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.


claysh@gmail.com

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Toxic spills are not "energy security"...they are the death rattle of the fossil fuel industry

 The 20-inch 'Pegasus' tar sands pipeline ruptured late Friday near Mayflower, Arkansas, spilling thousands of barrels of oil in what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is categorizing as a "major spill." Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson said the EPA has estimated the spill at 84,000 gallons of crude oil.
"Exxon Mobil on Sunday continued to try to cleanup a major pipeline spill that poured thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude into a suburban Arkansas neighborhood Friday as opponents of tar sands oil development pointed to the incident as another reason not to build the Keystone XL line. Mayflower is about 20 miles north of Little Rock. Local police said the line gushed oil for 45 minutes before being stopped, according to media reports. Mayflower police said the oil has not yet reached the nearby Lake Conway. The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes in a subdivision.

Exxon Mobil said the pipeline was carrying western Canadian Wabasca Heavy crude at the time of the leak. An oil spill of more than 1,000 barrels into a Wisconsin field from an Enbridge pipeline last summer shut down that pipeline for 11 days. The Arkansas spill drew fast reaction from opponents of the 800,000 barrel per day Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry heavy crude from Canada's tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast refining center."

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/31

Golf or clean energy and jobs?

The Donald has his kilt in a twist for sure, now....

About a year ago, Donald Trump was throwing a public tantrum about Scotland’s plans to build an offshore wind farm. Mr. Trump claimed that it would ruin the view from one of his golf course projects, and that (and I quote): “the reckless installation of these monsters [...] will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history” and that the wind farm would cause the “destruction of Scotland’s coastline”. No hyperbole there… . At the time, Mr. Trump said that he and his staff would fight the wind farm with all legal means, and that he was doing it to “save Scotland.” Well, it looks like Scotland didn’t care to be saved. The government has green-lit the offshore wind farm near Aberdeen, ignoring Trump’s pleas (in fact, he was so over-the-top that even if they were going to deny approval, now they just had to approve it). [...]


The wind farm will have a capacity of around 100 megawatts, enough to power about half of Aberdeen’s homes, and be composed of only 11 wind turbines. Part of the goal will be to evaluate new advanced turbine designs and help Scotland get the expertise needed to join the multi-billion dollar wind industry. Construction is expected to cost £230m ($347m).

Jobs and clean energy for many over golf for the few and well-to-do..it's a no-brainer, Donald.

Pope Francis uses Easter address to denounce 'greed looking for easy gain'

Pope appears to put uncaring capitalism on a par with the armed conflicts traditionally deplored in the annual address
 "In his Urbi et Orbi address, which translates as "to the city [of Rome] and to the world", the pope – who has sought to make himself the tribune of the poor, disabled and disadvantaged – appeared to put uncaring capitalism in the same category as the armed conflicts his predecessors have traditionally, and forlornly, deplored on Easter Day. Since being elected on 13 March, Francis has repeatedly stressed concern for the poor and others on the margins of society, and he returned to what is clearly emerging as the central theme of his papacy on Sunday. He said he wanted his Easter message of hope and resurrection "to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals & in prisons". [...]

He appealed for peace in the Middle East, saying that the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians had "lasted all too long" and called for an end to violence in Iraq and "dear Syria", the birthplace of Gregory III, the last pope from a non-European country. Francis also urged peace in Africa, specifically citing Mali, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Nigeria. He also made a special call for an end to the standoff on the Korean peninsula. He ended his address by calling, with growing intensity, for "peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this 21st century. Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources"."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/31/pope-francis-easter-address-greed

green agenda kills by making energy more expensive


Somewhere between the release of the 1984 Band Aid single and Al Gore’s 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, political attention shifted away from such problems. The idea of people (especially old people) dying in their homes from conditions with which we are all familiar now seems relatively boring. Much political attention is still focused on global warming, and while schemes to help Britain prepare for the cold are being cut, the overseas aid budget is being vastly expanded. Saving elderly British lives has somehow become the least fashionable cause in politics.
The reaction to the 2003 heatwave was extraordinary. It was blamed for 2,000 deaths, and taken as a warning that Britain was horribly unprepared for the coming era of snowless winters and barbecue summers. The government’s chief scientific officer, Sir David King, later declared that climate change was “more serious even than the threat of terrorism” in terms of the number of lives that could be lost. Such language is never used about the cold, which kills at least 10 times as many people every winter. Before long, every political party had signed up to the green agenda.

Happy Easter, Ligonier!


Are we humans really going to make the changes we need to make?

"...this is actually a problem of human psychology and human behavior, not just climate science, technology or resource scarcity. As a species, we don't seem to be very good at understanding enormous, complex challenges like the ones we're presently facing, let alone processing our emotional responses to these threats and moving into action. The core problem is that humans are HIGHLY resistant to cultural and behavioral change! Dr. Sarah Anne Edwards and I have written an essay called "The Waking Up Syndrome" in which we explore the stages people go through as they wake up to the reality of the rapidly-worsening environmental situation, as described by the majority of credible scientists. Our goal is to help people emerge from denial and face reality but not get stuck in despair or disempowerment as they move forward into constructive action."

Since all of our constructive actions may or may not avert the predicted catastrophes, some people in addition to doing what they can to solve problems are also preparing for the transition to a different way of life. The irony is that this may turn out to be not only the smart and prudent thing to do ("expect the best, prepare for the worst"), but also bring more happiness into our lives. A simpler, more local and neighbor-connected lifestyle may turn out to be far more satisfying than the rushed and stressed rat-race so many of us endure today."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-buzzell/the-waking-up-syndrome_b_248073.html

Richard Gere, Robert DeNiro, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Paul McCartney, etc.

Fox News reports, You decide!! 

'Artists Against Fracking' getting attention...which reminds me of the famous quote from Gandhi:      

***First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you,* and then you win.” ***

"A formal complaint filed with New York's lobbying board asks it to investigate whether Artists Against Fracking, a group that includes Yoko Ono and other A-List celebrities, is violating the state's lobbying law, according to the document obtained by The Associated Press. The Independent Oil & Gas Association, an industry group that supports gas drilling, filed the complaint (*)Tuesday with the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The complaint is based on an AP story that found that Artists Against Fracking and its members, including Ono, her son Sean Lennon, actors Mark Ruffalo and Robert De Niro and others, aren't registered as lobbyists and therefore didn't disclose their spending in opposition to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to remove gas from underground deposits.

"The public has been unable to learn how much money is being spent on this effort, what it is being spent on, and who is funding the effort," said Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York."

http://www.foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=22995&external=2056969.proteus.fma#quickPage_html_page_22995_content_91424912_pageNum_1

http://artistsagainstfracking.com/

Really, Mr. Gill? Concerned about ethics...really? And how much policy has been twisted in favor of the oil and gas industry by groups like yours paying off elected officials and appointed agency heads, hmm? How many questionable permits get issued and wetlands disregarded, how many families' well water and air quality compromised, how many lives will be ruined thanks to your efforts? (A vocal, relative few will profit, agreed...er, make that "a-greed.")

I and many others welcome the spotlight that only big celebrities are capable of shining into the dark backrooms where you guys are used to making your deals... . Americans - may we always be fortunate to have ones like Yoko and Ruffalo (and 200 others) - pay attention to celebrities. Maybe, just maybe, before Pennsylvania is completely carpet-bombed from below, maybe Americans will stop and wonder why some celebrities who could be otherwise occupied are asking for a halt to fracking...and then join the demand that fracking be stopped.

(The list of 200 artists against fracking...look for the ones you love and those you don't: http://artistsagainstfracking.com/artists/.)

Saturday, March 30, 2013


What will you find in your Easter Basket?
Honor-Courage-Love
Could this be your message? 
Wear a Message
Wear it, Share it, Live it
www.wearamessage.com
Sterling Silver locally made in the USA

love this new Pittsburgh Dad t-shirt..but you have to think fast and make a road trip to buy one!

This shirt is currently not available online due to it being a limited edition and only 200 available. Visit steelcitycottonworks.com.




Monsour story continues


Well-known Ligonier Township physician William “Boone” Monsour has told federal bankruptcy officials he is more than $1.5 million in debt, according to court records.

This week, Monsour filed paperwork listing assets of $753,926 and liabilities of $1.537,524.

He filed for bankruptcy Feb. 28 to block the sheriff's sale of his 54-acre estate on Shawnee Lane, records show.

Though Monsour reported earning $9,000 a month, court records reveal he was spending more than that each month.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/3750446-74/monsour-records-bankruptcy#ixzz2P1thgWXQ
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Friday, March 29, 2013

Gas drilling turns paradise home into nightmare

"FAYETTE COUNTY, Pa. —The Headley family built their house a few years ago, just before the gas-drilling boom hit. They had a chance to buy the gas rights but chose not to. Now, they wish they had, because they're sharing their 115-acre farm with the Marcellus Shale industry. A puddle along a country road in southern Fayette County is a natural spring, an artesian well, but it's not the spring that's making it bubble. David Headley told Action News investigator Jim Parsons that he wasn't really sure when he first noticed it, but he said, "We've seen it bubbling now for the last couple of years." About the same time, nearby gas wells were drilled on Headley's property. He invited Parsons to do what he did when he first saw the bubbles: flick a lighter.

"Is that really water burning?" Parsons asked Headley. When Headley placed a funnel over the bubbles, the flame stayed lit. "The horses used to drink out of this spring, and the deer and the coon. All those animals have since left. Nothing will drink out of it. There's not a footprint around this well at all," said Headley. But that's not what angers Headley the most. About 150 yards from his home, the cap on a natural gas tank popped up, and a gas cloud began pouring out. Headley recorded the incident on video from inside his house. "We could see from the house. It was quite visible what was going on," Headley told Parsons. Within minutes, the valley was filled with a fog from the fumes, and Headley's 5-year-old son was outside riding around on his four-wheeler."

lol


What will be in your Easter Basket?






Happy Easter, from
Wear a Message
www.wearamessage.com
What is your message?

file this under highly disturbing


Alisa Laport Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor.
"So, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I’m almost in disbelief," said Rep. Jim Boyd. "If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”
"We believe that any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician," said Planned Parenthood lobbyist Snow.

Mountain Palace - Lesah Lomein Special & Free Tea Eggs!

Easter weekend at Mountain Palace will find a special requested by a special customer. Lesah Lomein is made from our tasty lomein noodles combined with shrimp and mushrooms. If you want it as a "set" it comes with salad, small soup, and three dumplings for $16.95 or a la carte for $8.95. In keeping with our Easter tradition, Mountain Palace will provide a free tea egg to each guest. Tea eggs are considered a treat by the Chinese and generally available at major events such as New Year and special occasions. A tea egg is an egg hard boiled in tea and spices and cracked to permit the tea solution to enter the egg. Come to Mountain Palace this weekend to enjoy a bit of Chinese culture and a tasty treat! We are maintaining our normal hours this weekend of Friday 6 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 6. Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake.  724 717-8614  www.mountainpalace.net

Congrats to Eric Harris, the new executive director of the Valley Players

I am very excited to see Eric's ideas being implemented and hope to enjoy a re-energizing of our Ligonier Theater.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blue-eyed calves...

“My name is Terry Greenwood. My farm is losing revenue from sick and dying cattle. I am calling for a ban on fracking...The wellhead was 285 feet from my pond. There was a spill on my property a short time later. The frack fluid went into my field and pond. My animals drank this water. I lost 11 cattle. A two-year-old cow died, 10 calves were stillborn, and 4 were blind (2 had blue eyes and 2 had white eyes). This affects the animals something terrible. I had to get rid of my bull, because he became sterile. I called the DEP, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Also, we called the gas company. No one helped me. The DEP sided with the gas company when I called them. I was told by the DEP, ‘There’s nothing wrong with this. They dump the water.’ The damage was done.”

http://nyagainstfracking.org/bamberger-michelle-and-robert-e-oswald-impacts-of-gas-drilling-on-human-and-animal-health-new-solutions-a-journal-of-environmental-and-occupational-health-policy-vol-22-iss/

Have you heard of the Kress Intelligent Motor?

A prototype was unveiled this evening in Ligonier. Here's a blurb from the web site:

Kress Motors, LLC, organized in 2009, is focused on design, development and production of a new modular switched reluctance technology with:
• No permanent magnets
• No reversing magnetic fields
• Minimal flux paths
Modular design for many motor sizes, ratings and configurations from a single intelligent controller that reports maintenance alerts and live time diagnostics.

I must say the motor design is very exciting and has my mind working overtime thinking of all sorts of applications.  I think we have technological breakthrough born in Ligonier that is a game changer. ;)

The renovation of the McGinnis Hospital is so exciting!

As Adam Gardner dug out the plaster lining of a south-facing wall of the former McGinnis Hospital in Ligonier, he discovered a window with more than a dozen panes of stained glass.

“We were planning on replacing the window until we saw the stained glass,” the Ligonier man said. “We learned that the Sisters of Mercy installed it in 1948. This room used to be a chapel.”

Gardner, and his wife, Michelle, hope to find more hidden treasures as they renovate the 95-year-old Victorian mansion and give it new life as an inn, scheduled to open in late July.

“I keep trying to find where they kept their gold, but I haven't found any yet,” Gardner joked.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourligonier/3668042-74/ligonier-gardner-seger#ixzz2Opvbhaiz
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

imagine a world where government kept its place - with its nose out of our business

Imagine a world in which the government were truly and entirely out of the marriage game. What would it be like? Most churches would continue to operate the same way they do now. Both now and in such a future, if a man and a woman are married in a Catholic church, they are accepted as married by the Catholic Church and by anyone else who recognizes Catholic marriages (for example, Lutherans and insurancecompanies). But nobody would be forced to recognize the marriage.

Now, suppose that some private institution came along ‒ perhaps a church, perhaps not ‒ and decided to marry two men. Anyone would be free to recognize or reject this marriage. Let’s assume that the Catholic Church would not. Further, assume two insurance companies ‒ one that recognizes same-sex marriages and one that does not. A gay couple would probably do business with former. Instead of the state mandating that all insurance companies behave the same way, the free market would guide them to adjust their practices or else lose potential customers.

Everyone would be freer. But there is a broader issue that the gay marriage debate sheds light upon. Many speak of “gay rights.” Those individuals would do well to reassess their choice of words. By framing the discussion in terms of “gay rights,” the idea that rights belong to groups is implied. The same thing happens with “women’s rights,” “workers’ rights,” and, in a slightly different way, “states’ rights.”

Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/business-living/2013/mar/26/gays-marriage-and-rights-libertarian-perspective/#ixzz2OpopaZDs
Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter

Originality

From The School of Life "Sunday Sermons" series:

"‘Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation’, sniffed the anti-conformist Oscar Wilde. Today we too prize individuality and originality almost above everything else. We lionise the solitary genius or the promethean hero who overcomes all the odds to force their unique vision on the world. We fetishize the unique, the one-off – in art and music, politics and every aspect of our lives. But this cult of the original is very recent in human history, and a minority one at that. Even today most cultures don’t share it. It also happens to be very one-eyed: it's increasingly clear that much of our success as a species stems from the heartily unoriginal, and much of our lives as individuals depends on learning or stealing ideas from others.  

We are Homo mimicus.

Mark Earls will explore the lie of originality in all its aspects and show the value of 'social learning' (copying, to you and me) to help us put unoriginality back in its rightful place. And of course most of what he says will be other people's ideas."

http://vimeo.com/49423677

Where's the beef? (...and what's in it?)

"SCIENTISTS at the Food and Drug Administration systematically monitor the meat and poultry sold in supermarkets around the country for the presence of disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. These food products are bellwethers that tell us how bad the crisis of antibiotic resistance is getting. And they’re telling us it’s getting worse. But this is only part of the story. While the F.D.A. can see what kinds of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are coming out of livestock facilities, the agency doesn’t know enough about the antibiotics that are being fed to these animals. This is a major public health problem, because giving healthy livestock these drugs breeds superbugs that can infect people. We need to know more about the use of antibiotics in the production of our meat and poultry. The results could be a matter of life and death.

In 2011, drugmakers sold nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics for livestock — the largest amount yet recorded and about 80 percent of all reported antibiotic sales that year. The rest was for human health care. We don’t know much more except that, rather than healing sick animals, these drugs are often fed to animals at low levels to make them grow faster and to suppress diseases that arise because they live in dangerously close quarters on top of one another’s waste. It may sound counterintuitive, but feeding antibiotics to livestock at low levels may do the most harm. When he accepted the Nobel Prize in 1945 for his discovery of penicillin, Alexander Fleming warned that “there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to nonlethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.” He probably could not have imagined that, one day, we would be doing this to billions of animals in factory-like facilities."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Good morning, Ligonier!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I want my son to grow up to be kind.

Max is almost 4 years old.  He knows nothing about the horrific things that young men did to a young woman on the saddest night that Steubenville, Ohio, has ever seen. He doesn’t know, but I sure do.  I know that someone’s daughter was violated in the most violent way possible, by someone’s son.  By many sons.  The blame for that night falls squarely on the shoulders of the young men who made terrible choices, but it also falls in the laps of their parents.
"When Max was just a few months old, I sat cross-legged on the floor with him in a circle of other mothers.  The facilitator for our “Mommy and Me” playgroup would throw a question out to the group, and we would each volley back an answer.What quality do you want to instill in your child?  What personality characteristic would you most like for your son to be known for?” she asked. One by one, the mothers answered.  “Athletic”, “Good sense of humor”, “Brave”, “Smart”, “Strong”. The answers blended together until it was my turn to speak.  I looked down at the tiny human wiggling around on the blanket in front of me, his perfectly round nose, his full lips that mirrored mine.  I stroked the top of his very bald head, and said with confidence: “kind”. I want my son to grow up to be kind.

Sexual assault is about power and control.  But it is also about so much more.  While it’s true that big scary monster men sometimes jump out of bushes to rape unsuspecting women, most rapists look like the men we see every day.  Acquaintance rape (or date rape) accounts for the majority of sexual assaults among young people: in colleges, in high schools, at parties, in the cars and bedrooms that belong to the men who women trust.  These men are your fraternity brothers, your athletes, your church-going friends.  They are somebody’s son."

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/19-8


how many eagles have to die before they know .....


A single dead eagle could spell trouble for a White Pine County wind farm that sells power to NV Energy.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting an investigation after a golden eagle was killed in late February at the Spring Valley Wind Farm, about 300 miles north of Las Vegas.
San Francisco-based Pattern Energy, which owns the 152-megawatt wind energy project, reported the dead bird and turned it over to federal authorities within 36 hours of its discovery.
“They did all the things they were supposed to because of an eagle death,” said Jeannie Stafford, spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Nevada.
Even so, the wind farm could face a fine of up to $200,000 because it does not hold a federal “take” permit that would allow the incidental death of a golden or bald eagle.

Amy read this poem recently at Mellow Mike. It's called How To Like It by Stephen Dobyns

These are the first days of fall. The wind
at evening smells of roads still to be traveled,
while the sound of leaves blowing across the lawns
is like an unsettled feeling in the blood,
the desire to get in a car and just keep driving.
A man and a dog descend their front steps.
The dog says, Let's go downtown and get crazy drunk.
Let's tip over all the trash cans we can find.
This is how dogs deal with the prospect of change.
But in his sense of the season, the man is struck
by the oppressiveness of his past, how his memories
which were shifting and fluid have grown more solid
until it seems he can see remembered faces
caught up among the dark places in the trees.
The dog says, Let's pick up some girls and just
rip off their clothes. Let's dig holes everywhere.
Above his house, the man notices wisps of cloud
crossing the face of the moon. Like in a movie,
he says to himself, a movie about a person
leaving on a journey. He looks down the street
to the hills outside of town and finds the cut
where the road heads north. He thinks of driving
on that road and the dusty smell of the car
heater, which hasn't been used since last winter.
The dog says, Let's go down to the diner and sniff
people's legs. Let's stuff ourselves on burgers.
In the man's mind, the road is empty and dark.
Pine trees press down to the edge of the shoulder,
where the eyes of animals, fixed in his headlights,
shine like small cautions against the night.
Sometimes a passing truck makes his whole car shake.
The dog says, Let's go to sleep. Let's lie down
by the fire and put our tails over our noses.
But the man wants to drive all night, crossing
one state line after another, and never stop
until the sun creeps into his rearview mirror.
Then he'll pull over and rest awhile before
starting again, and at dusk he'll crest a hill
and there, filling a valley, will be the lights
of a city entirely new to him.
But the dog says, Let's just go back inside.
Let's not do anything tonight. So they
walk back up the sidewalk to the front steps.
How is it possible to want so many things
and still want nothing. The man wants to sleep
and wants to hit his head again and again
against a wall. Why is it all so difficult?
But the dog says, Let's go make a sandwich.
Let's make the tallest sandwich anyone's ever seen.
And that's what they do and that's where the man's
wife finds him, staring into the refrigerator
as if into the place where the answers are kept-
the ones telling why you get up in the morning
and how it is possible to sleep at night,
answers to what comes next and how to like it.


From VELOCITIES: NEW & SELECTED POEMS (Penguin, 1994)

You Are Invited


AN INVITATION TO LIGONIER VALLEY (PA) RESIDENTS

Ligonier’s First Community Groundhog Dinner

Diane D. (Dennis the Menace), Hostess

Nancy M., Assistant Hostess

April 1, 2013

 

Menu:

Roast Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog

Tums

Covered-dish recipes donated by party guests

R. S. V. P. Requested

(a huge crowd is expected---

b. y. o. c.: bring your own chair

Reply by answering the following poll:

 

Diane plans to access her shotgun, travel to Punsxutawney, Pennsylvania and shoot Punxsutawney Phil on March 29 (Good Friday). She hopes he will be out looking for his shadow early in the morning so she won’t have to sit out in the cold gathering chilblains. 

She expects him to exit his hole to re-evaluate his February 2 prediction in which he didn’t see his shadow---which, considering the weather since February 2, he should have.

(RESPOND TO POLL AT:    Ligonier Groundhog Dinner Poll  )

 

    Punx Phil

 
 
With every snowfall since then scuttlebutt circulates that “this is the last blast of winter.” I join Diane in the frustration of continually listening to this false hope of an early spring wrongly predicted by our furry rodent.

Spring isn’t springing. It’s lethargic, limping onto the scene.

The winter that won't go away has necessitated (at least psychologically) fires most nights and, often, all day on the weekends.

The dogs and their humans, however, are getting restless. And the fact that the robins and grackles have stripped clean the crab apple tree overhanging, and dropping its shriveled sour fruit to, the back deck means there's not much entertainment on these stubbornly cold days of a spring that won't come.

Just a reminder to those Ligonier Valley residents expressing the hope that “this snowfall is the last blast of winter,” the following headline: Mid-March storm sending final blow of winter season to snow-weary New England (OK, we are not New England but we have been experiencing some of the same wintry effects) reminds us that winter isn’t really over.*

As I type this on early Sunday evening, the March 24, weather.com  headline reads winter Storm Bring Heavy Snow East. About 10:00 p. m. a light snow will begin, turning to snow at 4:00 a. m., which will continue until snow flurries are predicted at 8:00 a. m. Wednesday.

 

Weather map 

 

Might I also remind readers in the Ligonier Valley that last year, on April 23, there was a major snowfall:         Nor'easter 2012 
 

 
 

 

And might I also remind readers to be grateful---to count their blessings---that we are not experiencing a winter like that of 1816    (To continue reading click on   Winter 1816  )

Easter at Scamps!


Stop by Scamps Toffee and Sweets this week to fill your Easter baskets with pure deliciousness!
We have a huge variety of Easter baskets and pails, toffee filled paper mache eggs, dipped peeps, jellybeans and so much more. Hop on by and try our sweet selections.

Scamps Toffee and Sweets
219 East Main St. Ligonier, Pa 15658
 


A film to watch for....

 Toxic Profits will be a feature-length film documenting the lives of those most affected by this policy--those living in the Global South who are applying these banned and unregistered pesticides and suffering serious health effects as a result.  Countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America use 25% of the world's pesticides, yet account for 99% of deaths caused by these toxins. [1]  Some 25 million farmers and agricultural workers across the globe are poisoned by pesticides each year, and poorly educated and impoverished laborers are most at risk, often applying pesticides without any training or protective clothing. [2] 

The film will also explore how this issue affects everyone, as national borders mean nothing to pesticides.  Millions of barrels of pesticides travel the global marketplace and re-circulate as residue on food and fiber, as well as contaminants in global air and water currents. [3]  Moreover, the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that in 2010, almost 50% of fresh fruits and 25% of fresh vegetables consumed in the U.S. were grown overseas, yet the Food and Drug Administration currently inspects less than 1% of imports. [4]  Although the use of certain pesticides within U.S. borders is banned, these toxins may be coming back to us, in what is called the "circle of poison".

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1731827420/toxic-profits

Why does a company do this...?

"Not until Perry Gottesfeld pulled up to the front gates of Seigneurie in Cameroon did he realize the African country's leading paint manufacturer was owned by a U.S.-based corporation. "A big sign read PPG," Gottesfeld, executive director of the nonprofit Occupational Knowledge International, recalled from his March 2011 visit to the factory. "We were shocked." The reason for the surprise: His research team had just discovered that more than 40% of Seigneurie house paints on the market in Cameroon contained high levels of lead, with the neurotoxic heavy metal accounting for up to half the weight of some paints. House paint containing lead -- added as an inexpensive way to brighten color, speed drying and prevent corrosion -- was banned in the U.S. more than three decades ago.

"That is more or less the way we do things," said David Rosner, co-director of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University. "(US companies) end up exporting our poisons and try to make every last bit of profit we can." The global spread of toxic lead paint follows an unfortunate pattern that covers everything from leaded gasoline to unsafe medications, according to Rosner and other public safety experts. Long after a product has been pulled from U.S. shelves, it still tends to appear in open markets elsewhere -- often in developing countries where few regulations protect public health."

Also available to our friends abroad: Asbestos!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/25/lead-paint-exports-pesticides_n_2949694.html

http://www.okinternational.org/

Free market explanations blaming the developing country for lax regulations are completely unethical; if we don't allow something to be sold in the Homeland because it is toxic, companies should not sell it/profit from it anywhere, period.

It's so cynical, so inhuman, this kind of profiting.

Democracy, Disney, Hollywood...and poisons...we do better than this, America. We are better than this, 99% of us.


this spring consider a minimalist lawn


Reduce your mowing time, create habitat for flora and fauna, enjoy variety in your personal space.

poetry and performance..doesn't this sound like fun?


MOONSTONE RHYMES

 A performance in black, poetry interspersed with music.  Players with unusual makeup.  Face only for most, some with odd hair.  Dressed in black, stage in black.

Players seated on stage in two groups, left and right.  Fake candles arc around group.  Center stage forward is a music stand with a black binder on it with readings.  Small light for reading.

Spotlight on reader.

Individuals or small groups come to center stand, make a dramatic move and face, look into eyes of audience, then read.

interesting music in between.

audience encouraged to dress for experience. join in with reader if they know item.  join in with percussive instruments

performance lasts no more than one hour.

free will gift

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mellow Mike cancelled for this evening

Mellow Mike is cancelled for this evening due to weather.

from a beekeeping forum in England...

"David Goulson, a professor of biological sciences and bee expert at the
University of Stirling's Institute of Biological & Environmental Sciences,
has sent me this comment:
Bees pollinate about 1,500 different crops worldwide, including most fruit
and vegetables; imagine a world without apples, strawberries, blueberries,
runner beans, courgettes (zucchini), tomatoes and many, many more
. About
35% of all human food is pollinated by insects, mainly bees of one sort or another,
and this service has been estimated to be worth 153 billion Br. pounds. The UK
alone benefits from insect pollinators to the tune of 530 million Br. pounds.
However, bees are far more important than even these huge figures suggest.  The
majority of plants worldwide are pollinated by bees, so natural ecosystems from
the flower-rich chalk downland of England to the rainforests of the Amazon depend
on them.

The mutualism between bees and plants is at the very heart of the functioning of life on Earth."


Chemical and pesticide use on American lawns and in our gardens is contributing to the destruction of the bees we need, who literally help create the very food we eat. Chemicals and pesticides wash into our water systems, evaporate and invade our lungs, and steal the very food out of our mouths.

As we enter into another growing season, please end all chemical and pesticide use in yards, gardens and in houses. They are poison.

it's Mellow Mike night!


MELLOW MIKEMELLOW MIKE
MELLOW MIKEmellow mikemellow mikemellow mikemellow mikeMELLOW MIKEmellow mike

7:30 to 9:30

Life After Oil and Gas

People convinced that America “needs” the oil that would flow south from Canada through the Keystone XL pipeline might be surprised to learn that Canada produced 63.4 percent of its electricity from renewable sources in 2011, largely from hydropower and a bit of wind. (Maybe that is why Canada has all that oil to sell.)

"A National Research Council report * released last week concluded that the United States could halve by 2030 the oil used in cars and trucks compared with 2005 levels by improving the efficiency of gasoline-powered vehicles and by relying more on cars that use alternative power sources, like electric batteries and biofuels. Just days earlier a team of Stanford engineers published a proposal **  showing how New York State — not windy like the Great Plains, nor sunny like Arizona — could easily produce the power it needs from wind, solar and water power by 2030. In fact there was so much potential power, the researchers found, that renewable power could also fuel our cars. 

“It’s absolutely not true that we need natural gas, coal or oil — we think it’s a myth,” said Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the main author of the study, published in the journal Energy Policy. “You could power America with renewables from a technical and economic standpoint. The biggest obstacles are social and political — what you need is the will to do it.” Other countries have made far more concerted efforts to reduce fossil fuel use than the United States and have some impressive numbers to show for it. Of the countries that rely most heavily on renewable electricity, some, like Norway, rely on that old renewable, hydroelectric power. But others, like Denmark, Portugal and Germany, have created financial incentives to promote newer technologies like wind and solar energy."



Sunday, March 24, 2013

First Friday Community Series April 5- 7:30 to 9:30 PM ....A Place at the Table


First Friday Community Series
April 5- 7:30 to 9:30 PM 
 
A Place at the Table
A documentary film that is a call to action on hunger in the U.S.A.

This striking documentary, A Place at the Table, peels back the curtain on the problem of food insecurity, weaving the stories of low-income Americans who struggle to put healthy food on the table, despite the fact that they have jobs.



Discussion and refreshments follow the presentation. 
 
 
At the UU Fellowship of Ligonier
 
Ligonier, proceed east on Route 30 for approximately 1.5 miles. We are on the right side of the road just beyond Ligonier Valley Beach. Coming from the east we are about 2 miles west of Laughlintown on the left side of Route 30. Look for a large blue sign with white lettering.

Main Street Wine Bar looks like fun!

NASCAR Congress!!

Calling it like it is, a "We the People" petition on the White House website wants congressional lawmakers appearing at campaign and other public events to wear NASCAR-style logos of the big corporations and lobbyists that largely own them to "give voters a better sense of who the candidate they are voting for is actually representing." Noting that the information is out there at Open Secrets and other sites devoted to transparency, Reddit, the GOOD community and others have taken the idea and run with it.
"Once elected, the candidate would be required to continue to wear those "sponsors'" names during all official duties and visits to constituents. The size of a logo or name would vary with the size of a donation. For example, a $1 million dollar contribution would warrant a patch of about 4" by 8" on the chest, while a free meal from a lobbyist would be represented by a quarter-sized button."
Petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/require-congressmen-senators-wear-logos-their-financial-backers-their-clothing-much-nascar-drivers/vZBQJ18R.

Open Secrets: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/index.php.

http://www.commondreams.org/further/2013/03/22-0

Carolyn talks soup



It was a day when the local restaurants and businesses around the Gazebo marking the town center and along its four spokes joined together to offer the day’s taste treats to those who participated.

Many of the local businesses sponsored a soup table to a restaurant, which prepared one of their soups to serve in small amounts. Believe me, the small samples filled the empty belly very quickly. After a while the common statement was “I’m so full…the soup’s were so good.”

At many of the stops they served meat-based soup. I had the opportunity to feast on Monte’s share of lobster bisque (Ligonier Tavern), ham & bean (Ligonier Camp & Conference Center), and Irish potato soup (Ligonier Lanes/Wicked Googly) because he is a vegetarian.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easter Brunch at Flavors Cafe



Bananas Foster French Toast is just part of the three course sit down brunch Flavor's Cafe is serving for brunch this Easter Sunday.  Come and join us from 9 am to 3 pm.  View the complete menu here http://theflavorscafe.com/Easter_Sunday_Brunch.html

Reservations Suggested
724-238-3284
138 West Main Street
TheFlavorsCafe.com

Seeking Employment















VERSATILE & TRUSTWORTHY
GIRL FRIDAY"


AVAILABLE TO
HELP RUN YOUR OFFICE
OR
TAKE CARE OF
THE HORSES & ORGANIC GARDEN
BACK ON THE FARM!!
*COMPUTER SAVVY* GREAT MARKETING SKILLS*
30 PLUS YEARS OF EQUINE CARE & ORGANIC GARDENING

EXCELLENT DRIVING RECORD
HAVE ALL CLEARANCES
DROP AN EMAIL TO
Will provide resume and references upon request

Carolyn shares parking meter woe and other thoughts....


I attended a meeting the other day and parked my car on the main street in town, where I do not usually park. I exited my car with my purse, my backpack, my quarters, and my keys in hand, and approached the parking meter
It was puzzling. There was a single meter at each end of the car. Which one goes with this parking place? I counted back and determined, to the best of my ability, which meter should receive my quarters.
Only then did I realize that the meter was for two hours.
Oh, well, I guess I’ll have to come back in the midst of the meeting to put more quarters in.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Now we know who in the Senate is taking orders from Big Oil

In a 62-37 vote late Friday, the US Senate passed a non-binding amendment calling for the approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. [...] The vote does not approve the pipeline, nor does it direct the president to approve it. It is instead an attempt to rattle the cage and call for a vote count on behalf of Big Oil. Senators should stand with the American people, not Big Oil, and vote against this amendment.

“If you understand climate science, there’s no way you can support this pipeline,” said Jason Kowalski, policy director for 350.org. “We know that this pipeline is a boondoggle—it will spill, most of the oil is for export, and it will make climate change worse. Anyone who tells you the opposite isn’t being straight with you or doesn’t know the facts.”
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline threatens American homes, farms, and ranches with tar sands oil spills.  And it threatens all of us by driving the expansion of the giant tar sands reserve and worsening climate change. It would raise oil prices. It would provide few jobs and derail continued growth in clean energy jobs. And it would funnel money to foreign oil corporations. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is all risk and no reward and has no place on the budget resolution."

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/22-7 

My mother always said we had a fingernail's worth of Irish blood.

I knew that Irish blood had to come from my 3rd great grandmother's line.  She was Charlotte Shane, but she was born in Pennsylvania. She has been a mystery to me for a long time but finally this year I found a clue which lead to the discovery of her family and as it happens, just this past week the window of the past opened and it was far more interesting than I expected.  The young couple in the story that follows are my 5th great grandparents. They were born in Ireland and this is how they met:

Another Revolutionary veteran lies buried at Service whose life story is almost as unique as the one just given. This was Timothy Shane, born in Ireland, where the family name was Sheehan. He was being educated for the priesthood, but having no interest in that calling, ran away from school, and stowed on board a sailing vessel bound for Baltimore. His presence being discovered the Captain took him into custody, refused to permit him to go ashore at Baltimore, and prepared to return him to his native land. A Baltimore merchant hearing of his plight agreed to reimburse the Captain for his passage money provided Timothy would work in his store until the money had been repaid. This kindly offer was readily accepted. Timothy had scarcely paid off his debt when the Revolutionary War broke out, and he enlisted in the American Army. At the close of that struggle he took advantage of the government's offer of Donation Lands to obtain a grant in western Pennsylvania. Previous to entering the wilderness, however, he had become engaged to a Baltimore girl who had agreed to remain at her home until he could provide suitable living quarters for her, then she was to join him and become his wife. But the comforts of Baltimore proved more alluring than the romantic hardships of the backwoods, and she declined to fulfill her part of the bargain. Sometime thereafter Timothy attended a dance at the site of what is now McKeesport. During a lull in the gaiety Timothy jumped upon an upended barrel that was being used as a fiddler's platform, and asked for attention. He told the crowd of his girl's perfidy, gave a description of his newly acquired land and cabin home, and proclaimed himself as an eligible young man who would make some young lady a desirable husband. He declared: "If there is any young lady in this audience who is willing to marry me let her step forth." Without any hesitation a young lady named Hannah Blount stepped to the front and calmly proclaimed: "I'll marry you." History has recorded that these two unconventional young people were married, and became the progenitors of the Shanes living in Beaver, Rochester, Beaver Falls and elsewhere today.**********************

LOL...thanks to Jemm for evening hilarity


Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet


The Kitchen on Main
presents
Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet
March 31, 2013
Offering 3 Seatings:
11am, 1pm, 3pm

Reservations Suggested

724-238-4199

Visit website for more menu & pricing...

Seeks Employment- Horses Gardening or Art















VERSATILE & TRUSTWORTHY
GIRL FRIDAY"


AVAILABLE TO
HELP RUN YOUR OFFICE
OR
TAKE CARE OF
THE HORSES & ORGANIC GARDEN
BACK ON THE FARM!!
*COMPUTER SAVVY* GREAT MARKETING SKILLS*
30 PLUS YEARS OF EQUINE CARE & ORGANIC GARDENING

EXCELLENT DRIVING RECORD
HAVE ALL CLEARANCES
DROP AN EMAIL TO
Will provide resume and references upon request

Rachel's Weekly Special

Beautiful African Violets in Deco Pots
at Rachel's Ligonier Floral
Just $9.00
Stop in and grab one today!
Monday- Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4
724-238-6626

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Colorado Doctors Treating Gunshot Victims

 "I see patients every day that are right on the edge of being unstable and are out there in the environment, and they describe problems with access to medications, problems with access to psychiatric care or substance abuse care, problems with access to homes or to shelter," says Colwell. "But they don't describe problems with getting access to guns."

"In Colorado, more people die from gunshots than car crashes. And that has a profound effect on the people on the front lines who treat gunshot victims. Chris Colwell is an emergency room doctor in Denver, and says he sees gun violence victims on a weekly basis. When those cases are fatal, they are hard for him to forget. "They'll come in, and they'll look at me, and they'll talk to me, and then they'll die," says Colwell, who has been at Denver Health, the city's biggest public hospital, for 20 years. Colwell also treated casualties from two of the deadliest mass shootings in American history. He responded to the scene during the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, where 15 died. He also treated victims of last July's movie theater shooting in Aurora, where a dozen were killed and 58 were wounded.

But he doesn't just treat the victims — often, he'll also treat the shooter after he or she has been caught by police. Colwell describes a case from a few months ago where he treated a woman — who later died — and her husband, the shooter. "They had had a fight. He had caught her in what he felt was cheating, and he had lost his temper," he says. "He went and grabbed the pistol that he had for home defense at his bedside, and he made a snap decision, and he realized his life will never be the same, and hers was gone."
He says it's remarkable how often people who pull the trigger are surprised at the consequences of their actions. And he's deeply disturbed by how easy it is to get guns."


http://www.suicidepreventioncolorado.org/uploads/8/7/8/4/8784346/firearms_deaths_in_co_2004_2011.pdf

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/03/21/174851371/colorado-doctors-treating-gunshot-victims-differ-on-gun-politics



The Time For Watered-Down And Effectively Meaningless Gun Laws Is Now

 Commentary from the always-entertaining, but this time sadly so, Onion:

"Yesterday, I took immediate action in the ongoing gun control debate by removing from a proposed firearms bill a provision banning assault weapons, all but ensuring that such a restriction will not be signed into law. In taking this bold step, I have effectively ensured that millions of deadly, military-grade firearms—much like the type used in recent mass shootings in Tucson, Aurora, and Sandy Hook—will remain legal and easily accessible to all Americans. But it isn’t enough. In spite of these bold measures, there is far more work to do if we are to enact regulations that achieve marginal, virtually nonexistent progress on gun control. And so today I say to my fellow senators: We must pass through a watered-down and ultimately meaningless package of so-called gun law reforms, and we must do so now.

The challenge, as it stands, is clear. Under our current laws, there exist virtually no rules preventing assault rifles and other deadly weapons that serve no legitimate purpose except to kill human beings from falling into the hands of anyone who wants them. And while it may not be politically convenient for them to do so, lawmakers must be willing to step up, band together, and go to work on a diluted, insubstantial bill that will do essentially nothing to address this problem. Moreover, once they’ve drafted such a bill, they must ensure it is torturously wrung through the Congressional legislative process until it bears virtually no resemblance to the law that was initially envisioned."

He goes on...: http://www.theonion.com/articles/the-time-for-watereddown-and-effectively-meaningle,31751/.