The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 8, 2013

Readers' Forum 5-8 | Greater Johnstown lost a visionary

Submitted by Readers

— Rare is the individual of whom it can be accurately written that he left the world a better place than he found it. With the death April 26 of Anthony Gergely of Johnstown, the city also loses one of its most essential natural assets.

Gergely’s unique vision and indomitable spirit – and his enthusiasm to realize dreams which at times no one else shared – was something Johnstown grew to take for granted. That was a mistake.

Just as Johnstown lost its defining industry with the dwindling of the steel mills, Gergely early on lost the use of his legs.

But instead of spending decades lamenting his loss and hoping in bitter futility to regain that asset – something Johnstown has done for the past 30 years – Gergely made peace with his loss, identified and numbered his strengths, his resources and his blessings, and then blasted off in a rocket ship of altruism, philanthropy and optimism. And he took every one of us along for the ride.

A Gergely mayoral administration would’ve been fascinating, exhilarating and a lot of fun – for us as much as for Anthony. For instead of quantifying and attempting to contain the bad, Gergely would’ve emphasized and expanded the good. That was his gift: He always could identify the good, in an individual or a situation. And in doing so, he made us feel better about ourselves and gave us back some of our pride.

Gergely’s strength of spirit made Johns-town a better place. We will miss him more than we realize.

Carl Schultz


Leaders’ injustice to college, its students

It is obvious, by the recent turn of events, that the Cambria County commissioners have become out of touch with the real needs of the taxpayers of this region.

How can they justify cutting the allotment to Pennsylvania Highlands Community College when they know the benefits the college has provided to this area and its residents? The community college has provided educational opportunities to some residents who would not have been able to receive the quality education that the community college offers them, enabling them to become productive and employable individuals, and taxpayers.

For the commissioners to use the allotment for their own personal gain is an injustice to the students and taxpayers of this region.

I have a suggestion for the commissioners who support this cut: Move to Argentina and see if the residents there open their arms and welcome you as the taxpayers and the community college have done.

This is truly another attempt by the Republican Party to destroy our country with its idiotic spending habits, i.e., sending our tax dollars overseas to support foreign countries that care less about the well-being of the residents and taxpayers of this great nation.

Barry R. Moyer


When good people do nothing, evil happens

On April 28, I listened to a sermon that I never expected to hear from our pulpit.

Our pastor preached on things that we all needed to hear, areas of our nation that need to be changed. Some of these things are lack of free speech from our pulpits and acts of violence like what have been happening in areas such as Newtown and Boston.

We accept people from other countries without checking their credentials. We offer them freedom, money, education and a completely new lifestyle. In return, they murder our people and attempt to destroy our way of life.

I suggest that other pastors preach a similar service to open the eyes of our nation. The Bible tells us that if we want our freedom, we need to turn from our wicked ways and follow him.

Even while we are asking for God’s blessing, we are killing the unborn, protecting criminals instead of their victims and removing His name from public places in our nation.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins and will heal their land.”

II Chronicles 7:14.

When good people do nothing, destruction will follow.

Anthony Sherron


Delusion is gripping gun-rights zealots

Please stop with the paranoia – no one is trying to take your guns away. When they changed laws pertaining to cigarettes, I never heard anyone say that government is trying to take their cigarettes away. When liquor laws were changed, no one ever said they were trying to take away their liquor.

Millions of people are in favor of changing just a few gun laws that will make this country a safer place to live – safer for children and adults.

When Richard Nixon was in office, he was asked how he felt about guns. His reply was he thought guns were an abomination. That’s exactly how I feel.

This may come as a surprise, but the majority of people in the United States don’t own guns.

Ninety percent of people support background checks and the bill still didn’t pass. Less than 50 people were killed by guns in Australia last year, the same amount were killed in England last year. More than 12,000 people were killed by guns in the U.S. last year. How can anybody find that acceptable? We’re better than that.

To change the subject, no matter how many President Obama-bashing letters appear in this forum, the fact remains that Obama will still be in the White House for 3 1⁄2 more years and Mitt Romney will still be the Republican challenger who lost by a landslide.

Nat Boscola



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