Renew focus on distraction

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An improved economy — higher employment and low gasoline prices — has produced an alarming downside. According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities during the first six months of this year increased by a whopping 9 percent over the same peri (read more)

Nothing fishy in fee plan

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Pennsylvania legislators are consistent in their willingness to underfund the state government and unconstitutionally maintain a $1 billion-plus budget deficit rather than take the political risk of directly raising taxes, fairly taxing their favored inte (read more)

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Address root problem: Ban all ‘gifts’

Kathleen Kane’s fall from state attorney general to felon also exposed aspects of the state government that sorely need reform. (read more)

Study impact of ethanol

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Mandatory inclusion of corn-based ethanol in gasoline has had a relatively easier path in Congress than most environmental initiatives. It is supported by many Democrats mostly as an environmental initiative and by many Republicans as an economic boost ac (read more)

More good economic medicine

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Presidential candidate Donald Trump recently called for turning back Northeast Pennsylvania’s clock by 50 years or more (read more)

Free data on private jails

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Deputy U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates nicely summarized the Department of Justice’s decision last week to phase out its use of private prisons for federal inmates. Experience has shown, she said, that private prisons “simply do not provide the same lev (read more)

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COLTS must put this bus in reverse

The County of Lackawanna Transit System apparently plans to expand its purview from buses to trains, in that its board seems ready to railroad an executive appointment for an applicant whose chief qualification is being a politician. (read more)

Unrigging state voting

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Apparently preparing his supporters for the worst, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump recently told those at a rally in Altoona that the only way he can lose Pennsylvania is if the election is “rigged.” Beyond being a grotesque insult to the com (read more)

Achievement for the ages

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Despite Rio’s problems leading to its historic staging of the Olympic games, despite doping, despite alleged extracurricular conduct by some U.S. swimmers, these games will be remembered forever for the crowning achievements of two once-in-a-lifetime athl (read more)

Williams’ generous ‘friends’

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The road that led to former Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s felony conviction and resignation began with a publicly controversial first step. She decided not to prosecute Democratic politicians from Philadelphia who had been targeted in a sting operat (read more)

Mandate best practices

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Air quality has improved in Pennsylvania as natural gas has replaced coal in power generation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that carbon dioxide pollution is its lowest level in more than a quarter century, and gas also produces far lower (read more)

Beemer: Third time charmed?

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Gov. Tom Wolf clearly does not believe that corruption is an inevitable function of geography. The two elected state attorneys general from Lackawanna County — Ernest Preate and Kathleen G. Kane — had to leave that office due to felony convictions. That d (read more)

Clearing air on big trucks

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The most striking aspect of aggressive new emission standards for heavy vehicles is that they were embraced by environmentalists and industries. Under the new standards, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans must become 2.5 percent more efficient each year be (read more)

Ensure email disclosure

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Kathleen G. Kane’s resignation as state attorney general should not be the last act in the drama that has so roiled the state government and court system. After a Montgomery County jury returned guilty verdicts Monday against Ms. Kane on nine charges rela (read more)

Require flood insurance

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Of the 40,000 properties in Louisiana that have been damaged by massive flooding, only about 6,000 are known to be covered by flood insurance. That means responsibility for repairs falls to taxpayers. In Louisiana, uninsured homeowners will be eligible fo (read more)

Board search for savings long overdue

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Having squandered opportunities to save money over several years, the Scranton School Board has begun work on its 2017 budget sooner than usual. (Scranton is one of two of 500 Pennsylvania districts with a calendar-year budget.) The district had an $18.9 (read more)

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Justice still incomplete in Kane case

As the first elected Democratic attorney general in Pennsylvania history, Kathleen G. Kane had a rare opportunity to change the course of that history. (read more)

Jobless vehicles

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PennDOT has gotten ahead of the highway curve by creating a task force to deal with safety and regulatory issues from the seemingly inevitable rise of driverless cars, trucks and buses. State government officials believe that doing so will give the state (read more)

Olympics saved

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This year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the first ever in South America, are not the first to be enveloped by controversy. Given the cost of staging a modern olympiad, the woefully corrupt history of the International Olympic Committee and some of the sports (read more)

Chutzpah redefined

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A time-honored example of chutzpah is the man who kills his parents and then seeks mercy from the court because he is an orphan. Unfortunately, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has created the risk that public officials serving federal prison time for (read more)



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