The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 23, 2013

Readers' Forum 2-23 | Action needed to restore Moxham

Submitted by Readers

— Crime, coming to a neighborhood near you. I wish that was a joke, but it’s not.

In the past, Kernville was fairly bad until the houses started coming down, but as the houses came down, their inhabitants just moved on. So went Hornerstown and now Moxham.

Moxham was a great neighborhood when I was growing up, but now it’s a cesspool of crime. There are still many good people left in Moxham, but they are being held hostage, unable to live life the way it was meant to be.

Old families are selling to slumlords (one of which is a prominent political figure), so as the old guard goes, so goes the neighborhood.

Johnstown Housing Authority should have its feet held to the fire for allowing the criminal element come to our door-steps.

Cheap digs for criminal cribs.

Even less than 10 percent Section 8 housing (if that’s the real stat) is too much with this kind of inhabitants.

Gun violence here can be attributed to affordable housing, and it’s not the product of good, law-abiding gun owners but of this infectious disease brought here to fester on our main drags and take over our good neighborhoods.

Be aware, because Roxbury, Ferndale and Southmont are in the crosshairs, as this moves along Franklin Street, Ferndale Avenue and Southmont Boulevard.

I hope the city’s Drug and Crime Commission takes a very active role in helping these communities before all is lost.

David W. Lamison

Upper Yoder Township

Beware of scam involving computer

I was almost the victim of a computer scam, and feel it is my responsibility to warn others.

Recently, I received a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. This person said that my computer had many viruses but that nobody locally would be able to fix it. He said Microsoft was the only one that could fix it. All I had to do was turn on my computer and he would walk me through it. (I later learned that Microsoft would not call anyone and do this.)

After a half-hour of following all his explicit instructions, I was informed that this would cost me $199, and he needed my credit card number. At this point, my gut instinct was sending up red flags and, fortunately, I did not give him this information.

If I had, I’m sure my credit card would have been maxed out.

Never give out your credit card number unless you initiate the call and know who you are dealing with.

Donna L. Williams


Constitution under attack by Obama

Our Constitution created the greatest society in history. The current administration, by attacking the First and Second amendments, disregards the Constitution.

The First Amendment states that government may not prevent citizens from worshipping as we wish. Even though America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the Christian majority allowed atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair to have prayer banned from schools. Isn’t the United States a country of majority rule?

President Obama and his administration have caused Christians to defend religious beliefs on abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage. The 55 million babies destroyed by Roe v. Wade constitutes murder.

What happened to the Judeo-Christian belief of the sanctity of life?

The Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, is vital to a free society.

Vladimir Lenin banned guns, Joseph Stalin banned knives and together they enslaved Russians for 75 years.

Adolf Hitler disarmed Germans, and both nations were dictatorships until the free world stopped the tyranny. Why should the United States follow suit?

Obama confided to Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” in his second term. Does this include the destruction of our First and Second amendments and ultimate dictatorship?

Obama disregarded Congress and secretively instituted Obamacare and 28 executive orders regarding gun control.

In countries with totalitarian governments as in the Middle East, Christians are murdered, their churches burned and embassies bombed. Where is the outrage against Islamic terrorists?

We must not let Obama weaken our government, military or our constitutional rights.

Are these not crimes against our freedom?

Ann Mazur


Big Oil profits while motorists pay

Gas prices at the pump are outrageous. It is a shame that the little people always get ripped off while Big Oil makes billions of dollars in profits, and our government refuses to freeze prices.

Gov. Tom Corbett should be ashamed of himself for trying to privatize the profitable Pennsylvania Lottery, which supports senior citizens.

Why is he trying to break the unions that help Americans make a good life and living?

State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Johnstown, is right to fight this privatization. He should run for governor the next election. He would get my vote.

On a sports note, Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates won the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year award. That puts him with the great Roberto Clemente, “Mean” Joe Green, Terry Bradshaw and Hines Ward. Well done.

I believe the battling Bucs this year will not fold at the end of the season like they did the past two years. They finally will break that long stretch of losing seasons.

John Zawalish


Hard work paid off for cheerleaders                                                   Congratulations to the Richland Elementary cheerleaders for winning the National Cheerleading Championship.

We should all be very proud of these young girls for all the time, hard work and effort they put into preparing for their competitions.

Many thanks also to the parents and coaches for the time they devote toward 

helping these young girls achieve their goals.

A million cheers to all of you.

Helen and Joe Ricci

Richland Township

West Carroll needs new blood on board

Approximately one year ago, the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission concluded an investigation involving West Carroll Township Supervisor Timothy Polites. The report can be viewed or downloaded online (from the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission’s official website) at, click on elibrary, search Polites. The order number is 1597.

Polites was found to have committed numerous violations pertaining to township contracts awarded to companies in which he had a vested financial interest.

He was cited for conflict of interest, among others, and in a settlement agreed to pay a $4,000 fine.

State law provides for the removal from office of any public official who is found in violation of such acts, and that individual could be barred from holding public office in the future.

Polites remains in office.

In 2005, Polites questioned township supervisors about the manner in which they were conducting business. He had

a role in the resignation of two supervisors.

In August 2005, Polites was appointed to fill one of the vacancies. Within months, Polites was using his office and the information at his disposal to compete for, obtain and benefit from township contracts. This is unacceptable.

The supervisor’s position is up for election this year. West Carroll voters need to restore dignity and credibility to the township.

Anyone interested must act soon, to file the necessary paperwork.

Leo Contorchick


Editor’s note: State officials wrote that Polites’ compliance with provisions of the ethics-case settlement “will result in the closing of this case with no further action by this commission.” Mr. Polites was given a copy of the previous letter and twice was asked whether he would respond. He chose not to.

Longing for simpler times of life

In our post-World War II society, our nation is like a quilt of science, technology and Medicare stitched together by law, religion and commerce.

Senior citizens remember when there were 40-acre farms, when America was primarily an agricultural society, when schoolchildren did not take weapons to school, when neighbors helped neighbors.

Now families send their elders into nursing homes, then to hospitals to pass away. Now families send their children to day care and preschool so they become computer literate.

We can’t go back to the agricultural past because our nation has 300 million people. The land in the western states is largely under control of the Bureau of Land Management. The federal government leases much of the arid land.

Society is turning its ways toward the eastern values and the eastern societies are turning toward western values in the globalized world.

We can’t go back to the old days. However, a little nostalgia doesn’t hurt.

Curtis Kalmbach



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