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Here's an Irish toast for you: May the paper carrier rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back as you return to the house. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May you not be tempted to visit a bar at 7 a.m. As explained in the Post-Gazette last week, a 7 a.m. drink in a bar is a possibility this morning thanks to a state law passed 10 years ago. It said that bars and restaurants can start serving alcohol at 7 a.m. when St. Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday. However, a survey by reporter Bill Toland found few establishments planning to take advantage of this -- and that may be its own blessing. Far be it for us who have argued for fewer restrictions on selling liquor in this state to call the law misguided, but 7 a.m. is awfully early on a Sunday for a beer, green or otherwise, especially as many revelers will still be recovering from Saturday's parade and festivities.

SPRING IS coming, even if the sun shining warm upon your face isn't a certainty, given the recent quirky weather. Yet some harbingers are out there and as the poet Tennyson wrote (slightly adapted): In the spring, a young eagle's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of nests. A pair of bald eagles have been building a nest in a tree on a hillside in the city neighborhood of Hays, near the Glenwood Bridge. The nest is visible from the bike trail and East Carson Street. Allegheny County now has three nesting pairs of eagles, with the others in Harmar and Crescent. Eagles, still listed as a threatened species in Pennsylvania, are signs of an improved environment. The sight of them would have cheered Rachel Carson, who after attending Chatham College (now University) wrote "Silent Spring" to warn about the pesticide DDT that threatened birds like the magnificent bald eagle.

HERE'S ANOTHER sign of spring: Fallingwater has opened for the 2013 season. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece in the Laurel Highlands is run by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which is also a champion of wildlife and the environment. On Thursday, the 81-year-old organization launched the public phase of a campaign that seeks to raise $15 million to add to the $25 million already donated to achieve its major goals -- conserving 50,000 acres of natural lands, restoring and protecting 1,500 miles of creeks and streams, connecting people to nature by planting 20,000 trees and supporting community gardens, and sustaining Fallingwater by making improvements to the site. We'll drink to that -- but not at 7 a.m.



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