Laurels & lances: Running, towing, fixing and charging
Laurel: To a first-class last place. Jessica Robertson of Braddock and Alle-Kiski grad Laura Mazur of Ohio didn’t win the Pittsburgh Marathon. Not by a long shot. The two finished in 7 hours, 22 minutes and 56 seconds. They were the last people to cross the finish line. They did it hand in hand. In those hours of putting one foot in front of the other, they built the kind of camaraderie you don’t expect in a competition.
What they did win was the respect of thousands online who responded to their story of commitment, with the picture of the two being shared over and over. Sometimes the win isn’t in overtaking the other runners. It’s in overcoming yourself.
Lance: To towing the line. Come on, McGann and Chester Towing and Recovery. Saturday night’s rush to cart away cars parked on Walnut Street in Pittsburgh seemed like stacking the deck. First there was the miscommunication about whether cars could park legally until 11 p.m. or midnight prior to being removed to facilitate preparation for the marathon. Then there was a literal smackdown between a tow truck and Mayor Bill Peduto as he tried to straighten things out.
Peduto said it would make sense to start any towing in areas that weren’t making money. He was right. Maybe in the end McGann and Chester would have towed several fewer cars — and therefore collected a little less revenue — but they would have also hauled in a lot less ill will. Hopefully, the proposed meeting to come up with a better plan for future events doesn’t crash.
Lance: To a road in ruins. Allegheny County needs to address the condition of Crawford Run Road. We’re talking about more than just a municipality problem. The road runs through East Deer, Frazer and Indiana Township. It’s more than just a residential issue. It’s the road that gets shoppers to the Pittsburgh Mills mall area. And it’s not a couple of bumps or cracks. These are potholes that could cause damage on their own or by people swerving to miss them.
Look, we know that needed road repairs always outpace available resources, but this road has been in bad shape for years, not just recently. Repave it already.
Lance: To an epidemic of arrests. With the arrest of a Jeannette City school director this week, that makes four elected officials in Westmoreland County who have been the target of police investigations since the beginning of 2019. One of the accused has resigned from their post. All four have criminal charges pending in the court system. What is happening here?