Saturday, August 25, 2007


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Group from Pittsburgh finds opportunities abound in China - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Group from Pittsburgh finds opportunities abound in China - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'They recognized the need to have a way to balance economic growth with the environment,' Flora said. 'Being able to build extremely energy-efficient buildings is a top priority.'"

Monday, April 16, 2007

At the start of the meal, for a night of "hot pot." This is a classic type of meal in Southwestern China. We are in Chengdu.
The 'hot pots' are built into the tables. They are fired from below with a cannister of natural gas, like we use in a camper/RV.

The choices keep coming. These might be shoots. The hot pot bowl in the photo has two sides. Generally one is spicey, the other less.

Greens, sitting on a seat. Don't eat these, or anything raw. No salads. But, within hot pot, all is fine as it gets cooked.

As the meal gets cooking, the steam fills the table.

Servers are always helpful. Often a team of folks wait on the group. We often had a spokesperson to always be the one to make requests and place orders and such.
Generally, you only use one bowl or plate throughout the meal. No forks. The chopsticks are much better anyway in most instances. From time to time spoons are used, but they are not common. No need.

Grant eating something.

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Wondering about food?

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Beijing Has One-Ticket Policy For Olympic Ceremonies - SportsNews Story - WTAE Pittsburgh

Beijing Has One-Ticket Policy For Olympic Ceremonies - SportsNews Story - WTAE Pittsburgh Beijing Has One-Ticket Policy

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Onorato in China, looking for business.

Onorato in China, looking for business
So the coverage of this trip comes to us from a Toledo reporter. Interesting.

Members of the Pittsburgh trade delegation are going to be blown away by the evidence of China's new wealth. It will be outside their hotel, at airports, at shopping centers, along the streets, and in the Olympic Venues too. It will be in schools, playgrounds and museums. Everywhere.

Flashy shopping and style are throughout China's cities. Furthermore, should Dan get an opportunity, he should go on a shopping spree.

The last time we went to China, I packed one change of clothes and a bunch of t-shirts and shorts. They don't have many shorts. I got a lot of new clothing at a cheap cost. The prices are not the same in the upscale stores, of course. But there are plenty of shopping options throughout the cities.

We don't need to have the country investing in Pittsburgh. Dan's quote is goffy. Hours after arriving in China's capital city yesterday as part of the delegation, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said he hoped the country would invest in the Pittsburgh area as well.

"The grand goal is to make sure when China sends money to the U.S. they have a relationship with southwest Pennsylvania," Mr. Onorato said.

That isn't the goal I'd set. We don't need to look like beggars to CHINA. We need to put the relationship at the front. And, they want a relationship with the people of southwest PA. They have no need to have a relathionship with the geogaphy and grounds of SW PA. Plus, I hate to see Dan there in a pissing match with people from Toledo as well.

A trade delegation in Onorato's world might turn into a fight on foriegn soil between Pittsburgh and Toledo. That is just what we don't need.
At a price tag of $6,677 to Allegheny County taxpayers, Mr. Onorato and development director Dennis Davin are part of a 21-member mission to China that will tour the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin through this Saturday.
I wish that the coverage in the newspaper would be more with a focus on the non-government economic opporutnities and less with the development officials and government folks who can't navigate their way around a Chineese Fortune Cookie.

They will dine in an 18th Century Chinese home converted into a restaurant. Meanwhile, we think that the Civic Arena is old and needs to be torn down. I hope they are not offended when they are given opportunities to celebrate history and the past elements of culture.

The group will visit the Great Wall and an imperial palace today. It will then stop at the Chinese facilities of companies with Pittsburgh-area footprints, Bombardier Systems and Westinghouse Electric in Beijing, Kennametal and Calgon Carbon in Tianjin, and Maglev in Shanghai.

When you get to The Great Wall, -- dress for wind and cold. It can be a hot day in the city and a COLD day on The Great Wall. Wear shoes or boots ready for climbing. One always "climbs" The Great Wall -- not walks nor hikes.

When you get there, you'll have a choice between the easy way where lots of people go, and the harder way, where there are fewer folks. Go the hard way. Go for it. There will still be lots and lots of people on the wall with you.

Smile too, because you'll be on the onl man made thing visible form space.

Exports to China -- up 35 percent between 2005 and 2006 for Pennsylvania -- are now a vital component of expanding the county's economy, said Mr. Onorato. Westinghouse, for example, has an agreement to provide China with four nuclear plants, a deal that, along with an increase in domestic nuclear demand, is expected to create 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs in the Pittsburgh region.
China is going to build 300 Nukes. The first four are a dress rehearsal. If we screw up, there won't be any more.

Continued increases in exports may in turn lead corporations to expand, giving the county government a new role in international trade. "If they need to be near the river, we have the brownfields that we've cleared by the waterfront," Mr. Onorato said.
Dan, China doesn't give a care about our brownfields near the river. We care. But they don't. When China wants to come to the US, they want to have finished goods ready for market. When China has a factory to expand, they don't worry about eminent domain either. They've got the land. They've got the rivers. They've got the workforce. They've got most of what they want and need, except the power.

Dan should be talking about power and technology. If Dan is talking about brownfields -- he is lost. Dan, it would be much further ahead if he talked about the Penguins.

Net international investment now flows heavily toward China. The Chinese Central Bank announced last week that it had foreign reserves of $1.2 trillion, a $135.7 billion increase in the first three months of this year. And the U.S. trade deficit with China stands at $233 billion.
In China, they are growing and with new things because they have not over spent. They've saved. Here in the US, we've gone into massive debt.

Even less well-known cities are cashing in on the boom. Officials from Qinhuangdao, a northeastern coastal city of 2.7 million, recently argued that the glut of foreign investment has inflated salaries in certain cities.
Everthing in China is less well-known to Americans. That isn't China's fault. It is ours. We lived in Chengdu. That city is bigger than New York City.

"We are not Beijing, Tianjin, or Shanghai," said Qi Zhonghong, deputy director of the Qinhaungdao Economic & Technological Development Zone. "Qinhuangdao has low wages." The average Chinese worker earns just $1,700 a year.

It is great to know what you are and what you are not. In Pittsburgh, we have a rush to become what we are not, sadly. Pittsburgh needs to be what it is. The lesser-cities in China have a grip on this fact. The cities that are NOT Beijing don't want to be Beijing.

While the $12.5 trillion U.S. economy is a maze of titanic corporations, small businesses, state regulations, and federal laws, China is more of a straight line hierarchy where personal relationships lead to investment partnerships.
I'm not going to buy that for a moment.

One of the standards of success for the delegation will be getting to know Chinese government officials, who control much of the domestic funds necessary to make international deals possible. The delegation's current itinerary includes meetings with two representatives of Beijing's airport and 10 Tianjin city leaders.
So, Onorato and crew are going to meet the guy at the security desk at the airport. Good. Then it is to meet 10 Tianjin city leaders. Humm.
"At the moment, we've been told there are other officials to be announced," said Suzie Pegg, a delegation member with the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, a nonprofit business recruitment organization.
Stay tuned.
In anticipation of the meetings, Mr. Davin had special business cards printed that render his development position in Chinese characters. As gifts for their hosts, the group brought plates of Pittsburgh's golden triangle made by Wendell August Forge in Grove City.Great. Plates from Grove City about Pittsburgh. That sums it up.

Mr. Davin, everyone you talk to in China who is going to help reach the goals of the trade deligation is going to be just fine with English. The Chineese characters on the business card are not necessary.

But for my card, I would not list my blog address, China has a way of blocking mega blog site from web surfers.

"China as a country is where our country was 80 years ago," Mr. Onorato said.
Dan, keep quiet. China isn't where our country was 80 years ago. China isn't in the 1930s. Today's China is not like anything that you can put into a silly one-line statement. Talk about The Great Wall. Talk about the flight. Talk about the others on the trip. Better yet, have the others on the trip do the talking.

Eighty years ago, the US wasn't building 300 N-Power Plants. That is what China is doing. We'd like a bit of that action here in southwestern PA. Don't blow it with silly statements.

And Dan, don't drink the water. No ice in your drinks. Did you take your water bottles so you can lug your own water around as you go to The Great Wall and the Forbidden City?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Brand Building

On Saturday, at the event, I'm going to speak twice.

One of my talking oppportunities is about politics. The other is about brands and brading. One avenue to communications is to build and work upon one's brand.

From Art from friends

From Art from friends

That's a brand.

Dan should know a bit about each of those figures.

The bit of art shown above is a hand-made paper cut. The work is nothing but a RED piece of paper. And the artist took a pair of sissors and cut out the design. The pattern of white shows as a removal of the red paper.

One of the best types of gifts that a tourist, such as Dan Onorato can obtain, is art. Dan could spend 20-minutes with an art vendor and come home with a wide range of various papercuts to give to friends, family, staff and others upon his return.

People like travel gifts. They are fun. They are meaningful.

More papercuts:

From china - sculp...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Phelps inspired by Beijing swimming venue

Yes, China is full of inspiration. They don't lack in any measure in terms of the grand scale of life and its inspirational aspects. - More Sports - Phelps inspired by Beijing swimming venue - Thursday April 12, 2007 12:34PM Michael Phelps said he and U.S. swim teammate Katie Hoff left inspired after a visit to the futuristic 'Water Cube' swimming venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

'We went and saw it yesterday and it's definitely pretty cool,' Phelps said during a visit to Shanghai on Thursday.
Wonder if Dan Onorato will run into Michael Phelps in China.

The next time we'll be in China, for the Olympics in 2008, we'll be going to those venues and we'll be cheering for Phelps and crew.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Why go to China

Question of the hour, why go to China.

Question two concerning the Onorato trip. Can China keep him?

Pittsburgh Pist-Gazette: Ravenstahl Campaign Kicks In To High Gear As Primary Looms

New blog. Funny stuff so far.
Pittsburgh Pist-Gazette: Ravenstahl Campaign Kicks In To High Gear As Primary Looms But the ‘I Like Luke” team presses on even with hurdles such as these. Their mission is to make this the most exciting and engaging uncontested election Pittsburgh has ever seen.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Witnesses Slammed In Father-Daughter Restaurant Slaying - News - Witnesses Slammed In Father-Daughter Restaurant Slaying: "witnesses did not immediately volunteer their assistance because, where they live, police cooperation often carries the threat of retaliation."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Ballot B.S. at T-minus 12 days and counting

Still no consensus on sending corrected absentee ballots Although the state Supreme Court has affirmed, for now, that Ralph Nader won't be on Pennsylvania's November ballot, still uncertain is whether the U.S. Department of Justice can force the state to send corrected absentee ballots to overseas voters, then extend the period during which those ballots can be tabulated.

Democrats, including Gov. Ed Rendell and his underlings, say new ballots shouldn't be sent. Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and the legal squad from the Justice Department, say they should.

Folks, you error on the side of inclusion. You put Nader on the ballot. Nobody should vote for him, in my humble opinion. But, you got to put him on the ballot. Otherwise, Pennsylvania told 50,000 of its citizens who signed the petitions that they are meaningless.

University Club calls it quits

114-year-old University Club calls it quits: "Members of the University Club last night agreed by majority vote to dissolve the 114-year-old club. "

Breaking up is hard to do.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Allegheny County gives grants for rooftop gardens

Allegheny County gives grants for rooftop gardens: "PITTSBURGH Allegheny County authorities have given grants for four rooftop gardens as part of a program to try and reduce stormwater runoff."

How nice. What is this, our latest attempt to make a spit in the ocean count?

The Steelers and Pitt's football practice fields should have been built within the flood plane. The fields were raised. I objected. Flood the darn fields.

Same too with parks built in wetlands. We are doing it and being proud as well.

Thursday, October 14, 2004 - Pittsburgh Area Web Blogs - Pittsburgh Area Web BlogsMark Rauterkus Blog
A blog about local, national and international current events, including talks on the presidential elections.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Libertarian Navel Gazing

SWOT posting about Pittsburgh / Allegheny County Libertarians. See the comments.

Friday, September 17, 2004


(Government Technology) Maine, Indiana, Virginia, Delaware, and Arizona have the best state government Web sites in America, according to the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology in state and local government.

PA took top honors for top state official for exceeding the posted speed limits on state-wide roads and highways, and, of course, for the best cheese-steaks with fries. Just don't get any of the crumbs on your keyboard.

ANIMAL FRIENDS to move from Strip District to suburbia

ANIMAL FRIENDS : HOME: "Construction begins on our new home"

Sadly, Animal Friends is moving out of the city.