The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 31, 2013

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

Submitted by Readers

— 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


Abortion, ‘pill’ have changed females                                                                                       The 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade causes one to ponder if we are better off having murdered 55 million unborn Americans by abortion.

In my lifetime, I have noticed that the abortion choice along with the introduction of the “pill” has caused a radical change in female behavior. I remember when a woman blushed at sex jokes, but not anymore.

Instead, women are becoming more like men, in language, behavior, sports, careers and even the front lines of mortal combat. Forty-one percent of babies are born to single moms, thereby statistically condemning both mother and child to a life of poverty.

Once revered feminine modesty has become rare as more women depend on government programs instead of husbands.

Meanwhile, 51 percent of men in America now choose to remain single. Real men don’t want to be married to an Amazon. Young men raised without a father are statistically disadvantaged and left confused about their gender responsibilities.

Prescription drugs cannot replace a real father at home. The traditional role for a male to provide for a family has been ridiculed in the media and the culture at large.

Adolescent behavior now extends into midlife, particularly in the entertainment industry, media and politics. Facing borrowed economic times and a future of high taxes, men are increasingly disenfranchised from the American dream. Some boys become guys instead of men. Other boys become frustrated, angry and violent.

Gender equality becomes gender neutrality when guys and gals surrender their unique differences. Aah, vive la différence.

Dr. Bill Choby


Preventive measures to bug problem

In response to the bedbug issue in one of Johnstown Housing Authority’s buildings, to those interested in the truth and not gossip – there is no active problem.

Are there preventive measures in progress to prevent major problems? Yes. JHA has a company doing scheduled inspections, treatments and follow-up inspections when and where necessary.

Someone was seeking his or her short time in the spotlight. It would have been to that person’s benefit to know the truth before speaking to the media. Being recognized as someone who has something to say is different from someone who is ignorant and just wants to talk.

What is the big deal? Living in this area, people learn how to deal with many pests far worse than bedbugs, such as mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus or the swine flu. We have venomous spiders, stinkbugs, ladybugs and the list goes on and we’ve learned how to adapt to these pests.

I’m a client of JHA and, no, they’re not perfect, but I think living in one of its communities is far better than being homeless.

A warm, dry place is nice.

For those who are not happy and want to complain, here is an old saying for you: “There’s the door. Don’t let it hit you where the good Lord split you.”

These are the facts, and I’m happy to say I live at Fulton Connor Towers.

Sandra J. Ferrell


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