Opinion

Cold War relic, present day threat

Opinion

WASHINGTON — You can kick the can down the road, but when Kim Jong Un announces, as he did last Sunday, that “we have reached the final stage in preparations to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic rocket,” you are reaching the end of that road. Since the early 1990s, we have ...

For GOP, the Year of Living Nervously

Opinion

Outspent by nearly a 2-1 ratio by Hillary Clinton and conspicuously not endorsed by the two most recent Republican presidents or the two most recent Republican presidential nominees, Donald Trump was still able to capture six states Democrat Barack Obama had twice carried — Florida, Iowa, ...

School property tax elimination plan: Discuss cautiously

Editorials

School property tax collections in Pennsylvania this fiscal year likely will amount to $13 to $14 billion. That's a lot of textbooks, technology, pensions and salaries that need to be funded. There yet another movement afoot this legislative session to eliminate that school property tax and ...

The real obstacle to peace

Opinion

Shortly after Benjamin Netanyahu won his bid for re-election as prime minister of Israel in March 2015, I wrote a column describing President Barack Obama as being “on track to go down as more hostile toward Israel than any president in the past 68 years.’’ I warned that President Obama ...

Freedom of association is great … for liberals

Opinion

The secular-left website Slate recently warned on Twitter that “‘Religious Freedom’ legislation will be everywhere in 2017.” “Religious freedom” is in scare quotes, a warning that deplorables will use that thing called religion as their weapon of choice in the coming assault on ...

HHopefully, Everett’s top position will speed bay cleanup

Editorials

State Rep. Garth Everett, a Muncy Republican who represents much of our region in the Legislature, was elected last week as chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. The commission matters a lot in these parts, because it oversees cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay, a very necessary environmental ...

Roof: Loner-loser syndrome

Opinion

CHARLESTON, S.C. — As convicted murderer Dylann Roof prepares to defend himself in the sentencing phase of his trial, a clearer understanding of his motives in gunning down nine African-Americans during Bible study prayer has begun to emerge. In a word, he’s a loser — as random and ...

The Trump Transition: from rhetoric to policy

Opinion

Eight years ago, as Barack Obama prepared to move into the White House, he continued to offer the rhetoric of hope and change. Though many Republicans mocked it, that message was exactly what the American people were looking to hear. Candidate Obama promised to change the way Washington ...

Judge Smith left far-reaching mark on county courts

Editorials

Lycoming County has been very fortunate for decades to have fair-minded, quality judges rendering decisions from its courtrooms. Clinton W. Smith, who died recently after a lengthy battle with cancer, certainly fit into that category. Judge Smith, who served significant time as president ...

Forensic nightmare: The perils of Touch DNA

Opinion

Have you heard of “touch DNA?’’ This mundane, yet menacing phenomenon exposes the double-edged sword of forensic science. With just an innocent handshake, an indirect transfer of epithelial cells, you could find yourself suspected of heinous crimes, charged with rape or convicted of ...

Chicago carnage: What can be done?

Opinion

Chicago has come a long way from the idealized lyric “my kind of town, Chicago is,” which Frank Sinatra made famous. True, Chicago has a history of gangland murders going back to the days of Al Capone, but 2016 set a new and lamentable record. According to CNN, citing figures released by ...

Apparently, lots of Washington didn’t get message of election

Editorials

Apparently it was not only Democrats who didn’t get the message on Nov. 8. Some Republican leaders in Congress may have missed what voters were saying, too. On Monday, GOP leaders in the House of Representatives moved to weaken the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. They did so ...

Dems empty Cabinet blockage plan would delay business of the people

Editorials

Democrats in the U.S. Senate have vowed to use every roadblock they can find to delay confirmation of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees. They have speculated they could drag the process out for as much as two months after Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20. That would delay the ...

County pay hike must come with different mindset attached

Editorials

The Lycoming County Commissioners last week approved a pay raise for county employees. It was a modest one – 1 percent for everyone, with an additional 1.5 percent pending evaluation. Our guess is that means a 2.5 percent pay hike for most county employees. Given that there was no pay ...

Obama: Transformational, sadly

Opinion

WASHINGTON — Any summation of Barack Obama’s impact on domestic policy and politics should begin with this: In 2008, he assured supporters, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Soon he will be replaced by someone who says, “I alone can fix ...

Kerry’s two-faced solution

Opinion

In his recent speech excoriating Israel for refusing to commit suicide by allowing a sworn enemy to have a state adjoining the Jewish state, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed the U.S. government “did not draft or originate” the UN resolution critical of Israeli ...

State should be careful about cuts to KOZ program

Editorials

Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation last summer expanding the Keystone Opportunity Zone program. Six months later, Pennsylvania is throttling back on one of its signature economic development programs. Wolf's administration sent out rejection letters recently to Philadelphia, Coatesville and ...

Memories of Judge Clinton Smith

Opinion

Clint Smith is at least one of the big reasons why I am still in Williamsport.  When I finished clerking for Judge Muir, I interviewed with Smith’s law firm.  Clint was the only one who could not be present at the interview. He asked me to come by after the formal interview and talk with ...

Fear thee well to 2016

Opinion

CHARLESTON, S.C. — As usual, the year’s end brings reflections and ruminations on what was and what is to be. This time around, however, it feels as though an era is coming to an end. That gentle frisson between past and future about which columnists customarily write feels vaguely ...

Good riddance, 2016

Editorials

WASHINGTON — Viewing 2016 in retrospect — doing so is unpleasant, but less so than was living through it — the year resembles a china shop after a visit from an especially maladroit bull. Because a law says “the state of California may not sell or display the Battle Flag of the ...