The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 24, 2012

Readers' Forum 10-24 | Senior wary of centers’ future; leader speaks

Submitted by Readers

— Truth – where has it gone? A few weeks ago, a county commissioner came to our Cresson Senior Center. We were to ask him questions. Well, we did, but we didn’t get any answers – only lies and the runaround.

I asked why the commissioners before him didn’t have trouble keeping centers open. Everyone is still buying lottery tickets.

He said he didn’t know but they are doing things by the book. I wonder whose book.

I asked him about whether the county was going to shut down our center. He said nobody ever said that. 

Cresson senior center has no rent to pay as it is owned by the county, so our maintenance is low. When our dishwasher went, we took donations to pay for it. We would like some honest answers. In the next election, who do you think we will vote for? Not you.

Barbara Eberhart


Editor’s note: We asked the commissioners’ office for response, which follows:

Commissioner: All expenses scrutinized

I have been visiting senior activities centers since January and will continue to do so. The senior centers not only provide meals but valuable social interaction and recreational activities.

However, because the state is cutting center funding by $280,000, it would be irresponsible of leadership to not look at the impact this has on our programs.

This is one of many reviews the county is doing in conjunction with its budget. The county is searching for ways to balance its budget, and all expenses are being scrutinized.

The Area Agency on Aging supports nine centers: Johnstown, East Hills, Forest Hills, Portage, Cresson, Ebensburg, Patton, Northern Cambria and Nanty Glo. The goal is to keep the centers open while responsibly reducing costs.

Despite rumors, no decision has been made.

Thomas C. Chernisky

Cambria County Commissioner

Critz followed through on benefits promise

I am a registered voter, but I do not follow campaigns, know voting records, causes that politicians favor, etc. One thing I do know is that U.S. Rep. Mark Critz cares about people, even those who do not live in his district.

In October 2011, my mother died in a vehicle accident while performing her duties as an employee of the U.S. Postal Service. Critz went to her funeral, offered his condolences and promised to help with anything we may need. Honestly, I just chalked it up to a political gimmick since an election was in the near future.

Almost a year later, my dad was still getting tossed from department to department at the Postal Service, trying to get what my mother worked so hard for and what is rightfully his now that she has passed. Frustrated and exhausted, he decided to take Critz up on his offer.

After hearing of the stresses the Postal Service was putting my dad through, Critz immediately went to work contacting supervisors in those departments to get answers. A few weeks later, my dad finally received notification from one of the departments regarding his benefit options.

Critz got results. It’s refreshing to see that at least one politician has a heart and follows through on his promise, not expecting anything in return.

Shannon George

Homer City

Has your candidate represented you?

Morality and prosperity in this country have reached an all-time low. Christian views and prayer are being denied by the government. We are told to view homosexuality and same-sex marriage as normal.

The president wants to share the wealth, rather than work for it, while his brother lives in poverty in Africa. He asks us to respect Islam.

We borrow money from China and give it to countries such as Syria and Libya while our infrastructure deteriorates.

U.S. companies can’t drill for more oil at home, but billions have been sent to South American countries to help them explore their oil resources. He doesn’t support the Keystone XL Pipeline.

His EPA standards for coal are so strict now that some mines are shutting down and miners are losing jobs.

His promise of hope and change has resulted in 39 months of record unemployment, $5 trillion added to the national debt, more people on food stamps and higher poverty level.

His campaign promise was that if he could not fix the economy in three years, he should be a one-term president. A campaign promise I would like to see him keep.

John F. Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

The best thing you can do is think before you vote. Has your candidate (local/state/federal) actually represented you, your views, this area, what’s best for the country? Have campaign promises been kept? If not, then it is time for a change.

Evan Klein

South Fork

Gas industry upholding its end of deal                                                           The safe development of job-creating American natural gas continues to provide significant economic and environmental benefits across our region, and this past week’s natural gas impact fee disbursement announcement further underscores the fact that Marcellus Shale production is positively impacting every square inch of the commonwealth.

These critical resources will help ensure that local governments are equipped to make the most of this historic opportunity.

The natural gas industry’s work across the commonwealth is indeed a true partnership with county and local governments.

Importantly, these revenues – in the sum of nearly $204 million – are being directed to statewide environmental and conservation programs in addition to each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties regardless of where natural gas operations are taking place.

In fact, Cambria County will receive more than $166,025 this year alone, with Somerset County securing nearly $180,689, in addition to the positive economic impacts the region continues to experience – from lower consumer prices to more jobs and tax revenues.

Our guiding principles define our commitment to being responsible neighbors as well as our collective efforts aimed at providing sustainable, broad-based economic and energy-security benefits for all.

Without question, this announcement demonstrates that our industry is upholding this important promise.

Joy Ruff

Marcellus Shale Coalition


Can’t afford Obama for four more years

Every day I read the Readers’ Forum letters that are printed either for President Obama or for Mitt Romney.

I look at my situation and wonder why I voted for Obama four years ago. He has not kept any of his campaign promises.

Obamacare will make health insurance more affordable. Reality is that health care is costing the average family an additional $2,500 per year.

The Oct. 22 letter by Ralph Swank (“Romney-Ryan plan would slash vital benefits”), while full of emotion, was barren of any fact. It appears that Swank is drinking the Kool-Aid that Obama has prepared.

Swank makes the accusation that “the Republican agenda is to destroy Medicare and Medicaid as we know it, and privatize Social Security.” Really. Where did he read that? Accusations with no facts mean very little.

I think it is very funny that Swank talks about a person who never served in the military not being fit to run our nation. Political influence kept Bill Clinton out of the military. Obama never served. Obama doesn’t even have enough respect to lower his cellphone to return the salute to the Marines as he exits the Marine One helicopter.

Obama has no plan for the things Swank vilifies the Republicans for. At least Romney is trying to come up with solutions. As for me and my family, we cannot afford four more years of Obama.

David Novak



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