Letters to the Editor

Too much spent on courthouse

Sitting here reading the Altoona Mirror, I came across an article about the Blair County courthouse needing another $1.5 million upgrade on its air circulating system. This courthouse is becoming a money pit, and believe me it won’t end with the latest wish list, which, of course, they will ...

Marcellus Shale gas needs to be taxed

Facts: -- Pennsylvania has a structural deficit. -- Our deficit has increased a billion dollars since the last fiscal year. -- The pension crisis remains. Marcellus Shale gas facts: -- Pa. ranks second in production of Marcellus Shale gas. -- New York State has a rich Marcellus ...

Smile in the ‘Sky’

Blair County lost someone beyond special with the passing of Phil Sky on June 16. He was forever a dreamer, always trying, always positive, always giving to others, always a smile, always your friend. If there is a Place of Dreams, Phil is riding his bike again. Fred Petrunak Altoona

Social media leading youth on downhill spiral

I feel society is in a downward spiral, and if someone does not address this topic, the world will remain oblivious, and it could cause more chaos. I have high hopes to change minds and actions of a few people and, hopefully, create a domino effect. One of the main causes is social media. ...

Vacated spot ideal for inspection sticker

Now that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has deleted the yearly registration sticker on your vehicle license plate, why not use this space for the safety inspection sticker? The inspection station could even put the sticker on your license plate for you. One look at your license plate ...

Senate should reclaim position

Robust substantive debates are part of our political history, but the recent level of hyperbole, rhetoric and “otherizing” those with opposing positions is an affront to both civility and our democracy. Those engaging in political debate need to recognize that people with opposing ...

Forefathers would hate current representation

Let me begin with our distinguished senators on the panel and what hypocrites they truly are. Every last one of them complimented James Comey on his honesty and integrity. Here’s a man who every Republican wanted fired after listing all of Hillary Clinton’s improprieties and ...

Support needed for Penn Vet

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and our 62,000 member families call on state lawmakers to support the restoration of funding in the state budget to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet). Penn Vet’s work on proper egg handling has nearly eradicated the ...

Altoona must consider its declining tax base

Before a decision is made to spend $90 million to build a new high school, some things to consider: There’s a good likelihood a school voucher system is going to come that will cause many parents to place their children in private schools, thus less money will be available to public ...

POWs should be treated much better

America’s involvement in World War II, Korea and Vietnam produced tens of thousands of POWs. Unless you were a POW, no one can know the pain, suffering, indignation and death they faced. After these wars ended, too many were left to die in Russia, China, North Korea, Cambodia, Laos and ...

Americans need to be on same side

In American politics today, there are two sides, and our country can only survive if the right side prevails. No, I do not mean the left and the right. For in fact, all too many cases, those on the right and left are really on the same side, the side of those who believe that our country ...

Paying visit to cemetery leaves much to wonder

Late last month, I visited my parents in Altoona. The old folks live in an even older farmhouse, which dates back to the 1840s and some of the earliest days of this all-but-forgotten railroad city in southern Pennsylvania. Between my parents’ home and Brush Mountain, and stretching ...

Altoona’s math doesn’t add up

What kind of math is this? A quote from the front page of today’s Mirror (June 13) really has me scratching my head and wondering what kind of smoke and mirror show is being presented to the Altoona Area School District taxpayers to justify the new high school project. The quote I refer ...

Arrange to collect campaign signs

It has been nearly a month since the primary, and there are stills some signs up. Many years ago when I was training in Oklahoma City, a radio station offered 10 cents for each political sign collected. Perhaps one of our TV or radio stations could do this. Robert Gordon Altoona

Islam in need of reformation

The recent wave of terrorist attacks in London have been nothing short of barbaric, and these attacks will be visited upon the United States at a greater pace if a travel ban on several countries is not instituted. The myth that radical Islam is just a tiny minority of the entire Muslim ...

June is right time to fight Alzheimer’s

If you have a brain, you can be affected by the degenerative brain disease, Alzheimer’s — even as young as 30 years old. As many as 5.5 million people in the United States have it. Pennsylvania is home to roughly 400,000 people who are living with Alzheimer’s or a related ...

Make driver licenses available earlier

The original driving age for teens starts at age 16. Then once you turn 16, you get a paper test. If you pass, you get a permit for six months. After six months of your permit, you take another test. I think we need to change this rule. I believe this rule needs to be changed so that ...

Cambria County needs transparency

Can anyone out there tell me why our elected Cambria County commissioners are fighting in court an order by the Office of Open Records to not release information from the pass-through grant they give the Child Development Corporation on salaries? Am I the only one — I doubt it — who ...

Paterno’s memory conveniently selective

The Joe Paterno family, through its spokesperson Jay Paterno, wants loyal PSU fans to believe that Joe Paterno knew nothing about his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s proclivity for boys. Also, fans were asked to believe that Paterno never knew sexual abuse of boys existed. This ...

Eichelberger, Trump leading the right way

Kirk Dodson, a self-proclaimed “teacher,” recently wrote that he became “shocked and dismayed” at a town hall meeting hosted by Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr. Dodson referenced “... an affront to all who believe in the foundation upon which our country was built.” I believe in ...