The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


February 18, 2013

Readers' Forum 2-18 | McCort cheerleaders winners in every sense

— When you hear of local students making a positive impact, it’s hard not to say something. On Feb. 10, I witnessed the caliber of our local children firsthand.

Two groups of girls won the honors of competing in the National Cheerleading Championships in Florida. Richland Elementary captured its first national title, and Bishop McCort Catholic’s varsity squad took home fourth.

But that’s not what this letter is about.

After their competition, Bishop McCort’s girls stayed and touched the lives of 34 young girls from Richland. To see Bishop McCort cheerleaders and their fans chanting “Richland” doesn’t normally happen, but I know it won’t be forgotten, especially by the little girls on that stage.

To Bishop McCort’s coaches and adviser John Walker, thank you for teaching and keeping sportsmanship alive. His girls are true role models and have reminded us that there is more to competing than just winning.

Sherry Stalley


Forget about bats, think about mankind

Regarding the Indiana bat issue as it pertains to Route 219 expansion (Feb. 10, “Moving forward: Route 219 project clears hurdle, awaits more permits”):

The government doesn’t hesitate to take land from a landowner or even displace a family from its home for the “betterment of mankind” or for some fancy term similar to that. But “OMG,” let there be a critter or snail or something else living in the path of progress and let’s just slam on the brakes and never complete anything.

How about the existence of mankind in Somerset County? We need the highway to help lift up our economy and actually get above the lower end of the middle-class income poverty level we are currently at.

A completed four-lane Route 219 also would be beneficial to the northern areas, including Johnstown and Altoona.

Come on, government people, wake up and smell the needs of the citizens and not the bat dung.

Thirty-plus years of talking about this project – just do it.

Joe Plummer


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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.
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Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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