The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 2, 2012

Readers' Forum 10-2 | Writer taken aback by scooter ‘ignorance’

— I took offense to David Frieben’s letter regarding electric scooters (“Electric scooter industry booming,” Sept. 22). 

My disability can’t be seen, touched or smelled. I use a mobility scooter for my safety. It took a while to get over the stigma of ignorant people looking down on me because I don’t look sick. There are days I use my walker or hold on to someone – it depends on how my body is responding to the disease on any specific day.

Frieben’s judgment and lack of empathy aren’t surprising. In this case, ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s just ignorance.

Six percent to 10 percent of Americans suffer from invisible disabilities, including renal failure, diabetes, sleep disorders, lupus, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, arthritis, myalgic encephalomy-elitis, heart disease and many more.

Some of them use scooters on bad days and some don’t. Some use them for short term, some need them forever. Some use them to save their energy for other activities. Read “the spoon theory” at

I prefer kids who point and ask, “Why do you have that?” often to the chagrin of their parents. I tell them honestly, “My legs don’t work all the time and this is safer.”

Sometimes, they ask if it’s “cool” to have a scooter. My answer, “It’s cool to be here talking to you!” 

My scooter keeps me active and engaged with the community.

Cindy Leap


Don’t vote purely on emotions

This letter is in response to Wesley W. Altman’s letter of Sept. 24, “Romney/Congress a disaster waiting.”

Romney was at a private fundraising dinner discussing campaign strategy. They were talking about the best way to invest campaign funds.

There are groups of the populace who never vote, only vote party lines, split their votes and independents. Why would Romney spend funds on those he has no hope of winning? That would not help him.

Also, President Obama doesn’t spend time and money on those he knows will not vote for him. It’s common sense.

As far as hashing over President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and President Clinton, it’s a waste of time. Put it to rest.

Everyone should research both candidates honestly and not base their decisions on emotions. This is one of, if not the, most important elections of our time. This must be taken seriously.

Go see the movie “2016: Obama’s America.” This is not a made-up movie but based on his own written biography.

These are things I don’t like about Altman’s letter, and they are points of antagonism and division:

* Suggesting the start of World War III.

* That Romney cares only for the rich.

* Comments about Medicare to scare the elderly.

* Fear and intimation for the poor and elderly.

* Class warfare.

Can all of us who belive in God humbly bend our knees and say a prayer for our country, our leaders and ourselves?

Dixie Lochrie


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