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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

On the “Watch List”:

Pittsburgh city government. By all accounts, the Peduto administration inherited a nightmare of operational dysfunction from the Ravenstahl administration. In some cases, the left hand not only didn't know what the right hand was doing, it didn't even know a right hand existed. It was no way to run a city. Here's to fixing the mess. But that will take time and patience.

• A Heinz Field deal. The Steelers say they're optimistic about reaching a deal with the Sports & Exhibition Authority in a dispute over who should pay what for a $30 million expansion of the heavily taxpayer-subsidized football stadium. A trial set to begin Monday has been postponed until May 19. Uh-oh. Taxpayers should put their wallets in a lockbox.

Laurel: To Jim Ferlo. The state senator of Highland Park says what everybody is thinking but, for some reason, has been afraid to say: It's time for the state attorney general and auditor general to take a more active role in the mess that is the August Wilson black cultural center. Both offices seem to be nibbling around the edges of the facility's insolvency when they should be actively investigating and auditing for any possible improprieties.

Lance: To Bob Macey. The Allegheny County councilman, a Democrat of West Mifflin, clearly is violating the county code of conduct and ethics by simultaneously working part time in the McKeesport office of state Sen. Jim Brewster. Yet, the council's solicitor signed off on the conflict of interest. Mr. Macey says he'll challenge the rule if need be. But he should do the honorable thing and pick one job. And to Solicitor Jack Cambest, this admonition: A loosey-goosey rule is no rule at all.

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