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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 cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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.

Friday, Feb. 11, 2011
 

Lance: To Major League Baseball's arbitration process. Pirates right-handed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf was paid $439,000 last year. He was plagued by injuries and posted a record of 1-11. Even with that, the Bucs offered him $1.4 million for this season. Mr. Ohlendorf took the matter to arbitration. On Tuesday, arbiters awarded Ohlendorf $2.025 million. Good work if you can get it, we suppose, but it shows what's wrong with baseball economics.

Laurel: To Steeler Nation. The disappointment was profound after Sunday's loss to Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV. And that loss ground to a sudden halt all of the victory celebrations that were in the works. Kudos to Steelers fans everywhere who showed class and humility in defeat.

Lance: To Allegheny County Jail guards. More than 20 percent of the guards scheduled to work on Super Bowl Sunday -- 80 -- called off. And that cost taxpayers more than $24,000 in overtime to fill those shifts. And it's not as if this was a one-time deal. Similar numbers of guards called off during two prior Super Bowls in which the Steelers played. Don't you just love dedicated public servants?

Lance: To Mt. Lebanon government. The board of commissioners this week gave final approval to a zoning change that paves the way for a more than $113 million high school renovation project. The project already has resulted in a 10 percent-plus increase in school taxes with more on the way. What will the school board and commissioners do when there's no more money to underwrite their follies?

Best wishes: To Linda Kelly. The Edgewood resident is Gov. Tom Corbett's pick to succeed him as state attorney general. And from just about every corner, there's a consensus that there's not a better person for the job. Ms. Kelly, 61, is a veteran Allegheny County and federal prosecutor, described by her colleagues as a "lawyer's lawyer" with impeccable credentials. She's agreed to serve the remainder of Mr. Corbett's unexpired term and will not seek the office in her own right. We wish her a speedy confirmation.

R.I.P.: Bradley Livezey. The world-renowned curator of birds at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History died Tuesday in a car accident in Pine. He was just 56. Mr. Livezey was an ornithologist extraordinaire and was considered the best avian anatomist in the world. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.

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