Capitalize on immigration

As generations of Scranton’s leaders pondered reversing the city’s population decline, it was understandable that no one looked to Bhutan or Nepal. But in a demonstration that the world is smaller than ever, an influx of about 2,500 immigrants from those

Asian pivot about China

Mayhem in the Middle East has forced the Obama administration to stay focused there rather than to fully execute its preferred foreign policy strategy, a “pivot” to Asia. President Obama’s Asian trip this week, however, is an element of that ongoing pivot

Get state higher ed up to speed

When the Legislature approved a $21 million increase in March for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the 14 state-owned universities received their first appropriations increase since 2008-2009. But even with that increase, according to a

Ban forced arbitration

Arbitration is a good way to resolve disputes without unduly burdening the court system. But financial institutions and innumerable other enterprises have converted it into a cudgel that puts consumers at a severe disadvantage. The federal Consumer Financ

Rebrand with fair taxation

Lackawanna County’s new administration is all about marketing. The commissioners already have adopted one new slogan. “Investing in Our Future,” which they developed in-house, makes up in economy what it lacks in creativity. They also have authorized a $1

Put Wall in Hall

As Australian golfer Jason Day cruised to victory recently in the prestigious Players Championship, he said he wanted to win because holding the title could clinch his election one day to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Mr. Day, just 28 and ranked No. 1 in t

Go all in on pension reform

The Democratic Wolf administration and Republican legislative majorities have just begun the battle over the 2016-2017 state government budget. But one thing already is certain — both sides’ failure to reform the pension systems for state and public schoo

Too far on OT

Wage stagnation, inflation, declining manufacturing and regulatory changes since the beginning of this century have spurred the erosion of the middle class and diminished economic mobility. As detailed recently by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Pew Research C

Benghazi now just politics

Even U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the special House committee on Benghazi, conceded last week that the evidence is clear that the military could not have acted in time to intervene in the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compou

Up to Wolfon evaluations

In vetoing a bill this week that would have stripped seniority protections from public school teachers, Gov. Tom Wolf raised a valid concern. The bill, which passed the Republican-controlled Legislature along predictable party lines, would have allowed di

E Pluribus Belgium!

WASHINGTON — Because advertising is a barometer that often accurately measures America’s psychological atmosphere, attention must be paid to this: From May 23 through the presidential election, Budweiser beer will bear the name “America” on its 12-ounce b

Mount honest deficit effort

Republican majorities in the Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf don’t agree on much. But just about everyone agrees that the state government has a systemic deficit of between $1.6 billion and $2 billion. That deficit, unlike the state government’s

Act on safety

Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board have a sterling record of finding specific causes for catastrophic crashes. Against that background, the agency’s finding Tuesday that an engineer’s distraction by radio traffic caused the May 12,

Middle class numbers wane

The middle class in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area is shrinking, along with the region’s income. A recent Pew Research Center analysis found a widening wealth gap afflicting 90 percent of American cities, with growth in upper- and lower-income categ

End-run on transparency

The cost of public transparency is part of the government’s cost of doing business. Yet lawmakers and local government officials treat disclosure like an expensive and unnecessary luxury. As soon as today, the state House Local Government Committee will v

Saving at top shouldn’t be last resort

Faced with an array of financial problems, the Carbondale Area School District has decided to save some money at the top. The school board plans to leave vacant for a year the district’s highest office, the superintendent’s position from which Joseph Gorh

Hope beats fear in London

London has vast experience with terror attacks by Islamic extremists, including mass transit bombings and murders of soldiers and police. Like other bustling Western capitals, the city knows it is a potential target and attempts to strike a balance betwee

Reversing overdoses, addiction

In the 18 months that police and other emergency responders have been allowed by state law to administer lifesaving opioid antidotes to people suffering overdoses, they have rescued nearly 900 victims statewide — including 25 in Lackawanna County and 11 i

Torturing transparency Secrecy dodges accountability

The administration, Congress and the courts are independent and equal branches of government that, by constitutional design, are supposed to act as checks on one another. In the modern era, however, it is striking how often they work together in the cause

Government by wink, nod

Yet another state legislator, Democratic state Sen. Larry Farnese of Philadelphia, has been charged with corruption. That would be another day at the office in the annals of Pennsylvania corruption, except for the senator’s early defense. Mr. Farnese and

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