The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 5, 2013

Laurels and barbs

The Tribune-Democrat

— Laurel: Our readers who are Orthodox Christians will start their Christmas celebration this weekend. Christmas Eve falls on Sunday. Following the Julian calendar, which was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., Orthodox churches note Christmas 13 days later than those who use the Gregorian calendar adopted in 1582. Those of the Orthodox religion, whether Greek, Serbian or Russian, declare that “Christ is born” and expect the response of “Glorify him” during their celebrations. Merry Christmas.

Barb: Officials at Hidden Valley resort in Somerset County say a 15-year-old snowboarder from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., was injured last Saturday night when he fell about 20 feet from a chairlift. According to reports, the youth didn’t lower the safety bar, and fell from the chair when he “leaned forward to adjust his boot or binding.” He was transported to a hospital. The accident was very unfortunate and certainly preventable. Skiers are urged to put safety bars in place. Those who don’t are foolish.

Laurel: Looking for an out-of-this-world experience for your children? Check out the Juno Project, which will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Jan. 12 at Cambria County Library, 248 Main St., Johnstown. The event, which is open to students in grades

4 through 12, was created for libraries by NASA to engage students in planetary science. Participants can explore Jupiter’s magnetic field and what is inside Jupiter, planetary weights and distances with hands-on experiments. Sounds like a blast to us.

Laurel: Downtown Johnstown was abuzz with entertainment on New Year’s Eve. It was a flashback to days gone by. Celebration Johnstown! revelers enjoyed a variety of music, children’s activities, good food and other fun in an alcohol-free atmosphere. “We came down here to enjoy the music and a place that is family-oriented,” said Greg Novak of Elton, who attended with his wife, Francine. Meanwhile, at the nearby Cambria County War Memorial Arena, a sellout crowd of 3,725 fans cheered on the Johnstown Tomahawks hockey team. Promotional cowbells passed out before the contest added to the noise and fun. A big thumbs up to the organizers, sponsors, volunteers and those who attended these two events.

Barb: The Greensburg police are looking for an individual who is targeting women with recently deceased relatives. The man, police say, is telling the women that he has kidnapped a relative and tied them up. Two calls were made last month and two this week. The man used specific names in all cases. Wisely, the women have called police; one tracked down the supposedly missing relative herself. Authorities believe the caller is pulling his targets from newspaper obituaries. A sick individual indeed.

Laurel: The annual Lifesavers Ball is being held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Sponsored by the American Red Cross in conjunction with The Cinderella Project, the event is being held at the Richland fire hall. Blood donors are encouraged to bring new or slightly used gowns, shoes and accessories that will be given to area teens who can’t afford to get dressed up for proms. Also helping out are volunteers from the Young Professionals of the Alleghenies, Pennsylvania Academy of Cosmetology, Everyday’s A Party and Salon Vizions. Prizes will be available for donors. Donation appointments can be made at or by calling 800-733-2767.

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