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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 cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 9:00 p.m.
 

Science experiment gone wrong: Seriously burned when an experiment he was performing exploded, a Derry Area High School chemistry teacher first responded to ensure the safety of his students. That's commendable. But Brian Clawson, an experienced instructor, should have been wearing protective gear. Safety must be the foremost concern. And given the volatility of this chemical reaction, should such experiments be conducted in high school science labs?

Doing something right: North Huntingdon commissioners have an enviable problem. From a proposed $14 million 2013 budget, they hope to not only cut property taxes by 1 mill but also pay down debt and provide for more road paving. This, in a township that hasn't raised property taxes in years. Most locales are content simply to end the year in the black and continue the status quo. North Huntingdon's fiscal flexibility underscores commissioners' commitment to taxpayers and a careful eye on the township's bottom line.

Where's the meter money?: Latrobe's whiz-bang pay-by-phone parking system isn't the hit with the public that officials anticipated. Since June, the system has collected only $1,000 (the city keeps 83 cents of every dollar generated). Convenient? Yes, but it's still a fee. Apparently most folks tend to be “old-fashioned” when nickeled and dimed for parking.

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