The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


June 29, 2013

Readers' Forum 6-29 | JSO sharing talents, bringing joy to Kernville

— A wonderful thing happened in the Kernville section of Johnstown on the evening of June 25. Musicians from the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra (JSO), demonstrating violins, cello, percussion and wind instruments gathered with children from the community to “share the music.” What an outpouring of joy.

The children were enthralled as musicians demonstrated their instruments.

They were encouraged to beat out rhythms on a variety of drums, tambourines and bongos.

They had the opportunity to learn about specific instruments that they individually had a desire to play, and they had the chance to try out the instruments under the expert guidance of a JSO member.

It was a delightful event. About 20 children attended, as did their parents. The project is a cooperative venture of the JSO, Christ Centered Community Church and Goodwill Good Mentoring programs. It demonstrated that folks could join together to begin something wonderful to strengthen our community and nurture an appreciation of music and the arts.

Maestro Istvan Jaray was ragging on a keyboard, while the children pounded on their drums, making a joyful sound.

Kudos to the Rev. Sylvia King for encouraging parents and children to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity. And a special thank you to the JSO musicians who so graciously volunteered to become involved in this very special music-development program.

Great things are happening in Kernville.

I can’t wait to hear the music.

Donna Gambol


Johnstown Rotary Club

Free parking is key to reviving downtown

The city of Johnstown’s parking meters are a joke. Meter the entire city and exactly what is the revenue? Paying the salaries and benefits of meter maids has to make the system a losing proposition.

We are trying to get new businesses to restore the downtown to a bustling shopping place. Why not make use of the lot between Washington and Locust streets where the parking garage once stood? Ask several businesses to go in on a venture where customers who visit their establishments park free on the lot.  This is better than having meter maids pouncing the minute a meter runs out. That is a good way to encourage people to come downtown – not.

There are new businesses downtown, such as The Vault Salon and Spa, R.J.’s Cafe and Lounge, Rocco’s Submarine Sandwiches and the Press, and American Eagle is fairly new. If we provide parking so people can utilize these places, it brings more revenue downtown.

City leaders can’t see their faces through their greed. Let’s work together to again make downtown a bustling place.

On another topic, the new sewage-billing procedure is a big hoax. Go back to the old system, which worked just fine.

Keep politics out of managing the city. Do what’s right for the majority, and not for just the few who profit from these actions.

Doris Layton



Emissions-testing fee is discriminatory

Why am I being punished for living in Cambria County?

I live about a half-mile from Somerset County, and have to have my cars’ emissions systems tested every year at a cost of up to $50 per car. People in the bordering county do not have to have this done. Why do I?

Is there some kind of dome around Cambria County that keeps the emissions out? Does anyone have an answer? We Cambria County vehicle owners should write our government officials and  stop this rip-off. This is a discriminatory act.

Fred Beppler


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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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