The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 17, 2012

Readers' Forum 11-17 | School-bidding plan shuts out local business

— As a local, family-operated business for more than 63 years, we are writing to express our disappointment regarding the manner in which the construction of the Conemaugh Valley Elementary School is being handled.

The school board has entered into an agreement with the local trade unions and has taken away the opportunity for some merit shop contractors to participate in the project. With public funds involved in the financing of the project, we are having a difficult time understanding how this can be permissible.

Modern Art & Plate Glass has successfully completed many school and public works projects in the area during our

history. We do projects this size and larger in a 200-mile radius of Johnstown.

We find it very disheartening that a proposal cannot be submitted for this project. Keeping our local work force busy and contributing to our local economy and tax base are priorities of our organization. Our workmanship, work ethic and skill take a back seat to none in the industry. Our work has been recognized in several national trade magazines over the years.

After reviewing the bidders list for the window portion of the project, it appears there will be no local participation for that contract. We expect costs of the window contract to be somewhat higher due to the use of out-of-town contractors.

Len Facciani Jr.

President and employees of Modern Art & Plate Glass

Losing congressional seat will cost us dearly

A total of 17,331 people – our neighbors, friends and family – voted against ourselves on Election Day.

That was the number of Cambria County residents who voted against Mark Critz to remain our representative in Congress come January.

Notice, I did not characterize them as voting for Keith Rothfus because, quite frankly, I don’t believe this to be the case. I find it difficult to believe that 17,331 people voted to take our voice out of Washington. Whether these voters, in their zeal to remove our president, hit the “straight Republican” button while in the booth, or they truly think a millionaire from Pittsburgh will have Cambria County’s best interests in mind, it’s hard to say.

What’s not hard to understand is that they have done irrevocable harm to our area, which, I fear, will be next to impossible to fix.

Democrat or Republican, it is hard to deny that having representation in Congress has benefited our area over the decades. Defense work brought to the area through Critz’s influence has a “trickle down” effect on our local economy.

You don’t have to be an employee of the businesses receiving government contracts to benefit from the money being spent in our area, supporting businesses and tax bases.

On Election Day, 17,331 people said they didn’t need representation or that stimulus to our economy any more.

It’s a sad day for the area that I love.

Mary Calissie


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