ShareThis Page

Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

On the “Watch List”:

The Port Authority. The trial balloon is that ACE Rich Fitzgerald wants Joe Brimmeier to serve as interim (or is it permanent) head of Allegheny County's mass-transit agency. Which, given Mr. Brimmeier's significant baggage — think Pennsylvania Turnpike debt, nepotism and investigations — means all trolleys and buses will need to be outfitted with trailers to carry it all should he be chosen. Of course, Brimmeier will hire family members to be his porters.

• Joan Orie Melvin. The public corruption trial of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice continues in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. And, sadly, it has pretty much become a ho-hum affair. Perhaps that's because so many high-ranking Keystone State government officials have been put on trial before her (and most of them have been convicted). Should Mrs. Melvin join the proverbial gallery of public rogues, the new state slogan — “State of Corruption” — should be carved in stone in the state Capitol.

• Shell's cracker plant. Gov. Tom Corbett says $1 billion in tax breaks for Shell's proposed petrochemical plant in Beaver County will ensure that Pennsylvania's natural gas boom will be sustained. Silly us, we thought markets determine such things. Given the basic demand and supply curve and currently depressed prices, it's becoming more evident that these publicly underwritten incentives are designed to protect Shell from the vagaries of the marketplace. And that disrespects taxpayers.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.