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, March 31, 2015

A 'Year of Eye-Catching Steps Forward' for Renewable Energy

"(Increases in renewable energy in 2014 meant that) the world’s electricity systems emitted 1.3 fewer  gigatonnes of harmful CO2 than it would have if that 9.1 percent had been produced by the same fossil-dominated mix generating the other 90.9 percent of world power. That's roughly twice the emissions of the world’s airline industry."

"Once again in 2014, renewables made up nearly half of the net power capacity added worldwide,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP. “These climate-friendly energy technologies are now an indispensable component of the global energy mix and their importance will only increase as markets mature, technology prices continue to fall and the need to rein in carbon emissions becomes ever more urgent.”China saw by far the biggest renewable energy investments last year – a record 83.3 billion dollars, up 39 percent from 2013. The United States was second at 38.3 billion dollars, up seven percent on the year (although below its all-time high reached in 2011). Third came Japan at 35.7 billion dollars, 10 percent higher than in 2013 and its biggest total ever.

No ruined water, no ruined air, no earthquakes, no cancer, no asthma, and people profiting financially, as well. No question, the way to go is renewables...our lives depend on it.

Celebrate Easter with a Special 3 Course Brunch at Flavors Cafe. 
$25 for adults, $15 for Children.
138 W. Main St. Ligonier

Conflict of Interest with earth-shattering consequences

“This is a conflict of interest that we never before could’ve imagined,” says Jason Murphey, a Republican state representative from Logan County, which has been one of the most seismically active areas in the state over the past year. “When Boren facilitates that meeting, it sends a message to Austin Holland.”

From Bloomberg News (not from an environmental group):

Hard to not be cynical about the drill, baby, drillers when I read that during a meeting with a billion-dollar oil executive (Continental) donor, president of U of Oklahoma requested that Oklahoma’s state seismologist "be careful when publicly discussing the possible connection between oil and gas operations and a big jump in the number of earthquakes." Geological researchers like that seismologist were increasingly seeing the link between fracking and the underground disposal of oil and gas wastewater, a byproduct of the fracking boom that the donor Continental has helped pioneer. Can you say "major conflict of interest"? (Or, do you choose not to see what you don't want to see because it messes with your carefully constructed worldview?)

The rise of fracking has coincided with Oklahoma passing California as the most seismically active state in the continental U.S.

All the sordid details are at Bloomberg News:

Laurel Mountain ski news

Renovations at the ski area include a new fixed-grip quad chair lift with higher lift capacity than the former two lifts, more water storage via an expanded existing pond and a new pond, 29 snow guns added on Innsbruck, 23 snow guns added on Deer Path and regrading and widening of Deer Path, Innsbruck and Lower Broadway trails.
Nutting said he plans to expand the ski lodge, making upgrades to the rental shop and overall interior.
A remaining, pre-existing chair lift will be decommissioned. Nutting said he does not think it is salvageable as an operating lift. He hopes to come up with a “smarter plan” than selling it for scrap metal.

Read more: 
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Convicted murderer can't practice medicine. Oh boo hoo.

A former Ligonier podiatrist who served 10 years in prison for killing his wife with a dry-cleaning bag won't be allowed to resume his medical practice, a state appeals court ruled Monday.
The court sided with the State Podiatry Board's rejection of Karl Long's request to have his medical license reinstated, determining that he showed no remorse for the murder and no evidence of rehabilitation.
Long, 56, has worked as a brick mason in Cambria County since he was released from prison nearly three years ago but wanted to resume a podiatry practice.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Four reasons, one good solution


 Sharing the goose that lays the golden egg....

"The distorted belief that wealthy individuals and corporations are job creators has led to sizeable business subsidies and tax breaks. The biggest giveaway is often overlooked: corporations use our nation's plentiful resources, largely at no cost, to build their profits. There are several factual and well-established reasons why corporations owe a great debt to the nation that has made them rich.

1. Our Tax Money Pays for Much of the Research (details of this and the other three reasons are at the link provided below)
2. Fewer and Fewer People are Reaping the Benefits of Our National Productivity
3. Corporations Use Our Resources but Avoid Their Taxes 
4. Corporations Have Stopped Investing in America 

a four-minute video worth a thousand words...

"Lest people think (farmer) James Osborne is a bleeding heart tree-hugger, he notes that he’s worked in the oil industry and still even has family who work in fracking. However, his background can’t stand in the way of the troubling facts about what fracking does to the environment, particularly to a farming and livestock intensive state like Nebraska which relies heavily on its water reserves to function. On a table, Osborne sets down three water cups, filling each with some purified water. There is no question that anyone would feel comfortable drinking that water. But in the event of fracking wastewater leaking into the streams and rivers of Nebraska, residents shouldn’t expect their taps to remain safe. Instead, Osborne dumps in the kind of yellow-brown sludge common in fracking runoff water. This is what the water would look like. The audience gasps. and

**This is exactly what our township supervisors do...stare back and refuse to answer questions. Wake up and push back, those of you who care about the water and air. The clock is ticking; time is running out.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Shawn McConville with her son, Cletus McConville


Cletus has the starring role in Chemical Imbalance, a Jeykll and Hyde story.  There's one more show - tomorrow, Sunday, March 29th, at Pitt Greensburg.

This is a really funny show.  Well done!

and so it begins....sorry to say

The Ligonier Valley YMCA held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday afternoon marking the start of construction for its 32,000-square-foot expansion project, which will feature a new fitness center, gymnasium, parking lot and Excela Health medical facilities. Board members, local residents, Ligonier Borough council members and donors were among the crowd that attended.
“It speaks to the true purpose of the whole initiative, which is the community,” said board president Bob Baum, while looking around the gymnasium.
Executive director Larry Stormer said work on the site will begin mid-April. He said they are planning for a 12-month build and will maintain operations throughout the process.

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story telling workshop today 1 to 4 at Creative Differences Cafe

CAW - Cooperative Association of Writers - a local group, is meeting today for a storytelling workshop run by local artist, Marianne McAuliffe.

Marianne who is mostly noted for creating and presenting SAMA and ArtsPATH workshops related to Native American culture and performing on the Native American flutes, is also a member of the National Storytelling Network.

Participants in today's workshop will learn the ancient art of storytelling and get a chance to participate a bit of telling together. Bring some paper and a pen or pencil. The workshop is free and members of the public are welcome to attend as space permits. Creative Differences Cafe is located on North Fairfield.

Friday, March 27, 2015

saving Mia

Hero firefighter, Glenn Cramer of Waterford, saving little Mia on East Church Street in Ligonier following the recent house fire. They administered oxygen to the pup and wrapped her in blankets after pulling her out -- nearly two hours after the fire began!

This lovely photo submitted by Legandear.  Beautiful!

Pork Sauerkraut - Mountain Palace Special


Pork, Sauerkraut and Rice
Come to Mountain Palace this weekend to enjoy this or any of our other happy, healthy menu items!
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.
Saturday 11:00 - Traditional Chinese Medical Exercise Class at Mountain Palace
DVD - Traditional Chinese Medical Exercise & Acupressure - $35
724 717-8614

Got an old iPod you don't need anymore? Donate it to help elders and folks suffering from memory loss.

Check out the Music and Memory program at

You can either donate it to these folks or do a personal donation to someone you know who seems lost and unresponsive. If you are doing it yourself, get a set of earphones, too.

Ask them what their favorite song is/was.  Start there then try to build a little library that is personalized to this person.  That's the key. It has to be their musical choices.

When you put the earphones on someone who is lost and no longer communicating, play their favorite tune and see what kind of response you get.  I hear it's amazing.  The music uses a part of the brain that is that last to go and so connects to memories thought long gone.

zoning hearing info

With the clock ticking down on the time allotted for Ligonier Township supervisors to pass an updated zoning ordinance, many residents spoke up at a public hearing Thursday night to ask them to reconsider proposed changes, particularly those related to unconventional drilling.
Opposition to provisions for unconventional drilling has dominated public comment at township meetings for months, and Thursday's speeches were no different, with many people stressing that the industry is not compatible with the Ligonier Valley.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

BPW to host Raffle-Tacular

The Business and Professional Women of Ligonier Valley are preparing for the inaugural “Raffle-Tacular” fundraising event that will take place at Ligonier Town Hall from 1-4 p.m. April 25. Doors open at noon and tickets cost $5.
In previous years, the ladies of BPW had hosted a fashion show; this year, they decided to adopt a more simple and economic approach, while still combining altruism with enjoyment. Guests will have an opportunity to score a flurry of prizes, including baskets, 50/50 drawings, a Ligonier package and a lottery tree. Light refreshments with homemade cookies will be served.

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This is interesting.

Voters in the Ligonier Valley area will see few challenges in the numerous seats up for grabs in May's primary election, according to Westmoreland County's unofficial candidate list.
The deadline to file petitions for major-party nominations for the primary was March 10.
Only two people are seeking the three four-year terms available on Ligonier Borough Council. Judy A. Hoffer and Jim McDonnell are seeking Republican nominations.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

LVSD grad Cletus McConville stars in this steampunk version of Jekyll and Hyde

The Steampunk theme is a creative element added by Schrum, who is a fan of the genre. Steampunk is characterized by Victorian-inspired clothing and retro-tech accessories including goggles and gears.
“Steampunk is Victorian science-fiction,” Schrum says. “The set will reflect the Steampunk idea, the costumes even more so.”
Audience members who dress in Steampunk style will receive 40 percent off the ticket price.
The dual role of Jekyll and Hyde is played by junior Cletus McConville.
“This show is hilarious,” he says. Comedic flourishes and a change of voice herald his transformations from one persona to another.

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a marriage of needs...returning vets and farming

From War To Plow: Why USDA Wants Veterans To Take Up Farming

 Three years ago, Air Force veteran Sara Creech quit her job as a nurse and bought a 43-acre farm in North Salem, Ind. She named her farm Blue Yonder Organic.

"Veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan often have a hard time transitioning back to their civilian lives and careers. They have higher rates of divorce, depression and suicide. And they're more likely to be unemployed than both civilians and veterans of other wars. In recent years, thousands of veterans like Creech have showed an interest in farming as a way to find peace and purpose. Several nonprofit organizations and universities have launched programs to help them pursue careers in agriculture.
George Zimmerman: Obama ‘Broke the Law’ with ‘Baseless Prosecution,’ ‘Incendiary Comments’

YES! to alternatives to a fairer economy, to a cleaner, more sustainable economy

"New Economy" organizations profiled in YES! magazine. "We find inspiration in neighbors, local governments, or small businesses taking risks and building a “new economy” of alternatives to our current system."

          Heating pipes in Vancouver's Neighbourhood Energy Utility*


Forces for the good of *all* (and not just a privileged few) may prevail in Maryland.

Fracking moratorium bill fends off amendments, heads to vote

March 23
"ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A bill to place a three-year moratorium on fracking in Maryland survived eight amendments and is headed to a vote in the House of Delegates. On Monday, the Protect Our Health and Communities Act dodged attempts by House Republicans to change the legislation and make it easier for fracking to start in western Maryland. Currently there is no fracking in Maryland.

The moratorium was sponsored by Democratic Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo of Montgomery County. It originally proposed an eight-year halt, but last week was reduced to three years in an amendment approved by the House Environment and Transportation Committee. The General Assembly is considering several fracking bills. In the Senate, members are gearing up to vote on a bill that would hold drilling companies strictly liable for injuries to residents or their property."

Good for you, them how it's done.

Novel Art Workshop For Kids On March 26

Do you want to enter a project in the Ligonier Valley Library's third Novel Art event? Are you short on time or ideas? Then the Novel Art Clinic for Kids is for you!

Novel Art Clinic for Kids on March 26 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm in the library's community room.

Projects will take approximately 2.5 hours to finish. Parents are welcome to stay. Finished projects will be entered in the Novel Art Student Auction on Thursday, April 30.

Cost for materials is $5.00 payable the day of the clinic. You may register by completing the Novel Art Clinic for Kids form (fillable PDF) and returning it to the library. More information is on the form.

Imagine your favorite book being thrown into a landfill. Just tossed. The Ligonier community is saving books from this fate and giving them a new life by creating art to support the Ligonier Valley Library. Novel Art is easy to join and no fee is required. It's also for everyone - adults, professional artists and kids.

Student Auction is on Thursday, April 30.

Novel Art Party & Auction is on Friday, May 1.

Learn more @

For those DIYers, find ideas on projects via the Library's Online Catalog or an online image search. Use words such as "altered books," "book art," and "repurposing books."

dog found alive

A family pet feared lost in a house fire in Ligonier on Monday was found alive by firefighters.
Borough fire Chief Paul Church said Tuesday that a dog trapped inside the burning home at 211 E. Church St. for nearly two hours was located and treated, along with the family's pet turtle.
The fire, which broke out around 2:20 p.m., destroyed the two-story home and damaged the house next door.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thursday, 6pm, Ligonier High School Auditorium

A Public Hearing on the rezoning of Ligonier Township from agricultural/residential/conservation districts to allow fracking where it simply does not belong will happen Thursday, March 26, 2015, at 6:00 pm at the Ligonier High School Auditorium. Township supervisors will be in attendance.*

*"attendance"...from the Old French, meaning "take care of, wait upon"(early 14c.), and meaning "to pay attention" is early 15c. 

Let us insist that they do in fact pay attention...they are public servants and work for us, not for the gas industry, or for their own personal gain.

another example of the wonderful people of Ligonier Valley

"The mission of Citizens to Preserve Ligonier Valley is to preserve the quality of life in the Ligonier Valley so that it remains a safe, healthy, and attractive place for living, working, recreation, and tourism, for now and for generations to come.

Specific Goals:
• Protect our air quality for residents and visitors alike
• Protect our drinking water, whether from municipal sources, private wells or springs
• Preserve the quality of streams within the Loyalhanna Watershed for wildlife, recreation and for downstream communities who use it as their back-up drinking water supply
• Keep our roads scenic and free from the overuse and damage of heavy industrial traffic
• Preserve our Residential and Conservation districts as quiet, peaceful places to live
• Limit industrial operations, including hydraulic fracturing, to those areas originally zoned industrial
• Work to restore the original protective RA and conservation districts in which residents purchased their property with the expectation that those zones  would remain RA and conservation districts, providing for compatible uses"!mission/csgz

A tale of two studies...on seeing and not seeing

 A statement to be made to the supervisors at this Thursday's public hearing at Ligonier High School, 6pm:

Fracking in Ligonier – two studies on perception

As you consider the proposed zoning changes that will compromise the exquisitely beautiful areas of this lovely valley - a valley that draws so many to visit, to spend money here, to want to live here - rather than me revisiting all the evidence against fracking that has already been presented to you, I will instead call your attention to a two studies, both related to what may be going on when you supervisors look at the evidence of this toxic industry:

The first study was an experiment by Lester Luborsky who wanted to test what people see when they looking something, anything...not just fracking data. His teams attached electrodes to peoples' eyes to monitor what the eye itself tracked when presented with an image. Luborsky found that if photos shown to participants contained morally objectionable material or something that threatened the participants' worldview - fracking-related pollution, for example - their eyes would not track, would literally not see, whatever that thing was during viewing. One example from the Luborsky study: Participants were shown an ordinary photo of an ordinary man reading a newspaper. In the foreground of that photo there was a very obvious silhouette of a woman's breast. Turns out, in the case of participants who found nudity objectionable, their eyes never once tracked over to the clearly visible silhouette and, when they were asked later, these people did not remember seeing a silhouette of breast. Their eyes would not take in what was clearly there.

Second, a study also from “A Language Older Than Words,” by Derrick Jensen: “A study of Holocaust survivors […] revealed a pattern of active resistance to unpleasant ideas and an acute unwillingness to face the seriousness of [Hitler]. As late as 1936, many Jews who had been fortunate enough to leave Germany continued to return on business trips. Others simply stayed at home, escaping on weekends into the countryside so they did not have to think about their increasingly perilous experiences. One survivor recollected that his orchestra did not miss a beat in the Mozart piece they were playing as they pretended not to notice the smoke from the synagogue being burned next door.”

So, in conclusion: Like the participants in the eye-tracking experiment, do you simply choose not to see what is right there among the half-truths and misrepresentation in the oil and gas industry's self-serving ads, what's right there at their conferences, right there in the information being hand-fed to township officials all across PA? Is it because it is so much easier and politically expedient to see only “jobs” and "property rights" much so that some of you will simply not see the silhouette of destruction that is right there, in the picture?

Or, and, like the German Jews (who distracted themselves from what they actually did see), despite the evidence presented to you, will you ignore the methane flarings like they did the burning of the synagogue, will you  ignore how fracking will compromise this beautiful valley - this valley that belongs to more than just humans - hoping that nothing truly awful will happen there?

Willful blindness and self-delusion, a dangerous cocktail for township supervisors facing a truly huge decision, gentlemen.

Fracking is destructive. See it, believe it.

Elizabeth Donohoe

fast moving fire on E. Church

A love of animals compelled Suzanne Flower to rush into a burning house Monday afternoon, she said.
Flower, 57, of Ligonier was walking her niece's dog with family members when she heard a woman screaming for help at 211 E. Church St.
Flower and her family rushed to help the distraught woman.
“I said, ‘Are you OK?' and she said, ‘Yes, my husband's working, my son's at school, but I have two dogs,” Flower said. “She was hysterical, and I said, ‘OK, where are the dogs?' ”
One dog made it outside. Flower ran into the burning house to try to save the other but couldn't find it.
“It was a fast-moving fire,” said Ligonier fire Chief Paul Church.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

the world's best teacher award winner, Nancy Atwell

 "Ms Atwell’s school in the rural town of Edgecomb, Maine, is no ordinary place of learning. Then again, Nancie Atwell is no ordinary teacher. At her school, all classrooms have libraries, standardized tests are forbidden, classes are small, every religious and cultural holiday is celebrated, and students pick the topics they write about and the books they read. And read they do: her students wolf down about 40 books per year, well above the national average. Earlier this month, Atwell was named the winner of a competition to find the world’s best teacher. She accepted the Global Teacher Prize, dubbed the Nobel Prize of teaching, at a ceremony in Dubai. [...]

Teachers are being essentially asked to be technicians, to read a script, and the script is not valid,” Atwell said. “[Test scores] are all that counts right now. It’s all data analysis, metrics and accountability. It’s a business model that has no business being applied to the craft of teaching or the science of learning.”Atwell disagrees with the politically contentious common core educational standards, which she said focus too much on test scores, rather than lessons learned, or books read, as a mark of achievement. Students all learn at different paces and levels, and the common core standards steamrolls individuality and forces everyone to be quite literally on the same page, she said."

We Buy, the Sea Pays

"Most of our bountiful planet's water is in the ocean, which - humans, take a bow - are a calamity: Up to 26 million tons of plastic packaging and other debris threatens the life of our oceans and its hundreds of thousands of fish, birds and other marine creatures, who ingest it, get tangled in it or otherwise die from our ungodly carelessness. To mark the 20th anniversary of its annual Ocean Initiatives, the Surfrider Foundation has launched a new mobilization and awareness campaign to remind us, "Ocean pollution begins with the purchase of the object which will eventually be discarded as waste" - you buy, the sea pays. By way of catchy illustration, their posters show some of the over 250 threatened species up against the scanner that can ultimately mean their death.

April 6th lecture by biologist Sandra Steingraber

''With climate change now an existential threat to children born today-and with a growing realization that toxic chemical production is driven by the economic needs of the energy industry-these gendered responses to the environmental crisis are rapidly evolving.  As both a biologist and a leading figure in the national fight against fracking, Steingraber will explore the role of women in the construction of knowledge about the risks of extreme fossil fuel extraction, gender disparities in the distribution of economic costs and benefits, the disproportionate burden of harm that women experience when their communities become targeted for oil and gas extraction, and the rise of women leaders in the anti-fracking movement."

"Women Confronting Fossil Fuels and Petrochemicals in an Age of Climate Emergency"

University of Pittsburgh
April 6, 2015 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

DVD for Sale! Live on Facebook $35

Happy Healthy Inc
Traditional Chinese Medical Exercise & Acupressure DVD
Facebook Store
Lingzhi Cai, M.D., Ph.D.
 46+ minutes
Happy Healthy Inc has been planning implementation of programming for some time.
Dr. Cai was able to get one of her elements into a commercial-like product.

Please help!
Forward to whomever you think may have interest
A happier, healthier existence is the only side effect we have witnessed

Development of facilities proceeding at Mountain Palace Eatery in Bolivar, Pa and Latrobe's Olde Main Location.

The following link is supposed to take you to a Facebook Store established by Happy Healthy Inc:

Your $35 will help us continue this mission. We are including in your purchase a personal evaluation and assessment of elements within our areas including Traditional Chinese Medical theories and practice, acupressure self application training and healthy food content and preparation conducted by Dr. Cai. We also perform behavioral and psycho/educational assessments and consultations.

724 288-3872

Sunday, March 22, 2015

from nearby Penn Township...

From legal cases in areas where residents did not stop the rezoning of their agricultural land, allowed the industrial damage from fracking to occur, and wound up in court...after the horse was out of the barn, so to speak:
"Residents testified that the increasing number of unconventional shale gas wells and the heavy truck traffic associated with the industry was changing the character of the Residential Agricultural zoned district. R. 314a, 323a, 326a. Residents also testified to decreased property values because the well operation would be located in a residential neighborhood and change its character. The Residents repeatedly asked questions of Inflection’s witnesses that directly put at issue the appropriateness of putting a gas well pad development in the middle of a residential neighborhood."

The Penn Township-related related article in the Trib:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

From a biologist living in Greene Co., an area we could all learn from...before it's too late

''This now leads us to local situations. We now know that there is a lot of bromide entering our water systems. This bromide is coning from local mining discharges. Bromide is not generally associated as a problem in the mining industry. Where are these bromides coming from? A good way to track down the source of these bromides is to monitor the height of the mine pools. We estimate that there is over 1.2 trillion gallons of water in our old worked-out mines. The old mines are flooded, and they must be pumped down in order to keep them from blowing out into the surface water. This mine water needs to be treated before being released into the raw drinking water supplies. If you study the heights of these mine pools, you can see a marked increase in their heights. Let me give you an example. In August and September of 2012, Clyde Mine showed a marked increase in the mine pool. The pool level went from 780 feet above sea level to 802 feet above sea level. One spike occurred in late August and another in mid September.

WCCC Success!

Westmoreland County Community College
Chinese Medical Exercise & Acupressure
Spring Session Fridays 1:00 - 3:00

Lacy completed her first class of the Spring session with 25 people registered and 20 showing up for the first class.

Traditional Chinese Medical Exercise and Acupressure Training

Check it out! What have you got to gain other than a longer, happier, healthier life!

ethics considered in township vote

Korns plans to have an opinion prepared to at least verbally present at the public hearing on the zoning ordinance.
He said he likely will not tell Thomas to abstain from voting because of the class/subclass exclusion.
“It says that if a public official is voting on a matter that will affect them the same as the members of the township as a whole or a subclass they're in, there is no conflict,” he said.
“This is a township-wide zoning amendment that affects every property owner in the township equally, and that is the classic example of what the subclass is,” he said.
Korns said he isn't certain Thomas would meet the criteria of being aware of a pecuniary benefit because there hasn't been an increase in Thomas' ability to drill on his property.
“In this case, Mr. Thomas was in a zone that allowed drilling previously” under the current ordinance, he said. “Under the proposed map he is still under a zone that allows drilling. There actually hasn't been any change.”

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vive la France!!

France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels

"Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday. Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. They also retain rainwater, thus helping reduce problems with runoff, while favouring biodiversity and giving birds a place to nest in the urban jungle, ecologists say. The law approved by parliament was more limited in scope than initial calls by French environmental activists to make green roofs that cover the entire surface mandatory on all new buildings.

The law approved by parliament was more limited in scope than initial calls by French environmental activists to make green roofs that cover the entire surface mandatory on all new buildings. The Socialist government convinced activists to limit the scope of the law to commercial buildings. The law was also made less onerous for businesses by requiring only part of the roof to be covered with plants, and giving them the choice of installing solar panels to generate electricity instead. Green roofs are popular in Germany and Australia, and Canada’s city of Toronto adopted a by-law in 2009 mandating them in industrial and residential buildings."

A greener future is possible where there are those willing to legislate for it. The people want a cleaner world, and their leaders must be pressed hard to make that happen. (Even French Socialists had to be pressured.) It makes good long-term sense health-wise and good business sense; insuring a sickening, disintegrating planet is expensive, and companies are waking up to that.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Woodear, Chinese Cabbage & Pork with Rice

Mountain Palace Weekend Special
Woodear, Chinese Cabbage & Pork with Rice
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
Chinese Medical Exercise Saturday 11 at Mountain Palace

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Winter's End Event Success!!!

Hey, look, the snow is gone!
Only one day after the Latrobe High School Class of '66 Winter's End Event! We did a pretty good job, I'd say.
The following day the sun was spotted attempting to rise in Bolivar, Pa over Mountain Palace.
Many thanks to the LHS Class of '66ers that made it to the event.
Special thanks to Marianne McAuliffe and Diane Cipa of Mellow Mike fame for providing such wonderful live musical performances!
Clay Shirey
Lacy Cai, Mountain Palace & Happy Healthy Inc

class offers skills missing in regular program

Through his job as manager of primary operations at Carpenter Latrobe Specialty Metals, Tom Kantor has noticed a gap in the skills of job applicants.
“We have seen through hiring, for instance, the skills just aren't out there that maybe once were or with the technology, you need some better skills,” he said.
To address that, Kantor and his staff have been working with teachers from Ligonier Valley School District to discuss what students will need as they enter the workforce, and this semester, one group of students is learning directly from the Ligonier Street company.

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Little Shop of Horrors

Ligonier Valley High School students will present a live performance of “Little Shop of Horrors” 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The comedic love story centers around a meek floral assistant and his carnivorous plant, affectionately named Audrey II after his coworker crus

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Ligonier Echo issues now available in digitized format at library

Nearly 4,000 visitors a year visit the Pennsylvania Room at the Ligonier Valley Library in search of family histories and other research project information .
The library will officially unveil its new digitized research system, providing faster, more efficient research capabilities, during the Genealogy Forum meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Pennsylvania Room.
“We now have a powerful tool that saves a lot of time and extensive research,” said Janet Hudson, the library's director. “What would have taken hours and hours to complete through our old system, can now be done by simply typing key words to find references to the information needed.”

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stanford Research Endorses 'Rooftop Revolution' as Simple, Local Solar Solution

"The future of solar energy, often envisioned as an island of reflective panels amid an ecologically sensitive desert outpost, may have a more simple, and more local solution. A Stanford University study published earlier this week found that utility-scale solar development built alongside existing infrastructure, on rooftops or in backyards, may be more than enough to power whole communities. The research, published in Nature Climate Change, modeled land-use efficiency in California, a global solar energy hotspot. The study examined how urban areas could be made more efficient by developing more localized sources for renewable energy. "The quantity of accessible energy potentially produced from photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) within the built environment exceeds current statewide demand," the study found.

Common criticisms of large solar arrays are that can pose a threat to wildlife and crowd out other land uses."Our results show that we do not need to trade these places of environmental value for the production of renewable energy as ample land and space exists elsewhere," said Rebecca Hernandez, study lead author and an environmental earth system scientist at Stanford. "Additionally, developing renewable power generation in places close to where it is consumed reduces costs and loss of electricity associated with transmission."" 

Semirural neighborhood becomes Marcellus Shale zoning battleground

"The judge said the township's board had failed to demonstrate that drilling was a compatible use, while the two couples who objected "presented substantial evidence that there is a high degree of probability that the use will adversely affect the health, welfare and safety of the neighborhood." Citing December's Supreme Court ruling, Judge Marc Lovecchio said "the citizens' rights cannot be ignored and must be protected."

A semirural enclave in Lycoming County has become the latest legal battleground pitting neighbor against neighbor over Marcellus Shale gas drilling. The environmental group PennFuture is hailing a judge's ruling last week that threw out a township decision allowing natural-gas wells to be drilled in an area zoned residential.Judge Marc F. Lovecchio's Aug. 29 opinion is the first known to cite a December state Supreme Court ruling that rejuvenated a 1972 amendment to the state Constitution guaranteeing citizens a right to clean air and pure water."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ligonier tavern server









Monday, March 16, 2015

Film on Thursday: “How are state regulations and industry handling impacts from fracking?”

"Triple Divide is said to be the only documentary of its kind on the controversial subject of fracking capable of speaking to all sides, with exclusive interviews from the industry, experts, and Americans suffering in the wake of shale gas development.

Thursday, March 19th, 630pm, 
Community Room, Ligonier Town Hall.
120 East Main Street, Ligonier.
Q&A with the directors of the film.
Free pizza and limited seating available.
Sponsored by Citizens to Preserve Ligonier Valley

library Wi-Fi upgraded

Janet Hudson has what she calls her “coffee shop clientele” who come into the Ligonier Valley Library in downtown Ligonier, plop down in a seat with their mobile device, log on to the library's Wi-Fi system and stay for the day, conducting business or doing research for a school project.
“This is a whole new clientele. The Wi-Fi has made a big difference (in usage). It's like a coffee shop, but people don't need to buy a cup of coffee every hour,” said Hudson, the library director.

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missing woman found dead

A St. Vincent College adjunct chemistry professor whose body was found Sunday morning in a wooded area off Route 711 south of Ligonier was remembered by one of her colleagues as a person liked by everyone – faculty and students.
The Westmoreland County Coroner's Office listed the death of Laura Riddle Wilkinson, 36, of Hempfield as suspicious.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Down the road (Washington Co.) experience with financial impacts

Sounds as thought lots of borough officials (managers, fire chiefs, etc.) down in Washington County are having serious second thoughts about that drilling...:

"With 63 wells, a cryogenic plant and gas meter station within its borders, Chartiers isn’t exactly turning a profit from the impact fee. The township decided to ramp up its emergency response measures after residents were evacuated twice in a seven-month span in 2014 due to a gas leak and fire at two natural gas facilities on Western Avenue. (Township manager) Noble said those accidents prompted officials to use impact fee funds to purchase three emergency generators to place inside the fire department, police department and emergency evacuation center, which will soon be located in the community center.  “A lot of what we’ve used our money for is really mitigating the impacts of the industry that we felt,” Noble said. [...]

$1700 raised

Thanks so much to everyone who shared and contributed to the Maasai Medical Mission project. Your concern and generosity is so very much appreciated. The $1700 raised will go a long, long way in helping the Ewaso Medical Clinic alleviate much suffering within the Maasai Tribe of south central Kenya. To those of you who requested "Perks', expect to receive them in the mail by the middle of May. Again, thank you and God bless.  -Ken Clark, Amber Clark (The Maasai Medical Mission Team)

Little Shop of Horrors

Ligonier Valley High School will be proudly presenting the musical "Little Shop of Horrors" on March 20 and 21 at 7 PM in the high school auditorium. Tickets are available at the door only and are $10 for adults and $8 for students (high school and below). Over 30 students are involved in this hit musical about a meek floral shop worker who cultivates an interesting and unusual plant. We hope to see you there Friday and Saturday!!

John Gregorich
2007 Keystone Technology Integrator
Chemistry Teacher
Ligonier Valley High School