Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

| Monday, April 21, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Pork Chop sentences: Five of the 16 people indicted in the state's Operation Pork Chop gambling sting in the McKeesport area have been given probation for their guilty pleas. Charges were lodged last September in the illegal gambling probe in which 354 video gambling machines were seized along with more than $1 million in cash. It's a classic example of the hypocrisy of government which itself sanctions gambling — but only if it gets to skim proceeds off the top.

Is this a “conflict”? Yes, Allegheny County Councilman Nick Futules receives royalties from a natural gas well on property he shares with his brother in Penn Hills. And, yes, the Oakmont Democrat, who chairs the council's parks committee, is involved in discussion whether to allow the same company to drill under Deer Lakes Park. But Mr. Futules long ago disclosed his drilling deal and will not profit from any county deal. It's hard to see how there's any actual conflict, let alone a perceived one.

Check it out: The boating season is here. And with Allegheny County having among the highest number of watercraft registrations of any county in the country, safety is a paramount concern. To that end, civilian volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer a Vessel Safety Check program this Saturday and Sunday at the Moon Township Municipal Building. It's a great way to have safety issues identified — and the opportunity to fix them — before being cited, stranded or even injured on the water.

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