Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

| Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Chronicles of Nate: Will the new day bring new questions about Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper? A federal grand jury supposedly is already reviewing some of his business dealings. And on Friday, news broke that the feds were investigating an account at the police credit union in Mr. Harper's name and several unnamed others. What's with that? Nobody's saying. But the drip-drip-drip of innuendo is damaging the department and the city.

Blessing in disguise: The consulting firm pushing for a light-rail commuter line between Lower Burrell and Pittsburgh says it's having trouble attracting a “sponsor agency” — one that would serve as a conduit for federal grants for the $414 million, 20-mile line. Federal grants and loans would account for 90 percent of the funding. Which more than suggests — as we've said repeatedly — that this project, if built, would not be sustainable. Lack of “sponsor” could save taxpayers millions.

Ah, progress: “Once upon a time, in a Pennsylvania far, far away ... .” That might be the way history records the introduction of the new 878 area code to Southwestern Pennsylvania. Unlike the introduction of the 724 area code on a geographical basis, the 878 code would be laid over the entire 412 and 724 code area. The days of discerning from what geographical region a call emanated will be a thing of the past. A small thing? Yes, but a sigh-producing passing, no less.

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