Other Commentaries

Seeking real clarity on drug pricing

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wants to make prescription drug pricing more transparent. We agree, but his well-intentioned plan will only confuse and mislead consumers. What’s the good of listing drug prices in advertising if almost no one pays that “list price?” ...

Drug prices: It’s time for change

The angry protests around the 2016 Mylan EpiPen scandal brought into focus the perils for patients when the price of a life-saving drug spikes precipitously. As a Type 1 diabetic who has been dealing with escalating insulin prices my whole life, I was heartened to see the outcry over our ...

True Christians love Jewish people

My heart was broken when I heard about the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last month. I was sitting in my study preparing my sermon when the alert came. I immediately prayed, asking God to protect the people there. It was not until later that I heard 11 precious lives ...

Listen closely to voices from your empty chair

A stranger appeared just as we were sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner. And he sat in the chair that we always leave empty to symbolize those, who due to death or distance, could not be with us this year. The stranger then began to talk — and even sometimes sing. “Let us bow our ...

Quick cancer treatment reason to give thanks

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful to not have cancer. I hope. Six months ago, my family doctor sent me for a CT scan because I went in to be checked out for something that felt weird which ended up being nothing. However, the CT scan did reveal some nodules in my thyroid. A local ...

US primary problem: Doctor shortage

America’s medical system is facing a primary care crisis. To meet our nation’s needs would require almost 15,000 additional primary care doctors. Take into account the effects of aging and population growth, and the shortage will climb to almost 50,000 by 2030. There are thousands of ...

Prioritize students’ mental health

When a student feels sick during the school day, they visit the school nurse. But if their problem is emotional or psychological in nature, where can they turn for help? That’s the dilemma some Pennsylvania students face when they are bullied by classmates. Tragically, bullying reportedly ...

100 years after ‘war to end all wars’

I’ve waited 40 years to write this article. For it was in 1978 when I first came across my Uncle Carroll Hosbrook’s WWI letters, including one written from France on November 11, 1918, Armistice Day, now a full century ago. History will honor these American Doughboys, the many thousands ...

Remembering a fallen soldier

This was a military plan to force Germany out of France. To assist this huge operation, our military planned to invade southern France. The landing would go ashore on the Mediterranean coast near Cannes. Before the Allies could launch their huge attack, they had to assemble enough men and ...

Address Pa.’s declining population

The facts are undeniable. Over the past 50 years, we’ve witnessed a decline in population and a decline in overall economic growth. Today, Pennsylvania’s problems are masked by a strong national economy and seemingly positive employment numbers. Sadly, Pennsylvanians are leaving the ...

Seeking answers, with heavy hearts

Pittsburgh now has joined America’s pantheon of mass atrocity. The 11 worshippers killed in Tree of Life Synagogue are seared in our consciousness now, but we cannot forget the 17 students and faculty in Parkland, Fla., in February; the 26 worshippers in Sutherland Springs, Tex., last ...

At Altoona, ‘everything just works’

To many who never set foot inside Altoona Area High School, stereotypes are conjured of a gritty, urban institution where both gangs and drugs are prevalent. And when a rare story is newsworthy — like students making poor choices at a basketball game last year or the rumor of a shooting ...

Telemedicine bill will be positive

Anytime a family member gets sick, it’s only natural that we want to find the best options to figure out what’s wrong and help them get the care they need. As technology advances, families have more options to receive care — not just in the office of a physician or other provider. ...

Mirror carries torch for coverage

Eleven years ago, when I first came into office, there was a vibrant and engaged local media regularly attending our county commissioners meetings. They reported on a myriad of important issues for our citizens after listening to their presentation and debate. The media members in attendance ...

New political low has been reached

Character assassination is distinctly the order of the day. This is not to be accepted for the good of the country. It is alive and well. The question is rather obvious and the roots for World War III are well underway. The battleground — whether we like it or not — is in the continental ...

Medal of Honor ceremony stirs emotions

Editor’s note: Rita (Lehman) Novak graduated from Central High School in 1962. After her schooling, she raised her family in Windber. Last week, she attended the Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House recognizing her son-in-law, Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman, who died in action in 2004. ...

Opioid crisis needs help from above

Most of us, whether Catholic or not, have heard the story of Saint Maximillian Kolbe (1894-1941), the Polish saint who died in Auschwitz, a German death camp. Father Kolbe was a Franciscan priest who volunteered to take the place of an inmate who was sentenced to death. Because three ...

Lawsuit aimed at Big Pharma a welcome step

One disturbing aspect of the opioid addiction crisis is the legal and commercial avenues through which it was propagated. Long known and abused for their pleasing, analgesic effects, opioids gained force in this latest deadly resurgence amid the marketing of pain-killing opioid drugs. ...

Beware, Chinese big brother

Upset because Facebook and Google invade your privacy? Be glad you don’t live in China. Facebook and other Western apps are banned there. The government views their openness as a threat. So the Chinese use platforms like WeChat and Alibaba. Now the Chinese government takes data from ...

Politicos to hold gov’t accountable

Political leaders often talk as if the right to vote is our most powerful tool for holding government accountable. Voting is important, but its impact is limited by an electoral process that protects incumbents and offers voters few meaningful options. Fortunately, as the Seattle City ...