Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Animal's Again?

The August 6th edition of “Early Returns” (http://www.post-gazette.com/earlyreturns/) mentions in passing that the problems with the city's stray feral rabies vector animal euthanization program are far from resolved. You may remember that the Animal Rescue League decided to get out of that part of the business some time ago (May or June-ish). The ARL had offered to continue euthanizing animals for a brief time while the city got its act together, perhaps with the city's animal control officers passing certification exams to euthanize animals. The other alternative was a McKees Rocks firm called Triangle Pet, which was willing to euthanize animals for the city, but not 24/7. This created questions about what would happen to animals in pain overnight or on weekends. Darlene Harris had actually done yeomen work in researching the issue and talking to state officials about certifications. Today the city again finds itself courting Triangle Pets. This is where the brain drain of experienced city personnel mentioned in yesterday’s PG (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07218/807296-53.stm), especially in the Law Department, really makes itself felt. I can’t say for sure, but the Law Department was supposed to look into what testing is needed for city animal control officers to be able to euthanize animals. Guy Costa had seemed lukewarm to this idea in a hearing, but in any event it evidentially has not happened. Of course, the Law Department might find time for these things if it wasn’t having to worry about the behavior of the Public Works department, or render judgments on the Mayor’s actions.

In other news, The PG’s transportation column suggested Chelsa Wagner as a member of PAT’s board (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07217/806829-147.stm). She had opposed funding for the Port Authority. The column also suggested stopping bus service in her district, but we'll ignore that. By odd coincidence, Dan Onorato suggested on the KD/PG Sunday program that he would be happy to appoint state legislator’s to PAT’s board. How ‘bout it, Mr. County Executive?

The Post-Gazette also noted today in an editorial that Onorato stated on KG/PG that he wanted the new drink and rental car taxes to cover the county's entire contribution to transit, not just the extra bit for additional state funding. Good luck with that. Perhaps the County Executive is simply looking for someone to blame if the tax revenue falls short (the legislature made me do it?).

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