All posts by Carlino Giampolo

Path of Dignity or Path of Tragedy

Letter to
Mayor William Peduto

May 11, 2020

Path of Dignity or Path of Tragedy

There are two fundamental pathways of change: the less traveled Path of Dignity, or the worn-out Path of Tragedy.

You Refused to Support

Since 2007, we have been asking you to join us on the Path of Dignity to make positive changes for our Panther Hollow community and the larger Oakland neighborhood.

First, we asked for your support for a University of Pittsburgh-funded environmental program which would end Oakland’s horrific trash and litter problems. You refused to support the program even though the cost was equivalent to a mere $4 from each student’s hefty tuition fees.

Then, we asked for your support to move the massive fireworks display for Pitt’s Homecoming Week to a safer venue outside of Oakland, such as at Heinz Field. On one occasion, my 90-year old mother suffered seizures due to the fireworks and we rushed her to the hospital. You refused to support this request even though we spoke in front of city council on multiple occasions calling for compassion for our community.

Over a dozen other requests were made to you, including stopping the uncontrolled growth of Pitt and CMU that was severely decimating our community. You refused to support any of them.

Mon-Oakland Connector

On July 31, 2015, in an act of moral corruption, the city applied for a $3 million dollar grant to build a roadway known as the Oakland Transit Connector, from the Almono site in Hazelwood, through Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow, to Pitt and CMU. This was done in secrecy. No one, including yourself, denied our assertion that the action was morally corrupt. We asked District Attorney Stephen Zappala to investigate if the project went beyond moral corruption. He chose silence.

In a likely attempt to cover up that shame, the Almono name was changed to Hazelwood Green, and the Oakland Transit Connector name was changed to Mon-Oakland Connector. However, as we have said on numerous occasions, shame that is masked, denied, numbed or ignored, will continue to grow. The following attests to that very truth.

Right-of-Way in Panther Hollow

Last week, I was provided minutes of the April 28 Resident Advisory Group meeting. They were shocking. The moral corruption continues in your desire to use the right-of-way in Panther Hollow for this roadway. There is an iron-clad, binding and legal agreement, discussed below, that precludes the use of this area for a roadway that would eventually destroy our neighborhood. Your attempt to renege on that agreement will be met with the strongest legal action available to us.

Brief Explanation of the Agreement

In 1980, the University of Pittsburgh wanted to build a business school, Mervis Hall, at the top of Joncaire Street, but the university leaders chose not to build a parking structure there. Instead, they decided to use the existing parking lot in Panther Hollow to fulfill their legal requirement for the number of parking stalls needed for the construction of the school.

That decision necessitated this iron-clad, binding and legal agreement between the City of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, and the Panther Hollow community. Part of the multiple conditions of the agreement involved the right-of-way in Panther Hollow. The agreement specified the width of the right-of-way and the requirement that the university plant and maintain the trees and grass there. The university has done so continuously for nearly 40 years. Prior to the agreement, there were no trees and grass in the right-of-way.

In Perpetuity

A longtime resident of Panther Hollow, who was involved intimately in the negotiations of this agreement, also designed the parking lot and right-of-way. He related to me that this agreement was in perpetuity.

Councilman Eugene “Jeep” DePasquale

This agreement between the City of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, and the Panther Hollow Community was presented to Councilman Eugene “Jeep” DePasquale, who proceeded to make public this iron-clad, binding and legal agreement. Our community is extremely grateful for his vision, wisdom and foresight to anticipate that one day, university leaders, after earning billions of dollars from the use of Mervis Hall, would attempt to renege on the agreement. He also knew that one day, a mayor, even one of Italian descent, and a city council, would also attempt to renege on the agreement.

Path of Dignity

The following suggestions would require a major shift in consciousness for you to support our community.

1) End all plans of a roadway through Panther Hollow. I cannot say this strongly enough—move on to the Path of Dignity and abandon plans to use this right-of-way through Panther Hollow.. All attempts to renege on this agreement can result in personal legal action for individuals in government, university, and foundation organizations, as well as for other planners and operators of a proposed shuttle service on this roadway.

2) Begin the University of Pittsburgh’s and Carnegie Mellon University’s, orderly withdraw from Oakland. This would result in two very positive actions. 1) These universities can move to the Hazelwood Green site, eliminating any need for a roadway through Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow; and 2) it would allow for Oakland to be rebuilt as the thriving residential community that it was prior to the devastating, uncontrolled growth of these universities.

3) Redirect the $20 million dollars approved by you and Pittsburgh City Council for the ill-conceived roadway project. People of color on city council should lead the way and use the monies for underserved neighborhoods.

4) End the University of Pittsburgh’s Homecoming Week fireworks display. It would be criminal for thousands of administrators, faculty, alumni, and students, to congregate for this unwanted event that has already shown to endanger the lives of our residents, especially the elderly.

5) Create an Italian Cultural Center in Panther Hollow. The center would honor the legacy of Italian immigrants not only from Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania, but throughout our country. Such a center would create numerous jobs and generate needed revenue for the city as a major tourist attraction.

Take the path less traveled. Take the Path of Dignity.

Carlino Giampolo

Panther Hollow, today

Right-of-way in Panther Hollow. More photos available on www.PantherHollow.us.

Support for an Investigation

Support for an Investigation
of the 
Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation
in Panther Hollow

The following letter was sent on March 15 and 16, 2020, to individuals requesting support to have the office of District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. investigate the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow. 

We are very thankful to all those who had the courage and confidence to contact the district attorney and support our call for an investigation.

I am Carlino Giampolo, born and raised in Panther Hollow, who is asking for your support on behalf of our small community to have the office of District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. investigate the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow. This letter is being sent to individuals who we trust care about ending injustice.

This will also go to members of the Fourth Estate (the press) who can take actions both as private citizens, and by adhering to the principles of their profession in holding government and corporate officials accountable for their actions.

Wrongdoings have occurred in actions by the City of Pittsburgh, Duquesne Light, and the supporters of this project. They have deceived and betrayed us.

It is not hyperbole to say that this project will eventually lead to the destruction of Panther Hollow, as well as to the further decimation of greater Oakland, because of the massive development it will offer for the universities and their supporters. This project is neither needed nor wanted by the residential community.

For greater wisdom and understanding of the injustice of this project, go to www.OaklandDignity.com, especially the letters to Councilman Bruce Kraus on Link 100 and the letter to District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. on Link 101.

Numerous tragic wrongdoings have occurred throughout history, including the well-known Holocaust and the lesser-known lynchings of black people and Italian immigrants. These tragedies occurred because of both those who directly caused them, and those who allowed the tragedies to happen.

The individuals who caused and allowed these tragedies had held onto the belief that it was acceptable to label certain groups of people, and then either love or hate those labels. They did not seek any greater wisdom and understanding. Dialogue was replaced by dogma.

Changes occur either through the path of dignity, or the path of tragedy. Let’s make the right change by respecting the dignity of the residents of our community.

We are reaching out to you for support. Power simply is the ability to take action. Your action will take less than one minute, but can change the course of history.

Simply hit “Reply All” and “Send”. You do not need to add your own explanation unless you want to. The district attorney will know that you support an investigation.

You will be doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do. Our community has the deepest gratitude to you for doing so. In the end, through your action, truth and justice will prevail.

Carlino Giampolo

Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow

To: Councilman Bruce A. Kraus,
Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC) Executive Director Wanda Wilson,
among others.

Rhetorical question: Should there be a criminal investigation into the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow?

Duquesne Light is rapidly moving forward with the construction of this massive project on Schenley Park property, without any in-depth, comprehensive environmental and health studies, as to how the project will impact residents of our small community, especially the elderly. Both of you have a fiduciary duty to our community, yet you seem to be relying blindly only on the word of this company’s engineers that there are no problems.

According to Duquesne Light, the project is under the full jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Utility Commission. Is this true? A commission hearing was held that gave Duquesne Light permission to move forward with this project. However, neither myself nor any other resident of our neighborhood that I am aware of received notice of this crucial hearing. If either of you attended, you did not let our community know what concerns, if any, you raised on our behalf. Neither of you provided our community with minutes of the hearing. Please do so.

A meeting for this neighborhood-changing project was held Monday, January 6. I received notice by an OPDC email on Friday, January 3. If a workweek can be considered as Monday through Friday, then I and others received notice of this important meeting only one day before. Also, three meetings about this project were held in late October/early November. I do not have records of notices for those meetings. Please have your offices provide me with records of those email notices. In addition, where are all of the minutes for these three meetings, not just those of November 7 that were contained in the January 3 email?

Duquesne Light representatives mentioned in the November 7 minutes that this project is necessary because institutions are planning major new developments, and they are preparing for this growth. If you read closely between the lines, and beyond the lines, of these minutes, you will come to understand that this project is an indictment of OPDC, the Pittsburgh City Council, Mayor William Peduto, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment, as well as the office of District Attorney Stephen Zappala and the media of Pittsburgh.

Duquesne Light executives know full well, beyond any doubt, that none of the above have the courage to protect and preserve our community, by the fact that the above are not even attempting to stop the uncontrolled expansion of the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and their supporters. Although they will not say it explicitly and publicly, they know the above are puppets of university administrators and their supporters. Therefore, Duquesne Light executives are moving forward quickly and confidently with their plans, feeding the cancerous expansion in Oakland.

Both of you have allowed, and are continuing to allow, the further destruction of Oakland by showing zero support for a moratorium on construction in Oakland, or for a comprehensive, in-depth Neighborhood Impact Study as to how Pitt’s Institutional Master Plan will affect not only Panther Hollow, but all of greater Oakland now and for generations to come.

This massive, disruptive substation is basically only for satisfying the needs and wants of the universities and their supporters, not for satisfying the needs and wants of our residential community.

Perhaps the rhetorical question at the beginning of this letter should be made declaratory: There should be a criminal investigation into the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow.

Carlino Giampolo
January 8, 2020


Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation
in Panther Hollow – Follow Up

To: Councilman Bruce A. Kraus,
Oakland Planning and Development Director Wanda Wilson

This letter is a follow-up of the one sent to both of you on January 8, 2020, the contents of which are on the website www.OaklandDignity.com Link 100, and on the front page of www.SavePantherHollow.com. A companion website on the historical significance of our neighborhood is at www.PantherHollow.us.

Is it true, as Duquesne Light Company (DLC) executives have asserted, that the residents of Panther Hollow, the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC), and the city of Pittsburgh, cannot stop the construction of the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation because the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has already granted the company permission to build the substation? Are all of us rendered virtually meaningless because the DLC has autonomous authority to proceed with this project?

The burden of an investigation about this project should not be placed upon the residents of our community.  What actions have either of you taken to protect the health and rights of the residents of Panther Hollow?

Has the city’s legal department obtained all of the records of the meetings for this project attended by the past administrators of Duquesne Light President Richard Riazzi, the current administrators of President Steven Malnight, and the administrators of Pitt and CMU?

What no one in our community knows yet is if the uncontrolled expansions of the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and their supporters have already outstripped the electrical infrastructure in Oakland. Is this project also necessary for the present electrical needs of these universities and their supporters, and not just for their future electrical needs as DLC administrators have stated?

Has the city’s legal department uncovered any actions or omissions by DLC that violated any laws concerning this project? If so, are there any actions or omissions by DLC that warrant the involvement of District Attorney Stephen Zappala?

Has OPDC contacted Representative Dan Frankel, or any other state representatives or senators, for assistance in protecting the health and rights of our community? Has OPDC taken any actions at all to protect the health and rights of our community?

We are all aware that this project is basically for the benefit of Pitt, CMU, and the developers and others who support these universities. This project is not for the benefit and needs of the residents of Oakland. For the past decades, the host community of Oakland has been decimated enough for the benefit of these universities and their supporters. There has never been an in-depth investigation of these universities and their supporters concerning their uncontrolled expansions, and the resultant destructive impacts upon Oakland. This has been an ongoing tragedy!

Our actions in the past 12 years have never been due to any hatred for the universities or their supporters. Rather, our actions have been done to protect and preserve our neighborhood now, and for future generations, as well as to honor the legacy of those who came before us to make Oakland one of the most eclectic residential neighborhoods in all of Pittsburgh.

DLC has already assembled heavy construction equipment on their property. Both of you have a fiduciary duty to our community to provide us the full truth of how this project will impact our lives, as well as a duty to disclose fully how this project was initiated and processed. Actions to stop this project until the full truth of this project is revealed is urgently needed NOW.  Anything less would be a breach of these duties.

Carlino Giampolo
January 26, 2020


Note: There has been no response to the above two letters concerning the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow.


LIGHTS OUT!

The following letter was sent to Councilman Bruce Kraus on March 5, 2020.

Councilman Bruce Kraus,

The City of Champions is quickly earning the moniker as the City of Corruption.

On January 8, 2020, I wrote you a letter concerning our community’s serious concerns pertaining to the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow. I asked if it was true that this project was under the full jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Utility Commission, and requested you provide our community with minutes of the commission hearing that gave Duquesne Light permission to build this substation. As you know, our community received no notice from you or anyone else, including Duquesne Light administrators, that this hearing was going to occur. You response to my letter was silence.

Only two days after my letter, as you and other members of city council had chosen silence in response to our community, city council initiated action for the following resolution:

“Resolution authorizing the Mayor and the Directors of the Department of Public Works and the Department of Finance, on behalf of the City, to enter into an Agreement with Duquesne Light Company to provide 1) a Permanent Construction Easement for the improvement of the Riazzi Power Substation in the Central Oakland neighborhood, and 2) a License to maintain a swath of land at the base of the hill to improve long-term storm-water control of the City property (Schenley Park) which also affects the Substation.”

Here is a link to the resolution which has additional information:https://pittsburgh.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4302732&GUID=44995438-01A9-4FD8-8D8C-77602B9B2E50&Options=ID|Text|&Search=duquesne+light

On January 26, 2020, I wrote you another letter about this issue asking what actions you have taken to protect the health and rights of the residents of Panther Hollow. Once again, your response was silence. Both letters are on www.OaklandDignity.com Link 100.

My letters were also sent to each member of the Pittsburgh City Council.

On February 13, the resolution was finalized with the signature of Mayor William Peduto. This entire devious process took place without any notice to our community.

While we trusted that you would fulfill your fiduciary duty to protect our community’s health and rights, you were holding private discussions with representatives of Duquesne Light, and likely with administrators of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, who desperately need the substation to further their development and destruction of our business and residential neighborhoods.

Pittsburgh City Council members have aligned with the numerous other hypocrites in the political, profit, and not-for-profit arenas who don’t live in Oakland, don’t want to live in Oakland, and who definitely don’t want Pitt and CMU in their own neighborhoods. None of them want their own neighborhoods decimated like these universities have done to Oakland. These hypocrites are willing to sabotage their dignity, integrity, and legacy to support the universities’ uncontrolled expansion that is bringing further pain and suffering to the residents of Oakland.

Our community will continue its “Lights Out” movement to protect our community from the unwanted and unnecessary Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow.

On February 24, 2020, we wrote a letter to District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., requesting that his office conduct an investigation into the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow. By copy of this letter, we are making that request once again.

Carlino Giampolo
March 5, 2020

Note: Councilman Bruce Kraus did not respond.

Supporting the Mon-Oakland Connector through Panther Hollow?

The following was sent on December 11, 2019 to Council President Bruce Kraus
and members of the Pittsburgh City Council, among others.
(The Mon-Oakland Connector was previously called the Oakland Transit Connector.)

President Bruce Kraus
Pittsburgh City Council

Councilman Kraus

You have “sat on the fence” and “weighed both sides” for the past four and a half years concerning whether or not you support the Mon-Oakland Connector through Panther Hollow.

You are fully aware of the vast amounts of information on the websites www.SavePantherHollow.com and www.OaklandDignity.com, and the numerous communications from those individuals and organizations who are in solidarity with us in standing firm against any roadway through our neighborhood. You are also aware of the ample information provided by the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Hazelwood Green foundation owners, the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, and their supporters who want a roadway through our neighborhood.

You have comprehended, interpreted, discerned, assessed, inferred, and placed an appreciation and valuation on your understanding of this information. Our community is now asking that you move forward without any doubts by giving us your position of whether or not you support the Mon-Oakland Connector through Panther Hollow.

Your decision can be facilitated and simplified by taking one of these two positions: Do you support the protection and preservation of historic Panther Hollow, as well as honor both the dignity of the residents and the legacy of their ancestors? Or do you advocate for the decimation of historic Panther Hollow by supporting the roadway with the resultant massive expansion by Pitt, CMU, and developers, among others?

We await your honest response.

Thank you
Carlino Giampolo

Bruce Kraus has not responded.

The Lack of Integrity Continues…

There has been no response to the following two emails. Both men have chosen not to be transparent.

August 6, 2019
President Farnam Jahanian
Carnegie Mellon University

Please read my email below to Adjunct Instructor Ray Gastil, former City Director of Planning. He has once again chosen silence. This email attests to the fact that we follow through on our word.

We are requesting your assistance to kindly ask Mr. Gastil to respond to a simple question that our communities deserve to have answered. We are making this appeal to your integrity and character. At the end of your tenure, when you look back upon the decisions you made as president, this may be one of your defining moments.

You cannot escape your responsibility for this roadway plan that would eventually destroy the neighborhoods of Panther Hollow and The Run. This plan is reminiscent of the destructive 1963 plans of then University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Edward Litchfield who sought to destroy our two neighborhoods with a futuristic 21st Century Research Park. Our communities prevailed, yet Pitt went on to achieve 10th in the nation in accumulating research funds even without these plans. In like manner, there are other ways to achieve your goals at Hazelwood Green without this destructive roadway through our two neighborhoods.

Our communities will continue to be seekers of truth to protect and preserve our heritage. You could take the path of Mr. Gastil and remain silent. If so, our communities will definitely take future actions on this matter that will be determined by the course of events.

However, I trust your grace and dignity will lead you to realize that choosing silence, or participating in actions that will destroy our two communities, is not the right path in life.

I look forward to your response to the appeal of our communities.

Carlino Giampolo


July 31, 2019
Ray Gastil
Adjunct Instructor – Staff Appointment

Mr. Gastil

You have been involved with the Mon-Oakland Connector (previously called Oakland Transit Connector) since its very inception. As Director of City Planning, you wrote a letter of support for its implementation to the PA Department of Community and Economic Development.

In the past, our community had asked you questions about your involvement, and you had chosen silence. That silence must end.

At the first community meeting for this project, you gave a presentation and mentioned that the roadway from Almono (now called Hazelwood Green), through The Run and Panther Hollow, to Pitt and CMU, would traverse through the back end of the University of Pittsburgh’s parking lot in Panther Hollow. The entire meeting was videotaped.

Our community needs the following question answered truthfully:

Who at the University of Pittsburgh, or at the City of Pittsburgh, told you that the roadway could traverse through the back end of the University of Pittsburgh’s parking lot in Panther Hollow?

Our community deserves an answer and will not accept silence. The question should be easy to answer. If you choose silence by August 5, then we will ask CMU President Farnam Jahanian for assistance to have the question answered.

Carlino Giampolo

Protecting and Preserving Our Two Neighborhoods

Protecting and Preserving Our Two Neighborhoods – July 21, 2019

By Carlino Giampolo
Panther Hollow

2nd Annual March from Panther Hollow to The Run

I want to thank the residents of Panther Hollow and The Run and our supporters here today, for having the courage and confidence to publicly demonstrate your desire to protect and preserve our two neighborhoods from those who seek to destroy them with an ill-conceived roadway plan. We will continue to take the high road by putting our values, ideals, and principles into action, and knowing that the means to an end is more important than the end itself.

These actions will continue to be taken with wisdom. There are those who believe a person is wise based on one’s I.Q., the number of letters after one’s name, one’s accumulation of wealth, or the position one holds in the workplace. This is the general consensus of society. However, there is another characterization that says wisdom is:

1) Moving beyond logic and reason without abandoning them.

2) Being a bit irrational without losing sight of the rational.

3) Looking at where you are going more than where you are coming from or where you have been.

4) Looking to where something can lead you more than what it can get you.

5) Looking to see what you can learn more than what you can reaffirm.

6) Seeing the symbols and metaphors, and looking in and beyond them to find the value that lies in their meaning and significance.

7) Seeing the bigger picture without losing sight of the current picture.

That last tenet reminds us that the bigger picture of our problem is that of the uncontrolled expansion of the University of Pittsburgh that is threatening our two communities. Most of us know the story of Pitt’s past chancellor, Edward Litchfield, who sought to destroy our neighborhoods in 1963 with his ill-conceived 21st Century Research Park. Our parents’ generation succeeded in defeating Litchfield. This story is on the website: www.SavePantherHollow.com.

However, that destructive consciousness still exists today at the university. Our generation is now willing to take on the mantle of being free from that destructive consciousness which threatens our two neighborhoods, as well as being free to create a new consciousness at the university that respects our dignity and the right to determine how we are going to live. In the near future, when there is a call to action to support these freedoms, I trust each of you will respond in a positive way.

Oftentimes when individuals dream impossible dreams, think out of the box, or attempt to embark on a journey against insurmountable odds, they are characterized as crazy or “not all there”. There are some who think all of us are crazy or “not all there” for even attempting to triumph over the two largest universities in our city, the three largest foundations, the city government with its vast resources, as well as all the friends and supporters of these entities. So, in the words of the country and western song: We’re all here cause we’re not all there.

We are going to continue to be wise and crazy, and to move forward to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.

As we did one year ago, we are once again taking a stand to let city, university, and foundation leaders, as well as their supporters who want a roadway through our two neighborhoods, know that they will never take away our dignity, diminish our intensity, shackle our freedom, or break our spirit. They will never silence the voice of our soul.

We will triumph. There will be no roadway through Panther Hollow and The Run.

City Council Public Comments

I have spoken before this council on numerous occasions to express the Panther Hollow community’s adamant opposition to the proposed roadway from Hazelwood Green, through our neighborhood, and to Pitt and CMU. Our will to protect and preserve our unique heritage as one of Pittsburgh’s first Italian neighborhoods is unbreakable.

Unfortunately, our Italian mayor and this council will be setting aside nearly $20 million in this budget and future budgets for this roadway. Those monies should be reallocated to the districts of Councilmen Burgess and Lavelle, or any district where the basic human needs for housing are not being met.

The mayor and city council are perceived as puppets of Pitt and CMU. These economic giants are worshipped as gods because they control the purse strings of the city. However, their uncontrolled growth has decimated the business and residential districts of Oakland.

Although that is a tragedy, it is not perceived as such because 1) the tragedy has occurred slowly over a long period of time rather than a single moment in time; and 2) the tragedy has resulted not in any physical loss, but the etheric death of hopes and dreams. When will council epiphanize that enough is enough of this uncontrolled growth?

That decimation is shameful. When you meet with Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, the president of CMU, and their administrators, ask them if they feel any sense of shame for what their universities have done to Oakland. They will tell you no. Dominators pass their shame onto their victims. What are each of you and the mayor going to do with this shame? You can’t pass it on to the longtime residents of Oakland, because we don’t want it. End the shame by giving it back to the universities. In so doing you will take back your own power, and be the leaders the citizens of Pittsburgh elected you to be.

There are two pathways toward change: tragedy and human dignity. The pathway of tragedy is well worn out, the human dignity pathway not so much. To get on this pathway will require from each of you a new system of beliefs and attitudes, thoughts and feelings, and choices and decisions. It requires new desires, expectations, and imagination.

Now is the time for each of you to pause and reflect on why you became leaders. What were your ideals, principles, and integrity, and how far have you deviated from them? What wrongdoings by yourself and others, both inside government and those who interact with government, are you aware of, but have masked, denied, or ignored? End that shame also.

A new year gives hope for a new beginning, not just better than the past, but a genuine new beginning. Make the resolution to have spirituality, whatever you perceive it to be, as the essence of your every word and deed.

Carlino Giampolo

Belief Precedes Experience

City Council Public Comments
December 12, 2018

On August 24 and October 3, I came here and expressed the sentiment: Peduto must resign. Let’s end the crookery at city hall. Those public comments are on the website OaklandDignity.com, Link 82 and SavepantherHollow.com. I echo that same sentiment today.

Belief precedes experience. The mayor holds on to the faulty, destructive beliefthat a roadway from Hazelwood Green to Pitt and CMU is needed to develop that site. He initiated; city council shamefully approved$1.3 million for engineering design work; and the budget presented today will set aside $10.5 million for its construction. It is not hyperbole to say the roadway would destroythe Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow neighborhoods.

Our communities thank Bob Bauder of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviewfor his November 27 article that shined a light into the opaqueness of city government. In that article, the mayor alluded to the fact that Pitt and CMU have little room to grow in Oakland. That’s a savvy, political way of saying these universities have already legally raped the land of Oaklandfor their self-interests. They have taken ownership of over 110 buildings and properties in our small community, but their insatiable greed continues.

The mayor went on to say that the roadway’s impact would be “minimal”. He is ignorant of the history of Oakland and is deceiving the people of Pittsburgh. When Pitt left the North side to come to Oakland in 1908, my grandparents’ generation also thought the impact would also be minimal, never imagining the massive destructionthe university would inflict on their community. Oakland has lost more than 80% of its residential population since my grandparents’ and parents’ generations.

The business district has been virtually destroyedand replaced with student housing, dormitories, and university-owned buildings. Today, there are no supermarkets, movie theatres, bowling alleys, hardware stores, shoe stores and shoe repair shops, high fashion men and women’s clothing stores, dry cleaners, alteration shops, bakeries, novelties and gift stores, and children’s toys and clothes stores. That destruction by Oakland’s universities is animmensetragedy that killed the hopes and dreams of a wonderful community.

The city of Pittsburgh offered Amazon more financial incentives than any other American city in its attempt to be home to Amazon’s second headquarters, yet Jeff Bezos did not choose Pittsburgh. Was he aware of the crookery at city hall, and did not want to partner with a city government that destroys neighborhoods for economic gain?Was the forged document in the mayor’s application just one of many other illegalities in the application process?

We suggest city and university staff to report any known wrongdoing to U.S. Attorney Scott Brady at (412) 644-3500. Crookery has no placein our city government and universities.

Carlino Giampolo

Pittsburgh Communities Need Federal Prosecutors to Oversee City Hall

City Council Public Comments
October 3, 2018

“Peduto must resign. Let’s end the crookery at city hall.” On August 24, I spoke before this council and ended my comments with these words. I echo these same words today.

In those comments, I talked about the shameful deception of the mayor and his administrators who, in July 2015, secretly filed for a $3 million dollar grant to build a roadway from the old Almono site in Hazelwood, through The Run and Panther Hollow, and to Pitt and CMU. We asked the Allegheny County District Attorney to investigate this sordid affair, but he did not respond to our requests. Pittsburgh communities need federal prosecutors to oversee city hall.

This past April, the city repeated that shameful, opaque deception when they applied for federal funds through the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission’s Smart Program. In July, the city’s application was approved for $1,000,000. Again, our communities had no knowledge or word from our council members that this application was being made.Pittsburgh communities need federal prosecutors to oversee city hall.

A syndicate in the city of Pittsburgh controls city hall. That syndicate is known as the University of Pittsburgh. For 16 years, as a councilman and mayor, Peduto has been a puppet of this syndicate. This was clearly evident 10 years ago when he chaired the hearings for Pitt’s master plan. The first two hearings lasted less than 20 minutes, and he never asked the Pitt administrators a single question of how that plan would further decimate Oakland.Pittsburgh communities need federal prosecutors to oversee city hall.

However, the mayor is not the only puppet of this syndicate. The university also controls this council, which has never written a law to curb their uncontrolled growth. In matters pertaining to the university, this council thinks what the university wants it to think, and acts how the university wants it to act. Even though the city has lost 120,000 residents in the past several decades, this council attempts to justify their inaction by saying that the university is the economic engine of the city. Tragically, that engine is toxic and lethal for the university’s host community. Pittsburgh communities need federal prosecutors to oversee city hall.

Until the strings of these puppets are cut and the domination by the syndicate has ended, Pittsburgh communities need federal prosecutors to oversee city hall.

Those listening to these comments can visit the websites OaklandDignity.com and SavePantherHollow.com. If there are any attorneys whose ethical, moral, and spiritual values guide them on a journey to end social injustice, then contact myself or someone you may know in Panther Hollow or The Run to offer your support. In the end, truth and justice will prevail.

Carlino Giampolo

Peduto Must Resign

Pittsburgh City Council
Public Comments
August 24, 2018

End the Crookery at City Hall

On July 31, 2015, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) filed an application with the State Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $3 million grant to build a roadway from the old Almono site in Hazelwood, through The Run and Panther Hollow, and to Pitt and CMU. The mayor kept this plan a secret from our two communities, clearly violating the state Sunshine Law.

Councilmen Kraus and O’Connor, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and our communities eventually received copies of the application. We were all deceived. Compared to the application on file at the DCED in Harrisburg, our copies were missing documents.

Among the missing pages was a letter from the mayor, asserting that the city “will be committing $400,000 in the 2017 budget for the construction of this project.”

Another missing page was from the URA Chair Kevin Acklin stating, “The URA will be committing $400,000 from our major projects budget to be used for the construction of this project.”

There were also discrepancies. The application asserted that the project would be a partnership between four entities, including with the University of Pittsburgh, but Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said he had no knowledge of the application. Who is telling the truth?

The application asserted that the land for this project is owned by the City of Pittsburgh. However, at the first community meeting, four months after the application was filed, Director of City Planning Ray Gastil stated that the roadway would traverse railroad property and a parking lot owned by Pitt in Panther Hollow. It is unscrupulous and unconscionable that the mayor and Pitt would use that lot, which exists because of a 1982 agreement with our community, for this roadway that would destroy our neighborhood.

Also, in the application and without any community input, Ray Gastil wrote a letter to the DCED on behalf of the Department of City Planning, supporting the roadway project.

Twice, we asked District Attorney Stephen Zappala to investigate this issue. He has chosen silence.

In his 16 years as a councilman and mayor, William Peduto has been a puppet of the University of Pittsburgh and always supported its uncontrolled growth that has severely devastated Oakland’s residential and business districts.

The assertions made in this deceptive application clearly indicate that the mayor believes our community’s voices are irrelevant and powerless. Nothing could be further from the truth. He continues to impose his will upon our community by attempting to build this roadway. Peduto must resign. Let’s end the crookery at city hall.

Carlino Giampolo