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The Wagon Train from Ramsey Elementary School

The Perfect Hostess Gift Older Adults in Monroeville

WINTER 2010 Welcome to our winter issue! At this time of year, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for taking that journey with us that was 2010. This year was one full of blessings for IN Community Magazines, as we’ve grown to serve 32 communities throughout Western Pennsylvania. While it’s been a challenge for us, it was one that we met head-on, and with great success. For that, I would like to thank my staff. I’d also like to thank two other groups who make this magazine what it is – you, our readers, and our advertisers. Firstly, it’s our readers who help shape this magazine into what you see in your hands right now. Those of you who took the time to call, e-mail or write-in with your ideas and events are the ones who set our table of contents. We pride ourselves on the fact that we listen to you and your ideas because, in the end, this is your community and you know it best. So I continue to encourage you to send in your ideas to our editor at Secondly, to our advertisers, I thank you for your continued support with Community Magazines. I’ve heard from so many of you that advertising with us is working for you, and I’m proud that our magazines are a great vehicle for you. But what is also important is that by advertising with us, you’re also supporting your community. You’re giving those who read these magazines the content that they enjoy and look forward to each issue. Because of you, our readers can be entertained and informed. So, readers, in this last issue before 2011, I urge you to take a second or third glance at the advertisers who support you r community magazine before you make your holiday gift lists. If you like this magazine, let them know and make a point to stop in their businesses. They’re not just trying to sell you something, they’re also your neighbors and community sponsors. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and the best that 2011 has to offer!

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

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

Mark Berton M A N AG I N G E D I TO R

Marybeth Jeffries O F F I C E M A N AG E R

Leo Vighetti E D I TO R I A L AS S I STA N T

Jamie Ward WRITERS

Jonathan Barnes Kelli McElhinny Pamela Palongue GRAPHIC DESIGN

Michael Andrulonis Cassie Brkich Anna Buzzelli Susie Doak Pati Ingold

Bill Ivins Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda Tracey Wasilco


Rebecca Bailey One Way Street Productions

Wayne Dollard Publisher


As the holiday season approaches, I hope you'll step away from the list making and cookie baking for just a few minutes to enjoy the information we have compiled for this edition of Monroeville. As always, our goal is to offer a bit of insight into the community. Some of our most interesting features focus on residents and their passion in all things "community". As you are going through your busy d ays (and holiday parties) please don't forget to let us know about any person or organization who you feel would be interesting for us to feature. We get some of our best story ideas and are so inspired, by our readers! The amount of good will and charitable activity that seems to flow from the Monroeville Community is amazing and awesome. From all of us at In Community Magazines, we hope your holiday will be filled with a good dose of peace and a little bit of joy, and that you're surrounded by the love and companionship of those who mean the most to you.

Marybeth Jeffries Managing Editor

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

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Nicholas Buzzell David Mitchell Brian Daley Tamara Myers Gina D’Alicandro Gabriel Negri Tina Dollard Robert Ojeda Rose Estes Annette Petrone Beatriz Harrison Tara Reis Jason Huffman Vincent Sabatini Jessie Jones Michael Silvert Connie McDaniel RJ Vighetti Brian McKee 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 2010.

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 Spring Issue Deadline: January 5, 2011

Contents Monroeville | WINTER 2010 |

W I N T E R 2 0 1 0 -1 1

Health and Wellness News You Can Use For residents of eastern communities

Here’s to a Happy, Healthy Winter If winter isn’t your favorite season, look inside for some great ways to keep your health and spirits intact.

What’s Inside


21 37

16 |

Colds and Flu: What to Do? Fast Facts About the Flu

page 3

The Difference a Number Can Make Holiday Eating and Diabetes: Tips to Stay on Track

page 4

Be Happy and Healthy this Winter Are You Sad? Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder

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New Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Patients

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When Kids Get Hurt, We’re Ready

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A Pile of Safe Snow Shoveling Tips

UPMC Liver Cancer Center Opens New Location in Monroeville

Publisher’s Message COMMUNITY INTEREST

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Students Skip Out on Halloween Candy to Give Back | 10 Monroeville Historical Society | 16 Monroeville Public Library | 20 Monroeville Municipal Authority | 29 Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce | 37

Borough of Pitcairn UPMC Today




Health and Wellness News You Can Use | 21 FEATURES


Preparing for Winter and the Holidays | The Perfect Hostess Gift | 17 Don’t Let Winter Slow You Down | 39 Winter is the Perfect Time for Outside Play | 40 Volunteering Brings More Joy than Imagined | 43 Resolve to Keep Your Resolutions This Year | 44 Boyce Park to Offer Plenty of Winter Activity | 46 Older Adults in Monroeville


Tax Planning for the New Year | 18

IN Kids



Those Unwholesome Christmas Memories INDUSTRY INSIGHTS


Allegheny Hearing Instruments Are Your Ears Ringing? | 8 Miracle Method





Guests coming for the Holidays? | 33



Students from Jean Connors' Ramsey Elementary School collecting food for the Cross Roads Presbyterian Church food bank.

Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it. IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 3


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Dear Pitcairn Residents and Businesses: As we come to the end of 2010, a year that has certainly flown by, Pitcairn Council would like to report on a few of the projects that have been completed. The year began with a severe snow storm in February that crippled the entire area. But with the help of our employees and outside contractors, Pitcairn was back in operation in two days. After getting through the rough winter, the repair projects began. There was extensive patching of Wall Avenue, repairing of creek walls in the 1100-1230 block of Wall Avenue, the creek wall on School Street causing the road to cave in was repaired, and many catch basins have been repaired. Through grant money, the parking lot in the business district was repaved and relined, the bathrooms at the ball field were completed (no more port-a-johns), four buildings were demolished and a fifth is demolition is in process right now. The Borough negotiated the very first contract with our Public Works/Electric/ Cable employees. We are in the process of replacing old equipment with new, and we've already purchased a new dump truck. We are also in the process of finalizing the updated Ordinance Book. Our cable company has gone through some changes throughout the year also. Several stations were added and high definition stations were introduced. We are continuing with the plans for the updated sub-station, scheduled to be completed in early 2011. To end the summer, a successful and enjoyable Community Day was held. Thanks again to all who contributed their time and to all who came out to enjoy the beautiful day. Moving forward, many more projects are on the table and being discussed by Council for next year. With the support of Council and the continuing hard work by the employees of the Borough, we look forward to another successful year. As we begin the winter season, and with Christmas almost upon us, we hope that 2010 has been a good year for you and your loved ones. Have a wonderful Holiday Season!!! On behalf of Pitcairn Borough Council and all the Borough employees, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Orelio “Rollo� Vecchio Council President

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Government Information Borough Manager: Patty Logo


Available at the office: Permit and inspection information Park Building or Sugar Camp rental information

Elected Officials State Senator James Brewster 412.380.2242


State Representative Joseph Markosek 412.856.8284


Mayor and Council 412.372.6500

Working Utility Foreman

Borough Meetings 7 p.m. in the Pitcairn Borough Council Chambers Council Agenda Workshop: Second Tuesday Council Business Meeting: Fourth Tuesday

ames Comunale has had an interesting career path. From graduating trade school in 1977 as an electrician, he’s worked for the East Allegheny School District until 1982, when he turned to law enforcement. By 1983, he started with the North Versailles Police Department, eventually retiring from the force as chief. All the while, however, he never stopped doing electrical work on the side. In October, Comuna le was hired as Pitcairn’s Working Utility Foreman, where he oversees the borough’s electrical and cable infrastructure. It’s a job that he not only enjoys, but one where he has the opportunity to work with his two coworkers to keep Pitcairn’s power and cable on. “When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them to pretend that I work for Duquesne Light. The jobs are identical,” Comunale said. “We repair streetlights. We repair service drops. We actually have our own substation in


Pitcairn Borough Community Events Advertised on Pitcairn Community Station–Ch. 4: Easter Egg Hunt Harvest Festival Spring/Fall Clean-Up Community Day Summer Lunch Program Fireman’s Fair Summer Recreation Program Old Fashioned Christmas

Pitcairn Directory Police/Fire Emergency 911 Police Non-Emergency 412.856.1111 Pitcairn Police Department 412.372.6505 Chief: Dennis Hockenberry 412.372.6505 Fire Non-Emergency Pitcairn Hose No. 1: 412.372.7040 Chief – Henry Farally Pitcairn Hose No. 2: 412.856.5630 Chief – Chris Fouser Ambulance Pitcairn Ambulance 412.856.6432 Gateway School District 412.372.5300 Tax Collector Sally DiRobbio 412.372.3009 Wage Tax Collector EIT Collector 412.856.1045 Borough Engineer EADS 412.754.0801 Borough Solicitor Bruce Dice and Associates 412.733.3080 Magistrate Jeffery Herbst 412.372.1125 Animal Control Triangle Pet 412.771.7387 Trash Waste Management 724.864.5166 Utilities Wilkinsburg Penn Joint Water 412.243.6200 Equitable Gas Company 412.395.3050 ALCOSAN Sewage 412.766.6696 Verizon Telephone 800.660.2215 Pitcairn Borough Electric/Cable Department Pitcairn Power 582 Sixth Street, Pitcairn, PA 15140 412.372.6500 Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday Monthly bills include electric usage, cable, garbage and sewer maintenance fees. Bills are sent out approximately the 15th of each month, and are due the fifth of each month. There is a drop off box on the front door of the Borough building for payments after office hours. Trash Days: Trash may be put out after 6 p.m. on the day before collection.


Pitcairn Pitcairn to duplicate power ratings and we maintain them also. We’re in the process now of rebuilding one of them and our regulators are getting revamped.” Now that the work crew now has Comunale on board, the work can get done quicker and easier because much of the work requires two workers to be done safely and efficiently. “In the time I’ve been here, we’ve made some significant improvements because we have the extra manpower now,” he said. “We get a lot more challenges done because there are two of us doing the work. With one worker, a lot of the jobs are put on hold because there’s a need for two people.” And yes, Comunale and his coworkers are always on call. So when the power goes out at 3 a.m. because of a storm, these dedicated workers are out there fixing it so that you won’t miss that alarm clock buzzer.

 456 Broadway Blvd., Pitcairn, Pa. Judith Holeman opened Good Choice Ice Cream Shop this past June. Her mission is to “try to encourage her customers to show love to all who enter into store.” Good Choice sells sandwiches and desserts, but shaved ice is their specialty. Holeman's favorite on the menu is the corned beef on wheat. Customers can choose from a variety of flavors, the most popular being Tiger’s Blood. The shaved ice comes in three different sizes, and you can even add Hersey's hand-dipped ice cream to the center of your shaved ice. Holeman was born and raised in Pittsburgh and has been in retail for years. She takes pride in supporting the community. That's why, according

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to Holeman, Good Choice is designed with the community in mind. “We supply flavors that meet our customers’ dessert desires,” she says. Holeman says she see's expansion in Good Choice's future. But to her, it's not just about the business. “It’s about being a blessing to someone else,” she says. Good Choice is open seven days a week. For more information, visit “We stand on a foundation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are owners of nothing and stewards of everything. This is His store.”

Small Bakery

Doing BigThings

By Jamie Ward

Baking has always been a passion for Emon Edwards.

Now it's her career. “When I was little, I would watch Martha Stewart and write down everything she said,” says Edwards. “I started entering baking contests and won a couple of blue ribbons.” This November, that little girl's dream turned into the newly opened Sweetest Dessert Studio and Bakery in Pitcairn. “We have been doing the wedding cake aspect for years,” says Edwards. “When we moved down to Pittsburgh in April, we found the location and decided to start the studio.” Every time you walk into Sweetest, it’s a new experience. The bakery features a rotating menu of eight different desserts, which change throughout the week. Customers are encouraged to order their desserts ahead of time so they can order from the entire menu (and not miss out on their favorites). Sweetest's menu includes all kinds of tempting treats, like the white chocolate raspberry fudge brownies, but Edwards says cupcakes are their specialty. And not just ordinary cupcakes, but gourmet flavors like “Wake Me Up” maple pancake cupcakes with a maple butter-cream frosting and topped with bacon crumbles. Edwards' personal favorite is the s'mores cupcakes. Another one of Edwards’ passions is giving back to the community. Sweetest Dessert Studio and Bakery is a business that doesn't measure success is just dollars and cents. They're also focused on helping others.

“We're really into the charity aspect of our business,” says Edwards. “We wouldn't be here without the help from God and support of the community. So we really want to give back.” Every month, the bakery features a different charity. During their grand opening, the gang at Sweetest gave out free cupcakes to the first 100 people who came in with cans for the Pitcairn food pantry. “November was diabetes awareness month,” says Edwards, “and we made a reduced sugar cupcake.” Part of proceeds went to diabetes awareness. The featured charity for December will be Toys for Tots.

Sweetest is open six days a week and by appointment only on Saturdays.

Sweetest Dessert Studio and Bakery  

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The Allegheny County Parks Department opened the North Park and South Park ice rinks on Thursday, November 4. The 2010-2011 ice skating season will run through mid-March 2011. The Parks Department will once again offer both free and paid skating lessons throughout the season to residents ages five and older. The North Park and South Park ice rinks offer gift certificates, and the rinks are available to rent for special occasions. For additional information, call the North Park Ice Rink at 724.935.1280 or the South Park Ice Rink at 412.833.1499. 2011 Family, Senior and Individual pool pass certificates and 2011 Senior golf certificates are available as holiday gifts. Call 412.350.2468 for details.

S E S S I O N H O U R S :  Saturday & Sunday: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.  Wednesday & Friday: 4:30–7 p.m.  Saturday & Sunday: 4:30–7 p.m. Evening  Tuesday–Thursday: 7:30–9 p.m.  Friday & Saturday: 7:30–10 p.m.  Sunday: 7:30–9 p.m. Lesson Day  Tuesday & Thursday: 4:30–7 p.m. Holidays  Christmas Eve: 12 noon–6 p.m.  New Year’s Eve: 12 noon–6 p.m.  New Year’s Day: 12 noon–6 p.m. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day Open on the Monday following Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Presidents Day

Daytime Afternoon

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Students Skip Out on Halloween or most children, Halloween means dressing up in costumes and getting lots F of candy. For the students in Jean Connors' Ramsey Elementary School class, however, Halloween means giving back to the community and giving back with smiles on their faces. Connors has been teaching for 32 years and every year she has asked her students to forgo candy in class in exchange for collecting for a local food bank. And she says this was the best year ever. That's because she's new to the school and because the food bank is so close, which enabled the children to walk their donations to the food bank at Cross Roads Presbyterian Church. “This made it so much more meaningful for the students as they not only were in charge of collecting food but also got to be part of 'the wagon train' to deliver it directly to a food bank and then had the added pleasure of putting it on the shelf!” Conners strongly believes service to others should be ranked as high as math and reading. Her classes perform a lot of community service, like designing and writing cards every month to be placed in the bags of the Meals on Wheels recipients. “I get my ideas for service from the local community or disasters in the world that I think the children can relate to,” says Conners.

That's why for Thanksgiving, the children are sending “Bountiful Buckets" to Haiti. They will be joining with a local church to fill two large buckets with items to be shipped to those still displaced by the massive earthquake there. For Christmas, the students are filling stockings for the soldiers. Connors says that by exposing the children to service both in the local community and the world it shows that every one of us can make a difference. “Hopefully, just like reading and math skills are used to help our students be lifelong learners, involvement in service to others will be something that they will continue to do well after 4th grade ends,” says Conners. “After all, aren't we all here to help those less fortunate than us?”


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Candy to Give Back

By Jamie Ward

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 11

BACK PAIN Many Causes, Few Cures


t’s the kind of thing that can come in an instant like a lightning bolt, or sneak in over the course of weeks like a persistent fog. In any form, it’s unwelcome and costs U.S. businesses millions of dollars in lost work and sick days. It’s back pain, and while it’s not totally understood, it’s totally real for millions of Americans. There are several varieties of b ack pain, each with their own names based on the location on the spine from which they seem to originate. One of the more common ones that you may have heard about is “lumbago,” or lower back pain. The name stems from the lumbar section of the spine, and the condition has fueled an estimated $70 billion industry in itself in physician services, self-help remedies, ointments, devices and more. America’s o bsession with lumbar and its proper support has led to seats with lumbar adjustments being standard in most high-end vehicles. For those who drive economy cars, there are pillows, wedges, lattices of beads and vibrating heating pads that plug into your car’s lighter socket, each proclaiming more relief than the next.

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


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Despite the accoutrements that one can purchase, few provide total relief. That’s because the actual causes of run-ofthe-mill, everyday back pain are largely unknown. Many reasons for serious back pain are easily diag nosed because they have a direct causal basis or present with other symptoms such as weight loss, fever or incontinence. Someone in a recent car accident, for example, would know that their current back pain is a result of the collision. However, it’s been postulated that back pain may also be the result of stress at work or at home, reasons that would not show up in an MRI or X-ray. If you’re just deal ing with day-to-day aches and pains, most doctors agree that compresses of warm, moist heat are the best way to cope. Over the counter pain relievers are also safe, so long as you take them as directed. Chiropractors and physical therapists may be able to suggest a stretching regimen that could alleviate some of the more common aches and pains associated with the spine. In fact, more and more chiroprac tors have integrated techniques into patient visits other than the basic routine adjustment.

                     

You might be surprised to find that your first chiropractic visit may include 15 minutes of massage therapy, where warm, moist heat compresses are placed on your back, followed by 15 minutes of TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which zings and zaps your muscles with a pleasant tingling sensation. While it all feels great, s cientists are split as to whether any of it works for the long term. A study by the American Academy of Family Physicians came to the conclusion that while heat packs, deep heat, and massage are useful in the immediate relief of symptoms, long-term effectiveness is still in question, and the use of TENS therapy has demonstrated no long term effectiveness at all. What the study did conclude is that unle ss the pain is the result of a deeper medical condition, like cancer or infection, exercise and patient education are the best tools out there in helping the patient in the long-term.

ADVERTISE HERE! Call 724.942.0940

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

Do you know someone who is serving in the armed forces from the Monroeville 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

Help us recognize these fine men and women!

We treat your pet like one of our fur-kids! SPECIAL OFFER: $10 off any service • PetSitting • Dog Walks • Dog Training Bonded, Insured, Background checked Check out our testimonials on our web site.



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IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 15


Visitors who arrived at the Monroeville Historical Society’s Heritage Day Festival in October were treated to a exciting variety of fun activities at the McGinley and McCully Log historical houses. Some children decided to paint colorful faces on grapefruit-size pumpkins, while others, with a few well placed dabs of paint, transformed ordinary grey stones into cats, dogs, witches, or even cars.

Adults and children alike were challenged to create five-foot scarecrows out of jeans and shirts stuffed with straw and others designed unique “Time Traveler” puppets sporting period hats and costumes. They also enjoyed watching Boy Scout Troop 205 members chopping wood or demonstrating their carpentry skills. Each offering of the event was designed to make learning about history in the 1800s a fun activity. The Society satisfied visitors’ appetites by serving cups of hot and cold cider, fresh baked bread hot out of the outdoor oven and topped with butter churned by MHS members and visitors. To learn about old-fashioned crafts done in the houses built before 1850, they could observe a spinner making yarn out of fluffy dyed wool, be amazed at the bobbin lacemakers’ skill that enables them to create edging of delicate designs, or twist yarn into dolls themselves. Docents helped visitors understand Monroeville’s history by describing the time when Monroeville was settled and how residents made their living by showing them antique kitchen equipment, farm tools, and furniture. Seeing the extensive dollhouse collection was another way to observe various periods in local history. 16

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Reenactors Henry Bowden and his sister, Lora Hern, entertained visitors with stories about artifacts they have collected once used by settlers, trappers, and American Indians. It was evident from the many nice compliments MHS members received for their work to organize and demonstrate during the Festival that it was appreciated and enjoyed by approximately 300 people who attended this annual event to celebrate Monroeville’s wonderful heritage. The next MHS activity is scheduled for November 23 at 7 p.m. at the Old Stone Church. This is Monoreville’s Light-Up Night and Program featuring the Monroeville Chorus and Santa’s visit. Boy and Girl Scout troops have been invited and the public is welcome to attend. Visitors can park at Petco or in the Target lot close to Monroeville Boulevard. To become a member of the Historical Society, contact its president, Lynn Chandler, at 724.327.6164 or access its website: Monthly meetings are held at the Monroeville Public Library on the third Tuesday at 7 p.m. with the exception of August and December.

When attending a party, I always try to remember to take a hostess gift. Hostess gifts are really just a small gesture – something to thank your host for being so welcoming. But, what to bring? It depends on how well you know your hostess and how formal the party.

Casual Parties Gifts of food and beverage are always welcome. In a pinch, your host can set out your cookies or drinks if supplies run low. Just check with your hostess to make sure they are serving alcohol before you decide on the Cabernet or Riesling.

Formal Parties For parties that are more formal in nature, a gift of chocolates or bottle of champagne are wonderful and thoughtful gifts. Flowers are a great option if you have them arranged in a vase before you arrive or delivered the day before the party. Your hostess will be so grateful not to have to stop and tend to your gift while trying to welcome her guests!

Something More Personal? Scented candles, lotions or a CD of your host’s favorite type of music make great gifts. A homemade jar of jam, or muffins wrapped in a cellophane bag and tied with ribbon will be something your hostess will truly appreciate. For someone who loves the kitchen, soap and lotion caddies for the kitchen sink or beautiful kitchen towels are memorable gifts that won’t go unnoticed. Last fall, I received a basket of tomatoes from my friend’s Peter’s Township garden and was so thrilled! Always remember to place a small note with your gift. The next day, you host won’t be scratching her head wondering who was so thoughtful to remember her with that lovely gift!

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 17

Good Tidings for the Greatest Generation

Older Adults in Monroeville

Tax Planning for The New

mericans filing federal returns can expect year-end tax planning to be a bit more complicated this time around because we don't know what the tax rates will be for 2011 just yet. The current rates, known as the “Bush tax cuts” from 2001, are due to expire on Dec 31 of this year. So when the new rates get passed, taxpayers won't have a whole lot of time to plan. Jeff Marzina, executive vice president at Bill Few Associates says that the best plan of action here is to be prepared. “For this year," says Marzina, "I think I think its very important that people be paying attention to what happens in the political spectrum in terms of tax rates for the new year and to make sure you have your advisers lined up so when rates are set, you don’t wait.” Each year, an individual is allowed to give a financial gift of up to $13,000 to any or as many individuals as they want to without being subject to a gift tax. If you give beyond this, you must fill out a gift tax return, which goes against the unified credit amount that they are allowed to give at their death. Right now, this is not determined. 18

by Jamie Ward Marzina says that the question many So you could give gifts of up to $13,000 to 15 grandchildren and not pay people are asking is, if you have assets that have significant capital gains built in, a tax on it. According to the IRS, You can't deduct the value of gifts on your income tax return unless they are left to a charitable organization. Federal estate taxes may have been repealed for 2010 but they are set to return on January 1, 2011, and will tax up to 55% on estates valued at more than $1 million. In 2009 the rate only imposed a 45% tax on estates in excess of $3.5 million, and all assets got a “step-up” in basis when someone died. This meant that no tax would have to be paid on appreciated assets like stock and real estate. But under new laws all assets inherited may be subject to the capital gains tax. should you accelerate taxes and sell those If the current administration's assets in 2010 to ensure 15% tax rate, instead of waiting for 2011 and having the proposal to allow rates to expire and rate jump to 20%? return to 2009's rate, the “step-up” in The problem here is that taxpayers basis will return. Another proposal is to have most of the current brackets stay but wont have a lot of time to make these raise tax rates of the highest bracket, and decisions. According to Marzina, if the taxes on dividends and capital gains jump new tax laws are in place by Dec 1, from 15% to 20%. The Republican there will only be a 30-day window to proposal is to extend current tax rates for make any decisions this year. So the best a period of 2 years and cap dividends and thing to do is make those decisions as capital gains at 15%. quickly as possible.

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How to Prevent by Jamie Ward


ith the winter months approaching, it's time to put away the golf clubs and short sleeve shirts and break out the

jackets. It's also time to start thinking about safety. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 1 in 3 Americans over the age of 65 slips and falls each year. It's the number one cause of injury related deaths. So with snow and ice just around the corner (and if moving to Florida is out of the question), it's a good idea to review some tips on keeping yourself safe this winter. • Buy shoes with a non-skid sole or with good traction to get a better grip with the ground. Leather- and plastic-soled shoes have the worst traction in winter weather. • Check for icy railings and avoid icy and uncleared sidewalks and walkways. • Take your time to map out the best route to get wherever you are going and don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when you feel you may need it. • If you have to walk over an icy surface, bending your knees and taking slower steps can reduce the risk of falling.

Senior Agencies Monroeville 6000 Gateway Campus Blvd. 412.856.7825

free of charge, from participating transportation providers. Call 412.442.2000 for the location nearest to you.

ACCESS 65 Plus and ACCESS ADA Program 412.562.5353 or There are several agencies TDD 1.800.654.5984 ACCESS is door-to-door, that offer free or reduced rate transportation services advance reservation, shared-ride transportation to individuals who qualify. provided throughout Port Authority’s service area. Medical Assistance It serves primarily senior Transportation Program citizens and persons with (MATP) disabilities. There are no 1.888.547.6287 restrictions on the purpose Provides non-emergency or number of trips which medical transportation to may be taken by riders, residents of Allegheny except that riders are County who have a valid required to share their Pennsylvania Department vehicle with others of Public Welfare Medical traveling in the same Assistance Card. direction and at the same time.

Transportation For Older Adults

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 412.350.5460

And as always, safety begins at home. Make sure the areas around your home are salted and cleared. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests using rock salt or another chemical de-icing compound. If needed, as a family member or neighbor to help you.

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 rapidtransit lines). Participants must obtain identification cards, which are available

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 with your center’s name and phone number.

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 19


Adult Programs and Services

Tot Time

The online catalog is available to anyone with Internet access and a Monroeville Public Library card. If you have a Monroeville Public Library card and a computer, you can reserve books, audio books, DVDs, music CDs, and more, view and manage holds, view items checked out, view fines, request Inter-Library Loans and renew items on loan, all from the comfort of your home at Hot Topics - Check out our Hot Topics, a feature on the Library website! Created by our reference staff, these are quick links designed to guide you to reliable online news and information about the issues you want to know about. Some topics are straight from the newspaper headlines, like health care reform and offshore drilling. Other features are of more general interest, like architecture and sustainable living. The guides are updated frequently, and past versions are archived, so be sure to check back often! For more information visit: Computer Tutoring - One-on-one computer tutoring sessions by appointment. Call or stop at the Reference Desk to schedule a hour session answering your specific computer questions. Sessions are taught by Library staff and must be scheduled one week in advance. Reference Desk: 412.372.0500, ext. 4.

10–10:30 a.m. in the Gallery Space These story times for one to three-yearolds with an adult are held the second and fourth Wednesday of each month in the Gallery Space. Registration begins one week before each program.

Family Craft Nights Family Craft Nights, held in the Program Room are a fun evening of craft making for the entire family. Check the Kid's page of our website for dates and times. Space is limited, so register early! For additional information, visit the Kid's page of our website or contact the Children's Room at 412.372.0500, ext. 3.

Teen Teen Book Club The Teen Book Club meets the second Monday of each month from 3:30–4:30 p.m. in the Conference Room. Check the Teen Page for book titles.

Teen Gaming Thursday Afternoons – 3–5 p.m. Join us for Guitar Hero: World Tour, Madden '09, and a whole lot more on our PlayStation 3! We've also got free snacks while you wait for your turn at the system. Feel free to bring some games of your own. For additional information, visit the Teen page of our website or contact the Teen Librarian at 412.372.0500, ext. 18.

MPL Adult Program E-News All Monroeville Public Library patrons are invited to join MPL Adult Program E-News, an electronic mail group designed to keep you informed about adult programs at MPL. Members receive emails with information about upcoming local history programs, travel slide shows, local author talks, science programs, health lectures and more.To join MPL Adult Program E-News, just send a blank email message to Within a few minutes you will receive an email with instructions for joining the group. If you have any questions about how to join the MPL Adult Program E-News group, contact Mark Hudson, Adult Services Librarian, at 412.372.0500, ext. 13.

DVD/CD Repair Offered Donate to the Thanks to Friends of the Library, MPL is able to repair DVD/CDs that have been Library! damaged. The state of the art equipment was

For additional information, please contact Evan Karelitz at 412.372.0500, ext. 26.

As an essential part of our community, Monroeville Public Library needs your support. Each and every day, people turn to the library seeking a book, a job, access to the Internet, or a quiet oasis where they can enjoy the newspaper, a magazine, or our gallery. At any time, Monroeville Public Library welcomes your gift to help us sustain an ever-growing collection of resources and a wide variety of programs and activities for individuals of all ages - all FREE to the public. Make a gift today for one of the following MPL priorities.

Books By Mail Books By Mail represents a library without walls, a special service to patrons ages 50+ who cannot get to the Monroeville Public Library. The elderly, the homebound, those without adequate means of transportation, and people with disabilities living in the taxing district (Monroeville and Pitcairn) all qualify. There is no charge for Books By Mail. booksbymail.html 20

Hours of Operation: Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday: 2 – 5 p.m.

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purchased because DVD/CDs were being discarded due to scratches. In most cases, the equipment can repair the discs. Discs that are cracked or delaminated cannot be repaired. The library is offering to repair DVD/CDs for the public, for a donation of $2 per disc.

Monroeville Public Library 4000 Gateway Campus Blvd. 412.372.0500 Children’s Room: ext. 3, Teen Librarian: ext. 18 Adult Reference: ext. 4 Christy Fusco, Director

www.monroevilleli -

W I N T E R 2 0 1 0 -1 1

Health and Wellness News You Can Use For residents of eastern communities

Here’s to a Happy, Healthy Winter If winter isn’t your favorite season, look inside for some great ways to keep your health and spirits intact.

What’s Inside page 2

Colds and Flu: What to Do? Fast Facts About the Flu

page 3

The Difference a Number Can Make Holiday Eating and Diabetes: Tips to Stay on Track

page 4

Be Happy and Healthy this Winter Are You Sad? Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder

page 5

New Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Patients

page 6

When Kids Get Hurt, We’re Ready

page 7

A Pile of Safe Snow Shoveling Tips UPMC Liver Cancer Center Opens New Location in Monroeville

© 2010 UPMC

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 21

Colds and Flu — What to Do?

Stay home, rest, and know when to seek medical help The flu and the common cold are respiratory illnesses, but they’re caused by different viruses. Because they share similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell them apart.

Down with the flu? Now what?

The main difference between a cold and the flu is the severity of the symptoms. Cold symptoms are less severe and include stuffy nose, productive cough, slight tiredness, and mild body aches.

Although most people recover from the flu in a few days to under two weeks, some develop complications. Seek medical attention for dehydration, difficulty breathing, suddenly getting worse after getting better, or any other major change in condition.

“The onset of the flu is usually very abrupt. One moment you’re feeling fine, but a short time later you feel awful with a high fever and achiness,” says Grant J. Shevchik, MD, medical director of UPMC After Hours Primary Care Clinic in Murrysville. It’s important to know the difference because the flu is highly contagious and can cause complications for young children, seniors, and those with chronic health conditions, including bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and dehydration. The flu also can worsen chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, and diabetes.

If you do get the flu, the best thing to do is rest and drink plenty of fluids. You also can take medication to treat your fever and achiness.

Prevention is key Dr. Shevchik says the best thing you can do to avoid catching the flu is to get vaccinated in the fall because infection-fighting antibodies that protect against the flu take about two weeks to develop in the body. Even if you wait, a flu shot may still help prevent illness since flu season can last until May. Good hygiene and common sense also help prevent the spread of the flu virus. Precautions include frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and practicing good nutrition. Anyone with a lowered immune system should avoid crowded areas.

“My best advice? If you’re sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others,” says Dr. Shevchik. “If you do need medical attention and it’s the evening or weekend — come to the After Hours Clinic. We can take care of everybody.”

UPMC After Hours Primary Care Clinic 4614 William Penn Highway Murrysville, PA Weeknights: 5 to 9 p.m. Weekends: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Convenient medical attention and flu shots available. Walk-ins welcome.

Fast Facts About the Flu How do you know if you have the flu? You might have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms: • • • • • • • • •

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fever (usually high) cough sore throat runny or stuffy nose body aches headache chills fatigue (can be extreme) diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children)

How should you treat the flu?

When should you call the doctor:

• • • •

For adults:

For children:

• difficulty breathing or shortness of breath • pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen • sudden dizziness • confusion • severe or persistent vomiting • flu-like symptoms that improve then return with a fever and worse cough

• • • •

rest drink plenty of liquids avoid alcohol and tobacco take medications to relieve symptoms (but never give aspirin to children or teenagers with flu symptoms, particularly a fever) • stay home from work, school, or running errands

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fast or troubled breathing bluish skin color not drinking enough fluids not waking up or interacting • being so irritable that the child does not want to be held • fever with a rash • flu-like symptoms that improve then return with fever and worse cough

The Difference See a Number Can Make how your numbers stack up for See how your numbers stack up for peace of mind — or a wake-up call peace of mind — or a wake-up call! Many numbers are part of your daily life, from your cell phone to your ATM code. But do you know the numbers that are critical to your physical health? Here are the three top numbers you should remember and monitor regularly:

120/80: Optimum blood pressure There’s a reason high blood pressure (hypertension) is known as the “silent killer.” You can have it for years and never know it. As it damages the walls of your arteries, it also can wreak havoc on your heart, kidneys, and brain. High blood pressure can lead to a heart attack, kidney failure, or stroke. When you have high blood pressure, the pressure of blood within the arteries — which carry blood from the heart throughout the body — is persistently elevated. Optimal blood pressure in an adult is under 120/80. The range for prehypertension is 120 to 139/80 to 89. High blood pressure is any reading of 140/90 or higher.

99: Blood sugar level It’s a good idea to have your blood sugar checked. High blood sugar — diabetes — can lead to a host of other medical problems if left unchecked, including vision and circulatory problems. Your optimal blood sugar level should be 99 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood or less. A count of 100 to 125 mg/dL is a pre-diabetes wake-up call; a level of 126 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes.

200: Optimum cholesterol Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made by the liver — and not all forms of it are bad. Sometimes, our bodies create too much cholesterol, which then circulates through the blood stream. To check your cholesterol levels, your doctor will ask you to fast before having blood work drawn. Your test results will show the amount of cholesterol in your blood.

It’s the bad, arteryclogging cholesterol (LDL) that puts you at risk, so shoot for an LDL of under 130 mg/dL. Conversely, the higher your good cholesterol (HDL) the better, because it helps remove harmful LDL from your arteries. An HDL of 50 mg/dL or higher is ideal. You should aim for a total cholesterol number (HDL + LDL) under 200 mg/dL. A count of 200 to 239 is considered borderline, while levels of 240 and above double your risk of coronary heart disease. For more information about important lifesaving numbers like body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, grip strength, and thyroid level, visit Sources: American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association

Holiday Eating and Diabetes Tips to Stay on Track For most Americans, the holiday season is a feasting season, a time to savor the tradition of sharing wonderful meals and sweet treats with family and friends. “Since food is the centerpiece for most holiday celebrations, this time of year can pose special challenges for those with diabetes,” says Mary P. Smith, a certified diabetes educator at UPMC in Monroeville at Oxford Drive. She offers the following tips to help control blood glucose levels, maintain your weight, and still enjoy the feasting season. • Plan ahead and set rules. Every holiday table features a wide variety, so be sure to choose healthy foods first. Offer to bring a special healthy dish for all to enjoy.

• Monitor portion sizes by using these handy tools. One cup of rice or pasta is the size of a woman’s closed fist; three ounces of boneless cooked meat is about the size of your open palm. • Eat before you feast. Avoid arriving at a party famished so you aren’t tempted to overeat. Eat a little something beforehand and drink one or two glasses of water to feel fuller. • Avoid temptation. Position yourself far away from the buffet table, and focus on time with family and friends instead of the food. If you do overindulge, get back on track the next day with your usual healthy eating habits. Sources: American Diabetes Association, American Dietetic Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 1-800-533-UPMC23


Health Tips from UPMC Health Plan

Be Happy and Healthy This Winter Is your favorite winter activity staying indoors under a warm blanket in front of the television with a bag of snacks in hand? You’re not alone. Getting through the cold weather with your health and spirits intact is difficult but not impossible. Follow these suggestions for a happier, healthier winter.

Fight the flu Cold and flu season is fast approaching. Here are some ways to avoid the sniffles. • Washing your hands for 15 seconds using soap and warm water is your best defense against germs. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based antibacterial product. • Getting a flu shot can reduce your risk of infection by 90 percent. If you don’t like needles, a nasal spray vaccine is available. • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing stress will help boost your immune system.

Winterize your skin As the weather turns colder, the dry air causes itchy, dry skin. To keep skin more comfortable during the winter months: • Switch to oil-based moisturizers with a minimum SPF of 30 for your face and body, and use them frequently. • Protect your hands from the elements with a heavy-duty hand cream, and always wear gloves outdoors. • Lips need extra protection, too. A moisturizing lip balm with vitamin E will help prevent chapping. • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.

Banish the winter blahs with exercise Don’t pack your exercise gear away with your summer clothes. Staying active during the winter months can lift your mood, help your immune system, and keep you from gaining weight. Be sure to talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. • Walk indoors at a local mall. Need extra motivation? Join a walking group. • Check out an exercise video at your local library or borrow one from a friend. • With proper planning, walking outdoors in winter can be fun and exhilarating. Walk during daylight hours, dress appropriately, and wear skid-resistant shoes.

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Are You Sad? Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

If the darker, shorter days of winter really get you down, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that begins in the fall and gets better in the spring. “Seasonal affective disorder is directly related to a decrease in sunlight during the winter months,” says Edward S. Friedman, MD, a psychiatrist at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC. The lack of sunlight disrupts the body’s internal clock, which can lead to feelings of depression. In addition to seasonal onset, SAD sufferers experience what Dr. Friedman describes as a kind of hibernation. “They stay indoors, conserve energy, eat more, and sleep more,” he explains. Those behaviors can distinguish SAD from other types of depression. And individuals who already suffer from clinical depression may feel worse in the fall. If you are diagnosed with SAD and your symptoms are severe enough to affect your daily life, your doctor may recommend antidepressant medications, light therapy, or psychotherapy. While it’s normal for anyone to have a down day occasionally, don’t brush off those feelings. “Anyone with symptoms of depression that last more than two weeks should see their doctor,” advises Dr. Friedman.

Did You Know? • People with SAD are more likely to have a blood relative with the condition. • More women than men are diagnosed with SAD. • Exercise can help boost your mood, and relieve stress and anxiety.

Innovation at UPMC

New Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Patients Robotic technology revolutionizing Whipple surgery When Coy Smith* found out he had pancreatic cancer and needed a Whipple procedure, he started getting his affairs in order. He even considered going without surgery. “It occurred to me that I might not come back home,” says Mr. Smith. Although he left most of the worrying up to his wife, a licensed practical nurse, he knew enough to realize the surgery would not be a simple task. Whipple surgery — one of the most complex surgeries performed — involves the removal of the head of the pancreas, gallbladder, bile duct, part of the stomach, and small intestine. But the 58-year-old Altoona-area resident was lucky. He was one of the first patients at UPMC Cancer Centers to undergo a non-invasive version of the Whipple procedure using state-of-the-art robotic technology. He was operated on in October 2009 by the surgical team of A. James Moser, MD, and Herbert J. Zeh, MD — co-directors of the Pancreatic Specialty Care Center and two of just a handful of surgeons worldwide who perform the Whipple procedure using robotic surgical technology. Mr. Smith woke up in recovery and immediately began joking with the nurses. After a week’s stay in the hospital, Mr. Smith began six months of chemotherapy. One year later, he is cancer-free. “I’m healthy and very fortunate,” Mr. Smith says. * Mr. Smith’s treatment and results may not be representative of similar cases.

“This is pioneering technology — the first major innovation in pancreas surgery in more than 100 years — and UPMC is considered among the world’s leaders,” says Dr. Moser.

Potential Benefits of the Robotic Whipple Procedure • smaller incisions • minimal scarring • reduced blood loss and need for transfusion • less pain • shorter hospital stays • faster recovery time and start of treatment

Precise robotic technology Surgeons use the da Vinci® Si Surgical System, a robotic surgical device that allows them to operate through a series of small incisions (including one to accommodate a miniature camera) with greater dexterity and range of motion, plus a magnified threedimensional view of organs on a large, high-definition screen. Instead of the “chopsticks” used in laparoscopy, robotic surgery equipment allows for more natural movements, including wrist function, explains Dr. Zeh. “It has a 360-degree range of motion, which has much more freedom of movement than your own hand,” says Dr. Zeh. “You can get into places where your hand can’t go.” The robotic technology enhances the surgeon’s ability to see detail and manipulate anatomical parts with great precision. Like conventional laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery is minimally invasive.

Patients benefit The two surgeons have published papers on the robotic Whipple procedure and have spoken at conferences around the world. They are now compiling data on patient outcomes.

While it is not yet clear whether this approach produces better surgical outcomes, both surgeons say it is clear that patients may benefit in many ways, including less pain, reduced recovery time, minimal scarring, and reduced need for blood transfusions. That means patients can begin chemotherapy sooner. “We are pleased to be able to offer this new technology,” Dr. Zeh says. “The data shows that as a whole, patients who undergo the robotic-assisted Whipple procedure do as well as patients who have the traditional open surgery.” Perhaps the biggest benefit is reducing fear in patients. According to Dr. Moser, as many as one half of all pancreatic cancer patients choose not to have surgery to remove their tumor because they are afraid of a large incision and the long recovery time associated with traditional surgery. “We hope that by minimizing the trauma of surgery we can get more people to select this treatment and continue on with chemotherapy,” Dr. Moser says. “Not everyone with pancreatic cancer is doomed. This procedure is giving patients hope.” For more information about the robotic Whipple procedure or any of UPMC's pancreatic cancer treatments, call 1-888-623-PANC (7262).

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 25 1-800-533-UPMC


When Kids Get Hurt, We’re Ready Children’s Express Care Centers open in Pittsburgh’s North and South Hills It never fails. Just as you settle in for a relaxed evening or weekend, your child suddenly develops a painful earache or takes a nasty tumble and breaks an arm. Thankfully, parents in the North Hills and South Hills now have convenient “after hours” access to the pediatric specialty care found at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. The new Children’s Express Care Centers in Wexford and Bethel Park offer expert care for minor injuries and illnesses. “All we do is take care of kids — that’s our specialty. That’s important because kids are different from adults. Their illnesses and injuries are different and their medicines and treatments are different,” says Raymond D. Pitetti, MD, medical director of Children’s Express Care.

Children’s Express Care Centers Can Help The pediatric specialists at the centers can treat a wide range of illnesses or injuries in children and teens, including: • animal bites • bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma attacks • colds, fevers, flu, and other viral illnesses • cuts, bumps, lacerations, abrasions, and splinters • ear, throat, and sinus infections • incisions and abscess drainage • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration • rashes, poison ivy, and allergic reactions • simple fractures, twists, sprains, strains, and dislocations • splinting • cyst removal The Express Care Centers also offer on-site x-ray services, EKGs, blood tests, urine and throat cultures, and urinalysis.

Urgent care just for children Some pediatric health concerns are urgent but not life threatening. Those are exactly the types of cases that the Children’s Express Care Centers are designed to handle, says Dr. Pitetti. The Express Care Centers provide exclusively pediatric-focused treatment in offices that are specially designed for children. Staffed by pediatricians, emergency medicine physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurses who are specifically trained to care for kids, the Centers operate evenings and weekends when pediatricians’ offices are closed. “The entire experience is geared toward kids — from the size of the equipment, to the medications and staff, and even the décor. We also know how to interact with kids and their parents to make them feel at ease,” Dr. Pitetti says.

After-hours service, convenient locations The new centers in the North Hills and South Hills — Children’s North in Wexford and Children’s South in Bethel Park — are open 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. No appointments are necessary, and walk-ins are welcome. Parking is free. A third location will open in the Monroeville/Murrysville area next spring.

6 26

If necessary, children with more serious conditions will be fast-tracked to the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital, or referred to pediatric specialists. If follow-up care is needed, children will be referred back to their own pediatricians along with a report on their visit to the Express Care Center.

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Children’s Express Care Wexford Children’s North 2599 Wexford Bayne Road Sewickley, PA 15143 Phone: 724-933-3644 Monday through Friday: 5 to 9 p.m. Weekends: Noon to 8 p.m. No appointments needed. Walk-ins welcome. Children’s Express Care Bethel Park Children’s South 1300 Oxford Drive Bethel Park, PA 15102 Phone: 412-692-3145 Monday through Friday: 5 to 9 p.m. Weekends: Noon to 8 p.m. No appointments needed. Walk-ins welcome.

Benefits of the Express Care Centers include: • access to treatment when your primary care physician is not available • quality pediatric care for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries for children and teens • convenient locations • free parking • no appointments needed • referrals for further evaluation and treatment • access to lab tests and diagnostic imaging

A Pile of Safe Snow Shoveling Tips The Farmers’ Almanac may be predicting a kinder, gentler winter, but you’ll likely have to contend with shoveling out from at least one snowfall before spring. Snow shoveling can cause muscle strain to the lower back and shoulders, especially if you are out of shape and don’t use proper lifting techniques. However, back injuries when shoveling snow can happen to anyone. Before you tackle the white stuff this winter, the American Physical Therapy Association offers these tips to help you avoid back and shoulder injuries. Wait until afternoon (if possible). Many disc injuries occur in the morning when there is increased fluid pressure to the discs. Warm up. Shoveling is an aerobic activity so warm up before you start. Warm muscles work better and are less likely to be injured. Use proper technique. Bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible so that you are lifting with your legs. Step in the direction in which you’re throwing the snow. Lift smaller loads of snow. And don’t the throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. Twisting and bending put stress on the back and shoulders. Use the right equipment. The shaft of your shovel should be long enough to keep your back straight while lifting. Pace yourself. Start slowly, and stand up and walk around periodically to extend your lower back. It’s also important to listen to your body. Stop shoveling if you feel pain. If you experience chest pains, shortness of breath, or other signs of a heart attack, seek emergency care immediately. Another important safety tip: Take your cell phone with you when go out to shovel. If there’s a problem, you can call for help. Source: American Physical Therapy Association

UPMC Liver Cancer Center Opens New Location in Monroeville With the opening of a new UPMC Liver Cancer Center in Monroeville, residents in the eastern suburbs now have convenient access to the latest technology to diagnose and treat a full range of liver diseases, including: • liver cancer (primary and metastatic) • benign liver masses

• hepatitis A, B, and C • cirrhosis

By combining the clinical expertise of Allan Tsung, MD, surgical oncologist, with a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals, the center makes it easier for patients and their families to access quality care and treatment. The UPMC Liver Cancer Center is at the forefront of innovative treatments and fundamental research for liver cancer. Surgeons at the UPMC Liver Cancer Center are among the most experienced in the United States at performing minimally invasive liver surgery, a technique they pioneered. For individuals whose conditions are inoperable, the UPMC Liver Cancer Center offers innovative therapies and groundbreaking clinical trials that can provide patients with a higher quality of life. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 412-692-2001.

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 27 1-800-533-UPMC


UPMC 600 Oxford Drive Monroeville, PA 15146

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.

Time to Take Care of You Holidays are for celebrating all of the things that make life special. Don’t let a major illness, injury, or even a sore throat keep you from enjoying them. Our conveniently located physicians’ offices are accepting new patients, and in most cases even offer same-day appointments. Just call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762) or visit, and we’ll get you an appointment with one of our doctors. It doesn’t matter why you need us; it matters that we’re here if you do.


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MONROEVILLE Water Division News

Sewer Division News

The Monroeville Municipal Authority Water Division finished the rehabilitation program of its 10 million gallon Boyce Park storage facility and is currently working on the rehabilitation of its Foxwood and Illini storage tanks. The process includes sandblasting and applying a three coat paint system on the interior and exterior of the storage tanks. This project is anticipated to be completed by spring of 2010.

The Monroeville Municipal Authority Sewer Division continues to work on compliance with the DEP consent order which must be completed by 2012. The work associated with this includes televising, mapping, and evaluating main sanitary sewer lines, manhole rehabilitation, and repairing problems found during this process. The dye-testing phase of the consent order was completed in the summer of 2007. If you are planning on selling your home, please be advised that the dye testing completed in conjunction with the consent order does not fulfill the requirements of the home sale dye test. The Sewer Division is currently involved in a re-lining contract with Insight Pipe and is concentrating efforts on the defective lines which have been discovered to date. This work will not affect your water or sewer services. Please remember if you experience any sanitary sewer problems, call the Monroeville Municipal Authority before calling a plumber. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 412.372.2677. The answering service does pick up after normal hours and will page an on-call foreman. By calling Monroeville Municipal Authority first you could save a call to the plumber if the problem is something we are able to correct.

Procedures for Dye-Testing Program For Sale of Properties Effective June 1, 2003 1) Dye-testing will be done by Municipal Authority personnel (tester) only. Independent inspectors and dye-testers will not be used after June 1, 2003. 2) Dye-testing will begin on June 3, 2003 and be conducted only on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week. 3) Application for Document Certification must be filled out and all fees paid at least thirty days prior to the date of sale. 4) Municipal Authority’s tester must have access to the inside structure to check for any illegal connections, i.e., sump pumps, etc. Additionally, the water must be turned on at time of test. The tester will not supply water for the procedure.

Sewer employees televising main lines

5) A CCTV camera will be inserted into the main sanitary sewer line to locate the customer’s lateral sewer line. Dye will then be placed inside the line to verify the identity of the customer’s tap.

8) The tester will use dye and water to test downspouts, driveway drains, area drains, etc., and will note any illegal inflow into the main sanitary system on the document of certification.

6) The seller will utilize no water or facilities during the test. This will insure the accuracy of the lateral testing portion of the program. Note: The length of the entire scheduled testing procedure will be 2 to 3 hours.

9) The entire test shall be videotaped by the tester for use by the seller or the seller’s agent.

7) The tester will insert a water probe over the customer’s lateral in at least three different locations. This probe will stay in each location for a minimum of twenty minutes. If any illegal infiltration is noted by means of the CCTV camera, the tester will note a failure of the lateral on the document of certification.

10) If the tester notes no illegal inflow or infiltration, he will issue a document of certification passing all phases of the test. When an illegal inflow infiltration violation is detected, the tester will fail the property until such failures are corrected and certification of such corrections are received from a registered licensed plumber.

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 29


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Giving Back for the



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Adopt a Red

                   


              

It ’s the Holidays! Find each of these words in this puzzle.

       

Winter Weather Safety Tips ❅ Have a snack before going outside. It will give you energy and keep your body warmer. ❅ Make sure to wear sunscreen on your face. The snow can reflect up to 85% of the sun's ultraviolet rays. ❅ Dress in layers of clothes. Waterproof pants and jackets will keep you dry and warm! ❅ Never go sled riding alone. Always have a parent supervise. ❅ When you’re playing outside, go inside every once in a while to warm up. ❅ If you start to shiver or feel numb, go inside right away and tell an adult. IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 31

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                         


                       

Pine Cone Christmas Tree Ornament     

    32

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 

   

Guests coming for the holidays? THERE’S STILL TIME TO UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN AND BATHS! f family and friends will be gathering at your home “Natural Accents’ multicolor this holiday season, but your outdated kitchen hues give kitchen and bathrooms are less than company-ready, call Miracle Method! countertops, vanities and tile Miracle Method’s surface refinishing process can transform your existing bathroom fixtures and kitchen walls the upscale appearance countertops from tired to inspired in plenty of time for of expensive granite at a Thanksgiving and Christmas entertaining. With Miracle Method, there is no messy demolition fraction of the cost.” and no worries about contractors finishing before guests arrive. Best of all, homeowners save up to 75 percent over the cost of replacing ugly bathtubs, dingy tile or Miracle Method can resurface impossible-to-clean or dated bathtubs to worn countertops “Surface refinishing offers homeowners a beautiful, likenew again and give ugly tile or laminate a designer, stone-look finish durable and very affordable alternative to traditional removal and within a day or two. replacement remodeling,” says Wade Sander, Miracle Method of Homeowners are especially excited about how Miracle Method can Central Pittsburgh partner. create the look of stone with their new Natural Accents™ finishes. Natural In just a day or two, Miracle Method can complete kitchen or Accents’ multicolor hues give kitchen countertops, vanities and tile walls bathroom makeovers at affordable prices to give countertops, vanities, the upscale appearance of expensive granite at a fraction of the cost. “You bathtubs, and tile the updated look sought by today’s homeowners. will be amazed by the look, and even more amazed by the affordable Using a proprietary process that restores porcelain, tile, Formica®, price!” adds Sander. cultured marble, and fiberglass, Miracle Method can make worn and For many people, Miracle Method’s surface refinishing is the right dated surfaces look and feel like new again. It is the same process the choice in today’s economy. It offers tremendous value for those who want nation’s largest hotel chains, like Sheraton, Disney and Hilton have asked to update their homes, but who are hesitant to go in debt for a slab of Miracle Method to use to update their guest bathrooms. granite. With Miracle Method, homeowners don’t have to spend a “There is no need to rip out perfectly good bathtubs, sinks and fortune to update or change the two most important rooms in the countertops when all you need do is have Miracle Method restore the home—the kitchen and bathroom. surface or change the color, just in time for the holidays,” says Sander. Miracle Method offers a fiveyear guarantee against adhesion failure of the new finish. A refinished surface should last 15 to 20 years using the same care and maintenance recommended by new tub and kitchen countertop manufacturers. If you kitchen or bathrooms need a makeover before the holidays, call for a free, in-home estimate.


 

This Industry Insight was written by Wade Sander, partner, Miracle Method of Central Pittsburgh.

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 33

 ♥  Keeping the Most Important Muscle Fit

hen it comes to exercise, it’s hard to break through the hype and advertising ploys for the newest and best cardio machine or workout. However, the best cardio workout depends on engaging the heart through a multitude of levels and workloads, said Dan Griffin, general manager of Oxford Athletic Club. Griffin, who is certified by the American College of Sports Me dicine, said people are becoming more educated when it comes to their cardio workout. “People understand you do not have to do long, slow distance exercises, to be in the fat-burning zone. The studies are showing now that low-intensity heart maintenance levels are just as efficient for calorie burn. Middle heart rates – the kind


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of exercises where you can talk to your neighbor, but can’t recite the Gettysburg Address – those work well also,” Griffin said. “The higher heart levels have a whole different physiological response and work on different parts of your body. Some who do a little bit of exercise in all three ranges lose weight quicker, and it doesn’t take more time. You take those 30-40 minutes you usually dedicat e to your workout and break it up.” Griffin said there are new workout machines that take advantage of that data to help athletes meet those various heart ranges. “There always are machines that are the ‘hot machines.’ In the ‘80s and ‘90s, it was the stepper, and now it’s treadmills, ellipticals, and multi-angular training. With a treadmill, you’re in one plane, moving forward. With multi-angular and multiplane machines you’re moving forward, and you’re also going left, right, forward and back,” Griffin said. “Another hot machine right now is the ArcTrainer, which is a cross between a stepper and an elliptical. With step training, few people can last long enough to make that work right, so the ArcTrainer is a favorite among tennis players and other athletes who come in.” In addition to specialized cardio machines, Griffin said circuit training still gives people a great workout. “Circuit training is still alive and well. We have trainers who take people through workouts that are as demanding as can be,” he said. “Unless you need bulk and heavy lifting, there’s a lot to be said for this functional training where you’re pushing sandbags and working out without stopping between sets. I’ve done it, and have gotten my heart rate from 130 up to 170, and it stays within that range within the whole half hour. The key though, is to do it in a circuit fashion. That way, you don’t have to stop between exercising.” Griffin said that because circuit training focuses on different muscle groups, the workouts typically are faster to get through. “Muscularly, you don’t need the rest because you’re working a different muscle group each time,” he said. “ Cardio-wise, you may have to wait 30 seconds or so between sets, but you can definitely be fit by doing that.”

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

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 35

   Allegheny County’s seventh annual phone card drive for U.S. troops who are stationed overseas is underway. Through December 9, residents may donate international phone cards at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum in Oakland, Boyce, North and South Park offices, and at the Office of the County Executive in Room 101 of the County Courthouse. “This drive is an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the men and women who are protecting our freedom far away from their families and friends,” said Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. “I encourage everyone to join in our effort to connect troops with their loved ones during the holidays.”

 Maybe it's your Mom— does she volunteer with a charitable organization? Has your child volunteered their time somewhere? We want to know about it and honor their commitment!

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Monroeville Area Chamber of The Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce was proud to announce the winners of the fifth annual Monroeville Area ROCs Awards (Recognizing Organizations and Companies that Shine). These winners were presented with their awards on Thursday, November 4, 2010, at the Monroeville Area ROCs Awards Program. Each ROCs recipient received a handsome engraved award and was part of a multi-media presentation at a gathering held in their honor during the Chamber’s annual meeting at the Doubletree Hotel Monroeville. MACC was excited to present this event as another way to meet our mission of encouraging and supporting businesses in our area. BUSINESS MAN OF THE YEAR Christian H. Fyke, Principal, Rivertowne Restaurants BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR Marcy E. Walter, Co-Owner Harper’s Bazaar Bridal Boutique ELECTED OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR The Honorable Tim Murphy United States Congress, PA-18th

(Above): Bill Otto, Esq. from Sebring Associates (center) is honored with the Monroeville Area Chamber’s Member of the Year Award. Presenting the award are past recipient of the award. (L to R) Jeff Tobe – Coloring Outside the Lines, Chad Amond – Chamber President, Brenda Sebring – Sebring & Associates, Nick Padezan – NPV Productions and Jack Finnegan Esq. (Left) Monica Robinson the 2010 Board Chairperson from S & T Bank passes the gavel to incoming 2011 Board Chairperson Walt Henry from The PT Group.

YOUNG BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR Patrick F. Conley, Co-Owner Hadad Services, Inc.

f the spirit o gatherings, nroeville, y il m fa f o nd Mo warmth brings the In and arou AFFIC! ds, Dear Frien f us, this time of year hes to the waistline. T r pular… R For most o rhaps a few extra inc ething a little less po ghts up and down ou e li m p il d so ta n ir f it a e o ents for th generosity ason also brings with ingly endless stream COMMUNITY SERVICE thank resid a busy holiday se m to e y a e se d k e li li o th ld h t u e a o th ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR n short aurants, unity w fore fuses ru s, our business comm y local shops and rest h year. We e B Monroeville Lions Club loss eac highway . For man tability and streets and ontinued patronage fi ro their fullest p n e e c ce betw elp to reach n h ce and r n re e u fe o ti if y a acts your d p d e e e BEAUTIFICATION / an all th esses n irectly imp ss the e n d m si ss u n e b a c l c c a n c su seaso acro in of our lo STREETSCAPE AWARD ll well that restaurants ason’s marg think recognize fu e holiday shopping se rk in these shops and k it twice, be sure to Cedars Hospice Center c o h e w T h r ro no nd c r th ugh. potential. ors who ow you make your list a w, but the whole yea ugh a b h ig e n d n o when friends a y not just n you sit thro CHAMBER MEMBER OF THE YEAR – This year, ollars locall day treasures, and as t a great thing d r u rn suburbs. o e y st a d e n holi wha WES BLAHA AWARD can spe ollect your Remember local economy. c . t ways you to th u t a o u b re o a b t p William E. Otto, Esq., Attorney & Partner t e a dee ost our finally se When you t the traffic signal, tak are doing to help bo st pause for a momen Sebring & Associates u a a o s le y t f le a c o t y few extra c those people in front of your patience. Bu f h er. o c u ll rn a o m c d it e n b a th a u yo asking around s st t’ a ju th is e a b ry y a Thanks to the many sponsors who made nu ay se son. Okay, ma ering that Ja ealthy and safe holid b m e m re e h this event possible. Sponsors in the Diamond appy, and smil ing you a h category include: Forbes Regional Hospital, Here’s wish Parkvale Bank, and Westinghouse Electric Cheers! Co. Sponsors in the Marble category include: PNC Bank and Trib Total Media. Comcast Cable is the Travertine sponsor. The Quartz nd Chad Amo sponsors are: Amore Management Company, t ber Presiden Area Cham Minuteman Press - North Versailles, and the Monroeville Rotary Club of Monroeville. IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 37


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Winter Slow You Down – Winterizing Your Car Can Keep You Rolling Despite the Conditions A lot of people think that getting ready for winter simply means an annual furnace check, turning off and draining outside faucets, and some shrink wrap over their windows. However, if you don’t winterize your vehicle, you may be stuck in that comfy living room waiting for a ride to come pick you up.


interizing your vehicle isn’t nearly as hard as it may sound. In fact, thanks to the moderate climate of western Pennsylvania, and the expediency of our regional public works professionals, there’s little if anything for us to do to prep our cars for winter weather. But there are some things that are just good sense. • Consider changing to thinner oil for the winter. The regular oil you use in the summer can get thicker in the cold of winter, leading to longer start up times until your engine is properly lubricated. If you aren’t the type who changes your oil on your own, ask your local mechanic about changing viscosity for the winter months. • Check the basics! If you don’t do anything else, make sure you cover the basics. Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full with a fluid that won’t f reeze in low temperatures, and carry an extra gallon in the trunk. When the Pittsburgh slush flies, it’s easy to go through a full container of wiper fluid. Make sure your tires are inflated properly and that you have enough tread on them. A rule of thumb for minimal thread is to stick a penny in your treads with Lincoln’s head down. If the rubber doesn’t meet his hairline, your tread’s too low. Some people switch to snow tires for the winter, which is never a bad idea. Make sure your spare is inflated properly and that you have a roadside assistance kit. Emergency blankets can easily fit in glove boxes, as do flashlights, ice scrapers and extra gloves. • If you don’t have jumper cables, get some! Most car batteries lose charge due to cold temperature. Carrying jumpers not only increases the chances that you’ll find a good Samaritan to jump a charge off of, you can also be the good Samaritan who helps others who may be in distress. Winter driving poses a multitude of challenges, but if you cover these basics, you’ll eliminate a good bit of them. However, you can’t eliminate bad driving, so be alert and keep an eye out for others on the road this time of year.

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 39

f you’re looking for something to do this winter that doesn’t require loading up an SUV full of ski equipment and a 40-minute drive to find some slopes, you may want to look into the fast-paced and enjoyable sport of platform tennis. Played outdoors on aluminum courts, platform tennis is a growing recreational choice for thousands of Americans each year. Once found only in country club settings, the American Platform Tennis Association has made great strides through the years to make the sport more accessible for the masses through public outreach and by setting up a grant program for local clubs to make improvements to existing facilities or to build new ones. The sport is similar to tennis in that there’s a court and a net, but that’s where the similarities end. Courts are fenced in and shots may be played off the fence. League play is designed for all ages and skill sets, so that everyone can enjoy the fun. Spectators gather with players between sets in small, indoor settings called “paddle huts,” which range in size from trailers to stand-alone buildings. Racquets are similar to those used in racquetball, with holes drilled through them for aerodynamic advantage. Balls are made from a rubber-based material with a surface that keeps them from skidding off the court. While the sport is played in the dead of winter, most courts have heating systems beneath them that keep them clear and free of snow and ice. Additional maintenance usually is provided by club staff or dedicated PLATFORM TENNIS COURTS volunteers. VENUE # OF COURTS If you ask any platform tennis North Park


Fox Chapel Golf Club


Fox Chapel Racquet Club


Sewickley YMCA


Edgeworth Club


Pittsburgh Field Club


Lakevue Racquet Club


Allegheny Country Club


Shannopin Country Club



player what the appeal of the sport is for them, you almost always get the response that the sport is genuinely fun, and camaraderie and new friendships are forged in the paddle huts. For more information about platform tennis, check out the APTA website at, or the Western Pennsylvania Platform Tennis Association’s website at

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Social Security Column -Our Most Convenient Office is OnlineYou probably don’t need anyone to tell you that times are tough for many people right now. The past year has seen a recession-driven increase in applications for Social Security retirement and disability benefit applications. These increases translate into busier offices and telephone lines. So if you need information, or want to apply for benefits, visit the most conveniently located office Social Security has: our online office at There, you can apply online for retirement, spouses, and disability benefits. There’s no need to fight the traffic to visit an office or wait for an appointment. Our website makes it simple, allowing you to apply for retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes. If you’re not certain you’re ready to apply, we have online resources that can help you decide. Our Retirement Estimator will allow you to enter different scenarios to come up with the retirement plan best for you. You can find it at A Disability Starter Kit makes it easy to prepare for your disability application. The kit explains the documentation and information you’ll be required to share on the application, and includes checklists and worksheets to help take the mystery out of applying. You can find the Disability Starter Kit at on the left-hand side of the page. There are other things you can do online, such as applying for a replacement Medicare card, and requesting an SSA-1099 for tax purposes. You can learn about these and other online services at When you are ready to apply for Social Security benefits, everything you need is at your fingertips. Just visit The Social Security Administration wishes to thank In Community Magazine for providing this space for their use. - Curt Brown, Social Security Area Director

Panera Bread educates students about Diabetes The JDRF Kids Walk program presented by Panera Bread is a great way to educate students on type 1 diabetes. The goals of the program are to teach students about diabetes and raise money for type 1 research. Each school receives 10% of what is raised to be used as the school chooses. Our partner Panera Bread will provide the students with incentive prizes! Panera Bread will provide mini bagels for all of the students on walk day. The top student fundraiser in the school will receive a $50 Panera Bread gift card and the top overall student fundraiser will win the grand prize: an all expense paid vacation for four to Jamaica! Students can also participate in our poster contest and draw their interpretation of “A World Without Diabetes.” The winner as determined by the school will receive a $50 Panera Bread gift card and will be entered into the grand-prize drawing to win a $500 US Savings Bond. JDRF’s mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. The organization was founded in 1970 and is the world’s largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research. Contact the Western Pennsylvania Chapter to schedule your Kids Walk today! Call 412.471.1414, ext. 7.

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 41

Primary Care Pharmacy                  

 

     

   


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Volunteering brings more A

ccording to Carol Diethorn, Kenneth Ochs was a bit of a daredevil in his day. And he’s got the stories to prove it. “When you’re 91, you’ve got all kinds of stories to tell,” Carol says of Mr. Ochs, whom she spends time with every week as a volunteer with Open Your Heart to a Senior, an initiative of United Way of Allegheny County in cooperation with Family Services of Western Pennsylvania and North Hills Community Outreach. “I used to be really active and I was a tennis pro for a long time,” Mr. Ochs explains, “but my eyes became gradually worse and now I don’t see.” Carol accompanies Mr. Ochs on walks through South Park once or twice a week and both enjoy not only the exercise, but also the company. “Carol is really good; she leads me so I don’t traipse anywhere I shouldn’t be,” he says with a laugh. Laughter seems to be a regular part of their routine. During their mile-long walks, they exchange stories of their lives and share advice. “It’s funny,” Carol confides, “he thinks he’s the care recipient, but he’s really doing more for me than I do for him. I get so much out of it, and I come home feeling great.” Currently unemployed and looking for a new job, Carol saw an opportunity to volunteer as a way to do something that gives her meaning. “It really puts perspective on things,” she says of her experience with Mr. Ochs and other seniors she drives to doctors’ appointments. “Who needs anti-depressants?” she jokes but quickly takes a serious turn, “It brings a lot of joy in my life.” Right now, Open Your Heart to a Senior is looking for volunteers in every corner of Allegheny County, from as little as an hour a month to routine weekly visits. Whether it’s help with grocery shopping, home safety checks or snow shoveling and yard work, thousands of seniors in our neighborhoods could use some assistance. In addition to individual volunteers like Carol, families and groups are also welcome. To learn more or become a volunteer, visit or call 412.307.0071. “It’s a fine organization,” Mr. Ochs volunteers, “I can’t say enough about it.” Given enough time and his penchant for storytelling, though, he probably could. IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 43


  

efore the last notes of “Auld Lang Syne” fade and the last noise maker goes silent, chances are you’ll be suckered into making another New Year’s resolution that will also fade as fast.

Whether it’s to get fit, stop a habit, travel more, or reduce stress, experts say that while it takes time to develop a habit or behavior, the expectation of changing that developed habit overnight is basically unrealistic. Studies have shown that just over 10 percent of those engaging in New Year’s resolutions actually follow through with their goals. Success in achieving those goals stems from taking ba by steps or realistic approaches to achievement. Dan Griffin, who is manager of Oxford Athletic Club and American College of Sports Medicine certified, said people need to train in a way that keeps them from burning out or becoming discouraged. “There is such a thing as oversophistication of a workout,” Griffin said. “You take someone who hasn’t been working out and you give them a training program that’s more advanced than what they need. Our personal trainers give people programs that are meant to give results and keep them coming back. It’s not what works the best; it’s one they keep doing. If they’re still working out six months from now, that’s a success. If they lose their enthusiasm or


are burned out, you Pursuing a healthier “There’s always a surge did something lifestyle is always a good in new memberships and wrong setting up idea, and while many new inquiries, and there’s their program.” people make it their Griffin said that New Year’s resolution a surge in usage by regular after New Year’s to get back in shape, members as people there are always experts agree that rededicate themselves to more inquires for any health program should be focused on health clubs to getting in better shape...” progressive, attainable address, but there’s —Dan Griffin and realistic goals. also a resurgence of However it’s also a great current members idea not to overindulge who rededicate during the holidays in themselves to their the first place. aerobic regime. Gaining 10 pounds “There’s always a surge in new after partying for a memberships and month, grazing cookies new inquiries, and there’s a surge in usage by at the office and having extra desserts at regular members as people rededicate Grandma’s is a lot easier than doing 30 minutes themselves to getting in better shape,” he said. at the gym every day for two weeks to negate “Industry-wide, health clubs do 30 percent those calories. While it’s cliché, moderation is better as far as new memberships across the still the key to a balanced lifestyle and you’ll be board after the holidays. There are more phone doing yourself a favor bypassing that cookie tray or second glass of wine in the first place. calls, more tours, and more inquiries.”

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ost childhood Christmas memories are of joyful occasions with precious family-bonding moments: mom and dad singing Christmas carols; children with happy, angelic faces gazing up at them in tranquil adoration. My own memories are also quite happy. But after comparing notes, I have slowly come to realize that my entire family is quite possibly out of their spruce tree. So, for an inside look at how a dysfunctional family spends its Christmas, please read on… Immediately after Thanksgiving, a disturbing lunar phase would always begin at our house. My otherwise fairly normal, career-oriented mother would begin to clean our house in anticipation of my grandparents’ arrival for Christmas. Not the normal tidying up one might do for a family visit. No, this was more like a murder had been committed at our house and my mother’s cleaning was the frantic attempts of the killer to remove every shred of DNA evidence. My mother would methodically begin to disinfect every object in our house, including the dogs. Not even my toys, which were thoroughly soaked in bleach, were spared, resulting in my Malibu Barbie turning into a white-haired old lady in need of a sunbed. I have never been sure why my mother was so intimidated by her mother-in-law, but she apparently lived in fear that the frail, gray-haired woman would somehow drag a stepladder into the kitchen and, risking hip fracture, stand on the top rung to inspect for dust above the cabinets. My father’s style of celebrating the holidays was the polar opposite of a Brady Bunch Christmas. Less than enthused about stimulating the economy through gift-giving, he wasn’t terribly fond of the Christmas tree either. So in their new house, he ingeniously designed a special closet where a fully decorated Christmas tree on rollers could be wheeled out Dec. 1 and neatly rolled back into the closet on Dec. 26. Surely, he must be at least partially responsible for my quirky and oftentimes odd behavior. December 18 my grandparents would arrive. My grandfather would wheel into the driveway, screeching tires, and jump out of their Buick proudly announcing, “Made it in 6 hours and 15 minutes,” the goal being to shave minutes off of last year’s time. My grandmother, still whitelipped from the G-forces, would peel herself off the car seat and wobble in, complaining that my grandfather had driven 85 mph all the way.


On Christmas Day, my mother, who does not cook but is highly skilled at thawing and microwaving, morphed into Betty Crocker,  attempting such        complex dishes       as green-bean     casserole and            congealed salad.      Unfortunately           with the pressure    of the day, she would usually charcoalize the green-bean casserole. (I’m not sure if charcoalize is a word, but I really like it.) One holiday, my thoughtful grandfather shocked the entire village by crossing gender lines and washing dishes. Unfortunately, while dishwashing, his dentures flew into the garbage disposal as if sucked out of his mouth by an unseen evil force. He quickly turned off the disposal and pulled out a set of mangled dentures. Silently, he turned the switch back on and threw the dentures back into the garbage disposal. I miss him. Maybe we are all a little dysfunctional in one way or another. With the holidays, it’s easy for anyone to get a little neurotic. So, in between cursing the bakery for selling the last Boston crème pie and that mad dash for the last parking space at the mall, just keep saying under your breath, “Peace. And on earth, good will toward mankind.” Happy holidays. IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 45

Boyce Park to Offe Plenty of Winter Activity for All a more-than-reasonable price - $10 an hour for a group lesson, $20 an hour for a private lesson. Groups range from five to 20 people, Hopson said. And if you think that you can only get that

If you don’t have the time to drive the two hours to Seven Springs or Hidden Valley, Allegheny County’s Boyce Park has everything you need to get your ski on this winter. And if you haven’t been to Boyce Park in the past few

years, Allegheny County Parks Department Deputy Director Clarence Hopson said there’s a lot you might not know about. “Three years ago, we invested $2 million to revamp the slope s to include snow tube lanes and put in a magic carpet where the towed lifts were,” Hopson said. “We have a beginner slope and we have a pretty challenging slope as well. We have some moguls where you can do some snowboarding also.” If you don’t know what any of that means, Boyce Park offers group and private lessons at

ADVERTISE HERE! Call 724.942.0940


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perfect cup of hot chocolate in the big-name ski lodges, think again. Hopson said Boyce’s concessionaire has all the accoutrements you’d find at larger ski resorts. “I’m proud to say that it’s the same as what you’d find at Seven Springs,” he said. “We also do ski and snowboard rentals and helmet rentals.” While helmets aren’t required, Hopson said that park officials do ask that people wear them for safety and that most people comply with the request.

Boyce Park is open:

Monday-Friday from 3:30-10:30 p.m.; and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 5 to 10:30 p.m. on holidays and weekends. Rates are broken down as follows: Monday-Thursday children under 5 are $4, ages 6-17 are $8, ages from 18-59 are $10 and those over 60 are just $7. On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, rates for children under 5 are $4, ages 6-17 are $12, ages 18-59 are $14 and 60 and over are $11. Boyce also offers season passes – ages 6-17 pay $40 and then just $5 per session; adults are $60/$6 per session and seniors are $40 and $4/session. Hopson said that those rates are for anyone, not just residents of Allegheny County. Snow tubing is offered in 3-hour sessions, Monday-Friday from 3:30-6:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. For Saturdays, Sundays and holidays it’s available from 9 a.m. to noon,

REAL ESTATE IN Monroeville

  

  

If you’re sitting around wondering what you’re going to do after the playoffs – assuming the Steelers continue their success with the return of Big Ben – you may want to consider getting a move on listing your home. January is the perfect time to get your house ready for sale, said Lori Crandell, Realtor and Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker. “January is definitely a good time to list a house. It’s the beginning of the spring market,” she said. “Especially after football season is over, people get bored and start looking at buying. I always tell people, if you’re going to list in the spring shoot for January or early February because you’ll get a leg up on the spring market before it gets saturated.” While you may not see a lot of foot traffic right away, Crandell said you can rest assured that your house will start getting online attention. The foot traffic you get will be from serious buyers, not people just browsing. “The latest statistics that I saw said that 88 percent of buyers start out looking for a home online,” Crandell said. “So it’s really important that sellers go online themselves and look at the differences between brokers. is a very good source and the most popular website for consumers.”

in the spring, but if we have the snow that we had last year, it might hold someone back who can’t make out if the yard is sloped or flat. That’s why sellers should bring out pictures of the yard in other seasons.” Other things that the winter provides advantages for include an opportunity for buyers to see how the furnace operates, whether the home heats evenly, and whether or not it has any drafty areas you’ll need to address. “There are some things you can’t tell in the winter, like air conditioning,” Crandell said. “You can’t tell if the air conditioning is working [when it’s] under 55 degrees, but that’s where a home warranty comes in handy. At least you’re covered by a home warranty and can get that rectified before it gets too hot.”

It’s the beginning of the spring market. While you may not see a lot of foot traffic right away, you can rest assured that your house will start getting online attention.

“During the winter is when it’s probably going to look its worst. Sellers, if they have pictures from the spring and summer, should make those photos available to the agent,” Crandell said. “If someone’s yard looks good in the winter, it’s going to look good

IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | 47

Do you know someone who is serving in the armed forces from the Monroeville 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 Help us recognize these fine men and women!


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IN Monroeville | Winter 2010 | C4

IN Monroeville  

IN Monroeville Winter 2010

IN Monroeville  

IN Monroeville Winter 2010