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anon Mac SUMMER 2012


Real Estate in Canon Mac



IN Canon Mac is a non-partisan community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Canon Mac area 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.


Real Es tate in Canon Mac

IN Canon Mac | SUMMER 2012 |



Canon McMillan School District .. | 6 UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use ................................... | 25 Houses of Worship ............................ | 55 Special Value Coupons .................... | 56 ON THE COVER

| 661 Waterdam Road


Synergy School of Dance by Roz Creating Artists One Dancer at a Time ......... | 38


Health and Wellness News You Can Use | Summer 2012

Paul Herrnberger

Here Comes the Sun

Trying to Save Money? ............................... | 49

It’s definitely summer, and you’re ready to enjoy every minute of it. Before you grab your sunglasses and head outdoors, check out our skin protection tips on page 4.

Cristy Watson, DPT Physical Therapy Can Improve Your Golf Swing! .............................................. | 50

What’s Inside 2 3 4

Bringing Mother and Child Together Exhausted and Sleepy? Pamper the Skin You’re In Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins

5 6 7


Your Health Care Goes Mobile Talent + Imagination + Learning = Events You Won’t Want to Miss When Wounds Won’t Heal




Northwood Realty’s Susan Accetta ..................................... | 48


PA Trolley Museum Keeps Rolling Down the Track ....



Rylee Kirsch Scores Big Hit in Contest ..........................



Katina Landgraff Lands Top Honors .................................



Haley Yenchik is First Alternate Gymnast ......................



Resident Profile: Rich DuCarme ........................................



Gladys Magazine Launch Raises Awareness .................



St. Mary’s Fish Fry .................................................................



Real Estate in Canon Mac ...................................................



Take it Outside – Dining on the Patio .............................



Hot Diggity Dog Days ...........................................................



anon Mac

Welcome to the summer issue of Canon Mac magazine. This year, it seems summer started in early March. However, the warm days have given people a reason to get outside early and often. Bulbs are blooming earlier and joggers are out in force. So I hope you’ve had a chance to get out there and take advantage of the early summer, and while you’re at it, let us know what you’re up to. We try to feature as much local content as we can in each issue and hope that you enjoy that content. Now, we want to get even more local and ask you directly for your stories in each issue. These features don’t have to be about you or someone you know doing something extraordinary like climbing Mt. Everest or swimming the English Channel. We want to know what makes our readers tick. It could be that you’ve always wan ted a classic Thunderbird and have been restoring one for the past few years. We’d like to see it, and I’m sure others would too. So let’s start off with that, since we’re coming into car cruise season: If you or someone you know has a pretty interesting restoration project going on in their garage, let us know! Email our editor, Mark Berton, at or call us at 724.942.0940 . We’ll be happy to hear your story and may even send one of our photographers out to capture your work for the next issue. Keep in mind, the project doesn’t necessarily need to be current – if you’ve been cruising in your restoration project for some time now, that’s okay, too. But we’d like to know what you did at the nuts and bolts level to get your baby roadworthy. If you’re just not sure one way or the other if you think you have a good story, call Mark and he’ll be happy to help you out! Looking forward to seeing some whitewalls and chrome in the fall issue! Have a great summer! Wayne Dollard, Publisher

Do you have a classic car that you’ve restored? If so, we’d like to hear about it. Email your name and contact information to

Fall content deadline: 9/7/2012


724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Canon Mac



                                                       

  6

Canon Mac

       • Substitute Superintendent Michael Daniels

                

                                      

              

 

                             

 

                                 

                                 

                              

          

Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 7


             

      

                            8

Canon Mac

                                                

                                           

     

                                  

        


 

  


      

at the Frank Sarris Public Library

                 

                   

                


             Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 9


 


                                     10

Canon Mac

                                   

  

                                             


  


 

              

                     


                                 

                                            NEWS ALERT  The team won the WPIAL Quad A  championships - the first ever gold for  Canon-McMillan girls softball. At press time, the team  won a shut-out in the first round of PIAA playoffs.       Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 11




                           

                          

                12

Canon Mac


                                                        


    


      

      

       

 

    

             Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 13


   MRS. MILLIE HENDRICKS      

MRS. PEGGY BILLINGSLEY        

MS. PENNY COUSINS         

MS. PATTI COYNE          

MRS. EVA GRAZIANO            

MRS. PATTY PANSERI            

MRS. BERNADETTE BERESTECKY               

MRS. CRYS DEMING                  

  14

MRS. DEBORAH MURDOCK         

Canon Mac

 

 

                   




 

   

 

                   

                     

                 

 

  

 

            

Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 15


raveling back in time occurs daily at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Arden. Recently, 18 three-year-old students from St. Thomas More Preschool, Bethel Park, and their parents, grandparents and teachers traveled to the Museum to find out more about trolleys and how they work. They jumped enthusiastically on the small trolley for children in the interactive, orientation area at the museum. Bob Alexander of Venetia was the volunteer motorman who took the group on a trolley ride to the Trolley Display Building and a tour around Arden, which included seeing geese and goslings. They had lunch in the orientation building, which also holds birthday and special occasion parties. Mr. Alexander worked for U.S. Steel on the railroad program and also for Bombardier, which is a Canadian company that developed railroads. “I enjoy my time at the museum,” said Mr. Alexander, who is now retired and wears a uniform and conductor’s hat for tours, “I like staying active here.” Most visitors can experience these same activities, said Lynne Thompson, who is the museum’s


volunteer coordinator and museum educator. “We are particularly proud of the fact that we can accommodate special needs groups and we have trolleys that are wheelchair accessible,” she explained. Many area preschools, private schools, and Boy and Girl Scout groups travel to the Trolley Museum, said Ms. Thompson. “Since this year is the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, we have seen an increase of those who want to travel the four miles of trolley tracks,” she stated, “and learn about streetcars.” The museum closes to the public during January and February, but volunteers continue to work on the trolleys. Last year, the museum boasted that 150 volunteers donated 27,000 hours of service and 26,825 visitors came from around the world. The attendance increased nearly 20 percent from the previous year. Many special events are planned throughout the year, according to Scott Becker, the Trolley Museum’s executive director. The Bunny Trolley occurs during Easter when passengers meet the Easter Bunny. The Boy Scouts hold a special merit badge workshop for railroading and electricity badges. A classic car show is scheduled for June 24 as one can travel on a trolley and see a

M TROLLEY 


large number of antique cars. “The Washington County Fair remains a huge event for us,” explained Mr. Becker. “We operate trolleys all day during the fair schedule,” which is August 11-18. The pumpkin patch trolley remains popular in October when riders get a pumpkin with the ride, according to Mr. Becker. The Santa Trolley in late November and December is popular as well, he said. A relatively new addition is the Lionel toy train display in the orientation area from November 23 through December 16, said Mr. Becker. The Museum offers trolley rides to the Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts Christmas Festival in October as well. “Operator for an hour is an opportunity to operate an antique streetcar,” said Ms. Thompson, “and it is a popular event that is selling out.” Next year, the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary. “It started out with a handful of volunteers and a few trolleys, but today it has over

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Open car & streamlined trolley at McClain Loop

Keeps Rolling Down the Track 600 members and over 50 railway historic vehicles,” stated Mr. Becker. Some streetcars are from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Ohio, West Virginia and the famous “Streetcar Named Desire” from New Orleans. The Museum has wooden trolleys, open-air trolleys, snow and debris clearing trolleys as well as a crane car that lifts trolleys from the track for repairs. The Bethel Park preschoolers were quite impressed with the huge piece of equipment. “The trolley era began in 1890 in Pittsburgh and was the dawn of the electric age,” explained Mr. Becker. “It was a major user of electricity and West Penn Power powered the railways and then sold electricity to its customers.” By 1917, there was a 200-mile system from Washington and Charleroi to Pittsburgh. “The trolley served the coal patch towns, allowing workers to be transported to their jobs in the coal mines or steel mills,” Mr. Becker stated. Newspaper articles and company records allow the Trolley Museum to provide an accurate history of the era. “One article stated that on Valentine’s Day 1930 a trolley was named ‘Miss Brackenridge’ after a contest,” said Mr. Becker. “They

were always feminine names. It was a big deal.” A large repair facility houses the trolleys volunteers are restoring as well as spare parts. “We have compressors that are over 100 years old. Once they are gone, you cannot replace them,” said Mr. Becker. “It can take several years to restore a trolley back to its original specifications. Some trolleys were used as homes or restaurants and need quite a lot of work.” Representatives from the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum participated in the March 23 opening of Pittsburgh’s Port Authority launching its North Shore Connector to the city as its light rail transit opened. Throughout the nation, there are 20 trolley museums. “Trolleys are environmentally very friendly and green,” concluded Mr. Becker. “They do not make much noise. We want to preserve these memories and the importance of transportation on the whole community. This region understands its industrial heritage and the importance of sharing this knowledge.” For more information about the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, one should call Ms. Thompson at 724.228.9256 or visit Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 17


ut of 2,700 entries, Rylee Kirsch, a seventh grade student at Canonsburg Middle School (CMS), won the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Jackie Robinson Poetry Contest for seventh and eighth graders. Daughter of Joel and Lori Kirsch of Canonsburg, Miss Kirsch wrote a poem that explored one or more of Jackie Robinson’s nine values for success—courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment and excellence, according to the Pirates contest rules. Considered one of the most significant moments in Major League Baseball (MLB), history was made when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947. In celebration of this special event, the Pirates invited schools in the Pittsburgh market area to participate in a poetry or essay contest for grades three and four, five and six, and seven and eight. Contest winners in each category were invited to the Friday, April 20th game against the St. Louis Cardinals to be recognized during the pre-game show. Miss Kirsch received a certificate, gifts that included a Neil Walker autographed ball and a replica Jackie Robinson jersey from Chaz Kellem, manager of diversity initiatives for the Pirates. “It was fun,” said Miss Kirsch. “We stood on the edge of the field and we were on the big

Rylee Kirsch Scores Big Hit in Contest

screen. The game was good too, but the Pirates lost.” Mrs. Rebecca Wolf, a CMS language arts teacher, had her students write poems for the contest. “As part of a nonfiction unit, all of my students read The Noble Experiment, which is Jackie Robinson's autobiography as told to Alfred Duckett,” explained Mrs. Wolf. “Then, my students used the information from the autobiography, as well as their own research, to write poems about Jackie Robinson to complement a unit on poetry.” “I am extremely proud of Rylee for writing such a powerful poem, as she used written expression to creatively convey an event that was momentous on a historical level,” said Mrs. Wolf. “I was fortunate enough to attend the Pirates game when Rylee was honored, and it was a very rewarding experience to see the Pirates Organization recognize Rylee and showcase to the Pittsburgh area one of the many exemplary accomplishments of students in the Canon McMillan School District.” Excited to hear she won, “My parents were shocked,” said Miss Kirsch. “I never told them about it. I didn’t think I was going to win either because there were so many entries.” She found out that she won the contest by a letter in the mail, said her father, who is an Avella Area elementary principal. “We were surprised but we are very proud.” Her mother is a rehabilitation manager at the West Penn Allegheny Health System Canonsburg General Hospital. Stating she enjoys poetry, Miss Kirsch said, “I like to do free verse. I think it is pretty cool.” So did the Pirates. Rylee’s b rother, Ta nner, Cha Kellem of z th Rylee’s d e Pittsburgh Pirate ad, Joel K s, irsh and R ylee.

By Joann Naser

Group photo of all the contest winners of the Jackie Robinson poetry and essay contest. 18

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Would you dis regard the tem ptation, I ask, And steer clea r of the trouble Would you kee ? p to yourself w hen your own teammat es Exclude you fr om the huddle ? Would you ign ore the horrific taunts, Hits, and even th re ats, And comprehe nd that you w ill be Despised, at th e very best? I ask you now, Mr. Robinson, Before you sig n your name, Will the consta nt abuse avert you From America ’s favorite gam e? But Jackie only chuckled and said, With a smile sl apped upon h is face, “Mr. Rickey, may God strike me down If I give in and bring disgrace .” Rylee Kirsch

Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 19

atina Landgraff of North Strabane received a gold medal for being the all-around top gymnast at the Pennsylvania State Gymnastics Competition held on March 18 at Trinity High School. Competing on the vault, uneven parallel bars, balance beam and floor exercises, Ms. Landgraff garnered enough points to achieve the title of all-around top gymnast. “The floor is my favorite activity,” she stated. She competed in the Advanced Prep Optimal level in the 16-year-old division. A student at Gym Dandy’s of Meadowlands for the past five years, Ms. Landgraff thanks her coaches for helping her achieve her goals. “There are tons of coaches to thank, but my main coaches are Scotty Miller, Karen Clark, and Mike Stiffy.” Ms. Landgraff, a Canon-McMillan High School junior, has been in gymnastics since the second grade. “Before that, I took dance but after I started gymnastics with a neighbor, I did not want to dance anymore,” explained Ms. Landgraff, who is the daughter of Clark and Maureen Landgraff. “I love doing it [gymnastics],” said Ms. Landgraff. “I love being with the friends I have made and competing at meets.” Ms. Clark said of Ms. Landgraff, “She is a role model who expresses herself with elegance and flair.” She added, “She is a hard worker. Sometimes I let her help with the pre-teen ballet class and the kids just adore her.” Remaining healthy through her competitions, Ms. Landgraff did break a finger in November and had to miss two competitions—one locally and one in

    By Joann Naser


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Philadelphia. She did make a quick recovery and was practicing again by the end of December. Her summer schedule gives her quite a workout. “It is every day for four hours for a month and then there is a camp for two weeks and it is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Ms. Landgraff. During the school year, she practices four days a week for four hours a day. It is year-round practice. “It takes up a lot of time,” explained Ms. Landgraff, “but I think it is worth it. I don’t know what others think about it.” After school, Ms. Landgraff grabs a snack and then heads to the gym. She begins to work on homework after 8 p.m., when she is finished with practice. Taking mostly all honors classes, she is unsure of her college plans. “I want to keep my options available,” said Ms. Landgraff about competing in gymnastics at the college level. “I am more worried about my education.” Currently, she is thinking about a secondary education career. When not competing or at the gym, Ms. Landgraff likes to “hang out with family” including her brother, Evan. “I just want to finish out well at Gym Dandy’s,” concluded Ms. Landgraff, “and I think I will.”

      

aley Yenchik, 15, of Cecil, was ranked the first alternate to travel to the Women’s Junior Olympic Level Nine Eastern Gymnastics Championships held May 4 through 6 in Landover, Maryland, for the Gym Dandy’s, Meadowlands. Ms. Yenchik attended the event at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex. The participants competed in the vault, balance beam, floor exercises and uneven parallel bars. This USA gymnastics competition leads some of the champions on to make the United States National Team and represent the United States at international competitions such as the Olympics, as well as compete in collegiate gymnastics. To make it to nationals, Ms. Yenchik had to place in the top eight at regionals, which was held in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on April 13-15. The regional competition includes elite gymnasts from West Virginia, Virginia, New Jersey,

By Joann Naser Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Ms. Yenchik would have competed at nationals only if the placed gymnasts could not perform. “Haley has been in gymnastics since she was three years old,” said her coach, Karen Clark, who is also an owner at Gym Dandy’s. “She is a very gifted athlete.” To get the athletes ready for nationals, Ms. Clark completes a number of challenges. “Strength and conditioning occur year-round,” she stated. “Sometimes they are not allowed to warm up but must perform their routine. Also, we will have everyone in the gym watch them so they can get the feel of pressure at a competition.” Saying the balance beam “makes or breaks them,” the 4-inch by 16 feet by 4 feet off the ground apparatus is one they may get nervous on during their routine. “We try and do the best to prepare them for the national level of competition,” said Ms. Clark, who has been teaching gymnastics for 33 years. Daughter of Janet and Steven Yenchik, Ms. Yenchik said, “I have been coming here [Gym Dandy’s] all my life and I am so used to it. I don’t like to sit still for very long. I always need to try new things and

always strive to do something better.” Saying the uneven parallel bars are “very challenging,” Ms. Yenchik said her goal for the future includes competing at level 10 gymnastics, which is its highest level. Someone she admires is Shawn Johnson, who was the 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist and who challenges her to do better. Considering the future, “I would like to choose a college close to home rather than farther away,” said Ms. Yenchik. The day before a competition, Ms. Yenchik likes to relax and become mentally prepared. “I don’t want to be

tense about it and hope for the best,” she explained. “I just try and get in a zone and don’t stare at the faces in the crowd. The coaches keep you going too.” Staying very active, Ms. Yenchik also competes in track and field for Canon-McMillan High School. She sometimes does school homework at the gym but may have to stay up late at night to complete it. “You just have to get used to it,” she said. “It [gymnastics] is a mentally tough sport and sometimes I am scared to do something, but I just can’t quit,” Ms. Yenchik concluded.

Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 21

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CSI (crime scene investigation) explodes on the scenes of several television shows nightly. For one Canonsburg resident, Rich DuCarme, he investigates another side of crime. He reviews financial and business information called forensic accounting. According to Wikipedia, forensic means suitable for use in a court of law. His litigation support consulting company, LitCon Group, has offices in Pittsburgh, Washington, DC and Chicago, Illinois and has 25 employees. “We generally provide financial accounting and economic analysis for business problems,” said Mr. DuCarme, who is managing director. “For a general example, if an employee leaves a company and works for a competing company and he or she has taken customer lists or company information, we assess the amount of damages. They are stealing business from a prior employer.” He added that over 90 percent of his company’s involvement in disputes has been settled without litigation. The company provides independent conclusions. “The legal process can be very expensive and companies know that,” said Mr. DuCarme. “They work it out beforehand. It all comes down to the money. The legal process changes people’s positions and make things more difficult. They are less cooperative then. It is better to settle before they get involved with the court system.” Mr. DuCarme explains that lawyers determine right or wrong, who is at fault, and liability. His company determines financial harm or damages. “If a doctor loses his life in a tragic accident, my company would determine what was the worth of his or her practice,” he said. Another example occurs when a construction company builds a plant or stadium and the owner loses money because they are over budget and over deadline. “We determine the fair share or the right amount for the delays,” he explained. A mechanical engineering graduate from Grove City College, Mr. DuCarme worked as an engineer for four years at Pittsburgh Des Moines Company and Westinghouse. Feeling “pigeon-holed in a cubicle,” Mr. DuCarme decided to obtain a master’s of science degree in industrial administration (MBA) from Carnegie Mellon University. “I went full-time and now looking back it was a good thing to do.” Studying accounting, finance and economics, he met people from all over the world at CMU. “It was so academically challenging,” said Mr. DuCarme. After graduation, Mr. DuCarme began working for Peterson Consulting, which is in the same industry. He has been in the same line of work since 1987. He is also a certified forensic financial analyst (CFFA). “There are no typical days,” stated Mr. DuCarme. “We are working on several cases at once doing report writing and analysis.” In the Western Pennsylvania region, coal, natural gas and oil disputes crop up. “There are breaches of coal supply contracts or steel

Canon Mac

 

By Joann Naser

manufacturing losses that need to be determined,” he stated. “Natural gas and oil development are good for the economy of the region,” said Mr. DuCarme, “but there may be business challenges with the leases, drilling and other expenses. We would determine the financial harm to a corporation.” Another side to litigation consulting is fraud. People have heard about Enron and Bernie Madoff, but smaller companies in this region have to deal with this also. For instance, “a cashier may say something costs a $1 when actually it is 50 cents and they pocket the difference,” explained Mr. DuCarme. “Also, an employee may pad their expense account or divert checks. They may be forging accounting records. My company would assess the damages.” Patent violations can be another facet to the industry such as infringements on someone’s design. Some examples are drug companies, eye procedures, and specific product mechanisms that are protected by copyrights or trademarks. Personally, Mr. DuCarme met his wife, Anne, through a mutual friend. They have two children. Ben, who is a senior at Canon-McMillan High School, enjoys golf like his father. Ben was the fourth place finisher in the WPIALs and was in the top 20 in the state tournament. He is currently deciding on which college to attend. Kate, who is an eighth grader at Canonsburg Middle School, enjoys the middle school band and dance. She was recently selected a Carson Scholar. The Carson Scholars Fund was established by world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and his wife, Candy. It seeks to recognize academic achievement on the national level with scholarships as well as promoting literacy. An adjunct professor at Grove City College since 2004, he teaches the forensic accounting course which also includes damages and business investigations every other year for the accounting majors. It is becoming a more recognized program with Carlow University offering a major now in forensic accounting. “I have been blessed in my life,” concluded Mr. DuCarme. “I enjoy my life’s work.” Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 23

New Advances in Dental Implants Allow Patients to Replace All of Their Teeth With 4 Implants The All-on-Four dental implant technique is the optimal solution for those who have lost or are about to lose all of their upper and/or lower teeth. With this procedure, you can come as close to having a new set of permanent teeth as is currently possible. Those who replace their dentures with All-on-Four dental implants will never have to remove their replacement teeth again for cleaning because their new teeth can be cleaned and maintained just like a natural set of teeth. If you are looking at the possibility of having to wear dentures but choose All-on-Four dental implants, you will never have to experience the crippling effects of loose dentures, being unable to eat the foods you enjoy, messy adhesives, removing teeth at night, the embarrassment of dentures slipping during speech or smiling or the bad breath associated with wearing dentures.

All-on-Four Dental Implants Technique The All-on-Four technique utilizes four dental implants


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to attach your new set of permanent replacement teeth. The implants used in this procedure are specially designed for immediate function and typically do not require bone grafting. In most cases, patients lacking the bone volume required to support traditional implants are able to enjoy the many benefits of a permanent solution to missing teeth with this procedure.

Beautiful New Teeth in One Day Due to the rigid structure of the replacement teeth and the cross-stabilization provided by the dental implants, you can go home that same day with a new set of teeth, even when extractions of failing teeth are required. The entire process, including any necessary extractions, can be completed in one day with minimal recovery time. The result is a fully functional set of teeth that looks and feels natural, enhances self-confidence and allows individuals to once again experience the foods and activities they enjoy most.

UPMC TODAY Health and Wellness News You Can Use | Summer 2012

Here Comes the Sun It’s definitely summer, and you’re ready to enjoy every minute of it. Before you grab your sunglasses and head outdoors, check out our skin protection tips on page 4.

What’s Inside 2

Bringing Mother and Child Together

3 4

Exhausted and Sleepy? Pamper the Skin You’re In Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins

5 6 7

Your Health Care Goes Mobile Talent + Imagination + Learning = Events You Won’t Want to Miss When Wounds Won’t Heal

Bringing Mother and Child Together UPMC Mercy’s newborn nursery programs foster bonding between mothers and their infants.

The bond between a mother and child is a wonder to behold. At UPMC Mercy, new mothers — and dads, too — can depend on a team of health care professionals to guide them through the process of bonding with and caring for their newborns.

The benefits of breastfeeding UPMC Mercy has three certified lactation specialists on staff, including a neonatal nurse practitioner, who provide in-hospital and outpatient support to mothers. “We see every woman who plans to nurse immediately after delivery, since breastfeeding begins within the first hour after birth,” explains UPMC Mercy lactation specialist Sarah Krivonik, RN. “Whether you’re a firsttime mother or have breastfed before, every baby is different. We help mothers identify the best solutions for their circumstances — whether it’s how to handle triplets or care for a pre-term baby who can’t breastfeed right away.” More and more women are discovering the health benefits of breastfeeding. Often described as “liquid gold,” a mother’s milk is filled with rich nutrients and vitamins. “Newborns who breastfeed have a greater resistance to infection and allergies, fewer ear infections, and are less likely to experience childhood obesity,” says UPMC Mercy’s Cheryl DiNardo, CRNP, a neonatal nurse practitioner and certified lactation specialist. “For mothers, breastfeeding promotes faster weight loss, less bleeding, and reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer.”

Promoting snuggling with a purpose “Every year, we welcome more than 1,700 babies into the world,” says Chris D’Amico, CRNP, UPMC Mercy’s obstetrics/ gynecology administrator. “A big part of our mission is to bring families together during those critical early days through one-on-one support.”

Practicing togetherness After giving birth, mothers can have their newborns at their bedside in one of UPMC Mercy’s private postpartum rooms. “With our in-room option, a mother can learn her baby’s responses and cues for feeding,” says Lora Mastracci, MSN, interim unit director for UPMC Mercy’s Family Maternity Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “This experience allows fathers to be involved from the beginning, from helping with baths and diaper changes, to comforting and holding the baby.” In-room care also gives nursing staff the opportunity to get to know mothers and their needs in greater detail, and connect them to important community resources on their return home.


“Physical contact is an essential part of the bonding process,” says Diane Bear, RN, a lactation consultant with UPMC Mercy’s Women’s Health Services. “We work closely with mothers and fathers to encourage early and ongoing skin-to-skin contact with their babies.” Using a technique called “kangaroo care,” babies are held in an upright position on their parent’s bare chest (much like a kangaroo carries its young). It is especially beneficial for premature babies, and it’s also believed to help stimulate milk production for mothers who are breastfeeding. To learn more about these and other programs offered by UPMC Mercy’s Family Maternity Services, visit

Exhausted and Sleepy? At UPMC’s Sleep Medicine Center, doctors can diagnose and treat sleep apnea, often with surprisingly fast results.

Overweight and diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, and an irregular heartbeat, Robert Guthrie underwent a sleep study at UPMC’s Sleep Medicine Center to evaluate his pulmonary function and suitability for gastric bypass surgery. He was shocked to discover he had sleep apnea so severe he actually stopped breathing 147 times per hour. Affecting 12 million Americans, sleep apnea doesn’t just disrupt sleep. Untreated, it can cause serious health problems and lead to deadly accidents due to exhaustion. “I was totally clueless. It was serendipity that took me to a sleep expert, and it probably saved my life,” says Robert, 65, who immediately began using a nighttime breathing apparatus known as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Within a week, he was sleeping soundly for the first time in six years. “It was life changing,” says the Hopwood, Pa., resident. “I feel 20 years younger.” Most people don’t know they have obstructive sleep apnea, usually caused when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. People with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly. With each interruption, the drop in oxygen levels prompts the brain to send a surge of adrenaline to kick-start breathing, which also leads to a spike in blood pressure. “This can happen 600 times a night. It’s a burden on the cardiovascular system and affects the quality of sleep,” says Patrick J. Strollo Jr., MD, medical director of the UPMC Sleep Medicine Center. According to Dr. Strollo, if you snore loudly, wake up exhausted despite a “good night’s sleep,” or feel tired or sleepy during the day, you should talk to your primary care physician. Since sleep apnea cannot be detected while you’re awake, your doctor may ask you to participate in an overnight sleep study.

At UPMC’s Sleep Medicine Center, patients stay in a private bedroom where a sleep technician applies sensors that measure breathing, heart rate, brain activity, and other body functions during sleep. A team of specialists diagnose sleep apnea by looking at the test results and reviewing medical history. Treatment options may include a CPAP machine like Robert uses, which blows air through a special mask worn over the nose. “I wasn’t wild about wearing the mask. But staying on it was a no-brainer — it’s worth it for a good night’s sleep,” says Robert. For information about the UPMC Sleep Medicine Center, visit and click Our Services for an alphabetical listing of departments and services.

Other health consequences of sleep apnea According to Ryan Soose, MD, an otolaryngologist and sleep medicine specialist at UPMC Mercy, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, weight gain, memory problems, and daytime sleepiness. “Loud snoring is a very common feature of sleep apnea and often the most bothersome symptom for patients and other family members,” notes Dr. Soose. “Successful treatment of snoring and sleep apnea can improve quality of life as well as reduce health risks. A variety of medical and surgical treatment options are available, and the treatment plan can be customized to each individual patient.” For more information about UPMC Mercy’s sleep services or to schedule a sleep study, call UPMC Mercy Sleep Center at 412-232-7409.



Pamper the Skin You’re In Your skin is a multitasking marvel. Soft, pliable, and strong, it protects your organs, regulates body temperature, detects and fights off infection, and even repairs itself. But most of us take our hard-working skin for granted. A little TLC will help keep it healthy and looking good from the inside out.

Keep it clean Daily cleansing can take a toll on your skin, so be gentle. Take shorter baths or showers using warm water, choose a mild cleanser, pat or blot skin dry, and apply a moisturizer that’s appropriate for your skin type.

Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins They’re more common — and easier to treat — than you think. They can be tiny or bulging, painless or throbbing. But nearly half of us can expect to get spider or varicose veins, especially after age 50. “The good news is that many techniques now make vein treatments more safe, comfortable, and effective,” says Ellen D. Dillavou, MD, a vascular surgeon at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Eat, drink, and be healthy Feed your skin from the inside for a healthy glow on the outside. Experts recommend a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Drinking plenty of water keeps skin hydrated.

Get moving Regular exercise promotes circulation that energizes skin cells and carries away waste products. It also promotes the restful sleep that’s needed to rejuvenate skin.

Be sun smart Small amounts of daily sun exposure add up, so protect skin from the sun’s rays whenever you’re outdoors — even in wintertime. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and apply it liberally and often. Wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants provide even more protection.

Check it out Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. More than 90 percent of all skin cancers occur on parts of the body exposed to the sun, including the face, neck, and hands. Mohs micrographic surgery has proven to be an effective treatment for most skin cancers. This type of surgery removes as little normal tissue as possible and is often used to remove skin cancer on the face. Regularly checking your own skin can help find cancers early, when they are easier to treat. You’ll find the American Cancer Society’s skin self-examination guide and other sun safety tips at

Sources: American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


What new treatments are available? Among the newest is the injection of polidocanol for the treatment of spider veins. “It’s a cosmetic procedure that works much better than saline to collapse surface veins,” says Dr. Dillavou. “Spider veins do reoccur, though, so expect to do ‘touch ups’ periodically.” Injections also are used for larger veins and may replace older procedures like a “vein stripping.” For treating varicose veins, radiofrequency ablation (a minimally invasive procedure in which radiofrequency energy seals the vein closed) is a popular treatment among her patients, says Dr. Dillavou, “because it’s comfortable and effective.”

Are varicose veins dangerous? “Varicose and spider veins typically don’t pose a health risk, but they can point to chronic venous insufficiency (CVI),” says Gus Abu-Hamad, MD, a vascular surgeon at UPMC Mercy. “It’s a visual cue that blood may not be optimally flowing to and from the feet and legs to the heart, which can lead to more serious problems.” Other CVI symptoms include painful, tired, restless, achy, itchy, or swollen legs or ankles. In more advanced cases, skin changes and ulcers can develop. “The problem becomes more difficult to treat as it advances, so it’s important to always share your symptoms with your doctor,” says Dr. Abu-Hamad. To learn more about all the vascular services at UPMC Mercy, visit

Your our Health Care Care Goes Mobile It’s It’s no now w eas easy y tto o manage your your medical rrecords ecords or get aut automatic omatic ac access cess tto o select ttest est results results — because HealthT HealthTrak rak has an app ffor or tha that. t.

Need to keep track of your elderly parents’ appointments and test results? Want instant access to your children’s immunization records? Run out of medicine while traveling and need a refill? Have a follow-up question for your doctor after office hours? All are available with a click of your mouse — and most with a tap on your iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ — via UPMC HealthTrak, an Internet-based service that allows patients, and approved family members, to receive and manage information about their health. Recent upgrades include a new mobile HealthTrak application that provides patients with secure access anytime and anywhere.

HealthTrak also provides patients with automatic access to HealthTr certain test results, including x-rays, lab, and pathology tests, with links they can use to help interpret information. This makes it easier for patients to keep track of their cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar levels, and other important health numbers. UPMC hopes to add cardiology test results in the near future. Also on the horizon are plans to use photos to identify some skin conditions or diseases.

“We’re giving people what they want — even when they’re on the go. It’s a convenient, safe, and free way to manage their own health,” says G. Daniel Martich, MD, UPMC chief medical information officer.

Going mobile is ffast ast and eas easyy To access HealthTr HealthTrak data using a mobile device, you must first secure a HealthTr HealthTrak account through UPMCHealthT You should then download the free “MyChart app” from the App Store, iTunes Store, or Google Play (formerly Android Market). The mobile app provides access to everything except eVisits, or online doctor visits. According to Dr. Martich, more than 100,000 patients have signed up for HealthTr HealthTrak — and nearly 6,000 are mobile app users. Online medical care is seen as the wave of the future. The number of HealthTrak users is expected to increase dramatically once word spreads about its overall convenience and newest features — including access for authorized family members.

More More patient patient-centered -centered solutions HealthTrak gives users immediate access to a wide range of personal medical information, which allows them to take a more active role in managing their health.

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Adults juggling the health care of their children and aging parents can use the “proxy access” feature to keep track of health records and appointments, refill prescriptions, communicate with doctors, and ask billing questions.

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Parents will especially appreciate having instant access to a child’s immunization record when they need it. Approved caregivers find eVisit, the online doctor visit service, very useful for the diagnosis of common, non-urgent ailments in their elderly relatives.

you have If you have difficulties, email UPMC Support Line at or call the UP MC HealthTrak HealthTrak Support HealthTr 1-866-884-8579. 1-866-884-85 79.



Talent + Imagination + Learning =

Events You Won’t Want to Miss UPMC Senior Communities’ year-long calendar of entertainment, movies, and educational seminars aims to enrich the lives of seniors — and delight the public, too.

What do Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, a Meryl Streep movie, and acupuncture have in common? All are among UPMC Senior Communities’ upcoming 2012 Legacy Lineup. “We’re committed to providing residents at all our senior communities with activities that will capture their interests, generate conversation, and stimulate their minds,” says Nanci Case, vice president for sales, marketing, and activities for UPMC Senior Communities. “Through The Legacy Lineup and other programs, we’re bringing seniors — and people of all ages — together to relax, laugh, and learn together.” Open to the public, The Legacy Lineup programs are offered at UPMC Passavant Hospital Foundation’s Legacy Theatre at Cumberland Woods Village, UPMC Senior Communities’ independent living facility located on the UPMC Passavant campus. “You can attend a Legacy Lineup event every week of the month, with many events offered at no charge,” says Greta Ceranic, marketing director for Cumberland Woods Village. The Legacy Theatre is part of a state-of-the-art conference center and 247-seat amphitheatre funded through a generous $16.5 million grant by the Passavant Hospital Foundation. One of the Foundation’s primary goals is public education and outreach. UPMC physicians, nurses, and other medical staff members also use the facility for professional development training. “And funds raised through The Legacy Lineup support UPMC Senior Communities Benevolent Care Fund,” adds Ms. Case, “providing financial assistance and other support services to residents in need at all 17 UPMC retirement communities.”


Productions showcase local and national talent “Each month, The Legacy Lineup features at least one major production featuring a band, soloist, or performance troupe,” says Ms. Ceranic. “Earlier this year, the Tamburitzans appeared to a sell-out crowd. Later this year, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand impersonators will perform with a full orchestra.” The 2012 lineup also includes the Jaggerz and the Fabulous Hubcaps, as well as a major holiday production in December. Because seating is limited, advance tickets are recommended. Group discounts and ticket packages are available.

Spend Mondays at the movies From cinematic classics like Citizen Kane to recent blockbusters like Iron Lady with Meryl Streep, seniors can enjoy free matinee movies every Monday at 2 p.m. at the Legacy Theatre.

Explore your interests at learning seminars On alternating Tuesdays at 11 a.m., The Legacy Lineup offers educational programming that covers a wide range of subjects, from tips on aging, caregiver support, health and nutrition, history, and local topics of interest. The seminars are free and open to the public, but advance reservations are requested. For the full 2012 calendar of activities, or to make reservations, call 412-635-8080 or visit

To learn about the independent living, personal care, assisted living, and skilled nursing options offered by UPMC Senior Communities, call 1-800-324-5523 to schedule a tour. Locations include Allison Park, Cranberry, Fox Chapel, Greensburg, Lawrenceville, McCandless, Monroeville, Penn Hills, Scott Township, and Washington, Pa.

When Wounds Won’t Heal If you’re at risk, a simple cut or blister can quickly escalate into a major health problem.

Simple blisters, calluses, cuts, and scrapes usually heal quickly. But some wounds can take months to heal — posing a major health threat requiring special treatment to avoid serious infection, amputation, and even death. Dane Wukich, MD, an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon, and medical director of UPMC Wound Healing Services at UPMC Mercy, says chronic wounds are often ignored. “We see 3,000 new cases each year of serious, non-healing wounds that can become life-threatening and possibly lead to amputations,” says Dr. Wukich. “Within 24 hours, a simple callous can turn deadly.”

“Individuals with neuropathy are at risk. They get a callous or blister and walk on it all day, not realizing they have a wound until they see blood on their sock,” says Dr. Wukich. “Once a wound occurs, their risk of infection goes up significantly. And once they have an infection, the risk of amputation increases astronomically.” Poor circulation due to diabetes or vascular disease also slows healing, he explains. Patients who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair are at risk of developing pressure wounds from lying or sitting in one position too long.

Prevention and treatment Preventing wounds and complications is key, says Dr. Wukich. “Patients with non-healing wounds have a worse survival rate than patients with breast cancer, melanoma, and prostate cancer. That’s how serious it is,” he says bluntly. Lowering and controlling sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol can improve circulation and reduce complications. Checking daily for wounds and acting quickly to treat and heal ulcers can reduce the risk of severe infection and amputation. For a wound to heal properly, it must be kept clean. Dead tissue must be removed through a weekly cleaning to prevent the spread of infection. In addition, skin around a wound must be kept moist, and doctors may prescribe walking boots and casts to reduce direct weight on the wound.

Are you at risk? People with diabetes and vascular disease are especially vulnerable to slow healing and chronic wounds. Diabetic patients often have neuropathy, which causes them to lose sensation in their feet. Because they don’t feel pain, sores go unnoticed and can become ulcerated.

At UPMC Mercy, a multidisciplinary team of infectious disease physicians and orthopaedic, vascular, and plastic surgeons work together to treat wounds and help prevent amputations. Advanced wound therapy may include the use of regenerative skin products, vascular, plastic, or reconstructive foot surgery. Amputation is used as a last resort to save a life, says Dr. Wukich. For more information about UPMC Mercy’s Wound Healing Services, visit

Foot Care Tips If you have diabetes or vascular disease, inspect your feet daily for cuts, sores, redness, swelling, or foul odor. If you can’t bend over, use a plastic mirror to check the bottoms of your feet, or ask a family member to help. Make sure your doctor inspects your feet at every visit.



UPMC Mercy 1400 Locust St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219

UPMC Today is published quarterly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events available at UPMC. This publication is for information purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice or replace a physician’s medical assessment. Always consult first with your physician about anything related to your personal health.

Follow UPMC on Facebook.

The name you trust in women’s health is right here at Mercy. UPMC Mercy ob-gyn services are growing to provide comprehensive women’s services by bringing you the same experts who practice at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. In addition to community-based physicians and midwifery, these expanding services for women are consistent with Mercy’s rich tradition of care. UPMC’s complete range of specialty services for women covers obstetrics and gynecology, maternal-fetal medicine, midlife health, women’s cancer, and much more. From checkups and preventive care to testing, diagnosis, and advanced treatments, the superb doctors, nurses, and caregivers at Mercy and Magee are with you every step of the way on the path to good health. We work closely with your primary care physician to provide seamless care. And every service is backed by UPMC’s world-class care, providing peace of mind when you need it most. To learn more about UPMC Mercy ob-gyn services or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762), or visit

The Hofbrau was a local watering hole for years but today has evolved into a casual, friendly place to grab a bite to eat for everyone including families and all the kids. We feature pizza, salads, burgers, steak sandwiches, reubens, fish sandwiches, “primanti style” sandwiches and the area’s best wings prepared in 18 different flavors. Take out always available along with cold beer and drinks. Please come find us, in Canonsburg’s East End.

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Gladys Magazine Launch Raises S

By Joann Naser

pring and high fashion were definitely in the air as Gladys Magazine launched its Wedding and Couture issue on the University of Pittsburgh campus on Saturday, April 20. Stephanie Scarci of Canonsburg, Miss Pittsburgh and current Pitt student, was part of the cover photograph. She was the host for the event, which was planned with help from her mother, Vicki Scarci of Canonsburg, and other family members. Ms. Scarci used her platform as Miss Pittsburgh at the event and raised over $1,300 from raffle proceeds for the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. “I am so proud of this accomplishment,” said Ms. Scarci, “because I want the public to be more aware of domestic abuse.” Attending the special evening was Gladys Magazine’s editor-in-chief Andrea Patrick Forte and her husband. She is married to Fabian, a 1950s rock ‘n roll musician, who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ms. Forte named the magazine after her mother, Gladys, who died in 2007 but was an inspiration to her. “I believe the truth should be told and the voices of the people should be heard and that dreams should be fulfilled,” explained Ms. Forte on the concept of her magazine. “You can do anything in your life.” The national magazine is published quarterly and it is online as well. It focuses on fashion, beauty, travel, positive encouragement, motivation, and luxury products. “It is dedicated to anyone who has been inspired to pursue their dreams,” said Ms. Forte. Supermodel Kim Alexis is the beauty director and wrote an article for the latest edition. Models from the magazine participated in a fashion show at the event featuring long gowns by designer Marli Thomas. Her Campus Pitt also partnered with the evening and students helped set up the event. Started by three Harvard undergraduates, Annie Wang, Stephanie Kaplan, and Windsor Hanger, in September 2009, Her Campus is the number one online community for college women. Having over 200 campus locations throughout the country, Her Campus focuses on style, health, love, life and career. It has been featured on ABC news and in as well as The New York Times. “I think the evening went very well,” concluded Ms. Scarci. “It raised awareness and funding for the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh in a positive way.”





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 Stephanie Scarci wearing one of the Marlene Haute Couture Designs Photo by TeaRose Photography

Photos by Sasha Danielle Photography 1. Stephanie Scarci with Andrea Patrick Forte, Editor in Chief of Gladys Magazine and Marlene Haute Couture, Designer 2. Models in fashion show wearing Marlene Haute Couture Gown (MHC) 3. 2011 Gladys Girls that were on the cover along with Andrea Forte 4. Douglas Tjelmeland, New York Cover photographer with Stephanie Scarci 5. Fabian and Andrea Forte 6. Girls from Her Campus Pitt who helped with the event

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St. Mary’s Photos by Gary Yon


he Lenten Fish Fry at St. Mary Parish in Cecil is nothing less than the bounty of the seas. Not just your run-of-the-mill affair, St. Mary’s offered ½ pound cod fillets, fresh salmon, scallops, jumbo and popcorn shrimp, jalapeno poppers, homemade coleslaw, cabbage and noodles, several other side dishes and a wine list to boot! For more information on all the events going on at St. Mary Parish, go to And be sure you don’t give up seafood for Lent 2013!


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Fish Fry

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Synergy School of Artistic Dance by Roz

ga “Creatin rtists one dancer

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57 West Pike Street, Canonsburg, PA 15301 724.554.5424 Visit our Facebook page for more information! Come to our Showcase!!! “Round Two” June 22 & 23 Chartiers Valley Intermediate School $8 for one show or $10 for both shows Friday 7 p.m.: Solos, duos and trios Saturday 2:30 p.m.: Group pieces

Dance with us in the Canonsburg 4th of July parade Practice dates are June 18, 19, 28 and July 3 from 6–8 p.m. Free for all dancers You will need to purchase a parade T-shirt to wear the day of All ages are welcome

Check us out on Facebook for our summer classes and workshops: July: Pre-School Dance, Theme is “The Jungle” Plus Classes for beginner – advanced

“Join The Mov emen

August workshops and master classes at Synergy

• • •

Hip Hop with company dancers from Rennie Harris Puremovement Contortion with Jersey Cape Dance & Gymnastics Academy Plus many More!

Registration, class placement for the fall and company auditions will take place in August! 38

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Photos by Becky Zahn


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ome women are notorious for taking up space – closet space, kitchen space and bedroom space can overflow with shoes, clothes, jewelry and general knick knacks. And, especially if the woman’s space is spread throughout the entire house, her man might just need one room to call his own: a “Man Cave.” The idea of a Man Cave is definitely not a new one, and may have been referred to by different names, such as “The Boys Club,” a “Mantuary,” or a retreat. The concept has been around for years and has been marked by random surges in popularity, the most recent being just a few years ago when TV shows such as “Man Caves” began appearing. Although the purpose of a Man Cave has changed from its initial appearance hundreds of years ago, the basic concept remains the same: a place for men to go to escape the routine domesticities of everyday life. A Man Cave can be any room in the house – the garage, an attic or even an extra bedroom – designed and decorated to a man’s tastes, and can incorporate a specific theme such as sports, cars or guitars and other musical instruments. In some homes, the purpose of a Man Cave may be to provide some space to the man where he can relax and unwind and feel more at home in a house that often consists of female-driven décor and accessories. In other houses, a Man Cave might be a place where a sign is hung that states “No Girls Allowed,” or a place where he can hang out with his buddies and not feel like he needs to impress anyone. Studies have shown that when a man has a place to call his own within the home, there is increased marital harmony and decreased marital stress. According to Dan Haeck, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker




Real Estate Services, the man cave continues to be a popular trend. “In a recent survey I did on my Realtor page on Facebook, the typical mancave with a bar, home theatre, and pool table is still very popular,” he said. “The other notable feature I am getting a lot of requests for are the Craftsman style homes with large front porches.” Because these rooms are designed to meet each man’s own personal taste, every Man Cave is different. He may choose to stock his room with nice furniture, Canon-Mac memorabilia, a big screen television, a bar or even game accessories such as a pool table, pinball machine, or dart board. Other popular must-haves are billiard lights over the pool table and a free-standing beer tap in place of a fully stocked bar. If price is no object, the man may want to get the best of everything – from quality made bar stools and bar to the finest glassware. He may even choose to adorn the walls with various video games or hang guitars. He can display his team spirit by hanging wall decals of his favorite team’s logo throughout the room, or even on the pool table, a set of cues, or glassware. In addition, he can buy pillows, rugs, lamps and other furniture to match, making his Man Cave the perfect place to watch the game. Any room, no matter the size or shape, can be transformed into the Man Cave of his dreams. All it takes is a bit of thought and creativity… and maybe a favorite football game.

Exploring the Man Cave

By Heather Holtschlag


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Although the purpose of a Man Cave has changed from its initial appearance hundreds of years ago, the basic concept remains the same: a place for men to go to escape the routine domesticities of everyday life. Canon Mac | Summer 2012 | 41

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Finding the Right for You W

hether you are buying your first home in the Canon-Mac School District, refinancing your current home, or looking to finally buy your dream vacation property, chances are you are going to be shopping for a mortgage. A mortgage is a product, and if you are going to be committed to it for 15 or 30 years, you want to ensure that you get the best deal possible. Price and terms are often negotiable. To help with the legwork of comparison shopping for a mortgage product, many consumers turn to the services of a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers do not lend money; instead they have access to several lenders and arrange deals for their clients. There are several types of loans that a consumer may consider – fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, FHA loans, VA loans, a balloon mortgage, interest-only loans and reverse mortgages. The product that is right for you depends on your financial circumstances and goals. Jeff Lagoni, a mortgage banker with Victorian Finance, said experience is key when it comes to finding a mortgage. “People should find a mortgage professional that they know, trust and like, and have a conversation with them about your goals,” he said. “They should let them apply their expertise to educate you on the best mortgage options that are available.” Fixed-rate mortgages have an interest rate that stays the same throughout the term of the loan, typically 15, 20 or 30 years, which helps protect against any rate increases over that time. But, if interest rates go down, you are still obligated to pay the higher rate. FHA loans, available through the Federal Housing Administration, enable borrowers who may not otherwise qualify for a home loan to secure a mortgage with a low down payment, but the amount of money you may borrow is limited. Similarly, VA loans, guaranteed for eligible veterans, offer low rates with a small or no down payment, but again the amount of the loan may be limited. Balloon mortgages offer a fixed rate with low payment for a certain period, but after that period the entire balance of the loan becomes due. Interest-only loans allow the borrower to pay only the interest on the loan for a fixed term, but after that period the entire balance of the loan becomes due. Reverse mortgages, a popular option for seniors, enable the homeowner to cash out equity. The borrower does not have to pay back the loan or interest as long as they live in the house. There are a variety of factors that can influence the type of loan for which you may qualify. One of the most significant is your credit score. Typically, the lower your score, the higher the interest rate you will pay. Conversely, the stronger your score is, the more competitive the rate you may secure. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s publication Looking for the Best Mortgage offers the following advice concerning mortgage interest rates:


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Mortgage By Dana Black McGrath

• Ask each lender or broker for a list of its current mortgage interest rates and whether the rates being quoted are the lowest for that day or week. • Ask whether the rate is fixed or adjustable. Keep in mind that when interest rates for adjustable-rate loans go up, generally so does the monthly payment. • If the rate quoted is for an adjustable-rate loan, ask how your rate and loan payment will vary, including whether your loan payment will be reduced when rates go down. • Ask about the loan’s annual percentage rate (APR). The APR takes into account not only the interest rate but also points, broker fees, and certain other credit charges that you may be required to pay, expressed as a yearly rate.

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t’s no secret that this is the time of year when more and more “for sale” signs start to dot neighborhood streets. Whether you are planning to buy or sell a home, build a new one or renovate a century-old one, upsize or downsize, chances are you will be looking for a real estate agent to help guide you through the process. Choosing the right professional to represent you is an important decision, one that could end up saving you money or adding to your bottom line. You need a seasoned professional to best represent your interests. But, when it comes to selecting an agent, one should realize that not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) website explains that: “The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of NAR and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.” The organization is the nation’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members—including NAR’s institutes, societies and councils—involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. This is an important consideration when choosing an agent, whether you are a buyer or a seller. No matter which side of the real estate transaction you find yourself on, an agent can ensure that your interests are best represented. “There have been dramatic changes in what it takes to sell a home today,” said Millie Karolski, a Realtor with Howard Hanna Real Estate.

“If they have been in their home for more than 10 years, sellers should talk to their Realtor® BEFORE they put the house on the market and take the time to understand how long the mortgage process takes now, how big of a factor the appraisal is and the use of Seller Assist in the current market.” “Sellers also often misunderstand Seller Assist and when an offer comes in, emotions are often too high to try to explain the steep increase in buyer’s closing costs and the need for many of them to finance some of those costs,” said Crystal Alfonsi, also a Realtor with Howard Hanna. If you are planning to sell a property, a seller’s agent is obliged to get the best deal for the seller. He/she is permitted to give potential buyers only material facts about the listing. Loyalty is to the seller, not the potential buyer. On the other hand, if you find yourself in the market for a new home, a buyer’s agent is obligated to secure the best deal possible for the buyer. He/she is permitted to pass on any information obtained about the property or seller to his/her buying client. “Every buyer and seller, just as every real estate agent, is different,” said Brandon Renzi, a broker with B.C. Artman & Co. “So, it is wise to choose a realtor who is not only loyal, dedicated to their career, and trustworthy, but is also someone who listens to your needs, has a great work ethic, and interacts well with you.” According to the website, the following are some questions you should ask during your selection process when interviewing potential agents:

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• Are you a REALTOR®? • Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with your state’s governing agency. • Does the agent belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online home buyer’s search service? Multiple Listing Services are cooperative information networks of REALTORS® that provide descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region. Is real estate the person’s full-time career? What real estate designations does the agent hold? Which party is he or she representing: you or the seller? This discussion is supposed to occur early on, at “first serious contact” with you. The agent should discuss your state’s particular definitions of agency, so you’ll know where you stand. In exchange for your commitment, how will the agent help you accomplish your goals? Show you homes that meet your requirements and provide you with a list of the properties he or she is showing you? Erica Shulsky, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services, said that in addition to those questions, buyers and sellers should recognize that they should form a bond with their agent. “When buying or selling, it is all about working as a team with your agent,” she said. “You need to know that your agent can put themselves in your shoes and work with you, not just for you. In real estate, every ‘great’ agent will have certain specialties or skills. A ‘great’ agent will admit lack of skill in a certain area before putting their clients at risk. Most agents have established relationships with other agents with a different set of specialty or skill.”

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412.670.5496 412.782.3300

Dare to Dream...


A Quality Home

a Great Neighborhood

“Creating a home with the lifestyles of the clients in mind gives home buyers not just a house, but a vacation, making every turn into the driveway a peaceful retreat from the world” – Jeff Costa 412.833.8131 724.745.1541 / 724.742.9777

Visit our website and take our Costa HomeBuilders New Life™ Questionnaire / 412.382.7178 / 724.938.6102


osta Homebuilders is a fourth generation, family-owned construction company based in Pittsburgh, PA. At Costa Homebuilders, our goal is simple: Provide our customers with the most positive experience possible throughout the building process. We are one of the area’s leading building companies, and our clients receive the finest product at the greatest value possible.

Elegance Mastered Matt Guido – 724.448.5876

Scan this QR code with your smart phone to go directly to our website.

Legendary Quality

Positive feedback and customer referrals have helped Costa Homebuilders achieve its solid reputation. We have built our reputation by making the process as worry-free as possible, and by using only the finest quality materials and craftsmanship.

Personal Design

Showroom: 600 Hayden Boulevard (Rt. 51), Elizabeth, PA 15037

Timeless Beauty

412.384.8170 412.670.3471 / 412.760.9131 Adam Joe


b u s i n e s s

s p o t l i g h t

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An Agent You Could Consider Family


usan Accetta never set out to be a real estate agent, but after she retired from the Washington County Court System’s Domestic Relations Department, she found that she wanted a change of pace. More than nine years later, she has successfully completed hundreds of sales of homes in the Washington County area, and has found that her prior career has given her some assets to help her relate to her clients better. “It gave me a lot of experience in working with all types of people and situations,” she said. “It also gave me a healthy understanding of legal documents and the importance of making sure everything is complete and the way it should be. There’s no cutting corners in this business, and that’s important when you’re looking out for your clients’ interests.” Accetta said that the market has changed significantly since she started in real estate, and that adapting to those changes can make or break an agent’s success. “Nowadays, all of the information is available online, so when we get that call to sell or list a property, our clients are very well informed. We provide them with that additional information to make the decision that’s best for them,” she said. “Also, the Washington County market has been flooded with people moving in because of the Marcellus Shale industry. Every buyer that I had last year had just gotten a good job in some phase of this project and were looking to move into the area, and that’s continuing through this year as well.” Accetta also said that because of the mild winter, buyers and sellers have been out earlier. As far as the homes that people are looking for, Accetta said that the age of the house doesn’t matter as

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much as the home being well-maintained. “If they’ve been updated with modern kitchens, baths and amenities, then they are very attractive for buyers out there looking for homes now,” she said. “As for sellers, as soon as a home goes into the Multilist, the first 21 days are the most important. From day one, you have to have your home ready to show. It needs to be sparkling clean, uncluttered and a fresh coat of paint can do wonders.” While the majority of Accetta’s business is residential, she also can handle commercial real estate sales. She has been voted a Five Star Agent consecutively for the past three years in Pittsburgh Magazine, is a member of the WGAR Circle of Excellence, and serves on Northwood’s Board of Governors. Despite all of her accreditation, Accetta said that the most important thing to her as a buyer’s or seller’s agent is the fact that Northwood’s culture of caring and family aligns with her own personal views on how she works for her clients. “I always feel like my clients are family, and when you work with family, you go the extra mile for them,” she said. “I strive to make their search or sale as stre ss-free and easy for them as I can. I want buyers to get into their dream home and sellers to get the best price possible for the sale of their home. For more information, call Susan Accetta directly at 724.941.3340 Ext. 140, or email her at

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Canon Mac

        

ith nearly one in ten Americans out of work, and others forced to make ends meet with less money, many people are looking for ways to cut costs. There are many ways to save on home and auto insurance. Be careful, though, not to make mistakes that could result in your being dangerously underinsured. “When money is tight, it’s extremely important to be financially protected against a catastrophe with the right amount and type of insurance,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). “By taking a few simple steps, it is possible to cut costs and still be protected should disaster strike.” According to the I.I.I., these are the five biggest insurance mistakes that people often make:

      When real estate prices go down, some homeowners may think they can reduce the amount of insurance on their home. Insurance is designed to cover the cost of rebuilding, not the sale price of the home. You should make sure that you have enough coverage to completely rebuild your home and replace your belongings.  Raise your deductible. An increase from $500 to $1,000 could save you up to 25 percent on your premium payments.

     It is important to choose a company with competitive prices, but also one that is financially sound and provides good customer service.  Check the financial health of a company with independent rating agencies. You should select an insurance company that will respond

The insurance industry and consumer groups generally recommend a minimum of $100,000 of bodily injury liability protection per person and $300,000 per accident. Also, consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars worth less than $1,000.

to your needs and handle claims fairly and efficiently. Financially strong insurers like Erie Insurance have the financial wherewithal to ensure that payment is made when it’s due. ERIE has an A.M. Best rating of A+ (superior) with a stable financial outlook. Additionally, ERIE ranks among the 50 top performing insurance companies, according to the Ward Group, which analyzes the financial performance of 3,000 propertycasualty companies. ERIE has also won awards for customer satisfaction and claim service by independent organizations.

   Damage from flooding is not covered under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Many homeowners are unaware they are at risk for flooding. Coverage is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as well as from some private insurance companies. Erie Insurance offers coverage through American Bankers.  All types of homes, including condominiums, are eligible for flood insurance. You can even purchase flood insurance to protect your contents if you rent your home. It’s a good idea to start the process as soon as you can because most flood insurance policies have at least a 30-day waiting period before they take effect. If you’re already living in a flood zone area, look at mitigation efforts that can reduce your risk of flood damage. Before purchasing a home, check with the NFIP to determine if it’s in a flood zone; if so, consider a less risky area.

   A renters policy covers your possessions and additional living expenses if you have to move out due to a disaster. Equally important, it provides liability protection in the event someone is injured in your home and decides to sue.  Look into multi-policy discounts. Buying several policies with the same insurer, such as renters, auto and life will generally provide savings. For more information about how you could save money on your insurance policies, contact our agency. We can answer your questions and review your insurance coverage needs.    

       In today’s litigious society, buying only the minimum amount of liability coverage means you are more likely to have to make out-ofpocket payments — and those costs may be steep.

This Industry Insight was provided by Paul Herrnberger of the Herrnberger Insurance Agency, located at 1815 Washington Rd. Washington, PA 15301. They can be reached at 724.745.6474 or

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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 you’ve already spent nine hours in the office. 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, picture-perfect 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. 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 cafés 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 gated area with outdoor music, a wet bar and televisions. No matter what the setup, eating outdoors still feels like a luxurious experience. 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.

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Reach 66,224 Potential Customers in Canonsburg, Cecil, North Strabane & Southpointe

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Along the Path of Your Spiritual Journey



All Saints Greek Orthodox Church .......... 724.745.5205 Bethel Bible Church.................................... 724.941.2259 Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church .................................. 724.745.0800 Cecil Alliance Church..................................412.221.4177 Center Presbyterian Church ..................... 724.941.9050 Central Assembly of God........................... 724.746.4900 Chartiers Creek Community Church ..................................... 724.942.7895 Chartiers Hill Presbyterian Church .................................. 724.746.1130 Christian Bible Fellowship......................... 724.746.8522 The Church of the Covenant......................724.222.0190 Covenant Family Church............................ 724.263.7147 Crossroads Church of Christ..................... 724.941.4942 Faith Community Church-Lakeside.......... 724.941.9035 First Baptist Church.................................... 724.745.8740 First United Methodist Church of Bridgeville...................................412.221.5577 First United Methodist Church of Canonsburg ................................724.745.5771 First United Presbyterian Church of Houston .......................................724.746.3040 Good Shepherd Church ..............................724.941.9418 Houston First United Methodist Church .......................................724.745.2611 Lakeview Christian Life Church ................724.746.3200 Lifepoint Baptist Church .............................724.225.4811 McDonald Presbyterian Church...............724.699.0157

If your place of worship was not on our list, please e-mail the information to


Mt. Olive Baptist Church ........................... 724.745.9752 New Day Assembly of God....................... 724.941.1661 New Life Church .........................................724.470.4NLC Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.............. 724.941.7467 Peace Lutheran Church..............................724.941.9441 Peters Creek United Presbyterian Church................................... 724.941.6210 Sacred Heart of Jesus Polish National..............................................724.745.2091 St. Benedict the Abbot Catholic Church ...........................................724.941.9406 St. David’s Episcopal Church .................... 724.941.4060 St. John’s Russian Orthodox..................... 724.745.9776 St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church ............................................724.745.7117 St. Patrick’s Catholic Church .................... 724.745.6560 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Canonsburg .................................724.745.5962 St. Thomas Episcopal Church .................. 724.745.2013 South Canonsburg Church.........................724.745.7438 South Hills Bible Chapel............................ 724.941.8990 Thomas Presbyterian Church................... 724.941.8910 Trinity United Methodist Church .............. 724.941.4770 Venice Presbyterian Church .....................724.745.8362 Victory Church ............................................. 724.742.3281 View Crest Presbyterian Church ............. 724.941.9772 The Waterdam Church .............................. 724.745.2158 Wright’s United Methodist Church........................................ 724.348.5718

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Community Magazines

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Canon Mac

Win This Nerf Pocket Camcorder!

You can be the star and the director of your own movies with this camera, so we’d like you to send us your SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE POSTER featuring you! Your design is only limited by your imagination! You can draw your poster, make a collage, or make something on the computer!

HOW TO ENTER Entries should be on unfolded 8.5”x 11” inch white paper and mailed to: Nerf Contest IN Community Magazines 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 Digital entries should be emailed to: Digital images should be hi-resolution

images for reproduction (files larger than 1MB in size). Include with your submission: Name, age, and headshot of the entrant, parental signature, and phone number where we can notify you if you’ve won. Entrants are limited to children between the ages of 6 and 12 years of age.

The winning entry, as well as the first and second runners-up, will be featured in the Fall issues of IN Community Magazines. CONTEST DEADLINE IS JULY 6. No entries will be returned. Entries should not include any graphics or concepts of existing movie posters. All entries should be PG in nature.

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603 East McMurray Road McMurray I PA I 15317 724.942.0940