Laurels & lances: Let the sun shine in
Laurel: To rebirth of local communities. Slowly — and cautiously — but surely, some downtowns’ formerly empty storefronts are filling again.
Open a brewery, or an on-trend eatery, or turn a multi-level building — perhaps a department store in an earlier life — into loft apartments, and “they” will come. Ideas — along with investments and plenty of elbow grease — seem to follow.
That’s the belief behind much of the uptick in regional downtown renovation, as spas, distilleries and restaurants open in “walkable” locations. Hopefully, policies that are pro-business, and pro-business owners, will bring foot traffic, instead of tumbleweeds, to Main Streets again.
Lance: To potholes. What is it about southwestern Pennsylvania winters that eats gigantic holes in the asphalt? With spring just over the horizon, pothole season is definitely in full swing. Low-riding sedans and small foreign cars capable of disappearing entirely into these wannabe sinkholes beware.
Laurel: To one Cool broadcast booth. It’s great to see that the Salem (Va.) Red Sox will be creating a female team to broadcast its baseball games — the first of its kind and an idea that is long overdue. It’s crazy that women had their own baseball league 76 years before they were allowed to team up to tell listeners what happens on the diamond.
It’s nice to know a Pennsylvania presence is in that booth, too. Suzie Cool, a Clinton native and Saint Vincent alumna, will provide color commentary. Home run!
The Sunshine Act is really not that befuddling. Meetings must be advertised and open to the public, and decisions happen there. Yes, there are things that can be discussed in executive session, but those meetings still have to be announced and official action must take place in the public eye.
Council and the mayor do not get to meet “informally” and unanimously decide to fire an employee with no announced reason, as they did with Planning Director Barbara Ciampini.
Council will hold its regular meeting Monday and vote on the move again. Mayor Robert Bell said he expects the vote to be unanimous, which makes sense as they’ve already voted on it once.