HIT: After nine years as chief executive officer and president of Washington Health System, Gary Weinstein is stepping down at the end of this month. For Weinstein, his tenure was largely about expansion. Over time, Washington Hospital became Washington Health System and added outpatient, diagnostic and children’s centers, partnered with other health-care organizations and even added a hospital, WHS Greene. “We’ve gone from being the hospital on the hill that provided acute care to a system that has reached out to the community and provided better or more complete services.” With Weinstein’s departure, hospital officials Brook Ward and Rodney Louk will each move up a position, putting the organization in good stead for the future. We wish all three men the best going forward.
HIT: Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that has an official residence for its lieutenant governor, and right now it’s not even being used. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has said that the commonwealth doesn’t owe him a place to live, and he’s instead renting a Harrisburg townhouse from his brother. There would probably never be a better time for Pennsylvania to offload this property, and Republican state Sen. Joe Scarnati is planning to introduce a bill that would do that. On the plus side, the 2,400-square-foot mansion has a five-car garage, swimming pool and industrial kitchen. On the negative side, though, it’s located within the boundaries of the Fort Indiantown Gap military base. But this should still be a desirable property, and one the state should rid itself of. A mansion for Pennsylvania’s second-in-command is a needless extravagance.
HIT: On a superficial level, the bear sightings that have happened across Washington County over the last week or so have been a cause for concern. Though the odds of encountering a bear while you’re out and about are tiny, no one wants to have to remember whether you’re supposed to walk away slowly when you see a bear, or just run like hell (the answer is walk away slowly, even if your instincts tell you to run). The fact that we are seeing bears at a point in the year when they are on the move is, in actuality, something of a triumph for conservation in Pennsylvania. A bear management plan was started in the commonwealth almost four decades ago, and in that time Pennsylvania’s bear population has quadrupled. Experts think there are more bears in Pennsylvania now than when the commonwealth came into being. And no one has been killed by a bear in the state over the last century. So, be glad that they are here – but don’t leave any food out for them.
MISS: It would be safe to say that last Saturday will not be looked upon as the greatest day in the long history of Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Arts Festival. The weather was fine and attendance was robust, but musical headliner Marty Stuart bowed out of a planned concert in Point State Park due to a family matter, and then, later that night, a thief (or thieves) broke into the tents of some of the artists selling their wares at the festival. One artist alone had $1,200 worth of paintings stolen. Festival organizers have vowed to step up security measures, and an investigation is ongoing. Still, this is a stumble for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, which puts the festival together. One assumes they will be particularly vigilant as the festival winds up this weekend.
HIT: It was, to borrow a literary phrase, the best of times and the worst of times for Waynesburg Yamaha Suzuki KTM in Franklin Township. On Feb. 12, the business’s main showroom burned down. The losses, just in cycles, parts, tools and equipment, reached about $850,000. But the dealership soldiered on, operating in a new addition that had just been completed, and owner Brian Vasko said the shop “had an outstanding spring.” Also, the new building to replace the burned structure is going up pretty fast. It’s bigger, better and expected to be completed by the end of September. It’s always good to see an out-of-the-ashes story like this.