The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 2, 2013

Readers' Forum 4-2 | A good start toward transparency

Submitted by Readers

— Having read the article on the city manager’s state of the city report, I think the suggestion from Councilwoman Rose Howarth was a good start in making information easy and accessible to the citizens of Johnstown.

I did attend the breakfast and found the city report very informative.

However, a onetime report is just the start. A large number of municipalities in Pennsylvania and across the United States post all their meeting minutes on their websites. Communities much smaller than Johnstown, such as Greensburg and Latrobe, post all their minutes to keep the public informed. Cambria County posts all its meeting minutes.

Previously, this could have necessitated extra work time for city employees. However, the city now receives its minutes electronically from a transcriber service and could easily and immediately post them on the city website.

I hope city council and the city manager agree that this is a step toward government transparency and address the issue in the near future.

I think the citizens of Johnstown deserve to be informed.

Curt Davis


Former city manager

An accident – that explains everything

On March 28, in The Tribune-Democrat, I read with great interest that Atlantic Broadband crews were repairing cables damaged during a traffic accident on the Elton Road. I am sure that explains the absence of KDKA-TV from the local array of stations that Atlantic Broadband’s captive audience pays for monthly.

However, I don’t understand how that accident in Elton would have caused me to lose only the signal of that station, a station I have been watching since cable TV arrived in Roxbury 50-plus years ago. Come to think of it, I think I lost the signal prior to the accident. Hmmm. But I am sure that no rational Atlantic Broadband manager or CEO would deliberately remove probably the best regional news coverage and in-depth sports coverage on the ’Burgh’s professional sports teams. It had to be that accident.

And nobody in his or her right mind would then substitute it with a duplicate signal of another local station that provides the same local news, much of it of marginal interest and/or on small distant communities, and sports coverage that focuses on the same high school athletics as the other local stations. After all, one reason many people did not switch to satellite TV was to keep these broadcast stations.

Thank goodness the crews fixed the problem, though. I must rush off and tune in Channel 2 to get my dose of what is really happening in the Pittsburgh area and the rest of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Rick Truscello


Christians portrayed as bad people

Pedophiles come in all shapes, sizes, colors, religions and walks of life, but the ones who get any real press time are the Catholics. When a Catholic priest is accused, it becomes a witch hunt. Innocent until proven guilty does not apply to Catholics. The liberal media goes after us because of our stance on abortion and gay marriage. Our churches are desecrated, offices ransacked and burned.

There currently is a lawsuit against President Obama and Obamacare by the U.S. Catholic Church, but this has been ignored by the liberal media.

Catholics have been in this country for 200 years, we have fought in all the wars, we pay our taxes and we helped build America. In the popular, liberal media, all Christians are portrayed as bad people. When one freedom is denied, all is denied. We cannot judge others as they judge us or we become as them.

Never apologize for being a Christian –  that is our greatest strength. Some leaders know they cannot control faith, so they control people by taking away their rights.

Ron Marol


Veterans of Okinawa deserving of respect

Some call April 1 April Fools’ Day, but to me it was no fools’ day. It was unequivocally hell. It was the invasion of Okinawa. They didn’t call it D-Day, they called it L-Day. It was three months of torment.

It was the bloodiest battle and had more American fatalities than either the Pacific or European theaters – 85,000 died and approximately four times that many were wounded.

I am writing this to remind and inform all, and maybe it will give us, and especially me, some respect.

Three years ago, which was 65 years after the invasion, I got in touch with the national and local media and asked them to mention it on TV. I got nothing from them. Maybe this time they will wake up. I hope. We’re a dying breed – 10,000 of us die every year.

Roy D. Smith


Wishing Tomahawks best on quest

Congratulations to the Johnstown Tomahawks on making the NAHL playoffs in their first season in the War Memorial Arena.

It was my honor to broadcast the games on Fast Hockey for the Tomahawks early in the season. I was impressed with the commitment of the front office and coaching staff and the professionalism and kindness of the Tomahawks' organization. I wish them nothing but the best, on and off the ice.

I’ve had many experiences as a member of the sports media as a writer and broadcaster, covering everything from major sports, including a stint covering the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers for The Tribune-Democrat, to the high schools.

The Tomahawks continued to provide joys and wonderful experiences for me, from covering Mario Lemieux’s appearance on opening day to calling a game with Bob Grove to working in the same press box as Jim Carr of “Slap Shot” fame while associating with top-notch sportswriters such as Mike Mastovich.

I spent February calling baseball games in the Texas Winter League and look forward to returning to Harlingen in May to call the games of the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings minor league baseball team this season.

But I have always believed western Pennsylvania was the best sports area in the country. To be able to be the play-by-play announcer of one of the region’s teams was a dream come true, and I want to wish the best to the Tomahawks in their quest for the Robertson Cup.

Marky Billson


City View was a special place

I have been a resident of Johnstown since 1982, when my husband was transferred here from another Pennsylvania town.

When we had out-of-town visitors, we always took them to lunch at City View and were proud to show off our special town.

Now I can take them to one of our special fast-food stops to show off our “special town.”

Thanks a lot, “el cheapo” Johnstown.

Barbara Weidner


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