Our letters policy

We encourage letters to the editor. Due to their timely nature, they should be submitted electronically, though letters submitted by surface mail are accepted. The writer must include his or her address and phone number for verification. We do not accept open or third-party letters. Letters are subject to editing for length, clarity, grammar and taste, and ideally should be no more than 400 words. We generally do not publish more than one letter from a single person within a two-week period. To submit a letter, click below or send letters to Editorial Page Editor, Observer-Reporter, 122 S. Main St., Washington, PA 15301.

The last year has been profoundly stressful for health care workers. They’ve had to tend to COVID-19 patients while worrying about their own health and the health of their families. In the United States, more than 3,000 health care workers have died of the virus in the last 15 months. To hel…

MISS: The annual audit of Washington County’s Register of Wills office conducted by the county controller’s office showed a number of problems under the leadership of James Roman, who was elected to run the row office in November 2019. Some of them can, perhaps, be credited to staff turnover…

Between declining enrollment and escalating tuition costs, officials at America’s colleges and universities have plenty to worry about. But the Penn State Faculty Senate recently decided to confront the pressing problem of calling freshmen, well, freshmen. The body approved a measure that wo…

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot chose to mark the second anniversary of her inauguration in a strange and counterproductive way – she told members of the Windy City’s media she would be giving interviews only to reporters of color. Lightfoot believes that the Chicago press corps is too white an…

President Biden hopes to get a large-scale infrastructure plan through Congress, and if you need evidence why such a plan is necessary, look to the Hernando de Soto Bridge. The span goes over the Mississippi River, connecting Memphis, Tenn., and West Memphis, Ark., and during a routine inspe…

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With the exception of online shows and classes, Little Lake Theatre had to sit on the sidelines last year due to COVID-19. It was hardly alone – theater companies and other performing arts groups around the world were also forced to shut down. The highly regarded North Strabane community the…

  • Updated

As the pandemic has unfolded over the last year, many business owners have been surprised to find they were not going to receive any compensation from their insurance providers for business interruption, despite the fact that the policies for which they had paid hefty premiums allegedly cove…

  • Updated

The coal mines that once dotted South Fayette Township closed many decades ago, but one in particular left behind a long-running legacy of discharge that left Millers Run and Chartiers Creek an unappetizing orange and rendered them unusable for fishing or other forms of recreation. Now, ther…

  • Updated

Neither actor Matthew McConaughey nor reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner have ever served in an elected office of any sort, but they both apparently believe that they have what it takes to lead two of the biggest states in the union. Jenner is reportedly thinking about running for governor of Ca…

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Between declining enrollment and escalating tuition costs, officials at America’s colleges and universities have plenty to worry about. But the Penn State Faculty Senate recently decided to confront the pressing problem of calling freshmen, well, freshmen. The body approved a measure that wo…

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot chose to mark the second anniversary of her inauguration in a strange and counterproductive way – she told members of the Windy City’s media she would be giving interviews only to reporters of color. Lightfoot believes that the Chicago press corps is too white an…

President Biden hopes to get a large-scale infrastructure plan through Congress, and if you need evidence why such a plan is necessary, look to the Hernando de Soto Bridge. The span goes over the Mississippi River, connecting Memphis, Tenn., and West Memphis, Ark., and during a routine inspe…

  • Updated

With the exception of online shows and classes, Little Lake Theatre had to sit on the sidelines last year due to COVID-19. It was hardly alone – theater companies and other performing arts groups around the world were also forced to shut down. The highly regarded North Strabane community the…

  • Updated

As the pandemic has unfolded over the last year, many business owners have been surprised to find they were not going to receive any compensation from their insurance providers for business interruption, despite the fact that the policies for which they had paid hefty premiums allegedly cove…

  • Updated

The coal mines that once dotted South Fayette Township closed many decades ago, but one in particular left behind a long-running legacy of discharge that left Millers Run and Chartiers Creek an unappetizing orange and rendered them unusable for fishing or other forms of recreation. Now, ther…

  • Updated

Neither actor Matthew McConaughey nor reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner have ever served in an elected office of any sort, but they both apparently believe that they have what it takes to lead two of the biggest states in the union. Jenner is reportedly thinking about running for governor of Ca…

  • Updated

Last summer, Andrew Goudy, president of Washington’s NAACP chapter, came forward with the idea of creating a citizens review board for the city’s police department in the wake of nationwide protests about police brutality. Seven Washington residents are needed to serve on the board, and, all…

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A poll released in late March by NBC News and Morning Consult contained a disturbing finding – 26% of those who are part of the Generation Z cohort, which includes those aged 25 and younger, have said they are not interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The reasoning? They believe thei…

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While lawmakers in some states are working diligently to try to limit voters’ access to the polls, Kentucky has gone in the opposite direction. This week, the Bluegrass State’s General Assembly approved a measure that would, among other things, put three days of early voting in place, allow …

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Pennsylvania has been known for its coal mines and, more recently, its natural gas output. If Gov. Tom Wolf has anything to say about it, it will also be known for clean energy. This week, the administration announced what it characterized as the largest government commitment to solar energy…

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Pennsylvanians have some reasons to be suffering from vaccine envy right now. In Michigan, residents aged 16 and older will be eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine starting April 5. Ohio residents aged 50 and older are already eligible, and Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohioans aged 40 and up m…

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Of course, it’s not a happy development that the National Pike Wagon Train will not be making its annual journey this year from Grantsville, Md., into Fayette and Washington counties as part of the National Road Festival in May. While the festival has not been called off, it’s the second yea…

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The proposal to toll the bridge on I-79 near the Bridgeville exit has received a unanimous thumbs-down from area residents and elected officials, the latter of whom say it will cost jobs and slow investment in the area. The possibility of tolling that bridge, and eight others on interstate h…

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Aside from die-hard followers of former President Trump who continue to believe the fiction that the 2020 election was shot through with fraud, most of us want to move on and get on with solving the country’s problems. For that reason, the U.S. Supreme Court deserves a tip of the hat for dec…

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Bipartisanship may be extraordinarily tough to come by in Washington, D.C., but it’s not hard to find among rank-and-file Americans, particularly when it comes to the pending COVID-19 relief bill. When polled, both Democrats and Republicans agree that it needs to be big enough to meet the ch…

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By continually making unfounded claims about fraud after losing the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump inflicted grievous damage on our democracy. It’s also cost taxpayers a pretty penny. A report in The Washington Post found that it’s cost $519 million, split among federal, state and …

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican, is clearly not your typical member of Congress. An adherent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, she has also called for the execution of top Democrats, has called the media “bloodthirsty,” has suggested that school shootings have been sta…

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Many Americans are scrambling to receive a coronavirus vaccine, and, as of now, demand is far outstripping supply. With so many people in this country concerned that they won’t get a vaccine for weeks or months, who has the time or inclination to worry about how many people are being vaccina…

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Plenty of state and local health officials have stepped down from their jobs in the last 10 months after being on the receiving end of vitriol and threats arising from coronavirus restrictions, but Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine has hung in there. In her case, the hostili…

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Many people in this region are more than eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but there’s plenty of confusion and concern about when and where they will be able to get it. Arguably, Pennsylvania should be getting more of the vaccine since it has one of the largest populations of people ove…

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have come to rely more than ever on the United States Postal Service. But the postal service has, in recent weeks, become notably less reliable. Customers in this area and around the country have found that bills, packages, Christmas cards and medicati…

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Gov. Tom Wolf revealed Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home. “As this virus rages, my positive test is a reminder that no one is immune from COVID, that following all precautions as I have done is not a guarantee, but it is what we know to be vital to stopp…

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