Laurels & lances: Voters, Treat Trolly and a fire department's annual fees
Laurel: To the voters. All parties. All races. Whether you stood in line or were the only person at your polling place or sent in an absentee ballot, you deserve a thumbs up for doing your most important job as an American. The system doesn’t work without you.
Lance: To the people who didn’t vote. Despite high turnout for a primary, there were still a lot of people who didn’t cast a ballot. Shame on you.
Laurel: Let’s single out the voters at Newlonsburg Presbyterian precinct in Murrysville for braving long lines. It’s unfortunate that the divisive political atmosphere in the nation is likely a driving factor but we will take more participation any day.
Watch list: To the people making decisions about election preparation. It’s possible that officials simply didn’t anticipate such a big turnout for the midterms, but voters in that precinct have consistently complained about long lines. It might be worth the election bureau’s time to take a closer look at how voter numbers are distributed in that area.
Laurel: To the kids of Charles A. Huston Middle School in Lower Burrell who are manning the school’s new Treat Trolley. The intensive learning support class is picking up valuable skills while supplying teachers and staff with coffee and snacks on Fridays.
“I think it’s great,” said Lower Burrell K-9 Patrolman Stephen Cernava.
Lance: To North Apollo officials who want the volunteer fire department to justify its importance again.
Unsurprisingly, residents aren’t happy about paying a $40-50 annual fee that is collected by the municipality and turned over to the fire department. Nobody is saying the fee is being misused. It’s going for fire protection, according to audited records, but 60 percent of residents don’t want to pay it.
It’s the officials’ job to be the grown-ups and do what is best for the community they represent, and saving lives and property is always the right call.
Lance: To people who saw the Tree of Life shooting as an opportunity to use blood and grief to cash in on the open hearts and wallets of those eager to help in a time of sorrow. Reports have already come to Pittsburgh police about scam attempts made in person, by phone and online.
If there is anything worse than a tragedy, it’s someone who wants to exploit a tragedy for money.