Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
A public subsidy?: Downtown grocery stores have been a tough sell in Pittsburgh for decades. Hopes are high for a new one — off Market Square in the Thompson Building — because Downtown living has increased. Those in the know say an ancillary increase in foot traffic will be the key to the store's success. It's expected to open as early as next spring. But if there's so much optimism for success, why might half of the store's $500,000 in development costs be borne by taxpayers?
VA's cozy coterie: A Trib investigation has documented the incestuous relationship between former Veterans Affairs executives who are hired by their old bosses to perform pricey “consulting” work. And we're talking about contracts in the millions of dollars. It's the kind of behavior that forces the public to conclude that the VA doesn't work for the benefit of vets but for the benefit of its own muckety-mucks.
Spare the tongue, too?: A new Pitt study, published in the journal Child Development, suggests that harsh verbal discipline of 13- and 14-year-old kids can lead to, among other things, self-esteem problems. “Indeed, harsh verbal discipline appears to be detrimental in all circumstances,” says Pitt researcher Ming-Te Wang. Of course, one researcher's “verbal abuse” of an adolescent is another parent's wake-up call to a young teen in desperate need of a reality check. Wussifying discipline will only create greater problems.