The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 16, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-16 | Traffic lights in city are ridiculous

Submitted by Readers

JOHNSTOWN — The city of Johnstown is costing us all money, but they are not the only ones – only the worst. How is this? Because of poor traffic light control.

No one should have to wait more than 5 seconds at a red light (if no traffic is coming the other way with the green light) before it changes to green. If I am on a street with stop signs, it only takes 5 seconds after stopping (and with no traffic coming from other directions) to proceed on my way.

Several intersections that are bad:

-- Franklin Street at Napoleon and Hickory streets. On one occasion, there were 22 automobiles including myself waiting 106 seconds before anybody got the green to go. I was on Franklin Street headed outbound. It took more than two minutes before I got to go. This is ridiculous in this day of automatic control. I could have been home already, living not far from there.

-- Central Avenue at Osborne, Ohio and Bond streets.

-- Osborne and Franklin streets.

And how about those lights on Ohio Street? They change red even though no one is at any side street waiting to pull onto Ohio Street.

Not only is this costing money, sitting there idling for no good reason, but it adds to pollution that doesn’t have to happen,  traffic congestion and possibly accidents.

James Love


Bewildered by what we will, won’t tolerate

While reading the news and Readers’ Forum the past several weeks, it’s become intriguing, perhaps puzzling, at what we will tolerate and what we won’t.

On the national landscape leading up to the budget sequester, we were told that the 2 percent cuts would keep kids from eating and teachers, firefighters and police would be laid off and perhaps the sky would fall. This fearmongering created an air of intolerance among us.

But billions in foreign aid, fighter jets and drones are still going to countries that want us dead, and we sit by and tolerate that.

On the state level, we’ve elected a governor and Legislature to start down the path of fiscal responsibility to save Pennsylvania from the fate of other states and cities in financial ruin. But the mere mention of ideas that could possibly create that environment, even when compared to other successes, just can’t be tolerated, yet higher unemployment numbers and taxes are.

Even here at home, we just can’t tolerate an elected representative that doesn’t actually live in Johnstown, but we had no concern for those that were represented when their representative lived here. Apparently, we can tolerate job losses in our area but find it impossible to tolerate the loss of KDKA from the local cable provider.

Government stripping us of our rights, churches dying, abortions by the millions, higher taxes, embarrassing education and schools, poor national security and foreign policy are all seemingly tolerated. But when it comes to personal inconvenience  ... look out.

Marvin R. Gindlesperger


Longing for return to yesteryears

I came to Pennsylvania in 1969 after four years in the Marine Corps. Upon entering Pennsylvania, a sign in large letters read, “This is where America begins.”

We settled in Mine 42, Windber. The wonderful, friendly people helped us set up. What impressed me was the men opened the hoods of their cars, revealing large engines. They showed me beautiful, long-eared hunting dogs and their gun collections with pride. I very seldom saw police or crimes.

A person could stand on both ends of this minisociety and get a free ride to Windber or Johnstown.

The letter carriers came in crisp uniforms, six days a week – on time, friendly and courteous.

If someone was presented to have a mental problem or physical handicap, the elders would meet in the 42 Club and form a plan to talk to them and help them.

Now the guns, the great self-supporting U.S. Postal Service, the mental health systems (NAMI) are being attacked. If you call crisis hotline they, usually, because of lack of funds, won’t come unless something serious happens, like a crime. By then, it’s too late.

Maybe this great county should follow the Windber Mine 42 pattern.

James R. McDonald Sr.


EMT, fire services second to none

On Feb. 22, I faced a life-and-death situation. My son called 911 and the ambulance arrived. By that time, I was in great distress. I could not breathe.

Brian Heitzenrater was the paramedic. He saved my life.

Nanty Glo and Blacklick Township should be very proud of their ambulance service and their fire company. They, too, arrived in minutes. Thank you again, Brian. And God bless you and all those who helped you.

Gaynelle Crawford

Nanty Glo

Spending more than we receive

Even after living 678,900 hours (77 1/2 years), it behooves me as to why our government keeps spending more money than it receives.

Due to the sequestration situation, we are laying off people while Secretary of State John Kerry hands out millions to the Syrians and even more millions to the Egyptians, who want to destroy us.

Then you have Sen. Robert Casey mimicking administration spending policies that tempt the closing of various military installations around the state.

Centuries ago, Jesus threw out the money lenders occupying the temple in Jerusalem. Today, we should be throwing out the money spenders occupying the temple in Washington.

Michael J. Smajda

Harrisburg, formerly of Morrellville


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