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Fort Pitt Museum tells a story that must be told

As the president of the Friends of the Fort Pitt Museum, and on behalf of its board, I welcome the interest and support of anyone who believes, as we do, that the Pennsylvania History and Museum Commission's recent recommendation that Fort Pitt Museum be closed and its artifacts be removed is full of faulty information and mistaken conclusions ("State-Run Museums Face Cutbacks, Closure Due to Fiscal Shortfalls," March 23).

Most of all, this recommendation is a violation of the trust that we have placed in the commission: our obligation as a commonwealth to preserve and interpret one of the handful of truly crucial sites that shaped the history of Pennsylvania, the nation and indeed the world.

Our Web site (www.savefortpittnow.com) will enable all of us to share information and to concentrate our forces on saving the museum. The Fort Pitt Museum tells a story that must be told. It tells a story no one else can tell. And it will tell that story better than ever before once it survives this crisis; its best days are still ahead.

DONN NEAL
Downtown


Bottoms up

It is a wonderful feeling to look at the blue skies and feel the warm temperatures that are here. Spring is finally coming. No longer are we cooped up in our houses breathing the super-heated furnace air. Better yet, the power companies are installing scrubbers to clean the toxic waste that they have been pumping into the air for us to breathe. Just think, no longer will our lungs be filled with these toxic waste emissions from their stacks.

But wait, all is not well. Seems that the toxic scrubber waste sludge will be dumped into our drinking water supply if the power companies have their way ("Plant's Bid to Dump Smokestack Pollutants Into Mon Is Under Fire," March 16). No longer will we have to breathe the toxic waste, but now we will drink it.

Oh well, progress demands some sacrifice. I guess we can't have everything. Here's to a cool drink of sludge this summer. I can hardly wait.

ROBERT E. PINKERTON
Plum


The best tribute

Like most Pirates fans, I was saddened at the news of Vince Lascheid's death on Thursday, though I'm grateful for his many years of service to Pittsburgh's sports teams and fans ("Vince Lascheid, Well-Known Organist, Dies," March 20).

But I was even more disappointed to read Pirates President Frank Coonelly's official statement where he said, "We are proud to say that even though he is gone, Vince will continue to be the Pirates organist through digital recordings. When our fans hear organ music at PNC Park it will continue to be Vince Lascheid for years to come. We can think of no better tribute than carrying on the tradition of playing Vince's music at Pirates games."

Continuing to play the same, canned recordings is probably the worst tribute to Vince the team can make. What made Vince Lascheid (and all ballpark organists throughout the nation) special was that he was playing live and in person, responding to the ebb and flow of the game, and actually conducting a musical dialogue with the fans. No digital recording can begin to recreate that. It is analogous to playing videos of champion Pirates teams from the 1970s on the video screen instead of playing games on the field.

The best tribute to Vince and his legacy is for the Pirates to hire a fresh, new organist and bring back live music to PNC Park.

MARK ABRAMOWITZ
Squirrel Hill


Two-way courtesy

Because I grew up with great parents and was taught great manners, I have a solution to save Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board employees embarrassment as well as the agency $173,000 ("PLCB Consulting Contract Questioned," March 10).

Instead of hiring the Pittsburgh-based consulting firm Solutions 21 to teach the state store employees some manners, you can hire me, a Pittsburgh-based, unemployed mother who has only "one solution." My solution is to "please" hold one general meeting for all PLCB employees. In that meeting, I will tell them all "thank you," for all of their hard work and that "I'm sorry" for the slim salaries that they have been receiving throughout the years. I will also say to them "you're welcome" to hold the door for one another as you exit, but "please" remember to "have a great day!"

With my training, not only have I saved Pennsylvania hundreds of thousands of dollars, but I have not insulted the intelligence of the thousands of PLCB employees who maintain a strong stream of revenue into this struggling state, day in and day out.

CONNIE DUSAK
Avalon

The writer is the daughter of a Wine & Spirits store general manager.


Their poor example

I cannot believe the show that is being put on in Washington by our congressional leaders. Their outrage over the AIG bonuses is quite a performance. Barney Frank pounding his fist on the table is reminiscent of McCarthy calling out communists.

Don't misunderstand, I agree that it was wrong for the AIG execs to accept the money, but Congress has no right to judge them. First, members of Congress OK'd the bill that provided the payout and haven't turned down any of the taxpayer money that is coming their way. They haven't reduced their salaries, cut back on expenses or volunteered to start contributing to the cost of their health care.

I would have a lot more respect for Congress if its members did what they are demanding others to do. Start showing us that they mean what they say and begin by returning some of the taxpayer money that they have received for pork-barrel projects for their districts.

BONNIE GREGG
Imperial


Familiar idea

It is with both amazement and amusement that I read the March 20 headline with respect to the AIG bonuses being taxed at 90 percent ("House Passes Bill to Recoup Most of $165 Million Paid to AIG Executives"). I wrote a letter to the Post-Gazette in October that suggested that future "golden parachutes" be taxed at 75 percent ("They Won't Notice," Oct. 6).

I am, of course, disappointed that I was right that there were more bailouts to come, but gratified beyond words that I was wrong as to the tax percentage. Perhaps I could get a modest bonus for the idea?

DIANA BARBOUR
Bethel Park


Enslaved to China

So, we are a trillion dollars in debt to China ("China Concerned About U.S. Holdings," March 14). We would do well to listen to Solomon: "A borrower is a slave to the lender."

JOHN F. JOHNSON
Jefferson Hills


How can anyone object to brighter evenings?

Oh, how I waited for March 8 this year. No longer would I have to be short with the grocery cashier who was working too slowly -- making me a nervous wreck because it was getting near 5 o'clock and I'd have to risk driving home in the dark. Same thing when they kept me waiting in the doctor's office.

After March 8 there could be dinners with friends and still time to get home before dark.

However, my enthusiasm was dampened by all the talk-show guests and hosts claiming it's not the thing to do -- daylight-saving time -- moving those clocks ahead. What?

They want to deprive workers who are cooped up all day most of the year of the many things that lighter and brighter evenings bring. A little golfing, safe hiking, badminton, playing a little catch with the kids. Not to mention a needed little dose of Vitamin D when they have so little opportunity to do so unless they use the bottle -- of Vitamin D, I mean. Then there is the question of grass cutting -- a need in the summer. Or maybe they'd like it done in the light early morning hours before work when the ground is still wet.

Or is this a conspiracy to get grannies off the road by 6?

LORRAINE BARTLEY
Ross


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We welcome your letters. Please include your name, address and phone number, and send to Letters to the Editor, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222. E-mail letters to letters@post-gazette.com or fax to 412-263-2014. Letters should be 250 words or less, original and exclusive to the Post-Gazette. All letters are subject to editing for length, clarity and accuracy and will be verified before being published.



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