Ups and downs

DOWNS to “pass throughs” employed by contractors to direct business on stadium and convention center projects to white-owned companies while it was made to appear the business was going to minority contractors. A report by a Sports & Exhibition Authority board member says contractors undermined the goal of 25 percent minority contractor participation and 10 percent female contractor participation on the stadium and convention center projects.
DOWNS to Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corp. for violating the Clean Water Act. The company was slapped with an $8.2 million fine for 1,122 days of violations of the law at its mills on the Allegheny and Kiskimenetas rivers. That’s the second-highest fine levied by a court for violations of the Clean Water Act. In 1997, Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc., and two of its subsidiaries were ordered to pay a $12 million penalty for Clean Water Act violations.
UPS to Mellon Financial Corp.’s decision to free up employees’ 401(k) money for other investments. Maybe the Enron affair will prove to have a cleansing effect. Others ought to follow its lead.
UPS to a poll by Manpower Inc. that found 33 percent of area businesses plan to recruit workers this quarter.
UPS to Marc USA’s winning of the Pennsylvania Lottery — it’s ad account, that is. Tierney Communications, which has handled the account since 1977, has filed a protest. Poor losers, maybe?
UPS to a $20 million round of venture investment in Cellomics Inc. by Oxford BioScience Partners, more evidence that the region’s new economy will show its promise in biotechnology.
UPS to a plan to revive conversion of the Armstrong Cork complex in the Strip District into apartments, although we’ve heard it before. There have been plans for two decades to do the same, and the building is still inhabited by pigeons and littered with the refuse of transient squatters. Jules Marling of Chicago, a partner with Charles L. Hammel III, says a late summer or early fall start could be in the offing.