This holiday season my family will gather around the table and give thanks for our God given gifts. There will be a seat that remains painfully empty. A reminder of a dark shadow that we do not want to explore.

According to the Yale Program for Climate Change Communication, 70% of all Pennsylvanians believe global warming is happening and a majority think our representatives should address this issue.

For the past 20 years, I have been engaged in efforts to end the opioid epidemic, as a public health official, researcher and clinician. And for every one of those years I have looked on as the number of deaths from drug overdoses has set a new record high.

The front page of a daily newspaper is a moment in time that captures several news events as headlines for that day. It becomes an historical marker.

As a recently retired person in Central Pennsylvania, here are some of the questions that keep me up nights: Will the retirement accounts, personal savings, Social Security, and Medicare benefits I am now counting on to support me for the rest of my life, through sickness and health, really …

As a father, it is inspiring to see my kids growing up. I think back to when I did not have children and how my life was then versus now. Of course, I had more freedom and could make decisions based on myself without the need to think of anyone else's needs.

After five years of political, economic and social upheaval in America, this month has seen some hints of a return to normalcy. The question is whether the two political parties (and their rabid ideological bases) are willing to settle for the benefits of “normal” politics instead of going f…

While writing a letter about the threat of the totalitarian nature of the left, I changed it to describe practices of both parties that are threats to everyone’s freedom.

Last week’s loss of the governor’s race in Virginia (and maybe the House of Delegates too) and the unexpectedly close gubernatorial election in New Jersey are a gift for the Democrats. A year before the national mid-terms, where control of Congress, governorships and the state legislatures w…

Now that the infrastructure bill has passed, the next step in rebounding is found in the American Families Plan, with its historic and specific investments in early childhood education that would benefit the entire Greater Susquehanna Valley region. With billions of federal dollars coming to…

My dad’s hearing was damaged more than half a century ago when, as a young man, he trained to be an Army military policeman during the war in Korea.

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns along the Western Front finally fell silent. (Well, most of them did anyway, as the last guns to be stilled did so only by nightfall). The Germans had asked for an immediate cease fire at a 5 a.m. conference, but the Allies…

If you needed further confirmation of Washington’s current state of dysfunction, consider this: The 13 Republican lawmakers who voted with Democrats to send a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to President Joe Biden’s desk late Friday night are finding themselves threatened with primaries an…

It is a perfect storm. It is the confluence of two political forces that leave a rationality vacuum in our politics that has yet to be filled. And herein lies the danger: The Republican party has been taken over by anti-democratic forces and has become a kleptocracy, a conspiracy of unprinci…

The majority of Americans know that climate change is real, and talk of its devastating effects dominates the news. According to the New York Times, Congress is considering a “carbon fee and dividend bill,” which would assess a fee on companies that provide fossil fuels.

The Democrats brag about the size of the tent covering a broad range of self-interests: African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, youth, women, progressives, and moderates. But is it too broad?

Editor’s Note: Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer Jeff Gerritt, editor of The Herald in Sharon and the New Castle News, both in Pennsylvania, has written the editorial below criticizing Kimberly Doss, mayor of the city of Farrell, Pennsylvania, for saying she will put on the agenda for …

Democrats on Capitol Hill may not be directly taking their cues from the legendary Carthaginian military leader Hannibal, but as moderates and progressives fell on each other last week over President Joe Biden’s watered-down domestic spending plan, it sure felt that way.

Pennsylvania has a long history of providing a high level of services and supports to its older residents, through administrations and legislative leadership of both political parties. I worked in the Aging Network in Pennsylvania from 1973 until 2002, including having the honor of serving a…

Surviving to senior status prompts me to look back at some tenets that pass for accepted wisdom and measure them against their application in history and practice.

We humans are social creatures, and so, in this time of increased isolation due to COVID-19, it is not surprising that many of us have turned, more than ever, to television, the internet, and social media. An unfortunate consequence is that as we struggle with the pandemic, we are exposed to…

In the run-up to the Pennsylvania primary in 2008, a voter told a New York Times reporter that she couldn’t see voting for Barack Obama because he was going to force everyone to convert to Islam.

During an appearance in his childhood home of Scranton, Pa. this week, President Joe Biden made the case for congressional approval of his nearly $2 trillion dollar ‘Build Back Better’ agenda, which is currently in the midst of a tug-of-war between progressive and moderate Democrats on Capit…

Have you ever visited the PA Wilds? Biked the Pine Creek Rail Trail? Hiked the Mid-State Trail? Fished Pine Creek? Hunted deer or turkey? Viewed the elk or fall foliage? Explored the Grand Canyon? Experienced the wonder of Cherry Springs’ Dark Skies?

The critical role of broadband in today’s increasingly digital society is well-documented, and for good reason. From statewide business and economic growth to basic educational tools for completing homework and school assignments, to telemedicine, reliable high-speed Internet service is an e…

Over my 45-year career as a doctor — the last 36 as a clinical cardiologist in rural East Texas — I’ve struggled to make my peace with death.

It’s very easy these days to say that social media is toxic. People act in ways they’d never do in real life, because it isn’t real life. They act like feral wolves, because they can. The Twitter police don’t carry guns, and their badges are imaginary.

President Joe Biden stopped the oil pipeline from Canada through the U.S., waived sanctions on the Russia/Germany pipeline, and then asked OPEC to increase their oil supply to help with rising gas prices. Totally illogical to me.

The Face of Facebook is monopoly power and restraint of trade, with an enormous market and harm to both consumers and to competition. Yet, only vaguely do we hear about the invocation of the antitrust laws against the media giant. A host of new legislation is discussed, some of which will un…

Full disclosure: I have been a Republican since adulthood. I admired the party’s commitment to the Constitution, free enterprise, and defense. I also admired the party’s integrity, though Richard Nixon proved a notable exception. But, as Ronald Reagan said about switching his allegiance from…

Letterwriters in recent editions of The Daily Item and other newspapers have argued for some version of a national voter ID card. In a July 31 letter in The Daily Item, one author claimed, “There is nothing restrictive about requiring a form of identification to vote.” Note the words “restri…

I was watching TV the other night, and one of those ubiquitous campaign ads popped up. This time, it was a female candidate for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, discussing all of her accomplishments.

A few days ago I received an email survey from Rep. Fred Keller’s office. The survey had a checklist of choices to select from to indicate what our greatest concerns are for our country. We could select from the list or add one of our own. My greatest concern was not listed so I added it to …

Tomorrow is a holiday — Indigenous People’s Day — known previously as Columbus Day. How did we come to honor Columbus with his own holiday and dozens of statues?

If Mark Zuckerberg seems irritable, he has good reason. His Facebook Empire is facing a digital scandal provoked by a former employee turned whistleblower.