HIT: It’s an idea that’s been a long time coming, and is probably overdue. Two municipalities in our area are considering the creation of dog parks to serve what seems to be an ever-growing canine population. In South Strabane Township, dog owner Leigh Lyons asked supervisors to put a dog park in Community Park. She has more than 120 signatures from people who support the idea. Township manager Brandon Stanick says Lyons’ proposal will be considered. “We don’t want to just put up some fencing,” he said. “If we’re going to do it, we want to do it right.” In Washington, there’s been a two-year process of trying to set up a dog park area in Washington Park. The fencing has been donated by Range Resources, but a city official said other issues at the park have put the dog area on the “back burner.” We hope that by spring, both of these communities will be well on their way to opening special areas for our four-legged friends and their “parents.”
HIT: It’s been 18 months since a train collided with a tractor-trailer at a railroad crossing just outside Fredericktown that forced an evacuation when hydrochloric acid spewed from the rig. Now, there’s an agreement among various entities to improve safety measures at the site. The state Public Utility Commission has signed off on a plan that will include a new sign barring tractor-trailers from making left turns from Route 88 onto Maple Glenn Road. Also, railway owner Norfolk Southern will install a 30-foot cantilever with an electronic bell, including an apparatus that will trigger the arm to block the crossing when trains are passing through. All of the work is to be done by June 2021. With these improvements, we hope it’s the last time we have to write a story about an accident at that site.
HIT: Commonsense measures to keep military-style assault rifles off our streets seem unlikely right now in Washington, D.C., but that has not prevented the nation’s largest retailer from taking action. On Tuesday, Walmart announced that it would quit selling ammunition that can be used in assault weapons. The company is also asking that its customers not carry guns openly in its stores; is going to stop selling handguns in Alaska, the last state where the retailer was still selling them; and is urging Congress to strengthen background checks and give new consideration to banning assault weapons. Walmart’s announcement comes a month after 22 people were massacred in one of its stores in El Paso, Texas. Kroger is traveling a similar road, and is asking customers to not openly carry weapons in its stores. Given the overwhelming public support for more stringent gun laws, Walmart seems to have its fingers on the pulse of the American public more than its elected officials do.
MISS: We have long warned that gambling is not a cash cow that can be milked for revenue by Pennsylvania lawmakers in perpetuity, and gambling’s limits became evident Wednesday when the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board had a casino license auction, but received no bidders. The auction was limited to the owners of Pennsylvania’s 12 larger casinos and was for a mini-casino that would have likely ended up in a rural corner of the commonwealth, or in a small city like Williamsport or State College. The Associated Press noted this week that Pennsylvania is second only to Nevada for commercial casino revenue, and No. 1 in tax revenue from casino gambling. All of Pennsylvania’s neighbors have casinos, and the state launched online casino gambling in July. It could well be that, 15 years after gambling was legalized in the commonwealth, it has reached a saturation point.