November’s 30-day run begins on a dark Wednesday morning.

These early hours are quiet.

Mother Nature is preparing her seasonal weather foray.

The region’s morning weather has yet to be determined.

A cloudy, bleak, morning run is typical on most November days.

The youngsters finished trick-or-treat activities hours ago. Bags of delicious Halloween goodies are left on the counter waiting further consumption. Some treats may attend school as part of the student’s lunch.

Next to those tasty treats is a stack of campaign fliers.

Several municipal campaigns generated huge interest this year. My mailbox was heaped with these colorful political reminders.

George A. Hancock, of Scalp Level Borough, is an occasional contributor to the editorial page.

The upcoming election campaigns, NFL football and a previous column by me created several thoughts. There is so much going on these days. Our starting line is often hidden by a foggy mist.

Did you notice the political signs? They are everywhere here in the East Hills region.

The magisterial district judge contest has created a flurry of political campaign activity.

The signs are visible everywhere I run. Every intersection features these bright colorful magisterial district judge posters. This is the most hyped campaign in the current election cycle.

A run or drive along Scalp Avenue is intriguing. Signs are posted in residents’ yards.

Campaign messages appear on local billboards.

And signs are mounted on vehicles strategically placed in various parking lots.

“All politics is local,” an old political maxim, is very valid today. Voters can shape the region’s future by electing the right or wrong candidates.

Local voters casting their ballots en masse can influence policy and decisions until the next election cycle.

Residents have a simple duty: vote!

Weather should never be a factor in voting decisions. So what if rain is pouring from the skies. Hey, that is what umbrellas or hooded jackets are for.

Researching candidates is so simple, too.

Local newspapers cover the election and candidates in great detail. The Tribune-Democrat highlights numerous political contests in every election.

I don’t know who to vote for is a poor refrain. Do your homework and cast your vote accordingly.

A poor voter turnout might ensure a marginal candidate is elected. That person may have numerous supporters willing to walk through that before-mentioned rain to cast their ballots.

Another local contest worth studying is the Johnstown mayoral election. Recently, city Councilwoman Charlene Stanton announced her write-in candidacy.

We now have last-moment political intrigue. Many great thriller novels are based on similar plots.

The Tribune-Democrat editorialized against this maneuver in the article “Late mayoral write-in challenger seeks to circumvent democratic process.” There is a great line in that editorial: “(Jack) Williams’ disciple of mayhem does not deserve a chance to do what her mentor could not.”

Many do agree with that assessment. However, a point needs to be made. Stanton received the most votes in the 2015 city council election.

She received 1,696 votes.

Stanton is the top dog among numerous supporters.

Looking askance at this candidate, or any candidate, is a mistake. Never overlook any opponent. That is a fatal mistake.

Once again, I’ll state that a low voter turnout ensures that marginal candidates have a winning chance.


Another November thought revolves around the vicious hit that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco sustained during an Oct. 16 game.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso delivered an ugly hit to Flacco’s head. The end result was football mayhem.

Flacco was out of the game with a concussion. The Dolphins were penalized 15 yards, but Alonso was not ejected.

Flacco is now a future chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) candidate.

NFL Network analysts Bill Cowher and Deion Sanders performed an elaborate tap dance around the issue.

Clearly, the NFL and related media personnel are not taking this issue seriously.


I mentioned in a previous column that motorists are ignoring traffic signals around Theatre Drive and Schoolhouse Road.

Good news! Lately, I have not witnessed any motorists ignoring the lights.

Our streets are a tad safer.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

George A. Hancock, of Scalp Level Borough, is an occasional contributor to the editorial page.

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