City of Pittsburgh Council District 4
District 4 Newsletter | April 2013
...does anything rhyme with "April"?

In this issue...

DISTRICT 4 NEWS

Working to make South Pittsburgh a better place, every day
Good news you don't hear on the news
It's Spring Redd Up time!
Beechview Community Garden sprucing up for spring
Carrick's Dairy District, Brownsville Road featured in local media
Two notes about Bon Air
Wenzell Avenue work updates
Concerned about biking and pedestrian issues in South Pittsburgh?
Keystone Oaks to hold anti-bullying symposium
Historic Wigman House to receive plaque
Know a small business hero in your community?
Special Kick Clinic to host afternoon of soccer fun
We're fixing up Brownsville Road, step by step
Taste of Brookline tickets on sale, volunteers needed
Beechview gearing up for 3rd annual Car Cruise
A word about City real estate tax payment
Participate in Pittsburgh's urban design plan
Block watches work! 

HELP, WORK, DONATE, VOLUNTEER

Carrick Tree Tenders welcome you to come out for some fresh air!
Citiparks recruiting lifeguards for summer 2013
South Hills Middle School looking for volunteers
Citiparks BIG League Sports will need seasonal employees
Employment opportunities with the City of Pittsburgh
Meals on Wheels needs drivers and kitchen help

EVENTS

 


DISTRICT 4 NEWS

Working to make South Pittsburgh a better place, every day

  • Paving season is about to commence, and my office has delivered to the Public Works Department a list of suggestions for streets that need potholes filled or surfaces paved. But, as we all know, there’s always more! Please call us at 412.255.2131 or send us a note through our website to let us know what streets we should check out and alert Public Works about.
  • Thanks to the fabulous work by our police officers, our active community organizations, and people like you, we were pleased to announce a 10-month investigation has lead to the arrest of 43 people for drug-related activities In Carrick-area. This drug bust led police to confiscate 6,654 stamp bags of heroin, 113 grams of crack cocaine, and a large amount of marijuana and hashish, synthetic marijuana, and prescription drugs like Xanax, Percocet, and Vicodin. We know that investigations are ongoing and your eyes and ears help the police, so keep calling 911, and feel free to call my office at any time.
  • On March 19 I introduced a will of Council condemning two bills in the State Legislature: Senate Bill 4 and House Bill 724. These bills would throw the power to determine a purely public charity to the state legislature, effectively perpetuating the trend of mega-charities reducing their payments to communities while increasing their real estate footprints. We can't effectively provide necessary resources to our residents when an ever-increasing portion of our city is taken up by properties which don't pay their fair share.
  • I met with the folks at Allegheny Cleanways to look at dump sites along Becks Run Road. There continue to be hillsides and creeks all over South Pittsburgh that people have treated as their own personal garbage disposal. We will be coordinating several dump site clean-ups again this year--stay tuned! And in the meantime, please call my office or send us a note through the website to report ones that you see in your neighborhood.
  • In early April, I welcomed Rick and Peggy to Brookline at their grand opening ribbon cutting of their gift store Beach Treats, at 972 Brookline Boulevard (at the corner of Brookline Boulevard and Queensboro Avenue, across from the Cannon).
  • The Pittsburgh Police host their Biscuits Bingo every year (this year’s was the 15th!), where all proceeds go toward animal advocacy groups. This year I joined them, and I had a blast! Thanks for the invitation, Officer Luffey!
  • The Calabria Club meets at the Mount Washington Senior Center, and early in April I stopped by to say hi to some new friends. The Calabria Club has been bringing Italian Americans together for friendship and brotherhood for over twenty years--check out their Facebook page for more information.
  • I attended two meetings about mental health issues and resources in our region as a follow-up to my post-agenda in City Council held in February. The more that the City and the County work together to provide resources to our residents, the better.
  • Thanks to CLUB for their fundraiser dinner to benefit the Beechview neighborhood! And also to the Carrick Athletic Association’s baseball bucks bonanza.
  • In one week I had a chance to volunteer for Meals on Wheels in both Beechview and Carrick. I was thrilled to find out that it was fun, interesting, touching, and, in one specific case, surprising--I rescued a cat named Lady when she suddenly dashed out of the front door of one Carrick resident’s house! Meals on Wheels is a fantastic program, and find out more in a later section below to see how you can help out.
  • On April 11 I visited a class of adults who are learning English at the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. These new Pittsburghers come from all over the world, and I’m proud of the work that the GPLC is doing for our new neighbors as they learn English and how to be an American!
  • Alex looked into Brownsville Road lighting issues--as we learned through block watch meetings and our public safety assessment, one common concern that arises is the new lighting's quality. We are continuing to look into what can be done to maximize visibility for pedestrians and drivers. Alex also continues to check in about the Brookline Boulevard reconstruction project, which is progressing steadily. Adam visited constituents all over the district on a number of issues including rainwater run-off flooding on Maytide Street and in Brookline, abandoned properties in Beechview, and a natural spring that has burst out of the ground in Beechview--we’re working with the appropriate City departments to try to get these problems under control. Ashleigh continues to check in with EDS about their work on the Route 51 transportation corridor.
  • And all the rest... a CTAC board meeting... various meetings to discuss how the City handles condemned properties... homeowners association meetings... meetings with a developer concerning the planned Hillcrest Senior Residences... and more!

Good news you don’t hear on the news

Iraq, Peru, Togo, Nepal. These are places found all over the globe, on three different continents. But we had the privilege of welcoming immigrants from those countries right here in Pittsburgh City Council to lead us all in the pledge of allegiance. The Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council teaches English language and comprehension, and through my visits with them, I’ve come to see what a valuable resource we have in these newest Pittsburghers.

From April 8 through April 12, Pittsburgh was host to the Polish American Priests Association as they celebrated their 24th annual convention. I had the pleasure of issuing a proclamation to PAPA, which was founded in 1990 in San Antonio, and has now visited Pittsburgh. While here, they took a ride on the Duquesne Incline, had a lunch at the Georgetown Inn on Mount Washington, and... read the proclamation to learn more

Toi Derricotte is a poet and professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and I honored her with a proclamation recognizing her award-winning work, her inspiration of creative writers at Pitt for over twenty years, and more. You can read the proclamation here.

Just the other day, about 50 third graders from West Liberty Elementary in Brookline came in on a tour with the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. They were getting their fill of downtown architecture and history, and I was thrilled to get a chance to chat with them here in City Council chambers. Here’s a photo I tweeted of me answering some of their tough questions.

And just today, I joined in with other elected officials and a host of community leaders to celebrate the Citiparks senior volunteers. I had a great time lunching with our senior neighbors who give of their time to make Pittsburgh a better place. I tweeted about Ann Likeravich, who has volunteered over 40,000 hours--and she turns 100 in July!

It's Spring Redd Up time!

Hate the sight of litter in your neighborhood? Why not join a local redd-up on Saturday, April 20? Choose from any of the locations below. Equipment will be provided--just bring yourself!

In Bon Air, redd-uppers are meeting at the gazebo in the Bon Air parklet at the corner of Conniston Avenue and Calle Avenue at 10:00 a.m.

Brookline will be holding a redd-up closer to Memorial Day. Check our newsletter next month for more details!

The Carrick Community Council invites you to join them at 10:00 a.m. behind the Carrick Shopping Center at 2134 Brownsville Road. Light refreshments will be available to get you started!

Join folks in Overbrook at the Accamando Center at 2410 Saw Mill Run Boulevard at 10:00 a.m. to focus on the Route 51 corridor and its surroundings.

For more information, contact my office at 412.255.2131 or Boris Weinstein at Citizens Against Litter, boris.weinstein@verizon.net or 412.688.9120.

Beechview Community Garden sprucing up for spring

When the old Beechview swimming pool closed in 2004, there was a big empty space left. But in 2009, the Beechview Community Garden was founded, and now the area across from Beechwood Elementary School at 810 Rockland Avenue is being put to good use. Right now there are 23 raised garden beds available for rent each season--and there’s capacity to build more as demand grows! For $30 a year, you can rent a 10’ x 4’ raised garden bed.

And on April 27 at 9:00 a.m., you can join the volunteers at the community garden for “Spring Maintenance Day.” Join in on building additional raised beds, mowing, weeding, planting, and more! Gloves and tools will be provided. Also, the garden is in need of straw hats, flannel shirts, and old pants, both adult and children sizes, for the pumpkin patch’s scarecrows. For more information, email beechviewcommunitygarden@gmail.com.

Carrick's Dairy District, Brownsville Road featured in local media

“Pittsburgh’s only operational dairy is now the center of redevelopment in Carrick,” Pop City starts off in a piece about Carrick’s redevelopment. Readers of my newsletter, of course, had an inside scoop already! Read the whole piece here. And the South Pittsburgh Reporter put together a nice profile--read it here.

Two notes about Bon Air

At a recent school board committee meeting, it was announced that 19 Pittsburgh public school buildings will go up for sale. These are schools that are no longer operational, and they are located all over the city. One of them is Bon Air Elementary School. Though we haven’t yet received any letters of interest from prospective buyers, rest assured that we would never allow anything to happen that would fundamentally change the nature of the community. Any and all plans, renderings, and drawings would have to be reviewed at community meetings so that all in the community would have input--and so that all community members are happy with the proposals. Additionally, any change of use would have to go in front of the zoning board, where the community would again have a chance to give their input. We will be sure to keep you updated through the newsletter of any updates we receive.

In other news, we've received concerns from the community about the condition of Bon Air Parklet--and we share these concerns. There's money in the capital budget for 2013 for these fixes, including new safety surfacing for the playground, new surfacing for the dek hockey court, paint jobs, and new parts for the playground equipment.

We wish Mike Gable, our former Assistant Director of Public Works, a happy retirement, and we look forward to working with our new Assistant Director to get these projects implemented as soon as possible.

Wenzell Avenue work updates

There are several improvements on the schedule for Wenzell Avenue this year. There are going to be improvements to the intersection of Wenzell Avenue and Banksville Road, repairs to the stairs alongside Wenzell Avenue, and installation of a new catchbasin at the intersection of Wenzell and Crosby. In addition, the roadway is slated to be milled and paved this summer. We'll keep you informed as this project moves forward.

Concerned about biking and pedestrian issues in South Pittsburgh?

You may not realize it, but many people who live in South Pittsburgh commute downtown via bicycle! Economic Development South is interested in working to make our area better for cyclists--and, by extension, pedestrians, because streets that are safe for bikes are safe for pedestrians (and drivers too!). So EDS is inviting those who are interested to join their Bike/Pedestrian Committee, which will look into ways to make improvements. If you’re interested, contact Stephanie Miller at smiller@economicdevelopmentsouth.org.

Keystone Oaks to hold anti-bullying symposium

More than 600,000 children nationwide are afraid to go to school for fear of being bullied while many others On Monday, April 22 at 7 p.m., Keystone Oaks High School will be hosting a symposium on bullying and cyber bullying. Allegheny County Deputy District Attorney Laura Ditka and community member John Wooliscroft will be on hand to discuss these serious issues. Discussion will center around questions including, what constitutes bullying? What are some key differences between bullying and cyber bullying? What can we as a community do to help prevent it? This event is free and open to everyone and will take place in Keystone Oaks’ Callara Auditorium.

Historic Wigman House to receive plaque

Carrick’s history is apparent--its parks, industrial spaces, and houses are chock full of stories from decades and centuries past. For the first time ever, the City of Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission is recognizing a historic structure with an actual plaque! Though many buildings are considered historic, this is the first marker that will say so. The recipient? The Wigman House, a perfect example of Queen Anne architecture, located at 1425 Brownsville Road. Thanks to the Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society for its work with the Historic Review Commission, and congratulations to the owner of the Wigman House!

Know a small business hero in your community?

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy--and our middle class. Do you know a small business “hero” who’s seemingly performed miracles in your neighborhood? Who has made a tremendous contribution on your main street? The Pittsburgh Small Business Community Heroes award program, sponsored by Direct Energy, is hosting an award competition. Nominate a small business owner who fits these criteria here. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize and $2,000 donation to the cause of his or her choice in the community. He or she will also receive a full-page profile in the July 2013 issue of Pittsburgh Magazine.

Special Kick Clinic to host afternoon of soccer fun

Gooooooal! The Watson Institute is partnering with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds to host the Special Kick Clinic, a free afternoon of soccer fun for kids with special needs and their siblings at the Riverhounds’ new home, Highmark Stadium at Station Square on Sunday, April 21 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This fun soccer clinic day, consisting of designated areas of modified soccer drills, will be led by Pittsburgh Riverhounds coaches and players. Parents and caregivers can visit Watson’s Ask the Experts Cafe during the clinic where they can enjoy seeing the children on the field while talking with the Watson Institute’s professional consultants who will offer advice and share insights to parents of children with special needs. Learn more and register here.

We're fixing up Brownsville Road, step by step

Are you concerned about speeding along a certain stretch of Brownsville Road? Does a specific intersection need better lighting? How often have you contacted 311 or 911 during the summer because of an issue on Brownsville Road? Is there something specific you’d like to see done? Tell CTAC in this online survey. The results of this survey will help my office, law enforcement, and the Carrick-Overbrook Block Watch understand what your top public safety issues are.

Taste of Brookline tickets on sale, volunteers needed

This year’s Taste of Brookline is just several days away. Come join your friends and neighbors, plus all the participating businesses, to enjoy local food, drink, music, and camaraderie. The festival will take place on Sunday April 28 between 2-5pm at the Church of the Resurrection gymnasium, 1100 Creedmoor Ave. Follow their updates on Facebook as the planning continues. Tickets are $30 and are available on their website and at the following locations:

A-Boss Optical
938 Brookline Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
(412) 561-0811

Cannon Coffee
802 Brookline Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
(412) 563-0202

Kribel's Bakery
546 Brookline Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
(412) 531-1942

Are you maybe interested in volunteering at the event? They’re in need of help for things like event preparation, decorations, monitoring the trash situation, helping with the raffle, and, of course, clean up. If interested, sign up here.

Beechview gearing up for 3rd annual Car Cruise

It’s spring time, so it’s car cruise time! Join the Beechview Merchants Association on May 11 from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. for food, entertainment, and fun. The Car Cruise will feature a DJ playing ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s classics, prizes and trophies, and cars from all eras. For more information, visit the Beechview Merchants site, and to register your vehicle, visit this page.

A word about City real estate tax payment

Be sure to know that when using a credit card to pay your City real estate tax amount, there is a convenience fee of 2.39% that is charged by the Paymentus company that handles this transaction. Real estate taxes were billed in February; the gross amount is due on April 22, 2013, but a 2% discount will be taken if paid in full by March 31. For more information, contact the City’s Real Estate Office at 412.255.2525.

Participate in Pittsburgh's urban design plan

There’s another round of public meetings for ARTPGH and DESIGNPGH coming up. These are components of a project to put together the City’s first comprehensive urban plan! Do you have suggestions as to how the City should develop? There will be six open house sessions where you can participate (and the suggestion is that you participate in a neighborhood in which you live or work):

Hill District. Kaufmann Center, 1825 Centre Avenue, 4-7 p.m. on Monday, April 22
Squirrel Hill. Schenley Ice Rink, 10341 Overlook Drive, 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23
East Liberty. Carnegie Library East Liberty Branch, 130 S. Whitfield Street, 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24
West End. West End Overlook Shelter, 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25
North Side. Children’s Museum, 10 Children’s Way, 4-7 p.m. on Monday, April 29
Mount Washington. Mount Washington Senior Center, 122 Virginia Avenue, 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30

An RSVP is requested, though not required. You can do so by contacting Morton Brown, public art manager, at 412.255.8996, or by email at morton.brown@pittsburghpa.gov, through the Facebook page, or through the PLANPGH website.

Block watches work!

If you are concerned about crime in your neighborhood, we encourage you to attend your neighborhood block watch meeting. There, you can learn how to organize your closest neighbors and meet people who may have dealt with similar issues elsewhere in the community. This is a chance to meet local officers, officials, and your own neighbors, and to speak up about problems you see and experience every day.

Beechview Area Concerned Citizens & Beechview Block Watch
Thursday, May 2, 7:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. at Beechview United Presbyterian Church (1621 Broadway Ave)

Carrick-Overbrook Block Watch
Monday, May 6, 7:00 p.m. at Concord Elementary (2350 Brownsville Rd)

Brookline Block Watch
Tuesday, May 14, 7:00 p.m. at Judge Jim Motznik's Office (736 Brookline Blvd)

The Pittsburgh Community Safety website is another fantastic resource for keeping tabs on your community. Sign up to receive public safety alerts in your police zone, and check out the virtual blotter. Need help? Check out the user guide.


HELP, WORK, DONATE, VOLUNTEER

Carrick Tree Tenders welcome you to come out for some fresh air!

The Carrick Tree Tenders have put some spring dates on the calendar and invite you to come out and join them for some pruning and sprucing. Jake, a representative from Tree Pittsburgh, will be assisting with Carrick’s trees this year as well. Some dates on the Tree Tenders’ schedule are:

Thursday, May 23, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 6, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 17, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

If you are interested in attending, and for information on where to meet up on any of these scheduled dates, please contact Joe Krynock at grizzly_joe@verizon.net or call my office at 412.255.2131.

Citiparks recruiting lifeguards for summer 2013

The Citiparks Aquatics Division is looking for lifeguards for this year’s summer season. If you know someone who is certified, or interested in obtaining certification, to work for Citiparks, contact the Aquatics Division Office at 412.323.7928.

South Hills Middle School looking for volunteers

South Hills Middle School is interested in having community members come to the school, located at 595 Crane Avenue, to assist with hall monitoring, cafeteria duty, students in the classroom, and clerical duties on a volunteer basis. Those interested in volunteering for work directly with children will have to acquire clearances, which will be paid for through the PTO. For more information, contact Carol Senft at csenft1@pghboe.net.

Citiparks BIG League Sports will need seasonal employees

The summer baseball/softball season will soon be upon us, and Citiparks is looking for seasonal employees for May-August! Applicants must live in the City, have a driver’s license, be available on weekends and evenings (30-40 hours a week), and receive their child abuse and criminal clearances. The positions are for monitors, whose tasks will be to keep score, interpret the rules as situations arise, do daily field preparations, and some light office work. If interested, call the BIG League office at 412.488.8585 or send your resume to michelle.aul@pittsburghpa.gov.

Employment opportunities with the City of Pittsburgh

The City of Pittsburgh invites all individuals seeking employment to apply online using their website at www.pghjobs.net. Click on the Online Employment Center button to view current job openings and register in the online employment system. If you don’t have access to a computer with Internet capabilities, visit the City’s Online Employment Center at 414 Grant Street, City-County Building, Fourth Floor, or call for Employment Application information at 412.255.2710.

Meals on Wheels needs drivers and kitchen help

Our Meals on Wheels programs are in need of volunteer drivers, visitors and kitchen help Monday through Friday. Volunteering requires a one and a half hour commitment for drivers and visitors and a three hour commitment for kitchen helpers once a week or as needed.

Hilltop/Bon Air/Carrick/Overbrook/Brentwood: Call the kitchen at 412.881.0990 between 8:00 a.m. and noon or stop by the kitchen at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (601 Brownsville Rd.) from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Beechview/Brookline/Carnegie: Call the kitchen at 412.279.5670. The kitchen is located at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 601 Washington Ave, Carnegie, PA 15106.


EVENTS

 

Carrick Little League Opening Day Parade
Saturday, April 20, 10:00 a.m. at the Carrick Shopping Center (2134 Brownsville Rd) toward Roosevelt Elementary (17 W Cherryhill St)

Bon Air Redd-Up Day
Saturday, April 20, 10:00 a.m. at the Bon Air Parklet gazebo (corner of Conniston Ave and Calle Ave)

Carrick Redd-Up Day
Saturday, April 20, 10:00 a.m. behind the Carrick Shopping Center (2134 Brownsville Rd)

Overbrook Redd-Up Day
Saturday, April 20, 10:00 a.m. at the Accamando Center (2410 Saw Mill Run Blvd)

Special Kick Clinic
Sunday, April 21, 1:00 p.m. at the Riverhounds Stadium (510 Station Square Dr)

Stop Bullying Symposium
Monday, April 22, 7:00 p.m. at the Keystone Oaks High School Callara Auditorium (1000 Kelton Ave, Mt. Lebanon)

Overbrook Community Council Meeting
Tuesday, April 23, 7:00 p.m. at the Accamando Center (2410 Saw Mill Run Blvd)

City-Wide Public Safety Meeting (Police Zones 2, 4, and 5)
Tuesday, April 23, 6:00 p.m. at East Liberty Presbyterian Church (116 S. Highland Ave)

School Board Candidates Forum
Wednesday, April 24, 6:00 p.m. at Elder-Ado (320 Brownsville Rd)

Beechview Merchants Association Meeting
Wednesday, April 24, 7:00 p.m. at the Beechview Merchants Association Office (1553 Broadway Ave)

“Because You’re Mine, I Walk the Line” Brookline Bar Crawl
Friday, April 26, 8:00 p.m. at Moonlite Cafe (530 Brookline Blvd)

Carrick & Knoxville Carnegie Library consolidation open house discussion
Saturday, April 27, 10:00 a.m. at Temple Baptist Church (743 Brownsville Rd)

Brookline Little League Parade
Saturday, April 27, 9:00 a.m. at the Cannon on Brookline Boulevard

Brookline Anti-Litter Poster Contest
Saturday, April 27, 12:30 p.m., awards ceremony at 2:00 p.m. at Brookline Rec Center (1400 Oakridge St)

Women’s Club of Overbrook Card Party
Saturday, April 27, 11:00 a.m. at Fairhaven Methodist Church (2415 Saw Mill Run Blvd)

Taste of Brookline
Sunday, April 28, 2:00 p.m. at the gymnasium of Church of the Resurrection (1100 Creedmoor Ave)

Brookline Area Community Council
Monday, April 29, 7:00 p.m. at St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (933 Brookline Blvd)

Beechview Area Concerned Citizens & Beechview Block Watch
Thursday, May 2, 7:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. at Beechview United Presbyterian Church (1621 Broadway Ave)

Carrick-Overbrook Block Watch
Monday, May 6, 7:00 p.m. at Concord Elementary (2350 Brownsville Rd)

Carrick Community Council Public Meeting
Wednesday, May 8, 7:00 p.m. at Concord Elementary (2350 Brownsville Rd)

3rd Annual Beechview Car Cruise
Saturday, May 11, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Broadway Avenue

Brookline Chamber of Commerce Meeting
Monday, May 13, 5:45 p.m. at CLP Brookline (708 Brookline Boulevard)

Brookline Block Watch
Tuesday, May 14, 7:00 p.m. at Judge Jim Motznik's Office (736 Brookline Blvd)

South Pittsburgh Development Corporation (SPDC) Meeting
Monday, May 20, 7:00 p.m. at the Brookline United Presbyterian Church (1036 Brookline Blvd)

Primary Election Day
Tuesday, May 21

Beechview Senior Center Picnic
Wednesday, May 22 at Banksville Park (Crane Ave)

Carrick Tree Tending
Thursday, May 23, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Carrick Tree Tending
Thursday, June 6, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Carrick Tree Tending
Saturday, July 13, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Carrick Tree Tending
Saturday, August 17, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


 

Improving our neighborhoods and keeping them great is a process that requires involvement from people like you. Be active, and join us at any of the following events or meetings. We can't do it without you! If you have questions about any of these events, feel free to give our office a call at 412.255.2131.

Published:
Friday, April 19, 2013
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