The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

August 21, 2013

Readers' Forum 8-21 | Clamp down on owners of dangerous dogs

Submitted by Readers

JOHNSTOWN — As I was reading the Aug. 12 newspaper, I was surprised to learn that we had a very strong dog law against owners of dangerous dogs. But for some reason, it’s not enforced. Yet our federal and state lawmakers will go after gun owners like pit bulls but not pit-bull dog owners.

I think our state dog wardens should be giving out fines or taking these animals into custody.

My answer to this problem is that the owners of these dangerous dogs should register them with the city in which they live and the state.

They should have to show up-to-date licenses, vet bills that show the dog’s vaccination history and the $50,000 liability insurance policy.

And when these dogs are walking on our streets, they should have muzzles on and a leash no longer then 6 feet. And no one under the age of 18 should be in control of these dogs. I have seen many of these dogs being walked by children who could not control them, and many dogs are not properly chained up at their residences.

Take a walk through the 7th Ward and you will see dozens of these dogs.

I consider these animals as weapons and not pets. Many drug dealers have them to protect themselves from robbery and raids from the police. We shouldn’t have to wait until someone or their small pet is hurt or killed by one of these animals. It’s time someone got out there and did their job.

Homer Mattes


Drive-ins part of our history, culture

If you lived in an area of the country, like Johnstown, that has a hometown drive-in theater, take a moment to think back to the beginning of the summer season each year.

If you’re like me, those thoughts probably included anticipating the first visit of the season to a drive-in theater. For me, that was the Silver or Richland drive-in theaters.

During the years, we lost the Richland drive-in to progress in the form of Johnstown’s first, fully contained mall.

Throughout the years and generations of families, the drive-ins in the region were able to fight through the economic hard times and stay open.

Now, the Silver Drive-in and other drive-in theaters throughout the region are facing costly upgrades to digital media.

Honda is sponsoring a Project Drive-In to save the theaters, awarding five digital projectors nationally to those movie theaters that raise the most online or text votes during the summer.

I urge you to visit the websites of the drive-in theaters and vote for your favorite theater. I challenge the media – The Tribune-Democrat and WJAC – to take an active community leadership role in promoting the voting process for our hometown drive-in theaters.

Let’s work together to save the Silver and other drive-ins before they become endangered and we lose a part of our history and culture for us and future generations.

Rich Lobb


Apathetic people part of problem

The fact that impeachment proceedings have not started against President Obama shows the corruption in Washington, D.C. Some voters still supporting Obama illustrates that there are seriously misinformed, greedy or immoral individuals in our midst.

Have you ever wondered how you would have behaved during the Nazi reign in Germany? Look no further than how you are behaving in the present time.

As death trains carried Jews past German churches, some Christians admit they loudly sang hymns to drown out the heart wrenching wails of the condemned. Today, many ignore the silent holocaust of millions of unborn babies ripped or burned out of their mothers’ wombs.

Are you pro-life? Do you pray outside abortion facilities, encourage politicians to vote against abortion or donate to pro-life causes? Are you protesting the health care mandate that forces people to pay for abortion coverage against their conscience? Are you protesting giving hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars to Planned Parenthood? If not, how are you different than those who ignored the plight of the Jews in Germany?

Are you irate over the IRS discriminating against conservative groups, the NSA spying on citizens, the abandonment of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, and the killing of Americans by drones? If not, why not?

Does the Obama crippling deficit, dwindling job market, burgeoning entitlement society, ill-designed Obamacare, war on coal and refusal to build the Keystone Pipeline fail to infuriate you? Then, as in Nazi Germany, you may be part of the problem.

Gale Bala