The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 11, 2013

Readers' Forum 9/11 | Use of chemical weapons is criminal

The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — As a person of faith I am opposed to modern warfare. And I agree with Pope Francis who forcefully called on all believers to pray and fast for peace in Syria.

The use of chemical weapons is criminal and needs to be dealt with.

U.S. military action in Syria would be illegal without authorization from the U.N Security Council. The U.S. military must stop intervening unilaterally. It would be immoral since the inaccuracy of cruise missiles would kill innocent civilians. It would be dangerous, producing destabilization, terrorism, probable escalation. It is unnecessary, unaffordable, unwinnable.

Diplomacy, in contrast, can bring humane solutions.

A cease-fire and an arms embargo are a must. The U.S. government needs to try to convince the region allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, to stop funding and arming the opposition.

We all have our work cut out for us. The secrecy of drone wars, the CIA secret operations, big brother spying on us is leading our country to an imperial presidency. We need Congressional resistance. Congress is supposed to be an independent check on the excessive power of the state. And “We the People” need to “make them do it.” Let’s write and call Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey and U.S. Reps. Bill Shuster or Keith Rothfus. We have the power. Let’s use it!



People affected by closing Salvation Army

I heard that the Salvation Army is closing its doors on Oct. 1. It needs to stay open. You can’t make people move out. They need a place to stay with winter coming.

Barbara Saitta


Editor’s note: Cambria County Homeless Shelter committee announced the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-

Johnstown’s Catholic Charities chapter will oversee the interim and long-term operations, beginning Oct. 1.

Pass law to help mistreated animals

This is in response to Brenda Mathis’ letter on Sept. 8, “Pet in need of helping hand.” I, too, have gotten “the runaround” by police and the humane society. They say their hands are tied. How sad that a law has to be passed to stop this horrendous treatment of dogs.

Pa. H.B. 1254 was introduced April 17, 2009. It is still sitting in the judiciary committee. Take a few minutes to let your representatives know how you feel about this bill.

This bill would limit the amount of hours a dog can be tied up outside within a 24-hour period. Also, it would require that the dog be taken in when a weather advisory is issued. This is a start.

Tamira Thayne, founder of Dogs Deserve Better says, “these dogs are dying out there, piece by piece, hour by hour.”

So many suffering dogs need your intervention.

A. Lee Fenimore   


Another good season of summer concerts

Thank you once again citizens of Cambria, Somerset and Bedford counties for supporting the AmeriServ Free Summer concerts at the Roxbury Bandshell. The hundreds of performers were excellent and we appreciate their time and talent as we listened, laughed, danced and cheered our way through the Sunday concerts.

Thanks go to Holy Cross National Catholic Church, which provided delicious picnic foods for our enjoyment. Many thanks to AmeriServ for once again sponsoring our 2013 summer concert season and CTC for sponsoring T-shirts for each and every one of our performers.

The city of Johnstown has been very cooperative and we acknowledge its ongoing support.

The hardworking alliance committee assured a successful concert each and every week and its commitment is impressive to say the least. The alliance collaborated with the veterans monument committee and restored the FDR Monument and pavilion this past year, which only enhances our wonderful park.

Our mission is to preserve the history, tradition and cultural value of the Johns-town community by restoring the Roxbury Bandshell to its original beauty, and we are slowly and meticulously working toward that goal. But, most importantly, thank you, the weekly concertgoers and contributors who have made this entire project possible.

See you at the Bandshell Bark and Wang Dang Doodle this weekend and don’t forget to save the date for the free Christmas Concert on Dec. 8. Feel proud that we have an original “house of rock” built during FDR’s administration and the last in the country. Standing 55 feet high in the Johnstown skyline, we honor our own “Queen of the Park.”

Mary P. Borkow

Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance

Electrician followed job from start to finish

On Sept. 2, after spending hours in dialysis, I returned home to an electrical blackout. More than an inconvenience, the loss of power is life-threatening for someone like me – a 93-year-old senior who relies on oxygen to maintain good health. I was anxious and dreaded the consequences.

Within minutes of being called, a Windber electrician arrived and conducted a thorough home inspection. He quickly determined that the power failure resulted from fused wires on the pole outside, a repair job for Penelec. He was kind and reassuring and would not leave until a Penelec crew was dispatched. Thankfully, they responded immediately and, to my relief, full power was soon restored.

The electrician did not charge excessively for this holiday service call. I paid a modest minimum fee for excellent service. Later that day, his wife called to confirm that everything was OK.

I appreciate experiencing outstanding customer care and service quality as exemplified by the company. This is a business deserving of recognition for putting people first.

Leroy Hemphill