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Valley Laurels & Lances

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Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lance: To Rich Fitzgerald. The Allegheny County chief executive continues to chide the rule of law. During his "town hall meeting" in Harmar on Wednesday on how to appeal the new assessments, Mr. Fitzgerald launched into a tirade against Judge R. Stanton Wettick, who ordered the reassessment after several courts affirmed the old system's unconstitutionality. Far worse, however, is that the ACE's incendiary remarks could incite violence against the judge. His attitude and grandstanding -- Fitzgerald childishly placed an empty chair on the stage with the judge's name on it -- is despicable. Judge Wettick should not pass up the chance to sanction Fitzgerald once and for all.

Lance: To Cheswick Council President Jonathan Skedel. "Loose cannon" is about the nicest term we've heard about the hot-tempered Skedel since he took office in January. Skedel needs to learn a little bit more about politics, especially the part about working with others to get things done. He tends to issue what sound like dictates, but which are mostly bluster since he needs others to accomplish his goals.

Laurel (with a caveat): To the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County. Board members rejected a proposal to raise customers' quarterly surcharge from $1 to $5. Admittedly, a few dollars more won't break ratepayers. But customers first deserve to see what the water authority is doing to control expenses before reaching for more revenues.

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