The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 26, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-26 | PennDOT driver showed class, kindness

Submitted by Readers

— It’s true. This did happen.

While on my morning walk along Route 869 in St. Michael on March 18, I was sprayed with slop and cinders by a PennDOT plow truck. I could do nothing but display a common hand signal to show my disgust and continue on my walk and forget about it; which I did.

On the following Friday, while walking the same route about 9:30 a.m., a PennDOT truck was coming toward me on the road and sounded his horn. To my surprise, the driver turned his truck around and stopped next to me. He rolled down his window and said he remembered me from earlier and then apologized for spraying me.

After a reconciling handshake, we parted. I did not get his name.

Wow. In what world does this ever happen? This one, I’m happy to discover.

This man did not have to do this. I had already forgotten and forgiven, knowing that it was not an intentional act, and feeling poorly about my signal.

Attention PennDOT supervision: Check your schedules. Find this man and if you have anything like an employee of the month award, he has earned it. (Perhaps even employee of the year!) This guy is a rare find. Hang on to him.

Joseph Faher


Paid advertisement a needless attack

In reading the paid political advertisement on March 24 by Mark Pasquerilla, I found his points relating to responsible county government agreeing with my own sentiments.

Transparency, bipartisanship and a priority of service to taxpayers are things all Johnstown area residents should be asking of their elected officials.

What rankles me is needlessly attacking the ghost of a relative of mine. Particularly when that relative had a positive influence in the birth and growth of Crown Construction, the corporation that gave Pasquerilla the means by which to place a quarter-page advertisement.

When I was younger, John Torquato and I had some lively arguments on the use and abuse of power. But the one area of which there was no question was his dedication to working men and women of the Johnstown area.

He was a man of his time. When times changed, he paid a price for not changing with them.

The need to reduce his memory seems petty, mean and pointless.

I feel sorry for Pasquerilla. If he needs a history lesson, there are plenty of Johns-town area taxpayers who would gladly remind him of his roots.

Albert Torquato


Volunteer program a spiritual blessing

I have walked through the front doors of Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center many times and have noticed the many senior citizens, in their blue jackets, smiling as one walks through. Sometimes, you would see them walking along with a person who needs to go for testing, or to visit a patient in the hospital.

I really didn’t think too much of it until I became involved.

Thanks to the Rev. James Smyka, a couple of my friends and I from our parish got involved. We were asked to help out with the spiritual care volunteer program at the hospital.

Visiting the sick and bringing the Eucharist to them is very rewarding. Some of these patients may not have had a visitor in a while, and to see them smile when we come to their rooms and knowing they feel better after our visits is really a blessing, not only to them but also for us.

This interaction with these patients is a really positive start for the day ahead.

I would say to anyone who has the time and wants it filled with doing good for our fellow man, the volunteer program is a great opportunity.

I thank Conemaugh for the opportunity to be part of its spiritual program. Also, thanks to Smyka, Pastor Bruce Griffith, Helene Gleason, Rose Selfridge and the Rev. John Brezovec. You are all an asset to the volunteer program. May God bless you all.

Joseph T. Torchia Sr.


Obama, Congress must wise up

Memo to President Obama: Park the plane already. We’re borrowing money from China for you to fly all over God’s creation to give speeches that can be broadcast from the White House.

I’m sure that the slobbering media will give you all the air time you want.

Memo to Congress: Cut off funding for Air Force One. The election is over.

Anthony Mulcahy


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