Editorials

SympoSymposium brings sobering talk on future fire services

A symposium last week on fire services as they relate to local government drew a lot of sobering talk. There was talk about how important it is for fire departments and the government bodies with whom they work to get along and seek solutions together. There were indications that the ...

The health care mess: Reforming it is everyone’s job

Americans want lower health care premiums. They want insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. They want easy access to the doctor of their choosing. And they want adequate Medicaid coverage for those entitled to it. That’s what a health care bill is supposed to look like. It ...

The state budget impasse need not be so complicated

The state budget is lurching through another July impasse, while social services, schools and innumerable other interests wait for results that will greatly impact their budgets for the next 12 months and beyond. It’s really quite simple. There’s a $2 billion gap between the $32 ...

Recent weeks show opioid epidemic is a daunting foe

The picture is ugly and depressing. There is a synthetic opioid product being distributed in our area that carries a potency 100 times the level of morphine. The results are predictable: A wave of overdoses, some of them fatal. Lycoming County is on track for double the number of ...

Rewarding extremist who murdered people simply isn’t correct

Let us hope Omar Khadr never gets to enjoy a dime of the $8 million the Canadian government has awarded him, or gets to send any of it to his terrorist chums in Afghanistan. Khadr, a native of Canada, was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops battling Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan. ...

Charter commission: Vital conduit to city government change

The form for the future government in the city of Williamsport was not determined by City Council’s action in the past month. City Council merely took the action that will put a referendum question on the ballot asking residents whether they want a charter commission to study forms of ...

On dark news day, trouble comes in threes to the city

These were the Page 1 news highlights for last Thursday’s edition of the Sun-Gazette: Drug overdoses killed two more people locally in recent days. Meanwhile in Lycoming County Court, a third drug charge against a heroin dealer resulted in a 5-year state prison term. Under the heading ...

A double standard in principles creates state budget woes

The state budget beat goes on. Gov. Tom Wolf lets a $32 billion spending plan become law without his signature. Lawmakers are left with a $2 billion gap between the spending plan and available revenues. Unwilling to raise taxes and uncomfortable with a battery of alternatives, lawmakers ...

Medical marijuana operations coming; Monitoring is key

Medical marijuana dispensing is coming to Lycoming County. The Keystone Center of Integrative Wellness, with local headquarters in Williamsport, was among the 27 entities recently selected for a permit to operate dispensaries under the Pennsylvania medical marijuana law. Keystone may ...

Amid budget woes, consider myth of education funding

As the state Legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration struggle to fashion a budget for 2017-18 that makes sense, there is a strong possibility that the funding allotment for public education will eventually become a major talking point. And there is an equal possibility that ...

The country’s debt compromises its level of independence

Last week, thoughtful Americans paused to reflect on and be grateful for our many liberties. To an enormous extent, we owe them to the nation’s founders, who followed up their courageous Declaration of Independence with a Constitution and Bill of Rights that have been reliable insurance for ...

Ballot question veto underscores need for initiative

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana's veto of the City Council ballot question in the November election that could start wheels turning toward a change in the form of government underscores precisely why the change needs to be considered. Council's recent action – and it’s subsequent override ...

The ‘affordable’ in Obamacare is a bold-faced lie

A measure of the dishonesty with which the so-called Affordable Care Act was adopted during former President Barack Obama’s administration can be seen in legislation Congress is considering now to replace the ACA — Obamacare, as it has come to be known. Throughout the country, insurance ...

Hotel tax suit: It was only a matter of time

After years of questioning by opponents of the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau tourism operations, it was just a matter of time until some sort of law suit was filed. The law suit filed a week ago claims financial information on the bureau's operations deliberately excludes all entities ...

TLC, its leader represent 30-year success story

Three decades ago, with eight beds in modest quarters on Rose Street in Williamsport, the Transitional Living Center began its mission to address the needs of female offenders by helping them transition back into the community in a home-living environment. Three decades later, driven by the ...

Auditor general’s swipes at Penn State have some merit

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale took some strong swipes at Penn State University recently. He pointed out tuition has jumped 500 percent over the past three decades and the tuition for in-state students of $20,000 a year is among the highest for public universities in the ...

On this July 4, new commitment to who we are is needed

On this Independence Day it would be understandable for Americans to wonder if our heritage of freedom is in jeopardy. The country we live in is under siege verbally from a battery of dictators and terrorists that openly wish for the demise of our country. It is under siege from within, ...

Those denouncing violent rhetoric need to look in the mirror

It would be difficult these days to find a member of Congress not concerned about acrimony in politics spurring a few crazies to commit violent acts. Even Montana Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte, convicted last week of assaulting a reporter, is calling for more civility. But some of the very ...

The opioid war: Nothing less than a fight for our future

A bad batch of heroin is not the same as a bad batch of celery. There was proof of that this week, when what police called a bad batch of heroin led to dozens of people overdosing. Meanwhile, a man was being arraigned for selling 80 bags of suspected heroin for $580 on June 15 to an ...

Trump’s shot across the bow of Cuban leaders appropriate

No doubt Cuban leaders counted on the United States not to look back after former President Barack Obama reversed longstanding policies toward the communist island in December 2014. But there is a new president in town, and he is right to insist Cuba keep its end of the bargain. For decades, ...