Heads Up: Morning headlines for Aug. 24

Posted by Chris Potter on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Story of the day: The ACLU sues the city of Pittsburgh for allegedly discriminating against blacks who apply to be Pittsburgh Police. Stay tuned for our own take on this. For now, the might be this from the ACLU's Vic Walczak: "At every step in the [hiring] process, there is some kind of shenanigan going on" to benefit white officers. The city, suffice it to say, has not responded kindly; Mayor Luke Ravenstahl suggested the whole motive for the suit was that Walczak "must need a new addition on his Upper St. Clair home." Coverage from the Post-Gazette, the Tribune-Review, and our friends at Essential Public Radio.

WPXI discovers that some 41 laptop computers purchased for the Bureau of Building Inspection -- at a cost of nearly $3,700 apiece -- are gathering dust. City officials cite a "software glitch," but City Controller Michael Lamb -- who just got a visit from BBI this week -- denounces the situation as a "complete waste of money." I feel like I've seen this story before, which is either a testament to the need for more 14-year-olds computer whizzes in city government ... or to the way TV news investigations, like the epic poems of antiquity, have a certain cyclical quality.

Brace yourselves: The Tribune-Review editorial page is not satisfied with concessions from the Port Authority union.

According to the latest polling, Barack Obama holds a 9 point lead in the presidential race. "Romney's favorability is fairly dismal," we're told. Go figure.

Creating tomorrow's pension crisis today: The city pushes back on the idea of determining pension-fund contributions by assuming a lower rate of return on investments. Some background here: Essentially, governments across the country have assumed much higher rates of return on investments than they've gotten -- so they don't have to put as much taxpayer money into the fund. Guess why Pittsburgh's pension board didn't even want to study the question.

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