HIT: Nearly 50 years of experience is walking out the doors of Washington Police Department this month. Lt. Dan Stanek has retired after nearly 29 years with the force, and next week Sgt. Michael Sulerud is calling it a career after 29 years as a police officer, 21 of them with Washington. At a recent City Council meeting, Mayor Scott Putnam said, “We can’t thank you enough for the work that you do. You have been a tremendous asset to our police department, and you will be missed.” Being a police officer is among the most difficult and dangerous jobs. We echo the mayor’s thanks to these two men for a job well done.
HIT: The state Senate has taken another step toward trying to curb the state’s opioid epidemic. This week, the chamber voted to approve a package of bills, including one that, according to an Associated Press report, will impose a seven-day limit on opioid painkiller prescriptions for all adults, expanding on a similar limit approved in 2016 regarding prescriptions for minors and emergency room patients. The bill is expected to also win approval in the state House. There is no single measure that can win the battle against opioid addiction, but this is a positive step in a fight that still has a long way to go.
MISS: Much ink has been spilled in recent days over Harvard’s decision to rescind admission to Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida and, unlike most of his fellow survivors, an avowed conservative and gun-rights advocate. Harvard had second thoughts after discovering that Kashuv had used racial slurs while editing an online document with classmates when he was 16. Kashuv said he has grown wiser and apologized. Perhaps we shouldn’t weep for Kashuv – he’ll undoubtedly find his way into another good school – but Harvard spurning him raises questions on how forgiving we are as a society. Would any of us want to be judged for the worst things we did as teenagers? And that forgiveness should be extended to all teenagers, as Adam Serwer of The Atlantic pointed out the other day: “Even a cursory glance at American law shows that some children can expect to receive only the rod, and others only the spoils. The children American society has traditionally considered ‘good kids’ should not be the only ones who get the benefit of the doubt, or be the only ones seen as worthy of mercy.”
HIT: Pennsylvania reached a landmark this week in its efforts to make our elections more secure. According to the Department of State, 34 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties – a little more than half – have now taken action toward leasing or buying new voting systems with a paper record. And most of those counties hope to have these systems in place in time for the April 2020 primary. The remaining 33 counties have until the end of the year to select voting systems. Greene County made a selection earlier this year, while Washington County is one of the counties that has not yet made a choice. Paper records help ensure the accuracy and integrity of elections, so the work these counties have done to purchase new systems should be applauded.