Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
On the “Watch List”:
• Luke Ravenstahl. The federal investigation into a police department slush fund that already nailed the police chief now appears to be focused squarely on the mayor. A grand jury is believed to have heard testimony from Mr. Ravenstahl's former bodyguards and his personal secretary. The proceedings are secret. But it's sure starting to sound like somebody “flipped” on the mayor — or at least is trying to.
• The UPMC threat. State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says he'll audit the health giant if it doesn't allow Highmark insurance customers access to UPMC services after 2014. Access is in doubt because of the long-running Highmark-UPMC dispute over the former's subsumption of what's now the Allegheny Health Network. Mr. DePasquale has auditing power because of the substantial public subsidies given to UPMC. The bottom line is that any insurance should be accepted anywhere.
Laurel: To Jim McCarville. The head of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission has worked tirelessly for years to promote waterways commerce and lock improvements on our rivers. Now, Mr. McCarville, 67, has been honored by the White House for his work — in conjunction with a committee of volunteers, Carnegie Mellon University and the Army Corps of Engineers — to create a computerized virtual locking system. The recognition is well-deserved.