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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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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, Feb. 13, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Laurel: To Bill Peduto. Pittsburgh's mayor has thrown his support behind Lyft, the sign-of-the-times driving service (booked through a smartphone app) that's driving the local taxi “duopoly” (if not state regulators) bonkers. Yellow Cab even has gone to City Council in an attempt to sic police on Lyft and other similar services. Isn't it amazing what a little innovation and competition do? Someone reinvents the wheel and the state-protected monopolists seek nothing less than state-directed retribution.

Lance: To The Toledo, Ohio, Block Bugler. It labels as “looney” conservative arguments that extended unemployment benefits discourage job hunting. “If there were any truth” to the contention “then more people should have been driven into the job market in January,” The Bugler editorialized this week. “But they were not.” But they were, dear Bugler: Those benefits expired on Dec. 28 and the labor participation rate increased in January. The Bugler drowns in its own spittle as it continues to carry water for the unsustainable economic policies of the Obama administration.

Laurel: To Gene DePasquale. The state auditor general slapped Pittsburgh Public Schools for talk of taking over the insolvent August Wilson black cultural center. “Fiscally irresponsible” is the phrase Mr. DePasquale used. We prefer the word “reckless.” After all — and it's no hyperbole — the district could very well face a state takeover if it doesn't change its ways. Still, the school board's leading Wilson Center takeover proponent, Mark Brentley, thinks it's a good idea. More's the pity.

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