The Tribune-Democrat: Laurels and barbs

Posted on December 22nd, 2014

Editorial: The Tribune-Democrat

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Laurel: Continental 1 envisions a 1,500-mile trade corridor stretching from Toronto to Miami. The group’s 2015 agenda vows to push for completion of a 10-mile, four-lane limited-access highway from the Meyersdale bypass to Interstate 68 near Grantsville, Maryland. Completion of the link “changes the conversation for every state along the corridor,” said Meg Lauerman, executive director of Continental 1, based in Buffalo. Work is currently underway to extend Route 219 from Somerset to Meyersdale.

Laurel: Congratulations to the Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders for their hard-fought victory over perennial powerhouse Clairton Bears to capture their first PIAA Class A football title. The Blair County squad turned back the Bears’ high-powered offense on a fourth-and-goal from Guilfoyle’s 6-yard line in the waning moments of the game to secure the title.

Laurel: A Lilly area family is to be commended for its support of wounded veterans. Michael Mazur Jr. and his brothers and sisters have donated five all-terrain wheelchairs to wounded soldiers through The Independence Fund. The chairs have tracks similar to those on a bulldozer and allow the soldiers to enjoy outdoors activities such as hunting and fishing. “We feel that we owe them (wounded warriors) something,” Michael Mazur said.

Barb: City Council once again is seeking the court’s OK to impose a commuter tax on people who work in the city but live elsewhere. The tax, which some disgruntled taxpayers call taxation without representation, is deemed necessary to help the distressed city provide services to those working within its boundaries. If approved, the tax will be 1.1 percent on nonresidents and 1.5 percent on city residents.

Barb: Maybe he wants to study his alphabet. Or perhaps she is making a Wheel of Fortune game. Or maybe it was done for thrills. Whatever the case, state police are looking for the person who stole letters from a sign in front of the Chestnut Ridge Elementary School in Fishertown. Perhaps the thief has all the letters to spell “sorry or “guilty.”

Laurel: Students at East Side Elementary School got a lesson in safety, thanks to Officer Phil of Creative Safety Products of New Jersey and Turbo the Turtle, a hand puppet. The children learned about stranger danger, motor vehicle safety, bullying and respecting others.

Laurel: Aspiring entrepreneurs at Pitt-Johnstown pitched their ideas to a panel of local business leaders to find out if their innovations would float. Several collegians walked away from the Entrepreneurs Idea Lab with checks in hand to be used as start-up capital to help launch their ideas. Others were bitten by the business “sharks” because their plans were flawed. “We’re trying to build a pipeline of talent out of this region,” said associate marketing professor Skip Glenn, “to help with the economic development of the region.”

Barb: “Better judgment” is what a former investment adviser said he should have used after he was sentenced in federal court for filing a fraudulent tax return and misappropriating funds while he was employed as a financial adviser for Northwest Savings Bank. Keith D. Nash will serve two years in prison and one year of supervised release and will have to repay $132,868 to the IRS. Nash allegedly stole about $100,000 from a 79-year-old widow and $307,000 from a wheelchair-bound accident victim by creating phony bank statements.

Barb: Seamus McCaffery, the state Supreme Court justice who abruptly retired after he was linked to a government pornographic email scandal, is still living high on the hog. McCaffery is collecting an $11,000 monthly public pension. The Democrat jurist, who served seven years on the bench, had been suspended amid ethics investigations for his role in receiving and passing along smut.