The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

September 28, 2013

Laurels and barbs

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: Female survivors of sexual abuse have another place to turn for help. The Integrative Healing Group, a collaboration between Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, Victim Services and Windber Medical Center, will be held on Fridays through Nov. 22 at Bottle Works. The group will incorporate traditional sexual-abuse support with yoga, art and music. What an excellent initiative to help ease the pain.

Laurel: Other police departments are noticing the accomplishments of one of our own. New York City police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent cufflinks and an autographed photo to Johnstown Police Department Sgt. Charles “Charlie” Jeffers, noting his 40-plus years of dedication to the law-enforcement profession. Jeffers believes he might be the first person outside New York’s borders to receive such an honor. “I thought it was pretty awesome,” Jeffers said. We agree.

Barb: Why do some people feel the need to destroy someone else’s property? Cambria Somerset Authority personnel recently found the restrooms at Wilmore Reservoir soiled with human waste and wastewater-soaked paper towels. “It’s just sad,” said CSA Manager Earl Waddell, adding that the restrooms have been padlocked. “All we’re asking is that people treat their facilities with some respect, like they were their own.” That is very disturbing – and disgusting.

Laurel: It never ceases to amaze us how people flock to help when others face misfortune. Such was the case in Northern Cambria when the Coal Country Daycare was extensively damaged by flooding earlier this month. An Ebensburg business assisted in cleaning the daycare and a local home center donated lumber for portions of the walls that were affected by the floodwaters. “It’s great people want to help, especially because their homes also were affected, so for them to reach out and help us is wonderful,” said Erin Bougher, daycare director. It’s also heartwarming.

Laurel: What started out as a student’s class project has now received international recognition. “We Were Quiet Once,” Laura Beachy’s locally made documentary that focused on the crash of United Flight 93 near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001, has been selected as a finalist at the Moondance International Film Festival, which will wrap up Sunday in Mystic, Conn. Her film features the late Rev. Alphonse Masherino, founder of the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel; Terry Butler, an eyewitness to the crash; and Rick Flick, a first responder at the scene. We wish Laura, and her film, the best of luck.

Barb: Misguided individuals are using riding mowers for things other than cutting grass. An 80-year-old Beaver County man has been charged with simple assault after he allegedly used his lawn mower to fling rocks and debris at neighbors and police. He was upset over a boundary issue. And a Westmoreland County resident has been charged with driving drunk after he allegedly was nabbed with an open can of beer while trying to use his mower as a means of transportation to reach his home – six miles away from where he was stopped. C’mon people, where’s your common sense?

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