Saturday, July 26, 2008

"The X-Files: I Want to Believe"

I had thought my first entertainment-related post would be about "Lost".

But I've just seen "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" and liked it--certainly more than most professional critics did--and wanted to share a few thoughts.

I enjoy good sci-fi, and was disappointed that the X-Files TV series had lost heart in its final years. This movie brings an excellent revival of the relationship between the Scully and Mulder characters.

Both of them have grown, but it's Scully's inner struggles that we explore here. I don't know if this movie will resonate for those who weren't engaged in the story lines that developed the pair's relationship or delved into their inner lives. There's nothing in this movie that "blows up real good"--they didn't feel obliged to go for summer blockbuster special effects. In many ways this movie is more of a cousin to the "Prime Suspect" TV series starring Helen Mirren. (But yes, it is a monster-of-the-week story, too.)

What it does accomplish is to revive these characters so that fans can care about them again. I don't know if the box office profits will be enough to justify another sequel--reviews have been mixed at best--but the movie lays the foundation for telling Scully and Mulder's stories again. Rejoining the main story arc--aliens: "the truth is out there"--someday will be more satisfying as a result. If it doesn't happen on the big screen, perhaps a limited series on HBO would be a better home.

Footnote: I delayed reading any reviews until after seeing the movie and writing this post. Here are links to two reviews I came across afterward and enjoyed. The X-Files: I Want to Believe (review)

Rebecca Traister on Dana Scully in "The X-Files" | Salon Arts & Entertainment


Friday, July 25, 2008

Ethics News Roundup

he city's website notes that Rabbi Daniel Schiff's term on the Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board expires August 1, 2008. That's Friday of next week. The board's next meeting is the following Friday. Ethics Board Chair Sister Patrice Hughes told me a few months back that she and her fellow board members were going to request that Mayor Ravenstahl appoint Rabbi Schiff to an another term.

Rabbi Schiff appears twice, briefly, in my July 13, 2007 Channel 4 Action News report.

While the city website lists a vacancy on the board, City Council actually approved Daniel Devinney as the replacement for Penny Zacharias some time back.

Pennsylvania's Ethics Commission is scrupulous in not discussing any cases under its investigation or review. As a result, Lawrence Fisher the attorney for Urban Redevelopment Authority Director Pat Ford is currently the only source available to answer questions about the status of the commission's ethics review of Ford.

The Trib headlined Tuesday: "Decision to investigate suspended city development chief delayed", reporting:

The state Ethics Commission might decide by month's end whether it will press on with a full investigation of Pittsburgh's suspended development chief or exonerate him, his lawyer said.


"The state Ethics Commission failed to timely docket the inquiry resulting in a purely bureaucratic delay," said Ford's attorney, Lawrence Fisher.

So far, Attorney Fisher hasn't responded to my e-mailed request for an on-the-record statement.

As posted here, Mr. Fisher had said previously he was advised via phone by the Ethics Commission's Executive Director John Contino that the preliminary inquiry of Ford began around May 19th.

To recap, before any formal investigations, by law the state ethics commission first opens a preliminary inquiry, which can take up to sixty days. At that point, the ethics commission's executive director makes a determination whether to move forward with a full investigation. The Post-Gazette reported in June 9 that "Mr. Fisher said the commission is expected to dismiss the matter or launch a full investigation by July 18". That would be sixty days after May 19th, and is consistent with the timeline I've reported.



Friday, July 18, 2008

2nd Pittsburgh Blogger Talked To US Attorney?

It seems that Bram Reichbaum of The Burgh Report and The Pittsburgh Comet isn't the only blogger to reveal having talked to U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan about the Pat Ford case.

Check out this link to the satirical website "I Luv Luke".



The Attorney & The Blogger

Here's a followup to Wednesday's post, "Pat Ford Update: Federal Prosecutors Interview Blogger": some breakout quotes from my interviews with Pat Ford's attorney and blogger Bram Reichbaum.

You can watch video of my Channel 4 Action News report at this link.

Pat Ford's Attorney, Lawrence Fisher:

• "Let me say this to you. The reason why I agreed to meet with you today is because I was concerned about the insinuation in today's Post-Gazette article that perhaps Mr. Ford was somehow the subject or the target of a federal investigation, and I can tell you I am quite certain he is not."

• "He is neither the subject nor the target of any federal investigation. If anything, Mr. Ford would be discussing items of mutual interest to both himself and to investigators and authorities.

• "And all we've said so far is that Pat Ford is cooperating with authorities. And you know of course, and Marcie Cipriani reported that he had met with Stephen Zappala. Beyond that, I can't discuss the details of his cooperation with authorities, but I can tell you that Mr. Ford's cooperation with authorities is one of mutual interest. In other words, he is assisting authorities in routing out corruption in the Housing Authority."

• "You have this so called blogger who feels that there was something improper about a gift to Mr. Ford's wife which was of nominal value. And however much he hopes that federal authorities are investigating that, they are not."

Bram Reichbaum, Blogger:
• "Actually, I ran into Ms. Buchanan and I recognized her and I introduced myself and told her who I was. She was generally familiar with my role in the original revelations that are related to some of this. We got to a little conversation and I volunteered that if there's anything I can do to help, if you want me to present some information, I'd be happy to do that. And she said that it might be helpful, and a couple of weeks later, it was scheduled."

• "...I asked them and what they said is 'we don't comment on anything like that, we speak through indictments'. So, figure than when there's something to learn, we'll all learn it."

• "Pat Ford's name is the one most closely identified with a lot of those situations, so his name came up more. It was impossible to tell who could be the target of any inquiry."

• "I'm a blogger, so I do some reporting and some commentating, and I feel strongly about a lot of those issues because it's my city and there's laws as to how it's supposed to be governed and what decisions are supposed to be made, as far as giant signs and even neighborhood planning. And it just seems like the laws are being forgotten and that concerns me. So, that's why I cooperated."



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pat Ford Update: Federal Prosecutors Interview Blogger

U.S. Attorney Buchanan, Alecia Sirk & Pat Ford

I was going to blog an update on the State Ethics Commission review of Pat Ford case and what Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has to say about Ford's desire to return to the Ravenstahl administration. But before we get to that, there are some major new developments.

The PG reports that a local blogger has been interviewed by two federal prosecutors, an FBI agent, and a HUD investigator about a range of city government dealings related to Urban Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Pat Ford. The Post-Gazette story describes blogger Bram Reichbaum of The Pittsburgh Comet and The Burgh Report as a pivotal figure in bringing to light the gifts received by Ford and Ford's wife, former mayoral press secretary Alecia Sirk. The gifts were from Lamar Advertising executive Jim Vlasach, who is Ford's friend. They came to light during the controversy over Ford's approval of Lamar's planned downtown electronic billboard, which was initially okayed without going through normal city review procedures.

The PG's Rich Lord reports:

"Mr. Reichbaum said he went to (U.S. Attorney Mary Beth) Buchanan's office after a conversation with her in which she indicated interest in city matters about which he has written on The Pittsburgh Comet and The Burgh Report, two blogs."

Ford's been on paid leave since April 9th, pending the outcome of a Pennsylvania Ethics Commission review of those gifts. The review was requested by Ford himself and the URA board.

As I posted here, Ford expects to hear very soon whether the State Ethics Commission has decided to close its review of his case or launch a full investigation. Ford's attorney Lawrence Fisher has said "it remains Pat Ford's fervent intention to return to his responsibilities as URA director as soon as his good name is restored by the State Ethics Commission."

Tuesday I asked Mayor Ravenstahl if Pat Ford can come back on board quickly if the ethics commission clears him. The mayor responded:

"I'm going to wait until they come back with their decision. We'll take a look at what that decision is and then make our decision accordingly. I'm not going to speculate on what ifs at this point."

"But of course, when that comes back and my understanding is the same as yours that it should happen perhaps this week, then we'll take a look at it, analyze it, and deal with it when the decision is made."

The State Ethics Commission cannot discuss investigations, but one commission official has again outlined for me their standard procedures for all cases. From those practices, we can glean this:

• There will be no announcement to the media of the Ford decision.
• If the Ethics Commission staff recommends that the matter should be closed, the staff will make that recommendation to a single commission member.
• The member's decision would then be voted on by the full ethics commission in a closed executive session.
• That executive session can be held via phone at any time or in person on the same day as the ethics commission's next public meeting on July 21st.
• Ford himself (and his attorney) would be notified sometime soon after next week's meeting.

• It's up to the ethics commission staff to determine whether there is reasonable cause to go to a full investigation.
• The commission itself does not take part in a decision to launch a full investigation.
• If a formal investigation is launched, Ford will be notified within 72 hours of that action.

Ford's attorney Lawrence Fisher tells me that he expects the ethics commission review will conclude no later than this Friday, based on his reading of the state code. He says the law requires that they notify Ford if the case is not going forward, but does not set a deadline for doing so. The 72 hour deadline only applies to notice of the launching of a full investigation.

Fisher says that when Ford is cleared, he will issue a public statement on Ford's behalf.

If you'd like to catch up on this story, you can read these links to my past blog posts on the topic.

Pat Ford Ethics Review & Paid Leave Update 2

Pat Ford Ethics Review & Paid Leave Update

Sirk's Attorney Calls E-Mail "Bogus"

Billboard Back Story: Brewing Controversies

Also of interest:

Chessboards & Mushroom Clouds At City Hall

City Government Shakeup

Sirk On Blogging No More



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ravenstahl Declares Shields Candidacy For Mayor...

... Council President Doug Shields says he did not authorize the mayor's message.

Mayor Ravensthal's revelation came in response to my unrelated question at this morning's news conference. I'd asked if he would seriously consider Shields' suggestion that city government itself apply for the slots casino license, should it be put up for new bids.

Ravenstahl: "It's tough for me to take anything Council President Shields takes seriously anymore. He just told members of my staff this week that he's running for mayor next year. So, I think you need to filter all of his comments through a political filter right now. So, I don't know that I have any comment on what Mr Shields had to say."

...And later I asked...

Q: "Is it your sense the mayor's race has already begun?"

Ravenstahl: "You tell me." (Laughs.)

Q: "Is that going to affect the ability to get things done...?"

Ravenstahl: "It certainly makes a lot of sense with some of the things that have been happening in city council. And it starts to shed a light on some of the voices coming from over there. But it's the reality of the situation. I've been a candidate for this office since the day i walked into. And of course we're on the verge of an election next year. "

"You know, when somebody makes comments to a member of my staff and a variety of other different people, I think that needs to be known. And you need to consider that some of the comments that are made may be made for political gain and benefit. And it starts to make sense on some of the things that have been said and done over the past six months."

Other reporters and I stopped Shields as he got off the elevator outside council chamber. I played the tape of Raventsahl's comments, then asked:

Q: "So, the mayor announced your candidacy. Are you running for mayor?"

Shields: " No. And I haven't discussed anything about the (race for) mayor with the mayor's staff at all. When people ask me that I just simply go: 'it's not something that I'm contemplating at this time, at all'.

"And I can't recall anybody that I've even - including my wife-- (been telling) saying I'm going to run for mayor."

"But be that as it may, I guess the mayor has some bad information."

Some on Grant Street speculate that it's Councilman Pat Dowd who may want to run for mayor... not next year, but four years after that. Those theorists suggest that it's actually Mayor Ravenstahl's supporters who are spreading the "Shields for Mayor" talk. They speculate that the rumors are intended to seed further friction on council between Dowd and Shields.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh reporters and bloggers continue to get occasional anonymous e-mail links promoting a "Draft Chelsa 2009" blog.

When I first received the link a few weeks ago, I checked by phone with State Representative Chelsa Wagner. She told me she was flattered by the blog, but that she did not know who was behind it. When I asked Wagner if she is a candidate for mayor next year, she answered that she's focused on the upcoming legislative races and that the talk is premature.

The blog was mentioned a couple of weeks back , three stories down in the Trib's "Whispers" column.



Friday, July 11, 2008

John McCain & The Steelers Defensive Line?

Black & Gold?

When Senator John McCain was a Vietnam prisoner of war, did he give his interrogators the names of the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line when they pressured him to name his squadron mates?

McCain told that tale to a Pittsburgh TV reporter this week, but it contradicts McCain's account for the past 40 years --- that he named Green Bay Packers players when he defied his captors.

The Republican presidential candidate is taking heat from some sports and political websites for his apparent Steelers-Packers flip flop.

First, here is his exchange with the Pittsburgh reporter:

Q (from KDKA's Jon Delano): "Senator, when you think of Pittsburgh, what's the first thing that comes to your mind?"

McCain: "The Steelers. I was a mediocre high school athlete and I loved and adored the sports, but the Steelers really made a huge impression on me, particularly in the early years."

"When I was first interrogated, and really had to give some information because of the pressures, the physical pressures that were on me, I named the starting lineup, the defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers as my squadron mates (Laughs)."

Q: "Did you really?"

McCain: "Years ago, yes."

Q: "In your POW camp?"

McCain: "Yes. Yes, indeed."

Q: "Could you do it today?"

McCain: "No, unfortunately, I couldn't. But I certainly could then."

An check inside the pages of McCain's autobiography "Faith of My Fathers" shows McCain's own words on page 194. Quote:

"Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers' offensive line,..."

When McCain's book was made into an A&E cable TV movie in 2005, the Green Bay version of the story was acted out, complete with the names from the Packers' 1967 defensive lineup. The Movie McCain repeated "Starr; Greg; McGee; Davis; Adderly; Brown; Ringo; Wood."

During a May 27, 2005 appearance on CNN, when the interviewer played that movie scene clip McCain explained it this way:

"That was the starting line up of the Green Bay Packers, the first Super Bowl champions. But, uh, it was the best I could think of at the time."

The reaction on sports blogs?

I e-mailed two members of the McCain campaign, asking "Why did the Senator change to the Steelers version? Was it -- as some bloggers are suggesting -- in the hope of winning the Steeler fan votes?"

National McCain campaign staffer Kimmie Lipscomb did not respond. Paul Lindsay of McCain's Pennsylvania campaign e-mailed back:

Hey Bob,

On background as a McCain official - It was an honest mistake. If bloggers want to make fun of him because he forgot which team he used under torture, let them.

Hope that is helpful to you,


I responded:


We are on the record.
The senator wrote about the Packers version in his book and discussed it in interviews many times. Is the senator's or the campaign's response that he forgot? His statement to the Pittsburgh reporter was part of an extended discussion about the Steelers.

Bob Mayo

I've gotten no further response from the campaign.

A viewer named Mark first alerted me to this story in an e-mail Wednesday night, writing that in KD's story McCain:

"stated that he used the great Steelers defensive line when FIRST interrogated. The thing is, he was first taken prisoner in 1967? Love to see some factfinding here."

That's when I started doing some Googling on the topic.

McCain became a POW in 1967. The legendary Steelers defensive line that McCain appears to be referring to -- The Steel Curtain -- wasn't in place until 1971. Mean Joe Greene --the first of the front four to arrive -- didn't join the Steelers until 1969, two years after the time McCain refers to as when he was first interrogated.

In 1967, John McCain was 31 years old and the Steelers were anything but super. They'd had only eight seasons since McCain was born in which team wins outnumbered losses. In the two years before McCain was shot down, the Steelers were 2-and-12 and 5-8-and-1. Discouraged fans back then called them SOS -- the "Same Old Steelers".

I wasn't able to blog on this Thursday, due to my trip to Harrisburg to cover the Gaming Board's hearing on the Pittsburgh Casino. When I resumed my Googling this morning, I saw those sports blog links and this blog post by Jake Tapper of ABC News. My station, WTAE, is doing the story on tonight's 11 o'clock news. If the video makes it to the Pittsburgh Channel website, I'll update this post with a new link.



Read Barden & Bluhm's Casino Pitch

ere's a summary of the the filing before the Gaming Control Board by Don Barden and the prospective new Pittsburgh casino owners, including Neil Bluhm. Much of what you'll read below are direct quotes and key phrases from their written submission. By the way, it appears the casino won't be called "Majestic Star" under the proposed new partnership. The name of the ownership group itself hasn't been finalized either.

PITG and "Holdings Acquisition Co", a newly formed limited partnership are applying to the gaming board for a proposed reorganizing and resulting change of control and re-capitalization. This would be a change of control of the Pittsburgh slots license.

PITG has been unable to secure permanent financing.
It's bridge lenders have notified PITG they believe it is in default and they may "exercise default remedies" that would have a material, detrimental impact on the development and completion of the contract.

Walton Steet Capitol would make an equity contribution of $120 Million to be used to complete the project.

"Holdings" would become the new licensee that develop, own, and operate the project. The initial owners of Holdings would be a Walton controlled partnership and a partnership consisting of Greg Carlin and certain family members of Neil Bluhm to be known as "High Pitt Gaming".

PITG would contribute assets and certain liabilities to Holdings in exchange for partnership interests in an affiliate of Holdings.

Upon closing, Don Barden will be a prinicpal licensee and indirect owner of "Holdings".

Management of Holdings would be a management committee. Comprised of Don Barden and the following representatives of the investor group:
Greg Carlin, Andrew. Bluhm, and Neil G Bluhm, each of whom would be licensed as a principal.

The proposed transaction is "reorganization and recapitalization of a distressed project" that has "been unable to secure permanent financing on its own to continue the development of the project".

"It has been publicly disclosed by the bridge lenders that they believe the current bridge financing to be in default and intend to take actions to protect their interests"

"Under a best case scenario....(that)..would result in disruption of construction at the site and significant delays in the completion and opening of the project ".

"The goal of the proposed transaction is to rescue a struggling project...".

"..... A new equity infusion and substantial permanent debt financing are needed in a timely manner in order to continue and ultimately complete construction".

The project is subject to material negative default actions from the existing bridge lenders.

"As part of the proposed transaction, Holdings will honor the conditions of the licensure imposed on PITG... Including obligations to citizens of Pittsburgh....".

"Such obligations in aggregate will cost approximately. $9 Million per year".



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ferlo's Billboard Back Story: The Past Informs The Present

A search of Google News Archives for "Ferlo" and "billboards" serves up an interesting history. I remember covering these stories in my radio days, back when State Senator Jim Ferlo was a City Councilman.

Here's an excerpt from a 2002 profile of Ferlo by Rich Lord, who was then with Pittsburgh City Paper:

...Ferlo has put government’s clamps, though, on one major industry: outdoor advertising.

In 1993, Ferlo surprise-attacked the billboard industry with an ordinance that essentially barred companies from putting up new billboards. Even boards removed for road projects or as a result of building demolitions couldn’t be replaced, and the industry fought hard against the bill, says Don Brown, public affairs director for Lamar Outdoor Advertising. “We were trying to fight to keep what we had,” says Brown, noting that some of his company’s highest-revenue signs are within city limits. “He organized the usual suspects, like the Sierra Club and other groups,” and got them to testify at public hearings, Brown says. “He was constantly lobbying council, going up and down the hall, like I was. … We lost by one vote.”

Since then, the industry has occasionally gone to court and won the right to replace some billboards. But Ferlo’s legislation has hurt. “It reduces the number we have, which in turn reduces the revenue we have,” Brown says. “Because I don’t think [Ferlo] has ever had a business responsibility, [there are times] when I don’t think he understands the realities of business.”...

Here are some select Google News headlines from the 90s.

Apr 5, 1992 - That's what happened with Councilman Jim Ferlo. Last week, he proposed freezing the number of billboards in the city. ... But Ferlo is on the right track. Along Becks Run Road, the local complaint has to do with clutter. A new set of 13 billboards obliterates what used to be a woodsy view. ...
From CITY TAKES A STEP TO RIGHT THE WRONG OF BILLBOARD... - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ($$)

Aug 25, 1992 - City Councilman Jim Ferlo of District 9'proposed zoning amendments that would also keep billboards off the riverfronts and only in ... Ferlo said that there are billboards in the which he thinks is too many. One of the pieces of legislation submitted by Ferlo calls for fees charged to ..
From News Record (Newspaper) - August 25, 1992, North... - North Hills News Record ($$)

Jan 26, 1993 - City Councilman Jim Ferlo introduced the proposed billboard ordinances last summer. He charged yesterday that the city Planning Commission has been ''stalling" on his bills. One would reduce the maximum size of billboards to 450 square feet from the existing limit of 1200 square feet. ...
From BILLBOARD LIMITS SOUGHT - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ($$)

Feb 28, 1993 - City Councilman Jim Ferlo said yesterday that the 1561 letters he mailed at city expense during February covered three subjects -- billboards, ... Ferlo is leading an effort for greater city controls over the size and location of billboards and is helping merchants deal with the problem of ...


Mar 31, 1993 - "I resent the (sign) industry calling my bill a radical abolition of billboards," Ferlo said. "That isn't the case. This is reasonable regulation." A second bill by Ferlo, which would have capped the number of billboards in Pittsburgh at the present number of 1400, was defeated by the ...
From CITY PANEL RESTRICTS NEW BILLBOARDS - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ($$)

Mar 17, 1993 - Councilman Jim Ferlo, who last year drafted his own billboard-control rules, complained that Zottola's proposals merely "rubber-stamp what the industry wants. ... Ferlo wants a 378-square-foot limit. The billboard study committee recommended 1000 feet between signs on major roads, the distance ...
From RIFT STALLS BILLBOARD CONTROLS - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ($$)

Now, mixing in headlines from a PG archive search with the Google archive:

The city Planning Commission approved tough restrictions on new billboards yesterday, leading one advertising official to accuse the panel of trying to ''wipe out" the sign industry.
The commission voted 4-1 in favor of the tighter regulations on the size, height and location of billboards, which were proposed by Councilman Jim Ferlo, a longtime billboard critic. Outdoor advertising officials vowed to carry the fight to City Council, which has the final...
Date: March 31, 1993 Publication: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Page Number: B-1 Word Count: 503

Apr 16, 1993 - (This is a test about billboards. Pick one of the following options.
Choice 1: Legislation proposed by city Councilman Jim Ferlo to limit the
size, height and location of outdoor advertising signs is an "extremist" measure that will have a "catastrophic impact" on local jobs, on small businesses that need a low-cost way to reach customers and on charitable groups that receive free space for their messages. Choice 2: Ferlo's) Ferlo said his bill was a compromise. Some hard-line billboard foes favor more drastic measures, such as ridding the city completely of signs or to prevent certain products, such as alcohol and tobacco, from being advertised. John Stephen of Friends of the Riverfront said the bill would make ...

Sep 30, 1993 - Billboard restrictions tentatively approved PITTSBURGH City Council has tentatively approv- ed a bill to restrict new billboards and even ban them in the city's Downtown section. Council members voted 5-3 Wednesday in favor of the which was sponsored by Councilman Jim Ferlo and faces a final ...
From The Valley Independent (Newspaper) - September... - Valley Independent, The ($$)

Oct 6, 1993 - The life or death of new billboard regulations in Pittsburgh may rest in the hands of City Councilwoman Michelle Madoff. ... Madoff's vote would be needed in the event that Mayor Masloff, as expected, vetoed new billboard regulations that were approved by City Council yesterday. ...

Jun 15, 1994 - Pittsburgh's skyline will become littered with visual pollution if Downtown businesses are not prohibited from putting up rooftop signs, say proponents of a bill before the city Planning Commission. Critics of the bill, proposed by council members Jim Ferlo and Christopher Smith, call it an unnecessary invasion of property rights. Although new billboards have been banned from Downtown, business identification signs are legal, and some city officials fear an outbreak of rooftop signs. ...

Jan 13, 1995 - [ For more than half a year, the city Planning Commission, the Department of Planning and City Council worked on a plan by Councilman Jim Ferlo to severely restrict corporate signs in the Golden Triangle.
Last month, business and labor came out in force at a public hearing to give their views on the legislation. The impact of their testimony was so devastating that, afterward, it appeared the only council member in favor of the bill was Jim Ferlo. This is not how good legislation is made.] Council President Ferlo has distinguished himself as someone who cares about the appearance of Pittsburgh. He is a defender of its vistas, a guardian of its skyline. He worked for years on legislation to regulate billboards and ultimately was successful in enacting a law that balanced the ...

Oct 15, 2000 - "No longer is taking a billboard on the parkway or an ad in the newspaper considered to be enough visibility. ... City Councilman Jim Ferlo, who considers Mellon's headquarters sign to be "a green, obnoxious blob," is pushing for legislation to ban all rooftop signs from going up in the Golden ...
From Pittsburgh Companies Rush to Put Their Names in... - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh,... (Free with registration)

Jun 29, 2001 - 29--The large Heinz Field signs to be erected on the new football stadium are actually "billboards" used for advertising and aren't permitted on ... any kind can be erected on the North Shore because of a sign moratorium imposed in October by City Council, at the urging of Councilman Jim Ferlo. ...
From Pittsburgh Steelers, Civic Group Face Off over... - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh,... (Free with registration)

Jan 5, 2003 - By his own count, Ferlo has had a "couple hundred" bills and resolutions passed in his 15 years on council. He sponsored legislation that tightened restrictions on billboards, defeating a powerful interest group in the process. He was instrumental in getting the Citizen Police Review Board ...
From Scorpion or warrior? Feisty Jim Ferlo leaves... - Pittsburgh Post Gazette