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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

An observation: The Steelers never made the NFL playoffs this season. The Penguins and the NHL continue their player lockout. The Pirates are busy preparing for a 21st straight season of Major Losing Baseball. Heck, isn't it about time for some Pittsburgh “leader,” egged on by some investor looking to slough off his capital costs onto others, to propose building a taxpayer-financed arena to lure an NBA franchise to give us an “insurance policy” against such sporting failures? Ahem.

Another observation: Officials in Aspinwall have begun enforcing an ordinance requiring sidewalk snow removal within 12 hours of the snowfall. Other communities have similar rules with varying grace periods. And it's a safety no-brainer — everybody from kids walking to school to letter carriers bringing the mail often find the walking tough going. But there are those, either because of age or illness, who cannot comply. Here's to good neighbors lending a helping shovel and a smattering of snow and ice melt.

A third observation: For some inexplicable reason, more than a few homeowners in more than a few communities think it perfectly acceptable to shovel their driveway and sidewalk snow into the street. It's not. And it's not simply ignorance but dangerous stupidity. For if the hazard they create causes an accident, well, they can and should be held liable. (As should local municipalities that, in the fall, mandate that leaves be gathered on the street at curbside for pickup. That's a hazard, too.)

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