The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 30, 2013

Readers' Forum 10-30 | Designated hitter not part of 'real' baseball

Submitted by Readers

JOHNSTOWN — In a recent sports article, David Ortiz (of the Boston Red Sox) said the National League needs to wake up and use the designated hitter.

The strategy part of “real” baseball is when to use a pinch hitter or leave the pitcher in the game to bat.

A ball player who doesn’t play in the field is ... not part of the game.

J. Patrick Mayberry


Rothfus did as constituents wanted

The headline of the Readers’ Forum on Oct. 25 was “Rothfus voted against the interest of the people,” by Richard J. Holsinger. If it were not so sad, it would be almost amusing. Somebody at the paper must have made up this biased headline.

Those of us who want to see this country survive voted Rothfus into office, which means he voted the way the majority of this district wanted.

On the other hand, Rep. Bill Shuster, a Republican, voted against his party and constituents, which makes him a traitor. Holsinger labeled Shuster as “our congressman.” I take it he means Shuster is a Democrat. Holsinger said Shuster voted for essential services for Americans desperately needing those services. It would be interesting to hear his definition of “needing” and “wanting.”

Nobody would deny anybody in desperate need, but what is the percentage of those who need versus those who want and don’t deserve?

I remember the news from President Obama’s inauguration when a reporter asked a woman why she had come to Washington, D.C. She said, “To get me some of that Obama money.”

When I find out who is running against Shuster in the next election, I will donate to his or her fund. Some of us who vote for the best person and not the party are still around. I will remember Rothfus on election day in 2014, and I will vote for him.

John Mikolic


Lincoln Highway series of great interest

Thanks to The Tribune-Democrat for covering the 100 years of the historic Lincoln Highway, U.S. Route 30.

It begins in the east on Virginia Avenue in Atlantic City, N.J., traverses New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and now contiguous in some states with the present interstate highway system and ends at the estuary of the Columbia River at the small city of Astoria, Ore., some 3,000 miles in all.

Locally, lets not forget the seven-mile stretch – straight, without a curve – in Somerset County, and the highway’s proximity to the crash site of Flight 93 near Lambertsville and Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Ferndale Historical Society is giving out free facsimile copies of Abraham Lincoln’s actual, original manuscript of his Gettysburg Address given on Nov. 19, 1863. (Gettysburg is located along Route 30.)

Wilbert A. Boerstler

President of Ferndale Historical Society

Property owners getting raw deal

It is difficult to comprehend why property owners in the Johnstown area are being forced unnecessarily to replace their sewer lines. The residents of an area as economically distressed as Johnstown cannot afford to spend money they don’t need to spend. The more we learned about the sewer project, the more absurdities we discovered.

In Dave Sutor’s Oct. 10 article in The Tribune-Democrat, he wrote: “The state ordered the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority to address problems in the Johnstown Regional Sewage system that feeds the Dornick Point plant. Council considered three options: building a new treatment plant, putting holding tanks in neighborhoods or replacing deficient lines.” The choice was the one that would cause the most expense and inconvenience to individual property owners.

The Department of Environmental Protection is not mandating an air-pressure test of the sewer lines, which would guarantee that the majority of lines would fail. Why is the city requiring that test if it is not necessary?

We have been told for the past 20 years that the Dornick Point plant is inadequate. After property owners are forced to replace sewer lines that don’t need to be replaced, they will be faced with even higher sewage bills to upgrade the plant.

To top it off, the redevelopment authority has awarded a five-year contract to operate the Dornick Point plant to a foreign-owned, profit-making company, which plans to reduce the workforce and will probably reduce the wages of the remaining workers.

Mike Christ


A blessing to grow up with so little

I consider myself an acute observer, a lifelong student of the human condition. As I look back through the decades of prosperity, when the efforts of all made us stronger, I grasp fully this notion: How lucky were we to have grown up with so little.

My family raised from God’s green earth what we hoped to eat the next season and exchanged with kind neighbors for goods we had not, all bound with the honor of a simple handshake.

It was a time when, as a community, we each knew what we were worth – unlike these days, whereby, sadly, our worthiness is subjected to the heartbreaking power of politics.

Scott G. Hoover