Editorials

Rogan owes explanation on cell plan

Scranton City Councilman Pat Rogan has joined a long and undistinguished list of elected public officials who choose to very narrowly define conflicts of interest to suit their own interests. Mr. Rogan has declined to publicly discuss how Verizon Wireless

Get ahead of power line

Most public officials and even environmental activists in Northeast Pennsylvania did nothing several years ago as PPL Corp. planned and constructed its power line monstrosity across the region’s ridge-tops to sell power in New Jersey. PPL wants to build a

Entrenchment worst option

Penn State alumni have spoken emphatically about their dissatisfaction with the board of trustees’ ham-handed reaction to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. All nine alumni-elected trustees who were on the board when the scandal broke in 2011 have been voted out

Schools need adequate reserves

Many Pennsylvania school districts have begun to cannibalize their long-term reserve funds to balance their operating budgets — a short-term fix that can only lead to more long-term problems. The situation illustrates further that the state government pay

Demilitarize local police

West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri, looked more like downtown Kiev for much of last week. Protesters, reacting to the alleged excessive use of force by a police officer who killed an unarmed teenager, were greeted by police wielding a 30-ton min

Scranton acts against itself

From Scranton City Council’s idiotic decision two years ago to allow a default of the Scranton Parking Authority, back to the refusal to present a case to a labor arbitrator in 1989, the city government earnestly has dug the hole in which it resides. Now

New education panel faces enduring issues

HARRISBURG — Education funding is the No. 1 issue in the governor’s race, so it’s not surprising that lawmakers are studying it to death. The newly created Basic Education Funding Commission will tackle an aspect of this issue when it meets for a second t

Fairer terms

Economics has intervened where justice often has fallen short. Due to the massive costs of mass incarceration, the Justice Department, Congress and many state governments have begun to scale back long mandatory sentences for nonviolent crimes, while dimin

Time to start saying, ‘NO’

There is some dispiriting symmetry in a condition that the state Department of Environmental Protection has placed on the proposed massive expansion of the massive Keystone Landfill. Before it will consider the permit application, the DEP wants an enginee

Steps to fight addiction

A national heroin epidemic has prompted research showing that abuse of opioids often is a precursor. People become addicted to powerful pain relievers and move on to heroin, which typically is cheaper and, often, easier to obtain than prescription drugs.

State stiffs hard workers

In its steadfast political opposition to “Obamacare,” the Corbett administration blundered by not expanding Medicaid as a principal means to provide health care coverage to the uninsured. So far, according to a calculation by Families USA and the Pennsylv

Mellow victim?

Bob Mellow has had many titles in his time. But victim of politics? Hah! The Lackawanna County Democrat once was president pro tem of the Pennsylvania Senate, and was the minority leader there for decades. He held corporate and institutional board seats.

Smoke out property tax solutions

A sound proposal to increase the cigarette tax in Philadelphia to help fund public schools there raises the question: What about the other 66 counties? Now, some legislators are working on a partial, promising answer. State Rep. John Lawrence, a Chester C

Shoot down bird slaughter

State lawmakers often leave abundant unfinished business behind when they flee Harrisburg for most of the summer. But when they get back to their offices this year they finally should act on a matter that they have evaded for decades. For years the highes

PLCB drunk on monopoly price formula

Apparently, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board views its challenge as figuring out how to convince even more Pennsylvanians to buy wine and spirits in other states. The state government booze monopoly’s finance director has recommended an astounding 16

Tears of a clown

Like many people who suffer from depression, addiction and other brain disorders that often lead to suicide, Robin Williams employed a happy facade to mask his torment. He was just better at it than most. But even his comedic genius could not spare him. M

Gambling arms race in reverse?

Now that the Atlantic City casino industry has begun to crash like surf on the beach, it will be interesting to see what lesson Pennsylvania’s legislative croupiers take from the development. A decade ago lawmakers offered two rationales for launching the

Release data on oil trains

Even as insufficiently safe oil trains continue to rumble across the country, carrying billions of gallons of explosive oil, some railroads and governments want to deny the public information about the shipments. For months, McClatchy newspapers have been

Unlike city, businesses want change

Mayor Bill Courtright’s inability or unwillingness to demand concessions from the city government’s unions in exchange for saving their pensions inevitably will backfire. The business community already has voiced its dismay with the administration’s eager

NCAA drops pretense

By granting the big five “power conferences” more autonomy to make and spend more money, the NCAA board of directors last week dropped pretense and yielded to reality. Those conferences — the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC — will have the ability to

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