The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


June 16, 2009

READERS' FORUM 6-17 | Changes to folkfest may be its death knell

I believe the planned changes for the former folkfest are grave mistakes. First, the decision to change the date was made in order to avoid conflict with other area activities. However, many people enjoy coming to our area so they can attend several events in the same weekend. I have never noticed a lack of crowds at any of the events.

The date was changed to better accommodate our college students. However the earlier date is precisely the time that many college students are going back to school.

If the goal is to attract more students, then the date needs to be moved even earlier, and music must be booked that is more appealing to them.

For years, Labor Day and folkfest have been looked upon as Johnstown’s homecoming. Families were able to visit and out-of-towners would come because they had Monday off. With the event being held on a two-day weekend, much of the Sunday revenue will be lost.

A second major change in folkfest is to request a specific donation. I believe that the suggested $5 for Friday and $10 for Saturday and Sunday is too much to ask.

People who used to attend all three days will now have to be more selective; attendance may drop.

The festival lost much of its luster when it was moved from Cambria City to a cramped little corner by the train station. I fear that these latest changes will prove to be the final death knell for a once-beautiful event.

Dave Kissell


Pittsburgh Pirates’ fans deserve better

As an enthusiastic fan of all three major sports teams in Pittsburgh, I feel compelled to write this letter.

How many times does the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball organization believe it can disappoint its fans? At the time of this writing, another fan favorite, Nate McLouth, is now an Atlanta Brave.

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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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