The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 31, 2012

Readers' Forum 10-31 | Post-parade trash stuns ex-Johnstowner

— I’ve been away for a while, but the  Johnstown I remember was vibrant, God-fearing and neighborly.

I was stunned, shocked and extremely disappointed at seeing the trash that remained on the streets after the Oct. 25 Halloween parade in Johnstown.

It made me sad.

Kathy Aust

Gainesville, Va., formerly of Johnstown

Waste-coal pollution unwelcome in Colver

Regarding the Oct. 28 story, “Cleanup in peril; New standards threaten waste coal operations:

I can’t believe Washington Township supervisor Ray Guzic would say it’s OK for big business to pollute our communities.

Jeff McNelly, executive director of the Anthracite Region Independent Power Producers Association, was reported to have said the hydrochloric acid level could push these power plants out of business.

I say, thank you and good riddance. Go pollute in someone else’s backyard.

To Mr. Guzic, I say, pick a nice, clear day and come to Colver and watch the pollution leave the plant, form a cloud and drop in the middle of town. We can breathe in some of that hydrochloric acid together.

Maybe we’ll just have some of that acceptable level of mercury; call me. We could have lunch right where that cloud drops. Bring the kids and we’ll make a day of it.

If China wants more U.S. coal, send them the bony piles first.

Tom Cochran


Repealing Roe v. Wade would result in tragedy

There is nothing more beautiful than a new-born baby, and nothing uglier than a back-street abortion.

In the late ’60s and early ’70s, before the passage of Roe v. Wade, I worked as a hospital lab technician. Often working nights and weekends when you saw the more sordid side of life, I would be called to the emergency room to draw blood from women who tried to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Without the right to a legal abortion, desperate women resorted to desperate means. Too many women resorted to suicide. Many more used bizarre, disgusting means to abort. These acts often were done at the hands of an irate boyfriend or parent.

With enough cash, you could have an abortion done by a “back-street butcher.” I never saw them. I only saw the aftermath; the hemorrhaging and infection.

If it didn’t kill the mother, it often rendered her sterile for life.

In an idyllic world, all these pregnancies would result in beautiful babies raised by their mothers or given to loving families.

There are many wonderful agencies out there today to help, and children born to single moms are now an accepted norm. But we are very naive to believe that all these women will seek help. Without Roe v. Wade, which I sincerely wish we didn’t need, I’m afraid things would revert back to the way they were.

As the saying goes, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Marilyn Lohr


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