The Pittsburgh Address

On February 16, 2008, a day that will live in infamy, Luke Elizabeth Ravenstahl (It’s just a thing I do in my head.  Give guys female middle names.  Ask Benjamin Wendy Roethlisberger) declared war on snow.

On that day, the Mayor, under great criticism for his poor handling of snow removal, stood in a conference room and said, nay VOWED, “We. Will. Do. Better.” “Everything is on the table at this point,” he said.  “My goal is clearly that we have to do a better job,” he insisted, while possibly standing in front of a giant American flag or wearing a Napoleon Bonaparte-esque sideways hat.

Four score and mumble mumble days later, says the blogger who sucks at math, he is engaged in a great snowy war, testing whether Lukey, so determined, so dedicated, can endure against Mother Nature.

So, we have come to dedicate a portion of Squirrel Hill as a final resting place for those snow plows that gave their lives so that Pittsburgh residents might go to work or to the grocery store to buy toilet paper and dairy products.

Voters will note and will LONG remember what Lukey did not do here.  It is for us, the stranded, rather, to be dedicated to the unfinished work.  It is rather for us to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us — using shovels, without training, to clear our streets ourselves.  That from these six inches of packed ice, downed trees, and no conceivable way to drive to the beer store for necessary supplies, we take increased devotion to the cause.  That we here highly resolve that these wasted personal days and vacation days shall not have been used in vain.  That this city, under new leadership, shall have a new plan for clearing the frickin’ snow — and that government of the Burghers, by the Burghers, and for the really really pissed off Burghers, shall plow the damn roads within 48 hours of a storm.

Also, go watch a grandma bitch Lukey out in front of a camera crew.

“I’m not talkin’ ’bout the rest of the city.  I’m talkin’ ’bout RIGHT HERE.”


Lukey, here’s the thing, I’m just teasing with the little Pittsburgh Address up there, and yes, 1,200 miles of road is a LOT of road miles to plow.  I get that.  However, if two years ago you promised to fix it, promised to attach plows to the garbage trucks, promised to automate the system, and you don’t live up to that promise, your so-called “vow” transforms into a heap of meaningless words that once departed from your lips, fell and died on the floor of that conference room you stood in two years ago.  That’s why people are mad and that’s why you were just on the receiving end of street justice, granny style.

If after this snow melts, you once again stand in front of a camera and vow to fix the system, well, you know the saying, “Fool me once …”

You’ve had 725 days to keep your promise.  Time is up.


  1. PK
    February 11, 2010 9:51 pm

    I remember the storm of ’93 (god I sound like my parents) and they DID load the snow into trucks and dump it in the river. This was an epic FAIL on several points:

    1. Lukey knew the damn snow was coming, and he opted to party hardy in Ligonier. ANYONE who grew up here knows that the mountains to the east get hit harder, and that traveling back on Route 30 would be a nightmare. But he had to get his rocks off and party with his boys.

    2. Guy Costa may have not been liked, but he got the job done. His successor had no plan in place. Contractors should have been on call and ready to support the city plows.

    3. Tired of the bitching that “we didn’t know this was coming.” Doesn’t matter. I’d rather prep for a disaster and be wrong than get my b***s blown off.

    5…no 4. So he’s away, but he still gets his street plowed and salted? And was that his wife’s home, or his brother’s frat pad?

    5. Yes, the neighborhoods that didn’t support him got the shaft, but so did some of the poorer neighborhoods with the voters who did elect him. How’s that workin’ for ya?

    6. IF he were a leader, heads would roll with this one. But I’m not holding my breath, nor am I doing so with Rudiak’s snow task force. Besides, people here have short memories and we’re stuck with the Boy Wonder for almost four more years.

    Only if our fellow Burghers pitch a storm of their own and keep it coming will there be any impact.

  2. Burkle's beauties
    February 12, 2010 4:48 am

    Luke Ravenstahl hasn’t successfully removed snow since he was on Ron Burkle’s airplane.

  3. Joesaiditwould
    February 12, 2010 12:40 pm

    Who “knew it was coming”? The forecast called for 4-8 inches. The meteorologists completed whiffed yet no one says anything?

  4. Caryn W
    February 12, 2010 2:56 pm

    I’m joining the party late, but for those who point fingers at the meteorologists, all of the weather reports I heard on Friday said the snow fall prediction was difficult b/c the storm was developing and could go much higher, such as 12″-15″, and by Friday afternoon that was the prediction. Plus the storm was coming up from VA/MD and they were predicting up to 24″, so I was thinking 12-24″ (always think of the worst case scenario) and insisted we go the the Iggle since we were out of bread/fruit/milk. My boyfriend grumbled, but he was SO happy Sat & Sun that we had food. To blame the meteorologists is too easy….they don’t make the weather, they just try to predict it.

    Now the mayor and the snow removal is another story…both are a disgrace. Entering downtown from Mon-Wed was like traveling from Earth to Mars, suddenly I felt like I was on the Rover, bumping along and hitting ice. The mayor’s empty promises and grandstanding have only made it worse. But then, he never had the TRAINING to be a mayor…maybe someone else from the teamsters with the proper training should do it for him. Gotta love the Burgh!!