Editorials

Make mall auction first step back

It’s not clear whether the scheduled auction of the moribund Mall at Steamtown is meant to actually find a new owner, test the market or establish leverage for a negotiated sale. But it in any case, it is a necessary step toward a new course and, ideally,

Four stars, two standards

Before the FBI discovered that CIA Director David Petraeus had handed over highly classified information to his biographer/mistress, he expressed no sympathy for another CIA operative, John C. Kiriakou, who had received a 30-month prison sentence for disc

Craft policy for security and finances

Some of Lackawanna County’s top executive and judicial officeholders engaged in a rare and enlightening debate this week about the challenges of operating the government, focusing on two of the government’s most important issues: public safety and taxes.

NFL slips hard tackle

The National Football League successfully has covered its blind side and otherwise has gotten away cheaply in its settlement with players who had sued the league relative to their cumulative neurological injuries that could be tied to football. U.S. Distr

Low wages help drive NEPA’s woes

Pennsylvania is not among the 29 states that have increased their minimum wages, and worse, it is the only state in the Mid-Atlantic and most of the entire Northeast to keep it at $7.25 an hour since 2007. Due partly to that regional pressure, the Legisla

Flying high on conflict

For anyone who wonders why so many Americans think the game is rigged against them, consider the case of Rep. Bill Shuster, the Blair County Republican who succeeded his father in Congress and is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Com

Bring 'Anthracite Fields' home

People from the anthracite fields deserve a chance to see “Anthracite Fields.” New York-based composer Julia Wolfe won the Pulitzer Prize for music this week for “Anthracite Fields,” an hourlong composition based on the lives, culture and experiences of c

From tragedy comes farce

In their politicization of the Sept. 11, 2012, tragedy that claimed four American lives at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, congressional Republicans have tried mightily to make it into a dark conspiracy and an indictment of former Secretary of Stat

Housing fund should be statewide

Affordable housing is an issue everywhere. But Pennsylvania has managed to confine an effective program to produce it only in counties with Marcellus Shale natural gas wells. In 2010, the Legislature passed the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehab

Reopen cases tainted by FBI

Television drama these days seems to turn on the supposed infallibility of forensic evidence used to put bad guys in prison and the execution chamber. From “NCIS” to “CSI (Pick Your Big City),” intrepid scientists regularly use their microscopes to trip u

Gimmick not really reform

Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright, upon learning that no one had filed formal opposition to the city’s plan to triple its municipal services tax, characterized the increase as a key component of the city’s recovery efforts. If the court approves the increase

Unite against trafficking

Even as Italian and Maltese coast guards attempted to determine Monday how many people had drowned in a capsized boat carrying as many as 950 desperate migrants, other unseaworthy vessels set out from North African ports with more human cargo. About 700 p

Gender wage gap as real as it is wrong

Just as Pennsylvania badly trails its neighboring states in mandating a decent minimum wage, it badly trails its neighbors regarding paycheck equity for women. Despite federal laws mandating equal pay for equal work, women nationally are paid 78.8 cents f

Our eye on the universe

Astronomers believe the universe is 13.82 billion years old, so the 25 years that the Hubble Space Telescope has been in orbit don’t qualify as the blink of a cosmic eye. But in the quarter century since the telescope was lifted into orbit on April 24, 19

Shift taxes, carefully Compromise possibleon property tax reform

Pennsylvania’s overreliance on local property taxation to fund public schools is an engine of inefficiency and inequality. Districts with withered tax bases cannot compete with more affluent districts for personnel and cannot match their facilities. So th

Make TPP work

Congressional leaders’ agreement to give President Obama authority to strike a free trade deal with 11 other nations around the vast Pacific Ocean simply recognizes reality. Asia likely will be the focus of global economic growth for some time, and common

Accelerate airport’s progress

A series of developments at and near the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, known as AVP, pose the prospect of progress, which will be even more likely if the airport board adds another change to the list. The state police have decided to move o

Hip to hemp

The Legislature can’t seem to bring itself to legalize use of medicinal marijuana, even though adding weapons to the arsenal to employ appropriately against pain and disease should be a no-brainer. It will be interesting to see if lawmakers can overcome t

Still dancing around basic dump issues

Jim Wansacz, the Lackawanna County commissioner, says he doesn’t like out-of-state garbage coming to Pennsylvania. Yet his disdain is not so great as to prompt him to oppose putting more than 100 million more tons of the stuff in the middle of the county

Bad use for Good Book

Collectively, the Tennessee Legislature is nearly as white, male and Christian as the Founders who adopted the U.S. Constitution — which is not to say that it is imbued with the same level of good sense. Recognizing from bitter experience that religion ca

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