The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


May 10, 2014

Laurel and barbs | May 10, 2014

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: And the band played on ... We applaud the Shade-Central City students and other supporters who are fighting to save music education at the Somerset County school. While we understand the need to find cut costs – school administrators say the move could provide $200,000 in savings – we hate to see it come at the expense of the music program. The marching band, chorus and concert band would still exist as extracurricular activities under the proposed move, but music courses would not. Our question is, how many young people would ever develop a love of music without that early exposure to it?

Laurel: We’ve lauded the Camp Cadet program before, and Trooper Brandon Miller is an example of all that is good about it. The Berlin Brothersvalley alumnus recently graduated from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey to become the first cadet from the Somerset County camp to become a trooper. We wish him a long, safe and productive career.

Barb: Businesses got hit hard enough by the winter weather, but adding a “polar vortex surcharge” onto their bill now seems to be hitting below the snow belt. Customers believed that they were signing a fixed-price contact, said Lee McCracken of Premier Power Solutions, LLC, which is urging its clients to protest the move by FirstEnergy Solutions. We understand that “unforeseen and unprecedented” costs can be passed along to the consumer, but cold winter weather in Pennsylvania hardly seems to fit that definition.

Laurel: Central Cambria Elementary School students had a moo-ving experience on Monday. They got to visit DoVan Farms in Berlin as part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 Adopt-A-Farmer pilot program. That sounds like a great way to supplement what the students have learned in the classroom.

Barb: Age doesn’t always bring wisdom, and William McTonic seems to support that notion. The 79-year-old Jerome man is in trouble again. He was jailed last week on charges that he stalked a woman who once testified against him in a murder case. McTonic was accused of assaulting a Conemaugh Township police officer last year, was charged with stalking the same woman in 2010 and faced homicide charges in the shooting death of his estranged wife in 2009.

Laurel: An estimated 700 job seekers turned out for the Cambria County Job Fair on Tuesday. While we wish that there weren’t so many people in need of such an event, we applaud the organizers of it, including Debi Balog, who is the job fair’s chairwoman as well as Johnstown Area Regional Industries’ workforce development director. Bringing potential workers together with prospective employers is good for business, good for individuals and good for our region.


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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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