The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 10, 2012

Laurels and barbs

— Laurel: At our nation’s worst, its people are so often at their best. That was evident again, as so many people came together to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy. Local businesses and organizations have offered goods and services to our neighbors to the east. Perhaps none was more impressive than the Hooversville Volunteer Fire Company’s donation of a pumper truck to a New York City area volunteer department.

Laurel: A big thumbs up to Mark Hawk, a security guard at JWF Industries, and to all of those who helped rescue the young deer that was stranded on the bank of the Conemaugh River just west of the downtown. Hawk was persistent in his efforts to save the deer, and others reportedly dropped food down for the deer. Eventually,  Pennsylvania Game Commission officials were able to move the deer after the river’s water level receded.

Barb: We understand that it was a long and bitter campaign season and that politics has divided much of our state and nation. But that doesn’t begin to explain how someone could desecrate the grave of former Republican Gov. Raymond Shafer, which The Meadville Tribune reported this week. The vandalism, which included graffiti painted on a family monument and on a nearby church, reportedly targeted Shafer’s accomplishments.

Laurel: The Somerset County Conservation District has a new tool for fighting acid mine drainage. A 60-foot steel silo holding 24 tons of pulverized lime sits on the banks of Coal Run in Elk Township. The $117,000 project, which was funded with grants from the state Department of Environmental Protection, Growing Greener and the Federal Office of Surface Mining, includes a doser that requires no electricity and very little manpower.

Laurel: Nanty Glo has become a Heisman hotbed.  Blacklick Valley senior Johnny Sheesley was named the Wendy’s Pennsylvania High School Heisman winner this week, joining a list of honorees that previously included former Vikings standout Eric Goodrich. The award celebrates hard work, dedication and exceptional records in athletics, academics and community involvement.

Barb: Shena Hardin, the 32-year-old woman from Cleveland who was caught on video using the sidewalk to speed around a stopped school bus, received a rather odd sentence. She’ll be forced to stand at an intersection for two hours wearing a sign that says “Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.” We certainly agree with that statement.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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