The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 31, 2013

Readers' Forum 1-31 | Bird of prey was misidentified

— The photograph on Page 1 of Jan 26 is not a red-tailed hawk, but rather an adult Cooper’s hawk.

The banded tail, the slate-colored crown, the short primary feather-tip projections with respect to the body, the orange-buffy breast and the eye set relatively far back in the head are the telling features.

Hawks can be difficult to identify in the field. There is not a birder in the world who has not made a mistaken call.

Birding is a great pastime and one that can be enjoyed anywhere, at any time, by anyone.

Photographing birds well is one of the toughest feats in birding. I applaud Tribune-Democrat photographer Todd Berkey for the great photograph.

Thomas Roberts


Story, photo were refreshing change

Many thanks to The Tribune-Democrat’s Frank Sojak for his “In the Spotlight” feature story about Candice Ramus, the expert rifle shot and athlete from Portage Area High School.

In addition, kudos to John Rucosky, Tribune photographer, for his great photo of Candice with her target rifle.

It was so refreshing to see a positive gun-related article and full-color layout in the newspaper, considering the current environment of anti-gun rhetoric from most media outlets and segments of our government.

This young woman, with her well-rounded skill set in competitive shooting, as a captain of her basketball team and academic excellence with a 3.9 grade-point average, certainly does not fit the stereotype of a “nut-case gun owner” the media is so willing to perpetuate.

Congrats to Candice, her parents, coach Ned Moore and all members of the Portage Area High School’s state champion rifle team for their continued success.

Joe Workosky


Constitutional systems proven to work

Undeniably libertarian, America’s revolution confined government power to the protection of life and property, keeping the peace and otherwise letting people alone. The less government hinders private initiative the better; individual enterprise is the source of wealth.

These days, government consumes more than 40 percent of what we produce compared with about 7 percent in 1900.

Total federal obligations are $513,380 for every American household; $195,140 for every man, woman and child in the United States today.

Western Pennsylvania, at this moment, has a recently redefined 12th district that brings with it a new congressman.

What an opportunity to begin by focusing on ways small government could improve America, shun politics and, instead, elevate public conversation, support only sound policy that considers the long-term effects on all people, create an environment of self-reliance rather than dependency, and maybe even get acquainted with the nonvoter whose message might just be his or her disgust with broken promises of the past.

Constitutional systems can clearly be made to work when leaders defend and support them.

Let’s get started.

Kent Lalley


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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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