Sunday, May 24, 2015


Thursday, April 9, 2015

The results of a recent bridge inventory analysis are sobering.

The 2014 U.S. Department of Transportation National Bridge Inventory database found, in part, that cars, trucks and school buses cross Pennsylvania's 5,050 structurally compromised bridges 16.1 million times every day.

The review by Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, should serve as a wake-up call.

Some of the potentially dangerous bridges are located in our area.

In some cases, motorists don't even know when they're passing over a bridge.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Integrity, honesty and credibility took a hit last week, thanks to former Senate leader Harry Reid and Sabrina Erdely, a journalist for Rolling Stone magazine.

Reid was asked by a news journalist if he regretted making a false accusation against Mitt Romney in the midst of the bitter 2012 presidential campaign. Even though he had no evidence to back up his charge, Reid announced on the Senate floor that word was out that Romney hadn't paid any taxes for 10 years.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Indiana's newly enacted "religious liberty" law has provoked nationwide controversy, largely because its chief champions are religious conservatives who have complained about businesses being forced to serve customers who are planning same-sex weddings.

If the point of passing such a bill is protecting religious liberty, not about discriminating against gays, there is a simple way to defuse the controversy:

Include a disclaimer that the bill does not override any current or future state or local law banning discrimination against others in business or commerce.

Monday, April 6, 2015

There's strong evidence that throwing more taxpayer money at a problem isn't the way to fix what's broken.

A good example is the veterans system. Earlier this year there was data that suggested the Veterans Health Administration had made some progress in dealing with scandal involving a backlog of cases, which was exposed by a whistle-blower in Phoenix in 2014.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Given the regular diet of negative news, it's nice to come across positive stories, especially those that show the kind of selfless love and sacrifice that Easter inspires.

Several stories involving the armed forces and the entertainment field got our attention this week.

"Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon took a few minutes during Tuesday's show to honor his father-in-law, William H. Juvonen, an aviation executive and former U.S. Marine aviator. During a training exercise over the Mojave Desert in 1961, his F-8C Crusader jet went into a tailspin, forcing him to eject.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

State Senate Republicans apparently need a governor of the opposite party to convince them of their own party's proposals. They are considering resurrecting a key provision of a pension reform plan that they failed to embrace after Republican former Gov. Tom Corbett first proposed it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The last line of the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor states that "I will always uphold the constitution, my community and the agency I serve."

During his 34 years of life, Boston police officer John Moynihan has done service in all three areas with honor and dignity.

After high school, he joined the United States Army, went to Ranger school and served in Iraq during 2006-07.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

At first glance, recent headlines in a series of unrelated stories appear ominous.

"Nesquehoning police discover heroin in traffic stop."

"Meth lab found in car in Hometown."

"Tamaqua traffic stop nets marijuana stash."

But in the larger scheme of things, what appear to be alarming stories are actually a pronouncement of positive steps taken in the local war on drugs.

Of course it's no secret Pennsylvania has an illegal drug problem.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Two 7-year-old elementary students, one in the Midwest and the other in the Southeast, were punished last week at their respective elementary schools over infractions that many considered an overreach by school officials.

The Missouri case involves Kylee Moss of Belton, who came home with a letter from her teacher stating that her body mass index was too high.

The BMI is controversial because it does not distinguish between muscle mass and fat mass.

The letter said Kylie's BMI is "not healthy for 7-year-olds."

Friday, March 27, 2015

During arms control negotiations with Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan used the words "trust, but verify."

Now, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry continues negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, Reagan's strategy needs to be front and center.

March 31 is seen as the date for a final agreement with Iran, but announcing a deadline just plays into the hands of Islamic extremists, who are never governed by a calendar or time clock.

There are very good reasons to be suspicious of any deal forged with the Iranians.