The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 30, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-30 | Oakhurst’s answer isn’t in closing one bar

— I have been following in The Tribune-Democrat the story about the closing of the bar in the West End. I believe a single judge ordering a private business to be closed without a hearing on the matter the same day is wrong.

The point I would like to make is not politically correct, nor will it be welcomed by some in the community.

If the judge ordered the locks changed at the bar because it is a nuisance to the community, then why not change all the locks at the Oakhurst Homes for the same reason? Most of the people I have been around during the past week have discussed this idea, along with changing the locks at the Johnstown Housing Authority application office.

All of the reasons that I have read in the paper for closing the bar can be used to do the same at Oakhurst Homes: Increased police calls, noise, fights and shootings.

People will respond to this letter by saying Oakhurst Homes has a lot of good residents who love and respect their community. I am sure this is true for them and the customers of the bar. As stated by residents and the bar’s owner, the neighborhood has been in decline in recent years. On this point, both sides seem to agree. That is a good starting point for the people in the area to come together and work on improving their community as a whole.

If anyone believes closing one bar is going to make a difference, when there are 10 more bars within five blocks, I believe there is a seat in Congress waiting for you.

Joseph Veranese


Removing God’s name from bill meaningless

Oh, what vain striving to push God out of his universe. Now the atheists are campaigning to take the name of God off the dollar bill.

Do these individuals really think that such superficial efforts can erase God from existence?

God won’t interfere with their free will when they attempt such things; he’ll simply supersede with his free will whenever he chooses, and that’s something their stubborn resistance is blind to time and again.

You can push him out of schools, erase his name off dollar bills, rewrite laws and government policies to leave his righteous principals out of it, but God’s not going anywhere and no one can ever extract him from the minds and hearts of those who love him.

If there’s anybody who should be at peace despite all this fearmongering going on, it should be Christians. We can still pray to him any time we want. We can still recognize that every blessing we have is from the Lord, whether his name is printed on a dollar bill or not. And we can still follow his moral law, whether the government acknowledges it or not.

We have true freedom in Christ that doesn’t depend on symbolism, man-made rulings or outward displays to validate that his power, provision and presence will always be there for us.

Deuteronomy 4:39: “Know this day and consider it in your heart that the Lord is God in Heaven above, and upon the earth beneath, there is no one else.”

Kirstin DiNinno

Central City

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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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