The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 9, 2012

Readers' Forum 11-9 | ‘Sportsmanship: The only missing piece is you’

Submitted by Readers

—  As the fall sports season comes to a close, and the winter sports season heats up, it’s important to remind everyone that good sportsmanship is a desirable reflection on you, your children and your school or league.

As a youth league baseball and softball umpire, I’m impressed at the fantastic job the coaches do teaching good sportsmanship, especially to those that young of an age.

However, the good sportsmanship  slowly disappears as the competition level goes up. I understand that, yes, we get caught up in the game when it’s close, but it goes too far when students start throwing punches and parents begin to shout obscenities from the stands.

No one should be ejected from any contest for unsportsmanlike conduct. It is preventable. Remember, when you act up in the stands or on the field, it only makes you and your school or league look bad.

I’m sure your child doesn’t want to say, “Yeah, that was my dad who got thrown out for acting like a fool.”

Think about how that makes children feel. Think about your image. Who wants to be associated with the guy who put down an innocent coach or child?

We can start a wave of sportsmanship. It begins with parents and coaches. Teach it!

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has a nifty saying, and it’s worth remembering next time you go to a game of any level: “Sportsmanship: The only missing piece is you!”

London Graham


Freedom to choose a hallmark of America

I agree with the person who wrote that God is pro-choice in giving us a free will (Oct. 26, A. Lee Fenimore, “Pro-choice means you make decisions”).

President Obama is practicing that same principle. Let the people choose.

Making a law against anything never stopped anyone from murdering or stealing. Those who choose to do so, still will.

As far as abortions go, we see from the past that women who want to get abortions will find a way, whether there is a law against it or not. So it is better to keep them legal, safe and rare.

The intelligent choice should be made beforehand, not after. This is what sets us apart from animals. Animals cannot choose, they merely act on instinct.

Our choice is: Do I want to procreate or not? That is the choice on the table. Not: Should the baby’s life end? That choice should not even be on the table. The womb should be the safest place for a baby to be.

President George W. Bush was pro-life. Did that change anything?

No it did not.

Having the freedom to choose is the hallmark of America. God is all about freedom. America should be, too – freedom to act in an intelligent manner about choosing to use prevention or abstention over abortion.

No government should be allowed to force a woman to get an abortion, nor to stop her from getting one. That choice should be hers alone.

God gave Mary a choice. He did not force her to have Jesus. So he is pro-choice.

M.L. Evans


In city, consider an annual 1-mill boost

On Nov. 2 in The Tribune-Democrat, the city finance director, Carlos Gunby, calls for no tax increase for 2013.

However, City Manager Kristen Denne said we will need to generate more tax revenue starting in 2014, and probably for sometime to come.

Why not approve a 1-mill tax increase every year, instead of waiting until 2014, and then pass a 5- or 6-mill – or maybe even higher – increase?

One mill would not hurt as much.

Remember, 2013 is an election year for city leaders.

Wilfred Frombach


Global warming is moral issue; speak up

The weather is our nation’s favorite topic for small talk, yet when it comes to talking about the larger, long-term implications of the weather – that is, climate change – many of our leaders and elected officials are silent.

In fact, for the first time since the 1980s, the topic was not even mentioned during the 2012 presidential debates, despite its critical importance to everything from the economy to health.

The most recent megastorm, Hurricane Sandy, which recently shut down New York City, caused numerous deaths, left millions of homes without heat and light and billions of dollars in property damage across eastern United States, is a harbinger of the recent dramatic escalation of extreme weather events that our scientists attribute to human-caused climate change.

The solutions to human-caused climate change, which have such a negative impact on the health, welfare and national security of American citizens, are easily within our reach. Yet our national leader’s silence on these matters is deafening. 

Politicians may shy away from talking about climate, but as people of faith, we cannot be silent on this moral issue.

That’s why Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light ( is working with congregations in our state to address global warming.

Faith communities recognize that God calls us to be good stewards of Creation and to care for our neighbors.

We owe it to our children to act now for their future, and we invite all people of faith to join in this vital work.

Rev. William C. Thwing


Letters on voters error-filled, infuriating

I commend Jane Oleksak for her Nov. 7 letter about the organization Letters for Limited Government, in Fairfax, Va. Ms. Oleksak stated that the letters made her feel “a little creepy.”

I am usually a calm person, but these letters not only made me feel creepy, I was furious.

My neighbors here at Laurel View Village in Davidsville received these same letters stating that I had not voted in 2004 and 2008, and that my vote was pending in 2012.

I not only voted in both those years, but I was working the polls in Ferndale Borough (which I did for 15 years) and was right there to vote.

I have voted every year since I became eligible and I really resent this personal information being sent out to other people, much less that the information is false.

This should not be allowed.

Joanne Melnik


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