The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 16, 2013

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


JOHNSTOWN — 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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