The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 2, 2014

Readers' Forum 5-2 | Teach children how to act around dogs

JOHNSTOWN — The article “Pit bull controversy: bad dogs, or bad rap? (April 28) stated that, according to, “children are the most statistically likely victims” of dog attacks.

It is no coincidence that children are most likely to be bitten. Often, it is the child that triggers the attack because he or she has not been taught how to properly interact with animals. As adults, it is our job to teach them, and these lessons should begin at an early age.

Children need to know that animals are not toys. Rather, they are living, feeling creatures that require love and care, just as we do.

They should also know:

-- To be cautious around unfamiliar dogs;

-- How to tell if a dog does not wish to be approached or feels threatened;

-- That a dog that is eating or sleeping should not be bothered;

-- That ears and tails should never be pulled;

-- That it is never acceptable to sit, stand or climb on a dog;

-- That dogs should not be hit or kicked.

Though most of these things may seem like common sense, children will not know unless they are taught.

In addition, adults need to be reminded that even the dog that “would never hurt anyone” can be provoked.

If we allow our children to have improper interaction with a dog at any time, we are setting the dog up for failure and the child up for injury.

Most importantly, we need to lead by example, always treating the animals in our care with love, kindness and respect.

Stacey Christner


Who is telling truth about sewers?

After months of protest against the sewer mandate to pressure test, the nightmare continues. City Council deliberately ignores its residents’ concerns, requests for public records and petitions.

I met with the Lower Yoder Township secretary, who assured me that there was no decision made concerning pressure testing in my area. However, Larry Teeter, EADS engineer, told me that Lower Yoder was absolutely onboard with the pressure test.

I sent a letter to the state Department of Environmental Protection to see who was lying.

Here is DEP’s response: “In December 2013, Lower Yoder indicated to the department that it is negotiating an agreement with Johnstown Redevelopment Authority to manage its sewer system.  The agreement will entail a complete system replacement, including private lateral pressure testing.  If an agreement is not reached with the redevelopment authority, Lower Yoder still intends to completely replace its sewer system, including leaking private laterals.” (Christopher Kriley P.E., program manager, DEP)

I called Lower Yoder to share my communication with the DEP. Again, I was told that there has not been a decision made. Who is telling the truth?

Other municipalities have now come forward with their plans of action and none have elected to pressure test. Why is the city still pushing this insane mandate?

To hear (EADS engineer) Steve Sewalk discuss the exaggerated costs of other options is just a way to continue the lies.

Is Lower Yoder Township smart enough to make a conscientious decision to help its residents, or will it perpetuate the same lies and mandate of the city?

Lynn Berkebile


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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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