The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 12, 2013

Readers' Forum 10-12 | Pirates have had heavenly season

JOHNSTOWN — It seems as if the battling Bucs have had angels in the outfield this year. Playing unselfish as a team of brothers, the Pirates made the playoffs with a wild-card win over the Cincinnati Reds and then battled the St. Louis Cardinals in the division playoffs.

All the Bucs’ players played great, led by MVP candidate and possible Roberto Clemente Award-winner Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Jason Grilli, Starling Marte and Francisco Liriano.

Reminds me of the 1979 “We Are Family” Bucs led by manager Chuck Tanner, Willie Stargell and Dave Parker.

Current manager Clint Hurdle should get the National League manager of the year award.

Russell Martin was a great addition as catcher, throwing out runners trying to steal bases.

Pedro Alvarez is now a big power threat.

Well done, Bucs. I have seen things happen this year that angels had a hand in.

Also, hats off to Major League Baseball for having a Roberto Clemente Day each year and a winner from each team. A very class act.

McCutchen should get MVP; Hurdle, manager of the year; and Liriano, comeback player of the year.

John Zawalish


Critical issues abound but U.S. apathetic

I find it disconcerting that:

-- In 2007, President Obama criticized George Bush for raising the national debt, but he has raised the debt from $7 trillion to $16 trillion in five years.

-- The riverbed through Johnstown is in deplorable condition. The book “Johnstown” states that the Conemaugh Valley has flooded about every 40 years since records have been kept. Our last flood was in 1977.

-- Even though 90 percent of Pennsylvanians agree that beer and liquor sales should be privatized, the Senate is still lagging to pass the bill.

-- We have at least 300 years of coal to use, yet Obama is shutting down coal-powered generators, resulting in a loss of good jobs and increased electric costs.

-- Obama has placed 25 million more Americans on public assistance since 2008.

-- If and when Obamacare is in full operation, working Americans will see a drastic increase in health care costs, paying for those who have never worked for a living.

-- Our state politicians continue to get thousands of dollars in walking around money and thousands more in fuel perks.

-- The national unemployment rate remains at about 8 percent.

-- Large numbers of illegal aliens have entered the United States since 2008.

-- Gasoline prices remain well above the 2008 price of $2 per gallon.

-- Obama continues to use presidental privilege to usurp the Constitution and laws of the land.

-- The Weather Channel continues its gloom-and-doom prediction of global warming. There have always been floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes – and there always will be.

And nobody seems to care.

John R. Skubak


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