The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


June 18, 2014

Readers' Forum 6-18 | Innocent act caused dire consequences

JOHNSTOWN — While watching a Pittsburgh news broadcast on the morning of June 14, I was shocked to learn of a common health hazard that many people, myself included, practice.

A family, just like yours and mine, uses a wire brush to clean the cooking surface of their barbecue grill. Common practice, right? Not anymore.

One or more of the bristles dislodged and adhered to the cooking surface. The woman featured in this story had a piece of the wire brush in her food, and she ingested it.

It lodged in and perforated her bowel. She had emergency surgery to remove the piece of wire, as well as a portion of her bowel. She is now fighting a life-threatening infection, which is highly contagious.

The news program showed a picture of the recovered piece of wire.

I examined my own grill and found a few of the wire bristles attached to the cooking surface. Needless to say, I threw away my old wire brush.

In the future, after cooking, I will leave the grill turned on to burn off any food particles and scrape off the remains with either a wooden or metal spatula.

Prior to cooking again, I will wash the cooking surface with hot, soapy water, preheat the grill to remove any residue, shut off the gas to the burners and allow them to cool a bit, then coat them with a nonstick cooking spray, as the contents are under pressure and could be flammable, then relight the burners and start cooking our meal.

I can only hope that what I have learned and am passing on will be helpful to others.

Mike Duell


Crack down on city’s dog laws

I am writing to let everyone know about a tragic incident that occurred around June 10 to a friend and her family.

Her young daughter was walking the family’s small Yorkshire terrier in the lower Moxham section of the city when a pit bull that apparently wasn’t restrained on a leash or chain ran off its front porch and attacked and killed the family pet.

What a tragedy for that young girl to witness.

How can people own dogs, such as this, and not be more responsible? These dogs can be vicious, and the owners should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law, at the very least. I think the owner of this pit bull should have to replace the family pet.

There should be tougher dog laws in this city. These dogs should be registered and surprise visits (by dog wardens) should be done.

It’s not safe to take a walk.

Renee Verno


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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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