Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances |

Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

Ready, set, shop!: It’s Light Up Night in Pittsburgh, the traditional beginning of the Christmas shopping season. All of the city is decked out in the proverbial boughs of holly, the fa-la-la-la-las will be flowing freely and there will be lights, lights, lights! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. That said, as this most festive season arrives, please do not forget your favorite charities, which do so much to help the less fortunate all through the year, but particularly at Christmastime.

Lance: To Rich Fitzgerald. In the aftermath of a county car scandal that cost him nearly $43,000, Allegheny County’s chief executive now wants to weaken existing rules to allow those with take-home privileges to use such cars for small personal errands. Nothing like creating a brand-new slippery slope. How long will it take for stopping for a gallon of milk on the way home to become a full-fledged trip to the grocery store or to the mall?

An observation: The much ballyhooed Allegheny Central project on Pittsburgh’s North Side, centered around the old Garden Theater adult movie house seized by the government, continues to languish. A number of prospective developers have come and gone; the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority is expected to choose yet another developer next month. But the common denominator in this failure is government and its attempt to centrally plan. Why is this such a perennially difficult lesson to learn?

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