Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Spend the evening with authors Cassandra Fell and Walter L. Powell, as they discuss their book "Ghosts and Legends of Fort Ligonier"
Come to Fort Ligonier and journey back in time two centuries to a place where the flag of His Majesty King George still flies!
Advance reservations required.
"First, marriage has been destabilized, and divorce is rampant.
Second, male headship in the family has been replaced by an “egalitarian” arrangement where the husband and wife “share” in the leadership responsibilities of the family.
Third, the man as provider has been rejected for a new model of joint economic responsibility.
Fourth, the women as a full-time homemaker is scorned, and the working woman who seeks fulfillment and independence in employment outside of her home is now a cultural norm.
Fifth, the biblical norm of a woman as a nurturer of children has been replaced by the feminist ideal of a working mother who places her children in “daycare” so that she can pursue other important matters.
Sixth, the idea that a large family is a “blessing” is rejected for notion that a small family of one or two children (and for some, no children at all) is far better."
Read more here
You may note a certain similarity between the surname of the column's author and my own. If you want to find out why, you'll have to twist my arm until I say "Uncle!"
Here's a sample:
"Whenever I shop at the grocery store, I stay out of aisle three. There’s a Russian dressing over there."
Fundraisers that directly benefit the school budget are:
· Fish fries
· Magazine sales
· Boxtops for Education
· Giant Eagle debit cards
· School marathon
· Phone and ink cartridge recycling
· Duck race (Benefits a particular cause of the school).
· Art fair and French Café (Benefits these programs).
The scholarship program provides local tuition assistance. This money is raised through:
· Scholarship drive
· Golf tournament
· EITC (Education Improvement Tax Credit)
The Parent Teacher Guild (PTG) raises money to enable students to enjoy local play productions and field trips. They also help fund various projects for the school.
Fundraisers for this include:
· Discount cards
· Coupon book
· Basket raffle
Participation in each of these fundraisers benefits everyone.
"Businesses can receive credits for certain types of taxes paid to the state by making a contribution to the Scholarship Partners Foundation (SPF) of the Diocese of Greensburg. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program allows businesses to receive up to 90 percent of their contribution in tax credits. Businesses may also benefit by participating in the Pre-Kindergarten Tax Credit (PKTC) program.
Businesses may choose to designate their donation to a Catholic elementary school or diocesan high school.
SPF allocates the contributed funds as supplemental financial aid to children of qualified families who are enrolled in the 15 elementary schools, middle school and two high schools in the four-county diocesan region, including Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana and Westmoreland."
Go here to read more.
Look at this awesome charity!!
Design Gives Back projects help the world through creative action. Right now people are abandoning dogs and cats at an alarming rate because of home foreclosure and job loss. Can you imagine having to give-up your precious little family member? Heartbreaking. Simply by decorating an Oliver Wendell "Play Strong" scarf and sending a pic of your creation on your dog–or a friend's dog–you will earn a $10.00 donation to help these abandoned pets. So, simply by applying our creativity to making a cute scarf we can raise $2,000 for these needy friends!
Wouldn't it be neat to do something similar around here?
The first First Friday event of this fall/winter season will be held on October 2nd. 7:30 to 9:30 PM.
Discussion and refreshments follow.
As sure as fall brings cool temperatures and colorful leaves, the new season brings classic murder mysteries and thrillers to community theaters.
Apple Hill Playhouse is the first to scare its audiences silly by staging "Busybody" beginning this weekend. The Jack Popplewell mystery comedy, which closes the 2009 season at the Delmont theater, focuses on Mrs. Piper, the cleaning lady, portrayed by Anne Crusan of Bolivar.
1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."
2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, "Dam!"
3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."
5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?", they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."
7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."
8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.
9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh.
No pun in ten did
Read this, please:
I don't know what's worse: that most Republicans seem to be against ending this unfair legal protection for an entrenched industry that is ruining our country with their non-competitive practices, or that most Democrats seem to be threatening this arrangement only as a bargaining chip to push for a meaningless public option that wouldn't be accessible to almost 85% of the population?
Instead of improving our country, through creating and enforcing free and fair markets, our politicians are currently engaging in backroom deals, most of which protect the very companies who profit the most from these disastrous outdated systems -- industries like health insurance and big Pharma. Read more in the Huffington Post.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Or, alternatively, click this link, scroll down to "August 5, 1965 The Bear and the Cadillac", and click Play on the embedded player, then go to the 30:15 mark.
This is an old recording of one of my all-time favorites, Jean Shepherd.
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Mix the peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until evenly blended (kids love to do this with their hands). Drop 1-inch balls of the mixture onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Pierce with fork tines to decorate. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden.
If you like chocolate, add 6 oz. of semisweet chocolate chips to the batter. Enjoy!
Amongst the general goofing around and casual relaxation of Mellow Mike, each Tuesday being not the same, offers up the most fascinating and lovely jewels. Here's one of several simply wonderful tunes Joe Stierheim has written and brought along to sing for and with us. It's called The Willow Tree.
The Willow Tree
Words and music by Joe F. Stierheim
When I was young and the world was free
I walked my love beside the willow tree
And the days were warm and my life was fair
And full of joy as we lingered there
For I loved my love and she loved me
As we sat beneath the willow tree
And my life was rich with the gold of love
And the golden sky above.
Chorus: La la la la la la la la la la
la la la la la la la la la
Then I lived my life and I passed my days
From April’s glow until September’s haze
And I found through life that the stream of time
Mixed precious gold with bitter brine
But I learned that though the gold held worth
So did the baser metals of the earth
And I minted my coins both rich and strong
And accepted right with wrong
Now I am old and my life is o’er
But my heart is your as ere it was before
And the days are warm and the world is free
As I sit beneath the willow tree
For I counted my days as one counts gold
One by one to all their treasure hold
Now with coffers full and my heart at peace
I’m content for my life to cease.
What is Mellow Mike? It's kinda like an open mike. It's kinda like a pub sing. It's got drumming circle qualities. It's a free flowing, we never know what to expect, casual happening. It's about mellow music and reading. It's about communing over a cocktail or a cup of coffee and a snack with new and old friends. It's kinda spiritual in that way that isn't codified. You listen and hear and make of the music what you wish and just groove to the mellow vibe.
So if you have a guitar or a drum or a tambourine, or any other mellow instrument, feel free to bring it in. I keep waiting and hoping for someone to show with a cello.
Mellow Mike starts at 6:30 and runs until 9pm.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The Beanery Writers Group booklet, Volume 3, CELEBRATING SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, is now available for purchase ($4.00). The booklet includes fourteen items written by members, on subjects that include Geyer Performing Arts Center (Scottdale) by Kathleen Clark; Communion at Flat Rock by Joanne McGough and a sketch of the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the Cleveland Indians baseball game by Carolyn C. Holland.
An additional writing is by Sara K. Byrne-Houser, director of child development at the Ligonier YMCA. She is our guest writer.
These booklets make great birthday, get well, friendship or special occasion gifts. Copies sent to friends or relatives in distant communities to provide them with a touch of Southwestern Pennsylvania through the eyes of our writers.
Copies are available at the Second Chapter Bookstore, 209 East Main St., Ligonier, or from any member of the Beanery Writers Group, including me, Carolyn C. Holland, group facilitator. The Beanery Writers Group is scheduled to man a table outside the Second Chapter Bookstore during Ligonier Days.
To read writings on the Beanery Online Literary Magazine, sponsored by the Beanery Writers Group, visit the site by clicking on www.beanerywriters.wordpress.
Also, don’t forget to visit www.carolyncholland.wordpress.
Nikki Schwab comes to us from U.S. News & World Report, where she has been a reporter for the widely read Washington Whispers column. She also produced the Washington Whispers section on u.s.news.com, updating its content throughout the day. She previously served internships at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive and at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Nikki graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh and received a master's degree in communication from American University.
PITTSBURGH — A federal grand jury accused the former chief executive officer of a defunct soft-drink-maker and four others connected to the company of perpetrating an $806 million bank fraud, much of which went to the ex-CEO and his family.
Gregory Podlucky, 48, of Ligonier, provided financial institutions and equipment suppliers "with dramatically false financial statements" to get equipment leases and loans for Latrobe-based Le-Nature's Inc., said U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan. She called the "largest fraud in the history of the Western District of Pennsylvania," a 25-county area.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Also, the wonderful Ken Burns' National Parks series starts tonight on PBS (at least WQED in Pgh.) I was blessed to have parents who dragged all five kids through 36 states and countless National Parks, monuments, and other preserved areas. When we were at Yellowstone my younger brother asked my parents if this was where God lived. The accompanying book is spectacular, too.
Thank you in advance for your support!!!!!!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
NEW FLORENCE - As a football player, a student and a young man, Ricky Hafer was always a source of pride around Laurel Valley High School.
He is now known as a local hero. Hafer, who enlisted in the U.S. Army after his graduation in 2001, died when two Black Hawk helicopters collided over Mosul, Iraq, in November 2003 while he was on a mission as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Read more in the Indiana Gazette.
Luckily it's been months since I have encountered a bear in my yard though two neighbors report we had a mother with three cubs back there in the woods. I have stayed out of the woods and been really stingy with bird feed. Also, we never keep garbage outside. Our garbage is bagged, in a can with a lid and inside a locked garage.
A co-worker has been dealing with a bear all summer who keeps trashing their trash. I keep saying, put the garbage inside but they don't want to and so that means they'll have to deal with this bear. It's a shame because that does mean someone will eventually get hurt and I bet it's the bear.
Each time I have had a face to face surprise encounter with a bear, I have run to the house. The first time, I paused to consider whether to ignore the bear or run. I ran. The second time, the bear was so close I ran before thinking.
I've always wondered whether it would be safe to defend my territory from a bear. You see, since working with horses years ago I have learned the value of pretending to be large and I use that technique, if necessary, with all animals. It does work. I've done my share of growling, standing large waving an object or simply staring down.
I have also learned that pretending to be a tree doesn't work. Years ago we were moving a herd of horses from one field to another. The trainer had the alpha mare on a lead and walked her down a fenced lane to the other field. Another working student and I closed the gate behind the herd and were basically in charge of keeping watch to make sure everyone followed and kept up with the leader. Something spooked the herd and they turned around intent on going back to the original field and as they galloped towards us, we paused wondering what to do. The other student shouted "make like a tree!" so we spread our arms and legs to look as big as possible forming a two person forest in the lane. As the herd galloped around the corner, he shouted "It's not working!" and we jumped on the fences and felt the wind of the herd as it rushed past up to the other field. Hah! That was a great lesson - dangerous and hilarious. Be large, yes, but inanimate? No.
My second great lesson was spending free time with a stallion in a fenced exercise coral. He was an old surly kinda guy and my job was to keep him moving partially with a slow swishing of a lunging whip near the ground and also with games like "Can you beat me? I can beat you!" - meaning we did little games of racing and trotting back and forth presumably for 15 or 20 minutes until the trainer came to lead the stallion back to the barn. This old equine was a tough cookie to lead and I did not yet have the mental tools to do that job. Witness what happened when the trainer got sidetracked and left us in that coral for close to an hour. There was a moment when everything changed. I remember that moment very clearly. I can still see the look in the eye of the stallion as he turned and basically said, "I have had enough of this little girl." He reared up magnificently against the sunset and charged. I had no idea what to do so I did nothing as he lowered his head and flung me against the fence. My glasses flew off and I lay in a crumbled heap beneath his presence, while he continued to snort and stomp and stand guard over me, his prey.
It was one of those times when you think, "Oh! So THIS is how I am going to die." and you wait......to die. I waited there for what seemed like a very long time until two boarders walked past chatting on the way to the barn. One noticed the stallion and then me and called to see what was going on. I quietly asked them to get the trainer. What followed was a good lesson in being bigger and using only as much bravado as necessary to make a point and control. It involved no violence, just a different method of communicating and so now I know you should communicate with animals in their language including feigning a threat.
Getting back to bears, it has occurred to me that running to the house is communicating the wrong message. At some point a bear will decide that my yard/territory is ripe for the taking. So, when I read this article, I did so with interest. Any thoughts?
"You want to be as big, as large as possible, and you always want to fight back with a black bear," said Hampton. Black bears tend to be timid and are generally not aggressive.
"When they are utilizing our environment as their habitat in that manner, they are also very likely to defend that territory, " said Hampton. "And so it can be a dangerous situation when bears get to the point where they are breaking into homes to get food."
First, with very few peaceful exceptions, like FREE TIBET, I just don't know what all these people were protesting except that they just like to do that sort of thing. Most world leaders support what the protesters want. If anything, there should have been some pro-liberty and pro-democracy, pro-capitalism marches.
Second, I think the G20 draws people looking for a fun happening, an excuse to do things they wouldn't do by themselves, like wreck storefronts and other idiotic non-useful things. No one actually believes these acts will get them what they purport to want.
Third, I think the police forces were prepared and highly trained and with minor exceptions, acted with dignified reserve and ought to be commended for controlling large crowds and protecting citizens and property. This was not, in my view, the establishment against the people. This was the people against a few thugs and lots of students who aren't smart enough yet to understand how to deal with strangers or life because they've just been allowed to stand at the bus stop for the first time in their lives without parental oversight. [That's a whole other subject.]
Fourth, if you engage in civil disobedience or decide to watch real life unfold right before your eyes, you had better be prepared to suffer the consequences. Sue, protesters who stand up for real issues expect to face rubber or real bullets and tear gas, to get their hair yanked and generally get roughed up and arrested. Those who choose to engage do so for purpose taking the suffering as a price for or against the cause for which they feel it is worth sacrifice So for these party pretend so-called protesters who engage and then complain, what idiotic children and cry babies!
Fifth, reporters should not go onto a battlefield and not expect to get wounded.
Sixth, unless you are prepared to be arrested, do what the officer says. Be polite and do whatever they want quickly and with respect. Disperse means disperse and if people got caught up and then arrested, well, I just have to believe they didn't keep a safe enough distance or failed to respond promptly. Frankly, I'd lay odds that the overwhelming majority were hanging close with cell phones in hand hoping to get the perfect shot or video to Tweet, Facebook, or YouTube. This wasn't about peace, love and fruit soup. It was about the making of a happening and hoping for lots of good pictures. Sort of like, let's see if we can burn Oakland and get famous for getting the best shot. Thankfully, Pittsburgh was ready and put a lid on it.
Seventh, overwhelming force is the best defense against bullies and that is why I am not a pacifist.
At issue is the moral integrity of Kevin Jennings, the current "safe school czar" who while working as a teacher, is accused of having counseled a 15 year old who was having a homosexual affair with an adult.
Before you read this, take note, please, that I have ZERO issue with homosexuality. I support states' rights to create same sex civil unions. That's my personal position and I only state that because I really don't think the underlying disturbance here is the homosexuality though I understand some readers may think that's a core issue.
I am really interested in two things. The student was having sex. The student was having sex with an adult.
I'm drilling this down a bit because I also understand that there is a whole bunch of people who are disturbed by a 15 year old having sex. My concern - as a person who does not have children - is what do parents think? What business is it, really, for a public school teacher to be giving sexual advice to a student? Was this part of a safe sex course? I doubt it. It sure doesn't sounds like the teacher deferred in any way towards any concern of parental oversight.
Lastly, of course, is the outrageous fact that the partner was a adult and the act is statutory rape. Yes, there are cultures in which sex with a minor is okay but not in this culture.
Just for kicks, substitute a Catholic priest for the adult and think through how this scenario might have played out.
Bottom line, if what this "safe school czar" is accused of having done is true, geez isn't the fox guarding the henhouse?
Here's a bit of the article.
According to Mr. Jennings' own description in a new audiotape discovered by Fox News, the 15-year-old boy met the "older man" in a "bus station bathroom" and was taken to the older man's home that night. When some details about the case became public, Mr. Jennings threatened to sue another teacher who called his failure to report the statutory rape "unethical." Mr. Jennings' defenders asserted that there was no evidence that he was aware the student had sex with the older man.
Read more in the Washington Times.
The entire cast performed well but there are two I just have to mention especially because their performances really stood out. Roxanne Lenhart - BRAVO lady! In her first major role, she did an outstanding job of playing Abby Brewster. She and Jennifer Appleby West as Martha Brewster were fabulous. For some reason I can't picture Martha Brewster from the movie, but Abby has always stuck in my mind and I think Roxanne really captured the role and made it her own.
The other performance which stuck out to us was Eric Harris playing Jonathan Brewster. Eric, we had no idea you could play such a mean guy and do it so well! You were nicely evil. I always love to see Eric's hair because he always changes it for each show. Did you dye it for this one? LOL
Kudos to all. The final show at the Ligonier Theater is at 2:30 today.
TOWN’S EDGE FARM
46 Springer Road
Ligonier, PA 15658
HOLIDAY TIME IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!
Once again, We will have our own Farm Fresh White Broad Breasted turkeys for sale. Price this year is $1.99/lb. Hens or Toms vary in size so order early to get that perfect size.
New this year is our processing facility. All poultry sold by Town’s Edge Farm is grown and processed by us to insure the very best quality.
And as always, we have fresh chicken (roasters and cut up). Cut up is 4 or 6 pieces. And our yummy stewing chickens which make excellent homemade soups and broths.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
"Our country's stood beside us People have sent us aid. Katrina could not stop us, our hopes will never fade. Congress, Bush and FEMA People across our land Together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand!"
2414 Route 381
Rector, Pa. 15677
Help is needed to honor Ligonier’s veterans.
My name is Dakota Hutchinson. I am looking for volunteers to help honor Ligonier’s veterans. This is a part of my Eagle Project; I am a Scout in Troop 372 in Ligonier. I need people to help me create a register, listing all of the veterans buried in Ligonier Valley Cemetery. Volunteers will walk through different sections of the cemetery, and take down information from the gravesites of each of veteran. I will use this information to compile a register, then from that a map that will locate each veteran. This will be presented to the Byers-Tosh American Legion Post. The post will be able to use the register and map to insure that every veteran receives a flag each year, before Memorial Day.
The information will be gathered on Saturday, October 3rd, at Ligonier Valley Cemetery, from 1 to 5PM (rain date will be Sunday, October 4th). Young and old alike are asked to volunteer; you do not need to be in great shape. This would be a great thing for families to sign up to do. All you need is an appreciation for all our veterans have given us.
If you wish to volunteer, please call 724-238-2768, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Dakota Hutchinson. I am a Boy Scout in Ligonier. I am trying to get volunteers to help me honor Ligonier’s veterans. I will include an attachment detailing this Eagle Project. I was hoping that you might add it to your blog. Please let me know if you have any trouble with the attachments. I really need help. We are going to record the location of every veteran buried in the Ligonier Cemetery. This is to insure that every veteran receives a flag on Memorial Day.
Dear Dakota: We'd love to help! Right, folks?
LV AFJROTC will be participating in the 2009 Pearl Harbor Flag Raising Ceremony - we are currently raising funds to cover the cadets expenses to Hawaii.
We are fortunate as a community to have this wonderful program, encouraging leadership and citizenship.
Please consider purchasing a tshirt to show your support.
Read more in the Washington Times.
That scares some folks who think debate is unkind or or nasty. Debate is necessary in my view and if I were all alone in my thoughts I doubt I'd achieve any kind of understanding.
Our rule here is no obscenity or unnecessary mean spirited roughness.