The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


July 9, 2014

Readers' Forum 7-9 | Johnstown stifled through team effort

JOHNSTOWN — Chuck Noll said it best when asked by a reporter why the Steelers lost to a team of lesser stature. Sarcastically, Noll said, “it was a team effort.”

Relating that statement to the population loss in Cambria County in general, and Johnstown in particular, it could be said it was a team effort.

Politics, prejudice, pettiness and provincialism have caused our population loss, not the lack of highways. Johnstown and four-lane highways were here long before Altoona and State College.

Johnstown is being suffocated by 19 separate governments. Talk about overkill.

Johnstown and Phoenix had the same population in 1940, 66,222. The difference is, Phoenix had 400 square miles in which to expand, Johnstown has 5.7. How are we to grow?

If we could eliminate all the boundary lines, Johnstown would be the fifth or sixth largest city in Pennsylvania.

Let’s lift Johnstown out of the cycle of population loss. We are losing more than population; we are losing young, talented and educated people.

Companies are looking to locate in progressive, growing areas. We can’t attract new businesses if were losing population yearly.

It’s going to take a team effort to pull this area – city and county – out of politics, pettiness, prejudice and provincialism and replace it with civic pride.

John R. Aubrey

Johnstown Tomorrow President

Patches last longer if properly repaired

I’ve lived in Johnstown for nine months, and the downtown streets are unacceptable. I’m assuming that there is not enough money in the city budget for street repair, therefore, I propose the following:

Drive north on Route 403 and turn onto Cooper Avenue. You will immediately notice the road patches are square or rectangular. The advantage of these geometric shapes is a smooth road surface, a patch that lasts, and one’s vehicle suspension isn’t damaged.

Haynes Street is a perfect example of the cow-pie patch method of street repair.

Just throw some asphalt into an existing pothole, tamp it down with a shovel and hope one of the heavy coal trucks runs over the patch.

John Ondrejko


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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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