Editorials

Reentry ceremony uplifting, but the battle never ends

Lycoming County held its fifth Reentry Service Center program transition ceremony last week. The event commemorated the completion of the six-month long reentry program by 29 graduates. These are 29 success stories for people whose path to success has been excruciatingly difficult. And ...

South Side school tax increase carries state echoes with it

The South Williamsport Area School Board has given preliminary approval of a .65-mill real estate tax increase in its 2017-18 preliminary budget, which is above its Act 1 index of 0.5 mills. But those are just numbers. The mixture of misgivings and frustration that came with the sizable tax ...

Volunteer firemen: Numbers paint a grim reality

The Sun-Gazette recently profiled the state of volunteer firefighting in Lycoming County. The numbers – starting with the larger state picture – tell a grim story. There were 300,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania in the mid-1970s. Today there are about 72,000, a 75-percent ...

Mueller’s probe must include more than Trump to be complete

A chorus of top Democrats have been demanding an independent prosecutor be commissioned to investigate Russian tampering with the 2016 presidential election. On Wednesday, they got their wish with appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to probe the ...

Public access limits deflate police body cam bill’s worth

The state Senate last week approved a bill that clears the way for more police body cameras. Unfortunately, the bill comes with discretion for police to refuse public requests for copies of audio or video recordings of officers. It exempts recordings from requests under the state's open ...

Restoring reason to environment and energy policies

It is going to take time — years, in all probability — to undo the enormous amount of damage President Barack Obama did to the economy. Some of it is irreparable. At least President Donald Trump and his new Environmental Protection Agency head, Scott Pruitt, are wasting no time in ...

Illegal drug use is a multifaceted killer in the region

So far in 2017, there has been only one heroine overdose death in Lycoming County, according to those who lead Project Bald Eagle, the coalition fighting the opioid epidemic in the region. Unfortunately, that is far from the full story on illegal drug tragedy. And the rest of the story ...

Amid embarrassing turnout, voters make important decisions

Even in an under-the-radar Primary Election, Lycoming County voters made some important decisions Tuesday. They appear to have elected District Attorney Eric Linhardt to fill a judge seat that will become available next January. Linhardt swept to the Republican nomination and narrowly won the ...

Flood recertification process needs to be completely public

The local flood levee protects $2.7 billion worth of property and just about every citizen in much of our region. Estimates are that it is going to cost about $10 million to do the things to gain recertification of the levee, which is necessary to avoid drastic increases in flood insurance ...

YWCA chooses wisely naming Linn Glenwright successor

The local YWCA had big shoes to fill with the upcoming retirement of Diane L. Glenwright, the agency’s longtime leader. They could not have made a better choice than Dawn M. Linn. She brings the ideal combination of financial, philanthropic and community knowledge. The knowledge comes from ...

Brotherhood Alliance honors four community stalwarts

The Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance chose a true Fab Four with its annual awards recently. We here at the Sun-Gazette are especially proud that Philip A. Holmes, a reporter here for decades with a heart for the community as big as our building, was one of the four honorees. He shared ...

The Comey firing: Clumsy timing aside, it had to happen

It came as no surprise that after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, all sorts of theories about nefarious intent began making the rounds. Perhaps the most ridiculous is that Trump hoped to derail an FBI investigation into allegations people close to him — ...

Don’t be fooled; Voting has never been more vital

Democracy does not get more direct and precious than this Tuesday. To begin with, there's an election. And you should always vote, given the sacrifices that are at the root of our right to cast a ballot. But Tuesday's Primary Election represents the most local of elections. The offices up ...

VA housecleaning: The sooner, the better

It is a measure of how bad things are at the Department of Veterans Affairs that President Donald Trump is ordering creation of a special office to protect whistleblowers and find out why VA Secretary David Shulkin cannot just fire employees who are incompetent and/or dishonest. Trump signed ...

Eliminating school property tax comes with risky formula

For most people who own real estate in the region, the school property tax is the largest single bill they pay every year. So it is no surprise that elimination of that tax often comes up in state Legislature discussions, and there are several property tax-related bills in the House and ...

Tax hike not first answer to state budget shortfall

Seven weeks before the state budget deadline, Pennsylvania’s ledger sheet gets scarier looking by the day. The state Department of Revenue is reporting a budget shortfall of $1 billion through the first 10 months of the current fiscal year. That’s a 4-percent shortfall, the largest in a ...

Transparency with hotel tax revenues key to bureau trust

The Lycoming County Commissioners’ 2-1 vote last week to hike the local hotel tax from 3 to 5 percent drew understandable boos and jeers. Lost in the political backlash are some important realities. A 2016 state amendment to the county code gave the commissioners the opportunity to raise ...

Signs of comeback by natural gas industry welcome

When the natural gas industry was booming in Pennsylvania in 2010 and 2011, there were 111 gas rigs active in the state. In the fall of 2016, in the midst of an industry slump in Pennsylvania, there were just 13 active rigs. But the industry has started to come back in the state and, very ...

Senate holds key to better health care insurance

Think of the House vote last week for The American Health Care Act as Step One of the nation’s health care reform. Even as lawmakers representing our region helped push the repeal and replacement of Obamacare through the House by a 217-213 vote, questions about the bill’s details and ...

Downtown traffic pattern changes: Debate welcomed

Given the debate about traffic patterns in downtown Williamsport, the best answers may come via a traffic-impact study that is upcoming to determine the effects of changing traffic patterns downtown. But this much already is certain. The commercial business district of Williamsport is divided ...