Laurels & lances: Dig in, shut down, clean up |

Laurels & lances: Dig in, shut down, clean up

Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Kennywood patrons wait to ride the Steel Curtain on July 13.

Laurel: To carrying on the family tradition. This year the Gearhard family, of Gearhard Farms in Murrysville, marks the farm’s 250th anniversary. Members of the family have been living and farming the property since 1769, making the farm older than America, and the oldest in Westmoreland County.

Farmer Herb Gearhard works a full-time job and still makes time to tend to the farm and create the annual corn maze that is marking two decades in 2019.

Family farming is getting more and more rare in the U.S., and it’s wonderful to see a local family still committed to, in the words of Herb’s sister Linda Chicka, being “the temporary stewards for the land God’s given us.”

Lance: To stops and starts. Kennywood had a great idea with a Steelers-themed roller coaster. It is definitely the ride everyone wants to try.

And we get it. It’s new. It’s a “unique prototype ride,” as the park noted on its Facebook page. But the park was putting that language on social media to explain why — yet again — the Steel Curtain was shut down.

Yes, it’s going to need to be tweaked, and bugs are going to need to be worked out, and that’s going to take time.

It just seems like all of that fine-tuning should have taken place before the ride was officially opened rather than having people make the trek and pay the fare for a widely promoted attraction that may or may not be open when they get there.

Laurel: To a swift response. It’s going to take longer to clean up the rubble of the Belvedere Hotel than it did for the 115-year-old Oklahoma Borough hotel to burn in a July 24 fire, but kudos to officials for working fast to get the remnants removed.

State Rep. Joe Petrarca is leading the efforts, and borough code enforcement officer Lee Schumaker says details of a cleanup plan will be released Thursday.

Funding remains the great unknown in the project, but the biggest concern is contamination from a building believed to contain asbestos.

It’s good to know that state and local government can work together quickly when it is important.

Categories: Opinion | Editorials
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