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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Say what ? : Mark Mustio is seeking re-election to his 44th Legislative District seat this year while simultaneously seeking the 37th Senatorial District seat. And how appropriate it is that Mr. Mustio doesn't list his party affiliation in a Senate campaign mailer last week. Allow us to fill in the blank: Mark Mustio is a member of the Pay-jacker Party.

The voice of Luke: We see nothing wrong with KDKA radio giving Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and his spokeswoman, Joanna Doven, three hours of free air time Friday last. That is, if the station gives all of Mr. Ravenstahl's challengers in next year's mayoral election equal time. If not, it should send the mayor a bill for a three-hour campaign commercial.

The union label: John Brooks, chairman of the Port Authority of Allegheny County's board of directors, defends Pittsburgh's half-billion-dollar-plus North Shore Connector boondoggle as a project that "created work for a lot of people." So, too, does digging ditches and filling them up. But neither is a very efficient allocation of scarce taxpayer resources. Of course, given Mr. Brooks' background (as a carpenters union boss), such talk is a foreign concept if not a foreign language.

Hello, 911?: Three outages in two weeks of Westmoreland County's 911 dispatch system are troublesome. But officials are confident that a failed telecommunications computer card, linked to the last two outages, was the culprit; it's been replaced. And the outages have not affected emergency services. Bottom line: The emergency-dispatching system persevered. Perhaps the outages were instructional. But we trust the lessons are over.

Charity and good sense: Authorities say Keith Michael Jenkins, 32, sought help from a Greensburg church, then used information on the $40 check he received to tap the church's account to pay for more than $1,000 in sex-chat calls. Pathetic as this episode is, it imparts a good lesson: When it comes to charity, always check out the cause -- and never write checks to dubious individuals.

Clear boundaries: The case of a Penn-Trafford middle school lunch aid, who resigned after she was suspended for allegedly sharing "inappropriate feelings" for a student on Facebook, raises questions about the problems that social media pose for school staffs and students. It shouldn't. The availability of today's instant communications does not change the fact that adults should know what the proper boundaries are with children.

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