Content about President


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.


I don't understand people who do not vote in elections.

The first time I voted was a major event in my life. The law had just changed so that 18-year-olds could vote. Instead of having to wait until I was 21, I could, instead, participate in the election of a president. It was exciting. It was empowering.

I don't think I've missed voting in many elections since that long ago event in 1976.


You know that saying, "When the only thing you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."? I love that saying, because it reminds me not to get lost in any particular perception of what is going on around me.

I enjoyed law school and the practice of law because it was absolutely critical that you be able to see all sides of a case. You had to know not only your position, but everyone else's as well, if only to illuminate the weaknesses in your own case.


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.


The new year provides us with the perfect opportunity to clean house, so to speak, in all aspects of life. The new year coinciding with the installation of new government officials just reinforces our learned tendency to make the new year a time of dramatic change.

We need to be careful, however, that the "junk" we're throwing out isn't the critical piece of an important item, or a rare collectible that will enrich us all.


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.


This being the second week of the month, I have spent untold hours gathering, reporting and publishing the news of the week -- to the exclusion of such things as sleep and medical attention for what has become the cold from hell.

Now that I am exhausted, cranky and a bit groggy, here's what I think about our big stories this week.


I hope that I am not the only person stunned by a suggestion made at Bellevue Council's meeting on Tuesday, but given the lack of horrified gasps in the room, that may very well be the case.


Sometimes things happen in the course of gathering news that defy our best efforts to shape them into a news story.


On Monday, Jan. 4, The Citizen staff attended five different municipal meetings. At the first four, the procedure was pretty much the same. The meetings began at the advertised time with the swearing-in of newly-elected officials, followed by the election of a president and vice president. They then moved quickly through such first-of-the-year business as naming committees, appointing a solicitor, and setting meeting dates for the coming year. The meetings ended with everyone sharing refreshments and good will.


The polls will open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and they will remain open until 8 p.m. Hopefully sometime within those 13 hours you'll be stopping by your polling place.


I don't care what your politics are -- when schools start choking at the idea of showing a video of the President of the United States speaking to students, someone needs to get a much firmer grasp on reality.



Ben Avon Council member Michael Bett brought a resolution before council at Tuesday's meeting that would have the borough urge the Allegheny County Health Department to enforce its air pollution regulations for companies on Neville Island. Several residents were also on hand to express their opinions.


Bellevue officials unhappy with a council decision to hire the borough’s engineering firm to develop a plan for the town’s parks decided to strike out on their own, resulting in a heated exchange at the pre-council meeting last Tuesday.


The closing of Emanuel's Lutheran Church on North Fremont Avenue in Bellevue marks yet another passing of a long-established house of worship in the North Boroughs. With active membership no longer topping 50, a dramatic falling-off from nearly 600 members in the early 1960s, the congregation simply could no longer meet the expenses of maintaining the gothic-styled church that was dedicated in 1909, with additions and embellishments made throughout the century that followed.


In the only contested primary election race in the North Boroughs for local government, incumbent first ward Bellevue Council member Linda Woshner is being challenged for the Democratic nomination by Susan Schafer.

Schafer ran unsuccessfully for council twice before, and has only just returned to the Democratic voter registration rolls after a stint as a Republican.


In what Northgate School Board president Gary Paladin described as “the highest elective expenditures we have done” since he’d been on the board, the board Monday to spend more than $350,000 on three capital projects.

First, the board accepted a bid from Maffei Strayer Furnishings in the amount of $64,300 to remove the existing chairs and install new chairs in the Bellevue Elementary School auditorium. Board member Jennifer McWilliams voted “nay,” explaining that she was not against the purchase of chairs, but did not like that the chairs selected are plastic.


James Malloy James Regis Malloy, 94, of Emsworth, died Monday, April 6, 2015. Mr. Malloy was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. He was retired from Duquesne Light Co. after 44 years of service. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy R. Gastner Malloy; and three children, Bonnie Bass and her husband James, Diane Barr and her husband James and Ronald Regis Malloy. He was preceded in death by his sister, Sister Mary Sheila Malloy. There was no visitation and services and burial were private. Arrangements were made by the Orion C. Pinkerton Funeral Home, Avalon.

Frances Doerschner


Rosella Hanni Rosella Giunta Hanni, 93, of Independence Village, Frankenmuth, MI, formerly of Pittsburgh and wife of the late Anthony Giunta and Richard Hanni, died Sunday, April 12, 2015. Mrs. Hanni enjoyed reading and an occasional trip to the casino.


Avalon officials are looking for some assurances from Bellevue that they won’t be wasting their time to begin a police department consolidation study, as requested by Bellevue.

A letter from Avalon Council president Josh Klicker was sent to Bellevue Mayor Paul Cusick, enumerating a number of concerns by Avalon officials, and seeking answers from their Bellevue counterparts before committing to a lengthy consolidation study.

Cusick presented those questions to Bellevue Council at its regular meeting Tuesday.


Esmark Industrial Group of Sewickley has named Avonworth senior John Gould an Esmark All-American, based on John's academic and athletic achievement, as well as his community service

Esmark's High School "All-American" recognition program, aimed at recognizing outstanding athletic, academic, and community service achievements among all high school student-athletes across the U.S. in 16 major varsity sports programs spanning five geographic regions.


Even though she never sought the top spot of Ben Avon Borough government, Claire Wilwohl served three terms as the mayor, deciding not to run for a fourth term in 1998, but having compiled a list of accomplishments that ranged from procuring grants for new street lighting to officiating at the weddings of 25 couples, to helping the "Lorenzo's Oil"crew with any needs during the several months of filming the movie in the borough.


An announcement by Bellevue Mayor Paul Cusick at Tuesday’s pre-council meeting triggered a discussion that could impact the way the school resource officer at Northgate High School is paid.

Bellevue Police Sgt. Mike Hudson is stationed full-time at the high school during the school year at a cost of about $60,000 for nine months, according to Cusick. He said that Northgate, in the past, has contributed $20,000 to that cost, although school grants of $30,000 and $60,000 have paid a larger share the last two years.


There were more questions than answers as parents and teachers from Northgate's two elementary schools met with the district's school board Monday night to discuss a proposal to realign the school enrollment by grade level rather than geography.