The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 31, 2014

Readers' Forum 1-31 | Drivers ignorant of headlight regulations

JOHNSTOWN — On my way home on Jan. 26, I was astounded to count seven vehicles without their headlights on. It wasn’t whiteout conditions, but it was snowing heavily, and the roads were pretty well snow-covered. Furthermore, I noticed that several of these vehicles were white, gray or neutral in color or they were covered with snow except for the windshield, making them difficult to distinguish.

Pennsylvania law says you must drive with your headlights on after sunset, when you can’t see ahead more than 1,000 feet, or when you have your windshield wipers on (see

I’ll admit, I don’t really know how far 1,000 feet is, and maybe these vehicles didn’t have their wipers going. But whatever happened to driving with caution?

My great-grandfather used to say, “Why do I need my lights on? I can see where I’m going.”

Headlights aren’t just for your own illumination. They’re for other drivers, too. Driving with your headlights on just gives you that much more of a chance that other drivers will see you. The sooner you can be seen by other drivers, the sooner they can be prepared to avoid an accident if you happen to slide on the road or get stuck.

Please don’t assume that just because you’re moving, other drivers will see you. Drive with your headlights on and make our roads a little safer.

Stephanie L. Rose


Politicians spouting educational hypocrisy

Soon the politicians will be revving up their campaign engines for the upcoming primary race. From the conservative right side of their mouths, politicians will say that education and its funding will be one of their priorities. But after these politicians are elected, the liberal left side of their mouths will demonize those who have become successful as a result of the educational system.

For example, presently, successful franchise owners of fast-food establishments are seen enriching themselves at the expense of their minimum-wage employees. Also, successful presidents of small, family- and privately-owned businesses are viewed as taking advantage of their help by not providing better pension and health benefits. And the most grievous of all are the successful CEOs of large manufacturing and retail conglomerates who have the audacity to fly around on corporate jets while we peons have to stand on the corner waiting for public transportation to pick us up. How dare they all make a profit using our laboring backs.

Perhaps it was best that Greater Johnstown High School was demolished. After all, why provide an educational institution of learning if you have government officials admonishing, ridiculing and punishing you with higher taxes and regulations because you have become a successful entrepreneur as a result of graduating from a learning institution.

Apparently, only politicians and their associates are permitted to exhume monetary wealth at the expense of the labor force without reprisal.

Michael J. Smajda

Harrisburg, formerly of Morrellville

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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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