Asides: Chuck Noll, Barack Obama and more

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LAST WEEK Pittsburghers said farewell to The Emperor and hello to the president. The Emperor was the name given to Steelers coach Chuck Noll by another Pittsburgh legend, the late Myron Cope, but Tuesday’s funeral for Mr. Noll, who died June 13 at age 82, was anything but imperial. While it was held in the grand setting of St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland, presided over by Bishop David A. Zubik of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese and attended by many Steelers luminaries and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the service was short, quiet and, like the man himself, dignified. With his place secure in the city’s history and affections, Coach Noll’s send-off needed no ostentatious flourish or special speakers recalling tales from the glory years of four Super Bowl victories.

THE PRESIDENT’S visit the same day struck a happy, optimistic note. Barack Obama stopped at Bakery Square’s TechShop in Larimer to promote innovation in manufacturing. He used the appearance to announce a plan to give aspiring businesses greater access to high-tech resources, whether through the government or wider sharing of private and university-based data and facilities. In providing access to expensive equipment and facilities, administration officials said, the plan is designed to lower the barriers to innovation. Mr. Obama clearly likes Pittsburgh; this was his third visit this year.

THE ZEBRAS are coming, the zebras are coming. No, not NFL referees, but those members of the horse family of a different stripe. The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium has acquired two 1-year-old Grant’s zebras, a male and a female, from a breeder in northeastern Pennsylvania. They will be put on public display in the African Savannah exhibit on the Fourth of July. Zebras have been absent from the zoo for six years, but on Independence Day the new stars will have the stripes.

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