The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 11, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-11 | Legislators should back Corbett’s liquor plan

Submitted by Readers

— Gov. Tom Corbett’s liquor privatization initiative is giving more than 60 percent of Pennsylvania’s citizens what they want – privately owned and operated liquor stores.

This will result in better prices, increased selection and much more convenience for those who buy beer and wine.

This plan means more jobs for the working class and even for current employees of the PLCB, better safety and education for our children and greater convenience for our families.

Corbett is standing with Pennsylvanians on this issue, and it’s time our legislators do the same.

Joel Black


Editor’s note: An editorial on this topic appears elsewhere on this page.

Bay Bridge pales against Stone Bridge

Watching “NBC Nightly News” tell about the lighting of the Bay Bridge in California shows no comparison to the history of our Stone Bridge in Johnstown and its beautiful lights.

Our history goes back more than 120 years, beginning with the Flood of 1889, the worst man-made disaster in our history, with the loss of thousands of souls.

Our bridge may be a lot smaller, not as high or as long as the Bay Bridge, but it’s just as colorful.

It didn’t cost $8 million. I think we have the bragging rights as to which is the best.

I wonder how many people in Johnstown have never made an effort to see the changing colors on the bridge.

Dominick Sallese


Public concern should be top priority

I am writing in reference to a Readers’ Forum letter on March 1 by David Scott, “Do your part to save passenger rail service.” He wrote: “Please contact your state representative and senator to save our passenger rail service.”

I agree wholeheartedly with Scott concerning the impact it would have on our town – losing any of our rail, bus or airport services. The problem I have is why I have to contact my state representative and senator to save these vital community services.

Did we not vote for these individuals to keep a watch on matters of public concern? If we have to tell our government representatives the importance of a city having access to interstate transportation and remind them why they were elected to their positions, we have big problems.

What happened to the word “accountability”? The voters better do some serious thinking at election time in November.

Also, look what happened to Cresson. Would the jobs at State Correctional Institution-Cresson been saved if there was early intervention?

These issues do not happen overnight.

Loretta Ciupak


General Welfare Clause being abused

The General Welfare Clause is the claimed source of authority for federal spending and federal mandates on state governments, which are rules and regulations that the federal government requires the states to follow at the expense of the states.

These unfunded mandates (not funded by the feds but the states have to abide) cause problems for state budgets. An example is regulation of schools. There are several requirements that states and local districts must follow, yet the feds don’t fund all of their mandates.

This principle applies in other areas, too, like welfare, Medicaid and transportation. It’s a subtle way to expand federal control/power. This allowed the federal government to expand in spending and power.

This clause wasn’t meant to give Congress power to spend on anything it wanted. If it could, then the Constitution would be meaningless. The original intent was that the federal government could not spend on what the states were competent enough to handle – not spend on anything the Congress wanted. Federal spending also had to benefit all Americans.

In 1936, the Supreme Court allowed Congress to spend on anything. Spending has skyrocketed ever since on anything that has to be voted on.

The states are competent enough to handle transportation, education, health care, welfare and many other areas. Defense is an area where the states aren’t competent (proven under the Articles of Confederation). We should be demanding leaders to stay in the lines of the Constitution.

Unfortunately, many voters care more about who’ll keep on spending, thus increasing reliance on government.

Ryan Hill



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