The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 3, 2013

Readers' Forum 11-3 | Even unimportant elections are important

JOHNSTOWN — Tuesday is no usual Tuesday. It’s the municipal election here in Pennsylvania. It doesn’t always get the most attention, being an off-off-year election. No major offices are up for grabs, international policy will not change and we are not besieged with countless TV, radio and newspaper ads.

That doesn’t make Tuesday any less important. Our local municipalities are the last true home to the ideals that created America. Federal politics are exceedingly out of touch with the people. Petty arguments and mindless speeches do not make good government.

Our local municipalities, however, represent our day-to-day needs.

Will my streets be clean in the winter and maintained in the summer?

Will my garbage be picked up when I set it out on the curb?

Will my neighborhood park be safe to use?

Will the police, fire and medical help I need arrive in time?

These are the issues we are looking at on Tuesday. The time it takes to go and vote isn’t great, but it is important for our communities. Participation makes the process work.

As with any election, we will have winners and losers. That’s the process as it should be. Ideas are tested as we all contribute to the direction we will move in the next two years.

I hope to see you at the voting booth on Tuesday.

Joseph Sernell

Geistown Borough

Affordable Care Act is bad economics

This letter is in response to Jim Scofield’s column on Oct. 29 (“Criticisms of new Affordable Care Act”). His view seems to be that everyone, including some media and the GOP, are giving Obamacare a bad rap.

Too bad Scofield is not a professor of economics. If he was, he would see that the Affordable Care Act is bad economics.

I’m sure Scofield and others think that every American should get free health care. In a perfect world, yes. But our world, and country, are far from perfect. Someone has to pay for “free” health care.

In his column, Scofield tried to use an analogy by comparing his homeowners insurance to Obamacare. It was so off-base.

If I had an insurance policy and never had to file a claim, so what. At least I know that if I had to file a claim, my insurance company would rebuild my home in case of a disaster. It’s not as if all my premiums were going to someone without homeowners insurance. It would go to other policyholders who pay their premiums every month.

That’s one of the problems with Obamacare. Not enough young, healthy taxpayers are joining to help offset the demand from older, sicker taxpayers. The Affordable Care Act is going to go bankrupt, and that’s just one of its flaws. I’m not a professor, just a concerned high school-educated citizen.

Paul A. Hornbake


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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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