The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 4, 2014

Readers' Forum 1-4 | Directors a discredit to schools, community

JOHNSTOWN — Ligonier Valley schools and communities are at the precipice of decline. In the interest of retaining a $2.7 million account balance, the Ligonier Valley school board has chosen to eliminate 33 teachers and refuse the remaining staff a contract.

While suffering extreme staffing cutbacks, increased workloads and contractual uncertainty, some vetted and proven teachers have opted to leave the district.

We cannot strengthen our community by dismantling our schools.

Schools and teachers are not a drain on the community, they are the heart of the community. Towns that take pride in their schools and try to improve them see huge returns. Good school systems with proven and caring teachers are worth the investment. They draw more affluent families into the community with the value of an excellent education.

Keeping a large fund reserve while promoting discord in the schools and neighborhoods will not help our community prosper.

It is time for this school board to stop polishing its pennies. Instead, it should be investing the money it already has in maintaining the resources that will be an asset to our entire community for years to come.

Adam Storey

Ligonier Valley Education Association

Crisis Chairman

Gravy train funded by everyone

In response to Jim May’s Readers’ Forum on Dec. 30, “Young people must keep gravy train rolling,” I would appreciate it if May would let me know when the gravy train is going through Portage so I can jump on.

Medicare is taken from my Social Security benefit, and I pay a high-premium supplemental health insurance, co-pays, etc.

Medicare patients have to get an OK from their insurance companies to undergo different tests. I believe every six months a patient can get blood work done – if they have a medical problem. There are a lot of senior citizens who have many medical problems.

Also, I have worked in an office most of my life, and lost my job in 2011. I’m 68 and need employment to pay my bills. No one is going to hire senior citizens, even though we have a lot to offer.

I don’t get any of the freebies and don’t want any. My family has always worked to pay its way.

Obamacare is going to be funded by all of us who have had insurance, and the premiums are going to go sky high in 2015.

There shouldn’t be any Medicare fraud if the people who are getting the big bucks would do their jobs properly when they pay out the money.

Patricia L. Haschak



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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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