| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Laurels and Lances

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

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?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

'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.

Thursday, May 24, 2012, 5:24 p.m.

Lance: To Daryl Metcalfe. The Cranberry Republican should have his head examined for introducing a bill that would redirect taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood. Mr. Metcalfe says the move would cut off taxpayer money that now "support(s) abortionists." Never mind that 95 percent of Planned Parenthood's services don't involve abortions. How many women will suffer because of Metcalfe's misguided legislation?

On the "Watch List":

• West Penn Allegheny Health System. Spokeswoman Kelly Sorice criticizes Standard & Poor's Ratings Services for downgrading the struggling system's bond rating as "shortsighted" for not taking into account "potential for the future." But another "p"-word -- "performance" -- is the critical one. And right now that metric remains in intensive care.

• The Port Authority. The contract with its union expires on June 30. Talks are under way. But apparently missing from the negotiations is any mention of state legislation to prevent unionized employees of the mass-transit agency from striking. And until the right to hold the taxpaying public hostage is eliminated, there is no hope of fixing this perennially broken operation.

Lance: To the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. The DCED has no overall accounting of $10 million given to the Beaver Initiative for Growth over a decade. BIG, as it was known, is one of the scandals that landed former powerful state Rep. Mike Veon in the pokey. We've said it before and we'll say it again -- it's time to eliminate the slush-fund-overseeing DCED.

Laurel: To Bryan Kline. Westmoreland County's Republican clerk of courts intends to collect from at least 374 deadbeat defendants a total of $147,000 in fines, restitution and court costs. Among them -- a Berks County woman, convicted of forgery years ago, whose debt totals $11,000. It's time to bring these scofflaws to justice.


• Texas roofer Steven Kyle Hunt, who allegedly stuck 17 Westmoreland County homeowners with roofing-supply bills that he supposedly didn't pay, says an accountant embezzled the money. So, that's his explanation -- more than a year after the work was done and paid for by residents? Here's hoping his roof repairs at least hold up better than his excuse.

• Hempfield's former recreation director Dean Minerva, accused of stealing more than $26,000, since repaid, will serve two years of probation and perform 100 hours of community service under a deal with Westmoreland County prosecutors. So, all's well that ends well -- until the next sticky-fingered government servant tests the legal system's tolerance for abusing the public's trust.

Laurel: To Michael Ginsburg, et al. Westmoreland County's register of wills has taken some of the legwork out of getting married by offering online marriage licence applications. That saves couples time and at least one trip to the courthouse. Kudos to Mr. Ginsburg and others who finally are bringing county government into the 21st century.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Motorcyclist injured in Westmoreland flown to Pittsburgh
  2. Dude’s The Man captures Adios at The Meadows
  3. Rossi: Nothing huge, but Huntington helped Bucs
  4. 2014 showing has Steelers RB Harris confident he belongs
  5. 2 killed in single-vehicle crash in Pittsburgh
  6. Monongahela uses modern technology to connect people to the city’s historic past
  7. Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
  8. Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
  9. Steelers OLB coach Porter teaches as passionately as he played
  10. Dek hockey summer camp ranks swell thanks to social media
  11. Inside The Steelers: LB Williams dominates backs-on-backers drill at Latrobe Memorial Stadium