The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

August 20, 2013

Readers' Forum 9-20 | Equal pay is simply right thing to do

The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — Congratulations to each of the teachers involved in the litigation case for earned back pay in the Windber Area School District. It is great to see an obvious injustice addressed and hopefully corrected.

I understand that unequal pay has been ongoing through several administrations at Windber, which isn’t surprising, and continued by the current administration, which is even less surprising.

I’m certain that the hiring process for teachers is a complicated one, much like the three-step process when action is taken against the school. However, I’m fairly sure that paying teachers the same, regardless of sex, should be a common-sense “step” considered in the process, first and foremost because it’s simply the right thing to do, and also it tends to help avoid the incredibly negative publicity associated with such a lawsuit.

Many other school districts that aren’t concerned with cutting corners hire female teachers fairly all the time. Perhaps the current administration, in its continued pursuit of perfection, should consider consulting school districts that do things the right way.

No worries though, all can rest easy that several articles about Pennsylvania System of School Assessment test scores will magically appear in the local newspapers and Rambler magazine, bragging about the high scores that were enabled, ironically, by many teachers who have been unfairly paid for years.

John J. Curlej


Former Windber student and substitute

Drop the act and get back to work, Betta

In order to protect the truth, I tried Somerset County Commissioner Joe Betta’s idea of wearing a sign around my neck saying “You’re being taped.” 

My wife took a look at my cassette recorder and praised me for my vow of celibacy, which she intended to enforce. My boss was a little more practical and gave me a few more assignments to keep me out of his office. All of a sudden, my beer buddies got busy on their honey-do lists. My kids unexpectedly started talking in my presence, recounting every stupid thing I had done in the past 10 years.

So here I am speaking the truth to myself; and as I should have realized, no one was listening to me for a reason. My advice to Commissioner Betta is to drop his vow of celibacy and get back to work.

Malcolm Crittenden


‘Ninja’ was just covering for police

What’s so wrong with a real life superhero? Regarding the “Johnstown Ninja” story, all the kid wanted to do was help. Instead, he faces charges when drug dealers and scum who are giving this city a bad name just get a slap on the wrist.

There is such a thing as priorities, and the police don’t seem to have much of them. It’s a shame that a regular citizen would have to take matters into his own hands, risking his life to make things better for the community – a job that the police seem to refuse to do.

I’m on your side, the Dark Knight of Moxham. You were only trying to make Gotham City, I mean Johnstown City, a better place.

Megan Rummell


Residents hostage to city on sewer work

I'm writing in response to David Horner’s Readers’ Forum letter of Aug. 11, “City sewer upgrades confusing matter.” I am in full agreement with all points made.

Barely are updates given out regarding a timeline of when we homeowners can expect to be forcibly fleeced.

I also have other questions that had better be answered:

-- Why is nothing being done to protect or insulate homeowners from such an expense. News flash: Not every homeowner has a large income or a savings to afford this, and not every homeowner can even afford to pay back a loan. Yet this doesn’t seem to stop the unstoppable destructive war machine from tearing up neighborhood after neighborhood, regardless of anyone’s situation. And, “This needs done. It should have been done 30 years ago,” isn’t a good answer.

-- What is being done to protect us homeowners from contractors taking advantage of the situation just for pure profit? Why not put a cap on the price of the work. Since everyone’s being forced to do this, contractors should still make out like bandits.

There are a lot of senior citizens and a lot of people barely hanging on with their homes. Yet no one cares, and it’s almost like we’re being punished for 30 years of city inaction. Yet I can’t sell my home to avoid this because sellers have to tap in right away.

Congrats. You’ve trapped us.

Justin Perreault