The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 26, 2012

Readers' Forum 12-26 | Give privacy to those who lost loved ones

Submitted by Readers

— The Newtown, Conn., tragedy is being exploited by the news media with little respect for the privacy or feelings of those who have lost loved ones. I did see a couple of Newtown signs that said “No media” on them. It’s one thing to report the event, it’s quite another to show pictures of the deceased and delve into everyone’s lives.

The media created a national event for their own agendas, including gun control. If some of the teachers had been trained and armed, the tragedy could have been limited to the gunman.

In Switzerland, all heads of households are required to have a weapon. They don’t have school massacres.

We now have a bunch of political hacks jumping on board with the anti-gun crowd to limit our constitutional right to bear arms.

Politicians always think they have to do something, with little thought about the consequences.

Ask your congressman if he/she read the Obamacare bill before he/she voted for it. An armed populace keeps the petty would-be dictators from taking away all our rights. The first thing the Nazis and communists did when they acquired power was disarm their populace.

Al Cooper


Do we blame God or guns for tragedy?

Where was God when Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and evilly murdered precious humans? Which god do we mean: Allah, Buddha, Mother Earth or another false god of human religion? To which of these do we pray for understanding and comfort? Which of these gods do we blame for this travesty?

That’s right, we blame the one true creator, God; the creator whose glorious creation has been denied to our children through Darwinism; the God of the Bible and Ten Commandments who will judge all men; the God we need in times of tragedy but find offensive the rest of the time.

He is the God who calls abortion murder, homosexuality perversion and adultery, lying, stealing, covetousness and all violations of his Ten Commandments, sin.

Amazingly, he is also the God who, in love, gave his only son, whose name we loathe to speak at Christmas, that all who repent of their sins and trust in his substitutionary death for their sins will be forgiven.

Add cheapened human life through abortion to Darwinism’s survival of the fittest and society’s increasing revulsion toward and rejection of godly principles and we need not wonder why.

Blaming guns does not absolve human culpability. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

Pray for these families. Pray for our nation.

Barry W. Billings


Article stirs Arcadia memories

I read with interest the article in The Tribune-Democrat of Dan Hiteshew’s lighting and decorating of Arcadia Theater.

About 77 years ago, a Mr. Redfoot, the manager of Arcadia, came to our school, spoke to us about movies, then gave each pupil a free pass for a movie over the Christmas holiday. The whole family could go. He did this for several years. Good business.

My dad was a veterinarian, and about this same time, the Redfoots brought their dog, Mitzi, to be spayed. They asked if she could stay while they vacationed in Atlantic City. As they were leaving, Mrs. Redfoot said if I took good care of Mitzi, she would bring me something from Atlantic City.

Mrs. Redfoot was a beautiful, classy lady. Silk dress, high-heeled shoes, spiffy purse. When they came to pick up Mitzi, she had nothing but her pocketbook. I had wondered all week what she might bring.

As they were leaving, she handed me a quarter. A quarter in those days was a lot of money for a kid, but I was wishing for an exotic gift. For several years, they would bring Mitzi while they vacationed and I always got a quarter for special care.

I don’t remember if my dad got any more for kennel services. Maybe 25 cents was the going price for a week of dog sitting in the 1930s.

Verna Thomas


Ex-councilman: Added costs go to residents

Since mid-2012, residents and businesses in Johnstown have been subject to changes in how monthly sewer rental charges have been billed and collected. After years of three city employees handling this under agreement between the city and the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, it ended with these employees being locked out.

The authority had entered into agreements for billing and collections with Software Systems Inc. of Gibsonia, Allegheny County, and Smart Bill Corp. of Hebron, Ohio, with the same three employees.

Then, on Dec. 5, the authority approved a change in the contract for these firms to hire three employees: One at $40 per hour and two at $30 per hour. Based on a yearly hours worked of 52 weeks at 40 hours per week, the total yearly cost would equal  $208,000. The three employees have 2013 base salaries of $83,658, not including benefits.

The cost for the six positions is approximately $291,658 for 2013. Who is paying these additional costs? City residents.

After an increased sewer rate being imposed in the name of state and federal mandates, you can expect that a portion of the monthly fees are now being used for three additional noncity employees, not for improving or repairing sewer-treatment operations.

Why didn’t City Council and the redevelopment authority board work out an agreement to continue the single billings, which didn’t require additional employees?

This in addition to the city paying RDM-Johnstown an additional $192,000 for similar services.

Jack Williams

Former Johnstown councilman

Rampage happened because we are godless                                             What happened in Connecticut was a terrible tragedy. I pray for all the victims and their families, especially during this time that man has set aside to honor Jesus’ birthday.

What has been done by our politicians and allowed to go on by the sheep in America we call voters? They took God out of school a long time ago as well as out of the House, Senate and White House.

Sme of our churches have also replaced God with Rick Warren’s physiology, bingo, movie nights, games and pop music that in no way belong in God’s house.

What did they expect would happen? Yet they still support a no-God-in-school position. They must shoulder a lot of this blame.

They can ban guns, deal with mental illness and put their best physiologists at the head of this problem and it will still not help a lick.

I know the answer and it is the only thing that is going to work:

“If my people, who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

I’ll leave you with this: To my knowledge, all those dear little children are with Jesus in heaven for Christmas. But for everyone else, remember, today Jesus is your savior, but tomorrow if you die, he will be your judge.

Grant Shaffer


Protect our children with armed veterans

As the tragedy in Connecticut has hit us right in our hearts, this got me thinking of how we can protect our kids. There are many answers to be looked at. Some good and some not so good.

My thought would be to put armed guards in schools, and these guards should be selected from the vast pool of veterans who are coming home daily from overseas.

These young men are trained in urban combat. They are able to move undetected and take down their targets without risking others. They are coming home with no jobs available.

How different could these events be if a former Navy SEAL or other combat-trained veteran was inside the doors of our schools and other areas that we need protected?

Heavy background checks and a little training would put many young American heroes back protecting our freedoms and the freedom of our children to be kids and not fear some psycho with social issues.

Jeff Reed


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