The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 16, 2013

Readers' Forum 1-16 | Selling Pennsylvania, one step at a time

— I do not understand why the commonwealth of Pennsylvania would sell off money-making, state-owned businesses. If they were not profitable, why would a business buy them? The turnpike, liquor stores and now the lottery. And lottery oversight is going out of this country.

Can it be more profitable for the commonwealth to have a foreign, private business operate the lottery?

Could the Senate and House of Representatives be for sale? Or have they already been sold?

According to a recent report, the British company will guarantee $34 billion over 20 years, or $1.7 billion a year. If lottery sales are $3.5 billion, what happens to the other $1.8 billion, and how much will go to the private company?

How many Pennsylvanians will be out of work because of this move?

Carl Rosendale


Rothfus’ ‘no’ vote was because of pork

In response to Richard Holsinger’s Readers’ Forum letter on Jan. 12 (“Gov’t, society favor warfare over welfare”) concerning U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Allegheny, voting against aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy: That $60 billion bill had lots of pork for those outside the affected areas.

The entire state budget for New Jersey is $30 billion. Did they really need $60 billion to aid victims? Or was this bill just another in a long line of overspending that has gotten us to where we are today?

New Jersey will receive funding, but someone has to say no when others are piling on perks that are not remotely connected to the needed spending.

Karen Sroka


Train buff, son questioned by police

On Jan. 13, I was sitting by the Route 271 bridge overpass, watching trains with my 3-year-old son.

Mind you, I am in my mid-30s. An East Conemaugh police official pulls up behind me, right on my bumper, in the department’s SUV patrol car, as if I am a criminal or he is doing a traffic stop.

He walks up to my driver’s door, very suspicious of what I was doing.

Watching trains, he asks? I say yes.

Taking pictures of trains? I say yes.

My son is now bouncing around inside the truck as a train is passing by.

The officer then stated I was trespassing on Norfolk Southern property and that sitting 40-plus feet away from a mainline track is dangerous. Then he goes into his 30-plus years with police patrol experience.

Is it that East Conemaugh police have nothing better to do, like patrol Route 271 or other parts of town, other than picking on a father and his son watching trains go by on the tracks?

Let’s do real patrol work and pick on the easy targets. If I was on railroad property, it was an accident.

This area is known for people watching trains.

Brad Jones


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