The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 7, 2013

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

The Tribune-Democrat

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

Nothing good comes out of interfering

The so-called Syrian crisis is being used by President Obama to divert attention from the Fast & Furious scheme, the Benghazi cover-up, IRS political targeting, and NSA collecting on U.S. citizens. The two factions seeking power in Syria are Hezbollah (Iran) and al-Qaida, both radical Islamic terrorist groups. We will not protect any vital U.S. interest by supporting either side. This is a Shiite versus Sunni fight. Nothing good can come out of us interfering in the Middle East. Look at what is happening in Libya and Iraq.

Chemical weapons are no worse than firebombing (Tokyo; Dresden) or nukes (Hiroshima; Nagasaki) or napalm attacks.

Let those who want to “punish” Assad, grab a gun and fly to Syria to fight. Perhaps Obama can be like the Roman emperors who led their troops in battle – before leaders thought they were more valuable than the average citizen.

Obama’s failed presidency – the only thing he has to show for his term in office is Obamacare – has caused him to divert attention to a foreign adventure.

If jobs are his top priority, he should oppose free/fair trade, illegal immigration (deport them) and greedy U.S. companies locating overseas. You would think that with his Marxist background he would support U.S. workers rather than foreign workers. Perhaps he prefers Leon Trotsky (world revolution) to Joseph Stalin (communism in one country).

Al Cooper


Never give up hope, we all struggle in life

I like that Richland student Kasey Caron wanted to go on the homcoming ballot as a male. Kasey, you go son. That is how he views his life.

Transgender children are not understood. I am not transgender, but, I am gay and understand the struggles that we all go through. Everyone struggles through life. That is why its called life. I can remember growing up (in a church) where God loves all his children. I never strayed from that.

But, in Pennsylvania, marriage or one’s relationship is not a granted situation. Where is the equality? We are all the same, we bleed the same. Why is it right for someone to judge someone else because they do not think the same way? I am also a veteran and I was taught to fight for what I believe in. Never give up hope, Kasey.

Tammy Burgan


State law now factors into school activities

A quick thought on the Richland High School senior Kasey Caron article: It seems the school cited he cannot be named on a male ballot since his driver’s license relates he is, in fact, a female, according to state law.

How does such a law have relevance to a school election? If the law does, shouldn’t all aspects apply? In reality, those under 18, are not registered to vote in the state and should not be permitted to be listed on any ballot within the commonwealth.

I find it absolutely absurd that we have such ignorance. And that a school promotes its anti-bullying campaigns would, in lack of better wording, bully themselves to avoid conflict of a few who may disagree. And manipulate a law and its interpretation to suit their needs. Though in reality, such law, cannot even apply.

Jessica Pfuhl