ox Chapel Area COMMUNITY MAGAZINE
Treasure Hunt A Family Business Built on Trust
Fox Chapel Area School District Information on the FCASD 2012-2013 Proposed Final Budget
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Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 1
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IN Fox Chapel Area is a community magazine dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the people of Fox Chapel Area School District and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
IN Fox Chapel Area | SUMMER 2012 |
Real Estate in Fox Chapel Area
Ask the Dentist Fox Chapel Advanced Dental Care
ON THE COVER
Staff of the Allison Park Treasure Hunt in front of their Route 8 store. Photo by Gary Yon.
Nine Mistakes to Avoid in Retirement Planning BPU Investment Management, Inc.
Why Are You Still Waiting? Circulatory Centers
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Do I Really Need a Hearing Aid in Both Ears? Eartique
Where is the Guest of Honor? Perman Funeral Home
The Incomparable Mayor Harry
The Skinny on Fat Beleza Plastic Surgery
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Treasure Hunt Approaches Golden Anniversary
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Keep Your Financial Safety Net Intact Jason Shoemaker Agency of Farmer’s Insurance
Boyd Community Center – Bringing Area Residents Together
PGA Tour Stops at Fox Chapel Golf Club
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Welcome to the summer issue of
Fox Chapel Area 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 wanted 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 the garage, let us know! Email our editor, Pamela Palongue, at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 OK, 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 whether you have a good story, call Pamela and she’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
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Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 5
The Incomparable Mayor Harry Though many would be content to rest on their laurels, the another project for the future, the renovation of the Boyd place, McLaughlin is hoping the improvements will begin to take
by Pamela Palongue
Seldom are public officials nearly as much fun as Mayor Harry W. McLaughlin, Jr. Beloved by the whole community, McLaughlin stepped down as mayor of Fox Chapel in March 2012. Despite his recent departure, he is far from finished with helping the community – or keeping them entertained with his colorful personality. He is affectionately called Mayor Harry by residents, which is indicative of their respect for him sprinkled with a touch of the familiar. His accessibility to everyone with a desire to chat has no doubt helped to secure his position as the head man for 26 years. Though McLaughlin can occasionally be spotted around town in plaid pajama pants, he is all business when it comes to making the area a better place to live. When asked what accomplishment he is most proud of in his tenure as mayor, he quickly answers, “We’ve had a lot of success in combining the different areas into the school district, to the point that we are almost a family.” McLaughlin is referring of course to the amalgamation of the municipalities of Aspinwall, Blawnox, Fox Chapel, Indiana Township, O’Hara Township and Sharpsburg as Fox Chapel School District. Another notable accomplishment was his help in the formation of All of Us Care, a nonprofit that works to fight gang violence and substance abuse among area teens,
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Fox Chapel Area
along with encouraging a healthy lifestyle. A current board member of the 15-year-old organization, McLaughlin continues his commitment to making sure that the future adults of Fox Chapel are happy, prosperous individuals. McLaughlin’s bright blue eyes and quick wit are a legacy of his Irish heritage of which he is so proud. Appropriately he has a golf tournament named in his honor, the McLaughlin Cup. The Celtic-styled logo for the tournament is an image of his family crest. The contest is hosted by the prestigious area golf clubs of Oakmont, Fox Chapel Golf Club, Longue Vue Club and the Pittsburgh Field Club. Each year a different local charity is chosen as beneficiary of the proceeds. This is not the only event to be inspired by the local celebrity. In April 2010, a special “Love the Library” fundraiser was held honoring McLaughlin. The event included an evening of cocktails and dinner followed by a personal tribute to the mayor by Beckie Toth and Stephanie Veenis entitled, “We’re Just Wild about Harry.” He beams with pride when he speaks of the new CooperSiegel Library opened in April 2011, although he is quick to credit many community officials and individuals in helping to bring the beautiful new facility into existence. The library continues to pay tribute to McLaughlin’s leadership with a special conference room dedicated to him, complete with honey-toned wood bookcases and a massive arched window.
Though many would be content to rest on their laurels, the octogenarian has his sights on yet another project for the future, the renovation of the Boyd Community Center. With funding already in place, McLaughlin is hoping the improvements will begin to take shape in late 2012. He continues to serve on the board of both the library and the community center, helping to shape the future of the area. When he has a spare moment or two and is not attending board meetings or fundraisers, he enjoys working on his medium blue 1930 Ford Roadster, with black fenders and yellow wheels. Although the color combination might sound a bit quirky, he insists that it is a thing of beauty. The long and successful career of the mayor almost didn’t happen. His first attempt at running for public office in the early 1980s resulted in a one-vote loss in the election for borough council. “I lost by one vote and there were probably 50 of my friends out playing golf while the election was going on,” laughs McLaughlin with a twinkle in his eye. “If they would have been voting instead of golfing, I might have won the election.” McLaughlin lives in Fox Chapel with his wife Zandie, who is also an active supporter of the Cooper-Siegel Library.
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Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 7
Guyas uta Days
lans are in the works for the 15th Guyasuta Days in Sharpsburg, held each year at Kennedy Park at 13th and North Canal streets. The Guyasuta Days Committee is gearing up for another huge celebration which will be held August 1-6, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly, with a special Kids Day on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. During these hours all the kids’ activities will be free, which will include games, hot dogs and carnival rides. Also, the committee will award a $1,000 scholarship during the festival which is available to area students. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is June 15, 2012, and information on applying can be found on the borough website at www.sharpsburgborough.com. “We try to include the entire community in this festival and we have people come from the whole area to participate,” says Roxane Magnelli, president of the Guyasuta Days Committee. The vendors include local businesses, churches and other nonprofit organizations. “We really try to encourage a variety of vendors to participate,” she adds.
Fox Chapel Area
There will be live entertainment every night with a different music genre featured each night, varying from swing to soft rock and admission to the event is free. Bingo will also be offered nightly, along with games of chance. A variety of food vendors are scheduled, offering pizza, sandwiches, barbeque, turkey legs and wings, funnel cakes and ice cream. According to Magnelli, there will also be a “Free Corn Night” in which delicious roasted corn will be available to patrons. One of the highlights of the event will be the fireworks on Saturday evening at 10 p.m. presented by Sharpsburg Borough. “In addition to the borough, several major sponsors from the area, including our longtime sponsor Northwest Bank, help to make the celebration possible,” says Magnelli. “It’s really a festival type of atmosphere and everybody comes to it.” This year’s Guyasuta Days promises to be great fun for all ages, with interesting new entertainment and vendors. For more information on attending the event or becoming a vendor or sponsor, please visit the website at www.sharpsburgborough.com.
fox chapel area school district
recommended 2012-2013 BUDGET: A MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
ow difficult would it be to plan your household expenditures for a year if you had no idea what your income was going to be? That is what school districts face annually as superintendents and business managers meet the statemandated timeline to adopt a balanced budget. When preparing the revenue side of the budget, we have to estimate the percentage of tax collection and the funding that will be provided in the state budget. The process is becoming more challenging each year as state funding for student programs decreases while there is little to no relief from unfunded mandates enacted by the legislature.
One of the greatest challenges facing public schools today is meeting the rising cost of funding the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS). The Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement Act became law in 1917. PSERS is a governmental, mandatory, multiemployer, defined-benefit pension plan for Pennsylvania school employees. There are approximately 550,000 members including those who are active, retired, vested, and inactive. The fund balance of PSERS grew as anticipated for many years, but government intervention, declining investment returns, and the continued sluggish economy all contributed to the precarious fund balance position currently faced by school districts in Pennsylvania. PSERS is funded by employee contributions from their earned salary, school district and state government contributions, and investment earnings. Contributions on the part of both employers and employees have increased steadily, but the investment income has suffered dramatically over the past few years. This has lead to the current funding dilemma. As you review the 2012-2013 budget, you will see an increased cost for PSERS of 60.66 percent, or $2,043,842! It is anticipated that the increase for 2013-2014 will be 36.50 percent, or $1,975,608! It doesn’t end there. Increases in double-digit figures are anticipated to continue through the 2015-2016 school year. The Fox Chapel Area School District Board of School Directors has been fiscally responsible in preparing for the PSERS increase and the long-term impact that will result from Act 1, the 2006 legislation that limits raising taxes to fund education to an index that is determined by the state each year. The 2012-2013 operating budget reflects a balanced budget with no increase in taxes. You will also see that the district has a designated fund balance of more than $9 million committed to offset the rising cost of PSERS, approximately $4 million for capital projects, and an unassigned fund of more than $6 million kept in reserve for unanticipated or catastrophic emergencies. Even with this type of sound fiscal management, without increased support from the state and relief from unfunded mandates such as the use of public tax dollars to fund charter schools, the Fox Chapel Area School District will have financial difficulties in the near future. We are often asked about the benefit of the reassessments in funding education. Because of Pennsylvania’s anti-windfall law, the taxing bodies are not allowed to receive a huge revenue boost when new assessments are completed. In fact, they are mandated to reduce the tax rate (millage) to keep the total amount of tax collected in line with the previous year. If a taxpayer’s assessment goes up, but the millage goes down, one may actually end up paying less than the previous year. The impact of the reassessments will not be reflected until the 2013-2014 budget year. The 2012-2013 proposed final budget is outlined on the following pages. We believe that it reflects sound management practices while continuing to provide our families with a superior education. Thank you for your amazing support of the Fox Chapel Area School District. Anne E. Stephens, Ph.D. Superintendent
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 9
2012-2013 PROPOSED FINAL BUDGET
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2012-2013 PROPOSED FINAL BUDGET
he 2012-2013 Fox Chapel Area School District proposed final budget calls for budgetary expenditures of $81,405,450. The increase in expenditures over the previous year’s final budget is projected at $1,748,706, or 2.2 percent. The proposed final budget will not increase the property tax rate and the millage rate will remain at 21.5576 mills. The value of a mill for the 2012-2013 school year is estimated to be $2,653,386. The School Board approved the 2012-2013 proposed final budget at its regular business meeting May 14, 2012. The public will have the opportunity to learn more about the budget and make comments at a public information session that will be held Thursday, June 7. The session was called by the district administration and is not an official meeting of the Board of School Directors. The Board is also expected to discuss the proposed final budget June 4 and June 11 during its meetings, and the Board is expected to pass a final 2012-2013 budget at the special year-end meeting June 18. Residents are invited to attend the information session and School Board meetings that will be held at 7 p.m. in the high school large group instruction room. The 2012-2013 proposed final budget reflects the following: — Salary line items are expected to increase 5.66 percent from last year’s budget. — Premium costs for medical insurance are projected to increase 4.75 percent for next year. — The school district’s contribution rate paid to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) will increase from 8.65 percent to 12.36 percent. The school district will be contributing $5,412,970 to PSERS in 2012-2013, compared to $3,369,128 in 2011-2012 – a 60.66 percent increase in cost to the district. The trustees of PSERS determine the contribution rate increase annually. — Tuition costs for charter schools are anticipated to rise by 11 percent. — The proposed final budget eliminates any transfer into the capital projects fund and reduces annual debt service obligations by 16.68 percent. The 2012-2013 proposed final budget is endorsed by the district’s Resource Planning Committee, a group of residents with financial and management backgrounds that provide additional expertise to the School Board on financial matters.
Looking to the Future
The district will continue to face difficult budget years in the near future. It is estimated that under the current rate structure proposed for funding the state retirement system (PSERS), the district will pay out nearly $120 million over the next 10 years. These unprecedented increases – combined with the ever-changing reassessment process in Allegheny County that will take effect in 2013, and the limitations on increasing tax rates imposed under Act 1 – have necessitated the district to prepare for future potential shortfalls in the budget. The district currently has committed fund balance reserves to cover the anticipated PSERS increases of $9.2 million. The district will need to utilize these funds to “bridge” the gap in funding until the tax rates can keep pace and fund these costs. The district continues to reduce payroll costs through attrition and implement new instructional and administrative strategies to make the district more efficient and cost effective. In addition, the district continues to plan for future capital improvements and maintains a reserve to help fund these capital projects and reduce the need to borrow excess funds. As the district pays off its current bond obligations by 2016, it continues to monitor rates and anticipate future borrowing in order to maintain level debt expenditures in its budget and avoid unnecessary tax increases to the taxpayers. By implementing sound financial strategies to manage expenditures and anticipate revenue shortfalls, the district’s future financial health is stronger than many in the commonwealth.
Gaming Funds Distribution*
On May 1, 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Education informed the Fox Chapel Area School District that its share of gaming funds available for distribution will be $1,465,304. The method of distributing these funds, as prescribed by Act 1, the Taxpayer Relief Act, will be via the implementation of the homestead exclusion. Under this provision, any property in the school district that was approved by Allegheny County as a homestead will have the lesser of its taxable value, or $8,423 of its taxable value, excluded for the purpose of calculating current school district real estate taxes for the 2012 tax year. The owners of the 8,069 properties in the district that qualified for the homestead exclusion will receive the equivalent of a $181 reduction in their property taxes. This distribution is based on the release of $615,600,000 in statewide gaming funds collected by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Property owners who currently do not have an approved homestead exclusion will have the opportunity to apply again when the district sends out letters to those homeowners in December 2012. 10
Fox Chapel Area
fox chapel area school district
2012-2013 proposed final budget Revenues/Unassigned Fund Balance $716,022
$1,183,344 6000 - Local: 75.79% - $66,369,595 7000 - State: 15.00% - $13,136,489
8000 - Federal: 1.35% - $1,183,344 $66,369,595
9000 - Other Financing: 0.82% - $716,022 Unassigned Fund Balance: 7.04% - $6,165,166
Expenditures/Budgetary Reserve 1000 - Instruction, 2100 - Pupil Personnel, 2200 - Instructional Support Services, 2400 - Pupil Health: 64.7% - $56,621,210 $6,165,166
2300/2500 - Administration: 7.1% - $6,216,203
$4,916,576 $164,137 $2,038,434 $746,652 $4,004,002
2600 - Operation & Maintenance: 7.6% - $6,698,236 2700 - Student Transportation: 4.6% - $4,004,002 2000 - Remaining Support Svcs.: 0.9% - $746,652 3000 - Noninstructional Svcs.: 2.3% - $2,038,434
4000 - Facilities: 0.2% - $164,137 $56,621,210
5000 - Other Financing: 5.6% - $4,916,576
5900 - Reserve: 7.0% - $6,165,166
MILLAGE IMPACT ON PROPERTY OWNERS
Market Value Assessed Value Proposed Final Budget (21.5576 Mills) Annual Cost of 1 Mill Monthly Cost of 1 Mill
$1,078 $50 $4.17
$2,156 $100 $8.33
$4,312 $200 $16.67
$6,467 $300 $25
1.) These amounts can be reduced by two percent if paid in full during the discount period. 2.) Senior citizens may qualify for a property tax rebate program available through the state. 3.) The market value/assessed value will be reduced by $8,423 for those homeowners in the Fox Chapel Area School District with an approved homestead exclusion.
*Allegheny County has certified that there are 8,069 properties in the Fox Chapel Area School District that qualify for the homestead exclusion. If that number is adjusted by the county to include more or less properties, it could affect the amount of the final reduction. Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 11
2012-2013 PROPOSED FINAL BUDGET
Proposed final budget insight REGULAR INSTRUCTION 1100
2012-2013 ...................................... $1,132,799 2011-2012 ...................................... $1,747,395 Decrease of ........................................ -$614,596 % of change .........................................-35.17% Cost per student ........................................ $262 % of budget ............................................ 1.39%
Includes: Regular instructional program salaries and fringe benefits for teachers in addition to textbooks, district program contracts, supplies, and equipment.
Includes: Vo-tech, English as a Second Language (ESL), homebound, Title I services, and summer and Saturday classes.
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS 1200
2012-2013 ................................... $11,102,673 2011-2012 ................................... $11,338,340 Decrease of .......................................-$235,667 % of change ......................................... -2.08% Cost per student .................................... $2,571 % of budget .........................................13.64% Includes: Salaries and fringe benefits for special education and gifted teachers and paraprofessionals. Services are mandated for life skills and learning, emotional, autistic, hearing, vision, orthopedic, and speech/language support, as well as gifted education. Also includes occupational and physical therapies, specialized materials, technology, purchased services, and tuition. Comments: 1. The cost for services requested from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) has been reduced to the estimated actual based on need. 2. Tuition costs for students placed in outside agencies have been decreased to estimated actuals. Salary and fringe benefit costs are increased for all district personnel in all budget categories. Fox Chapel Area
1300 & 1400
2012-2013 ................................... $37,161,730 2011-2012 ................................... $34,729,205 Increase of ..................................... $2,432,525 % of change ..........................................7.00% Cost per student .................................... $8,604 % of budget ........................................45.65%
Comments: 1. Includes salary and fringe benefit increases for professional staff members. 2. Includes the cost of workbooks and textbooks, and increased costs of repair and maintenance of equipment. 3. The cost for federal programs has been reallocated from the 1400 budget code to the 1190 budget code per Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements.
Comments: 1. There is a reduction of costs for summer and homebound instruction based on estimated actuals. 2. Costs fluctuate annually based on the number of students who require services. 3. The cost for federal programs has been reallocated from the 1400 budget code to the 1190 budget code per Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements. PUPIL PERSONNEL 2100
2012-2013 ......................................$2,909,534 2011-2012 ......................................$2,520,029 Increase of ..........................................$389,505 % of change ..........................................15.46% Cost per student ........................................$674 % of budget ............................................3.57% Includes: Salaries and fringe benefits for guidance counselors, district psychologists, a share of the administrative staff in charge of the program, and support staff. Supplies, services, and equipment to operate the program are also included. Comments: 1. Includes costs for outside programs and university programs previously allocated under administration (the 2300 budget code). INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES 2200
2012-2013 ...................................... $3,573,377 2011-2012 ...................................... $2,719,212 Increase of .......................................... $854,165 % of change .......................................... 31.41% Cost per student ........................................ $827 % of budget ............................................ 4.39% (Continued next page)
fox chapel area school district
Includes: Salaries and fringe benefits for school librarians, curriculum coordinators, and support staff. Supplies, equipment, and purchased services for curriculum development, audio visual, library, educational television, technology, and computer-assisted instruction, as well as funds to support safety and security are also included. Comments: 1. Leased technology equipment and district software and license fees have been reallocated to this budget code. 2. The curriculum and staff development personnel have been allocated to this budget code from the 2300 budget code. ADMINISTRATION 2300
2012-2013 ......................................$5,385,964 2011-2012 ......................................$5,812,043 Decrease of ........................................-$426,079 % of change .......................................... -7.33% Cost per student .....................................$1,247 % of budget ............................................6.62% Includes: Salaries and fringe benefits for district resource staff, school principals, and clerical support staff. Expenditures for tax collection and legal services are also included. Comments: 1. The reduction is due to the reclassification of student services to the 2100 budget code. 2. The directors of curriculum and staff development have been reclassified to the 2200 budget code. PUPIL HEALTH 2400
2012-2013 .........................................$741,097 2011-2012 .........................................$635,606 Increase of ..........................................$105,491 % of change ..........................................16.60% Cost per student ........................................$172 % of budget ............................................0.91% Includes: Salaries and fringe benefits for the nursing staff and a clerk. Also includes the fees for doctor and dental exams and nursing services the district must provide for private and parochial schools. Supplies and equipment to operate the program are also included.
OPERATION & MAINTENANCE 2600
2012-2013 ......................................$6,698,236 2011-2012 ......................................$7,013,673 Decrease of ........................................-$315,437 % of change .......................................... -4.50% Cost per student .....................................$1,551 % of budget ............................................8.23% Includes: Salaries and fringe benefits for the custodial and maintenance staff plus utility costs, custodial supplies, and equipment. Services needed to maintain the district’s physical plant are included, plus salaries and fringe benefits for those responsible for the coordination of the operation and maintenance of the district’s facilities. Comments: 1. There is a reduction in the cost of maintenance and repair agreements for technology services. 2. There is a reduction in the cost for communications services by changing the district’s services and providers. 3. There is a reduction in the utility costs for natural gas and electricity. 4. Districtwide duplicating services was moved to the 2540 budget code. BUSINESS/DATA SERVICES 2500 & 2800
2012-2013 ..................................... $1,465,371 2011-2012 ........................................ $794,905 Increase of ........................................ $670,466 % of change ........................................84.35% Cost per student ....................................... $339 % of budget ..........................................1.80% Includes: Salaries and fringe benefits of business/data office staff along with supplies, expenses, and purchased services to conduct the business and data processing functions of the district. Also includes expenditures for video, voice, data networking equipment, and districtwide duplicating equipment. Comments: 1. The increase is due to the reallocation of districtwide duplicating services to the business services area of the budget. Salary and fringe benefit costs are increased for all district personnel in all budget categories. Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 13
2012-2013 PROPOSED FINAL BUDGET
STUDENT TRANSPORTATION 2700
NONINSTRUCTIONAL SERVICES 3000
2012-2013 ..................................... $4,004,002 2011-2012 ..................................... $3,917,372 Increase of ........................................... $86,630 % of change ...........................................2.21% Cost per student ....................................... $927 % of budget ...........................................4.92%
2012-2013 ......................................$2,038,434 2011-2012 ......................................$1,998,509 Increase of ............................................$39,925 % of change ........................................... 2.00% Cost per student ........................................$472 % of budget ........................................... 2.50%
Includes: The transportation contract with the bus contractor for all of the district’s regular transportation including private, parochial, and special needs schools. Also includes transportation for state-mandated early intervention programs for prekindergarten-age children (this transportation is also provided throughout the summer months, as well as during the school year).
Includes: Salaries and supplies for student activities and athletic programs, in addition to transportation and event management for these programs.
Comments: 1. This budget reflects an increase in costs in the transportation services agreement. AIU BUDGET 2900
2012-2013 ........................................ $111,520 2011-2012 ........................................ $118,450 Decrease of ...........................................-$6,930 % of change ......................................... -5.85% Cost per student ......................................... $26 % of budget ...........................................0.14% Includes: The district’s share of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) administrative budget. Comments: 1. The decrease is based on the AIU-approved budget.
Comments: 1. The costs of supplemental contracts and officials’ fees are increasing. 2. The costs for supplies and field/facility maintenance for interscholastic events are increasing. FACILITIES 4000
2012-2013 .........................................$164,137 2011-2012 .........................................$410,851 Decrease of ...................................... -$246,714 % of change .......................................-60.05% Cost per student ..........................................$38 % of budget .......................................... 0.20% Includes: Funds for site and building improvements. Comments: 1. The district is conducting a feasibility study of facilities with regard to possible future renovations and upgrades. 2. There is a high school pool repair project scheduled for the summer of 2012. OTHER FINANCING 5000
2011-2012 ......................................$4,916,576 2011-2012 ......................................$5,901,154 Decrease of ....................................... -$984,578 % of change ........................................-16.68% Cost per student .....................................$1,138 % of budget ........................................... 6.04% Includes: Debt service (mortgage) payments on building renovations and refunds of tax payments received in previous years. Salary and fringe benefit costs are increased for all district personnel in all budget categories. 14
Fox Chapel Area
Comments: 1. The district retired 2003 series bonds to lower the annual debt obligation.
Q&AQ QA & A Q &AQ & A
Q &A Q&A Q QAA Q &A Q & A Q AQ&A Q & A &
Allegheny County & Reassessments & the Fox Chapel Area& School District
s the reassessment process moves forward in Allegheny County and citizens are receiving their notices of reassessment, district office staff members have fielded questions from concerned taxpayers. The following list of questions and answers is being provided to help Fox Chapel Area School District residents better understand the reassessment process and its implications. It is important to note that the property reassessments in Allegheny County will not go into effect until January 1, 2013. The reassessments will not affect the school district’s millage rate or revenues for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.
How much will the district benefit from the current reassessments? Under Act 1 of 2006, the district is not permitted to see a windfall in tax revenue beyond the established index of the prior fiscal year. For the Fox Chapel Area School District, this means that the revenue generated by the established millage rate in 2013 cannot exceed 1.7 percent. In other words, the district will be required to reduce its current millage rate to avoid any windfall in additional tax revenue from local taxpayers that may be created by the property reassessment. Residents should also note that the Fox Chapel Area School District cannot and did not initiate the reassessment process. However, the district must comply with the regulations within the Pennsylvania legislation and Act 1 when establishing millage rates for 2013.
What was the overall increase in property assessments to the district as a result of reassessments? Currently, the district’s total taxable reassessment values have increased by 28 percent. However, this number will be adjusted following the appeal process.
How much will the tax millage be adjusted? If the district’s final taxable assessed values were certified today, the millage rate would need to be decreased by 4.49 mills to avoid any windfall in tax revenue. Again, this rate adjustment will change as taxpayers file appeals on their current reassessments. Final certified values are not anticipated to be received by the district until January 2013.
When will the new assessments go into effect? The new assessed values will go into effect for the 2013 taxable year. Property owners will see the new millage rate reflected on their school district tax bills that will be mailed July 1, 2013.
Why is the reassessment occurring? The Allegheny County reassessment is the result of a legal decision handed down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The underlying intention of conducting reassessments is to ensure that each taxpayer is paying their equitable share of the local tax burden. The process is intended to establish the fair market value of a home today.
What do residents do if their reassessment seems unfair? Residents can appeal their reassessment if they feel the new assessed value of their property has been established at a value that exceeds the current fair market value of the property. Each taxpayer must determine if their new assessed value is fair with respect to the current market value of their property. Taxpayers who determine that it is inequitable should seek answers through the appeals process. Information regarding this process should have arrived in the mail with the new reassessed property values.
Will the district appeal any reassessed property values? The district solicitor will evaluate all properties and determine if the proposed 2013 assessed value is lower than 85 percent of the fair market value of the property. If this is determined, the district may appeal the property assessed value to seek equity for all property owners in the Fox Chapel Area School District. Keep in mind the school district will not be permitted to incur a windfall of additional tax revenue beyond the already established index of 1.7 percent. For additional facts concerning the Allegheny County property reassessments, go to: www.alleghenycounty.us/opa/faqs.aspx.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 15
Fox Chapel Area School District
Teaching and Learning Process is Personal for New Administrator
eeping the teaching and learning process personal for each child is important to Tammy Wolicki, Ed.D., the school district’s new coordinator of elementary education and instruction. She points out that a major challenge public education faces is keeping personalization in perspective, despite the push for standardization and testing. “We know students want and need a personalized education,” Dr. Wolicki states. “We must look at children as individuals and evaluate their needs and balance what we provide with a continued focus on state standards.” No stranger to education, Dr. Wolicki is also somewhat familiar with Fox Chapel Area following research she conducted in the district in 2010 for her dissertation. Her research focused on highly effective school districts that promote teacher leadership. “Based on the information that I gathered, I found this to be a wonderful school system,” she says. “After visiting and interviewing teachers and administrators of the Fox Chapel Area School District, it was evident that this is a great school system.” Dr. Wolicki looks forward to learning more about the district as she delves into her new position. “I always take the first step of look, listen, and learn,” she says. “I want to listen to the teachers and my
fellow administrators and find out what’s working in the district. I want to be here to support and continue those great things.” She adds that, even though it’s a time of change for public education, it’s an exciting time – a time of opportunity. “With the adoption of the new Common Core State Standards, we’re changing not just what we teach, but how we teach. We are finding that we need to teach different things at younger ages. However, we need to keep a focus on developing understanding as children learn at much greater levels of depth than in the past.” Before coming to Fox Chapel Area, Dr. Wolicki worked in the Greensburg Salem School District in Greensburg for seven years where she was, most recently, the director of curricular services for kindergarten-twelfth grade for four years. Prior to that she served the district as a middle school principal for three years. She also worked in the Hempfield Area School District where she was an elementary principal, an assistant middle school principal, and a teacher. All together, Dr. Wolicki has 21 years of experience in public education. Describing herself as an avid reader, Dr. Wolicki says, “I read a lot about educational topics and issues. I love learning.” She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California University of Pennsylvania. She earned her doctorate degree in 2011 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wolicki lives in Latrobe with her husband John. She has a 19-year-old daughter, Lauren. Her stepson Zachary and his wife have a one-year-old daughter, Kennedy. She replaces Ron Korenich, Ed.D., who retired in June 2011 after 33 years of service to the district.
Fox Chapel Area Named one of “Best Communities for Music Education”
he Fox Chapel Area School District has been named among the 2012 “Best Communities for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. Nationally, 166 school districts and 10 independent schools, including five school districts from southwestern Pennsylvania, were selected for this prestigious designation. The districts and schools that were chosen as the “Best Communities for Music Education” were selected based on answers to detailed survey questions addressing funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. According to Fox Chapel Area School District Superintendent Anne E. Stephens, Ph.D., “Music education
in the Fox Chapel Area School District is an integral part of our academic program. The teachers at each level are extremely gifted in their field. Their love of their program and love of teaching children music is evident.” The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing active participation in music-making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs from the international music products industry. Established in 1999, the Best Communities for Music Education survey is a nationwide search for communities who provide access to music education as an essential part of a complete education and exemplify commitment and support for music education.
Manfred Honeck, the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, coaches students from the Fox Chapel Area High School Ambassador Orchestra as part of an orchestral master class.
Fox Chapel Area
Western Pennsylvania Summer STEMM Academy to Run July 9-August 2 Designed to expose students to careers and opportunities in the STEMM fields
ox Chapel Area High School has announced it will sponsor the first-ever Western Pennsylvania Summer STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine) Academy. The four-week academy is designed to help prepare students to be globally competitive in a future where STEMM pathways and careers will be in demand. Participating students will have the opportunity to interact with doctors, professors, engineers, and business professionals from healthcare institutions, universities, research labs, and corporations. Fox Chapel Area teacher facilitators have developed the STEMM curriculum and the components include an intense study of science, math, engineering, technology, business, and professional writing for all participants. Students will hear guest speakers and participate in roundtable discussions and field experiences. In addition, students will have the opportunity to participate in project-based learning activities which will give them experience working in teams, sharpening presentation skills, and addressing current topics in the STEMM fields. According to Fox Chapel Area High School Senior/Lead Principal Michael Hower, the STEMM Academy will expose students to many different types of careers and opportunities in the STEMM fields. Additionally, it will strengthen
student partnerships with businesses, medical and educational institutions, and future employers. Mr. Hower says, “The STEMM Academy will provide a project-based learning environment where students are exposed to the types of challenges scientists and engineers engage in regularly.” He believes that the STEMM Academy is integral to a student’s experience as, “There is a national emphasis on these pathways and we want to give students in our region opportunities to learn more about these fields.” The Western Pennsylvania Summer STEMM Academy is open to rising high school juniors and seniors and is not limited to Fox Chapel Area students. However, space is limited and openings will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The STEMM Academy begins on July 9 and will run for four weeks, Mondays through Thursdays, at Fox Chapel Area High School. The sessions begin at 9 a.m. and run until noon, except for field experience days which will have extended hours. The total cost is $400 and students must provide their own transportation, except for field experiences. Students participating in the STEMM Academy will earn a certificate of completion. For more information, visit http:// stemm.fcasd.edu, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone (412) 967-2430.
STEMM Academy goals are based on the national STEM initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), plus, Fox Chapel Area has included the field of medicine. The goals of STEMM are to increase academic achievement in math and science and to increase STEMM enrichment experiences available to students.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 17
Fox Chapel Area School District
High School Students Interview Veterans for the Library of Congress
William Cammarata, who served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army from 1966-1968 and served in Vietnam, stands as his name is announced. All of the veterans interviewed were honored as part of the opening ceremony.
made banners and thank you mugs for the veterans. Before the ceremony, musical entertainment was performed by a quartet comprised of senior students. Senior Jennifer Wallisch sang God Bless America, and he individual stories of ten veterans, as told to student senior Sarah Ogren recited “Praise Song for the Day,” interviewers at Fox Chapel Area High School, will become a a poem by Elizabeth Alexander. part of the lasting legacy that is the national Veterans History Josh Norkevicus, also a senior, coordinated the taping, including Project. David Berman… William Cammarata… Nick Demicheli… arranging for videographers, setting up the microphones and cameras, John Galanski… Sean Godfrey… John Lednak… Gerald Moynihan… and making certain the equipment worked so that the interviews would Thomas Reilly… Gary Rygielski… Ryan Shaffer —veterans of the go off without a hitch. Josh specifically mentioned how proud he was of Vietnam War and Operation Iraqi Freedom — were introduced by all the participating students who went above and beyond. “We had the masters of ceremony seniors Jack Millard and Ryan Shymansky and best of the best selected. They did a phenomenal job,” Josh said. “The honored at a moving, student-planned opening ceremony. The veterans veterans were touched by the fantastic job the students did for were then interviewed by five high school seniors from the English 12 the program.” accelerated journalism class, including Hannah Leizerowski, Emily Teacher Jennifer Klein said the students gained valuable civic and Owens, Tanner Patsko, Emma Thompson, historical lessons and a greater respect and Morgan Tucker. The interviews for war veterans. “I was very proud of were taped by television production class the wonderful collaboration between students and the tapes of those interviews the students from various classes and will be sent to the Library of Congress to departments. They put together a be included as part of the Veterans History wonderful event,” she said. “I hope Project. each veteran left with a sense that their It took 42 students to plan the opening service was valued and appreciated by the ceremony, act as hosts for the veterans, students.” research and interview each of them, and Before the interviews, the students had record their interviews. Senior Anna Roc to prepare in advance. They researched created the Patriots of Freedom logo for each of the veterans by reading their the event, and senior Erin Zoller designed biographies and conducting Internet the program. Students in an educational A string quartet performed prior to the Patriots of Freedom searches. Some watched documentaries opening ceremony. technology class printed the program and and read about the war that the veteran
Fox Chapel Area
Above: David Berman, Ph.D., a commissioned officer from July 1967 until June 1969 in Vietnam, meets with students. He currently lives in Aspinwall and is an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
Left: Captain Thomas Reilly, a veteran of the Vietnam War, is interviewed by a Fox Chapel Area High School student for the Library of Congress project.
Below: Veteran Gerald Moynihan, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War from 1969-1971, looks at memorabilia with students.
they were interviewing fought in. Some even called their veterans and spoke to them prior to the interviews. Hannah said it was important to hear the individual stories. “All the veterans faced different obstacles, even if they were in the same war,” she commented. The United States Congress created the Veterans Project, and it was signed into law on October 27, 2000. Stories from veterans of World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are included in the collection so that they can be a part of history. The Fox Chapel Area High School students partnered with Congressman Jason Altmire for the March event and the students provided each veteran with a copy of their interview so they can share it with family and friends. According to Mrs. Klein, the project offered students the opportunity to show their respect to the veterans, but also provided them a perspective on war that students don’t often have the chance to experience. Emily agreed, saying, “The experience was much different from what you read in the textbooks.” Tanner added, “This should be a tradition here. It opened our eyes to U.S. history.”
Photo by Anna Roc
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 19
Fox Chapel Area School District Parents listen as art teacher Cheryl Etters leads them through a virtual art experience using an app on the iPad.
Parents look through microscopes and use computers as part of the “Viruses Gone Wild!” session. They experienced problem-based learning, a teaching method that challenges students to learn through engaging and solving a problem. The session was led by teachers Meredith Burke, Nanci Goldberg, and Fred Rimmel.
Middle School Parents Experience Classroom Technology Language arts teacher Chris Studebaker demonstrates how he uses Edmodo in the classroom. Similar to a social network site, Edmodo is an educational tool used to engage students in the curriculum through online polls, quizzes, and forums.
iPods, iPads, iPhones. Many adults don’t feel comfortable operating these technological tools that their children use every day. That’s why Dorseyville Middle School sponsored Parent Night on April 25 – to take the mystery out of technology and the apps used to enhance education. The program gave parents the opportunity to use these devices and to also learn how educational strategies help their children become successful learners. More than 20 sessions were offered so that parents could participate in hands-on, problem-based learning and differentiated instructional techniques that their middle schoolers experience daily at DMS. Additionally, there were also sessions led by guidance counselors and other staff members that dealt with common issues that face teens and their families. About 200 parents of middle schoolers, plus parents of current fifth graders, attended the Parent Night.
A parent works with an iPod as part of “iPods and Cell Phones, and Apps, Oh My!!” Parents completed a multiplechoice pretest and could see how test results help teachers make decisions on how to deliver instruction. The session was led by teacher Cathie Gillner. Middle schoolers enter the classroom with many different needs. Science teacher Peggy Perdue helped parents experience some of the successful strategies used in a classroom of diverse learners. 20
Fox Chapel Area
Parents practice using software applications that their children use on a daily basis. Technology education teacher Joe Eisel and student teacher Alex Whittington lead a session on how to capture, import, edit, and publish a multimedia project.
Students Write to Promote Their Community
The first grade students hel p each other by offering ideas and pos itive feedback during the writing proces s.
rinted worksheets to Third grade students use yellow, prep ning. guide them through their story plan
f you are thinking about buying a house in Indiana Township, you may want to move quickly! There may not be enough homes for all the families wanting to move into the area once they read the persuasive essays written by Kathy Frederick’s third grade class. The essays have been sent on to realtors to be used to entice new residents to move to the community – from a third grade perspective. Hartwood Elementary School speech and language teacher Jill Langue, who chairs the school’s site-based learning team, describes the writings as impressive. Third grader Emily Smith wrote, “You have to come to Indiana Township because we have a friendly community, superb schools and recreation beyond belief. Pack up your bags and call the movers. You have to move to Indiana Township now!” Her classmate, Zoe Boychuk, knows an effective opening is important to promote the community to realtors and potential families, and the first paragraph of her essay provides a hook to interest readers. “Wow our house sold very fast. Probably because we live in Indiana Township! Because they have fabulous neighborhoods, recreation and incredible schools to go to!” According to Mrs. Langue, students learn to understand the art of persuasive writing when they experience, first-hand, its real-life purpose. By first watching real-life ads for Kennywood and Splash Lagoon in class and then working to convince their parents to take them there, the students realize they can use the same energy to write their essays promoting Indiana Township. They learn that structured planning is important in the writing process, and they complete their story planning sheets. Students are also encouraged to write from their own experiences. Along the way to the final essay, they share their work with their teacher and the other students. Third grader Jason Waltz says that sometimes the hardest part of writing a story is thinking of words. He carefully chose descriptive words and “not just good and fine” as he wrote about the positive aspects of his home and community. Third grader Elizabeth Conroy says she also chose her descriptive words thoughtfully. For example, she used the words “magnificent,” “fluffy,” and “magical” in her essay. “I thought people would think it’s a cool place to live when you say things like that,” Elizabeth says. First graders in Lisa Bellinotti’s class had their chance to express what is positive in the community when they wrote “Indiana Township – an AMAZING community,” a group essay that was framed and put on display at the Indiana Township municipal building. First graders brainstormed together to develop the
beginning, the middle, and the ending for their class’s essay. “I started the story,” says Madisyn Elwood. She proudly shared that her class learned a “fourth grade” lesson when she says the ending of the story should summarize what is in the main part of the story. Mrs. Langue says that teachers at Hartwood have been devoting a concentrated time to each of the different styles of writing, and that the writing program has grown over the past five years. The persuasive essay is the third style of writing the students experience. They also do narratives, informational writing, and creative writing. As a result, writing scores have soared at Hartwood. Equally important, the students at Hartwood like to write. First grader Trevor Katz says, “It’s fun to write. Even if it’s a narrative or about a vacation, it’s still fun to write.” You can’t beat that!
The first graders are proud of their essay promoting their community. School Resource Officer Kirk Vandenbord, “Officer Kirk” to the students, took the framed essay to be displayed at the Indiana Township municipal building. Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 21
Fox Chapel Area School District
field. enjoy their new am te ll ba se ba the or members of igh School seni H a re A l pe ha The Fox C
he shout out of “Play ball!” never drew as much anticipation and excitement from the Fox Chapel Area High School Baseball Team as it did May 2, 2012, when the squad played its inaugural game on the school’s new turf baseball field. Right off the bat the new weather-resistant field proved its worth – it had rained like cats and dogs the night before. Under previous circumstances, play on the field would have been cancelled, or the maintenance staff would have had to put in an exorbitant amount of work to prepare the field and get it ready for play. Not this time. “It was fantastic,” says senior pitcher and outfielder JT Terwilliger. “I don’t know how else to say it. It’s the nicest field around here and it was a thrill for the 14 seniors to be able to play on it before our final season ended. We didn’t think it would be done in time for us to get that chance. We lucked out.” Teammate Mike Letterle was the fortunate one called to the mound for the momentous game. “I was excited and nervous,” says Mike, a senior, who threw in front of the largest crowd the players had ever witnessed at a home game. “I wanted to make it a great game for everyone. It was definitely fun.” 22
Fox Chapel Area
Fox Chapel Area School District Superintendent Anne E. Stephens, Ph.D., says the project started as a dream – something that was placed in the athletic strategic plan six years ago when it became evident there was a need for additional artificial turf surfaces for the sports program. “Several booster groups came to the table to talk about fundraising to make this possible, and one amazing philanthropist made it a reality,” explains Dr. Stephens. “There are few words that can express our appreciation to this major donor and our booster groups, businesses, and citizens that stepped forward to make this project a reality. We are forever grateful that our athletes have not only a new baseball field, but soon will experience the excitement of a new practice field and softball field. This gift to our athletes is a wonderful example of the unprecedented giving that exists in our wonderful community.” The project, which also includes a softball infield and a 90-yard multipurpose weather-resistant practice field, was made possible by an anonymous $800,000 contribution, augmented by other donors pledging $35,000 in funding. The additional donors included Frank Fuhrer Sr., the Fox Chapel Area Schools Sports Hall of Fame, the Fox Chapel Baseball Boosters, the Fox Chapel Quarterback Club, and a second anonymous donor.
“A lot of hard work and manpower went into making this project a reality,” comments Michael O’Brien, athletic director for the Fox Chapel Area School District. “It was exceptionally gratifying to see the players, especially the seniors, enjoy the final outcome.” Head baseball coach and teacher Michael Frank says the first thing that comes to mind when he thinks about the complex is the people who believed enough in the school district and students to open up their wallets and create opportunities for the kids. “The fact that we have the finest facility in the WPIAL is extremely exciting.” Senior infielder Tony Bonaroti and first baseman and pitcher senior Matt Dunlap couldn’t agree more. “It’s always nice to be the first at anything, and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to be the first to play on this beautiful field,” adds Matt. “In the long run, the
The project, which also includes a softball infield and a 90-yard multipurpose weather-resistant practice field, was made possible by an anonymous $800,000 contribution, augmented by other donors pledging $35,000 in funding.
complex is going to have a lasting impression on a lot more people other than just our team. Hopefully, they will appreciate it as much as we do.” Final touches on the baseball facility will occur over the summer when a batting cage, two bullpens, and a crushed-brick warning track are added. Groundbreaking is expected to take place soon for the softball infield and the multipurpose practice field that will be used by various athletic teams, the marching band, and the high school physical education classes. When completed, athletes and coaches will be able to have continuous practices and games without having to bow to inclement weather. Thanks to the generosity of community donors, Fox Chapel Area High School’s outdoor sports teams have many exciting days ahead of them.
Photos Courtesy Town and Country Studio
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 23
Fox Chapel Area School District
Graduate to be Inducted into
WPIAL Hall of Fame
of North Carolina because of its academic rank Fuhrer III is a quiet, humble, excellence and the fact he knew he could play unselfish gentleman – personality golf there. It wasn’t long before the accolades traits that belie his alter ego as a started piling up. While a freshman, he won fierce competitor who drove himself hard the first of his two trophies as Pennsylvania to become one of Western Pennsylvania’s Amateur Champion, and by the time his years most prolific amateur golfers. His many as a Tar Heel concluded, he was a four-time achievements, including appearances at the letterman and had been selected three times 1982 Masters and U.S. Open and winning to the All-ACC Conference First Team and as 11 Western Pennsylvania Golf Association an NCAA All-American. In 1981, Golf Digest championships, will be recognized June 1, ranked him second among all U.S. amateur 2012, when he is inducted into the Western golfers after he won the Western Amateur Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic tournament in August. Most important to League (WPIAL) Hall of Fame. Frank has Frank, only three months after graduation he maintained his legacy nearly three decades was selected to represent the United States on after he traded his pro career for one in the the Walker Cup Team, the amateur version of family business, Frank Fuhrer Wholesale, the Ryder Cup. “Being selected to represent where he is now CEO and president of the my country [at the Walker Cup] was the company founded by his father. highlight of my career,” Frank says. Frank’s athletic journey began without Frank reached what some would consider fanfare when he was 10-years-old and his father encouraged him to play golf for fun. Frank Fuhrer III, 1977 PIAA Golf Champion the pinnacle of success when he qualified for the 1982 Masters and U.S. Open tournaments. Not too much later he showed potential, He played professionally from 1982-1986, which spurred him to take greater interest including a full year on the PGA tour in 1984, an experience he in the sport. He learned the technicalities of the game by practicing describes as “exhilarating.” Yet, he maintains nothing compared to with local club pro Pete Snead, one of the best golf instructors at that the pride and excitement he felt as a member of the Walker Cup time. Three years later his game had improved to a level that earned him success in local and state competitions. “Pete was the first person Team. Frank left the pro ranks when he was 26, regained amateur status, who influenced my game,” says Frank. and in 1986, had what Pittsburgh sports writer Gerry Dulac called By the time Frank entered Fox Chapel Area High School “one of the most amazing streaks in Western Pennsylvania history, and joined the golf team, he already owned a slew of trophies. winning the Pennsylvania Open, West Penn Open, and Pittsburgh It wasn’t long before he added to his collection by methodically Open each in the same year.” shattering many scholastic records. He won WPIAL individual golf It is exactly this kind of prowess on the golf course that has earned championship titles in 1974, 1975, and 1976, becoming one of only two people to ever win the boys’ championship three times – a record Frank countless honors. In 2002, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) named him one of the top 50 golfers to ever compete in that remains unbeaten – and helped lead the Foxes to two WPIAL the conference, he was inducted into the western chapter of the team titles. As a senior, he added more gold to his arsenal by winning Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, and the Western Pennsylvania the PIAA boys’ golf championship. Frank complemented his stellar Golf Association (WPGA) named him one of the top 10 amateurs in interscholastic sports accomplishments by qualifying for the United Western Pennsylvania golf history. In 2001, the WPGA created the States Golf Association (USGA) amateur championships, prior to annual Frank Fuhrer III Award to honor Western Pennsylvania’s top and following, his senior year. He competed in that tournament collegiate golfer. A charter member of the Fox Chapel Area School a total of seven times. “I think my strengths as a competitor were District Sports Hall of Fame, Frank remains well connected to the because I wasn’t one to show my emotions on the golf course. I was even-keeled emotionally, and I played to win every single day,” Frank place where it all began. In fact, Frank finds little time to golf these days, but you can says modestly. probably find him somewhere on a Fox Chapel area field coaching Ken Oleksa, Frank’s former teacher and one of the people who nominated him for the WPIAL honor, describes him as “quiet, polite, a youth team that includes one or more of his three sons. “It’s fun. I enjoy all of the kids, and it’s a good opportunity for them to learn and unassuming, but very intent on doing well in whatever he did.” good lessons about life through sports,” he says. Following high school graduation in 1977, with plenty of credentials under his name, Frank chose to attend the University
Fox Chapel Area
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 25
Fox Chapel Area School District DORSEYVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL District Administration Fox Chapel Area Schools 3732 Saxonburg Boulevard 611 Field Club Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/963-9600 www.fcasd.edu Superintendent: Anne E. Stephens, Ph.D. Assistant Superintendent: David P. McCommons, Ed.D. Administrative Assistant for Business Affairs: L. Douglas McCausland
District Resource Staff
Coordinator of Instruction, Staff Development and Secondary Curriculum: Shelley Beck, Ph.D. Coordinator of Elementary Education and Instruction: Tammy S. Wolicki, Ed.D. Coordinator of Special Education and Pupil Services: Lonnie Carey, Ed.D. Coordinator of Educational Technology: Scott Hand Coordinator of Ancillary Services: Sam Miceli Director of Athletics & Activities: Michael O’Brien Coordinator of Communications: Bonnie Berzonski
FAIRVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 738 Dorseyville Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/963-9315 Principal: Sari E. McNamara, Ed.D.
HARTWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 3730 Saxonburg Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/767-5396 Principal: Jacquelyn M. Gregory-Rauzan, Ed.D. KERR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 341 Kittanning Pike Pittsburgh, PA 15215 412/781-4105 Principal: Paul S. Noro, Ed.D. O’HARA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 115 Cabin Lane Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/963-0333 Principal: Michael E. Rowe, Ed.D. Assistant Principal: James Phillip Prager Jr.
2012 Fox Chapel Area School Board
Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/767-5343 Principal: Matthew J. Harris Assistant Principal: Patricia A. Clark Assistant Principal: Jonathan T. Nauhaus FOX CHAPEL AREA HIGH SCHOOL 611 Field Club Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412/967-2430 Senior/Lead Principal: Michael H. Hower Program Principal: Daniel E. Lentz Assistant Principal – Senior Program: John J. McGee Assistant Principal – Intermediate Program: Rebecca J. Cunningham, Ed.D.
For the latest information on school activities and weather-related delays and cancellations, call the Fox Chapel Area School District 24-Hour Information Line at 412/967-2500 or visit the Web site at www.fcasd.edu. The athletic events calendar can be found on the Fox Chapel Area School District Web site at www.fcasd.edu or visit www.highschoolsports.net.
Region I covers all of Sharpsburg Borough and Wards 2, 3, and 4 of O’Hara Township; Region II covers Districts 2, 4, and 5 of Fox Chapel Borough and all of Indiana Township; and Region III covers all of Aspinwall Borough, Blawnox Borough, Wards 1 and 5 of O’Hara Township, and Districts 1 and 3 of Fox Chapel Borough. School Board regular business meetings are usually scheduled for the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. and are held at the high school. The public is invited to attend.
Photo Courtesy Town and Country Studio
Front Row (l to r): Anne E. Stephens, Ph.D., Superintendent; Sandra M. Garbisch, Assistant Secretary (2015 - Region II); Joel R. Weinstein, President (2013 - Region III); and Robert Mauro, Vice President (2013 - Region II). Row 2 (l to r): Terry L. Wirginis (2015 - Region II); Eric C. Schmidt (2015 - Region I); Nancy B. Foster, Treasurer (2015 - Region III); Robin F. Baum (2015 - Region I); Sherman M. Snyder (2013 - Region I); and Charles R. Burke (2013 - Region III). Row 3 (l to r): David P. McCommons, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent; Martin W. Sheerer, Esq., Solicitor; and L. Douglas McCausland, Board Secretary. 26
Fox Chapel Area
The Fox Chapel Area School District is an equal rights and opportunity school district. The school district does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, or handicap/disability. The district shall make reasonable accommodations for identified physical and mental impairments that constitute disabilities, consistent with the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations. Additional information pertaining to civil rights, school district policies, and grievance procedures can be obtained by contacting the compliance officers listed below between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. This notice is available from the compliance officers in large print, on audiotape, and in Braille. Title IX: David McCommons, Ed.D. (412/967-2456) Section 504 & ADA: Lonnie Carey, Ed.D. (412/967-2435) Address: Fox Chapel Area School District 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Ask the Dentist
I am pregnant and recently I’ve noticed my gums are red and swollen. Is this abnormal and what should I do? Answer:
Thank you for this excellent question! First, let me ease your mind by telling you this is neither an uncommon occurrence nor something that is difficult to prevent or treat. The swelling you’re referring to is most likely gingivitis; which during your pregnancy it is referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. This condition is most common in women during their second to eighth months. As your obstetrician has most likely informed you, normal female hormone levels are elevated during pregnancy. One hormone in particular that the bacteria in your mouth thrive on is progesterone. Elevated levels of progesterone and other hormones that are circulating result in an increased blood flow to your gums. Your gums are now more prone to the effects of bacteria, also known as plaque biofilm, which can cause sensitive and bleeding gums. Small amounts of plaque present, which may not have caused a response before your pregnancy, will cause an exaggerated response due to increased amount in your pregnant body. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious and irreversible gum disease known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is an infection that can negatively affect not only the mother’s health, but her child’s as well. The public is becoming more educated on what dental professionals have long known; infections in the mouth are related to other systemic conditions. Established behavioral risk factors such as smoking, alcohol use, and drug use have been associated with preterm and/ or low birth weight babies. However, a variety of studies have shown that periodontitis may be an emerging risk factor as well. This research provides evidence that plaque biofilm can trigger an inflammatory response, producing substances that may result in preterm delivery. A reputed dental journal known as The Journal of Periodontology has demonstrated the relationship between women with periodontitis and an increased risk of preterm and/or low birth weight babies when compared to women without periodontitis. The oral cavity is connected to the rest of the body, so our overall goal is to eliminate any inflammation present in the mout to prevent a negative impact elsewhere in your body. If intervention is needed, there is no reason to be concerned about having dental treatment during your pregnancy. It is perfectly safe; however laying back in a dental chair during the last trimester can be slightly uncomfortable. Restoring your gums and teeth back to health will greatly reward mother and child when compared with leaving oral disease untreated. The good news is that these conditions can be avoided almost entirely with regular professional treatment and thorough home care! At Fox Chapel Advanced Dental Care, we treat all patients with ultrasonic cleanings. This technology replaces the traditional method of scraping and scratching, utilizing a vibrating tip and water flow that disrupts plaque biofilm
and irrigates inflamed gums. To maintain a healthy mouth during your pregnancy, brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss daily; this will result in plaque biofilm removal. I would also encourage you to continue to see your dentist for regular care. Some dental offices, including Fox Chapel Advanced Dental Care, prefer to treat their pregnant patients once every three months because they are in a compromised state. As always, be sure to check with your dentist in regards to any other questions or concerns you have during your pregnancy as well as how often you should be treated! Congratulations on the pregnancy news! And good luck! This Industry Insight was written by Dr. Kevin Pawlowicz. Dr. Kevin Pawlowicz practices at Fox Chapel Advanced Dental Care on Old Freeport Road in Fox Chapel. Dr. Pawlowicz has trained at the Las Vegas and Seattle Institutes. He is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Academy of Laser Dentistry. You can learn more about Dr. Pawlowicz on his website www.foxchapeldentistry.com.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 27
28 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE
Fox Chapel Area
Nine Mistakes to Avoid in
etirement is supposed to be the time of life when people finally have the opportunity to pursue interests they may not have had time for during their working years. Yet more and more people put their comfortable retirement at risk every day by the financial decisions they make. Running out of money, having to sell assets, or lowering standards of living are real issues that more and more people need to consider. Below are nine common retirement planning mistakes people make, each of which can lead to potential obstacles in retirement:
Risk Potholes • Diversification & Volatility • Misunderstanding the Distribution Phase • Unrealistic Goals #1: Not taking advantage of your company’s 401(k) Saving in your company’s 401(k) plan is often one of your best savings opportunities because it grows tax deferred until you take the money out after you retire. #2: Not understanding diversification and volatility Consideration should be given to balancing your portfolio between stocks, bonds and cash. In addition, diversifying within the asset classes into small vs. large cap stocks, or growth vs. value, helps create a more efficient portfolio. #3: Putting all your money in your company’s stock No matter how good your company is, various outside factors such as a changing economic landscape or increasing competition may adversely affect stock prices. #4: Emotional Investing Individuals who handle their own investments often let emotions cloud their judgment. An experienced advisor helps to take the emotion out of investment decision-making. #5: Not sticking to your plan An investment plan should define your risk tolerance and objectives and help you to select investment vehicles. Plans should be created — and followed — in partnership with a financial advisor. #6: Underestimating how long you will be working Changes in the economy may change what you thought would be your retirement date. Take a realistic assessment of when you are going to retire as this may affect your current asset allocation strategy. #7: Not understanding your income needs The need for income is a challenge most retirees face. An understanding of how short-term investments work during this distribution
phase may help alleviate a lot of stress or anxiety concerning your income during retirement. #8: Underestimating how long your retirement will last Longer life-spans may stretch retirement accounts. Too often retirees become too conservative and do not invest in a proper mix of equities and fixed income to fit their risk tolerance and objectives. Inflation and taxes will also erode a retirement account’s buying power. #9: Unrealistic goals or lack of a plan Whether you are just starting a career or thinking about retiring soon, consider talking to a financial advisor who can help you identify realistic goals and develop a plan and strategy to meet them. This Industry Insight was written by Nadav Baum, Executive Vice President and Financial Advisor. BPU Investment Management, Inc. is a wealth management firm located in downtown Pittsburgh.
BPU Investment Management, Inc. One Oxford Centre 301 Grant Street, Suite 3300 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 www.bpuinvetments.com Member FINRA/SIPC A registered investment advisor
The accuracy and completeness of this information is not guaranteed. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of BPU Investment Management, Inc. or its affiliates. The material is solely for informational purposes and is not a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. Though our firm provides planning services, we do not render specific legal, accounting or tax advice. Always consult an appropriate professional before implementing any planning decisions. Asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing do not assume a positive return or protect against loss. ©2012 BPU Investment Management, Inc.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 29
Why are still waiting?
n the more than 30 years I have spent treating patients with varicose veins, I can’t tell you how often a patient has remarked, “I guess I just waited too long to treat my legs.” My answer is always, “Well, what’s important is that you are here now.” What I sometimes think is, “Yes, you probably did wait too long.” As most of us realize, ignoring a problem never really makes it go away, and as a physician, I know that a small problem is always easier to treat than a larger problem. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to treating those painful bulging varicose veins. In all of my years of practice, I have never seen such rapid advances in the diagnosis and treatment of a medical problem as in the field of phlebology (the study of veins).
At Circulatory Centers, diagnosing the problem is as simple as having a painless ultrasound done in our office’s accredited ICAVL vascular lab. Once the problem is identified, an individual treatment plan is offered. Long gone are the days of painful vein strippings done in an operating room under general anesthesia with the resulting lifelong disfiguring scars and a week-long stay in the hospital spent recuperating. This is now replaced by a safe 30-minute endovenous ablation procedure done in our office by the most experienced providers found anywhere. You could come in on your lunch hour and still go out to enjoy dinner or a movie that very same evening! And here’s the kicker, 95% of procedures are covered by most insurance companies. Due to these dramatic advances in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins—and the even more dramatic and fantastic results—a number of physicians have recently flooded this field calling themselves “vein experts,” proudly displaying a certificate to prove it. What patients should really consider when choosing a provider is experience. Titles are one thing, but it is hard to trump experience. At Circulatory Centers, we have over eighty years of combined experience in Western Pennsylvania. Ask anyone in this area who has had their veins treated, and nine out of ten times Circulatory Centers will come to mind. We have been dedicated to vein treatment for more than 30 years and our results have been better than ever, with patients seeing better clearing of their leg veins, better resolution of their symptoms and fewer recurrences of their veins than ever before. So, why are YOU still waiting?
This Industry Insight was written by Louis Certo, M.D., F.A.C.S. Medical Director of Circulatory Centers. A graduate of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Dr. Certo earned his medical degree from the University of Rome in Italy. After completing a five-year residency in General Surgery. Dr. Certo is Board Certified and Recertified in General Surgery. For the past ten years he has devoted most of his practice to venous surgery and has been associated with Circulatory Centers since 1997. Dr.Certo is a current member of the American College of Phlebology.
30 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE
Fox Chapel Area
earing its 50th year in business is Treasure Hunt, one of our region’s most reputable buyers and sellers of gold, silver, and rare coins. With gold prices near all-time highs, people are realizing that there has never been a better time to sell their unwanted or outdated jewelry. The modus operandi of the store founder was, and continues through his son to be, honesty, integrity, and exceptional customer service. It is this philosophy that has steered Treasure Hunt to its leadership role in the gold buying industry. Treasure Hunt has always been a family business. With the help of his wife, Barbara Rotheram Meredith, John Robert Meredith founded Coins Inc. in 1963 as a dealer in rare coins and precious metals. It all started with one leased department in Gimbels department store, which then grew into six. When Gimbels closed in 1986, Mr. Meredith moved the business to Kaufmanns’ department store with great success. Following John Robert Meredith’s passing in 1995, his son John Rotheram Meredith purchased the company and moved the base of operations to suburban Mount Lebanon under the name Treasure Hunt. With the assistance of his sister and vice president, Jeannette Meredith Dodd, Meredith expanded from the South Hills into Cranberry, Monroeville, Irwin, Allison Park, Latrobe, Belle Vernon, Indiana, and most recently McKnight Road in Ross Township. Each
Treasure Hunt Approaches
branch is staffed and managed by family and close friends. In 2002, an ounce of gold was worth less than 300 dollars. Now, 10 years later, that same ounce of gold is worth over 1,600 dollars. It is a very opportune time to liquidate your precious metals, but sellers should beware of companies that offer coupons or other gimmicks to get you in the door. Treasure Hunt is in the practice of offering the highest possible amount right from the start, no need to negotiate. John Meredith says, “Our happiest customers are the people who have shopped around, then come to Treasure Hunt. Our high payouts are oftentimes shocking next to the offers of our competitors. It is our slogan because we truly do hear it every day: “You really do pay the most!’” By now many people are aware of Treasure Hunt’s reputation for paying the highest prices for gold and silver, but the retail side of the business is nothing to overlook! True to its roots, Allison Park Treasure Hunt devotes an entire section to its vast offerings of rare United States coins and currency. This location also offers an extensive jewelry selection composed by gemologist Debbie DeChicchis, featuring a beautiful array of gold, silver, and platinum studded with diamonds and other gemstones. The jewelry store boasts some of the most beautiful pieces of estate jewelry you have ever seen, as well as gorgeous new and designer pieces. All of the estate jewelry has been professionally cleaned, polished, and inspected by a master bench jeweler, and the special order process is a simple one. Their knowledgeable and patient staff recognizes that jewelry purchases are often a very big decision, especially when it comes to bridal and engagement rings, and will take the time to help find that perfect piece at an incredible price! This truly is a unique shopping experience - unparalleled by any other!
by Rob Benhart & Elisa Merrell Kobistek
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 31
ccording to the American Council on Exercise, 1998 started the rapid growth of instructor-led workouts based on the calisthenics used (like push-ups, squat thrusts, punches, kicks, etc.) to whip new recruits into shape in the U.S. Army’s basic-training program. Since then, boot camp has been one of the most popular classes for fitness centers across the nation. bFit Studio, located in the Fox Chapel Yacht Club, is excited to announce bFit BOOT CAMP, designed to increase strength, cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and motivation to get fit and healthy. The experienced, motivational instructors at bFit coach participants
Boot Camp! through each hour-long session. BOOT CAMP is designed for all fitness levels (ages 16 and older), involving exercises ranging from athletic fitness drills, interval training, team activities, and running and hiking trails. Exercise scientist, John Porcari, Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, states, “The biggest benefit is you’re burning an average of 600 calories per hour,” says Porcari. “That’s obviously going to help with weight loss, but you’re also getting the muscle-building benefit from pushups, arm curls and squat thrusts that you wouldn’t get just from going out for a fast walk or jog.” At bFit BOOT CAMP, workouts vary daily, ensuring your experience is fun and inspiring. Beginners will not work harder than they are safely able, and more advanced participants will work to their full potential. With simple movements and a variety of workout equipment, BOOT CAMP challenges individuals while creating a motivating, team-oriented atmosphere, inspiring each other to power through each workout. To maximize benefits, BOOT CAMP is held in the natural environment of the outdoors. Science Daily reports on a study that concludes mental well-being is increased with outdoor workouts (when compared to indoor workouts) through associations of greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement and decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants in the study also stated greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and that they were more likely to repeat the activity at a later date. bFit wants BOOT CAMP participants coming back for more! BOOT CAMP is rain or shine, so put on your gear and get ready for an awesome workout! BOOT CAMP is a great way to jump start fitness program or boost a current routine! To sign up and learn more, visit bFit Studio’s website at www.mybfitstudio.com or contact Lori Elias or Rory Lazear at 412-282-8120. RORY LAZEAR, NASM, CPT Co-Owner, bFit Studio BS in Nutrition Children’s Fitness Specialist willPower & grace Phase II Instructor Indo-Row TRX Specialist Kangoo Power/ Boot Camp
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Fox Chapel Area
LORI ELIAS, NPTI, CPT Co-Owner, bFit Studio Kangoo Power/ Boot Camp Indo-Row Kickboxing Outdoor Fitness Boot Camp Youth Programs
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 3 4
Dealing with Depression 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 Trouble with Ticks What’s Happening at UPMC St. Margaret
© 2012 UPMC
Dealing with Depression UPMC St. Margaret’s creative solution to connecting depressed patients to care.
If you’ve ever experienced the sense of emptiness and despair that comes with depression, you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that: • Ten percent of all adults in the United States report having depression. • Eleven percent of Americans older than age 12 take anti-depressant medication. • Antidepressant use has increased 400 percent over the last decade. • Only 50 percent of people who experience signs of depression ever get diagnosed or treated.
Where the need is greatest Social factors such as unemployment, poverty, and lack of education are major risk factors for depression. “We know from experience that there is great need for behavioral and mental health services in less affluent communities like ours,” says Dr. Han. “But many people don’t seek treatment for depression because they don’t know the symptoms — or because they’re afraid of what others will think.” In a small community, the stigma associated with depression is very real. “Our doctors were referring patients to the local mental health clinic for help,” explains Dr. Han. “We discovered that many of those patients never made an appointment because they didn’t want to be seen going into a mental health facility.” The solution? Bringing physical and mental health services together at the family health center.
A model for integrated care The trusting, personal relationships between patients, primary care physicians, and professional behavioral health staff at the health center are at the heart of the program’s success. “When patients agree to get treatment for depression or any other behavioral health issue, we personally walk them to the office and introduce them to the therapist,” says Dr. Han. The results of the personal introduction, known as a “warm handoff” are impressive. Between 60 and 70 percent of those patients likely will return to meet with the therapist and begin treatment. In addition, Dr. Han has seen a decrease in emergency room visits among those patients. The success of the integrated care model at the New Kensington Family Health Center is drawing attention. Through generous grants secured by the St. Margaret Foundation from the Fine Foundation, Staunton Farm Foundation, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and Pittsburgh Foundation, the hospital now offers behavioral and mental health services at its two other family health centers.
That last statistic is of greatest concern to Jonathan K. Han, MD, a primary care physician and medical director at UPMC St. Margaret’s New Kensington Family Health Center. “It’s hard for patients to admit they have a problem — it’s up to the primary care physicians to ask the questions in order to identify the issue,” he says.
“Combining quality medical care with sound behavioral and mental health care under one roof, offering it to people right in their own community, and having it delivered by people they trust can help improve patient outcomes dramatically,” says Dr. Han. “We hope this integrative care model will become the standard for everyone.” For more information about the three family health centers affiliated with UPMC St. Margaret, visit UPMCStMargaret.com.
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 UPMC.com and click Our Services for an alphabetical listing of departments and services.
Other health consequences of sleep apnea According to Craig Viti, MD, a pulmonologist and sleep specialist at UPMC St. Margaret, untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, memory problems, weight gain, and daytime sleepiness. “Snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea,” notes Dr. Viti. “Anyone who snores should discuss it with their family doctor because sleep apnea can have significant health and safety consequences. Fortunately, it usually can be treated effectively and inexpensively.” For information about the Center for Sleep Disorders at UPMC St. Margaret and its services, or to schedule a sleep study, call 412-784-4380.
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.
Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins
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.
They’re more common — and easier to treat — than you think.
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.
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 cancer.org. Sources: American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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.
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 says Georges E. Al-Khoury, MD, a vascular surgeon at UPMC St. Margaret. “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. Al-Khoury. To learn more about all the vascular services at UPMC St. Margaret, visit UPMCStMargaret.com.
Your Health Care Goes Mobile It’s now easy to manage your medical records or get automatic access to select test results — because HealthTrak has an app for that.
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 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, adds Dr. Shevchik. 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 fast and easy To access HealthTrak data using a mobile device, you must first secure a HealthTrak account through UPMCHealthTrak.com. 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 HealthTrak — and nearly 6,000 are mobile app users. Grant Shevchik, MD, a family physician and geriatrician who is medical director of HealthTrak, says online medical care is “the future.” He predicts an explosion of users once word spreads about the overall convenience and newest features — including access for authorized family members.
More patient-centered solutions 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. Parents especially appreciate having instant access to a child’s immunization record when they need it, says Dr. Shevchik. Approved caregivers find eVisit, the online doctor visit service, very useful for the diagnosis of common, non-urgent ailments in their elderly relatives. “HealthTrak gives people immediate accessibility. And that accessibility is improving health care by encouraging patients to accept responsibility for their health,” says Dr. Shevchik.
Sign up today! Easy, direct signup for HealthTrak is available online by going to UPMCHealthTrak.com and clicking “Sign up now” under New User. Follow the steps to complete an online application and answer personal questions designed to ensure that you, and not another person, are creating the account. If you have difficulties, email email@example.com or call the UPMC HealthTrak Support Line at 1-866-884-8579.
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 TheLegacyLineup.com.
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.
Trouble with Ticks A mild winter and unusually warm spring mean ticks are out early this year. These blood-sucking parasites are the leading carriers of disease in the United States. “We’re definitely starting to see more tick-related illnesses like Lyme disease in our area,” says Joseph Romano, MD, an infectious disease specialist with Romano, Pontzer and Associates Ltd. and UPMC St. Margaret. While not all ticks carry Lyme disease, Dr. Romano suggests that you take the following precautions to prevent tick bites and reduce your risk of tick-borne diseases: • Ticks like woody, grassy areas and moist, humid environments. In wooded areas, avoid brushing up against shrubs or walking through leaves. When hiking, stay in the center of the trail.
• “Wearing light-color clothing outdoors makes it easier to spot ticks before they get to your skin,” advises Dr. Romano. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and socks, and keep pants tucked into socks and shirts tucked into waistbands. • Use a repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET on your skin, including your face, neck, and ears. Be sure to avoid your eyes and mouth, and wash your hands thoroughly after applying. Never let children apply DEET themselves.
Check yourself — and others After being outdoors — even in your own yard — remove your clothes and check your skin and scalp for ticks. Check children and pets, too. Be thorough: a tick can be as small as the period at the end of this sentence. Showering soon after going indoors can help wash off unseen ticks.
Most people bitten by ticks don’t get Lyme disease, says Dr. Romano. If you have been exposed to ticks or had a tick bite, see your doctor immediately if: • You have a large, expanding red rash that’s shaped like a bulls-eye or target and • You’re having flu-like symptoms “Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose,” says Dr. Romano. “When caught early, it usually responds well to antibiotics.”
What’s Happening at UPMC St. Margaret Events Living Healthy With Arthritis: Frontiers in Joint Preservation Wednesday, May 30 6 p.m. UPMC St. Margaret Conference Center Led by orthopaedic surgeons from UPMC St. Margaret, this presentation will focus on the current concepts of ankle and hip joint preservation. To reserve a space, call 1-866-939-7787. Bariatric Information Sessions Mondays, June 4 and June 25, July 9 and July 23, Aug. 6 and Aug. 27 6 to 8 p.m. UPMC St. Margaret Conf. Rooms A, B, and C For more information or to register, call 412-784-5900. UPMC St. Margaret Blood Drives Friday, July 13 Monday, Sept. 10 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. UPMC St. Margaret Dining Rooms A and B For more information, call 412-784-4077.
UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing Information Session (RN program) Wednesday, July 18 9:30 a.m. St. Margaret School of Nursing, Blawnox Meet with admissions and financial aid representatives and tour the school. For more information, call 412-784-4980. Alive & Well Presentations UPMC St. Margaret physicians and health professionals speak on a variety of healthrelated topics at community libraries. For upcoming dates, locations, and topics, visit UPMCStMargaret.com. Smoking Cessation Program UPMC St. Margaret Conference Center Eight-week program for those who are serious about quitting. For more information or to register, call 412-784-5043.
Classes COPD Education and Support 412-784-5764 Insulin Pump Class 1-866-334-5227 Look Good ... Feel Better 1-800-227-2345 Managing Your Diabetes 1-866-334-5227
Support Groups Alzheimer’s Support Group 412-784-5054 Bariatric Support Group 412-784-5900 Diabetes Support Group 412-784-4194 Volunteer Opportunities For information about volunteer opportunities at UPMC St. Margaret, call Volunteer Services at 412-784-4081.
For more information about any of these classes or support groups, call the number indicated, call Community Relations at 412-784-5160, or go to UPMCStMargaret.com.
UPMC St. Margaret 815 Freeport Road Pittsburgh, PA 15215
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. To receive additional copies of this publication, call 412-784-5160.
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Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC is ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
PART OF THE UPMC HEART AND VASCULAR INSTITUTE UPMC.com/HVI
Guyasuta of Fox Chapel Youth Football Registration is now open for Guyasuta Football for boys age 6 through 13 who reside in the Fox Chapel School District area. An open registration was held at the Sharpsburg Borough office on May 5 and May 12. Registration can also be completed online at the teamâ€™s website www.guyasutafootball.com. The cost of registration is $55. The participants must also sell twelve $10 tickets to the games and a $50 business advertisement to help offset the costs of the club. All equipment is supplied except for cleats. This also entitles the registrant to attend the banquet held at the end of the season and a team sweatshirt. For more information, please visit the website or contact Barb McBriar at 412-670-3607.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 41
Do I Really Need a
Hearing Aid in
any people ask this question. Being able to hear with both ears is just as important as being able to see with both eyes. We are born with two ears that work together to process sounds. When you hear equally well from both ears, sounds are more comfortable to listen to. You don’t have to strain to hear, and sounds have the kind of clarity and depth that give you a sense of space and location. Try this experiment. Plug one ear and close your eyes. Have someone quietly walk to a spot in the room and talk to you. Without opening your eyes, try to point to where the voice is coming from. It will be difficult for you to localize the sound of their voice. This happens when there is hearing loss in only one ear or if a hearing aid is only worn in one ear. If both ears have hearing loss, it is very important to wear hearing aids in both ears. The reason we can localize sounds is because of the physical distance between our ears. For instance, the sound of a car horn on your right hand side reaches your right ear a fraction of a second before it reaches your left ear, and with greater power. This is why you know immediately that the car is rapidly approaching from the right. It is nature’s way of keeping us safe and feeling comfortable in everyday situations.
Another benefit of wearing a hearing aid in both ears is better hearing in a noisy environment. It takes both ears working together to be able to pick out speech from background noise. The brain needs input from both ears in order to separate sounds effectively. In a typical noisy restaurant, it is difficult to pick out the one voice you want to hear with all the conversations going on around you. The background noise makes it difficult for you not only to hear, but to understand what is being said. When there is hearing loss, it makes it even more difficult. It is possible to assist some of the brain’s natural ability to filter out background noise by wearing two hearing aids. In addition, the risk of Auditory Deprivation is considerably reduced by wearing two hearing aids. Auditory deprivation is when the brain gradually loses some if its ability to process information from the unaided ear because of a continued lack of sound stimulation. Auditory deprivation most often occurs when the ear goes unaided over a long period of time – so the earlier you consider wearing two hearing aids, the better your chances are of minimizing the risk. Research has shown that the deterioration in speech understanding that is the result of auditory deprivation is reversible in most people if a hearing aid is worn in that unaided ear. However, if the period without a hearing aid is long enough, then not only is recovery unlikely but other full advantages of hearing with both ears may never be attainable. It’s like the old adage, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” At Eartique, we offer a completely RISK FREE 30 DAY TRIAL PERIOD on all hearing devices. We also offer a free consultation. Call our office 412-422-8006 for an appointment. Come to the Audiologists at Eartique and let us be the last stop you make in successful hearing aid use.
This Industry Insight was written by Debra L. Greenberger, owner of Eartique. She received her Master’s Degree in Audiology (Hearing Science) from Washington University in St.Louis, Missouri and she is certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association. Debra has been diagnosing hearing loss and fitting hearing aids for over 25 years.
Allison L. Chase, Au.D., CCC-A earned her Master of Arts degree in Audiology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2004. She completed her clinical doctorate in Audiology from Salus University in 2008. Allison is certified by the American SpeechLanguage-Hearing Association and has been practicing in the field for seven years.
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Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 43
Where is the
Guest of Honor?
an you imagine a wedding without a bride and groom? Can you imagine a birthday party without the birthday girl? Can you imagine a graduation without the graduate? There is another event where many are choosing to not have the guest of honor present, the funeral. There have been recent major changes in how we care for our dead. Many people are choosing direct disposition with no service or memorial. I hear people say all the time, “I don’t want anybody staring at me when I’m dead.” Why would you think they are there to see you? It is estimated that 2/3 of visitors to a funeral have no connection to the
deceased. These people are there to help the survivors. They are there to simply help remember and support the family, not stare. “When I die, just cremate me.” Almost all of us have been to a graveside service with a clergyman, priest or rabbi reciting words passed on through generations. The casket resting on framework of metal and fabric straps. People dressed in black gathered to pay heed and remember. But ask how many have been to a crematory and very few say yes. Why is there this disconnect between burial and burning? Cremation is an honorable and historical means of sending one on. It is amazing that so many choose cremation when they know so little about it. “As a people we have thoroughly embraced the notion of cremation as an exercise in simplicity and cost efficiency. But we remain thoroughly distanced from the fire itself and all its metaphors and meaning, its religious and ritual significance as a station in our pilgrimage of faith.” wrote Thomas Lynch, funeral director and author. I could not say that any better. When people select nothing, they are surprised when that is what happens. No one calls, sends a card, brings over food, no one remembers. Nothing. Later, people ask how Mom is doing and you have to say, “She died.” That person exclaims, “What happened? How did she die?” The topic becomes not how they lived; it becomes how that person died. It is very difficult to deal with grief and loss alone. Many people try to work around grief, instead of working through grief. Society offers us a chance at properly saying goodbye. Many are not choosing it. Doug Manning, an expert in grief, put it this way, “There is the gift of Presence. Just being there says you care, you love and you remember.” Taking our dead to their final place is our greatest fear as well as our greatest responsibility. Some of you might think that this is just self-promotion because of what I do. Honestly, that plays a small role. However, I have seen very good grief and very bad grief. I am by no means telling you to have two full days of viewing with an expensive casket, an expensive burial vault, flowers, dove releases or a bagpiper or having full blown services. No matter what, these are all incidental. Set aside a brief period of time to say goodbye. Tell your family and friends to come just to say goodbye and to be there. If they come, they come. If they don’t, they don’t. Many families who choose a simple service over a short period of time are surprised by the response and outpouring of love. Society does not often offer opportunities to express high emotions. The funeral is that opportunity. Use it well. Helping Families Say Goodbye This Industry Insight was provided by Frank Perman, licensed funeral director and owner of Perman Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc, 923 Saxonburg Blvd. at Rt 8 in Shaler Township. Mr. Perman believes that an educated consumer makes the best decisions. Questions can be made to Mr. Perman at 412.486.3600 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 45
know you are all asking yourselves who actually wants to know anything about fat? We just want to get RID of it! Well, not everyone. A person who wants to restore the volume to their face for elimination of wrinkles, the breast reconstruction patient who wants a more natural surgery or the breast augmentation surgery patient who would like fuller breasts without the involvement of implants, all have a great deal of interest in FAT. This procedure can be referred to as autologous fat transfer or fat grafting. Fat grafting is the process of using the patient’s own fat to increase the volume of fat in another area of their body. With the development of liposuction, fat cells can actually be harvested efficiently. The fat is extracted with a liposuction cannula, prepared for reintroduction into the body and then injected into the new part of the body where the increased volume is used for medical or cosmetic purposes. The most common donor areas, (where the fat is taken from or harvested) are the stomach, thighs, and waist. This procedure is minimally invasive, and the body does not reject it because it is the patient’s own fat. But, there is a rate of absorption, in other words, a percentage of this injected fat that does not survive, because the body reabsorbs it. However, the greater percentage is retained by the body to augment the area where it has been injected. Let’s talk about fat transfer to the breasts. This procedure can be done for a cosmetic breast augmentation or post-mastectomy, as well as for a lumpectomy breast reconstruction. Let’s begin with the breast reconstruction patient. This new technique is a huge step forward from the traditional Tram Flaps or implant breast reconstruction procedures, which require major surgery. This new procedure helps the healing process becoming much easier for the breast cancer patient. Your breasts will actually be built from your own fat, and will feel NORMAL! You will retain near normal sensation in your breasts and your new nipples. Your new breasts will feel and look natural, but they will contain no breast tissue. No other procedure allows for that. The physical and emotional challenges that come with a diagnosis of breast cancer are something that we understand. We believe that this method affords the patient a less intimidating procedure with good results. This procedure is done as an outpatient often under local anesthesia and sedation. The average recovery is 2-4 days, which is much quicker than implant surgery. Next we will look at the breast augmentation patient. This patient is often hesitant about placing a foreign element into their body. Another concern is the worry of having to replace it at some point in the future, requiring an additional surgery. With this new procedure, this cosmetic patient is offered an alternative with a more natural approach. Instead of an implant, we augment the breasts with the patient’s own body fat, eliminating the need for future replacement for any reason.
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Now, we move on to other body parts. Often with aging come deep facial lines in the nasal labial areas from the nose to the corners of the mouth. These areas can be plumped up quite nicely with some autologous fat donation from your “always willing” hips or tummy. This can be done in lieu of hyaluronic fillers, which cannot only be costly, but must be done every 8 months to a year. The cheeks frequently deflate with age, as they move south! With fat grafting, the cheeks can be minimally lifted, giving the appearance of a more youthful countenance and also minimizing the lines in the nasal labial folds. The skin on the backs of our hands also thins with age, showing the unsightly veining that so often gives away our age before our faces do. Once again, our fat is willing to donate to the cause and plump them up!! With all of the above mentioned procedures, the patient is getting a good result in the newly injected area, with less trauma, expense or regular injections. Essentially, the patient is now able to “kill two birds with one stone.” They get fat removed by liposuction in an area where it is not particularly attractive, and have it transferred to an area that needs more volume. When placed in the face or hands it rejuvenates them, and when transferred to the breast, it enhances their shape and size. So for the patient it is a win/win situation. So, the rave reviews are in—let’s hear three cheers for fat!!!
This Industry Insight was written by Anna Wooten, MD. Dr. Wooten, the founder of Beleza Plastic Surgery, is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. She completed her general and plastic surgery residency and fellowship at one of the leading plastic surgery training programs in the country, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her unique and extensive education and training brings a special perspective to the discipline and art of aesthetic plastic and reconstructive surgery.
J.E. Balicki & Assoc. Inc. Insurance
Neighbors and Insurance Professionals
hen it comes to insuring what’s valuable to you, your family or your business, you want knowledge and experience – an agency that has been in the business for decades and knows the terms and conditions of insurance policies. That agency is J.E. Balicki & Assoc., Inc. The agents of J.E. Balicki & Assoc., Inc. are at your service for all of your residential and commercial needs. “When the ERIE Insurance Group, headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, sought to expand in the Pittsburgh area, they approached my father, John E. Balicki, a crane man at Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corp. who regularly read the Wall Street Journal in his crane while eating lunch, to see if he’d be an agent for them on a part-time basis,” Jeff Balicki said. “My father saw the tremendous opportunity and opened our office as a part-time agent in 1963, and we’ve been here ever since. Today we employ seven full-time agents and customer service representatives insuring over 5,000 residential and commercial clients located from Beaver, PA to Kittanning, PA and throughout Western Pennsylvania.” “While located in Natrona Heights for nearly 50 years, a stone’s throw from Fox Chapel, we have built our agency on personal service by traveling to our insured’s homes and businesses,” Balicki said. “We continue to make personal visits a main stay, however, we have embraced today’s technology and communicate via email, Facebook and Twitter depending upon the insured’s preference. For those who still like to drop off their payment in person, we offer a drive-by window, the only agency I know of to have one, to spare them from the sometimes temperate weather of Western Pennsylvania. Our telephone system answers 24-hours a day and during off hours will provide you with an emergency number to call ERIE Insurance direct.” “Our agency is extremely customer-oriented,” he said. “We have hours Monday through Saturday and evenings by appointment.” While you may be familiar with ERIE Insurance’s personal lines
products – automobile, homeowners’ insurance and life insurance – Balicki said many business owners don’t know about ERIE’s commercial products. “We concentrate on commercial lines in addition to the residential lines and have experience with both,” Balicki said. “ERIE Insurance offers commercial lines from A to Z including tool & die shops, machine shops, car dealerships, repair garages and auto parts stores, trucking companies, contractors, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, condominium associations, apartment complexes, residential rentals, retail outlets, carwashes, hair salons, restaurants, and professionals such as accountants, dentists, and lawyers; the list is too long to include all covered operations in this space.” In addition to competitive prices for all of your insurance needs, ERIE Insurance was recently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates for the second year running as a “2012 Customer Service Champion.” Erie was one of just 50 U.S. companies to earn that distinction this year. In addition, ERIE has been a three-peat recipient of J.D. Power and Associates winner of the coveted “Customer Satisfaction Award.” ERIE Insurance has been acclaimed for its innovative Rate Lock Protection program which locks in your personal automobile insurance rate permanently unless you change vehicles, change your address, or . . . . “So long to nasty rate increases at renewal!” For more information on J.E. Balicki & Assoc., Inc., go to www. balickiinsurance.com, call us at 724.266.1300, or follow us on Twitter at . . .. The office is conveniently located at 1625 Freeport Road, Natrona Heights, PA 15065. But we’ll come to you!
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 47
Real Estate in Fox Chapel Area
By Heather Holtschlag
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. 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, 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.
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Real Estate in Fox Chapel Area
by Heather Holtschlag
he front porch may rank near the bottom of the list of favorite rooms when people talk about their homes, but it ranks near the top in terms of importance. Considered a home’s “welcome mat,” the front porch offers the first – and oftentimes only – impression to family, friends, and passersby. The friendlier it looks, the more appealing the home. Realtor Julie Rost of Prudential Preferred explains that a covered outdoor space adds tons of value to a home in terms of enjoyment for the homeowners. “With a covered porch, outdoor furniture is much easier to keep clean and maintain and alfresco dining becomes a possibility,” she explains. Rost also recommends that homeowners who may be adding a front porch to their existing home, should carefully consider the style of the house and make sure that the new addition has continuity in color and period. Think about whether you want the porch area to be a simple transition into your home, or whether you want to create an entirely new living space. Also, determine how much space
you will have to dedicate to a front porch area. If it’s a small, transitional area, you may not be able to give the area a complete overhaul, but will be able to enhance the space that is already there with charming accents. When it comes time to decorate the porch area, consider what room it leads to within the house. If it opens into a traditional living or dining room for example, you likely will not want to decorate the porch in a tropical theme. Also, choose a type of paint for the front door that contains a high gloss and a color that will be noticeable. Go for house numbers that appear strong and bold, which could give your entire exterior a new look and add a door knocker for a touch of elegance. Consider changing the hardware as well. Rost recommends that if your home is for sale, it is imperative that the key works seamlessly in the lock. “Make sure that steps and handrails are secure as well and that exterior lighting is working,” she adds. A nice new doormat will also add a welcoming touch. Before adding furniture, make sure to attend to the paint on the sides and floor. Repair any paint that is peeling and add a fresh coat to the walls, floor and the trim. When adding the furniture, look for a piece such as a loveseat that can hold two people and an ottoman that can double as storage space. The largest piece of furniture should face outward, with smaller pieces surrounding it. Artwork that is made to handle the elements of the outdoors can add attention and attractiveness if hung above the sitting area, and look for
rugs and pillows that can finish off the space. Blinds or curtains can help prevent sun damage to the furniture and provide shade. One final note to keep in mind when sprucing up your porch is to decorate for the seasons. Add pumpkin décor during Halloween or floral accents during the spring and summer. A harvest wreath in the fall or an evergreen wreath in the winter can also add to the beauty of the season. If selling your home, feel free to decorate, but keep in mind that buyers want to see your home, not your decorations. Rost advises, “I always tell my homeowners to continue living in their home [while they are in the process of selling]. However, sparse is better than clutter. Buyers will want to see the molding and the flooring that they are buying.” While you may not see a dollar per dollar return on your investment in a front porch, the appeal of the addition will help attract buyers to your home and will serve as a great source of enjoyment while you reside there.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 49
Real Estate in Fox Chapel Area
How to Choose
a Real Estate Agent Jan Schoenberger, a broker with Prudential Preferred advises,“ The most important question that a potential seller should ask an agent is concerning the history of their recent sales. Most specifically, how many days on average were their listings on the market and what was the final original list price to sale price ratio.” 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. According to the website Realtor.com, the following are some questions you should ask during your selection process when interviewing potential agents: 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?
by Dana Black McGrath
What real estate designations does the agent hold?
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.
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? Schoenberger adds, “One statement that will always remain true about real estate anywhere, IT’S LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Be sure to contact your local realtor to get accurate facts and data about your particular marketplace.”
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Real Estate in Fox Chapel Area
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 51
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Fox Chapel Area High School Competes in
Indoor Rowing by Kathy Rudolph
ccording to the U.S. Rowing Association, rowers have been referred to as some of the fittest athletes in the world because the sport involves all major joints and muscles in the body. It is also ideal for Fox Chapel Area High School athletes who want to stay in shape for the entire school year with the season starting in the fall, conditioning in the winter, and the season returning in the spring. In preparation for the spring season, indoor competitions using rowing machines known as ergometers which measure the amount of energy that the rower is generating. Then, in the spring when the main season starts, the rowers may compete in “fours,” boats that hold five people, “eights,” boats that hold nine people, or double or single boats. Practice is held on the Allegheny River at the Millvale boathouse of Three Rivers Rowing Association. The 2012 North Allegheny (NA) High School Rowing Championships was just one of the indoor rowing competitions in which the Fox Chapel Crew competed and was held at Marshall Middle School in Marshall Township. Besides Fox Chapel and NA, high school competitors included Allderdice, Hampton, North Catholic, Pine-Richland, Pittsburgh
“You see, it’s not about winning or losing. It’s about competition with yourself - going out there to do your very best, to give it your all, to have nothing left. It’s about supporting your teammates, pulling for them when you have all but lost faith in yourself. Crew is a sport that demands all of these things. It is not a sport of fame; it is not a sport of popularity. Rowing is above all that. Rowing is a sport of purity and strength, constantly made better by you and I.” – ANONYMOUS 54 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE
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Rowing Club, Shady Side Academy, Shaler, Three Rivers Rowing Association, Upper St. Clair and Winchester Thurston. The boys and girls both placed third in the race and the team placed second in combined results in the race. Chelsea Dzubak is the Fox Chapel Crew men’s head coach and talked about the benefits of joining crew. “Two years ago the men’s varsity rowers made it to Youth Nationals, which you have to be top in your region to attend,” said Ms. Dzubak. “We were top for the men’s light weight eight which is our big boat. If you attend this you compete against clubs and high schools all over the country and if you get first place you get to go to the Scholastic Nationals, where you also compete against all the high school teams in the country. We went to this two years in a row with only having 15 members, which means half of your team is competing and that is great. We need more kids to join to stay competitive.” Her husband, Craig Dzubak, is the men’s conditioning coach. “I’ve played all sports: football, hockey…and rowing is the most challenging,” said Mr. Dzubak. “It is a great team sport.” Fox Chapel Crew is a club sport associated with Fox Chapel Area High School. If you are a student who is interested in joining, or to find out more about rowing, visit the crew’s website at www.foxchapelcrew.org.
Photos by Gary Yon
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 55
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Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 57
Linda Donza of Salsa Ritmo
Bond Barbara York and James
International Food Festival
of Alba Flamenca
Boyd Community Center
Bringing Area Residents Together By Pamela Palongue
any townships and boroughs have community centers, but one thing that makes Boyd Community Center unique is that the staff really listens to what the people want. The classes and events that are scheduled have oftentimes started as suggestions from individuals or organizations in the community. For example, Gardenfest, held on May 12, was the suggestion of the Fox Chapel Garden Club whose members wanted to see a full-scale botanical festival held close to home. In its second year, it has already grown to include about 30 participants including the Woodland Garden Club, the Guyasuta Garden Club and the Perennial Garden Club. More than just a plant sale, Gardenfest included a Maypole for children’s dancing and educational activities and demonstrations on preserving the environment and sustainable living. Visitors were able to learn about composting, the use of rain barrels, beekeeping and what farmers markets are held in the area. The Woodland Garden Club sold its famous grilled cheese and mushroom
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sandwiches and the Cooper-Siegel Library participated by selling books on gardening. “We like to hold events that bring the entire community together,” says Stephanie Flom, executive director of the Boyd Community Center. “Our first International Food Festival was attended by a great diversity of ages and hopefully helped to expand the vision of our community.” The food festival, held on April 15, was attended by over 200 people and included Italian, Middle Eastern, Portuguese, Argentinean and Indian food. Participants were able to sample hummus, stuffed artichokes, empanadas, vegetable samosa and potato gnocchi all in the same day! Guests were also entertained with dance demonstrations by Barbara York who is an instructor of Flamenco dancing and Linda Donza who demonstrated indigenous Columbian dance. “We want people to explore and discover different things; this event was a treat for all the senses,” adds Flom. Boyd Community Center becomes a bustling beehive of activity in the summer, offering one-week summer camps for kids and workshops and classes for adults. “We listen to
what people request and what they have an interest in when scheduling the classes,” explains Flom. Adults will be able to take classes in Zumba, Pilates, Yoga and meditation as well as many others. Flom says that food-related classes have been very popular lately so those will be offered again. The summer camps for children are offered in a wide variety including the Harry Potter camp, and this year a Jedi camp has been added due to several requests from parents. The summer camps are Monday through Friday and last an hour and a half for preschool children and three hours for school-age children. There are camps for band, writing, dance, robotics, acting and many, many other genres. These classes help foster confidence in children and could even possibly lead to a career. “I think one thing that distinguishes our community center from any others is the level of instruction that we are able to provide in all our classes. The quality of our instructors is very high,” says Flom. This year, the community center will be partnering with the Guyasuta Boy Scout Camp to offer classes that will be of interest to teens.
New construction will give the community center even more space and efficiency in serving the residents. It will begin in late 2012 and will be accomplished in two phases. The first phase will include an expanded gymnasium, classrooms, a fitness center, dance studio and art studios. “We’re designing the rooms to be as flexible as possible for smaller or larger groups,” says Flom. The partitions between classrooms, for example, will be able to open to accommodate larger groups or close off for smaller ones. This will make the space as functional as possible. Flom also says that the second phase of construction will include a long-awaited indoor swimming pool. “We’re just so grateful for the continued support we get from our volunteers and community,” she adds.
“We like to hold events that bring the entire community together.” – Stephanie Flom, executive director of the Boyd Community Center
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 59
Better Health for a Better
r. David Milliron’s practice is focused on promoting better health through prevention and effective treatment delivered with a caring attitude. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, Dr. David uses a variety of cutting edge techniques to alleviate pain and increase mobility. As clinic director of Newman Chiropractic Center, Dr. David has successfully implemented a relatively new treatment called Pain Neutralization Technique. It is designed to melt away muscle tension and trigger points. Dr. David also utilizes sacro-occipital technique to balance the pelvis and hips. These methods are used in combination with spinal adjustments and corrective exercises to help improve posture and reduce pain. Dr. David’s technique helps to re-align the spinal column with pinpoint accuracy. The Pittsburgh native returned to the area in order to be closer to friends and family and to work with Dr. Lee Newman. Although he
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
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enjoyed his experience of helping patients of all ages in Louisville, Kentucky, there simply is no place like home. Dr. David’s primary focus is the comfort and support of his patients. Re-aligning joints and relieving stress on muscle tissue shouldn’t have to hurt. When it’s done properly it will result in a better quality of life with less pain and more enjoyment of daily activities. Dr. David has helped hundreds of patients recover from whiplash injuries resulting from car accidents. He also has extensive experience in sports-related injuries, having served as the Ohio Valley Wrestling team chiropractor for six years. His comprehensive level of care includes the presentation of monthly health lectures which educate patients on recovering from injuries more quickly and maintaining optimal health. Organic methods such as yoga for increasing strength and flexibility and practical approaches to proper nutrition are covered during these discussions. Patients can also receive x-rays on site when necessary and a massage therapist is available by appointment. Saturday hours are available to accommodate those patients with busy schedules. For more information on Newman Chiropractic or Dr. David Milliron, please visit the website at www.newmanchiropractic.com.
Dr. David Milliron Newman Chiropractic O’Hara Twp. Office 50 Freeport Road, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15215 (412) 781-5040
Fox Chapel Drama Society to Present “The Odd Couple” By Pamela Palongue
he Fox Chapel Drama Society will present “The Odd Couple,” directed by Fox Chapel junior Shay GuthrieBelajac. A.J. Golio will star as the lovable slob Oscar, and Dan Krackhardt will portray the obsessively neat Felix. The comedy will be presented on May 31, June 1 and June 2 with all performances beginning at 7 p.m. The entire production is the work of the high school students. Guthrie-Belajac notes, “We really work hard and depend on each other to make the production a success.” The hilariously funny Neil Simon comedy first premiered on Broadway in 1965 and was soon followed by an Oscar-nominated film of the same name in 1968 and finally a weekly TV series in 1970. This classic should be a fun evening for the whole family. All performances will take place at the Fox Chapel High School auditorium. Tickets will be available at the door for $7.
Love the Library
he third annual Love the Library event was held on Saturday, April 28, at the Pittsburgh Field Club. The highlight of the evening was a keynote address by Rick Sebak, a producer with WQED known for interesting documentaries on little-known facts about Pittsburgh. Sebak’s address was preceded by dinner and cocktails. Fox Chapel Borough President, Nate Parker, who served from 1994 to 2011, was also honored at the event for his dedication to the community and untiring support of the library. The event raised $37,000 to help support the Cooper-Siegel Library which serves the boroughs of Aspinwall, Blawnox, Fox Chapel, Indiana, O’Hara and Sharpsburg.
EISENBEIS LECTURE SERIES AT UPMC ST. MARGARET PRESENTS
Living Healthy with Arthritis: Frontiers in Joint Preservation
ponsored by St. Margaret Foundation and UPMC St. Margaret, a free presentation, “Living Healthy with Arthritis: Frontiers in Joint Preservation,” will be held Wednesday, May 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at UPMC St. Margaret, Conference Centers A, B and C, 815 Freeport Road. UPMC St. Margaret orthopaedic surgeons, Alex J. Kline, MD, Three Rivers Orthopedics Associates-UPMC and Craig S. Mauro, MD, Burke & Bradley Orthopedics, will discuss the latest arthroscopic treatments for hip preservation and breakthrough surgical techniques for foot and ankle arthritis. Thaddeus A. Osial Jr., MD, rheumatologist, Margolis Rheumatology AssociatesUPMC, will provide introductory remarks. The Eisenbeis Lecture Series is an educational program funded in memory of Carl H. Eisenbeis, Jr., MD, and made possible through his family’s donations to the St. Margaret Foundation.
Dr. Eisenbeis served on the board of St. Margaret Memorial Hospital for 35 years and was actively involved in fundraising efforts. Specializing in rheumatology, he played a key role in the hospital’s relocation from Lawrenceville to its current location near Aspinwall and was a member of the new hospital committee. Dr. Eisenbeis helped to establish the hospital’s Rehabilitation Department, as well as its Doris Palmer Arthritis Center, where he spent most of his career. Parking will be validated and light refreshments will be served. Reservations are required. To make a reservation, call 1-866-939-RSVP (7787). UPMC St. Margaret is a 249-bed acute care and accredited teaching hospital located near Aspinwall that has been granted Magnet status, the highest international recognition for nursing excellence and leadership. With renewed dedication to more than 250,000 residents of northeastern Allegheny County and the Alle-Kiski Valley, UPMC St. Margaret provides residents convenient access to the area’s finest physicians and health care services. Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 61
! n e d r a G m
a g n i w o r G
a e r D
by Kathy Rudolph
day full of garden inspiration, hosted by Penn State Extension and Phipps Conservatory, gave 210 gardeners at every skill level plenty of ideas and solutions at the Western Pennsylvania Garden and Landscape Symposium. For 18 years the educational conference, held at Hillman Center at Shadyside Academy, has brought gardeners together to discuss their thoughts and exchange ideas. “Forgotten Elements of Good Design,” “Using Edibles in Landscapes” and “Scrubs for All Seasons” were just some of the many programs taught by award-winning speakers including Kirk Brown, Ruth Rogers Clausen, Dan Hinkley and Barbara Pleasant. “I think it is a great partnership with Penn State, Phipps Conservatory and Shadyside Academy and a great way to promote local vendors and bring the community together,” said Nancy Knauss, event organizer and horticulture/master gardener coordinator at Penn State Extension. “We plan the symposium based on what people recommend on evaluations that they complete each year. People know what they like and we want to provide that for them.” A marketplace, located in the ice rink and open to the public, gave shoppers an opportunity to purchase a wide variety of plants, flowers and decorative garden accents from over 30 local vendors. If there was no time to attend the symposium, “Ten-Minute Tips” by vendors on subjects including “Growing Potatoes,” “Curb Appeal - What Not to Do” and “Rain Gardens” were offered to shoppers. “It is a great opportunity to mix education with purchasing plants,” said Gabe Tilove, adult education coordinator at Phipps Conservatory, who assisted in organizing the event. “You get to expose yourself to some incredible, highly regarded speakers from across the country and see all of the different vendors and experts all in one place.” To learn more about upcoming events at Penn State Extension, please visit the website at extension.psu. edu. To find out more about upcoming events at Phipps Conservatory, visit phipps.conservatory.org.
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Organize rs Gab and Nanc e Tilove of Phipps y Knauss Conserva tory of Penn S tate Exten sion
verde Morgan Monte
Jim Kalka of Penn State Master Gardeners of Allegheny County
State Master Eric Priebe of Penn gheny County Gardeners of Alle
Judy Diorio and Nancy Presto
Lauren Messn er
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 63
t won’t be long before crowds converge on Fox Chapel Golf Club for the PGA Tour’s Constellation Senior Players Championship tournament. For the past five years, the event has been played in the fall, but this year the PGA has decided to move the event to mid-summer. Slated for June 26-July 1, the tournament is expected to draw thousands of spectators but impact to the borough itself should be relatively minor, according to Gary Koehler, borough manager. Financial impact to the region, however, is expected to be significant, especially for the hospitality industry. Because Fox Chapel Road actually bisects the course, traffic in the area will be detoured. But, Koehler says, residents of the area will be able to get to their homes. “The borough’s concern is public safety,” says Koehler. He said officials will make certain that anything that is constructed for the tournament – such as grandstands and hospitality areas at the
site – will be in compliance with the borough’s codes to ensure safety. Borough Police Chief David Laux explains that Fox Chapel Road will be closed completely between Squaw Run Road east (near the “Y”) and Indian Hill Road. Vehicles traveling north on Fox Chapel Road and residents up to Indian Hill Road will be unaffected. Vehicles traveling southbound on Fox Chapel Road to the turn near Fairview Road will be detoured onto Powers Run Road, then right onto Field Club Road near the borough building, then left onto Fox Chapel Road, the police chief explains. A secondary route, although not recommended because it is nearly three-quarters of a mile longer, is to turn right onto Powers Run Road, staying straight onto Squaw Run Road east, then left onto Squaw Run Road. Detours will be posted well in advance, says Laux. Although the tournament is expected to draw nearly 7,000 people, he says that is nowhere near the number that converged upon Oakmont for the U.S. Open. “We have been working closely with the PGA and the Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services to try to reduce inconvenience to residents as much as
possible,” says Laux. “We are always aware that we have to make sure the needs of the community are met.” He also added that emergency responders have been made aware of the detours to ensure that response times will not be adversely affected. Exact daily times for the detours have not yet been finalized, but the police chief anticipates that portions of the road will be closed for about 14 hours each day of the tournament. The tournament is a charitable event. The Constellation Senior Players Championship has generated more than $8 million for charity since 1992, according to the PGA Tour website. Proceeds from this year’s event benefit The First Tee national organization and The First Tee of Pittsburgh. The First Tee of Pittsburgh’s stated mission is “to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” General event parking for the tournament will be available at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills, according to the PGA Tour’s website.
PGA Tour Stops at
Fox Chapel Golf Club by Dana Black McGrath
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Shuttle buses will transport spectators from the mall parking lot to the main tournament entrance at Fox Chapel Golf Club. Parking and shuttle transportation are provided free of charge. Tickets for the event already are on sale. According to the tourâ€™s website, spectators age 18 and younger receive complimentary grounds admission provided by support from Sargent & Lundy, LLC. There also are special offers for those serving in the military. Active duty, retired and reserve military personnel and their dependents receive complimentary admission throughout the tournament week. Tickets for veterans will become available in May. For more information, visit www.birdiesforthebrave.org to download tickets. Veterans may obtain a complimentary ticket from http://vettix. org. In order for individuals to purchase tickets for the event, please visit the website at www.pgatour.com.
Do you rely on public transportation? Sometimes
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 65
Keep your financial safety net intact
e’re all trying to reduce costs these days, but we need to be careful how we achieve those cost savings. When it comes to insurance, you could be jeopardizing your finances and risking exposure by reducing your coverage. Here’s how it could backfire in these important areas:
• Auto liability. You may be tempted to cut your auto liability coverage to the minimum limits required by our state. However, accidents often cost much more than required minimum limits. If you’re sued because of your involvement in an accident, could you pay the extra costs not covered by your auto policy? • Strategic action: Get a discount from Farmers by signing up for automatic bill payment through Farmers Electronic Funds Transfer [EFT]. Contact me to sign up or go to www.shoemakeragency.com. • Homeowner’s coverage. If your home’s real estate value has fallen in recent years, don’t assume you can now reduce your insurance coverage. Your coverage is designed to help cover the costs of rebuilding your home. Rebuilding costs are not the same as market value; so even if your home’s market value has dropped, rebuilding costs may not be lower in our area. Strategic action: Farmers rewards customers who have more than one type of policy through Farmers. For example, you may qualify for multi-line discounts if you add an auto or life policy to your existing homeowner’s coverage. Or think about raising your deductible to lower your premium costs—of course, this assumes you have funds set aside to pay any out-of-pocket expenses. • Life insurance. If anything happens to you, your loved ones could be hit doubly hard in today’s struggling economy if they don’t have your life insurance benefits to fall back on. Without those benefits, could your family pay the mortgage, car loans and other expenses of daily life? Strategic action: If you haven’t reviewed your life insurance coverage lately, give me a call. Farmers has policies that may offer the coverage you want at a lower cost. Get maximum value for your insurance dollars and keep your safety net intact. Please contact me for a free Farmers Friendly Review® so you can look at your coverage options and identify ways to help save money. This Industry Insight was written by Jason Shoemaker, Jason Shoemaker Agency of Farmers Insurance. 3041 Freeport Rd., Natrona Heights, PA 15065-1909 724.895.3515 www.farmersagent.com/jshoemaker www.shoemakeragency.com
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Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 67
Audubon Society to host…
W e h t n i t h g i N A tting event is really about ge major fundraisers, this can e loring what natur by Matthew J. Fascetti people outside and exp we want people to be n bo bring them. At Audu nia lva or nsy Pen rn ste We d Rachel Handel, direct he Audubon Society of at one with nature,” sai in ht of nig ty “a cie nt, So n eve the Audubo will be hosting its annual of communications for rth wood Farms Nature ech Be at “Audubon is a cause wo ia. S,” van OD syl WO nn the Western Pe on l es erv ape Ch res ee Fox thr in s ad ha ] Ro d. “[It Reserve on Dorseyville supporting,” she adde e 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Proceeds m allow people to explor fro t 23, tha e blic Jun , pu day the tur to Sa en op ’s on ann ing Sh ciety as well as tural world. Support benefit the Audubon So and escape into the na p cam r me sum es vid tinue building upon the pro Camp Fund, which dubon allows us to con Au r fou the In s. vileged kid g people to nature.” scholarships to underpri momentum of connectin ed, nd fou s wa d Camp Fun d, “Look deep into years since Shannon’s Albert Einstein once sai . helped derstand everything 250 children have been nature, then you will un the in ht nig a nt, eve e Society of Western As Audubon’s signatur better.” The Audubon d as an ties tivi fes of nty tainly agree with that, WOODS will feature ple Pennsylvania would cer and rn es, ste ag we ver of be le d, op foo pe be l the g attractions. “There wil its mission is connectin h Brew Works, Soloman and nature through ds bir h wit ia van syl beer provided by Churc Penn d we an , rm rfo pe l ces. The society is wil pla nd d ba Steel Pan Drum grams, projects an pro be l wil t tha installation vironmental education will have a one-day art the premier nonprofit en ns atio rel y nit mu an, com estern Pennsylvania. featured,” said Jen Zaltm organization in southw e rn ste We of ty n Socie Beechwood Farms Natur director for the Audubo Audubon’s locations at r. ise dra in fun ve ser the Re of e on tur ers irp Todd Na Pennsylvania and a cha Reserve in Fox Chapel, e a silent auction and tur rvancy in Butler boast fea nse o Co als p l cco wil nt Su d eve The Sarver an alized fin ing be l stil s wa of hiking trails, h les a signature drink (whic lush, natural acreage, mi was the nk dri r’s yea t grams and the las pro n); at time of publicatio educational and outreach nts. Pla tive Na bon Center for Hootini. and I can’t wait Audu ht nig dubon was simply at Au gre rs a yea be to for 6, “This is going Founded in 191 y up ver d rke wo all chairs. We ed souls. In 1942 the gro to enjoy it with my coa gathering of like-mind ” er, eth de tog Cly nt E. W. eve t the gis t to pu ornitholo closely with each other became land owners as ersons for the event irp cha for his family’s beloved coker e eta Th . car an a t ltm gh said Za Todd sou am gh Rin cca be Re , Audubon agreed rth ha . Then in the late 1970s rty are Libby Culbertson Ern pe pro jor ma e Nature Reserve in rkins Stallings. Th e on Beechwood Farms Myerburg and Sarah Pe tak to nk Ba C PN , are BNY Mellon vironmental education sponsors for the event x Chapel to provide en Fo 250 ty ly ate xim otive. Appro wed the Audubon Socie and #1 Cochran Autom to the region. This allo in r de lea a attend. ia to become people are expected to of Western Pennsylvan ole family, as wh the for ion. fun vat be l ser wil con l The event environmenta en space for children op of want to give back, d nty an ple e be tur o na als l joy there wil If you en nd rou erG cov Dis the in e WOODS are $125 per to play and enjoy natur tickets for a night in the ment tain ter en d an line at aswp.org fun the d can be purchased on an n play area. Even beyond rso pe r re is a much simple 100. the night provides, the or by calling 412.963.6 year’s the of e on ing be to ion message. “In addit
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“Look deep into nature, then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 69
“Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water and one-fourth is land; it is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.” – Chuck Clark
Fishing off the Pier
by Pamela Palongue
reat things usually begin with a great idea. And the new fishing pier at 13th Street was just an idea that started with then Sharpsburg councilman Larry Stelitano a few years ago. The retired Sharpsburg policeman casually mentioned to one of his fellow borough employees, “You ought to apply for a grant to build a pier,” never thinking for a minute that the grant would be awarded.
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However, as if almost by miracle, the borough was awarded a sizable grant from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The grant money was like adding a spark to dried kindling. Once the idea became a real possibility, everyone got on board with the plan. More money came in the form of grants from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Port of Pittsburgh and a Community Development Block Grant. Volunteer labor was recruited from the Pittsburgh Job Corps, a group that trains young people to help them become more employable. “The kids actually built that pier,” says Stelitano, who watched them mature as the project progressed and they learned how to operate machinery and heavy equipment. “Those kids walked out of here ready to go to work, fully trained,” he says. “It was a very worthwhile experience for me and for the kids.” The fishing pier took approximately four years to build, but according to Stelitano, it was worth every day spent. “It was like planting a seed and getting to watch it bloom.” Though Stelitano’s term as a councilman had ended, he stayed on as a consultant on a volunteer basis to oversee the work.
The pier extends about 30 feet out into the water and is handicapped accessible. There are two well-lit pavilions of steel construction which can be rented for picnics or celebrations by calling the borough office and there is a kayak launch. According to Stelitano, walleye, catfish and bass may be caught by fishing off of the pier, just to name a few. Visitors might see beavers, muskrats, blue herons, ducks and geese on any given day. “It’s probably the largest free parking and boat launch in Allegheny County,” he adds. As with many other public facilities across the country, there have been minor problems with vandalism, which raises the ire of the former law enforcement official. “We’re having cameras installed very soon which should deter that sort of thing from happening.” Stelitano goes down to the pier every day just to check on things and still marvels at the realization of what began as just an idea he had in his head a few years ago. “You can come here and feel like you’re out in the country somewhere, but you’re right here in town. People should come down and see what we’ve got.” Fishing is quite clearly not just about catching fish. It’s about engaging in an activity that is as enjoyable in solitude as it is with the whole family. It can be fun or frustrating, disappointing or exhilarating. But however the day turns out, it’s always much better than if you had just stayed home. The lawn will still be there when you get back.
Fox Chapel Area | Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 71
by Jamie Dillon and Kate Hardiman
What does one degree of change mean to you?
ne Degree of Change is the theme for the 2012 St. Scholastica Youth Ministry Appalachia Mission Trip. We believe that one degree, or even the smallest change, can lead to bigger positive changes… so just one degree of change can make all the difference. For the 70 teens and adults from St. Scholastica who will be going to Appalachia, W.Va., this summer it might be a new porch, a painted house, or simply the company of a smiling person. The faith-filled teens and adults who embark on this trip affect everyone with whom they interact. The relationships nurtured in Appalachia between the families in need and the St. Scholastica parishioners are irreplaceable. Their presence makes an incredible difference in the lives of the sick, the impoverished, and the downtrodden… as well as back home here in Fox Chapel School District! In fact one parent said after her husband
and daughter joined the trip nine years ago, “My family is different… in a really great way!” The entire family has been participating ever since. The Appalachia mission trip is simply an extension of the outreach of the St. Scholastica Youth Ministry. Throughout the year, middle school and high school youth work with Habitat for Humanity, Family House, the veterans’ hospital and other organizations in our area. This Appalachia mission trip is one week in the summer for our ministry to step outside of its comfort zone and work in a place which is in dire need of our assistance. Participants in the trip raise money through hoagie and pie sales, a 5K family fun run/walk and donations to pay for transportation, food and building supplies. Youth Minister Jamie Dillon tells the participants, “Don’t let what goes on in Appalachia stay in Appalachia. Take it with you. Let it change you…” even if it is only by one degree.
Houses of Worship Places of Worship in your area: Adat Shalom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.820.7000
Harmarville United Presbyterian . . . . .412.828.8232
All Saints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.781.0530
Hoboken Presbyterian Church . . . . . . 412.828.2611
Aspinwall Presbyterian . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.781.2884
Holy Spirit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.821.4424
Chabad of Fox Chapel . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.781.1800
Immanuel Lutheran Church . . . . . . . . .412.271.1995
Catholic Community Sharpsburg . . . . . .412.784.8700
Mt. Olive Baptist Church . . . . . . . . . . . .412.781.5554
Christ The Divine Teacher
Pine Creek Presbyterian Church . . . . .412.963.7868
Catholic Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.781.7927 Community United
Sharpsburg Family Worship Center . .412.799.0701 St. Joseph O’Hara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.963.8885
Methodist Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.781.6951
St. Mary of Assumption . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.486.4100
Dorseyville Alliance Church . . . . . . . . .412.767.4600
St. Mary’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.781.2866
Emmanuel Lutheran Church . . . . . . . .412.781.2764
St. Nicholas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.821.3438
Evangelical Bible Fellowship . . . . . . . .412.726.6684
St. Scholastica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.781.0186
Faith United Methodist Church . . . . . .412.963.8155
St. Edward Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.828.4066
First English Lutheran Church . . . . . . .412.782.1623
St. Francis of Assisi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.828.4066
Fox Chapel Episcopal Church . . . . . . . .412.963.8938
St. Juan Diego . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.784.8700
Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church . . . . .412.963.8243
Trinity United Church of Christ . . . . . . .412.767.4794
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church . . . .412.963.9494 Grace United Methodist Church . . . . .412.782.3396 Harmarville United Methodist . . . . . . .412.828.0292
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If your place of worship was not on our list, please e-mail the information to p.palongue@ incommunitymagazines.com.
Fox Chapel Area
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