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SPRING 2011

COMMUNITY MAGAZINE

Hometown Football Recruits!

More McKeesport Area News Inside


Contents McKeesport | Spring 2011 |

SPRING 2011

H ealth and W ellness N ews Y ou Can Use

What’s Inside page 2

8 ©

2011 UPMC

B rea th e E a sy — Don’t Snore Y our L ife A way

21 page 3

F rom G u t- W ren ch i n g Pa i n to H ope f or th e F u tu re S tom a ch a ch es: W h en to W orry

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G ood N i g h t, S l eep T i g h t! A re Y ou A l l erg i c to Y ou r B ed

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UPMC H ea l th T ra k L ets Y ou Ma n a g e Y ou r H ea l th Ca re O n l i n e

page 6

Posttra u m a ti c S tress D i sord er C ould I t H appen to Y ou?

page 7

Meet O u r Ph y si ci a n s F ree V a scu l a r S creen i n g

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46

Publisher’s Message | 2 FEATURES

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IN Kids | 13

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Real Estate | 19

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UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use | 21

COMMUNITY INTEREST

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Wedding Etiquette for the Socially Inept | 48

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McKeesport City News | 3

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100-Year-Old Flag at Game | 11

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New Fire Rescue Boat | 12

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Greetings from State Representative Marc Gergely | 17

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McKeesport Area Military Heroes | 18

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McKeesport Area School District News | 29

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Older Adults in McKeesport | 46 Good Tidings for the Greatest Generation

ON THE COVER

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McKeesport Area High School Football Recruits

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 1


SPRING 2011 Welcome to the spring issue of McK eesport Area Magaz ine. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, and fun. Typically, I use this space to talk about your community or features in the magaz ine that spotlight the people in your community who are doing wonderful things. Well, this time I want to update you regarding our newest feature for 2 “ ” ” — our new website. Without venturing too far into the realm of shameless selfpromotion, I want to emphasiz e that this website is something for you, our readers. How so? Well, you can have input and help shape the website just like your ideas help shape your magaz ine. Now you have a place to list all of the nonprofit community organiz ations that are active in the community. We are also developing pages where we list the local houses of worship. In addition, we now offer every magaz ine in a fully downloadable P DF format, rather than the outdated flipbook format we used to have. This will allow you to send the magaz ine, or links to it, to friends and family both near and far. We tied our website into F acebook as well, not to get the biggest list of “friends” we could get but to have a place to keep our readers abreast of all the news we get between issues. It also gives us a place to upload all the photos from community events that we don’t have room for in the magaz ine. As with all things, there’s always room for improvement, but we always have open ears. If you have comments about our new website or want to see your organiz ation listed, e-mail mark@ incommunitymagaz ines.com with your link or feedback. There’s no charge for listing your church, synagogue, or scout troop’s link, so send your links in todayj And if you happen to be on F acebook and like what you see in the magaz ine, don’t hesitate to click that “L ike” button. It’s always nice to be likedj I hope you have a wonderful springj

IN McKeesport Area is a non-partisan community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the McKeesport area and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PUBLISHER

Wayne Dollard AS S I STA N T TO T H E P U B L I S H E R

Mark Berton mark@incommunitymagazines.com M A N AG I N G E D I TO R

Marybeth Jeffries marybeth@incommunitymagazines.com O F F I C E M A N AG E R

Leo Vighetti leo@incommunitymagazines.com E D I TO R I A L AS S I STA N T

Jamie Ward j.ward@incommunitymagazines.com WRITERS

Jonathan Barnes Kelli McElhinny

Pamela Palongue

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Cassie Brkich Anna Buzzelli Susie Doak Pati Ingold

Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda Tracey Wasilco

P H OTO G R A P H E R S

Rebecca Bailey Garyyonphotography.com One Way Street Productions

Wayne Dollard Publisher

A DV E RT I S I N G S A L E S

When I think about spring, I can’t help but think about light. The days get “lighter,” and the sun stays with us a little longer each day. When we have a great idea, a light bulb goes off in our minds. At McK eesport Area Magaz ine, we try to spotlight our communities. What are you doing to be a “light”? If you or an organiz ation that you volunteer or work for is a light in the community, will you let me know? So many good deeds are left unsungj If you have a family member who is in the armed forces, or if your church group, Mom or Dad are providing a service to someone in need, we want to knowj P lease e-mail your ideas and photos to me at Marybeth@ incommunitymagaz ines.com. As we look forward to warmer and brighter days ahead, I hope you will enjoy this edition of McK eesport Area Magaz inej

Marybeth Jeffries Managing Editor

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."

Nicholas Buzzell Brian Daley Gina D’Alicandro Tina Dollard Rose Estes Jason Huffman Jessie Jones Connie McDaniel Brian McKee

David Mitchell Tamara Myers Gabriel Negri Robert Ojeda Annette Petrone Vincent Sabatini Michael Silvert RJ Vighetti

This magazine is carrier route mailed to all district households and businesses. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Copyright 2011. CORRESPONDENCE All inquiries, comments and press releases should be directed to: IN Community Magazines Attn: Editorial 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 Ph: 724.942.0940 Fax: 724.942.0968

Summer content deadline: April 21, 2011 www.incommunitymagazines.com

–C harles Dickens Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it. 2 724.942.0940 to advertise |

McKeesport Area


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Mayor’s Corner REG

IS T. MCL AU G HL IN

hile our City may be but a microcosim of the economic and social strata that emanates from Washington, D.C.; Harrisburg, and Allegheny County, McK eesport is fortunate to be blessed with the resources and human capital to be at the forefront to implement change. The key element to our success will be forged by our ability to broker the compromise of interests from our publicyprivate diversity and measured by our ability to achieve this goal with civility. F or government to be able to provide basic services to the residents and business community of McK eesport, the City must address the ever spiraling cost(s) of health care and pensions for its employees. Without the ability to underwrite these increases, the City cannot sustain the litany of expectations for homeowners, businesses and employees alike. Therefore the first objective our City will seek to achieve is the role of a catalyst to maintain and expand job opportunities. The location of U .S. G reen “There will be Energy, a new manufacturing facility of solar panels at the Industrial Center of affordable houses McK eesport (the former U SX National Tube Site) is but one example of this within five strategy. An article detailing this company is chronicled further in this monthps issue of IN McKEESPORT Area. This business story represents the synergy of minutes of new brownfield remediation in concert with the Regional Industrial Corporation (RIDC) job opportunity.” and the construction of the fly-over ramp with P ennDot to create the unimpeded access necessary for workers and employees of this new firm, which is expected to employ 2 2 5 men and women. As such, this will expand both our job base and our tax base. The construction of new buildings and establishing new jobs, however, is not an end unto itself. The second objective will be to link these jobs to local employees. As such, this may req uire networking with our excellent educationalytraining system in preparing and continuing to prepare our young people for these career paths. It will entail a coordinated academic and vo-technical curriculum through the McK eesport Area School District. It will also req uire a networking with institutions of higher education, as well, like Allegheny County Community College and P enn State U niversity. It will req uire 2” st-century teaching and adult re-training. McK eesport is postured to be the template to achieve this end. The third objective will be to offer both homes and shopping opportunities for local employers and their employees. L ocal fledgling research and development companies like B lueroof Technologies are homegrown examples of what can and is occurring right in our own backyard. Their story is also described in greater detail in this monthps issue. Moreover, McK eesport can engage agencies like the McK eesport Neighborhood Initiative and McK eesport Housing Corporation, which have collectively not only built both new intracity subdivisions on the former Reservoir Site and Menz ie Dairy Site respectively, but also sponsored a thriving rehabilitation program to maintain the integrity of our existing housing stock. There will be affordable houses within five minutes of new job opportunity. Our goal will be to work together– business and industry, employers and employees, educators and students, homeowners and developers– to make the McK eesport of today and the City of tomorrow the destination point of choice for the Mon Valley and the region we represent. I look forward to working with you to help make this goal a realityj

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McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 3


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roof By Jamie Ward

hen John Bertoty and Bob Walters started Blueroof Technologies nine years ago, they wanted to build a new type of home in McKeesport—one that was accessible, smart, affordable, and sustainable.

Blueroof Technologies is a non-profit organization situated in downtown McKeesport. They use Senior Smart Technology to help older adults improve their quality of life. Bertoty was a former principal at McKeesport High School. His partner, Bob Walters, was an engineering professor at Penn State. The two of them worked with developing partners Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, St. Francis University, Drexel University, and Bosch North America to get the project off the ground. Bertoty and Walters were two of the founding members of the Quality of Life Technology (QOLT) Center at CMU and Pitt. The QOLT is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center whose mission is to transform lives in a large and growing segment of the population—people with reduced functional capabilities due to aging or disability. In the spring of 2005, Blueroof built a “smart cottage,” which is considered a Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center. The cottage, at their headquarters on Spring Street, is powered by a computer and retrofitted with cameras, sensors, and loads of wireless technology that helps seniors live safely and independently.

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McKeesport Area


“We do a lot of focus groups with older adults and their number one concern is safety and security,” says Bertoty. “Our system is built around a very robust security system.” All of Blueroof's homes include wired windows and doors. When you walk into the smart cottage, you are greeted by Amy, the voice of the house’s security system. Amy's voice can be heard throughout the house when doors and cabinets open, appliances and other household items turn on, and with helpful reminders to the resident.

     

Every part of the house is filled with sensors that monitor the senior's daily living activities. This way, even the smallest movements and rituals are recorded, allowing researchers at Blueroof to keep record of that data. The smart cottage also features a zero-step entrance and sun-clean windows with nano-material coating that never have to be cleaned. Blueroof built its second home, the Blueroof Research Cottage (BRC), a block away from the smart cottage, and currently has two disabled adults living there. This is the second residence in the organization’s McKeesport Independence Zone or McKIZ. McKIZ will consist of 15 research cottages on a 10-acre “aware” integrated community, with the smart cottage at the center point.

—John Bertoty

They have also built four assisted-living facilities around the city, using whatever technology is necessary to satisfy their care plan. “The facility decides what the needs are, and we decide what technology can help serve those needs,” says Bertoty. In addition to all of this Smart Senior Technology, Blueroof uses “green” technology to make each of its structures very energy efficient. Despite each house being totally electric, they also contain pre-passed, high-density, steelreinforced waterproof foundations, along with a deepwell geothermal heat pump system for HVAC, and a highefficiency 40-gallon electric hot water tank.

According to Blueroof, all homes will include a Blueroof Technology System that monitors, measures, and communicates data of the physical well being of the tenants, energy usage, and medical condition of the residents.

The future for Blueroof Technologies looks bright. The organization has been in talks with Virginia-based US Green Energy (USGE) Corp., who is coming to McKeesport next year. Through USGE, Blueroof plans to utilize revolutionary solar technology that allows the whole house to act as a solar collector.

Blueroof Independence Modules are smaller modular homes that can be attached to any of the other BRCs and enable a severely handicapped individual to remain at home with family while rehabilitation takes place, but also be monitored constantly.

“General Electric targets net-zero-energy homes by 2015,” says Walters. “Blue Roof builds it in 2011.” For more information visit www.bluerooftechnoligies.com

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 5


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U.S. Green Energy to Bring Hundreds of Jobs to McKeesport

By Jamie Ward

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irginia-based solar manufacturing company U.S. Green Energy Corporation (USGE) is coming to McKeesport and bringing hundreds of “green” jobs with it. USGE plans to build a solar roofing materials manufacturing facility in McKeesport Industrial Park. The company is presently negotiating with the developer and expects for the building to be completed by the end of the year. The project has been partially supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA). USGE Vice President Bob Bennett has been in the solar industry for 15 years but was fed up with the unchanging market. “The solar market is doing things the same way they were 40 years ago,” says Bennett. “We said, this isn't going to work. Once the incentives go away, so will the technology, if something doesn't change.” In 2009, Bennett started USGE and set out to change the way the solar market operated. “If you look at solar installation, the solar itself only costs about 15%. The rest of the cost comes from the installation.” Bennett decided the best way to make a true reduction in the cost of solar was to reduce that other 85%. His solution was to make solar that any ordinary contractor could install, without a specialist. “The only way that solar is going to survive is if it’s affordable to large selection of population. So we change the way it’s put together, make it actually part of the building so that we eliminate instillation and labor costs,” says Bennett. “That's the thrust behind all of our products.” USGE went into production in March of 2010. They manufacture roofing materials but also a variety of products in various stages of design and certification that are integrated directly into the building itself, all solarized. Their full range of products includes slate, shingles, siding, walls, and windows, all in various stages. The company has been working with McKeesport-based Blue Roof Technologies to come up with a siding product that will be incorporated into their buildings. The choice to move to Pittsburgh was a natural one for Bennett, a Pittsburgh native. “We were looking for a northeast operation, and Pennsylvania has a great work force and a lot of sub-suppliers.”

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Bennett says the building process in McKeesport is a great way for them to learn. “Many of the solar manufacturers don't use their own products, but we figured if we're going to talk the story we better show it,” he admits. “When we build with all of our own products, we can see what we need to make better on the next facility.” Their factory in Danville, Va., and the future McKeesport facility will both be powered, heated, and cooled by USGE solar products. The future of solar looks bright for USGE. “We have means to incorporate batteries directly into the product and also heat recovery to get the maximum use of energy,” says Bennett. The McKeesport facility is expected to be fully operational by March of 2012. Within three years Bennett expects to employ around 350 local residents. “It all depends on the market,” he admits. “Right now, that's where we see our growth. The market is there, it's just how our abilities will be able to serve the market.”

new eating establishment will be opening soon on Walnut. Chick’s Grill anticipates a late February or early March opening date at the end of Walnut Street in the old Tube City Café & Brewery building. The owners are excited about this opportunity to bring Quality Food and Fast, Friendly service to the McKeesport community and surrounding areas. Chick’s Grill can be described as a neighborhood grill and bar, featuring their “Almost world famous” chicken sandwiches and fresh-cut fries. The countless variety of specialty sauces will leave you wanting to return and try them all. Obviously, other choices will fill the menu so that all can enjoy – regardless of preference. Chick’s will consist of ownership that will be on site, cooking and serving, in order to give their customers the best possible experience. Whether enjoying a meal with family or friends, Chick’s will satisfy your appetite. Creating a great place to watch the game or having a simple beer or two after work, Chick’s wants to establish itself as the place to be for any occasion.

  Yes this phrase is bound to be part of the normal dialogue in and around the neighborhood if the owners of Chick’s Grill have anything to say about it!

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 7


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ick Jagger once sang, "Lose your dreams and you might lose your mind." For Jon H. Prince, those have been words to live by. He even has the lyrics on a sign over his desk. And by sticking to his dreams, Prince now owns the country's oldest candy wholesaler. It's the McKeesport Candy Company, where they like to say “the future of candy is rooted in the past.” Prince says it's a daily challenge to walk the fine line between yesterday and today, between maintaining the quality of the past while embracing the technology of the future. “Our past is a great place, and I don’t want to erase or regret it,” he says. “I also don't want to be held prisoner to it. It's about growing, adapting, and changing.” The McKeesport Candy Company has been around since 1927, founded by Ernest Prince, Jon's grandfather. Sinc e the beginning, it has operated on the principles of providing customers with the highest quality candy at reasonable prices with exceptional customer care. Throughout its success, the company has always held fast to those roots. Prince says they've combined those values with today's technology, creating one of the first candy-related websites on the Internet. That was in 1998 when candyfavorites.com was strictly an informational site. Twelve years later, Prince decided to turn the website into an online candy store. “At the time, we had two retail stores called Trifles, but we realized that the future of retail was not in the malls,” says Prince. “We were an old company and the retail stores weren't doing as well anymore. Operating in malls became the equivalent of David fighting Goliath, and there was no use complaining or holding onto the past.” Prince knew it was time to change gears, so he turned to online sales. “When we built the site, we didn't even have an Internet connection in the warehouse. We spent 10 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he says. But Prince wanted the website to be more than just a retail shop. While all of the other candy sites online were focused on money and sales, Prince was intent on creating a one-stop environment for people who loved candy. In addition to

By Jamie Ward

selling candy, the website included a huge section that deals with education and the history of candy, paying extensive tribute to its past. “People come to us to use as a resource,” says Prince. “We wanted to bridge the gap between commerce and education, and I think we did a fine job.” In the end, Prince's prediction of future sales coming online proved accurate. The company's two retail locations closed in early 2000s, but McKeesport Candy Company has lived on through the Worldwide Web. Also on the website is a candyfavorites.com blog, created as a forum where people could share ideas about candy that aren't entirely commercial. Prince describes its purpose as purely “edu-tainment.” Yet, beyond the sales and the success, Prince says the most rewarding part of it all is being able to keep a third-generation business, started by his grandfather, alive and maintaining jobs for more than 20 employees. “It really doesn’t get any better than that,” he admits, “and getting the opportunity to work with my father is surely an added bonus.” Despite being one of the most written about wholesale candy companies in the history of candy, Prince doesn't let any of it go to his head. "You don't take yourself too seriously when you sell Snickers bars and edible bugs, do you?" And there's no place he'd rather sell those edible bugs than McKeesport. “McKeesport is a good place. There's still reason to be here,” he says. “We've had many opportunities to move. We're a national company with global distribution. But when you take away everything, we're simply a company that was founded in 1927 on Fifth Avenue in McKeesport.” And as for the future of the company? "To be honest, sometimes I can't even see where the company is going in 10 minutes,” Prince admits. “I take each day as it comes.” And always remembering not to lose his dreams so he never loses his mind. For more information, visit www.candyfavorites.com.

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 9


Serving the Mon 

Serving The Mon Valley City of McKeesport

White Oak Borough

Borough of Dravosburg

500 Fifth Avenue McKeesport, PA 15132 412.675.5020 Fax: 412.675.5049 www.mckeesport.org Mayor: Regis McLaughlin

2280 Lincoln Way White Oak, PA 15131 412.672.9727 Fax: 412.672.0760 www.woboro.com Mayor Ina Jean Marton

226 Maple Avenue Dravosburg, PA 15034 412.466.5200 Fax: 412.466.6027 Mayor John Powell

Council: Michael Cherepko Richard Dellapenna Lorretta Diggs Dale McCall Darryl Segina Alfred Tedesco Jr. V. Fawn Walker

Council: Edward Babyak Charles Davis George Dillinger Ronald Massung David Pasternak Kenneth Robb Carrie Verbanick

Police Non Emergency Phone: 412.675.5050

Police Non Emergency Phone: 412.672.9727

Fire Department McKeesport Fire Fighters P.O. Box 15134 412.675.5021 or 412.675.5070

Fire Departments Rainbow Volunteer Fire Company 2916 Jacks Run Road White Oak, PA 15131 412.664.9523

McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service (MARS) Edwin Coulter, Chairman, McKeesport Ambulance Authority & Emergency Management Coordinator Emergency Phone: 911 Non Emergency Phone: 412.675.5076

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White Oak No. 1 Fire Company 1130 California Ave. White Oak, PA 15131 412.664.4822

McKeesport Area

Council: Jay McKelvey Michelle Vezzani William Snodgrass, Jr. Barbara Stevenson Greg Wilson South Versailles Township P.O. Box 66 Coulter, PA 15028 Township Secretary: Carla Barron Treasurer: Carol Haines Board of Commissioners: John Warabak William Haywood Edward Kulasa, Jr. Terry Payne David Stockett Versailles Borough 5100 Walnut Street McKeesport, PA 15132 412.751.3922 Fax: 412.751.4430 Mayor James Fleckenstein Joel Yeckel James Sheedy Cheryl D’Antonio Frank Bunda Anita Gricar


W 100 YearOld Flag, Breast Cancer Awareness Focal Points at McKeesportNorwin Game

hile there is an on-field rivalry between the Norwin Knights and the McKeesport Tigers, the teams from bordering communities and their fans came together to celebrate breast cancer awareness and veterans of the McKeesport Area School District. The two-fold event was staged by the Norwin Kastle Krew and Walter B. Yager,II, whose 100-year-old flag saw soldiers off as they rode the train to the battlefields of WWI. “The significance of the flag is the fact that I had two great grandfathers that participated in the Civil War,” Yager said. “One bought a piece of property adjacent to McKeesport and Norwin along the B&O Railroad tracks. In WWI, they hung this flag between two oak trees and saluted the troop trains. They did this for WWII as well. By that time, the GI’s were issued Zippo lighters. We’d put a bonfire in front of the flag to keep it lit and the soldiers would hang out of the train windows with their lit lighters and salute back.” Because of its age, the 12’x20’ flag has only 48 stars. It was originally flown on a property that is now the Versailles Boro Playground, which used to be the Norman King Sullivan homestead at 420 1st Street. Sullivan was a Civil War veteran. Yager’s father, Walter B. Yager, was killed in action as an 88th Division Blue Devil during a major attack on Nazi forces in Italy. He was a 1938 graduate of McKeesport High School. After the 50th anniversary commemoration of WWII at Pearl Harbor, the Yager family brought the historic flag out of storage and have been touring with it ever since, seen in locations such as local municipal flag poles, sporting events, and even at the National Football League Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Yager toured with the flag with his late son, Sean, who was active in Norwin’s track and field program and football. Sean’s Eagle Scout project was to create a tribute to Sam LaRosa and his 11 McKeesport Boy’s Club members killed in Vietnam over a 2 ½ -year period. The flag display was only one of two community services at the Oct. 15 football game. The Kastle Krew also orchestrated a “Pink Out” to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and support efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 11


McKeesport Gains New Fire Rescue Boat

he McKeesport Fire department has a brand new fire rescue boat. The addition of the 26-foot-long, 8 1/2-foot-wide boat will allow the department to patrol the rivers more easily. The former boat was purchased when the River Rescue Team was started in 1996 and was now obsolete. “Former Mayor Jim Brewster told us we could get a new rescue boat because our old one was in such bad shape” says Deputy Chief Chuck Margliotti, who had a hand in designing the new boat. “Once we figured out what our needs were, we were able to start looking around”. Margliotti says the department did a national search and found the California based company, Harbor Guard Boats, Inc. from whom they chose to buy the boat. Margliotti says the boat took about seven months to build because the company manufactures each boat individually as a customized order. The new boat is a state of the art water craft designed to mitigate both change in river depth and unpredictable currents. Instead of having propellers, it’s jet driven. It has twin engines and is capable of converting this power source into pumping 2000 gallons of water per minute for both river emergencies as well as water based support for shoreline fire fighting calls. In the case of river rescue, this multi-disciplined asset is equipped with sides of the boat that fold down even with the water line so that victims and divers can easily slide into the boat Margliotti said. The boat also boasts an impressive electronic system. “The new lights and radios were not things we had in the old boat,“ he says. “The company specializes in making just these kinds of boats.” According to Margliotti, a learning curve is necessary with boats as highly unique as this one. “It will take substantial training,” he says. The department plans to permanently put the boat in the water in April. The boat will patrol the area from the Braddock Lock up to the Elizabeth Lock and on the Youghiogheny River from McKeesport up to Little Boston. “We do anticipate doing something special, once we get the boat in the water, to give people an opportunity to see what it does,” says Margliotti. “Once the public observes the boat in operation they will really be able to appreciate how special it is.”

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New Fire Re scue t a Bo      12 724.942.0940 to advertise |

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SPRING

2011

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    

      

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  



               

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                           

          

               

G U N U R T L I N X R

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K R R H W I I O S V A

F D G S B L S S O V Q

M T K O K N AW K H E G Z U F O S C S U WG

T E M P E R A T U R E

  X M Y H G R F O J A R

R G X S T N P J B Z W

S N E E Z E N A B F Y

W U L D T G E R M A D

C G U H U S U R I V G

Cough Germ Nose Sneeze Temperature Tissue Virus Wash

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                    

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                   

    

      

         

 

Strangers – What do I do? What is a stranger?

        

What should I do if a stranger tries to talk to me?

        

What if I am out with my family?

                  

                    

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 15


IMMUNIZATION COALITION ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF STUDENT ART CONTEST

Students at Serra Catholic High School Recognized for Art with Health Message

T

he Allegheny County Immunization Coalition, a group of 43 health organizations and educational institutions led by the Allegheny County Health Department, today announced the winners of its third annual Community Immunity Art Contest for students in grades 9-12. The theme of the contest was “The Flu Ends with U” and meant to emphasize that being proactive and getting the flu vaccine every year is the single best way to prevent and stop the spread of flu. Students at Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport are the contest winners. The Coalition awarded a $250 cash prize to the first-place winner, 11th-grader Olivia Saccameno of North Versailles. Three other students each received merit awards and a $75 cash prize: 11th-grader Michael Weidman of Clairton, and 10th-graders Wei Mon Lu of Glassport and MinSoo Kang of Pitcairn. The Serra Catholic Art Department was awarded a $500 prize for its ongoing support of the art contest and having students participate and excel. In addition, special recognition for their efforts was given to art teacher Heather Momich, school nurse Marsia Campaga and Principal Tim Chirdon. Winners were selected by staff at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, which offered a $1,000 scholarship to Ms. Saccameno and $500 merit award scholarships to the other three students should they enroll full-time at the Art Institute. The winners also received a $25 gift certificate to the art supply store at the Art Institute. The Coalition thanks the Art Institute as well as Carrie Butler, public relations director, and Norman Huelsman, assistant public relations director, for their support. The first-place winner last year, 12th-grader Suphitsara Buttra of Serra Catholic, went on to enroll as a full-time student at the Art Institute and won a $5,000 scholarship. This year’s winners’ artwork is displayed on the Health Department’s website, www.achd.net, and the Coalition’s website, www.ImmunizeAllegheny.org.

16 724.942.0940 to advertise |

McKeesport Area


 

  Dear Neighbors:

my duties as State nly the most rewarding of tai cer and nt rta po im st , at ” 5 4 “ L incoln Way in One of the mo t service. My District Office uen stit con ing vid pro is of vital services. Representative of contact for a wide range int po t firs r you be to dy White Oak, is rea with any number of ist you or a family member ass to py hap be l wil I My staff and – applications that include er, sylvanians age 6 5 and old that benefit eligible P enn ms gra pro e Th ate reb er. nt old yre es age ” 8 and ❋ P roperty tax and people with disabiliti er old and “ 5 age ers ow widows and wid d is June 3 “ , 2 “ ” ” ; for 2 “ ” “ taxes or rent pai icle registration forms; deadline for applications driver’s licensing and veh n tio rta po ans Tr of ent ❋ P A Departm for seniors; prescription drug assistance ❋ P ACE and P ACENET e tax forms; ❋ F ederal and State incom assistance, unemployment ns for state home heating tio lica app and on ati orm Inf ❋ Children’s Health Insurance compensation, CHIP – the ❋ Seeds for your garden on college financial aid; and P rogram and information for fice Of ict str Di my at ilable ❋ Trail maps and guides ❋ F ree notary service is ava st be notariz ed. mu t tha e hav y ma you s ❋ Trout stocking lists any document strict Office a large We also maintain in my Di a are terials of interest to many assortment of printed ma ns’ era Stop in or call Representative vet on ns era on for vet residents. Vital informati g rsin nu and e car er eld s, Gergely’s District Office at tion law benefits, consumer protec le. ilab ava all are ft the ty t identi 412.664.0035 to get yours! homes and steps to preven -date information of -to up s ain int ma o als fice My District Of sts. aters and fishing enthusia interest to P A hunters, bo te and tact with local, county, sta My staff stays in regular con per office for pro to the ds directly we can refer you nee r you et me t no can we if federal officials so that ict welcome to visit my Distr my staff. Y ou are always or further assistance. me t ou tac Y con rg. to bu ys rris wa in Ha a number of ite Oak or 7 ” 7 .7 8 3 .” “ ” 8 In this digital age, there are one 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .“ “ 3 5 in Wh ph can gergely. Y ou can ou Y my . .co urs use ho aho ess sin w.p islative office at ww leg Office during regular bu e lin on my w vie or y@ pahouse.net st to you. can e-mail me at repgergel ail alerts on topics of intere e-m e eiv rec to ict. P lease feel free to te bsi we e residents of the 3 5 th Distr to e sign up on my legislativ vic ser r ou ve pro im portunities to I am always looking for op in any way. you ist contact me if we can ass

 

Sincerely,

Marc G ergely State Representative

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 17


Mckeesport Military Heroes Whether you’re throwing a party, having a staff meeting, or saying “Thanks for a job well done!”

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Our son, Master Sergeant Jason N. DeFelice is a Fleight Chief at Hanscom AFB, Ma. He has been in The Air Force for 20 years and has done tours of duty in Germany, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia and throughout the United States. Submitted by Tom and Donita DeFelice, parents. McKeesport residents.

Do you know someone who is serving in the armed forces from the McKeesport area? We would like to honor their commitment by featuring them in this magazine. Please forward your name, the soldier’s name and where they are serving, along with a photo to marybeth@incommunitymagazines.com. Help us recognize these fine men and women!

18 724.942.0940 to advertise |

McKeesport Area


R E A L E STAT E

McKeesport

In today’s post-housing-bust world, selling your home isn’t the same process that it may have been when you moved in 10 years ago. Maureen Cavanaugh, with Howard Hanna Real Estate, said that sellers need to re-educate themselves if they want to remain competitive in today’s market and make a proht on their homes. “Selling your home is very digerent today, and it’s been a progressive thing,” Cavanaugh said. “Ten years ago, you could list your home as is. B uyers were willing to come in and do updates. With the changes that occurred in the last three and four years, the expectation of buyers has dramatically risen. Many sellers who have lived in their homes for years with a lot of eq uity should consider doing as many updates as they are willing to do.” f ose updates will reap more money when it comes to their hnal sale price, Cavanaugh said. No updates will result in a lesser price. “It really depends on the house. I’m dealing with someone right now that has a nice home of 3 2 years, and they’ve spent three months and have done everything. f ey’re spending upwards of m2 5 ,“ “ “ , but it will take their sale price from the m3 8 “ ,“ “ “ range to m4 2 5 ,“ “ “ or m4 3 “ ,“ “ “ . f ey will recoup what they put into it,” Cavanaugh said. “And the reason is that today’s buyers want to move in, put down the furniture, start paying the mortgage, and get on with their lives. f ey don’t want to be bogged down with the projects and upgrades like taking down old wallpaper.” If you don’t have a budget for upgrades, Cavanaugh said that even minor cosmetic changes can improve your odds of gee ing more for your home when it comes time to sell. f ese types of upgrades include updating the hardware on cabinets to more contemporary styles. At the very least, Cavanaugh suggests gee ing rid of any junk, cleaning thoroughly, and doing some rudimentary staging.

“Exposing hardwood doors is a no-brainer. Y ou don’t have to paint the whole house beige. Y ou can still have some color and have some interest,” she said. “B ut everything should be sparkling.” Cavanaugh said that now that the hrst-time homebuyer frenz ies spurred by government tax rebates are over, the bulk of homebuyers are midlevel buyers looking in the m” 5 “ ,“ “ “ to m3 “ “ ,“ “ “ range with access to agordable mortgage money. “f ese are relocation buyers, and they want all the bells and whistles,” she said. “f ey want to buy more, and they want it done.”

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 19


R E A L E STAT E

McKeesport

“Y ou have to make sure that your agent B ut there’s no similar failsafe with overAs with any major purchase, doing your does comparisons to similar homes in the pricing. A home that’s overpriced may get a homework should be something you do area, knows the market, and gets supporting nice oger, but ultimately, the hnal arbiter of before you sign on a major loan. Never evidence that the house is really worth what it’s truly worth is the appraiser, before has this been more true than in the what it’s being advertised at before you assigned independently by the bank or housing market, where overpricing can creput in an oger,” F incham said. “If the house lender. f at appraisal will dictate the future ate major headaches for buyers and sellers. doesn’t appraise for the agreed upon price, of the sale. F or sellers, overpricing can mean that it is unlikely that you will receive any f e resulting appraisal could tank the sale your home sits on the market longer, raising seller’s assist.” altogether, or force buyers to seek extra dags to potential buyers that something is money or alternative hnancing to amiss. F or buyers, an overpriced compensate for the missed seller’s home can mean a loss in seller’s For buyers, an overpriced home can mean a loss assistance. Either way, it’s going to assistance, money that sellers in seller’s assistance, money that sellers mean a hassle for the buyer and sometimes bring to the table from sometimes bring to the table from their profits frustration for the seller. their prohts to help defray closing However, if an agent does the costs for the buyer. Worse yet, if to help defray closing costs for the buyer. homework and knows their business, there is no appraisal contingency F incham said the home should be listaddendum ae ached to the ed at a fair price, resulting in a agreement of sale, a buyer may be relatively smooth sale in reasonable forced to go through with a home length of time. purchase ac er being told that it is not worth “It is now imperative that agents and what they have agreed to pay. What’s more, overpricing is a one-way Sharon F incham, a Realtor with street by way of mistakes. Homeowners who clients know the recent selling prices of comparable homes,” she said. “B uyers P rudential P referred Realty, said that, list their homes for too lie le may receive and sellers agreeing on a price is not in addition to including an appraisal multiple ogers, allowing the power of free necessarily enough anymore. f e study contingency addendum to an oger, you market economic supply and demand of a neighborhood before an oger is made need to make sure that your agent is to take over, driving the price up until can save everyone involved a lot of grief doing the proper legwork before the it’s comparable to the other homes in and frustration.” oger is even made. the neighborhood.

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McKeesport Area


SPRING 2011

H ealth and W ellness N ews Y ou Can Use

©

What’s Inside

2011 UPMC

page 2

B rea th e E a sy — Don’t Snore Y our L ife A way

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F rom G u t- W ren ch i n g Pa i n to H ope f or th e F u tu re S tom a ch a ch es: W h en to W orry

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G ood N i g h t, S l eep T i g h t! A re Y ou A l l erg i c to Y ou r B ed

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UPMC H ea l th T ra k L ets Y ou Ma n a g e Y ou r H ea l th Ca re O n l i n e

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Posttra u m a ti c S tress D i sord er C ould I t H appen to Y ou?

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Meet O u r Ph y si ci a n s F ree V a scu l a r S creen i n g


B reathe E asy — D on’t S nore Y our L ife Away Do you wake up tired and grumpyt Does your partner shake you awake at night, begging you to roll overt Or is your partner the noisy onet Almost everyone snores occasionally while sleeping. But chronic snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition that causes your breathing to stop. L eft untreated, it can result in daytime sleepiness, irritability, and accidents — and even lead to serious health problems, says Mehboob K . Chaudhry MD, medical director of the UPMC McK eesport Sleep Disorders Center.

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h y w orry During sleep apnea, your upper airway collapses, partially or completely. The oxygen level of your blood also drops, causing you to have a “mini arrest,” says Dr. Chaudhry. Y our body responds with “internal CPR” to j umpstart your breathing — pumping you with insulin, adrenaline, and other stimulants to literally save your life.

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Snoring can occur at any age, but aging can make the pharynx, or throat, floppier. During sleep, air flowing past the floppy tissues and relaxed muscles at the back of your throat can create a vibration, resulting in snoring. Being overweight can cause snoring because extra fat tissue around the neck can narrow your airway. Anatomical defects such as a deviated septum or large tonsils also can cause blockages.

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Restless sleep •

Nighttime awakenings •

G oing to the bathroom frequently during the night •

Morning headaches •

Inability to concentrate •

Anxiety and depression

h a t ca n y ou d o

Sleep on your side. G ravity can make your tongue and soft tissues drop down, obstructing your airway. •

Skip the nightcap. Alcohol tends to relax the muscles and tissues in your throat. It’s also a stimulant, leaving you wide awake a few hours later. •

W ear nasal strips, use saline spray and a humidifier. Opening your nasal passages allows air to pass through more easily. •

L ose weight. x ven a little weight loss can help open up your throat. •

Exercise regularly. It promotes better, sounder sleep. •

Avoid caffeine after y p.m. Stimulants like coffee, chocolate, and soft drinks can interfere with your sleep. •

Stick to a regular sleep schedule. “Sleep is a reparative process. The body can take care of itself if we give ourselves eight hours of quality sleep,” Dr. Chaudhry says.

t ca us es snor ing

According to Dr. Chaudhry, snoring can result from a cold or allergies because blocked nasal passages make you breathe through your mouth. x xtreme fatigue or alcohol consumption also can cause snoring by relaxing your throat muscles.

If you suspect sleep apnea, see a doctor right away. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated with special devices and surgical procedures. Home remedies and lifestyle changes also can help reduce symptoms.

“Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. But if someone stops breathing while sleeping, that’s a serious event that must be evaluated,” cautions Dr. Chaudhry.

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L ess com m on si g n s a n d sy m ptom s

But these nightly interventions can lead to a host of serious medical problems: diabetes (from too much insulin), high blood pressure (from too much adrenaline), plus inflammation of the arteries and high cholesterol (due to low oxygen levels). Since it’s tough to diagnose sleep apnea on your own, ask your bed partner about your sleep habits, or record yourself at night. The following are the most common signs and symptoms: •

L oud and chronic snoring •

Choking or gasping sounds •

Breathing stops for 10 to 15 seconds •

Daytime sleepiness no matter how much sleep you get

F or more information2contact the UP MC M cK eesport Sl eep Disorders C enter at 412-664-2- 90 .


F rom Gut-W renching P ain to H ope for the F uture U PMC ’s In flam matory Bowel Disease (IB D) C enter wields a powerful “ triple threat” against IB D: Gr oundbreakin g immunology, genetics research, and innovative clinical care The primary goal of drug therapy is to reduce inflammation in the intestines. Medications include anti-inflammatory drugs; antibiotics to kill germs in the intestinal track; probiotics to restore good bacteria; corticosteroids to provide short-term relief during flare-ups; and immunosuppressants.

At age 23, John Oliver* is feeling better about the future. Free from the gutwrenching pain of Crohn’s disease since a second bowel surgery in 2008 — this time followed by a promising new treatment developed at UPMC using biologic-based drug therapy — he is now making plans to attend medical school next fall. “I think the medicine is working. It’s the best I’ve felt and the best I’ve looked,” says John, who earned his biomedical engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree in engineering management from Duke University. His gastroenterologist, Miguel Regueiro, MD, clinical head and codirector of the UPMC Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, says the future has never looked brighter for IBD patients. “Ten years ago, a diagnosis of IBD was devastating. Now, we have new medicines, a greater understanding of the disease, and better research,” he says.

I B D : W h o’ s a t ri sk Nearly two million Americans live with IBD, which is not to be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBD involves two chronic diseases that cause inflammation of the intestines: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and bleeding.

In addition, the IBD Center recently developed a Visceral Inflammation and Pain (VIP) Center to help patients deal with both the physical pain and emotional stress of coping with IBD.

Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the small and large intestines, while ulcerative colitis affects the large bowel alone. IBD cuts across all ages, genders, and ethnicities, but generally affects Caucasians ages 15 to 35. While the exact cause is not known, experts believe IBD involves a compromised or overactive immune system. Because IBD may run in families, doctors also believe genetics plays a role. While stress and certain foods do not cause IBD, both can make symptoms worse.

E x ci ti n g b rea k th rou g h s The latest generation of drugs, called biologic therapies, are proving very effective in inducing remission so that patients can lead normal lives. At UPMC, doctors took this approach a step further — as in John’s case — by prescribing biologic drug therapy after performing surgery to remove the damaged section of the intestine. In use now at other hospitals, this treatment has reduced the recurrence of Crohn’s disease in patients by nearly two thirds.

T rea tm en t According to Dr. Regueiro, drugs cannot cure IBD, but they can be effective in reducing the inflammation and accompanying symptoms. While some patients have mild symptoms requiring little medication, others have more debilitating flareups, and some patients have severe problems requiring surgery and even transplants.

S tom a ch a ch es: W

0J ohn O liver’s treatment and results may not b e representative of similar cases.

hen to W orry

E veryone gets a stomachache — or abdominal pain — from time to time. Most of the time, stomachaches are harmless conditions caused by overeating, gas, or indigestion. Frequent or recurring stomachaches are often due to stress and worry, even in children. B ut they can point to more serious medical problems.

G et medical help immediately if: • Y ou have abdominal pain that is very sharp, severe, and sudden. Y ou also have pain in the chest, neck, or shoulder. •

Y ou’re vomiting blood or having bloody diarrhea. •

Y our abdomen is stil , hard, and tender to the touch. •

Y ou can’t move your bowels, especially if you’re also vomiting.

H armless abdominal pain usually subsides or goes away within two hours. f you have the stomach fl u your stomach may hurt before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. n serious cases, the pain worsens or becomes constant.

S udhir K. N arla, MD , chief of gastroenterology at UPMC McKeesport and director of the hospital’s Center for D igestive D isorders, says you should call your primary care physician if mild pain lasts more than a couple of days, or if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms.

T he b ottom line: T rust your gutpC ontact your doctor if you’re concerned ab out lingering or unusual stomach pain.

1-800-533-UP

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H ealth Tips from UPMC H ealth Plan

G ood N ight, S leep Tightn Are you among the millions of Americans suffering from lack of sleept If so, droopy eyelids, wide yawns, and low energy are the least of your worries. Sleep disruption — not sleeping enough or sleeping poorly — can affect your memory, disease resistance, and leave you struggling to stay alert in school, on the j ob, and on the road. Studies show that people who get the appropriate amount of sleep on a regular basis also tend to live longer, healthier lives than those who sleep too few or even too many hours each night. So, what is a good night’s sleept According to the National Institutes of Health, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. School-aged children and teens need at least nine hours of sleep each night. T i ps to h el p y ou sl eep • Stick to a sleep schedule. Get up about the same time each day, no matter how many hours of sleep you got the previous night. • Maintain healthy sleep habits. Go to bed only when you’re sleepy. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and relaxing — not too hot or too cold. Don’t text, e-mail, read, or watch TV in bed. • Make sure your mattress is comfortable. Remember, even a good quality mattress needs to be replaced within p0 years. • Exercise is great, but not too late. Avoid exercising within a few hours before bedtime. • Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch. The stimulating effects of caffeine in coffee, colas, teas, and chocolate can take as long as eight hours to wear off. • Avoid large meals at night. A large meal can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bedtime. While a nightcap may help you relax, alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep and tends to wake you during the night. A n d , f or a d ol escen ts a n d y ou n g a d u l ts: • Avoid stimulating activities around bedtime. This includes intense studying, text messaging, video games, and lengthy phone conversations. • Avoid pulling “all nighters” during exams. • Sleep in on weekends — but not more than two to three hours past your normal wake time. Sleeping longer may disrupt your body clock. F ind a more complete list of the b enefi ts of good sleep at www.U P M C .com/ T oday.

A reY ouA llergic toY our B ed? T he dust in your b edroom might b e mak ing you sick . Dust mites, and dander, and fibers — oh my! These are j ust some of the microscopic menaces in ordinary house dust that can cause health problems. Dust mites are a common cause of allergies and asthma. It’s not the dust mite itself that can make you sicks it’s the dust mite debris (the mite’s feces and decaying body). Dust collects in every room of the house because it is easily trapped in linens, upholstery, carpets, and draperies. But the bedroom is a favorite habitat for dust mites because it provides a warm, humid environment, and plenty of food (dead skin from humans and pets).

F i v e w a y s to h el p w i pe ou t d u st m i tes While you can’t completely eliminate dust mites, these simple steps may help reduce their numbers: p. Cover your mattress and pillows in dust-proof or allergen-blocking covers, and encase box springs in vinyl or plastic covers. 2. Wash and dry bed sheets, pillowcases, blankets, curtains, and bedcovers weekly in hot water (p40 degrees y ahrenheit). If bedding can’t be washed, put the items in the dryer set at a high temperature for 20 minutes. 3. Vacuum carpeting and upholstery weekly. Using a Hx PA-filter vacuum can help keep dust from floating back into the air. 4. Use a damp cloth or mop to remove dust from hard surfaces and exposed floors. This will prevent dust from becoming airborne and resettling. q. Keep the indoor temperature at “0 degrees y ahrenheit and humidity at no more than q0 percent. Dust mites aren’t the only puny pests that can invade your b edroom. B ed b ugs have made a comeb ack in recent years. F or tips on ways to avoid a b ed b ug infestation2visit www.U P M C .com/ T oday. S ources: N ational nstitutes of H ealth, E nvironmental Protection Agency

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UPMC S potlight

UPMC H ealthTrak L ets Y ou Manage Y our H ealth Care O nline

K eeping track of health issues, test results, and medications is challenging for Sandy H oguej , who is disabled and chronically ill. Because she must rely on cabs for transportation, seeing a primary care doctor can be an all-day affair. That’s why she was eager to sign up for UPMC H ealthTrak, an Internet-based service that enables patients to receive and manage information about their health. Sandy uses it to monitor her glucose and high cholesterol levels, check test results, make appointments, renew prescriptions, and diagnose medical conditions — all from the comfort of her home in Westmoreland County. “It’s a good system. I get the medical treatment I need faster without spending a day traveling around,” says Sandy. “It keeps me in contact with my doctor and helps me monitor my medical conditions. And if I have anything contagious, like the flu, it prevents me from infecting other people.” More pa ti en ts ch oosi n g H ea l th T ra k Approximately . 2 ,0 0 0 UPMC patients have signed on to H ealthTrak, which gives them secure electronic access to their medical records, medications, and other information. H ealthTrak recently was expanded to include eV isits — an online digital house call — with a primary care physician. 0T hese patients’ treatments and results may not b e representative of similar cases.

During an eV isit, patients select a symptom and complete an interactive questionnaire. A UPMC doctor then reviews the information and makes a diagnosis. If medication is needed, a prescription can be sent electronically to the patient’s pharmacy.

“H ealthTrak is great for college students who are far from home, the elderly, and other people who have trouble getting to the doctor. It doesn’t take the place of going to the doctor for regular check-ups, but it’s very useful,” R obin says. “If only UPMC could figure a way for me to see my dentist online— ”

O akmont resident Mark Gleesonj uses H ealthTrak primarily to keep track of his medical records. In O ctober, when the computer-savvy ”3 -year-old came down with a cough and cold late in the day, he decided to “see” a doctor via eV isit. Within an hour of completing the questionnaire, a UPMC doctor responded with medical instructions and a prescription for his sinus infection and chest congestion. “It was so convenient, and it worked— Within three days, I felt good as new,” Mark says. Con v en i en ce a n d com f ort As a graduate student, R obin Salesj relied on H ealthTrak to connect with her hometown doctor while attending school in N evada. N ow a young professional living in N ew York City, she continues to use the online service for eV isits, to fill prescriptions, and access her medical records.

UPMC H ea l th T ra k B en efi ts Manage your health from home with H ealthTrak. H ere’s what you can do onliner Send a message to your doctor •

V iew medical records and test results •

R enew prescriptions •

Track current health issues such as glucose levels and blood pressure •

R equest appointments •

Ask billing questions •

“See” a doctor -digital house calli

“It’s comforting. H aving easy access to a doctor back home gives me the chance to find the right doctor for me locally, without rushing into it. It’s one less thing to worry about,” she says.

R obin, who first used eV isit to consult a doctor about an eye infection, says the online questionnaire asks the same questions the doctor would ask at an appointment. When she needs medicine, her doctor in Pittsburgh faxes the prescription to her N ew York drug store two minutes away.

F or m ore inf orm a tion or to si g n u p, v is it w w w U . PMCH ea lt hT ra k . com .

1-800-533-UP

MC

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Posttraumatic S tress D isorder

Cou l d i t H a ppen to Y ou Most of us associate posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with returning military veterans who have experienced the tragedy of war. But you don’t have to be a soldier to undergo the intense feelings of helplessness, horror, and fear that characterize PTSD. Imagine being in a terrible car accident on your way to the mall. For days and weeks afterwards, you constantly relive the accident in your mind. You take a different route to shop and, worst of all, your body won’t let you relax. You can’t sleep — and when you finally do doze off, you’re awakened by nightmares. You can’t concentrate, your heart pounds, and you break out in cold sweats. “We know that anyone who has undergone some kind of trauma can be at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder,” explains Anne Germain, PhD, associate professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Based at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, she currently leads several sleep research projects with returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who have PTSD. PTSD can be triggered by a single event you’ve experienced or even witnessed — be it an accident, violent crime, or natural disaster — or by ongoing trauma, such as child abuse or domestic violence. When we experience a life-threatening event, it’s normal for our body to react with a powerful, stressful response; it’s what enables us to fight or flee. “But for some people, these symptoms persist and worsen,” says Dr. Germain. “The toll can be profound if symptoms are ignored. PTSD has a devastating impact on the lives of people who have it — and on those around them. It also has enormous financial and economic implications.”

D i d Y ou Kn ow UPMCts S leep Medicine Center — accredited by the American Academy of S leep Medicine — is the only multidisciplinary sleep medicine facility in western Pennsylvania. The center performs approx imately 2,000 sleep studies annually for adult patients with all types of sleep disorders. The stal at the UPMC S leep Medicine Center include board- certified physicians, certified nurse practitioners, and registered sleep laboratory technologists. To schedule an appointment, call 312- 59 2- 28 8 0.

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www.UPMC.com/T oday

PTSD is a relatively new specialization in psychology, and experts are still trying to determine why it affects some people and not others. Fortunately, for most people, the symptoms of PTSD begin to ease in about a month. “If they continue, it’s extremely important to seek professional help,” notes Dr. Germain. “The best place to begin is to talk with your family doctor and seek a referral to a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist.”

PT S D a n d sl eep d i sord ers Among the most troubling aspects of chronic PTS D for patients are the recurring nightmares and insomnia it can bring. There is growing evidence that such sleep disorders have a direct impact on both a person’s mental and physical health. ndividuals with PTS D often say they have problems falling or staying asleep, and that the sleep they get isn’t refreshing and restorative. “ O ur sleep research studies with veterans show that they have many more sleep disorders than the general public, including sleep apnea and other breathing problems,” notes D r. G ermain. W ith PTS D , nightmares can become an ingrained behavior, al ecting a person’s daytime functioning — from faltering concentration and poor memory, to emotional outbursts. “ B y stopping the nightmares and helping to make sleep more normal, restful, and restorative, patients can overcome other aspects of chronic PTS D in their lives a bit more easily. And sleep can be improved in a matter of weeks,” she says. D r. G ermain uses several methods to treat PTS D - related sleep disorders, including image reversal therapy. “ W e help patients replace a recurring nightmare with a more positive, ak rming dream. They write it down and rehearse it several times a day to train the brain to have a new dream image.” Individuals interested in participating in Dr. Germain’s sleep research studies for military veterans are invited to call 412-246-6404 or visit www.veteranssleep.pitt.edu.


Meet O u r Ph y si ci a n s Please visit www.UPMC.com/FindADoctor or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762) for more information about any of our physicians. To contact the UPMC McKeesport physicians listed below, please use the office phone number provided.

Meet our UPMC McKeesport Ga Univ er s it y of Pits bur Ph ys icans , G as t r oent e r olog y S du h ir Na L eona rd H ossa m V ij a y S ing A d a m S Dhir a j Y

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F ree V ascular S creening Program Millions of Americans sul er from vascular disease. Most don’t know they have it until they require medical attention. E arly detection and treatment can save your life. Si mple non-i nvasive carotid artery and peripheral artery screenings by our certified ultrasound imaging stal are available free or charge.

UPMC McK es op r t Car di opulm Oak Par k Mall 20 0 1 L inc oln W ay, W hi t e Oak E v re y Tues day and Thur N oon t o 2: 0 p . m .

onar y R eha bi l i t at i on Cent

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• For individuals 50 years of age or older • N o appointments necessary. walk-i ns welcome

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1-800-533-UP

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UPMC McKeesport 1500 Fifth Ave. McKeesport, PA 15132

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

Follow UPMC on Facebook.

Even the smallest discovery is important. Doctors rely on quality images to make accurate diagnoses and treatment decisions for their patients. UPMC is a leader in creating and adopting cutting-edge technologies to enhance medical imaging and improve patient care. In fact, some of the most innovative advances in the field of radiology have happened in our hospitals. And our state-of-the-art computer system allows imaging scans to be quickly accessed and viewed by physicians across our network  with just the click of a mouse. Our advanced technology and expert radiologists can make a real difference in your care. Whether you need an x-ray or advanced radiology testing, trust Imaging Services at UPMC McKeesport. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 412-664-CARE (2273) or visit UPMC.com/Imaging.


Gound breaking on project Francis McClure building

McKeesport A R E A

news

SCHOOL DISTRICT pring is in the air. At least it feels that way as I write this during a very welcomed warm stretch in the middle of February. We can only hope that this is a sign that we have turned the corner from a cold and snowy winter season. Both Mr. Fagan (Director or Buildings and Grounds) and I will gladly trade our 3:00 a.m. discussions about road conditions to enjoy the benefits of the sunshine and warm weather.

S

All families with children in the district should have received their PSSA testing schedules through the mail detailing our efforts to put students in the most comfortable and effective testing environments possible. The schedule reflects days off for many students in grades 3–12 during the testing window. This enables more effective teacher to student ratios and fewer distractions during the reading and mathematics exams. The district is poised to build upon its successes of the last school year as we aim for two consecutive years of making AYP. The professional and support staffs throughout the district are anxious to see the student successes resulting from their collective efforts during this school year. We are once again proud to share some examples of what is happening throughout your community’s school system in this

issue of IN McKeesport Area. Many efforts have been implemented district wide to collectively address the complex issue of bullying as well as promote positive human relationships. Black History month activities have been celebrated throughout district buildings and were showcased at the regular meeting of the Board of Directors in February. Corporate leaders from the region (Leadership Pittsburgh) visited in January to learn about the McKeesport Area and our educational system and experienced the energy, commitment and passion that is evident throughout. Students and staff work together to give back to their communities with the MASD Warmly Cares drive as well as the Coins for Caring initiative that assists local charitable organizations. The building projects continue to progress as construction is under way at Francis McClure and the new building on the former Cornell site will break ground in just a few short months. Brief updates on all three of the projects are included in this issue as well. We hope you enjoy the following MASD pages in this publication and encourage everyone to visit www.mckasd.net to keep up with your schools. Thank you for everything you do for the children of our district. Sincerely, Timothy M. Gabauer, Ed.D Superintendent - MASD

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 29


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Message from the

School District B oard of Directors

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cK eesport Area School District is kicking into high gearj Our district is getting ready for this years P ennsylvania System of School Assessment (P SSA) testing as well as focusing on finishing the school year on another strong note. In the pages to follow, please find the

schedule our district will follow during the testing. Also, in this edition, our readers will get a glimpse into some activities held in our schools and get a first hand perspective on what our Distinguished Educator

has to say about our district. One of the biggest factors in the overall success of our students and our district will always be our ability to work in partnership with our parents and the community. We hope that you feel welcome in our schools and that you will take advantage of opportunities to become involved, to learn more about your school district and to be a part of the many things that are taking place. Members of the school board of directors encourage parents and guardians to be actively involved, in all areas if the district, by attending board and building level meetings. B oard Meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Sessions begin at 7 : 3 “ p.m. in the board room at the district administration building, located at 3 5 9 “ O’Neil Bo ulevard in McK eesport. On behalf of the board, have a safe and healthy springj

Sincerely, Wayne N. Washowich President, McKeesport Area School District Board of Directors

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McKeesport Area

“One of the biggest factors in the overall success of our students and our district will always be our ability to work in partnership with our parents and the community.”


McK eesport Area Contact Information During P SSA Testing, the following dates are in effect… NO SCHOOL G RADES 4 o 5 Monday, March 14 NO SCHOOL G RADES 4 , 5 , 7 Tuesday, March 15

School Bo ard of Directors James L . B rown Joseph L . Chiaverini Christopher A. Halasz ynski Mark P . Holtz man Vice P resident Steven E. K ondrosky Dennis J. (Joe) L opretto Thomas P . Maglicco P atricia A. Maksin P resident Wayne N. Washowich Central Administration Superintendent Dr. Timothy M. G abauer 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 ” 2 Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rula S. Skez as 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 ” 3

NO SCHOOL G RADES 4 , 5 , 7 Wednesday, March 16

B usiness Managery B oard Secretary Mr. David M. Seropian 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 “ “

NO SCHOOL G RADES 3 o 6 Monday, March 21

Director of Human Resourcesy Administration Services Mr. James G . Humanic 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 “ 8

NO SCHOOL G RADES 3 , 6 , 8 , 9 , ” “ , ” 2 Tuesday, March 22 NO SCHOOL G RADES 3 , 6 , 8 , 9 , ” “ , ” 2 Wednesday, March 23 NO SCHOOL G RADE ” ” Thursday, March 24 NO SCHOOL G RADE ” ” Friday, March 25

Director of F ederaly State P rograms (Homeless L iaison) Mr. Michael V. Matta 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 2 7

Director of Early Childhood Education and Elementary Curriculum Dr. Catherine S. L obaugh 4 ” 2 .9 4 8 .” 3 8 6

Director of Special Education Mrs. P atricia M. Tkacik 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 2 2

Secondary Curriculum and Transformation Coordinator Mr. Harry A. B auman 4 ” 2 .9 4 8 .” 3 ” “

Director F ood Service Ms. Tammi T. Davis 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 8 5

P rincipal of Cyber Schooly District Technology Integration Dr. Jane L . Coughenour 4 ” 2 .9 4 8 .” 3 ” 7

Administrative Team Special Education Supervisor Mr. David L . L istorti 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 2 5

Communicationsy P ublic Relations Specialist Ms. K risten M. Davis 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 4 5

Special Education Administrative Assistant Mr. Menas E. Z annikos 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 2 4 District G rants and Special P rojects CoordinatoryDirector of Vocational Education Mrs. P atricia J. Scales 4 ” 2 .9 4 8 .” 3 6 3

Director of B uildings and G rounds Mr. Edward F . F agan 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 6 3 ” Technology Coordinator Mr. H. B en South 4 ” 2 .6 6 4 .3 7 6 4

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ay, F rium ee - 2 Thursd turday Matin chool Audito Sa igh S .“ “ H t r o p es : m7 “ McK e Adults udents: m3 .“ .“ “ nd St All Seats m3 a s r o i Sen atinee: M y a Saturd McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 31


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SCHOOL DISTRICT

Centennial Elementary

entennial Elementary Schoolps first K ids vs. P arents Shoot-out in January was a huge success, drawing members of the community to come have some fun with their kids.

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“We wanted to have an event that included some of the community and got parents involved with kids,” says Mr. Chris Clark, P hysical Education Teacher at Centennial and organiz er of the event. The kids vs. parents shooting competition was hel d in the G ym before school started. “We had it at 6 : 4 5 in the morning so that parents could come hang out with their kids and not have to call off work,” says Mr. Clark. While, he says he caught a bit of heat for scheduling the event so early, there was still a great turnout. F irst, second, third and fifth grade student participated with their parents. Over ” “ “ people came out to support the event. P a rticipants shot from different places in the gym that were assigned different point values. A final shoot-off at the end of the competition determined the winners.

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McKeesport Area

“We made it a learning experience in terms of analyz ing the percentage of shots that came from different areas in the gym,” says Mr. Clark. “B y incorporating math, we let the kids know that no matter what you do math can play a part in anyth ing.” The first place winner was awarded a m5 “ gift-card to WalMart, the second and third place winners recieved m2 5 gift-cards to WalMart and all winners were given free tickets to the McK eesport F ootball game vs. Woodland Hills. Mr. Clark says the kids really got a kick out of the shoot-out, but admits that it was all made possible by the generous support from Centennial staff and administration. “I want to send out a big heartfelt thank you for all the support,” he says. “L ets prepare for next yearps event to be bigger and betterj”


McKeesport Teacher Awarded for Excellence in Teaching Free Enterprise im Rose, business teacher at McKeesport Area High School and Technology Center, was honored with the 34th Annual Leavey Award through the Freedoms Foundation out of Philadelphia. Rose received the award for excellence in teaching free enterprise. The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge recognizes educators at the elementary, junior high school, high school, and college levels for innovative and effective teaching techniques. According to their website, the Freedoms Foundation and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation have honored outstanding teachers for bringing passion and creativity to their classrooms as they teach students about entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system since 1977. Rose's journey to Philadelphia began with an anonymous nomination last summer. “I received an e-mail one day from the vice president of the Freedom Foundation, stating that she had gotten my name from someone and would like me to apply for this award,” says Rose. After filling out the application, Rose was required to

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create a portfolio of her class from the last year. Rose submitted an award-winning business plan created by two of her students, Kenna Simmons and Ryah Gadson. She also sent photos of the kids working and an essay narrating her students’ accomplishments, like their video conference with Ireland last year. Instead of sending normal letters of recommendation from her fellow colleagues, Rose sent letters, notes, and cards from her students. “I thought it was a better representation of what type of teacher I am.” The judges must have agreed, because, out of 300 applicants throughout the United States, Rose and 10 others were chosen as winners. “I've only been teaching for seven years, and this means I'm doing something right,” says Rose. Next year, she will get a chance to take what she does to a whole new level. Entrepreneurship and Sales Management, is a three-year, three-period-long course offered through the technology center that was approved to start at the beginning of next year. Rose is very excited for her students to have this opportunity. The kids will work on creating business plans, marketing plans, and advertising campaigns, and will progress through learning how to make resumes and fill out applications. “The kids will be running the school store and will be gaining valuable experience for their future jobs,” says Rose. In addition to her Leavey award, Rose was also honored with an award from the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship last year. In March, Rose will travel to Philadelphia for the Leavey Summit, where she will be honored for work building and supporting the next generation of our nation's entrepreneurs and get a chance to present her winning project. For more information, visit www.freedomsfoundation.org.

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 33


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SCHOOL DISTRICT

Founders Hall

Targets

tudents from McKeesport High School are teaming up with Founders Hall students to tackle bullying in the classroom. Julie Tomich, English and theater teacher at the high school, wanted to find a way to connect her class activities to real life. After seeing a commercial on TV about Anti-Bullying Awareness Month back in October, she got the idea to have her kids create a video that other teachers could show to their students. “We did a lot of research, read magazine articles, and found a lot of unbelievable statistics that really hit home for the kids,” says Tomich. “I just wanted them to get out there, get their voices heard and be involved in something that's going on today and is useful to them.” Tomich's class, comprised of ninth- through twelfthgraders, filmed and edited a video on anti-bullying. When Founders Hall Principal Karen Chapman saw it, she suggested the class come talk to her middle school students. “Bullying is a big problem no matter what district you’re

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McKeesport Area

looking at,” says Chapman. The plan was to have students talk to other students they know, who are of their age group. “The students are able to help get the word across easier that bullying is not acceptable,” she says. The high school students come to Founders Hall and spend an hour in the kids’ homerooms, talking to them about bullying prevention and awareness. Tomich says this was a great opportunity for her students to use their public speaking skills. “Going to Founders gave the kids a chance to speak in front of an audience and feel important. “I wanted to do something that allowed the students to help someone,” says Tomich. “If you help one person, then you've achieved your goal.” So far, the program has been a success. “The middle school kids looked up to the older kids and were open to them,” says Tomich. “It was a really nice and successful activity.”


Taking the Anti-Bully Pledge

Anti-Bullying “The kids and teachers thought it was great,” says Chapman, who plans to continue the program during the second semester. Tomach will bring a second group of students over in May to do a follow-up presentation. “Counselors and teachers are all trying to spread awareness,” she says. “We have been meeting as a group to bring a permanent bullying prevention program into the building.” The administration submitted an application in January to get the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program through the Highmark Healthy High Five Grant, a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Center for Safe Schools. The new program would bring in speakers to talk to the kids and facilitate a lot of group work. “There are a whole series of lessons we would be looking at incorporating into one of the subject areas,” says Chapman. The administration is expected to find out in the next month whether they will receive the program.

160,000 students stay home per day because of the fear of being bullied. 90% of fourth- through eighth-grade students report being the target of bullies

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 35


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McKeesport Area


 Six Seniors from McKeesport Senior High School's Football Team were joined by their Head Coach, Jim Ward and Athletic Director, Charley Kiss for national letter of intent signing day on February 2nd. The boys took the podium one at a time, announcing their decisions. Families, friends, and faculty were there to support the recruits, some of which made last minute decisions.

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 37


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McKeesport Area


❋ Expect RESPECT

facts

■ 8 ” n of parents surveyed either believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they donpt know if itps an issue. "Women's Health," June/July 2004, Family Violence Prevention Fund and Advocates for Youth, http://www.med.umich.edu/whp/newsletters/summer04 /p03-dating.html, (Last visited 9/23/04).

■ Approximately ” in 5 female high school students report being physically andyor sexually abused by a dating partner.

Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anita Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; and Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, "Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, (No. 5, 2001).

■ Nearly 2 5 n of ” 4-” 7 year-olds surveyed know at least one student who was a victim of dating violence, while ” ” n know multiple victims of dating violence. 3 n of teens have actually witnessed such an event. Empower Program, sponsored by Liz Claiborne Inc. and conducted by Knowledge Networks, Social Control, Verbal Abuse, and Violence Among Teenagers, (2000).

■ 2 “ n of surveyed male students report witnessing someone they go to high school with physically hit a person they were dating. Tiffany J. Zwicker, Education Policy Brief, "The Imperative of Developing Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Intervention Programs in Secondary Schools." 12 Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies, 131, (2002).

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 39


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           From left to right: Mike Needham, Ashley Csorba, Branden Jackson, Taylor Queen, Tyler Volpe (top corner), Alicia Hawthorne, Tom Neri, Sara McBride, Tyler Gricar and Alyssa Gradich

  Science classes at Founders' Hall Competed in an Egg Race. Students had to build a car to transport an egg to the bottom of the ramp without breaking. They were only allowed to use certain materials to do this project.

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McKeesport Area


s e i r o m e M

Students counting the "coins for caring" money. We collected $573.13 which was donated to local charitable organizations in McKeesport.

$573.13 The Ned Show at George Washington elementary

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 41


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SCHOOL DISTRICT

Leadership Pittsburgh Comes to McKeesport L eadership P ittsburgh Inc. is a nonprofit organiz ation dedicated to developing a diverse group of leaders to serve southwestern P ennsylvania. In January, they came to McK eesport School District to open up the discussion of education. “It was one of those rare opportunities to bring people into the district to show them what it is we do,” says McK eesport Superintendent, Dr. Timothy G abauer. Throughout the year, L eadership P ittsburgh chooses a different topic to focus on, this time it was education. When L eadership P ittsburgh reached out to several districts in the area, McK eesport jumped at the opportunity. A group of leaders came to the School District to meet with administrative members and talk about educational issues. G abauer says the meeting really opened up the opportunity for discussion. “We talked about budgeting, relations between the school board and myself, test scores and just about everything,” he says. “Their intent was to learn more about education, because they are in a corporate world but dealing with similar issues.” “P eople might have a perception of McK eesport, but until they come in and witness it, they donpt have a true understanding,” says G abauer, who admits that he believes education has been q uantified too much. “Success is being determined on a single test score and many districts are being done a disservice because of this,” he says. “At McK eesport we look out for every studentps social, emotional, physical and academic welfare. We take great pride in educating a child as a whole.” The group from L eadership P ittsburgh took a tour of the High School to get a feel for what it really was. “B y the time they left we were all on the same page,” says G abauer. “Those are the kind of conversations I really welcome.” F or more information on L eadership P ittsburgh, visit www.lpinc.org

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McKeesport Area


Celebrates h t n o M y k Histor McKeesport Area School District

D

Blac

uring the month of February, McKeesport Area School District worked hard to honor our African American leaders, role models and forefathers. The entire district participated throughout the month. White Oak Elementary decorated doors and held a gallery walk to showcase all of the artwork and history. Founders’ Hall Middle School had an assembly with Greg Kenny who illustrated the life and times of Bill Crosby. Also, member of the eight grade football team attended a video conference sponsored by the Professional Football Hall of Fame featuring Art Shell. Shell was one of the premier offensive tackles of his time. He later became the National Football League’s first American coach of the modern era. Additionally, Founders’ Hall held activities and an essay contest. In Francis McClure, multitudes of lessons and activities featuring African Americans were completed along with using Wordle to create a quilt of famous forefathers to hang in the hallway. In the Career and Technology Center, each shop provided a famous African American leader in their field and compiled a bulletin board featuring all of them. At Centennial Elementary, two assemblies were held to showcase African American role models throughout history. The students were able to guess who was who based on facts presented about each person.

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 43


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SCHOOL DISTRICT

Ground breaking on Francis McClure building project

BUILDiNG UPDATES Francis McClure Elementary/Intermediate Site Francis McClure is moving along right on schedule. The district meets every week to get updates on the project, and expects the building to be open for the 2011-2012 school year. Cornell Elementary/Intermediate Site Cornell is currently in the property acquisition stage for some properties that border the new school. Once the district goes out to bid at the beginning of April, construction should start within the next three months. If everything goes according to schedule, the building is expected to be open for the 2012-2013 school year. New McKeesport Elementary/Intermediate Site There has been some environmental drilling for soil samples at the Bucks Mansion property. The property is currently in the acquisition stages. The district is looking at the terrain and discussing placement at the building. According to schedule, the building should be open in January of 2014.

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Administration Office 3590 O’Neil Boulevard McKeesport, PA 15132 Office: 412.664.3600 Fax: 412.664.3638 Superintendent: Dr. Timothy Gabauer

Centennial 1601 Beaver Street McKeesport, PA 15132 Office: 412.664.3750 Fax: 412.664.3756 Principal: Ms. Staci Fitzpatrick

Founders’ Hall 3600 O’Neil Boulevard McKeesport, PA 15132 Office: 412.948.1310 Fax: 412.664.3768 Principal: Dr. Karen Chapman

McKeesport Area High School and Technology Center 1960 Eden Park Boulevard McKeesport, PA 15132 Office: 412.664.3650 Fax: 412.664.3787 Head Principal of Academics: Mr. Mark Holtzman Director of Career and Technology Center: Mrs. Patricia Scales

George Washington 1818 Sumac Street McKeesport, PA 15132 Office: 412.664.3770 Fax: 412.664.3777 Principal: Mr. Paul Sweda

White Oak Elementary 1415 California Avenue White Oak, PA 15131 Office: 412.664.3790 Fax: 412.664.3794 Principal: Dr. Tamara Sanders-Woods

Francis McClure Intermediate School 500 Longvue Drive White Oak, PA 15131 Office: 412.664.3740 Fax: 412.664.3747 Principals: Mr. Anthony DeMaro Ms. Pamela Gordon Principal of Cyber School/ District Technology Integration: Dr. Jane Coughenour

McKeesport Area


McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 45


Good Tidings for the Greatest Generation

Older Adults in McKeesport K eep Y our Credit Card Secure ow that the holidays are behind us, you’re hopefully putting that smoking credit card back into your wallet or purse for a while. B ut even though this may be a down time for you and your credit card, it’s no time to be lax about your credit card security. So what do you need to know about keeping your credit card safe? F irst, off, don’t give yourself a pin number that’s easy to guess. Issuing banks typicall y assign you a random pin number when you first get your card that you can change later. K eep this assigned number and avoid picking a pin for yourself like “” 2 3 4 ” or your birth date. While it may be easy for you to remember, those choices are also very easy for predators to figure out. If you make a lot of online purchases or just want to dip your toes into the world of Internet shopping, get yourself a dedicated card with a low credit limit. Y ou can open up a secured credit card at most financial institutions that req uire you to deposit a balance to borrow against, allowing you to open a card with a m5 “ “ limit. Y our deposit will gain interest and you will be able to use your card for online purchases. What’s more, most scammers try to run a small purchase

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through before running a larger purchase on the card. Y ou may not notice a m“ .3 2 charge right away, but when your bank calls you asking if you tried to purchase a m7 7 9 laptop, you’ll be happy your limit was low enough to be declined. If your credit card number is compromised, you should call your bank immediately and report it. While police are able to enforce credit card fraud on a local level, with the Internet the person trying to run your numbers may be six states away, if they’re in the U nited States at all. In all cases, the sooner it’s reported, the better. Y our bank will cancel the card number and reissue you another card. While you’re online, keep in mind that your bank will most likely never contact you via email regarding your account. If you do get an e-mail from a bank that you use, double check the address. Chances are it will be slightly askew from any legitimate

McKeesport Area

address. Instead of “@ yourcreditcard.com,” you may see, “@ yourcreditcard” .com” or “@ yourcreditcard.uk.” B anks understand that scammers routinely try to get you to give up your personal information via e-mail. Therefore, most have secured e-mail available through their websites, where you can be sure you’re talking straight to legitimate bank representatives. L astly, if you have several credit c ards that you use often, take the time to flip them over and write down the ” -8 “ “ customer service numbers on the back and keep that list in a safe place. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy in your purse or wallet. This way, when you notice your card is missing and are frantic, you can at least go to your list and call to report the missing card. In the end, you should treat your credit card like you would treat your cash— never leave it lying around.


DIG

I

ITAL P HOTOG RAP HY F OR SENIORS

f the last time you took holiday photos req uired clumsily spooling film into your 3 5 mm camera, don’t be intimidated by what technology has done to photography in the past few years. In fact, once you have some basics down, you may find that your digital camera is easier to use than you thought. So let’s start at the beginning and go over your new toy from stem to stern. We can’t go into detail about every feature of every camera, but luckily most cameras share the same properties, so we can cover most scenarios. More than likely, your camera came with a lithium ion battery pack and charger. All you need to know about this is that this battery can last a long time. Thanks to self-timers built into your camera, if you forget to shut it off, it will shut off automatically for you, saving battery life and allowing you to take that unexpected shot when the time comes. That said, the battery won’t last forever, especially if you are shooting with the flash often or shooting video, if your camera has that feature. If you know you’re going to be somewhere with a lot of natural light, turn your flash off altogether and shoot longer. The second thing to familiariz e yourself with is your memory card. Cameras come with a variety of memory cards to choose from. Regardless of the kind your camera takes, just remember that bigger is better. A ”6 gigabyte memory card can hold hundreds of photos, and if you’re not in the habit of printing your photos right away or moving them to your computer, the extra space is a must. How many pictures you can store on your memory card depends on your resolution setting for your pictures. Y our resolution is how big the picture is. If you’re shooting for a website, low resolutions are better because the file siz e is smaller. However, if you try to print the same low resolution photo as an 8 x”“, it will appear distorted or “pixilated” because the camera wasn’t set to capture all of the fine details of the image. With most point-and-shoot cameras on high resolution, you can print very large prints or z oom in to crop shots for better composition. The last thing to get to know is the U SB cable. This is the cable that came with your camera and connects it to any U SB port on your computer. Through this cable, you can transfer your images for future sorting, correction, or sharing. B elieve it or not, once you have those things down, your digital camera has many of the same features of your old 3 5 mm. Y ou can z oom in, set a timer so you have a chance to get into frame, and set a scenic mode where you can select how the camera operates in certain conditions, such as a portrait, sports shot, night shot, or landscape. Y our manual will list the specific icons and their meanings. Don’t be afraid to leaf through it if you get stuck. Manuals have come a long way as well and are clearly written for users of all experience levels.

SeniorAgencies MCKEESPORT Mon-Valley Resource Center/ Boomers Café 624 Lysle Blvd. McKeesport, PA 15132 412.664.5434 FAX 412.664.5437 Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. E-mail: monvalley@lifespanpa.org Regional Manager: Kim Rollinson Site Assistant: Chrissy Walczak

Transportation For Older Adults Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) 1.888.547.6287 Provides non-emergency medical transportation to residents of Allegheny County who have a valid Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Medical Assistance Card. Free Bus Pass for Senior Citizens The Port Authority allows Allegheny County residents, 65 years of age and older, to ride free on local public transportation (buses, trolleys and rapid-transit lines). Participants must obtain identification cards, which are available free of charge, from participating transportation providers. Call 412.442.2000 for the location nearest to you.

are no restrictions on the purpose or number of trips which may be taken by riders, except that riders are required to share their vehicle with others traveling in the same direction and at the same time. Older Persons Transportation Transportation for medical appointments, grocery shopping, senior center activities and other needs throughout Allegheny County is available to adults 60 years of age and older who live in Allegheny County. Call SeniorLine at . Are you a nonprofit Senior Center serving the needs of our community’s older adults? We would be happy to post your contact information. Contact Marybeth@incommunity magazines.com with your center’s name and phone number.

ACCESS 65 Plus and ACCESS ADA Program 412.562.5353 or TDD 1.800.654.5984 ACCESS is door-to-door, advance reservation, shared-ride transportation provided throughout Port Authority’s service area. It serves primarily senior citizens and persons with disabilities. There

McKeesport Area | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 47


 e By Pamela Palongu



s anyone who knows me personally will tell you, I am no expert on social occasions. However, based upon the theory that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, I have made enough social faux pas to speak authoritatively on what not to do at a wedding. Some helpful tips are listed below to help get you through the season of bliss.

Never wear white to a wedding. This includes eggshell, ecru, light cream, pearl lustre and Tahitian coconut.



Never complain about the food at the wedding reception with your mouth full of food from the wedding reception. It’s a credibility issue.

Never attempt to upstage the bride, (unless of course you hate the bride in which case you probably really shouldn’t be attending the wedding anyway, given the spirit of the whole love and happiness thing).



Throw only designated throwing materials at the bride and groom such as rice and rose petals. Shoes, jello and steak knives are not acceptable. Ever. Even when they are within the appropriate wedding color scheme.



At Jewish weddings do not ask, “What is that big thing they’re standing under?”





At Catholic weddings try to refrain from asking, “Why is this taking so long?” The well-prepared wedding guest remembers to bring snacks for himself and his friends. (Avoid crunchy snacks that may disrupt the ceremony).

The wedding day is NOT the proper time to share the fact that you once dated the groom, the bride or their parents. In fact, the proper time to share this information may not actually exist.

If you simply must dance at the reception, remember you are not trying out for “Dancing With The Stars.” If you throw your partner in the air, make sure you catch them. Missing is considered grounds for divorce in most states. Avoid high kicks which may warrant medical attention.





NEVER bet on how long the marriage will last at the reception. All odds making must be done outside the reception venue. (In the event of inclement weather, the lobby or bathroom is acceptable).

Many people ascribe to the time-honored adage, ‘It’s not a party till something gets broken.’ However, avoid breaking things that are irreplaceable, expensive and likely to lead to a law suit. Cell phones and glasses are okay.

Given the fact that marriage is a formidable undertaking and the courageous souls who dare to tread the rose-strewn path are likely to be distraught, hysterical and panic-stricken, you owe it to the happy couple to be the best wedding guest possible. These helpful tips are the very foundation of the social graces. If you follow them carefully, you will glide effortlessly from wedding celebration to reception party in a virtual whirl of neurotic enthusiasm. 48 724.942.0940 to advertise |

McKeesport Area


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