The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 12, 2012

Readers' Forum 10-12 | Director’s appointment ‘bump in the road’

Submitted by Readers

— I read Daniel Hill’s letter of Oct. 6 with great interest (“Attempts at divisiveness not the solution”). I was hoping he would help further the air of cooperation recently developed between the Westmont Hilltop school board and the taxpayers. Unfortunately, Hill believes a difference of opinion on matters affecting the education of our children and its associated costs is divisive. The board has been working with the taxpayers the past year. It has listened to and investigated more cost-effective options presented by the taxpayers that protect the quality of education.

James Larkin’s opinion (Oct. 4, “Hilltop move questioned, director responds”) that Hill’s appointment was predetermined by several board members is just that, opinion. This opinion was shared by the majority of taxpayers who attended the meeting. It is impossible to conclusively prove if this was the case.

Nevertheless, in a free society, Larkin has the right to express his opinion and should be able to do so without being subject to recriminations from a board member.

There are, and will be, bumps in the road, but the cooperation between the board and the taxpayers has significantly improved. I view the appointment of Hill to be just that, a bump in the road. It is a short-term appointment – taxpayers can either vote for or against Hill in 2013.

The administration has been cooperative in providing answers to questions posed by many taxpayers. I have interacted with Superintendent Susan Anderson and (business manager) Gregory Sanford numerous times and am pleased by the cooperation and openness they have demonstrated.

J.L. Greco


GOP committee’s backward priorities

While traveling throughout the state as a Romney volunteer, I read the front-page article in The Tribune-Democrat that expressed the frustration of GOP state Chairman Rob Gleason that Mitt Romney is perhaps not doing enough for the ticket in Pennsylvania. From my limited experience with Gleason and portions of the party, the state is not doing as much for Romney as it should or could. It’s the same story ... gimme, gimme, gimme.

Gleason is not the only one guilty of taking rather than receiving. I found the same situation while traveling in Clinton and Lycoming counties. There was a stark difference between the Clinton County chairman, who could not have been more cooperative in assisting me to get the word out on Romney (the biographical sketch that shows how much Romney has given to his church, community and to the nation) and the Lycoming County chairman, who was more interested in what was in it for him.

In Harrisburg, I spoke with candidates who were so absorbed in their own races that they have blurred vision as to the presidential election. But there are others who are terrific team players and want to do everything they can for the entire ticket.

Gleason is not the best GOP state chairman that we have had in recent history. He is not as much a team player as he is a man who wants to know what’s in it for him. This has been said by other disenchanted Republicans in the commonwealth.

Eugenio M. Albano


Clergy shy away from moral issues

After reading the Rev. Leo F. Arnone’s and the Rev. Tony Joseph’s articles in the Readers’ Forum, it became clear that the clergy do not care about all moral issues that affect the working class people.

Joseph’s article (Sept. 26) states that union leaders blindly follow President Obama. But Joseph blindly follows the Republican leaders, and the same applies to Arnone (“Democrats denied God three times,” Sept. 12).

Both know that the appointed Republican U.S. Supreme Court justices voted to put Roe v. Wade into law, yet they still blame the Democrats. Abortion is not the only moral issue that is affecting people. What about: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, starvation, capital punishment, outsourcing jobs, health care, discrimination, minimum wage, workers’ rights and religious freedom?

Arnone stated that he does not know how Christians or Jews can support the Democratic platform. If the clergy think that Democrats are such bad people morally, then why don’t they put in their church bulletins that these liberal Democrats should discontinue contributing to their church.

Too many of our clergy forgot where they came from. Perhaps they think that all church contributions only come from Republican church members. It is time for the clergy to face reality – that they are here to serve all parishioners, not just the individuals belonging to the Republican Party.

I truly respect the clergy’s right to be pro-life, but they do not have the fundamental right to be pro-dictators.

Ernie Esposito


Second term would be full of more lies

In light of all the corruption and greed in the current administration, let’s try for a moment to forget them and focus on a more serious problem – radical Islam.

In President Obama’s book, he states that if the political winds change, he would lean toward the Muslims. All you infidels out there need to pull your heads out of the sand and if you can’t see, hear, smell and taste what’s happening in this country and around the world, I suggest you schedule an appointment with an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist and ascertain your problem.

The winds are blowing and the leaning has begun by this administration. If you want to live under Sharia law, then vote Obama.

Research other candidates and spend at least as much time studying them as you did picking your favorite contestants for the Simply the Best contest in the newspaper.

Obama promised hope and change. Now, we have no hope and even less change. Don’t give him a second chance to lie to you in his second term. This country will be beyond the point of no return, and our children, grandchildren and future generations will be living under Sharia law.

As for Mark Critz bucking the president, it’s only a smoke screen to get him elected. When the smoke clears, he will still be in favor of Obamacare and against a balanced budget amendment, both bad choices for the American people.

Herb Ewald


Elite group trying to take over township

Farmers and landowners in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County, whose property is zoned rural residential and who may be eligible to have their property striped for coal or leased for Marcellus gas, pay close attention.

An elite group of residents is trying to change the laws in our township to restrict or prohibit you from receiving income from your property.

A wealthy landowner who is not surrounded by RR-zoned property is proposing a 1,000-foot setback in strip mining instead of the 300 feet required by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

If you wanted to or could strip your property, you would possibly lose up to 700 feet of coal. If you don’t own the coal, you could have surface rights. We know how difficult it is for farmers and landowners to hold onto their properties with the economy as it is. Some properties have been in families for years.

This elite group states that it will stop the drilling for Marcellus Shale gas here.

Why should a small group dictate the use of others’ properties?

Township supervisors are seriously contemplating that change. I am urging residents to let their voices be heard before this gets acted on at the supervisors’ meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 17. If you are unable to attend, call your supervisors at 288-1400; fax at 288-2135; write to Conemaugh Township Supervisors, 1120 Tire Hill Road, Johnstown, PA 15905; or email at

Your input is most important.

Dorothy J. Marisa


Poor judgment by transit driver

I take local public transportation often. The majority of bus drivers are courteous and take great pride in their work. Oct. 4 was an exception.

About 1:40 p.m., I got on a bus at Walmart to return downtown. I deposited my money and went to show my pass. I was met with a strange shrug and an attitude of you’re bothering me, so I walked away.

A young woman who is mentally challenged got on the bus after me. From Walmart to downtown Johnstown, this young woman was allowed to stand up front in the aisle to the bus driver’s right.

To the bus driver’s benefit, she got to eat some of what this woman had in her bag.

With all the talk about distracted drivers, you’d think this driver would have exercised more caution. The safety of this woman and other passengers appeared to be only a minor, unimportant detail. Just think if this bus would have come to a sudden stop: This woman, especially, would have been in serious trouble.

Also, because a person is not in a wheelchair or has something not obvious to the eye, doesn’t mean you should make comments or assumptions based on your personal ignorance. I don’t have a walker with me for something fun to do.

Dyrthe Wilson


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