The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 28, 2012

Readers' Forum 11-28 | New-school pact showed sound judgment

Submitted by Readers

— My wife and I are graduates of the Conemaugh Valley School District and chose to raise our children here. When we heard the district had decided to opt for a stabilization agreement we were pleased.

This ensures that trained, drug-free and competent people will construct the new elementary school.

The school board used sound judgment and kept the best interests of their constituents in mind by following this path.

This helps to guarantee that the new school will be a high-quality product.

I, and my family, would like to thank board members for their decision.

Bob Kist

Mineral Point

Parade puts Patton  in Christmas spirit

The air was thick with anticipation. People were lined along the street, the fire whistle blew and the children held their ears at the sound.

Soon, we could hear the Cambria Heights High School band playing beautiful renditions of traditional Christmas songs complete with twirling candy canes.

The floats were creative – a gingerbread house and the chipmunks. There was the majorette group, and even a batch of walking Girl Scout cookies. We can’t forget the roar of the tractors, which always fascinates the little ones.

Next, came the fire trucks and, all the while, the excited children were waiting for the very special guest who was to come.

All of a sudden, following the DelGrosso bear, Buddy, there he was, the man of the hour. You guessed it: Santa.

This is a little glimpse into the light-up night in Patton. This must have seemed like a small event to many, but the children of Patton always get excited when it is time to see Santa and his elves, who never disappoint and enjoy their jobs immensely. Santa hands out bags full of surprises, items provided through donations from  townsfolk.

Yes, we live in small-town America, where we can enjoy the feel of the community celebrating the Christmas season in the most joyful way of all.

Thank you to all of the people who made this happen again this year. You are true examples of the real meaning of Christmas.

Joan Kordish


Action urged on vacant, blighted city housing

Mere hours after watching an inferno rage in my neighborhood, I am demanding action from city leaders regarding the serious problem we have with blighted homes and buildings in this town. The fire started in a blighted home.

This is why these homes need to be torn down. There is little doubt the fire on Coleman Avenue was the result of some miscreant setting the vacant home ablaze.

By doing absolutely nothing about these condemned homes, targets are being left for these arsonists.

City leadership is not doing enough to combat this problem. Are we waiting for a family to die in a blaze caused by someone torching a vacant home, before we admit that something aggressive needs to be done? Too many fires are popping up and this seems to be a common denominator more often than not.

There needs to be an aggressive campaign launched to tear down these vacant homes for numerous reasons – safety being the chief one.

Residents, band together with me and let’s make noise on this issue. And band with me to keep an aggressive eye on these vacant units so, if necessary, we can aggressively stop any potential arsonist.

Action must be taken.

Justin Perreault


Firefighters lauded in Moxham blaze    

I want to thank the firefighters from Johnstown and the surrounding areas who responded to the Thanksgiving night fire in Moxham. I also want to thank the neighbor who alerted everyone to the fire.

Without their prompt response, the outcome could have been much worse.

My sister and brother-in-law are alive, and their house was spared because of their combined efforts.

Nancy Wertz Goldy

Hummelstown, Dauphin County

Amnesia afflicts president-bashers

In response to Readers’ Forum letters on Nov. 26, “Why work? Government pays for everything,” by John R. Skubak; “What David saw continues in our world,” by Barry W. Billings; and “Do you realize what is to come with Obama?” by Chuck Cordoro:

The election is over and Barack Obama won. Thank God.

These writers surely have amnesia when it comes to why so many people are on assistance programs.

A small reminder: 3.5 million jobs were lost under the Bush years from 2000 to 2008. Businesses became the true social welfare precipitants with Republican/

conservative/lobbyists leading the way.

Republicans blocked nearly every attempt by Democrats to get the economy running and the middle class back to work. Businesses have become so bold to say they do not have qualified workers for jobs, but support green card visas for foreign workers in technology, science and math. Why? They will accept lower wages and no benefits.

So if Republicans get their way, our college graduates will be forced to take the low-income, no-benefits, part-time service jobs that employers are offering. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, pays such a low wage with no benefits that its workers qualify for public assistance.

Who is getting public assistance?

Gary Schetrompf



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