Real estate IN FOX CHAPEL AREA
Fox Chapel area school District InFoRmatIon on the
Proposed Final Budget
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 1
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er 2013 summ
IN Fox Chapel Area is a community magazine dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the people of Fox Chapel Area School District and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
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IN Fox Chapel Area | SUMMER 2013 |
rict school Dist pel area the Fox Cha atIon on 14 InFoRm 20 get 2013d Final Bud Propose
Take it Outside - Dining on the Patio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 30 Fox Chapel Athlete Headed to the Maccabiah Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 32 The Unsinkable Judy Bossart! . . . . | 41
on the cover
The Schools to Watch re-designation banner is presented to the Dorseyville Middle School community gathered in the school gym April 26. Please see pages 16 & 17 for the full story on the DMS Schools to Watch celebration. – Photo Courtesy Town and Country Studio
Students Recognized as Future Leaders in Science and Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 57 C.A.S.E. Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 66 “Life is Sweet Chef Showcase” Benefits Best Buddies Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 69 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
BPU Investments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
Eastern H2O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 29 32
Fox Chapel Advanced Dental Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 43
Eartique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 62 COMMUNITY INTEREST
Beleza Plastic Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 68
Fox Chapel Area School District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 9
Heritage Hospice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 70
UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use . . . . . . . . . . | 33
Perman Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 72
Delectably Downton in Fox Chapel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 42 Real Estate in Fox Chapel Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 44 UPMC | Lasik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 58 Cooper Siegel Community Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 60 Boyd Community Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 61 Backyard Splendors of Indiana Township . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 65 UPMC | Urgent Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 71 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
Fox Chapel Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
Watson Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 54
Welcome to the Summer issue of IN Fox Chapel Area. While we focus on the communities that we serve, we don’t live in a bubble. The world throws curveballs at each of us, and we have to decide whether to swing at them. In the case of the Boston Marathon bombing, the city swung and knocked it out of the park. Residents came together to present a united front. First responders put their lives on hold and on the line until the threat was removed. Boston is not unique in that regard. Over the past decade or more that I’ve been publishing magazines, I’ve had the good fortune to come into contact with a lot of residents in the communities we serve. I’ve met dozens upon dozens of municipal officials, police and fire chiefs, EMS teams, and elected officials. I’ve seen them deal with their own issues, and I’ve seen them from time to time mourn their losses in the press. What I’ve seen and who I’ve met along the way has convinced me that the resilience of Boston is not a regional attribute. It’s a way of life that seems to be somehow tied to our very genes. Fortunately, not every city will face a challenge of that magnitude. But we do have it in us to take the inspiration demonstrated by the people of Boston and apply it to our daily lives. We can take small steps every day to ensure that the community we live in is a little bit better by the time we lay our heads down on the pillow at night. Whether it’s raising money for a cause, or visiting someone who needs to see a smiling face, young or old we can all do something to make our surroundings a little bit better. And by making things a little bit better for each other, hopefully, we can be better prepared to help one another if things suddenly get worse. This May, we honored volunteers and organizations in the community that help make a difference in such ways. Those people and causes were chosen by you, and we are proud to thank them for their service to their communities. We thank you for your dedication to our magazines and hope that you continue to be part of them and contribute your thoughts and ideas to our editors. There are many more stories to be told, and we always welcome your help in finding them. Wayne Dollard Publisher
we want to know
why is your Pet the Best Pet
in the world All Animals Welcome!
Write and tell us why your pet is the greatest. Be sure to send us a photo of your best friend and let us know which magazine you receive at your home. Photos should be as large as possible and may be emailed to our editor, Pamela Palongue at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to IN Community Magazines, 603 East McMurray Road, McMurray, PA 15317. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you would like your photo returned.
there’s nothing quite like the unconditional love of a pet, so share the love! 4
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Fall content deadline: September 20
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 5
A Night in the Woods, presented by PNC Bank OutdOOr Summer COCktAil PArty June 22nd Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, Fox Chapel
ou’re invited to spend a Night in the Woods under the stars at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve. The elegant evening includes a signature cocktail, wonderful food, live music, and a silent auction—as well as visually striking woodwork by local Pittsburgh artists. The event, presented by PNC Bank, features music by Paul and Jeff of Good Brother Earl, food by Andora Restaurant, and dessert from Bella Christie & Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique. Join event co-chairs Libby Culbertson Ernharth, Rebecca Ringham Myerburg, and Sarah Perkins Stallings for this special evening that benefits Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania and its Shannon’s Camp Fund, which enriches the lives of area children by providing Audubon camp scholarships that spark a lifelong love of the natural world. Tickets: $125 per person; make your reservation by visiting aswp.org or by calling 412.963.6100.
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Time for Tapenades T
Tapenade ur es | Chill time: 1 ho ut in m 10 e: tim p Pre ings Makes 8 to 10 serv
d shallots 1/2 cup choppe tomatoes d smoked sun-dried 1/4 cup choppe gin olive oil tablespoons extra vir 2 lsamic vinegar tablespoons white ba 2 d cloves garlic, mince 2 olives, well drained six-ounce can green 1 olives, well drained six-ounce can black 1 cked fresh basil 1/4 cup lightly pa ste ground pepper to ta Sea salt and freshly baguette slices od Crackers or toasted r and garlic in a fo s, olive oil, vinega oe , salt at sil m to ba , d es ie iv dr ol nd opped. Ad ch y Place shallots, su el fin til un off r 1 hour. (May lse on and Cover and chill fo d. processor and pu pe op ch til un n lse agai and pepper and pu d.) ea ah y da 1 ces. be prepared toasted baguette sli or rs ke ac cr Serve with
he ripe olive is one of the most versatile foods in the pantry. While delicious on its own, olives also add flavor to a number of dishes from soups and salads to appetizers and entrees. A simple ripe olive base is all you need to create a world of flavor. One dish, that features olives predominantly and is as versatile as its main ingredient, is tapenade. Tapenade originated in Provence, France, as a simple mixture of chopped olives, with various herbs and spices and is often used as a spread on crackers or as a condiment. There are many different recipes for tapenade, and the first step is selecting the type of olive to use. Green and black olives are perfect because of their mild taste and ability to blend well with other flavors. Tapenades are as varied as they are delicious, with consistencies that range from a spreadable paste to a chunky, salsa-like mixture. And their flavors can span the globe, from Greek and Mexican to Asian and French. Although delicious with crackers and a traditional cheese plate, there are a number of creative ways to enjoy tapenade, including: n n n n n
Mixing with sour cream for a zesty dip As a spread on sandwiches Spooned on tacos with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese Stuffed into chicken breasts for a flavorful kick Spread on pizza dough and topped with cheese and veggies
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 7
Dr. James Edmonds
The Voice of
t’s late afternoon and Dr. Edmonds is on the phone with a patient who has a question about her surgery. “I love what I do, I always have,” he said. “Interacting with patients is an integral part of my practice.” No doubt that love for his field has kept Dr. Edmonds energized since he started practicing in the Fox Chapel community nearly 30 years ago. He is currently Chief of the Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at UPMC St Margaret. A native of Irwin, he completed his undergraduate studies at Allegheny College, his Masters degree in Public Health and his doctorate at the University of Pìttsburgh School of Dental Medicine. His oral and maxillofacial surgery practice encompasses everything from the surgical correction of traumatic facial injuries and dentofacial anomalies to dental implants, removal of wisdom teeth, and Botox injections. “We do so many things here,” Dr. Edmonds said. “Our patients are quite diverse in age and their needs. We even see toddlers who need treatment.” One condition seen in some children is ankyloglossia, commonly known as tongue-tie. It can begin to manifest in children three to four years of age with speech difficulties. Dr. Edmonds explains that the small fold of connective tissue called a frenum underneath the front of the tongue is shortened, preventing proper speech and movement of the tongue. He has quickly and successfully corrected this condition countless times, which if untreated, can create problems for the individual with both a social stigma and speech issues. Dental implants are also a big part of Dr. Edmonds’ practice. They give patients an alternative to dentures or can replace missing teeth. “We utilize three-dimensional CT scans for computer-guided surgery, which reduces the risk of complications for the patient and also ensures that we have no surprises,” he said.“The implants attach directly to the jawbone. They function just like natural teeth and have been proven to be more than 97 percent successful.”
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Dr. Edmonds said he also offers alternatives for patients who are not a good fit for dental implants. “We all lose bone density as we age and sometimes gum disease can also cause the jawbone to shrink. We can actually graft bone to augment the jaw which prepares it for dental implants or dentures. We lay the groundwork for successful dental treatment,” he said. Another growing part of his practice are Botox injections that can reduce TMJ muscular pain or help to soften crow’s feet and fine lines. Understanding that pain is a major concern for most patients, Dr. Edmonds offers both local and IV sedation anesthesia in his practice. “Patients are all different and the treatment has to be uniquely customized to fît their specific needs and concerns,” he said. Dr. Edmonds exudes a quiet confidence, even when describing some of the most complex surgical procedures. A combination of state of the art technology with decades of experience, has made him one of the most sought-after oral surgeons in the Pittsburgh area. For more information on Dr. Edmonds and treatment options, go to his website at www.foxchapeloralsurgery.com or call him at 412.967.9200.
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Fox Chapel Area
Class of 1969 and Friends Pay Tribute to Former Principal
“Celebrating Cecil Through Literature” Dr. Cecil Tranquill as he appeared in the 1971 Renard yearbook.
loyd Stamy Jr., Fox Chapel Area High School Class of 1969, led a group of alumni, family, friends, and school district personnel, past and present, in celebrating the dedication of the Cecil Tranquill Language Arts Display. When asked why he wanted to honor his high school principal from more than 40 years ago, Mr. Stamy replied simply, “Cecil is a character – with character.”
Photos Courtesy Town and Country Studio
To begin his efforts to create a lasting tribute to Cecil Tranquill, D.Ed., Mr. Stamy passed a hat, literally, at his class reunion in 2009. The drum major in the high school marching band, he still had his drum major hat. With Mr. Stamy’s dogged determination, including a sizeable matching grant, the Class of 1969 and friends went on to raise more than $14,000 to build a trophy case that would provide a showcase for the academic achievements of Fox Chapel Area High School students. The beautiful display cases that make up the Tranquill Language Arts Display will be incorporated in the new library/media center when the upcoming high school renovation is complete. As part of the April 12 dedication program, Mr. Stamy and Dr. Tranquill shared stories and reminisced about the early years following the merger of the communities into a consolidated school district. Mr. Stamy described Dr. Tranquill as “larger than life,” stating, “He didn’t just enter a room, he took it hostage, but in a good way, earning our respect and capturing our hearts with his encouragement, wisdom, and wit.” In his remarks, Dr. Tranquill said that, of all of his years working in education, the best six years were spent at Fox Chapel Area High School. He credits the staff at that time as being willing to try anything that would improve the education of students. He spent three years as assistant principal beginning in 1965, and from 1968 through 1971 as principal. In the middle of his tenure, Dr. Tranquill decided to leave and take a new job as dean of students at Robert Morris
College (now Robert Morris University), but before the summer ended he realized that he preferred working with high school students. He saw district administrator Frank Christy at the Thrift Drug, who told him, “The guy who replaced you quit. Would you come back?” “Yes,” Dr. Tranquill said he told him. “It was the shortest interview in history!”
Fox Chapel Area School Board President Joel Weinstein, Dr. Cecil Tranquill, Lloyd Stamy (Class of 1969), and Superintendent Dr. Anne Stephens
Dr. Tranquill described the participated in the dedication ceremony to honor Dr. Tranquill. time he spent at Fox Chapel Area as a transitional time for young people. He said his students lived through the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the Kent State incident in which four student protesters were killed, and the Vietnam War era. “This class went from the ‘Happy Days’ to the hippie days,” Dr. Tranquill said. After serving Fox Chapel Area High School, Dr. Tranquill went on to lead the Riverview and Shaler Area school districts as superintendent. Following his career in education, he spent 17 years working in business as the director of human resources for an architectural and engineering firm before retiring. He kept his hand in education by serving as a judge for the Teacher Excellence Foundation for ten years. He and his wife, Shirley, live in Indiana Township where he has served as the chairman of the planning commission for 31 years. Their daughter, Kathy, lives locally, and their son, Ronald, lives in Virginia.
A number of high school staff who had worked with Dr. Tranquill attended the dedication including (from left to right) former high school assistant principal Dr. Ken Scholtz, Dr. Tranquill, former high school secretary Norine Stampahar, former high school assistant principal Dr. Gene Bolt, and former high school secretary Jacquie Hill.
Dr. Tranquill credits his coworkers and students, some of whom were present at the dedication, for his success. “I was just lucky enough to be hanging out here when you were in school,” he told Mr. Stamy and the other alumni and friends gathered at the dedication.
In addition to Mr. Stamy, a group of Fox Chapel Area alumni from the 1960s and 1970s were also present including Jim Lombardi, Kathy Tranquill, Dr. Tranquill, Mr. Stamy, and Garry Nelson.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 15
DMS Works to
Principal Matthew Harris congratulated the DMS community and challenged them to keep improving.
“Keep Getting Better” Receives re-designation as a Schools to Watch middle school
It took everyone to achieve the honor – and everyone was included in the celebration ceremony April 26. Dorseyville Middle School Principal Matthew Harris greeted the student body, staff, School Board, district administrators, parents, and other invited dignitaries, congratulating them for their work to continuously improve the middle school program which
brought them to this year’s re-designation. He challenged DMS to continue to keep getting better. Students emceed the ceremony, which also included student performances by the DMS Sinfonia Orchestra, Sixth Grade Chorus, and Jazz Band. Bruce Vosburgh and Len Ference, representing the Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch program, and Joe Maddalon from Horace Mann, a major sponsor of the program, presented Mr. Harris and the entire DMS school community with the re-designation banner that will hang in the school for the next three years. Superintendent Anne E. Stephens, Ph.D., stated in her congratulatory remarks, “Today is a day to celebrate. Tomorrow is a day to think about the future and raise the bar even higher.” Students also understood the significance of the award. “It shows a lot about the students, teachers, and how the school is run,” said eighth grader and DMS Student Council Vice President Brooke Echnat, one of the many students who played a role in the day’s celebration.
Director of the Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch Bruce Vosburgh, Horace Mann Representative Joe Maddalon, and Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education (PAMLE) Executive Director Len Ference presented the banner to the student body.
Fox Chapel Area
Brooke described how the student council was involved in the application process. Student representatives (along with professional and support staff members, administrators, and parents) were interviewed last November by the Middle Schools to Watch visiting team. “We got to play a part in achieving the honor,” she commented. “It’s great that the students and teachers get to celebrate such a high honor.”
Photos Courtesy Town and Country Studio
elebration was in the air – from the red and white balloons, to the banners, to the students dressed in their “Schools to Watch” celebration T-shirts. The Dorseyville Middle School community gathered to celebrate the re-designation as a 2013-2016 Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch middle school.
The Dorseyville Middle School Jazz Band performed Henry Mancini’s “The Pink Panther,” under the direction of teacher Anne Goggin. Eighth grader Thomas Swigon was the trumpet soloist on “The Star Spangled Banner,” which opened the celebration ceremony. Students were involved in the celebration, acting as greeters, ushers, and speakers at the ceremony.
Sixth grade technology education teacher Michael Wolinsky was a member of the middle school Schools to Watch Leadership Team during both application processes. Now in his 20th year as a DMS teacher, he has been a part of the program since Dorseyville became a middle school and is proud of how the school has evolved and improved over the years. “We’re not afraid to try something new,” he said, adding, “Every time we found something we needed to do, we took it on.” Seventh grade reading teacher Kelli Flanigan, also a member of the leadership team, pointed out the increase in the use of technology in every classroom and the new programs to reach each student as key components of Dorseyville’s commitment to continuous improvement.
Parents, who were also involved in the Schools to Watch process as representatives of the DMS PTO and Site-Based Team agreed, saying that Schools to Watch evaluators were looking at what has changed from three years ago until now when they made their recommendations. Dorseyville Middle School PTO President Michele Reuss pointed out that seventh graders who qualify academically now have the option to choose from four world languages including not only Spanish and French, but also German and Latin. Additionally, middle school parent representative for the Schools to Watch site visit, Eileen Lusk, said that teaming is the most important component of the middle school program. Because teaching teams meet each morning, “All of the teachers are on the same page.”
Fox Chapel Area School Board President Joel Weinstein told the audience at the celebration ceremony that he has been observing the middle school for many years, both as a School Board member and a parent. “It’s no surprise that you have been named a School to Watch for the second time because you just keep getting better.” He cited the leadership of Mr. Harris and the quality of the teachers as important components of the success and added, “Students seem to come into their own at Dorseyville Middle School.”
Long-time social studies teacher and lifelong resident Franca Rago spoke on behalf of the teachers, stating, “The DMS teachers and staff are unique… They are the best when it comes to teamwork.”
The DMS Sinfonia Orchestra, under the direction of teacher Jeffrey Bryer, performed “Perseus” as part of the ceremony.
The sixth grade chorus, under the direction of teacher Amy Beresik, sang “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 17
It’s a Small, Small World
O’Hara Elementary School celebrates its rich cultural diversity
t could be said that Jessica Taylor was born to organize a multicultural extravaganza. Her mother remembers that one of the first books her daughter read as a young student at Hartwood Elementary School was “Children Around the World and Their Cultures,” and the study of different cultures was always an important part of her life.
O’Hara students in the audience joined in the dancing with members of the Umoja African Arts Company.
Now an elementary Spanish teacher, Señorita Taylor has revived the annual O’Hara Elementary School multicultural celebration that had been on hiatus for several years. Surrounded by a wealth of cultural diversity at O’Hara, Señorita Taylor said that this year’s program involved more students and families than ever before in a display of countries, multicultural foods, and performances. More than 400 students and their families attended the third annual multicultural night program in March. Upon entering, each participant received a passport to the 18 countries represented at the fair and hosted by O’Hara families. From Argentina to Tanzania, guests learned about the culture and geography of each country, saw the flag and other artifacts, completed an activity, and sampled foods.
O’Hara Elementary School students performed a song as part of the multicultural celebration.
Third grader Lucas, second grader Mateo, and kindergartner Nicolas, along with parents Gaston and Josephine Oria, brought some of their native Argentina to the world fair. “We come here to support our children and let them know we are proud of our heritage. We want them to be proud of our heritage,” said Mrs. Oria. “It’s also just fun!” Visitors to their booth sampled dulce de leche, an Argentinian spread made from milk and caramel, with apples and panqueques, which are Argentinian pancakes similar to crepes. The most popular attraction at the Australian booth was the vegemite tasting, according to parent and Fairview Elementary School teacher Alison Francis, whose husband’s family is from Australia. Mrs. Francis explained that vegemite, a yeast extract, has a very distinctive taste. “My husband and mother-in-law adore it,” she commented. However, their daughters, middle schooler Emma and fourth grade O’Hara twins Meredith and Madelyn, prefer another Australian treat, Anzac biscuits. The family offered samples of both foods at their display. They handed out recipes for the biscuits, which the Francis’ pointed out used to be baked for soldiers.
Three O’Hara fifth grade violinists, under the direction of strings teacher Alex Sackandy, played a tango to accompany the dance performed by Trini Regaspi and Sean Cosgrove.
Fox Chapel Area
Emma said, “I really like showing people Australia.” In addition to the food sampling, visitors had the opportunity to learn about the country from information compiled in a binder by the Francis girls.
Two families hosted the Turkish booth. Guests were welcomed with carpets to color, Turkish books, and Turkish “evil eye” stickers by the Akinci and Ozkaya families.
More than 400 students and their families attended the multicultural fair that included displays of 18 countries, international foods, and performances of music and dancing from different cultures of the world.
Students shared what they learned at the fair with their teacher, Señorita Jessica Taylor.
O’Hara fifth grader Abby Alexander, along with her friends fifth grader Bryn Gerlach and Dorseyville Middle School seventh grader Sofie Wedner, said they found the Lebanon display very interesting. Abby described how Tarcia Rebeiz and her son, fifth grader Zander, invited them to find two English words in the Lebanese newspaper on display at the Lebanese booth. It was not difficult, since English is one of three languages spoken in Lebanon, and English words and phrases were sprinkled liberally throughout the newspaper. The girls learned from the Rebeiz family that elementary school students study Arabic, English, and French in school.
The second half of the multicultural fair included performances from around the world representing the music and dances of Latin America, Africa, India, the Philippines, and Korea. The O’Hara fourth grade chorus, under the direction of Elaine Goldsmith, sang two songs, and a trio of violinists made up of O’Hara fifth graders played a tango to accompany the dancing of Trini Regaspi and Sean Cosgrove. Señorita Taylor also joined local salsa instructor Loyal Martinez in a dance. A group of O’Hara Elementary School students who participate in the Aspinwall Tae Kwon Do demonstrated their art, and the evening’s finale was a performance of a Korean folk song “Ar-ri-rang” by 23 O’Hara students.
The vegemite tasting drew visitors to the Australian booth, where they also had the opportunity to see the flag and artifacts about the culture of the land down under.
Students painted their names in Korean at a booth hosted by the Kim family.
Mrs. Rebeiz said her family attended the multicultural fair last year, and “We knew we wanted to do it,” she said. Her husband, Mark Rebeiz, who is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, is Lebanese. His parents, who live in Illinois, speak French, and have encouraged their children to also be fluent in the language. Mrs. Rebeiz said that it is important to realize that “Even though a country is far away, we are not that different.”
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 19
Rebecca Stephan Named New Principal at Fairview Elementary School “With my background in music, I am impressed with the commitment of the School Board and administration to the arts – a vital part of a child’s education.”
Mrs. Stephan moved to the Pittsburgh area in 2011 and she most recently served as an assistant principal at Pine-Richland Middle School and as acting principal at Wexford Elementary School, both in the Pine-Richland School District. She began her career in 2000 as an elementary music teacher in Massachusetts. She also served as an elementary music specialist in Arlington, Texas, before becoming an elementary co-principal and an assistant elementary principal there. She has been a school administrator for seven years. Mrs. Stephan has an undergraduate and a master’s degree in music performance from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She earned her principal certification and a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas at Arlington. Mrs. Stephan has extensive experience with technology and facilitating staff development. She is also involved in the Western Pennsylvania Principals Academy. “I think it is so crucial to provide our teachers with differentiated professional development… We want to be sure our teachers are confident and equipped to provide the best possible instruction,” Mrs. Stephan says. 20
Fox Chapel Area
With her educational background, Mrs. Stephan has a particular interest in arts education and she is a board member of the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras. “With my background in music, I am impressed with the commitment of the School Board and administration to the arts – a vital part of a child’s education,” she says. Mrs. Stephan began working at Fairview Elementary School in May and describes the school as being “committed to excellence.” She says, “My immediate goals include getting to know the Fairview school community including the students, staff, and parents, as well as working with the staff in implementing state mandates in connection with our goals. Obviously, it is a priority that we work together to continue the tradition of high academic excellence that the school is so well known for.” Mrs. Stephan and her husband, Ed, live in the city of Pittsburgh in the Allegheny West neighborhood and Ed is the principal timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. They enjoy walking and riding bikes throughout the city. Mrs. Stephan’s hobbies include playing the French horn and making custom cakes. Mrs. Stephan replaces Sari McNamara, Ed.D., who will retire at the end of the 2012-2013 school year after 10 ½ years of service to the Fox Chapel Area School District.
Photo Courtesy Town and Country Studio
ox Chapel Area is a destination for educators,” says Rebecca Stephan, the new principal of Fairview Elementary School. “I had heard so many great things about the school system as well as the community, even before I moved here with my husband.”
New Hartwood Principal
Rachel Fischbaugh Looks Forward to Making Connections with Students and Families “Working with children and in education is the most rewarding profession in the world.”
Photo Courtesy Town and Country Studio
artwood Elementary students entering school on the first day of the 2013-2014 school year will be greeted – not only by shiny, waxed floors and new teachers, classrooms, and books – they will also be greeted by their new principal, Rachel Fischbaugh. “Working with children and in education is the most rewarding profession in the world,” says Mrs. Fischbaugh. “I have been a paraprofessional, classroom teacher, and administrator so I have the privilege of understanding every perspective in a school.” She looks forward to becoming acquainted with the Hartwood community and to making connections with students and their families. Mrs. Fischbaugh is already familiar with the Fox Chapel Area School District as she completed an administrative internship with Fairview Elementary School Principal Sari McNamara, Ed.D., in the summer of 2009. “I felt an immediate connection to the district and its philosophy,” Mrs. Fischbaugh states.
During her internship, she participated in professional development opportunities and says she valued the importance of instructional strategies and the focus on students’ individual learning needs and styles.
“My belief is to continue the academic success of Hartwood Elementary School and the positive learning community,” she says. “The school values collaboration and I look forward to being a part of the process with the team.”
Mrs. Fischbaugh has served her entire career, up to this point, with the North Allegheny School District. She was most recently an assistant principal at Carson Middle School. She previously worked, first as a paraprofessional at Ingomar Middle School, and then as a fifth grade teacher for seven years at Franklin Elementary School. At Carson Middle School she was the coordinator of the Olweus® Bullying Prevention Program, an initiative of which she is very proud.
Mrs. Fischbaugh earned her undergraduate degree, a master’s degree, and her principal certification from the University of Pittsburgh. She also received a certificate of achievement for management and leadership in education from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business.
An important part of her new job as Hartwood principal will be to support the Hartwood staff. Mrs. Fischbaugh knows that will come naturally being in “a close-knit community that values family and student learning.”
Originally from Wheeling, West Virginia, she and her husband, Paul, live in the North Hills. They have a son, Jake, a ninth grader. In her spare time, Mrs. Fischbaugh enjoys reading and watching her son play baseball. Mrs. Fischbaugh will begin her job June 13 and she will replace Jacquelyn Gregory-Rauzan, Ed.D., who is retiring at the end of the 2012-2013 school year after seven years of service to the Fox Chapel Area School District.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 21
DMS Principal Appointed to Central Office Position
Replaces retiring secondary curriculum coordinator
“I’m very proud of the fact that we can achieve at such high levels with kids from so many backgrounds; it’s a real strength for us.”
He says he is very proud of the district to which he has devoted his career. “I’m very proud of the fact that we can achieve at such high levels with kids from so many backgrounds; it’s a real strength for us.” Recently appointed to the position of coordinator of instruction, staff development, and secondary curriculum, Mr. Harris is anxious to serve the district in a new way. He states, “Since my earliest days in the district, I have gotten involved in efforts that I could see made an impact on teaching and learning. These earliest experiences really sparked an interest for me in how people acquire new knowledge. I am really able to express this as a principal when I lead groups of teachers to understand some new educational approach or help them decide how best to instruct students. It’s very rewarding for me personally.” Although his official start date is not until July 1 when current coordinator Shelley Beck, Ph.D., officially retires, Mr. Harris has been attending central administrative meetings and working to make a smooth transition to the new job. 22
Fox Chapel Area
“My most immediate goal will be to help the secondary teachers integrate the Pennsylvania Common Core into their curriculum, and finally into their instruction,” he says. Looking back at the time he spent at Dorseyville, Mr. Harris comments on the success of the middle school. “I am so proud of the team at DMS. I think we were able to move the building to higher levels of learning and achievement and really develop a middle school that is specifically focused on the unique needs of the middle school learner. I was so proud that the staff could be recognized for their efforts through two Schools to Watch designations.” Mr. Harris completed his bachelor’s degree in English literature, a master’s in teaching, principal certification, and curriculum and instruction certification at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently enrolled in the educational leadership doctoral program at Pitt. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Maxwell, 12, and Alexandra, eight, and they live in the North Hills. Mr. Harris says he likes to read, and when he has time, he also enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, camping, mountain biking, and fly-fishing.
Photo Courtesy Town and Country Studio
eginning with a most opportune internship while a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Matthew Harris has spent his career in the Fox Chapel Area School District as a QUEST (gifted) teacher, a sixth and eighth grade language arts teacher, a Dorseyville Middle School assistant principal, and, for the last six years, as principal of Dorseyville.
District Named One of
“Best Communities for Music Education” Second year in a row
he Fox Chapel Area School District has been named among the 2013 “Best Communities for Music Education.” This is the second year in a row that the district received this prestigious designation. Nationally, only 307 school districts, including 35 from Pennsylvania, were selected. The districts and schools were chosen through a program sponsored by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)
Foundation which acknowledges schools and districts across the United States for their commitment and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. Established in 1999, the Best Communities for Music Education program recognizes collaborative, from-the-ground-up efforts of teachers, administrators, students, and parents who continually work to keep comprehensive music education as an integral part of the core curriculum.
Hartwood Elementary School band teacher Daniel Traugh gives a small-group lesson to Hartwood Elementary School fourth graders.
According to the NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen, the Best Communities for Music Education program is the bellwether of rising endorsement for this vital cause. “There is overwhelming research tying music education to higher overall student success in school and in life,” she said. “This designation recognizes communities for their commitment to music education and strengthens support for these programs.”
Hartwood Elementary School music teacher Rachel Pollard directs fifth grade students preparing for a concert.
Students Host Annual Senior Citizen Luncheon
he Fox Chapel Area High School Student Government hosted approximately 200 district senior citizens for their annual luncheon April 6. District seniors were treated to a free turkey lunch and a choral concert performed by the high school Madrigal Singers and Vulpes Cantantes. The senior citizen luncheon and music
performance is just one of the special events offered for senior citizens. To obtain a Gold Card, which entitles district seniors ages 60 and older to free or reduced admission to many district events, call 412/967-2443.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 23
Award-Winning Illustrator Explains Process of
Making a Picture Book
y job is to tell the story in pictures… to make it interesting, so you want to turn the page,” award-winning illustrator Stacy Innerst told Kerr Elementary School students during a recent visit. Mr. Innerst, a resident of Mt. Lebanon, recently visited all the Fox Chapel Area elementary schools to show students how the illustration process works. He showed the students some of his drawings and photos of himself as a boy. He explained that he worked in newspapers for a long time before he went on to illustrate books. He shared an illustration from his book, “Lincoln Tells a Joke,” to show the students what his original paintings and drawings look like before they are finalized in book form. Mr. Innerst used his book “Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea” to show students how the entire illustration process works, from first phone call to finished product.
Illustrator Stacy Innerst draws Justin Bieber as a beaver.
He also explained that he tries to find something to make each book unique. For “Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea,” he painted all of the illustrations on blue jeans. “I did all the paintings for the book on denim,” he commented as he showed the children an original sample. He also pointed out that he is concerned about historical accuracy when he does his drawings. To reinforce the illustration process, Mr. Innerst then asked the students what they would like to see him draw. He encouraged them to come up with an interesting character and be creative. One girl raised her hand and suggested, “Justin Bieber – as a beaver.” The other kids giggled loudly in agreement and Mr. Innerst went to work drawing Justin Bieber, as a beaver. He also drew a “crime-fighting superhero pony with laser eyes,” a “robber donkey,” and “George Washington reading a book on a pogo stick.” Prior to Mr. Innerst’s visit, the Kerr Elementary School students learned about Mr. Innerst’s life, read some of his books, and studied his drawings as a part of their library classes.
Mr. Innerst holds up an original painting he did on denim for his book, “Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea.”
“We went on the computer and we viewed his website and his drawings and paintings,” reports fourth grader Evan Butler. Fifth grader Isabelle Analo pointed out that she learned a lot about Mr. Innerst and his books. She especially enjoyed his book, “Lincoln Tells a Joke.” “He takes the way you see someone and he turns it into a cartoon aspect,” Isabelle stated.
Fox Chapel Area
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 25
Athletic Trainers Play Vital Role Behind-the-Scenes
ttend any “contact” sport competition at Fox Chapel Area High School – soccer, basketball, football, field hockey, baseball, softball, and lacrosse – and there’s comfort in knowing one person will always be there: John “JP” Panos, ATC, the school’s longtime athletic trainer and assistant athletic director. In case there’s any confusion, Mr. Panos, and his counterpart at Dorseyville Middle School, Jennell Wolfe, ATC, are not just “trainers.” They are highly-qualified members of a profession recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) that requires, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, a clinical rotation, and passing stringent national and state exams to obtain a license and certification. Education, awareness, and prevention are important components of a high school certified athletic trainer’s job, especially when it comes to creating awareness of serious conditions like mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) and sudden cardiac arrest. Part of this effort involves a simple yet helpful test for concussion called Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT™). The Fox Chapel Area School District was one of the first public school districts in Pennsylvania to implement the testing, which has become the most widely used computerized concussion evaluation system for athletes worldwide. The test is administered to seventh, ninth, and eleventh grade student athletes to get baseline data. If an athlete is injured later on, these baseline results can then be studied and compared with the post-injury ImPACT scores. “In cases of mild traumatic brain injury, we work closely with the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program,” says Mr. Panos, who also serves as an accredited clinical instructor at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University. 26
Fox Chapel Area
Certified athletic trainer John “JP” Panos walks off the field with a football player and an intern from the University of Pittsburgh.
“They evaluate and treat a very high percentage of high school, college, and professional athletes. We are very fortunate to have a program of this caliber nearby, and to have access to internationally-renowned neurocognitive concussion specialists.” When injuries do occur, certified athletic trainers usually are the front line for the health care of scholastic athletes and the first people called upon to assess and treat injuries on site. It is a certified athletic trainer’s knowledgeable decisions that can help prevent further damage. Fox Chapel Area’s certified athletic trainers often work closely with an athlete’s personal physician during the rehabilitation process. Therapy can, in part, be administered in the Fox Chapel Area High School athletic training room, where most functional rehab can be accommodated. Contrary to what some people may believe, it is not the coach’s decision to determine when an athlete can resume activity. “The physician and certified athletic trainer work in tandem to monitor a recovering athlete and determine when he or she is well enough to resume practice, and at what level of competition,” says Mr. Panos. “Physicians rely on us a lot because we are their on-site eyes and ears. Contrary to what some people believe, it is not up to a coach to decide when a player can return.” All things considered, it’s no surprise that Fox Chapel Area High School has become a desired clinical rotation setting for aspiring certified athletic trainers from the accredited programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University. From taping an ankle to witnessing emergency triage, to injury follow up and recovery, there is no substitute for these real-life experiences as they prepare to become relevant members of the athletic health care team.
Mathias Marks Her Spot in Fox Chapel Area History Even seasoned analysts applaud her potential
rin Mathias is a music enthusiast who does a really good imitation of rapper Nicki Minaj and had lady luck on her side when she scored backstage passes to meet Justin Bieber. She says chocolate – especially chocolate peanut butter ice cream – is her guilty pleasure and she loves hanging out with her friends. You might think this Fox Chapel Area High School junior is just an average teenage girl, but in truth there is nothing typical about her, especially when it comes to basketball. A Duke recruit who was offered a scholarship in her freshman year, Erin helped lead the Lady Foxes to a 10-2 conference record this season and to the Class AAAA Section 2 co-champions title. She reportedly is the first female in Fox Chapel Area school history to be named to the Pennsylvania Sportswriters’ Associated Press (AP) Class AAAA All-State Girls’ Basketball First Team. Remarkably, the 6’3” forward/center earned the honor with only two years of experience at the high school level due to a knee injury that sidelined her for her entire sophomore season.
Photos Courtesy Town and Country Studio
Fox Chapel Area High School girls’ basketball coach Meghan Meabon says she can guess what Erin’s production would have been if she had been healthy all along – “Erin probably would be at 1,000 points or pretty darn close to it if she played last year.” Erin more than made up for it this season with an impressive scorecard: 415 points (662 in two years), 326 rebounds, 105 blocks, and she was 100 out of 131 from the foul line, or 76 percent. Even though she missed her personal goal to shoot 80 percent, it’s fair to say there are many Division I college players, both male and female, who would covet her free-throw stats. And, the scholar-athlete did it while earning a 3.74 cumulative grade point average. Erin’s deft touch, athleticism, and skillful rebounding prompted some national scouts to compare her “unique mix of size and skill
set” to Elena Delle Donne, who was ranked by Scout.com as the country’s number one recruit in 2008. Ms. Delle Donne was also a McDonald’s All-American and is now one of the most prolific scorers in women’s college basketball. While acknowledging she still must develop more and overcome “young mistakes,” Erin’s ESPN recruiting profile says she “Has the ability to post up but at the same time is effective on the move and off the cut.” And, she “manages some truly jaw-dropping maneuvers…is nearly ambidextrous, once going hard into a spin move and finishing on a jump stop – all with her left hand.” “It’s all true,” confirms Coach Meabon. The lofty player says she can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a basketball in hand. “I have a picture of when I was about four-years-old and I was dribbling around the house,” Erin says, “so I must have started pretty early.” By fifth grade people were telling her how advanced she was for her age. “I guess that’s when I first thought I must be pretty good,” she says, and that’s about as close to boasting as the humble 17-year-old ever gets. The same perseverance and determination that helped Erin become a rising star also helped turn the frustration of missing last season into a positive. “Sitting on the sidelines last year was a good learning experience because it helped me see the game from an off-court perspective,” she explains. At this point in Erin’s career, Coach Meabon says her role is more to help her with the mental aspect of the game and develop leadership qualities. “There will be a lot of pressure at Duke and at the Division I level,” Coach Meabon explains. “She will have stress athletically, but also from an emotional and academic standpoint, and I don’t want that to become too overwhelming. This is about more than just the game.”
The soughtafter Erin Mathias helped lead junior got the Lady Foxes to a 10-2 an oh-soconference record and the Class AAAA Section slight preview of 2 co-champions title. the physicality that accompanies collegiate competition after being double tagged all season. Once again, she channeled that obstacle into a positive by encouraging younger team members to pull through the challenge and shine. Ultimately, it contributed to helping the inexperienced team catapult into one of the WPIAL’s top-10 teams for much of the season. Erin is the first to recognize she has work to do and must toughen up physically before she enters the ranks of Division I basketball. “I’m going to a couple of camps this summer and definitely will keep working with a trainer to build more strength and endurance,” she says, “and, I’ll work with my shooting coach.” She also will play again for the Western Pennsylvania Bruins, her AAU team. With her senior year fast approaching, Erin will have the chance to reach even greater heights, and is eager to help the Lady Foxes win, at minimum, a WPIAL championship – something that is very important to her and the team. She wants to do it with the same kindred spirit that united the team in the 2012-2013 season. “We really had fun this year,” she says. “We did a lot as a team; we were always together.” Considering the jam-packed academic and athletic schedule that awaits her, team time may very well be the closest she’ll get to being an average teenager who likes to hang out with her friends.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 27
Fox Chapel Area School District District Administration 611 Field Club Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/963-9600 www.fcasd.edu Superintendent: Anne E. Stephens, Ph.D. Assistant Superintendent: David P. McCommons, Ed.D. Administrative Assistant for Business Affairs: L. Douglas McCausland District Resource Staff Coordinator of Instruction, Staff Development and Secondary Curriculum: Shelley Beck, Ph.D. Coordinator of Elementary Education and Instruction: Tammy S. Wolicki, Ed.D. Coordinator of Special Education and Pupil Services: Lonnie Carey, Ed.D. Coordinator of Educational Technology: Scott Hand Coordinator of Ancillary Services: Daniel Breitkreutz Director of Athletics & Activities: Michael O’Brien Coordinator of Communications: Bonnie Berzonski
Fox Chapel Area Schools Fairview Elementary School 738 Dorseyville Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/963-9315 Principal: Sari E. McNamara, Ed.D. Hartwood Elementary School 3730 Saxonburg Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/767-5396 Principal: Jacquelyn M. Gregory-Rauzan, Ed.D. Kerr Elementary School 341 Kittanning Pike Pittsburgh, PA 15215 412/781-4105 Principal: Paul S. Noro, Ed.D. O’Hara Elementary School 115 Cabin Lane Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/963-0333 Principal: Michael E. Rowe, Ed.D. Assistant Principal: James Phillip Prager Jr.
Inclement Weather Make-Up Day All students in kindergarten-grade 12 in the Fox Chapel Area School District currently have one inclement weather make-up day. Because of this make-up day, the end-of-the-year calendar for the 2012-2013 school year is now as follows: •Wednesday, June 5, will now be a full day of school for all students. •Thursday, June 6, will be an early dismissal day and the last day of school for all students. This schedule may change if, for any reason, additional make-up days are required.
Photo Courtesy Town and Country Studio
Fox Chapel Area School Board
Front Row (left to right): Sandra M. Garbisch, Assistant Secretary (2015 - Region II); Joel R. Weinstein, President (2013 - Region III); Nancy B. Foster, Treasurer (2015 - Region III); and Robert Mauro, Vice President (2013 - Region II). Row 2 (left to right): Eric C. Schmidt (2015 - Region I); Charles R. Burke (2013 - Region III); Anne E. Stephens, Ph.D., Superintendent; Terry L. Wirginis (2015 - Region II); Robin F. Baum (2015 - Region I); and Sherman M. Snyder (2013 - Region I). Row 3 (left to right): David P. McCommons, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent; Paul J. Giuffre, Esq., Solicitor; and L. Douglas McCausland, Board Secretary. 28
Fox Chapel Area
Dorseyville Middle School 3732 Saxonburg Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/767-5343 Principal: Matthew J. Harris Assistant Principal: Patricia A. Clark Assistant Principal: Jonathan T. Nauhaus Fox Chapel Area High School 611 Field Club Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/967-2430 Senior/Lead Principal: Michael H. Hower Program Principal: Daniel E. Lentz Assistant Principal – Senior Program: John J. McGee Assistant Principal – Intermediate Program: Rebecca J. Cunningham, Ed.D. For the latest information on school activities and weather-related delays and cancellations, call the Fox Chapel Area School District 24-Hour Information Line at 412/967-2500 or visit the website at www.fcasd.edu. The athletic events calendar can be found on the Fox Chapel Area School District website at www.fcasd.edu or visit www.highschoolsports.net.
Compliance Statement The Fox Chapel Area School District is an equal rights and opportunity school district. The school district does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, or handicap/disability. The district shall make reasonable accommodations for identified physical and mental impairments that constitute disabilities, consistent with the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations. Additional information pertaining to civil rights, school district policies, and grievance procedures can be obtained by contacting the compliance officers listed below between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. This notice is available from the compliance officers in large print, on audiotape, and in Braille. Title IX: David P. McCommons, Ed.D. (412/967-2456) Section 504 & ADA: Lonnie Carey, Ed.D. (412/967-2435) Address: Fox Chapel Area School District 611 Field Club Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Region I covers all of Sharpsburg Borough and Wards 2, 3, and 4 of O’Hara Township; Region II covers Districts 2, 4, and 5 of Fox Chapel Borough and all of Indiana Township; and Region III covers all of Aspinwall Borough, Blawnox Borough, Wards 1 and 5 of O’Hara Township, and Districts 1 and 3 of Fox Chapel Borough. School Board regular business meetings are usually scheduled for the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. and are held at the high school. The public is invited to attend.
he sun is shining, temperatures are rising, and pools are opening. Summer is finally here. With the arrival of the season, you can expect a whole new range of products lining the walls at Eastern H2O. Whether you are lounging at a beach enjoying a peaceful vacation, gripping a line riding a new wakeboard, or finding a new line at a local skate park, everything you need is under one roof. Family owned and operated, with a staff of knowledgeable associates, if it is in the store, you can bet that at least one member of the close-knit staff has worn, ridden, and sometimes even fallen on everything. With experience in the activities, there is no better place to stock up on all the gear you could possibly need, plus all the gear you could ever want. Ronix, Hyperlite, and Liquid Force, the three biggest names in wakeboarding, are brands exclusive to the shop. With popularity of water sports exploding, having the latest gear really can make the difference if youâ€™re looking to take your skills to the next level, or even if you just wish to start learning. Eastern H2O also carries
HO and Radar water skis, from beginner skis and doubles to the most aggressive slalom skis on the market. Not to mention the large selection of Coast Guard-approved life jackets, as well as ropes, and waterproof accessories for phones and tablets. From beaches, theme parks, and swim practices, to late-night boating trips, summer is full of things to experience, and the crew at Eastern H2O has a wide variety of clothing to fulfill the need for every situation you could encounter. Board shorts and bikinis, from brands such as Helly Hansen, Hurley, and TYR, will line the walls, along with cover-ups, t-shirts, and hoodies for when the activities go into the colder evenings. Walk shorts and hybrid shorts will also be present, great for relaxing on the boat or cruising around on a skateboard. No outfit would be complete without a fresh pair of shoes, from skate shoes, sandals, and highly breathable boating shoes, as soon as you walk through the door you are bound to find something to fit your lifestyle. As new stock arrives daily, be sure to check the website, or stop in and get your hands on many of the limited items that will be featured on the walls of Eastern H2O all summer long. The crew is also never opposed to anyone stopping by to hang out or share stories of vacations and experiences, they will even share some of their own if you need new inspiration. Their family is dedicated to providing the very best products and care for yours. Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 29
By Amanda Fastuca
he temperature is beginning to rise higher every week and we all want to enjoy the warm weather as much as possible before the summer comes to an end. Dining in a closed environment on a sunny day might not sound too tempting when youâ€™ve already spent nine hours in the office. Luckily, the trend of outdoor dining keeps growing and people are becoming more aware of it. The history of patio dining is a very old Italian tradition, where eating alfresco is almost a daily event. Parisians also enjoy taking their coffee at outdoor cafes, where chairs are aligned facing the street for the best view of passersby. Once the sun sets, a romantic dinner outdoors is both appealing and attractive to most people. A charming, pictureperfect setting of a table nestled
at the end of a quiet street, or a hidden courtyard with thousands of white lights adorning the trees, makes for a memorable evening. It used to be that when Americans thought of outdoor dining, they envisioned a checkered tablecloth sprawled out on the grass and a basket filled with fruit, peanut butter sandwiches and a tall glass of lemonade. Now, we Americans have adopted the European version of patio dining which is much more sophisticated. Not only do we have outdoor patios with glass tables and cushioned chairs in our own backyards, but restaurants and cafĂŠs are expanding their seating to the outdoors as well. Alfresco dining at a restaurant can be as simple as setting up a few tables and umbrellas on a sidewalk, or as extensive as a
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Fox Chapel Area
gated area with outdoor music, a wet bar and televisions. No matter what the setup, eating outdoors still feels like a luxurious experience. Although restaurants with outdoor patios give us the pleasure of enjoying the summer weather, it can also benefit our social lives. Treating your significant other to a later outdoor dinner when the sun goes down can be a perfect romantic date for a special occasion. Some restaurants even make their patios look like an Italian villa to complete the romantic atmosphere. Even gathering with a group of old friends can be more relaxing
at a high-top table by an outdoor bar. Local restaurants everywhere are giving their outdoor dining areas a laid-back setting to satisfy their guests for the summer, giving people a variety of summer dining options.
Send Us Your Photos!
At IN Fox Chapel Area Magazine we would like to help our readers mark the milestones in their life by featuring them in our magazine. We invite residents of Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Marshall Township and McCandless to e-mail us photos of your recently born baby, along with the parents’ name, child’s name and date of birth, to be published in our magazine. Also, any couples celebrating 50 or more years together, please e-mail us a photo of the two of you along with your wedding date. (It can be your original wedding photo or a present-day photo.) We also welcome the photos of any residents who are retired, along with their name and the company or business from which they are retiring.
Please help us celebrate what makes our area special – the people. *Please send all photos original size (1MB or larger) to our editor, Pamela Palongue, at email@example.com.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 31
Headed to the
Fox Chapel teen, Keaton Baum, will be traveling to Tel Aviv, Israel, this summer to compete in the Maccabiah Games, an international athletic competition commonly called the Jewish Olympics. Keaton qualified for the U.S. Hockey Team in the trials held in Philadelphia. He was one of only two Pittsburgh residents selected to compete in the games. Daniella Rabin, an eighth grader from Squirrel Hill, will represent the United States in gymnastics. Coincidentally, Keaton and Daniella are family friends and their parents are wellacquainted. Keaton, who will be a senior this fall, will be a forward on the U.S. team. He has played
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forward ever since he began playing team hockey at the age of six. “I’ve been skating for as long as I can remember,” says Keaton. A dedicated player, he skates two to three days per week and lifts weights two hours per day – and this is the off-season for the athlete. “He has made a lot of sacrifices to play hockey, including getting up early in the morning before school to practice,” says Nadav Baum, Keaton’s father. “The entire family is extremely proud of the effort he is making and what he has accomplished.” Currently, he plays in a pick-up league, but during the school year he competes in the Midwest Prep Hockey League (MPHL) and has traveled to Chicago, Boston, Calgary and even Europe to play against league teams.
Fox Chapel Area
He will depart for New York City on July 3 to practice with the U.S. team before heading to Israel for the games, which will then continue throughout the month of July. Approximately 65 countries will be competing and all the participants are Jewish athletes. Keaton, who attends Adat Shalom in Fox Chapel, dreams of one day playing in the National Hockey League. “That would be the ultimate,” he says. “I would love to play professional hockey.” For now though, he has set his sights on playing hockey with a good college team and preparing for the Maccabiah Games. Good luck Keaton!
JBossart udy ! The Unsinkable By Matthew J. Fascetti
udy Bossart has been a part of the O’Hara Township community for a whopping 37 years now. But she doesn’t just live there. One might say she thrives there. Bossart’s doctors discovered five brain tumors, a daunting diagnosis for anyone to have to hear. She was working at Westinghouse at the time, a company she had served for 25 years in the capacity of secretary and later as a plant worker, lifting heavy objects up to 90 lbs., soldering and various other jobs that required physical labor. “It was really a hard job physically,” acknowledges Bossart. The doctors were able to remove the tumors fortunately, but she was left with almost unbearable pain which she endured for 10 years, affecting the entire right side of her body.
After trying every sort of drug and treatment available to her without success, she went to a massage therapist as a last resort who practiced myofascial release. (The fascia tissue is a connective tissue that surrounds the muscles of the body.) To her surprise, it worked! In fact, it worked so well that she traveled to Arizona several times to train in the technique so that she could use it for her own treatment. She shared the technique with some of her close friends and family, and eventually a larger circle of individuals until finally it became necessary to open a massage therapy practice. “The last thing I ever thought I would be is a massage therapist,” she says. But Bossart feels she is truly making a difference in people’s lives... and she loves every minute of it. She advises others who are facing serious health issues, “We need to move. Our bodies need to stay in motion in order to be healthy.” She practices what she preaches. She teaches Zumba classes at a local church about four times per week. She is certified in seven different types of Zumba, including classes that can be taught in the water to handicapped individuals and to older students. Here’s the amazing part: she didn’t begin her Zumba training until she was 55 years old! “If you believe you can’t do something, – then you can’t! You can’t listen
to people who tell you that you can’t do something,” states Bossart. “I’m just happy to be alive. Every day is a new experience and I try to embrace it. I’m so grateful for all the experiences both good and bad because they have made me who I am.” She is a strong, determined lady who has not only found success in overcoming physical hardships, but gives back to the community in a variety of ways as well. She volunteered in years past with the Homeless Cats Management Team, which seeks to help feral cats. She herself owns two cats rescued from a shelter. More recently she has been involved with the Civil Service Commission of O’Hara Township which ensures that employment requirements have been met with regards to testing for employment, hiring and disciplinary procedures. It is a volunteer position, but a very important one to ensure that the area has the best police force possible. “I really love what I do…I love helping people,” says Bossart. Lucky for the Fox Chapel area that she does. For more information on the Myofascial massage technique, you may contact Judy Bossart at Nurturing Hands Massage Therapy at 412.784.8345 or visit her website at www.nurturinghandsmassage.com.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 41
he Pittsburgh Symphony North, an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, is hosting a tea that is modeled after
the “Downton Abbey” series. It will be held at the Ringham’s Williamsburg Colonial Residence in Fox Chapel. The event will take place on June 18 at 1:00 p.m. The tea will be provided by the 20th Century Club. Donna Perkins of Donna Perkins Productions created Abbey-type vignettes complete with butlers, a dowager and countesses. The Pittsburgh Youth Symphony will perform. The event will benefit the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the City Music Center of Duquesne University. For reservations contact: Sue Breedlove, 724.625.2014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Fox Chapel Area
Ask the Dentist
Recently my wife has been telling me that my breath “smells”. I’ve tried different toothpastes and mouthwashes but nothing seems to be helping. Is there anything you can recommend, or should I see my primary care physician.
hank you for this question. Yours is not an uncommon problem. The technical term for this is oral malodor or halitosis. As for the source it could come from a number of different places. The obvious ones would be external sources such as smoking or odorous foods such as garlic, onions, etc. These are all easily controlled by avoiding them, but from the nature of your question I’m assuming this is not the case. The main source that we find comes from bacteria. More specifically bacteria byproducts called volatile sulfur compounds. These bacteria can hide in a number of places but the usual culprits are in between the teeth, the back of the tongue, dental caries(or cavities), or ill fitting crowns. There are other possible causes that could be medically related but I always recommend starting simple before getting more complex. The first thing I would recommend would be a visit to your dentist for a dental prophylaxis, or cleaning, along with xrays and a full exam, to check for underlying problems. If it is been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, that process may take one or more visits. At Fox Chapel Advanced Dental Care we use ultrasonic dental units to do these cleanings. This utilizes small instruments that gently vibrate to remove the bacteria and plaque from the teeth , while water, at the same time, flushes and cavitates, under the gums disinfecting the mouth as it goes. Even if your dentist is still using the older type of “scaling the teeth”, They will at least be mechanically removing the bacteria. If the gums in between the teeth, and cavities are taken care of, the next main spot for bacteria would be the tongue. Just brushing the tongue is not enough. The tongue has small little hair-like projections that lock bacteria and food particles in and brushing will only move the bacteria around not remove it. We recommend a tongue scraper. Although it may not sound like it, it’s a gentle way to remove the bacteria from the tongue not just move it around. After removing the bacteria from the mouth, use of a nonalcohol containing mouthwash designed to remove the volatile sulfur compounds will help greatly. Your dentist should be able to recommend one. However just trying to use these without professionally having your teeth cleaned is just masking the symptoms at best, and probably won’t work. And if the mouthwashes you’re using contain alcohol, they also will dry out your mouth and ultimately may make things worse. Other things that you can add to your daily regime would be to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. Floss daily, and get the proper amount of sleep. Because increased stress levels can also cause problems with your breath. If after all of this the problem still persists a visit to your primary care physician or an ear nose and throat specialist maybe indicated. There could be issues with sinuses, tonsils, or other medically
related issues. However this typically only occurs in 15% or less of the population. As for how often you should be having your teeth cleaned that differs from patient to patient. Based on how quickly the bacteria recolonize. With some patients, we see them as often as once a month, others we see twice a year, or anytime they just want that clean fresh feeling, everyone falls somewhere in between. Hope this helps, and as always, if you have any other questions ask your dentist or you can give us a call here Fox Chapel Advanced Dental Care. Good luck, Dentally yours Dr Kevin Pawlowicz
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This Industry Insight was written by Dr. Kevin Pawlowicz. Dr. Kevin Pawlowicz practices at Fox Chapel Advanced Dental Care on Old Freeport Road in Fox Chapel. Dr. Pawlowicz has trained at the Las Vegas and Seattle Institutes. He is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Academy of Laser Dentistry. You can learn more about Dr. Pawlowicz on his website www.foxchapeldentistry.com.
Voted by Peers as one of Pittsburgh’s Top Dentists 2008–2012
www.foxchapeldentistry.com Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 43
Real Estate IN FOX CHAPEL AREA
Real estate is a big part of our lives. For the vast majority of us it is the biggest purchase we will ever make, as well as the largest investment. Not to mention the fact that our purchase is “our home”…the place we laugh, cry, raise children, share timeless memories with friends and family and so much more. So it is very important that we understand every aspect of the selling and purchasing of a home. This includes mortgage and finance information, curb appeal, new housing developments and new ways to look for homes. CURB APPEAL Curb appeal is a well-known term that refers to the attractiveness of the interior and exterior of a home. While the term seems overused, it is a very real phenomenon. The old saying goes, “You only get one chance at a first impression.” This phrase perfectly explains the importance of curb appeal. When someone pulls up to a house for the first time, things like paint, landscaping, carpeting and light fixtures, just to name a few, make a huge difference in the person’s opinion. It is much harder for most people to envision the potential of a home when unattractiveness abounds everywhere they look. Most people looking at a home make a snap judgment the moment they enter the property. Sure, these snap judgments can be changed with other positive attributes, but why take the chance when adding curb appeal can be so easy and costeffective.
Curb appeal can be accomplished by any number of methods including exterior decorations, repainting, extensive attention to the landscaping, timely grass cutting, new or even recently professionally cleaned carpeting, new hardware on the kitchen cabinets, new stain on a rear deck, new exterior and interior light fixtures and de-cluttering of the interior of the home. Always think of curb appeal when marketing your home or looking at a new home. It may not sell your home on its own, or entice you to buy a home on its own, but it does make a difference. You won’t be sorry because it is worth the time and relatively low cost.
STAGING Selling a home requires more than a “For Sale” sign. Competition is fierce, and if you want the best offers and your home to sell quickly, home staging is essential. Staging involves cleaning, de-cluttering, and decorating a home so it appeals to buyers. Never confuse decorating for staging. Décor is an expression of a particular style, while staging is a strategy. According to www.globalspan.net, there are five basic steps to staging your home.
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#1 - Clean. Your home must sparkle! To achieve this level is often only feasible by hiring a cleaning crew. In fact, having a cleaning service return weekly while your house is for sale is probably a pretty good investment. Get your windows professionally cleaned inside and out too.
Homes for Sale: 6 Recently Sold: 30
#2 - Fix. Got a dripping faucet or a cracked tile? These will send the wrong message to potential buyers. Getting them fixed before you put your house on the market is a smart idea.
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*Data provided by Realtor.com. Data presented is representative of the time of publication. For up-to-date information, go to Realtor.com.
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#3 - Eliminate Clutter. The “50% Rule” requires that you eliminate the clutter in your home by at least half. This may be the hardest rule of all! We love our clutter – it reflects our memories, hobbies, and values. But it doesn’t sell homes! Clutter makes homes seem smaller and disorganized. (Have you ever noticed that the really expensive stores seem to have
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an expansive, clutter-free layout, while “cheap” stores are often a jumble of merchandise?) Even the ancient practice of Feng Shui has as a central focus the elimination of clutter. #4 - Go Executive Neutral. Neutral colors sell. It’s a fact. Try to convey an image of quality and neutrality. Potential buyers walking through your home want to imagine themselves as the owners. If you use styles or colors they would never select, you’ve just turned them off. Staying high-quality, but neutral is safest. #5 - De-personalize. Remove objects that your potential buyers won’t be able to identify with. For example, political and religious items may turn off whole groups of buyers, because they cannot “imagine” your home as their home. Buying a home is an emotional decision, and you want potential buyers to make an emotional connection with your home by being able to “see” themselves in it.
REVERSE MORTGAGE According to www.consumer.ftc.gov, if you’re 62 or older – and looking for money to finance a home improvement, pay off your current mortgage, supplement your retirement income, or pay for health-care expenses – you may be considering a reverse mortgage. It’s a product that allows you to convert part of the equity in your home into cash without having to sell your home or pay additional monthly bills. In a “regular” mortgage, you make monthly payments to the lender. In a “reverse” mortgage, you receive money from the lender, and generally don’t have to pay it back for as long as you live in your home. The loan is repaid when you die, sell your home, or when your home is no longer your primary residence. The proceeds of a reverse mortgage generally are taxfree, and many reverse mortgages have no income restrictions. There are three types of reverse mortgages:
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Prudential Preferred Realty services Fox Chapel, Oakmont, and all Allegheny Valley communities with outstanding customer service and satisfaction. With the most highly trained agents in the industry, we provide clients with real estate expertise that is second to none. Our goal is to exceed your expectations. We look forward to assisting you with your real estate needs. Call or visit our website. Prudential Preferred Realty 412.782.3700 • prudentialpreferred.com
Watson Real Estate has been serving the Pittsburgh area for over 25 years. Although he services all of Western Pennsylvania, Jim Watson Jr. is a resident of Fox Chapel and strongly believes in the community where he is raising a family. If you have a question about home ownership, selling your home or purchasing an investment property, please call 724.980.8374. Jim Watson Jr. 724.980.8374 • Watsonre.com
•• Single-purpose reverse mortgages, offered by some state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations. •• Federally-insured reverse mortgages, known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) and backed by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). •• Proprietary reverse mortgages, private loans that are backed by the companies that develop them. Single-purpose reverse mortgages are the least expensive option. They are not available everywhere and can be used for only one purpose, which is specified by the government or nonprofit lender. For example, the lender might say the loan may be used only to pay for home repairs, improvements, or property taxes. Most homeowners with low or moderate income can qualify for these loans. HECMs and proprietary reverse mortgages may be more expensive than traditional home loans, and the upfront costs can be high. That’s important to consider, especially if you plan to stay in your home for just a short time
Selecting Lisa Rutkowski as your real estate agent grants you access to the diverse package of programs created by Howard Hanna for both buyers and sellers. If you have questions about the home buying or selling process, just ask. I’ll always help to find the RIGHT answer for you! As my client you have my personal attention, respect and promise to represent you and your property professionally. Lisa Rutkowski, Howard Hanna Realtor 412.491.2453 • howardhanna.com/agent/AgentDetail.asp?CEQ_AgentCode=57171
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 45
Real Estate IN FOX CHAPEL AREA or borrow a small amount. HECM loans are widely available, have no income or medical requirements, and can be used for any purpose. Before applying for a HECM, you must meet with a counselor from an independent government-approved housing counseling agency. Some lenders offering proprietary reverse mortgages also require counseling. The counselor is required to explain the loan’s costs and financial implications, and possible alternatives to a HECM, like government and nonprofit programs or a single-purpose or proprietary reverse mortgage. The counselor also should be able to help you compare the costs of different types of reverse mortgages and tell you how different payment options, fees, and other costs affect the total cost of the loan over time. You can visit HUD for a list of counselors or call the agency at 1.800.569.4287. Most counseling agencies charge around $125 for their services. The fee can be paid from the loan proceeds, but you cannot be turned away if you can’t afford the fee. How much you can borrow with a HECM or proprietary reverse mortgage depends on several factors, including your age, the type of reverse mortgage you select, the appraised value of your home, and current interest rates. In general, the older you are, the more equity you have in your home, and the less you owe on it, the more money you can get.
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The HECM lets you choose among several payment options. You can select: •• A “term” option – fixed monthly cash advances for a specific time. •• A “tenure” option – fixed monthly cash advances for as long as you live in your home. •• A line of credit that lets you draw down the loan proceeds at any time in amounts you choose until you have used up the line of credit. •• A combination of monthly payments and a line of credit. You can change your payment option any time for about $20. HECMs generally provide bigger loan advances at a lower total cost compared with proprietary loans. But if you own a higher-valued home, you may get a bigger loan advance from a proprietary reverse mortgage. So if your home has a higher appraised value and you have a small mortgage, you may qualify for more funds. Reverse mortgage loan advances are not taxable, and generally don’t affect your Social Security or Medicare benefits. You retain the title to your home, and you don’t have to make monthly repayments. The loan must be repaid when the last surviving borrower dies, sells the home, or no longer lives in the home as a principal residence. In the HECM program, a borrower can live in a nursing home or other medical facility for up to 12 consecutive months before the loan must be repaid.
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If you’re considering a reverse mortgage, be aware that: •• Lenders generally charge an origination fee, a mortgage insurance premium (for federally-insured HECMs), and other closing costs for a reverse mortgage. Lenders also may charge servicing fees during the term of the mortgage. The lender sometimes sets these fees and costs, although origination fees for HECMs currently are dictated by law. Your upfront costs can be lowered if you borrow a smaller amount through a reverse mortgage product called “HECM Saver.” •• The amount you owe on a reverse mortgage grows over time. Interest is charged on the outstanding balance and added to the amount you owe each month. That means your total debt increases as the loan funds are advanced to you and interest on the loan accrues. •• Although some reverse mortgages have fixed rates, most have variable rates that are tied to a financial index: they are likely to change with market conditions.
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•• Reverse mortgages can use up all or some of the equity in your home, and leave fewer assets for you and your heirs. Most reverse mortgages have a “nonrecourse” clause, which prevents you or your estate from owing more than the value of your home when the loan becomes due and the home is sold. However, if you or your heirs want to retain ownership of the home, you usually must repay the loan in full – even if the loan balance is greater than the value of the home.
•• Because you retain title to your home, you are responsible for property taxes, insurance, utilities, fuel, maintenance, and other expenses. If you
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TUDI Mechanical Systems 412.246.8987 • tudi.com CHC has been in business since 1998. The owner of CHC has been doing concrete work for 30 + years. CHC takes pride in their work for their customers. There is no job that is too big or too small. We provide quality work at competitive prices. We offer new concrete decorative concrete applications for both new and existing concrete. We are fully insured and licensed. Visit us on the web. CHC Construction 412.937.9100 • celenderconst.com Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 47
Real Estate IN FOX CHAPEL AREA don’t pay property taxes, carry homeowner’s insurance, or maintain the condition of your home, your loan may become due and payable. •• Interest on reverse mortgages is not deductible on income tax returns until the loan is paid off in part or whole.
FINANCING AND INTEREST RATES There is both good news and bad news when it comes to home financing and mortgage interest rates. The great news is that interest rates are still extremely low. According to bankrate.com, the interest rates on 12/26/12 were 3.59% on a 30-year fixed rate, 2.87% on a 15-year fixed, 2.77% on a 5/1 ARM and 4.07% on a 30-year jumbo. However, the bad news is that, due to new mortgage laws adopted after the nation’s foreclosure crisis of several years back, it is more difficult to get a mortgage than ever before. Credit scores are even more scrutinized and debt-to-income ratios are more strict. There is an infinite number of loan types out there, and lenders are constantly coming up with creative ways to wrangle in new homeowners. The type of home loan you choose can make or break you as a borrower, so make sure you fully understand it before making any kind of commitment.
Most prospective homeowners these days seem to be interested in 100% financing, generally because they don’t have the assets necessary for a down payment. Unfortunately, the proliferation of these types of home loan programs have increased the number of high-risk borrowers in the United States at an alarming rate. But if you take the time to educate yourself on the many home loan types out there, you’ll effectively decrease your chances of defaulting on your mortgage. That said, let’s talk about the many different loan types and programs available today. Below is a list of the types of loans available to potential homeowners.
Conforming Loans and Non-Conforming Loans One way home loans are differentiated is by their Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) eligibility. If the loan meets requirements set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it is considered a conforming loan. If the loan does not meet all the underwriting requirements set forth by the pair of GSEs, it is considered “non-conforming.” The main guideline that determines whether a mortgage is conforming or not is the loan amount. Generally, a mortgage with a loan amount below $417,000 is considered conforming, whereas any loan amount above $417,000 is considered a jumbo loan. However, in Alaska and Hawaii the conforming limit is $625,500. Note that the conforming limit may change annually, and has risen quite a bit in the past few years as housing prices skyrocketed. A jumbo loan may meet all of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s loan underwriting guidelines, but if the loan amount exceeds the conforming limit, it will be considered non-conforming and carry a higher mortgage rate as a result. If your loan amount is on the fringe of the conforming limit, sometimes simply dropping your loan amount a few thousand dollars can lower your mortgage rate tremendously, so keep this in mind anytime your loan amount is near the limit.
Conventional Loans and Government Loans Mortgages are also classified as either “conventional loans” or “government loans.” Conventional loans can be conforming or jumbo, but are not insured or guaranteed by the government. Then there are government loans, such as the widely popular FHA loan. This type of mortgage is backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Another common government
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Real Estate IN FOX CHAPEL AREA loan is the VA loan, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The maximum loan amount for these types of loans varies by county. Now that you know a bit about different home loan types, we can focus on home loan programs. As mentioned earlier, there are a ton of different loan programs out there, and more seem to surface every day. Let’s start with the most basic of loan programs, the 30-year fixed-rate loan.
Loan Programs The 30-year fixed loan is as simple as they come. Most mortgages are based on a 30-year amortization, and the 30year fixed is no different. The 30-year fixed loan is just how it sounds, a loan with a 30-year term at a fixed interest rate for those 30 years. What this means is that the loan will take 30 years to pay off, and the rate will stay the same during those entire 30 years. There isn’t much else to it. Let’s say you secure a rate of 6.5% on a 30-year fixed loan with a loan amount of $500,000. You’ll have monthly mortgage payments of $3,160.34 for a total of 360 months, or 30 years. You will be required to pay the same amount each month until the loan is paid off. So the total amount you would pay on a $500,000 loan at 6.5% over 30 years would be $1,137,722.40.
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LOCAL HOUSING MARKET According to www.buildingpittsburgh.wordpress.com, unlike the overall U.S. market, the housing market in Pittsburgh does not have to bounce back from falling prices and is showing remarkable consistency across a number of metrics. For more than six months the prices of houses sold and the number of homes sold has remained solidly up more than 10% year-over-year. That’s an unusual level of consistent growth, especially since the sales took place in periods of both higher and lower seasonal activity. The third quarter also showed a consistent trend in the year-over-year growth in new construction. Through nine months there were a total of 2,396 new dwelling units started compared to 2,155 during the same period in 2011, an increase of 11.2%. The increased activity was constant whether the construction was traditional detached single-family homes (and attached) or multi-family units, with each cohort up between 10-12%. Permits were issued for 1,393 units of detached dwellings compared to 1,264 in 2011 and for 1,003 attached units this year compared to 891 last year. While there is growing evidence that financing conditions are normalizing so that buyers can buy, the dwindling supply of lots are keeping a broader
housing recovery from spreading into 2013, although the construction of multi-family apartments will boom for at least the next 18 months. Following is a breakdown of new housing by county. •• Allegheny County — Single Family Detached, 609. Single-Family Attached, 392. Total, 1001. •• Beaver County — Single-Family Detached, 108. Single-Family Attached, 25. Total, 133. •• Butler County — Single-Family Detached, 190. Single-Family Attached, 323. Total, 513. •• Fayette County — Single-Family Detached, 66. Single-Family Attached, 10. Total, 76. •• Washington County — Single-Family Detached, 251. Single-Family Attached, 74. Total, 325. •• Westmoreland County — Single-Family Detached, 169. SingleFamily Attached, 179. Total, 348.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A REAL ESTATE AGENT Sometimes when the time comes to buy or sell a home the focus is so much on the homes that the real estate agent is an afterthought. However, it is very important to pick the right one for your needs. On the site www.mytitleguy.com is a blogger who has worked in the title industry for 11 years and has met and worked with countless real estate agents. He has come up with a list of things to look for before signing a contract with an agent: “Personable: I want someone who does not make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Someone I can tolerate talking to or sitting across from on more than one occasion. “Licensed: Sounds dumb but it is not. I want my agent to be licensed and in good standing, i.e. no complaints [no legitimate complaints one way]. Google is your friend. Go to Google.com, put [potential agents’ names] in quotations and see what Google and other consumers have to say about them. “Tech Savvy: an agent who is savvy with technology is a non-negotiable for me. I want someone who has a strong website, who understands the
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 51
Real Estate IN FOX CHAPEL AREA Internet and search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Not so much social media. Remember, 98% of consumers start their home search online — my real estate agent better know how to get my home to stand out online — where the eyeballs are.
According to www.msn.com, [researchers] talked to homebuilders and industry watchers to find out what will be behind the front doors of new homes.
“Knowledgeable: I want an agent who knows [his/her] way around the purchase contract and how to negotiate. Just because [agents are] licensed does not mean they understand either. I also want an agent who specializes in what I am buying or selling.
“Familiar with the local market: I would want an agent who is familiar with my neighborhood, builder, and local market conditions. Local market conditions — not an area 20 miles away. [Yes, markets can vary considerably in as few as 20 miles.] “Communicates well and often: You would hope that service and communication would be the basics [for being] in the real estate industry…but sadly it is not. There are real estate agents out there who are horrible at returning calls or emails or even giving updates. Maybe that is why the #1 complaint in the real estate industry is lack of communication. In an occupation that requires communication, the #1 complaint is lack of it. I want my real estate agent to communicate with me in the method that I prefer [email, text, phone call, Facebook, Twitter, smoke signal, Morse code etc.] whatever that is. I also want a regular schedule of check-ins — even if there is nothing to report. Keep me in the loop! “Truthful: Someone who is going to tell me the truth whether I want to hear it or not. ‘Yes, Mr Garner, that purple carpet is ugly and needs to go’ or ‘Stephen, the deer head or stuffed bear in the den is not a good idea.’ “Full Time: Real estate is not a part-time job. My agent needs to be available when a potential buyer is. I don’t want to have to wait until my agent gets off his/her shift at Walgreen’s before [responding to] an offer on my home. This is where an agent with a team can be beneficial as they can cover for each other so I can get the service I deserve. “Integrity: Integrity is one of those [attributes] that many people say they have. In my opinion, integrity is demonstrated, not necessarily spoken. I want a real estate agent/REALTOR to put my interests above [his/her] own. That offer of $400,000 on my $430,000 home may only equal a reduction of $900 for the agent’s commission but it equals a $30,000 reduction to me. If I’m buying with an agent and I’m interested in 4-bedroom, 2-bath homes, show them all to me, even the ones offering a reduced commission and the ones listed by an agent you don’t necessarily care for. Put my interests above your own. If my agent represents me, I want him/her to represent me.”
NEW HOME TRENDS The housing industry has taken a beating these past few years, but a glimmer of hope is on the horizon. Housing starts are increasing, according to a story by the National Association of Business Economics. Not surprisingly, though, the Great Recession curtailed many of the extravagances that buyers desired before things went south. Homebuyers want different things from their homes today. The watchword is “flexibility” — things such as rooms that serve multiple purposes and homes that can accommodate either “boomerang” children or aging parents.
Accessibility is big and likely only to get bigger, says Kermit Baker, chief economist of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). “It’s strictly an aging-related thing: Boomers are getting older, and parents of boomers are getting older.” Baby boomers in particular are starting to think about what their homes need to look like if they’re going to stay in them as the years advance. That means single-story homes, homes with grab bars in the bathroom, fewer stairs and perhaps even wheelchair ramps. In the AIA’s most recent survey, almost half of the architects who responded said accessibility was a growing design priority.
A bigger garage — for everything but cars Not long ago, homebuilders were adding garage space to accommodate SUVs. Now some are making more room in the garage for all the other items families put there, from tricycles to golf carts. “We know that growing families accumulate a lot of stuff,” says Scott Thomas, director of product design for Pulte Group, which includes Pulte Homes, Centex and Del Webb retirement communities. “These garages help avoid clutter. A trend for the larger garages is to use part of it as a ‘man cave’ of sorts — space where you can fit two cars, in addition to a sofa, TV, weights, etc.”
The ‘resource center’ People want homes that are more flexible, more versatile. Rooms dedicated to one purpose are less popular now, according to the AIA survey. As homes shrank in the past few years, people asked, “Where’s that space going to come from?” Baker says. Those people are realizing that in a smaller home, rooms can serve multiple functions. David Barista, editor in chief of Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines, calls these multipurpose areas “resource centers” — nooks that include a desk, printer, room for a laptop and even some cubbyholes for mail and bills. “You don’t need this huge den/office anymore,” he says. “Most families are working off laptops or iPads.” Also hearing that demand, Pulte Group has been adding “planning centers” to its homes — spaces adjacent to the kitchen “that serve as the family command center of sorts,” Thomas says. “It’s a place where the kids can do their homework and be within earshot of the parents. They are great for family organization, paying bills.”
Homes within homes Almost one-third of American adults today are “doubled up,” or living in the same household with another adult generation, the U.S. Census Bureau says. Those adults could be “boomerang” kids who have come continued on page 55
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Jim Watson Jr.
Believing in Fox Chapel •
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hortly after college, Jim Watson Jr. moved from his home in Pittsburgh to sunny Texas where he met his beautiful wife, Kate. She had grown up in NE Iowa and moved south to a Dallas suburb to escape the bitter winters. “I was able to convince her to move from Dallas to Pittsburgh with me,” explains Jim. “That’s when I realized I enjoyed selling Pittsburgh -showing her why we love this area and all it has to offer despite the cold and snowy winters.” The Lower Burrell native and his wife decided to build their life in the Fox Chapel community 8 years ago where people are nice and the neighborhoods are welcoming. “Fox Chapel is close to Pittsburgh, making it easy access into the city. And it’s getting closer every day with the work being done on Route 28, which should really increase the property value of all the homes in Fox Chapel in the coming years,” adds Jim. He should know, Jim practically grew up in the real estate business. His father, Jim Watson, Sr. opened a real estate agency and he often worked in the business as a teenager. “It was a career that really appealed to me because it was a chance to help people through one of the most important decisions of their life,” he says. “Basically, I see my role as helping people find ways to navigate roadblocks that might have stopped them on their own.”
Fox Chapel Area
And as a Broker he has seen plenty of roadblocks and successes, having completed over 500 real estate transactions in the last ten years. Jim’s experience is broad, toowith listings around the Greater Pittsburgh market for under $10k and over $500k. He handles Real Estate Owned (REO) Bank Foreclosures as well as high end residential and commercial properties -which includes working with investors, first time home buyers and seasoned home buyers. “I have a degree in Marketing and I feel I have an aptitude for thinking outside the box. Selling and purchasing a home sometimes requires a little creativity and I am willing to go the extra mile to make it happen,” he adds with a smile. The Watsons welcomed their second child this month and their first child will be starting Kindergarten at O’Hara in the fall. “We’re so lucky to live in an area with such a great school district,” Jim gratefully acknowledges. “I truly believe in the value of this area.” Although he is fairly busy with family matters these days, he still finds time to play ice hockey in a private men’s league, is a Pens season ticket-holder, and even manages to squeeze in a few rounds of golf regularly. “I’ve always enjoyed athletics,” says Jim, who played on the golf team in college and was the WPIAL section tourney medalist in high school. But he spends most of his time helping families and individuals find a place to call home. “At the end of the day, it really is rewarding to help people achieve their goal of home-ownership,” says Jim. For more information about Jim Jr and Watson Real Estate, please visit the website at www.watsonre.com or call 724.980.8374.
Real Estate IN FOX CHAPEL AREA back home to live after college, or aging parents who moved in with adult children. Homebuilders are starting to respond to this trend. “We’re seeing a huge growth in floor plans that include dual master suites,” Barista says. Lennar Homes has introduced its NextGen home in several areas of the country. “It really is a home within a home,” says Alan Jones, Arizona division president for Lennar. Imagine a home that contains a separate apartment with its own sleeping area, kitchenette, bathroom and perhaps even garage. A door connects it to the rest of the house, Jones says.
Not just “green” — really green Homebuilders have been edging toward greater energy efficiency in the past few years, with features such as compact fluorescent bulbs and Energy Star appliances. But Barista sees an even bigger leap. Once the realm of “out there” rich people, “net zero energy homes” — houses that create as much energy as they consume — are going mainstream, he says. “The production builders (larger builders) are becoming masters at building homes that have really tight building envelopes” — that is, homes that don’t leak air where not intended.
For several thousand dollars more, large builders are offering homes with solar panels that help power the house. That’s not only good for the environment, but it helps the homes stand out in the market. “I’ve heard of other big builders going in this direction, too,” Barista says.
Home plans that fit today Another trend Barista sees is “home plans that work for today’s buyers.” In other words, homes designed to accommodate the ways people live today and use their homes. Here are some examples: •• Laundry. “We’re seeing a lot of floor plans that have direct access to laundry rooms,” Barista says — for instance, a laundry alcove that’s right in the master suite, where it’s easy to use. He’s even seen laundry chutes. •• “Costco” pantries. One designer told Barista about the appearance of large pantries just off the garage where people can store all the bulk items that they buy at warehouse stores. •• Drop zones. These are small spots, usually near the kitchen, that are dedicated to dropping off your cell phone, keys, purse, maybe the mail, too. “It’s just another example of home plans working for today’s homeowner,” he says.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 55
IN FOX CHAPEL AREA The house that flows Several builders and observers mentioned a trend that’s not exactly new, but continues to pick up speed: the open plan. As homes have gotten smaller in recent years, an open plan is a way to make a home seem larger than it is, Barista says. The most obvious example is the way many new homes now have a continuous space and open sightline — a great room — that extends from kitchen to dining area to living area, says Brent Anderson, vice president of investor relations for Meritage Homes. That suits today’s more casual family, he says. “You can watch the football game while you’re cooking dinner.” By losing the walls and hallways, a home can seem much bigger, Anderson says. “If I walked through a home today that’s a 3,200-square-foot, four-bedroom home, it looks, feels and lives better than a 4,000-square-foot home of 20 years ago. You would literally think that you are in a larger home. But you’re in a home that’s 20% smaller.”
Infill is in Finally, one shift doesn’t involve just what’s in homes but where homes are being built. There’s a real shift toward smaller-scale “infill” development projects within existing towns and cities — projects that emphasize affordability, access to public transportation, commercial opportunities and job centers, according to the AIA. “During the housing boom, builders were building where they could reach sufficient scale in their operations. So they needed big land parcels to produce the volume that they wanted to produce,” Baker says. But companies aren’t building as many homes right now and no longer need all that land, Baker says. Moreover, not everyone liked those sprawling suburbs where “you have to drive 15 minutes to get a quart of milk.” Hence, they are looking back into towns and cities, he says.
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Fox Chapel Area
Future Leaders Students Recognized as
in Science and Technology
S Honorees Anna Wang (left) and Paula LeeOesterreich with guest panelist Dr. Lana Schumacher (right)
Guest panelist Dr. Ginger Takle (3rd from left), with honorees (left to right) Frances Dean, Lily Hartsock, Sanders Bennett, Leah Eckman and Sarah Schachner
ixty young women from Fox Chapel Area High School were honored on March 5 for both their accomplishments and aspirations in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The group was recognized by the Fox Chapel Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), at Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church. Parents, friends and educators were in attendance, along with the honorees. Keynote speaker Amy Laura, senior scientist with Thermo Fisher Scientific of Waltham, Massachusetts, urged guests to guide and encourage the honorees toward a career in the challenging and rewarding fields of science and technology. Roundtable discussions were led by successful women currently engaged in STEM career fields, including a cardiothoracic surgeon, a senior research engineer and a professor of computer science. AAUW is a nationwide organization that seeks to promote girls and young women in science and related fields. The Fox Chapel Area Branch of AAUW focuses on local initiatives such as STEM Careers Achievement Night, advocacy, education and philanthropy. It also takes an active role in community service projects and sponsors a program called Dionneâ€™s Project for Safe Relationships which educates young women about the warning signs of violent relationships. For more information, please visit the website www.aauwfoxchapelareapa.wordpress.com.
Honorees from fox chapel area high school Sinem Akinci Sonia Appasamy Zoe Aridor Chloe Artice Athanasia Beasley Sanders Bennett Francisca Bermudez Elizabeth Bianchini Amanda Bubas Natalie Campbell Erica Chang Grace Chilson Frances Dean Emily Eames Leah Eckman Sydney Edelstein Nora Fisher Sarah Friedland Rama Godse Lindsay Gorby Lily Hartsock Nafeeza Hashmie Leila Hilal Olivia Hilal Katherine Holland Megan Hollingsworth Eliza Horvat Elizabeth Hunter Genna Kasian Faith Kim
Kendal Krivinko Annette Kukunas Acella Lee Paula Lee-Oesterreich Maren Martin Jayme McClaran Elena Meth Anandhini Narayanan Zoe Niman Elianna Puljug Simran Parwani Sarah Schachner Emma Schwartzman Elizabeth Shneider Alexa Silverman Betsy Slagel Margaret Slevin Hannah Song Rachel Stein Rachel Szabo Lauren Thaete Emily Thomas McKenna Trimble Masako Toyoda Amogha Vijayvargiya Madeline Volosky Anna Wang Amanda Wilson Yiyi Zhao Eleanor Zinn
Honorees Simran Parwani (left) and Elizabeth Bianchini (right) with guest panelist Dr. Kelly Weiler (center)
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 57
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Fox Chapel Area
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 59
Cooper Siegel Community Library
t’s summer at the Cooper Siegel Community Library and the main event is the Children’s Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme, “Dig into Reading”, brings a focus on earth science, gardening and nature with “earthy” special events throughout the summer. Earth Works and Mineral Magic will be presented by the educational group Mad Science on Friday, June 21, and Friday, July 19, respectively. Both programs begin at 11:00 a.m. and are suitable for children in grades K-5. Children ages four and up will enjoy making miniature dwellings for fairies and gnomes with artist Alison Babusci. Taking place on Wednesday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m., participants are encouraged to bring small treasures—sticks, pebbles, seeds, etc.—to incorporate into their fantastic creations. 60
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Babusci will return to the library on Monday, July 15, at 6:00 p.m. to reenact hilarious folk tales with garden themes and characters including a troublemaking melon and a talking elephant. The beautiful library grounds and Fritz Mitnick Welcome Garden will be the site of Lunch on the Lawn on June 26 and July 24 where readers in grades 4-6 will discuss Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins and The End of the Beginning by Avi. The Annual Teddy Bear Picnic takes place on August 7 at 11:00 a.m. Children ages 3-5 are encouraged to bring their favorite teddy bear for a picnic snack and special story time. Each registrant is given a reading log to track the titles of the books they read. Readers who have met their reading goal will receive a Summer Reading T-shirt. The exciting summer of reading concludes with the Let’s Dig it! End of Summer Reading
Fox Chapel Area
Celebration on August 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. featuring a community picnic, games, prizes and the announcement of the top summer readers in both the Read-To-Me and Independent Reader categories. Registration for Summer Reading begins on Saturday, June 1, and closes on June 29. Registration can be done online at coopersiegelcommunitylibrary.org or at the library at 403 Fox Chapel Road.
Boyd Community Center
n planning this year’s Summer Camp Program, the staff at Boyd Community Center asked area parents how they wanted their kids to spend the summer. The answers they received differed depending on whether the family has a parent or caregiver at home during the day or if both parents work outside the home. Families with a parent at home wanted thematic camps in the morning that get their kids springing out of bed to explore their passions whether they be sports, science or the arts. Lunch at home was suggested and an afternoon at the pool, playing with friends, or a trip into the city to visit the zoo or a museum. Families with both parents at work also
favored morning thematic camps, but wanted additional activities for the remainder of the day. They also preferred for their kids to have time to play and explore with friends in a nurturing, stimulating environment. Given this feedback, Boyd restructured summer camps to offer the best of both worlds for all area families. All families can select from Boyd’s wide array of Morning Thematic Summer Camps, and then those who desire a full-day option can choose to stay for the highly popular Arts & Enrichment Program’s Afternoon Camp. Morning Thematic Summer Camps focus on three
general subject areas: Sports & Athletics, Science & Technology, and Arts & Culture, taught by top educators. Sports & Athletics program titles include Soccer, Basketball, and Tennis for school-aged children and Have a Ball, Tumbling, and Kick It for three- to five-year-olds. Early learners interested in Arts & Culture can discover Make a Mess, Piano Tots, and Superheroes, while their older counterparts’ offerings include Gotta Dance, Acting, and Painting. In the area of Science & Technology, camps include Insect Invasion, Silly Science, and Dinosaur Camp for the pre-school set, while those six to 12 can explore S.T.E.A.M. Girls, Rocket Launch and
Egg Drop E(n)gg-ineering, to name just a few of Boyd’s engaging topics. Children staying for the Arts & Enrichment Afternoon Camp will gather in the homey Arts & Enrichment Room for self-directed activities and play as well as structured projects. The well-rounded activities include games and sports, outdoor explorations and projects involving science, art and literature. The response has been fantastic to Boyd’s new approach to summer camps and the board and staff are thrilled to be able to meet the community’s needs. Registration is available at boydcommunitycenter.org or by calling 412.828.8566 x11. Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 61
make money? WAnt to
Wear Hearing Aids!
This Industry Insight was written by Debra L. Greenberger, owner of Eartique. She received her master’s degree in audiology (hearing science) from Washington University in St.Louis, Missouri, and she is certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association. Debra has been diagnosing hearing loss and fitting hearing aids for over 25 years.
Allison L. Chase, Au.D., CCC-A earned her Master of Arts degree in audiology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 2004. She completed her clinical doctorate in audiology from Salus University in 2008. Allison is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has been practicing in the field for seven years.
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Fox Chapel Area
ne would think that the best way to increase your income in today’s economy would be to work longer hours and possibly do a lot of networking. New research shows a much less obvious way to elevate your earnings: get your hearing checked and wear hearing aids if necessary. Survey findings reveal that 9 out of 10 hearing aid users feel that their lives are improved by wearing hearing aids. Most people with hearing loss are in the prime of life – one out of six baby boomers (ages 41-59) have hearing loss. Wearing hearing aids at a younger age reduces the chances of losing income over your lifetime. A new survey by the Better Hearing Institute shows that working Americans who ignore their hearing problems are losing at least $100 billion a year in earnings. Many people are embarrassed to do something about their hearing. They are afraid that a hearing aid will make them look old and out of touch. Hearing aids today are a lot less conspicuous than a hearing loss. Hearing loss can make a person seem like they’re out of it or not very bright, which is much more noticeable than the “invisible” hearing aid solutions available today. Don’t let hearing loss prevent you from catching that important tip mentioned at dinner or make you mishear important information. Get your hearing checked. If a hearing aid is recommended, try it. You will be surprised by the choices available for inconspicuous, high functioning hearing aids. Come see the Audiologists at Eartique and learn more about the best solution for you. Call us at 412.422.8006 for an appointment for a hearing test and your FREE THIRTY DAY TRIAL on hearing aids.
Worship Harmarville United Presbyterian 412.828.8232
Adat Shalom 412.820.7000 All Saints 412.781.0530
Hoboken Presbyterian Church 412.828.2611
Aspinwall Presbyterian 412.781.2884 Chabad of Fox Chapel 412.781.1800 Catholic Community Sharpsburg 412.784.8700 Christ Church Fox Chapel 412.963.8938
Holy Spirit 412.821.4424 Immanuel Lutheran Church 412.271.1995 Mt. Olive Baptist Church 412.781.5554 Pine Creek Presbyterian Church 412.963.7868
Christ The Divine Teacher Catholic Academy 412.781.7927 Community United Methodist Church 412.781.6951
Sharpsburg Family Worship Center 412.799.0701 St. Joseph Oâ€™Hara 412.963.8885
Dorseyville Alliance Church 412.767.4600
St. Mary of Assumption 412.486.4100
Emmanuel Lutheran Church 412.781.2764
St. Maryâ€™s 412.781.2866
Faith United Methodist Church 412.963.8155 First English Lutheran Church 412.782.1623
St. Nicholas 412.821.3438 St. Scholastica 412.781.0186 St. Edward Church 412.828.4066
Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church 412.963.8243 Good Shepherd Lutheran Church 412.963.9494 Grace United Methodist Church 412.782.3396 Harmarville United Methodist 412.828.0292
St. Francis of Assisi 412.828.4066 St. Juan Diego 412.784.8700 Trinity United Church of Christ 412.767.4794 Temple Ohav Shalom 412.369.0900 Walter Chapel United Methodist Church 724.265.3221
If your place of worship was not on our list, please e-mail the information to email@example.com.
We Want to knoW
Why is your Pet the Best
in the world All Animals Welcome!
Email your submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org and please indicate which of our magazines you receive so we know where to place your story.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 63
WL MILLW EDGEABLE OR K S T • DIS PLAY-F AFF I L LED SHOW R O O M • ASK US ABO U INSTA LLATIO T N
1011 PITTSBURGH ROAD VALENCIA, PA
2134 EVANS CITY ROAD ZELIENOPLE, PA
(724) 898-1501 (724) 776-2800 www.starrlumber.com
IN COMMUNITY MAGAZINES 2013 Starlight Dance Academy
PLEASE USEince THIS AD FORDance THE Academy FOLLOWING ISSUES: 1997, Starlight has provided excellent dance instruction in a caring and supportive SUMMER - FOXenvironment. CHAPEL Programs provide technically correct dance SUMMER - MARS lessons use age-appropriate curricula and music. SUMMER - NORTH A special preschool curriculumALLEGHENY allows young children to develop creativity learning SUMMER - PINE while RICHLAND danceSUMMER basics. Class -size is limited for each age SENECA VALLEY level to give students the special attention they SUMMER - SEWICKLEY deserve. All Starlight teachers are highly-trained professionals who want your child to succeed. The faculty is committed to a providing a positive, motivational experience for all. REGISTER NOW! Register now for the six-week summer program which begins in July. Day and evening classes are offered for ages 2 through adult. The summer session is a great way to introduce students to the joy of dance. Programs include preschool dance classes, technique workshops, themed day camps, Zumba® and ZumbAtomic®. Visit www.starlightdanceacademy.net for more information and to register.
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Fox Chapel Area
Backyard Splendors F
o f I n d i a n a Tow n s h i p
ox Chapel area residents will have the opportunity to enjoy a tour of beautiful gardens while helping to support the D.A.R.E. Program of the Fox Chapel Area School District on June 23. The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Indiana Township Community Center which is located at 3710 Saxonburg Boulevard. Each tour participant will be given a brochure that includes a description of each garden included on the tour. Lunch will be offered to the first 100 registrants for the event with an additional 50 registrations accepted for the tour only. The tour and lunch combined will be a cost of $30 per person and registrations must be received by June 17. Lunch will be served at the Indiana Township Town Hall Community Center on the first floor and vegetarian meals are available when requested on the registration form. Tickets for the tour only are $20 when purchased in advance and $22 the day of the event. Six beautiful gardens will be featured with diverse landscapes. To register for Backyard Splendors, please visit www.indianatownship.com or please complete the registration form below and mail. D.A.R.E., or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a nationwide program founded in 1983 that utilizes local police officers in educating children from kindergarten through 12th grade about the dangers of drug abuse. The program has been highly successful in helping kids to lead drug- and violence-free lives.
2013 BACKYARD SPLENDORS OF INDIANA TOWNSHIP GARDEN TOUR NAME OF EACH PARTICIPANT(S):____________________________________________________________________ COMPLETE ADDRESS:_____________________________________________________________________________ TELEPHONE NUMBER:_____________________________________________________ PAYMENT TYPE:
¨ Vegetarian Lunch desired
Once registered, your name(s) will be posted on the Garden Tour List, which will be given to each garden owner. Please submit registration form to: Indiana Township Town Hall Attention: Garden Tour 3710 Saxonburg Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15238
*Please make checks payable to: INDIANA TOWNSHIP D.A.R.E.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 65
CASE AWARDS Honors Unsung Volunteers
Nearly 500 people turned out for the inaugural IN Community Magazines’ Community Awards for Service Excellence (CASE) presented by Northwest Savings Bank on May 10 in the West Club Lounge at Heinz Field.
he awards were created by former IN Community Magazines editor Monica Haynes to honor the work of individual volunteers and nonprofit organizations throughout the magazines’ coverage area. A total of 111 awardees representing 33 magazines received certificates during the event, for which WTAE-TV anchor Andrew Stockey served as Master of Ceremonies. IN Community Magazines publisher Wayne Dollard welcomed attendees and spoke about the importance of community service, as did Northwest Savings Bank president Chris Martin. Providing a perfect ending to the evening was an acoustic set by The Clarks. Below is Haynes’ first-person account of how the awards came to be. During my tenure as an editor for In Community Magazines, one of the cover stories we did was about food pantries, those places that provide grocery basics for those who don’t have enough income to keep their kitchens stocked. This meant finding a food pantry to visit so I could conduct interviews. I found one and scheduled an interview
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around noon, which is the time it opened. It was a cold, blustery day as I made my way up the hill to the church, where the food bank was located. There were some slick spots on the road and I was praying the whole way up, “God, please don’t let me slide over the hillside.” Finally, I arrived at the church. Inside, it was buzzing like a hive with volunteers moving about among the shelves and tables to fill the grocery bags with various food items for pickup by those signed up for the pantry. Most of the volunteers were retirees and could easily be in their nice warm homes instead of braving the cold wind and snow flurries to help their fellow residents. I imagine they could ditch Pittsburgh all together during the winter months to enjoy three or four months of Florida sun. But they didn’t. Every week, they made their way to that church and filled those bags and answered the phones and signed people up, listening to the stories of how they ended up needing to utilize a food pantry. The volunteers always treat them with dignity and respect. They listen with compassion.
Fox Chapel Area
I was inspired by these volunteers and others I’d met and talked to. There was a couple who volunteered with a group that helped senior citizens. The husband would help the senior by carrying out home repairs. The wife would drive him or her to doctor appointments and to shop at the supermarket. Many times they’d go above and beyond their initial volunteer duties. People need to know about these and all the unsung volunteers and organizations that serve so unselfishly the members of their community, I thought. I wrote a proposal for an awards program that would shine just a bit of light on these volunteers. I knew they didn’t do it for recognition or any fanfare, but I was so inspired that I felt if others were able to know about what the volunteers do and how they give, they might be motivated and inspired to do the same. When I presented the proposal to Wayne Dollard, publisher of IN Community Magazines, his immediate response was, “Let’s do it.” And so I set about developing the categories, the criteria, the nomination form, etc. We put the nomination form in all
Photo Description - Left to right: Volunteer of the Year, Kay Neiswonger & Karen Roach: Sisters Kay and Karen began volunteering as drivers for Free Rides for Seniors. “We have great fun teasing and joking around with our riders. And they certainly seem to enjoy our company. They always thank us and tell us how much they appreciate what we do. The pleasure is all ours,” says Kay. “We enjoy helping and providing a service to those that don’t have other means of transportation,” says Karen. Youth Volunteer of the Year, Allison Rose Grenen: Allison has been privileged to participate in many of Pittsburgh’s local volunteer organizations, including the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and Saint Lucy’s Auxiliary for the Blind. However her favorite work has been with Saint Scholastica’s youth group during five separate trips to help impoverished communities in West Virginia. Small NonProfit, Surgicorps International: Founded in 1994 by Dr. Jack Demos, Surgicorps International has completed more than 50 missions to 18 countries serving more than 4,000 patients through a broad range of surgical
services and medical care provided free of charge by medical and non-medical volunteers. Cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries represent a large portion of the procedures, and although children are the majority of patients, the teams also treat adults. Other types of surgical and medical care include: hand surgery, treatment of burn scar contractures, and treatment of traumatic injuries/deformities. Large NonProfit of the Year, Working Order: Volunteers, participating in Volunteers of America’s Working Order Small Business Incubator Program, are an important part of our ongoing ability to provide expert assistance to individuals with disabilities, disadvantages, or other obstacles to traditional employment. Last fiscal year, more than 172 participants learned the business processes necessary to create their own best-fit, self-employment option with help from more than 47 volunteers who generously offered their time and expertise to coach, mentor, train, teach and support small business development with entrepreneurs of Working Order.
the magazines, but also sent forms to clubs, schools, libraries, senior centers, and places that utilize volunteers. I knew that I wanted young people to have a category. Over the years, I have encountered so many amazing high school and college students who have donated countless hours and their talents to help others. I wanted them to be recognized for being so outstanding when it is so easy to think only about themselves and having a good time. Slowly but steadily, the nominations came in and it was very humbling to see what people were doing in their communities, in their schools, churches, hospitals, food pantries, athletic fields, senior centers, community centers, etc. Personally, it made me want to go out and do more. I was enlightened and moved by their giving and doing. Some had been giving of their time, efforts and resources for decades. Some youngsters not only volunteered for organizations but started their own organizations and groups to help fellow students, younger students, students with disabilities, or to help older residents. There were organizations, both large and small, quietly going about their missions of
Cwase ards A
healing, helping, saving, counseling, teaching, encouraging and caring. The year of planning, sorting, reviewing and selecting culminated in a marvelous awards dinner, which shined just a little bit of the spotlight on young and more-seasoned volunteers and small and large nonprofit organizations. “As someone who has managed volunteers for 10 years, it was wonderful to witness your recognition efforts of so many deserving individuals and organizations. Thank you again,” said Vickie Mottern, volunteer and outreach coordinator for Brevillier Village, where IN Harbor Creek CASE honoree Catherine Pugliese volunteers. “I just want to take a minute to thank you for such an amazing event. We are so grateful to be recognized as Small NonProfit of the Year for IN Norwin at the Inaugural CASE Awards,” wrote Jodi Fowler, one of the founders of Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund. “At Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund, we truly believe that our work is blessed by God, and our purpose is to serve oncology families in need. Never did we imagine, when Genre was diagnosed
with leukemia, that we would be at this point, developing our organization and receiving this amazing award because of our incredible volunteers – just a few years later. We honestly appreciate the opportunity this allows to share our story and mission with readers in our community.” “My family and I had a wonderful time! It was a great event! The food was excellent; the speeches interesting, nice and short; Andrew Stockey was wonderful; and we thoroughly enjoyed The Clarks. Thank you for this honor and recognition and a fun family evening to top it off,” wrote IN Chartiers Valley Volunteer of the Year Susan Zuk. These are just a few of the comments IN Community Magazines received about the awards dinner. We’d like to thank everyone for their participation. And we would like to congratulate all of our honorees, all of the nominees and even those who were not nominated. It is your constant devotion to helping others, which all too often goes unnoticed, that makes our communities a great place to live!
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 67
Astonishingly Anatomical Breast Implants
hen it comes to breast augmentation, there are many options from which patients have to choose. They can decide between saline and silicone gel implants in smooth or textured. The implant can be placed below the muscle, called submuscular, or above the muscle, called subglandular. There are also options for incision location. All of these choices will have an impact on the end result. Women who are contemplating breast augmentation also have a choice between round and anatomical breast implants. Anatomical implants may also be called contoured, shaped, or tear-drop implants because, unlike round implants, which are uniformly round, anatomical implants have a tear-drop shape that more closely resembles the natural breast. The upper part of this implant is flatter, while the lower curve is fuller, much like a natural breast. Additionally, these implants are textured to prevent shifting because given their distinct shape, shifting would lead to a change in the appearance. Women now are offered an exciting selection in breast augmentation by these newly approved anatomical implants. In fact, many believe
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Fox Chapel Area
that this choice offers the most natural-looking option for breast enhancement. Not only can these implants provide a fuller and firmer appearance to the breasts for the patient looking for aesthetic enhancements, they can create some lift to the breast, restoring lost volume due to pregnancy, and balance out asymmetry between the breasts. They can also be used for breast reconstruction. The cohesive gel in these implants is a firm, form stable gel that is similar in consistency to a gummy bear. For this reason, cohesive gel implants are often generically referred to as “gummy bears”. These implants maintain their form even after being compressed, offering the best shape control, as well as the firmer consistency of natural breast tissue. Round implants provide more of a “one size fits all” approach, while anatomical implants are fully customizable for the individual patient. Of all breast implants followed in clinical trials, anatomical cohesive gel implants have the lowest complication rates of any type of breast implant, including incidences of capsular formation, implant migration and shell failure, as well as implant folding. Anatomical breast implants allow for a fully customized and aesthetically pleasing solution for enhancing both breast shape and volume. Being an advanced tool for providing natural-looking, three dimensional breast augmentation, the implants solve common aesthetic concerns and specialized aesthetic requirements equally well. At the same time, anatomical implants provide the best long-term performance of any implant. Anatomical breast implants will suit women who desire a proportionate and natural-looking augmentation, women who are slim, having moderate breast tissue, women who have breastfed, women with breast asymmetry, and also women who want a breast lift and augmentation simultaneously. If anatomical implants are something you would like to explore, Dr. Anna Wooten would be happy to discuss this option with you. Please call our office to schedule your appointment.
“Life is Sweet Chef Showcase” Benefits Best Buddies Organization
By Kathy Rudolph
est Buddies is an international nonprofit organization that seeks to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) by providing opportunities for friendship, social interaction and leadership development. The fundraising event, “Life is Sweet Chef Showcase” was held at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, with proceeds benefiting several local chapters of the Best Buddies organization, including the Fox Chapel Area High School chapter. Mrs. Susan Cataldi, a teacher at the high school, serves as the coordinator for the chapter, planning activities throughout the year for the group. Volunteer chefs were paired with Best Buddy members that acted as their sous chefs or assistants. Together they served specialty cuisine to the guests.
Chefs Kevin Sousa, Domenic Branduzzi, Kate Romane, Meghann Walsh, Andrew Hebson and Nick Mineo were featured. “Best Buddies exists without state or federal funding and solely on the generosity of individuals coming out to events such as this,” said Best Buddies Pennsylvania State Director Dorian Smith. “These individuals are supporting the mission to establish a volunteer movement creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment for people with developmental disabilities.” Rick Sebak, who was Master of Ceremonies for the event added, “Best Buddies is a wonderful organization that seems to be working.” For more information on Best Buddies chapters, please visit the website at www.bestbuddiespennsylvania.org.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 69
Clinical Aromatherapy in Hospice
Providing Comfort Care to Patients A
romatherapy. The word may calm, intrigue, or frighten you. Many conventional medicine practitioners are reluctant to utilize aromatherapy. They may believe that it has not been researched thoroughly or has not been around long enough. Yet aromatherapy has been in practice for hundreds of years and has been utilized by nearly every culture. Thousands of years ago, Egyptians and Babylonians used essential oils to treat disease. Even the Aztecs used aromatherapy to provide relief to the suffering. Shakespeare himself even remarked, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” It is not pagan rituals, nor mere coincidence that these cultures turned to aromatherapy. Modern science is now proving the validity of aromatherapy. In fact many different studies show that
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aromatherapy is effective in decreasing anxiety, pain, and fatigue. These studies report the positive effects of aromatherapy according to a wide variety of clinical trials. Because of the results of these studies, more clinicians are implementing aromatherapy into their everyday practice. As more clinicians utilize aromatherapy in their everyday scope of practice, they will become familiar with the numerous benefits of using essential oils and will be able to conduct more research to support its effectiveness in a larger variety of settings and with a larger variety of diagnoses. Clinical aromatherapy is a new form of practice emerging within the hospice realm. While conventional medicine may be reluctant to utilize complementary therapies, it is a fact that both systems of medicine have the same goal: comfort for the patient. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) states that “hospice recognizes that a peaceful and comfortable death is an essential goal of health care”. In the same way, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) states that aromatherapy is used to, “balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.” Just as the hospice philosophy means seeking comfort instead of curative treatment, so aromatherapy seeks to prevent the exacerbation of symptoms. Aromatherapy is not intended to cure any disease, but to help prevent the spread of the disease and to manage symptoms. Some effects of aromatherapy include: relaxation, anti-inflammation, analgesia, disinfection, and anti-oxidation. Additionally, aromatherapy can be administered via multiple modes of application such as inhalation and topical application as well as through bath salts, lotions, oils, lip balms, and more. These multiple modes make aromatherapy an excellent choice for patients who may be sensitive to touch, who may need more touch, or who would prefer to relax without company. Aromatherapy is possible because the olfactory (smell) senses stimulate the limbic system, which is responsible for motivation, emotion, learning, and memory. Aromatherapy is a science, but it can be as simple as using Geranium to evoke the smell of a garden that has since faded away. It can be used as a conversation starter with a family member who smells their grandmother’s favorite tea when they smell German chamomile. Aromatherapy can even be used to trigger the memories of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease as they remember walking in the woods and smelling Siberian fir. These memories may come faintly to some or very strongly to others. Aromatherapy creates an avenue for the whole family to talk, share, or remember together. Walter Hagen once said, “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” His advice was so very true to the patients and families receiving hospice care. During this period the patient seeks not quantity of time, but quality of time. Aromatherapy is able to make this happen by helping to manage symptoms so that patients are able to transition peacefully.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 71
The Full Story
any of us have seen funeral homes and cemeteries touting low prices for various funeral services or funeral merchandise. Many times, however, those low prices do not tell the entire story. A funeral home advertises what seems to be a fantastic price for a cremation. You think to yourself, “Great!”, but is that really what you end up paying? What was missing from that “great deal?” Why can the final bill be double what is advertised? What was not included? Why did that great deal end up not so great? Did that low price cremation include an urn? Did that include a private family goodbye viewing? Did that low price include a container to take the deceased to the crematory? Were death certificates included? When these “additional” items are all added to the final bill, that low advertised price was no deal at all. A cemetery salesperson is selling caskets. That salesperson says they can save you up to 70% from funeral home prices. We have served families who bought a casket from a cemetery years ago and our current prices were still lower for that comparable casket. Remember, we do not have to pay that salesperson a commission. We buy our caskets directly from the manufacturer. Please compare our low prices. A simple phone call may save you a lot of money. A cemetery puts up signs stating that graves are ‘half off ’ the regular price. All well and good, however what is not stated is that the cost of digging the grave is over $2,350 PLUS a records fee of $225. Now add in a cemetery required outer burial container or burial
vault and a grave marker. That “half off ” grave does not seem like such a good deal when a total grave package can cost over $6,000. Remember to double all these costs for a spouse. I know many people who have simply abandoned grave spaces due to added costs associated with burials. I get calls every week from people wondering if I would be interested in buying graves or if I know anyone looking for graves. Would you be interested in grave space with opening and closing charge for $1325? Call us for that important information. I suggest reading the fine print. Find out more information. Ask questions such as, “Is that a complete price? What is not included? What extras may I have to pay for?” We offer a complete funeral package starting at $5,690. We include all of the following: •Service charge •Securing and filing documents •Embalming •Use of facilities •Staff •Selection of casket •Outer burial container •Prayer cards •Register book •Thank you notes •5 Death certificates •Other vehicles as needed •Hearse to cemetery •Submitting an obituary on our website We offer a complete cremation package with viewing starting at $5,690. We include all of the following: •Service charge •Securing and filing documents •Embalming •Use of facilities •Staff •Cremation container •Selection of cremation urn •Prayer cards •Register book •Thank you notes •5 Death certificates •Submitting an obituary on our website •Cremation service •Cremation permit. We offer a complete direct cremation package (with no public viewing) for $1,450. We include all of the following: •Service charge •Transportation •Cremation service •Securing and filing documents •Cremation permit fee •Selection of an urn •Family goodbye/identification viewing •Submitting an obituary on our website •5 Death certificates Some charges or fees are not the funeral home’s charges. Things such as newspaper notices, hairdresser, flowers, church charges, cemetery charges, funeral luncheon or extra death certificates may add to the final bill. If you are like me, you loathe surprises. When someone tells you, “Oh, by the way” you know it is going to cost you more. For a no surprise quote on funeral charges, call Perman Funeral Home. This Industry Insight was provided by Frank Perman, licensed funeral director and owner of Perman Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc, 923 Saxonburg Blvd. at Rt 8 in Shaler Township. Mr. Perman believes that an educated consumer makes the best decisions. Questions can be made to Mr. Perman at 412.486.3600 or email at email@example.com
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