The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 22, 2014

Readers' Forum 4-22 | Area lost a giant among men

JOHNSTOWN — Ray Clites passed away last week. To many he was the best photographer and videographer this area has ever seen.

To those closest to him, he was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. To me, he was a dear friend and walking buddy.

Small in stature, he was a giant among men. He had a smile that lit up the darkest, bleakest day, and eyes that twinkled, even in his 93rd year of life.

He was experienced but still continued to learn. A pure “techie,” he griped about computers but always figured out how to use them for what he needed. He was able to discuss politics and history with precision and was rarely seen without a book in his lap.

He saw beauty in almost every vista and took pictures to prove it. He loved nature and birds and flowers, and built and painted birdhouses that hang prominently from many porches in Westmont.

He and I walked the same streets and daily stopped to catch our breaths and visit, always hunting for the pileated woodpecker that would fly by. We would stretch out our arms and pretend to fly as we went our separate ways, but I always looked back to make sure he got safely home.

He now sings with the angels and takes pictures in heavens.

I will continue to walk our path and remember all I learned from my friend, and I will stretch out my arms, look to the sky, knowing he is safely home.

Dianne Weigle


We can control term limits

If you think the politicians will establish term limits on themselves you’re only fooling yourself. The voters must be firmly committed to the establishment of political term limits and introduce new representatives as well as fresh ideas into our system for the benefit of all Americans to eliminate cronyism and favoritism from political contributions.

I know how it works – every politician is a bum except for your bum, and that’s who continues the cycle. You are encouraged to vote with your brain and the issues, not necessarily your party.

Political offices should be sought and held by politically civic-minded individuals who are committed to the sustainment and improvement of this country and not considered a political career.

The maximum term for all federal political offices except for the president (eight years), is recommended to be a maximum of 12 years. The compensation for these offices should be competitive, but not excessive, and would include fringe benefits such as limited pensions and medical insurance, which has a sunset at the conclusion of services rendered and not for infinity as it is now.

If we allow the endless terms to continue, we’ll get more of the same. It’s a never-ending cycle, ladies and gentleman.

And we can’t forget about the pitfalls of political action committees and their continued role in encouraging our government to grant favoritism as routine business.

Paul Ferguson


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