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Nices & Naughties

Nice: The Bickerstons -- UPMC and Highmark -- have reached a deal to extend their contracts through June 30, 2013. But if these two health-care/insurance behemoths can keep working together for the next 18 months, why can't they do it permanently?

Naughty: The contention of the Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP that requiring voter identification at the polls will disenfranchise black voters is a red herring. Protecting the integrity of the franchise should be everyone's goal.

Nice: Public/private parking lot sponsors will pay nearly a half-million dollars over the next three years to make it "free" to travel between Downtown and the North Shore Connector's first North Side stop.

Naughty: If the above sponsorship decision is based on the transit agency's wildly bogus ridership projections, those sponsors, hoping to boost their bottom lines with more parkers, will be sorely disappointed.

Nice: That depressed appraisal of a government-controlled North Shore property for which the Steelers were handed sweetheart development rights proves once and for all how such deals pervert the marketplace and shaft taxpayers.

Naughty: The American Chemistry Council is spending $500,000 on ads promoting Republicrat U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy's re-election bid. Mr. Murphy is facing his first formidable GOP primary challenge in years. Gee, anybody smell coordination ?

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