The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 8, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-8 | Hystone Avenue driving a winter nightmare


Submitted by Readers

— I have lived in Ferndale for more than 10 years, and since I moved here, at least four motorists have almost lost their lives because  the hill I live on has not been plowed properly. The latest was last week, and the driver said his life flashed before his eyes as soon as he pulled onto Hystone Avenue.

He had no control of his vehicle, started sliding down the hill and his brakes locked. The next thing he knew, he was hit on Franklin Street by an ambulance that was transporting a patient. This was at 9:30 a.m.

Why was the hill not salted by 9:30?

I lived in Brownstown for many years and never had to worry about going to work at 6:30, because both hilly Gilbert and Habicht streets were always in great condition.

Of course, Ferndale officials have put up signs warning about the hill’s dangers, but when you work, you can’t stay home; people are depending on you.

One winter, they barricaded our street with snow and I couldn’t go to work. I am a home health aide and people depend on me being there. Something needs to be done.

Cheryl A. Weimann

Ferndale



Old Westmont, too, showing a bad side

David’s Lamison’s Readers’ Forum letter on Feb. 23 (“Action needed to restore Moxham”) was absolutely correct.

When we moved to Johnstown in 1970, Moxham was an attractive and proud neighborhood. As older homeowners pass away, properties are purchased by slum landlords who generally do not maintain the properties, allowing them to deteriorate to the point of becoming blights. They rent to anyone looking for cheap housing.

This is nothing more than a welcome mat for Section 8 dwellers – criminals, those looking for cheap rent and living on welfare, and those taking no pride in the properties or the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, this is occurring throughout the area. Our neighborhood in Old Westmont is experiencing similar unwelcome changes. A drive through our once-beautiful community reveals once- attractive homes that were turned into rentals and now showing signs of neglect and deterioration, and occupied by those seemingly unwilling to work to achieve homeownership, and obviously unwilling to maintain the properties’ appearance.

Action is needed to prevent the blight and crime arriving from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, etc., from spreading. We hope our neighborhood will not hear the gunfire now heard in Moxham.

Cynthia Petersen

Westmont



Now not the time for gov’t to cut spending

The Republican and tea parties are all over the airwaves telling the American people that “the U.S. doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The last thing the government wants to do is cut spending when you have high unemployment and the country is in a depression.

You increase spending, raise taxes and use the revenue to create decent, union-wage-paying jobs by building or repairing bridges, roads, schools, hospitals and anything else that will improve our aging infrastructure and put people back to work. When people are working, they have money to spend and that is good for business and the economy. They will also pay federal, state and local income taxes. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

President Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour. But Speaker of the House John Boehner, whose annual salary is $224,500 plus perks, claims to be a compassionate conservative. He said he will not bring a minimum-wage increase up for a vote. Even though it was reported that a single parent with one child working full time – 40 hours per week – at minimum wage makes $14,500 per year. In other words, he or she is living below the poverty line.

In the 2014 mid-term elections, go to the polls, vote the Republicans out, and dump the tea overboard.

Make the tea party walk the plank.

Ralph A. Swank

Johnstown



End campaigning, stop the runaway spending

President Obama refuses to take responsibility for anything. Sequestration, which went into effect on March 1, was characterized by him as a reduction in government expenses, when in fact it is a reduction in the already-authorized increases in expenses. In other words, for example, if the expenses were scheduled to increase 7 percent, they would only increase by 5 percent because of sequestration.

Obama was the one who came up with the sequestration plan and went around the country blaming Congress. This was an untruth exposed by Bob Woodward, the respected journalist who exposed Watergate during the Nixon administration.

Obama now calls the plan “dumb,” which makes you wonder about the person who originated it.

Prior to the March 1 deadline, he traveled around the country orchestrating dire consequences if sequestration were enacted.

It is about time he stopped campaigning, returned to Washington and actually sat down with Congress to try to come up with solutions to stop the runaway overspending by the federal government.

His solution is to raise taxes again, which he already did on Jan. 1 for high-income wage earners and 2 percent for all wage earners when he allowed the payroll tax reduction to expire. We should remember that Obamacare was passed because it was classified as a tax, so we can all look forward to the time when it is fully enacted.

Richard Mezyk

Upper Yoder Township



Barroom scenario doesn’t pass muster

In response to the Readers’ Forum letter by Carl Schultz on March 4, “NRA rallying behind 2nd Amendment faulty”: He should do more research on his subject before he puts it to words.

Does he know that there has never been a crime committed with a legally owned machine gun? Does he know you have to go through a background check by the government and it takes quite a while to receive the firearm if they pass?

His reference to being shut off in the barroom may be true, but what is to stop the offended patron from getting in a vehicle and running over the bartender at closing time? What if he picked up a cue stick off the table and beat him with it? Should cue sticks be banned?

There are more fatalities by motor vehicles than by firearms, but you never hear people trying to ban automobiles.

The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed under the Constitution.

Francis Waksmunski

Portage

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