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.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

so one billionaire says to the others...

Excerpts from PIMCO Investment founder and chief investment officer Bill Gross's letter to his buddies:

"Admit that you, and I and others in the magnificent '1%' grew up in a gilded age of credit, where those who borrowed money or charged fees on expanding financial assets had a much better chance of making it to the big tent than those who used their hands for a living. Developed economies work best when inequality of incomes are at a minimum. Right now, the U.S. ranks 16th on a Gini coefficient for developed countries, barely ahead of Spain and Greece. By reducing the 20% of national income that “golden scrooges” now earn, by implementing more equitable tax reform that equalizes capital gains, carried interest and nominal income tax rates, we might move up the list to challenge more productive economies such as Germany and Canada. I would ask the Scrooge McDucks of the world who so vehemently criticize what they consider to be counterproductive, even crippling taxation of the wealthy in the midst of historically high corporate profits and personal income, to consider this: Instead of approaching the tax reform argument from the standpoint of what an enormous percentage of the overall income taxes the top 1% pay, consider how much of the national income you’ve been privileged to make.

Yes I know many of you money people worked hard as did I, and you survived and prospered where others did not. A fair economic system should always allow for an opportunity to succeed. Congratulations. Smoke that cigar, enjoy that Chateau Lafite 1989. But (mostly you guys) acknowledge your good fortune at having been born in the ‘40s, ‘50s or ‘60s, entering the male-dominated workforce 25 years later, and having had the privilege of riding a credit wave and a credit boom for the past three decades. You did not, as President Obama averred, “build that,” you did not create that wave. You rode it. And now it’s time to kick out and share some of your good fortune by paying higher taxes or reforming them to favor economic growth and labor, as opposed to corporate profits and individual gazillions."

okay, so now I know what Minecraft Universe is. LOL

McGregor to be extradited to Tennessee

A former Ligonier attorney will be sent to Tennessee to answer a theft charge.
On Thursday, Westmoreland County Judge Al Bell ordered that J. Russell McGregor be extradited to Fayette County, Tennessee, where the former lawyer is charged with stealing a piece of moving equipment valued between $1,000 and $10,000.
McGregor, 52, objected to the extradition and his defense attorney Dante Bertani told Bell the charges in Tennessee could not be proven.

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Halloween 2013 in Ligonier

Those 500 pieces of candy went POOF in one hour!

I so enjoy these kids on Halloween.  Love the parents dressing up, too!

Ligonier Scarecrows

Carolyn has posted a set of pictures and information about the scarecrows on the Ligonier Diamond.

Ligonier Scarecrows

Halloween Mellow Mike at Happy Healthy Eatery at Olde Main

We had such a good time last night at the sister restaurant to our Mountain Palace in Bolivar.

If anyone has pictures, please send them to me so I can post!

Next time you have a hunkering for magic dumplings or a beautiful hot pot, think about Happy Healthy Eatery at Olde Main located at 350 Main Street in Latrobe.  It's often open late and open every day except Thursday.


A prehistoric member of the Ligonier community is celebrating its 10th year in the Valley.
Ligonier Valley Library will play host to a birthday party at 10 a.m. Saturday to celebrate the town's friendly fiberglass dinosaur, Pixelsaurus, and its decade of residency at the library.
“The kids absolutely love this dinosaur,” said children's librarian Linda Norris. “There's no other library in the world that has a dinosaur like this.”

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Come enjoy lunch at Connections today!

On the menu...

Soup: Creamy Broccoli
Frittata: Broccoli & Cheddar
Grilled Cheese: Cheddar & Apple w/ Cranberry-Honey Mustard

Greek Orzo
French Potato
French Lentil
Curry Chicken
Cauliflower & Pea
Tuna & Red Bean
Wheatberry w/Apples & Fennel
Wild Rice w/ Chicken, Almonds & Cranberries

Shop our Fair Trade gifts for the gift-giving season while you're here!!

Looking for something different to do this weekend? Check out the MainStreet Wine Bar

As always, we're mixing it up at the wine bar, so come out and experience great wine and food. Here are some of our chef's latest additions to the menu:
PA-style Chili 
Hot and spicy with cornbread...$9
Winter Fruit Salad 
Apples, pears, pecans, and Swiss on a bed of greens and lemon poppyseed dressing...$9
Coconut-crusted Shrimp 
and pineapple sauce...$13
Shrimp Tacos 
Three tacos with lettuce, pico de gallo, and chipotle cream sauce and a black bean salad...$13
Crimini mushroom & asiago cheese or traditional tomato and mozzarella...$10
Traditional Hand-Tossed Pizza 
Pepperoni and mozzarella...$12
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza 
B├ęchamel sauce and olive oil...$15

Thursday, Friday and Saturday: Open at 5 pm

Book your Christmas Party with us now!
We are looking forward to seeing you!
724-593 -WINE (9463)

congrats to Monsignor Charnoki

Monsignor William G. Charnoki, retired pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Ligonier, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Saint Vincent Seminary, at the seminary's recent alumni celebration.
Monsignor Charnoki is a Greene County native and was graduated from Saint Vincent College in 1961 and Saint Vincent Seminary in 1965. He earned a canon law degree from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. and was ordained to the priesthood in May of 1965.

Warren, Sanders Ready to Face Down Obama over Social Security, Medicare Cuts

As budget negotiations restart, Obama and the GOP still pushing austerity

""Instead of talking about cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we must end the absurdity of corporations not paying a nickel in federal income taxes," Senator Sanders, who is on the Senate and House budget conference committee, wrote in an op-ed in the LA Times Monday. Pushing for progressive tax reform as opposed to further cuts to key social programs and earned benefits, Sanders added, "We cannot impose more austerity on people who are already suffering. When 95% of all new income between 2009 and 2012 went to the top 1%, and while tens of millions of working Americans saw a decline in their income, we cannot cut programs that working families depend on."
Among the austerity proposals put forth in Obama's 2014 budget and still considered a bargaining chip in the new round of talks, significant worry among progressives centers around a plan that would reduce the annual cost of living calculations for Social Security payments, known as the 'Chained CPI', which would effectively reduce benefits for seniors. “Chained CPI is just a fancy way to say ‘Cut benefits for seniors, permanently disabled, and orphans,’” warned Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a recent interview.Our Social Security system is critical to protecting middle-class families, and we cannot allow it to be dismantled, inch by inch.”"

Robin Hoods Lobby Congress: 'Make Wall Street Pay!'

"Calls for a so-called 'Robin Hood tax' have grown internationally and exponentially in the years since the 2008 financial collapse and economists and social justice campaigners have explained how a financial transaction tax, or FTT, could stabilize the economy by placing an infinitesimal tax on Wall Street trades and speculation in order to disincentivize high-speed trading while generating hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue to fund education, alleviate poverty, battle persistent health problems, and assist the move to a more sustainable energy economy.
On Wednesday—backed by economists and a broad coalition of unionized nurses, economic justice groups, environmentalists, and sympathetic lawmakers—the Robin Hood Tax Campaign went door to door in the halls of Congress to deliver their message. “With the latest Congressional super committee on budget deliberations [meeting] in the aftermath of the brinkmanship over federal funding, a change in tone is needed in Washington,” said Karen Higgins, RN, co-president of National Nurses United. “We are calling on Congress and the White House to refocus on a human needs budget, not just an endless cycle of more austerity and more cuts. We need the Robin Hood tax.”"

hanging trees......ooooooooooo happy halloween!

If A Tree Falls in the Forest: Another 'Oil Field Incident,' Again By Koch, Goes Mostly Unreported

"Amidst new revelations that some 750 pipeline spills, many in remote areas in North Dakota, have gone largely unreported within the last year comes news of Tuesday's spill of 17,000 gallons of crude from a Koch-owned pipeline near Austin, Texas. Alarmingly brief Texas reports say it was discovered during a "routine aerial inspection," the cleanup has begun, the cause is unknown, as is the timeline for fixing it, and Koch Pipeline Co. - which has already paid the largest fines ever for over 300 spills in six states affecting many thousands of people - has "notified the appropriate federal and state regulators." So not to worry, even if Congress is currently debating speeding up and otherwise easing requirements for getting approval for such pipelines. Question: If a pipeline built by conscience-free, profit-driven mega-corporations starts oozing toxic oil in the boonies and nobody sees, hears or notices it for some time - and calls aforementioned corporation on their sins - what will become of us?"

the threat was real

A former Westmoreland County man who made national headlines claiming to have found lost treasure off the Florida coast was found dead Tuesday in Ligonier Township after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The Westmoreland County Coroner's office identified the victim as Jay E. Miscovich, 54, of Key West, Fla.
Deputy Coroner Joshua Zappone said Miscovich was found in the yard of an unoccupied house owned by Dr. Donald Ray of Greensburg.
Zappone described Miscovich as a “drifter” who once lived in the house. Coroner Ken Bacha pronounced him dead at the scene at 5:15 p.m. Miscovich shot himself with a 12-gauge shotgun.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

great quotes

"In fact, looking back, it seems to me that I was clueless until I was about 50 years old."

--Nora Ephron, from  I Remember Nothing; And Other Reflections, 2010.
 "Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're 34."

--Nora, from I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, 2006.

Survey* of Western Pennsylvanians on drilling

More than 64 percent say climate change is a "severe" or "moderate" problem, while 18.5 percent say it's not a problem, with men and those earning more than $75,000 more likely to be in the denier group.

"Public views are also at odds about shale gas development. Nearly 59 percent believe drilling poses a significant or moderate threat to public health and the environment. At the same time, 48 percent support shale gas drilling, compared to 29 percent who oppose it.  But more than 70 percent oppose drilling in state parks, game lands and nature reserves. "It shows people are of two minds on Marcellus Shale gas," Mr. Heuck said. "They're aware of the economic shot in the arm Marcellus has been and promises to be, but they also want government to make sure it's done right. They're concerned about public health and the environment." He noted that more than 95 percent said the chemical components of fracking fluids should be made public, and "that's a very strong statement." 

*The 80-question survey, conducted by phone in May and June, is based on responses from 800 randomly selected residents of southwestern Pennsylvania; half of those in Allegheny County and half in the surrounding counties of Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland.

Wigle Sister Wednesday: Taking you to Mumbai Tonight!

Our food city today - October 30th is MUMBAI! Come and see us from 5-9 at Connections Cafe. Costumes welcome!






a letter from Pam Newhouse

It is with great regret that I have decided that I will not vote for nor support existing Ligonier Valley School Board members or anyone running on their "slate". The behind-closed-doors appointments and the unnecessary dragging on of contract negotiations with our teachers is the last straw for me.

I do not understand how the existing board can accept a resignation then, in the next breath, name and unanimously approve of a person to add to the board. Was this person's resume submitted? Were they vetted in some manner? What is their reason for serving on the board? And how does the entire board agree unanimously to appoint someone whose name was apparently pulled out of a hat without, at minimum, conducting an interview? Why wasn't the next-highest vote-getter in the last election appointed? It may be legal under Pennsylvania law for the board to make appointments when there is an opening, but it is not ethical nor moral for them to do so. In order to promote open communication and fairness, and to get the best candidates, openings need to be advertised for ALL interested citizens to submit an application so people who are truly interested in public education can apply.

An anonymous flyer being passed around Ligonier states that the board needs to hold the line with teachers because they make way too much money "for our area" - that the per person income is only $29,029. That figure is very misleading - if one person in a family works and makes $60,000 per year and has a spouse and 2 children who do not work - that makes that household's per person income only $15,000.

A better estimate of the jobs value in our area is that the average household income in 2011 was $45,968.

Teachers are highly educated - all have a bachelors degree, most have earned their masters, and our district has more than a few that are earning or have already earned their doctorate.

I have volunteered in Ligonier schools since our family moved here in 2002 and I know how dedicated and serious about their profession our teachers are. They have had money and resources for their classrooms cut to the bone (the Mellon PTA, for example, provides each teacher with a classroom allowance so they have some money available to purchase classroom items).

These professionals deserve better than working without a contract for nearly 500 days.

Please give serious consideration to writing-in people who are truly interested in educating our children, are capable of negotiating in good faith, and want to support our children's education and teachers.


Pamela M Newhouse

UU Fellowship First Friday series continues on Nov. 1 at 7:30 PM

Thinking Clearly: “Miracles”?
Speaker: Bernard Brown, Ph.D.
Do "miracles" presuppose a magical suspension of the laws of nature? 
Our thesis: "miracles," then and now, can be quite real on other levels, but cannot be physical events in (historical) time. What are they then? Suppose we think of "miracles" asnarratives expressing a transcendent hope.
How do  
1. the literary structure of stories 
2. the logic of a supposed Miracle Maker and ideas of evolution help us bring clarity to these  stories and their important hopes?
A challenge in life: to be scientific realists as well as optimists.  

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)

Do you think the YMCA in Ligonier has forgotten the YMCA mission? "To put Christian principles into practice through programs that help healthy spirit, mind and body for all."

Consider calling or writing a letter to these folks.  They are the board and key staff of the YMCA of the USA.  I cannot believe the YMCA of USA would condone the methods being employed by local Y officials and proponents trying to force their will upon Ligonier Borough.  Just tell them what you have experienced and let them decide. If you call I suggest asking for the office of their general counsel. Call1-800-872-9622 or

Mail your letters to
YMCA of the USA
101 N Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606

Sharon L. Allen 
Ret. Chairman, Deloitte LLP
David A. Barahona
Finance Associate Manager
PepsiCo, Inc.
Garrett Boone
Chairman Emeritus
The Container Store
Gina Boswell
Executive Vice President
Personal Care
Michael Bright
YMCA of Newark and Vicinity
Janet Collins, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Program Office of the Director,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Pamela Davies, Ph.D.
Office of the President
Queens University of Charlotte
Michael C. Eicher
Sr. Vice President for Advancement
President, The Ohio State Foundation
Hugh A. Fitzpatrick
Princeton Capital Management, Inc
Virginia Bales Harris 
Director, Adult and Community Health, CDC (Retired)
Matthew Hyde
West Marine
Hon. Richard A. Jones 
Judge, United States District Court
Nancy Kissinger 
Chase Bank
Steven J. Malcolm
Retired Chairman, President/CEO
The Williams Companies, Inc.
Christine Marcks 
Prudential Retirement
Ann Ostergaard
Ulice Payne, Jr., Esq. 
Addison-Clifton, LLC
Jorge Alfredo Perez
YMCA of Southwest Illinois
Tara Pomposini
General Director
Santa Monica Family YMCA

David Pratt
Thomas J. Rodell 
Executive Vice President
Head of Field Operations–US Retail
Aon Risk Solutions
Judah C. Sommer 
Senior Counsel
Crowell and Moring LLP
Johnny C. Taylor
Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Director, Rock Creek Group
1133 Connecticut Ave., NW
Sandra Berlin Walker
YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

Board Fellow 2012 – 2013
Bennett J. Glassman
James Mellor
Assistant Treasurer/
Sr. Vice President/CFO
Deborah Rivers
Executive Assistant to President/CEO
Angela F. Williams
Assistant Secretary/Sr. Vice President/ General Counsel/Chief Administration Officer

Kim Shaffer resigns defending Ligonier Borough and protecting her job and family from YMCA pressure to change her vote.

“My employer is very busy with his commitment to his constituents of his district, yet he was contacted by select members of council and supporters of the project to see what he could do to help this project move along, going outside and beyond our zoning ordinance boundaries,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer also commented on the YMCA's expansion and partnership with Excela Health.
“People visit our quaint community because of how beautiful it is, how well it is maintained, because of our shops and restaurants,” she said. “I cannot accept one of the main entrances to our beautiful town will be sporting a parking lot and a glass-and-steel medical center. Since the early 1960s, the Colonial-style appearance has been encouraged on any remodeling in the downtown area. What will happen when our independent medical facilities leave town and we have only one facility to go to? What will happen to the buildings and office spaces they abandon?
“I am very, very proud to be a resident of Ligonier Borough, but I am not proud of the deceitful political play that has entered into our town,” she said.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LVSD buses re-routed to avoid suicide threat

Ligonier Valley School District on Tuesday notified parents that after-school bus routes would change because a man called Westmoreland County 911 about 3 p.m. and said he was going to shoot himself in woods behind his Ligonier Township home.
An emergency management dispatcher said the man hung up and did not answer subsequent calls to his cell phone.
Pings from the phone narrowed the location where he had made the call to Matson Road and Route 259.

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Innocents speak for the first time in Washington

"The family of a 67-year-old midwife from a remote village in North Waziristan told lawmakers on Tuesday about her death and the "CIA drone" they say was responsible. Their harrowing accounts marked the first time Congress had ever heard from civilian victims of an alleged US drone strike. Rafiq ur Rehman, a Pakistani primary school teacher who appeared on Capitol Hill with his children, Zubair, 13, and Nabila, 9, described his mother, Momina Bibi, as the "string that held our family together". His two children, who were gathering okra with their grandmother the day she was killed, on 24 October 2012, were injured in the attack.
 Nabila Rehman, 9, holds up a picture she drew depicting the US drone strike on her Pakistan village which killed her grandmother.

"Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day," Rehman said, through a translator. "Some media outlets reported that the attack was on a car, but there is no road alongside my mother’s house. Others reported that the attack was on a house. But the missiles hit a nearby field, not a house. All of them reported that three, four, five militants were killed." Instead, he said, only one person was killed that day: "Not a militant but my mother." "In Urdu we have a saying: aik lari main pro kay rakhna. Literally translated, it means the string that holds the pearls together. That is what my mother was. She was the string that held our family together. Since her death, the string has been broken and life has not been the same. We feel alone and we feel lost.""

Kim Shaffer - You are my radical hero!

Big surprise at the Ligonier Borough Council meeting tonight.

Promptly at 7pm we rose to say the Pledge of Allegiance.  Buddy Helterbran called for approval of the minutes from the last meeting then took borough council into executive session.

When officials returned to the room, I could tell from the looks on the faces that something unexpected had taken place. Buddy Helterbran said Kim Shaffer had a statement to make and boy did she ever.

Kim made the case for Ligonier Borough and its citizens. She exposed tactics that were being played against her by YMCA supporters to get her to change her vote - including pressure on her family and through her employer, State Rep. Tom Reese.


She received loud applause and cheering from Ligonier Borough friends and residents who do not want to cave to the YMCA forces.  It was dramatic and it was needed.  Thank you, Kim.

Following Kim's resignation the meeting was adjourned.

If I can get a copy of Kim's statement to post here, I will.  I think everyone should hear what she has to say.  She said what needed to be said.  Kim Shaffer is a brave lady.

Halloween Mellow Mike - Wednesday, October 30th

Happy Healthy Eatery - Authentic Northern Chinese 
350 Main Street, Latrobe, PA 

7pm to 9:30pm

Come to have fun and good food!!!

okay - now this is getting weird

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — After KPIX 5 reported on Google’s mysterious project on a barge off Treasure Island, reports have surfaced of the tech giant building similar floating structures outside of the Bay Area.
A report appearing in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald showed shipping containers stacked on a barge in Maine – with the structure appearing virtually identical to the Bay Area barge. Also, an unconfirmed report suggested a Google barge is taking shape in New London, Connecticut.

woman identified in fatal car accident

Authorities have identified a 23-year-old Ligonier woman who was killed early Sunday when her vehicle ran off Route 711 in Ligonier Township, struck a tree and caught fire.
Alexandra K. Daugherty was identified through dental records, according to the Westmoreland County Coroner's office.

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"How can we help people to understand this? (Theo Colburn)

Dr. Colborn, a scientist who understands the chemistry of fossil fuels, speaking about what comes out of a natural gas drilling site (and into the air and bodies around it) a 5 minute tutorial; very clear, concise and sobering.

Dr. Colborn earned a PhD at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Zoology (distributed minors in epidemiology, toxicology, and water chemistry); an MA in Science at Western State College of Colorado (fresh-water ecology); and a BS in Pharmacy from Rutgers University, College of Pharmacy. In her retirement she has set up a non-profit, TEDX, to carry on the work of providing objective, technical information about endocrine disruption and related low-exposure hazards for academicians, policy makers, government employees, community-based and health support groups, public health authorities, physicians, the media, and individuals. (Wikipedia)

If you know anyone who lives near a gas drilling site or works on one, please have them watch this 5-minute video. If you breathe air, watch it yourself...drilling is here, and so are the toxins that respect no property lines.

old bank building gets new life

The Ligonier planning commission voted 3-1 to recommend to council the approval of a conditional-use application for Financial Services to open in the former Sewickley Spa building at 112 N. Market St.
Eric Elek operates Financial Services, a financial planning company in Pittsburgh and Texas, which offers planning for investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. He wants to purchase the building on North Market Street to open an additional location.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Big Oil's Bid to Crush Small Town

(B)ankrolled by the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group American Petroleum Institute, cash and lobbyists pour into coastal Maine town in effort to defeat residents' initiative to block dirty oil project

Campaign finance reports revealed Friday that the oil industry has poured over $600,000 into a campaign to defeat the Waterfront Protection Ordinance—a land-use zoning ordinance up for referendum in the November election, that is backed by grassroots organizations and would block oil industry efforts to build a tar sands export facility. The oil industry is likely to break all records on campaign spending in this coastal town of 25,000 people, out-spending local environmental and community groups six-to-one. "Oil industry spending is completely over the top," said Robert Sellin, from the group Protect South Portland, in a phone interview with Common Dreams. "Clearly they have all the money. We are talking about some of the wealthiest corporations in the world. They do not want a community to stand up for itself. They are going to do everything they can to squash our initiative and discourage other jurisdictions.


The Portland Pipe Line Corporation applied four years ago for a permit to use South Portland as the potential location for an alternate tar sands pipeline. The plan was to use a 70-year-old, 236-mile pipeline, currently employed to transport crude oil from freighters in the South Portland harbor to Montreal, to instead transport tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada. This would be accomplished by reversing the flow of the pipeline, and the tar sands oil would be distributed to international markets via oil tankers and an upgraded terminal in South Portland. The upgrade would include two 70-foot smokestacks erected on the South Portland waterfront that would spew pollution, including carcinogenic benzene, into the atmosphere. Freighter ships transporting crude oil from Casco Bay would increase the risk of spills, and tar sands storage tanks would be erected near area schools."

This gorgeous area, South Portland harbor, turned into yet another industrial wasteland. Will they never stop?

We are not becoming energy independent; it is being sold on the world market, folks. That means we get in line and pay for it, like everyone else...don't buy the "energy independence" lie.

Jail the Banksters

Bank executives facing prison time for illegal activity would be better sanction than fine, say Wall Street reform advocates

"While JPMorgan Chase's $13 billion settlement for its "shady practices that five years ago helped trigger the financial meltdown, including manipulating mortgages and sending millions of Americans into bankruptcy or foreclosure" has gained attention for its record amount, a number of banking reform advocates are saying real accountability will come when executives are prosecuted and sent to jail for illegal activity.


As Matt Taibbi writes in Rolling Stone, [T]he key to this whole thing is that the punishment is just money, and not a crippling amount, and not from any individual's pocket, either. In fact, the deal that has just been completed between Chase and the state represents the end, or near the end, of a long process by which people who committed essentially the same crimes as Bernie Madoff will walk away without paying any individual penalty. [...] [W]hile it is true that the federal government in this latest $13 billion settlement is ostensibly reserving the right to continue to pursue criminal charges, don't hold your breath. The arc of this story suggests that the whole purpose of this agreement has been to find the highest price Chase is willing to pay to a) stay in business b) keep employees out of jail." 


MISSING DOG IN RECTOR/STAHLSTOWN AREA since Thursday, October 24. Toby went missing from 711 South of Ligonier when he slipped out of his collar to chase a deer.  Please contact: 724-289-0120 (cell) 724-593-2082 (home).

Are you getting to keep your health insurance plan??

"When I got this bill, I was outraged," CBS quotes a 56-year-old Florida resident who got dropped from her health care plan.
Her new plan will be 10 times higher than what she's paying now, jumping from $54 a month to $591.
"What I have right now is what I'm happy with, and I just want to know why I can't keep what I have," says the woman. "Why do I have to be forced into something else?" 

after light bulbs comes.....

The FAZ writes that not only light bulbs and vacuum cleaners are targeted for higher efficiency, but also an entire range of appliances. This is all in the wake of the European Ecodesign Directive, which will go into effect on November 1st for clothes dryers. “For condensation tumbler dryers, the weighted condensation efficiency must not be less than 60 percent.”

This latest additional government encroachment into private lives is necessary, European bureaucrats believe. Citizens have to stop being wasteful and it’s past time to rescue the planet from dangerous climate change, so claim the nannies in Brussels and other European capitals. It’s all for our own good.

How could people have come to accept being treated like irresponsible children who need to be nannied 24 hours a day? Surely if a poll were taken in Europe, a majority of citizens indeed would agree that they really are too stupid to make their own personal decisions and so it’s best that the state decides simple things for them, like the purchase of an appliance.

A large part of the European citizens have been brainwashed into believing this.

new creatures discovered

fatality in Ligonier car accident

A woman was killed after her car hit a tree and caught fire early Sunday morning in Ligonier.

The accident happened on Route 711 about 3 a.m.

7 Springs job fair

The Seven Springs human resources team is now gearing up for a busy winter. The resort’s job fair is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 9 in Festival Hall. Between Seven Springs and Hidden Valley, nearly 1,000 employees can apply and interview for part-time seasonal employment, according to communications manager Anna Weltz.

Ski and snowboard instructors, slope maintenance personnel, childcare attendants, terrain park staff, snowcat operators, resort security, front desk agents, massage therapists, servers, bartenders, cooks and lifeguards are just some of the positions to be filled at the resorts.

According to an official press release, Seven Springs Mountain Resort is Somerset County’s largest employer with more than 1,800 employees during the snow season and 1,000 in the summer.

For more information, applicants can go to or call (800) 452-2223, ext. 7930.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

This is very interesting.

For the second time in history, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a case about rail-trails. At stake is the public ownership claim of hundreds of thousands of miles of right-of-way around railroads, some of which has been converted into multi-use trails.

"they" want to tax the number of miles you drive. what do you think about that????

WASHINGTON — As America's road planners struggle to find the cash to mend a crumbling highway system, many are beginning to see a solution in a little black box that fits neatly by the dashboard of your car.
The devices, which track every mile a motorist drives and transmit that information to bureaucrats, are at the center of a controversial attempt in Washington and state planning offices to overhaul the outdated system for funding America's major roads.
The usually dull arena of highway planning has suddenly spawned intense debate and colorful alliances. Libertarians have joined environmental groups in lobbying to allow government to use the little boxes to keep track of the miles you drive, and possibly where you drive them — then use the information to draw up a tax bill.,0,6090226.story#axzz2ixtbUMr5

PS  I can't find any evidence that libertarians support this.

"How dare they say that we were not worthy of a healthy environment."

"What we see in Pennsylvania is that rural communities have been fractured by shale gas development. They're isolated and poor and don't have a lot of voices to stand up to companies," she said, adding that opposition is also hampered by a lack of historical data about health impacts, no systematic collection of new data and no right to know the chemicals being used in the fracking process.

"Ms. Gibbs, a warrior-princess in one of the nation's first epic environmental health wars and now executive director of the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, said in-your-face, grass-roots activism that applied strong political pressure was the only thing that worked to get state and federal officials to move 800 families and a school out of the Love Canal area and clean up the 21,000 tons of toxic chemicals improperly dumped there. She said a study of Love Canal residents found 56 percent of children born to residents there had birth defects, but that was dismissed by the state as "useless housewife data collected by people with a vested interest." A subsequent state study confirmed the 56 percent number but didn't blame Love Canal. Instead, she said, it blamed "a random clustering of genetically defective people."

"The company that dumped the chemicals, the city of Niagara, N.Y., and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency all knew we were being exposed to toxic chemicals and knew we were getting sick," said Ms. Gibbs, then a 26-year-old mother who couldn't understand why her two young children were always sick. "But the decision had been made that we could be sacrificed, sacrificed for money or power or jobs, which is essentially money."

Look for Rosary Acre breads at Giant Eagle

Rosary Acres fresh breads arriving at Giant Eagle in Ligonier right NOW! Fresh Arrives 7 days a week....look for us in the bakery dept.

Lincoln Highway and Ligonier

JOHNSTOWN — The Lincoln Highway meanders at times.

There are three generations of official routes, auxiliary roads, detours and bypasses, which often create confusion as to what is part of the actual system and what is not.

In some instances, the highway simply takes a somewhat unexpected turn.

Ligonier Borough is one of the places where it veers off its primary path for a bit. The historic road follows Route 30 throughout most of Pennsylvania. But, in the Westmoreland County community, it separates from the modern four-lane, linking up with the small-town Main Street. Then, in a short distance, it’s right back to Route 30 for any drivers specifically following the Lincoln Highway.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

House flooded by pipeline for fracked gas

"We are not certain how the drilling mud traveled from the drilling site to the well," he said.

"We are not certain how the drilling mud traveled from the drilling site to the well," he said. - See more at:

"We are not certain how the drilling mud traveled from the drilling site to the well," he said. - See more at:

VALLEY GROVE - Becky and John Wieczorkowski's Valley Grove home flooded and ripped apart Thursday morning after 6,000 gallons of water and "drilling mud" from a nearby pipeline operation infiltrated the home through an abandoned water well. Becky Wieczorkowski said she heard cracking sounds at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and then noticed a piece of the ceiling fall into the bathtub. "Before I realized what was happening, I saw the living room ceiling separate from the wall and I could see outside," she said. "One of the (pipeline) guys told me the house moved off of its foundation and I should get out and stay out."

Wieczorkowski, who shares the home with her husband and two dogs, said 4 feet of drilling fluid and water poured into the basement. Workers from MarkWest Energy had to break out a basement window to gain access for pumping equipment.

A MarkWest crew is drilling near her property as part of a pipeline installation under National Road. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the non-toxic drilling mud "is an important component in the drilling process. A fluid is required in the wellbore to cool and lubricate the drill bit; remove the rock fragments, or drill cuttings, from the drilling area and transport them to the surface; counterbalance formation pressure to prevent formation fluids (such as oil, gas, and water) from entering the well prematurely; and prevent the wellbore from caving in."

- See more at:

Wieczorkowski, who shares the home with her husband and two dogs, said 4 feet of drilling fluid and water poured into the basement. Workers from MarkWest Energy had to break out a basement window to gain access for pumping equipment. A MarkWest crew is drilling near her property as part of a pipeline installation under National Road. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the non-toxic drilling mud "is an important component in the drilling process. A fluid is required in the wellbore to cool and lubricate the drill bit; remove the rock fragments, or drill cuttings, from the drilling area and transport them to the surface; counterbalance formation pressure to prevent formation fluids (such as oil, gas, and water) from entering the well prematurely; and prevent the wellbore from caving in."

Lovely... . Drilling near her property and this is what happens: 6000 gallons of mud in the basement and her foundation ruined. Curious to see if MarkWest blames her house for being in the way of their pipeline. (A variant of "How did our oil get under your sand?".)

VALLEY GROVE - Becky and John Wieczorkowski's Valley Grove home flooded and ripped apart Thursday morning after 6,000 gallons of water and "drilling mud" from a nearby pipeline operation infiltrated the home through an abandoned water well.

Becky Wieczorkowski said she heard cracking sounds at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and then noticed a piece of the ceiling fall into the bathtub.

"Before I realized what was happening, I saw the living room ceiling separate from the wall and I could see outside," she said. "One of the (pipeline) guys told me the house moved off of its foundation and I should get out and stay out."

- See more at:

Flavors Cafe Takes the Work Out of Thanksgiving

From Our Cafe .... to Your Home, We Make Thanksgiving Easy.  We will prepare an entire meal, a few side dishes and vegetables, or just dessert.  The choice is up to you.

Complete Dinner for  8 people
✣  14 - 16 Lb Turkey (with enough for leftovers)  ✣  Sage & Apple Stuffing✣  Homemade Potatoes & Gravy✣  Green Beans, Caramlized Shallots & Almonds✣  Roasted Carrots✣  Cranberry Orange Salsa✣  Dinner Rolls✣  Homemade Pumpkin or Dutch Apple Pie                       $195 Plus Tax

And of Course Dessert  .... by our pastry chef
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Deep Dish Pecan
Carrot Cake
2x Chocolate 
Pumpkin Custard
Deep Dish Apple Cranberry

Soups and additional sides and vegetable also available a la carte.

For complete menu and additional information click here.

Please feel free to call us at 724.238.3284Flavors Cafe   138 West Main Street, Ligonier