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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

how much methane is leaking in the oil and gas system in the US, anyway?

  The proposed rules would reduce methane pollution by 400,000 tons per year by 2025, the EPA said — the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from the road.

"Supporters and opponents of the EPA’s proposed methane rules gathered in Pittsburgh Tuesday for a hearing on federal efforts to cut methane emissions from oil and gas production. Methane is up to 84 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. The oil and gas industry is the country’s largest single source of methane emissions. In September, the EPA proposed the first federal rules to keep methane from oil and gas out of the atmosphere. The proposed rules are part of a plan that would reduce the industry’s pollution by up to 45 percent. The rule would require increased leak detection and repair of new well pads, pipelines, and gas processing stations, said David Cozzie, group leader of the EPA’s Fuels and Incineration Group, which helped craft the regulations.
 Amy Nassif, of Mars, Pa. testified at an EPA hearing on methane with her daughter, Julia

The rules would also require operators of compressor stations to use ‘low-bleed’ control systems that release fewer emissions, and require plant operators to replace equipment more often, in order to prevent methane from escaping through leaky seals. The EPA focused on well pads and compressor stations, Cozzie said, because they are constructed with equipment that allows methane to escape into the atmosphere. Studies have found that “super-emitters”–a relatively small number of leak sources–may produce the majority of methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. “There’s been lots of literature out there about these super-emitters, which are sites that have large emissions and they tend to be associated with well sites and compressor stations,” Cozzie said."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Kieu Pham Gray Returns to Ligonier

Allegory Gallery is pleased to present the return of author and jewelry-maker, Kieu Pham Gray.  She will be coming back to the Laurel Highlands to teach six new classes and have a book-signing, tool trunk show, and meet-the-artist event.  To find out more about the upcoming classes (and to sign up if you're so inclined), just follow the links!  The classes will take place at Main Exhibit Gallery's new lower level art center.  Hope to see you there!

Meet the Artist and Book Signing – Saturday, October 3rd from 1:30PM to 2:30PM*
*This event will take place at Allegory Gallery at 215 East Main Street

Monday, September 28, 2015

JAZZ TRIP...excellent music right here in Ligonier. This Friday!

A Night of JAZZ !!!! 

Darnell Anderson-sax 
Joshua Ben- piano
Jason Hollar- upright bass
Zachary Bodolosky-drums 

The event will take place at Ligonier's coolest new Restaurant, Myriam's Table Café & Catering and is an all ages event.

Reservations required limited seating. 



Argentinian/ Brazilian Grill Grilled beef, pork ,lamb, chicken and shrimp..served with 4 sauces and roasted vegetables,all family style and Jazz entertainment !!!!

The event is BYOB no corking fee !!!

Alone together...on genuine conversation

"A 16-year-old boy who relies on texting for almost everything says almost wistfully, “Someday, someday, but certainly not now, I’d like to learn how to have a conversation.”"

"WE live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection. At home, families sit together, texting and reading e-mail. At work executives text during board meetings. We text (and shop and go on Facebook) during classes and when we’re on dates. My students tell me about an important new skill: it involves maintaining eye contact with someone while you text someone else; it’s hard, but it can be done.Over the past 15 years, I’ve studied technologies of mobile connection and talked to hundreds of people of all ages and circumstances about their plugged-in lives. I’ve learned that the little devices most of us carry around are so powerful that they change not only what we do, but also who we are.

Our colleagues want to go to that board meeting but pay attention only to what interests them. To some this seems like a good idea, but we can end up hiding from one another, even as we are constantly connected to one another. A businessman laments that he no longer has colleagues at work. He doesn’t stop by to talk; he doesn’t call. He says that he doesn’t want to interrupt them. He says they’re “too busy on their e-mail.” But then he pauses and corrects himself. “I’m not telling the truth. I’m the one who doesn’t want to be interrupted. I think I should. But I’d rather just do things on my BlackBerry.”" 

township residents losing liberty to have campfires through the night

An ordinance to limit the times and days that outdoor burning is permitted in Ligonier Township was approved this week by the planning commission, which recommended sending the measure to supervisors for a final OK.
In residential areas, the proposed ordinance limits materials that may be burned to paper products, newspaper and yard waste — excluding grass and building materials — from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Saturday burning would be limited to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. During daylight saving time and summer months, burning is permitted from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The burning of garbage, rubber, tires, paint, animal waste, plastics, diapers, toxic materials and any other materials consisting of rubbish, trade waste, refuse or garbage is prohibited.

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

“If Mr. Carnahan can get his wheelbarrow around the Diamond, we'll have school.”

When Bud Carnahan was superintendent of the Ligonier Valley School District, students had a saying about how much snow it took to keep them out of class.
“If Mr. Carnahan can get his wheelbarrow around the Diamond, we'll have school,” said Irma Hutchinson, 72, of Ligonier, a former student who knew him for more than 50 years.
Milroy “Bud” Carnahan of Laughlintown died Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in Ligonier Gardens of cancer. He was 85.
Born March 5, 1930, in Latrobe, a son of the late Benjamin and Viola (Finley) Carnahan, he was a 1948 graduate of Latrobe High School and earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Carnahan worked for the Ligonier Valley School District for 33 years as a teacher, home and school visitor, business manager and school superintendent. He served as superintendent for 20 years and retired in 1989.

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

Friday, September 25, 2015

Homegrown Bean Sprouts, Dandelion Dumplings & Lomein Cooking Class!

Mountain Palace Weekly Special
Yuzhen's Homegrown Bean Sprouts with Pork and Rice

Handmade Beef Dandelion Dumplings

Lomein Cooking Class
Sunday 1:00 $25 Includes Meal
Reservations Requested

Yuzhen has been busy this week! In addition to bowling and attending Jazz Night at Speal's Tavern, she found time to gather and prepare dandelion dumplings and generate a mountain of fresh bean sprouts. Lacy will be teaching how to make noodles from dough and prepare lomein in Sunday's cooking class.

Friday 5 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 & Sunday 12 to 8
Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake

724 717-8614

Thursday, September 24, 2015

it's time for Highland Games

All things Scottish will rule the day when the Ligonier Highland Games returns to Idlewild Park on Sept. 26.

In addition to the traditional athletic games that are the centerpiece of the festival, visitors will find musical performances, dancing and singing competitions, Scottish-breed dogs and livestock, storytellers, dance and harp workshops, Scottish food and military re-enactors.
Appropriately, the park's setting among the forested hills of Ligonier is reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands.
“I've had people from Scotland say that it reminds them of being at home,” says event executive director Rick Wonderly.

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A good CEO...what a relief to find one

"Turkey-born Chobani yogurt company CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, a Kurd, recently visited the Greek island of Lesbos, to see for himself the plight of the tens of thousands of mainly Syrian refugees who are flooding into Europe through Turkey. He tells Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd that he saw desperate conditions there: “You would assume there would be tents, there will be housing, there will be food, a cup of soup at least … none of that.” So he’s set up a new foundation, called Tent, to help. And he wants other CEOs to join him in hiring refugees, something he’s done for years at his production plants."
Ulukaya has given half of his fortune to make immediate aid available to the refugees. See the top link for the very revealing 10-minute interview with this amazing CEO. (Would that they were all this human.) And I learned at the Chobani website that they don't allow rBGH in their cows or use any GMOs. They source locally, and are committed to open labeling of their ingredients. Not organic, but going in the right direction. And even before the decision to give half his fortune away (because he can), Chobani gives 10% of their profits to charity. Amazing. They hire new immigrants to the US. My immigrant grandfather would've appreciated that when he faced those "No Micks need apply" signs everywhere when he looked for work in the 20s. We are all immigrants here.

This man walks the talk, and leads the way.

Good to know, way to go.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WOW...Jazz Trip in Ligonier!

A Night of JAZZ !!!! 

Darnell Anderson-sax 
Joshua Ben- piano
Jason Hollar- upright bass
Zachary Bodolosky-drums 

The event will take place at Ligonier's coolest new Restaurant, The Myriam's Table Café & Catering). and is an all ages event.

Reservations required limited seating. 



Argentinian/ Brazilian Grill Grilled beef, pork ,lamb, chicken and shrimp..served with 4 sauces and roasted vegetables,all family style and Jazz entertainment !!!!

The event is BYOB no corking fee !!!

The problem with sanctimonious environmentalists (it's not their use of baking soda)

"Really? OK, yes, on a purely environmental basis we’d all be better off giving up our cars and our electricity and living in yurts. To achieve maximum environmental impact we’d ground flights, turn our backs on advertising and consumer culture, and hand-weave a single burlap sack towel for each of our 1.5 children. Hands up those willing to do that? Anyone?

Driving a car, having a refrigerator or a cellphone – even occasionally using evil plastic bags – exactly none of these things disqualifies you from being an environmentally friendly person if you continue making greener choices elsewhere. If you were reading about my strange little shampoo situation above, shaking your head and thinking, “There is no way this strange Canadian lady can convince me to wash my hair with the same stuff I use to unclog my kitchen sink,” does that make you a crap environmentalist? No. Not doing anything because you can’t do everything? That makes you a crap environmentalist, and a defeatist. No one likes a defeatist. Do what you can and ditch the guilt. You don’t have to wash your hair with baking soda to make a difference, although it would make a certain strange Canadian lady immensely happy if you did. Even just once."

Don't miss this sanctimonious environmentalist author's healthier (and cheaper, and much-much greener) alternative to the poisonous stuff called "shampoo" that may be on your shelf. (see link above)

Rule of thumb: Look at a "beauty product's" ingredients and, if there are more than 5 listed, and if one of them is "perfume," you are buying a chemical. You are therefore bathing the largest organ of your body - your skin - with chemicals, daily, week-in, week-out. We pay for it immediately at the checkout, and then pay again, down the road, once the toxic load on our bodies from all of what we're exposed to eventually tips the scale into the red area.

Sad to say that very, very little for sale commercially is benign today. Interestingly, risks to you personally are usually embedded in that which is a risk to the world, meaning the world that supports your life...the air, the water, you know, your matrix. And, vice versa. Bad for the environment, bad for you as a piece of the environment.

Broad-brush solution to begin with? Simple, clean choices, whether it's your shampoo or your power source.   ....everything around us is alive, and it's all connected...and we need it to be healthy in order to live...  We swim through Nature from birth to death...much of it invisible to us, and therefore taken for granted. We are nature; what happens to it happens to us.
Newsflash: We are not separate beings, safe from harm as long as we build higher fences and have more money than our neighbor. The more complicated something is - a product or an entire industry - the more room there is for error. Organic farming: simple, safe. Industrial farming: complex, less nutritious, damaging. Fossil fuel production: damaging every step of the way. Renewables: much simpler, much less impact. 


What to do right now? Thought: Look at all your shampoo and conditioners, lotions and potions, and make a change there for your own good. Then realize that it's the same damn thing to allow the oil and gas industry to bathe the water and air that supports you with toxins as it is for you to wash yourself in chemical-laden soaps and shampoos.

Take care of yourself: Join the push-back against fracking, before it's too late.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Layered Chain Necklace at Allegory Gallery

Isn't this a stunning necklace?  Mixed metals and layered chains are all the rage nowadays and have a very chic and modern look.  I've seen similar looking pieces going for upwards of $500 in upscale boutiques in New York City... but why pay more, when you can make it yourself?  Laurel will be showing people how to create this look for much less during Beading Basics at Allegory Gallery.  You can drop by any time between noon and 3PM and Laurel will show you how to make your very own!  (This also makes a great holiday gift!)  Instruction is completely FREE!  All you have to pay for are the materials.  (Depending on your chain selection, this project will cost around $20.)  This project takes about 20 minutes to make!  Stop in today!

Allegory Gallery is located at 215 East Main Street, Ligonier, PA.  If you know you'll be joining us, give us a call 724-610-3770 (and leave a message), email us (, or just swing by!  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

People want clean food...imagine that

"Americans are increasingly hungry for naturally-grown and healthier foods and, according to a new USDA statistics, sales of the organic farms in the U.S. skyrocketed in 2014 with consumer spending up 72 percent since 2008.The 2014 Organic Survey, released Thursday by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), indicated that in addition to the $5.5 billion dollars worth of organic products purchased by consumers last year, there is plenty of space for continued growth of organic sales nationwide. In fact, said Laura Batcha, chief of the Organic Trade Association, consumer demand is so high, its outpacing sales. "We need a higher rate of growth in order to get close to meeting the demand," said Batcha.
NASS administrator Joseph T. Reilly added, "Producers reported in the 2014 Organic Survey that they expect to expand U.S. organic production in the coming years, making the data even more important for policy and programs." Reilly said the reports also "shows that organic producers are providing a wide variety of products to customers and are getting those items from farm to table more efficiently." As such, the report noted that nearly 50 percent of organic items were bought within 100 miles of the farms where they were grown or produced. Demand for organic goods has risen in recent years, with increased consumer consciousness about the environmental impacts of factory farming and the agriculture industry at least one of the reasons for that trend. A report published in April by the Center for Food Safety also found that healthy soil, fed by organic agricultural practices, could be the solution to mitigating climate change and addressing food and water security."

And organic food production cannot happen in fracked land, folks, as farmers I know will tell you. Knowing they can't have their carefully tended organic produce bathed in frackcrap, small-scale farmers from western PA have left our state to get away from the death-wish of their near-by neighbors who self-servingly leased land that then pollutes everyone around them.

Wake the *%&@ up, people. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Wondering about your water quality, Ligonier?

Free water testing, this Saturday at the farmers' market, 8am-12noon.

As a community service, Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens' Group will provide free testing of your well or spring water's Total Dissolved Solids and pH. They will have info on water safety and government-certified water labs for professional testing. Results are confidential, and there is no obligation.

***Bring about one cup of water in a never-used zip-locked bag, sealed in a jar with a lid.*** 

Mountain Palace

Weekend Special:
Ground Beef, Zucchini Lomein

Come to Mountain Palace this weekend for the most unique, happy healthy northern Chinese menu!
Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road across from Mirror Lake
Extended hours: Friday 5 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 8

People interested in weekday take-out, let us know a day in advance that we can prepare.
Cooking Class: Next Sunday 9-27 1:00
Chinese Lomein
Make Reservations Now

Above Lacy and Joel work on Cozy Cottage. For our Friday customers, Joel has left to start a new job in Arizona. He will be sorely missed! Best wishes, Joel!

724 717-8614

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fishing Derby - September 26th

Please consider registering for the annual Fishing Derby on September 26th, presented to you this year by Ligonier Camp and Conference Center and Boy Scout Troop 375! 
For more information and to register, please visit 
Thank you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

police study continues

Ligonier Township Supervisors voted unanimously Sept. 8 to move on to the second phase of a study to determine if efforts to regionalize police forces are feasible. The next phase will involve a more detailed analysis of the consolidation of Ligonier Township and Ligonier Borough police departments.
“We need to study this more. We will work with the borough to estimate how it would be put together,” said township Manager Terry Carcella. “It's a perfect match. We need to put the numbers in and determine how the department would function. Our purpose is to keep the public safe. We want to work together to provide safety for residents.”

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

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jazz Trip at Myriam's Table!

A Night of JAZZ !!!! 

Darnell Anderson-sax 
Joshua Ben- piano
Jason Hollar- upright bass
Zachary Bodolosky-drums 

The event will take place at Ligonier's coolest new Restaurant, The Myriam's Table Café & Catering). and is an all ages event.

Reservations required limited seating. 



Argentinian/ Brazilian Grill Grilled beef, pork ,lamb, chicken and shrimp..served with 4 sauces and roasted vegetables,all family style and Jazz entertainment !!!!

The event is BYOB no corking fee !!!

I was diagnosed with cancer at age 11.

...the federal agency in charge of safeguarding human health and the environment panders to polluters and lacks the political wherewithal to make them rectify their injustices. The Superfund tax once held polluters liable for their refuse, but since it expired in 1996 Congress has failed to renew it. 

"As the surgeons put me under for an operation that would remove my thyroid, I hoped I would still be able to run around outside with my brother, to clamber through the groves and streams that surrounded my home in the mountains of North Carolina. While I lay on the operating table, an abandoned factory a mile from my house silently seeped toxic chemicals into the creeks and valleys. Yet no warnings were posted outside the gates. The polluted streams were not fenced off. Like the other neighborhood kids, I had no idea of the toxins lurking in our midst. [...]

The shuttering of the factory did not spell the end of the pollution, however, as chemicals continued to migrate from the dumping-ground into the local environment. In 1999, the carcinogen trichloroethylene (TCE), CTS’s primary solvent, tested in one woman’s well at far past the legal limit of five parts per billion: she was drinking 21,000. Thyroid cancer had struck her several years before. The assault on human health did not end there: non-Hodkin’s lymphoma, birth defects, and liver and kidney disease showed up in droves. By the time of my diagnosis in 2005, such ailments had already taken a toll on my community. Over a single decade, one man lost ten family members to cancer."

If fracking is allowed to get a foothold in our hills and streams, scenarios like this are the potential near-future of the Ligonier Valley. Given the overwhelming evidence of toxins discharged in fracking (often dumped or leaked where ever it's convenient for the frackers to do so), denying the danger of fracking to Ligonier is self-destructive, in addition to being immoral. 

The EPA will not protect us. They are bought and sold. 

Push back, people...the gas industry is quietly holding its breath, hoping Joe Public will stay asleep, hoping you'll stay passive/distracted, hoping you'll stay trusting of their deceitful ads and the useless EPA.

Stand up, roll up your sleeves and join those fighting this destructive-to-everything industry. It is your backyard now, and unlike ISIS (or any other fill-in-the-blank danger that the mainstream media is distracting you with), this will hurt us all in many, many ways over time.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Battle stations...

"CHURCHILL, Pa. —"Not in my backyard” is the sentiment residents of Churchill and nearby towns and boroughs are adopting. Natural gas producer EQT is making its way around the area, chatting with landowners about leasing their land for drilling. The company has not filed any permits to drill yet, but is exploring the idea. It took just a few days to organize, but more than 150 people showed up to a meeting Sunday to show their position against fracking. “They have invested now in coming here," an attendee said. "So now we are at the junction where we have to do something radical." “We wanted to feel the passion about what it is that's so important to our community; which is clean air, clean water, a safe place to live, property values that don't go down,” said Elizabeth Czekanski, who organized Sunday night’s meeting.

One of the areas already leased to EQT for drilling is the old Churchill Valley Country Club. Others in Churchill say EQT has approached them too. Community members, including the borough's council president, said Churchill isn't the place. “My opinion, my personal opinion, Churchill is not a place that should ever have fracking,”** Jay Dworin said. Those who attended the meeting are encouraged to tell neighbors not to sign leases and attend public meetings where the issue will be discussed. The first opportunity is a council meeting Monday night.

It's early in the process, but borough leaders say it's not as simple as a blanket ban on fracking. For legal reasons, leaders say the borough must take it step-by-step. “It is going to be a battle, and so we need to stay together and (show that there is) strength in numbers,” Czekanski said."

** No place is "the place for fracking", Mr. Council President.

Tonight's Churchill council meeting should be interesting. Reminds me of what went on here in Ligonier...where we have much less enlightened supervisors, bought out by greed and disregard for all forms of life.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dear Kim Davis...

Dear Kim Davis,
The fact that you can't sell your daughter for three goats and a cow means we've already redefined marriage. *
Planting Peace

*(Something she's conveniently decided to overlook.)

...if Davis is going to use Biblical rhetoric to justify her opposition to same-sex marriage, she might want to take a closer look at how else marriage has been redefined in relation to the book's sacred teachings.

stay tuned stuff on the horizon!

beer tent approved....YAY

Ligonier council has denied a request from the Fort Ligonier Days Inc. board of directors to restrict the sale of alcohol at an outdoor tent area operated by the Ligonier Ramada during next month's festival.
Ligonier Valley Chamber Director and Fort Ligonier Days Committee co-chairwoman Anna Weltz made the request at the council meeting Thursday while presenting the festival committee's annual requests for sales permits and temporary festival area approvals.
Ligonier Ramada owner Deborah Fox of Greensburg asked council to reconsider the restriction.
“They are not allowing us to sell beer due to an incident near our tent area last year,” Fox said. “That incident did not occur on Ramada property, and we were not involved in the incident.”

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

Mountain Palace Open!

Mountain Palace will reopen today at 5:00!
Come to Mountain Palace to enjoy the happy healthy tasty you have been missing!

Weekend Special is Chinese Eggplant with Ground Beef, Potato and Cilantro 
Eggplant prevents cell membrane damage and includes antimutagenic (anti-cancer), antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities. 
For Lacy's "welcome home" event we've got candy from China and some wine while it lasts. She is looking forward to seeing her friends whom she has missed.

Friday 5 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 8
Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake
724 717-8614 or cell 724 288-3872

Thursday, September 10, 2015

the latest Sunbeams....a selection

My ancestors wandered lost in the wilderness for forty years because even in biblical times, men would not stop to ask for directions.  --Elayne Boosler

The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It’s nothing of the kind. The game is about glory. It is about doing things in style, with a flourish.   --Danny Blanchflower

The reason women don’t play football is because eleven of them would never wear the same outfit in public.  --Phyllis Diller

Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.   --Kin Hubbard
He’d long ago given up hope of finding a country anywhere in the world where it was safe to tell total strangers that he had no interest in sports whatsoever.    --Greg Egan, Zendegi

One cannot bring up boys to be eagles and then expect them to be sparrows.  --Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules, and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words, it is war minus the shooting.  --George Orwell

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Geez, lighten up, will ya? LOL

How ya all doing out there in Ligonierland?

My long renovation is being finished today. Yipee!  

Thank you Paul Church and crew for doing such a nice job.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How bad does it have to get?

AP notes that this figure (180m) is incomplete because "ninth-ranking oil producer Louisiana and second-ranking gas producer Pennsylvania" failed to provide spill data, and other such incidents often go undocumented.
A pipe pours fracking waste into an unlined holding pond in Kern County, California. (Photo: Faces of Fracking/cc/flickr)

"Among the litany of risks posed by the continued extraction and use of fossil fuels, an Associated Press analysis published Tuesday exposes yet another harmful side effect of the oil and gas drilling boom: an uptick in toxic wastewater spills. According to data obtained from leading oil- and gas-producing states, "more than 180 million gallons of wastewater spilled from 2009 to 2014 in incidents involving ruptured pipes, overflowing storage tanks and other mishaps or even deliberate dumping," AP reports, tainting agricultural land, poisoning drinking water, and sparking the mass die-off of plant and animal life.

Most of the incidents involved the spill of fracking wastewater, which is a combination of underground brine mixed with a slurry of undisclosed chemicals. As the story notes, "A big reason why there are so many spills is the sheer volume of wastewater" produced, which according an organization of state groundwater agencies, amounts to roughly 10 barrels for every barrel of oil, or more than 840 billion gallons a year. The report details a sampling of incidents, which help illustrate the scope of the problem. In one instance, a roughly 1 million gallon spill in North Dakota in 2006 caused a "massive die-off of fish, turtles and plants in the Yellowstone River and a tributary." In another case, a decades-long seepage of toxic brine onto Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation polluted a river, private wells, and the municipal water system, making the water "undrinkable.""

Monday, September 7, 2015

keeping the "labor" in Labor's not just a day off and shopping the sales

"We don’t officially celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1 in this country, even though the worldwide holiday was originated to memorialize the Chicago Haymarket Square Riot of 1886 and the long and often bloody movement waged by American workers to establish the eight-hour workday. Instead, we hold a watered-down substitute, observing Labor Day on the first Monday of September. Each year, the commemoration grows more tepid and disconnected from the historical and current struggles of working people.
If the U.S. Supreme Court’s dominant Republican majority has its way when the panel’s new term commences in October, we might as well dispense with the holiday altogether, or at least drop the term “labor” from its title. Among the most important cases the court will consider when it reconvenes is Friedrichs v. California Teachers, which poses what some observers have called an “existential threat” to public unions and by extension to the entire labor movement. [..]
From the Haymarket Riot to the present, it’s been a bumpy ride for American workers. In the meantime, I’m sure that Justice Alito and his black-robed compatriots will join me in wishing you happy Labor Day. "

Saturday, September 5, 2015

''Let this be the last."

Galip and Alyan, Abdullah and  Rehan Kurdi's toddlers, drowned along with their mother, escaping war.

From the Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire:
no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Christians threaten the Christian identity of Europe

"For years our politicians have piggy-backed upon Christian morality for electoral advantage. We should “feel proud that this is a Christian country”, said (David) Cameron earlier this year (pre-election, of course), in what some might uncharitably see as a call to maintain a Muslim-free view from his Cotswold village. But there is no respectable Christian argument for fortress Europe, surrounded by a new iron curtain of razor wire to keep poor, dark-skinned people out. Indeed, the moral framework that our prime minister so frequently references – and to which he claims some sort of vague allegiance – is crystal clear about the absolute priority of our obligation to refugees. For the moral imagination of the Hebrew scriptures was determined by a battered refugee people, fleeing political oppression in north Africa, and seeking a new life for themselves safe from violence and poverty. Time and again, the books of the Hebrew scriptures remind its readers not to forget that they too were once in this situation and their ethics must be structured around practical help driven by fellow-feeling.

 Hundreds of migrants and refugees set off on foot from the Hungarian capital Budapest to Vienna on Friday. (AP)

The Passover, first celebrated as a last-minute preparation before leaving Egypt (unleavened bread as there wasn’t time for it to rise) – and the Christian Eucharist that was built on top of it – is nothing less than a call to re-live this basic human solidarity in the face of existential fear and uncertainty. And when the author of Matthew’s gospel describes Jesus as a child refugee, fleeing his country from a despotic ruler intent on taking his life – Herod not Assad – he is deliberately sampling that basic foundational myth of the Exodus. If our “Christian” politicians have any excuse, it is that the church has itself been frequently woeful in its response to the current situation. And the prize for the most outrageous church pronouncement on this issue surely goes to Péter Erdő, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Budapest, who reportedly declared that Hungarian churches were prohibited from sheltering refugees. “If we did so, we would be human traffickers,” he said. I hope the Holy Father has a quiet word with him. But little wonder that the only thing Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, can say about the refugees fleeing war in the Middle East – as he tries to corral them in camps – is that they threaten the Christian identity of Europe. The truth is entirely the opposite: it is he that threatens the Christian identity of Europe. “What is the point of salt if it has lost its saltiness?” asks Jesus. Saltless salt “is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot”. And that is what should happen to Orbán’s so-called Christianity."

Lacy Home!

Things are looking up at Mountain Palace! Lacy finally returned from China and continues to recuperate from what became a pretty tiring trip. We are working to finish some improvements to Mountain Palace and expect to reopen next Friday, September 11. Thanks to all of you who expressed well wishes. See you again soon!
We are planning to change Friday hours from 5 to 9, Saturday 12 to 9 and Sunday 12 to 8
Photo - first American food at a late night Denny's somewhere north of Washington, D. C.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


A Ligonier man is accused of slamming a woman's head off a wall several times, punching her and strangling her to the point that she couldn't breathe, according to Ligonier Township police.
James Fillman Jr., 38, is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, harassment and recklessly endangering another person.

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

Our perverse executive pay system

"Short-termism," as the report calls it, allows executives to "reap massive windfalls before the climate change their behaviors nurture starts hitting."

 "Energy shouldn't cost lives."Chevron is one of the many companies engaging in short-term, high-stakes gambling with the planet's future.

"Pay incentives for the chief executives of the biggest publicly-held fossil fuel companies in the U.S. are worsening climate change by encouraging recklessness from management teams and rewarding companies' strongholds over oil, gas, and coal reserves, according to a new report published Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies.Money to Burn: How CEO Pay is Accelerating Climate Change (pdf), an annual analysis of executive excess, outlines the complex cycle in which corporate bosses are given "enormous personal financial incentive" to promote the development of fossil fuels, which in turn allows them to donate ever-increasing funds to lobbyists and lawmakers who promote climate denial policies.

In addition, corporations "lower the performance bar by super sizing the number of equity-based rewards they grant executives during stock slumps," the report states. That's the same kind of high-stakes gambling that contributed to the 2008 economic crash and set up bankers for enormous windfalls if shares increased even slightly after the recovery began. "Our perverse executive pay system encouraged the recklessness that led to the 2008 financial crisis," co-author and IPS Global Economy Project director Sarah Anderson said on Wednesday. "These same misplaced incentives are encouraging the recklessness of fossil fuel executives that is putting the entire world at risk.""

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Finding a metaphor...

"I went outside onto my parents' porch without putting my coat on. The limp winter sun sparkled off the frozen snow on the lawn. "Please take good care of my mother," I said to the air. I addressed the fir tree she loved and the wind moving in it. "Please keep her safe for me."

This is what a friend of mine—let's call her Rose—calls "finding a metaphor." I was visiting her a few weeks ago in California; we stayed up late, drinking lemon-ginger tea and talking about the difficulty of grieving, its odd jags of ecstasy and pain. Her father died several years ago, and it was easy to speak with her: She was in what more than one acquaintance who's lost a parent has now referred to as "the club." It's not a club any of us wished to join, but I, for one, am glad it exists. It makes mourning less lonely. I told Rose how I envied my Jewish friends the reassuring ritual of saying kaddish. She talked about the hodge-podge of traditions she had embraced in the midst of her grief. And then she asked me, "Have you found a metaphor?"[...]

The truth is, I need to experience my mother's presence in the world around me and not just in my head. Every now and then, I see a tree shift in the wind and its bend has, to my eye, a distinctly maternal cast. For me, my metaphor is—as all good metaphors ought to be—a persuasive transformation. In these moments, I do not say to myself that my mother is like the wind; I think she is the wind. I feel her: there, and there. One sad day, I actually sat up in shock when I felt my mother come shake me out of a pervasive fearfulness that was making it hard for me to read or get on subways. Whether it was the ghostly flicker of my synapses, or an actual ghostly flicker of her spirit, I don't know. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping it was the latter."