Thursday, August 13, 2015

Art and Urbanism Link Roundup

Haven't been able to keep up weekly link posts.

Anyway, here are a bunch of recent Art and Urbanism links I found interesting.


The next must-live Cleveland neighborhood is... (Freshwater Cleveland)

One of Cleveland's critical, loved artist studio buildings to become office space (Freshwater Cleveland)

Mountain Bike Pump Track coming to South Euclid (Freshwater Cleveland)

Huffington Post names Cleveland number one "Beercation Destination". (Huffington Post)

Jetsetter names Cleveland one of the top 10 new food cities ( 

Cleveland Performance Art Festival archives moves to Case Western Reserve University (

Cleveland Warehouse District Festival brings acrobats, music, art, cute dogs to downtown (

Anish Kapoor's shiny C curve sculpture outside of The Cleveland Museum scorches grass (

Bike Sharing grows in Cleveland, with art museum, library, other new locations (Cleveland,com)

Stylish new Cleveland School of the Arts building opens in University Circle (Cleveland,com)


Want to turn Pittsburgh into a power player? Make flying to and from easier. (Pop City)

My response here

Time for a long overdue talk about Pittsburgh's waterfront stadiums (Diggingpitt)

With parking on North Shore in flux, developer gets extension on apartments  (Stadium owners have to allow apartments under deal that guarantees parking) (Pittsburgh Post Gazette_

Recent Penn Plaza evictions highlight East Liberty's severe lack of affordable housing. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

Pittsburgh task force on affordable housing to convene Thursday (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

City affordable housing task force convenes for the first time (Essential Pittsburgh)

Why blacks are not part of the vision of a Pittsburgh "comeback". (Pittsburgh Courier)

Is East End renewal really "black removal?" (Pittsburgh Courier)

Free Jazz pops ups in unexpected hot spots (Pop City)

As bicycle commuting rises, so does the danger of  pedaling by trucks (Public Source)

Pittsburgh rated a favorite food city by 

Find unforgettable art in a most unlikely place: A Pittsburgh Mattress Factory (NPR- National Public Radio)

Fuerza! event celebrates Latinos making a difference in Pittsburgh  (Pop City)

What happens in Pittsburgh stays in Pittsburgh (An  honest post about the isolation of Pittsburgh's art scene) (Pittsburgh Articulate)

Other Urbanism and Architecture News

How conservative pundits have become the most vocal champions of smart urban planning (Pacific Standard)

Is this how to keep Indy's gentrifying neighborhoods affordable to homeowners?  (IndyStar)

Ferguson: The black iron fences of St. Louis (Belt Magazine)

10 years of change: The evolution of Detrot's non motorized transportation network (Model D)

Hypergentrification and the dissapearance of local businesses   (Governing)

America's biggest problem is concentrated poverty, not inequality. (Citylab)

Do outdoor smoking bans mostly punish the homeless? (Citylab)

Coming soon to America, one fare card for all transit (Citylab)

Florida's privately funded passenger rail plan chugs forward amid opposition (Citylab)

Should Tampa Bay embrace new urbanism? (Tampa Bay Times)

When sports fans fight, Why violence in the stands, online rage are spreading (The Seattle Times)

Pentagon orders Ferguson to return Humvees amid concerns about police militarization (Rawstory)

Art, Archaeology and Design news

Wind powered sculptures designed to outlive us all (Hyperallergic)

A new museum is a beacon for lighthouse history (Hyperallergic)

Cannabis discovered in pipes in William Shakespeare's gardern (The Telegraph)

Have humans evolved to love art? (Artnet)

New York's Hasted Kreutler Gallery closes amid accusations of financial misdeeds (Artnet)

Honolulu Museum sues art collector for nearly $1 million over donation of allegedly smuggled artwork (Artnet)

Sotheby's misses estimates in "bumpy" second quarter (Artnet)

Queen Nefertiti's burial chamber could lie behind Tutankhamun's tomb (The Art Newspaper)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"What happens in Pittsburgh stays in Pittsburgh" An honest post about our isolated visual art scene on Pittsburgh Articulate

Another Pittsburgh native and CMU grad, Cy Gavin may be on his way to art world glory.
A writer on Pittsburgh Articulate has noticed how his history here has been erased from his NYC gallery bio to make it seem they were the first ones to ever show his work.
"Why would Sargent’s Daughters make a claim that is so clearly false? Could it be an honest mistake? Unlikely. For an older, better-known artist these types of “firsts” tend to slide into obscurity, but for a young artist like Gavin with a short exhibition history, a glance at his CV should have revealed the truth.
Maybe the artist himself hoped to re-write his CV to have his debut sparkle with the light of New York City. If so, that would be dishonest and rude. But either way, writing press releases is not the artist’s job. Gallery press officers are responsible for doing the research and getting it right. 
This latest episode with Cy Gavin seems to reaffirm the sad fact that what happens in Pittsburgh, however awesome, stays in Pittsburgh. Revision Space is just too small and too far to see from New York City."
  The post also mentions the disappearance of Pittsburgh's pioneering, Outlines Gallery from the conventional narrative. 

I left a few thoughts in the comment section. Glad that some people see this isolation as a problem. 

The author hits on a huge point, so depressing, I try not to dwell on it. 
A show of Keith Haring sketchbooks from 1979 @ Barbara Gladstone Gallery made no mention of his time here- in spite of sketch titles, like drawing at The Carnegie,;drawing on Atwood St & Steel City drawing. Who knows his first solo was at the Pittsburgh Center For The Arts? His “real life” began in NYC. 
Likewise, Teenie Harris still draws blank stares among far too many outside our city.
But, what role does Pittsburgh itself play in this? If most galleries, foundations and media only support local artists why should anyone outside the city take notice or care. Artists sooner or later are left with the choice of accepting the joy of life in a bubble or leaving. 
Would the Mattress Factory be a nationally known venue if it refused to show a range of national and international artists? 
This website, of for and about art in Pittsburgh and only Pittsburgh is a good example of the problem. However awesome, its probably of little interest to anyone outside a 100 mile radius.
A further comment by me

Pittsburgh galleries, foundations and art centers help create this isolation.
How often, do local galleries show artists from Cleveland, Columbus, D.C., Baltimore or anywhere outside a very small local area? One of the main ways to gain regional and national press or collectors is to mix local and national artists. 
Almost nobody I know in NYC, has heard of The Pittsburgh Center For The Arts, because it rarely shows non local artists. FE Gallery did that and got reviews in national publications. Spaces like Bunker Projects are inviting artists from outside the city. 
Sites like ArtHopper and Belt Magazine that link stories and reviews across a wider region tend to get a broader audience..Both are centered in Cleveland. 
Someone from Revision Space pointed out that they do regularly show both local and national artists and... they will be included in a major Art Fair!

My final thought:

This goes back to talks I had with one of the early creators of this site.
I told them, what Pittsburgh needed above all, was a website that reviewed across a wider region, like the Texas art site, Glasstire. I also pointed out that an image rich site w\as critical to since many may never see these shows in person.
This site is awesome, but why would anyone outside the area be interested in a site without lots of images, that only covered Pittsburgh art?
This is not brain surgery.

Pittsburgh needs- more galleries that link local and national artists.

More art sites like Arthopper that connect art in a wider region  

More local critics and writers on Arthopper and national sites like Hyperallergic

More residency programs open to artists from outside of Pittsburgh

More juried shows and events open to artists outside the region

Projects that create collaborations between local and global artists

Programs that invite national curators into the city

Inclusion of local galleries in national and global art fairs.

More symposiums that include national and local artists.

Projects that bring national critics and art bloggers to tour the city.

Please share your thoughts on here or in the Articulate comment thread. I'm sure I just scratched the surface- In a high tech connected world, interaction is not hard to create if its really a goal.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Still More Images Showing NFL Stadiums Rarely, If Ever Stimulate Growth

NRG Stadium (Formerly Reliant Stadium) Houston, Texas - opened 2002
The paid shill for The Pittsburgh Stadium Authority responded to my earlier visual evidence posts.

Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee - opened 1999 
Levis Stadium, Santa Clara, California- opened 2014 
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas - opened 2009
He pointed out, a few images showed older stadiums and that the newer ones fit better into an urban context. Sadly, images of most newer stadiums hardly prove his point. Hard to see much growth in these shots.

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts - Opened 2002
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina- opened 1996

NFL stadiums belong in the suburbs

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Awesome Cleveland: The Cleveland Sign Painter Guy

Hand Painted Sign, Cleveland Heights 
Hand painted sign, Cleveland Heights 
Hand painted sign, Cleveland Heights 
In a high tech world the human hand is obsolete right? Not in Cleveland where one man has fought a battle with technology and won! There are literally thousands of his signs throughout Cleveland and its eastern suburbs. I took these shots myself.

Cleveland SGS interviews this smart and hard working man and gets advice every business person should hear.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

More Visual Evidence, Stadiums Rarely Stimulate Growth

Sports Authority Field, Denver, Colorado 
Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium Parking, Baltimore, Maryland
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana 
Jacksonville Jaguars Stadium, Florida
Tropicana Field, St, Petersburg, Florida 
Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas 
Metlife Stadium, New Jersey
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Visual Evidence Stadiums Rarely Stimulate Growth

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 
Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana 
Florida Marlins Ballpark, Miami, Florida (Buildings on sides are garages) of stadium are garages)
Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas 
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona 
Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota 
SAP Center, San Jose, California 
Tampa Times Forum, Tampa, Florida 
Busch Stadium, Saint Louis, Missouri 
Aloha Stadium, Hawaii 
United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia 
AT&T Stadium In Arlington Texas
How much do you have to hate your city to think this is the best use for prime, centrally located, urban property? More images and posts on the way.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Time For a Long Overdue Talk About Pittsburgh"s Waterfront Stadiums

No time to do a long post about this yet.

To a very large extent, the shift in my posts towards local planning and design issues reflects a disgust and foreboding about the impact of ant-urban policies. 

Pittsburgh as a small city, with specific geographic constraints simply can't afford to waste taxable property.

When I arrived 11 years ago,  the average city resident might have thought the city was lucky to have any development, or economic activity of any kind. Without our benevolent team owners, who would want to visit, work or live in our ugly, post industrial city. What is good for them, surely must be good for us? Um.... perhaps not.

With parking on North Shore in flux, developer gets extension on apartments

After two years, a developer might be allowed to build a 9 story 250 unit apartment building next to PNC Park IF They Replace 531 Parking Spaces Lost.

Which is more important to the teams, surface parking for occasional fans or actual taxable development?

"The stadium authority is required to replace parking under its option agreement with the Pirates, the Steelers and Continental to develop the land between the two sports facilities."

Meaning that taxpayers will likely have to pay for another huge expansion of another huge, hideous parking garage. 

No surprise that actual, livable residential construction is booming in the East End and other places far away from the stadiums.

Meanwhile the specter of gentrification becomes more visible.

Recent Penn Plaza evictions highlight East Liberty's severe lack of affordable housing 

Duh, who would have seen this coming? Certainly, not the new so called, progressive mayor who has so far kissed the ring of any and all team demands.

“It’s critical because if we’re going to be an inclusive city and a city that allows for all income ranges to live here and prosper, you’re always going to need some affordable housing,” he said. “It’s really a conversation that is very timely, that is very needed.”
Followed by a call for the same kind of subsidies and policies that have helped make housing so affordable in New York, Boston and San Francisco.

How about  the city, state and federal government start by not helping sports teams turn the city into a parking lot for occasional fans. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Pop City Posts on Lack of Flights, Cleveland & Columbus Hope For European Service, Why Can't the Greater Region Support A Major International Airport?

Another year and the same old story as individual airports around the greater region bemoan the inability to attract better national and international air service. More plans for tax subsidies to bribe carriers into providing service.

From Pop City

Want to turn Pittsburgh into a power player? Make flying to and from easier

"In 2013, Pittsburgh International had air service to just 36 destinations; many were connecting airports where passengers get on another plane to get where they really want to go. And that’s what drives Spitz Cohan crazy. She said her guests might not have the best experience when visiting Pittsburgh if they’ve missed a connection or suffer jet lag from trips prolonged by layovers."
New service is planned to Toronto but there is a decent chance it may not last.

An official for the Allegheny Conference, Ken Zapinsky answers with a sad, bunch of excuses and rationalizations.

“If there was a direct correlation between level of air service and economic success, Newark would be doing a heck of a lot better,” 
Newark International Airport is right across the Hudson from NYC, which doing pretty well.

An official from Vist Pittsburgh says"

“We compete with Louisville, Cleveland, Columbus, all of which are two stops away,” Davis said. “Of similar cities, only Charlotte and Baltimore have better air service than Pittsburgh.”
Isn't that the problem? We are competing with other similar sized regional metros instead of combining to compete against coastal mega-metros. 

Zapinsky at least admits the negative impact the lack of better service likely has.

"At issue is the potential for things to happen, according to Zapinski. Maybe a local company decides against expansion because it’s too difficult to get to the West Coast. Maybe a German company looking to grow never considers Pittsburgh because there are no direct flights. “What you can’t measure is how much better Pittsburgh would be if we had more air service,” Zapinksi said. “The real impact is in the lost opportunity for a Pittsburgh company that could have had a client fly nonstop from San Francisco or Los Angeles and cut a big deal that leads to revenue of $5 million.”
Pittsburgh isn't alone. One can find countless stories about the same need in Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville.

From Cleveland.Com

Cleveland to Europe: Airport director says push is on for transatlantic flight

The hope is they can land a non-stop to London.
But it's too early to rush out and apply for a passport.
Any effort to land international service will likely take at least two years – perhaps longer – from now until takeoff.

And many important questions remain unanswered:

* What airline and what European destination?
* Will the community pony up the cash necessary to convince an airline to take a risk on Cleveland?
Others see beefing up domestic flights as a higher priority:

 Joe Roman, president of the group, (Greater Cleveland Partnership) said members are telling him their No. 1 travel-related priority remains restoring domestic service eliminated by the closure of United Airlines' Cleveland hub last year.
Cleveland Hopkins Airport director, Ricky Smith says:

Smith said he is convinced Cleveland can support a nonstop flight to Europe, despite Continental's assertion that the routes weren't profitable in 2008 and 2009.
"There was a perception that the local market couldn't support those routes," said Smith. 
"That simply wasn't true."
The flights were unsuccessful, in part, Smith believes, because the schedules were inconvenient for some business travelers and the planes were smaller and less comfortable than larger jets flying out of bigger cities.
Meaning that the current Cleveland airport market can't fill larger, more comfortable planes and frequent flights.

Of course if you bribe airlines with cash or a guarantee, you can get service

"Communities the size of Cleveland aren't getting international service without that kind of financial assistance in place," said Smith. 
It's too early to say what those economic packages might include, said Smith. "The offers would differ based upon the destination, frequency of service and even the type of aircraft," he said. Ideally, they would include a mix of private and public money. 
Thomas, with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, said he didn't know whether the business community would be willing to subsidize a flight. "We haven't asked," he said."
Same issues in Columbus.

Nonstop Port Columbus flight to London? It may happen

"Whitaker believes Columbus has a chance because “We are the fastest-growing city in the Midwest," and the support of Columbus 2020 and the business community it represents adds “a lot of value to our presentation.” 
Other cities in the mix are Indianapolis, Nashville, St. Louis and Cleveland, Whitaker said, adding, “I’d be surprised if they selected more than one.”
Indianapolis? Seriously, an airport located around Dayton would serve the total Indianapolis, Columbus, Cincinnati urban triangle.

My comments on Pop City:

"Sad and ironic that Cleveland and Columbus have the same issue. 
Poor air service, reflects the insular mentality of regional cities, each trying to have their own "international airport".Logically Cleveland and Pittsburgh should share a major airport located around Youngstown. Likewise, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis would be better served by a major airport around Dayton." 
My following comment looking at some of the numbers.

 "A search shows that all the regional cities have marginal international and national service and almost all are subsidizing what they have. Detroit, is the only significant "Rust Belt" airport outside of Chicago. How is a huge, densely populated area not able to support more service? 
The Cleveland/Akron/Pittsburgh metros have a combined 5,863,000 residents. Adding the Youngstown/Warren/Boardman/Sharon CSA brings one close to 6.8 million people. Add Erie and it goes up again. Even if I added wrong, the numbers should be more than adequate to support much better air service.  
Columbus, Dayton and Indy's greater metros combined create an even stronger case for sharing a major airport."
 Smaller local airports can pick up some the shorter distance flights but in the long run most transit between cities under 500 miles would be best served by a strong rail system.

I may be back with follow up posts on the hope that someone is listening.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cleveland Heights' Park Synagogue, An Underappreciated Modernist Masterpiece

Hard to describe the magical, peaceful creative energy I felt when I discovered this modernist gem walking around Cleveland Heights. This is true, organic architecture, tucked into the landscape and community- sadly my images don't do it justice, I was not able to tour inside or spend adequate time. Technically, I may have been trespassing- I apologize.

The complex combines a temple, school, library, gallery and community center unified into a simple, yet complex whole. Nothing seems pretentious or overly tricky.

The original Congregation had been on Cleveland's East Side but followed the growth of the suburbs eastward to Cleveland Heights.

"Rabbi Cohen was already familiar with the work of Eric Mendelsohn, an architect working in New York and then San Francisco. Together with his family, the architect had escaped Nazi Germany, moving to England and Palestine. Mendelsohn had had an illustrious career in Europe. Among his most admired creations were the De la Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, England; Expressionist-style department stores in several German cities; and the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, Germany.....

Shortly after Park’s dedication in 1950, one critic referred to the synagogue as “the outstanding example of modern Hebrew architecture in America . . . the forerunner of a modern, functional synagogue design.” A curator of the Jewish Museum in New York wrote: “I regard Park Synagogue as the most significant structure of its kind in our generation.” The Cleveland Heights facility is now referred to as Park Main, as the congregation built and maintains a second facility in Pepper Pike."

The location is not easy to find- and Google Maps seems to redirect one to the second location in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

Hopefully, this is right.,-81.5665016,17z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0xd87382acfa6cd127 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Harrisburg Mayor's Corruption Trial is a Potential Game Changer

Sorry, still haven't gotten those Cleveland posts up. Hope to soon.

The trial of long time Harrisburg Mayor, Reed in Pittsburgh, will likely reveal a circus of spending on pet projects like a National Civil War Museum and later a planned Wild West Museum.

What seems different is that unlike most corruption trials, there are few accusations the ex- mayor personally stole money or was even motivated by financial gain. (Although many around him may have been)

Instead, one sees a pervasive use of any means, honest or fraudulent to funnel money into pet projects- he may have actually believed were realistic.

A few examples from, Penn Live

Friday, October 3, 2003: School directors say city misled them on artifacts money

"A total of $77 million was earmarked to renovate Harrisburg's aging schools.
So how did $471,000, part of the fee used to float the $77 million bond issue, end up being spent on Western artifacts for one of Mayor Stephen R. Reed's planned museums?
The answer, city officials say, is the difference between the principal amount the city school district borrowed and the fees it paid to a city agency to finance the deal."

Harrisburg corruption charges portray former mayor Stephen Reed as unhinged from normal checks and balances

  "Former Harrisburg Authority Chairman Trent Hargrove on the transactions that swept millions into its special projects fund, which Kane has called an illegal diversion of public funds to pay for Reed's personal interests:"No major decisions were made, no major bonds were issued, no financial transactions occurred, nobody was appointed as a contractor, advisor or counsel without Reed's expressed or tacit approval. If Reed did not want it to happen, it would not have happened."
* Former Council President House, on his position as director of community relations for the Senators:
"(Reed) offered me that position because therefore he knew he could control me and he could get me to get all the votes he needed for his projects.".......
 "Among the charges in Tuesday's filing are allegations that Reed tapped the city's general fund, the baseball team and various sweeps from bond issues to pay for the artifacts and his expenses on those trips."

What was it that motivated Stephen Reed? It appeared to be power, not greed

"It paints Reed as a dictator who made decisions on his own and fired people who dared to stand in his way, who created funds to hide money so he could spend it on what he wanted – and what he wanted was artifacts.

Out of all the nuggets in the grand jury report, the one that strikes me the most, that makes me wonder about his mental state, is when investigators said that he rarely if ever checked on all the artifacts he bought. They went into storage. Some of it deteriorated. ......

These aren't the actions of a man with a vision. They are the actions of a man with an obsession."
In the private sector, using false claims and accounting sleight of hand to obtain funds is pretty clearly seen  as fraud, but the political world has always been seen as different. If voters buy it, or elected the guy, almost anything he may do outside of murder and personal theft is rarely prosecuted.

Who are they to dispute the "will of the people"- even if the voters were lied to. If the program projected to cost millions, ends up costing billions.. oops

SEC charges Harrisburg with fraud; settled case puts all municipalities on notice

"In an information vacuum caused by Harrisburg’s failure to provide accurate information about its deteriorating financial condition, municipal investors had to rely on other public statements misrepresenting city finances," said George S. Canellos, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement."

One can hope this trial may be the start of a trend towards holding  politicians to a new standard. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Four day trip to Cleveland, several posts on the way

Crammed a lot of stuff into our trip, including a day at The Cleveland Museum, my first visit to Lakeview Cemetery, The Wade Memorial Chapel, Transformer Station and The Larchmere Porchfest. On the way I discovered a modernist architectural gem, some great food and other surprises.

Stay tuned for a few posts.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Geek Art/Green Innovator's Festival 2015 is an Art, Tech, Eco Treat

Art, Tech and Eco Festival @ Unblurred Art Crawl on Penn Friday, May 1, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA

GA/GI Fest 6 gives "sixburgh" a whole new meaning with its new line up! For the sixth installation of the Geek Art/Green Innovation Festival, They've teamed up with partners old and new. And they are taking Penn Avenue's May on Unblurred and putting it on steroids. 

What are the rules that make GA/GI Pittsburgh's "most fun" green festival? No rules! Each venture and project partner is given the freedom to create their vision for their segment of the event. We allow for collaboration, expression, experimentation and re-envisioning. It takes a lot of imagination to get GA/GI done and that is just what they count on year after year!  This years highlight include: Climate control gaming with CUSP and the Pittsburgh Conservancy; three Latin American-themed venues--one with with art technology; a neon exhibition, a spoken word "Story Arts Explosion"; events with a youth and children's focus; urban farmers and a poster sale event to benefit a teacher going to work with Native Americans. Click on the blog link above for specific events--The majority are Free to the Public.

The Eatery Guide

Ok...we admit that the trek between some of the GA/GI and Unblurred event clusters can be a healthy trek for some. You can start in the middle in the 5100 block; the far side toward Children's hospital around 4800 or at the beginning around 5400. And we always suggest you consider starting at GA/GI Headquarters--the Pittsburgh Glass Center (5472 Penn) which has a time span that begins at regular business hours ( 11 am) and expands until around 9 pm. (the majority of events are in the evening between 6 and 10 pm) At the PGC, you can pick up a flyer and find more info on the event. Below we also offer places to stop, rest and rethink your GA/GI strategy as you take it all in. Also, consult our "Schedule of Events" tab on this blog for updated info.

Restaurants starting near Penn & Negley (15224) traveling west towards downtown...

Salt of the Earth  5523 Penn Ave,  Open 5 pm to midnight

Verde Mexican  Kitchen and Cantina  5491 Penn Ave. Open  11 am to 11 pm

Commonplace Coffee/Voluto 5467 Penn Ave. Open  7 am to 7 pm

BFG (Greek) Cafe 5335 Penn Ave.  Open 1 pm to 8 pm

People's Indian Restaurant  5147 Penn Ave. Open 5 pm to 10 pm

Spak Brothers Pizza  5107 Penn Open 11 am to 11 pm or later

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Police Abuse, Corruption and Civil Liberties Roundup

Stories listed below hit the news in the last week and are not meant to defame the reputation of almost one million law enforcement and corrections officers.

They do however show that corrupt, brutal, criminal and stupid police conduct is not that uncommon. This is no surprise, since cops, like most humans are far from perfect. Putting on a badge should not automatically make one above reproach or the normal rule of law.

Official corruption and law enforcement conduct is a fundamental aspect of a livable- or unlivable city.

I spent several hours compiling this list which lists a large number of very, very serious reports, - in only a week! There is no official database of people killed or injured by police.


Cleveland cop involved in Tanisha Anderson death lied about past use-of-force case (

Cleveland police officer charged, accused of staggering, urinating in public while wearing loaded gun

Suburban Cleveland Police chief and former social media sensation resigns after charges of sexual harassment (

Disturbing picture of abuse and harassment by former Brimfield, Ohio Police Chief  (WKYC News)

Brimfield officer who stood up to chief Oliver, recounts bullying, vulgarities and retaliation (Akron Beacon Journal)


Mentally Ill, 62 year old man arrested for cursing dies in jail, 10 days later (Opposing Views) (January 12)

Two inmate deaths prompt county to review privatized prison infirmary


Lawmakers, advocacy groups push for civil asset forfeiture reform (Pennsylvania Independent)

West Virginia

Moundsville, West Virginia police officer charged with having sex with 15 year old girl

Other police abuse, corruption and civil liberties news

Video shows man shot and killed by Bridgeton, New Jersey police was raising his hands (The Salt Lake Tribune)

West Monroe, Louisiana police officer charged with negligent homicide in fatal shooting of homeless man (The News Star)

Video shows Penellas County Florida detention deputy pushing wheelchair bound inmate down, beating him and breaking his dentures (Officer fired) (St Petersburg Tribune)

Columbia, South Carolina police officer accused of beating a man outside a nightclub (Herald Online)

Brooklyn DA to probe allegations of NYPD cops planting guns (New York Daily News)

Ex-NYPD cop sentenced for insurance fraud, ticket fixing, selling fake DVDs and plotting to kill witnesses (New York Daily News)

NYPD detective, lieutenant accused of sexually assaulting and harassing a rape victim (New York Daily News)

Dallas, Texas cop arrested on 2nd domestic violence charge (Dallas Observer)

St Louis County police officer apologizes for arresting and (severely) beating wrong man (Chicago Defender)

Jacksonville, Florida corrections officer charged with food stamp fraud (

Hillsborough, Florida judge charged with domestic violence (The Tampa Tribune)

Shelby County, Tennessee sheriff's deputy accused of assaulting two year old toddler for a dirty diaper (MyFox Memphis)

Former Buffalo, NY cop sentenced for operating a large Marijuana grow operation (

Prescott Valley, Arizona police commander after video shows him stealing drugs from police storage unit

Indiana correctional officer charged with trafficking cell phones and drugs  (Michigan City News Dispatch)

New Castle County, Delaware cop accidentally shoots himself on the job (ABC News- Philly)

Orange County, Florida corrections officer charged with rape (Click Orlando)

DeLand, Florida police officer resigns after being stopped with gang member, marijuana in his vehicle (The Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Connecticut corrections officer arrested in fatal hit and run accident (Connecticut Post)

St. Francis, Minnesota cop investigated for snooping into private data (Watertown Public Opinion)

Winter Haven, Florida community service officer accused of stalking (CBS 10 News)

California probation officer arrested for insurance fraud (My News LA)

Ocala, Florida police officer suspected of having sex with a 16 year old prostitute is fired (

Off-Duty New Jersey cop charged with DUI after gun goes off and wounds friend (Newsday)

Del Rio, Texas high school security guard arrested for sexting underage female students (Fox News San Antonio)

Former NYPD cop who had sex with hooker inside Manhattan DA's office arrested for DWI (New York Daily News)

Ex-Chicago cop who tortured 118 black men over 30 years ago released from prison after 31/2 years- with full pension (Parhlo)

Related in-depth stories and opinion

Over 50 police agencies deploy radars that can see into homes without search warrants or much oversight (USA Today)

Report shows 1/3 of NYC hired corrections officers had criminal histories, gang ties or psychological issues (RT News) 

US government aided Mexico's Sinaloa Drug Cartel with secret deal (Time Magazine)

Florida Senate panel to review Department of Corrections abuse allegations  (Tampa Bay Times)

West Valley City, Utah brings back drug unit disbanded after systemic corruption and abuse

FBI files tell how addicted agent was able to get the drugs (Washington Post)

The downside of hospital-based police (Healthcare Dive)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

1/7/15 - 1/15/15 Arts, Urbanism and Civil Liberties Roundup

Note: Weekly news again dominated by police brutality and abuse issues. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.
The other huge story is the terror attack on French satirical magazine and the widespread censorship of "offensive" cartoons by major media.


Extended Tamir Rice video shows cops gave no aid of any kind in first minutes after shooting and brutally restrained Tamir's sister. (

Full Tamir Rice video released: Attorney calls it "cruelest thing I've ever seen" - and you will too (Reason)

Police killed Tamir Rice at playground: Do safe places for black children exist? (Huffington Post)

Suspended Cleveland police officer, a "serial abuser of women" with three prior incidents of domestic violence (

Judge OKs arbitrators ruling to rehire fired Cleveland police officer, reverse two demotions (related to killing of two unarmed drivers after police chase) (

Ex-Municipal court bailiff charged with bribery, having sex with an inmate (

Judge releases former Bedford, Ohio Law Director from jail early in corruption case (

GOP sets dates for July, 2016 convention in Cleveland (Columbus Dispatch)

Columbus, Ohio

Pepper spray use on Ohio State football revelers to face Columbus police review (Columbus Dispatch)

Columbus rediscovering urbanism, walkability (Columbus Dispatch)


Mayor Peduto defends hiring "dear friend" for parks dept job (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Mayor Peduto blames "Undercover Boss" scheduling for delay in identifying donors (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

West Mifflin school board member uncovers questionable credit card use by district employees (Pennsylvania Independent)

Coraopolis police chief charged for driving at 80 mph into a woman's vehicle causing serious injuries (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Pennsylvania State Trooper in Uniontown sentenced to 6 months probation for pepper spraying 13 year old son who didn't want to go to school (WTAE News)

Other police abuse, corruption and civil liberties news (Ohio and Pennsylvania incidents outside the "Cleveburgh" region listed here)

Stories listed below hit the news in the last week and are not meant to defame the reputation of almost one million law enforcement and corrections officers.

They do however show that corrupt, brutal, criminal and stupid police conduct is not that uncommon. This is no surprise, since cops, like most humans are far from perfect. Putting on a badge should not automatically make one above reproach or the normal rule of law.

Official corruption and law enforcement conduct is a fundamental aspect of a livable- or unlivable city.

I spent several hours compiling this list which lists a large number of very, very serious reports, - in only a week! There is no official database of people killed or injured by police.
Incident reports

Oklahoma City, cop indicted on 36 counts of rape, sexual battery and indecent exposure - for crimes allegedly committed on duty (Cop has been fired- for now)

DA files murder charges against 2 cops for Abuquerque shooting of homeless man (KRQE News)

Brigantine, New Jersey police officer indicted on child sex assault charges in crime committed with another cop (

Former Irwindale, California who sexually assaulted woman pulled over for traffic stop sentenced to 9 years in jail

Irvington, NJ police captain arrested for trying to run over Newark councilman (

Plano, Texas cop arrested twice on indecency with a child and child porn charges (WFFA News)

Dallas, Texas cop commits suicide amid charges he sexually abused prostitutes (New York Daily News)

Trial begins for Park Forest, Illinois cop who killed a 95 year old World War II veteran in an assisted living facility (Chicago Tribune)

NYC subway conductor allegedly assaulted by NYPD cop feared for her life (New York Daily News)

Georgia sheriff's deputy arrested for hunting at night, on private property while drunk (Cordele Dispatch)

Miami-Dade, Florida cop charged with aggravated assault with a firearm for shooting at a corrections officer during road-rage incident (NBC 6 News)

L.A. County sheriff's deputies implicated in towing thefts, bribes (Los Angeles Times)

Bradford County, Florida sheriff's deputy resigns after drug charges (First Coast News)

San Antonio, Texas cop arrested for stealing drugs, a rifle and thousands of dollars- crime captured on dashcam video (News 4 San Antonio)

San Diego Parking enforcement officer punches and attacks ambulance crew over alleged insult (ABC 10 News)

Utah police chiefs could face punishment for not reporting officer misconduct (Fox 13 News)

Wisconsin State Trooper arrested for DWI after crash that seriously injures passenger (Leader Telegram- Dec 30)

Broward County Florida sheriff's deputies investigated for shooting out car window, almost hitting Palm Beach cops (No charges filed) (PINAC)

Tuckerton, New Jersey police officer faces more charges after unleashing dog on restrained woman and falsifying report (

Former Memphis Police Officer gets probation for on duty sexual assault (See details) (

Travis County, Texas sheriff's deputy charged with DWI, and drug possession. (KVUE)

Hanceville, Alabama police sergeant charged with domestic violence (The Cullman Times)

Pinellas, Florida Detention deputy charged with grand-theft (Tampa Bay Times)

Bronx police handcuff and interrogate 7 year old boy for hours over missing $5 (New York Post)

Two Houston police officers resign, one retires amid accusations of 6000 rigged speeding tickets (Another accused cop committed suicide) (KHOU Houston)

Multi agency, 150 man Swat team demolishes house of New York DUI suspect, family left homeless (Free Thought Project)

Off-duty Rosemont, Illinois cop shoots and kills brother-in-law (

Waterbury, Connecticut cop fired for lying on statement about armed suspect (Republican American- Dec 29)

Still waiting for justice after Massachusetts SWAT team kills innocent grandfather (Washington Post)

Welch, West Virginia police officer arrested on stalking charge (WVNSTVcom)

Bucks County, Pennsylvania corrections officer arrested for making sexual advances on male inmates (

Kentucky corrections officer arrested for "promoting contraband" in prison (WKYT News)

Former Baltimore County Police Department civilian employee pleads guilty to stealing  large amounts of drugs from evidence room (The Avenue News)

Chester County, Pennsylvania homeless man claims victory in wrongful arrest case (Officers still on the job) ( Jan 2)

Ex- South Carolina police chief on trial for killing unarmed man (Detroit Free Press)

University police officer involved in shooting death of student in San Antonio resigns (KSAT 12 News)

Former Savannah, Georgia cop pleads not guilty to drug dealing charges (

High level DEA agent in Mexico swapped gifts for favors to Mexican nationals (The Washington Times)

Arizona State University moves to fire police officer for brutal arrest of English professor (AZ Central)

Mentally ill Savannah, Georgia man dies in restraining chair while in police custody (WASV News- Savannah)

Ex-Cook County Illinois sheriff's deputy gets one year in prison for unprovoked attack on prisoner (Chicago Sun Times) (Officer also lied and falsified reports)

Former New Jersey cop sentenced to 3 years in prison for stealing over a half million $ of cigarettes and extortion (

New Orleans police officer arrested for domestic abuse, battery and home invasion (

Durham, North Carolina cop arrested for domestic violence (

Des Moines, Iowa police officer fired after domestic violence arrest likely to be reinstated (WHO TV  News)

Wichita, Kansas police supervisor charged domestic violence (KWCH 12 News)

Bounty Hunter pleads guilty in conspiracy and bribery scheme involving New Jersey sheriff's officers (two sheriffs have already plead guilty in scheme) (Associated Press)

Off-duty Mississippi cop accidentally shoots roommate in the head while showing off new gun (Clarion-Ledger)

Former high ranking, Denver sheriff's officer sentenced to two months in prison for stealing $20,000 work of tax software over 4 years (CBS Local- Denver)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana public works employees arrested for stealing truckload of limestone (Crime not committed by police) (The Advocate)

Former southwest Ohio cop pleads guilty to stealing almost $100,000 while treasurer of police lodge- sentenced to only 30 days in jail

Americus, Georgia corrections officer arrested for giving inmates alcohol, drugs and weapons
(Americus Times-Recorder)

Related opinion and in depth stories

In the Bronx, residents fear both criminals and the NYPD (Buzzfeed News)

How the NYPD came to see itself as different from those it protects (New York Magazine)

New York police officers are quick to resort to chokeholds, Inspector General finds (The New York Times)

Hotter than Lava: Every day, cops toss dangerous military style grenades during raids, with little oversight and horrifying results (The Atlantic)

A cops stunning admission on "broken windows" policing (Many cops don't like being pushed to enforce minor laws that anger the public) (

The thin blue line is not a hiding place for bad cops (Press Telegram)

No, settlements over police brutality Don't bring accountability to cops or prevent future police brutality (Reason)

Lawmakers urge end to program sharing forfeited assets (seized without trial or proof of guilt) with state and local police (Washington Post)

Other urbanism, transit and city news

Newark's huge Four Corners Millennium tower project moves forward (New York YIMBY- Dec 31)

Calgary council consider allowing developer to sell condo units with no parking- for 75,000 less per unit (Calgary Herald)

Some of NYC's most expensive Condos are struggling to attract buyers (Crain's New York)

The myths of municipal mergers (Governing)

California's high housing costs drive out poor, middle-income workers (LA Times- Jan 1)

Explore Chicago's architectural gems through new database (Fast Co- Design)

Just because you can't find a place to park doesn't mean there aren't way too many parking spots (Citylab)

Atlanta's formerly sprawling Buckhead area embraces walkability, green space with new five mile trail (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

Miami considers four bus rapid transit corridors (Miami Today)

Increased apartment supply pushing Washington DC rents down (Washington Post)

Gentrification comes to the long dangerous, Brownsville area of Brooklyn (New York YIMBY)

Other arts, architecture and archeology news

Suspected Islamists kill 12 in attack in Paris attack on a satirical magazine (Reuters)

Three likely Islamic attacks in one week underline threat to France (CNN)

Cartoonists pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo victims (New York Magazine)

The men behind the cartoons at Charlie Hebdo (New York Times)

News outlets are censoring cartoons that may have "incited" Charlie Hebdo attack (Slate)

Art Spiegelman criticizes US press for not publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoons (Hyperallergic)

Associated Press takes down "Piss Christ" image after complaints about censorship double standard (Slate)

How France legitimizes violent responses to offensive speech (Reason)

The last Jews of France (New York Observer)

Are cartoons more powerful than art? (Artnet News)

Violence against cartoonists shockingly common (Detroit Free Press)

Clampdown sends Russian artists into exile (The Art Newspaper)

Why the art world needs to ditch the rich Russians (The Guardian)

New documentary peels back complex layers of UK's National Gallery (The Art Newspaper)

Whitney Museum massively expands online collection database (Art News)

Half a million people have seen MOMA's Matisse cut-outs show (Or the back heads of other people who saw it) (Art News)

Boston museum opens a time capsule left by Paul Revere (Hyperallergic)

New York's Lombard Freid Gallery to close after 2 decades (Artnet News)

MoMA to sell off a Monet at Sotheby's (Artnet News)

MFA Houston plans a $450 million expansion (Including 400 underground parking spaces) (Artnet News)

How erotic can fine art get before it becomes pornographic? (Artnet News)

New FAA rules likely to limit artist's use of drones (The Art Newspaper)

US educators test new (government imposed) national "art standards" (Hyperallergic)