Grumpy is as grumpy does

Northeast Pennsylvanians are not just unhappy, but more so than just about anyone else in the United States, according to a survey by economists at Harvard University and the University of British Columbia. Such surveys inherently are dubious because part

Health sectorfactor in crisis

A think tank’s recent health care employment analysis reflects the role medical fields play in the region’s unemployment crisis. The Brookings Institution report documents a 27 percent expansion from 2000 to 2009-11 in regional employment of people with l

Some audits bring policy, legal changes Some audits bring change in law, policy

HARRISBURG — The release of a major audit concerning state regulation of the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling on water quality is the latest round in a debate now stretching back a half dozen years. State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said his agenc

Thank you, Judge Saxton

Legal jargon often is confusing to laymen, so Senior Judge Richard N. Saxton deserves credit for distilling a dispute between the Lackawanna County controller and the county commissioners into language every citizen can understand. “And you know what? It’

Mayor should reveal ‘secret’

Richard Nixon ran for president in 1968 asserting that he had a “secret plan” to end the Vietnam War. Five years and 28,000 more dead American soldiers later, he pulled it off. So Americans should be wary of politicians’ “secret plans.” Scranton Mayor Bil

Pothole hurts worse at 70

The state Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission have launched trial runs for higher speed limits on a 97-mile stretch of the turnpike and on stretches of a few interstate highways, including I-380 in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Equalizing college’s reach, grasp Lackawanna’s actiondoes not demonstrate need

Lackawanna College fills an important niche among the region’s higher education institutions. And the development of its urban campus in downtown Scranton deftly has adapted older buildings for new purposes. The school’s acquisition of one of the city’s l

Legislature echoes city

Even though Scranton’s government is close to bankruptcy and can’t borrow, the state Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett have emulated its methods. The benighted city council in office in June 2012 vastly accelerated the city’s descent into financial ruin wh

State should act on ACA

Two conflicting court opinions this week cast into sharp relief the Corbett administration’s folly in failing to establish a state-operated insurance exchange to help hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians obtain health care coverage under the Affordable

Release data on smog plan

Whether the Corbett administration’s weak anti-smog plan is adequate to clear Pennsylvania’s air is a matter of scientific and political debate. The state Office of Open Records, on the other hand, has taken a significant step to clear the air about how t

State late to game on natural gas

Despite a long history of hosting environmentally disruptive energy extraction industries, including the nation’s first oil well, Pennsylvania’s government was woefully unprepared for the large-scale arrival of the natural gas industry. Antiquated laws th

Have some chocolate on picket line

The great ones always make it look easy — Willie Mays running down a seemingly uncatchable fly ball, Jerry Rice gliding through the defense for yet another touchdown, Bill Clinton shrugging off an avalanche of personal and political trouble while trying t

Riverside owes answer

The failure of nearly 20 percent of Riverside Junior-Senior High School’s senior class to qualify for graduation represents a colossal failure not only by the students but by the school district. The district itself, however, has appeared to greet the fai

Jobs grow with wages

Opponents of minimum wage increases always contend that the policy inevitably leads to massive job losses, even though there is no record of that. Critics seized on a Congressional Budget Office report early this year, which predicted that increasing the

TEDx process itself reveals NEPA issues

Northeast Pennsylvania’s biggest long-term problem probably is its ongoing “brain drain” — the continuing flight from the region of bright young natives who go elsewhere to find their fortunes, use their skills and build other communities. So the impendin

Solutions don’t reach table

State legislators always leave a host of matters on the table after they pass a budget and then hustle out of town for the summer recess. That’s especially true in an election year like this one. This year is a little bit different, though, in that some o

DRBC gas pains

Pennsylvania is blessed with abundant water resources, and it belongs to five separate commissions that do important work across a variety of watersheds. The state budget this year singles out only one of those commissions, the Delaware River Basin Commis

Not really so special

HARRISBURG — Talk of a special legislative session, that expedient used by governors to focus public attention on an issue, is again in the air. This time it’s a potential option that Gov. Tom Corbett could use to try to compel a reluctant Legislature to

AH good case to change law

Students, parents and taxpayers in the Abington Heights School District can set their clocks, or at least their calendars, by teachers strikes. Because of that, the district has become a good case study for why the state should outlaw teachers strikes in

Keep board’s fingers off teacher list

Bob Sheridan, a Scranton School Board member who recently was elected chairman of the city Democratic Committee, has said that there is no conflict with his school board seat — which by state law is supposed to be apolitical. Mr. Sheridan quickly obliged

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