The following is directed at the Westmont Hilltop school board.
Specialty Castings in Moxham is closing and more than 100 employees will lose their jobs.
The reason that I feel compelled to make this point directly to the school board is because I am not sure the directors know what is happening off this hill.
I don’t want to shock them, but Bethlehem Steel Corp. is no longer here. U.S. Steel Corp. is gone. As is the National Drug Intelligence Center, Bali Bra Manufacturing Co. Inc., Sani-Dairy, the car shops, many coal mines and many more businesses and industries.
The population of the Greater Johnstown area has dropped dramatically, and the tax base, even in the Westmont school district, is shrinking. Given that the student population in Westmont is probably half of what it was in the 1960s, maybe it’s time to look at the need for three schools.
The middle school is turning into a money pit, and there may be enough room in the two other schools to house all of the students.
The “For Sale” sign has become the district’s official spring flower. There are more and more rental properties and more empty houses than ever.
The revenue from property taxes will go down as property values go down.
After 25 years of raising school property taxes, I am happy that taxes were not raised last year. But I am afraid that it is way too little and way too late.
Free concert strikes chord with youth
What a wonderful gesture having a free Young People’s Concert performed by the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra for various schoolchildren.
I have never met Maestro Istvan Jaray, but I have been to symphony performances he has conducted. His love and sharing of music with the younger people, as well of us of other generations, comes through with such enthusiasm.
There is a saying by an unknown author that “Music washes the soul from the dust of everyday living.”
Thank you to the many who made this concert happen.
Bike-trail funding money well-spent
While bicycling on local trails, I am increasingly meeting people from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and out of state, as well as hundreds of local friends and neighbors. Trails such as the Lower, Six-to-Ten, Ghost Town, Path of the Flood, Mayer, West Penn and others, plus new mountain bike pathways, are providing us with great places for safe, healthy recreation while attracting visitors and making our area a more desirable place to live.
Thousands of people use them each year, with the potential for even more.
Local groups are trying to link these trails to create a regional system that would bring us national attention.
They cost less to build and maintain than most parks. But it still takes money to obtain rights-of-way, construct bridges and resurface old railroad beds, roads and, in some cases, new trails. Right now, we have trail projects that are stalled because of a lack of money.
Our governor, local representatives and local municipalities need to find ways to help fund these projects. We need to adopt the Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission recommendations for funding that would help our region grow and help make it an area where young people move to, and not away from.
Obamacare drawbacks continue to surface
Are you tired of hearing people complain about Obamacare? If so, that’s too bad for you.
Various parts of this law have come to light and more-informed individuals are becoming increasingly concerned with the consequences of its full implementation.
In this law, the phrase “the secretary shall” appears more than 700 times. So some portions of this debacle cannot even be discussed because the secretary of health and human services has not yet determined or stated exactly what some of the provisions will include.
As this monstrous piece of legislation extends its tentacles and paralyzes the health care system in the United States, it will affect, in an increasingly negative manner, the lives of those working in the health care system, and the lives of individuals who need health care – thus, everybody. Needless to say, the complaints will only multiply and grow louder as more people become aware of what a disaster this really is.
It is unfortunate that dedicated health care professionals who actually want to help people may have no reasonable alternative but to leave their practices. And it is a disgrace that those who actually have health problems that require treatment may have to wait an inordinate amount of time to receive care, as the system collapses under its own cost and bureaucracy.
And while our health care system falters, and freedom and liberty disappear from the last great hope on planet earth, there still will be foolish “sheeple” crying out in adoration: “Bar-a-ack O-ba-a-ma, Bar-a-ack O-ba-a-ma.”
The following is directed at the Westmont Hilltop school board.
- The Art of (political) war
- Readers' Forum 12/4 | Health care act doesn't exempt religious beliefs
- Food banks face cold, hard truth
Readers' Forum 12/3 | Life matters in all aspects
Life matters, at least to those of us who voted against the Democratic party which embraced the culture of death. But obviously it did not matter to the millions who voted for this administration.
Readers' Forum 12-2 | Catholics not forced to do anything
When I read the letter in the Readers’ Forum on Nov. 24 by the Rev. Leo F. Arnone, “Judeo-Christians must not compromise,” it reminds me once again why I no longer call myself Catholic.
Readers' Forum 12-1 | Pasquerilla would be good fit on authority
Mark Pasquerilla has, on at least two occasions, submitted his name for consideration to fill a vacancy on the board of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority to city Mayor Tom Trigona.
Deductible avoided | MetLife's local office to lose only 1 job
Shoppers are out in full swing this weekend, but the region got a bit of an early Christmas present last week when The Tribune-Democrat’s David Hurst revealed that a number of local jobs will not be heading south.
Gerald Zahorchak | District investing in behavioral curriculum
Young people do not naturally know how to behave well, and if well-informed and well-practiced, everyone can learn self-control to get along better with one’s self and with those who are in one’s environment.
Promise of bargains lured shoppers
We know plenty of people were seeing red over the thought of stores opening on Thanksgiving to give consumers an even earlier start to the shopping season.
But there were more than a few seeing green as well.
Michael Young and Terry Madonna | Gov't can't get it right on guns or health care
It wasn’t a “big” story. In fact, the article published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last June received little follow-up and even less attention. That’s unfortunate – because it’s a story that explains the anxiety so many Americans express about both President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and even “reasonable” gun controls.
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