Johnstown Redevelopment Authority Refuses Council’s Request For Open-Door Meeting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cambria County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cambria County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  This is never a good sign!

JOHNSTOWN — Three city council members are pleased the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority agreed to answer some questions, but none is comfortable with the closed-door format the authority leadership demanded for Wednesday’s briefing.

Councilman Pete Vizza said he has been asking authority Chairman Raymond Balta since November to have council briefed on billing changes and other issues related to the authority-owned Johnstown Regional Sewage.

“I asked for whatever I could get,” Vizza said. “What I got was a closed meeting.  They didn’t want any public in there jumping on everybody.”

On Wednesday, the authority’s acting director, Frank D’Ettorre, and a representative from the authority engineering contractor are scheduled to meet privately with council members, Vizza said.

Read more:  http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x1633486348/Authority-to-answer-questions

Amtrak’s Regulars Treasure The Pennsylvanian

English: An locomotive arriving at the Johnsto...

English: An locomotive arriving at the Johnstown train station in Johnstown, . The train is Amtrak’s #42 Pennsylvanian. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ABOARD THE AMTRAK PENNSYLVANIAN — The steady rumble of steel wheels on tracks is punctuated by the wail of a locomotive horn and then, oddly, by the pop of a champagne cork.

It’s 8:30 a.m., and Amanda McCoy and Kim Christen are living it up in the cafe car. On the table are boxes of a Polish pastry called paczki, orange juice and a bottle of Barefoot Bubbly.

It’s mimosa time.

Ms. McCoy, of Indiana Township, and Ms. Christen, of West View, also have bread, garlic bologna, lettuce, tomato and a travel Scrabble set for the long ride. “We’re veterans,” Ms. McCoy says. “We know how to do it.”

Like many others aboard the train, they swear by it, and recoil at the possibility that the one daily Amtrak train serving Pittsburgh and Harrisburg will be eliminated in October.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/amtraks-regulars-treasure-the-pennsylvanian-675749/#ixzz2LDMwXNd9

Johnstown Battles Blight

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cambria County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cambria County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JOHNSTOWN, PA — What was once The Rib Rack restaurant is now an eyesore and a hazard.

The building, located at 405 Strayer St. in Johnstown’s West End, is in a state of decay, with crumbling bricks, broken rain spout, boarded windows and weeds.

Soon, though, the building will be razed.

Its demolition is part of an ongoing effort by City Council and the Community and Economic Development Department to remove blight from the town.

Since the fall of last year, 66 structures have been razed.  The Rib Rack is next on the list.  Work has started in the past few days.

Read more:  http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x1951926811/City-battles-blight

Thousands Still Without Power In Altoona And Surrounding Area

English: Undetailed map of Altoona, Pennsylvan...

English: Undetailed map of Altoona, Pennsylvania and some surrounding areas From my talk page: :I drew the map of Altoona in xpaint from a map on the Internet and a Rand-McNally atlas. It’s in the public domain. — Djinn112 04:40, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC) –$ 02:38, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC) Category:Altoona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four buildings partially collapsed Monday night in Altoona, according to city police.

Emergency crews kept busy tonight with flooded basements, damaged structures and downed trees and power lines as now-post-tropical Sandy continues its march into the mid-Atlantic states.

The humongous storm also brought a wintry mix as far north as Johnstown.

Around 9:45 p.m. Monday, police said they would likely close Fifth and Sixth avenues near Union Avenue in Altoona for the entire night after winds blew a huge chunk of a brick building onto the roadway.

High winds whipped against nearby pedestrians as emergency vehicles blocked the roads.

Read more: http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/565627/-Updated-11-45-p-m—Thousands-still-without-power.html?nav=742

Bedford, Blair, Center And Huntington Counties Brace For Hurricane Sandy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Blair County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Blair County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Hurricane Sandy continued to batter the East Coast and mid-Atlantic states, county officials in central Pennsylvania moved Monday to enact emergency disaster declarations ahead of the storm’s expected turn toward the area.

Bedford, Blair, Centre and Huntingdon counties issued emergency disaster declarations, and other Pennsylvania counties are expected to follow suit.

The declarations mean emergency management officials and first responders have greater access to resources necessary for relief efforts without the “red tape” of soliciting bids or other typical government procedures, Bedford County Director of Emergency Services Dave Cubbison said.

“We’re definitely going to have water,” Cubbison said.

Read more: http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/565622/Counties-brace-for-Hurricane-Sandy.html?nav=742

Son Of Former Johnstown City Councilman Has Mouth Taped By Judge – Won’t SHUT UP!

Editor’s note:  Never act as your own lawyer and learn to shut up!

EBENSBURG —  A Johnstown man who was scheduled to go on trial for assaulting a prison guard became so disruptive during jury selection on Thursday that the judge had the man’s mouth briefly taped shut and his hands handcuffed to a belt around his waist.

But Erik Britt continued to attempt to mouth words and interrupt proceedings.

Judge Timothy Creany finally called off any attempt to choose a jury. Creany continued the case until March and ordered a mental-health exam of the defendant.

While Britt continued to shout about his rights being violated, deputies took him out a rear door of the courtroom.

Read more:  http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x1818109318/Suspect-disrupts-court