Columns

An uneasy co-existence: Politics and religion

By MARK SHIELDSRegular readers may remember the "Shields rule," about the tension between organized religion and politics.It goes like this: With but one exception, ministers, priests, rabbis and imams - men and women of the cloth - should stay out of all partisan American politics.The one ...

It’s a different day in America

By GLENN MOLLETTEAmericans celebrate our Independence each Fourth of July.We have all kinds of independence in our country.We are free to kill unborn babies and free to legally marry people of the same sex.We are also free from the ritual of prayer in public schools.We are free to take all ...

Religious liberty is rallying cry after gay marriage ruling

By RACHEL ZOLLAnd STEVE PEOPLESThe Associated PressNow that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, religious conservatives are focusing on preserving their right to object. Their concerns are for the thousands of faith-based charities, colleges and hospitals that want to hire, fire, serve and ...

Living in downtown Lock Haven

(Editor's Note: This is the author's first column in a series of commentaries he intends to write about Downtown Lock Haven as he and his family invest their futures in the community.)A year and a half ago, my wife, Sarah, and I sold our happy little home in Woodward Township and moved ...

Now’s the time to contact your state lawmaker

Would lawmakers in Pennsylvania be able to compromise on a sound budget for fiscal 2015-16 before today?The answer is no.The Democratic governor and Republican-controlled House and Senate are far, far - very far apart on major issues.Just take a look at what the Associated Press was reporting ...

Pa. school aid formula has winners, losers

By MARC LEVYAssociated PressHARRISBURG - A new public school funding formula being considered by the Legislature would create winners and losers as it seeks a way to link the distribution of state aid more closely to need.Shrinking school districts that were previously spared aid cutbacks - ...

Increasing state payments in lieu of taxes a must for rural Pa.

Across Pennsylvania, the practice has long been in place of taxing property to help fund our schools.While the school property tax may have made sense when it was first enacted in the 1830s, constituents today have been voicing loud and clear that the school property tax is one of the most ...

Marijuana and the workplace

The state of Pennsylvania is presently poised to consider the legalization of medical marijuana.It has passed the state Senate but is presently stalled in the House Health Committee.This may be a good time for employers to ponder the possible effects of legalization of medical marijuana in the ...

Saluting a ‘Great Charter’ of liberty

By ED FEULNERIt won't be long before Americans all across the country are celebrating our great national birthday.And we won't do so quietly."It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty," John Adams, our second president, wrote of July 4. "It ...

Minimum wage increase helps business

ABy AMY EDELMANs a business owner, I know we need to raise the minimum wage, and we need to act now. It's good for my business, customers, and our economy.My perspective is grounded in 15 successful years as a small business owner. I own and operate a bakery with my husband. We've more than ...

What makes a heavy drinker?

There's been a significant rise in "heavy drinking" among Americans, according to a new study out of the University of Washington.But what do these researchers mean by "heavy drinking"? wine lovers must ask. For a woman, heavy drinking is defined as more than one glass of wine a day. For men, ...

More gambling should not be part of any budget deal

With the June 30 state budget deadline approaching, the General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf are scrambling to fill a $2.3 billion shortfall between Wolf's proposed budget and expected revenues. The budget pressures could make horse-trading deals possible, if not likely.Wolf wants to raise taxes ...

The Berlin Wall and the importance of memory

WILSON RICCARDORecently, I had the opportunity to travel to Berlin in Germany to visit a friend of mine.While we spent a large part of our time together enjoying each other's company and the delights of a city such as Berlin, one thing particularly struck me.As we were walking one day through ...

Drones are not just fun and games

Retail chain Sam's Club announced last week it is expanding its inventory of drones well ahead of the Christmas shopping season. Company officials anticipate strong sales, to everyone from children looking for a fun new toy to business owners seeking a new tool. As drones soar into the retail ...

Pa. lawmakers could roll dice on internet gambling

By ANDREW STAUBwww.PAIndependent.comHARRISBURG - State lawmakers have to fill a $1.2 billion budget shortfall, but Republicans who control the state Legislature don't favor Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's tax-heavy, $33.8 billion plan.Might they have a few aces up their sleeves as the calendar ...

Why are we ignoring a cyber Pearl Harbor?

By Jonah GoldbergWhat if a team of Chinese agents had broken into the Pentagon or - less box office but just as bad - the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and carted out classified documents?The next day, the newspapers and morning TV shows would show pictures of the broken locks and ...

Family ties or government bonds?

By BRITTNEY PARKERImagine a little girl and her young mother sitting on a weathered porch in a working-class urban neighborhood. The child smiles warmly, but the mother looks stressed - she's tired from long hours working second shift and raising a daughter by herself. The girl's father has ...

We need public libraries

Younger Americans can hardly imagine a time when you had to visit a library to research the population of Phoenix in 1980. Google now does that in seconds.Entire books are downloaded to tablets in minutes. Classics from "Moby-Dick" to Shakespeare's tragedies come virtually free.A project called ...

EBay’s security chief cites evolving cyberthreats

By MAE ANDERSONAP Technology WriterIt seems there's nowhere to hide these days from cyberattacks.Major breaches have exposed critical data at banks, retailers, health care providers and the government, as evidenced by word this month that hackers compromised personal information of at least 4 ...

Why run for office?

By LEE H. HAMILTONI spend a fair amount of time talking to students and other young people about Congress and politics in general, and I've noticed something. It used to be that I'd regularly get asked how one runs for office. Nowadays, I rarely do.This is a young generation that is famously ...