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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

Daily Photo Galleries

'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, July 31, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

On the “Watch List”:

The Steve Bucar-Steve Zappala fight. Pittsburgh's new public safety director and Allegheny County's district attorney are off to a rocky start in a dispute over how to best present suspects' photos to eyewitnesses. Mr. B. says he learned of a new policy by reading the Trib. Mr. Z. says he sent Mr. B. an email days before. It's time to iron this out over coffee. The public, and justice, are being disserved by this very public spat.

• Pittsburgh's garbage. The Allegheny Institute for Public Policy once again is recommending that the city, still in state receivership and plagued with systemic budget deficits, consider doing what most communities do — privatize garbage collection. And this time, it stresses, no poison pills should be allowed to rig the process. That's what happened previously. The savings could be in the millions of dollars. The time has come. Again.

Laurel: To Dollar Bank. It finally has called out Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority for “shirking good public stewardship” in its attempts to block the sale of the insolvent August Wilson black cultural center to a private entity. The bank, which holds the center's defaulted mortgage, criticizes the URA for “actions wholly inconsistent with its stated purpose and mission” — including the creation of jobs and expanding the tax rolls. Exactly.

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