HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to the region's fathers and the mothers who made them fathers. If golf is to many fathers what flowers are to many mothers, then the news brought the region's dads an early gift this past week: The U.S. Open championship will return to Oakmont Country Club in 2016 for a record ninth time. Oakmont last hosted the Open in 2007 and its return less than a decade later is a tribute to the club in particular and to the region in general. With the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup in the same year as the Steelers taking the Super Bowl, and with world leaders coming to the G-20 meeting here in September, Pittsburgh has received the father of all attention lately.
IN THESE DIFFICULT times, not all families are prospering this Father's Day. The good news, however, is that the United Way of Allegheny County, despite the lagging economy, posted a small increase in giving in its latest campaign. At a time when other United Ways have experienced downturns in giving, the local United Way raised $31,231,711 this year, compared with $31,022,233 in the 2007 campaign. Congratulations to the 2008 campaign chairman, Highmark Inc. CEO Dr. Kenneth Melani and other leaders and volunteers -- as well as the unflaggingly generous local donors. City of Champions, indeed.
SPORTS SUCCESS and the generosity of people seem the natural way of Pittsburgh and so do fireworks. Pittsburghers love to see the sky light up -- and we are not talking about thunderstorms here. When it comes to fireworks, Zambelli Fireworks Internationale of New Castle has been the magic name. That is why it was a shock to read that the Three Rivers Regatta has chosen another company for the July 4 show -- Pryotecnico, also a New Castle company with long and distinguished experience in the business. The price was said to be more competitive, but the proof of this pudding will be in the exploding. While competition is good, Pryotecnico will have something to prove.