Dump grows; Political vision withers

Out on the stump, when they’re trying to impress voters, local politicians never suggest that their love of Northeast Pennsylvania, or their willingness to go the last mile to promote and protect it, is limited by the narrow scope of their offices. But wh

Addressing  jobs, addiction

Northeast Pennsylvania has an abundance of two very bad things that a promising development in Carbondale will address head-on — substance abuse and unemployment. Last week, specially presiding Judge John Braxton of Philadelphia overturned a decision by t

No scandal in Benghazi

After two years of wild speculation and unfounded conspiracy theories about the tragic murders of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Benghazi, Libya, the House Select Committee on Intelligence quietly has issued a report that should, but won’t, put the matter t

Voter purge done well

Pennsylvania’s Department of State began a process last week that could remove the names of 43,000 people from the voter registration rolls and it was greeted with ... silence. That’s because the state government has joined a straightforward, technolgy-ba

Fix black lung procedures

More than a year ago, ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity exposed the denial of benefits to coal miners suffering from pneumoconiosis or anthracosis, better known and feared throughout the coal fields as black lung disease. The joint investigatio

Keystone’s case badly weakened Alliance Landfill’s capacityundermines economic pitch

In terms of the region’s quality of life, there is no case for approving the Keystone Sanitary Landfill’s proposed massive expansion, so operators of the sprawling dump in Dunmore and Throop came up with an economics argument. Engineer Albert Magnotta rec

ABLE boosts independence House to weigh bill aidingpeople with disabilities

Amid the politically polarized furor last week over President Obama’s new immigration policy, an unfolding bipartisan success story did not get much notice, but it should. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, announced that the f

Taxpayers don’t elect consultants

Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright began his tenure this year by hiring a consultant, Henry Amoroso, to advise him on the city’s myriad financial problems and recommend how to resolve them. One of the key indications of the depth of those problems, of course,

Pope’s visit joyous news

Pope Francis’ decision to visit Philadelpihia next year for the World Meeting of Families portends joy and controversy. Many Americans inevitably will anticipate the visit in the context of American political issues rather than in the context of Francis’s

China deal just hot air

WASHINGTON — Historic. Such is the ubiquitous description of the climate agreement recently announced in Beijing between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in which China promised for the first time to cap carbon emissions. If this were a real breakthrough, I’d

One-trick pony takes another ride

Pennsylvania regulators long ago abandoned any pretense that they seriously consider the adverse effects of gambling while relentlessly expanding the industry’s reach. Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board used a likely increase in addiction as a

Order isn’t precedent

For all the howling about President Obama exceeding his constitutional authority, the executive order on immigration that he revealed Thursday is the 40th on the subject. And the list of presidents who have issued them include every chief executive of the

Another call for fair tax

About five years before anyone in state government was aware of the coming rise of the Marcellus Shale gas field, the state Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2002 that inadvertently but adversely affected the public interest. The case from Fayette County d

Vote to bring fight to Ebola

A telling pattern emerged over the last few months relative to Ebola. In three impoverished countries of West Africa where the outbreak is centered, the mortality rate is more than 70 percent, with more than 5,000 fatalities. In the United States, all eig

No lame-duck legislative sessions Interests pressing agendas

In keeping with long and dishonorable tradition, the state Legislature did very little this year before the election, for fear of offending voters. Remarkably, large Republican majorities in both chambers stiffed Republican Gov. Tom Corbett on some of his

Thanks for ‘no thanks’

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has channeled the administration of the late Gov. Robert P. Casey in one important respect: a policy forbidding anyone in the administration from accepting any gift, in any amount, from anyone who has any business with the state govern

Legislature refuses to be accountable

Just about every enterprise these days uses double-entry accounting to track the flow of money — even you. If you transfer money from a savings account to a checking account, your bank statement will detail where the money came from and where it went. Not

Stop or I’ll keep stalling

House Speaker and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have warned President Obama that they won’t move an immigration reform bill if he issues an executive order granting residency to as many as 5 million people who entered the country illegal

City budget proposal treads water

Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright’s first budget proposal has the virtue of being straightforward. It does not include any devices that mask the city government’s desperate condition and it doesn’t project unachievable revenue from a legally dubious and mani

Rein in asset forfeitures

Property rights are a fundamental value of political conservatives, and the new conservative majorities in Congress and the state Legislature have early opportunities to enhance those rights. Those rights most often have become controversial in eminent do

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