Laurels & Lances
Laurel (with a caveat): To Offutt Field's better-late-than-never entryway. Rejecting an offer that would have turned a vacant lot next to Greensburg Salem's athletic complex into parking for a developer couple's building, school officials say they'll use the parcel, acquired in 1916, for its original purpose, per the granddaughter of Offutt Field's namesake: a green-space entry walkway. The school board president says a design wasn't used eight years ago “because of finance.” Hence the caveat: The project depends on athletic-department fundraising.
Lance: To Starling Marte. In sports, one is expected to play by the rules. And those who reach the big leagues are paid handsomely to do just that. So it is with justifiable anger that we learn of the Pirates center fielder's 80-game suspension for using a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid. Reportedly he flunked a spring-training drug test, confirmed by a second test. And he has exhausted his appeals. His poor judgment is incomprehensible.
An observation: Nobody wants the emotional and practical hassles, but the Diocese of Pittsburgh will merge parishes in a five-year process beginning in 2019. With priests' ranks projected to fall from today's 211 to 112 by 2025, and continuing declines in the faithful's numbers and Mass attendance that have reduced 2012's 204 parishes to 188, further mergers are a painful necessity.