The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

July 16, 2014

Readers' Forum 7/16 | Miners' families keep Windber going

JOHNSTOWN — This letter is to praise Carol Ostrosky Bunk’s Readers’ Forum letter on July 7, “Festival did not ignore Windber miners.”

I was hurt by Ann Roy’s letter on June 26, “Windber festival forgot about miners.” This is a free country, but there is no way that she is right.

I came to Windber when I was 18 and married a Windber man. My grandfather, my uncle, who was king coal in 1947,

and other members of my family were miners.

It is the families of miners that keep Windber from falling off the map. Many families have left, but they look forward to coming home for Miner’s Day.

Let Windber keep going. It is a nice town. I am from the country, but Windber is a nice place. I raised my family here.

Sometimes, I would love to go back to the Quemahoning Dam area, but I am happy here.

Freda A. Marsh

Windber

Mother’s abuse has serious fetus affects

The increased concern for treatment

of children who are beset by an ever increasing number and variety of functional and physical disabilities is certainly laudable.

Recent media attention and increased availability of facilities to assist children and their families to cope is certainly welcome and a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, when human problems become uncomfortable or worse, we try hard to find help to face the uncomfortable reality.

Our interest and efforts do not go to the prevention of these illnesses.

The use by mothers of the three most prevalent abused substances (tobacco, alcohol and marijuana) have long shown to have serious affects upon fetuses.

Cell metabolism and chromosome alterations have been noted. Fetal alcohol syndrome has long been known.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the American Medical Association Panel on Alcoholism recommend complete abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy.

Approximately 30 percent of children with fetal alcohol syndrome have heart defects. Growth deficiencies, mental retardation and a physical malformation may occur.

Babies born to women who smoke tobacco have a greater chance of being born premature, are twice as likely to be aborted, to be stillborn or to die shortly after birth.

And children born to marijuana smokers exhibited exaggerated tremors, vision problems and startle reflexes. In addition, many prescribed drugs have been found to have from subtle to severe effects upon the fetus.

Pregnant mothers should not take any drug unless there is a real need for it and under strict medical supervision.

Sam Contakos

Johnstown

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