The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 9, 2013

Laurels and barbs

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: Bicycle enthusiasts have another reason to look forward to the spring of 2014. Not only will they have better weather in which to ride, they’ll also be getting a new trail. The Cambria-Somerset Authority approved a plan for the Laurel Highlands Off-Road Biking Association to build a half-mile long trail on the Quemahoning Reservoir in the spring. That could be the first step on a proposed 12-mile trail around the reservoir, which would add yet another great recreation option to our area.

Barb: Twice in the past week the Humane Society of Cambria County has gone into a local home and removed more than a dozen pets. While we’re supportive of pet owners and we don’t know all of the details in the individual cases, we’d ask that people not spread their love for animals too thin. By housing more than a handful of pets, it is unlikely that any will get the individualized love and attention that each deserves.

Laurel: Another election has come and gone and, as usual, the turnout was lower than we had hoped. We do, however, owe a debt of gratitude to those who make sure polling places all over the region run smoothly. The Cambria County commissioners on Thursday honored Maryann Dillon, Elaine Hildebrand and Tina Latoche for their efforts with the county elections office. We appreciate the hard work that they – and all of the others who work behind the scenes – did to allow us to vote.

Laurel: Also deserving of a post-election pat on the back are the candidates themselves. It’s getting harder and harder for some small municipalities to find qualified candi-dates for office. No matter the outcome, we salute all of those who were willing to devote their time and energy to public service.

Barb: Parents of some West Side Elementary School students got quite a shock late last month when they found out that a small group of pupils ended up walking about seven blocks after their bus broke down. Some even had to cross Strayer Street in order to get home. Greater Johnstown School District said the matron aboard the West Side Bus J-12, which is contracted by McIlwain Bus Lines, instructed children that they were close enough to walk the rest of the way home. Luckily, each of the pupils made it home safely. We hope that better judgment is used if a similar situation arises in the future.

Laurel: Memorial Medical Center’s heart program got another clean bill of health. The consulting group Health Grades gave the program a five-star ranking, which Conemaugh Health System’s chief

medical officer, Dr. David Carlson, said is a tribute to the system’s attention to detail and a culture of excellence. We’re just thankful to have such a top-notch facility in our backyard.

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