EDITORIAL: We still have a right to know

The Dispatch Editorial Board
Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis (19)  is congratulated by Stevie Wilkerson (12) after hitting a home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez)

Thumbs up to state Rep. Seth Grove for a right-minded push for transparency, which has fallen by the wayside throughout the coronavirus lockdown.

Grove's legislation would compel state agencies to comply with Right-to-Know law and produce public information when its requested. 

Right-to-Know requests have all but stalled in Pennsylvania since state government furloughed many employees this past month.

Officials with Gov. Tom Wolf's administration say state employees must be focused on responding to the pandemic. 

But as Grove, R-Dover Township, rightly noted, the health crisis does not overturn the basic rule of law nor the public's right to know. 

We would add it's more imperative than ever that the public knows and understands what our elected officials are up to.

Thumbs up to state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale for launching an audit of the governor's waiver program, which seemingly permitted businesses with friends in high places to avoid shuttering during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Meanwhile, the Wolf administration had thumbed its nose at lawmakers' requests for documents detailing the program. 

DePasquale this past week announced the audit aimed at determining if some business owners were given special treatment because of their connection to some of Pennsylvania's most powerful elected officials.

York County-based Wolf Home Products became the poster child of a program that appeared to permit some profit while others were crippled. The kitchen supply firm, formerly owned by Pennsylvania's Democratic governor, was granted a waiver earlier on in the shutdown. The firm only shuttered after the media started asking questions. 

How, pray tell, are kitchen cabinets "essential" amid a global pandemic. 

But Wolf Home Products was hardly the only politically affluent business granted a waiver. 

 A candy company owned by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, a Republican, also avoided closure for a time. Other lawmakers publicly advocated for their favorite golf clubs.

The shutdowns have been painful for everyone, putting more than a million Pennsylvanians out of work and sent countless businesses to the brink of failure. 

What's to be seen, however, is if that pain was shared equally without favor or patronage.

Thumbs up to baseball.

A lot has been made over the years about baseball's fall from national prominence, especially as NFL revenue skyrocketed and NASCAR crowds swelled.

But baseball's absence has been especially obvious while most Americans are trapped in there homes.

The coronavirus pandemic sent MLB players home from spring training, an annual demarcation line signaling longer days and higher temperatures. Opening Day came and went without a single pitch.

Minor league clubs throughout the country, many already threatened by MLB's desire to cut cost, find themselves without revenue. And, closer to home, the York Revolution won't take the field any time soon.

It's unclear when baseball will recommence in the U.S. Owners at all levels are kicking around ideas, including playing games solely in warm-weather states or to empty stadiums. 

This week, ESPN announced a deal with the Korean Baseball Organization that, starting Wednesday, again made baseball available for television viewers.

It might not be the Phillies or the Orioles, but beggers can't be choosers. 

 Go, Kiwoom Heroes.