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Greensburg Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 8:58 p.m.

An observation: Regarding the state prison closings: To some, this week's announced shuttering of state prisons in Westmoreland and Cambria counties, and plans to move prisoners and staff to new facilities in Indiana and Centre counties, was a shock — a shock! — they say. What, did they expect the new facilities were being built to house cheerleading camps and flea markets? Yes, the Department of Corrections could have done a better job in announcing just when all of the moves will happen. But no one should be feigning surprise.

Another observation: Explaining why Pennsylvania's American Civil Liberties Union may intervene in a “sexting” case against two Greensburg Salem middle-schoolers, legal director Witold “Vic” Walczak says the girl “created an image” with her cellphone photo and, as such, it's protected under the First Amendment. Indeed, it is. But just because it is protected speech, the ACLU shouldn't even be giving any hint that there can't be serious consequences for it.

Laurel: To Air Force veteran Earl Mansberry. A long-overdue Purple Heart presented after his service in Vietnam affirms that there is no statue of limitations on valor. For various reasons, Mr. Mansberry of Uniontown didn't talk about his war injury. Here's hoping his example will encourage other wounded service personnel to step up and receive the recognition that's due them from an appreciative country.

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