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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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Thursday, March 13, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Laurel: To curbing South Side rowdiness. This weekend's St. Patrick's Day revelry should test some recommendations of the California-based Responsible Hospitality Institute, a $100,000-per-year city consultant. One side of the 1700 block of East Carson Street is being devoted to taxis, the other to valet services, which should ease traffic and help prevent drunken driving. Upcoming are stepped-up police patrols funded in part by South Side bars and restaurants. And shuttle buses can aid the neighborhood's parking crunch. But nothing's more helpful than a responsible approach to partying — year-round.

On the “Watch List”: The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System investigation. Internal communications obtained by the Trib show the system's top physician warned colleagues that equipment meant to curtail Legionella bacteria in the Oakland VA hospital's water system wasn't performing up to standards in September 2011 — seven months after the bacteria caused a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease to begin, but 13 months before officials acknowledged that outbreak publicly. It's yet more evidence for the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs to consider in its probe of shameful treatment of local veterans.

Lance (with a caveat): To implementation of Pittsburgh's new open-data ordinance. Had more thought been given, the city wouldn't need months just to figure out what data it collects (!) so it can figure out what data it can post online. The caveat? Government transparency is a good thing.

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