is when people lament the passing of the season before it has passed. This pessimism has various prompts. For some, it is the arrival of cooler weather, as happened last week, after previous sweltering days. For others, it is the end of a vacation at the shore, leaving nothing else to look forward to. But the biggest premonition of summer's end in the Pittsburgh area has to be the start of Steelers training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. Yes, it is that time of year again. Players reported Friday and the first public practice was scheduled for yesterday afternoon. In recent years, training camp was a consolation for sports fans who saw the Pirates headed for more baseball ignominy, but this year the boys of summer are doing well. Football? Already?
THE BITTER FIGHT between Highmark and UPMC in the health care and health insurance marketplace makes football seem like a sedate shoving match. For the public, there's not much to like in this battle of behemoths, but the participants do have their good sides. This newspaper has always given credit where credit is due -- witness UPMC's underwriting of the Pittsburgh Promise, which provides scholarships for city public school students. Today it is Highmark's turn for praise. On Thursday, it announced $400,000 in grants for the Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center on Ninth Street, Downtown. Highmark Health Services and its charitable foundation have donated about $2.5 million to the center since its 2007 opening, helping people for whom living is not easy in summer or any other season.
TO THOSE doubting that it's still summer, proof comes courtesy of PennDOT and its friendly orange cones near you. The outbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel and the outbound Liberty Tunnel have been closed this weekend. Although the Squirrel Hill Tunnel will reopen by 6 a.m. Monday, the Liberty Tunnel will stay closed until the morning of Aug. 12. Yes, it's still summer -- football or no football, cool days or hot, beach or no beach.