Laurels & lances: Russians, crime, radar and story time
Laurel: To colluding with Russians — musically. It was the sounds of Chicago. Except it wasn’t Chicago. It was cover band Leonid & Friends. And they aren’t even from Chicago. They’re from Moscow. Yes, Russia. The 11-member band was a big hit in Greensburg last week, packing St. Clair Park for a free concert as part of the SummerSounds series and filling the air with the sounds of classic pop-rock.
But if you missed that appearance, don’t worry. A return engagement has been booked for Warrendale in October.
Lance: To the sound of gunfire. In the Arnold and New Kensington area, the unexpected popping sounds haven’t been fireworks. Over the last six weeks, the communities have been struck by six shootings.
Two people have died. Another was injured. A home was hit by bullets. So were a car and an SUV. It is just dumb luck that only two lives have been lost.
Residents talk about the crime and the drugs, and they worry about where it is leading.
“I don’t want it to be common. I don’t want it to be normal. I don’t want it to be something that we’re used to,” said one woman.
Six shootings in six weeks? That’s too common.
Laurel: To giving it another shot. Never say Pennsylvania gives up hope. The state is — yet again — trying to lose its odd distinction of being the only one in the U.S. that doesn’t trust its local cops with radar.
The Senate passed a bill that would allow the practice, which is now reserved only for state police. Don’t get excited. The same thing happened last year and died in the House. The idea has haunted Harrisburg like a ghost for years.
The fear is that municipalities would use speeding tickets as a revenue source. Local police already write speeding tickets using stopwatches or an approved laser system.
Is the state really that protective of Pennsylvanians’ wallets? Or is it fear of competition?
Lance: To no happily ever afters. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh have canceled the drag queen story times scheduled for Friday and Saturday because of “circumstances beyond our control.”
Those circumstances are unspecified social media threats toward the program nationwide.
The venues are right to be protective of the safety of their visitors. People may disagree over the value of the program, but there should be no disagreement about the vileness of threatening a child-centered activity.