Drilling data must be public data

Gov. Tom Corbett helped balance his proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year by lifting a moratorium on new gas drilling under state forests and other public lands. According to the budget, leases and royalties will produce $75 million for the state trea

Politicians fiddle while teens burn

Pennsylvania is not the sunniest spot on the continent, as the weather this week yet again has confirmed. Even though that circumstance drives many people to acquire tans indoors, Pennsylvania's government is one of just a few not to bar adolescents from

State should pay districts what it owes

State lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett already have demonstrated that they have scant interest in helping distressed cities such as Scranton, unless tightening recovery deadlines and limiting options can be considered to be helpful. Why should school distr

After crash, expedite bus safety rules

The tour bus involved in the fiery crash in California last week that killed 10 people was brand new and the operator had a strong safety record. Thus, the tragedy offers federal investigators and regulators the opportunity to determine whether buses mus

No valid quid pro quo, thus no case

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane made a sound response to one of her key critics last week when she challenged Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to take up a convoluted corruption case that she had decided not to pursue. Mr. Williams had shar

Rewriting Miranda, '5th'

If you are suspected of any sort of crime, you have the right to remain silent. And if you're arrested, police have to tell you so, and that whatever you say can be used against you. The Miranda warning flows from the 5th Amendment right against self-inc

Something has been done 4/13/2014

A collection of confusing signs near the corner of Lackawanna and South Washington avenues in Scranton, left, featured here in January, has been corrected, below. Something has been done. Email: ssbd@timesshamrock.com.

Political will crucial indeed, but at state and local levels

Some state legislators appear to believe that local political intransigence is the only factor standing between 20 distressed city governments and their recovery. Proposed amendments to Act 47, the state law covering distressed local governments, would a

Theater good show for downtown

Downtown Scranton has had its travails lately. City council's bone-headed decision to allow a default of the Scranton Parking Authority, followed by the foreclosure on the Mall at Steamtown and announcements of the impending departures of several employe

More NCAA train wrecks

Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court and some members of Congress have joined the growing list of people and institutions who are dismayed by the arbitrary conduct of the NCAA. Commonwealth Court Wednesday upheld a state law requiring that $60 million in fi

Keep key coverages in Medicaid

Millions of low-income Americans have been guaranteed health care access through expansion of Medicaid as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. None of them are Pennsylvanians. About 220,000 state residents remain uninsured as the Corbett administrati

Equal pay mere fairness

Equal pay for equal work is not a radical concept, yet Senate Republicans this week could not bring themselves to fully embrace it. Tuesday, they prevented a debate and vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill, which could come up again, is meant to h

Step toward true justice

More than 50 years after the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling, in Gideon v. Wainwright, that indigent criminal defendants must have access to legal counsel, Pennsylvania has the only state government in the land that does not participate in provi

Incentive to report flaws

General Motors likely will pay a price for a defect in some vehicles that is suspected in hundreds of deaths and injuries. The company has recalled millions of vehicles to replace defective ignition switches. In some cases, car engines have turned off w

Scant effort to reduce overtime; Mayor should pursue discussion with union

Inability to control overtime has plagued Scranton's government for years. The revelation that some police officers make more than $110,000 a year, due to overtime, further indicts the faulty state Supreme Court decision that allows it to continue, and d

New hope for Afghanistan

More than 7 million Afghans, about 65 percent of eligible voters, defied the Taliban's threat of violence and voted in national elections last weekend, providing new hope that democracy has put down roots there. The turnout was impressive for more than t

Storm fees mandate lower rates

Storm repairs generally are part of a utility's cost of doing business and, as such, are reflected in the rates that consumers pay for services. Now that the Public Utility Commission yet again has betrayed consumers by allowing PPL Electric Utilities Co

Back-up rule step forward

Children are struck by vehicles backing up about 50 times every week, and many of them die or suffer severe injuries - tragedies that are all the more so because most are preventable. Last week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a

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