Columns

Bob Giry and the Christmas visit

So if you were wondering what to get me for Christmas, Henry Shoemaker books are always a good choice. I have a few, but it's a little like potato chips - you can never have too many Shoemaker books.Henry Shoemaker, the McElhattan writer and folklorist, wrote about a book an hour when he was ...

Give blood, the gift of life

mid the last-minute hustle to buy Christmas gifts - "stuff" - there's one gift that tends to be forgotten.Blood.It's the gift of life.The American Red Cross is urging people to donate blood or platelets this winterThat's because holiday activities, inclement weather and seasonal illnesses ...

It’s time to restore Joe Paterno’s legacy

By BUD COLEIt's time to restore the respected and noteworthy legacy of Joe Paterno and the image of Pennsylvania State University.I don't believe opinions of cynics, detractors and rival fans deserve any merit. While these naysayers sit back, point their fingers and gloat, Penn State continues ...

It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

By MIKE STOBBEAP Medical WriterHealth officials are celebrating some important victories in 2014, and Time magazine even named Ebola fighters the persons of the year. Nevertheless, this was a black-eye year for public health.Some vital vaccines did not work well. Federal laboratories were ...

Do you vote what you drink?

By FROMA HARROPDid you know that Democrats drink more than Republicans?Or that they are likelier to choose clear liquors, whereas Republicans tend toward the darker ones?That voters who skew most Republican favor Jim Beam?That those who skew most Democratic go for Seagram's gin?I didn't. And ...

Are you paying attention to how your tax money is being spent?

Are taxes levied by your local government going up next year?We bet most people don't know the answer to that question.Why?They don't care.Attendance and interest in local government matters - budgets, spending, taxes, community projects - seem to gain little interest these days.But yet, it's ...

For the holidays: Paying it forward

By ROBERT MORRISONPhil and Mary Sue are generous hosts.Thanksgiving is their special time with family, but they regularly invite "orphans" - people like my wife and me who have no other place to go.This year, we looked forward to joining Phil and Mary Sue's family and friends at their home.They ...

Dreamtime: Fact or fiction?

Babies can bring great joy to their parents, but this is not always the case.Emergency Rooms sometimes bear witness to incompatible relationships between some parents and their young children, which in turn leads to intervention by law enforcement.Two recent cases have received national ...

Change how legislative districts are reapportioned

A state senator from Lackawanna County wants to take away politicians' power to redraw legislative districts in Pennsylvania every 10 years.Simply put, Sen. John Blake of Archbald believes, "We (lawmakers) should not be choosing our voters, voters should be choosing us."Well said.Blake wants to ...

A ‘different kind’ of Pennsylvania gov., Wolf pays

By By PETER JACKSONAssociated PressTom Wolf, who promised in his election campaign to be "a different kind of governor" for Pennsylvania, is raising some eyebrows as he begins to demonstrate what that means.The businessman-turned-politician disclosed this week that he will break with tradition ...

The age of Tom Wolf

It's not often that someone's greatest wish and worst nightmare occur at the same time, but for Governor-elect Tom Wolf both are fated to occur the same day, hour and minute.Jan. 20 2015, will witness the swearing in of the state's new governor.For Wolf, the day will mark the culmination of a ...

As heroin use rises in Pa., police resources fall

The statewide surge in heroin abuse is terrifying and shows no signs of stopping, while at the same time a growing number of municipalities are finding it harder to fund an adequate level of police coverage.That's one of the takeaways from a series of recent Pennsylvania Economy League Civic ...

Egg freezing and the indentured woman

By ARINA GROSSUEgg freezing is being marketed as the new and hip thing to do among New York and Silicon Valley socialites. Freezing one's eggs is touted as a means of delaying motherhood for the sake of one's career.Yet this is anything but empowering to the modern woman. The Washington Post ...

Look up, Americans!

By LEE H. HAMILTONWe are one glum country.Trust in the federal government is at historic lows, according to Gallup.More than half of the respondents to an October Rasmussen poll think our best days are behind us.And just a few weeks ago, an NBC/Wall St. Journal poll found that the one thing ...

In small Pa. town, a big budget deficit

By By JESSICA PARKSThe Philadelphia InquirerSOUDERTON - In a community where typical questions to local officials include "What can you do about my neighbor's dog?" and "When and where may I practice firing my shotgun?" it's rare to draw more than 10 citizens to a township meeting.But at a Nov. ...

Pension costs to climb by $446M

By ERIC BOEHMPA IndependentLawmakers and Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf will head into next year's budget process with lots of new obligations to fulfill and little excess revenue with which to do it.State-level contributions to Pennsylvania's two pension plans will have to climb by an ...

A season for giving

We're so grateful to you, dear readers.Thank you for your wonderful contributions to three causes close to our hearts this Christmas season: The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots, the Santa's Seniors campaign and a collaborative effort to collect Children's Books.Santa's Seniors is a ...

On cheap energy, and energy production

We don't need disco, Pet Rocks or eight-track tapes.But we could use that gallon of gas that sold for 60 cents in 1976, as the country headed toward the innovative '80s.Just think what cheap gas could do for the American economy. Analysts predict gas prices throughout the country will drop to ...

No need for large halfway house here

Lock Haven and Flemington have every right to be concerned about a Williamsport-based nonprofit's proposal to build an 16,000-square-foot halfway house near the hospital to house up to 80 men seeking rehabilitation, treatment and career counseling as they transition to society from prison.Is ...

Dreamtime: Fact or fiction?

(Writer's Caution: Reading this and upcoming commentaries may have serious side effects, such as thinking outside the box. Some readers may begin to have doubts about mega-news media's often brief and/or biased formats. Those who become confused by reading my thoughts should use caution when ...