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Heavy Boston snow lightens Kerry's wallet

| Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

John Kerry has no trouble flying to Kiev for a diplomatic mission, but he apparently can't make it to Kmart to buy a snow shovel.

With his home city of Boston enduring historic snow accumulations this winter, the secretary of State recently received a $50 ticket for failing to clear the sidewalk of his Beacon Hill home, the Boston Herald reported.

Two days after another significant snowfall blasted Beantown, someone reported Kerry to the city's Inspectional Services Department.

A State Department spokesman used the flimsy excuse that Kerry was overseas when the storm hit.

Hey, Kerry is married to Fox Chapel multimillionairess Teresa Heinz. He can afford to hire a couple of neighborhood kids to shovel him out if a blizzard strikes while he's globe-trotting.

LOGAN TAKES AIM AT MESSENGER OVER MALL.Sean Logan certainly can throw a hissy fit.

Logan, a former state senator, is the executive director and CEO of Visit Monroeville. He took umbrage at a Trib story on the difficulty Monroeville Mall might have in rehabbing its image after three people were shot there last weekend.

He was particularly incensed by nationally renowned Duquesne University marketing professor Audrey Guskey's comments in the story. “You should be ashamed of yourself!” he wrote her in a scathing email. “For you to participate in this type of hatchet job on the mall and this wonderful community is simply terrible.”

In the story, Guskey called the shootings “a big deal for the mall” and said she would be very worried if she owned a business there. We'd hardly call that a hatchet job.

Guskey graciously responded in an email to Logan that she was sorry he had interpreted her words to mean the mall's situation was hopeless. In a follow-up email, Logan termed Guskey's commonsense comments “appalling,” incorrectly accused her of engaging in “journalistic malpractice” and offered this friendly close: “We can't take any more of your negativity!”

We're certain Mr. Logan would agree there have been entirely too many shootings in Monroeville recently. There was no need for him to fire at the messenger.

ONLINE TIME CAPSULE. Talk about your Internet detritus.

Wednesday marked the 14th anniversary of the implosion of Three Rivers Stadium. But the website for the former home of the Pirates and Steelers remains active at 3RiversStadium.com.

Three Rivers “continues to be home to the region's most exciting attractions and biggest events,” the site boasts. The facility “plays host to large festivals and world-class concerts performed by internationally acclaimed performers like the Rolling Stones and Elton John.”

With streets, office buildings and parking lots now where Three Rivers once stood, might we suggest someone take down the old stadium's website before its two successor stadiums — PNC Park and Heinz Field — also are nothing more than memories?

TIMING IS EVERYTHING. Dr. Michael Zorch, an Excela Health Latrobe emergency physician who moonlights as a Greater Latrobe school director, livened up a recent school board meeting with his retort to a question.

Zorch, who heads the community relations committee, was asked whether there was a committee report. He replied, “Sadly, we have no relations to report this month.”

After the giggles died down, Zorch said he'd been waiting months to crack the joke.

TURNPIKE LEADERSHIP RUNS THROUGH IT. Speaking of Sean Logan, his selection as the new chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has many wondering about Monroeville, the eastern Allegheny County community whose tourism agency he heads and where he once served as mayor.

Logan was appointed to the turnpike commission in July 2013. He also serves as interim president and CEO of the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Former Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier, who admitted to participating in a bid-rigging and influence-peddling scheme, now lives in Ross, but he was manager of Monroeville before joining the commission.

Brimmeier, 66, is still collecting a $43,027 annual state pension despite his guilty plea to a conflict of interest charge in November, records show.

Also, the law office of another former Pennsylvania Turnpike commissioner, James J. Dodaro, was on Ardmore Boulevard in Wilkinsburg, just beyond the Monroeville boundary. Dodaro, 70, lives in White Oak.

POUR IT ON? State House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Marshall, continues to press to get a liquor privatization bill through the House and into law. However, Rep. John Payne, R-Dauphin County, introduced a bill last year that would not only keep the Liquor Control Board, but expand it from three to nine members.

Expand the LCB? Who could favor a plan where nine members would get the salaries and benefits that the current three-member board does now?

Payne's House Bill 938 would spread LCB appointments among the governor, Senate president pro tem and House speaker, and would stipulate that three members come from the wine, spirits and malt-beverage industries.

We doubt the alcohol industry has been lacking a voice on the board, given such headlines as “Ethics Commission cites four former top LCB officials for taking gifts and trips on liquor execs' dime.”

Payne maintains the larger board would be more diverse and improve agency operations.

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