
TECHIES GATHER FOR SUMMER SOCIAL
Episcopal bishop calls for abused to step up
concern runs deep over gas wells
Obama acts again on deep-water drilling
Erie leader in ’70s, ’80s accused of sex assaults on girls
By Laura Figueroa and Patricia Mazzei The Miami Herald
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — As the Obama administration issued a fresh moratorium on deep-water drilling Monday, robots maneuvered a new, tighterfitting cap onto a gushing oil well, and BP prepared to test whether its latest effort would at long last stop crude from oozing into the Gulf of Mexico. The company latched on the cap to the leaking well late Monday. Up to two days’ worth of tests on its effectiveness could begin today, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles told reporters Monday afternoon, when the cap was 40 feet from the well. “We’re taking this step by step, making sure absolutely everything is in place before we do it,” he said. Mr. Suttles described Monday as the third day of a four- to seven-day operation to secure the new cap over the spill’s source, after the previous looser cap was removed Saturday. That cap helped collect about
By Mackenzie Carpenter Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Elizabeth Schneider of Lincoln Place, where Marcellus Shale drilling is being proposed, listens to speakers at Councilman Doug Shields’ post-agenda meeting in City Council chambers Monday afternoon.
Not in their backyard
SEE spill, PAGE A-4
By Diana Nelson Jones Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Free after Switzerland rejects U.S. extradition request. story, a-3.
The potential for Marcellus Shale drilling within the city of Pittsburgh brought out a panel of experts and about 80 people who filled City Council chambers Monday for a hearing on the impact gas drilling could have here. Chuck Christen of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Healthy Environments and Communities, cited a list of environmental and health concerns, saying: “There is not enough independent research. All my questions are ones for
Many city residents express worry about potential Marcellus Shale hazards which there are no answers.” Gas drilling is heaviest in Greene and Washington counties to the south and Tioga and Kane counties in the northern tier, but leasing agents have been knocking on doors in Pittsburgh. Nadia Steinzor, a Marcellus regional organizer for Earthworks, an environmental organization that focuses on the impact of extraction industries, said people were signing leases
Facebook friends for life
Last link in Great Allegheny Passage
Sandcastle nearing bike trail agreement Allegheny River
One needed a kidney, the other just wanted to help
By Jon Schmitz
“I really expect we’ll have a formal announcement in the next couple days,” said James Allegheny County and SandJudy, vice president of operacastle Waterpark are expected to tions for Palace Entertainment, announce an agreement within owner of the park. Reynolds St. days that will allow completion “I believe that is probably of the last missing piece of a going to be the case,” agreed biking and hiking trail linking county spokesman Kevin Pittsburgh and Washington, Evanto. Frick D.C.Schenley The deal 30 would cap years of Park Park negotiations aimed at finding a 22 way to accommodate the trail on 376 the park’s narrow strip of land between a railroad line and the The last trail The Monongahela River. SWISSVALE link in the Waterfront TheBRADDOCK roughly one-mile stretch 150-mile Great HILLSlink in the 150-mile is the last New bridge RANKIN Allegheny Allegheny Passage from atGreat Whitaker Passage: HOMESTEAD Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Md., BRADDOCK where it connects NORTH to the C&O 837 BRADDOCK Towpath to Washington. Sandcastle EAST When all is complete, it will WEST PITTSBURGH HOMESTEAD be possible to bike about 335 conMonongahela WHITAKER MUNHALL HOMESTEAD River tinuous, mostlyNew flatbridge milesatfrom Kennywood RIDCnation’s DuquesnecapiPittsburgh to the tal without interference from N motorized traffic. NORTH VERSAILLES The former owners of SandPittsburgh Pittsburgh DUQUESNE castle for years resisted efforts Area of of Area WEST to build the trail through the detail detail MIFFLIN park, PORT VUE saying there wasn’t Riverton enough room. 0 1 Bridge “The next time you visit McKEESPORT DAVOSBURG Mile Sandcastle take a close look at
By Meredith Skrzypczak
Source: Allegheny Trail Alliance
SEE drilling, PAGE A-8
SEE bishop, PAGE A-5
without legal representation, often not knowing whether they are signing away their surface and mineral rights and sometimes not knowing where their property lines are. State law restricts deep well drilling to no closer than 200 feet from an occupied building, but in densely populated Lawrenceville, the majority of at least 57 parcels are under agreement, Councilman Patrick Dowd wrote in an earlier
e-mail to the Post-Gazette. Councilman Doug Shields said people also had been approached in his district. Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition of gas drilling interests, said she did not know how those leases might be used. When Mr. Shields asked her if her partners wanted to drill within the city, she said, “I don’t think they’ve made that decision.” She said 99.5 percent of the liquid that is pumped thousands of feet underground to
Four girls, some as young as 10, were allegedly molested in the 1970s and 1980s by the Episcopal Bishop of Erie, Donald Davis — and now the current bishop is reaching out to identify more victims, if they exist. In a letter read after services Sunday at the diocese’s 34 churches, Bishop Sean Rowe, of the Erie-based Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, asked that any women who may have been abused by the late Rev. Davis come forward. “On behalf of the church, I offer an abject apology to Bishop Davis’ victims, their families, and everyone whose trust in the church has been violated, and I ask for your forgiveness,” Bishop Rowe wrote. “I cannot undo the grievous wrongs that Bishop Davis has done, nor take away the pain of his victims, but I can do my best to ensure that, from now on, this diocese will tell the truth and seek healing and reconciliation for those who have been harmed.” In an interview Monday, the bishop said he was first alerted to the abuse by one of the victims in March, prompting an investigation that revealed more credible allegations of sexual abuse from three other girls. All of the victims have asked to remain anonymous, he said. “We believe that these allegations are credible. We believe the stories,” Bishop Rowe said, but he declined to give more details about the cases “because we don’t give away anything that would compromise the identity of the victims.” Two of the victims were abused at a diocesan summer camp, Camp Nazareth, outside of Mer-
SEE trail, PAGE A-5
Clouds and rain. High 84, low 65.
Donor Sara Steelman, left, touches where her donated kidney is located in recipient Sarah Taylor. For video of Ms. Steelman and Ms. Taylor talking about their experience, visit post-gazette.com. 376
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wo women with nearly the same first name live in the same neighborhood. One needs a kidney; the other has a desire to donate. Sounds like an easy match, if they are medically compatible. But it took a chance Facebook encounter for the two casual acquaintances to connect in what their surgeon says may represent the future of organ donating. Sarah Taylor, 53, of Indiana, Pa., suffered from a dissected aorta and an aneurysm 11 years ago, and that led to renal failure. She was placed on a kidney transplant waiting list in 2009, and a year ago this month, she used Facebook to let others know she needed help. “I had no idea where I was going to get a kidney,” she said. “I just thought well, why don’t I put it on Facebook and see what I get?” Ms. Taylor specified that she was looking for someone between the ages of 18 and 64, with type-O blood and no diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity. In a matter of days, she received 197 responses.
SEE facebook, PAGE A-2
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Extra effort makes world of difference between 2007, ’10 By Jon Offredo
When Angel Cabrera shocked the golfing world in 2007 at the U.S. Open in Oakmont, millions tuned in on TV and tens of thousands of spectators watched in person, but few, if any, managed to make it down to Oakmont’s business district. On Sunday, Paula Creamer stood amongst 24,916 cheering fans as she won the U.S. Women’s Open in Oakmont. This time around, there may not have been as many people watching as the trophy was lifted as there were in 2007, but there were certainly more perusing the storefronts of the business district and walking along the streets of Oakmont. Retailers and restaurateurs generally agreed that this time around, Oakmont was hardly the ghost town it was three years ago. “Everything went much better
SEE oakmont, PAGE A-5
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Golf means profits for Oakmont
Jun 05 2010 10:59:41:767PM
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE SundaY, June 6, 2010 WWW.POST-GAZETTE.COM
Change will be hard to come by in Capitol reform, FROM PAGE A-1 state Legislature are the legislators themselves, and they aren’t going to do it.” Ms. McIlvaine-Smith has become frustrated with resistance to new ways at the Capitol. She was elected during the pay-raise purge in 2006, when 55 incumbents either retired or lost re-election bids after members of the Legislature passed — then revoked — a middle-of-the-night pay raise for themselves, judges and Cabinet members. But after just four years, she is packing it in because she’s fed up with how hard it is to change entrenched procedures. “Unfortunately, a good percentage of the people of Pennsylvania don’t know how the Legislature works, so they don’t know when gubernatorial candidates are blowing smoke,” she said. “The Legislature is a separate branch of government from the governor, who heads the executive branch.” Eric Epstein of Rock The Capital, who worked to overturn the 2005 legislative pay raise, said, “Reform has become a staple of electoral rhetoric, but whichever candidate wins the governor’s mansion in November will have only a limited ability to effectuate structural change in the Legislature.” He noted that the next governor likely will have to ask legislators “to make some tough votes,” perhaps for tax increases to balance the state budget, and his need for their help “will negate any chance for meaningful reform.” Mr. Corbett and Mr. Onorato say they would use the bully pulpit they would have as governor to “show leadership” and whip the public into a frenzy favoring reform. Mr. Epstein said he did see one “positive sign” recently — the expressions of support by Mr. Corbett and Mr. Onorato for a limited constitutional convention, where changes to the constitution regarding legislative procedures could be discussed and sent to voters for approval. But the Legislature, not the governor, recommends holding such a convention, and so far only nine of the 253 legislators have expressed interest in having one. A limited convention would deal with specific issues and would not open up the entire state constitution for changes. Doing that would lead to a much longer convention. Issues often mentioned as topics at a limited convention include reducing the size of the 203-member House or 50-member Senate; switching to a part-time Legislature rather than having legislators meet nearly year-round; limiting the number of terms a lawmaker can serve; or making House terms four years long — as Senate terms are now — instead of two years. Mr. Corbett has said that if elected, he would propose a “sweeping” plan for reform of the Legislature within a week of taking office. He hasn’t given specifics. Based on comments on his campaign website (www. tomcorbettforgovernor.com), however, such changes would involve “reducing the cost and size of government,” enacting stronger open-records laws to make things “more transparent” and doing away with “walkingaround money,” which is used to fund pet projects in legislators’
home areas. Mr. Onorato came to the Capitol last week to outline his plan for change, including cutting the cost of the Legislature by at least 20 percent by reducing the number of lawmakers or their staffs or office expenses; limiting campaign contributions by individuals and companies; and reducing “per diems,” or reimbursements for legislators’ daily meals and lodging. John Kennedy of Cumberland County, who was a legislator from 1980-88, said that when he first ran for office, he wanted to “eliminate legislative pensions and return the money to the general fund,” but that never happened. He said the constitution says nothing about legislators getting a pension. Mr. Kennedy, who now heads a group called Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania, said both gubernatorial candidates, as well as everyone running for other state offices, should pledge before the election “to serve for just a specific number of years, take no pension and then go back home.” Matthew Brouillette, who runs a conservative group called the Commonwealth Foundation and has watched Harrisburg for more than 20 years, agreed that making major changes will be difficult. He, too, said a new governor will need support from legislative leaders and the rank-and-file to get an agenda of bills enacted. Taking on legislators publicly and criticizing their ways often produces anger, not cooperation, he noted. “If the next governor wants to get anything on his political agenda put into law, he can’t just poke his finger into legislators’ eyes with these reforms that substantively strike at their power,” he said. Inertia at the Capitol has shown a strong knack for outlasting cajoling by governors or critical editorials in newspapers or voter dissatisfaction expressed in blogs, e-mails, radio talk shows and letters to the editor or brickbats hurled by citizens groups or polls that show legislators’ low standing. Mr. Brouillette recalled a 2007 meeting between legislators and Gov. Ed Rendell after the governor had suggested some changes in the assembly, such as limiting a lawmaker to eight years and reducing the size of the Legislature by as much as 50 percent. “He popped his head up for reform and almost got it taken off by legislative leaders,” Mr. Brouillette said. The Senate Democratic leader, Bob Mellow, who’s normally an ally of the governor, was especially irate. One senator, John Eichelberger, R-Blair, said at the time that Mr. Mellow “was very offended by [the governor’s proposals], saying he’d done a lot of work for the governor, carried the ball for him, and now this! He was angry.” Mr. Epstein said, however, that despite his overall pessimism about changing the Legislature anytime soon, citizens have to keep trying. “Changing the Legislature will take time, but we can’t give up,” he said. “Giving up is not even an option. We have to stay engaged and stay enraged.” Bureau Chief Tom Barnes: firstname.lastname@example.org or 717787-4254.
getting their game face on
Mike Grisetti and his daughter Ava, 4, prepare by putting on eye black on Saturday at the All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and former center Jeff Hartings hosted the event, designed to provide bonding opportunities for fathers and their children while they run football-themed drills.
Entrepreneurs may feel pinch jobs, FROM PAGE A-1 During last year’s budget crisis, funding for the Small Business Development Center was cut to $3.6 million, down 55 percent from the all-time high of $8 million in 2006. “If we can’t get the state funding restored to $5.5 million for the fiscal year in July, I’m not sure we’ll be able to sustain the existing infrastructure we currently have,” Mr. Conroy said. Programs such as those offered by the development center have helped returning Pittsburghers like Matthew Rodgers and Marc Cipullo form business plans and kickstart their companies. Despite such stories, the programs may fall victim to the economic downturn they have helped others to weather.
Determination despite cuts Supporters of the small business programs haven’t given up. With budgetary discussions coming up and the state facing another shortfall, Mr. Conroy and local caucuses have written letters to the state Senate Appropriations Committee and the state Chamber of Commerce. “I don’t envy the folks in Harrisburg. They had some incredibly difficult decisions to make,” Mr. Conroy said. He said supporters also are exploring the possibility of seeking up to $7 million in federal funding, but that would require matching grants from the state. The recent budgetary constraints have forced the center, which helps unemployed workers, to add to the ranks of the unemployed. About 25 percent to 30 percent of 120 fulland part-time jobs have been cut at SBDC across the state. That includes counselors and office assistant positions at 18 branches stationed at universities. The budget cuts also have meant a reduction in student resources and an increase in fees for certain programs as well as the elimination or suspension of others. “It’s been a slaughter in terms of resources,” said Mary McKinney, director of Duquesne’s SBDC program. “It’s been tough, very, very, tough for us to meet the demands.” Duquesne’s branch has been
hit particularly hard. A staff of nine has been whittled to four. The program also was forced to close an outreach branch in the Mon Valley. Yet, entrepreneurial counselors are determined to keep providing for their clients. “Hey, we still have some resources left and we’re doing what we can,” Dr. McKinney said. One thing she refused to cut is the Entrepreneurial Growth Conference to be held Thursday. In addition, the center still has three branches operating in Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, which typically consult with 10 to 15 people a month. The University of Pittsburgh’s SBDC program has been busier than ever, according to its director, Ray Vargo. But, like his colleagues, he has faced the elimination of several positions, dropping from 13 to 10. “We are doing everything we can,” he said. “First and foremost, that everybody that needs the assistance can get it.” Each year, the center has seen a 10 percent increase in traffic, and Mr. Vargo said the center is on pace to continue that trend.
Perfect timing Statistics released last month show Pennsylvania nearly tops the charts in mass layoffs nationwide, with 133 employers laying off 50 or more workers in April 2010. That’s up from 81 in March, but down from April 2009, which saw 168. The state also saw a marked increase in initial unemployment claims in April 2010 — 13,254, up from March’s 8,181. Those numbers are not seasonally adjusted. The state unemployment rate was 9 percent in April. “A period of disruption is also a period of opportunity for smart and savvy entrepreneurs,” Mr. Conroy said. “[There is] the possibility for a lot of new, interesting products and services.” In the past, a key to that kind of success, according to Dr. McKinney and Mr. Conroy, was the Self Employment Assistance Program, a statefunded, 26-week program that provided unemployment benefits while participants were trying to start a business.
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Over the years, the program at Duquesne saw phenomenal success, Dr. McKinney said. Of the people enrolled, half had success starting businesses. “I can’t see to this day why anyone would want to cut the Self Employed Assistance Program,” she said. “That was so successful and so many unemployed people could have used that program and been successful. But you know, we’re not the policy makers.” Catherine Tyson, a senior management consultant at Pitt’s SBDC branch, said the program provided a financial buffer and the time to put together a business plan while still providing unemployment compensation. It provided a luxury of time, Mr. Conroy said. With that program gone, those looking to start a business would become ineligible for unemployment the moment they began marketing. The most they can do is begin a business plan. “It’s a program that has had terrific results,” Mr. Conroy said. “It’s a shame that it was defunded in this current period.”
A steel mentality Marc Cipullo is ready to become The Man, after nearly 10 years of working for him. The former history and English substitute teacher is preparing to uproot his collection of antiques and all of his personal belongings for a cross-country move back to his hometown of Pittsburgh. After years of teaching in San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Norway and Paris, Mr. Cipullo is ready to follow his dream and start his own business. “The timing is perfect for me to do something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. His plan is to open an antique shop in Shadyside, called Maison. He has the stock for his store, after years of collecting books, furniture, art and other pieces. “For a teacher, my apartment looked like a museum. No one could believe my income wasn’t 20 times what it was,” he said. In September, school districts in San Francisco went through a downsizing process. What was once a lock for a solid fiveday work week for Mr. Cipullo became an unpredictable twoor three-day-a-week gig. He made the decision to start his own business in April, despite admitting he’s not a numbers person nor a businessman — yet. He turned to the SBDC branch at the University of Pittsburgh after Googling “small business” and “Pittsburgh.” “I could have never come up with a financial plan on my own,” Mr. Cipullo said. “I can somewhat decipher it at this point. It’s been really helpful to outline what to possibly expect.” Without the help from the small business program, Mr. Cipullo said he wouldn’t have thought of the certain startup costs that he would encounter, such as different kinds of insurance, store alarms and fees to jointhe Chamber of Commerce. As an entrepreneur, he’s a bit unusual in the Keystone State. Pennsylvania has had an industrial legacy, Mr. Conroy said,
with workers staying at large corporations for three or four decades. That, and low immigration numbers, could be one of the reasons why the entrepreneurial level is so low in the state. In 2009, only 200 per 100,000 adults started a business venture here, compared with Oklahoma and Montana, which saw 470 per 100,000 start a business. The numbers are up slightly from last year, when 160 per 100,000 started businesses, putting Pennsylvania dead last in the rankings. Ms. Tyson said over the last year, the small business center has begun to see former residents return home to start businesses, as well as out-of-state individuals coming to Pittsburgh. In spite of the economic climate, Mr. Cipullo is excited about his new venture. A little scared, too. “I’m very optimistic. Talk to me in a couple months and we’ll see,” he said. People like Mr. Cipullo, and Matthew Rodgers, are the type of people whom the SBDC looks to consult. “Businesses need a consulting arm,” Dr. McKinney said. “They need consulting advice and they need someone to talk to to help float their ideas.” Mr. Rodgers, a native of Pittsburgh, still has the same cell phone number and 412 area code since he left for Seattle eight years ago. The University of Maryland graduate bounced around the gaming industry, working for Nintendo, Real Networks and Microsoft, holding positions from game tester to programmer and, finally, producer. Recently he was at Real Networks as a producer for casual games: think “Bejeweled” or “Farmville,” not “Halo” or “Madden.” Like Mr. Cipullo, Mr. Rodgers sought help from the University of Pittsburgh’s SBDC program. “I feel like I know how to make money from video games, but I wasn’t sure about the whole business side of things,” he said. He went to meet with Ms. Tyson, who helped him get an idea of what to pursue for his new venture, Headright Games, a casual game production company. “I had a 50 percent business plan complete but had no clue what half of the financial terms meant,” he said. “Throughout the course of the meeting and after, I had a good feeling. I felt good about myself because I was on the right track.” With the increased business coming to the development center branches in Pittsburgh and funds dwindling, the staff members have become more introspective and have begun looking closer at the advice they dish out. They might need to use it themselves. “It’s funny. I was in a meeting this morning, and I believe very much in what we preach,” Mr. Conroy said. “If we’re gonna talk the talk, we’re going to have to walk the walk.” Jon Offredo: email@example.com or 412-263-1410.
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SEE drilling, PAGE A-8 By Laura Figueroa and Patricia Mazzei SEE bishop, PAGE A-5 Donor Sara Steelman, left, touches where her donated kidne...