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December 07, 2016
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The essential middle class

Among the lessons that political science students once learned in Poli-Sci 101 was that a broad middle class underpins both the success and the strength of a democracy and helps support a vibrant economy. With its extensive, wide-ranging middle class, the United States was held up as the perfect model for peace and prosperity.  Read more

Greatest Generation

On the very last day of spring, just a few days ago, John Rooney of Yulan, NY passed from this earth. He was one of the Greatest Generation. He was hardened in battle, having fought in the Battle of the Bulge, but lived kindly and gently in civilian life until his final breath.

Today there is a new call for boots on the ground in Iraq and greater military involvement in the region. This call is being made unimaginably by the very people who urged us into Iraq in 2003.  Read more

Coal, jobs and politics in Pennsylvania

On Sunday the Republican former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson wrote in the New York Times that man-made climate change is “the challenge of our time,” and called for a federal tax on carbon emissions, and last week on Capitol Hill four former administrators of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Republicans all, told the Senate that the U.S. must take action on climate change. The four were Christine Todd Whitman (EPA secretary under George W. Bush), William Reilly, (for George H.W.  Read more

Seeking stability, continuity and a better vision

Honesdale Borough government needs some stability. Since the beginning of this year alone, three borough council members and a mayor have resigned. Yes, the borough normally has its share of turnover of elected officials who ran and lost in various elections, but in the past three-and-a-half years there have been an unusual number of resignations as well as sitting council members declining to seek reelection because of problems arising either from conflict on the council or from how the town does its business.  Read more

Learning to cope with the high cost of food

It will come as no surprise to anyone who does the family’s grocery shopping. The price of food just seems to keep going up and up, and leading the climb right now are meat and poultry, eggs and dairy, and fresh fruits. In the last five years, food price inflation has topped overall inflation, fueled by energy and transportation costs, weather events that impact agriculture, and the cost of processing, packaging and marketing food products.  Read more

Clearing the air, part I A little environmental history

Let me tell you a story, Son.

In the olden days (not so long ago), a Republican president created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and signed the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. That was back in the 1970s.  Read more

Time to fix our roads and highways

A common pastime these days in the Upper Delaware River Valley is grumbling about the current miserable condition of our roads and highways. Some people blame this on the rough winter we just had, but truth be told, many of those same roads and highways were in no great shape to begin with, due to years of neglect by both the Empire and Keystone states.  Read more

Remembering the fallen; Honoring those who served

On Monday, Memorial Day, people across America will pause to remember the men and women who died while serving in our armed forces. Locally, many of our towns will hold parades to pay tribute not only to the fallen, but also to honor those living who have served our country.  Read more

Do casinos deserve tax breaks?

Riding on the promise that a casino will boost their local economy, counties and municipalities in the Hudson Valley/Catskills are racing to compete with one another to win one, or possibly two of these moneymakers to locate within their borders. The jockeying for position in this kind of competition frequently includes offering tax breaks as a way to attract new businesses.  Read more

From ‘me’ to ‘we;’ Volunteerism, a noble calling

“The broadest and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.” — Ivan Scheier (  Read more