If any municipal council on the face of the planet has a reputation for, shall we say, boisterous debate during meetings, it is Bellevue Council. There exists a long and proud tradition in Bellevue of government going off the rails. Until now.

This new council is so busy trying to be friendly that they are, for the most part, allowing some enterprising officials to get away with murder.


Since I walked into my first polling place in 1976, I have experienced any number of emotions as I cast my ballot. Sometimes it was with idealistic enthusiasm (Mo Udall – Google it), sometimes it was with determination to change the world (Barack Obama). This Tuesday will be the first election day when I cast my ballot with an overwhelming sense of grief, and a stomach-churning sense of fear.


After a few decades of a whole lot of people pretending that racism really wasn’t much of a problem in our society any longer, it appears that we all must wake up to the consequences of our apathy and lack of attention.


If you grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and especially in Beaver County, during the 1960s, you never possibly could have imagined that in the not-too-distant future there would be no Midland High School.


Dear taxpayers of Avalon and Bellevue,

You are really going to want to wake up and take a serious look at your school district.

First, let’s all agree that we love the idea of small neighborhood schools, we think our kids are the best kids in the world, and we will all bleed red and yellow until the day we die. Now, put down your pom poms and take a look at the hard reality:

You can’t afford to pay more for underperforming schools.


I am a child of the 1970s, an era of dramatic change and activism. Which is not to say that everyone who came of age in that decade was an activist, or even aware of what was going on in the world around them. Even those who were aware did not grasp the concept that they could have an impact on the world. They saw themselves as victims of the status quo, powerless and voiceless.


There has been much social media coverage in recent days about a Twitter exchange between comedian Sarah Silverman and a troll. In response to a Silverman Tweet, the troll posted a one-word, foul, obscene Tweet.

Silverman is not known for taking prisoners or pulling punches, but this time she responded with a new kind of weapon – compassion.


We’ve all had a few weeks now to process the local election results and come up with any number of theories to explain the results. Was it a whiplash in response to national politics, or an extension of the anti-incumbent sentiment seen in past elections? Or were citizens voting a little less blindly than some would like to believe?


I don’t know how much national politics and issues have played a role in local politics, but you don’t have to dig too far beneath the surface of the North Boroughs to see at least some effect. Ballots on which offices were once filled by anyone who could get a few write-in votes are now being contested by an abundance of candidates. And some of the most troubling issues that confront us as a nation have stepped into the local spotlight as well.