The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 31, 2012

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

Submitted by Readers

— 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


Football league official added fuel to fire

On Oct. 20, my family and I went to Point Stadium to watch my 9-year-old son and the Conemaugh Valley Blue Jays play the Shade Panthers in football.

As I stood in a concession stand line with my four boys, and while talking to some great Shade parents, a league official stormed around a corner and expressed to Shade coaches and fans that Conemaugh Valley had cheated by playing sixth-graders.

Someone of his position would know we have all third- and fourth-graders. He probably could tell you the weight of all of them, too.

Shame on this person for saying we didn’t win fair and square.

I watched as my son came in every day from playtime to get ready for football. I watched all those boys practice in rain. Those boys worked long and hard to get that win.

As for the bickering between teams: It is football. I witnessed obnoxious fans on both sides. On the other hand, I spoke to some very polite and proud parents of the opposing Panthers. I even handed them blue and white cookies.

This man is to represent the league in a nonbiased manner. Shame on him for adding fuel to the fire and trying to take a win away from well-deserving children.

Nicole Levis


Portage gridder passes 1,000 yards rushing

Mike Mastovich, a Tribune-Democrat sports reporter, wrote a nice column on Oct. 25, “Portage sophomore near 1,000 yards.”

In part, he states, “His 939 yards so far for the 7-1 Mustangs is even more impressive because (Caleb) Kephart has needed only 72 carries.”

Portage beat Blairsville the following night, 41-24. The reporter who covered the game made no mention of Caleb’s feats: 12 carries for 157 yards, which took him over 1,000 yards for the season.

The stadium announcer noted Caleb’s 1,000-yard feat when it happened. It appears everyone in the stadium heard the announcement, except your reporter.

Reno Tavernini


Bring sewage billing back to Johnstown

I own two properties in Southmont Borough. I have been calling the sewage company for more than a week and they will not answer their phones.

I did speak with a Johnstown Redevelopment Authority official and he could not explain the new billing system and why my sewer bill is higher than my water bill. He told me to call the sewage company.

Also, why would they take the billing from Johnstown, a distressed area, and turn it over to a Pittsburgh company?

None of this makes sense. Then you wonder why Johnstown is going “down the drain.”

Give the billing job to some expert college people who are proficient in computers, and keep jobs in Johnstown.

The redevelopment authority official said the water company sells its meter readings to this Pittsburgh company, therefore, the larger sewer bills. Shame on all of you for taking jobs out of Johnstown.

If no one bid on this job, then go to the area colleges and high schools and give computer students much-needed jobs.

I am totally disappointed in the board’s decision to take jobs out of Johnstown.

Pat Fyock


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