The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 14, 2013

Readers' Forum 2-14 | Honest budgeting needed from Harrisburg

Submitted by Readers

— Regarding the Feb. 7 article “Education chief defends Corbett’s budget”: The Corbett administration has consistently mischaracterized the damage it has done to education funding and quality in Pennsylvania.

The governor spent two years slashing long-term school funding by $1 billion, leading to the loss of tens of thousands of education jobs, increase in class sizes, loss of programs and huge increases in local property taxes, then tried to blame the previous governor and the federal government.

Now, he wants to claim credit for increasing education funding in his new budget. The actual increases for our local schools in his new plan average only about 1 percent during the last year. That doesn’t come close to making up for the $1 billion in cuts he has already made.

As for his plan to provide $1 billion in new, one-time school grants by selling the state liquor stores, I wouldn’t count on it. He would have to significantly increase both the number of liquor licenses in Pennsylvania and alcohol consumption to reach that number. Shots for tots – is that the education funding approach we want in Pennsylvania?

Gov. Tom Corbett defended the massive cuts of his previous two education budgets by blaming the federal government’s one-time stimulus package, which he called a gimmick. Now, he’s hanging his own education budget on ... yep, a one-time gimmick. To heck with performance-based budgeting. How about some honest budgeting?

Gary Haluska

State Representative, Cambria County


Woman in gun case: Truth has come out

“The truth will set you free,” John 8:32.

This is in response to The Tribune-Democrat’s story on Feb. 8, “Judge fines woman who waved gun at kids.”

There was never a “rattling” at any door, as the story reported. There were four loud “bangs” on my storm door a half-hour after my lights were out. The grandmother with them told the kids no, but they got too close to the house and set off security lights.

I responded to the door from the second floor – with no gun – and saw people running up the street.

They came back, got their candy, and also got a word or two telling them what could have happened.

Believe it or not, the grandmother approached me and said how sorry she was.

The truth has set me free from this horrible experience.

I am the real victim.

Mary Quinn


Pedophilia leads to evils in church

 This is in response to Anke Turco’s letter on Feb. 8, “Homosexual inclinations reason for abuse,” being the reason for child abuse cases within the Catholic Church.

With a little research, you can find that priests do prey on young girls. But these cases become mostly forgotten as the focus on young boys become central to the media’s portrayal of the abuse cases.

The correct terminology is pedophilia, as these abuse cases do not always have direct correlations to sexual orientation. The abuse simply occurs in different manners.

Multiple young boys are typically abused by a single priest, whereas young girls are usually preyed upon in single numbers. Due to the high regard of the priest in Catholicism, many of these abuse cases become overshadowed.

I have a close relationship with God, however, my God is not attached to a single religion, nor do I define or defend my beliefs by the book. The God that I believe in is tolerant of others regardless of their sex, race, gender or sexual orientation.

Instead of using your religion to define abuse cases by a matter of sexual orientation (based on the rationale that is not agreed upon in your church), perhaps you should use it as a way to open your eyes to justify your reasoning based on the actual facts. Conclusively, pedophilia is the correct reason for the evil that exists within the Catholic Church.

Jared Divido

Nanty Glo

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