The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 15, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-15 | Concert of extrasensory perception

Submitted by Readers

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.

Kudos to all involved in Special Olympics

The annual basket party fundraiser to benefit Cambria County Special Olympics has grown each year, with the event on Feb. 24 being even bigger than any of us had anticipated.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to our Special Olympic families and area businesses involved this year for their continued support. We were in a new venue this year, Christ the Saviour Educational Center, and the staff there could not have been more supportive. We truly appreciated the help.

This year, we also had Jesse Kessler and Zack Wallace of the Johnstown Tomahawks and Girl Scout Troop 40075 volunteering their time in assisting the athletes.

We also thank the annual basket party committee and our Cambria County athletes – they are fantastic.

Bonnie Pfeil

coach, Cambria County Special Olympics

It’s despicable to end White House tours

Just another slap in the face to the American people. I do not know whose idea it was, but the decision to close the White House tours for Americans is the ultimate low from our Washington elite.

Somehow, in their deranged minds, those responsible think they are making some sick political statement or a political point, I suppose.

What is even worse is that we are letting it go on. We should be ashamed of ourselves for putting up with this kind of nonsense from those we elect. In as much, we keep electing and re-electing those same politicians who are out for their own interests or their party’s interests, rather than the interests of their constituents.

It should go without saying that those we have sent to Congress should be screaming at the top of their lungs at whoever made such a despicable decision.

However, the cowards will not say a word. They expect us to accept whatever foolishness they can dish out and, yes, keep voting them in.

It certainly is a sad day when we have to write, call or email our representatives to ask them to please re-open the White House tours for the American citizenry.

I would ask Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey and Reps. Bill Shuster and Keith Rothfus and the 531 other so-called representatives of we the people: Where are you now?

John Toth



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