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Other Commentaries

Schools can’t be blamed for opening

With just weeks to the start of a new school year, Pennsylvania’s public school districts find themselves under siege, facing extreme public pressure and scrutiny, as they furiously plan for how to safely reopen schools. It’s a fight they shouldn’t have to wage alone. They’re ...

PA ignoring state’s Supreme Court

By Ron Evans Reportedly, when Andrew Jackson disagreed with a decision of the Supreme Court’s chief justice, he said, “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.” All three branches of commonwealth government are saying the equivalent regarding a ruling the ...

Skill games seek PA regulation

As Blair County navigates the pandemic, we are facing a time when many businesses and social clubs are determining if they can stay alive. I know this because I hear everyone from restaurants, bars, social clubs, convenience stores, tobacco shops and many other small business owners worry as ...

Pandemic made hospital better

In recent weeks, I have been reflecting on the unprecedented challenges that our community and our team at Conemaugh Nason Medical Center in Roaring Spring have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, I’ve been intentionally looking for every possible silver lining in ...

Improving election night process

Editor’s note: This commentary was written by Blair County commissioners Laura Burke, Bruce Erb and Amy Webster. As the Blair County Board of Elections, we always knew that the first election after the passage of Act 77, allowing no excuse mail-in voting, would be much different than the ...

Learn from the heroes in your life

My heroes have died. How fortunate am I. Though sad that I have had three life mentors die in the past two years, I feel fortunate to have had them bless my life in a time when many young men have none. What lessons have I learned from my heroes? My heroes were from the Greatest Generation. ...

PA holds troopers to high standards

Pennsylvania state troopers don’t enlist for medals or to win popularity contests. Many of us grew up wanting to be troopers, proud to serve our communities and willing to lay down our lives if necessary. Since the formation of our department in 1905, our ranks have suffered 98 ...

Cyber charters cripple public schools

Due to the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania’s public school districts face declining local revenue collection that is projected to range from $850 million to more than $1 billion for 2020-21. At the same time, Pennsylvania cyber charter schools are entitled to ...

‘Both sides put down their weapons’

Sorting out events of the last week, I flash back four decades ago. The first time I saw a rubber bullet was 40 years ago, when I lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I arrived there as a volunteer with a Nobel Peace Prize-winning group called the Peace People. They sent a hip young social ...

Dairy farmers are ‘stronger together’

We are your dairy farmers, families just like you facing unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19. Like everyone, Pennsylvania’s dairy farmers have been tested in ways we could not have imagined months ago. We were positioned for a strong year at the start of 2020. But that drastically ...

Mitigation of COVID-19 risks important

OK. I’m taking the bait to, “We challenge anyone to explain how allowing customers to go to these businesses poses any more of a danger than allowing those same people to go to a big-box retailer,” as presented in the May 20 editorial “It’s time to treat us like adults.” The answer ...

Rural broadband investment is a must

The size of the investment necessary to bridge the urban/rural divide in Pennsylvania is in the billions of dollars, telecommunications experts and government officials tell us. The trouble is that some of those potential investment dollars are currently locked up into costs that landline ...

Lesson from connoisseur of economics

John Maynard Keynes, celebrated economist of the 1930s, was a fierce debater. In one, he abruptly changed his position on a certain important issue. Understandably, his opponent immediately questioned his “flip flop” on the issue. Keynes caustically responded: “When the facts ...

Believe in the (political) science

It’s not an understatement to say every Pennsyl­vanian has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands have faced the virus itself, over a million children are not in school and more than 1.5 million workers have lost their jobs as a result of Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown. The ...

Mountainous divide should be asset

Mountains matter. Mountains always have mattered. Our Appalachian Mountains have been, from our nation’s beginnings, a barrier — for better or worse. The mountains traditionally have delineated the East from the Midwest. The mountains had to be conquered to bring railroads and highways ...

Canada, US relations are strained

MONTREAL — Chalk up another victim to the coronavirus that has swept across the globe: The decades-old amity that tied Canada to the United States in cross-border marriages and commercial relationships, that deepened during World War II, that took the form of three landmark 20th century ...

IU8 responding in time of need

Even though the buildings are closed, school is very much still in session for students in Bedford, Blair, Cambria and Somerset counties. Since Gov. Tom Wolf closed the school buildings on March 13, the 35 school districts in the Intermediate Unit 8 (IU8) four-county region have been hard at ...

What makes seniors more at risk

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in China, we’ve known that older people have the highest mortality rates of anyone should they contract the virus. As the illness has progressed and infected America, we’ve learned in even more detail about this. We now know that 13.4% of patients who are ...

China’s goal would hurt United States

In the classic play, Dr. Faustus agreed to give Lucifer his life and soul in 24 years in exchange for magical powers in the interim. In our Faustian Bargain with our Lucifer, the Communist Party of China, the U.S. consumer received lower prices on certain imports and certain businesses received ...

US can’t rely on foreign supply chains

Decades ago, corporate greed led U.S. companies to search for cheap labor in other countries — starting a trend that has relocated entire American manufacturing sectors and left millions of hard-working Americans without good-paying jobs, all while rich CEOs grew richer. Building trades, ...