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Ravenstahl hints at trip to St. Louis, fails to show for Pirates finale

| Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, 10:22 p.m.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's white Chevy Tahoe was parked for hours Wednesday at Wildwood Golf Club, 10 miles north of the city in Hampton. The damage to the right rear fender occurred in May when someone ran into the vehicle while it was parked in the mayor's spot Downtown.

The Tribune-Review is chronicling Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's service until his term ends in January.

A rare tweet from the elusive Ravenstahl hinted at a possible trip to St. Louis for Game 5 of the National League Divisional Series last week.

Instead, he spent the hours leading up the Pirates' disappointing loss on a suburban golf course.

The week began with a rare public appearance of sorts. On Monday night, the first post from Ravenstahl's campaign Twitter account since March noted the Pirates' Game 4 loss — forcing a decisive Game 5 — and poked fun at the Where's Luke feature that debuted in that morning's Trib.

“#wheresluke. St Louis bound! LGB!!” the tweet read.

The next day brought no sign of either of Ravenstahl's city-issued vehicles at the City-County Building.

But he wasn't on a plane to Busch Stadium, said spokeswoman Marissa Doyle, who declined to say where he was.

“The mayor is not going to St. Louis,” she said in an email.

On Wednesday, Ravenstahl again was a no-show Downtown. Instead the mayor's white Chevy Tahoe was parked for hours at Wildwood Golf Club, 10 miles north of the city in Hampton. At 5 p.m. he made a brief visit to the SUV before heading back inside the members-only club.

Ravenstahl's office released hours for Halloween trick-or-treating on behalf of the mayor.

On Thursday, Ravenstahl was not among the public officials, including Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, joining Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Heinz Field, where experts tried to enroll people for the Affordable Care Act.

City Councilman Bill Peduto, the Democratic nominee for mayor, told the Tribune-Review that he picks up Ravenstahl's slack.

Since the primary, Peduto has met with congressmen, state legislators and Gov. Tom Corbett to open lines of communication and discuss money for projects in the city.

He said he meets regularly with Buncher Co. President and CEO Thomas J. Balestrieri about the company's plan for a $400 million riverfront development in the Strip District.

Last week Peduto traveled to Europe, where he met with officials from Grah Lighting, a Slovenian LED firm that is considering Pittsburgh for one of its plants.

“Luke's gone,” Peduto said. “He's checked out.”

Ravenstahl did not make any public appearances during Saturday's Columbus Day parade in Bloomfield and was not among elected officials whom organizers acknowledged.

As of Saturday, Pittsburgh residents have paid Ravenstahl about $85,000 this year.

Did you see Ravenstahl recently? Send photos and details to wheresluke@tribweb.com.

David Conti and Bob Bauder are Trib Total Media staff writers. Conti can be reached at dconti@tribweb.com. Bauder can be reached at bbauder@tribweb.com.

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