Okay, folks, get comfortable. This is going to take a while. Not nearly as long a while as Tuesday's three-hour Bellevue Council meeting, but there's a whole lot of muddy ground to be covered once your brain thaws out from that experience.


In debating who should pay the cost of having a school resource officer at Northgate High School, the first question that must be asked is, should anyone pay?

Should Northgate High School have a police officer stationed there full-time during the school year? Do the benefits outweigh the costs?


The Northgate School Board is facing quite the decision, but may have already stacked the deck against themselves and their ability to make meaningful change in the district by presenting what failed miserably at being the dog and pony show that was needed.

The first thing anyone attempting to govern needs to learn is that seeking opinions from the public on an idea that is, at best, half formed, is suicide. People will have questions about anything new, and inevitably will opt for the status quo when those questions cannot be answered. The drama that will ensue is hardly productive.


Anyone who was around and paid attention during previous discussions of Bellevue and Avalon being served by one police department learned at the outset that words we often use interchangably actually have very different meanings in this field.

When experts talk about a merger, they mean that one police department ceases to exist and is taken over by the other. A consolidation, on the other hand, means that both individual departments cease to exist and a new department is formed of the two.


For many of our readers, the political climate of today with regard to race relations is something they have never seen before. They have not seen protests and riots, nor have they heard allegations of blatant institutional racism and police brutality.

The older readers, myself included, have seen it all before. But I swear, I never thought I would see it again. I thought we had moved past the insanity of the 1960s and 1970s in America.

But apparently we just put a lid on a powder keg and hoped for the best.


We hear from reliable sources that the last time the Avonworth football team made the WPIAL champuionships, it was 1959.


Unlike in the game of football -- where if someone drops the ball, the person who picks it up and runs with it is a hero -- a fumble recovery in politics just makes both sides look bad.


In January, I had the opportunity to meet all of Pennsylvania's Democratic gubernatorial candidates except for Rob McCord. At that time there was a whole herd of them about to stampede to the primary election in May, and it was pretty easy to see that a few were definitely going to fall by the wayside. At that time McCord was considered the front runner, the one to beat.


Emotions and opinions have been running hot in the aftermath of the appearance of yet another viable candidate for RWNJ of the year. I speak, of course, of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who decided that, after losing every court battle over cattle grazing fees owed to the United States government, he would stage his next appeal with AK-47s.

There were people out there who actually managed to turn this into a constitutional issue, and elevated Mr. Bundy to the status of a national poster child for states' rights.