Laurels & lances: Music, gators, basketball and Kennywood |
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Laurel: To sweet, sweet music for the community. SummerSounds kicked off its 20th anniversary season on June 7 with a packed St. Clair park for its 7 Bridges — an Eagles tribute band — concert.

According to series chairman Gene James, more than 8,000 people filled the Maple Street park Friday evening — canvas chairs, blankets and picnic baskets in tow for the open air performance. The Friday night concerts, coordinated by volunteers, fill a town that typically begins to empty most days by 5 p.m.

Lance: To gators on the loose. Pennsylvania has its own animal issues. We’ve got bears. We’ve got rabid raccoons. We’ve got a lot of deer. We don’t need to be importing Florida’s issues with giant reptiles. An occasional alligator in Pennsylvania? That’s a quirky anomaly. Three alligators on the loose in Pittsburgh in one month is just too much.

Chomp, one of the gators in question, belonged to Mark McGowan, who faces possible criminal charges connected to 32 animals confiscated from his Beechview home.

But that doesn’t explain the other two. Animals are a responsibility, and not treating a predator like an alligator with the respect and security it requires is a danger to the animal and the public.

Laurel: To scoring a big win. Dedicated Nursing Associates is the Salem Township-based company that donated $50,000 toward new basketball courts at Delmont’s Newhouse Park. Work on the courts is nearly complete, and with Delmont-Salem Rotary Club members having volunteered to do some renovations at the Newhouse pavilion, borough residents who haven’t been to the park for a while may be pleasantly surprised.

For a borough with a total annual budget of less than $1.3 million, committing $79,000 for a new hoop court is not an easy decision. It’s wonderful to see a local business willing to step up and help out with the lion’s share of the cost.

Laurel: To making your voice heard. When the people speak as one, there isn’t anything they can’t accomplish. Now if only we could use that power for something a little bigger (but less tasty) than bringing Heinz ketchup back to Kennywood.

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