Thursday, August 13, 2009

Adolescents And Alcohol Are A Bad Mix -- As Today's URA Board Meeting Should Demonstrate

Adolescents are fascinated by (if not fixated on) alcohol, but bad things happen when the combination occurs. Cue: Today's scheduled URA board meeting.

The meeting agenda indicates the URA board will rubber-stamp consider three grants loans -- all of which, remarkably, appear to be related to the sale of booze. (Is this the Ravenstahl administration's new economic development policy -- a city-wide kegger?)

First the URA will hand $50,000 to Brookline Beer, a neighborhood beer distributor. Then the URA will hand $300,000 to someone who is trying to buy Penn Brewery, a North Side brewer fallen on hard times. Finally, the URA will hand $200,000 to something called E.L. Vallozzi's LLC, which I figure as the latest venture involving Westmoreland County restaurateur Ernie Vallozzi, who has one established, high-quality, successful restaurant (Vallozzi's, in Latrobe) and a string of less successful restaurant ventures (such as the long-gone Pi pizza of Squirrel Hill and the Red Star Brewery & Grille in Greensburg, recently closed and transformed into a Mexican joint). I doubt the URA is investing in the successful side of the Vallozzi culinary empire.

Given the Ravenstahl administration's job-killing record (and that of URA board chair Yarone Zober) when it mixes public money, economic development efforts and booze, today's URA meeting seems certain to provide another example of why adults try to keep the kids away from the liquor cabinet. On the bright side, sending a half-million plus down the drain has to work out better than the Ravenstahl administration's "save the brewery" plan -- spending $4 million to kill a couple of hundred jobs -- at Iron City.

Or, as someone once said: Luke Can't Even Be Trusted To Get The Beer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bram was right-you are a blowhard