Editorials

Local school fund struggles underline need for reforms

Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed state budget calls for modest increases in special education and basic education funding to Lycoming County’s eight school districts. But the superintendents of the districts say it isn’t enough. The first reaction is to say that, given state budget woes, the ...

MLB-LLB marriage Aug. 20 will take Bowman Field, city to another level

There’s going to be a marriage Aug. 20 in Bowman Field. It’s between Major League Baseball and the Little League World Series. The formal invitations have not been sent out yet, but the details have leaked out. And all of them are great news for the city, its minor league baseball ...

Under new leader, Hope not resting on its excellence

Rob Labatch, new president of Hope Enterprises, has been doing a lot of homework the past few months. He took over in December for longtime Hope President Jim Campbell, who set a standard of excellence at Hope that bears emulating. Labatch is looking to somehow enhance Hope’s programs ...

Are city surveillance cameras working? Evaluation overdue

The city of Williamsport has had surveillance cameras in five parks for the past four years. There have been fewer than five arrests directly attributed to the cameras, which are designed to stop crime in the parks and provide evidence that leads to charges when crimes occur. “We’re not ...

How much should Americans pay to defend Europe allies?

Why should Americans pay more to defend our European allies than taxpayers in most of their countries are willing to bear? That — not whether Washington should abandon NATO to the not-so-tender mercies of Russian leader Vladimir Putin — is the question President Donald Trump has been asking ...

McMaster precisely what the nation needs at this time

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, named by President Donald Trump to be his new national security adviser, has been described as “a prominent military strategist known as a creative thinker.” That is precisely what the nation needs. McMaster replaces Gen. Mike Flynn, who lost his job because ...

Trump’s outline of priorities hardly extreme to masses

The reaction of local lawmakers to President Donald Trump’s joint address to Congress Tuesday night was pretty predictable. U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, a Cogan Station Republican who represents much of our region and an early advocate of Trump, expressed confidence that the president is leading ...

Numbers suggest state police fee plan should be adjusted

We support Gov. Wolf’s proposed $25 per capita fee for municipalities who use state police for local police protection. But there’s a lot of evidence that suggests the fee actually should be higher. State Police Commissioner Col. Tyree Blocker told a Senate budget hearing last week that ...

The war to end opioid crisis is a long-term struggle

Sheriffs from six counties in central Pennsylvania got together recently for a panel discussion hosted by the Susquehanna Valley Conservatives. A naturally tight-knit group, the sheriffs are even more in step with each other when it comes to their biggest daily concern. That would be the ...

Purest form of public service up for grabs in 2017

This election year does not carry the glitter of a presidential election year. But if you subscribe to the notion that political representation at the local level is the purest form of government involvement, this year may be more important than last year at the ballot box. In Lycoming ...

Establish a program dedicated to helping keep elections fair

An independent federal election commission intended to help states with their voting systems should be eliminated, members of a House of Representatives committee voted recently. Created after the 2000 presidential election raised questions about fairness and honesty, the Election Assistance ...

Budget realities make Wolf’s cop tax debate-worthy

Gov. Tom Wolf is proposing a $25 per person tax on municpalities without a police force to raise $63 million in funds for the state police, a plan bound to have its share of critics. It’s entirely understandable that those who lead municipalities that get their police protection for free ...

Hopefully, some of nation’s economic upturn visits here

For all the resistance President Donald Trump has attracted, the economic impression he has left on the country since being elected has been generally positive. There has been a bushel of decisions by major companies to either return plants and jobs to this country or expand operations within ...

Counties should not be the fall guys for state budget woes

The state’s budget woes, if they are not solved, will definitely have a trickle-down effect on the budgets of counties and perhaps municipalities, boroughs and school districts. Lycoming County Commissioner Tony Mussare’s reaction to the budget prospectus of Gov. Tom Wolf was: “It looks ...

Bill properly separates public union dues from political preferences

Public-sector union employees should not be paying a portion of their dues for political action committee contributions that may or may not match their political preferences. That sounds simple, but it’s not. The Republican-controlled Senate recently voted 28-22 to send a bill regarding ...

State singing same old song with gas industry and taxes

It’s the same old song. Our state government is trying to solve debt woes and a host budgetary headaches related to an operations budget that has risen 40 percent in a decade. So one of the first proposals on the table is a severance tax of 6.5 percent on a Marcellus Shale natural gas ...

For Dems, lessons to be learned regarding what ‘loyal opposition’ is

Fortunately, some Democrats in the U.S. Senate are beginning to think about the meaning of “loyal opposition” in government. It means standing firm on specific issues, without engaging in wholesale obstructionism. Many Americans disagree with some or even all of President Donald Trump’s ...

Practical revisions needed for city residency rule

The city of Williamsport was ready to hire a human resources director to handle the insurance and benefits package for 218 employees. There was only one problem. The director-to-be could not meet the residency requirement that is part of the city’s personnel requirements. So City Council ...

This time, make sure infrastructure work truly is shovel-ready

Some liberals already are condemning President-elect Donald Trump’s proposal for a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure throughout the nation. It’s no more than a slush fund to benefit people and programs the president likes, they say. It won’t really create jobs, they add. So, ...

Amid a divided world and nation, some real heroes

In these times of worldwide danger and political upheaval within our American borders, it's easy to forget there are ordinary people in our midst who are true heroes for the extraordinary things they do. Mike Dunlop, Keith Miller and George Bitner fit the bill. The trio of Marine Corps ...