This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A mudslide, foretold....

“This was a completely unforeseen slide,” said John Pennington, the emergency manager of Snohomish County. “It was considered very safe.” He said this on Monday, two days after the equivalent of three million dump truck loads of wet earth heaved down on the river near the tiny town of Oso. Unforeseen — except for 60 years’ worth of warnings, most notably a report in 1999 that outlined “the potential for a large catastrophic failure” on the very hillside that just suffered a large catastrophic failure.

"It is human nature, if not the American way, to look potential disaster in the face and prefer to see a bright and shining lie. The “taming” of this continent, in five centuries and change, required a mighty mustering of cognitive dissonance. As a result, most of us live with the danger of wildfire, earthquake, tornado, flooding, drought, hurricane or yet-to-be-defined and climate-change-influenced superstorm. A legacy of settlement is the delusion that large-scale manipulation of the natural world can be done without consequence. [...]

Yes, but who wants to listen to warnings by pesky scientists, to pay heed to predictions by environmental nags, or allow an intrusive government to limit private property rights? That’s how these issues get cast. And that’s why reports like the ones done on the Stillaguamish get shelved. The people living near Oso say nobody ever informed them of the past predictions." 

Note: May Pennsylvanians not ignore the loud warnings by those pesky environmental nags about the dangers of fracking in the same way these unfortunate people in Washington state did about the catastrophic failure of the hill behind was only a matter of time, as was clearly reported. Not "freak" mudslides here in Fracksylvania certainly, but other disasters await - spectacular ones or just deadly to an unlucky few - all across the state as oil and gas wells fail and accidents happen.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

use fracking and nuclear power, not windfarms

Environmentalism has "become a religion" and does not pay enough attention to facts, according to James Lovelock.
The 94 year-old scientist, famous for his Gaia hypothesis that Earth is a self-regulating, single organism, also said that he had been too certain about the rate of global warming in his past book, that "it’s just as silly to be a [climate] denier as it is to be a believer” and that fracking and nuclear power should power the UK, not renewable sources such as windfarms.
Speaking to the Guardian for an interview ahead of a landmark UN climate science report on Monday on the impacts of climate change, Lovelock said of the warnings of climate catastrophe in his 2006 book, Revenge of Gaia: "I was a little too certain in that book. You just can’t tell what’s going to happen."
“It [the impact from climate change] could be terrible within a few years, though that’s very unlikely, or it could be hundreds of years before the climate becomes unbearable," he said. 

Toy Stories

Toy Stories: Photos of Children from Around the World with Their Favorite Things

"A visual record of his two-and-a-half-year-long quest to document what boys and girls in 58 countries, from India to Iceland to China to Malawi, consider their most prized earthly possessions. For each photograph he took, Galimberti spent the entire day with the families. In many cases, what the children did with their toys reflected the needs and realities of their culture."

For some more photos - including the girls! - see

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Dog spotted loose in Ligonier Borough Saturday at 2pm. Crossed West Main from Mellon Park. I stopped in the alley to see if he would come to me. He has a purple collar and looks thin. I think if I had food he might have come. He hesitated then took off trotting towards Millcreek.

love this!!

Beaufort bid decided

A Westmoreland County Judge on Friday quashed a Ligonier Township man's campaign to seek the Republican nomination for township supervisor in the May primary, finding that he did not meet a deadline to file necessary paperwork.
Judge Anthony G. Marsili told John Beaufort that he had done research into the case before Friday's evidentiary hearing.
“I just feel that my hands are tied. ... You won't be on the ballot,” Marsili said.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

J’ adore le bouquet Francais!

Attendees at the “Parisian Café Workshop” will each create a beautiful French Bouquet of spring flowers to take home; enjoy French Coffee or Tea, and a fresh Éclair au Chocolat. The workshop will be conducted by Mary Jo Bullington, and held at the Lincoln Highway Experience (3435 State Route 30 East, Latrobe, 15650) on Thursday, April 24 at 3:30 p.m. Pre-registration and payment ($25) is required. Please call 724-879-4241 or register online at

Mountain Palace - Home Grown Bean Sprouts!

Yuzhen has created a bin of very happy, healthy looking bean sprouts nurtured by her own hands this past week. So, the weekend special at Mountain Palace is: vegetarian or pork dishes with tasty bean sprouts. Traditional Chinese medical exercise and meridian acupressure class will be held at the Ligonier YMCA for the last time this season at 11:00 Saturday. Fee is $15 payable to the Y for members and non-member walk-ins. Classes will resume next Saturday at 11:00 at Mountain Palace with a fee of $10. Cooking class will be next Sunday at Mountain Palace at 11:30.  724 717-8614 
P.S. Survived 65th birthday yesterday and have to share this card from Lacy!

naturalized landscaping..make a real life change......and enjoy

“If we care about the Earth we could heal it by removing lawns, by finding alternatives to lawns. You can do wonderful things on your own property to protect the environment. Each little island, each corridor will help bring back the butterflies and birds.” — Lorrie Otto

Thursday, March 27, 2014

America the Beautiful...

"The Appalachian Mountains inspire wonder, reverence and awe. Many of the nation's magnificent rivers flow from them, providing millions of Americans with clean drinking water. Their majestic vistas nourish our spirits and connect us with nature. It's no wonder that these crown jewels have inspired musicians for generations, whether they're playing bluegrass, country or rock-and-roll.

Today, the Appalachians are being ravaged by the most destructive form of coal mining ever devised. Companies are blowing entire mountaintops to smithereens to get at the thin seams of coal below. Already 500 peaks have been leveled, wide swaths of forests have been clearcut, miles of streams have been destroyed or polluted, and countless communities have been harmed by the hunger for fossil fuel.
With the future of America's oldest mountains at stake, singers and musicians are coming together to say "enough is enough." They are joining together to fight for these cherished mountains, where American music was born and which so many songs celebrate."

Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Naomi Judd, and many more. 

The Bahá’í Faith April 4 at 7:30 PM

April 4 at 7:30 PM
The Bahá’í Faith
 Speaker - David Frank
David Frank has been a follower of the Bahá'í faith for over forty years. Bahá'í is a monotheisticreligion emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. Founded a century and a half ago it is today among the world’s fastest growing religions with over 5 million followers residing in virtually every nation on Earth. It is the second most wide spread faith surpassing every religion but Christianity in its geographical reach. Its essential message is one of unity. 

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)

recycling changes

Household plastics, glass and metal items are no longer being accepted at the Ligonier Valley Community recycling facility located along Old Route 30 West in Ligonier Township. because the Pittsburgh Recycling Center [sic], Items still being accepted at the facility include mixed paper and cardboard.
“We found out on Monday afternoon that the co-mingled program had to be shut down and the bin had to be removed from the facility until further notice,” said Susan Huba, executive director of the Loyalhanna Watershed Association who manages the program. “The bin was almost completely filled, and there is no place that will even accept the material already collected.”

Read more: 
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

good things happening in the Pittsburgh music scene

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Panichelle to run for office

March 25--An insurance agent has announced he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge a longtime state representative up for re-election in the 55th district.

Brian Panichelle, 40, said he believes state Rep. Joe Petrarca, a Democrat, has done well to support the district since 1994, but thinks it's time for a change.

"He's been there for (almost) 20 years, and his father (was in office) before him," he said. "It's not a family business."

Panichelle, who is owner of Ligonier-based BP Insurance, a part of Nationwide, said his focus on smart spending stems from his professional experience.

Conrad subdivision revealed "holes" in the zoning ordinance according to Atty. Hewitt

Ligonier's newly formed planning committee will recommend that council ask the planning firm that worked on its zoning ordinance to take a second look at the document.
At its first meeting on Monday night, the committee — comprising borough councilmen Pat Scanlon, James B. St. Clair and Matthew Smith —voted unanimously to suggest that council ask Environmental Planning and Design LLC to provide a gratis review of its ordinance, which was adopted in 2010.
The committee made the decision after attorney Daniel Hewitt explained how a zoning appeal regarding the subdivision of Ruth Conrad's East Main Street property, which he was involved with last year, revealed “holes” in the ordinance.

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news from the American Land Title Association - thought you might be interested

On Friday, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (H.R. 3370) into law. H.R. 3370 helps ensure that property owners have access to affordable flood insurance and rolls back large flood insurance rate increases seen by many homeowners this year.

Most importantly, the law prevents the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, which manages the flood insurance program) from increasing premium rates when a property is sold or a new flood map is developed. The legislation also calls for refunds of some of the recent rate increases homeowners have paid. Further, it limits premium increases to 18% annually. To pay for these fixes, the bill requires policyholders to pay a $25 surcharge on residential policies and a $250 surcharge on the premiums for policies covering non-residential properties and non-primary residences.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Your food supply depends on their pollination work...which dead bees cannot do.

Record Cold Winter Wallops Already Struggling Bees

'The record cold that gripped much of the Midwest this winter added insult to injury to already struggling bee populations. While they expect to lose a small proportion of their hives each year, Iowa beekeepers say this year their losses are far beyond normal ranges. "It's devastating," Mike Swett of Squaw Creek Honey told local Iowa station KCCI. "When I came out and saw my loss, I mean you literally just cry." Iowa Department of Agriculture bee researcher Andrew Joseph says the losses could be as high as 70 percent, compared to an average winter loss of up to 20 percent. The high losses, he explains, were the result of not just the frigid temperatures on their own but of the multiple threats bees were already facing that left them more vulnerable. Alison Sullivan reports:
Iowa Department of Agriculture bee researcher Andrew Joseph characterized the situation as a “death by a thousand paper cuts” as the honey bee population has faced an environment lacking in diversity, pesticide problems, colony collapse and parasites such as varroa mites, since the 1990s. [...] “It’s not that bees can’t handle a cold winter or snow … (but) when you go into winter with those types of bees and then you’re confronted with the harshness of this season, they don’t make it through to spring time,” Joseph said.
Dave Irvin, President of the East Central Iowa Beekeepers, echoed these points, and told Common Dreams his association reported losses as high as 80 percent — a range "way out" of what normally happens. The cold is part of it, Irvin said, but it also has to do with the diseases bees and chemicals bees are confronting. To help beekeepers now facing these expensive losses, he urges people to buy more bees, and to stop the chemical assault they may be waging on their lawns and crops."

"It's not far-off in the future and it's not exotic creatures - it's us and now." - Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University

 The polar bear is us.
"The leaked news from this week's gathering in Japan of top climate scientists on the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is even worse than all the other climate change news that's come before that somehow - oh foolish arrogant species - has yet to effect the kind of significant change it warrants: The dangers of a warming Earth are immediate and very human, likely prompting hunger, disease, drought, flooding, refugees and war, and we are not prepared for any of it. The report uses one word over 5,000 times: risk." 

Soup's On event a big hit this year.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

absolutely a favorite movie......

The Bachelor & the Bobby Soxer from Kartina Richardson on Vimeo.

Ligonier Borough Council accused of not following the rules. I do hope this challenge is successful.

Two Ligonier council members are challenging a recently adopted ordinance that dissolved the borough's planning commission.

A zoning appeal claims that council did not abide by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code in enacting the change.

Officials plan to replace the commission with a planning committee of three council members, which is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday in Ligonier's Town Hall.

Council members Judy Hoffer and Jim McDonnell claim that the ordinance amended the borough zoning ordinance, but council did not follow the planning code's procedures for making the amendment, according to the zoning appeal.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Mountain Palace - Sushi Weekend!

It's sushi special time at Mountain Palace this weekend! The special will be sushi with miso soup. Sunday's 11:30 cooking class will include Chef Lacy teaching how to make it along with its accompanying miso soup. For those of you who thought sushi was Japanese you may want to ask Chef Lacy where it originated. We will also be having our next to last Saturday Ligonier YMCA traditional Chinese medical exercise and acupressure session. Fee is $15 payable to the Y for members and non-member walk-ins. Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road across from Mirror Lake. Friday 6 to 9, Saturday 2 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 6.   724 717-8614 

Scrabble Tournament at the Ligonier Valley Library

Attention word lovers! Put your Scrabble™ skills to the test at the Ligonier Valley Library!

The library is hosting a Scrabble™ Tournament on Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the lower level community room.

The game of Scrabble™ carefully balances skill and luck. You don’t need to be a word whiz to enjoy this just-for-fun event. The right letters on the right squares can turn even the smallest words into big scores.

Players will be divided into two categories -
     Youth: 8th grade and younger; and
     Adult: 9th grade and older.

Participants will be assigned four to a Scrabble™ board, and trophies will be awarded to the winners in each category. Refreshments will be provided throughout the tournament. 

Tournament size is limited. Register before April 1st!

Register by stopping by or calling the Ligonier Valley Library at 724-238-6451.

Visit our website for updates and see what else is happening at the library:

Cape Fear of Failure...another one

Duke Energy Busted After Activists’ Red Flag

Rachel Maddow follows up on a report from earlier in the week about environmental activists who accused a Duke Energy power plant of dumping toxic liquid into public waterway, that has prompted state officials cite Duke Energy for violations.

"...and if you think any of this would have been reported if activists hadn't gone up river to see what was causing the orange water, I have a bridge over some polluted water to sell" (Rachel Maddow)

Watch how the police officer in Maddow's report does the company's dirty work: pressuring people in a little boat on a public river that the company is secretly dumping coal ash into...a waterway that supplies drinking water downstream. Oversight by the NC equivalent of our DEP is non-existent, and these activists (bless their hearts) bring the evidence: Water polluted, officials looking the other way...just like Pennsylvania.
These companies just don't care, folks...don't believe their advertising propaganda. And get on your elected officials to protect you before our water is destroyed here, too.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

note to CNN viewers ...there are black holes in our universe and so far we are still here....not sucked in.....DUH

Black holes are places where ordinary gravity has become so extreme that it overwhelms all other forces in the Universe. Once inside, nothing can escape a black hole's gravity — not even light.

Yet we know that black holes exist. We know how they are born, where they occur, and why they exist in different sizes. We even know what would happen if you fell into one. Our discoveries have revealed one of the strangest objects in the Universe, and there's still much we don't know.

drone can steal your phone data

The technology equipped on the drone, known as Snoopy, looks for mobile devices with Wi-Fi settings turned on.
Snoopy takes advantage of a feature built into all smartphones and tablets: When mobile devices try to connect to the Internet, they look for networks they've accessed in the past.
"Their phone will very noisily be shouting out the name of every network its ever connected to," Sensepost security researcher Glenn Wilkinson said. "They'll be shouting out, 'Starbucks, are you there?...McDonald's Free Wi-Fi, are you there?"

curious...wonder why they need to have regular appraisals? very expensive, eh?

Council voted unanimously to have Industrial Appraisal Co. conduct a full appraisal of borough property at a cost of $5,310. Councilman Michael Bieterman said the last appraisal was done in 2003.

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Ligonier Community Blood Drive

Beaufort challenged

A Ligonier Township man who wants the Republican nomination for supervisor in the May primary is scheduled for a court hearing over a claim that he cannot run because he did not meet a deadline to file necessary paperwork.
Township residents Ronald G. Matson and Gary Thistlethwaite claim that John Beaufort's petitions “are defective and must be set aside” since he did not “timely file” his statement of financial interests as required by the state Ethics Act, according to a challenge filed in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court on Monday by attorney Michael Nestico.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Edward Snowden TED: Here's How We Take Back the Internet

"Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden speaks at TED2014 about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. "Your rights matter,” he says, "because you never know when you're going to need them." Chris Anderson interviews, with special guest Tim Berners-Lee." 

Pipeline Leak Fouls Nature Preserve

Crews estimate clean-up could take weeks.

A nature preserve in Ohio has added its name to the long list of victims of oil spills. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency estimates that as much as 10,000 gallons of crude spilled in the Oak Glen Nature Preserve due to a pipeline leak. Though the leak was reported around 8 PM Monday, area residents say they'd smelled petroleum or days.
The Mid-Valley Pipeline is owned primarily by Sunoco, and runs from Longview, Texas to Samaria, Michigan. An investigation by the Colerain Township Fire Department Monday evening found that the spill "posed a significant threat" to the environment and wetlands of the preserve.

good news follow up on the 2 found beagles YEAH!!!

The owner of Molly and Beans has been located!  Turns out their little Beagle legs carried them all the way over the mountain from Jennerstown to Rector.  They will be reunited later tonight.

plane over jungle image

'I was walking towards the rear of my house when I saw the light, and wondered where it was heading to,' he said. 'The airspace here is like a highway for aircraft and they usually travel in routine patterns.
'However, the light I saw was moving towards a completely different direction. It was going towards the sea, near Bachok (which lies to the south of Mr Alif's home).'

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crimea - What's the big deal?

What's the big deal? Opponents of the Crimea vote like to point to the illegality of the referendum. But self-determination is a centerpiece of international law. Article I of the United Nations Charter points out clearly that the purpose of the U.N. is to "develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples."
Why does the U.S. care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?
Critics point to the Russian "occupation" of Crimea as evidence that no fair vote could have taken place. Where were these people when an election held in an Iraq occupied by U.S. troops was called a "triumph of democracy"?

5 little questions for lovers of Democracy

“In the course of my life I have developed five little democratic* questions. If one meets a powerful person — Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin or Bill Gates — ask them five questions: ‘What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?’ If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.”

British peer Anthony Wedgewood Benn, in 2001, addressing House of Commons.

* (small "d"...not the Democratic party)

Sushi Cooking Class - Sunday at Mountain Palace

This Sunday's Happy Healthy Cooking Class at Mountain Palace will offer the preparation of sushi. From Chef Lacy's years of study in Japan to acquire a knowledge of genetics, she also learned to make sushi. She has decided, due to popular request, to teach this traditional Japanese food as it qualifies as "happy healthy" even though not our usual northern Chinese. Class will also include preparation of an accompanying soup. The class will be held at 11:30 Sunday for $25 which includes all the sushi you can prepare and eat. There will be a variety of creative options available although she is not planning to use raw fish. Please call 724 717-8614 or cell 724 288-3872 in advance to register for the class. 

Risk Management...the strategy of logical people

“The sooner we make a concerted effort to curtail the burning of fossil fuels as our primary energy source and releasing the C02 to the air, the lower our risk and cost will be.”

"In a rare intervention into a policy debate, the American Association for the Advancement of Scientists urged Americans to act swiftly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and lower the risks of leaving a climate catastrophe for future generations. “As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do,” the AAAS said in a new report, What we know. “But we consider it our responsibility as professionals to ensure, to the best of our ability, that people understand what we know: human-caused climate change is happening, we face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes, and responding now will lower the risks and costs of taking action.”
The seven summers with the lowest minimum sea ice extents have all occurred in the last seven years. Photograph: NASA/Reuters
Despite “overwhelming evidence”, the AAAS said Americans had failed to appreciate the seriousness of the risks posed by climate change, and had yet to mobilise at a pace and scale needed to avoid a climate catastrophe. The scientists said they were hoping to persuade Americans to look at climate change as an issue of risk management. The report noted the climate is warming at almost unprecedented pace.“The rate of climate change now may be as fast as any extended warming period over the past 65 million years, and it is projected to accelerate in the coming decades,”" 

Even though it isn't a photo of the Loyalhanna, sea ice directly affects us, convenient or not. Denying things that aren't convenient serves no one in the long run.  Risk management...we don't avoid house repairs in the hopes that holes in the roof won't really be a problem and carbon emissions are the same thing.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Finally, Ligonier Has A Cigar Store!!

The Cigar Store of Ligonier features hand rolled cigars of unprecedented excellence made using old traditional Cuban cigar making methods.  Several of our cigars are ranked among the top cigars in the country.  Stop in now while every cigar is $9.  Meet proprietor and cigar lover, Tim Turner.  

The Cigar Store is located inside 
Flavors Cafe
138 West Main Street

Hours:  Monday - Saturday 11 - 6
Phone:  724 - 244 - 4645

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring is coming...and so are the farmers' wonderful wares

Find locally grown food at Irish-American amnesia: Forgotten history

For his role in the famine, Trevelyan was knighted. The Irish remember him differently. At Quinnipiac’s Great Hunger Museum hangs a picture of this English gentleman with a dedication: “For crimes against humanity, never brought to justice.”
"IN advance of St. Patrick’s Day, I went time traveling, back to the 1840s and Ireland’s great famine. On one side of the Irish Sea was Victorian England, flush with the pomp and prosperity of the world’s mightiest empire. On the other side were skeletal Irish people, dying en masse, the hollow-bellied children scrounging for nettles and blackberries. A great debate raged in London: Would it be wrong to feed the starving Irish with free food, thereby setting up a “culture of dependency”? Certainly England’s man in charge of easing the famine, Sir Charles Trevelyan, thought so. “Dependence on charity,” he declared, “is not to be made an agreeable mode of life.”
And there I ran into Paul Ryan. His great-great-grandfather had fled to America. But the Republican congressman was very much in evidence, wagging his finger at the famished. His oft-stated “culture of dependency” is a safety net that becomes a lazy-day hammock. But it was also England’s excuse for lethal negligence. There is no comparison, of course, between the de facto genocide that resulted from British policy, and conservative criticism of modern American poverty programs. But you can’t help noticing the deep historic irony that finds a Tea Party favorite and descendant of famine Irish using the same language that English Tories (conservatives) used to justify indifference to an epic tragedy." 

Sue heard the banshees.....

When I was growing up, death was closer to people than it is now. People died earlier. People died at home. Wakes were held in the family living room.

My Irish grandfather died at home. It did not seem unusual to have him lying in a casket in our living room where the Christmas tree usually stood. In fact, we'd visit dead people in other families' living rooms fairly often. When the witch-like Slovak bubba next door died -- the old woman who never returned our toys when they landed in her yard -- my older sister told me to poke her waxed hands to make sure she was really dead. I did and she was.

We Irish knew how to hold wakes. They lasted three full days, followed by a week of official mourning. The house would fill with food from neighbors and friends and with so many floral arrangements they would creep up the stairs to the second floor.

Read more:

Carolyn's amazing discovery....iodine deficiency. Try this simple test.

How do I begin telling my story? I have numerous choices:
  • Everything that is healthy for you is bad for you
  • I can't share my symptoms with my family, friends, or doctors.
  • A simple test clarified my physical and mental symptoms.
  • I’m one of the estimated 40% of Americans experiencing this.
  • My three-day miracle.
Whenever someone tells me they don’t know how begin telling their story I tell them to “just start.” So I guess that’s what I’ll do.
The annual stress of the year-end triple holiday can be exhausting, even depressing.
During December 2013, however, the feelings I experienced were intensified. How I celebrated my 70th birthday didn’t matter. Preparing for Christmas was a true chore. I wanted to escape, go to the New England coast with my husband Monte, and experience Christmas on the beach. I didn’t care---about anything.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

new law targets slumlords but extends to far with unintended consequences

The new law hurts property owners in financial distress who are willing but unable to pay, said Diane Cipa, general manager of The Closing Specialists title insurance agency in Western Pennsylvania.

Cipa said many property owners and real estate professionals are unaware of the change, and she has written several online commentaries criticizing the law’s ramifications.

Attempts to liquidate individual properties will be hampered if tax debt on other properties is linked, she said.

She predicts mortgage lenders will reject short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure if properties come with back-tax baggage that has nothing to do with the mortgage transaction.

With a short sale, the owner must convince the lender to reduce the mortgage amount so the property can be sold. Lenders may allow normal closing costs but probably won’t agree to eat taxes on unrelated properties, she said.

Friday, March 14, 2014

mark your calendars for Tastes of the Town event

The Ligonier Valley Historical Society is sponsoring the annual “Tastes of the Town” on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at Antiochian Village and Conference Center, in Bolivar. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and vendors will serve until 8:30. Tickets are $30 for members of the historical society; $35 for non-members.  Tickets can be purchased at the Ligonier Valley Chamber office, Equine Chic, Betsy’s, and the Paper House in Ligonier.  Tickets are also available by sending a check payable to: Ligonier Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 167, Laughlintown, PA  15655.  For questions, please call the historical society at 724-238-6818. 
Sample a wide variety of sumptuous treats provided by area restaurants. The following restaurants, caterers will be represented; DiSalvo's Station Restaurant, Connections Café, The Ligonier Creamery, Antiochian Village, Melanie Golden - personal chef, Abigail's Coffeehouse, The Main Street Wine Bar, Crazy Alice's Cafe, Farendas Farm/Garlic Festival, Ligonier Tavern, The Road Toad, Carol & Dave's Roadhouse, Flavors Cafe, Bethlen Community, Ligonier Giant Eagle, Darlington Inn in Ligonier Pennsylvania, Brasserie du Soleil, Rosalie Jioio's Little Italy, Coal Miner's Café, and Green Gables Restaurant.

Allegory Gallery's New Home

We have officially announced the new location of Allegory Gallery!  We will be moving one block down to 215 East Main Street and take over the spot currently occupied by Zazzie.  We will remain in our current location (139 East Main Street) until the end of April and officially reopen in our new space on May 10th!  We will host a Grand Reopening Celebration in conjunction with the first ever, Ligonier Art Walk.  We are very excited about our new accommodations and hope you will join us for the festivities!  We will be hosting some sales to help lighten our load in preparation for the move and will post information about these special promotions soon.

Thank you so much for all the support and for welcoming us in the community and allowing us to go after our dream.  Thank you!

Mountain Palace - Green Bean Special!

Pork and green beans with rice is the special of the week at Mountain Palace. Enough said, you know the routine. Eleven miles north of Ligonier...  Cooking class Sunday at 11:30, please call in advance cell 724 288-3872. This week Lacy will teach the very popular Chinese lomein. A wonderful time was had by all last Sunday. They learned Lacy's mother's salad as well as how to cut vegetables with a clever with your eyes closed. No fingers were lost! A new experience in their life! They also made chicken, cashews and celery as well as how to prepare rice and then ate their own creations. It's funtastic! Traditional Chinese medical exercise and acupressure sessions continue at the Ligonier YMCA on Saturdays at 11:00.  724 717-8614

Thursday, March 13, 2014


FOUND: Beagles 3/13/2014, Linn Run State Park, Rector, PA (Westmoreland County). They were found running free by Adams Falls. Lighter one is an older female, the darker one is a younger (neutered) male. Contact 724-238-7059.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Soup's On!

More than half of the 350 tickets for the fifth Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce Soup's On event, set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 22, have been sold.
The popular interactive event, giving participants the opportunity to taste their way around town and vote for a favorite soup, continues to grow every year, according to Holly Mowrey the chamber's director.
“I can't believe how it has grown in five years,” said Mowrey. “People start calling for tickets in early January. We have already sold several sets of tickets. My daughter-in-law purchased 16 tickets for a group of ladies from Somerset. It has become a fun thing groups can do together.”

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LVSD gets surplus cash

Thanks to a surplus balance its health care consortium had for the 2012-2013 school year, Ligonier Valley School District will add $246,800 to its general fund.

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students prepare for school musical

Ligonier Valley High School students will be presenting the musical “Lucky Stiff” at 7 p.m. March 21 and 22.
The story revolves around an unassuming English shoe salesman who has to pass his recently-deceased uncle off as alive in order to inherit a large sum of money.
“The show is fast paced and full of humor so I think the students are really enjoying themselves,” John Gregorich director of the play said of the 20 Ligonier students who make up the cast.

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game, set, match

The Ligonier Valley YMCA will construct a parking lot along Wellington Alley.

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former Ligonier attorney paroled

A former Ligonier attorney who once ran for judge was paroled from Westmoreland County Prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to raiding a teenager's trust fund.
J. Russell McGregor, 53, apologized in court for his actions and said he intended to repay his victim, now a 20-year-old man, who was adopted from Russia by a single mother.

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in case you are not sick to death of reading about Obamacare, here's some news.

ObamaCare's implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.
This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply withObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week.
That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether.

from Carolyn's desk


ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832)
We do not sufficiently consider the value of this prayer; the respect and  attention which it requires; the preference to be given to it; its fullness and perfection: the frequent use we should make of it; and the spirit which we should bring with it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Hector Gallegos sits in the cab of his pick-up enjoying a few hours of calm. A day earlier, workers finished carting off the huge rig that had drilled three new wells beneath this small patch of south Texas farmland and he’s now getting ready to prime them for production. He reckons that about three weeks from now each will be producing 1,000 to 2,000 barrels a day. “That’s money!” he exclaims with a broad smile.

of interest to railroad bed owners or trail users The Feds lost their land grab scheme. ;)

Congress passed the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 to provide railroad companies "right[s] of way through the public lands of the United States," 43 U. S. C. § 934. One such right of way, obtained by a railroad in 1908, crosses land that the United States conveyed to the Brandt family in a 1976 land patent. That patent stated, as relevant here, that the land was granted subject to the railroad's rights in the 1875 Act right of way, but it did not specify what would occur if the railroad later relinquished those rights. Years later, a successor railroad abandoned the right of way with federal approval. The Government then sought a judicial declaration of abandonment and an order quieting title in the United States to the abandoned right of way, including the stretch that crossed the land conveyed in the Brandt patent. Petitioners contested the claim, asserting that the right of way was a mere easement that was extinguished when the railroad abandoned it, so that Brandt now enjoys full title to his land without the burden of the easement. The Government countered that the 1875 Act granted the railroad something more than a mere easement, and that the United States retained a reversionary interest in that land once the railroad abandoned it. The District Court granted summary judgment to the Government and quieted title in the United States to the right of way. The Tenth Circuit affirmed.

Held: The right of way was an easement that was terminated by the railroad's abandonment, leaving Brandt's land unburdened. Pp. 8-17.

ISP address leads to arrest

A Ligonier man is accused of sending a harassing text message he claimed came from his estranged wife and applying for a credit card in her name.
Paul R. Sieminkewicz, 55, of 105 N. Walnut St., was charged by Westmoreland County Detective Thomas D. Horan on Friday with perjury, false swearing and identify theft.

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