Last December, I spoke to City Council about the three locked-out sewage workers being put in the office at the sewage- treatment plant. At that office, three workers died from cancer and three continue to battle cancer. Recently, yet another employee was diagnosed with cancer.
The redevelopment authority has projected a $200,000 savings because of employees’ careful use of lime. What it didn’t say is it switched from lime to lime kiln dust, which it buys at a fraction of the cost. I explained that our plant process is called lime stabilization. We mix lime with sludge, apply it to farmers’ fields and they sell their crops at the market to the public.
Also, what the authority didn’t say was lime kiln dust contains crystalline silica, a known carcinogen.
Is this why the authority operates under a veil of secrecy? How many employees and consumers will be sickened or die while it outsources jobs and profits? Our health care is constantly downgraded while co-pays skyrocket. Does anyone remember Love Canal or Silkwood?
The authority has three people working and five board members. This board can’t or refuses to answer even the simplest questions. Since we have a Cambria County Redevelopment Authority, the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority seems redundant and has outlived its usefulness.
Council needs to abolish the Johnstown authority, go back to the old billing system and bring the sewage profits back to the Johnstown banking systems.
President, USW Local 2635-17
Our veterans deserve recognition
Bill Heinrich was stationed on the island of Tinian during World War II. He said the military police guarding the Quonset huts there announced that what was in those huts would change the history of the world.
I know a number of brave men from that era, including Virgil Faust, who was captured and taken prisoner after bailing out of his burning plane, and Emmett Lang, who authored a book on his combat experiences in the Battle of the Bulge.
On Feb. 17, one Johnstown family lost its war hero. His name was Rudy Dragovich. While in the Navy, he endured numerous South Pacific battles, suffering injuries during an attack on his ship by an enemy kamikaze. He later witnessed the signing of the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri.
Like the other men previously mentioned, Dragovich had a list of honors, medals and awards of which most of us will never fully comprehend.
For years, I’ve appreciated the recognition of athletes, educators and businessmen for their accomplishments. Our veterans deserve no less. We are indebted to the soldiers and families of Faust, Lang and Dragovich, knowing our freedom was ensured by them as well as by all veterans who served on foreign and home soil.
When you meet these heroes, consider it a privilege to thank them for their service. With that in mind, I offer a proud but posthumous salute to Bill Heinrich.
Thanks, Dad, for your service and sacrifice to this country.
Do your part to save passenger rail service
It would be a great loss to the people of Cambria County and western Pennsylvania if we were to lose our only passenger train, The Pennsylvanian. This train must be saved.
If this train is eliminated, there will be virtually no long-distance public transportation available to people in cities such as Johnstown. The Pennsylvanian enables us to travel to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City, as well as other cities throughout the nation.
More people use the Johnstown Amtrak Station than go through the airport. Whenever I take the Pennsylvanian, there is actually a crowd of patrons coming from and going to Johnstown.
There is the possibility that Johnstown could lose its essential airline service provided by the federal government. There is also a possibility that Greyhound could eliminate Johnstown as a stop. Greyhound has curtailed service substantially in recent years.
If these two things were to happen, there would be no way out of Johnstown.
If the one train serving Johnstown disappears, it is one more amenity that is gone; and just one more reason for people to leave this area for places that have more to offer. Once The Pennsylvanian is gone, our passenger rail service would be gone for good; it will not return. Please contact your state representative and senator to save our passenger rail service.
Pa. gov’t determined to sway elections
Pennsylvania had no voter fraud until the Republicans took over. Remember House Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s statement that voter I.D. would allow Mitt Romney to win Pennsylvania?
Gov. Tom Corbett and the Republicans have decided that we need voter I.D., and House Bill 548 does away with the electoral college.
Is this the American way? They wrap themselves in the American flag while trampling on its meaning. What has happened to truth and justice? Are they only words for suckers?
Under this governor, Pennsylvania’s motto should be “Pennsylvania – where even winners are losers.”
If we don’t vote these tyrants out in 2014, then Big Brother is here and he’s coming for you.
Animals still suffering and no one answers Another winter and dogs and cats continue to freeze and complaints fall on deaf ears.
We live in a county that has no humane officer and apparently no desire to secure one.
The police who can enforce cruelty complaints under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code don’t. And I don’t blame them; a lot of them do not know the humane laws. I do blame the Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Office. It should be educating the police.
Our Cambria County dog-law officer is pretty much unseen, and when people call him, he doesn’t return their calls. Why are these people in animal-welfare positions?
I guess it is because they retire on a nice pension and benefits after a career of inactivity and indifference.
We also have issues with a pet store that adopts dogs out into lives of misery. Many of the dogs are sick, while others are dumped when the novelty wears off. We question how the store is given a clean kennel inspection every year. There is no fenced exercise area, which is a direct violation of Pennsylvania kennel laws.
We hear horror stories about dogs dying from parvovirus at the establishment. No one should buy a dog from a pet shop. The only ones benefiting are the owners.
We have been busy all winter with animals outside, but we cannot enforce the law. We are in the process of securing a humane officer. If anyone would like to contribute or join our fight to help those with no voice, please visit our website at www.habitat4houndsrescue.com.
Habitat for Hounds, Johnstown
Authority chairman disregards canon law
I was intrigued by Riley Martin’s letter of Feb. 19 (“More questions than answers”) regarding a Byzantine church leader chairing the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority. How can a person who lives in a building that pays no taxes to the city of Johnstown make decisions that remove jobs from the city?
Canon 285, article 1, states that “Clerics are to refrain completely from all those things which are unbecoming to their state”; article 2 states, “Clerics are to avoid those things which, although not unbecoming, are nevertheless foreign to the clerical state”; and article 3 states, “Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.”
A local priest did explain that article 4 does say that without the permission of their ordinary, they are not to take on the management of goods belonging to lay persons or secular offices which entail an obligation of rendering accounts or sign promissory notes, namely, those through which they assume an obligation to make payment on demand. However, the question remains: Has the chairman received such permission?
Moreover, has anyone questioned this conflict – how a Johnstown accounting firm was ousted under the chairman, residents fired under the chairman, and Pittsburgh firms brought in by a man who hails from Pittsburgh?
I am a religious man, but I didn’t work 20 years in the mill to have my city taken from its citizens and given to the church.
Senior warns peers to be aware of scams
Thank you for printing the article about the woman being told she’d won a large sum of money from Publishers Clearing House and needed to send money ($99) to Jamaica for shipping and handling.
I have received at least six calls over about two months’ time telling me I, too, had won huge sums of money. I never let them tell me the whole story because I knew right away it was a scam and told them so.
The first caller wanted to meet me at a 7-Eleven or Rite Aid store. I said no way. He didn’t say who the money was from.
Another caller said it was from something I’d bought at Walmart. I called and told someone at Walmart about the scam and he thanked me.
Two other calls told me it was Publishers Clearing House that was giving the money. I thought the calls had finally stopped, but I got another call last week and I told him I’d called the police, which I had done in Westmont. The policeman said it was a scam.
I would have liked to have set up my own trap and met the first caller at the Rite Aid store in Westmont and at least put a crimp in his plans.
I’m 80 years old and want to warn other senior citizens to be aware.
Ruth E. Dudak