The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


December 15, 2013

Readers' Forum 12-15 | Stand up to FEMA's runaway rules

JOHNSTOWN — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has redesignated the area I live in as a flood zone. I am now required to carry flood insurance by my lender. To get insurance, I am required to get an elevation certificate at a average cost of $750 to $1,000.

This new flood designation is affecting many people in the area. Where does the government expect those of us affected to come up with the money to cover these unexpected costs? What criteria did FEMA use to designate the areas that were previously not flood zones to flood zones?

Those of us who are affected should gather our resources and work together to change these outrageous FEMA rules. It is amazing that a government organization can look at maps and decide that an area is prone to a major flood during a once-in-a-500-year storm.

I believe FEMA is attempting to charge the many to make up for the money lost on the few. I am dismayed that FEMA can make changes without physically surveying the areas.

FEMA puts the onus on the homeowner to dispute the new designation. Of course, this will cost the homeowner a significant sum. The government is supposed to be an employee of the people. That is why we pay taxes. It appears we now have a government that is making rules without understanding the detrimental effects it will have on the people.

Please, let us start a group to stand against FEMA and it's runaway rules.

David Scarsella

Northern Cambria

Unbelievers can yoke Christians

 Are you in a relationship with someone who displays no desire to live according to God’s way of love? Whether it’s romantic, or a relationship with a family member or friend, most Christians who hang onto a nonbeliever actually think they’re the best chance that their unsaved loved one will ever have for knowing Jesus. But that can be the very thing the unbeliever uses to manipulate the Christian in his life.

When you reject Christ, a conflict will always arise for you to involve yourself financially, physically and emotionally in the unbeliever’s “me first and me only” lifestyle, or say no and trust God to supply your need for meaningful relationships elsewhere.

Remember, God knows what you need and doesn’t want you to become undone trying to hold onto someone who doesn’t want to be held to God’s standards. God waits to be wanted, and so should you. If you’re a believer dealing with an unsaved person, your loved one has not only rejected the Lord, but also the Lord living in you. Therefore, he or she does not want all of you. That’s displaying conditional love also.

While they continue in self-centeredness, you suffer the end results, and that doesn’t encapsulate God’s definition of unity. Loving God, others and yourself sometimes means saying no instead of yes.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? What fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14.

Kirstin DiNinno

Central City

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