The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


July 17, 2014

Readers' Forum 7/17 | Solar, wind power become more efficient

JOHNSTOWN — The technological advancements in renewable energy have made solar and wind power more efficient and cheaper than ever imagined.

According to the Bennington Banner, the cost of electricity from photovoltaic solar cells is now equal to or less than the cost of electrical grids in at least 79 countries, and in the year 2020, more than 80 percent of the world’s people will live in regions where solar will be competitive with electricity from other sources.

Furthermore, many developing nations are skipping power grids and going totally solar.

Here, many states are adopting metering laws that allow people who install solar PV systems to sell electricity into the power grid. Also, more investors and institutions are dropping carbon portfolios and investing in renewables.

Politically, now is the time to support candidates that are actively involved in solving the problems of the climate crisis and to tell other candidates that we need to take care of our air, land and water now.

Joy Schrock Thwing


Spiritual direction needs clarified

With the word God used as the spiritual reference for our nation, as in “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, a clarifying definition of God is needed to represent the intended spiritual direction of our country. Here’s why.

Traditionally, religions in our culture are esteemed as entities specializing in the identity and representation of God. However, religions are as varied as the individuals who make them up, so what God are we talking about in the pledge?

My belief of God, as unconditional love seen in the nurturing and continuation of life known and yet to be understood, exists anywhere and everywhere, prevailing in hope and trusting in the power of goodness.

A national definition of God could unify people in assessing behaviors by those in or elected to positions of trust, power and authority who use God’s name, but whose motives appear corrupted by ignorance, special or self-serving interests for power and control of others and resources.

Although exclusive religious doctrines must be kept distant from our inclusive Democratic system of government, religions have significant influence in building and strengthening bridges of spiritual benevolence among people and governments as long as respect, responsibility and transparency are in the relationship.

Gandhi said: “I like your Christ. But I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

A national definition of God, calling to conscience desirable behaviors, promoting good with the avoidance of doing harm anywhere, anytime, is the perfect antidote for destructive profit-driven capitalism.

Etta Albright


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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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