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Letters home ...

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Monday, July 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Robbing Peter ... : The state's new City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) program is being touted as a way to jump-start job growth without granting tax breaks to companies. But it takes tax dollars away from local government, instead paying them to a state authority to pay off development costs. If businesses in a CRIZ fail, it's not like they're going to pay their local taxes twice to make the cities whole again.

Clam buckets for sale: The end of dredging the Allegheny River for sand, gravel and other mineral deposits is here. There's plenty of blame to go around, including ever-tightening environmental regulations, noise limits and simply running out of the materials dredgers were after. Rivers, by nature, are ever-changing and so it must be with the industries that depend upon them.

Burned again: It's becoming increasingly apparent that the US Airways heavily taxpayer-subsidized flight operations center in Moon will close when the airline's merger with American Airlines is finalized. And that has a lot of folks once again crying “Foul!” But it's par for the course for an airline that also “de-hubbed” Pittsburgh International Airport, a facility built specifically for it by Allegheny County. Perhaps the next shafting will finally force government to think thrice about such deals.

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