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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Mountain Palace Frozen Dumplings Still Available!

Stone Bath
Something you don't see everyday here in the U.S.
Lacy relaxing with her classmate from medical school in warm stones, Changchun, China
Frozen Dumplings Still Available
724 288-3872

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fairy House Workshop with Les Polinko

Allegory Gallery has invited the very talented artist and author, Les Polinko, to teach in Ligonier this weekend.  This Pittsburgh-based artist works primarily with polymer clay to create fantastical characters and creatures.  Working with magical themes, her work is often compared to Jim Henson and Wendy Froud.  This Sunday, August 2nd, Les will be showing participants how to create this charming Fairy House.  The workshop takes place between noon and 4PM and will be conducted at Main Exhibit Gallery's new Lower Level Art Center.  The class costs $45 and includes both instruction and all materials!  To find out more and to sign-up online, CLICK HERE.  You can also call Allegory Gallery to RSVP (724-610-3770) or stop in and sign-up in person.  Don't delay, space is limited!

If you can't make it to class, you can still meet the artist during a Meet-and-Greet Reception at Allegory Gallery from 6PM to 8PM.  This event is free and open to the public.  Allegory Gallery is located at 215 East Main Street.  We hope you can join us!

Happy 50th, Medicare...Protect It; Improve It; Expand It.

"The nation has a lot to celebrate when Medicare turns 50 on July 30. Medicare has brought care and dignity to millions of seniors, relieving their suffering and extending their lives. Before President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in Independence, Missouri, in 1965, only about half of those over 65 had health insurance. In the 50 years since then, life expectancy has risen by more than nine years to a little over 79 years. Medicare ended segregation in our country’s hospitals when federal reimbursements for patient care were made contingent on ending discrimination. Within a few months the walls tumbled in the face of sound public policy and financing based on social justice.

Medicare has important lessons for our entire health care system. It was implemented within 10 months of enactment with no computerized records – only a system of notecards. The program’s rapid rollout flowed from the simplicity of its basic principle: virtually everyone 65 and older was automatically eligible for government health insurance. In contrast, the complicated, problem-prone, private-insurance-based Affordable Care Act is unfolding over a period of 10 years and will still leave 30 million people without coverage – and millions more who are nominally covered but cannot afford care.  Patients in traditional Medicare go to the doctors and hospitals of their choice. There are no limited networks to get in the way of care. Traditional Medicare spends about 2 percent on administration and overhead. Medicare is efficient and frugal compared to private insurance, whose overhead and profits are 12 to 14 percent or more. (Individual market overhead typically amounts to 20 percent to 30 percent)."

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

PA Study Links Fracking to Health Hazards in Fetuses, Infants, and Young Children

"Ocean City, NJ - June 15, 2015 – In one of the first studies of its kind, Joseph J. Mangano of the Radiation and Public Health Project found disturbing links between hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and health effects in children younger than five years old. In the report “Health Hazards to Fetuses, Infants, and Young Children in Heavily-fracked Areas of Pennsylvania,” funded by the Pittsburgh Foundation, Mangano explains that as a relatively new technology in the landscape of natural gas extraction, fracking hasn’t been extensively studied with regards to health impacts on nearby residents. His study compares morbidity and mortality rates for several age groups living in eight heavily-fracked counties in the state with the same data in the rest of Pennsylvania. Heavily-fracked counties included in the study were Bradford, Washington, Tioga, Susquehanna, Lycoming, Greene, Westmoreland, and Fayette.

Mangano found that heavily-fracked counties have 13.9% greater infant mortality, 23.6% greater perinatal mortality, 3.4% more low-weight births, 12.4% more premature births, and 35.1% more cancer in children ages zero to four."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Common sense: Oklahoma! Court Says Frackers Can Be Sued For Earthquakes

"The Oklahoma! State Supreme Court delivered a devastating blow to the fossil fuel industry when it unanimously decided that homeowners in Oklahoma could sue the industry for earthquake damage linked to hydraulic fracturing. While the justices on the Court did not necessarily endorse the link between fracking and earthquakes, they did acknowledge the fact that increased fracking activities have correlated with an increase in earthquakes*, and that existing tort laws would allow plaintiffs to sue the industry if damage can be proven."

(*Facts on the ground, so to speak: Earthquakes occur 2-3 times per day since the expansion of fracking began in OK!, as opposed to an average of 2 times per year prior to fracking. Hard to deny the causality, unless you are a oil and gas industry apologist and deny reality on a regular basis.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekly Special: None Available
HandHomemade Northern Chinese Dumplings
Call 724 288-3872
Most Varieties Still Available
Take a ride, bring your gloves!
Good food cheap & healthy :)
Meet Wonderwoman above.
She's currently in her brothers home in Changchun China
Wait, that's not Lacy, that's not her pigou


The Valley Players is excited to announce that the classic musical “Oklahoma” will be onstage at the Ligonier Theatre August 7,8, 14, and 15 at 7:30 pm and August 9 and 16 at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $18 for adults and $14 for seniors and students. Reservations can be made by calling 724-238-6514. A cast of over 20 people is under the direction of John Gregorich and Kayla Tamer. Come and see one of the most beloved American musicals written by Rodgers and Hammerstein that includes the songs: “O’ What a Beautiful Mornin’”, “ Oklahoma”, “The Farmer and the Cowman”, and many more. ​

want to nominate Ligonier Country Market?

Your farmers market is more than a place where you buy your food – it’s your direct connection to farmland.
We’re looking for the cream of the crop – the best of America’s farmers markets during our annual Farmers Market Celebration happening today online.
Tell others why your local farmers market deserves to be called “best in class.”
Your endorsement could give your farmers market the national recognition it deserves.
We’ve already received thousands of endorsements from around the country, so your farmers market needs your help today!
So what are you waiting for?
Let your neighbors know why your local farmers market is the place to be this week.
Robert Connelly Signature
Robert Connelly
Manager of Membership
American Farmland Trust

Seeding Fear...bunny rabbit lawyers in $1000 suits

The release of the film was timed to coincide with Thursday’s vote in the House of Representatives on a measure to block mandatory labelling on foods made with GM crops. The Safe and Accurate Food Labelling Act,* has been dubbed the and the “Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act” by opponents. Young’s intervention did not sway the vote: the bill, among whose architects was the Grocery Manufacturers Association, was passed by 275-150.
Neil Young has released a short film that continues his campaign to draw attention to the alleged misdemeanours of the agrochemical corporation Monsanto. Seeding Fear is a 10-minute documentary telling the story of a farmer who defied Monsanto in courtand lost – after having been accused of using the company’s copyrighted GM soya beans. He was one of a number of farmers sued by the huge corporation for copyright infringement. “The film I would like you to see tells the story of a farming family in America, but the same thing is happening around the world,” Young wrote on Facebook. “It is a story that takes 10 minutes of your time to see. It is a simple human one, telling the heartbreaking story of one man who fought the corporate behemoth Monsanto.”

He explained: “Monsanto is a corporation with great wealth, now controlling over 90% of soybean and corn growth in America. Family farms have been replaced by giant agri corp farms across this great vast country we call home.** Farm aid and other organisations have been fighting the losing battle against this for 30 years now.”

*George Orwell, anyone? Kinda like "No Child Left Behind" and National Strategy for Victory in Iraq"...propaganda, putting lipstick on a pig. (With all due respect to pigs, who never asked for that kind of expression.)

**...and your health is suffering because of it. Industrial food is toxic at worst and at best, simply not as nutritious as local, small farm food. Wake up and join those fighting for real food, clean water, unpolluted air. Your life depends on it; your children's children will wonder why you sat on the sofa while all this was going down.

From the sued farmer, Michael White: "...if these new GMO crops are so high-yielding, how come the price of grain is so high, and not fallin'?" and "You eat everyday and you only live once." 

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Laurel Valley Hardware, offering quality products to the Laurel Highlands and beyond for more than 50 years, recently opened a second location off 711 North in Ligonier.
Owners Wayne and Lois Campbell purchased the building that previously housed Horrell-Neiderhiser Inc. The facility has been open under their operation for several weeks.
“It's a very good location,” Wayne Campbell said. “This is a great opportunity for us and we look forward to continue offering our quality products and outstanding customer service.”

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

When Human Consumption Slows, Planet Earth Can Heal

New research debunks myth of climate-friendly fracking revolution

"The study analyzed six possible sources for the change in fossil fuel emissions: population growth, consumption volume, the types of goods consumed, the labor and materials used to produce goods and services, the type of fuel used, and how much energy is used. What the researchers found was that 71 percent of the rise in carbon emissions from 1997 to 2007 was due to "economic growth." Alternately, "83 percent of the decrease during 2007-2009 was due to decreased consumption and changes in the production structure of the U.S. economy," with just 17 percent related to changes in the type of fuels used. Further, during the period of economic recovery from 2009 to 2013, there was a much smaller decrease in emissions of only about one percent. "We conclude that substitution of gas for coal has had a relatively minor role in the... reduction of U.S. CO2 emissions since 2007," the researchers state.

"Commentators in the scientific community and media have linked the two trends, celebrating the climate benefits of the gas boom," the paper notes, which in turn has driven recent changes in U.S. energy policy and investment. However, in reality, the change was due to economic decline, study co-author Klaus Hubacek of University of Maryland told AFP.  "We show clearly that changes in consumption levels, and thus the recession, are mainly responsible," he said."

"Climate change pits what the planet needs to maintain stability against what our economic model needs to sustains itself."    --Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Make & Take Wednesday at Allegory Gallery

This is the upcoming project for our next Make & Take Wednesday at Allegory Gallery.  You can learn how to make this really fun, boho chic Button Clasp Bracelet with Alison Herrington of AlisonAdorns.  She'll be teaching from 1PM to 4PM on Wednesday, July 22nd.  The project takes about 20 minutes (maybe a little more depending on if you've worked with waxed linen before) and you can drop in any time while she's at the shop.  Instruction is completely FREE!  The only expense is for materials.  We hope you'll join us!  Please RSVP to save your spot.  You can call us at 724-610-3770, email us at, or drop by the shop between now and then and let us know you'll be coming by.  Allegory Gallery is located at 215 East Main Street in between the Stationery Shop and Scamp's Toffee.

Daring greatly...

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”--Teddy Roosevelt, speaking at the Sorbonne in Paris, April 23, 1910

From one of Brene Brown's TED Talks. Listen to them both, in order:

Ken is returning to Kenya to stock the Ewaso Medical Clinic and the Zam Zam Center - Would you like to help buy some medical supplies?

Hello Everybody!

Once again I'm fundraising for the Masai Medical Mission and plan to return to Kenya for a week in October. My goal this time is to reach $5000 and stock the Ewaso Medical Clinic in the Kenyan Interior and the ZamZam Center south of Nairobi for a full 6 months. This is a high goal, but one that's within reach.

Many of you supported my last campaign either through donations and/or by sharing with your family and friends. We raised over $2500 for medical supplies, antibiotics and vaccines for the Masai who are extremely thankful and grateful. Can you help me again?

100% of your donation goes DIRECTLY to the purchase of these supplies. I personally convert your donations to Kenyan Shillings in Kenya and then purchase and deliver these items to the clinics we support. I pay 100% of my own travel expenses to and from Kenya and while in country.

Would you be able to donate to this cause that save lives? If not, would you share the good word about this with your family, friends, church and co-workers? Even one dollar goes a long way because every cent goes to the purchase of these medical supplies. I personally pay for all distribution costs such as a driver and vehicle rental.

I've included a direct link to the GoFundMe Campaign page. Please check it out and follow your heart and help save a live today.


Ken Clark

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mountain Palace - Closed Until August 7 - Frozen Dumplings Available

Lacy is in China after a 30 hour journey. She wishes to say hello to all of her friends. She will soon be with her brothers, three of whom she has not seen in ten years.
It is a bit strange not opening tonight as it is now over four years without having ever closed the doors. The Mountain Palace Manager is attempting to remain useful while Lacy is away.
Frozen Dumplings Are Available:
724 288-3872

Joan Tucker at Allegory Gallery

What a fantastic write-up of Joan Tucker's upcoming show, "Cosmic Communications" at Allegory Gallery!  This article appeared in the Ligonier Echo.  Click on the image to enlarge or CLICK HERE to read the article online.  And please join us this Saturday, July 18th from 5PM to 8PM for the opening reception.  There will be free food (pastries courtesy of Warrior King Pastries) and wine... and of course, it's a wonderful opportunity to see artwork by an amazing artist!

Allegory Gallery is located at 215 East Main Street.  This event is free and open to the public and we encourage you to visit us and see the work in person!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Study finds those living near shale wells more likely to be hospitalized

'This study represents one of the most comprehensive to date to link health effects with hydraulic fracturing.'' [...]  "...the hospitalization increases observed over the relatively short time span of observation suggests that healthcare costs of hydraulic fracturing must be factored into the economic benefits of unconventional gas and oil drilling."

     A drilling rig at a shale well site targeting natural gas near Zelienople, north of Pittsburgh 

''People living near "unconventional gas and oil drilling" operations were more likely to be hospitalized for heart, nervous system, and other medical conditions than those who were not in proximity to those sites, a new study published Wednesday has found. It's the latest—and most comprehensive—indication that hydraulic fracturing, the controversial shale gas drilling method also known as fracking, and all the "noise, the trucks, the drilling, the flaring, the anxiety" it brings may have impact on residents in nearby areas, the study, titled Unconventional Gas and Oil Drilling Is Associated with Increased Hospital Utilization Rates, found—and the consequences hit more than their health. The impacts of fracking "all can impart an aberrant stress response on the body that could make people more susceptible," to health problems, and with "an inpatient stay costing on average [$30,000], this poses a significant economic health burden to the [commonwealth]," states the study, conducted by researchers with the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University."

"Dr. Panettieri said the most profound finding was the rate of cardiovascular hospitalizations: ZIP codes that went from having no wells to the highest density of wells in the study area would be expected to have a 27 percent increase in cardiology hospitalization rates.''

recycling and other business

With the recycling program in Ligonier nearing the end of its decades-long run, Susan Huba, executive director of the Loyalhanna Watershed Association, spoke to council July 9 to discuss the future of recycling in the borough.
“The long and short of it is there's no more funding left for the program,” Huba said. “The program will officially close. The drop-off facility along old Route 30 will be closed July 31.”
The Loyalhanna Watershed Association in cooperation with Ligonier Township, Ligonier Borough, Laurel Mountain Borough and Cook Township has overseen recycling in Ligonier since the late 1980s. It has operated on and off since that time, but has been managed continuously for about 13 years.

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

new boutique opens

Unique home decor items, designer clothing, lamps, artwork and more are available at Encore Emporium, an upscale resale/consignment shop located at 119 S. Market Street.
Owners Vicki Egleston of Ligonier and Donna Detar of Irwin recently opened the boutique that will carry both new and consignment items.
“We are never the same place twice,” Egleston said. “There is definitely something for everybody.”

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

coal truck accident

A PennDOT employee clears coal from Route 711 in Ligonier Township after a coal truck overturned south of Ligonier at 8:58 a.m. Wednesday. Police said the driver was treated for moderate injuries at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. A section of Route 711 in Ligonier Township was closed to traffic for about four hours Wednesday, July 15, 2015, after the truck overturned, officials said. The accident occurred on the section of the road between Darlington Rector Road and Barren Road, south of Ligonier Borough, PennDOT officials said. The driver’s name wasn’t immediately available.

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

driver charged in fatal wreck

A Ligonier man was charged Thursday with driving drunk in the wrong direction, causing a crash in May that killed a Ligonier Township police officer and injured his K-9 partner.
Clair Eugene Fink III, 32, is charged with numerous counts including third-degree homicide, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

another drone coming to the valley

Education at Ligonier Valley High School will take to the skies in the near future.
On Monday, high school Principal Tim Kantor announced at the Ligonier Valley School Board meeting he will purchase a DJI Phantom 3 drone for about $1,600 using funds from a 21st Century Education grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Kantor said the device can be applied to physics and math lessons, among other educational areas.

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Art at Allegory Gallery

If you're a local art enthusiast, you're in luck!  We have squeezed a lot of creative things over the next week at Allegory Gallery!

Our featured artist for the Spring 2015 Ligonier Art Walk was Lynne Suprock.  She created a beautiful display of mixed media work spotlighting her enameling and wire-working skills.  Her show recently ended and we thought we would allow people who didn't get a chance to see her work in person to see it online.  If you did see the show and missed out on grabbing your favorite piece, here's your second chance.  We will have a selection of her pieces posted online for 48 Hours!  So hurry!  Don't delay!  CLICK HERE to see Lynne's candy-colored cityscapes.

We had a short space of time between the end of Lynne's show and the start of Joan Tucker's exhibition on the Project Wall.  So we thought we'd give you all a little look ahead at things to come.  We have a show planned later this year featuring the work of Judith Jaidinger.  She is a supremely gifted artist who has been creating wood engraved prints for over 40 years!  Her work has been shown around the world and she's represented in major art meccas like Chicago and London. We feel so lucky to be able to share her work in our small town!  A selection of her work from her upcoming show will be on display for the next few days.  If you can't make it to the gallery in person, CLICK HERE to see some of her amazing prints online.

On Saturday, July 18th from 5PM to 8PM, we will be celebrating the work of Joan Tucker in her exhibition, "Cosmic Communications".  Her show is composed of richly layered abstract paintings.  Make sure to mark your calendars and set a reminder to join us for the reception.  It promises to be a lot of fun!  We will have wine and tasty treats from the new patisserie in town, Warrior King Pastries. This event is FREE and open to the public! So whet your appetite for art and for good food! 

And don't forget!  For the beaders and jewelry-makers, we will also be debuting the treasures in our new Dakota Stones Trunk Show!  They sent an amazing assortment of gemstone strands!

We hope you can join us for all the artsy things we've got in the works! Allegory Gallery is located at 215 East Main Street, Ligonier, PA 15658. If you need to reach us by phone, call us at: 724-610-3770. If you need to reach us by email, send emails to You can also stop by and visit us Tuesday - Saturday 11AM to 5PM and 12 noon to 4PM on Sundays and by appointment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Ted Cruz: One of the scarier puppets/marionettes being "performed" by the oil+gas industry, hell-bent on profits at any cost...

"Senator Ted Cruz, raising cash for a 2016 presidential bid, was to meet privately Monday in Denver, Colorado with executives from major oil and gas corporations, all members of the pro-fracking lobby group Western Energy Alliance (WEA), according to details of the secret meeting shared with the Center for Media and Democracy. The Republican presidential candidate, a climate change denier, is also a leading proponent of opening up federal lands in the west--in fact virtually all lands everywhere--to energy development, and for scrapping regulations on oil and gas development. 

Members of the forty year old Western Energy Alliance include massive fracking corporations like Devon Energy, Encana, Whiting, and Halliburton, as well as Koch Exploration Company, the fracking arm of the Charles and David Koch’s sprawling energy business. Cruz sponsored legislation in the Senate in 2015--the American Energy Renaissance Act--that would limit federal regulations on fracking, ostensibly providing states the ability to lease federal land to energy companies for fracking."

Monday, July 13, 2015

fire at Campbell House Bed & Breakfast

A youngster at a Ligonier bed and breakfast alerted the owner to a fire in storage room Sunday afternoon, possibly averting a blaze that could have caused more damage to the inn.
“A boy told me there was a fire going on in the lower level. When I went to the storage room, I did not expect to see flames that big. I was very, very surprised,” said Patti Campbell, owner of the Campbell House Bed & Breakfast at 305 E. Main St.
Church said she grabbed a fire extinguisher, turned it on and tossed a phone to another person to call Westmoreland 911. The fire was reported at 4:49 p.m.

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Saturday, July 11, 2015

What's it gonna be Ligonier?

Wait until the earthquakes begin to happen here in the valley, or work to see that the destruction doesn't happen in the first place? Which do you choose...? The facts are there for those who acknowledge them.

"Now the Oklahoma Supreme Court has cleared the way for citizens to sue the oil and gas companies responsible for the wells. In a 7-0 decision, with two justices not voting, the court said that Sandra Ladra, a resident of Prague, Oklahoma, which was hit by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake on Nov. 5, 2011, could seek compensation for injuries she suffered in that tremor.
The rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma has increased remarkably since October 2013 – by about 50 percent – significantly increasing the chance for a damaging magnitude 5.5 or greater quake in central Oklahoma. (image: USGS)
“On November 5, 2011, Appellant was at home in Prague, Oklahoma watching television in her living room with her family when a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck nearby,” reads Ladra’s complaint. “Suddenly, Appellant’s home began to shake, causing rock facing on the two-story fireplace and chimney to fall into the living room area. Some of the falling rocks struck Appellant and caused significant injury to her knees and legs, and she was rushed immediately to an emergency room for treatment. She claims personal injury damages in excess of $75,000.” The industry said that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industries and tends to be very friendly toward them, should deal with these cases. The state supreme court disagreed.
From 1973 to 2007, earthquakes in Oklahoma were scattered broadly across the east-central part of the State. Since 2008, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of earthquakes, and the events have been more clustered in the vicinity northeast and east of Oklahoma City and generally southwest of Tulsa. (Illustration by Richard Dart, USGS) 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fourth Anniversary - Mountain Palace!

Mountain Palace - 4 Years of Joy!
Special - Chinese Pork Chop with Broccoli & Rice
Complimentary Peanut Celery Salad & Lake Country Red to the first lucky customers!
Tonight Only - 6 to 9
Mountain Palace will be closed tomorrow and Sunday as well as the next few weekends while Lacy is in China.   
We intend to be open for normal operation for certain the August 7 through 9 weekend.
We are presently uncertain of the July 31 through August 2 weekend but will advise ASAP.
Frozen Dumpling Sales Available During Closure:
Call 724 288-3872 or email
Mountain Palace is eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake.
724 717-8614

Pope Blasts 'Unbridled Capitalism'

"This system is by now intolerable: farm workers find it intolerable, laborers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, peoples find it intolerable. The earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as Saint Francis would say – also finds it intolerable."
— Pope Francis

''In a far-reaching speech in Bolivia on Thursday, Pope Francis offered his apologies to, and begged forgiveness from, the native people of the Americas as he acknowledged the brutal treatment they received throughout the so-called "conquest of America." In a speech that also touched on the need to rapidly move away from the destructive model of unbridled capitalism—which he described as the "dung of the devil"—Francis went much further than any of his predecessors in accounting for the crimes of the Church while it pursued and perpetuated colonialism and oppression across Latin America and beyond over the last five centuries.

"I wish to be quite clear," said Francis. "I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America." He added, "There was sin and an abundant amount of it."

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ligonier Twp supervisors, take note!!

Your colleagues in South Fayette -- close to where drilling has demonstrated its ugliness, Washington, PA -- are standing up for their constituents and not caving to the well-funded oil and gas industry. Four of the five South Fayette commissioners know they work for the residents - for their health and well-being - not for the gas industry.

"South Fayette Commissioners late last night approved revisions to the oil and gas ordinance that limit drilling to areas zoned only for industrial use after the board listened to over three hours of public comments from more than 50 people voicing support and opposition to the proposed changes. The vote was 4 to 1, with Commissioner Jessica Cardillo-Wagenhoffer opposed. [...]

Speakers from around the region appeared in front of the Commissioners raising concerns over health, air quality, exclusion, taxes, land owners rights, and property value. A retired career Marine said, “My wife and I scrimped to save every dime we could to move to an area like South Fayette. We don’t want this in our back yard.” Two individuals with former careers in the industry encouraged the Board to approve the changes. Deb Carter Gordley called the drilling pads factories. Steve Doty said, “I have seen four fatalities…explosions…accidents…this is what you’re inviting into your community.” Opposed to the changes, John Deklewa said, “I feel like you’re taking ownership of my property.” [...]

South Fayette resident and School Board Director, Jen Iriti, quoted a RAND study conducted in Pennsylvania. “It highlights how drilling operations actually concentrate the pollution in a smaller geographic area. Although the DEP only monitors these as ‘minor source’ pollution generators…they are functionally a ‘major source,’” she said."

The view above and behind me was lovely as I enjoyed a fresh spinach salad at Ligonier's newest eatery.

Lisa Houser knows how to create a wonderful space and an interesting menu. She's the lady in charge of the new cafe at Thistledown at Seger House on West Main. Everything.....everything is FRESH and lovely and delicious.  Myriam's Table Cafe is in a soft opening status which means they are still working out displays and procedures for service.  Go in and give it a try.

If you use Facebook, here's link:

former travel agent facing more charges

A former Ligonier travel agent in jail for bilking clients out of thousands of dollars was hit with additional charges for allegedly taking $10,000 from seven people by issuing worthless refund checks on three canceled trips and double billing for Caribbean cruises, according to charges filed by state police.
Christine Victoria Cepek, 44, of Unity, who operated Motor Coach Tours by Christine from an office on North St. Clair Street, allegedly took money from the clients and used it to “play catch-up and credit the people she owed money to and to pay bills,” according to the criminal complaint. The cases date from November to May 1.

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Ligonier Theater seeking new blood and new ideas for its survival.

Community members with a desire to see the historic Ligonier Theatre thrive once again joined forces with board members of the Valley Players last week in a meeting at the theater.
“We wanted to address community questions about what is happening here at the theater,” said Sharon Vito-McCue, president of the Valley Players. “Our goal is to share some of the challenges we're facing and to invite people to get on board to help turn things around.”
Keeping the theater in operation continues to be a challenge for the nonprofit organization.
The theater costs $80,000 a year to operate, according to Eric Harris, executive director and manager.
This includes heating, cooling and lighting in addition to operating expenses such as obtaining licenses and rights to shows being performed.
Theater attendance and participation has declined in recent years due to a number of factors including an increase in electronic entertainment, local competition from other community theaters and higher operation costs.

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Laurel Highlands Native American Gathering - August 15th and 16th 10am to 6pm each day in Stahlstown

Grand entry at noon

159 State Route 711, Stahlstown, PA

Adults $5 - Children under 12 free


The Gathering will feature activities including a dance circle [open to the public, learn to dance], Native drums, story tellers, flute players, vendors, activities for children, and opportunities to learn more about Native American culture.

Enjoy Native American food, learn about the Medicine Wheel Garden, and listen as our Emcee teaches about our dances, culture, and stories.

Hosted by the Laurel Highlands Intertribal Foundation - 724-259-8883

God Bless America

My husband and I sat in the town diamond of Ligonier, Pennsylvania as it was set up for a brass band concert. Along with all the others, we carried our lawn chairs to be set up all over the sidewalks and streets near the town hall. I observed people talking and laughing with one another. I observed camaraderie and pleasantries being exchanged. As I looked around to all the quaint, charming shops nearby, I thought, this is what bliss is for me. An old-fashioned setting, and old-fashioned ways.

What really caught my attention, is the fact that nobody was on a cell phone. Nobody ignored another by being coldly impersonal with an electronic gadget attached to their ear, or their fingers furiously working the screen of the newest I-phone or gadget. It struck me in its simplicity that this is the very thing we lack nowadays. And this is the very reason I'm writing my futuristic tale about a society where we no longer communicate by speech.

The brass band began practicing their notes, warming up for the patriotic Fourth of July weekend concert. Smiles emanated from every member of their team. You could tell they loved what they were doing. Local cops came by and closed off the road from the rest of the world, and I felt like we were in a cozy cocoon of peacefulness.

Right before the concert, a pastor approached the microphone. A handsome, older gentleman with twinkling blue eyes. I could see by his face that he loved a good laugh. I could see by his demeanor, he had something important to say. He began by telling us all that he was there to give the invocation. He explained that prayer is so necessary in our "new world." God has been taken out of the equation all over our country. And he, the pastor, is one man that is not ashamed to stand up for his beliefs and not afraid to speak the name of God out loud in our society. He prayed for us all, and for our world. He spoke bravely from the heart and you could have heard a pin drop. Applause resounded all over when the man was finished, and as he walked back to where he was going to sit for the concert, many of us wanted to reach out, shake his hand, and tell him just what his words meant to us. I couldn't help but think once again of the dystopian world I'm writing about. How one brave man isn't afraid to speak out in a society which has outlawed words, privacy, and even religion.

I sat in awe as the band played marching tunes, patriotism abounding. Songs with God's name proudly uttered, and a feeling of pride in who we all were at that moment. It is an evening I will not soon forget. Let's be so brave. Let's not allow today's society to take away all that we hold dear. Let's continue to fellowship with one another, boldly proclaiming the name of God. Let's put aside the latest gadgets in hope of reaching out to another human being. What if we change the world one person at a time?

 Yes, God bless America! Please...

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

the real terrorists

ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.

"The email from Exxon’s in-house climate expert provides evidence the company was aware of the connection between fossil fuels and climate change, and the potential for carbon-cutting regulations that could hurt its bottom line, over a generation ago – factoring that knowledge into its decision about an enormous gas field in south-east Asia. The field, off the coast of Indonesia, would have been the single largest source of global warming pollution at the time. “Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia,” Lenny Bernstein, a 30-year industry veteran and Exxon’s former in-house climate expert, wrote in the email. “This is an immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CO2”, or carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change.

However, Exxon’s public position was marked by continued refusal to acknowledge the dangers of climate change, even in response to appeals from the Rockefellers, its founding family, and its continued financial support for climate denial. Over the years, Exxon spent more than $30m on think tanks and researchers that promoted climate denial, according to Greenpeace. Exxon said Wednesday that it now acknowledges the risk of climate change and does not fund climate change denial groups. Some climate campaigners have likened the industry to the conduct of the tobacco industry which for decades resisted the evidence that smoking causes cancer."

Ligonier based Kress Technology in the news

Press Release
Kress Technology
P.O. Box 763, 115 W. Main Street, Suite 8
Ligonier, PA 15658
July 6, 2015

Windber, PA, July 6, 2015:  Kress Technology announced today that the first field test of the efficient 10hp Kress Motor System will occur August through September at the Windber Area Authority (WAA) sewage treatment plant.  WAA received a $25,000 grant from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) supporting the testing of this locally developed patented motor system.  The Kress motor system offers unique “predictive maintenance” capability via a drive system that monitors sensors for temperature, vibration and energy.  Additionally the Kress motor is the only DC electric motor with removable and replacable windings for longer motor life and easy on-site repairs. 
Kress Technology Manager, Lynda Dupre stated that “this field testing at the Windber sewage treatment plant funded by WPPSEF will provide reliable operation data and help market the Kress motor technology.”
WPPSEF was founded to promote the deployment of sustainable energy technologies within the 23-county West Penn Power service region. Their financing programs are focused on the deployment of renewable and clean energy power production, innovative energy efficiency and conservation technologies, and public outreach and education.  Since 2001, the WPPSEF has worked with many agencies (state & federal), organizations, businesses, and communities to deploy sustainable energy programs and technologies in the West Penn Power service region and throughout Pennsylvania. Contact or visit their website

The Windber Area Authority (WAA) provides sewage treatment service for approximately 5,800 customers in the boroughs of Windber, Paint, Scalp Level and parts of Paint, Richland and Adams Townships.  The current sewage treatment plant was constructed in 2007 and has a capacity of 4 million gallons per day. The plant is located in Richland Township near the McNally Bridge on Route 219 and is known as the Ingleside Sewage Treatment Plant. Contact (814) 467-5574 or visit their website

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Because you're right, Bernie, you're right!"

...throngs of people—with a noticeable presence of students and young adults—waited for more than an hour in a line (in Portland, Maine) that stretched around the building in order to hear the presidential candidate's populist message. (9,000 jammed into the venue. 10,000 had attended one last week in Madison, Wisconsin.)

From DemocracyNow!

"AMY GOODMAN: Bernie Sanders is also talking about taxing the rich. Now, taxes in the U.S., the standard wisdom is you can’t talk about it. But we’re seeing a level of wealth going from the bottom to the top like we’ve never seen in history. Can you talk about what that would look like?

RICHARD WOLFF: Yes. In one way, it’s easy to talk about it, because it’s going back to something we in America once had. I often have to explain to people, because of our strange way of—I don’t know—amnesia about our economic history, what we once had. I’ll give you an example. At the end of World War II, for every dollar paid into the federal government by individuals in personal income tax, corporations paid $1.50. In other words, corporations as a whole paid 50 percent more than individuals as a whole. Today the relationship is, for every dollar that we as individuals pay in taxes, corporations pay 25 cents. In other words, there’s been a change in the taxes. I’ll give you another example. In the ’50s and ’60s, the richest people paid an income tax rate of 90 percent or above. Today they pay 39 percent, is the maximum.

So, what we’ve seen—and Bernie said it quite right—is a massive change in the tax structure, benefiting the richest and putting the burden on the middle and the bottom. And all we are asking—people like Bernie Sanders or, for that matter, me—is that we go back to what we had, especially when you remember that the '50s and ’60s, when we taxed the rich, we had rates of economic growth much faster than we've had now that we don’t tax them anymore. We have lower kinds of economic development, because we help the rich, which is bizarre, because the argument for helping the rich has always been that’s what you need to do to get economic growth, but the actual history of the United States is the reverse.''

--Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, visiting professor at New School University, has written a number of books. Among his latest is the book, Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism. Also has a radio show that broadcasts on Pacifica radio stations and community radio stations around the country, called Economic Update.

And, even better, Dr. Jill Stein is seeking the Green Party's nomination again: Things are looking up.

Friday, July 24at 7:30pm Z Bo's Jazz Trip in Johnstown

Another great night of JAZZ hosted by Zach Bodolosky. 

Joining Zach this month will be : 

Joshua Ben- piano
Ryan McMasters- upright bass
Darnell Anderson- Tenor Saxophone.

The event will take place at Johnstown's coolest new Restaurant, The (PRESS Bistro). and is an all ages event.

it's Mellow Mike night!

MELLOW MIKEmellow mikemellow mikemellow mikemellow mikeMELLOW MIKEmellow mike

tonight at the Ligonier Tavern 6:30 to 9:30

MM is a bit of an open mike but that's only a part of what happens. Mellow Mike is more about creating a feeling of community and laughing and singing together, so it's not what we would normally call a show or open mike, it's a fun evening get together where strangers become friends and friends groove to music and enjoy some readings.

New Allegory Gallery Newsletter

Take a class with Les Polinko.

Special Preview Judith Jaidinger Pop-Up Show.

Here's a taste of the latest Allegory Gallery Newsletter!  We've been hard at work planning all kinds of wonderful activities that we hope you'll enjoy!  We have lots of art openings, book club meetings, trunk shows, and workshops planned!  Want to find out more?  CLICK HERE to take a look at our latest newsletter.  And while you're there, consider signing up so that you don't miss a thing!

Monday, July 6, 2015

More meaningful than gold...

How would you live then?

What if a hundred rose-breasted grosbeaks
flew in circles around your head?  What if
the mockingbird came into the house with you and
became your advisor?  What if
the bees filled your walls with honey and all
you needed to do was ask them and they would fill
the bowl?  What if the brook slid downhill just
past your bedroom window so you could listen
to it slow prayers as you fell asleep?  What if
the stars began to shout their names, or to run 
this way and that way above the clouds?  What if
you painted a picture of a tree, and the leaves
began to rustle, and a bird cheerfully sang
from its painted branches?  What if you suddenly saw
that the silver of water was brighter than the silver
of money?  What if you finally saw
that the sunflowers, turning toward the sun all day
and every day – who knows how, but they do it – were
more precious, more meaningful than gold?

--Mary Oliver