The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 7, 2013

Laurels and barbs | Sept. 7

The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — Laurel: The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies continues to do amazing work in the Greater Johnstown region. For the 2012-13 fiscal year, the foundation took in almost $7 million in donations from about 5,000 donors. That amounts to $30 per person from community residents. With those donations, the foundation created 35 new community funds to benefit area organizations and students – the most notable being the William Jr. and Karen Carter Brandon scholarship for a deserving minority student from Greater Johnstown School District and a fund to support groups that are taking a stand against the area’s surging crime rates. A solid foundation for our area.

Laurel: Congratulations to the owners of Trophy’s Bar & Grill in the West Hills Square. The newly opened eatery features specialty menu items named after famous sports trophies, as well as salads, soups, side dishes, pizza and wings. Trophy’s is just another in a long list of locally owned and operated stores and restaurants available to area residents. We wish them well, and we urge residents to take the opportunity to support local businesses whenever possible.

Barb: Justice prevails. That’s the message, hopefully, that Brian Roles Sr. will dwell on after he was found guilty of homicide by vehicle in a 2012 accident that cut short the life of his son, Brian Roles Jr. The case took a sudden turn when a key defense witness, who was a passenger in the vehicle the night of the deadly crash, recanted his earlier testimony that the younger Roles was driving. We would think that a man just convicted in the death of his son would be distraught at what he had done, but Roles’ reaction was one of anger and petulance, as he flashed obscene gestures at reporters.

Laurel: Lights, camera, action. The 2013 edition of Johnstown Film Festival will continue tonight at Heritage Discovery Center in the Cambria City section of Johns-town, and will feature short films such as documentaries, experimental films, narratives and comedies. The event provides an audience to up-and-coming filmmakers. Cash awards will be handed out to the top three films and the best youth entry. Another draw for the festival is the reintroduction of wine tastings, with wines from local vintner B&L Wine Cellars. This great night at the movies puts talent from in and around the region in the spotlight.

Laurel: “If you are under attack and you ask for a tank, you don’t want a Humvee.” That’s the analogy provided by Robert Heffelfinger Jr., a Richland Township Fire Department officer and township supervisor, after Cambria County 911 implemented changes to the names of emergency vehicles. The action addresses complaints from some fire departments that were concerned they wouldn’t get the skilled help or proper equipment during emergencies. A few fire companies were using the wrong names for their units, said Ron Springer, county emergency management director. We hope the new designations help alleviate emergency responders’ stress.

Barb: It happened again. Another public official has allegedly been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. This time it was Sheila J. Suter of Bedford, a secretary to the warden of the Bedford

County Jail, who has been charged with stealing more than $50,000. “She was handling all the money collected from inmates, but there was really no oversight,” said Warden David Kessling. Bingo. A system of checks and balances would help put a stop to these kinds of activities.