Opening Day

Dust off the seats, fire up the Jumbotron and let's play ball! It's opening day at PNC park.

The fact that baseball has returned means that warmer is on it's way. That alone is worth cheering about.

I drove downtown last week and saw some of the many preparations being made at the ballpark. I also noticed preparations being made all over the city.

The North Shore (formally known as the northside) now hosts a dirt lot with construction equipment. That dirt will give birth to the first casino in Pittsburgh.

On the other side of the river a very expensive hole is being drilled under the river. Yes the city of bridges has opted for a tunnel this time.

Point State Park is starting to resemble a park again. The city is finally starting to spring to life like the flowers that have slept beneath the ice of winter.

How all this play out is any one's guess. Will the Bucs have a winning season? Will the casino do more harm then good? Will anyone drive under the river instead of over it?

I want this city to succeed. Shed the baggage of the past. Realize what a wonderful place Pittsburgh is. The only thing that holds us back is how our region is often mismanaged.

As serious talk begins about a city/county merger, those involved must be willing to put power and ego aside. The city and county both have major issues that must be addressed.

If they enter into a marriage, then both assume the pro's and con's of each. There is a major funding crisis when it comes to city pensions. Years of sweetheart union deals are coming due. It is estimated the only 40% of city pensions are funded.

The county has to address the transportation issue. No long can mass transit be held hostage by the Port Authority Union. Midnight deals with Harrisburg have to go. Compensation needs to be brought in line with national standards. Our transportation system needs to be overhauled to include practical transport to all points of the city as well as the airport.

As the Bucs ready for the first pitch, let's not forget the great city they represent. ARe we ready for opening day?