This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tastes of the Town event a success

An informal poll revealed “everything” as the favorite dish served at Ligonier Valley Historical Society's 24th Annual Tastes of the Town.
Upward of 200 guests journeyed to Antiochian Village and Conference Center in Fairfield on April 16 for the always-anticipated repast of best bites from more than 20 area food establishments.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Earth Day celebrated in nearby Pittsburgh


Saturday, April 18, 2015

here's what frack workers (jobs, jobs, jobs) have to look forward to once the few have made their killing destroying our landbase

"We are a group of united Consol Energy retirees fighting for the reinstatement of our healthcare benefits and for the right of Consol Energy retirees, present workers, and future employees. In December of 2013, Consol Energy Inc. completed a sales agreement with Murray Energy Corp. for five mines, affecting more than 1,200 Consol retirees with various assets and liabilities in the agreement. In a letter we received on March 14, 2014, Consol informed us that the Consol Plan for benefits would be terminated for salaried retirees, spouses, and widows/widowers on March 31, 2014 and Murray Energy Corporation would assume financial responsibility for our benefits after that date. On April 8, 2014, we received another letter from Murray Energy Corp. informing us that Murray would only continue our benefits and coverage until December 31, 2014, at which time our benefits would be terminated.
We put in decades of services and loyalty to Consol Energy. Many of us left the protection of the union because Consol had shown loyalty to past employees and retirees in return. Now Consol has turned their back on us and the other men and women who built Consol into a successful energy company and energy provider.  Consol has unloaded the responsibility to provide health benefits to their retirees onto Murray Energy, referring to covering the benefits for their retirees as a liability. Consol used the sale of their mines and assets to Murray Enegy as a scapegoat from their responsibility to their retirees. We retired from Consol not Murray and Consol has an ethical obligation to not leave us in the dust. We are committed to holding Consol accountable and getting our benefits restored."

Abby L. Ross RIP

In 1947, she married the late Walter Ross III, whom she had known since childhood, and eventually settled in Ligonier, her family said.
There, Mrs. Ross continued pioneering and “forward-thinking” by opening a women's clothing store in the 1970s with three friends called The Clothes Patch, Ross Cox said.
“My mother was making trips to New York with her partners,” she said. “They were there to buy clothing and paying the bills and marketing what they had, and they did a really good job.”
Some of her 14 grandchildren helped out in the store during its 25 years in business, Tom Day said.
Mrs. Ross's time in Ligonier was marked by her participation in theater productions for many years with the Valley Players and Hollow Tree Players. Ross Cox recalled a role in the mid-2000s when her mother played the grandmother in “Little Red Riding Hood.”

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Model Railroad Home Tour

Tomato Beef Lomein!

Mountain Palace Weekend Special
Tomato Beef Lomein with Happy Healthy Chinese Spices
Friday 6 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 6
Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake
724 717-8614

One that didn't get away with it....

"Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2015-03-05 to Chesapeake Appalachia Llc in West Burlington Twp, Bradford County. 78.57(a) - CONTROL, STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF PRODUCTION FLUIDS - Operator failed to collect the brine and other fluids produced during operation, service and plugging of the well in a tank, pit or a series of pits or tanks, or other device approved by the Department or Operator discharged brine or other fluids on or into the ground or into waters of the Commonwealth."

As other drillers have done, Cheasapeake intentionally disregarded the laws and environmental rules that (don't go far enough to) keep frackers in check. They never built the tanks or the pits...they just pumped the brine wherever it wanted to go. 

They got caught. But how many don't? How much toxic crap is flowing into PA water systems, wreaking havoc that won't necessarily even show up until cancers develop in years to come, long after this boom-bust industry has left us to clean up after them?

This is this real-world scenario that Ligonier Township supervisors have opened the Valley to. 

Why did you sit back, Ligonier, and allow it to happen? Are you going to step up now, and protect your landbase? What has to happen before you take action...?

submitting posters for events for Ligonier Living

Hi, Folks:  If you'd like to post info about special events on Ligonier Living, here are the options:

1.  I can make you a contributor so you can post things directly.  This is preferable if you are a business owner or have a desire to post items frequently.

2.  Send me text in an email with an attached picture.  I can grab the text and post it along with the picture.

3.  Send me you poster as an image file.  I can post it like the one you see in the previous post. It's not going to be super huge but I can get it up there easily.

Lots of folks make their posters in a pdf format.  This works when you want to print the poster but it's not a format I can post easily on Ligonier Living so I'll probably email you back and ask if you can switch to option 2 above. ;)


The Sword in the Stone

Gave my 10 year old grandnephew his first guitar last night.

He played with it till he fell asleep.  So sweet!  ;)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lawsuit: Range Resources ordered to disclose drilling chemicals

The case brings together two prime issues of contention in the decade-long shale drilling boom: leaky wastewater impoundments that regulators are seeking to phase out and disclosure of the chemicals used during drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
"Range Resources Corp. must gather information about the chemicals its contractors used at a Washington County shale gas well and disclose it to neighbors who sued over leaks from a nearby wastewater holding pond, state judges said this week. Superior Court denied the Fort Worth-based gas producer's appeal of a county judge's order directing the disclosure as part of a 2012 lawsuit involving the Yeager drill site and impoundment in Amwell. It's one of five impoundments Range agreed to close as part of a $4.15 million settlement reached last year with Pennsylvania regulators.

“We look forward to receiving the information ordered by the trial court requiring full disclosure of all chemicals used at the site,” attorney John Smith said Wednesday. He represents families who sued Range in 2012, alleging leaks from the pond and related drilling fouled their water."

Novel Art Submission Deadline

Imagine your favorite book being thrown into a landfill... the book you loved, the one that kept you company. Just tossed. The Ligonier community is saving books from the landfills and giving them new life by creating art to support the Ligonier Valley Library.

Participating is easy! There is still time to put together a project and bring it to the library.

Submission deadline is Saturday, April 18. Deliver your project to the Ligonier Valley Library.

The library is open Thursday from 10 am - 8:30 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am - 5 pm.

For more information, contact the Ligonier Valley Library at 724-238-6451.

Learn more about Novel Art on our Novel Art iii web page.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Ron Nordstrom holds a jar of contaminated water in his speech against fracking during a Ligonier Township supervisors and planning commission public hearing on the proposed zoning ordinance on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at Ligonier Valley High School.

3-1 vote moves zoning ordinance forward

Ligonier Township supervisors are another step closer to establishing a new zoning ordinance.
During a board meeting Tuesday night, they voted 3-1 to advertise a proposed zoning ordinance for possible adoption.
Supervisor Bruce Robinson voted against the motion.
Supervisor Tim Komar was absent.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

LVSD votes to sell

The Ligonier Valley school board will sell the defunct Laurel Valley Middle/High School for $1,705,000 to Western PA Coal Resorts LLC, which plans to lease it to a for-profit company that operates high-end drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.
During its meeting Monday night, the board voted 8-1 to approve an agreement of sale.
President John Maier cast the lone dissenting vote.
The sale will next go to the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas for approval.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

LVSD news from Sara

Hi there,

Ligonier Valley School District offers parents one of the best values for their housing dollar in Pennsylvania, according to a new report from consumer advocacy site NerdWallet.

We crunched census and state education data to identify high quality schools in affordable communities - and out of 491 school districts Ligonier Valley ranked fifth. How did we do it?
  1. To determine school quality we looked at standardized test scores, college readiness and class size.
  2. School quality was then weighted against affordability metrics to produce a list that isn't dominated by prohibitively expensive communities. 

I thought this could be valuable news to share with your readers. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you're interested in talking with Kamran Rosen, the analyst who wrote the study, for quotes or extra details about the methodology.


Heat wave at Harvard

"Harvard Heat Week will bring together stakeholders to stand united and call on Harvard to divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. The climate crisis leaves no room for neutrality, and we must be clear — sponsoring the destruction of people and planet is NOT an investment."

"Over 200 people on Sunday night—including students, faculty, alumni, and community members—initiated what they say will be a week-long blockade of Harvard University's main administrative building as they kicked-off a week of civil disobedience and direct actions designed to elevate and escalate an ongoing student-led campaign to force one of the nation's most elite post-secondary schools to divest its financial holdings from the fossil fuel industry.The blockade of Massachusetts Hall, which houses the office of University President Drew G. Faust, followed a day of activities on campus which focused on the crisis of climate change and the national divestment movement in which schools, local governments, pension funds, religious institutions, and individuals have been urged to pull their investments from the coal, oil, and gas industries.

Chloe Maxmin, a Harvard senior and co-founder of Divest Harvard, told The Daily Crimson, the school newspaper, that President Faust and the administration have "consistently ostracized" the students pushing for divestment and "used ever-changing statements" explaining their refusal to ditch fossil fuels. "We're actually not that radical," said Maxmim. "We’re not insane. We’re genuinely frightened for our futures and truly believe that Harvard is sponsoring some of that fear.""

Sunday, April 12, 2015

an interesting interview about animal shelters

Inhumane: Nathan J. Winograd On Reforming Animal Shelters

On a sunny morning in California, animal advocate Nathan J. Winograd sat across from me in a coffee shop and refuted nearly everything I’d grown up hearing about U.S. animal shelters. Pet overpopulation is a myth, he said. Between 3 and 4 million cats and dogs are killed every year in the very places that should protect them — not because too few homes exist, he claims, but because shelter directors fail to find people to adopt those animals.

Winograd has spent more than twenty years working to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters. Less than a decade after forming his No Kill Advocacy Center, he is the most vocal and identifiable member of the burgeoning No Kill movement. He wrote the manual used by activists across the nation to establish “No Kill communities” — counties and municipalities whose shelters find homes for at least 90 percent of their animals. 

Amber Noel pleas for help and also for responsible pet ownership.

Let me start out by apologizing because this rant is going to be a bit long, but it is necessary. As a lot of people know, Beth Luther and myself handle alot of the rescues in the area. Rescue doesn't just mean taking an animal in and finding it a home. It also means trapping animals, helping them get medical attention, and trying to spay/neuter any "stray, feral, or outside" animals (usually cats) so that they quit spreading diseases to each other and DON'T HAVE MORE KITTENS. We offer help to alot of people that could have easily taken care of these problems themselves, but don't or won't for some reason that they only seem to know. Then when spring comes we start getting the phone calls to come "get the kittens and do something with them." No matter how upset we are with these people, as the problem could have been avoided, we still go help. It wouldn't be right to refuse because it's the animals that will suffer. So here we are again, entering kitten season and the calls have already begun because of irresponsible owners. Please people, just take care of your animals. We are not miracle workers. We don't have endless funds coming in. Many times we are using our own money to help an animal in need. Which brings me to the next problem in irresponsible ownership. If you don't have the money, time, or maturity to care for an animal, don't get one. If something happens in your life that you need help, then ask. Don't just abandon your animals. This is what I am dealing with now. An individual lost his home and made no advance plans for his cats. Now he moved and he just left his cats behind at his old property. I was up there today and all of these cats are now sick or starving. It's heartbreaking. There is a cat with a major neurological disorder that can barely walk. A second with another neurological issue that isnt as severe but still has mobility problems. There are multiple cats that are walking skeletons with fur. All these cats need immediate attention. They are all suffering and will die horrible deaths if they arent helped. Myself and Beth Luther are going to try to undertake the task of trapping all these cats, but we are going to break our budgets trying to save them. There are 10-20 cats still left on the property that will all need vet care and fosters or adopters. This is not acceptable. This person left these cats behind to fend for themselves, breed, create a bigger problem, and eventually die. This is something that absolutely should not have happened. So throughout this week you will see pics of cats pop up needing sponsors, fosters, or adopters. We have $160 in the account from when Pete (Butt Butt) was caught, but this won't be nearly enough. We are going to need funding again to help with all of this. Unfortunately we have to ask the public again for their help. I was also considering some small fundraiser like a vendor show. Any other questions or suggestions please feel free to call or text me at 814-421-7978. Hopefully together we can help out all of the Ligonier animals, even if it is one animal at a time.
***Side note, just so everyone knows, we are still working out the Memorial Pete/Butt Butt fund. As I noted earlier we have $160 in donations left from his care. The details of the fund are still being sorted through as we are attempting to bring more people and businesses in. I'm hoping to have all the details ironed out soon. We do have to divert anymore donations though from Donovan Veterinary Clinic to Ligonier Borough Police. The vet clinic cannot handle the funds for us anymore. Anyone sending in donations can still make them out to the vet clinic but they must be sent into the PD. Please note on the check that it is for Ligonier homeless animals or the Pete fund. The address is Ligonier Borough Police Attn Amber Noel 112 N. Fairfield St. Ligonier, PA 15658. If you prefer paypal, donations can be sent to
Thank you!

Is Tiger Woods back?

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - The ferocious fist pump was back and the roars echoed around Augusta National once again for Tiger Woods, who turned back the clock during his first nine in the third round of the Masters on Saturday.
Woods, returning from a two-month hiatus from competition, and a two-year absence from Augusta due to back surgery last year, was his old self in a rousing, four-under-par charge in his first nine holes that took him to six-under.

Regular readers of Ligonier Living know I'm just not into sports.  I do love to watch Tiger Woods play golf when he's playing like he used to.  Here's hoping the old Tiger is back!


Foxley Farm files suit

The owners of a Ligonier Township farm entangled in a legal dispute over staging weddings and other special events have filed a lawsuit against current and former government officials and employees as well as six residents and a law firm, claiming violation of their rights and financial losses.
In a civil complaint filed Thursday, Foxley Farm owners Maggie and PJ Nied name Ligonier Township; the board of supervisors; Supervisors Scott Matson, Paul Knupp, Wade Thomas, Bruce Robinson and Tim Komar; former Supervisor Keith Whipkey; the zoning hearing board and members Linda McDowell, Gary Thistlethwaite and Robert Ramsey; former zoning officers Shelly Kaltenbaugh and Cynthia Angelo; former township solicitor Judith Ciszek; Avolio Law Group; attorney and township solicitors Scott E. Avolio and Michael Korns; township solicitor Gary Falatovich; and residents Christopher Turner, Carolyn Shearer Turner, Donald Korb, Carolyn Roberts Korb, David Barnhart and Sally Ann Barnhart.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

I love libertarian, Camille Paglia.

living peacefully....a libertarian chat about Indiana's new law

Tolerance lies at the core of the libertarian worldview. Living peacefully with each other means accepting our differences and allowing others to engage in behavior that we might dislike but that does not harm third parties. “Anything that’s peaceful” is our lodestar, as Leonard Read often reminded us. Such tolerance does not require that we associate with people we disagree with, only that we leave them in peace. And this idea cuts to the core of the debate in Indiana.
If, like me, you think that gays and lesbians are not doing anything harmful to anyone, and that they should be treated just like other human beings, you might call the behavior of those who refuse to, for example, provide photography services at a same-sex marriage “intolerant.” Perhaps it is, but those who have such views are not engaged in any attempt to prevent gays and lesbians from getting married — or anything else — by refusing to provide them with a service. They are, in fact, tolerating them, but also refusing to associate with them. Tolerance does not mandate association.

township zoning update

Supervisor Tim Komar expressed an interest in removing the portion of the agriculture definition that states the exclusion of “tourist or recreational activities,” adding that it contradicts laws and other documents that support agritourism in rural areas. Supervisor Bruce Robinson said he would rather leave it as is. Korns said the addition of an agritourism definition is a change that could be considered in the amendment process.
Korns again asked the board about its view on the planning commission's suggestion to increase the buffer zone around perennial streams instead of just named streams. In February, the planning commission voted to recommend increasing the buffer zone around perennial streams. At a following supervisors meeting, the board approved the increase for named streams. Board members indicated Friday that they intended to keep the buffer zone for named streams only. Still, Korns plans to have them do a revote on Tuesday to clarify their intentions.
Ligonier Council members sent the township a letter last month, stating concerns about the ordinance. They asked for more protection for the Furnace Run Watershed and Loyalhanna Creek and expressed concern about how close to the borough fracking could occur. Korns said he will contact borough officials to discuss their concerns, adding that, given the restrictions of the ordinance, it does not appear there are fracking areas close to the borough.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

If We Dig Out All Our Fossil Fuels, Here’s How Hot We Can Expect It to Get

Press ? for keyboard shortcuts.

"To understand the scope of this challenge, I’ve tallied the projected warming from fossil fuels extracted so far and the projected warming capacity of various fossil fuels that can be extracted with today’s technology. This accounting was done by taking the embedded carbon dioxide in each energy source and using a standard model for the relationship between cumulative carbon emissions and long-run temperature changes based on a 2009 Nature article. For those who don’t like suspense, here’s the total: an astonishing 16.2 degrees. And here’s how that breaks down. Since the Industrial Revolution, fossil fuels have warmed the planet by about 1.7 degrees. We are already experiencing the consequences of this warming. In recent weeks, we have learned that the world had its warmest winter on record and that Arctic sea ice hit a new low, even as intense storms continue to inflict harm on communities globally.

Next, look at fossil fuel reserves, the deposits we know to be recoverable under today’s prices and technology. That is, they are inexpensive to access. If we were to use all of this coal, natural gas and petroleum, the planet would warm by an additional 2.8 degrees. Add the heat from those reserves to the 1.7 degrees from what has already been emitted, and you get a world that is 4.5 degrees warmer since the industrial revolution; this is beyond scientists’ recommended 3.6-degree threshold.The next set of fossil fuels in line is referred to as resources, rather than reserves. The difference is that they are recoverable with today’s technology, but not at current prices. There is 3.1 degrees’ worth of warming if the oil and natural gas in this category are utilized, which would lead to a total increase in global temperatures of 7.6 degrees."

Zha Jiang Man Weekend Special

Zha Jiang Man
Something you have never had!
Mountain Palace Weekend Special
Lomein Noodles with Ground Beef and Happy Healthy Chinese Spices

Come to Mountain Palace this weekend to enjoy this never before offered Chinese delight or any of our other Happy Healthy menu items.

Friday 6 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 6

Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake
724 717-8614

Pass the word! Tornado/severe weather test for Ligonier set for tonight at 7pm.

  • APRIL 10 - TORNADO/SEVERE WEATHER TEST FOR LIGONIER:Tornado Siren Test: April 10, 2015, 7:00PM. When severe weather is predicted/imminent The Ligonier Volunteer Hose Company #1 will (if possible) activate the The Severe Weather Siren. The Siren will sound a continuous wail for 3 minutes. If this is heard, all individuals should seek shelter below ground. If that is not an option, then a sturdy section of a building, preferably a corner. There are many approaches for personal safety during severe weather. Research your options for your best course of action. Once the danger has passed, The Ligonier Volunteer Hose Company #1 will (if possible) activate the All Clear signal. The Siren will sound with 3 short cycles indicating the All Clear. Monitor Ligonier Radio for the all clear announcement, if you are able to (safely) for any updates. Note: Ligonier Radio is on AM 1620 and FM 100.9 in the borough. On computers, like a laptop streaming at, but probably the best way to monitor your local radio station in a basement will be on the Tunein Radio app (free) on your cell phone.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fracking Boom Accompanied by Rise of Silent, Deadly Carcinogen in Homes

A drill worker covered in mud, shale, and drill cuttings seals off a well and cleans the blowout preventer at a Cabot Oil & Gas natural gas drill site in Kingsley, Pa.

"By drilling 7,000 holes in the ground, the fracking industry may have changed the geology and created new pathways for radon to rise to the surface," Casey says. "Now there are a lot of potential ways that fracking may be distributing and spreading radon. —Joan A. Casey, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health"

"Researchers in Pennsylvania have discovered that the prevalence of radon, a radioactive and carcinogenic gas, in people's homes and commercial buildings that are nearer to fracking sites has increased dramatically in the state since the unconventional and controversial gas drilling practice began in the state just over a decade ago. Both odorless and tasteless, radon is a naturally-occurring gas released from bedrock minerals beneath the ground and is found in millions of homes across the country. However, in a study published Thursday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, scientists compared the results of state-wide radon testing in Pennsylvania to find a significant correlation between unusually high levels of the deadly gas in some buildings (mostly residential homes) and the proliferation of fracking in certain areas of the state." 


writers - save the date!

May 16th is the day CAW - Cooperative Association of Writers - will present a workshop themed Publishing and Marketing.

The facilitator for the workshop will be Dylene Cymraes of Westminster, MD. Dylene is accredited as a facilitator for Open Space Technology, the meeting method that will be used for this event. There is a very good description of Open Space on Wikipedia.

There will be a small fee to cover Dylene's expenses - $20 or $25.  This will be a one day session running from 9am to 5pm.  Location to be announced, but likely in Ligonier or Greensburg. I attended one of Dylene's Open Space Technology meetings earlier in the year and it was really interesting. Cool format.

You do not need to be a member of CAW to participate. Save the date!

100 years old!

Gladys Shaffer, a resident of Loyalhanna Care Center in Latrobe, celebrated her 100th birthday recently with friends and family.
“I've had a happy life,” said Shaffer. “I take each day one at a time and just try to enjoy myself.”
Members of the Heritage United Methodist Church, of which Shaffer was a member for many years, planned a party in her honor, complete with cake, balloons and a magician.

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Wigle Sisters Kitchen now open on West Main

Wigle Sisters Kitchen is now open for business at 321 W. Main St. in Ligonier Borough. Wells serves up healthy “Southern comfort food with a twist” for takeout and dine-in meals on weekends from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours to come in the summer.
“I know I cook organic, but I don't want people to be like, ‘Oh I can only get salads there,'” she said. “I want there to be good, hearty food for everyone.”

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Had some awesome music at Mellow Mike this week.

Mellow Mike happens on the first Tuesday of the month 6:30 to 9:30 at the Ligonier Tavern.

LVSD students will have their work displayed at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Three Ligonier Valley High School students will have their work displayed at the Andy Warhol Museum as part of their reward for placing in a recent contest.
Freshmen Maria Anto, Betsy King and Katie Betz received scholarships for placing in the Waldman International Arts and Writing Competition. The competition is coordinated by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh with support from the museum, JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum and Partnership 2Gether (P2G) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. The theme of the contest, in its 30th year, was “Real Life Superheroes in the Face of Persecution.”

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015


California rations water, Ligonier Living rations posts

Out west, Californian officials are restricting water use by residents because of drought. Closer to home, a different sort of restriction is being placed...on posts to Ligonier Living. Despite the high number of readers of posts by one Ligonier Living blogger - myself, that is - restrictions of one post per day have been imposed. (This may not apply to everyone, don't despair!)

So, with that little explanation out of the way, here is my lone post for Wednesday, April 8th:

Ligonier is a lovely town, situated in a beautiful, unspoiled valley. It is home to many generous, life-affirming people, some of whom are working very hard to protect it for everyone, not for just a few. That's because all of Ligonier Valley's residents - no matter what their politics or worldviews might be - deserve to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and be governed by honest, ethical officials. The realities about what is happening both here in Ligonier and in the larger world - on which we are dependent for our survival - should be shared widely and often. (According to the blog's banner, contributors are welcome to its "free speech zone," which is certainly an invitation to anyone reading to weigh in.)

So here's to a future of sharing facts and observations - one post per day, for me, at least - on this very worthwhile local venue, Ligonier Living. All the best, dear readers!