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of our discontent. In the first place, the snow came back this week after a thaw had teased the region. Although only 3 to 4 inches seemed likely on Presidents Day, rain turned to snow sooner than expected, with the result being a record snowfall of 7.9 inches for Feb. 21 and the tally reaching 8.5 inches by the next day, according to the National Weather Service's office in Moon. Public works chiefs were pleased with their snow removal efforts, and drivers less so. To be fair, it wasn't a "snowmageddon" -- the dread word used for Pittsburgh's weather debacle a year ago.
DISCONTENT wasn't just about the weather -- political winds blowing from Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wis., stirred protests here last week. Activists and union members went to City Council Tuesday where all nine members signed on to a proclamation expressing support for public workers, who have been targeted by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a budget battle. On Wednesday, more than 100 marchers Downtown protested proposed federal funding cuts for Planned Parenthood. The struggle in Wisconsin also led to a solidarity rally at the United Steelworkers building Downtown on Thursday. On the same day, 20 social service, health care and educational agencies held a news conference at Station Square to decry the proposed budget cuts passed by the U.S. House. All these events were a reminder that deficit reduction isn't just an accounting exercise, but comes with a human cost often borne by ordinary men, women and children.
ONE PART of Pittsburgh basked as if in glorious summer last week -- Duquesne University's law school, which celebrated its centennial Wednesday in grand style. The most distinguished guest was U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who hailed Duquesne's history of serving working-class children of immigrants, women and minorities. The praise is well deserved. Duquesne University's law school is one the region's great institutions.
First Published February 27, 2011 12:00 am