The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 16, 2013

Laurels and barbs


The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: Mom’s House certainly has changed  in the past 30 years, but its mission hasn’t. The organization, founded in 1983 by Peg Luksik, has expanded to seven locations in four states. And while its services have expanded over the years, it still does what Luksik originally intended: Provide low-income mothers with free day care to help them continue their education. Happy birthday, Mom’s House.

Laurel: It’s every parent’s worst nightmare and likely every police officer’s as well: A gunman loose in a school building. It’s scary stuff, but it’s all-too prevalent to ignore. That’s why Central Cambria High School officials, staff and emergency responders staged an active shooter drill last week. While we pray that the training is never needed, we applaud those involved for preparing for a worst-case scenario.

Barb: When is a sidewalk more dangerous for pedestrians than none at all? Apparently when it’s on Goucher Street, according to Upper Yoder Township Supervisor Roy Shaffer. Shaffer and board Chairman Edward Barzeski blocked a proposal to build a sidewalk between Allegheny Lutheran Home and Westmont. We understand concerns about drainage in Keppler Dip, but not

Shaffer’s fear that the sidewalk would be too close to the road. Pedestrians using Goucher Street are already at risk. We don’t see how building a sidewalk for them could be any worse than it is now.

Laurel: Forest Hills has plenty to be proud of in senior Cody Law. Last week, he captured the 160-pound championship at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships in Hershey. He capped an undefeated senior season and joined his coach, Jake Strayer, to become just the second Ranger to win a state title. From what we’ve seen, he’s humble, gracious and a good role model for young student-athletes. We wish him the best of luck in Sunday’s Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic in Pittsburgh and in the fall, when he plans to wrestle for Penn State.

Laurel: It’s been a long year for Paint Township, but spring brings with it renewed financial optimism. It has taken layoffs, a $350,000 loan and a 6-mill tax increase – most of it designated to pay off the loan – but Supervisor Joe Huff Jr. is confident that the township is finally headed in the right direction.

Barb: William Amos Cramer can’t seem to stay out of trouble. The 21-year-old, who is accused of killing William Sherry while they shared a cell at Cambria County prison in August, is now facing charges in Centre County. Cramer allegedly assaulted Corrections Department employees as they were trying to interview him regarding his allegations that the superintendent of the Rockview prison had sexually assaulted him. Cramer allegedly used ethnic slurs, spit on two corrections officers and struck one in the chest in his cell at Rockview.

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