The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 10, 2013

Readers' Forum 6-10 | Feds wrong CF-afflicted 10-year-old girl

Submitted by Readers

— My heart goes out to the family of a Philadelphia couple whose daughter has cystic fibrosis. The girl, Sara Murnaghan, 10, needs a lung transplant, but because she is under 12 she was being kept off the  transplant list. This is discrimination.

Sara was turned down by Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, but thanks to U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson, Sara is now on the list.

Our country makes a lot of exceptions for people, none more important than saving the life of a 10-year-old.

New lungs will not correct the defective gene Sara has, but they will give her a lot more time to await a cure.

I have a grandson with cystic fibrosis. Our family has chaired The Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis for many years.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited, chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems in 30,000 children and adults.

Worldwide, 70,000 and 70 percent are diagnosed by age 2.

Patients go through very vigorous treatments two to three times a day. The medications they take are very expensive; some cost thousands of dollars a month.

There have been a lot of advances with cystic fibrosis, but we still are looking for a cure to correct the defective gene.

I pray for all those with cystic fibrosis, and especially that Sara gets the lungs for a new start.

One day CF will stand for cure found.

Joseph T. Torchia Sr.



McCort board must deal with problems

In response to Bishop McCort “moving on” (June 6) from the scandal of Brother Stephen Baker: If the school is to survive, it must face the issue and admit to any errors made.

This issue is not new to McCort. I graduated in 1982 and it allegedly was happening then with one-time principal the Rev. James Bunn and one-time music-program director the Rev. Martin McCamley, both of whom were accused of being predators.

If McCort and the Catholic church overall are to survive and thrive, they must deal with problems with pedophiles, not move their problems to other parishes, where it will happen again.

Baker was in several dioceses before finally taking his own life.

McCort’s board of trustees is scared that  a lot of money will be paid out due to the many innocent children hurt for life by administrators turning blind eyes.

Move on? I don’t think so!

Face the issues and answer to any crimes that might have been done to these children.

Tim Gallo

Gainesville, Va.

BMHS class of 1982

Sandusky report leaves unanswered questions

The findings in the incomplete Freeh Report cannot be the final word in the Penn State Jerry Sandusky matter. For the sake of the children, we need answers to these questions before we can move forward:

* Why was Sandusky – an approved adoptive and foster parent – allowed unrestricted, unauthorized, individual access to minors through The Second Mile, a nonprofit licensed and audited by the state with oversight by the office of the state’s attorney general?

* How did Centre County Children & Youth Services and the state Department of Public Welfare – both with decades- long relationships with Sandusky – repeatedly fail to identify him as a sexual predator?

* What action, if any, was taken by the executive leadership of The Second Mile after the organization was notified by Penn State officials of Sandusky’s behavior related to the 1998 and 2001 cases?

* What was the contractual arrangement between Penn State and The Second Mile regarding taking minors on campus? Who approved this?

* How has The Second Mile escaped judicial scrutiny for allowing a suspected pedophile to remain in contact with children?

Truth is the bridge across the chasm. Without truth, we cannot move from here to there.

M.J. Suthern Neumann

Pittsburgh, formerly of Johnstown

Cable news provides worthy facts and stats

Regarding Douglas Jeffreys’ “Gun registration first step to enacting ban” on May 13, a response to my May 8 letter: Jeffreys writes that “the next time fear prompts someone to write, at least check your facts.”

The word “fear” is inaccurate. Common sense prompted me to write.

Jeffreys wrote that if the population wanted background checks, we would have them. Apparently, he doesn’t watch cable news. They’ve reported for more than two months that “90 percent of people support background checks.”

On Charles Fisher’s May 12 response (“Attacking gun owners hypocritical at best”) to my letter: The writer said the pollsters on background checks never asked him. He shouldn’t feel slighted; they never asked me, either.

He also said they never asked millions of responsible gun owners. How could he possibly know that? It’s a poor attempt to prove the polls wrong.

He also said if a gun kills someone, it’s not the gun’s fault. Not quite, it’s the gun’s fault and the person who fires the gun. I couldn’t care less who owns or doesn’t own a gun.

And on Marlaina Sherman’s “Letters should include proof of statistics” on May 26: My facts and statistics come from Fox News, MSNBC and CNN.

If writers had to mention where their facts come from every time they wrote a statistic, the letter would become too lengthy and too boring.

I doubt it was a seventh-grader’s idea to use my and Barry Moyer’s letters as examples.

Nat Boscola


Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.