Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

| Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

What a waste: State and Washington County officials used a federal grant to surveil then seize more than 800 marijuana plants last week. Even the Civil Air Patrol and a National Guard helicopter were used. What a horrible waste of public resources.

Check that list: Highmark Inc. might want to check its insurance rolls more carefully. If it does, it likely will find it's still sending mailings and making robocalls to former customers. How many? Who knows? And why? But you can bet that it's an unnecessary expense that only keeps the cost of health insurance artificially high.

How ironic: Allegheny County Council, concerned about possible email snooping by the executive branch, met several times in bogus executive sessions to secretly discuss what to do. And the council's solicitor even took the Trib to court to block access to records related to the snooping debate. What is this, Mad magazine's “Spy vs. Spy”?

A fitting host: Pittsburgh will host the National League of Cities' Congress of Cities and Exposition in November 2016. Leaders from around the country will discuss every idea imaginable for the betterment of cities. It's an apropos event for Pittsburgh as it celebrates its 200th birthday and as it continues its transformation to keep step with — and in some cases, keep a step ahead of — the times.

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