Next week, I’ll post in my Self/ Professional Development Blog my article for PsychCentral that broke some records in the last few days: Brain Chemistry Altered by Early Life Experience. It is part 1 of a 2-part series. Take a peek now on PsychCentral’s site at the link provided in first line above. Reader Stats are at bottom of site page; Thanks to all who read and shared and kept me in Number 1 position of “What’s Hot” on the site all weekend!
It seems I have gotten a ton of hits and renewed interest on my website lately for “Resurrecting Allegheny City,” and no wonder– that new book of the similar and bold name, simply “Allegheny City,” is going to drive traffic to my site even more than the steady inquiries, sales and eloquent, gracious thanks from readers literally the world over since 2007. Let’s face it. It is an area of Pittsburgh holding tremendous captivation for many.
When I looked at my stat counter and some of the hits were from a running blog/ commentary page, though, it made me think. Blog/ commentary writing can really bring the worst out in folks. Seems Carol Peterson’s biggest fans have foul mouths and simple minds (ones who apparently can’t read books commissioned by the PA Historical & Museum Commission), blasting me for writing the shortest possible reflection on her and Dan Rooney’s collaboration.
Mr. Rooney bought two of my books upon publication. He is one of thousands of buyers, as it has been a regional bestseller in continuous new printing and also a money-maker (unexpectedly) for me. Unlike Carol and Dan, who gave only the smallest credit possible (the legal bibliographic one) for a book that they modeled theirs on, I will do better.
Damn. Wanted foto to instantly appear. Cut & Paste. And go to my Twitter page to catch all the action…. Jan & I had so much fun @ the Peduto #Clash gig couple Sundays ago. How cool 2 party w/ next #PghMayor while with some of the old underground scene. Want the tired old or the progressive down to earth leadership of Bill #Peduto = next #PghMayor. Bill fights for stagehands & so many more.
Found this online today:) Old article re: fight to unionize (and this would be successful) the Ampitheater at Station Square, where Jan became Steward… More info? See Dropkick Murphys video!
www.pghcitypaper.com, 11 May 2002
Although their signs call for a boycott of SFX’s Main Event shows — “Say no to the show” — few concert-goers can see them on the edge of the property, and most unknowingly cross the picket line. (The stagehands have also picketed SFX shows staffed by Main Event at other venues, such as Rosebud and M.) Last summer, Baldauf’s co-worker Jan Vojta contacted IATSE about joining the union, because, Vojta says, “We had nothing to lose.
“The union won the election, 16-2, but negotiations for a contract deadlocked in June, and the workers voted to strike. (Another negotiation is set for July 11.) Being a stagehand is difficult, dangerous work, with shifts as long as 18 hours. For this, stagehands are paid $95 a shift with no benefits, and $75 for SFX’s smaller club shows.In contrast, IATSE says members who work for Pittsburgh Cultural Trust venues out of the hiring hall earn $300-$350 (in wages and benefits) for each performance. Besides wages, the stagehands are demanding better working conditions. “The money that comes into this place doesn’t get filtered into its needs,” says Vojta, who has worked at the amphitheater for 10 years. He believes that the shows are often unsafe.”
Last year I saw B.B. King — 74 years old — walking up these rickety stairs, with holes in the wood! A legend like this deserves better.”Then there’s job security — the stagehands are called to each job at the discretion of the manager. Main Event declined comment for this story.”This picket’s not sprung up overnight,” he says, “it’s like a pot on the stove that’s been simmering a long time.”
Or, as Vojta says, “We’re treated like pieces of beef that move things around. It’s dangerous work, and the long hours contribute to fatigue. [When] they just pull on anybody … you’re working while also teaching and watching people who have no idea what they’re doing. There’s no respect unless you’re in a union.”
Guess I should be flattered that “Dan Rooney” wrote a history of the North Side that is a direct nod to my “Resurrecting Allegheny City” (2007). Yes, research pays off (but only if you publish yourself:) and can grab readers. Glad to have pointed that out….
I have been delayed in getting these posted. My appearance (two-part video) on Jan’s union buddy Victor Janflone’s great PCTV show– When not doing stage work or traveling to Japan, Victor produces an Arts & Music show for the channel and he has had some great guests (including Fred Kowalo, who tours with some great bands, and Jan, talking about days of Pgh’s Electric Banana punk club). Vic does a cool job and all his shows can and should be checked out via the YouTube links here. I personally tend to cringe when I see this interview of myself, but… the dialogue ends up ok.