Saturday, November 30, 2013

Just when I wanted to give up...UPDATED 3X

Anonymous Letter # 3 surfaced on November 26, 2013. The handwriting appears to be the same as Anonymous Letter #1 and Anonymous Letter #2. As I have done in the past, I scanned it as a pdf and is available in the hyperlink above, and as a .jpg below.


Highlights:
1. Barrels are being used to catch roof leak water in the newly renovated B Building  6th floor.
2. Cheap floor tiles were replaced after the 6th day of school.
3. The bridge has cracks and major gaps.
4. Cracks throughout pool lobby and seating area.
5.Cheap flooring used in classroom is not commercial grade.
6. Wrestling mats (mega thousands of dollars) don't fit and will have to be sewn together. (I'm not doing that!)
7. Layout is so spread out that students need more than five minutes between classes.
8. Mrs. Cappucci's safety concern with Building C's  many stairwells and secluded areas are no different in the new structure.
9. Access between buildings is inconvenient and in some cases, inaccessible. 

While I am on the subject of the pool, this letter was sent out to parents.

From: Mike Chiappetta <mike@mlacswimming.com>
Date: November 19, 2013 at 10:27:06 PM EST
To:
Subject: Balcony at the Pool
Mt. Lebanon Aqua Club
Balcony at the Pool
 Members
Well, two nights in the new pool and I think it is safe to say we are thrilled with our new home.  There are a couple of items we want to remind everyone of.
First we ask that parents do not go on deck if possible.  Obivously with the work still left to do in the new athletic building still to complete, a lot of dust and dirt will be generated.  This dirt will easily be tracked on the pool deck and by limiting access to coaches and swimmers we can help the District keep the pool clean.  We understrand this is a big change from old pool and at times parents will need to be on deck.  We just ask you limit this as much as possible.
Next just a reminder to please confine yourself to the pool, balcony and locker rooms only.  We are all very curious to see the rest of the building but we need to refrain from exploring.
Lastly several members have raised a concern with the height of the railing at the front of the seating balcony.  We have shared this concern with the district and they in turn have passed along our concern to their construction team. In the mean time, we ask that all be very careful around the railing and if possible refrain from sitting in the front row.  This is not to say the building or pool is unsafe, we only suggest this as a precaution to avoid any accidents.
Thanks
Mike
Mike Chiappetta
President, Board of Directors
Mt. Lebanon Aqua Club. 

This is from a parent.
"They [are} also majorly cheap out in the restrooms. [One would think that] for all of that money that they would have the kind of sinks where the water turned on automatically due to motion. Or the kind of paper towel [hand waving] containers that would spit out paper towels due to motion.... Or those super powered turbo hand dryers. [There] are also only five showers in the girls locker room. The girls were even complaining about that on the first day."

Instead of cutting corners, the board should have scaled back the project as almost 4,000 residents had asked.  How do you ruin a $133.3 million project? Just ask your "illustrious" school board.

Update: November 30, 2013 2:45 PM Here is the anonymous letter in an easier to read version.
Dear concerned tax payer-
1. 6th floor - new renovated B Building. Water barrell to catch roof leak water - several months.
2. Had to purchase 1500 desk and chair tabs & have custodians install because the cheap tile floors were being ruined & tile replaced after 6th day of school.
3. The $750,000.00 bridge connecting to athletic facility has cracks in concrete. They filled one major gap with caulking. Floor finish is polished concrete.
4. Pool lobby & upper seating area - cracks all through concrete.
5. The cheap tile used in the classrooms is not commercial grade - 1/8" thick, made from recycled products.
6. Mats in new wrestling room do not fit (mega thousands of $) Will need to sew in pieces.
7.The entire structure is so spread out - students will have great difficulty getting to classes with current schedule. 5 min. between classes.
8. Mrs. Cappucci didn't want to reuse C-building because she was concerned about the many stairwells & the rape incident at USC. There are just as many staircases & areas to hide in the new structures.
9. Board did not like no access from B - building floors 6-5-4 to get to fine arts everone had to go via floor 3 past the South gym - Now the S-gym will be a commons area & cafeteria & everyone will still need to go through that same area - what was accomplished?

                                   the above just scratches the surface of issues -

Update: November 30, 2013 11:02 PM Pool railing

Update: December 2, 2013 11:42 AM Here is the railing that Bethel used.
Notice the glass rail in the spectator area.

100 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go back and review the critique of the plan by the CAC and you'll find they predicted some of these flaws, but Cappucci and pals knew better.

RICHARD GIDEON said...

EG:
A friend of mine who has two kids in the Aqua Club was appalled over the size of the "safety rail" in the balcony section. He told me that it is ridiculously small, and that it wouldn't take much to topple someone over the edge - an inadvertent "bump," for example. I asked him how far down the fall would be, and he estimated something like 15 feet or more.

Since my friend is not given to exaggerations I am willing to believe that the size of the railing is a safety issue that needs addressed. In the meantime I hope someone takes a photo of it and sends it to you.
RG

Anonymous said...

RG, there is a shot of the pool and the railing in question may be visible, but hard to tell if it's safe or not.
Go to mtlsd.org and select 'high school renovation' from the menu on the left.
There you'll find "A great shot of the pool" and I believe the railing in question runs from behind the gentleman's camera.

Anonymous said...

Reading about the railing gave me chills, given what happened at the Pittsburgh Zoo. I am sure no signs will be placed or caution tape indicating that no one should sit there. Then when a kid is hurt from falling overboard, it will be his/her fault, or better yet, his/her parent's. The school district will remain mum on their knowledge of the safety issue.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Remely ran for election on his construction qualifications and will soon be the longest serving member on the board.

Anonymous said...

Height requirement on a balcony railing

Handrail and Guardrail Requirements

Not really rocket science.

Anonymous said...

Did they ever manage to level the gym floor?

E. T. Gillen said...

12:16 PM, I got the great shot of the pool railing. See the update at 11:02 PM. That railing is going to give me nightmares, 1:24 PM.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

"We told you so" applies to so many of the letter items, all confirmable from meeting records and recordings, blog postings and comments, reports by individual citizens and groups, etc.

Would love to see the entire "punch list" and await with great anticipation the mass of change orders a-coming. Who's to blame - contractors or architects, or CM, or staff including Super Timmy who are receiving bonuses ?

Anonymous said...

The completion and occupancy date schedule for the entire new athletic building was to be August, 2013 ! It's now December and it ain't finished yet for full use and is riddled with problems - yet, the Admin & SB claim everything on schedule and hunky dory - just like Obamacare !

E. T. Gillen said...

I don't think there is a construction update this month. No chance for the board to discuss change orders. Also, since the Dec. 9 meeting is a combined meeting, the board will be discussing and voting on items at the same time. This is when they like to sneak stuff in. Agenda out just a couple of days before the vote. Lovely.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Let's start with "What does it MATTER" as the taxpayer will be forced to pay for it all. The SB KNEW that the final bid was incomplete BUT they needed to keep the project off the ballot. They lied to us all. I sure one of these former board members have the documentation to blow the lid off this joke. Do they have the guts to let everyone know about it? Or will they hide like cowards?

Anonymous said...

Pure speculation of course, but might the defects mentioned lead to the issurance of bonuses and skyhigh raise for the Super?
Could the administrators have begun to take the position that the problems needed to be presented to the public and the board bought them off?
Not saying that actually transpired, but if the list from the anonymous letter writer gets any longer it might leqd one to that conclusion.
It would really be nice if the PG or Trib since a 'Real' investigative reporter into the building rather than just send a 'note taker' to the board meeting, but such is the sorry state of the press today.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Super Timmy took the picture of the pool ?

Anonymous said...

5:47. Hit the nail on the head. Who does have the guts to blow the school board up? The effort to keep the project from referendum should have been put into the plans. A good plan has a chance of carrying the votes but the way the bond was issued, it put the SB behind the "8" ball because a rejection would have required another six months to bring to the table.

E. T. Gillen said...

5:47 AM, yes, what does it matter? Before the renovation started, perfectly good turf was ripped up over at the stadium. Guess who was behind that? We read quotes in the PG from the pro renovation folks, like now commissioners Brumfield and Linfante. Remember how the windows were sealed with duct tape? What do they work on first? The completion of the athletic building. I had asked then President Ed Kubit during "Questions and Comments from Residents" where the construction work will begin, since we heard for years about the duct taped windows. His answer? All over. In reality, the athletic building came first, after the new turf was installed. Evidently, new high school turf and a new athletic building isn't drawing in new home owners. Maybe the turf at Middle and Wildcat will seal the deal.
In the end, does it really matter? The same group is controlling our local tax dollars to fund their pet projects. More money is being taken away from education to fund athletics, salaries, and bonuses.
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

From the architect's website.
Mt. Lebanon High School Swimming Pool Opens!
Elaine


Anonymous said...

Everybody just loved it, just don't sit in the front row in the balcony.

But remember, if you do happen to go over the railing by accident-- a higher degree difficulty dive will get you higher a point total.
9.4, 9.7, 9.8. 9.6, 9.8!

Anonymous said...

5:15 PM Don't forget the concrete cracks in the pool lobby and upper seating areas ! Might be symptomatic of something serious and a safety risk.

E. T. Gillen said...

Is this where the GeoFoam went? Or is it still sinking?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

One way of looking at the HS project.

For $113 million dollars we swapped duct taped windows for gaps in walls filled with caulk. And as any homeowner knows caulk ages, shrinks, dries out and gets brittle and needs constant maintenance.

john david kendrick said...

I'm going to miss this blog. Do you guys think that the machine will reinvigorate Blog Lebo? They still have MtL but how much home remodeling and County Bar News can anyone stomach in one settimg?

Elaine has become a fixture throughout Mt Lebanon, and maybe an enormous source of billable revenue at Tucker-A?

Has anyone ever filed a RTK for lawfirm invoices to the SD?

E. T. Gillen said...

John,
I am sticking around for now. I just needed a break.
Crap! I forgot the anniversary of this blog. It was three years last Friday.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

The railing height isn't the only problem that I can see in the picture. What about the GAPS between the railings going vertically? You can't have huge gaps there or a kid could slip right through... seriously that is the most ridiculous railing I have ever seen. I have hiked some serious mountains and I'd feel safer doing so with my children than having them walk along that railing because it invites small visitors, especially, into thinking they are safe, when they aren't! Don't forget that the floors might be a little damp!

Anonymous said...

There are cracks in the cement of the upper pool deck. Polished lobby floor also has cracks. The railing was designed by an idiot and inspected by an imbecile.

Obviously the cement was improperly cured.

Too much was taken on too fast.


I wonder if the same methods were used constructing the highschool that developed the fiasco of shops in Washington. New dirt needs packed every 2". Can anyone answer if the new dirt was packed like this?

Where did the old turf go?


Anonymous said...

One thing I do not want to hear is how dedicated and wonderful the teachers are.
They work everyday in this train wreck and could be reporting this stuff anonymously here if they wished and truly cared.
Apparently one person is trying too do the right thing, too bad no one else is.

E. T. Gillen said...

Isn't Timmy the point person for this train wreck?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

1:01 couple of points you may not be familiar with.
When the natatorium was suggested on the same spot as todays pool, soil surveys recommended not building there.
They had to buy new clean fill since the dirt the took out of the athletic wing wasn't up to snuff to use.
Then they had to purchase Geofoam to decrease pressures on the foundation.
Bottom line- they shouldn't have built on that site. But they wanted their showcase athletic wing, come hell or high water.
They'll do the same down at Wildcat.

Anonymous said...

Wheres our illustrious construction expert Remely or Lady Elaine - our school board representatives ?

Wheres our building inspector ?

Anonymous said...

The 'soups' managerial philosophy--
"ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies."

E. T. Gillen said...

I have written quite a bit about Geofoam and the natatorium soil surveys. Here is one, for example.
Who's to blame?
Search results for Geofoam on Lebo Citizens:
Geofoam posts
The installation of Geofoam was the second change order.
By the way, "Lady Elaine" and "our illustrious construction expert Remely" waived contractors' insurance as a cost reduction.
Then President Posti was proud of the $16 million cuts. Changes said to save $16 million
Don't miss this one:
Check out #40 on the cost reductions list. Potential cost savings worksheet
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Wait until the change orders come in when bldg. C is taken down.

Anonymous said...

The Sports Advisory Board should be all over this railing debacle. Were talking about the safety of our spectators.

Anonymous said...

Not the SAB's responsibility.
Building inspectors should be all over this!
Why did they approve occupancy?

Anonymous said...

http://mtlebanon.org/index.aspx?NID=458

See final inspection necessary for occupancy.

E. T. Gillen said...

I am no expert on inspections, but when the building inspector came for final inspection of my new porch roof, he explained that the railing needs to be able to be sturdy enough to support someone ramming into it. It is hard to put into words how he demonstrated that action. The railing looks like it was installed correctly, but it was a poor choice by the school board. To cut costs, they are now putting children at risk.

When I was in elementary school, Jefferson had a railing, similar to the one shown in Timmy's photo of the pool, on the playground. We used to do spins over the railing. (Again, hard to put into words.) It would be so tempting for kids to hang from that railing or do spins on it.

With Remely wanting to cut costs over the fire dept.'s recommendations, and now cost reductions with the railings in the pool, how many more reductions are going to surface and cost us in change orders? Cost reductions made at the expense of our children's safety?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Apparently everyone is an expert on a railing they've never seen. The railing is a cable style railing, not unlike this: http://www.aecinfo.com/1/product/63/42/14/zeus.jpg

No kid could slip under the top rail. As the MLAC indicated, parents thought the railing was too low, meaning that it's more dangerous for adults than children. The railing is taller at the bottom of the stairs and shorter along the front row.

I agree that the railing is insufficient, but it's little more than a punch list item. If you would all prefer to speculate that kids would love to "do spins on it" based on your misunderstanding of a tiny photograph, go to town.

Anonymous said...

1:31 zooming in on the photo one would think the cables would show as they do in your example.
I agree though that it seems highly unlikely there isn't some restraints below the top rail.
Refering to the MLAC's concern about rail height as little more than a punch list item will be off little solice to an adult that reaches for the rail, misses and goes over.
I want to be there when you console the injured party that it was a simple punch list item.

Anonymous said...

Correction: solace, not solice

E. T. Gillen said...

1:31 PM, apparently everyone on the board is an expert on the railing they've never seen. Making a conscious decision of choosing a less expensive railing over the glass railing originally spec'd is a little more than a punch list item. It was a cost reduction.
That letter came out several weeks ago. 1:31 PM, since you have obviously seen it, has the modification been made yet? Or will that show up as a change order?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Again, I agree that the railing is insufficient. But it's not insufficient because it's not glass. Rather, it's insufficient because it's too low along the front row.

And it is just a punch list item. It's obviously a modular railing system; as your (small) photo shows, the posts are bolted to a bracket, not sunk in concrete. All that needs to happen is that the shorter posts need to be switched out with taller posts and the cables need to be restrung.

It's a fine railing. Having seen the Bethel Park glass railing, I prefer the one installed at Lebo. The Bethel Park one seems to have cloudy glass; there would seem to be a fair amount of maintenance required in keeping it clean.

I've not been in the balcony for a week or so. As such, I can't tell you if it's been corrected.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:31 Want to weigh in on the 9 items in the letter ? Are they punch list items too ?

Anonymous said...

Dear very nice 2:29 PM commenter:

No, I don't want to weigh in on the other 9 items in the letter.
Yes, I did notice hairline cracks in some spots in the concrete. But nothing that's not normal for above grade slabs. As to the other 8 things in the letter, you know, I'm not vouching for the construction manager. We're not besties. I have noticed a few things that I think are indicative of a lack of attention to detail in the athletic building and I find them troubling. But I'll wait until the project is completed to pass judgement. I've been involved in some commercial construction before, and things like that are often worked out.

And you know, there's this thing called nuance, where not everything is an OUTRAGE. The more you harp on a comparatively insignificant detail like the railing, the more reasonable people seem to tune out the more pressing issue of "cheap tile floors...being ruined...after [the] 6th day of school." Find some balance. I'm not your enemy, no matter how much you wish I was.

Anonymous said...

2:48 odd comment.
"I'm not vouching for the construction manager." Followed by "We're not besties."
I wonder what your connection is to the project?
Anyone that looked closely at the railing photo can easily see its a bolt in item and can readily be swapped out.
The question is why didn't anyone see it was to low in the first place and take care of it before the opening.
Same as didn't anyone notice missing elevator sump pumps, electrical service and water feeds to the boilers.
Seems like a lot of items are slipping thru the cracks (pun intended) on this project. Whether you are a bestie or not.
I do agree about the Bethel plexiglass being a potential problem, but at least it is a safe height to prevent accidents.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cement.org/tech/cct_concrete_design.asp

Curing and Sustainability

Curing is the process in which the concrete is protected from loss of moisture and kept within a reasonable temperature range. The result of this process is increased strength and decreased permeability. Curing is also a key player in mitigating cracks in the concrete, which severely impacts durability.

It is also necessary that the concrete be allowed to properly mature to provide the full service life. It is this service life, which can extend to hundreds or thousands of years, that provides concrete with the inherent ability to span the needs of many generations. More on curing concrete.

Could the cracks be a sign of the rush to get this project back on the time schedule?

Anonymous said...

"I wonder what your connection is to the project?"

Hmmm. Other than being a resident of Lebo? None. I've never met the construction manager nor do I know a soul who works or has worked on the project. But I understand that it's suspicious in these parts to take the middle ground.

"I do agree about the Bethel plexiglass being a potential problem, but at least it is a safe height to prevent accidents."

We do not agree. Because Bethel doesn't have plexiglass railings. They have glass railings.

Anonymous said...

Quibbling 4:10. I was agreeing that the Bethel "transparent" material would need regular cleanings vs. Lebos cable system.
Still didn't explain why you wrote: "we're not besties." but at this point who cares.

Anonymous said...

1:31 So you are saying that we are speculating about a hazardous situation, right? I believe the email indicated that there are multiple concerns regarding the railing. I looked at the picture and suggested that the railing may be deficient in more than one way. You can't have gaps in the railing. A kid could fall, and then slip under. A kid could get antsy during a 5 hour swim meet, slip away from mom/dad, and decide to sit there with his/her legs dangling. I have personally seen gaps in fencing (a relative to railings, right?) result in life threatening conditions (child slipped through small gap in fencing allowing him entrance to active ride area at Kennywood and was rescued by bystander who hopped the fence and got him out of harms way in a split second). I have also seen the absence of solid railing result in elderly person admitted to neuro-icu and never return home. So, call it speculation if that makes you feel better, but if it were me, I'd get the railing changed pronto and block off access to the area in the meantime. Why is there such indifference about safety in this school district?

E. T. Gillen said...

It's official. We have Elaine Cappucci as president for another year. There was no mention of a construction update for December. A third anonymous letter surfaced. Yes, let's wait until it is over before we pass judgment. Yes, let's not do anything. Let's pretend there are no anonymous letters. Instead, let's mention insignificant things like hairline cracks. Let's ignore gaps in the bridge that were repaired with caulking. Good plan.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Perhaps with all this "new" top of the line athletic facilities we should get a "new" athletic director
to go with it? Just a thought...

E. T. Gillen said...

Imagine an educational institution cutting sports expenditures to focus on education. Blasphemy!
Robert Morris to cut seven sports
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Irene, the money RMU is saving isn't going to academics...

"The university said that the money saved for phasing out the sports will be used to fund, among other things, additional scholarships, facility upgrades, and increased travel and recruiting budgets."

Anonymous said...

Doesn't say those scholarship and facility upgrades are exclusive to the athletic department, does it 6:09?
The school would be foolish to mention in a story about cutting athletic program cuts a renewed focus on academics.
To do so would hurt recruitment for the remaining athletic programs.
Use your head 6:09.

Lebo Fields said...

Actually, "the university said that the money saved for phasing out the sports will be used to fund, among other things, additional scholarships, facility upgrades, and increased travel and recruiting budgets."

As per the Trib, "the savings generated by phasing out seven sports will fund improvements for the remaining sports, including additional scholarships, facility upgrades and increased travel and recruiting budgets."

In other news, Upper St. Clair School Board voted 7-0 on Nov. 25 to advertise for bids to replace the running track at the high school, as well as possible other improvements to the stadium that could be added when the contract is awarded. The entire project may cost about a half million dollars.

Anonymous said...

Curious Dave, you're rather quick to chime in on RMU's athletic dept. cuts, but no opinion on whther Gateway Engineerings project estimates are to be trusted?
Lets see, they missed on the proposed $3.3 million pool $800,000.
They esrimated the work needed at Brafferton at $137,400 and you told us bids came in around $600,000.
And now we're suppose to bulldoze ahead full steam on a $1 million turf project.
Doesn't exactly make taxpayers comfortable relying on Gateway calculations.
But hey Dave, you're the proponent, the inside guy, can you give us some reassurance that Gateway has a clue when it comes to estimating recreation projects?
I know, I'm anonymous, I'm not allowed to ask questions.

E. T. Gillen said...

In a district where we want to add slots for five year olds, paying the superintendent waaaay too much money, turfing our best municipal field from funds that are from overtaxing residents, spending $4.1 million on a outdoor pool, millions on a new athletic building, buying turf for the stadium two-three years ago, you want to replace the running track now because USC is? I knew you wouldn't be satisfied with turfing two fields.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Those questions aren't directed at you alone Mr. Franklin. I know you're not a commissioner or muni. manager.
I'd rather hear from Commissioners Bendel or Brumfield on the question.

Anonymous said...

Look for overestimates of unwanted projects and underestimates of wanted projects. Somebody can just pull up all the estimates, right?

Anonymous said...

Conjecture 7:37, conjecture.
Lets focus on something we know for sure and go from there.
Gateway estimated the pool at $3.3 million. It came in at $4.1 million.
Brafferton was estimated at $137,400 (a low estimate which by your logic was wanted) but Franklin tells us bids came in way over at $600,000+/-.
so here we are with another Gateway guesstimate.
What do we do? Buy in or set a limit NOW? Say bids 10% over estimate and plan gets scrapped or goes to referendum.
Its not like kids won't be able to play ball if we don't turf!

E. T. Gillen said...

OK, I guess nobody is interested in the anonymous letter. No one cares that the bridge, which is now $750,000, down from a million, has not hairline cracks but a gap that was remedied with caulking. Nobody cares that the floor tile lasted six days. And the rest of the list.

There is nothing we can do about the turf. Franklin, Linfante, Bendel, and Brumfield won, remember? We're still going to have Franklin mouthing off on this blog instead of his own, and the commission will continue to push their pet projects.

In the meantime, who is watching ABC now? It is all about kids getting concussions. Keep on turfin'!
Elaine

Anonymous said...

I care about the shoddy high school construction but apparently, that machine can't be stopped. Has the turf really been sealed? They still need ALOT of money and if the leaders alienate residents in this process, they are going to have a very hard time raising the money.

My guess is that Franklin will run for Commission in 2015, taking over Bendel's position.

Anonymous said...

7:49 My guess is that Brafferton came in HIGH because the truth is that the Bendel/Brumfield/Franklin wanted it to... They want the money for their original wishes and they will do anything they can to ensure no other entity has access to it.

Brafferton is primarily used for lacrosse in Mt Lebanon. Youth lacrosse is the only sport in Mt Lebanon that isn't sponsored by the rec department. Historically, those youth lacrosse teams have traveled *all over* for field space.

Lebo Fields said...

8:34, virtually every sport in our community is not sponsored by the rec department. Football, baseball, lacrosse, field hockey, most of soccer, and I could go on and on are not sponsored by the rec department. The only sport that is sponsored by the rec department is soccer through age 8, rec basketball through age 12 and some hockey.

6:49, I have every expectation of raising more money than any estimate that is on the table. Our goal is to raise sufficient funds not only for this location, but for other improvements in the future. Ours is a long-term plan.

Elaine, I'll keep "mouthing off" as long as it is necessary to provide the facts.

Anonymous said...

You all forget that if someone, adult or kid, would fall good ole Dave B would be right there to file a lawsuit. It just might be the only way the man gets a job! How dare you deny him... Kickbacks, pay under the table, a little money missing... It's how democrats roll! Look at Pittsburgh, Florida, California and Detriot.

E. T. Gillen said...

Lebo Fields, your efforts are admirable. Tell me, Lebo Fields, while you are providing the facts, who is "Ours" as you mention in your 10:52 PM comment? The YSA? The Sports Advisory Board? Does the IRS know about the SAB's mission? Have you applied for 501(c)3 status? Who is your treasurer? What happened to the YSA? Where did that money go? Am I going to have Chip show up at my door again saying that you are all paid up?
Please Lebo Fields, provide the facts.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Yes "Lebo Fields" you came begging and it was beyond every fiber to not laugh BUT you will NOT get a dime from us or our business. Your little Commissioner buddy has raised our taxes so high we are in the process of buying property outside Allegheny County. My Great-Grandfather purchased land in Mt Lebanon and along with my father and Uncles started our business. We survived the Depression, World War 2 and the various other wars but can't survive the stupidity of what is happening now. I only hope that all the none sports people demand equal use of these "turf" fields.

Anonymous said...

I think 8:34 hit the nail on the head but forgot to add staff.

Richard Gideon said...

The comments of December 4, 2013 at 5:55 AM are certainly sad to read, but there are two important things Mt. Lebanon residents should keep in mind:
1. The municipality does not care about individuals or single families. If a person sells his or her home it means higher taxes and transfer fee revenues for the town. In fact, it is in the municipality's interest to have a rather high turnover rate, especially in "established" families.
2. As far as business turnover is concerned, see point #1 - IF the business is sold and remains in Mt. Lebanon. Obviously if a business is sold and then moves out it creates a financial "vacuum."

The point is that the Mt. Lebanon Commission will do what it wants to do with little fear of economic retribution, and it is more than willing to sacrifice the individual to the "collective good," as they understand the term.

(I have to chuckle - recently Ms. Linfante bragged in a commission meeting that she was a proud liberal. But Ms. Linfante is not a liberal. Only in America is the world "liberal" used to describe what the rest of the world classifies as "collectivist" or "socialist." In the rest of the world the word "liberal" means what we in America call "libertarian!" And Ms. Linfante is NOT an libertarian.)

Richard Gideon said...

Arghhh!!!
Correction: "And Ms. Linfante is NOT an libertarian" should read "And Ms. Linfante is NOT a libertarian."

Anonymous said...

The couple that was frustrated with the Robb Hollow beast finally gave up on Mt. Lebanon and moved to Canonsburg. I believe they put significant time and energy into attending Commission meetings and raising awareness about their situation, but in the end decided to move. I think escalating taxes here were a factor in their decision. Best of luck to the D'Angelo's!

-Charlotte Stephenson

Anonymous said...

LeboFields it is apparent to me now that you are avoiding any conversation as to why Gateway has trouble with guesstimating the true cost of Municipal projects. But never mind, lets not delve to deeply into the subject lest we find something unpleasant.
In my opinion, it would be wise to head off wide speculation before it runs amuck, but you and your turf associates think otherwise.

So lets discuss a matter you just brought up. You wrote:
"I have every expectation of raising more money than any estimate that is on the table. Our goal is to raise sufficient funds not only for this location, but for other improvements in the future. Ours is a long-term plan."

Estimates as we have seen in many recent Lebo projects don't seem to be reliable predictions of long-term reality!"
The school board had great expectations that the high school project would come in under $100,000,000. So much for that long term plan.
The municipality bought a parcel of land on McNeilly for the absurd sum of $1,000,000 with a "long-term plan" to build a flashy sports facility.
The property sits unused and a drain on the municipal budget and hinderance on most future field improvement alternatives.
Yet here you are - and you take great pride in it - "mouthing off" about your "expectations!"

Talk is cheap, LeboFields! I for one, would have more respect for you if you took the position that not one blade of grass will be dug up until you, we or "our" actually lay $250,000 on the table, and pledge to cover any over-budget amount as well.
After all is your and your friends' project. Take ownership of it! Put your money on the barrelhead and guarantee taxpayers won't be left holding the check for your indulgences.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Stephenson, do you think the realtor drove the D'Angelos around to look at turf amenities?

Anonymous said...

12:29 Given the profile of those residents - retired, etc. like so many who live here I rather think that several factors other than turf were under consideration, unless there is a turfed putting green in Canonsburg!

-Charlotte

Damion Deringer said...

When my wife and I bought our house last year, we didn't even take into consideration the municipal amenities. We took into consideration the school district, location pertaining to jobs, and PRICE. Turf fields would not have been involved in our criteria for selecting our home and I played sports from age 5 until 22. Mostly football so I know the harm of turf fields on a person's body (concussions, bad knees/ankles, and the outbreak of MRSA/Staph). I never realized the harmful environmental effects of turf until well after I graduated college (the first time)

E. T. Gillen said...

Lebo Fields goes silent again.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

What kind of attorney would advise his client to enter into any type of business venture where the other party's bond is a verbal suggestion that they fully expect to exceed the esitmates of financial expectations on the table.
My attorney always advised, get the terms in writing, signed and notarized.

Anonymous said...

My attorney also advises, read the fine print before entering into any sort of financial agreement.
He says it saves a lot of heartache and disappointment later.

E. T. Gillen said...

5:36/5:39 PM, i wonder what your attorney recommends if the SAB doesn't meet their mark. What happens to the donations? Are they given back? Or does the SAB get to keep it?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Those are all good questions Elaine, and ones you'd think managers, commissioners and solucitors would be asking.
Things like due dates, non-performance penalties, forfeiture, etc., etc.
No all we get are vague, "these are our intentions - full steam ahead."
Then the money gets earmarked, the bids come in high, the project starts (which no one will stop once the fields are torn up) and non-muni money will be a no show and taxpayers will be left holding the bag.
Now Mr. Franklin fully expects to exceed expectations.
One could with justification by the way, say I expect non- municipal funds to fall short.
That expectation is no less legitimate.

Anonymous said...

My attorney usually offers two words of widom.

1. "A fool and his money are soon parted." - Thomas Tusser

2. "Beware the character that doesn't want to sweat thru the details, you'll be the person eventually ending up paying for them."

Anonymous said...

Correction: a few words of wisdom, not two obviously.

Anonymous said...

What corporations will actually sponsor a field in Mt Lebanon that isn't built specifically for special needs people? Advertising in a non-visible park in the land of the haves isn't a smart use for their dollars

Anonymous said...

Especially when they pay a premium rate to advertise in the community magazine already.

E. T. Gillen said...

6:37 PM, I understand the whole reason for turfing Middle and Wildcat Fields is for their visibility and attracting sponsors galore.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

If a company advertises on a field sign, why would they need to buy an ad in the individual sport yearbook and programs?

Anonymous said...

oh I stand corrected. I didn't know Cedar Blvd was a highly trafficked and visible area. We should tell Dick's that they should take down their signs from Graham Park off 79 and put them up on Cedar Blvd in Mt Lebanon.

Anonymous said...

How about a Howard Hanna Field sponsorship since Brumfield said they would get the most use out of artificial turf.

Anonymous said...

Or Two Men and a Truck.

Anonymous said...

Elaine, your question at 5:46 brings up a good question.
The Sports Advisory Board (SAB) isn't really functional beyond advising the municipality on sports-related topics.
It doesn't collect fees, schedule fields use, have a bank account or any of the functionality needed to come up with $250,000 of non-municipal turf funds... does it?
If it does, when did this transformation occur?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Franklin wrote:
"...Our goal is to raise sufficient funds not only for this location, but for other improvements in the future. Ours is a long-term plan."

Does anyone know who 'Our' are?
Pretty scary, not only don't we know who they are, their revenue sources or authority to impose their long-term plans on the community, but they're already off and running making plans for other improvements.
Who are these people?

E. T. Gillen said...

11:56 PM, of course they are making plans for other improvements. This proposal sabotages the McNeilly swap for good reason. Remember how I said that Dave Franklin's next project is to turf McNeilly?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Not sure I believe McNeilly is a target for turfing.
There is no prestige in that location. Can you imagine Brumfield's realtors driving prospect home buyers thru Dormont or Baldwin and past the Salvation Army facility to show off McNeilly?

E. T. Gillen said...

You obviously don't remember this:
R-17-11 That is the one where the youth sports organizations pledged to contribute $100,000 toward developing McNeilly fields.
How about this thread which generated comments from two commissioners?
McNeilly Park - outstanding debt
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Where is this McNeilly property located? I've never noticed any open spaces.

E. T. Gillen said...

If you were to drive down Dewalt and look straight ahead at the stop sign at the bottom of the hill, you will see some No Hunting signs - if they are still there. That is the property which the sports groups wanted to develop.
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

Still nothing from Lebo Fields. This reminds me of an episode of my favorite show, The Big Bang Theory. The Luminous Fish Effect
Sheldon was angry and wouldn't come out of his bedroom. Mary, Sheldon's mother, made dinner for the gang, and explained that Sheldon was always like this. Refusing to eat dinner with them, Sheldon did come out of his room for some peach cobbler.

"Sheldon emerges from the bedroom area.

Howard: Hey, look who’s come out….

Mrs Cooper: Shhh! You’ll spook him. He’s like a baby deer, you gotta let him come to you.

Sheldon crosses to the cobbler, takes some and puts it on a plate. Looks round at the group in the matter of a frightened animal. Everyone but Leonard looks down at their meal.

Leonard: This is ridiculous. Dammit, Sheldon, snap out of it. You’re a physicist, you belong at the University doing research, not hiding in your room. (Sheldon scuttles away)

Mrs Cooper: You don’t hunt, do you?"

I guess when we ask Lebo Fields questions, we spook him. He’s like a baby deer, you gotta let him come to you.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Couple of things Elaine.
1. Mr. Franklin is nothing like a skittish frightened deer. He knows exactly what he's doing. He avoids conversations on specifics because specifics will thwart the turfing effort.
As for McNeilly, I remember the documents you provided at 5:46, though forgot the details.
Parents that are gung ho for turf might want to view the fees discussed in that document, because it'll be a preview of the fees coming in Bendel's Wildcat/Middle turfing plan.
As for McNeilly, sure the SAB have their eye on I believe it'll only be on the agenda when they figure they can get away with an indoor facility.
My money for now is on Mellon being the next turfing project after Wildcat.

Anonymous said...

Across the world, many countries are recognizing today as World Soil Day. In the last 40 years, ~15% of the earth's land area of soils have been degraded through human activity.

The turf proposal will provide further damage to the soil in our community.

Soil is a finite natural resource.

On a human time-scale it is non-renewable. ".

Soil absorbs carbon.

We've reached "peak soil" and can't produce anymore.

Anonymous said...

Franklin's disappearance from the discussion might possibly be explained by this online dictionary definition.

deafening silence
A silence or lack of response that reveals something significant, such as disapproval or a lack of enthusiasm.

Well, its certainly no secret that DF disapproves of anonymous comments - well actually anonymous comments HERE. He allows them and responds to them at Lebo Fields. Also seems OK with comments made to the SAB identified only with - person 1, person 2, 3, 4, etc., etc.
So one wonders if he isn't quite as enthusiastically committed to non-municipal contributions as he suggest.

Anonymous said...

Elaine Years ago Dave B and his wife were talking about Mt Lebanon needing an indoor field. I laughed and said if the Steelers and Pitt didn't have one then Mt Lebanon didn't NEED one either. I was TOLD that we would have it! "The children NEED it!". And my guess is that it's coming. We'll be told to just suck it up... What's another $500 a year!