Other Commentaries

Enemy of the American people

Donald Trump recently tweeted, “The news media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People.” When Republican Senator John McCain was asked about Trump’s tweet he responded, “If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, ...

Protecting my house

Not taking in Syrian refugees and closing the borders isn’t “mean” or “heartless.” I lock the doors to my house every night. I don’t do it because I hate the people outside my house. I lock them because I love the people inside my house. Charles Thomas Ebensburg

Resolution needed for patients

By Perry Conrad On June 10 of 2000, I was a 41-year-old triage nurse at Altoona Hospital when I felt my first Parkinson’s tremor. Now, nearly 17 years later, I’m happy to tell you that I am still living the dream right here in central Pennsylvania. The road hasn’t always been ...

Challenges face new ag boss

At one of the inaugural balls, Sonny Perdue, Donald Trump’s choice to run the Department of Agriculture wore a peanut-theme bow tie. Former Georgia governor Perdue wore a tractor theme tie weeks ago when he boarded the elevator at Trump Tower for the first of several job ...

Balance lacking in Electoral College

In the recent presidential election, a candidate who did not win the popular vote won the Electoral College and the presidency. This has happened more than I thought. In the 56 presidential elections since 1788, five (1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016) — or almost 9 percent — had this ...

Lincoln, King legacies intertwined

Abraham Lincoln is generally regarded today as one of America’s greatest presidents. But, that wasn’t always the case. It took more than half a century after his death before the memorial erected in his honor could be built. The bitterness of the Civil War he waged to preserve the Union ...

Readers sound off on death penalty

Whenever I write about serial killers, guns and the death penalty, my inbox blows up. Last week’s column about convicted murderer Dylann Roof and America’s policy of capital punishment — public support for it, the costs associated with it and its usefulness in deterring other criminals ...

No jackpot: Seniors should be taxed more

The Pennsylvania Lottery has always been a dubious proposition: It is at its heart a scam on the poor whose proceeds pay for programs for Pennsylvania’s seniors — some of whom are the Lottery’s most dedicated patrons. And after some record-breaking years, including $4.1 billion in sales ...

Altoona’s recovery under Act 47 strong

When I became mayor in 2010, Altoona was facing major critical problems. It was time to act to save our city from serious financial and internal structural matters. It was a daunting task hampered by a declining population and tax base. After intensive research during my tenure, I ...

More must be done to protect the Jersey Shore

At long last, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New Jersey are starting work on a comprehensive back bay flooding plan, but they are lumbering along waiting for bags of cash from the federal government and thinking about work as though they have the luxury of time on their side. They ...

Coal country eyes renaissance

With the Trump administration just days away from taking the reins of power in Washington, coal country rightfully waits with great anticipation. The Obama administration’s war on coal cut deep in a number of states that rely on the industry as a backbone of their economies. The ...

Transferring technology to blind

The special problems of the elderly blind in central Pennsylvania came home to me when I was a patient last year at HealthSouth’s Physical Rehabilitation Hospital in Pleasant Gap. I am a 69-year-old paraplegic. I was in the hospital because I broke my ankle. My ankle has since ...

‘Ground zero’ of VA struggles

Despite intense public scrutiny and leadership changes at the top of the VA, a whistleblower says patient care has not improved at a troubled Phoenix facility, which two years ago became the focus of criticism. A Department of Veterans Affairs employee, who initially called attention to the ...

Willing to receive, but not give

The holidays are gone for another year but were packed with shoppers seeking the perfect gifts for their loved ones. At a glance, it would seem that Pennsylvanians are truly embracing the sense of giving that comes with the holiday season. However, a recent survey found that many people are ...

Cooler heads prevailing after assassination

Last week’s assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov in Ankara, Turkey, had the potential to destabilize already strained relations between the two nations, which back different sides in the Syrian war and have other points of conflict. To their credit, Russia and Turkey have ...

Both sides seeking more ‘normal’ Trump

Donald Trump was supposed to take over the Republican Party, but the question going forward will be whether the Republican Party takes over him. So far the early legislative agenda of Republicans after the Trump revolution is shaping up to be what you would have expected prior to the Trump ...

Make restoring civility top priority

We have just come off of the most acrimonious presidential election in modern memory. There are many distinctive aspects to the 2016 election: the first woman candidate for a major party, a shocking (to many) upset, a victory by a complete outsider to politics. Even the level of ...

Unions would do well to learn from Dallas

And just like that the Dallas, Pa., teacher strike is over. Residents endured a month of acrimony, and Thursday’s negotiation session showed no promise. The union insisted it had presented a valid case, the district begged to differ. Along with repeating the claim that there isn’t ...

Dam safety is very important

Dams provide a vital service to our communities and economy, creating reservoirs for our water supply, protecting us from floods, and providing clean, renewable energy through hydropower, and serving as recreational facilities. But as our population grows and more people live below dams, ...

Will Trump defy Rubio and McCain?

When word leaked that Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, a holder of the Order of Friendship award in Putin’s Russia, was Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state, John McCain had this thoughtful response: “Vladimir Putin is a thug, a bully, and a murderer and anybody else who describes him ...