The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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September 7, 2013

Readers' Forum 9/7 | Futbol players practice hard, too

JOHNSTOWN — Here we go again with the local print and broadcast media covering local high school football teams.

Once more I would like to point out that the other (round) football is played by many of these same schools. These soccer teams, both boys and girls, have also been practicing since mid-August, plus many hours of conditioning before that. This is needed because they play two, sometimes three, 80-minute varsity games per week.

These athletes also wish to benefit from this extracurricular activity in many ways including physical activity, teamwork, decision making, decision accepting of coaches and officials, sportsmanship and school spirit, to name a few.

I, for one, would like this commitment also recognized by a wider audience. So if you are reading this, turn to today’s sport’s schedule for a soccer game near you, get there before kickoff and enjoy this futbol.

Here’s hoping all these football/futbol athletes have a rewarding season regardless of their win-loss record.

Ray Leverknight

Richland Township

What is so hard to present voter ID?

When they trot out Colin Powell to attack Republicans you know they’re concerned. Powell is now saying if Republicans push voter ID laws it will cost them votes. This completely ignores the question “What’s wrong with presenting an ID to vote?” Does that not protect the integrity of the vote? It’s free. All you have to do is prove you’re a citizen and the burden of proof is very low.

The ACLU opposes voter ID laws, which is probably why they should be supported. During hearings on this law they presented some senior citizens who complained about the inconvenience of getting to a state license facility and having to wait. Well, how do they get to the polls? Do you never have to wait at the polls? And, is this really a reason to not have voting ID? The other criticism is it will suppress the vote. In many states, the vote actually increased after passing voter ID laws, especially among African-Americans.

In the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney would have won Pennsylvania by 176,387 votes except for Philadelphia County. Instead, Obama won by 283,694 due to a plurality there of 460,081, an incredible 83 percent, with zero Romney votes in some precincts. How can that happen?

We know voting fraud exists. It’s just not investigated. Our belief in the sanctity of one person, one vote is the foundation of the American idea. If that’s lost America is lost. Protecting it through voter ID laws is an absolute necessity.

Tom O’Toole

Indian Lake

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