The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 16, 2012

Readers' Forum | Books go through selection process

Submitted by Readers

— Katie and Shawn Dorian’s suggestion that parents should read Sapphire’s “Push,” a novel they deem "X-rated incestual sex" is a grand idea (Sept. 12, “Required-reading choice questionable”). But the Dorians’ use of “X-rated sex” is disingenuous.

Precious is brutally raped, and rape is not sexy. Precious, abused and impregnated by her father, finds the strength to survive, rising above her victimization through education. Precious becomes an educated victor.

If parents and children choose not to read any work, the policy at Westmont Hilltop has always been to offer alternatives. This practice has been in force for the 23 years I have taught at Westmont. “Push,” and a couple of parents who wished to censor the book, had nothing to do with Westmont’s standing policy.

The Dorians suggestion that teachers have the only say concerning the acceptance of a book is false. Westmont Hilltop has always had a process. Books are selected by teachers and then reviewed by the school board and curriculum committee, before being accepted.

“Push” is on the advanced placement test – recommended by those who are preparing our students for college. We want our students to be challenged and competitive. “Push” is classified as young adult literature, not adult literature.

Let’s adhere to truths. “Push” is not pornography; it is not meant to sexually excite. Westmont Hilltop has always provided other readings. There is a process before any book is put into the English curriculum.

And, yes, I would love for all parents to read “Push,” and any other book, with their children.

Debra Taczanowsky

Chairwoman of the English Department, Grade 12

Westmont Hilltop High School

More emphasis on America

The United States needs to cut aid to all other countries and start worrying about our own. We waste so much money and resources on other countries, it just makes me so mad. I really don’t care what happens abroad, that’s not our problem.

The government needs to quit shoving down our throats all that bull about security and interests with other parts of the world and start dealing with our little part of the world. Let’s solve our own issues and get people back to work and to be able to live a good life.

I do not care if you’re Republican, Democrat, tea party or whatever, just get the job done and quit making excuses.

Fred Bigam


AAABA inductee thanks all for honor

I would like to thank the All American Amateur Baseball Association for selecting me as a 2012 inductee into the AAABA Hall of Fame.

It was a great honor on my part to be listed with so many important contributors to baseball. I spent my entire life in baseball, from midget league to the present with AAABA.

Receiving this honor was a wonderful and meaningful moment in my life.

The entire program, the committee and the people of Johnstown were all very exceptional, which I will remember forever.

Tovie Asarese

Buffalo, N.Y.

Only one vet offered to help ailing pet

My husband and I were owners of a golden Labrador named Sonny. He was

11 1⁄2 years old. He had some trouble with his back legs. One afternoon, both of his legs went out on him, he was in visible pain and he could no longer walk. He was dragging himself.

My son and three small grandchildren were at my home.

I called our usual veterinarian, but he was not in. His answering service for some reason was not working. So my son began calling other veterinarians in our area. We got uncaring words, rudeness and numbers that were not connecting.

Also, we were told that if we were not a patient of theirs, they cannot help. I told one of them that money was not a problem. I was in a panic.

Finally, my son was given the number of another area veterinarian. The staff gave us directions, were so kind and told us to bring him out right away.

I wanted to let those know who have this problem to be prepared and know that there are kind, great veterinarians out there.

We loved Sonny very much, but there was nothing that could be done. He was a very friendly dog and is missed by many.

My sincere thanks goes out to the that veterinarian service. If we ever decide on another pet, I know which vet we will have.

Shirlynn Cypher


Movie ‘2016’ real eye-opener

After seeing “2016 Obama’s America” at the Richland Cinemas on Sept. 9, I am convinced that every Democrat, Republican, independent and undecided should also see it before November.

If you view it with an open mind, it is a real eye-opener. The existence of the USA as we know it is being threatened.

Don Woodnorth


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