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Today's Opinions

  • O'Brien grateful for opportunity to serve, thanks supporters

    nning for my City Council District 6 seat this term.

    After 12 years of service, I feel that now is a good time for me to step down. I have learned a lot during the past years about city government and I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to serve on council.

    I would like to encourage each of you in the following areas:

    n Pray for your leaders. I truly appreciate those who have prayed for me.

    n Encourage your leaders. I received a letter from a gentleman thanking me for my service and he enclosed $10 to buy my lunch. Thanks a million.

  • All-stars teams made us proud

    This summer will be forever marred by memories of the cowardly burn-and-run actions of what appears to be an ax-to-grind arsonist.

    The late-summer burning of the Lancaster County Courthouse and an ensuing fire at the nearby solicitor’s office will be the major headlines when this dark period is revisited in years to come.

    On a much more positive note, the effort of some Lancaster County youngsters at nearly the same time as the fires provided us something to be proud of this summer.

  • Honor brave citizens by building a museum

    Yes, the courthouse must be repaired. It would be a grave disservice to the brave citizens of Lancaster, who 143 years ago turned Sherman's hoard of criminals away from Lancaster and spared the courthouse, not to repair it. These citizens of Lancaster were not regular army, but a local militia of young boys and old men who stood their ground against a trained army. To repair the courthouse and make it the museum of Lancaster would be the supreme honor to these men.

  • Courthouse had always welcomed me back home

    I lost a piece of home early Monday. When my iPhone rang just after 8:30 a.m. with my mom’s photograph on the display, I knew it couldn’t be good. She never calls at that time of the morning for no reason.

    “I just wanted to tell you before you heard it anywhere else,” I heard her say, and I braced for what was to come next. “The courthouse here is on fire, and the roof has already collapsed. When you walk out the front door, you can smell the smoke.”

  • Post 31 juniors steal summer spotlight

    The bulk of the American Legion summer baseball spotlight usually falls on the Post 31 senior baseball team simply because of its seniority.

    The senior team has fielded a squad since the mid-1940s, while the junior team is in its fourth campaign.

    No matter, the junior team stole the Lancaster Legion baseball spotlight this season.

    The junior team, under the leadership of second-year head coach Michael Anderson, made Lancaster Legion baseball history. The juniors, who finished second in the League V regular-season race, earned a first-ever bid to the state tournament.

  • A truly sad day in Lancaster

    “Empty sky, empty sky, I woke up this morning to an empty sky...” The lyrics are from Bruce Springsteen’s “Empty Sky.”

    While the sky above the Lancaster County Courthouse is not completely empty, there is a definite void in the roof of Lancaster’s most treasured heirloom.

  • It's less expensive to prevent tragedy, than repair it

    This week I am grieving for the loss of a beautiful building I have loved through all of my life. My family has lived in this area since 1767, and the Lancaster County Courthouse has been a part of my heritage for as long as I can remember. Anyone who came to visit from other places and other countries was given a tour down Main Street and a brief, but proudly delivered, history of the courthouse. I feel as if I have lost not only a cherished landmark, but a large piece of my own identity.

  • We care every day, not just at the top of the hour

    It was 6 a.m. I was groggy, coffee-deprived, as I stood on the grass behind the Lancaster County Courthouse, watching as firefighters and law enforcement officers worked the scene of a fire at 6th Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield’s office.

    But then a question woke me up.

    “And where is the courthouse?” a TV news reporter asked, as we stood in the shadow of Lancaster’s charred but beloved building.

    WHAT?