The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 15, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-15 | Concert of extrasensory perception

JOHNSTOWN — If the gob is a regional treasure, so was Saturday’s performance at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center. Thanks to an ingenious collaboration of Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and Allied Artists of Johnstown, with the genius of young pianist Anthony Cornet as the filling, the evening was beyond delicious.

As the orchestra played Beethoven’s “Pastoral” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” a huge screen rotated images of artwork, reflecting the rising and shading of the music, all choreographed by Jim Richey. You felt like you could touch the music.

There is not a person who reads this paper, online or otherwise, who would not relate to the images of our region. The mountains and farms and landmarks were all there – all blending with the music. But where were you? If you missed this treat, promise you won’t let it escape you again.

Many thanks to the extraordinary orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Istvan Jaray, the staff and directors of JSO and Allied Artists for this effort to blend the talents of regional artists from two disciplines.

Let’s look forward to more collaborations, community recognition and support.

Rosemary Pawlowski

Executive Director

 Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center

Help the animals that have no voice

The letter from Robert Lawrence on March 6, “Pet stores are good caregivers for dogs,” insisting that pet shops should get high grades in animal care, is ludicrous.

He must benefit from the sale of puppies and the suffering of the creatures that spend their lives in breeding facilities.

Pennsylvania is known as the puppy mill capital of the USA; puppies here are treated as a cash crop and not as living beings that suffer.

I witnessed a 6-month-old “layaway” dog in a Johnstown puppy warehouse that was barely able to stand in her tiny wire pen. I saw puppies laying in excrement. Having all the laws in the world doesn’t make up for lack of quality enforcement. I have been told that dog wardens often never even bother to see the animals, just paperwork.

People who care about the welfare of dogs know that puppy mills and indiscriminating breeding should be banned. The American Kennel Club encourages the exploitation of dogs because it makes a fortune from these puppy mills.

The situations in Cambria and Bedford counties have decreased drastically for animals. Dog wardens are a political pick, and in 40 years I have known maybe three in central Pennsylvania who have had the professionalism and compassion that should be expected. Humane societies don’t want the extra work that comes with supporting a competent humane officer. Police and magistrates don’t want to be bothered with such trivial pursuits.

We need to take action for those who have no voice.

Ruth Cummings


Editor’s note: The writer is co-founder of Bedford County Humane Society and former shelter director and humane officer of Cambria County Humane Society.

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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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