The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 8, 2013

Readers' Forum 11-8 | Highway plan a good first step

JOHNSTOWN — Finally, after decades of waiting, someone seems to understand how much Cambria County needs a transportation plan that moves us forward instead of holding us in place.

State Department of Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch writes that, with the plan now before the state House, we could get the cost of roads and bridges under control and start thinking ahead to bigger things, such as completing Route 219 north toward major interstates.

Cambria County, and Johnstown in particular, has always suffered from a certain level of isolation, with two-lane roads tying us to Route 22, and Route 219 tailing off into a two-lane, rural road north of Carrolltown.

There is no doubt that our area struggled immensely in the 1980s. The area is slowly making a rebound, but our businesses and manufacturers need reliable roads and bridges if they’re going to stay here. If they are going to expand, they need roads that can get Johnstown’s products to market.

The bill that Gov. Tom Corbett is currently pushing with the state House would end 20 years of funding gridlock and get us past the era of posted bridges and corduroy roads.

It is my hope that once we accomplish this, we start looking for better roads east for continued economic momentum.

Bill Polacek

President & CEO, JWF Industries


Show your support for our veterans   

A Readers’ Forum writer on Nov. 1 commented on the large crowd that came to the Halloween parade in Johnstown. He felt that the crowd is not that large for the Christmas parade. I am very happy for the children who enjoy both events. Let children be children, as childhood passes very quickly.

However, for the past 16 years, I have been very embarrassed by the low number of people who attend the Veteran’s Day parade. These parades are by no means small.

This year, there will be four sections with at least 10 groups in each section. Proud, elderly veterans from several nursing homes ride up Main Street, waving and smiling to the people. Other veterans ride on floats and in military vehicles, march along with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, representatives from VFWs and American Legions, and eight high school bands. Many of our current military participate also. At the end of the parade, a short ceremony is held in Central Park.

This year, the event is dedicated to the Korean War veterans. While I appreciate and commend those who do attend the parade, surely more than a few hundred could show their gratitude to the men and women who sacrificed their time in the service of our country. The Conemaugh Valley veterans work many hours for a whole year to organize and prepare for this parade.

Without the service and dedication of our military, there would be no Halloween or Christmas parades.

Sandy Wojnaroski


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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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