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Laurels & Lances

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Laurel: To Rich Fitzgerald & Mark Patrick Flaherty. The Democrats seeking the nomination for Allegheny County chief executive have gone negative with their campaign ads. Among other things, Mr. Fitzgerald attacked Mr. Flaherty for practicing supposedly "Republican" economics while Flaherty attacked Fitzgerald for, among other things, being a spendthrift. At this rate, we'll be publishing the photos of their bodies well before the May 17 primary.

Lance: To the City of Pittsburgh. As had been predicted years ago, the city has returned to systemic deficit budgeting. Controller Michael Lamb says the city spent $12.5 million more than it took in for 2010. That's the first time they've spent more than they've taken in since 2004, not long after the city was placed in state receivership. Which raises anew questions about the quality of the "oversight" by not one but two oversight boards. This bad joke is getting worse -- all around.

Laurel: To the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. If all goes according to plan, four Louisiana pine snake eggs will hatch at the Highland Park facility in about a month, adding four new members to one of the most endangered species of snakes in the United States. It's all part of a plan to restore balance to the ecosystems of Louisiana and Texas. Conservationists that we are, here's to a s-s-s-s-s-successful hatching.

Lance: To state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe. The Cranberry Republican wants to codify discrimination by amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to deny legal "marriage" to same-sex couples. And the proposed wording of his amendment goes a step further, appearing to not even recognize any other "legal union." But constitutions are not for denying rights; they're for enumerating them. This is poor form, the antithesis of liberty, and the effort should be rejected.

Laurel: To public gardens. Today is National Public Gardens Day. Greater Pittsburgh has four of them, including the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and the Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden. It's hard to imagine the city without them (and the Chatham Arboretum and another arboretum at California University of Pennsylvania). These indeed are assets in which we should all revel.

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