The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 9, 2013

Readers' Forum 11-9 | Transportation funding has benefited city

JOHNSTOWN — The City of Johnstown has benefited greatly in recent years from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation funds to complete critical bridge infrastructure upgrades.

Several of the projects that have been completed are the Coopersdale Bridge, Fourth Street Bridge and Napoleon Street Bridge. Additional projects involving Hickory Street Bridge, Haynes Street Bridge and Delwood Street Bridge are slated to be enhanced in the next two years.

When PennDOT assists with funding for these projects, the city is only required to contribute 5 percent of the construction costs, allowing funds from the city to be utilized for other public services. This has resulted in multimillion-dollar projects being completed in our region that support construction contractors and provide safe and reliable infrastructure for our residents.

It is crucial that Pennsylvania continues to fund these types of infrastructure projects in order to attract businesses and spur economic growth in local communities. Support for transportation funding is a statewide issue that benefits local communities.

Please encourage local leaders to support long-term, sustainable funding for Pennsylvania’s transportation needs.

Kristen Denne


Plenty of resources to check your facts

I am writing in response to a letter by John Skubak to point out his inaccuracy.

He states that President Obama has put 25 million people on welfare. Not true. When President Bush left office, there were approximately 11 million people on full assistance and 34 million on food stamps. As of September 2013, the actual numbers are 12.8 million on assistance and 46.7 on food stamp – a far cry from his 25 million, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Commerce and the Cato Institute.

Other inaccuracies:

-- The national debt was around $10 trillion in 2007, not $7 trillion (U.S. Department of Treasury, Statistic Brain).

-- Keystone Politics (liberal) and the Commonwealth Foundation (conservative) polls say 61 percent of Pennsylvania voters support liquor privatization, not 90 percent.

-- Illegal immigrants totaled 12.5 million in 2008 and they now stands at around 11 million, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative think tank, due to stepped up enforcement.

-- The average price for gas has not been at $2 a gallon or less since 2004, and the average price of a gallon of gas was $3.27 per gallon in 2008. Either I was getting ripped off or Skubak doesn’t drive a car.

My point is, do your homework before writing articles and looking foolish. There are plenty of resources available on the Internet, conservative and liberal as well as nonpartisan

Eugene Smith


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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