The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 1, 2013

Readers' Forum 11-1 | Emphasize Christmas, not Halloween


JOHNSTOWN — Catholics exude winning attitudes

I like being a Roman Catholic. Incidentally, I was raised a Jew and converted to a Catholic 20 years ago. To me, it was a simple choice of continuing the Old Testament to the New Testament; going from Abraham and Moses to our Lord Jesus Christ.

What I liked about my new religion is that I chose to come to it, it did not necessarily come after me.

I like being a Catholic in many ways because of what it does not do. For example: We try not to prejudge people, and we tend not to overpreach with threats of damnation for abuses that all are not guilty of. For the most part, the church teaches us to expect the best from others. We do not need to hear the worst examples of society from our homilies in order to know what is right and what is wrong in our life.

I was lucky to have a priest in my family who is known for his humanistic approach to his teaching and homilies. One such homily was about a priest in a rough neighborhood who chose to equip the new basketball court with the best-named basketballs and quality hoops. Guess what? The courts were kept clean and the equipment was not damaged or stolen. That priest expected the best from people ... and he got it.

For me, being a Roman Catholic is having high standards that are looked up to and sought by those who need a change or an upgrade in their lives. It’s a winning attitude that says when you are

ready, we are here for you. Being a Roman Catholic is like playing for the Yankees. I’m from New York, so what can I say?

Jack Fagan


Is city sewer work being overregulated?

As the new sewer lines make progress up and down Johnstown’s streets, I hear more and more stories of interior sewer lines that are being replaced because they do not meet new pressure-test requirements.

Clay terra-cotta pipes are still one of the best systems available and, for the most part, will last indefinitely, potentially hundreds of years. They do not rot, decay, rust or deteriorate with chemicals.

As I ask more questions, I am hearing that neither the Environmental Protection Agency or the state or federal governments require pressure testing of in-house sewer pipes. But Johnstown City Council does.

Daniel Gresh


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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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