by Chris Potter
In today's "what's up with the Bureau of Police? news, city councilor Pat Dowd and the FOP are both faulting the Ravenstahl administration for not hiring enough police supervisors. And speaking of missing police supervisors, Chief Nate Harper is off the job for an indeterminate period, in the wake of his mother's death ... and under the shadow of an ongoing grand jury investigation.
Is the Port Authority's CEO, Steve Bland, on his way out? It looks like he's scrambling for his job, and a board that once staunchly supported him is now sharply divided. It's worth noting that Port Authority board members are appointed by the county executive ... who, as City Paper readers learned this week, isn't shy about asserting his own authority.
And on the subject of Fitzgerald — and conflicts whose origins are noted in our story this week — he and county controller Chelsa Wagner are now at it again, arguing about whether the county has set its property-tax rates too high.
As jury selection begins in the trial of Western Pennsylvania's own very own Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, a Philadelphia state Senator is suggesting we do away with judicial elections entirely. Anthony Hardy Williams is sponsoring a bill allowing the governor to appoint higher-court judges, choosing from nominees proposed by a nonpartisan commission. Could Melvin accomplish what no number of Post-Gazette editorials has done — convince people that electing judges is a bad idea? Stay tuned.
Finally, here's a story whose headline is a lot more disturbing than it needs to be: "Nuclear Power Plant Spawned Band of Snow over Western Pennsylvania." Rest assured: these aren't a race of atomic snowflakes that will one day rule the world. It's just got to do with moisture coming from a cooling tower.