The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 2, 2013

Readers' Forum 10-2 | Action will finish fight against cancer

JOHNSTOWN — My grandmother, Katheryn Claycomb, has always been an inspiration to me. She was the first member of my family to be diagnosed with breast cancer, in late stages, with little hope of recovery. She lost her battle in 1976.

I remember her faith, courage, strength, her love for her family, her wonderful homemade bread and her silence about her illness. In her time, cancer was spoken of in hushed whispers, if at all. Symptoms were often hidden or ignored because of the fear of a cancer diagnosis.

Since her death, two daughters and four granddaughters have been diagnosed with breast cancer. We can be silent no more.

“Cancer thrives on silence and complacency, but progress happens when we speak out, make noise and take action. Now is the time to finish the fight! We stand at an unprecedented place in history in terms of our ability to solve the cancer problem, but we must ... make noise like never before!” said John R. Seffrin, PhD, national CEO of the American Cancer Society.

This year, the American Cancer Society celebrates its 100th birthday. One hundred years ago, cancer was often a death sentence. Today, two out of three people are surviving. The society has played a major role in nearly every cancer breakthrough in recent history.

Please join your voices with ours on Oct. 19 at Bedford’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Silence will not finish the fight – only action will. Join us in being as loud as possible to help end breast cancer.

Elizabeth Tressler


Voter ID law must be totally nonpartisan

I’m writing in response to a recent letter in the Readers’ Forum about voter fraud. The writer insisted that photo IDs are necessary to prevent liberals from stealing any more elections. I can only assume that the stolen elections in question were the ones that brought President Obama to office in 2008 and 2012.

Let’s forget for a moment that Obama was elected into office twice by a majority of the national popular vote without the intervention of the Supreme Court and focus on the writer’s complaint.

Just prior to the 2012 president election, the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Legislature attempted to swiftly enact a voter ID law. The issue became so controversial that it resulted in a court case. In that case, the government was not able to produce even one instance of confirmed voter fraud nor could it show that the lack of a voter ID law would allow any voter fraud in the upcoming election in Pennsylvania. Bottom line – voter fraud wasn’t stealing elections.

I am in favor of a voter ID law to ensure the validity of elections moving forward, but this process should not be rushed into place under the guise of a phantom problem. The state should put in place a system for obtaining photo IDs in addition to the limited and often arduous Department of Transportation centers, and if a photo ID law is enacted, it should be done right after a presidential election to show that the measure is truly nonpartisan.

Doug Meagher



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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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