Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It's mid-July, and we're no closer to the governor and state Legislature agreeing on a budget than we were in mid-June ... or mid-May, or mid-April, or mid-whenever.

In fact, the battle over the state budget has turned into an election-style campaign pitting the Republican-controlled Legislature against Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. And it looks as though both sides are digging in for a long fight.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


It's one of the worst epidemics facing our schools bullying.

Most students say they've experienced bullying at some point while inside or around school, maybe before class, or after class or at recess or lunch, or in hallways.

The website defines bullying as "unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time."

Monday, July 27, 2015

The past century witnessed some of the most ruthless regimes and barbarous dictators in world history. What is most astonishing is the number of people murdered by their own government.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, R.J. Rummel, professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, and author of "Death by Government," estimates that governments have murdered 170 million of their own citizens.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Once they leave service life, many veterans, particularly those from the post-9/11 period and in the 18 to 24 age group, are having trouble integrating into the civilian workforce.

A recent survey found one in five vets are unemployed and currently seeking employment, a rate that translates to roughly 20 percent unemployment. Among the younger demographic group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the unemployment has soared to as high as 30 percent.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A smart idea catching on in northern Schuylkill County could pay larger dividends if it spreads to other areas of the county as well.

In that area, some municipalities and school districts are joining forces to create the Schuylkill County Land Bank, which would acquire blighted properties and return them to tax rolls.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development describes a land bank as a public or community-owned entity established to acquire, manage, maintain and repurpose vacant, abandoned and foreclosed properties.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

People come from near and far, lured by tales of its breathtaking beautiful waterfalls guarded by rugged mountain terrain. But the dangers of this siren call to nature can be overlooked or minimized; too many have failed to pay heed and have paid a steep price, including death.

During the weekend, there were two more rescues at Glen Onoko Falls. Happily, these hikers, both women, were not critically injured. One had a lower leg injury; the other, a broken ankle.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

An ironic image from last week's shooting scene at a recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennesse, was a sign in the window indicating the building was s gun-free zone.

The glass around the sign was riddled by 33 bullet holes fired by gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the Kuwaiti-born gunman who killed four defenseless Marines and one sailor who later died from his wounds in the attack.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ever since March, a chorus of legislators across the country has begun pushing to change the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. This isn't just a coincidence. It is tied to a study done by the Institute of Medicine, which concluded that by doing so, smoking among these young adults would decline by 12 percent. Three-quarters of adults and 70 percent of smokers surveyed favor raising the smoking age.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Just what Pennsylvania doesn't need another sensational story of misconduct. On the heels of the Jerry Sandusky-Penn State fiasco, which "Sports Illustrated" called the worst college sports scandal of all time, Pennsylvania is now dealing with what could become one of the largest mayoral scandals in recent history.

The home of Stephen Reed, ex-mayor of Harrisburg, was searched by investigators who found world-class antiques and artifacts allegedly purchased by Reed using money diverted from the Harrisburg Authority.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

We were encouraged to see last week's American Red Cross blood drive at Pocono Raceway, which paid tribute to the state police and those troopers who have fallen in the line of duty.

Last September's seven-week manhunt through rugged Pocono Mountain terrain for accused cop-killer Eric Frein showed us just how dangerous law enforcement work can be and how frayed nerves become when a killer is at large.