It's that time of the year when many of us are instantly transported to days past...okay, decades that moment when we graduated from high school and the world as we knew it changed forever.

I wish someone had said to me, "This is it, kid. The is the last moment of your life when you will be guided around by the hand, safe and secure and untroubled by things like paying the rent or buying food or finding a job." Of course, being a know-it-all 18-year-old, I would have replied, "Bring it on!"


Citizens of Bellevue, tonight you may rest easy...the revolution has begun. You are going to be saved, quite possibly from yourself.

I know, I know, Bellevue has revolutions every couple of years. But this one is serious. This one has a platform. So far, the platform consists of the following tenets:

1. The people of Bellevue must be able to burn freely, anything, anywhere, anytime.

2. The people of Bellevue must be able to drink alcoholic beverages, anywhere, anytime, and most definitely while they are burning things in their back yards.


My life lesson for this week is all about taking responsibility.

I don't like to make mistakes, but when I do I know that I can't live with myself if I don't stand up and admit my mistake and take responsibility for it.

Unfortunately, my mistakes tend to get made in front of thousands of people who read this newspaper, such as last week's error in the Bellevue burning ordinance story. Hopefully we have all learned that the mistake was mine and mine alone, and your barbecue grills are relatively safe from excessive regulation.


It seems, folks, that all of us subjected to the Bellevue pre-council meeting have suffered a massive group delusion.

The mayor was not ranting and swearing and attacking council members because they did not want to hire his son. He was indulging in a temper tantrum because no one would tell him WHY they did not want to hire his son.

Or so says council member Kathy Coder, who went on to tell the majority of council that they could have avoided all of this simply by explaining themselves.


Writing normally comes to me as easily as breathing for most people, but I have to admit that I've started this particular blog about three times. Mostly that's because I really don't know what to say about last Tuesday's Bellevue Council meeting.


In Western Pennsylvania, we're not used to primary elections that are dominated by Republican contests. It's usually the Democrats tearing each other apart, and more times than not, the general election is decided by the results of the primary.

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but the Republicans are proving this year that they can get as down and dirty as their Democratic colleagues. From the presidential primary to local state offices, the mud is flying in record quantities.


Every now and then, we hear from people who are less than pleased to see their names in the newspaper. This almost always involves the police news, but sometimes other news stories as well.

Being a small newspaper in a small community, we are very, very aware of the potential impact of printing someone's name in what can be perceived as a negative light. Sometimes there's no perceiving about it...the light is about as negative as it can get. Other times, it is left up to the reader to interpret and decide.


The last Bellevue Council meeting was disturbing on so many levels that it's hard to know where to begin to comment.

The personal attacks on applicants for both volunteer and paid positions with the borough were...I can't even think of a word to describe how inappropriate they were. After 30-plus years of Bellevue Council meetings, I'm not often surprised by much that goes on there. But these attacks were so nasty and so unnecessary...let's just say that Bellevue government reached a new low at this meeting.


If you read the obituaries section in this week's issue of The Citizen, you will find two names that seem to have nothing in common except a connection to Avalon. On closer inspection, however, you will find the stories of two lives that had a tremendous impact on the world around each of them.

The first is Bernie Sewak. He was a teacher at Avalon High School. I never met Bernie, but I heard his name quite often. Decades after he taught his last class, he remained involved in his students' lives, in the community, and in life itself.