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

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Nepal donations through Mercy Corps

The massive 7.8 earthquake in Nepal has devastated hundreds of thousands of people. Historic buildings and entire villages were reduced to rubble, and survivors have little refuge from continued aftershocks. Initial reports indicate that thousands of people were killed and thousands more injured in the worst quake to strike the region in 80 years.
Mercy Corps has been working in Nepal since 2006 to help people improve their food security, economic development, resource management and education. Our more than 100 dedicated staff members on the ground — one of largest humanitarian teams in Nepal — are distributing emergency supplies to survivors, including clothing, blankets, water purification tools, cooking utensils, mosquito nets and shelter supplies.

What did she say?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Living (better) with Weeds

 May 1st - 7:30 PM

Living (better) with Weeds
Speaker: Granny EarthWhat are you going to do about those dandelions? Granny Earth is an expert on weeds and will reveal some useful and healthful ideas for the common weeds we all live with.

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)

back to the future!

Laser Power Systems has created a new Thorium car is completely emission-free, turbine-free, and is electricity generated.
It’s one of the new sustainable-powered engines to show just how unnecessary modern day propulsion engines are and also offer an exciting alternative. Fuelled by nuclear thorium lasers, this engine only needs 8 grams of fuels every 100 years.

on township zoning

On Tuesday, the board approved a series of amendments that were recommended by the planning commission, including:
• Changing the definition of a kennel to reflect that it applies to commercial kennel operations and not homeowners who house four or more animals. Additionally, the board approved deleting the stipulation that it only applies to dogs that are more than four months old.
• Removing mini storage units from the agricultural zone as a permitted use. Thomas cast a dissenting vote for that amendment.
• Reducing sign size regulations in the commercial zone from a maximum of 150 to 80 square feet.
• Clarifying the definition of bed and breakfastinns to read that “Special occasion functions may be conducted on the grounds surrounding the home and in buildings accessory to a residential home provided the use of same is limited to overnight guests during the course of their stay.”

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Superman Pope

"In recent months, Pope Francis has argued for a radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation. In October he told a meeting of Latin American and Asian landless peasants and other social movements: “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it. The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands. The monopolising of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness,” he said.
In Lima last month, bishops from every continent expressed their frustration with the stalled climate talks and, for the first time, urged rich countries to act. Sorondo, a fellow Argentinian who is known to be close to Pope Francis, said: “Just as humanity confronted revolutionary change in the 19th century at the time of industrialisation, today we have changed the natural environment so much. If current trends continue, the century will witness unprecedented climate change and destruction of the ecosystem with tragic consequences.” According to Neil Thorns, head of advocacy at Cafod, said: “The anticipation around Pope Francis’s forthcoming encyclical is unprecedented. We have seen thousands of our supporters commit to making sure their MPs know climate change is affecting the poorest communities.”"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Garage Sale this Saturday!!

Just a few items below plus much, much more! Tools, housewares, furniture, flagstone, ping pong table, sports equipment, garage shelving, skis & boots, large flower pots, cupcakes!!Saturday 9-2pm
321 East Main Street, Ligonier Borough across from Ligonier Auto Parts

                                                          FREE COUCH!

Making the Connection: Air Pollution and Heart Health

Air pollution can affect heart health and trigger heart attacks and strokes that cause disability and death. One in three Americans has heart or blood vessel disease and is at higher risk from air pollution. Not only does air pollution exacerbate existing heart problems, but it may also play a role in the development of heart disease in otherwise healthy people. On April 30, join GASP and leading medical professionals as we explore this connection further. 

Wayne Cascio, MD and Director of EPA’s Environmental Public Health Division, has spent more than 25 years as a cardiologist helping people take care of their hearts. Now he is bringing a broader view of public health to EPA by leading research on the links between exposures to air pollution and maintaining a healthy heart. James Fabisiak, PhD, Associate Professor in Environmental & Occupational Health and is part of the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Fabisiak is one of the authors of the Pittsburgh Regional Environmental Threats Analysis Report and will discuss the air pollution challenges our region faces.

April 30, 2015 5-8 p.m. Networking, food, and drinks start at 5 p.m. The program begins promptly at 6 p.m. Allegheny General Hospital Magovern Conference Center 320 E. North Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15212. This event is free and open to the public. Continuing Medical Education Credits are available. This event is jointly provided by the Group Against Smog and Pollution and Allegheny General Hospital. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Getting Organized...a TED Radio Hour of ideas on it

''Even the most seemingly chaotic systems have some order to them. This episode, TED speakers explore the inner architecture of living systems, from ant colonies to corporations to social movements.
Deborah Gordon: Why Don't Ants Need A Leader?
Morgan O'Neill: How Do You Help Your Town Dig Out From A Disaster?
Zeynep Tufekci: Why Are Social Causes Easy To Launch But Hard To Win?
Ricardo Semler: What Happens When You Run a Company With (Almost) No Rules?
Bruce Feiler: How Can Kids Help Parents Manage Their Family? 

Latrobe Classes Beginning May 8 - Traditional Chinese Medical Exercise & Acupressure Point Treatment

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fracking Toxins in our water...

....and bottled water is not the answer. It's a petroleum product that leaches xenoestrogens into the water it holds, which one then swallows and absorbs into one's very tissues. Bottled water is unsustainable, and often from poisoned sources even before it is bottled. And that's just the drinking water. What about the water to cook with, the water shower in? We absorb it all, people...we are made of this stuff that we are allowing to be poisoned.

Another image comes to mind, one which captures a way of thinking that we can't afford here in Ligonier (or anywhere, for that matter):

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tomato, Ground Beef, Cucumber Lomein with or without Cilantro!

Mountain Palace Weekend Special
Tomato, Ground Beef, Cucumber Lomein
Chinese Healthy Spices
with or without
Back by Popular Demand
Come to Mountain Palace this weekend to enjoy this or any of our other Happy Healthy Northern Chinese Menu Items!
Eleven miles north or Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake
Friday 6 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 & Sunday 12 to 6
724 717-8614

The CAW Spring Writers' Workshop

For active writers and those who would like to write,
The CAW Spring Writers’ Workshop is coming up—and soon!

CAW’s workshop last fall was interesting, inspiring, successful and a lot of fun.

The subject of the spring workshop is PUBLISHING AND MARKETING and the format is again OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY
with visiting author and Open Space Facilitator, Dylene Cymraes
For those unfamiliar with Open Space, check the description of it on Wikipedia:

Questions? Email us at or call Joe Stierheim at 724-238-2010

WHEN: Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM
WHERE: One Northgate Square, Greensburg, PA
Morning coffee and pastries will be provided by CAW ~ Please “brown-bag” a lunch
Space is limited to twenty people. Please register by May 6th

Print and complete the form below or send the requested information along with a check in the amount of $20 payable to CAW in time to be received by May 6, 2015.
Mail to: Joe F. Stierheim, 356 Green Acres Lane, Ligonier, PA 15658

Name: ______________________________ E-Mail: _____________________________________________
Phone:_________________________ Address: _________________________________________________
Preferred method of contact to confirm your registration:  ___ phone    ___e-mail  ___US mail
___ *$20 Registration fee enclosed (check payable to CAW).
___ please add my name and email address to your contact list for information about future CAW events
*If space is filled by the time your registration is received, your check will be returned to you, with our thanks, at the address provided above.

local church news

A spring revival will begin at 7 p.m. May 3 in The Barn at Ligonier Valley, 1 Springer Road, Ligonier. Local pastors will give messages on growing your faith, from sowing the seed to bringing it to maturity. Music by handbell and vocal choirs and an acoustic guitar duo will be featured. Refreshments will follow. Sponsors are the Ligonier Valley Association of Churches with Covenant Presbyterian Church. Information: 724-238-3657.

Legislation introduced in both houses would end the billions in subsidies and tax loopholes enjoyed by fossil fuel industry

"Would you believe that the Department of Energy is still co-signing loans for boondoggle projects that pretend coal can be clean? Or that the Department of Transportation is still handing out grant money to oil train operators, essentially subsidizing the unsafe cars that killed 47 people in Lac Megantic, Canada? Or that Congress is still shoveling billions into the pockets of oil, gas and coal interests, ensuring that these companies remain some of the most under-taxed in our entire economy?"

Despite the clear need to move away from a fossil fuel-based energy system, U.S. taxpayers continue to line the pockets of oil, gas, and coal companies with subsidies and tax giveaways projected to cost more than $135 billion over the next decade. In a bid to stem what they call "polluter welfare," Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.) marked Earth Day on Wednesday by introducing new legislation (pdf) that would end tax breaks for fossil-fuel industries, recoup taxpayer-owed royalties for fossil-fuel related practices on public lands and waters, and prioritize federally-supported research for clean energy projects. Further, the measures would also prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting clean-up costs from their taxes." 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Primary Elections on May 19

Ligonier Valley School Board Openings

This year, there are seven candidates running for five openings on the Ligonier Valley School Board. One candidate in particular stands out as being a free-thinking individual, a supporter of public education, and someone who is interested in hearing what the public has to say. That candidate is Pam Newhouse.

Pam is interested in hearing what the citizens of the Ligonier Valley have to say, and has created a few avenues through which to reach her. One is her Facebook page - please follow this link: and "like" her page to keep updated on what she is doing with her campaign.

Another opportunity is an email account she has set up for the public to contact her at:

Finally, she has set up two "town-hall meetings" that she will be holding prior to the primary election. The first will be held at the New Florence Library on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, from 6:30-8:00PM. The second will be at the Ligonier Valley Library on Monday, May 4, 2015, from 6:30-8:30PM. These meetings will provide the public an opportunity to meet Pam, voice any concerns, and ask questions.

Please consider liking Pam's Facebook page, contacting her via email, and/or attending one of these meetings so that you can make the most informed decision possible when you head to the polls on May 19th!

Fishmas 2015

The rods, reels, lines and hooks were in full cast Saturday, as eager anglers lined the banks of the Loyalhanna Creek and other local streams for the statewide opening of trout season, known locally as “Fishmas.”
Each year, thousands flock to the area, posting camp in anticipation of a bountiful catch, with local business and organizations more than happy to oblige.
Ligonier Outfitters on Main Street collects $10 donations throughout the year to help stock streams, keeping the ecological importance of sustainability in the spotlight. The store has been a well-established fishing gear supplier for years.

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national day of prayer events

The Ligonier “National Day of Prayer” is May 7. A 7:30 a.m. prayer breakfast will start the day at The Barn, Springer Road in Ligonier. The cost is $7. To reserve a seat, email Janet Riordan at or call 724-238-9202. Reservations must be made by April 30

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free museum day

The Ligonier Valley is a treasure trove of history and art, from its post at Loyalhanna and iconic highway to an 18th-century inn and log cabin gallery.
In early May, six museums will open their doors to educate visitors on the valley's cultural offerings, free of charge.
Free Museum Day will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 3 during which free admission will be offered at the Lincoln Highway Experience, Antiochian Heritage Museum, Fort Ligonier, Ligonier Valley Rail Road Museum, Compass Inn Museum at the Ligonier Valley Historical Society and Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

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Mimosas & Pearls

One-of-a-kind jeweled masterpieces from some of the finest collections in America will be on display during a one day only estate jewelry trunk show at Dovecote Ligonier.
“We will feature vintage pieces from the Edwardian and Art Deco eras, among others,” said Elizabeth Whitlock owner of Dovecote Ligonier.
“Mimosas & Pearls,” slated for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Dovecote Ligonier's 136 West Main St. location, promises to be a unique opportunity to browse an array of exclusive jewelry items from another era.
“Beth has a wonderful eye,” said Andrew Thornton artist and co-owner of Allegory Gallery. “I'm sure that the event will sparkle with uniquely curated pieces and participants will enjoy a taste of true Southern hospitality.”

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In 7 years, Oklahoma goes from two 3.0 quakes a year to two a day

Earthquakes are not abstractions...the best case scenario looks like this, below. Why allow them to even be a reality, Ligonier? Why sit back, fingers crossed, hoping-against-hope, while the entire region is destabilized...fracked, and then the waste water foisted on some other unsuspecting region to destabilize them? When does the abuse stop? When do humans grow up and take responsibility for our actions. namely poisoning the air, water and ourselves, for cheap fuel? 

Take some local responsibility and stop this insanity, fracking.

"Yesterday, Oklahoma finally acknowledged that the uptick in earthquakes is likely due to wastewater disposal. “The Oklahoma Geological Survey has determined that the majority of recent earthquakes in central and north-central Oklahoma are very likely triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells,” the state reported on a new website. While the admission is an about-face for the government, which had previously questioned any link between the two, it doesn’t coincide with any new regulations intended to stop the earthquakes or improve building codes to cope with the tremors. For now, residents of Oklahoma may be just as vulnerable as they have been.
   House damage in central Oklahoma from a magnitude 5.7 earthquake on November 6, 2011
This surge in seismicity has been accompanied by a spike in the number of injection wells and the corresponding amount of wastewater disposed via those wells. According to the Railroad Commission of Texas, underground wastewater injection in Texas increased from 46 million barrels in 2005 to nearly 3.5 billion barrels in 2011. Much of that fluid has been injected in the Dallas area, where prior to 2008, only one possible earthquake large enough to be noticed by people had occurred in recorded history. Since 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has documented over 120 quakes in the area."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Reinventing Fire...

"To shrink U.S. energy use while GDP grows 158% is not a fantasy; in nine of the 36 years through 2009, the U.S. economy actually did raise energy productivity faster than GDP grew. Chapters 2–5 9 (of "Reinventing Fire") show how to do that every year, with major competitive, security, health, and environmental advantages, simply by using energy in a way that saves money, modulating demand unobtrusively over time to match energy’s real-time value, and optimizing supply from the cheapest, least risky sources. This transition won’t be easy, but will be easier than not doing it. It is already underway, driven inexorably by innovation, competition, and customer preferences. Just as whale-oil suppliers ran out of customers in the 1850s before they ran out of whales, oil and coal are becoming uncompetitive even at low prices before they be come unavailable even at high prices. It’s about $5 trillion cheaper, and smarter in other ways, not to keep on burning them, even if their hidden costs were worth zero. 

Here's something that should appeal to those captivated by profits at the expense of the planet and people. Profit-at-any-cost lovers can have their cake and eat it, too...without continuing the current destruction in order to have their fortunes! In fact, move your investments into renewables if money is your object: Amory Lovins makes a great analogy* to the photos of two Easter Parades in NYC separated by 13 years. In the earlier shot, a sea of horse-drawn carriages, with one or two ModelTs sprinkled in...the early adopters of the new technology, cars of course. In the second, 13 years later, the reverse: Horses replaced by what we now get around in. Now the cutting edge is renewables. Fossil fuels are the horse-drawn carriage of our age...break the fossil fuel addiction.

Deep gratitude to the earth for her patience as this slow learner - the human - learns its lessons.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Happy Earth Day

 “’s the choice of moving down a business-as-usual route with devastating outcomes for humanity and, at the same time, we have this almost unprecedented opportunity, we can transform the world economy to a fossil fuel-free one and moreover do it in a way that is security and health-wise more attractive.”

The Ineos oil refinery at Grangemouth in Scotland. The statement calls on the world’s richest countries to make the most aggressive carbon cuts.

"Three-quarters of known fossil fuel reserves must be kept in the ground if humanity is to avoid the worst effects of climate change, a group of leading scientists and economists have said in a statement timed to coincide with Earth Day. The Earth League, which includes Nicholas Stern, the author of several influential reports on the economics of climate change; Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a climate scientist and adviser to Angela Merkel; and the US economist Jeffrey Sachs, urged world leaders to follow up on their commitments to avoid dangerous global warming. Spelling out what a global deal at the UN climate summit in Paris later this year should include, the group demanded governments adopt a goal of reducing economies’ carbon emissions to zero by mid-century, put a price on carbon and that the richest take the lead with the most aggressive cuts.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tastes of the Town event a success

An informal poll revealed “everything” as the favorite dish served at Ligonier Valley Historical Society's 24th Annual Tastes of the Town.
Upward of 200 guests journeyed to Antiochian Village and Conference Center in Fairfield on April 16 for the always-anticipated repast of best bites from more than 20 area food establishments.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Earth Day celebrated in nearby Pittsburgh


Saturday, April 18, 2015

here's what frack workers (jobs, jobs, jobs) have to look forward to once the few have made their killing destroying our landbase

"We are a group of united Consol Energy retirees fighting for the reinstatement of our healthcare benefits and for the right of Consol Energy retirees, present workers, and future employees. In December of 2013, Consol Energy Inc. completed a sales agreement with Murray Energy Corp. for five mines, affecting more than 1,200 Consol retirees with various assets and liabilities in the agreement. In a letter we received on March 14, 2014, Consol informed us that the Consol Plan for benefits would be terminated for salaried retirees, spouses, and widows/widowers on March 31, 2014 and Murray Energy Corporation would assume financial responsibility for our benefits after that date. On April 8, 2014, we received another letter from Murray Energy Corp. informing us that Murray would only continue our benefits and coverage until December 31, 2014, at which time our benefits would be terminated.
We put in decades of services and loyalty to Consol Energy. Many of us left the protection of the union because Consol had shown loyalty to past employees and retirees in return. Now Consol has turned their back on us and the other men and women who built Consol into a successful energy company and energy provider.  Consol has unloaded the responsibility to provide health benefits to their retirees onto Murray Energy, referring to covering the benefits for their retirees as a liability. Consol used the sale of their mines and assets to Murray Enegy as a scapegoat from their responsibility to their retirees. We retired from Consol not Murray and Consol has an ethical obligation to not leave us in the dust. We are committed to holding Consol accountable and getting our benefits restored."

Abby L. Ross RIP

In 1947, she married the late Walter Ross III, whom she had known since childhood, and eventually settled in Ligonier, her family said.
There, Mrs. Ross continued pioneering and “forward-thinking” by opening a women's clothing store in the 1970s with three friends called The Clothes Patch, Ross Cox said.
“My mother was making trips to New York with her partners,” she said. “They were there to buy clothing and paying the bills and marketing what they had, and they did a really good job.”
Some of her 14 grandchildren helped out in the store during its 25 years in business, Tom Day said.
Mrs. Ross's time in Ligonier was marked by her participation in theater productions for many years with the Valley Players and Hollow Tree Players. Ross Cox recalled a role in the mid-2000s when her mother played the grandmother in “Little Red Riding Hood.”

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Model Railroad Home Tour

Tomato Beef Lomein!

Mountain Palace Weekend Special
Tomato Beef Lomein with Happy Healthy Chinese Spices
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

One that didn't get away with it....

"Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2015-03-05 to Chesapeake Appalachia Llc in West Burlington Twp, Bradford County. 78.57(a) - CONTROL, STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF PRODUCTION FLUIDS - Operator failed to collect the brine and other fluids produced during operation, service and plugging of the well in a tank, pit or a series of pits or tanks, or other device approved by the Department or Operator discharged brine or other fluids on or into the ground or into waters of the Commonwealth."

As other drillers have done, Cheasapeake intentionally disregarded the laws and environmental rules that (don't go far enough to) keep frackers in check. They never built the tanks or the pits...they just pumped the brine wherever it wanted to go. 

They got caught. But how many don't? How much toxic crap is flowing into PA water systems, wreaking havoc that won't necessarily even show up until cancers develop in years to come, long after this boom-bust industry has left us to clean up after them?

This is this real-world scenario that Ligonier Township supervisors have opened the Valley to. 

Why did you sit back, Ligonier, and allow it to happen? Are you going to step up now, and protect your landbase? What has to happen before you take action...?

submitting posters for events for Ligonier Living

Hi, Folks:  If you'd like to post info about special events on Ligonier Living, here are the options:

1.  I can make you a contributor so you can post things directly.  This is preferable if you are a business owner or have a desire to post items frequently.

2.  Send me text in an email with an attached picture.  I can grab the text and post it along with the picture.

3.  Send me you poster as an image file.  I can post it like the one you see in the previous post. It's not going to be super huge but I can get it up there easily.

Lots of folks make their posters in a pdf format.  This works when you want to print the poster but it's not a format I can post easily on Ligonier Living so I'll probably email you back and ask if you can switch to option 2 above. ;)


The Sword in the Stone

Gave my 10 year old grandnephew his first guitar last night.

He played with it till he fell asleep.  So sweet!  ;)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lawsuit: Range Resources ordered to disclose drilling chemicals

The case brings together two prime issues of contention in the decade-long shale drilling boom: leaky wastewater impoundments that regulators are seeking to phase out and disclosure of the chemicals used during drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
"Range Resources Corp. must gather information about the chemicals its contractors used at a Washington County shale gas well and disclose it to neighbors who sued over leaks from a nearby wastewater holding pond, state judges said this week. Superior Court denied the Fort Worth-based gas producer's appeal of a county judge's order directing the disclosure as part of a 2012 lawsuit involving the Yeager drill site and impoundment in Amwell. It's one of five impoundments Range agreed to close as part of a $4.15 million settlement reached last year with Pennsylvania regulators.

“We look forward to receiving the information ordered by the trial court requiring full disclosure of all chemicals used at the site,” attorney John Smith said Wednesday. He represents families who sued Range in 2012, alleging leaks from the pond and related drilling fouled their water."

Novel Art Submission Deadline

Imagine your favorite book being thrown into a landfill... the book you loved, the one that kept you company. Just tossed. The Ligonier community is saving books from the landfills and giving them new life by creating art to support the Ligonier Valley Library.

Participating is easy! There is still time to put together a project and bring it to the library.

Submission deadline is Saturday, April 18. Deliver your project to the Ligonier Valley Library.

The library is open Thursday from 10 am - 8:30 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am - 5 pm.

For more information, contact the Ligonier Valley Library at 724-238-6451.

Learn more about Novel Art on our Novel Art iii web page.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Ron Nordstrom holds a jar of contaminated water in his speech against fracking during a Ligonier Township supervisors and planning commission public hearing on the proposed zoning ordinance on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at Ligonier Valley High School.

3-1 vote moves zoning ordinance forward

Ligonier Township supervisors are another step closer to establishing a new zoning ordinance.
During a board meeting Tuesday night, they voted 3-1 to advertise a proposed zoning ordinance for possible adoption.
Supervisor Bruce Robinson voted against the motion.
Supervisor Tim Komar was absent.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

LVSD votes to sell

The Ligonier Valley school board will sell the defunct Laurel Valley Middle/High School for $1,705,000 to Western PA Coal Resorts LLC, which plans to lease it to a for-profit company that operates high-end drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.
During its meeting Monday night, the board voted 8-1 to approve an agreement of sale.
President John Maier cast the lone dissenting vote.
The sale will next go to the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas for approval.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

LVSD news from Sara

Hi there,

Ligonier Valley School District offers parents one of the best values for their housing dollar in Pennsylvania, according to a new report from consumer advocacy site NerdWallet.

We crunched census and state education data to identify high quality schools in affordable communities - and out of 491 school districts Ligonier Valley ranked fifth. How did we do it?
  1. To determine school quality we looked at standardized test scores, college readiness and class size.
  2. School quality was then weighted against affordability metrics to produce a list that isn't dominated by prohibitively expensive communities. 

I thought this could be valuable news to share with your readers. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you're interested in talking with Kamran Rosen, the analyst who wrote the study, for quotes or extra details about the methodology.


Heat wave at Harvard

"Harvard Heat Week will bring together stakeholders to stand united and call on Harvard to divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. The climate crisis leaves no room for neutrality, and we must be clear — sponsoring the destruction of people and planet is NOT an investment."

"Over 200 people on Sunday night—including students, faculty, alumni, and community members—initiated what they say will be a week-long blockade of Harvard University's main administrative building as they kicked-off a week of civil disobedience and direct actions designed to elevate and escalate an ongoing student-led campaign to force one of the nation's most elite post-secondary schools to divest its financial holdings from the fossil fuel industry.The blockade of Massachusetts Hall, which houses the office of University President Drew G. Faust, followed a day of activities on campus which focused on the crisis of climate change and the national divestment movement in which schools, local governments, pension funds, religious institutions, and individuals have been urged to pull their investments from the coal, oil, and gas industries.

Chloe Maxmin, a Harvard senior and co-founder of Divest Harvard, told The Daily Crimson, the school newspaper, that President Faust and the administration have "consistently ostracized" the students pushing for divestment and "used ever-changing statements" explaining their refusal to ditch fossil fuels. "We're actually not that radical," said Maxmim. "We’re not insane. We’re genuinely frightened for our futures and truly believe that Harvard is sponsoring some of that fear.""

Sunday, April 12, 2015

an interesting interview about animal shelters

Inhumane: Nathan J. Winograd On Reforming Animal Shelters

On a sunny morning in California, animal advocate Nathan J. Winograd sat across from me in a coffee shop and refuted nearly everything I’d grown up hearing about U.S. animal shelters. Pet overpopulation is a myth, he said. Between 3 and 4 million cats and dogs are killed every year in the very places that should protect them — not because too few homes exist, he claims, but because shelter directors fail to find people to adopt those animals.

Winograd has spent more than twenty years working to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters. Less than a decade after forming his No Kill Advocacy Center, he is the most vocal and identifiable member of the burgeoning No Kill movement. He wrote the manual used by activists across the nation to establish “No Kill communities” — counties and municipalities whose shelters find homes for at least 90 percent of their animals. 

Amber Noel pleas for help and also for responsible pet ownership.

Let me start out by apologizing because this rant is going to be a bit long, but it is necessary. As a lot of people know, Beth Luther and myself handle alot of the rescues in the area. Rescue doesn't just mean taking an animal in and finding it a home. It also means trapping animals, helping them get medical attention, and trying to spay/neuter any "stray, feral, or outside" animals (usually cats) so that they quit spreading diseases to each other and DON'T HAVE MORE KITTENS. We offer help to alot of people that could have easily taken care of these problems themselves, but don't or won't for some reason that they only seem to know. Then when spring comes we start getting the phone calls to come "get the kittens and do something with them." No matter how upset we are with these people, as the problem could have been avoided, we still go help. It wouldn't be right to refuse because it's the animals that will suffer. So here we are again, entering kitten season and the calls have already begun because of irresponsible owners. Please people, just take care of your animals. We are not miracle workers. We don't have endless funds coming in. Many times we are using our own money to help an animal in need. Which brings me to the next problem in irresponsible ownership. If you don't have the money, time, or maturity to care for an animal, don't get one. If something happens in your life that you need help, then ask. Don't just abandon your animals. This is what I am dealing with now. An individual lost his home and made no advance plans for his cats. Now he moved and he just left his cats behind at his old property. I was up there today and all of these cats are now sick or starving. It's heartbreaking. There is a cat with a major neurological disorder that can barely walk. A second with another neurological issue that isnt as severe but still has mobility problems. There are multiple cats that are walking skeletons with fur. All these cats need immediate attention. They are all suffering and will die horrible deaths if they arent helped. Myself and Beth Luther are going to try to undertake the task of trapping all these cats, but we are going to break our budgets trying to save them. There are 10-20 cats still left on the property that will all need vet care and fosters or adopters. This is not acceptable. This person left these cats behind to fend for themselves, breed, create a bigger problem, and eventually die. This is something that absolutely should not have happened. So throughout this week you will see pics of cats pop up needing sponsors, fosters, or adopters. We have $160 in the account from when Pete (Butt Butt) was caught, but this won't be nearly enough. We are going to need funding again to help with all of this. Unfortunately we have to ask the public again for their help. I was also considering some small fundraiser like a vendor show. Any other questions or suggestions please feel free to call or text me at 814-421-7978. Hopefully together we can help out all of the Ligonier animals, even if it is one animal at a time.
***Side note, just so everyone knows, we are still working out the Memorial Pete/Butt Butt fund. As I noted earlier we have $160 in donations left from his care. The details of the fund are still being sorted through as we are attempting to bring more people and businesses in. I'm hoping to have all the details ironed out soon. We do have to divert anymore donations though from Donovan Veterinary Clinic to Ligonier Borough Police. The vet clinic cannot handle the funds for us anymore. Anyone sending in donations can still make them out to the vet clinic but they must be sent into the PD. Please note on the check that it is for Ligonier homeless animals or the Pete fund. The address is Ligonier Borough Police Attn Amber Noel 112 N. Fairfield St. Ligonier, PA 15658. If you prefer paypal, donations can be sent to
Thank you!

Is Tiger Woods back?

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - The ferocious fist pump was back and the roars echoed around Augusta National once again for Tiger Woods, who turned back the clock during his first nine in the third round of the Masters on Saturday.
Woods, returning from a two-month hiatus from competition, and a two-year absence from Augusta due to back surgery last year, was his old self in a rousing, four-under-par charge in his first nine holes that took him to six-under.

Regular readers of Ligonier Living know I'm just not into sports.  I do love to watch Tiger Woods play golf when he's playing like he used to.  Here's hoping the old Tiger is back!


Foxley Farm files suit

The owners of a Ligonier Township farm entangled in a legal dispute over staging weddings and other special events have filed a lawsuit against current and former government officials and employees as well as six residents and a law firm, claiming violation of their rights and financial losses.
In a civil complaint filed Thursday, Foxley Farm owners Maggie and PJ Nied name Ligonier Township; the board of supervisors; Supervisors Scott Matson, Paul Knupp, Wade Thomas, Bruce Robinson and Tim Komar; former Supervisor Keith Whipkey; the zoning hearing board and members Linda McDowell, Gary Thistlethwaite and Robert Ramsey; former zoning officers Shelly Kaltenbaugh and Cynthia Angelo; former township solicitor Judith Ciszek; Avolio Law Group; attorney and township solicitors Scott E. Avolio and Michael Korns; township solicitor Gary Falatovich; and residents Christopher Turner, Carolyn Shearer Turner, Donald Korb, Carolyn Roberts Korb, David Barnhart and Sally Ann Barnhart.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

I love libertarian, Camille Paglia.

living peacefully....a libertarian chat about Indiana's new law

Tolerance lies at the core of the libertarian worldview. Living peacefully with each other means accepting our differences and allowing others to engage in behavior that we might dislike but that does not harm third parties. “Anything that’s peaceful” is our lodestar, as Leonard Read often reminded us. Such tolerance does not require that we associate with people we disagree with, only that we leave them in peace. And this idea cuts to the core of the debate in Indiana.
If, like me, you think that gays and lesbians are not doing anything harmful to anyone, and that they should be treated just like other human beings, you might call the behavior of those who refuse to, for example, provide photography services at a same-sex marriage “intolerant.” Perhaps it is, but those who have such views are not engaged in any attempt to prevent gays and lesbians from getting married — or anything else — by refusing to provide them with a service. They are, in fact, tolerating them, but also refusing to associate with them. Tolerance does not mandate association.