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, February 28, 2011

still absolutely love's the split screen version

I don't have the names but there are two slates of 5 each out there getting ready to run for school board.

That's what I heard tonight and it looks like it will be a contest between a ROCK and a HARD PLACE.  There is a group forming called ROCK - stands for something, but I'll let them tell you - that will support a slate of five who will oppose incumbents.

The HARD PLACE is where I see incumbents who intend to run.  If they insist upon raising taxes after putting the community through the whole school closure process, they will have a hard go of it.

I readily admit that I haven't paid close attention to the business of the school district, afterall I do not have children.  I have to say that zeroing in lately and getting a feel for the dynamic still has me focused on Dr. Oldham as the source of our grief.  I believe she is a spendthrift.  I would be happy to be proven wrong.

I believe Dr. Oldham has squandered the savings hard won by the school closure.  I believe that this school board has given her great latitude to change curriculum and implement her educational vision.  I believe their original intent was that the school closure would free up resources so that a better education could be offered to students.  I just don't think that they realized the double whammy [LOL I'm being sidetracked by whether it's whammy or ba-whammy.  Hubby says it's the same thing.  Sorry, that hit my funny bone. ;)]

Okay, I just don't think that they realized the double whammy of Dr. Oldham taking that ball and running with it enthusiastically with an open purse like Wilma Flintstone yelling "charge it!" while the federal and state governments were responding to a fiscal crisis. 

So here we sit, the taxpayers watching the scene unfold and I have to ask, if Dr. Oldham had not gone on an educational shopping spree, and we were simply facing the general increased costs of running a district along with the expected cyber school and busing which came as a result of the school closure, would we be needing a tax increase?

I have to ask that because I really want to know. I suspect if we peel away the extras Dr. Oldham has layered into the budget, we might find it's just about what we need to close the gap.  Why is that important?  Well, I think it helps us to zero in on WHAT to cut.

In the meeting this evening, Irma Hutchinson correctly pointed out that school board has general oversight but that the administration has the ball now and they must do the initial cutting.

In the interim I hope that those who are familiar with the flow of money in this district can help me to see if we can isolate the new programs and equipment just purchased in these last two years.and ponder life without them.

Oh and lest I forget, if you are planning to write to Harrisburg objecting to the referendum exceptions, now is the time to do it.  I plan to write tomorrow.  ;)

since you asked.........Ligonier Living was born on March 7, 2008

Here's the original post:

Yes, that's the jukebox at Carol and Dave's Roadhouse.

It was just this past Thursday that I decided to create Ligonier Living. After work, excited by the possibilities, my loving hubby and I stopped at Carol and Dave's for a coupla Heinekens. I tried to take some shots with my cell phone and frankly, it was so dark and I am so dumb with my camera skills that this is the best thing I could find as a first blog pic. How do you like it?

I like the fact that Eric Clapton is already on our blog.

I harassed Chrissia and Renate. I finally got this WAY too dark shot of Chrissia but Renate hid behind the bar and stuck her tongue out at me. YOI! They were both good sports and I hope they don't stone me on the street now that they are mentioned on the BLOG!

Why the heck am I doing this? Well, I've been blogging for over a year now and love it. I have two title insurance related blogs, Radical Title Talk and Title Insurance Talk. I contribute to a mortgage industry blog, Lenderama, and have a private family blog, 704 St. Agnes Lane.

It really started with my niece's blog. Reading it became a habit and so when I felt like I needed to say something for public consumption, blogging seemed the logical choice. I'm still surprised when people don't know what blogging is and don't have their own blog. YOU should make one yourself!

Not only is blogging fun, it's addictive, AND it's free. I have learned that it's power medium and that information flies through the blogosphere instantaneously and connects people in ways I've never before experienced.

So, back to the question, why am I doing this? Ligonier Living is my experiment in a new blogging trend called "hyper-localized" blogging. It's marketing. It's promotion. Hyper-localized blogging is extremely attractive and taps into a powerful form of voyeurism. It's the kind of sort of like the voyeurism that attracts an audience to reality TV shows but it's more subtle.

Follow my lead. Blogging is very casual. Expect to see pictures from my cell phone and some short casual posts. I like short posts. If you have a rant or a story to share, feel free to send it but to keep your readers interested, I recommend breaking it down into smaller posts. Blog reading takes place while surfing and so folks won't stay long.

Since I am an active blogger, I am in fairly constant contact with the web. Expect that anything you send to me will hit the blog pretty darn quickly.

Anyone, young or old, is welcome to contribute. I will moderate content and reject objectionable material. You can be wacky, in fact wacky is fun, just don't be unkind. Okie dokie?

I have to admit that that the editor in me wants to fix the mistakes I see in this first post but I am leaving it as is for posterity.  LOL

A Note for Cynders' Anonymous Benefactor:

The family would like to thank you dearly for what you did for them, and are most appreciative of not only rescuing her out of the storm and taking her somewhere safe, but for the bath and the medicines you so generously provided.  You certainly made a difference in their lives today!  Thank you!

Some men find religion in prison. Brian Aitken found liberty.

In January 2009, the 25-year-old found himself in handcuffs when Burlington County police discovered three unloaded handguns safely locked in a secure case in the trunk of his Honda Civic while he was moving his belongings to a new apartment in Hoboken. Aitken, who had no criminal background, purchased the guns from a licensed dealer in Colorado where he had lived for the past few years. Aitken was moving back to New Jersey to be closer to his parents and his son, who lived with his ex-wife. He spent months in 2008 transporting his belongings from Colorado to his parents’ house in Burlington County while he looked for a new job and a place to live.

in Eqypt

Aswan's west bank is even further removed, a world of Nubian villages and closely packed mud houses and women in burqas, quiet and still, save the voices of children playing. There I find Abdel Sabour Dahab, a bear of a man with a booming voice who runs a small hotel that has no guests. Tourism, he says, is everything in Aswan. "You start as a camel boy at 12, graduate to a felucca captain at 15 or 16 if you're good, and rise from there if you're smart," he says, watering his garden and offering me tea. "To the Nubians Sadat was our father -- he hid here from the Germans in the 1940s and he loved it here -- but Mubarak was just a thief and his police gave me nothing but trouble, saying I cannot build my hotel."

We sip our tea and gaze at the desert hills that rise from the garden in front of his hotel. "Mubarak may be gone," he says, "but it will be slow, like building a house. You build the foundations and the walls and that's what we have started. But then you must furnish it and decorate it slowly. And that will come, inshallah. We have no business now, but at least I am free to speak."

Read more in FP.

weed art

"One day I was pulling a weed, and I realized there was a little grain of hostility there toward this invasive plant," Clark says over a cup of ginger tea in his kitchen. "And I stopped and thought: I don't want to be this way in nature. I don't want to be in an adversarial mode when I'm in nature. So how can I change my attitude to make this more of a positive experience? And the word 'harvest' came to mind."

How, he wondered, could he honor the life of the plant he was destroying?

Being an artist — and the son of an Arkansas botanist — Clark began to experiment. He fiddled with one kind of weed as a paintbrush. He imagined another as paper. And before he knew it, he was engaged in a lovely, circular dance with the weeds.

Read more on NPR.


CYNDERS HAS BEEN FOUND!  She was rescued by a woman who saw her on 381 and took her to a local vet.  Someone saw her picture posted and gave the family a call.  Someone made a young girl very happy today!  THANK YOU!

Check out the new PEACE LOVE BOOKS coffee mugs at
Located with

How safe is the Loyalhanna?

In a major investigative report into the gas drilling technique known as hydrofracking (, The New York Times is reporting that internal documents it obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that "the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.”

Hydrofracking is the injection of water and chemicals under high pressure into rock formations to extract natural gas. Critics have said the technique imperils the quality of groundwater. Drilling supporters have responded that the technique is time-tested and no contamination of groundwater has been directly linked to the practice.

Among the dangers, the Times concluded, are:

— that well wastewater, which can total more than 1 million gallons per drilling and can contain corrosive salts and carcinogens, often contains high levels of radioactive material and is inadequately treated before discharge into rivers that supply drinking water;

— E.P.A. scientists are “alarmed” at the threat posed by drilling waste to drinking water;

— a 2009 E.P.A. study that was never made public concluded some treatment plants could not remove some wastewater contaminants and, thus, were likely violating the law;

— other undisclosed studies by the E.P.A. and a confidential study by the drilling industry found that radioactivity in drilling waste cannot be completely diluted by discharge into rivers and other waterways; and

— despite these findings, the E.P.A. has taken no action to safeguard water supplies and water sources downstream of hydrofracking wastewater discharge have not been required to test for radioactivity.

Elizabeth Donohoe

students for liberty

Just for perspective, doe anyone the annual tuition

 for Holy Trinity and Valley School?  As a taxpayer, I'd just like to know how our cost per student racks up against the local private schools.

ALERT.....'Cynders' is missing in Rector

MISSING DOG IN RECTOR: 'Cynders' is a 12 year old Border Collie with cataracts in both eyes. She went missing in the storm we had at 6:30am this morning, Monday, 2/28/2011 in 'downtown' Rector. She does not have on a collar, since she is a homebody. Contact phone number: 724-238-5713.

Google glitch

Tens of thousands of Gmail users found themselves locked out of their accounts Sunday, a glitch Google engineers were still struggling to fix and fully understand Monday. 

Initial reports suggested as many as half a million accounts were compromised, the e-mails collected over the years potentially permanently erased. Google acknowledged the issue at 3:09 p.m. EST Sunday; by Monday afternoon the company lowered the number of affected users to just 0.02% of accounts -- a small number that nonetheless translates into a large number accounts. 

Wow.....Kevin in this one comment speaks volumes

"Unless we cut some costs yes. The budget when she took over was 25.5 million and now it is 28 million with a school closed. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out."


After visiting Quecreek, I went on to Somerset. I photographed these memorials. When I enlarge these images the names are clearly visible. Perhaps someone reading this recognizes a name.


MISSING DOG IN RECTOR: A 12 year old black and white medium-sized Border collie mix, age 12, named 'Cynders' went missing in the storm this morning, Monday, 2/28/2011 in downtown Rector.  Cynders has cataracts in both eyes and doesn't have on a collar.  Phone number if found: 724-238-5713.


Ligonier Living tip toed through the 800,000 hit mark the other day.  Isn't that cool?  ;)

Fresh on Main. Soooooo good

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

PA per student costs adjusted for inflation

Click on the image to make it larger. 

K-12 public education spending has skyrocketed in Pennsylvania:
  • Pennsylvania's education spending increased from $4 billion in 1980 to over $25 billion in 2009 - a 133% increase in per-pupil spending, from $6,171 to $14,420 (in 2010 dollars).
  • School construction and debt spending has doubled in just 10 years.  Prevailing wage laws increase the cost of construction by 20% or more; repealing this mandate would save $400 million annually in construction costs. 
Read more on Commonwealth Foundation.


Some time ago there was a discussion about laundry service in Ligonier.  I was asked about it recently and I cannot remember who said they would be willing to do laundry for folks.  Anyone out there interested?  If so, please comment with your contact info.  Thanks!!

calling all taxpayers - UNITED against a tax increase


Show by your presence, silent or not, that you do NOT support leaving beyond our means.  We are not tax slaves.

NO TAX INCREASE  We closed a school to rein in expenses.  Don't allow that hardship to go wasted.

6pm at Ligonier Valley High School auditorium.

Out of the Fire Cafe, a local favorite and convenient meeting place

Nestled in the Laurel Highlands, and a short hop away from Seven Springs, Out of the Fire Cafe in Donegal offers a welcoming retreat.

Rustic yet elegant, with hardwood floors, cranberry walls, an open kitchen and a fresh flower on every white linen-draped table, the 130-seat restaurant is the kind of place where people can enjoy a meticulously prepared meal in an unpretentious atmosphere.

"The view really draws them in," says general manager Mason Yates, a Ligonier resident. "Our food is pretty unique, too. We have people coming from Latrobe and Greensburg, travelers from D.C. and Maryland, and we get a lot of traffic from Pittsburgh."

progressives drinking tea

Self-organized through anti-austerity movement U.S. Uncut, regional captains helped organize demonstrators at more than 40 different branches of Bank of America. The newly-minted group was inspired by an article published recently in The Nation by Johann Hari: "How to Build a Progressive Tea Party."

Read more on HP.

Good morning, Ligonier!

may defer the comment period to the next regular meeting

(a) General rule. Except as provided in subsection (d), the board or council of a political subdivision, or of an authority created by a political subdivision shall provide a reasonable opportunity at each advertised regular meeting and advertised special meeting for residents of the political subdivision or of the authority created by a political subdivision or for taxpayers of the political subdivision or of the authority created by a political subdivision or for both, to comment on matters of concern, official action or deliberation which are or may be before the board or council prior to taking official action. The board or council has the option to accept all public comment at the beginning of the meeting. If the board or council determines that there is not sufficient time at a meeting for residents of the political subdivision or of the authority created by a political subdivision or for taxpayers of the political subdivision or of the authority created by the political subdivision or for both to comment, the board or council may defer the comment period to the next regular meeting or to a special meeting occurring in advance of the next regular meeting.

Read more on the Sunshine Act here.

rights of the citizens to speak?

Dear Diane,

The agenda is posted for tonight on the LVSD website. There are motions for approval on agenda items. There is even a motion for  approval to be given to an Early Retirment Incentive. However, there is no place on the agenda for public comment. This is not a working session . The agenda reads Special Board Meeting and Regular Board Meeting.  Where are the rights of the citizens to speak?

Mary Raich


Today's Menu
28 February, 2011
Fresh Brewed Coffee
Barry's Irish breakfast tea
PG Tips English tea
Cherry & white chocolate chip scones $1.75
Yogurt & granola $2.50
Flahavan's Irish oatmeal $3.50
Chicken & mushroom brie soup $4.50
Chicken, broccoli, mushroom & fontina quiche $4.50
Spring greens, feta, roasted chick pea & cranberry salad $4.50
Add chicken $8.50
Add salmon $9.50
Hummus & Pita plate w/roasted red peppers $5.50
Wraps & Panini
Meghan's tasty albacore tuna salad $6.50
Roast beef, provolone, & roasted red pepper mayo $7.50
Turkey, brick cheese & sun dried tomato mayo $7.00
Red pepper, provolone, roasted chick pea spread $6.50
Virginia ham, brick cheese, $6.50
All sandwiches served with pita chips
Bag O'Pita chips $2.00
If you would like something done your way please ask, we are happy to do it.
Be sure to try the roasted chick peas on the salad or the spread on the veggie sandwich, I think you will really like it!
139 East Main Street
9 to 5

The Beanery Writers Group February 28, 2011, Writing Prompt

March 26 is Make Your Own Holiday Day. Create your own holiday, keeping in mind the following points:
  • The day
  • The reason for celebrating
  • Special events that will take place
  • Any type of symbols that will be associated with your holiday
Sit down for 7 minutes and just write. Then, if you feel so inclined, develop your 7 minute writing further.
Send your results to beanerywriters at Even though we haven’t responded to each submitter, some responses have turned into posts on the Beanery Online Literary Magazine (
NOTE: The Beanery Online Literary Magazine seeks submissions for St. Patrick’s Day, April 1, the Easter season, and Easter..
The Beanery Writers Group meets the second and fourth Fridays (except the first Friday in October, and the second Friday in November and December). It is open to writers in all genres, either seeking assistance on a single project or ongoing membership.
The next meeting date is Friday, March 11, 2011, at the regular place---the Coffee Bean Café 1:00-3:00. Gather early for sociability and/or eats. The back room is being reserved from noon to three, so we can gather and socialize without taking up the space for customers at the coffee shop.
For further information contact facilitator, Carolyn C. Holland: beanerywriters @
     The publication industry is undergoing a number of changes. New publishing methods are replacing the large publishing houses, the long-time standard method of bringing books to the public. The multitudinous new developments in the field are unfamiliar and confusing to writers. The following meeting will familiarize attendees with the new trends, and inform them of questions that should be asked.
Publisher, Linda Heinrich (Woodmoor Publishing, Hagerstown, MD)
Saturday, March 5, 2011,
Pages and Light Bookstore
307 Georgian Place Shopping Mall in Somerset.
Watch the site for further details.
E-mail beanerywriters @ for further information
OR contact with Joe Stierheim
NOTE: Some Beanery Writers Group members  attended a December 2010 presentation on alternative publishing, sponsored by Silverbear Graphics, a Stahlstown, Pennsylvania, firm that engages in alternative publishing.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

pay more taxes???

Ligonier Township 2000 census:  There were 2,914 households out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.0% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. 

source Wikipedia

I checked a few of the other municipalities in LVSD and the percentages of households are roughly the same -  under 30% have children. 

Nobody is suggesting that the children be short changed but what we ARE saying is LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS and do NOT raise our taxes.

We're saying WE  were educated with inflation adjusted dollars that were far less per student than this superintendent wants to spend and WE are doing just fine, thank you very much.

I just cannot get over the absolute lack of consideration given to the taxpayers by this school district.  We being told to pay up and shut up.  It stinks.


Enlarge the images to read posted signs.

Was a beautiful day so took me a ride. My travels took me right by Quecreek. Took these photos.

more Joni has many faces

Joni Mitchell Song for Sharon

Pink Floyd Fearless

Spirit 7th Fire

spirit 1984

that abandoned railroad story got me thinking about a Ligonier Trolley or

may be the Mister Rogers Trolley making the rounds during Idlewild Park's season.  Wouldn't it be fun to promote visitation to the Ligonier Valley and Idlewild Park by train?

What fun it might be for families to take a trip to Ligonier by train.  Imagine a "trolley" that made the rounds from the Latrobe train station to Idlewild and to the Diamond then back out to the train station?  I don't know how many trips could be made in a day but charging by trip or perhaps with a weekend or monthly pass, it would be a neat transportation alternative for visitors and residents.

I realize the trolley I'm talking about is really a bus that looks like a trolley but hey, it would be fun, eh?  Wonder if it would promote enough business to make it worthwhile.

Is that grant program for regional tourism still pending?  Hey, Idlewild Park and Soakzone, what do you think?  ;)

remember this commercial?

It popped into my head while watching the DVD of Waiting for Superman.

A young student in the movie was asked by an adult, I think a teacher, but it could have been her mother, what was the difference between the settlers and the indians.  She thought a moment and then answered that the settlers threw papers in the river and the indians did not.  That's it.  That adult accepted the answer and moved on and I thought, WUH???

It hit me that this child's answer HAD to be based upon the old 70s commercial and I wondered if she had seen the commercial or was this actually what she had been taught?

Now, to be fair, at her age my understanding of American Indians was largely based upon what I learned in school about Thanksgiving and also what I saw on television in cowboy movies and The Lone Ranger.  I always played Tonto when we did cowboys and indians in the back yard.

I have pondered on this for a few days and as I have learned so much more about the subject since meeting Marianne McAuliffe and others of Native American descent here in Ligonier, in a funny way, the more I have thought about it, whether she knows it or not, the little girl is right and isn't that fascinating.

Good morning, Ligonier!

I will always be thankful that President Obama is championing liberty in marriage.

Obama would like to change that. If DOMA were to be struck down, the federal government would no longer insist that some marriages transacted under state laws are valid and some are not. It would tell states: You decide who can get married, and we'll abide by your judgment.

You want to let gays walk down the aisle? Knock yourself out. You want to deny them the joys of matrimony? Be our guest.

Such deference has always been the norm. There's a range of matrimonial policies between Hartford and Honolulu. Some states allow 14-year-olds to wed with parental and judicial consent, and others don't allow marriage until age 17 no matter what. Some states let first cousins get married, and some don't. Some states used to forbid a black person from marrying a white person.
The federal government has never gotten mixed up in deciding which states are right and which are wrong. It has always had a simple rule: Show us the marriage certificate.  Read more more on

Meet Clara, my grandmother.  I've shared a picture or two of her on the blog before but not these pictures.  If same sex marriage had been allowed back then, I wouldn't be here now.

I didn't meet Clara because she died young.  My mother thinks she died of a broken heart.  We think she was forced into marriage..  My grandfather was a 50 year old widower who wanted children.  She was big, 34 years old, strong, and German.  They married and bought a small farm.  Clara had four children, three survived.  She did not.  Clara died at 46.

She was a good mother and is remembered by her children with love.  She also left a legacy.  I have an aunt and a cousin who are lesbians.  Both tried NOT to be, they simply are.   I believe the scientific studies that say its biological.  Having seen how they live so secretly, I wish they had been as brazen as Clara seems to have been.  I don't walk in their shoes and so perhaps its just easier living in secret.  Perhaps in the case of my cousin, she will live long enough to marry her partner of choice.   My aunt clearly will not.  In case you're wondering, we never talk about it.


The Ligonier Valley Railroad

The Ligonier Valley Railroad was incorporated in 1852 and was a narrow-gauge line; its early primary purpose was to provide passenger service to and from Idlewild Park near Ligonier.

Read more on Abandoned Rails.

Thank you!

I would like to say thank you to the good Samaritan who called me yesterday when he found my husband, Greg, unconscious by the side of the road after his bicycle accident.  Thank you for taking such good care of him and staying with him until the ambulance arrived.  I wanted to let you know he is doing well.  The ambulance took him to the Trauma Center in Johnstown where they cleaned him up.  His injuries weren't too severe, but he did break his collarbone into 5 pieces, so he will need surgery to repair.  Thank you again for being there for him and I apologize for my weepy, incoherent screaming when you called ;)

~Jennifer Jablunovsky

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Heather Hykes Cat Nip Doll

Adorable addition to your doll collection!!

For details, click on the link below!

Heather Hykes Cat Nip Doll

14kt Gold Cat Charm Solid 3.6 grms

Okay, this is the perfect gift for any cat lover!

Click on the link below for details!!!

14kt Gold Cat Charm Solid 3.6 grms

events by Ligonier Country Inn

St. Patty's Day Celebration

Celebrate with your Irish spirit at the Inn with Guinness Specials and Irish Pub Specials. To top the evening off, the Cogan Brothers will be playing great Irish tunes from 7:30 - 10:30.

Date: March 17th
Time: 7:30pm
Location:  Ligonier Country Inn

First Friday Wine Tasting at Green Gables

WHERE did February GO???

That's OK.. another month arriving just means

A First Friday Wine Tasting


The Green Gables Restaurant



Please join

Milko Miladinov of Winebow,Inc.

who will host

The First Friday Wine Tasting


The Gables

on Friday

March 4

6:00 pm- 8:00 pm

$20 per person for 6 tastes of Wine


a wine region from the northeastern Italy

will be the subject of the tasting

For customers wanting to know, Milko will pour:

Corte Giara Soave DOC 2009
Pino & Toi IGT Veneto 2009
Allegrini Valpolicella DOC 2008
Merlot-Corvina IGT del Veneto 2008
Brentino IGT Veneto 2006
Palazzo della Torre IGT Veronese 2007

Please call 814 629 9201 or

Reserve a spot on line-

See you Friday!!!

Just got some fun seeds at Agway

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
"Cyber schools have struggled to make adequate progress on Pennsylvania's statewide math and reading tests. Last year, only 35 percent of Achievement House students passed the PSSA reading exam. Just 15.6 percent passed the exam in math."

My complaint is our money being spent on a school with these statistics. Why aren't parents complaining about this? Why aren't we complaining about this? Our student's education is worth it if they are excelling. This is a failing venture.

Read more: Westmoreland charter school opens 2nd location - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

discussion of religious laws

The Quran does not provide for the stoning of adulterers. The punishment prescribed in the Quran is lashing. However, there is a prophetic tradition that adopted the Jewish custom of stoning adulterers. Many people describe the American legal system as having a Judeo-Christian heritage. Does that mean that we will stone adulterers as required in the Bible? No.

Read more in Salon.

The Hebrew Bible is considered a holy text in most Abrahamic religions. It records a large number of events and laws that are endorsed or prescribed by the God of Israel. Judaism teaches that the Torah contains 613 eternal commandments, many of which deal with law and punishment. Christianity has also adopted many of these directives.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Reason TV on the state budget battles

AIN'T GOT NO MONEY..balancing the books in Michigan

Announced last week right before Mother Nature unloaded on the Midwest, the Republican’s blueprint proposes dramatic cuts across the bureaucratic spectrum in a desperate attempt to save a sinking ship of state. Universities face a 15 percent reduction in their subsidies; state aid to city and county governments will be reduced by 33 percent; state police are losing $3.2 million (which hopefully will stall patrol cars harassing commuters on decaying highways); public funding to research the electric-car pipedream is turned off; 300 jobs will be eliminated in the welfare office; and Lansing’s per-student stipend to public schools will be smaller. The overall message is that government can’t be all things to all people and balance the books.

Read more in WT.

Good morning, Ligonier!

Dr. Oldham, say what?

"While the family doesn't have to write a check from its checkbook," Superintendent Chris Oldham said, "it does cost the community."

Oldham said that, in part to cope with the loss of students, the district will offer its own cyber classes next year.

Those two sentences are excerpts from the Tribune Review article linked in the previous post.

  1. Dr. Oldham:  You don't think about the costs to the community when any little idea pops into your head for ways to spend money on new courses, new textbooks, new equipment or consulting services - all of which give you entree to special recognition and attention on the national and state education circuit.  I'm sure you are having fun spending our money and are enjoying the free trips and positions on leadership panels.  Of course, if I were a textbook seller or purveyor of high cost consultancy services, I'd want you on my panel so you could help me sell my goods.  We are a small school district with limited resources. The school board may be bamboozled by your charm and the attention you get on the national scene but I'm not.  We are looking through you.  We are not your Barbie doll house to furnish any way you'd like and we are not your stepping stone.
  2. Dr. Oldham:  Why on God's green earth would LVSD taxpayers want to fund cyber classes created and run by our school district?  What are you talking about?  Our need right now is cost cutting not kingdom building.  If what you meant to say is that you will set up computers in a room and have students access cyber classes provided by others [which I presume we have to pay for]  from those locations, well then you have explained your desire for a new wireless network which you want us to pay for.  Oh, wait a minute.  You wanted wireless access all over the building.  Yes, that's right.  It's not enough to have stationary workstations in a room.  Students should be able to access the internet from laptops all over campus, right?  We have a big expensive building with human teachers in it.  Taxpayers are not well served by paying to bus students to the big expensive building only to have them sit in front of a computer screen being cyber schooled.  ARE YOU INSANE?  Only a bureaucrat with no common sense would come up with a plan like that.  

    rapidly expanding virtual charter school

    A former parish hall in the tiny borough of New Florence will soon be outfitted with computers and staffed with teachers as a rapidly expanding virtual charter school opens its second physical location in northeastern Westmoreland County.

    Achievement House Cyber Charter School, which has had its enrollment in the western half of the state more than triple this year, operates an education center in the nearby borough of Bolivar.
    Today's Menu
    26 February, 2011
    Fresh brewed coffee
    Barry's Irish breakfast tea
    PG Tips English tea
    Blueberry & white chocolate chip scones $1.75
    Granola & Yogurt $2.50
    Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal $3.50
    Cream of tomato soup $4.50
    Virginia ham, spinach, & cheddar quiche $4.50
    Spring greens, feta, roasted chick pea & cranberry salad $4.50
    Add grilled chicken $8.50
    Add grilled salmon $9.50
    Hummus & pita plate w/roasted red peppers $5.50
    Wraps & Panini
    Meghan's tasty albacore tuna salad $6.00
    Roast beef, provolone w/roasted red pepper mayo $7.50
    Grilled chicken, bacon, roasted red pepper, spinach w/pesto mayo $7.50
    Turkey, brick cheese w/sun dried tomato mayo $7.00
    Roasted red pepper, provolone w/roasted chick pea spread $6.50
    Virginia ham, brick cheese & pineapple $7.00
    All sandwiches served with pita chips
    Bag O'pita chips $2.00
    If you would something done your own way please just ask.
    Be sure to try the roasted chick peas in the salad or as a spread with the veggie sandwich, I think you will really like it!
    139 East Main Street
    9 to 5


    Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. (Titus 2:6)

    This verse leads us to the larger passage of the letter of St. Paul to Titus:

    1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6 Young men likewise exhort to be soberminded. 7 In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. (Titus 2:1-8, KJV)

    There is a larger picture here. Paul challenges Titus to good works—sharing sincere doctrine to the best of his ability, speaking carefully, and telling the truth in such a way that hearers will be touched to their cores. Unfortunately, in making his long list of traits of various groups of followers of Christ, Paul singles out certain traits for each group.

    Was drinking too much wine a problem specific to older women? Is Paul right when he expects young women who follow Christ to be obedient to their husbands and good little housekeepers for them?

    If we get away from these specifics and look at the long list of traits, we have for ourselves characteristics of solid Christian living that are not age or sex specific.

    Looking at the whole picture in this way, the young men of our alphabet verse are not only challenged to be sober minded, but also to be (Continue at Alphabet of the Bible- Letter Y)

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    from Granny Earth

    February 25, 2011
    Granny Earth, N. D. Presents-
    Mother Nature’s Medicine Cabinet
    Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)


    Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain. It’s widely used in Europe to treat Alzheimer's and senile dementia, because it improves thinking and memory. Ginkgo leaf has been the subject of extensive clinical research in Europe. Its most striking effect is dilating blood vessels while improving circulation and vascular integrity in the head, heart and extremities. Reduced circulation to the head is responsible for many neurological symptoms of aging, including memory loss, depression, impaired hearing. Double-blind clinical trials have shown that Ginkgo (leaf) can help these conditions.
    Ginkgo has other actions on the brain, including strengthening the vessels and promoting action of neurotransmitters- responsible for transmission of nerve impulses between the brain and other nerve cells. A scientific theory attributes many of the signs of aging and chronic disease to the oxidation of cell membranes by free radicals. Constituents in Ginkgo are potent anti-oxidants with anti-inflammatory effects.                                   
    However, lately there’s a lot of contradictory info out there on the internet. For example, I recently came across this, while doing research-
    JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) looked at Ginkgo for memory enhancement and concluded:  ‘When taken (following the manufacturer’s instructions), ginkgo provides no measurable benefit in memory or related cognitive function to adults with healthy cognitive function.’ -  Read that again- ‘to adults with healthy cognitive function.’
    So, in adults who had healthy cognitive function- there was NO benefit.  Well, Daaaahhhh!

    As of today- Ginkgo is still sold in stores. BUT, I venture to say this will change in the near future. Perhaps, you should plant your own Ginkgo tree!

    Stay tuned for- EAT WEEDS AND LIVE!
    The original Granny Earth- ‘WEED WALKS’.
    Are you curious about the healing power of WEEDS?
    Would you like to identify some of those local WEEDS?
    Stay tuned for the next G.E. ‘EAT WEEDS AND LIVE’- WEED WALK!
    Sponsor a Weed Walk- invite your friends and family-
    Getting healthy, one WEED at a time!
    Send an email to be put on the ‘Weed Walk’ send-out list,
    or to set up a date and time to have your very own WEED WALK -

    Getting healthy, one WEED at a time! 

    ALL is well, and so it is.

    ~ Feel free to pass this information along to friends and family. ~  

    public utility project loans available at Commercial Bank


    Commercial Bank & Trust of PA is offering this special Public Utility Project Loan for a limited time to cover the basic costs associated with sewage installation such as tap-in fees, assessments or lateral-line construction.

    Contact Tom Sylvester for more info at 724-238-9538.






    events by Ligonier Country Inn

    Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday Pancake Bar 
    DATE: Tuesday, March 8th
    TIME: 3:30 - 5:30 (Early Bird - $5/person)
    6:00 - 8:00 (Dinner - $7/person)
    LOCATION: Ligonier Country Inn 
    MORE: Pancake bar with endless toppings, Cajun/Creole Menu,
    Music, Beads, and more!

    Pennsylvania fifth-graders at elementary school given assignment on teachers pay

    In the middle of a contract dispute at Pennsbury School District, two fifth grade classes at Penn Valley Elementary School were given a homework assignment on what teachers should be paid.

    The story comprehension assignment was a letter titled “It’s Time to Pay the Price” and was a letter written by a “student” to the “editors” about how teachers are not paid enough, arguing they should be paid commensurately with doctors and lawyers.

    Read more on PAIndependent.

    Chris Hitchens asks, "Is Barack Obama secretly Swiss?"

    This is not merely a matter of the synchronizing of announcements. The Obama administration also behaves as if the weight of the United States in world affairs is approximately the same as that of Switzerland. We await developments. We urge caution, even restraint. We hope for the formation of an international consensus. And, just as there is something despicable about the way in which Swiss bankers change horses, so there is something contemptible about the way in which Washington has been affecting—and perhaps helping to bring about—American impotence. Except that, whereas at least the Swiss have the excuse of cynicism, American policy manages to be both cynical and naive.

    Read more on Slate.

    judging teachers’ claims

    My purpose in relating the divide is not to suggest that the brutality of farming bears much resemblance to the private-sector office or that a university professorship is at all comparable to the much more arduous duties of an inner-city middle- or high-school teacher. But all that said, I think that we forget how fortunate teachers are in the 21st century, in terms of compensation, hours spent at work, and the general absence of physical danger, at least in comparison to the lineman, the garbage collector, or the interstate trucker. I have met hundreds of teachers who have had only one steady job: teaching. I have seldom met a land-leveler, company field man, or tractor mechanic who had not worked at a half-dozen jobs over his career — and rarely by choice. There is a reason why our state capitols are not usually flooded by cash-strapped farmers on tractors ditching their work when the price of wheat crashes.

    During a power outage, electric-company linemen do not often call in sick.

    Read more in NR.

    what do Medicaid and public school busing have in common?

    They are both OPTIONAL.

    States CAN opt out of Medicaid.

    School districts CAN opt out of providing transportation.

    The likelihood of doing either so seems low but it's always good to remember the difference between mandates and options.  Sometimes new and creative solutions present themselves when we open our minds to other options.

    PS the city chicken and haluski was


    thanks, Clay! I LOVE this article. ;)

    Frustrated by the tax-fueled rising costs of cigarettes, a Brooklyn woman has developed a private tobacco garden to feed her addiction frugally. She buys her seeds for $2 online and plants her tobacco along with roses and geraniums in her back yard. She expects to yield a total of 45 cartons of cigarettes from crops planted in 2009 and last year, saving her $5,000 from what she'd pay at retail.

    Read more on the Consumerist.