Asides:Thoughts for the week

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AS MAXIMS GO, “Do as I say, not do as I do” is not persuasive. But when Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald last month announced a new program called “Live Well Allegheny,” designed to promote health and combat obesity, he could have boasted that he was not only talking the talk but walking the walk. Mr. Fitzgerald, 54, has lost 30 pounds over the last six months and he puts it down to lots of brisk walks with his wife, Cathy, eating fewer sweets and using an elliptical machine in his home gym. Mr. Fitzgerald has slimmed down to 200 pounds. He looks good, but some voters may wish that he could trim county government while he’s at it.

ALLEGHENY COUNTY has been doing good things lately, as Mr. Fitzgerald told Post-Gazette editorial writers last week. After years of losing money at the Boyce Park ski area because of ski lift breakdowns and inability to make sufficient snow, the county contracted with a private operator who had experience at Hidden Valley resort. Since opening in early December, the ski area has brought in more revenue than last year and more people, too — 10,400 in its first 51 days of operation. A blizzard of new money and efficiency at Boyce is a blizzard to be welcomed.

PRESIDENT BARACK Obama likes coming to Pittsburgh and he visited again on Wednesday. This time he spoke at U.S. Steel’s Irvin plant in West Mifflin as part of a series of post-State of the Union rallies. After donning a hardhat to make a brief tour of the plant, he made a speech and then signed an order to create a retirement savings plan to help workers with modest incomes. When they retire, they can keep fit by taking brisk walks in summer and skiing at Boyce Park in winter.


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