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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).

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.

Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

PennDOT will lower weight restrictions or impose new ones on more than a thousand bridges across Pennsylvania over the next four to five months. Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch says the state Legislature's failure to pass a funding bill necessitated the move.

Question: Had the Legislature passed such a bill, and given the time frame required to fix “deteriorating” bridges, would PennDOT still have announced the new restrictions? If the answer is “no,” you'll know the announcement was politically motivated.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl thinks it's “half-assed” for this newspaper to document the taxpayer subsidies in a Downtown development and, apparently, to give the developer and his supporters ample space to defend what they say is the “need” for those subsidies.

Question: Does the mayor believe we should have given equal space to those who disagree with such winner- and loser-picking subsidies? Or is he merely embarrassed that his policies have perpetuated a development welfare state that has perverted market forces?

President Obama has outlined a series of proposals to, supposedly, make colleges more accountable and more affordable.

Question: Given government's record of making colleges exactly the opposite — tuition-raising tuition subsidies, discrimination-perpetuating affirmative action, a proposed payment cap on student loans that will result in fewer loans — why would anyone think that more government intervention would do so?

Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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