Several weeks ago, I called Animal Control concerning a mother cat and her four kittens who were in an empty apartment building.

The last time I talked to someone I was informed they would try to contact the owner of the building to get permission to set traps. I couldn’t understand this because it’s apparent no one has taken care of this property for a long time. The owner has either died or no longer lives in Johnstown.

The kittens are so cute and highly adoptable, but give them a few more weeks and they will just be another statistic.

I don’t know how many are females, which, when older, will produce how many more kittens to be running around?

It’s sad that they just can’t capture these kittens and the mother and give them a chance at finding a good home and someone to love them.

I wonder how many times this has happened before, that they ignore a concerned citizen.

S.D. Wachs


Editor’s note: We asked for response from the City of Johnstown Animal Control, which follows:

Laws, neighbor rights must be adhered to

First, we would like to thank S.D. Wachs for bringing this to our attention. Without public concern, many of these animals’ predicaments would go unnoticed.

After an initial call to Animal Control, a return call was made and we were notified that the cats had left. Then, over a week later, a new complaint was made by Ms. Wachs, stating that they had returned.

At this point, I advised Ms. Wachs that the owner of the property would have to be notified in order to place traps on this property, or get permission from neighboring property owners. By law, we cannot set traps on a property unless we have property owners’ permission, whether or not it is occupied.

Animal Control took nearly 250 animals to the Cambria County Humane Society shelter last year and 175 of them were cats and kittens.

This year, we responded and removed 26 sick cats and kittens from one abandoned house and 11 from another home.

With the amount of calls our office receives, they need to be prioritized, and if there is an injured or ill animal, that call comes first. Unfortunately, the stray-cat calls, because of the great number, are a lower priority.

If you want to hold someone responsible for all of these stray cats, it should fall on the shoulders of the irresponsible animal owners. The answer is simple: Spay and neuter your animals, keep them inside, and, because vet care and food are expensive, only keep animals you can afford.

What I see in my job on an everyday basis is usually unfortunate and sad. If you think anyone in this business ignores calls, you are mistaken. Instead, many of these calls go home with us every evening.

Patty Salvia

City of Johnstown Animal Control

Directors working hard to do what is right

I have attended the Central Cambria school board meetings and witnessed the dispute that has occurred regarding the middle school concept.

The board members were voted in by the public and I am sure they ran for office with the belief that they would do the best possible job they could for our district. As director Joe Inzana stated that evening, it has been a long and hard decision for everyone. I am sure a lot of thought and effort was put into this matter before a decision was made.

I never realized how many hours our board members donate to our school district. This is a thankless job.

There have been many rumors and figures thrown around, but I don’t think anyone in the district knows the details of what is planned and what the cost is yet.

I have confidence that the students will adjust. As adults, I am sure we have made adjustments in life and have lived through them.

Janet Hagerich


Ferndale program, singer were fantastic

Last week, I had the honor of going to Ferndale Elementary School for a program called “Fernstock.” It was fantastic.

The children were honored for their achievements during the past year. Also, there was a talent show during which Matthew Clawson sang “God Bless the USA.” His parents should be very proud of him.

Matthew stood on stage and sang with all his heart. This 8-year-old should be proud of himself, too. Not many kids that age can do a thing like that. Good going Matthew. Keep up the good work.

Tilly Rae Fleegle


Torre continues his first-class ways

Joe Torre should be given a hero’s welcome when he returns to New York (“Torre makes his return,” May 2008).

Torre proved himself on and off the field to be a great role model and coach for the New York Yankees. With numerous championships and playoff appearances, Torre never truly left home.

When he went to the Dodgers in L.A., this humble man never lost the respect for and friendship of the ones who supported him during the glory days. Showing respect for Yankee star Derek Jeter after Jeter was hit by a pitch, Torre telephoned his old clubhouse in the Bronx to see how he was.

While Torre was in New York, the media were “all about him.” Now, in L.A., it isn’t that way. But Torre prefers to be off the main page of the paper day after day.

He should never be looked at negatively because he will always be known as a leader and a winner in New York.

Jared Baxter


Article belonged on comics page

Though Benjamin Franklin warned, “... that a person should not get into an argument with anyone who buys ink by the barrel ...” I am forced to take issue with your front-page story on June 9, “It’s not race, but ...” as one of the poorest choices possible.

This article took the comments of a few misguided, prejudiced people and presented them as if they are representative of the majority of Pennsylvania voters.

Any person who thinks it should be illegal for an African-American to run for president; or one who does not believe that a black is ever going to win Pennsylvania; or the fellow who objects to a person because of the middle name his parents gave him; or one who uses false information to form an opinion about a person and when confronted with the truth ignores that truth, do not represent America or Pennsylvania in 2008.

But putting these people and their views on the front page, rather than on the comics page where they belong, gives them credibility they do not deserve. It gives status to views that should make all of us ashamed; views that are not what this country is about.

2008 should be seen, perhaps more than other years, as an affirmation of the American belief that every child, regardless of sex, race, color or religion, can achieve whatever he or she wants – even to be president.

It should also be the year when prejudice is rejected by all Americans.

Samuel F. Rizzo


Comments could have caused a race riot

I am totally baffled by the article on the front page of the June 9 issue of The Tribune Democrat. Please don’t get me wrong, I know that this is America and everyone is entitled to freedom of speech (no matter how stupid it may sound).

I’m referring to the article in which a gentleman sitting on steps in front of his home gave his opinion that the Constitution should be amended so that no “colored people” can run for president.

The front of his home is where that comment should have stayed. There is no reason why that should have been on the front page of the newspaper.

I also understand that you have the right to freedom of press, but as a business in the Johnstown area, do you not have a moral obligation to your readers? That article could have easily caused a riot or some kind or racial backlash, all because you wanted to sell papers.

What if he had said no Jews should run for office? Or Christians? Would you have printed that also?

All I wanted to do Monday morning was relax, drink my coffee and read the paper. And this racial comment is what I see.

What a great way to start my week. Thanks a lot.

Kimberly Mann


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