Opinion

City Councilwoman Marlyne Whaley left an indelible mark

Editorials

If we are measured by the mark we leave, J. Marlyne Whaley, a former Williamsport City Councilwoman who died recently, was a giant. Growing up cleaning homes with her sister during segregated times, Mrs. Whaley went on to become an African-American trailblazer with major political influence ...

Beyond tweets, theater, Congress is main event

Opinion

WASHINGTON — The most amusing part of the Trump transition has been watching its effortless confounding of the media, often in fewer than 140 characters. One morning, after a Fox News report on lefty nuttiness at some obscure New England college — a flag burning that led a ...

Glenn was the genuine article

Other Commentaries

If you were old enough to tie your shoes Feb. 20, 1962, then you almost surely remember Marine Col. John H. Glenn Jr. entering the history books by becoming the first American to orbit the Earth. During that flight, Americans, watching on their black-and-white television sets, held their ...

Faking the news

Opinion

Mainstream media are suddenly concerned about “fake news.” It used to be that phony stories were easy to spot. They usually focused on space aliens or mysterious creatures found wandering deep in the woods. My personal favorite in this genre was a 1992 “story” in the supermarket tabloid ...

City tax increase: It’s not much, but it’s too much

Editorials

It doesn't seem like much. And it's not. But this particular year, the quarter-mill increase in property taxes attached to the 2017 Williamsport city budget is too much. The tax increase amounts to $25 a year on a property assessed at $100,000. The $218,000 generated by the tax increase is ...

Park Avenue project plan lacks punch without details

Editorials

Williamsport Mayor Gabriel J. Campana has said on a few occasions recently that he has a plan to revitalize the Park Avenue area of the city. Reuse of the former Trimtex building appears to be at the heart of the plan. Usage of the complex that involves science, technology, engineering and ...

Obesity, fatty foods, death and science

Opinion

Something is killing us — beyond the fact that life itself is a terminal condition. Last week brought news that the U.S. mortality rate overall has risen slightly since 2014. ‘’It’s a definite milestone in the wrong direction, and the concern a lot of us have is that it reflects largely ...

Pondering Hollywood’s selective slandering

Opinion

On Dec. 4, the second Sunday of Advent on the Christian calendar, Fox’s “Family Guy” mocked two-thirds of the Holy Trinity as only Fox can. In atheist Seth MacFarlane’s gag, Jesus Christ had a human son who he mocked for being bullied at school, comparing that to the horror of the ...

Less predictable 2017 county budget talks heartening

Editorials

Votes for the Lycoming County budget are normally a formality, a rubber stamp that happens in early December to meet public notice guidelines. And discussion of details of the plan, despite its size and the operational deficits of recent years, have often been minimal. Not so this ...

U.S.-Israel relations set to improve

Opinion

The consensus in Israel is that the relationship between the Jewish state and the United States is going to improve in a Trump administration, says former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Zalman Shoval. On a recent visit to Washington, D.C., Shoval told me that he believes Donald Trump and his ...

GOP hangs on to historic gains in state legislatures

Opinion

While official Washington analyzes every tweet and meeting of President-elect Donald Trump, little attention is paid to the political dynamics of state government. This is unfortunate, since state and local governments often have a more direct impact on the lives of their ...

Disjointed utility project work brings worthy complaints

Editorials

Williamsport City Councilman N. Clifford “Skip” Smith described the ravages left on city streets following gas line excavations properly when he said recently, “Those holes are sinking daily.” It certainly feels that way to drivers in Williamsport and South Williamsport in particular, ...

The Messy Truth about Van Jones

Opinion

They never learn. The grand journalism pooh-bahs at CNN were humiliated this election cycle when WikiLeaks revealed that former CNN contributor and interim DNC chair Donna Brazile had shared a question with the Hillary Clinton campaign in advance of a March Democratic primary town hall ...

Facebook and ‘Fake News’ crackdown

Opinion

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is under enormous pressure from the left to crack down on the “fake news” circulating on the social-media giant. He is well-advised to run as far as he can from the News Police. In a recent note on Facebook, Zuckerberg claimed he wanted to err “on the side ...

Oakland tragedy shows danger of taking codes safety rules lightly

Editorials

Property owners often chafe at building codes requiring them to maintain structures in safe, healthy manners. That can be costly, so a certain amount of judgment should be exercised in enforcement. But what can happen when scofflaws get away with ignoring the rules entirely has been ...

Trump’s Carrier ploy repudiates conservatism

Opinion

WASHINGTON — So, this is the new conservatism’s recipe for restored greatness: Political coercion shall supplant economic calculation in shaping decisions by companies in what is called, with diminishing accuracy, the private sector. This will be done partly as conservatism’s challenge to ...

Check your soul at ‘The Daily Show’

Opinion

Liberals in the press have spent weeks trashing “fake news” purveyors — which is to say, those in the press who are not liberals — while continuing to bow deeply to the fake newsmakers at “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. Jon Stewart and New York Magazine writer Chris Smith have ...

Council/mayor woes scream for change in form of government

Editorials

We can talk around it or we can illuminate the evidence. And the evidence of the past six months shows a deepening divide between Williamsport City Council and Mayor Gabriel J. Campana. The most tangible proof is a questioning of the validity of Mayor Campana's expense receipts in 2015. It ...

Climate debate over ‘and the winner is…’

Opinion

The Deniers, of course. A few days after the Republican sweep in the recent elections, popular meteorologist Joe Bastardi took a victory lap during a talk for "anti-the man-made-climate-change folks" at a meeting of the Susquehanna Valley Conservatives. Mr. Bastardi had plenty to celebrate ...

Provider: We don’t need a union to take adequate care of our son t

Opinion

I remember it clearly. It was a sunny day, just after Memorial Day in 2003. My husband, Tom, and I were at our son Greg's home. We were waiting to have a family dinner, but Greg was unusually late coming home from work. Then we got the call that is every parent's worst nightmare. Greg had ...