July 26, 2008

Greensburg Laurels & Lances

On the "Watch List": Amtrak. The railroad is the last agency that needs to sign off on plans for an enclosed walkway at the Greensburg train station, linking the city's northern end with the downtown area. Separate from convenience is a legitimate public safety issue: Pedestrians now jump a fence and risk their safety crossing the railroad tracks. All other agencies, including Norfolk Southern, have approved the plan. For Amtrak, it should be a no-brainer.

Laurel: To Greensburg Hempfield Area Library officials. Their willingness to assume the Youngwood Area Public Library as a branch will save it from forfeiting state funding, which likely would lead to its closure. Though the details still have to be worked out -- and the arrangement would be reviewed at the end of 2010 -- this is good news for Youngwood area residents, especially children, who rely on the local library. How sad it would be to see any community library close.

Lance: To abusers of public property. Damages to the baseball field concession stand at Brownsville-Luzerne Patsy Hillman Park is the latest incident in a continuing pattern of property destruction. Lately it's been "one nightmare after another" at the 467-acre public park, according to the park's board president. Citizens can either relinquish the Fayette County resource to the lunkheads who are ruining it. Or they can work with authorities and reclaim it.

Laurel: To the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County. Its $7,500 grant to the YWCA of Westmoreland County will enable the agency to replace 25-year-old carpeting in its home in the landmark Huff mansion. That will help free up more of the agency's funding for programming.

Lance: To cemetery vandals. Removing flags from graves and hanging a 4-by-7-foot American flag upside down at Hillview Cemetery in Hempfield weren't merely juvenile pranks. To the families of those whose loved ones are buried there, these are hurtful acts. It will be no joke for the culprits if they're caught.

Lance: To those who scam the elderly. Police say a man who offered to clean carpets instead cleaned out a Fairfield woman's medicine cabinet of her prescription medications. The stranger allegedly barged into the house and past the woman, 72, when she opened the door. Then he asked to use her bathroom, police said. Always be skeptical of anyone selling something that you haven't requested. And if he refuses to take "no" for an answer, call 911 immediately.

Laurel: To municipal cooperation. North Irwin, Irwin and North Huntingdon will participate in a feasibility study, including public meetings, for a joint recreation facility. It's what Norwin Area Regional Recreational Committee member Roy Lenhardt calls a first- of-its-kind collaboration by the three communities to build a recreation center. And that worthwhile effort should accrue savings for all.

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