It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Mr. and Mrs. Stack.
True fact: Fallen Fox News personality spent an early portion of his career right here in NEPA, at WNEP, channel 16.
This week’s conviction of Eric Frein for the murder of Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Bryon Dickson came hardly as a surprise. Through his own words and actions, Frein’s guilt was nearly a foregone conclusion.
It seems that Scranton has engaged in a scattershot effort to assess and collect rental fees of homeowners, many of whom are not, in fact, landlords. The problem (aside from the city’s well-earned reputation for incompetence) mainly centers on Scranton’s use of Lackawanna County’s nearly half-century-old property assessment as a basis for which residents received the notices. The rental-fee mess will sort itself out in time, but the episode provides yet another reason why the county needs to perform a reassessment. Otherwise, episodes like this will continue to occur.
Two bills are working their ways through the state legislature that obstruct the public’s right to know pertinent details about their local and state police forces. House Bill 27 would make it a misdemeanor to reveal the name of an officer involved in a shooting or arrest that resulted in injury or death. Senate Bill 560, meanwhile, would make it far more difficult for the public to have access to video and audio recordings captured by an officer’s bodycam. Further, it would not require an officer to notify a citizen that they are being recorded, and would allow recordings to be made inside one’s home.
Stories of Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack’s recent problems with interpersonal employee relations caught many folks by surprise. For starters: we have a lieutenant governor?
One of our own — 10th District U.S. Representative Tom Marino — has been selected to join the the raft of plutocrats and science-deniers composing the Trump administration. As payoff for coming out early in his support for Trump, Marino reportedly is in line to become the next federal “drug czar.” Considering U.S, Attorney-General Jeff Sessions’ retrograde plan to restart “the war on drugs,” Marino likely will find himself with his hands full and in the spotlight.
Meanwhile, news of his plan to leave his office will come as a complete surprise to constituents who have tried for months to corral the congressman into a town hall meeting and explain himself and his positions. It seems Marino was rarely if ever in his office.
Lackawanna County Commissioner Jerry Notarianni’s legal quest to be granted minority-member status hit another snag this week. His choice of words following the court decision laid bare the political infighting and resentment that’s been a hallmark of the board recently.
Pennsylvania American Water Company has lifted its boil-water advisory, put in place following a water main break in Dunmore that affected roughly 50,000 customers. Meanwhile, the Scranton School District’s own problems continue to boil.
Deaths from drug overdoses — fueled in part by the explosion in opioid abuse — have increased steadily over the past few years in Lackawanna County.
Gerrymandering — wherein the political party in power draws district lines that will preserve said power — is a game as old as politics itself. “Both sides do it” is a common excuse for this activity, and there’s merit to that. However, the situation has gotten completely out of hand in Pennsylvania. Despite the Democratic party’s clear lead in registered voters and routinely out-votes the GOP statewide in congressional elections, the GOP still holds 13 out of 18 congressional seats. This is the result our GOP-run state legislature drawing the congressional districts in a manner that guarantees such an outcome. Democrats are concentrated in a few districts, while the GOP manages to win districts that are remarkable if only for their bizarre and even comical appearance.