The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

February 19, 2014

Readers' Forum 2-19 | Government needs some leaders

JOHNSTOWN — Recent events started with me thinking that things could not get much more annoying in my life. On a recent morning, after being outside for an hour shoveling driveways and sidewalks in 10-degree weather, I felt things could only get better. Wrong.

After settling into my recliner, I opened The Tribune-Democrat to read “Little congressional actions likely for rest of 2014.”

Speaker John Boehner said, “No breakthroughs in any area are likely.” No immigration reforms, no minimum wage or tax reform and no extensions of the unemployment compensation, not for the 1.7 million laid-off workers.

Since the House will not do anything until after the 2014 elections and the new Congress is sworn in, why not lay them all off until January 2015?

The president could run the country, and the governors could run their own states.

Since the Senate could only act in futile gestures, we could lay them all off, too. Then they could concentrate on being re-elected.

Now do you believe in term limits and a smaller, more answerable government? We voters must hold elected officials to their oaths for the betterment of the country.

We need to get a better-educated voter base in small elections and start from the bottom up. The people I talk to in my hometown are not even registered or don’t ever vote.

This country needs leaders, not puppets.

Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic leader, was quoted as saying, “Why don’t we all pack up and go home?”

I agree.

John S. Fabo

South Fork

More sewer questions for city leaders

Recently, Councilwoman Marie Mock said on social media that the sewer lines of vacant, abandoned structures will be capped off. Really? I spoke with officials from The EADS Group (the city’s engineering firm), and this isn’t the case.

You see, the city didn’t plan for the abandoned properties for this project.

This is the city’s way of dealing with them: If the main sewer line is left in place, the lateral will be left, also. If the main line is removed, then the laterals will be capped – not by putting a cap on the lateral, but by covering the severed end of the pipe with cloth, putting some stone there and covering it with dirt.

This will allow the water from wet basements to go out the old lateral and seep into the ground. The temporary cap eventually will get clogged with silt. Then what? Basements will back up with water and become cesspools. Stagnant, foul water will breed West Nile and other diseases in your neighborhood.

The city said it has 900 structures that should be razed. By the time they get to some of these houses, the stench will be worse than the sewage plant.

Who is telling the truth, council or EADS? Maybe the media could do a little investigative journalism. If the public asks anything about it, we get hit with the city’s right-to-know smoke screen.

This sewage debacle seems to be no better planned than a Chinese fire drill.

Joseph Warhul

Johnstown

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