Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
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'?