Asides: Goats munch on Polish Hill; Pennsylvania teens don't buckle up; Allegheny County moves closer to grading restaurants

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TO GET YOUR GOAT is the common expression for being very irritated, but this is a libel on goats, creatures which can just as well bring a sense of calm and order — especially if 30 of them are released on a hillside in Polish Hill to eat brush and vines not easily cut back by other means. As the Post-Gazette’s Diana Nelson Jones reported, this vegetation chomp-down took place Tuesday to the surprise of passers-by. The goats, herded together for the start of a neighborhood reclamation project, came from a farm in Saxonburg, Butler County, which grazed them for a fee. No word on whether the goatherd stopped later for a cup of coffee at Crazy Mocha, the Pittsburgh coffee chain which features a goat in its company image.

WHEN IT COMES to wearing seat belts, teenagers are getting the goat of safety officials by not buckling up. A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association said more than 51 percent of teenage drivers killed in U.S. car accidents in 2012 were not wearing seat belts, a trend that is rising. In Pennsylvania that year, 92 out of 106 teenagers killed in car crashes were not buckled up. Many of these tragedies could have been averted if only the herd instinct of teens could be redirected away from thinking they are invincible.

ALLEGHENY COUNTY has waited years to have a cleanliness grading system for restaurants — A, B, C grades prominently displayed, a practice that diners appreciate in places like food-savvy New York City. Like a slow-cooking stew, this reform isn’t yet ready to serve, but the end of a public comment period on June 12 advances the timetable. As the Post-Gazette’s Patricia Sabatini reported last week, the comments ran roughly 2-1 against the plan, but many of those opposed were in the industry. Their fears are overblown, unless they keep live goats in the kitchen. The county health board will vote on the plan in early September.

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