The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 9, 2013

Readers' Forum 4-9 | Ecologists could help lower fuel costs

— In the early 1990s, the Clinton administration curtailed logging in the Northwest’s federal forests. The northern spotted owl was on the endangered list, and President Clinton was protecting them. Many lumbermen lost their jobs.

Today, endangered bats are killed by windmills in Pennsylvania.

President Obama is pushing windmills in Pennsylvania and other states, even though they have ruined the beauty of our forests.

Where are the environmentalists?

Windmills, ethanol gas and sun energy have been very costly experiments, producing little energy relief. We have all the oil, gas and coal energy we need, but the president throws our tax money away on alternative fuels.

We’re going to have some pollution because we have a modern society using great amounts of fuels. But we could make a deal with the environmentalists where cheaper fuels could be used successfully.

Our whole country suffers because high fuel costs are tied into our economy.

Gov. Tom Corbett is doing a great job cutting out waste in our state.

Our highways and bridges are in sad shape. Let’s help him, instead of condemning him.

Stephen Sakmar

Lower Yoder Township

Guns, ammo: What drove us to this point?

The Tribune-Democrat reported Friday that, “Gun enthusiasts fearful of new weapon controls and alarmed by rumors of government hoarding are buying bullets practically by the bushel.” Amazing.

I wonder what the lines would be like at gun-sales counters if it were announced that trigger guards, gun safes or home-security systems were to be outlawed.

The mentality is not Second Amendment driven. It is a lack of understanding of what drove us to this situation: People being slaughtered by weapons not designed for hunting or even sport, but intended only to discharge an excessive number of bullets at an unbelievable rate.

We can’t even sacrifice these weapons in the hope that this type of violence can be marginalized.

We’re the greatest and worst nation on earth, and when the NRA’s answer to gun violence in schools is to put guns in the school, it’s time NRA members speak up.

Look at your public schools. Consider the size and design characteristics. Now consider that the Sandy Hook shooter discharged 154 bullets in less than five minutes, and tell me that a security guard could have responded from anywhere in time to stop that.

We should be working hard to not let a threat into a school, and equally hard to be trained to deal with a threat.

Also, spare me the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” because if you believed that, then background checks and waiting periods would be supported by the NRA and its ilk.

Ron Stombaugh


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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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