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.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

See the truth...



IMG_1776 by "Dmitri" Beljan
IMG_1776, a photo by "Dmitri" Beljan on Flickr.

saw this tree with the sign (move in close to read) planted where childrens hospital used to be on fifth ave, pittsburgh, pa

beautiful day

Fresh air and planting perennials.  I found some nice plants at Laurel Nurseries this morning.  Added more foxglove, astilbe and shasta daisies.  Found a new color of cone flower to try and a different catnip and lavender.

I usually stick to buying my plants locally but this year I ordered a few things in the mail.  Ten teeny tiny trees arrived from the National Arbor Day Foundation and three beauty bushes from another nursery.

Everything is in the soil and the earthworms are checking out the new additions. ;)

layers of graphene

A new material made from several layers of graphene is an effective shield for terahertz and microwave radiation, while letting visible light through. So say researchers in the US, who have created thin films that can be engineered to strongly absorb radiation in a specific band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Shields made of the material could be used to reduce external electromagnetic interference in sensitive electronic equipment and the team also claims that the material could be used to create terahertz filters and polarizers. Such devices could prove useful in the emerging field of terahertz imaging.

PGH IMG_1771

IMG_1771 by "Dmitri" Beljan
IMG_1771, a photo by "Dmitri" Beljan on Flickr.

is that my fav Pittsburgh building peeking out among the other two, with leaves in the foreground, no less, yes I believe it is!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Can this region afford methane from fracking operations?

Clean air in Pittsburgh? Don't hold your breath

 "Although the region has made great strides, Pittsburgh still sits near the top of two measures of air pollution in an annual American Lung Association study. The Pittsburgh-New Castle region -- defined by the association in its annual State of the Air study as Beaver, Allegheny, Armstrong, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties -- ranked as the sixth-most polluted city in two categories: year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution." 

How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Global Taxes

RENO, Nev. — Apple, the world’s most profitable technology company, doesn’t design iPhones here. It doesn’t run AppleCare customer service from this city. And it doesn’t manufacture MacBooks or iPads anywhere nearby. Yet, with a handful of employees in a small office here in Reno, Apple has done something central to its corporate strategy: it has avoided millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other states. Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada’s? Zero.

"vast majority"

Is it too much to ask that once, just once, someone use the word "majority" in a sentence without preceeding it with "vast" ? I mean the vas majority of people do it and I think only a majority of itneed be used, if that.

for those who didn't here it at MM, sharin some poetry

My Lincoln Continental

There sits my Lincoln Continental now,
to me a woman having style and grace.
Twin cams times two will surely show me how
high revs and torque propels me place to place.

Smooth curves, bright shine, my dark red lady got;
her Alpine stereo will please my ear.
I really got to say this babe is hot!
I can't believe she's in my driveway here!

She glides along the highway ever smooth,
accelerates and growls with sound to please.
Seats heated too will also serve to sooth.
All this then now will put my mind at ease.

Dependable, she starts come rain or snow.
In comfort takes me where I want to go.

Copyright 2012 by Raymond "Dmitri" Beljan

money laundering

The obedient-spouse defense didn't work for Karla S. Podlucky.
Her husband, Gregory J. Podlucky, is serving 20 years in prison for federal crimes associated with the rise and 2006 collapse of Latrobe beverage maker Le-Nature's Inc. Karla Podlucky, 51, was sentenced Thursday to four years and three months in prison for money laundering. Their son, G. Jesse Podlucky, 31, got a nine-year sentence Thursday for money laundering and conspiracy.

Friday, April 27, 2012

On A Moral and Civic True North

"So, we all know the statistics about being young in America are pretty grim right now. 53% of recent college grads are either jobless or not making enough money to get by. 85% are moving back in with their parents. Our collective student loan debt has hit the $1 trillion mark. The dream of “making it”—whatever that means to each grad—probably seems almost impossible, especially to the vast majority who will be dragging a ball and chain in the form of tens of thousands in student loans for the next several decades."

Some fatherly advice to young folks, in a short video: 

Pennsylvania residents forget it.....

Such a shame.  I went to because we received a nice coupon from Barnes and Noble.  Can't ship to Pennsylvania.  We live behind the iron union curtain.

Mountain Palace - Hui Guo Rou Again!

Due to the success of this popular northern Chinese dish last weekend, Mountain Palace will again have it as a special this weekend. Twice cooked pork with mushrooms, peppers, and onions with rice had a number of people saying they had found a new favorite. For the sports minded among you, we have included the above photo of proper bowling form taken of Yuzhen on her birthday. Come to Mountain Palace if you wish to see the video of the entire bowling form in action, or if you would like to enjoy hui guo rou and missed the chance last weekend. Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake. Friday 6:00 to 10:00, Saturday 11:30 to 10:00, and Sunday 11:30 to 6:00.  724 717-8614 

News from The Art Room

Summer Art Camps
Ages 5 & up
Mon, Weds, & Fri (9am-12pm)
Choose from 4 weeks in June
Registration is underway - reserve your space today!
Collaborative work from last year's camps pictured above -
what will create this year?

need heavy particle board pieces?

We dismantled an old desk and need to get rid of the pieces.  Would be good for making work shelving.  TAKE FOR FREE.  Call Diane Cipa or John  Conway at 724-238-7783.

2012 GPA Redistribution Petition & Video Contest - Carthage College

"If I wanted America to fail"

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's We Who Win, Breivik

40,000 people gathered in Oslo to sing the popular song, "Rainbow Race," in defiance of the mass murderer who killed 77 young people because they advocated multiculturalism in Norway.

One blue sky above us
One ocean lapping all our shore
One earth so green and round
Who could ask for more
And because I love you
I'll give it one more try
To show my rainbow race
It's too soon to die.
Some folks want to be like an ostrich,
Bury their heads in the sand.
Some hope that plastic dreams
Can unclench all those greedy hands.
Some hope to take the easy way:
Poisons, bombs. They think we need 'em.
Don't you know you can't kill all the unbelievers?
There's no shortcut to freedom.
Go tell, go tell all the little children.
Tell all the mothers and fathers too.
Now's our last chance to learn to share
What's been given to me and you.
Watch the event at

Dad Watches The Hunger Games

The Human Cancer Risks Posed by Extreme Fossil Fuel Extraction

"Some of the cancer risk from fracking comes from the release of naturally occurring chemicals found deep in the earth. One of them is radium-226, which is as radioactive as its name implies. Of over 240 fracked gas wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, almost three-fourths produced wastewater with elevated levels of radiation. [...]

...when carcinogens are released into the common environment, an ongoing public health and environmental experiment is set in motion, and people are placed in harm's way, often without their consent. Moreover, as the report goes on to say, "many of these problems are inherent to the process and cannot be avoided through regulation." On this basis, Bulgaria and France have both enacted nationwide bans on fracking. Vigorous public protest contributed to both of these decisions and led the French environment minister to concede, "We have seen the results in the U.S. There are risks for the water tables and these are risks we don't want to take."

The new report: 

Gravity-defying art

Ligonier Camp Work Days: 4/28 & 5/5

We are gearing up for summer camp at our main site as well as our new lake property (formerly the Lady of the Lake).  If you've ever asked yourself, "I wonder what happens at Ligonier Camp the other nine months of the year?" now is a great time to check things out--and lend a hand!

Work days begin the next two Saturdays at 9 AM.  Come at 8:30 for continental breakfast in the summer camp dining hall.  We'll break into groups to tackle a number of projects around property and at the NEW lake.

Want a fun opportunity to serve with your family, church, or community group?  Does your high schooler need volunteer community service hours?  Call Patrick Myers at (724) 238-6428 x107 or send him an email if you're interested in volunteering.

Lunch provided.

Ligonier Camp & Conference Center  
188 Macartney Lane Ligonier PA 15658

Two for the Wool

 Handmade Along the Highway Artisans Nan Loncharich and Irene Patrick invite you to a half day seminar on May 5 to learn their old world crafts of using recycled wool to make jewelry and artistic creations. During the class we’ll stitch a 5” x 7” wool appliqué design suitable for framing and create a ruffled flower pin as well as learning how to select and process used wool.

Irene Patrick, from Greensburg, studied art at Edinboro University and taught art in the Norwin School District. A producing artist for the past 50 years, she is currently a member of the Fiber Arts Guild of Pittsburgh as well as the Latrobe Art Center and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.  She has exhibited throughout Pennsylvania and in galleries in South Carolina and Colorado.

Nan Loncharich, also from Greensburg, has been working with fabrics all of her life. An interest in rug hooking led her to the art of creating wool flowers using the proddy technique. An Instructor at Westmoreland County Community College, she is also the author of the book Making Flowers from Wool.

Both Irene and Nan are juried members of Pennsylvania’s Handmade Along the Highway artisan trail program.

We will gather at the Lincoln Highway Experience, 3435 Route 30 East, Latrobe (near the Kingston Dam) on Saturday, May 5 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. This class is suitable for adults. If you can sew a button Nan and Irene can teach you their skills!

The cost of the 3 hour class is $50 plus $7.50 for materials to make both projects (attendees are asked to bring a pair of sharp scissors). Class space is limited to 20 persons so please call the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor at 724-879-4241 to make reservations or visit to reserve your space using PayPal. The deadline for reservations is Tuesday, May 1st.

70th Aniversary ...We'll alway have paris.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wendell Berry,  American Hero by Mark Bittman

“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.” 
“Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.”
 “Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.”

PAUL SIROFCHUCK HAS A NEW BLOG ON HIS FURNITURE!!!    or click on the link to the right under Ligonierish Blogs.

For those of you who are familiar with me and those that are not, I am a Studio Furniture Maker and Architect living and working in the Ligonier Valley and co-owner of Main Exhibit Gallery in Ligonier.  I have FINALLY started a blog to share my passion for woodworking and design with friends and clients and hopefully give insight to my process and/or what ever else may cross my mind.  Currently I am adding video segments of a table I created for a benefit sale for the Wharton Eshrick Museum in Paoli, Pa. from May 21 to June 10, 2012.

 Check back often as I will add new projects or thoughts...... and feel free to comment or ask questions.

 (Thanks Diane for this great resource for the Valley!)


in d burgh w me canon

Flavors BYOB Dinners Every Friday & Saturday Night

Join us for dinner every on Friday & Saturday nights.  BYOB, full wait staff, great menu, terrific music, & candlelight. What can be better than that?  Reservations suggested. Take a look at the menu.


This is a darkly commedic story about a very unlikely couple. Tony Cacciatore was a classical violinist until his mushrooming  carreer was came to an end through a tragic automobile accident in wich a young woman having stole a car for drug money crashes into him breaking both his arms. At first bitter and resigned to living on disability.The woman who struck him,  "that chic", as Toney calls her, turns his life around as they both fight there own personal deamons while starting up an Italian resturant. Don't miss this poigniont drama: Chic n Cacciatore.


Finally a program on the tube with real substance. A vegetable farmer all his Life John Cole, graduates at the top of his class in Harvard law school and begins his practice as  the champion of dirt poor farmers. John  should know, although he is finally making some "cabbage" as he jokingly tells his wife, his previous occupation was actually growing real cabbage. The drama follows the ups and downs of a new kind of lawyer, who is not an "insider". He sees how his former friends small farms were effectively shredded by big agri-corporations. Dont miss it. Oh its called Coles Law.

fairness and justice

These are two words used as weapons by some who wish to take from others.  When I read that some chant "pay your fair share", it makes me wonder what they have paid into and what they have taken from the system. Do they even know what the system is or how it works?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ready for a break?

we come fully loaded…
ready to make some Sparkle and Shine!

Call now for your FREE estimate!!!
Helping Hands For Home

driving the wrong way on 30

A Somerset County woman was driving the wrong way on Route 30 in Ligonier Township on Sunday when her sport utility vehicle struck a pickup head-on.
The woman, whose name was not available, was driving east in the westbound lanes about 9:44 p.m. when she struck the truck driven by Mark Vulcan of Ligonier near the entrance to Idlewild Park, township police said. Police are investigating.

Read more: Police: Wrong-way driving caused Ligonier Twp. crash | TribLIVE | Pittsburgh

it's Mellow Mike night!

MM is a bit of an open mike but that's only a part of what happens.  Mellow Mike is more about creating a feeling of community and laughing and singing together, so it's not what we would normally call a show or open mike, it's a fun evening get together where strangers become friends and friends groove to music and enjoy some readings.

We've been doing Mellow Mike for over two years now at the Ligonier Tavern and over that time it's always surprised us that the folks who really LOVE Mellow Mike are usually Leonard Cohen fans or after they hear a song or two BECOME Leonard Cohen fans.  LOL

We like to sing Leonard Cohen songs and Beatles mixed in with folk tunes and oldies and not so oldies and meditative musical improv, Dmitri style.  It's all very casual and not a professional performance - very pub or salon style.

MM usually starts around 6:30 on Tuesday evenings and runs officially until 9 but really until 9:30 or even 10.  Folks at Mellow Mike play harmonicas, tambourines, drums, shakers or just sit and listen or get up and dance.

To give you a flavor of songs, we'll probably sing Hallelujah, Let It Be, Woodstock, Ghost Riders in the Sky, Who By Fire, Little Red Riding stuff like that.  Got it?  We'll mix in a few local poets and hopefully Pete will do some Dylan.  ;)  

MELLOW MIKEmellow mikemellow mikemellow mikemellow mikeMELLOW MIKEmellow mike

tonight at the Ligonier Tavern 6:30 to 9:30

drh (16)

drh (16) by "Dmitri" Beljan
drh (16), a photo by "Dmitri" Beljan on Flickr.

Enough photos of buildings, here is my fav model, Diana


IMG_1390 by "Dmitri" Beljan
IMG_1390, a photo by "Dmitri" Beljan on Flickr.

Harris theater Liberty Ave. "dahntahn" Pittsburgh

Internationally Renowned Expert on Cancer and the Environment to Speak Tonight at Washington & Jefferson College

"An expert on environmental pollution and its link to cancer, Steingraber rose to national prominence with her best-selling 1997 book Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, which has recently been updated (2010) and adapted into a motion picture of the same title. She has also written Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood (2003) and Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis (2011), exploring the impact of environmental toxins during human fetal development and childhood. Her most recent work includes lead authorship of an open letter, “Appeal to Governor Cuomo to Consider Cancer Risks Re: High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas.”

Steingraber has keynoted conferences on human health and the environment throughout the United States and Canada and has been invited to lecture at many universities, medical schools, and hospitals—including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and the Woods Hole Research Center. She is recognized for her ability to serve as a two-way translator between scientists and activists.  She has testified in the European Parliament, before the President’s Cancer Panel, and has participated in briefings to Congress and before United Nations delegates in Geneva, Switzerland." 

Pittsburgh Dad: Family Dinner

Don't you hate those unwanted emails, especially the political ones? For example I got one that said "Free Viagra" I didn't even know she was in jail.

Dogwood and snow

voting day

The polls are open.  If you are registered and want to participate, don't forget to cast your vote today.  ;)

death penalty for selling house to Jews

It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a ‘capital crime’ punishable by death.  The very fact that such a ‘law’ exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages. 
It is incumbent upon the entire international community, which views Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority as a viable Middle East peace partner, to publicly reject such acts of legal murder, when the ‘crime’ is nothing more than property sales. What would be the reaction to a law in the United States, England, France, or Switzerland, forbidding property sales to Jews?

Zumba® Master Class: Make-A-Wish

Zumba® Master Class: Make-A-Wish

Donation $10

Wednesday April 25th
Seward Fire Hall
Doors open @ 6:00 pm
Master Class 6:30 - 8:00
Raffle Drawing & Lite Refreshments 8:00 - 8:30

* If you would like to make a donation, please make checks
payable to Make-A-Wish and mail to Heather Beatty at
116 1/2 East Main Street, Ligonier  PA  15658

Monday, April 23, 2012

'Whole Food, Not Whole Foods': Renegade Farmers Reclaim Land on Earth Day

To prevent the sale for private development, citizens plant community garden

"SF Bay area residents on Sunday, in order to prevent development of a chain grocery store, reclaimed 10 acres of land owned by the University of California-Berkeley and planted a community garden. The protesters-cum-gardeners, several dozen of them in all, broke the lock on a chain-linked fence about mid-day and got to work digging beds, roto-tilling soil, and planting carrots, broccoli, and other vegetables. The plan is to build a sustainable community garden and stave off any attempt by UC Berkeley to sell the land for private development. Gopal Dayaneni, one of the 20 or so core organizers of the action, told the San Jose Mercury News that the group was committed to growing both the farm and its community of farmers.  Volunteers had about 10,000 starts -- small bulbs or seedlings -- and dug dozens of rows. Some people brought chickens, and the group even brought in a large tank for watering."


Revoke ALEC's charitable status

Would the American Legislative Exchange Council tout its lawmaking influence to corporate backers if it wasn't a lobbyist?

"You'd think that an American business taking part in a scheme to secretly lobby for the passage of state laws tailored to fattening its profits at the expense of the public good would be shunned by customers and marginalized in the marketplace. But today, mega-companies like Walmart, Koch Industries, Pfizer and State Farm Insurance are openly, if quietly engaged in just such an effort. They call it the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, cloak it in rhetoric about free speech and free markets, and whine like spoiled children when someone dares to tell the truth about what it's up to."

The Little Mermaid

The Hollow Tree Players of Ligonier will present "The Little Mermaid" at the Ligonier Town Hall Friday, April 27th @ 7:00pm and Saturday, April 28th @ 2:00pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 per person.
We would like to dedicate our performances in the memory of Magdalena Rose Elder “Maggie” proceeds and all donations will be donated to The Miracles from Maggie Foundation.

Here we go again...

"Every election cycle, our self-identified left dutifully lines up like sheep to vote for the corporate wolves who control the Democratic Party. It bleats the tired, false mantra about Ralph Nader being responsible for the 2000 election of George W. Bush and warns us that the corporate technocrat Mitt Romney is, in fact, an extremist.

The extremists, of course, are already in power. They have been in power for several years. They write our legislation. They pick the candidates and fund their campaigns. They dominate the courts. They effectively gut regulations and environmental controls. They suck down billions in government subsidies. They pay no taxes. They determine our energy policy. They loot the U.S. treasury. They rigidly control public debate and information. They wage useless and costly imperial wars for profit. They are behind the stripping away of our most cherished civil liberties. They are implementing government programs to gouge out any money left in the carcass of America. And they know that Romney or Barack Obama, along with the Democratic and the Republican parties, will not stop them."

Read the entire article by Chris Hedges at: 

My Lincoln Highway from Bedford to Pittsburgh

Pleasant Unity resident Richard Stoner came to photography nearly forty years ago after beginning studies as an architecture student. Though no longer on a career track as an architect, he has retained an abiding interest in architecture and his photography bears witness to this affinity. Over the years the Lincoln Highway has proven to be a worthy subject for Stoner’s shutterbug skills.

On Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. the Lincoln Highway Experience (3435 Route 30 East, near Kingston Dam, in Latrobe) will host “Richard Stoner – My Lincoln Highway from Bedford to Pittsburgh.” The photographic presentation will include color and black and white images depicting the attention-getting manmade sights that interest the motoring public, as well as natural scenes characteristic of the storied roadway.

Stoner, an adjunct professor at Seton Hill University and Saint Vincent College, has had thirteen one-person photographic exhibitions and been represented in numerous group exhibits. Examples of his work can be found in public and corporate collections locally and throughout Pennsylvania. Additionally, Stoner has received multiple awards for his talents, including the 2007 Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Aaronel Gruber Award.

Due to limited seating, advanced reservations for “Richard Stoner – My Lincoln Highway from Bedford to Pittsburgh” are required. Visit to make reservations with Paypal  or call 724-879-4241. A fee of $10 per person ($7 for Friends of the Lincoln Highway) will include light refreshments.

if you have time and enjoy winter weather

visit Ligonier's beautiful and "such an unusual sight".

Sunday, April 22, 2012

CUTE! Little Boy and His Dog

George Carlin: Earth Day ****warning some language may offend****

Linda is looking for kittens

"Looking for (two) male litter mates, 8-10 week old. Don't care what color, just that they are affectionate:). Have been looking for last two weeks." 

If you have kittens ready for adoption now, comment here or send me an email and I'll pass the message to Linda.


IMG_1604 by "Dmitri" Beljan
IMG_1604, a photo by "Dmitri" Beljan on Flickr.

after a new bldg goes up wont see this view again (made possible when a building was razed)

no probation for Podlucky

The wife and son of the LeNature's Inc. founder face stiff prison terms next week after a federal judge ruled neither is eligible for probation after their convictions in a money laundering scheme involving the sale of gems purchased with stolen money.
Karla Podlucky, 50, of Ligonier faces a minimum of more than four years to more than five years in prison, and her son, Jesse Podlucky, 31, will serve between nine and 11 years, according to a ruling by federal Judge Alan Bloch.

Read more: Judge: No probation for Podluckys - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


IMG_1600 by "Dmitri" Beljan
IMG_1600, a photo by "Dmitri" Beljan on Flickr.

love the old Pittsburgh architecture

Saturday, April 21, 2012


IMG_1545 by "Dmitri" Beljan
IMG_1545, a photo by "Dmitri" Beljan on Flickr.

notes from Carolyn

APRIL 20, 2012:
In light of the sudden death of LMB’s tax collector, Craig Miller, the following is suggested:
Write the tax check out to Laurel Mountain Borough Tax Collector andSNAIL MAIL IT to:
Laurel Mountain Borough Tax Collector (Craig Miller)
P. O. Box 39
Laughlintown, PA   15655
Your 2% early tax payment benefit will be applied if your ENVELOPEis postmarked by April 30, 2012.
Watch this newsletter site for up to date news of any changes.
APRIL 19, 2012: Craig L. Miller, Laurel Mountain Borough
Craig L. Miller, 64, of Laurel Mountain Borough, died Thursday, April 19, 2012...He was born Jan. 9, 1948, in Pittsburgh, a son of the late Myers W. Miller Sr. and Olive Simmers Miller. Craig was employed by the Rolling Rock Club...Craig served 10 years as the mayor of Laurel Mountain Borough and was presently serving as a tax collector....Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made in Craig’s memory to the Laurel Mountain Borough Association, P.O. Box 39, Laughlintown, PA 15655. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences to the family, please  Sign Craig Miller’s online guestbook now.   ...excerpted from  Laurel Mountain Borough Newsletter,OUT & ABOUT: APRIL 2012
     The granddaughter of a friend of mine was severely burned in a cooking oil accident in her kitchen (link at end of post).
NOTE: Samantha, is in Puerto Rico away from her family and friends. She could benefit from knowing that people care for her (link at end of this post). Send cards to Samantha’s grandmother:
Fran Welts
P. O. Box 45
Forbes Road, PA   15633
 Or give cards to
Carolyn C. Holland
And forward the link to this post to others
so that they might send cards:
     Not long after, a friend of mine lost her friend, who died in a kitchen fire when her clothing caught fire.
…more than 200 times each year for the last three years, the city’s (Greensburg, PA) volunteer firefighters have been called out after grease left burning in a pan on a stove has caught fire.
Fire chiefs attribute the uptick in cooking fires to lifestyle factors, including shift workers preparing meals when they’re tired, people deciding to cook a snack after a night out, and more homecooking instead of dining out in the economic recession.*
In many Greensburg incidents, firefighters respond to an alarm and put out a minor fire or vent smoke, officials said. In any case, firefighters are going out on a call, which incurs expense, and are put in danger.
Curtains, cabinets and other items that can burn easily are often near stoves and aggravate problems, said Mt. Pleasant fire Chief Jerry Lucia.
“That’s one of the big ways to start a kitchen fire: The oil gets ignited and (to continue reading click on

backyard adventures

Yesterday morning Ginko was pursued by deer.  He was hanging in the woods line when six deer walked out of the woods and into the backyard.  Three young deer noticed Ginko and their leader started towards him.  He moved away and then the leader of the little group decided Ginko might be a threat and so he started that stomping prance and continued after Ginko.  I just watched from the house hoping Ginko was being smart and continuing to stay ahead or out of their way.  He did a good job and all of the deer moved back into the woods and when I called him, Ginko galloped back to the house.

While all of that was happening a starling was trying to get into a redheaded woodpecker nest.  They defended it well.

When I came home from work, I saw that the starling v. woodpecker battle was still in play and the woodpeckers were still in control of their nest.

Near the end of the evening last night we heard loud cat noise - usually a stray meetup with Ginko and Gooey defending their turf.  I ran out onto the back porch and yelled "What's going on?"  That was enough to break it up and Ginko ran to the back door - Gooey to the front.  I never saw the other animal.  I hope it was a cat but there is a chance it was a possum since the altercation took place at the usual time for the possum to peruse the yard and at his usual entrance.  All I heard from the other animal was rustling in the plants.

This morning was I sad to see that the starling has won the nest fight.  The woodpeckers have only occupied the nest for about a week and so I don't know if there are eggs or babies in there yet.  Is the other bird taking over the nest or just eating their young?  I'll have to look that one up.

Graceful Aging Wellness Center

First Friday Community Series
May 4th- 7:30 to 9:30 PM
Graceful Aging Wellness Center
of Bethlen Communities
Speaker: Cathy Graham, Director
The Graceful Aging Wellness Center will open in October 2012 to area residents ages 50 and up from Ligonier Valley and surrounding areas. The center will focus on programming that will support actively aging adults in their pursuit of optimum health and well being. Life is about living. At the Graceful Aging Wellness Center participants will be able to engage in activities that stimulate mind body and spirit in meaningful ways.
The First Friday Series offers the public the opportunity to hear religious, philosophical or other vital topics affecting humankind. The belief set of a different religious tradition or other subject is presented and discussed each month. 
Free to the public - Sponsored by 
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ligonier Valley
1.5 miles East of Ligonier on Route 30 (Beside Ligonier Valley Beach)

"Ben Jealous", "Bill Maher", and "David Brock" Offered Ballot in Nation'...

Too Much Copyright

Friday, April 20, 2012

Relay for Life Team "Cancer Crushers" To Hold Bake Sale This Weekend

Is your mouth watering for something yummy?  Do you want to contribute to Relay for Life efforts to raise money for breast cancer research?  You can do both this coming Sunday, April 22 by attending the "Cancer Crushers" Team Bake Sale.  This enthusiastic team made up of high school students will be holding their annual bake sale beginning at 11 a.m. with a fantastic selection of homemade brownies, cookies, bread, cinnamon rolls and other tasty treats!  Their hope is that everyone will stop by after church and take home some goodies.  This year, they will also be offering hot dogs and sauerkraut for those who are too hungry to wait to start eating!
Their event is being held at the Beaufort Services Inc. location on Route 711 with plenty of parking available and easy access.   Their team  successfully raised $1200 last year which was their first event.  Stop by and help them reach their goal to raise $2000 this year!  Your stomach will thank you and so will the team!

Mountain Palace - Hui Guo Rou!

That's correct, this weekend's special at Mountain Palace is Hui Guo Rou! It means literally "again cooked meat" or more loosely translated as "twice cooked." It is extremely popular in northern China and viewed as a highly desirable "special" food item. The pork is boiled in one set of spices and then pan fried  in another set of spices with peppers, onion, and mushrooms. It will be served this weekend with rice for $8.95. Come to Mountain Palace if you wish to enjoy some truly authentic northern Chinese cuisine in our rustic setting surrounded by silk embroideries from Suzhou and artistic porcelain from Jingdezhen. All dishes are individually and freshly prepared by Chef Lacy. Mountain Palace is a truly unique dining experience! Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake. Friday 6:00 to 10:00, Saturday 11:30 to 10:00, and Sunday 11:30 until 6:00.  724 717-8614 

note to mobile readers who wish to comment

The version of Ligonier Living that can be read in mobile form on a smart phone doesn't grab the Intense Debate comment software.  It presents the old Blogger comment form.

I have found that if a comment comes through on the old Blogger format and I allow it to be posted, it erases any Intense Debate comments that are already on the blog.  For that reason I haven't been posting comments that come through from mobile readers.

I do apologize but I cannot think of any other way to handle that.  ;)

This morning I received a comment asking about the porch project we had going last year.  Anon said:

"I have many of these same questions to various structures all the time. I feel like I actually have some kind of phobia. You however, sound like you're just touching all bases to make sure the porch doesn't collapse. Is it or was it under construction when u posted this or was it already built?"

My response is that the porch is now built.  At the time of the post, it was still under construction.  This year we have different contractors finishing the job - railings, steps, sealing, insulation under the deck, electrical, etc. As for the structural supports.  I have learned much through this process and I would say that with the porch span of ten feet we should be okay.  I still wish we had the I-beam, even if it was an overbuild, because then I wouldn't have to think about it if there's a group of people on the porch.   ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Child Portraits on the Diamond ~ Anastasia Photography!

Applause for Ligonier Borough Council....

for saying no to the RV ordinance.  Everything doesn't need to be resolved with a new law.  Well done!!!!!!

Words in Process with Amy Yanity

Kick off this amazing Reading Series with published author and poet, Amy Yanity, at Allegory Gallery!  Every third Thursday, we'll be hosting "Words in Process" with a new featured writer who will read some of their work and talk about the motivations and inspirations behind their writing.  Then the floor is opened up to the audience and they too will be encouraged to share some of their pieces.  It's a great way to interact with other writers and literary enthusiasts!  The program starts at 7PM and will run until 9PM.  We'll have free wine, but BYOB is suggested.  Come by and be apart of this wonderful creative community!

Laurel Highlands Conservation Coalition's 4th conference

"When the well is dry, we know the worth of water." - Benjamin Franklin.

An international expert on declining water supplies will be the keynote speaker at the Laurel Highlands Conservation Coalition's April 23 conference, which will be all about water and include some hands-on, how-to sessions for local conservationists.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Leonard Konikow of the U.S. Geological Survey, who speaks internationally about water issues, especially declining groundwater supplies. Dr. Konikow has been a research hydrologist with USGS since 1972. He has an extensive resume of papers and service as chairman of committees for such organizations as the American Geophysical Union and the National Research Council.

A discussion will follow about creating an Ohio River basin commission similar to those in the Susquehanna and Delaware basins that can regulate large water withdrawals.

The other half of the day will promote hands-on ways to conserve and improve critical water resources, including a "toolkit" for conservation easements, "clean and green" leases and farmland preservation. Other topics are how to petition to have a stream re-designated as high value or exceptional value, and an update on Marcellus issues.

The Laurel Highlands Conservation Coalition's 4th conference will run from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Ligonier Town Hall on the Diamond in Ligonier on Monday, April 23.

The program will cost $20.00 to cover the cost of food and hall rental.

To register please e-mail or call Pennsylvania Environmental Council at 1-800-322-9214.

cards for burn victim

The following story tells of a young couple, each of whom experienced extensive burns due to a cooking fire. The worst burned, Samantha, is in Puerto Rico away from her family and friends.  She could benefit from knowing that people care for her.
Send cards to Samantha’s grandmother:
Fran Welts
P. O. Box 45
Forbes Road, PA   15633
Or give cards to
Carolyn C. Holland
And e-mail this post to friends and family
so they can send cards:
That life can be changed in an instant is more than a cliché. It is reality, a reality that proved true for Samantha and her husband Jordan, while they were visiting his family in Puerto Rico.
     On Tuesday, December 6, 2011, Samantha was boiling oil to fry something. Suddenly the oil began to smoke and a small fire emerged on the surface of the pan. Samantha grabbed the pan and turned in an effort to get it to the sink.
     She was unaware that her husband Jordan had entered the kitchen and was standing behind her.    When she turned the pan bumped against him, spilling its contents onto his back. The oil splashed back over her hand and arm, causing her to drop the pan. Some of the oil splashed onto her face and the remainder flowed down her legs and onto her feet.
     They were taken to a hospital burn unit. Jordan was in critical condition with third degree burns on his back, one leg, and an arm. Samantha received second degree burns on her face, her right arm from her elbow to her fingertips, and both lower legs and feet.
     Both are under age twenty-one and have a newborn son.
     Jordan’s mother makes the decisions for the couple because of their age, and the fact that she was the one who took them to the hospital. In Puerto Rico, the person who admits the underage patient to the hospital has the right to make the decisions in the patient’s care.
     Jordan received skin grafts on his back on December 16. Upon discharge from the hospital he returned to his mother’s home. An aunt is caring for the baby.
     Jordan was one week from his Army enlistment date. The Army now has him on "hold" for a year. Then, if his grafts have healed enough, he can enlist.
     Samantha’s recovery is not progressing very well. Initially there was a question of her survival---the only place she was not burned was her back and the back of her thighs. She remained in the intensive care unit for a month.
     At this point her feet are salvaged due to successful skin grafts.
     However, her arm is  (to continue reading click on