Content about Business


Four Bellevue Police officers were honored at the Bellevue Council meeting on Tuesday for their efforts to save two Dollar General employees and apprehend a robber.


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.


Did you ever wonder how they get Christmas trees all wrapped up in the netting that protects them until you get them into your home? Pictured above, members of the Avalon Volunteer Fire Company package a tree on its way to a local home. The firefighters are selling Christmas trees to raise money, and have a wide variety of types and sizes in the lot across from the fire hall on New Brighton Road. The lot is open weekday evenings and all day on Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 24. Delivery to North Boroughs homes is available for free or a nominal charge.


Visitors to Avalon's "Touch a Truck" event got a bird's eye view of the festivites if they took a short ride in the bucket of the snorkel firetruck. Pictured here, firefighters Joe Luxas and Chuck Berie prepare to lift a group of adventurous visitors. The event, which raised money for Avalon Library, featured a variety of vehicles, including police and EMS, towing and pub;ic works, and a monster truck.


Imagine the following scenario:


In law school, we liked to call it advocacy, and litigators-to-be practiced and polished the various techniques of presenting a position in a compelling -- and hopefully convincing -- manner. Bottom line, though -- it was arguing. :Lawyers elevate arguing to an art form, but it's still arguing. Two sides present their reasons why a specific conclusion should or should not be reached -- you know, they argue.


Many of us watched our federal government's "fiscal cliff" drama play out over the last few days -- minutes -- of 2012. The "fiscal cliff" was media and political shorthand for a complex series of events that would occur if action was not taken by Congress.


For those people who don't think their votes count, consider the number of individuals and groups who are trying to influence or supress it.

It used to be that we received campaign materials from candidates, sometimes sent right from their very own dining room tables. We'd get stuff from their campaign committees, which is pretty much the same thing in my mind. Every now and then we'd get a card from a political party.


When it comes to political advertising these days, the entry of political action committees into the campaign wars has pretty much guaranteed that no blow is too low. Until recently, however, the mud-slinging has been focused primarily on statewide and national races. Now, it's oozing into our backyards.

The relationship between candidates and PACs is interesting. On one hand, the candidate can point to the offensive literature and say "I didn't have anything to do with that. It was the PAC!" And sometimes that is quite true.


Northgate and Avonworth players grouped up for a photo to highlight the “Volley for the Cure: 2 Teams, 1 Cause” prior to their volleyball match held at Northgate this past Tuesday.

While the visitors won a three-consecutive-set victory, Avonworth senior outsider Moriah Eck complimented Northgate for hosting the fund-raiser. “It was lots of fun for the people who attended, and it raised money for a very worthwhile cause.”

Such “pink” events not only raise funds, but increase awareness of breast cancer that could prove life-saving in the future.


Zillions of sociological and psychological studies have been done on the "Us vs. Them" mentality -- its benefits, its dangers, how it develops. The potential for evil and dangerous behaviors to grow from such a mentality is so great that people need to do some brutal fact-checking on themselves every now and then.


Planting trees has become an international movement. Who doesn't realize the massive impact trees have on everything from the economy to the climate? In a world that is slowly realizing that the earth's resources are not finite, trees are the poster children for the green movement.

So why the fuss over spending $2,500 to plant some trees in a Bellevue park?


Dogs who like to swim are invited to the Bellevue Memorial Park pool on Labor Day, Sept. 3, for a special dog swim party from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The second annual dog swim party is a fund-raiser for the Bellevue Dog Woods Association, which is building an off-leash dog park in an adjacent area of Memorial Park.

Price per dog is $10 with up to two humans. Additional humans are $2 each. No children under age 12. Older children must be accompanied by an adult.

All dogs must be licensed and vaccinated. Owners must clean up after their dogs.


After spending countless hours this summer installing a fence, a small group of volunteers recently saw the light at the end of said fence, and it was an amazing experience.

Contrary to what I would have expected, putting up a chain link fence is not so hard. It is a lot of work, and it can be a bit tedious, but it's one of those things that just needs to be done when you're building a dog park.


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.


Bellevue officials have spent most of the past month drowning in the issue of how to manage the Memorial Park swimming pool this year.

Some officials say that the pool is safer and better run with a professional pool management company. The other side denies that, and says running the pool in-house takes a lot fewer tax dollars.


My favorite TV show has returned to ABC -- "What would you do?"

This show sets up scenarios, using actors, that present innocent bystanders with what essentially are moral dilemmas. Most people know what they SHOULD do, but the show explores why some people just don't do it.

For instance, one of last night's scenarios involved people in a restaurant who observed someone stealing another patron's laptop computer. The responses ran the gamut, from people who did nothing, to people who chased down the culprit.


I hope a lot of Bellevue residents are planning to attend the budget hearing on Monday. Bellevue Council needs to hear your voices when it comes to their plan to increase property taxes by a quarter-mill and raise the sewer surcharge.

The fiscal situation in Bellevue was summed up quite brilliantly by council president Kathy Coder at the last meeting: "It's like having cable t.v. when you have no food on the table."

She was referring to Bellevue financing a swimming pool while not having money for the necessities.

She gets it.

Some others clearly do not.


To say that I am disappointed in the proposed 2012 budget for the Borough of Bellevue is putting it mildly.

It's not so much the tax increase. It's not even the sewer surcharge increase.

It's the fact that this town obviously is governed by a whole bunch of people who just don't get it.


It once again is that time of year when many of us shop until we drop, either from exhaustion or the weight of the debt we've accumulated.

And as the holidays draw closer, the desperation level increases. How to find the perfect gift? What is it? Where is it?

What we forget sometimes is to look to the practical, rather than the fantastic.


I checked to see if there was a full moon on Wednesday. Given the jaw-dropping displays that occurred in government settings across the North Boroughs, I was sure the moon was exerting some major influence.

Nope. No full moon. Not even a new moon, or even a quarter moon. The moon could not be responsible.

There must be something in the water.


Although Bellevue Council meetings have been lengthy and full of redundancies lately, the outright hostility of meetings past has been a bit muted.

At least in public.

Out of the public meeting chamber, the skate plaza and resignation of the assistant DAS have lit the simmering embers of outright loathing that exist among some members of council.

Apparently some members of council blame some of their colleagues for the loss of ADAS Katie Hale, even though it has been reported that personal circumstances may have played a major role in her decision.


Let me just say up front that I have no problem with events at which alcoholic beverages are served and/or imbibed.

I also do not have a problem with adults using alcohol as a means of fund-raising for youth-related activities. I have been to any number of nights at the races, octoberfests, oldies dances, etc. to support a variety of community organizations, including such youth programs as football, cheerleading, bands, etc.

There were, however, no youth present at any of these fund-raisers.


The more cynical among us have probably already noted that the Northgate School Board waited until after the primary election to decide that, darn it, they were going to have to raise taxes after all.

The rest of you better catch up fast.

Because after telling everyone that there would be no tax increase this year, that's exactly what this board plans to do Monday night, as announced one week before they planned to vote.