The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 6, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-6 | We can just imagine what they say


Plant procedures, risks misrepresented                                                                                            In his March 1 letter, Craig Cernic, a Dornick Point Wastewater Treatment Plant employee, greatly misrepresented the facility’s operational procedures and the health risks associated with working there.

He states that sludge from the plant is mixed with lime and is applied to farmers’ fields. This is true. However, it is not true that crops harvested from these fields are sold to the public. The biosolids are used to fertilize feed crops for livestock and for environmental reclamation projects. They are forbidden to be used on crops ingested by humans.

Cernic is also correct that we utilize lime kiln dust (LKD) for our sludge-stabilization process. But using LKD is not new. We have used LKD and cement kiln dust for over 10 years. The savings realized in 2012 is factual as to the volume consumed and is not related to the cost difference of lime and LKD. The savings are the result of optimization.

His letter infers that LKD is more dangerous than lime because of the crystalline silica content. Both have the same content. Additionally, we have built in safeguards that reduce employee exposure to airborne dust, and employees are provided with protective equipment to further limit their exposure if conditions warrant.

Finally, as to the usefulness of the redevelopment authority, I have worked with Frank D’Ettorre, acting executive director, for 20 years. Together, we have strived to improve plant and system performance in a cost-effective manner, realizing that we are part of the public trust. We welcome the scrutiny customers of our system deserve. It would be a disservice to the rate payers for the authority to be disbanded, as Cernic suggests.

Jeffrey A. Mulligan

Chief plant operator


Cochran acoustics leave lot to be desired

I attended Greater Johnstown High School’s musical “Legally Blonde” on March 2. Once again, the performance of everyone on stage was fantastic. Once again, however, the acoustics at Cochran Auditorium were not so fantastic. Right from the start, you couldn’t hear, and throughout the show it was the same problem.

I saw only two microphones hanging down near the front of the stage. If you were standing underneath those microphones, it was fine. But any time a performer would step to the back or to his or her right or left, hearing was a problem.

Perhaps the microphone packs that some performers were wearing need to be updated also.

The music accompaniment was also very good, but since the audio sound from the ladies and gentlemen on stage was not up to par, the music drowned their voices, which didn’t help the matter.

I hope every school board member attended at least one of the shows to see and hear (or not hear) what I’m talking about.

If the sound system at Trojan Stadium or at Doc Stofko gymnasium was not sounding right, I’m sure it would be corrected immediately.

The students, teachers and musicians put in a lot of time and effort. They deserve to be heard.

Terry Hubbard

West End

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Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
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