Luke Ravenstahl http://wesa.fm en UPMC Questions Ravenstahl Taking Computer Home http://wesa.fm/post/upmc-questions-ravenstahl-taking-computer-home <p>An ongoing federal investigation involving Pittsburgh's former mayor and the city's lawsuit challenging the nonprofit status of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have intersected — at the ex-mayor's computer.</p><p>Former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl took the computer with him for about 10 days after leaving office in January, but has since returned it. Now UPMC's attorneys want to know if he did anything with the device that might impact the city's ongoing lawsuit over its nonprofit status.</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:48:59 +0000 The Associated Press 26437 at http://wesa.fm Why Mayor Peduto Wants Act 47 to Stay, for Now http://wesa.fm/post/why-mayor-peduto-wants-act-47-stay-now <p>In 2003, the city of Pittsburgh was operating under a debt burden of more than 20% of its operating budget. Pools and recreation centers had to close and hundreds of city employees, including police officers were laid off.</p><p>Pittsburgh was declared financially distressed and placed under <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financially_Distressed_Municipalities_Act">Act 47 oversight</a>.</p><p>As the local economy has stabilized, former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, along with Act 47 coordinators have said the city is ready to be released. But Pittsburgh's new Mayor Bill Peduto is asking Governor Corbett to keep the city under Act 47 oversight to allow his administration to work on a final recovery plan. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 23:42:55 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 22651 at http://wesa.fm Why Mayor Peduto Wants Act 47 to Stay, for Now What Will Peduto Do for Art in Pittsburgh? http://wesa.fm/post/what-will-peduto-do-art-pittsburgh <p>During former mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s term, he created ArtPGH, which is part of a 25-year comprehensive plan for the city of Pittsburgh.</p><p>ArtPGH encourages public art in the city and involves artists in designing public space.</p><p>It seems as if Bill Peduto has some artistic shoes to fill, but the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) thinks he is already making great strides.</p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 15:37:09 +0000 Jessica Nath 22474 at http://wesa.fm Once a Promising Political Novice, Mayor Ravenstahl Leaves Office ... And Politics? http://wesa.fm/post/once-promising-political-novice-mayor-ravenstahl-leaves-office-and-politics <p></p><p></p><p>When Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was quietly sworn into office following the 2006 death of Mayor Bob O’Connor, the 26-year-old City Council president became the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city.&nbsp;</p><p>Headlines around the time included the following: “Hope surrounds new Pittsburgh mayor, 26” and he made several national television appearances, including a spot on "The Late Show with David Letterman." But as he heads out of office, the last months of his tenure included headlines such as “Luke Ravenstahl Maintains Low Profile Amid Federal Probe.”</p> Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 22242 at http://wesa.fm Once a Promising Political Novice, Mayor Ravenstahl Leaves Office ... And Politics? WESA News Editors Look at Top News Stories of 2013 http://wesa.fm/post/wesa-news-editors-look-top-news-stories-2013 <p>The Pittsburgh region was impacted by many major news stories during 2013. From a breakthrough in the stalemate over funding for transportation infrastructure, to a police scandal and the election of a new mayor.</p><p>WESA’s Senior News Editor Mark Nootbaar gives some perspective on the year’s top stories.</p><p>At the state level, privatization of government functions were a theme for the Corbett Administration. Fri, 20 Dec 2013 19:01:00 +0000 Heather McClain 21696 at http://wesa.fm WESA News Editors Look at Top News Stories of 2013 Controller Lamb: Pension Board Vote Was 'The Right Decision for Pittsburgh' http://wesa.fm/post/controller-lamb-pension-board-vote-was-right-decision-pittsburgh <p>Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb said Thursday’s board vote to lower the pension fund’s projected rate of return was good financially for the city.</p><p>The fund’s assumed rate of return was lowered from 8 percent to 7.5 percent after a 5-2 vote led by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's allies. Supporters of Mayor-elect Bill Peduto then accused Ravenstahl of political maneuvering.</p><p>Ravenstahl was opposed to lowering the rate during most of his tenure.</p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 20:55:50 +0000 Tim Camerato 21348 at http://wesa.fm Urban Redevelopment Authority Facing Massive Cuts in 2014 http://wesa.fm/post/urban-redevelopment-authority-facing-massive-cuts-2014 <p>Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority is facing massive cuts under Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s proposed 2014 budget.</p><p>At a City Council budget hearing on Tuesday, Robert Rubenstein, acting executive director of the URA, said he was disappointed with the proposed budget’s $2.2 million cut to the authority’s budget.</p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 12:47:04 +0000 Liz Reid 20784 at http://wesa.fm Ravenstahl Releases Final Budget of Mayoral Tenure http://wesa.fm/post/ravenstahl-releases-final-budget-mayoral-tenure <p>Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl released his proposed <a href="http://pittsburghpa.gov/information/budget">2014 operating and capital budget</a> Tuesday.</p><p>The $480 million budget and five-year plan is balanced, and it contains no tax increases or layoffs.</p><p>Before getting into specifics of the proposed spending plan, Ravenstahl outlined successes of his time as mayor. He said in the last seven years Pittsburgh has received 10 bond rating upgrades, and its investment status has moved from junk to grade A status.</p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 20:14:23 +0000 Deanna Garcia 19691 at http://wesa.fm Ravenstahl Releases Final Budget of Mayoral Tenure Mixed-Income Housing a Cornerstone of East Liberty Redevelopment http://wesa.fm/post/mixed-income-housing-cornerstone-east-liberty-redevelopment <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.tcbinc.org/">The Community Builders</a> held a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday at the site of the new East Liberty Place South development.</span></p><p>The building will feature 52 units of mixed-income housing, as well as 11,000 square feet of commercial space. Thirteen of the one- and two-bedroom apartments will be priced at market value, with a tenant income cap of $55,000-75,000, depending on family size.</p> Mon, 04 Nov 2013 19:50:27 +0000 Liz Reid 19255 at http://wesa.fm Mixed-Income Housing a Cornerstone of East Liberty Redevelopment How Will History Look at Mayor Luke Ravenstahl? http://wesa.fm/post/how-will-history-look-mayor-luke-ravenstahl <p>As Pittsburghers gear up to elect a new mayor, a week from now, Luke Ravenstahl seems to be ramping up his public appearance schedule in an effort to clean up <a href="http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/successes">his image</a>.</p><p>“It’s like he’s almost trying to spin the last seven years into something that reads better on his epitaph,” says Bob Oltmanns, President of <a href="http://opr-group.com/">OPR Group</a>, LLC, an independent public relations consultancy.</p><p> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 19:37:36 +0000 Katie Martin 18856 at http://wesa.fm How Will History Look at Mayor Luke Ravenstahl? Mayor Ravenstahl: “I’ve done nothing wrong, and I stand by that.” http://wesa.fm/post/mayor-ravenstahl-i-ve-done-nothing-wrong-and-i-stand <p>Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he is continuing to do his job and is helping the next mayor transition into office.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 17:50:04 +0000 Tim Camerato 18240 at http://wesa.fm Top Pittsburgh Police Brass Go Before Grand Jury http://wesa.fm/post/top-pittsburgh-police-brass-go-grand-jury <p>The city&#39;s two highest-ranking police officials appeared Wednesday to testify before a federal grand jury believed to be investigating the mayor&#39;s use of police-issued bodyguards and other matters.</p><p>Acting police Chief Regina McDonald and Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson entered the grand jury room at about 9 a.m. and left about two hours later, declining to offer specifics.</p><p>&quot;Can&#39;t tell you anything,&quot; McDonald said as she left. &quot;We&#39;re not permitted to talk.&quot;</p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 15:31:03 +0000 The Associated Press 18227 at http://wesa.fm Police Probing Ravenstahl Bodyguard's Hours http://wesa.fm/post/police-probing-ravenstahl-bodyguards-hours <p>Pittsburgh police say they're reviewing the timecard records of an officer who formerly worked as a bodyguard for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, and who testified against the mayor before a federal grand jury earlier this year.</p><p>At that time, the attorney for Fred Crawford said the investigation will eventually show that tax dollars were "wasted so the mayor could have a designated driver ... while he went out to bars."</p><p>That attorney, Robert Stewart, didn't return a call for comment Tuesday on the newest information about Crawford provided by acting Chief Regina McDonald.</p> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 17:33:14 +0000 The Associated Press 17068 at http://wesa.fm Jim Ferlo 'Confident' No Wrongdoing at Urban Redevelopment Authority http://wesa.fm/post/jim-ferlo-confident-no-wrongdoing-urban-redevelopment-authority <p>State Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) doesn’t believe federal investigators will find anything substantial from documents they’ve subpoenaed last week from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).</p><p>Ferlo currently sits on the board of the URA.</p><p>The subpoena comes after board chairman Yarone Zober, and the mayor’s chief of staff, testified Tuesday before a federal grand jury believed to be investigating whether Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is involved in funding irregularities.</p><p>Ferlo said he’s not sure what investigators are looking to find.</p> Fri, 13 Sep 2013 19:17:20 +0000 Mark Nootbaar & Tim Camerato 16509 at http://wesa.fm Mayor's Right-Hand Man Testifies Before Grand Jury http://wesa.fm/post/mayors-right-hand-man-testifies-grand-jury <p>Last week Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s Chief of Staff, Yarone Zober spent more than an hour and half behind closed doors <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/pittsburgh-mayors-chief-of-staff-zober-considered-citys-chief-deal-sealer-702885/">testifying</a> before a grand jury.&nbsp;</p><p>The news follows reports that former Pittsburgh Chief of Police, Nate Harper will <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/federal-grand-jury-meeting-suspended-police-finance-manager-on-hand-680415/">plead guilty</a> to conspiracy and tax evasion for diverting funds from unauthorized accounts.&nbsp; Many believe the federal investigation aims to look into all elements of Mayor Ravenstahl’s personal life.</p><p> Thu, 12 Sep 2013 20:12:20 +0000 Katherine Blackley 16434 at http://wesa.fm Mayor's Right-Hand Man Testifies Before Grand Jury Green Up to Grow Up Encourages Healthy Eating for Youth http://wesa.fm/post/green-grow-encourages-healthy-eating-youth <p>One in 3 American children is overweight or obese. That’s according to the Children’s Defense Fund, which also says 45 percent of those kids come from low-income families.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Pittsburgh is launching a new program called “Green Up to Grow Up” to try to reduce that figure.</span></p><p>The program is an expansion of GreenUp and Edible Gardens, which turns vacant lots into areas where produce is grown for low-income neighborhoods.</p> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 20:03:14 +0000 Jessica Nath 13223 at http://wesa.fm Ravenstahl Wants Police to Stay in City http://wesa.fm/post/ravenstahl-wants-police-stay-city <p>While locally appointed arbitrators will make their final decision in September as to whether the requirement for Pittsburgh police to live in the city should be lifted, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl already has his answer: No.</p><p>Ravenstahl said he believes the city police should stay where they are.</p><p>“I think it’s important for them to be in the neighborhoods in which they patrol," Ravenstahl said. "The residents feel safer when they have a police officer living in their community. It seems to me that it’s working now, and there’s no need to change it.”</p> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 19:53:21 +0000 Jessica Nath 13222 at http://wesa.fm How Visible Does Pittsburgh's Mayor Need to Be? http://wesa.fm/post/how-visible-does-pittsburghs-mayor-need-be <p>On March 1, Luke Ravenstahl made the surprise announcement that he would not run for re-election as mayor of Pittsburgh.</p> Wed, 03 Jul 2013 12:41:46 +0000 Larkin Page-Jacobs 12448 at http://wesa.fm How Visible Does Pittsburgh's Mayor Need to Be? In First Meeting Since February, Peduto and Ravenstahl Discuss Mayoral Challenges http://wesa.fm/post/first-meeting-february-peduto-and-ravenstahl-discuss-mayoral-challenges <p>Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl met with his likely successor, City Councilman Bill Peduto, Monday for the first time since February.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Peduto was optimistic before entering the mayor’s corner office on the fifth floor of City Hall, saying it was a chance to “bury the hatchet” and “smoke the peace pipe.” </span>Peduto<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> said his number one priority going into the meeting was discussing a budget the two could agree on.</span></p> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 20:45:11 +0000 Michael Lynch 11608 at http://wesa.fm Mayor Luke Ravenstahl Says Fewer Public Appearances Are His Choice http://wesa.fm/post/mayor-luke-ravenstahl-says-fewer-public-appearances-are-his-choice <p>Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said his office has been fully cooperative with an ongoing federal investigation into city financial dealings, and that there have been no subpoenas from investigators in more than a month.</p><p>Ravenstahl maintained that he’s done nothing wrong and said he wished the truth could come out now, as opposed to a long investigation.</p><p>At an event in Mt. Washington Wednesday morning to launch a program to increase energy efficiency at city-owned buildings, he took issue with questions from the media about his lack of public appearances of late.</p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 18:15:09 +0000 Deanna Garcia 11298 at http://wesa.fm Political Commentary on Essential Pittsburgh http://wesa.fm/post/political-commentary-essential-pittsburgh-0 <p></p><p>A former Pittsburgh police detective who served on Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's security detail has been approached by the FBI about using debit cards tied to an unauthorized account at the Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union. Will his <a href="http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/former-ravenstahl-bodyguard-im-going-spill-my-guts/nYDTw/">testimony </a>open Mayor Ravenstahl to federal investigation?</p><p>Pittsburgh City Council President Darlene Harris changed her party affiliation from democratic to independent in April. Many wonder if she's planning to <a href="http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4072578-74/harris-council-drozd#axzz2VYFN1msF">make a play for mayor</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>And State Representative Jesse White is <a href="http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4152007-74/district-attorney-county#axzz2VYQgtVGG">under investigation</a> for using a fake online identity to bash his political opponents.</p><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;"><p>Guests: <a href="http://triblive.com/news/ericheyl/"><strong>Eric Heyl</strong></a> of the Tribune-Review and <strong>Bram Reichbaum</strong> of the <a href="http://pghcomet.blogspot.com/">Pittsburgh Comet</a> discuss these political topics and more. Fri, 07 Jun 2013 22:01:57 +0000 Heather McClain 11014 at http://wesa.fm The Overshadowing Presence of Mayor Ravenstahl http://wesa.fm/post/overshadowing-presence-mayor-ravenstahl <p></p><p>In his latest column, Pittsburgh Tribune columnist <a href="http://triblive.com/news/ericheyl/">Eric Heyl</a> gives Mayor Ravenstahl the moniker <a href="http://triblive.com/opinion/ericheyl/4031961-74/mayor-ravenstahl-campaign#axzz2TabWS32U">Captain Distraction</a>, referring to his overshadowing presence in this year's Democratic mayoral primary. On this day before the election we'll discuss how the mayor's travails continue to hold public fascination.</p><p> Sun, 19 May 2013 16:18:26 +0000 Heather McClain 9777 at http://wesa.fm The Overshadowing Presence of Mayor Ravenstahl Ravenstahl Gives Home Docs to Fed Grand Jury http://wesa.fm/post/ravenstahl-gives-home-docs-fed-grand-jury <p>Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has turned over a $12,000 check and a contract he has for home improvements to a federal grand jury.</p><p>The grand jury is believed to be investigating whether the mayor is involved in funding irregularities as his bodyguards have recently been subpoenaed to testify about city-issued credit cards and now the mayor and a contractor doing work on his home have acknowledged turning over the new records.</p> Wed, 15 May 2013 15:22:49 +0000 The Associated Press 9594 at http://wesa.fm Unions Respond To Ravenstahl-Backed Ads Against Peduto http://wesa.fm/post/unions-respond-ravenstahl-backed-ads-against-peduto <p>Several dozen union members who supported Pittsburgh’s prevailing wage law gathered in the City County Building Thursday to denounce advertisements Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s PAC, Committee for a Better Pittsburgh, has taken out against mayoral candidate Bill Peduto.</p><p>Peduto supported the prevailing wage law, and union members feel he has been misrepresented in the ads.</p> Thu, 02 May 2013 19:02:49 +0000 Erika Beras 8898 at http://wesa.fm Negative Ads in the Mayoral Primary http://wesa.fm/post/negative-ads-mayoral-primary <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Negative ads, like shaking hands and kissing babies, have become a staple of political campaigns. The recent news of Mayor Ravenstahl's link to attack ads has turned our attention to the impact of negative ads in this year's mayoral primary. Joining us for this discussion is public relations advisor <strong>Bob Oltmanns</strong>, president of <a href="http://opr-group.com/">the OPR Group</a>. Thu, 02 May 2013 00:40:27 +0000 Heather McClain 8855 at http://wesa.fm Negative Ads in the Mayoral Primary