Editorials

County’s probation leader leaves behind hard-to-top legacy

For 32 years, Scott Metzger has been serving as one of the “peace officers” – his term – of Lycoming County’s Adult Probation Office. All of the jobs in the office are thankless. They are also necessary. And, when done right, the result for the community, while not noticeable ...

Golf management extension hardly a cause for closure

The Lycoming County Commissioners have renewed the contract for Billy Casper Golf to manage the White Deer Golf Complex for another three years. But the three years are in name only. The county has the right to terminate the contract at any time without a cancellation fee and, should the ...

Some perspective on Syria move, Mattis and the shutdown

One minute, President Trump is announcing abrupt plans to pull American troops out of Syria. The next minute, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resigned in disagreement. A couple days later, President Trump moved up the effective resignation date from February to next week, replacing him with ...

On this Christmas, recapture the faith we need more of

Faith. Today is Christmas, a day to celebrate and reaffirm faith. The irony is that in these divisive times, this Christian observance is often under attack, with traditions associated with it challenged, aborted or protested. In fact, this day and the moments attached to it are a safe ...

City leaders insist they can maintain services despite cuts

The city of Williamsport will have seven fewer employees budgeted for 2019, due to fiscal constraints. Departments impacted include police, codes and streets and parks. But Mayor Gabriel J. Campana is promising, “We will provide the same quality of service.” And City Councilman ...

County long-term changes need a lengthy review

There was open disagreement as the Lycoming County commissioners approved the 2019 budget. With good reason. The county budget is a no-tax-increase plan that includes deficit spending and shrinking surplus. It rests heavily on a bond issue to balance expenses and revenues. Continuation ...

Lawmakers, don’t take easy way out regarding black lung conditions

Of course Congress should safeguard a federal program to help victims of black lung disease. But no amount of money from Washington can do more than ease the suffering of those afflicted by the malady and their families. So lawmakers also ought to be looking into why black lung, known ...

Senate residency fight a pitch for intended democracy

From a distance, it may look petty and political. The Pennsylvania Senate’s Republican majority is questioning the residency qualifications of a newly elected Democrat who flipped a Republican-held, Pittsburgh-area seat by a mere 793 votes. A vote against seating Democrat Lindsey Williams ...

Criminal justice bill exposes immigration impasse as fraud

It is possible for our leaders in Washington to perform the public service we have elected them to perform. They proved it Tuesday with Senate passage of sweeping criminal justice reform that addresses the imprisonment of too many Americans for non-violent crimes without preparations for ...

Staiman is fitting recipient of Hope lifetime award

Hope Enterprises has blazed a trail since its founding in the 1950s regarding programming and correct handling of people with a wide array of disabilities. That trail has been blazed by an equally wide array of community supporters. The organization recently decided to underscore that with ...

Closing city budget message: Something needs to change

The good news is that City Council and the Campana administration plugged an additional $100,000 into the 2019 budget reserve, up from a scary $12,000 contingency. Their goal is to get that reserve up to $500,000 in the days ahead with a variety of decisions for which they should be ...

Carter, Bush: As different as they were, their tone was correct

As U.S. presidents born nearly a century ago, the late George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter each reached the age of 94. Observing Carter seated in the front row during Bush's funeral, we could not help but reflect on how dramatically the nation's political landscape has changed since these men ...

For city taxpayers, a familiar movie script replays itself

City residents – and property owners in particular – know the script well by now. Taxes are going up by 0.75 mills of real estate in 2019, which amounts to $75 for every $100,000 in property assessment. And the work force is being reduced by four police, two codes workers and one ...

Whether roads, bridges or bike paths, Murawski played a vital role

When Mark Murawski interviewed for the vacant Lycoming County transportation planner position 32 years ago, he did not have a lot of tangible qualifications to offer. He jokes that he had a valid driver’s license and could read a map. That was about it. Apparently, Murawski is a quick ...

Retired police chief: A lifetime protecting – and teaching people

Robert Hetner recently retired as South Williamsport police chief, ending a law enforcement odyssey that began at the age of 19 as a South Williamsport School District police officer. In the middle of that odyssey he spent 20 years as a social studies teacher in the East Lycoming School ...

Golf contract delay signals setup needs 2019 turning point

The Lycoming County Commissioners last week delayed renewing the contract with Billy Casper Golf to manage the White Deer Golf Complex until this week. The delay of the three-year contract – and comments surrounding it – seem to signal at the very least that 2019 looms as the year the ...

Thankfully, Bower League basketball finds needed home

Count us among those thrilled – and somewhat relieved – to find out the John H. Bower Sunday School Basketball League has found a new home for this season. The league, for a time, was without a place to play its games with the removal of basketball courts at the Liberty Arena over the ...

Make changes, but don’t sacrifice nation’s dedicated miners

After several years in which it appeared instances of coal miners’ pneumoconiosis — black lung — were decreasing, the disease seems to be making a comeback in our region of the country. Now is not the time to phase out a federal program intended to help victims. Long-term exposure to ...

An unfair holiday shopping strategy regarding local stores

ays. Sometimes we just don’t use our heads. Clearly, the person who wrote a recommendation for one of those national consumer organizations wasn’t using his or hers. In deciding what model of a particular product to buy, shoppers should inspect various types, the adviser suggested. One ...

Vote check upgrade correct settlement of 2016 lawsuit

A suit filed in 2016 by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein seeking recounts of the presidential votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan struck as sour grapes. The lawsuit accused Pennsylvania of violating the constitutional rights of voters because the voting machines were ...