Coffee and Conversations in Westmoreland County

Coffee and Conversations in Westmoreland County

DELMONT, Pa. — In Westmoreland County, we chose a historical diner for our Coffee and Conversations.

If you’re from the area or have driven down Route 22, then you’ve seen the Lamplighter Coffee Shoppe in Delmont, which has been serving up breakfast since 1962.

Channel 11 News anchor Lisa Sylvester sat down with folks who were eating there to talk about the upcoming presidential election and the issues they believe the next president needs to tackle.

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Their top picks: education, health insurance and infrastructure.

Education

Bill Frye, a former teacher, sat down with Lisa to talk about his concerns for children. He believes they are slipping behind when compared to the rest of the world. He said the United States’ status as a superpower will only last so long if students can’t compete.

“We don’t understand basic civics, basic history, the foundations the country was built on,” Frye said. “The top 1 percent of students in China far outnumber our students. They’re not dumb people. These are smart people. So if you have that kind of advantage, they don’t have to steal our trade stuff (secrets), they’ll figure it out.”

Health Insurance

For 40 years Claire Halucka worked at Westinghouse and Siemens, climbing her way up the ranks. Now that’s paying off with her retirement savings and supplemental health insurance. She wonders about others who don’t have a job.

“What do you do when your health insurance depends on whether or not you have a job? Every night you turn on the news, someone else is laying people off and closing their business. Those people will not have health insurance," Halucka said.

Infrastructure

Kono Morosky is a former state trooper who now has a construction company. The former MMA fighter is frustrated by a different kind of fighting: that between Republicans and Democrats in Congress. He says there’s no bipartisanship and in some cases, that’s led to stalled legislation, like the transportation infrastructure bill.

“They can’t get together to agree on infrastructure and I do a lot of work on locks and dams here in Pittsburgh," Morosky said. “They were made in the 1920s and they’re falling apart.”

About Coffee and Conversations: Each month, Lisa Sylvester will travel to another county and sit down with voters to talk about the issues they want to see the next president address. You can find all of her stories on our Politics page.