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THE PITTSBURGH Pirates last Wednesday finished their once-promising season with a shutout loss against the Atlanta Braves. The Bucs had already achieved the ignominy of the franchise's 20th consecutive losing season, but the 4-0 defeat by the Braves reminded the crowd of 20,615 at PNC Park of what might have been. The Pirates ended with a 79-83 record, so close yet so far to the respectability of a winning season. As it was, this was their highest win total in the two-decade drought. The Bucs had a 48-37 record before the All-Star break and some fans dared to think of playoffs. But after that the great slide began, and the record for the last half of the season was 31-46. It is said that diamonds are forever, but surely losing seasons don't have to be. Until the spring, there are the Steelers to root for, although they have had their problems too this year.

SOME GO QUIETLY, some go because they must -- and in the latter category is William Lieberth Sr., proprietor of Allegheny Auto Body on Route 28. Mr. Lieberth of West Deer was evicted Monday from his place of business, which had been in his family for nearly four decades, because of highway expansion. He was the last to go, after PennDOT had reached relocation agreements with 15 businesses and 24 residences. It took eminent domain proceedings and an agreement with his lawyer on a higher price before Mr. Lieberth would leave. It's a sad case, but sympathy goes only so far. Mr. Lieberth, after adequate compensation for his property, ended his defiance quietly, but common sense says he should have ended it earlier. Those who drive Route 28 are now closer to the end of their commuting nightmare.



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