The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

July 29, 2013

Readers' Forum 7-29 | You can't get there from here

Submitted by Readers

JOHNSTOWN — Easy Grade is closed and not scheduled to reopen for another month or so (if memory serves).

Now, St. Clair Road is about to go under the knife.

Seems like this would be a great time to shut down Millcreek Road and Edwards Hill (don’t worry - we’ll find an excuse).

And why waste a wonderful opportunity to close the Inclined Plane for maintenance?

That would leave Hilltop residents with but one major artery (isn’t Harshberger Road still closed?) to lower ground – Goucher Street to Franklin Street – right through the brand-spanking new speed trap on Goucher Street in front of The Attic (the lines are painted on the street).

Who plans and schedules this stuff?

Yeah, you’re right – I wasn’t thinking.

Greg Rager

Lakeland, Fla., formerly of Johnstown

Some youth need a helping hand

In response to David Lamison’s Readers’ Forum letter on July 24 titled “Undesirables ruining our neighborhoods,” how dare him call other people undesirables.

There are no undesirable people – just unfortunate situations.

There are many young children of various ethnicities who are living in situations that those who are privileged could not fathom. Youth often are caught up in the cycle of poverty and crime and might not have as many positive role models in their lives.

Many of these youth go to school, not realizing how important education is.

In school, many of these students meet adults who care and are interested in their well-being. Yet, many do not have the chance to meet that one adult who could influence them and change their lives.

If Lamison believes that neighborhoods are suffering because of the so-called “undesirables,” why doesn’t he use his positive influence to be a role model for young adults?

He could use his gifts, talents and drive to be a positive influence. Make these “outsiders” feel welcome in these neighborhoods.

I have been teaching in an urban school in Pittsburgh for eight years. I can tell you that many of America’s youth are not evil and undesirable. Many just need someone to change their lives.

The children do not get to choose what situation they live in, so don’t be so quick to criticize.

Don’t perpetrate the hate that many of these citizens experience. More importantly, don’t forget that a young man died at the hands of George Zimmerman.

Matt Herdman

Pittsburgh, formerly of Johnstown

Blight permeates West End section

The Readers’ Forum letter on July 14 by Elaine Jensen, “Out-of-town visitor: Johnstown is a mess,” and on July 20 by Fred Bigam, “Visitor’s assessment of city was spot on,” were right on.

Five people in my neighborhood have called about the house situated between us. It smells of dog urine and is littered with old tires, a propane tank, car door, old screens and a basketball hoop.

I’ve asked a city councilwoman for help.

She said to me, “We fine them, but they pay it and do it again.” This was said in front of another person.

It’s not just this particular house. Blight is all over the West End section of Johnstown. There are old mattresses laying in yards, discarded tires and other junk.

Lindy Yutsy (July 10, “City needs to embrace new ideas and change”) and I, at the request of Rep. Bryan Barbin, turned in at least 100 blighted properties. There are many more.

Who pays the codes officers? We do. When will they earn their pay?

Sharon R. Miller

West End

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