The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 10, 2013

Readers' Forum 12-10 | Hate-filled letters are amusing

Submitted by Readers

JOHNSTOWN — President Obama has been accused of being a communist, a socialist and a Marxist, three very different political ideologies.

A recent writer to this forum compared him to Hitler. Such nonsense. Another writer stated as fact that the president has Muslim terrorists working in his administration. More nonsense. The president has been very successful in killing and capturing high-profile terrorists around the world.

One thing that most Americans agree on is that our government spends too much money, and, so far, Obama has increased our national debt approximately 60 percent. But to put things into perspective, President Reagan increased it 189 percent; President George H. W. Bush, 56 percent; President Clinton, 36 percent; and President George W. Bush, 89 percent.

The president has not lived up to his lofty campaign promises, but what president ever did? We are certainly a lot better off than we were at the end of the Bush presidency, when the economy was in a free fall and losing over 700,000 jobs a month. Recent job numbers are very encouraging and we are heading in the right direction, albeit slower than we would like.

A few writers, and you know who you are, accuse Obama of hating the Constitution and this great country and only wanting to destroy our economy. The only hatred I see is in the hearts of those people who make such ridiculous statements. But please, don’t stop writing those letters full of fiction and hate-filled opinions. I still enjoy a good laugh with my morning coffee.

Mike Scarton


Allow mayor-elect to fill vacancy

Concerning the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority board, Johnstown Mayor Tom Trigona should do the right and honorable thing and let Mayor-elect Frank Janakovic, in essence, make the pick of filling an upcoming vacancy.

Going forward, we need the city and the redevelopment authority to work more closely together than in the past, for the good of Johnstown. Giving the mayor-elect this opportunity should help improve this.

I have no doubt that Janakovic will make an excellent choice.

Glenn L. Wilson

President and CEO, AmeriServ Financial

Trapping important to maintaining wildlife

I’m responding to the letter of Dec. 6 by P.A. Solomon, “Practice of trapping is barbaric, horrible,” regarding the “barbarics” of trapping. I am personally offended by the lack of knowledge displayed by the author and the letter’s contents.

My husband is an avid trapper, and through him I’ve met several other trappers who share his enthusiasm for this activity. Before meeting my husband, I, like many people, never knew what trapping involved.

Traps are a restraining device and cause no harm or damage when used legally and properly. The captured animals are humanely dispatched or released unhurt using techniques that cause the least amount of stress to the animal. It is a fallacy that these animals are tortured.

Trapping is a very important conservation tool in keeping animal populations of coyotes, foxes, beavers and raccoons in balance. Overpopulation is the major cause of diseases such as rabies, mange and distemper to both humans and domestic animals to spread.

Trapping is a very highly regulated activity that has been proven through disciplined scientific studies on the state and national levels to be an ethical, responsible, cost-effective and humane method of wildlife and habitat management.

Trapping is often taken for granted and is very important in managing and maintaining a healthy population of wildlife. The trappers I know, my husband included, do things legally and ethically. I believe people should be properly educated on the subject and fully understand the need for trapping instead of making ignorant assumptions.

Megan Goetz


Simple gifts are most rewarding

You hear this all the time: “My grandchild is so smart.” Well, mine seems to notice everything. She’s almost 3 years old and she tells her grandma where to turn when she’s driving, how to use her phone, how to turn the TV off and on, and when a certain situation is “awkward.” I could go on.

Anyhow, grandma asked her what she wanted for Christmas, and she kept saying, “a purple light switch.” So grandma got some old purple material and attached it to her light switch and showed her. She squealed with delight.

A purple light switch, a purple alter in church, maybe she noticed. Sometimes, the simplest gifts are the most rewarding.

Tim Fleegle