Laurels & lances: House, Hempfield, and Harrison
Laurel: To the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for voting 131-62 to make firearms seizures mandatory within 24 hours when a protection from abuse order is finalized. The move comes a week after the shooting at a Fayette County district judge’s office, when a man whose wife had requested a PFA pulled out a gun and injured four people before being shot and killed himself.
Lance: The Westmoreland County delegation to the House — Eric Nelson, George Dunbar, Joe Petrarca, Mike Reese and Justin Walsh — who voted against this measure that the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association has called a life-saving bill. The state Senate that passed a similar, although slightly more stringent, bill unanimously last year is expected to pass the House version and send it to Gov. Tom Wolf before the end of the session.
Laurel: To Hempfield Township Supervisors for doing their most basic job and listening to their taxpayers’ concerns about “spot assessments” proposed by their school district. Supervisors directed their solicitor to support those whose property assessments were being challenged by the Hempfield Area School District.
Lance: To James Harrison for saying Le’Veon Bell should sign the franchise tag that would bind him to the Steelers for a year, but do it as late as he possibly can and then claim an injury. We’re talking about a guy who was defined by his hard-hitting unstoppability saying his former teammate should lie to get out of fulfilling a contract.
The linebacker’s last days were filled with his own no-showing and sleeping through meetings, skirting rules and showing contempt before departing Pittsburgh for the New England Patriots. This seems like a very late hit from Harrison. Flag on the play.
Laurel: To Pennsylvania House members once again, who voted 173-21 this week to pass measures recommended by the state grand jury that investigated decades of child sex abuse in six Catholic dioceses.
One of those recommendations called for a temporary two-year window for victims timed out of the court system to file civil lawsuits against their abusers. The window would apply to all child sexual abuse victims, not just those abused by Catholic priests. And while questions remain about whether such a change in the law would violate the Pennsylvania Constitution, it shows a willingness by politicians to try to do something helpful — something that was shamefully lacking for so long by so many.
Lance: To Harrison Township Supervisors. Why did they spend $5,000 for a company to recommend candidates for what will be the first manager? Those recommendations were ignored. Why? Because it was clear that some supervisors wanted another man. His qualifications are another matter.
But the way this was done harkens back many years to smoked-filled rooms and decisions to hire based on who gave relatives a job. There is still time to ventilate and clear that smoke.
We wish the new manager success and good luck.