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Pittsburgh 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?

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

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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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.

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 9:01 p.m.
 

On the “Watch List”:

West Penn Allegheny Health System. Fast on the heels of its board of directors telling Highmark to take a fast ride on a rolling doughnut, a group of top doctors is calling for the ouster of the hospital system's “turnaround” consultants. Yes, there's talk of renewing affiliation discussions, but the situation remains one giant mess. We can only wonder if anybody's started a pool to “call” the health system's time of death.

• Emergency services in Pittsburgh. Paramedics have authorized a strike. City officials want to serve the public better by allowing firefighters to perform some of their duties. The paramedics union contract prevents it. Thus, the lives of those in need are being threatened. Who's the boss here? Who's supposed to be serving whom? Will it take someone's death to fix it all?

Lance: To Mt. Lebanon. The board of commissioners continues to dither on tackling the South Hills community's exploding deer population. It might — might — authorize a “study” and the distribution of “educational materials” for next year. In a community in which there's an average of nearly three deer-vehicle collisions a week, that's a flaccid response that fails the sniff test. Deer are heading into peak rut season. Will someone have to die for Mt. Lebanon to do the right thing?

An observation: The Pittsburgh Steelers want to add 3,000 seats to the south end zone of Heinz Field. And the team and fan surcharges would pay for an addition estimated to cost up to $39 million. While the $13,000 per-seat cost is a quibble for another day, taxpayers, through the Regional Asset District, have been tapped to guarantee a $20 million bond issue. Why, again, should taxpayers take on a risk that should be solely the Steelers'?

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