The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 23, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-23 | Climate control cannot be legislated

Submitted by Readers

JOHNSTOWN — If you heard the State of the Union address, you can see why an unleashed President Obama will be devastating to the American way of life. He pledged to get his agenda through with or without the approval of Congress.

Among his proposals is climate control legislation. Billion of dollars were given to green energy companies through the stimulus package. All failed. This thinking was tried and failed in many European countries.

On Jan. 18, thousands gathered in Washington, D.C., to push for climate control. I ask: How did they get there? How do they run their homes? If they really believe in their cause, these hypocrites should stop using any power produced by coal, oil and natural gas and live like the Amish.

If they wish to return to the 19th century, so be it. Climate change has been

happening since the creation of the earth and will continue until the end of time. Geological records prove this as fact, even before the use of fossil fuels by mankind.

Perhaps the most preposterous idea is the public education of all 4-year-olds. This is the responsibility of parents and would be nothing more than glorified babysitting paid for by the taxpayers.

The article by Keith Rothfus on Feb. 27 hit the nail on the head and is the reason he was elected. Cut government waste and spending and do not raise taxes.

We must return to sane government spending and stop Obama’s entitlements.

John R. Skubak


Editorial cleared up misconception

Thanks to The Tribune-Democrat’s for  the editorial “Crime panel yields surprising results” on March 19.

The editorial cleared up what I felt was a mismatch between headline and story printed a couple of days prior to the editorial (“Panel looks at school’s bad rep; GJSD’s problem is violence, not drugs, officials say”).

The editorial said: “That doesn’t mean that they (Johnstown kids) were violent, just that their perception of violence may be different from their peers’.”

I am pleased the Greater Johnstown School District has programs to help change these types of perceptions. The perceptions in this case are way different from reality.

I have worked with high school students for more than three decades as a coach and employee at Greater Johnstown. The students there are terrific, just the opposite of what the first headline suggested.

I know Johnstown kids, I live in the community, and I spent 30 years close to them. Like all students we have occasional mishaps, but overall our kids are the best in game.

I would encourage people to visit our schools. I am bragging constantly about the educational programs there. Did you know that our students can earn a college associate degree before graduating from high school? Many are on track to great success.

I want the leaders to show off our students and programs more often. People will be pleasantly surprised.

Dee-Dee Osborne


Keep feral pigs under game commission rule

Senate Bill 644 and House Bill 723 would remove the authority of the Pennsylvania Game Commission from regulating feral pigs in captive hunts – an abusive practice where shooters pay to kill animals confined within fenced enclosures.

While the cruelty and unsporting nature of shooting captive feral pigs is evident, there is also a serious threat to our natural resources and public safety – the escaped feral pigs can be responsible for spreading diseases to native wildlife populations, jeopardizing hunting opportunities in the wild and threatening the agriculture industry.  Feral pigs’ foraging, rooting and wallowing behavior can cause significant damage to agricultural crops, trees and other plants, erosion of river and stream banks and destruction of wetlands. 

The Pennsylvania Game Commission currently is considering a proposal that would shut down captive pig hunts by prohibiting the possession, importation and release into the wild of feral pigs. However, S.B. 644 and H.B. 723 would remove the commission’s authority over these animals, precluding this much-needed rule from passing.

The proposed rule published by the commission states that an effort to eradicate feral swine and wild boar from the state is necessary to protect threats by these animals to the state’s natural resources, agricultural and forest pro-ducts industries, and public health and safety.

Passage of S.B. 644 and H.B. 723 would be a huge step backward for Pennsylvania. The game commission is the appropriate agency to have authority over feral pigs – politics should not trump sound scientific wildlife management decisions.

Sarah Speed

State Director, Humane Society of the United States

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