Diversifying from defense

A new state program to help regional companies adapt to reduced defense spending hits the target for preparedness. Officials from the Department of Community and Economic Development traveled to Gentex Corp. in Fell Twp. on Wednesday to unveil the Northea

Aggressively use new state blight law

Local governments in Northeast Pennsylvania have not been as aggressive as the law allows them to be in attacking blight that diminishes tax bases, reduces property values, creates dangerous conditions and fosters further blight. With the exception of Pit

McCaffery should resign

Suspended state Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery has reached that sad place where his own resignation is the only legitimate act of public service that he can perform. His colleagues voted this week to suspend him pending further investigation, with

Legislature’s awful finale

Pennsylvania’s Legislature completed an undistinguished two-year session Monday by demonstrating why so many of its members don’t deserve to come back. The House quickly passed two pieces of terrible legislation — diminishing gun safety and free speech —

Child safety up in smoke

Most states don’t allow anyone younger than 18 to buy cigarettes, which is good public health policy. But the nation has looked the other way as at least hundreds of children as young as 7 are allowed to work on tobacco farms. That can and should change.

Turn in all homework

Folks at the state Capitol who claim to be strengthening the state Right to Know Law should take a close look at the conduct of the Lackawanna County Government Study Commission, and get back to work. Lackawanna County voters created the commission in 201

Medicine part of response

If medical expertise was the only thing necessary to respond effectively to the Ebola virus, the United States would have it covered. The nation is blessed with the world’s highest level of expertise on infectious disease, in universities, various health

Disorder in court needs resolution

Pennsylvania’s court system has been plagued by some extraordinary corruption and less-than-honorable conduct by some of the honorable members of the courts. From Luzerne County’s notorious “kids for cash” scandal, to former Supreme Court Justice Joan Ori

Council right on SPA debt

Scranton City Council accelerated the city government’s slide into fiscal calamity when, in 2012, it foolishly encouraged the Scranton Parking Authority’s default on its debt. Although it can’t turn back the clock, the mostly new council is on the mark in

Boomers ‘unretire,’ go from ‘me’ to ‘us’

We are living longer, something to celebrate. The average life expectancy was about 62 years in 1935 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, and it’s now nearly 79 years. And, as in many things, the baby boomers are at the center

Timetables meaningless absent help

Pennsylvania’s lawmakers have concluded that the commonwealth’s struggling cities are on their own. They adopted changes to Act 47, the state law covering distressed cities, to establish tighter timetables for city governments to emerge from distress — as

Finding time for gun lobby

As usual, after taking a six-week vacation, state lawmakers raced through their last two weeks and headed off to campaign. They couldn’t find time to deal with huge issues such as pension reform and ending the state booze monopoly. They did manage to carv

PSU, NCAA must explain

The question of why Penn State University’s leadership agreed to arbitrary, unwarranted sanctions against the football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, which the National Collegiate Athletic Association had no authority to impose on its

FIFA should release report

Construction of Qatar’s facilities for the 2022 World Cup has begun amid the Persian Gulf emirate’s 110-degree heat. That climate alone makes Qatar a dubious choice for the World Cup. But as exposed in reporting by The Sunday Times of London and others, t

Letters to the Editor 10/17/2014

Love trumps pain Editor: I’m going to be turning 50 soon and one day I thought, “You know, I’d like to run the Steamtown Marathon before I get too much older.”  So I signed up.  My niece recommended the Hal Higden training program. So after dutifully foll

Keystone of absurdity

Pennsylvania famously is the Keystone State. Its geography makes it central to commerce binding the Northeast to the South and Midwest. In terms of politics and governance, alas, the commonwealth often is more like the Galápagos Islands, where exotic life

Ebola causes political fever

As it turns out, the Ebola virus causes finger-pointing and a wicked thirst for recrimination. Following a congressional hearing on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s response to the West African Ebola epidemic, Democrats pointed out that co

Windows close with usual thud

That dull sound that you might have heard in the background this week was the thud of narrow policy windows slamming shut in Harrisburg. Lawmakers have bolted from the Capitol for electioneering after conducting a legislative schedule that few working peo

Let EPA seek cleaner water

Given the toxic algae in Lake Erie that shut down Toledo, Ohio’s municipal water system this summer, the drought that has shriveled the West, the disappearance of an acre of Louisiana wetlands per day and a host of other water-related calamities, it’s har

Help drivers see the light

There they sit every morning and evening — long lines of cars backed up at red lights along busy stretches of local commuter routes, often in deference to empty cross-streets. Commuters to Scranton, especially, have been frustrated by the timing of lights

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