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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Acupressure - Chinese Meridian System

Lacy introduces herself and the concept and utilization of Chinese Meridian System Acupressure. Check out the YouTube video and let us know what you think!

What's your take on Keurig?

What busy person doesn’t love the idea of having a personal cup of coffee instantly with the push of a button. Many people are delighted when the Keurig machines show up in the workplace or doctor’s waiting room. I loved the idea. I bought one from Costco along with the handy unit to store those awkward K Cups. I, of course, insisted on the Newman’s Organic K Cups for my coffee choice.

We stocked our hot beverage center with a variety of flavored K Cups.
Then that little voice in my head started asking questions

I pushed those concerns away for the sake of convenience (after all, filling my own coffee filter with fresh ground coffee takes all of what… two minutes? I’m a busy person, just like you!).

Monday, September 29, 2014

teach young women to live in a real world

Sex crime springs from fantasy, hallucination, delusion, and obsession. A random young woman becomes the scapegoat for a regressive rage against female sexual power: “You made me do this.” Academic clich├ęs about the “commodification” of women under capitalism make little sense here: It is women’s superior biological status as magical life-creator that is profaned and annihilated by the barbarism of sex crime.

Misled by the naive optimism and “You go, girl!” boosterism of their upbringing, young women do not see the animal eyes glowing at them in the dark. They assume that bared flesh and sexy clothes are just a fashion statement containing no messages that might be misread and twisted by a psychotic. They do not understand the fragility of civilization and the constant nearness of savage nature.

recycling is the topic for the UU First Friday Series October 3 - 7:30 PM

by Westmoreland Cleanways
Speaker:  Ellen C. Keefe, Executive Director
Certified Recycling Professional
As Westmoreland County Recycling Coordinators, Westmoreland Cleanways oversees all recycling activities in the county. State-certified recycling professionals work with municipal and state officials and recycling industry professionals to encourage best recycling practices and to educate the public on current recycling industry trends.
Westmoreland Cleanways conducts a special collection for Household Hazardous Waste (chemicals), and operates a Recycling Center for the collection of hard-to-dispose items and other materials typically not recycled “at the curb”. 
Free to the public - Sponsored by
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ligonier Valley
1.5 mile East of Ligonier on Route 30


"A water tanker truck attempting to cross historic Pollocks Mill Bridge in Greene County caused part of the bridge to collapse Sunday afternoon and is expected to remain stuck on it through at least today. The truss bridge was built in 1878 and spans Ten Mile Creek near Clarksville. The removal of the truck was delayed because of a gas line that runs alongside the bridge and delivers gas to about 4,500 customers. The gas line will have to be turned off, police said, before the truck can be extricated.
The driver of the truck was identified as Jason Strawderman of Beverly, W.Va. He was driving the truck for Buccaneer Enterprises, a trucking company based in Buckhannon, W.Va. Strawderman told police he jumped out of the truck when he felt the bridge give way under his back wheels, and he dumped the load of fresh water the truck was carrying into Ten Mile Creek. Strawderman approached the bridge from Adamik Road. The posted weight limit on the bridge is 4 tons." 

Reports are the truck weighed 20 tons. For the health of Ten Mile Creek and the life that's in it - plus the wildlife that depends upon it - here's hoping at the very least the water truly was fresh water and not frack water, and therefore full of radioactive contaminants... .  

Sorry about that historic bridge. Ah, well...gotta make money, right?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Drilling and regional watersheds....

"(Grand Rapids, OH)  Ohioans are beginning to realize that unconventional shale drilling uses a great deal of water, permanently ruining it for other uses.  But what they may not know is fracked gas and oil wells in Ohio are turning out to be less productive over time, with more water needed so the effects of water usage are rising. Now, each time a Utica well is fracked in Ohio, over seven million gallons of water is needed on average per well. This volume of water needed is steadily increasing as the long drilled laterals increase in length. As more and more water becomes necessary per unit of gas or oil produced, the cumulative effects are being seen. Very little water is recycled by the industry for re-use; most fracked water is lost to the watershed and beyond forever as it is turned into concentrated toxic and radioactive waste. [...]

Paul Rubin, a New York hydrogeologist and environmental consultant warns, “Public waters should not be provided to the gas industry.  The concept that this is a ‘beneficial use’ of these waters is seriously flawed.  Any use of public waters that will assuredly lead to the long-term contamination of the state’s aquifers, waterways, and reservoirs and should not be advocated in any way whatsoever. Public health is a major and very real concern.” Rubin’s warnings are supported by depictions of migratory pathways of frack fluids intersecting with groundwater flows. These figures show that groundwater and gas industry contaminants steadily move toward our major aquifers and water supplies, often well below thousands of feed of bedrock."

Pennsylvania is ahead of Ohio in the destruction of our watersheds by drilling... .

Saturday, September 27, 2014

...sleepwalking into a precarious future

The fate of mankind, willful ignorance, an optimal information future...this weekend in Nantucket.

"(B)efore long, the digital universe would stop being an optional alternative but instead become all that we know, with email replacing regular mail as fully as the mobile phone did the landline, and Amazon and eBay did the “mom and pop” general store. All this, of course, means that certain quotidian miseries we face may now be force-multiplied by legion reserves in cyberspace. But what a difference a month makes. In just four weeks, I’ve grown more intensely concerned that beyond the obvious global threats – environmental, economic, military, etc – we are sleepwalking into a precarious future of unknown digital implications.

It began when I watched this year’s Sundance favourite The Internet’s Own Boy, directed by Brian Knappenberger. It’s a powerful documentary on the late cyber-visionary Aaron Swartz, who took his own life last year under duress it would be hard not to trace back to the US government’s decision to charge him with wire fraud and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, charges carrying a maximum penalty of $1m and 35 years in prison. His crime? To challenge the way information, once safeguarded for public use, is now increasingly being charged for by public and private institutions, perilously reducing the public’s rightful access to its cultural, scientific, and information heritage.

My concern deepened when I saw hordes queuing to buy the new iPhone 6, seemingly unaware of a recent development in Apple’s information security policy. In its annual transparency report, released just this month, a provision called the “warrant canary” that Apple has used to assure customers that it has “never received an order” under the Patriot Act to provide information to federal authorities was for the first time omitted, leaving masses of new iPhone buyers to dig themselves deeper into an ever more uncertain personal information coal mine."

"Siphon-up economics”...the scourge of generations

"The growing gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else is about much more than dollars. It’s about everything that matters to you most — your kids, their education, your family’s health, your community, your quality of life, and the democracy you live in. Growing inequality is damaging all of these things. As the rich get richer, they gain more political influence that enables them to hoard their wealth. American corporations have turned tax avoidance into an art form, while 31 states no longer collect estate or inheritance taxes from millionaires and billionaires. A new report by Standard & Poor’s found that rising income inequality is itself responsible for declining state revenue.

That means federal, state, and local governments have trouble paying for public education, parks, highways, infrastructure, financial aid, and other social programs. It means that the quality of your community may decline. It means that your child may attend schools that are understaffed and over-crowded. Down the road, it means your child may have to take on massive debt just to attend the local state university. As the rich get richer, they also disempower workers through union-busting, worker misclassification, wage theft, and lobbying against a minimum wage hike. Why? Because their wealth actually depends on your lack of mobility. For instance, 66 percent of low-wage employers in America are large, wealthy corporations who lobby against increasing the minimum wage.

In this “siphon-up economics,” the rich get richer by draining wealth from the rest of us. The new Census data reveal that since the late 1980s, incomes for the bottom half of Americans have stagnated while those of the top 10 percent have steadily climbed."

Pennsylvania Releases Official File Detailing 250 Water Supplies Directly Polluted by Fracking

from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Excerpt: "The oil and gas activities referenced in the list below include operations associated with both conventional and unconventional drilling activities that either resulted in a water diminution event or an increase in constituents above background conditions."

The link lists 250 water supplies across PA compromised by fracking...the tip of the iceberg, since the DEP can't be depended on to know about or report on the actual number of spills. The spread of fracking across the state is reflected in when and where these spills occur, so you'll find the arrival of fracking (and the inevitable spills) here in Westmoreland County on page six, with spills in Donegal in 2013 and 2014.

Pa. Auditor General: Don’t rely on DEP for good information

"Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is having a rough week. On Thursday, the Attorney General’s office showed reporters evidence of how DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo exchanged pornographic emails with his pals on taxpayer time. And now, another state agency, the Auditor General’s office, has released a “citizens guide” to shale gas water complaints warning Pennsylvanians not to trust information on the DEP’s website.
 A man helps deliver donations of clean water to residents of Butler County who say gas drilling polluted their water supply. DEP officials had told residents that nearby drilling was not the cause, but gave no other explanation.

In an audit released back in July, the Auditor General described DEP’s ineptitude when it comes to investigating and acting upon shale gas related water complaints from citizens. Sloppy record-keeping, lax oversight, and poor communication with citizens topped the list of findings. So perhaps it’s not surprising that “Shale Gas Development and Water Quality Complaints — A Citizen’s Guide” urges caution when relying on DEP for accurate information."

Friday, September 26, 2014

3 confirmed MRSA cases in LVSD

There are now three confirmed cases of MRSA in Ligonier Valley School District.
Superintendent Dr. Chris Oldham said officials learned Friday that a student at the high school had contracted the staph infection typically spread through skin-to-skin contact or direct contact with infected surfaces.
The first case was confirmed on Sept. 18 in a middle school student, Oldham said. Shortly afterward, officials learned another middle school student had contracted MRSA. “Those students were treated and cleared by their doctors, so they've been back at school,” she said.
Antibiotics are used to treat the infection, and a doctor's clearance is required before a student can return to school, Oldham said.
The school periodically disinfects all chairs and desktops, but after a case of MRSA is confirmed, a bleach solution is used on all areas the student frequents, Oldham said.
All district buses are going to be disinfected, she said.

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Are Bees Back Up on Their Knees?

A hopeful, nuanced opinion by a bee scientist on a complicated reality, pollinators for the food system. The honeybees' sudden vanishing may be ending, but the challenges to their presence continue.

The author's TED talk in 2012:

On a beautiful late summer day, the green rolling hills of western Pennsylvania seem a picture of tranquility and rural bliss. But up close to the growing infrastructure of natural gas fracking, it’s a different story.

"Sitting on a bench on the grounds of Summit Township School, (Penni Lechner) describes what happened over the past couple of years when XTO, a subsidiary of Exxon, set up shop nearby. “They put the drilling rig up, then they put a bigger drilling rig up and that went on for almost a year, and then they fracked it,” Lechner recalls. “They put a bunch of chemicals into the ground. And then they flared it off. Last school year the first two days of school they flared it. They didn’t even wait for the kids to not be here, they just flared it. There was methane shooting up 250 feet into the air. There’s an impoundment pond back there, and that holds chemical water. There’s no fence there; the kids can just walk right up there if they want to.” [...]
                                              Crystal Yost and Penni Lechner.
“We are worried about health effects on the children from air emissions, the air pollution, the VOCs,” says Yost, who along with other parents has organized against that plan as well, and so far the state Department of Environmental Protection has not issued drilling permits. “We are worried about an accident, specifically if there were to be an explosion, in some other cases in PA specifically, they have a one to two mile radius of evacuation. So if this well pad exploded within a half mile of the school, theoretically the entire school district would be in an evacuation zone, and we just felt it’s not using common sense to put your school district in an evacuation zone.” [...]

David Brown is a toxicologist who works with the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, which has identified many residents with health problems. “They were seeing effects in 30-40 percent of the people who were reporting, and there were a dozen or more different health effects,” Brown says of another study from Earth Works that showed similar results to the Yale study. “They ranged from rashes to difficulty breathing to heart problems to confusion; a lot of cognitive effects; headaches, and an intense sense of fatigue. There were differences between those people who were within 1,500 feet of a facility and those that were outside 1,500 feet of a facility. You shouldn’t interpret that beyond 1,500 feet there weren’t effects, because there were effects even there. We would expect you’d have to be out a minimum of a mile, and maybe two miles."  (SWPAEHP)

MRSA at the middle school

A student at Ligonier Valley Middle School has been diagnosed with MRSA, a type of staph infection frequently spread by skin-to-skin contact or direct contact with infected surfaces.
The school sent notification letters to parents on Sept. 18 and posted a “MRSA Fact Sheet,” issued by the state Department of Health, on its website. It said the skin infection is resistant to some antibiotics.
“We have received a report of a confirmed case of Community Acquired MRSA,” it read.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mountain Palace - Seaweed Weekend!

The special at Mountain Palace this weekend is Seaweed: Seaweed Salad and Pork Seaweed Rice. Additionally, a Cooking Class will be held Sunday 11:00 for you to learn to prepare and cook this nutritious happy healthy food. Class is $25 with all the seaweed you can eat!
Especially those with thyroid conditions may be interested. Note the following clip from Healthy Living:
     "Seaweed's best-known benefit is that it is an extraordinary source of a nutrient missing in almost every other food: iodine. Consuming healthy levels of iodine is critically important to maintaining a healthy thyroid, a gland in your neck which helps produce and regulate hormones. A malfunctioning thyroid can result in a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness and high cholesterol (to name a few). In severe or untreated cases, it can lead to serious medical conditions like goiters (a swelling of the thyroid gland), heart palpitations and impaired memory."
Come to Mountain Palace this weekend to enjoy our Seaweed Special and/or the Sunday Cooking Class.
Traditional Chinese Medical Exercise Class is Saturday at 11:00 at Mountain Palace.
Chinese Meridian System Acupressure continues Fridays at 1:30 in Latrobe at 350 Main Street.  724 717-8614 

Carolyn talks about religious freedom

Did religious freedom exist as Europeans settled on North American soil, in what was to become the United States of America?
In my background research for my novel Intertwined Love I’ve discovered that the melting pot on American soil has, from the time of the founding settlers, been boiling “just like this"
The Province Charter of 1691 provided that, in Massachusetts, there be “a liberty of Conscience allowed in the Worshipp of God to all Christians Except Papists.”
  • Note: Papist is a (usually disparaging) term or an anti-Catholic slur, referring to the Roman Catholic Church, its teachings, practices, or adherents.)
Barely a year later the basic principle of religious establishment was laid down by statute:
  •  “Able, learned, orthodox” ministers “of good conversation,” approved by a majority of the church-going voters in a “town or place” were to be supported by taxes levied upon all of the inhabitants...For towns which were delinquent in providing such a minister, the Court of General Sessions for the county could “take effectual care to procure and settle a minister qualified as aforesaid, and order the charge thereof and of such minister's maintenance to be levied on the inhabitants of such town.”
Each Massachusetts “town or place” had an established church or congregation that represented the beliefs of a majority of community residents---generally Calvinist doctrine and Read more of this post

Foxley Farm case moving to appellate court review

In an 11-page opinion and order, Feliciani said that “Margaret S. Nied believed that Ligonier Township would take political action after the consent order was signed that would allow weddings to occur on the property.”
“Simply put, Margaret S. Nied made assumptions based upon what she believed to be the political environment in Ligonier Township,” he said. “These assumptions were just that: assumptions, as opposed to misrepresentations of statements of fact. ... The exertion of such pressures did not induce Ms. Nied to enter the contract; rather she (wrongly) accepted as a given that the political climate would change after the consent order was entered. When the time came for Ligonier Township to consider the issues, she turned out to have been mistaken. The idea that one is entitled to rely upon representations, not reduced to writing, as to what might occur in a political climate in entering into a consent agreement is not an idea that is supported in the law.”
Doheny said he anticipates he will file an appeal within the next several days.
“It was a well-written opinion, one that the judge obviously took very seriously,” Doheny said Wednesday. “We do, however, disagree with (Feliciani's) procedural ruling, and we look forward to a review by the appellate court.”

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mary reports some LVSD news

Dear Diane,
There is a voting meeting at 4: 00 PM by the LVSD board of directors  today. The real reason why the LVMHS was shuttered. 

JoAnn Thistlethwaite – Chairperson
PO/L-40-14 That approval be given for the District to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding authorizing the District to proceed with negotiations for the purpose of entering into an Agreement of Sale regarding the former Laurel Valley Middle/High School to Coal Capital Holdings, LLC, or assignee, within the perimeters set forth in the Memorandum of Understanding, made a part hereof, and authorizing the appropriate officers of the District to execute the Memorandum.

Pitt Innovation Challenge & Mountain Palace Seaweed Weekend!

Pitt Innovation Challenge social interaction at Joe Moma's in Oakland was a success last night. Lacy was staggering in long dark navy gown. Are there luckier guys than me? We did not move into the second phase of the competition. Thanks for your interest! Mountain Palace special this weekend is seaweed with seaweed cooking class on Sunday at 11:00.

storage shed approved

Plans call for a new five-bay storage shed to be constructed at Ligonier Trucking Co. in Laughlintown.
On Tuesday, the Ligonier Township Zoning Hearing Board approved a request from David and Catherine Herrholtz for permission to build an open, outdoor storage shed, 5,500 square feet in size, to hold triaxle and tractor- trailer trucks at their business along Route 30.
The application included a request for a special exception of the comprehensive development ordinance to expand a non-conforming use. Engineer Timothy Fyock, representing the applicant, explained that David Herrholtz previously had to obtain permission for a non-conforming use to build sheds on his property because it is zoned R-1 residential.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"This is the most urgent of times, and the most urgent of messages." (Leonardo DiCaprio)

"Thank you, Mr Secretary General, your excellencies, ladies and gentleman, and distinguished guests. I’m honored to be here today, I stand before you not as an expert but as a concerned citizen, one of the 400,000 people who marched in the streets of New York on Sunday, and the billions of others around the world who want to solve our climate crisis. As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems. I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away. [...]

"The scientific community knows it, Industry and governments know it, even the United States military knows it. The chief of the US navy’s Pacific command, admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that climate change is our single greatest security threat. My Friends, this body – perhaps more than any other gathering in human history – now faces that difficult task. You can make history ... or be vilified by it. To be clear, this is not about just telling people to change their light bulbs or to buy a hybrid car. This disaster has grown BEYOND the choices that individuals make. This is now about our industries, and governments around the world taking decisive, large-scale action. I am not a scientist, but I don’t need to be. Because the world’s scientific community has spoken, and they have given us our prognosis, if we do not act together, we will surely perish. Now is our moment for action.

"We need to put a pricetag on carbon emissions, and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy, they don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny. For the economy itself will die if our ecosystems collapse."

My job? Overseeing 4,050 wells...piece a cake

"Currently, DEP’s oil and gas management section has funding for 202 employees; about 83 of them have some kind of field inspection responsibilities, Mr. Perry said. They are either oil and gas inspectors, water quality specialists, solid waste inspectors, environmental trainees, or supervisors for all these categories. Oil and Gas Management had 45 employees in 2008 at the beginning of the Marcellus era." [...]

"In 2008, there were 1,262 inspections of 377 active, unconventional, Marcellus well sites, in addition to 10,058 inspections of 7,143 conventional, shallow wells in Pennsylvania. By 2013, those figures had grown to 12,391 inspections of 5,559 active, unconventional wells — nearly 15 times the number of wells in 2008 — and 11,713 inspections of 7,808 conventional, shallow wells. Inspectors also have to try to monitor the 330,000 other oil and gas wells — some active, many abandoned and dry — that have been drilled around the state over the last century and a half."

So. 83 inspectors for 5,559 fracking wells (plus another 330,000 "other" ones) across this fracking state...we'll just skip the shallow ones and nevermind the random spills into streams.

Lessee now, calculator time: 5, 559 + 330,000 = 335,559. Divide the number of wells by the 83 neutral people in charge of monitoring them (why would we trust the inspectors paid by the guarding the henhouse). Answer: ...each DEP inspector has upwards of 4,050 wells to monitor.

What could go wrong that wouldn't see the light of day?

Read farther into the PG article to see how the industry is further neutralizing the DEP by luring its most experienced inspectors away to work for the fracking companies, leaving the DEP inspections to lesser-trained, over-worked ones to protect us on their paltry government wages... .

Again, what could go wrong?

"What's Possible" 3 minutes, what's possible

"This is the story of how a three-minute film watched by over 120 world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit's opening session in NYC was produced by a newly empty nested mother of three who had never produced a minute of film before. It began 26 years ago when my friend, Cindy Horn, and I were pregnant with our first born and concerned about what the scientific community was telling us about the man-made threat to the planet that was soon to welcome our innocent babies."

"Presented to world leaders at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit in New York, this short film shows that climate change is solvable. We have the technology to harness nature sustainably for a clean, prosperous energy future, but only if we act now. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, What's Possible calls on the people of the world to insist leaders get on the path of a livable climate and future for humankind."

What's Possible was created by director Louie Schwartzberg, writer Scott Z. Burns, Moving Art Studio, and Lyn Davis Lear and the Lear Family Foundation. It features the creative gifts of Morgan Freeman and composer Hans Zimmer.

Monday, September 22, 2014

400,000 speak for the future of us all...

Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People’s Climate March on Sunday. Photograph: Jason DeCrow/AP

As many as 400,000 people turned out in New York City on Sunday for the People’s Climate March, the largest environmental protest in history. The turnout far exceeded expectations, a massive crowd filling the streets to demand action on global warming. Other marches and rallies were held in 166 countries. More protests are planned. Climate activists gathered in downtown Manhattan for a mass sit-in dubbed "Flood Wall Street." 

Google will stop supporting climate change science deniers, calls them liars

"Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt today said it was a “mistake” to support the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that has said human-created climate change could be “beneficial” and opposes environmental regulations. Schmidt said groups trying to cast doubt on climate change science are "just literally lying." [...]

“The company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts - what a shock - and the facts of climate change are not in question anymore,” Schmidt said. “Everyone understands that climate change is occurring, and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people. They’re just literally lying.”"

black bear killed hiker in NJ

Authorities believe a black bear attacked and killed a hiker in a northern New Jersey nature preserve.
West Milford police say five friends from Edison were hiking in the Apshawa Preserve when they encountered the bear on Sunday. Police say the group became frightened and ran in different directions. They noticed one member was missing when they regrouped.
A search team located the body of Darsh Patel, 22.  Police say evidence indicated he had been attacked by a bear.  It is believed to be the first recorded fatal bear attack in New Jersey.

Rockefellers Divesting From Big Oil

"The Rockefeller family is divesting some of its massive fortune from fossil fuels, the New York Times reported on Sunday. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the family's charitable arm, will announce the landmark move in a video conference on Monday along with 49 other foundations. According to USA Today, the 50 groups will divest from 200 major oil and gas companies. The Rockefellers are especially noteworthy given their family history. Patriarchs John D. Rockefeller and William Rockefeller amassed their fortunes while working in their oil industry. The Rockefeller brothers were co-founders of the Standard Oil Company, the world's largest oil refiner at the time.
The Rockefellers were also celebrated for their philanthropic work. According to his 1937 New York Times obituary, John D. Rockefeller gave $530 million to charity during his lifetime. He also helped establish the University of Chicago. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has been a major supporter of environmental advocacy. Last year, the charity gave over $6 million in grants to sustainable development projects. The fossil fuel divestment movement has gained many other high-profile supporters in recent months, including actor Mark Ruffalo. "It's a snowballing movement," Stephen Heintz, president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. According to the Washington Post, the Rockefellers plan to first divest from coal and tar-sands mining."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

These happy young people give us hope. They are brave.

Lawyer Farshid Rofugaran said Friday the seven have been sentenced to six months in jail and 91 lashes each, though the verdict won't be carried out unless the defendants commit crimes and are found guilty in the future. He says the suspended jail term is the punishment for acting in the video and the lashes are over ignoring Islamic norms.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Free Delivery! Awesome Gourmet Pizza & Burgers

Try Graham's Grill at Ligonier Beach! We have a newly remodeled family friendly dining room, awesome gourmet pizza and burgers, nightly dinner specials and free local delivery!

cellular tower talks continue

For the past six years, BuzB Corp. has worked to repurpose a 195-foot tower, formerly used by MCI Communications for long-distance telephone service. Busby said the tower could be used for multi-cellular carrier use, and his company has been trying to lease it to cellular companies.
“Our company provides engineering services on towers, tower mappings,” Busby said. He is familiar with the area because his daughter attends the University of Pittsburgh. “Western Pennsylvania is a market that we serve. We also felt the tower itself was a unique structure because of its location. It's right on 271 as it goes over the Laurel Ridge.”

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mountain Palace Happy Healthy Festival! Saturday Sept. 20 6:45ish!

Calling all burned out hippies! This is a "burned out hippie alert! Marianne M. & Diane C. will be performing at Mountain Palace in Bolivar, Pa live and in-person. The cake is not ordered, the grass is not cut, the mower is broken again, and nothing is ready. Pigou Lake is about empty that the frogs are beginning to look anxious but the humans are good. A favored moment of mine was when Mellow Mike were at Mountain Palace the second time. When finished they asked if any requests. Stating, "Freedom" by Richie Havens, they went directly into it. What a group! So if you're not here Saturday you will be missing the biggest event in Bolivar, across from Mirror Lake, since a meteor missed us by one-eight the distance to the moon. So, until we announce more mental health issues, live virtual classroom, or Pitt Innovation application videos, try to get a shower, pull yourself together and come as you are!

Mountain Palace Welcomes Marianne & Diane!

The sheds are moved, you can see Cozy Cottage from the Dining Room :)

What You Should Know About Sunday's Massive Climate March

"All of Dr Seuss’s children’s books – or, at least, the best ones – are sly, radical humanitarian and environmental parables. That’s why, for example, The Lorax was banned in some Pacific Northwest districts where logging was the chief economy. Or there’s Horton Hears a Who: if you weren’t a child (or reading to a child) recently, it’s about an elephant with acute hearing who hears a cry from a dust speck. He comes to realize the dust speck is a planet in need of protection, and does his best for it. Of course, all the other creatures mock – and then threaten – Horton for raising an alarm over something they can’t see. (Dissent is an easy way to get yourself ostracized or worse, as any feminist receiving online death threats can remind you.) And though Seuss was reportedly inspired by the situation in post-war Japan when he wrote the book, but its parable is flexible enough for our time." [...]

"Seuss’s Horton was alone. Climate activists in the United States are a minority, but there are vast numbers of people across the world who know how serious the situation is, who are facing it and who are listening and asking for action. Some of them will be with us when the biggest climate march in history takes place on Sunday in New York City – starting on the southern edge one of the nation’s largest urban green spaces, Central Park, running around Times Square and then moving west to the Hudson River – to demand that the UN get serious with this attempt to hammer out a climate change treaty at its summit next week. A whole lot more people are going to come together to demand that our political leaders do something about climate than have done so before. In a symbolic action, at 12:58pm local time, they will observe a collective couple of minutes of silence dedicated to the past. Wherever you are on Sunday, you can join us in observing that silence and remembering the millions displaced last year by the kinds of floods and storms that climate change augments, or the residents of island nations whose homes are simply disappearing under the waves; the small shellfish whose shells are dissolving or the species that have died out altogether; the elderly and infirm who have died in our longer, hotter heatwaves or the people who died in New York’s Hurricane Sandy not quite two years ago."


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

anonymous opines on Ligonier Township decision to stop financial support to the Ligonier Valley Library

At a Ligonier Township Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, Secretary Bruce Robinson recommended that the Ligonier Township Supervisors not give the Ligonier Valley Library their annual $1500 contribution, citing that all sorts of other community groups will be after the Township for money and donations!  I was horrified, after all these years of giving money to the Ligonier Valley Library; the Supervisors are now going to stop?    If you were wondering Mr. Robinson, the Second Class Township Code allows Townships to make donations and gifts for providing library service to the township.  It seems that there is no new  policy required when it comes to the Township providing a $1500 grant to our library!
How many residents of Ligonier Township utilize the Library?  And of that amount, how many of them are children completing reports for schools, or our Senior Citizens enjoying  the daily newspapers?  How about the programs offered at the Library like the Cookbook Club,   the Genealogy Forum, the Mystery Book Club, Let’s Book, the Tea and Title Book Club or the Pennsylvania Room? Mr. Robinson, have you taken the opportunity to enjoy the WWI Photo Exhibit put together by our Library Staff?  Have you given any consideration to lives enriched by these programs and services?  Before you made this unilateral decision, Mr. Robinson, did you take the time to stop in and look around?  I know they carry Golf Magazine and have many books on improving your golf game!
The Library is a cornerstone of this Valley, a point of pride to the residents and I am ashamed of the Ligonier Township Supervisors for undervaluing the importance of this Library to the community at large!
I urge the Supervisors Knupp, Matson and Komar to re-examine this counsel offered by Mr. Robinson, open your checkbook and send that $1500 budgeted contribution to the Ligonier Valley Library.

Signed, Book Lover,  a Longtime Resident of Ligonier and a friend of the Ligonier Valley Library 

incident on North Market

A Ligonier Township man is in jail because he allegedly assaulted a police chief and threatened to set fire to a woman's apartment.
Alan J. Camp, 61, was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, terroristic threats, resisting arrest, public drunkenness and simple assault before District Judge Denise S. Thiel.
Police received a call at 2:27 p.m. Sept. 10 from a North Market Street woman who said Camp was causing a disturbance at her home, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Ligonier Borough police Chief John Berger.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Walking with Thoreau - Sept. 17 at 7:00 pm

Join us for "Walking with Thoreau" on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 7:00 pm in the Ligonier Valley Library's community room. Our featured speaker will be Bryon Williams.

"I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least - and it is commonly more than that - sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields absolutely free from all worldly engagements." Henry David Thoreau

In his classic essay "Walking" and other works, Henry David Thoreau describes the act of walking as an uplifting art accessible to anyone with a spirit of adventure. In this talk, we will explore the ways in which Thoreau celebrates walking as an ideal method of communing with the wider world and as an essential complement to work, study, and contemplation.
Bryon Williams teaches American Literature at Duquesne University, where he is a doctoral candidates in the English Department. His research, writing and teaching focus is on the intersection of literature and the natural environment with a special concentration on the works of Henry David Thoreau.

This program is open to the general public, free of charge with no registration required.

**You do not have to be a member of our Let's Book program to attend this talk. However, if you love to walk and you love to read, then follow the link ( to learn more about Let's Book!

FREE copier with collator stack

This is an older copier but is works.  We just don't have room in our new office.  Call 724-238-7783 or send me an email

Ligonier Highland Games

With its ragged hills, rolling meadows and a climate that often requires wool clothing, Western Pennsylvania can seem like home to a Scot.
Gordon Reid, who was born in Glasgow but now lives in Upper St. Clair, says on early mornings at the Ligonier Highland Games when pipers are warming up and mist is rising in the chill air, “You can close your eyes and open them again, and you'd think you were in Scotland.”

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

The begonias are still pretty.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Don't forget the Flax Scutching!

The 107th Annual Flax Scutching Festival is being held this weekend in Stahlstown. Sunday's schedule begins with a worship service at 9 a.m. There's music throughout the day, along with demonstrations of the art of turning flax plants into linen cloth; food and craft booths throughout the festival grounds; Civil War re-enactors; Boy Scouts making fresh cider, and a nice display of antique tractors. Fresh buckwheat pancakes and sausage will be available all day. If you've never seen flax scutched, this is the time!

Podlucky crazy house goes to sheriff's sale

A mansion in Ligonier Township that was being built by former LeNature's Inc. CEO Gregory Podlucky will be sold at a Westmoreland County sheriff's sale on Nov. 10 to pay more than $1 million owed to creditors, according to court records.
The sprawling structure off Route 711 in Ligonier Township has been on the market for several years, but the $2.5 million asking price and $500,000 down payment has attracted no buyers. The completed mansion would have cost $15 million, court records show.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Mountain Palace - Pork Cabbage Tomato Special!

This weekend Mountain Palace will be serving Pork, Cabbage and Tomato with Rice as our special. Mountain Palace remains eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake. Friday 6 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 6. Chinese Medical Exercise and Acupressure class will be on Saturday at 11. Come to Mountain Palace this weekend to enjoy our authentic Northern Chinese Happy Healthy menu.
Remember Marianne and Diane will be providing us live music next Saturday evening September 20. It is positively guaranteed to be a most wonderful event!  724 717-8614 
Busy as a bee up there, isn't he?

This workhorse of a printer is available FREE to a good home.

It still works wonderfully.  HP has decided to stop making toner for it so we decided to retire it since we're moving and will be in a smaller space.  You can still get replacement toner, but not directly from HP.

FIRST COME FIRST SERVE.  Call 724-238-7783 or send an email to

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Marty's mission and a promise. It all started 13 years ago today - 9/11.

When I read Obama's ignorant statement - “Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic,” Obama said, speaking from the state floor of the White House residence. “No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.” - it was a call to arms for me. I realized it is time for me to follow through on my promise to Marty to read this book.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Marty, who considered himself well informed on many subjects found that he truly had no idea what Islam was all about. He started a quest that ended during this, the last year of his life. Close friends know that Marty was obsessed with understanding Islam. We have every version of the Qur'an that was translated into English. Marty read every available book on the subject. We have shelves of books. I picked up the most obscure books from some of the wildest places in the Middle East at the post office. He dug and dug and read and read. He created a monumental compendium to cross reference subjects through the Qur'an and Surah. I learned much at his side, just listening but I left the study to Marty. I felt that he had a mission and someday it would be understood. As he approached death a few months ago, he told us that having read all that was available, we really only had to read one book to understand - this book. I made a promise that I would read this book and I am unwrapping it and starting today. He gave a warning that it took him several months to read this book thoroughly so don't be discouraged. I am sharing it with you, because I believe this was Marty's mission. He did the legwork. Now we have a signpost pointing the way to understanding Islam.

WRONG, Obama. ISIS is pure unadulterated Islam - Islam condones and in fact requires the killing of apostates and infidels.

“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic,” Obama said, speaking from the state floor of the White House residence. “No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.”


AnnaLynn Boutique at 125 West Main

Throughout her life, Lynn Brown was inspired by her grandmother, Anna Slate.
“Even at 100 years old she would say, ‘If you want to do something, just do it. Don't get to my age and wish you had,'” said Brown, 46, of Greensburg.
Brown is carrying on the memory of Slate, who passed away almost two years ago, through a new business venture.
AnnaLynn Boutique at 125 West Main St. in Ligonier is a new gift shop that Brown opened this summer. The boutique specializes in unique gifts, home decor, skin care and cosmetics.
“When I shop, it's always nice to go in a store and be able to find something for somebody who has everything,” Brown said.

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James and the Giant Peach

The community is invited to support Ligonier Valley youth and enjoy a live performance of James and the Giant Peach, an upcoming show at the Ligonier Theatre.
“Footlights,” the Valley Players of Ligonier's Youth Troupe, will present the show about an orphan who befriends human-like bugs who live inside a giant, magical peach.

“We have a very, very talented group of children who are eager to put on a great show,” said Sharon Vito McCue, president of the Valley Players. “I know it's going to be an outstanding performance.”
Performances are slated for 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 and 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 20 and 21.

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9/11: 13 years later by Carolyn

Today we pause to remember the 9/11/2001 events that altered so many aspects of the United States. My husband Monte and I live about 20 miles from where Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County. Below is a list of articles I’ve posted through the years since the tragedy. I hope you take time to read some of them on this day of remembrance. Click on the titles to access the complete articles.
All of the following articles are posted on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS except LMB RESIDENT’S SEPT. 11, 2001 STORY: Part 1 of 2
NOTE: The Westmoreland County Historical Society magazine being released later this month contains an in depth article on Flight of Valor, the music composition commissioned by the Somerset County Community Band. It ties in the roles many Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, residents took following the crash of Flight 93 in the adjacent county of Somerset.
NOTE: September 11 is also the birthday of my late nephew Todd James Jay. Keep my sister in your prayers today, too.
NOTE: This story is posted on the Laurel Mountain Borough newsletter site.
LMB resident John was working in one of the twin towers in New York City the morning of September 11, 2001. His story will be posted in the LMBoroLMPark Newsletter in three parts. To view photo illustrations taken by John, click on: September 11, 2001, John was in New York City working as a freelance sound recordist/video engineer. He had many clients in downtown New York, where he found most of his jobs. He also worked in Philadelphia and other places, but the New York work was most challenging.This Tuesday he was working at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (Company), a very large financial consultant company similar to J. P. Morgan. He’s worked there a half dozen times. They had a television studio they’d just built, completed in December 2000.They had called me to Read more of this post