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SUMMER 2011

COMMUNITY MAGAZINE

“Eyesore” to Bloom in Oakdale Col. Jeffrey Pennington, New Base Commander


SUMMER 2011 Welcome to the Summer issue of West Allegheny Magazine. And what a welcome to summer it is. After weeks of extreme temperature fluctuations, rain and wind, the warm, summer sun couldn’t be any more of a sight. Despite the cold of winter and the lackluster spring we’ve had, much has happened here with your magazine. We have restructured to accommodate our growth and I would like to introduce some people to you that are working behind the scenes to make sure your magazine is the best community magazine that we can produce. First off, I’d like to reintroduce Mark Berton as our new West Zone Editor. Mark is my longest-serving employee and has worked every position at Community Magazines throughout our growth from just three magazines to 32. He has been a resident of Moon Township since 2002, served on both the township cable TV advisory board and planning commission, and is an active member of Coraopolis Masonic Lodge 674, where he’s held officer positions. Mark also literally “wrote the book” on Moon Township, publishing that history through Arcadia Publishing in 2007. He also published “Dixmont State Hospital” through Arcadia, chronicling the history of the 150-year-old mental hospital in Kilbuck Township. Because of his longevity in the West Hills, Mark was the perfect choice to lead our Western magazines. I’ve also hired Sharon Cobb to work with Mark as the dedicated graphic designer for our western magazines. Sharon comes to us from the Seattle Times, where she spent more than a decade working with creative teams on editorial and advertising initiatives, earning her the distinctions of Advertising Design Person of the Year. Prior to that, she worked for Northwest Adventure Publishing, laying out all of the magazines under their umbrella and ensuring that they met deadline. Sharon’s experience, attention to detail and flair for creative and engaging designs quickly endeared her to us, as I am sure her work will endear itself to you. We invested in this team because we felt it would be the best way to serve all of the residents of the West Hills, by offering the highest-quality magazine possible. But there is an even more important part of the team that I can’t hire – you. Your contributions of ideas and time have been invaluable to us and we thank you. We urge even more of you to contact us with your feature ideas and events. Email Mark at: mark@incommunitymagazines.com with your thoughts. We all know a neighbor who volunteers, or a scout that is working on a project. We all have children and grandchildren that are doing something special either at school or for community service. We also know seniors who deliver meals, or organize choirs. These are the people we are looking to tell you about. Because without community, we have nothing, so promoting the best in our communities we celebrate that which is great within ourselves. Have a great summer!

Wayne Dollard Publisher

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

Wayne Dollard MANAGING EDITOR

Marybeth Jeffries marybeth@incommunitymagazines.com REGIONAL EDITOR

Mark Berton mark@incommunitymagazines.com OFFICE MANAGER

Leo Vighetti leo@incommunitymagazines.com WRITERS

Pamela Palongue GRAPHIC DESIGN

Cassie Brkich Sharon Cobb Susie Doak Jan McEvoy

Joe Milne Gail Murray Tamara Tylenda

ADV ERTISING SALES

Derek Bayer Brian Daley Gina D’Alicandro Tina Dollard Rose Estes John Gartley Jason Huffman Lori Jeffries Rita Lengvarsky Connie McDaniel

Brian McKee Tamara Myers Gabriel Negri Robert Ojeda Annette Petrone Vincent Sabatini Michael Silvert RJ Vighetti Nikki CapezioWatson

PHOTOGRAPHERS

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

Fall content deadline: 7/12/11 www.incommunitymagazines.com

Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.


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West Allegheny


Contents West Allegheny | SUMMER 2011 |

38

5 COMMUNITY INTEREST

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21

48

West Allegheny School District News | 11 Cover Story: 200 Years of History | 38 North Fayette Welcomes Freddy the Fox | 14 “Eyesore” to Bloom in Oakdale |

16

North Fayette Offers Naming Rights to Residents | 20 Longest-Serving Public Works Employee Retires in Findlay | 29

Municipal Contact Info Kids Pages

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UPMC Today

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44

30 |

Health and Wellness News You Can Use | 21

FEATURES

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Samuel J. Foundation

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Supporting Local Children and their Families | 5

Colonel Jeffery Pennington

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New Base Commander Committed to Country, Community and the Air Show | 8

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden West Allegheny Students |

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12

A Pancake Breakfast for a Friend in Need | 18

Walker-Ewing Log House

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200 Years of History in our Own Backyard | 38

Handyman’s Guide to “Destroying” Your Home

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Advice on dealing with the compulsive handyman | 48 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT ON THE COVER

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Washington Physicians Group

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The Walker Ewing Log House in Settler’s Cabin Park

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West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 3


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Samuel J. Foundation Supports Local Children with Brain Tumors and Their Families CHILDHooD CANCER IS EVERY PARENT’S NIgHTMARE, BuT IF THAT DIAgNoSIS CouLD gET ANY WoRSE, IT WouLD BE oNE oF CHILDHooD BRAIN CANCER . That’s because the developing brain of a child faces serious and challenging developmental hurdles when introduced to traditional cancer treatments. It’s the hurdle that Samuel Johnson and his parents had to face when he was diagnosed with brain cancer at 8 months old. “It depends on age, but typically, doctors don’t like to do radiation on children until they’re three years old. A lot of the treatments are very aggressive in order to be effective, and they target the brain specifically. They’re radiating the children’s brains,” Kelly Johnson said. “With Sam’s type of tumor, he had to undergo some aggressive therapies, including having a chemo port put into his skull where chemicals were injected directly into his brain. We’d get the MRI scan back and could see the volume of certain parts of his brain tissue was decreasing. We presumed it was because of the toxic substances to kill the cancer.” Kelly Johnson said that, at 3 years old, Sam started radiation—a decision that was excruciating for the family to make. “We delayed radiation until he was 3, because the doctors were concerned about what would happen if we did it sooner. It was the last resort. We had to make a choice: if we radiate his whole brain, he could be more impaired; he might lose his hearing entirely. He was already developmentally disabled and lost some of his hearing because of the chemo,” she said. “Do I want my son to have a 50 percent shot of surviving and be severely impaired for the rest of his life, never be able to walk or talk, or decrease his odds to 20 percent and give him a higher level of functioning? It’s horrible to be faced with these kinds of choices. And it happened more than once. I don’t know if I could make those decisions again. It shouldn’t be. options can be limited for kids because of their age.” Despite his incredible spirit and fight, Sam passed away shortly after 6 a.m. on Nov. 5, 2003, at home with his family, a few months shy of his fourth birthday. After fighting by his side nearly his entire life, Kelly said that the emotional stresses of her family’s war on cancer necessitated her putting that energy into something positive to memorialize Sam and

President of Samuel J Foundation, Kelly Johnson and Daughter, Rachel

the light he brought to everyone who knew him. Kelly decided to start a foundation in Sam’s name to help children in similar situations and their families. And to date, the Samuel J. Foundation has been a successful tribute to a child who brightened so many lives. “Initially, you’re in this battle mode, and it’s hard to get out of it. When they’re gone, you still have that left. I needed to carry on this fight somehow. I couldn’t let it win anymore,” she said. “Another part was that I couldn’t bear the thought of people not remembering my son or not knowing him. There was a little bit of self-centeredness to that, of wanting people to know what a great kid he was and how inspiring he See Foundation page 6

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 5


“We’ve had two high school seniors do their senior projects with us, and there’s an Eagle Scout who is planning a golf outing to benefit the foundation,” Kelly said.

Foundation continued from page 5

that the children look forward to the most. When they’re dreading the hospital, it makes it easier when they’re reminded that the snack cart’s coming back.” one of the big hits with the older kids at the hospital is gatorade, which has been supplied by the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils soccer team, which has donated five to six cases a month for the past four years, Kelly said. Thanks to drives and community support, similar donations have been contributed to the Samuel J. Foundation so that they can further their mission and help more kids. “We’ve had two high school seniors do their senior projects with us, and there’s an Eagle Scout who is planning a golf outing to benefit the foundation,” Kelly said. “We welcome the support from the community, and it really does make a big difference.” For more information or to donate to the Samuel J. Foundation, go to www.samuelj.org. Donations may also be mailed directly to: The Samuel J Foundation, P.o. Box 75, oakdale, PA 15071.

was. I also wanted to support people in the same situation.” For a small, local charity, the Samuel J. Foundation has raised more than $100,000 to date, most of which goes to supporting brain tumor research specifically, or to support the families who have to bring their children in for treatment. Because of the nature of brain cancer, and the fact that there’s no definitive cure, most kids have to be enrolled in clinical trials. The research protocols mean lots of trips to the hospital. The Samuel J. Foundation helps families pay for transportation and expenses associated with those trips. The group has also facilitated in granting four wishes through Make-A-Wish for local children with brain cancer. The second biggest program the Samuel J. Foundation supports is Sam’s Snack Wagon, the snack cart at the oncology department at Children’s Hospital. “There’s a physical cart on the inpatient oncology unit at the hospital. We also buy snacks for the outpatient clinic to have for Sam's grandparents, Tom and Terry gilfoyle children who have been there for several and great uncle, Jack DelSignore hours. We stock it with individual packages, because, due to their weakened immune systems, they can’t drink out of communal pitchers or larger soda bottles,” Kelly said. “We fill the cart with this food and they bring it out every day. The kids pick out a snack every day. We’ve had families tell us that it’s the thing If you would like information on the benefit, volunteering or donating to The Samuel J Foundation, please visit their website at www.samuelj.org.

A AH H HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH A A H A H H A A AHAH HAH

H HA A H HA

Samuel J Foundation 7th Annual

t s h i e r ” e B e t h n e i g c s i t d u e M a “L Comedy Benefit The Samuel J Foundation held their 7th annual “Laughter is the Best Medicine” Comedy Benefit at the Green Tree Radisson Hotel. Family, friends and supporters came to honor the memory of Samuel Jacob Johnson, who succumbed to a brain tumor seven years ago. His mother, Kelly Johnson, developed The Samuel J Foundation to keep Sam’s memory alive and to give other children with pediatric cancer and their families hope and support. She and her Board of Directors, Gretchen Heller, Devonne and Fred Weissert, Kay Donovan and Mary Kitchen work tirelessly to do this. To help to raise funds for this cause and because Sam was so full of laughter, Kelly and the foundation’s board created, “Laughter is the Best Medicine” Comedy Benefit, now in its seventh year. Some of the comedians featured were Matt Wolffarth, PJ

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H A AH H HA HA

Comedians, PJ DiLeo, Matt Wohlfarth, Billy Robinson

AHAHA H A H

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHA

Above: uPMC Hospital ER Employees Right: KoHL'S CARES Team, Amanda Crowe, Pam Crosky, Dee Rothhaar, Kayla Hanavan Below right: Kelly Johnson, Mary Kitchen, Rachel Johnson, gretchen Heller, Devonne and Fred Weissert

DiLeo, and Billy Robertson. There was also a 50/50 basket raffle, cash bar and food concession that made the tribute to Sam special. All the proceeds from the benefit go the foundation’s Pediatric Brain Tumor Fund. Other donations to the foundation go to “Sam’s Snack Cart”, a snack cart for families on The North Oncology Unit of UPMC Children’s Hospital. When Kelly spent over 150 nights in the hospital, there were times when a snack was required, but she did not want to leave Sam alone. Remembering this after Sam’s passing, she created a snack cart for families to make them more comfortable in a stressful situation. Finally, the foundation assists financially disadvantaged children get the treatments that they need if they cannot afford it.

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 7


N ew B ase Com m ander Com m itted to Cou ntry , Com m u nity and th e A ir Sh ow Colonel Jeffrey Pennington hadn’t shoveled snow since 1983, but moving to Moon Township as PLAN ON GOING: the new Base Commander for the 911th Airlift Wing changed all that. As installation commander, he is the senior officer responsible for the wing organization, which includes authorized manning of 1,263 Air WHEN: Force Reserve members and September 10 and 11, 2011 approximately 320 civilian WHERE: employees including more than 184 911th Airlift Wing Base, dual-status Air Reserve Technicians. Moon Township Reservists at the base represent the www.wingsoverpittsburgh.com  entire tri-state area, and most of them live within an hour’s drive. It’s a responsibility that no one in his position would take lightly, and Pennington said that he is committed to his mission to the utmost. “We have many pilots here, and as the wing commander, I have a mission to organize training and equipment, taking our resources and making sure we’re ready for war-time testing,” Pennington said. “As equally important is taking care of the airmen, the people who are part of the air wing. There’s a Reserve triad, as it’s known, which is [composed of] family, civic relationships (which are the employers of the reservists or their commitment to their communities) and the reserves.” Pennington brings to the 911th a distinguished history of service. He completed undergraduate pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., in 1989 and was initially assigned to the 344th Air Refueling Squadron at Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C., flying the KC-10’s and T-38’s. While stationed there, he deployed supporting operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Proud Return, Provide Comfort, Restore Hope and Desert Strike. Pennington joined the Air Force Reserve in 1997 as an Air Reserve Technician initially serving in the 70th ARS, Travis AFB, Calif. In May 2001, he was selected as the director of operations for the 70th ARS. During his tenure, he coordinated, deployed and supported his unit’s participation in operation Enduring Freedom and operation Iraqi Freedom. In January 2007 Col. Pennington assumed command of the 452nd operations group located at March ARB, Calif., remaining there until october of 2010 when he assumed command of the 911th Airlift Wing. He has been awarded the National Defense Medal with Bronze Star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal to name a few. While his service has been a priority, Pennington said family is his top priority. “I am extremely committed to my family – my wife and kids,” he said. “I am

Wings Over Pittsburgh Air Show

Colonel Jeffrey Pennington

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West Allegheny


Mark Mustio, Pennsylvania 44th District State Representative, Col. Jeff Pennington, Senator John Pippy

Mark Winklosky, Shawn M. Walleck, Pennington Allan Bross, George Dukovich

Gordon Elwell, Beth Maurer Lt. Paul Espy, Lt. Charlie Baker, Col. Bryan Bly

A RECEPTION WELCOMING COLONEL JEFFREY T. PENNINGTON A reception welcoming Col. Jeffrey T. Pennington, who became Commander Jackie Erickson, Walter Olshanski of the 911th Airlift Wing in October 2010, was celebrated at the Pittsburgh International Airport Reserve Station in Coraopolis, PA. Col. Pennington, formerly commanding the 452nd Operations Group, Jim Vitale, George Dukovich, located at March ARB, Terry Engel California, is now responsible for the wing organization which includes 1263 Air Force Reserve members and approximately 320 civilian employees. Besides the essential role of providing quality of life programs and services to deployed troops, the 911 Services Squadron also hosts the Wings Over Pittsburgh Air Show, which will celebrating its tenth year on September 11, 2011. Guests at the reception included former Commander of the 911th Airlift Wing, Col. Gordon Elwell, Pennsylvania Senator John Pippy, Pennsylvania State Representative Mark Mustio, Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station Staff, local business leaders and friends.

committed to my country through my service, and have a great passion for the team concept. Life’s a team sport and the team is everybody working together for the country.” Much of Pennington’s duties are military in nature – drills and exercises, training and preparation – but one aspect of the triad involves everyone who’s willing to come to the 911th for the Wings over Pittsburgh Air Show. The air show gives the community the opportunity to see what goes on at the base, the men and women who train endlessly for the common good of the nation, and the equipment that can be called up at a moment’s notice in defense of the nation. “I firmly believe as an American citizen that we’re all on the same team. Community relationship-building is an important part of our job here,” Pennington said. “We want people to know who we are, what we do and the team role we play in Western Pennsylvania. We foster the service component of our mission, so the local community can see that.” organizing the air show is an enormous endeavor, but one that has universal appeal to the general public. While naysayers might criticize the air show for too much taxpayer buck for too little bang in today’s economy, Pennington said it’s not all about proud displays. The majority of aircraft involved in the air show undergo rigorous drills and training before, during and after their public displays. “We weigh out what the investments are and prioritize the expenditures. Again, it’s all about fostering that civic relationship. Most aircraft do training on the way here and on the way back, and budgets are carefully considered. Budgets affect us all, and we respond to what our leaders give us as far as resources,” Pennington said. “The military aspect of the equipment also is affected by the military tempo. Scheduled displays may not materialize because they are called away for other missions. The military mission will always outweigh the training mission and that’s something we can’t control.” Aside from the “wow” factor for attendees, the air show does have a return to the base by way of recruitment. Pennington said the metrics for calculating recruitment aren’t precise enough to gauge direct effects from the show, but air show exposure is a “phenomenal recruiting tool.” Perhaps the biggest challenge to organizers comes from the popularity of the air show itself. “The numbers keep growing and the infrastructure isn’t designed to handle the volume of people,” Pennington said. “We’re sensitive to that and take steps to address the issues to mitigate those problems.” Lt. Col. Chuck Sargent, who has helped organize the air show for the past several years, said there will be much for people to enjoy this year. “We’re going to [have] the AV-8 Harrier demonstration back. This is a civilian-owned harrier and it’s a fantastic demonstration,” Sargent said. “The F-16 flies 200-500 mph. This goes 500 mph and goes backward 30 mph. It has a normal jet engine that goes through a ducting system, so the pilot can rotate it so the harrier can hover as well as provide backward thrust.” Sargent said the Heavy Metal Jet Team also is booked and will be performing in their first-ever season. The team flies four L-39s and one T-33 painted in arctic camouflage. “Dale Snodgrass, who’s part of the team, has the most time in the F-14 of anyone on the planet,” Sargent said. “He’ll retain that record for eternity because the F-14 has since been retired.” For a full listing of performers, as well as the most current information on the air show, go to: www.wingsoverpittsburgh.com. From there, you can also follow the air show on Facebook. Admission and parking for the event are free.

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 9


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WEST ALLEGHENY SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS ANNOUNCES EARLY DISMISSAL FOR LAST DAY OF 2010-11 SCHOOL YEAR The West Allegheny School District will dismiss students early on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, the last day of the 2010-11 school year. The early dismissal times are as follows: secondary students - 12:15 p.m. and elementary students - 1:20 p.m.

WEST ALLEGHENY NJHS INDUCTS NEW MEMBERS The following students were inducted into the West Allegheny Middle School chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) on April 29, 2011: Eighth grade: Arianna Collins, Jordan Crawford, Kiersten Dyer, Alyssa Formosa, Taylor Hottenfeller, Vickilyn Johnson, Katherine McElhany, Amanda Mcgeary, James Volk and Zachary White; Seventh grade: Sarthak Bakliwal, Allison Banas, Mikayla Bogaski, Cassidy Bordo, Adam Brierton, Derek Clontz, Alexis Cogis, Rowen Conrad, Charlotte Conway, Jessica Crider, Marissa D’Amore, Ashley Ersek, Hunter Evans, onshea Floyd, Haley grogan, Brennon grubb, Alexis Hill, Alicia Hower, Sarah Hughes, Jenna Josey, Karly Krisovenski, Pryclynn Kubatka-Campbell, Jared Lanni, Lauryn Long, Lexi Lynn, Felicia Mackey, Angela Martelli, James Martin, Reilly

Mercurio, Emily Nolan, Mara ojeda, Angeline Peng, Alexander Pichi, Alyssa Placha, Ryan Rohm, Sean Routch, Lauren Schaupp, Taylor Schmac, Jarod Seibel, Abigail Shipley, Erin Smith, Julianne Spataro, Mia Spinelli, Sarah Steward, Carolyn Stout, Allyssa Tome, Casey ujevich, Abigail Walls, Keri Watters, Sean Weber, Danielle Wicklund, Ali Williamson, Abigail Wilson, Megan Wurst, Emily Zeigler, and Reilly Zimmerman. This honor is reserved for seventh and eighth grade students who have maintained at least a 3.5 grade point average during middle school and who have demonstrated the qualities of leadership, service, character, and citizenship. Jeff Kiser is the staff advisor.

STUDENTS BUILD SOLAR HOUSES TO OBSERVE EARTH DAY

design the inside as well as the outside of the house to best accommodate the use of solar energy as a power source. once the construction process was complete, the students used the houses to conduct a series of experiments related to solar energy. They learned about the greenhouse effect and how light and dark surfaces absorb heat. They also studied the impact of solar water collectors, reflectors, and insulation. The projects were evaluated on a point scale for four characteristics: realism, neatness, creativity and solid construction. Two teams earned a perfect 50-point score for their designs. Freshmen Katelyn garland and Victoria Chiodo tipped the scales in their favor by using actual solar panels on their model, while junior Lindsey Wood and freshman Brandi Hermes claimed top honors by adhering most closely to the required specifications.

West Allegheny High School students in James Hamilton’s Honors Physical Science class learned about solar energy by constructing models of solar houses at least onehalf meter by one- half meter in size as an Earth Day project in April. Working in partner pairs, they were required to

WEST ALLEGHENY SENIOR QUALIFIES FOR NATIONAL FBLA COMPETITION

Victoria Williams

At the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania, April 4-6, 2011, West Allegheny High School senior Victoria Williams took a second place in the Client Services category to qualify for the FBLA National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida in June 2011. This is the third consecutive year that someone from the West Allegheny Chapter of FBLA has qualified to represent the state of Pennsylvania at the national level. Other FBLA members placing in the top ten at the State Competition included Jordan Grogan (fourth place, HTML), Brandon McCracken (fourth place, Leadership), and the following students working in teams: Anthony Marucci and Jonathan Lazarowicz (third place, Computer

Game and Simulation Programming), Dave Kline, Kristen Rohm, Grace Shields, Josi Sinagoga, and Shannon Ye (fourth place, Parliamentary Procedure), and Joey Falcioni and Jordan Grogan (fourth place, EBusiness). Also representing West Allegheny at the state conference were Shubhi Bakliwal, Derek Faix, Andrew Frank, Kellie Gervas, Logan Himich, Drew Honeychuck, Sarah Kidder, Robyn Lutz, Jesse Nauman, Robert Petrick, and Christian Rodak. West Allegheny students were among the 3,800 out of 14,000 FBLA members across the state who qualified for the competition in Hershey. FBLA faculty advisors Dan Marshall and Pam Volakis coordinated the trip with help from Chris Lucas, Barb Lecker, and Julie McGough.

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 11


Pittsburgh

Botanic Garden

soon to be blooming near Settler’s Cabin

K

itty Vagley started work on January 3 and already is deep in the development of one of the largest undertakings in western Pennsylvania—converting the brownfield just south of Settler’s Cabin Park into a botanical garden unlike anything seen before in the region.

The mission of the Pittsburgh Botanic garden is to plan, build and operate the region’s first comprehensive outdoor botanic garden—a public institution with vast scientific and cultural value and beauty. Vagley, director of development, said that by the end of this year, the transformation on the 452-acre site will be dramatic.

“We are moving forward on the 452 acres that we have, which is in North Fayette and Collier townships,” Vagley said. “We’re doing reclamation work, getting rid of the coal, and minimizing the acid mine drainage, and we are just now working with the county to take over the historic cabin for which the adjacent park is named. It hasn’t happened yet. It will probably happen later this

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year. When it does, we can start work on the area around the cabin next year.” Named for the 18thcentury log cabin, Settler’s Cabin Park is owned by Allegheny County. A 99-year lease is in place, charging the Pittsburgh Botanic garden $1/year for the property to the south of the park. By year’s end, Vagley said she anticipates that the maintenance barn, the old farmhouse and the cabin in the park will be leased to the garden. Vagley said the barn is envisioned to become the welcome center, with a classroom, and a meeting-and-event rental space. A wedding garden will be nearby. The farmhouse will be used for administrative offices, and the cabin will be an educational program site surrounded by period gardens. North Fayette and Collier townships have been helpful and quite supportive to the project. About 90 percent of the park is in North Fayette, and 10 percent in Collier. Because of coal, oil and gas mining, the park was designated a brownfield by the state, which made the site eligible for special funding for remediation. That funding is keeping the botanical garden project moving forward. “We did receive some state funding,” Vagley said. “We got a PennVest grant, and Mashuda is onsite now doing a stellar job. The DEP is looking to make them a model as far as mining practices.” Mashuda Corporation was contracted in 2008 to reclaim 72 acres of abandoned mines

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“We’re doing reclamation work, getting rid of the coal, and minimizing the acid mine drainage...” Kitty Vagley,

Director of Development

over a three-year period. Those mines polluted the main water source for the site with acid mine drainage. The remediation of the site will benefit Robinson Run, Chartiers Creek and the ohio River. “It’s just a fascinating and marvelous project,” Vagley said. ”I’m thrilled to be involved. We did do some history on the site, and there was a farming family there for three or four generations. They would drive to get clean water because the water on the site was undrinkable for humans and farm animals. We are cleaning that whole area up, which will greatly help the Chartiers Creek Watershed.” The reclaimed area is part of Phase one of the project, which also

includes completion of the Woodland gardens of the World and an ADA accessible trail throughout that area, which touches on a meadow area, a tree nursery, the Fred Rogers’ garden of Make Believe and the visitors center. All of that work, slated to be complete by 2015, has a price tag of $12 million, which includes $5 million already granted by the Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development. All in all, the Pittsburgh Botanic garden will have an estimated price tag of $75 million and take about 30 years to reach its full-grown capacity. The rewards to western Pennsylvania will be immeasurable. The nearest similar gardens to Pittsburgh are in ohio to the west and Philadelphia to the east. “We’ll be proceeding with a woodland gardens and tree nursery this year,” Vagley said. “And, when we get the buildings from the county, we’ll be cleaning them up and opening them up for programming.”

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 13


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

During last year’s North Fayette Community Days celebrations, a new, furry face appeared to residents – the Parks and Recreation Fox. But the fox lacked something that all cute animals need – an endearing name. So, in the spirit of community, the parks and recreation department created a contest for local school children to name the fox. The contest was also publicized in the township’s newsletter. Mason Schaefer won the contest and a $50 Best Buy gift certificate with his entry, and the mascot will forever be known to the community as “Freddy the Fox.” Bob Brozovich, Parks and Recreation Director, said that there were about a dozen entries to the contest, and the name will help residents identify North Fayette Parks and Recreation functions. “Mascots seem to be popular among some 14 724.942.0940 to advertise |

departments, and we deal with a lot of kids and kid-friendly events, so the parks and rec board wanted a mascot available for all of our events,” Brozovich said. “Between our Christmas tree lighting, Easter egg hunt and every other event we have going on, when you see the fox, you’ll know it’s a North Fayette Parks and Recreation function.” Brozovich said that Freddy the Fox was one of two mascot possibilities that the board deliberated upon. Had the vote gone another way, residents might have seen a pioneer, he said. “The fox eventually won out and from there, we looked at a few different fox costumes,” Brozovich said. Like all mascot costumes, being Freddy the Fox means you’re in for a warm day no matter what the weather. Fortunately, Freddy the Fox comes equipped with a batterypowered fan inside his oversized fox head to help keep the wearer somewhat comfortable. “We’ve had a couple [of] kids wear it. I’ve done it for some preschool events and I’ve done it for a senior citizens’ Halloween party.

West Allegheny

But whoever’s available to wear it can wear it,” Brozovich said. “Anyone who wants to lose a few pounds, that is. It’s a little warm in there.” In addition to his official township parks and recreation duties, Freddy the Fox is also available for birthday parties, special events, new business openings and more. Due to how new he is, however, formalized prices for renting Freddy have not been set. “Nobody’s asked yet to have him stand outside a grand opening or be somewhere else, but he’s still new. If a business asked us to use Freddy, we would work the cost out with the company,” Brozovich said. “The library is introducing Sunday hours, so I’m sure Freddy will be there for that event.” A formal recognition and introduction of Freddy the Fox might be on the agenda for this year’s Community Days in August, but that hasn’t been set in stone yet. Regardless, Brozovich said Freddy the Fox has been a hit in the community already. “It is surprising, though, that there are some kids out there that want nothing to do with the fox,” he said. “But overall, he’s been pretty popular so far.”


CREATING BEAUTIFUL HEALTHY SMILES

DEL R. BONI, D.M.D. Specialist In Orthodontics Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics For Children and Adults

Boni Orthodontics is pleased to announce the opening of their newest location at 995 Beaver Grade Road, Moon Township.   FREE CONSULTS • NOW ACCEPTING THE CHIP PROGRAM

BONI ORTHODONTICS

BONI ORTHODONTI CS is pleased to announce the opening of their newest location at 995 Beaver Gr ade Road, Moon Township. Dr. Boni is a caring professional who delivers outstanding orthodontic treatment results. He and his skilled staff have made it the ir promise to provide each patient with the highest quality orthodontic care available. They offer a full range of ser vices, including Invisalign , clear ceramic braces, and est hetic functional appliances, which assist in the proper growth and development of their young patients. So whether you’re child, teen, or adult, Dr. Bo a ni is highly skilled in utilizi ng the latest treatment techniques and technologies to ensure you receive optimal results. They offer flexible hours for your convenience and acc most insurance plans. ept Dr. Boni and his team loo k for ward to meeting you and seeing you smile!

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

www.boniorthodontics.com West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 15


“Eyesore� to Bloom in Oakdale

16 724.942.0940 to advertise |

West Allegheny


for the project. Despite attempts to sell the property in the past, and a one-time plan for a former employee to buy it and reopen, Boock’s remained a vacant husk of a building for several years at what borough officials call oakdale’s front door. Prior to the fire, the site was hit with flood damage. Because of the small size of the lot and the fact that it was situated in a floodplain, finding a suitor was difficult. Borough officials worked tirelessly to make the site a gateway for the borough with a parklet and public art display. Councilman Paul Hennemuth discusses the site and what it means for the community.

— A Q&A With Councilman Paul Hennemuth on the Boock’s Bar Site After several years of negotiations after a fire destroyed Boock’s Bar in 2006, oakdale Borough celebrated the grand opening of a parklet in November that will be a staple of the community this summer and for years to come. The parklet, which includes a wall mural, tables, benches and a bubbling fountain was the result of a $40,000 grant from Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, donations from the Sprout Fund, and the willingness of Boock’s owner, Larry Deleuze to sell the property for 1/3 of its appraisal price for $10,000. oakdale Borough supplied man power

Is there any further work to be done on site – i.e. plantings, landscaping? If so will that be done by the borough, a conservancy group or garden club or other volunteers? The major work and planting is completed.  once the weather breaks we will be placing a couple wooden benches in the area and will be activating the fountain.  We will likely be planting some flowers there when we do our regular Spring planting for the Borough.  The Spring planting is primarily supported and completed by volunteers.  Anybody that is interested in helping can contact the Borough office. Sometimes grants dovetail into future grant applications for continuing comprehensive plan projects – are there any spots in the borough that would be targeted for such funding? As with any small Borough or community like oakdale, grants play a critical role in assisting communities with limited budgets and a fixed tax base to upgrade and enhance their surroundings.  Whether it is the local business district, a community park, or other public area, we are always interested in finding funding sources that are little to no cost to the Borough and it’s residents yet allow us to improve the appearance of our community or enhance the quality of life for our residents. one area that we are interested in developing in the future if we can obtain the funding is the area at the entrance to the oakdale

Community Park. The Borough was able to purchase the piece of land that sits between McKee Road and the park entrance. our hope is to develop that land for additional parking.  We feel it will provide a much safer environment at the park and help alleviate some of the parking congestion that can occur when the park is being fully utilized.    The newsletter mentions that there have been many compliments from residents – what are they commenting on most – the removal of the eyesore, the quality of the new parklet design, both? Other? The majority of comments have been focused around how we were able to turn an eyesore in the center of town to something that is not only appealing to the eyes but provides another quaint, unique experience for our residents and visitors.  Keeping that small town, neighborhood feel has become the trademark of oakdale - America’s Hometown! Boock’s could have easily just been razed and left as a vacant lot in perpetuity. Does council feel that projects like this do much towards attracting new residents, and what future beautification projects might residents expect in the future? Without a doubt, it is the small town, friendly atmosphere of oakdale that attracts people to move here and stay in oakdale once they are here.  our number one goal as a Borough Council is to keep oakdale a viable flourishing community.  The Borough itself is less than 1/2 square mile in area.  We have limited area for new development so we need to make sure we utilize every available space for the betterment of our community.  We looked at various options for the vacant Boock’s Bar property.  We would have loved to add a new business to our downtown area but regulations dealing with the flood plain and requirements for flood insurance made it cost prohibitive to build in that lot.  After consideration of all the options, it was decided that beautification of the empty lot with the mural and the park would enhance the appeal of the downtown area and hopefully attract visitors to stop and patronize our existing businesses.   

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 17


Brittany Eiken and Kristen Rohm, Student Volunteers

Ella, Chris, Katherine, Dana and Tessa Chandler

The Lambert Family

Debbie and Ed Faux

West Allegheny Students Host A Pancake Breakfast For A Friend In Need

The National Honor Society, (NHS), of West Allegheny High School showed their love and commitment to a friend in need recently, as they hosted a Pancake Breakfast in her honor. Friends, families and residents came to support Julie Hanczar, a West Allegheny National Honor Society Student that is recovering from a serious car accident. greeted by organizers and volunteers that wore teal “Team Julie” t-shirts, (teal is Julie’s favorite color); patrons were served delicious pancakes and sides. A variety of donated gift baskets were auctioned and teal accessories, including charms and bracelets, were also offered with the proceeds going towards Julie’s medical care. Melissa Ayoob, Amanda gannon, Emily Pia and Emily Murn organized and implemented the breakfast with their NHS faculty sponsor and West Allegheny High School Honors Biology teacher, Suzanne Lambert. Working everyday after school, they planned the breakfast and fundraised for donations for food and gift baskets. When asked why, they all took turns saying “what a great, upbeat friend Julie is and that she is always willing to help.” Ms. Lambert is proud of the students. “Julie is a member of my NHS and it has

been a hard time for the students here at West Allegheny since her accident.  The selfless acts that my students are doing to raise money for their friend is an inspiration and it should be recognized.  I am in awe of the giving and caring that my

NHS students possess,” Ms. Lambert said. The “giving and caring” sentiment was continuously repeated about West Allegheny students, families and the community. Parents and Coach Bob Palko flipped pancakes and made the sides in the kitchen, while student volunteers took tickets and community volunteers cleaned tables. West Allegheny Paraprofessional and mom, Debbie Faux, believes this to be true. “West Allegheny is a family and everyone chips in”, Ms. Faux said. “Time and time again everyone comes out for anyone that needs help.” Another mom that volunteered, Kim Hough, said that the West Allegheny community also helped her when her daughter, Nikki had Leukemia. “Nikki has recovered and is a freshman in college, but the school and the community were unbelievable during that time”. Ms. Hough said. “Everyone really came together to help.” If you would like to donate to Julie’s medical care, please send a check made out to Kris and Dave Hanczar, c/o Suzanne Lambert, West Allegheny High School, 205 West Allegheny Road Imperial, PA 15126.

West Allegheny High School Coach, Bob Palko

Virginia Gannon, Sandy Pittinaro, Emily Pia, Becky Pia, Carol Barczy Amanda Gannon, Ms. Suzanne Lambert, Emily Pia, Melissa Ayoob, Emily Murn, 18 724.942.0940 to advertise |

West Allegheny

Kim Hough, Volunteer


Washington Physician Services – McDonald Family Practice Adds New Face to Practice

If

you haven’t been to Washington Physician Services - McDonald Family Practice in a while, a lot has changed. Following the loss of their on-site physician in 2009, the practice was forced to make a change handling the dwindling patient caseload. In August, all of that changed with the hiring of Dr. Aaron Lenhart, Do, who, with the assistance of Beth Wall, nurse practitioner, have been revitalizing the practice and welcoming back patients by the score. “We’re both here five days a week. We’ve added onto our hours for our patients’ convenience, and are doing more non-traditional hours to accommodate their needs as well,” Lenhart said. “We’re working late days at least once a week. Most times, we work late two days a week to better fit our patients’ schedules.” In addition to extending their hours, Washington Physician Services - McDonald Family Practice has also increased their comprehensive lab services from just two days a week to three days a week, meaning patients can get their test results back faster so they can start to heal sooner. originally growing up in Bethel Park, Lenhart did his undergraduate studies at Pennsylvania State university and his graduate work at the Philadelphia college of osteopathic Medicine. He returned to the area and resides here with his wife, who is an RN at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of uPMC. The couple has a one-year-old with another baby on the way. Lenhart said he is excited to continue establishing his roots in the area, offering his patients his services five days a week for the long-haul. His goal for the short-term is to maintain the changes that Washington Physician Services has implemented so far and grow his patient base. Since his arrival, the practice has reversed the erosion of patients it suffered from not having an on-site physician, and has grown by an estimated 100 patients. The practice now accepts all forms of insurance, where

in the past, certain providers were not accepted. Lenhart’s focus when it comes to medicine is preventative, keeping his patients out of the hospital. “We encourage routine blood work monitoring, vaccination updates and good preventative care,” he said. “It’s better for patients if we keep them well proactively, instead of reacting to ailments that could have been prevented with routine care.” In addition to his general practice, Lenhart said that Wall performs the practice’s gynecological services as well. If you are interested in reconnecting with Washington Physician Services - McDonald Family Practice, or looking for a local practice for your family, Washington Physician Services - McDonald Family Practice welcomes all patients. Their friendly and accommodating staff can take your appointment today if you call 724.926.8001. They are located at 8050 Noblestown Road, Suite 102, McDonald, PA, 15057.

www.washingtonphysicians.org

McDonald Family Medicine 8050 Noblestown Road Suite 102 McDonald, PA 15057

Phone: (724) 926-8001 Fax: (724) 926-8183

Aaron Lenhart, DO Beth Wall, CRNP

Accepting new patients while providing personalized care!

Increased Hours! West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 19


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    Almost every public venue in the deals lasting into country does it – offering up the right to perpetuity. name a facility as a form of revenue “It will be a generation. So when the topic came one-time thing across the desk of the North Fayette Parks and it will live and Recreation Board, officials said, forever,” he “Why not here?” said. “For sure Bob Brozovich, parks and recreation the ball fields director, said the plan has been a few will be. People years in the making, but the township is paid for those. ready to accept naming right When the commitments and even has one pavilions are sponsorship for the baseball field named, [it locked in. will all be] etched in stone. “We advertised it in our newsletter Whoever sponsors the amphitheatre has and the baseball field sponsorship came 10 years to pay it off, so it will also be a about as a result of that,” Brozovich said. long-term commitment.” “We’ll continue To date, two of the [soliciting new baseball fields FEATURES AND FACILITIES donations] until have been named in AVAILABLE FOR NAMING somebody comes up honor of Lou RIGHTS: with the $250,000 to Huebner and Dr. • Amphitheatre $250,000 over name the Petro Maropis. 10 years amphitheatre.” Brozovich said the The sponsorships • Small Pavilions (2) $10,000 Parks and Recreation are open to both Board didn’t have any • Mini Shelters (5) $5,000 residents and qualms about selling • Soccer Field (1) $5,000 commercial entities. naming rights in the • Football Field (1) $5,000 Negotiations with park because of the First • Sand Volleyball Court (1) $2,000 goodwill it ultimately Commonwealth generates. • Park Benches (10) $500 were initiated a few “They were fine THE FOLLOWING PARK years ago, Brozovich with it. You get SPONSORSHIPS WILL BE said, but stalled. something back with DISPLAYED AT THE PARK “We’ll make the investment you ENTRANCEWAY: more of an earnest make, and people get effort to see if the satisfaction that • Gold Sponsor $1,000 anybody’s interested comes with • Silver Sponsor $500 in that in the future. memorializing a We’re not exactly the • Bronze Sponsor $250 loved one, or in the amphitheatre at case of our baseball Burgettstown,” he said. “While we’d like field, the gentleman named it in honor of to see all of the naming rights sold, if the his father, who’s still alive.” board had their druthers, we’d market it Anyone interesting in sponsoring a toward residents more so than part of Donaldson Community Park commercial entities.” should contact the township office at However, with the township acquiring 412.788.4888. Sponsorships are available the necessary services to process debit for all budgets and help improve the park and credit cards, Brozovich feels that the to ensure its beauty today, tomorrow and pursuit of sponsorships will increase and for years to come. All donations are tax be easier for people to handle. deductible as allowed by law. Individuals While most naming rights deals expire can claim a contribution while donations over time, Brozovich said that the from businesses are deductible as sponsorships of the park will be one-time advertising expense.

West Allegheny


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H ealth and W ellness N ews Y ou Can Use

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A W oman ’ s H eart I s S p ecial

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T he G ood N ews Ab out H eart D isease S ix W ays to L ower Y our B lood Pressure

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W elcomin g N ew Physician s


A W oman’ s H eart I s S pecial I t’ s important to recognize you’ re not immune to the dangers of heart disease Have you ever heard the adage, “Know your enemy?” Heart disease is pandemic in the United States — but many women remain unaware that it’s an “equal opportunity” disease. The symptoms of heart disease can differ between men and women, but if you have a heart, you can get heart disease.

T ak e action f or your heart health

“Every woman, regardless of age, should know her risk factors and work with her doctor to develop a plan for good heart health,” says John R. Ward, MD, a cardiologist and specialist in women’s heart issues at UPMC Mercy, which is part of the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute. “Taking action could save your life or the life of someone you love.”

The first step in becoming “heart smart” is to meet with your doctor or primary care physician. An honest conversation with your doctor will help ensure that you get the best possible care. Here are a few questions to ask:

K n ow your risk s An astonishing 80 percent of women between the ages of 40 and 60 have one or more risk factors for heart disease. “Having just one risk factor doubles your chance for heart disease,” adds Dr. Ward. Having multiple risk factors significantly increases your potential for heart problems. Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and family history are risk factors that men and women share. Additional risk factors specific to women’s heart health include: t abol i c s yn drom e , a combination of excessive fat around the abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high triglycerides that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. • M e n t al s t re s s an d de p re s s i on , both of which make it difficult to follow a healthy lifestyle. • L ow l e v e l s of e s t roge n af t e r m e n op au s e , which pose serious risks of heart disease developing in a woman’s smaller blood vessels. “You can’t do anything about your genes and family history, but lifestyle changes can certainly help reduce your risk of heart disease,” says Dr. Ward.

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women over the age of 65. And over the last 20 years, the rate of heart attacks in women between the ages of 35 and 54 has been on the rise. Given these statistics, every woman should pay close attention to her heart health.

• What are my risk factors for heart disease? • What should I know about the effects of menopause on my heart health? • What is my blood pressure? Is that healthy for my age? • What is my cholesterol and how could it affect my health? • Based on my history and risk factors, what can I do to lower my risk? T ak e action f or your f amily, too The staggering increase in obesity and diabetes in children in the United States puts them at significant risk of heart disease. “We’ve learned that plaque can begin to build up in arteries in children as young as two years old,” says Dr. Ward. “Moms are role models for their children. By making healthy changes for yourself, you can help improve the heart health of the entire family.” T o learn more ab out cardiac services at U P M C M ercy, visit w w w .U P M C M ercy.com and click on O ur S ervices. T o schedule an appointment w ith a U P M C - a! liated physician, visit w w w .U P M C .com/ F indAD octor, or call 1 - 8 0 0 - 5 3 3 - U P M C ( 8 7 6 2 ) .


T he G ood N ew s Ab out H eart D isease T ake charge of your heart through health screenings and heart-healthy lifestyle changes H eart disease is the nation’ s leading cause of death f or both men and w omen. Every . “ seconds, someone experiences a coronary event; every minute, heart disease claims a life. The good news? Y ou can take steps to reduce your risk of heart disease through routine screenings and lifestyle changes — even if you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke.

If needed, you also can take advantage of the region’s only low radiation electron beam CT scan at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute. It looks specifically for calcium in the coronary arteries as a marker of the cholesterol accumulation that can cause sudden heart attacks. Dr. Fallert recommends regular health screenings that tell you your numbers and whether you need to take action. For example, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels, but you wouldn’t know you have these conditions without testing for them.

“Heart disease is a disease we can do something about. In most instances, it is preventable,” says Daniel Edmundowicz, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, and director The more risk factors you have, the greater of preventive cardiology at the UPMC your chance of developing heart disease, Heart and Vascular Institute. says Dr. Fallert. W hile you can’t control “Screening absolutely saves lives. W e genetics, you can take steps to control can help people change the outcome many other risk factors by eating a once we know the risk-factor levels,” healthy diet, exercising, not smoking, Dr. Edmundowicz says. and maintaining a healthy body weight. Some changes — like quitting smoking — H eart- H ealthy Resources at can have an immediate impact. U PMC Mercy

S ix W ays to L ower Y our B lood Pressure High b lood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and other serious diseases. Follow these recommendations from Dr. Fallert to take charge of this “ silent killer” : • I n crease p hysical activity. Aim for at least 3 0 minutes each day ( most days) of b risk walking, b ike riding, or other aerob ic activity. • Mon itor your sodium. L imit your sodium intake to less than two grams ( 2 , 0 0 0 mg) a day. B eware of “ hidden” sodium in processed foods, including canned soup, lunch meats, froz en dinners, and crackers. • Eat healthy. Follow a lower-fat diet that’ s rich in fruits, vegetab les, and low-fat dairy foods. • C on trol your stress. Take 1 5 minutes each day to decompress and focus on yourself. L isten to music, read, pray, or meditate. • D on ’ t smok e! N icotine causes your b lood vessels to constrict and your heart to b eat faster, which raises your b lood pressure.

Michael A. Fallert, MD, chief of cardiology at UPMC Mercy, says doctors use tools such as EKGs, stress testing, ultrasound, and CT scans to look for signs of atherosclerosis in the heart, neck, legs, and arms — especially if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease.

“The bottom line is: If you know your numbers and know your risk, you can do something about it,” Dr. Fallert says.

Risk f actors that can’t b e chag ed

K n ow your n umb ers

B ecome heart smart

Aim for these vital numb ers to k eep your tick er in good w ork ing condition:

Take time to educate yourself ab out heart disease and the treatments availab le. The U P M C Heart and V ascular Institute web site is a one-stop source of information ab out cardiac conditions, as well as U P M C’ s full spectrum of cardiovascular services from routine screenings to advanced cardiac care.

• Family history of heart disease, carotid artery disease, or peripheral artery disease • Age ( 6 5 and older) • Gender ( men have a greater risk of heart attack)

Risk f actors that can b e chan g ed • • • • •

Smoking High b lood pressure High cholesterol levels O b esity P hysical inactivity

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• T ak e your medicin e. If medicine is needed to control your b lood pressure, make sure you take it as prescrib ed b y your doctor.

B e sure to check it out at www.U PMC .com/ H eartan dV ascular.

If you have q uestions or concerns ab out your heart health, call your physician to schedule an appointment.

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Health Tips from U P M C Health P lan

Y o u n g A t hle t e s a n d uS d d e n C a r d ia c D e a t h

W hat Paren ts N eed to K n ow Is your child among the three to five million young people in the United States who play organized sports each year? If so, you know that a pre-participation physical examination can help identify young athletes who may be at risk for an injury or illness that could require additional medical evaluation. Recently, identifying young athletes who may be at risk of sudden cardiac death has become a hot topic among sports medicine professionals, focusing the attention of parents on the need for better cardiovascular screening of young athletes. “Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young athletes is extremely rare,” says Vivekanand Allada, MD, clinical director of pediatric cardiology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and professor of pediatrics. “In fact, it’s a one in a million risk.” According to Dr. Allada, sudden death in young athletes is most often due to heart problems, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (an abnormal thickening of the heart). Other causes include congenital coronary anomalies, arrhythmia (which can be caused by a blow to the chest), and Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can weaken the aorta and lead to a tear or rupture. “Unfortunately, there’s no perfect test to find a needle in a haystack,” says Dr. Allada. However, parents can take steps to uncover risk factors that may require more testing or a consultation with a pediatric cardiologist. The American Heart Association recommends that young athletes undergo a screening medical history to check specifically for: • Chest pain, palpitations, or fainting during exercise (red flags that require immediate attention) • A history of a heart murmur or hypertension • Family history of coronary disease, sudden death, or Marfan syndrome Children with any of these risk factors or an abnormal physical exam should see a pediatric cardiologist, who is specially trained to look for cardiac problems in children and teens, Dr. Allada says. Further testing might include an EKG, echocardiogram, and stress test. He offers these tips to parents: • Don’t let your child play through chest pain. Pain can be a warning sign. • Teach your child to avoid energy drinks that have high levels of caffeine. Such drinks can make the heart race and cause cardiac arrhythmias. They are particularly dangerous for athletes with undiagnosed cardiac problems.

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T o learn more ab out caring for your child’ s heart, visit w w w .chp.edu, then click on C hild H ealth A- Z . T o schedule an appointment w ith a C hildren’ s- a! liated physician, call 4 1 2 - 6 9 2 - P E D S ( 7 3 3 7 ) .

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E x ercise:

T oo M uch of a G ood T hing C an B e H armful Regular exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy life. M any of us, however, still struggle to fi t even a moderate amount of exercise into our schedules. B ut there are plenty of people who are getting too much exercise. If some exercise is good, they think more will b e b etter. N ot true. In fact, excessive exercise can lead to a host of physical issues, including inj uries, the loss of lean muscle mass, a weakened immune system, sleep prob lems, irritab ility, and depression. A study in the American J ournal of Cardiology suggests that too much vigorous exercise also can increase the risk of heart prob lems.

Are you ex ercisin g too much? Experts say that if your workouts suddenly seem more diwcult than usual and you aren’ t making progress, you may b e overexercising. O ther troub le signs include: • Insomnia • Aches or pain in muscles and/ or j oints • Fatigue • Feeling unmotivated and lacking energy • Increased susceptib ility to colds, sore throats, and other illnesses If you’ re experiencing any of these signs, see your doctor to fi nd out if something else is causing the prob lem.

J ust startin g an ex ercise p rog ram? Congratulations on taking an important step to improve your health. Here are a few tips to help your b ody adj ust to a new routine: • Create a reasonab le exercise program b ased on attainab le goals. • Exercise in moderation. • B egin slowly and b uild up gradually to avoid inj uries. • Cut b ack the volume and intensity of your workouts at the fi rst sign of inj ury. • L isten to your b ody. When it needs a rest, give it a rest. Sources: American College of Sports M edicine, American Heart Association


U P M C Spotlight

The Downside of Falls P rev enting tripping, falling can be key to maintaining independence Falls may be funny on comedy shows, but they can be traumatic for older adults. Simply tripping on a rug or slipping on a wet floor can change an older person’s life in an instant — posing serious threats to his or her health and independence. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three people over 65 experience at least one fall each year, and more than two-thirds of them are likely to fall again within six months. Falls also are the leading cause of accidental death in seniors. And, as many as 30 percent of those who fall end up with debilitating hip, pelvic, or spine fractures that make it harder to get around and adversely affect self-confidence. Even those who don’t suffer serious injury can become fearful. “The most obvious concern when an older adult falls or trips is injury,” says Stephanie Studenski, MD, MPH, director of the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at the University of Pittsburgh and associate director of research at the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh. “But the fear of falling can cause people to restrict their activity and sacrifice their independence. In some cases, it can lead to social isolation,” she says. Everyone is at risk for falls, but that risk increases with the changes that come with aging, plus other medical conditions such as arthritis, cataracts and glaucoma, and balance problems. “Fortunately, there’s a lot people can do to prevent most risk factors,” says Dr. Studenski. “Taking care of your overall health, staying active, socializing with friends, and taking a few common-sense precautions can help you avoid falls and broken bones.” To learn more about the Falls Clinic, located at UPMC Senior Care-Benedum Geriatric Center in Oakland, call 412-692-4200.

T hree thing

s you can do to p reven t f alls

Ex ercise! Exercises such as tai chi or other relaxation exercises that improve balanc e and coordination can help lower your chances of falling and make you feel stronger. S ee your doctor regula rly. Annual physical and eye examinations can uncover underlying medical prob lems that can lead to falls. See your doctor if you feel unstab le or diz z y, p ossibly d ue to medications. Tell your doctor if you fall; a medical evaluation can help. Mak e your home saf er. Seventy-fi ve percent of all falls occur at home. To help make your home fall-proof: • I mprove lighting. As you get older, you need b righter lights to see well. Us e night lights in your b edroom, hall, and bat hroom. • R emove small throw rugs. Tack down all carpets and area rugs so they are fi rmly fastened to the fl oor. • R emove things you can trip over. Clear bo oks, clothes, and shoes from stairs and places you walk. K eep cords and wires near walls. • Us e handrails. Install grab bar s near toilets, and bot h inside and outside your tub and shower. Always use the handrail when using the stairs. • St ore items w ithin easy reach. Don’t store things too high or too low. Avoid using stepladders or step stools. Mos t of all, think bef ore you reach. • W ear shoes w ith non- sk id, non- friction soles. Avoid going b arefoot or wearing only socks or loose-fi tting slippers.

L eading the W ork in F alls P revention Dr. St ephanie Studenski received the 2 0 1 0 N ational Award for Falls P revention Research and will be honor ed as the grand champion at the third annual Celeb rating Senior Champions benefi t dinner and auction Thursday, N ov. 3, 2 0 1 1 . For more information about the event, sponsored b y UP MC Senior Services, the Aging Institute, and the Division of Geriatric Med icine of the Uni versity of P ittsbur gh, c all P eggy V anHorn, bene volent care advocate, at 4 12 -6 2 2 -9 2 3 9 .

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Choosing the Right Doctor for Y ou T aking the time to fin d “Dr . Rig ht” is one of the most important inv estments you can make. We’ve all heard about the importance of the doctorppatient relationship, often described as the cornerstone of q uality medical care. “ In fact, the stronger that relationship, the better your chances of receiving the right care at the right time in the right way,” says Tami Minnier, vice president of UPMC’s w onald J . Wolff, J r. Center for Q uality Improvement and Innovation. “ At UPMC, our goal is to help you develop a long-term partnership in which your doctor is your number one health care champion.” According to a . 0 1 0 survey by the R obert Wood J ohnson Foundation, most of us are very satisfied with our physicians. It usually takes something maj or — like moving to a new area, changing medical insurance, or being diagnosed with a serious condition — to prompt us to look for a new doctor. “ If you’re in the process of changing doctors, there are some exciting new options to consider,” says Ms. Minnier. “ For example, UPMC’s Health Plan is working with a growing number of primary care physicians to implement patient-centered medical homes in their practices.” In this medical model, your family doctor becomes the hub for all your care by linking you to a collaborative team of medical professionals — from physician assistants to specialists.

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Medical homes are designed to ensure that you receive appropriate and comprehensive care over your entire lifetime, including preventive health care, treatment for acute or chronic illness, and assistance with end-of-life care. S tudies show that medical homes are resulting in improved care, access, and communication between patients and their “ medical team” — as well as improved q uality, safety, and cost of care.

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When searching for “ w r. R ight,” here are five helpful tips to locate the best matchs

D etermin e what’ s imp ortan t to you “ Finding the ‘ right’ doctor often involves personal preferences apart from a physician’s skills or q ualifications,” says Ms. Minnier. “ For example, are you more comfortable with a doctor of your gendert Is a primary care physician right for you, or do you have a medical condition that req uires treatment by a specialistt And if easy access is a concern, do you need a doctor located close to your home or workplacet”

G et the op in ion of p eop le you trust “ uegin your search by asking your circle of family, friends, and co-workers about the positive experiences they’ve had,” she advises. “ If you’re moving, or seeking a specialist, your current doctor also can be an excellent referral source.”

D o some homework “ There are a number of credible online resources, including UPMC’s Find a w octor kwww.UPMC.compFindAw octorl, with information on more than 5 ,0 0 0 physicians, that allow you to confirm a physician’s medical credentials, board certifications, and specialties,” says Ms. Minnier. Y ou also can check with the state medical board at docboard.org. In general, avoid “ doctor ranking” sites, which are unregulated and difficult to verify for accuracy.

At UPMC, a variety of tools are used to assess physician q uality, including patient satisfaction surveys. “ We literally review thousands of surveys monthly, which provide us with invaluable insights and feedback,” says Ms. Minnier.

V erif y your doctor’ s in suran ce p lan s an d hosp ital a" liation s “ Most practices accept a variety of insurance plans, but be sure yours is among them,” advises Ms. Minnier. “ And should you ever req uire hospitaliz ation or special tests, it’s important that your doctor be affiliated with a hospital you know and trust.”

C all f or an ap p oin tmen t “ uring a written set of q uestions covering your concerns and expectations. When your visit is over, evaluate the experience,” suggests Ms. Minnier. “ Was it easy to get an appointmentt Were you treated with respect by both the doctor and the stafft If your answers are positive, you’re on the right path to a doctorppatient relationship characteriz ed by q uality care, compassion, and open communication.” F or more information, or to schedule an appointment w ith a U P M C - a! liated physician, visit w w w .U P M C .com/ F indAD octor, or call 1 - 8 0 0 - 5 3 3 - U P M C ( 8 7 6 2 ) .


Welcoming N ew Physician s to U P M C M ercy To schedule an appointment, or for more information about any of our physicians, visit www.UPMC.com/FindADoctor or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). A nes

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U PMC Mercy 1 4 0L ocust St. P ittsbur gh, P A 15 2 19

UPMC Today is publi shed quar terly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events availab le at U P M C. This pub lication is for informational purposes only and should not b e taken as medical advice or replace a physician’ s medical assessment. Alw ays consult fi rst with your physician about anything related to your personal health.

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


Longest-serving Public Works Employee in Findlay Retires PAuL REDICK MAY HAVE RETIRED, BuT HE’S NoT THRougH WoRKINg. After 41 years with the Findlay Township Public Works Department, Redick decided it was time to claim his pension and move on to new things. Redick started with the township in June of 1970, working as part-time labor between his junior and senior years of high school. After that, he worked his way to full-time labor, truck driver, equipment operator and, eventually, foreman. At just 58, Redick is still young enough to enjoy a long, rewarding retirement, which he plans on doing, but first, he decided he’d go back to work. “Mainly, it was to keep some insurance and keep busy,” Redick said. “There just wasn’t enough to do around the house.” under his union agreement with the township, Redick actually could have retired at 55, but said he wanted to work longer as a safety net with his pension for his family. He suffered a heart attack in 2007, and said that was the impetus for him to close that chapter of his life and start again. His official retirement began February 1. “It was time to grab it. Pensions were being flagged by the state as critical, and I wanted to make sure I got mine while it was still there,” he said. “I’m back working for Lowe’s in the outdoor lawn and garden department working rotating shifts. I have some open mornings and some nights.” It’s a far cry from the hours he put in with the township, where he supervised and worked alongside the public works crew on township infrastructure maintenance and installation. “It’s different. It’s definitely a change. I would work for the township from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. five days a week, but we’d have call-outs for snow and storms,” he said. “Sometimes we’d work through our regular shifts altogether and then some. I have had days where I worked a 30- or 40-hour day straight.” John o’Neal, public works director for the township, said that Redick was a model employee for the 14 years that he had been

working with him. “Paul was extremely reliable. He made my job a lot easier. I could give him some tasks to do and not have to worry about it,” he said. “I could just stand back and watch.” o’Neal said that while the longevity in the workplace that Redick displayed is rare, Findlay Township has had its share of employees who served the township for several decades. “For someone to go 40 years is kind of rare these days,” he said. “People leave for various reasons, and some find us later in life.” Redick said that for now, his plans are simple – continuing to work part time and do some camping with his grandchildren this summer. However, bigger plans are to come, he assured. “When I retire a second time, that’s when I’ll do some big traveling,” he said.

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                         

                                               

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                    


                   

   

 

                                                            

  

West Allegheny | Summer | incommunitymagazines.com 31


MY NA ME IS

IS AME N Y M

MABE L And I n ee

I D N A RAnd I nmeeed

a hom d e

a ho

Randi is a beautiful, affectionate cat. She is waiting for someone to adopt her from Animal Friends and love her forever. Perhaps it could be you? After Randi knows that she can trust you, she is extremely loving and affectionate. We call her a “Velcro cat” because she’ll just latch right on to you when you hold her! She gravitates to anyone who is willing to pet her and wants nothing more than to curl up on your lap or to share your bed with you at night. When Randi isn’t sharing the couch with you, she enjoys sitting by a window and watching the world outside. Given her fondness for peace and quiet, we feel that Randi will be best suited to a quiet home. If you’re looking for a sweet and attentive cat, please meet with an adoptions counselor and ask to meet Randi. She would love to be the object of your affection! If you can help Randi, call Animal Friends at 412.847.7002.

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

 Treats are yummy for cats, but don’t go overboard. Most packaged treats contain lots of sugar and fat, which can pack on the pounds. Fill ‘er up! Your cat or dog should have fresh, clean water available at ALL times. Change their bowl at least once a day. Memorize this list of No-Nos for your cat or dog:

• • • • •

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Chocolate Bones Milk Avocado Coffee

West Allegheny

• • • • •

Raisins & grapes Moldy, spoiled food Salt Garlic Onions, onion powder

Mabel, a very sweet Border Collie mix, was brought to Animal Friends after she was found wandering the streets alone and homeless. Even though she has had some tough times, Mabel is very friendly and enjoys being around people. She likes to be petted, she sits nicely for brushing or bathing and she even enjoys a good belly rub every now and then. Don’t let her gray muzzle fool you! Mabel loves to take walks, play with squeak toys or go for car rides. She walks very nicely on leash and will sit quietly in the car as she watches the world go by. And if that weren’t enough, Mabel gets along well with other dogs too. Mabel is currently in a foster home. Her foster mom says that Mabel is very well behaved, is housebroken and is a pleasure to share a home with. Even though Mabel is no longer homeless and loves being in her foster home, she’s still looking for a home to call her very own. Won’t you be the one to give Mabel the forever home she so deserves? If you can help, call Animal Friends at 412.847.7002.


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R ob ert Friedlander, MD, left, and Michael Horowitz, MD, discuss treatment options with a patient who has an unruptured aneurysm.

On the

TO

ROAD By Mark Berton

Ashly Hunt

U PMC neurosurgery patient making strides after sut ering a near fatal b rain hemorrhage.

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West Allegheny

When you think of someone who has suv ered a stroke, common images arise: paralysis on one side of the b ody and diwculty with speech and coordination. While stroke can occur at any age, most people associate strokes with older people. So if you’ re an athletic 2 4 -year-old with no history of b rain inj ury, on the b each at O cean City, M aryland during the Fourth of J uly holiday with stroke-like symptoms, denial is a natural response. And for Ashly Hunt, she denied her symptoms until the moment she was loaded into a helicopter. “ I rememb er thinking I wanted water. I am a huge runner. I ran b efore this and thought I was dehydrated, ” she said. “ It literally took the life-fl ight to b elieve that I wasn’ t dehydrated. When it’ s happening to you you’ re not thinking the worst. ” Within a matter of hours, what she thought was a simple headache evolved and rob b ed her of her sight and ab ility to speak. She also had troub le moving her arms and hands. Emergency responders decided to life-fl ight her to the nearest hospital in B altimore, where she was diagnosed with a b rain stem hemorrhage. B lood from the hemorrhage was pooling in an area that connects her b rain to her spinal cord, causing her to lose movement on her right side, and creating a maj or dilemma for the neurosurgeons b ecause they b elieved the site was too risky to treat with surgery. Soon after the diagnosis, Ashly entered a rehab ilitation program in her hometown of J ohnstown, P a. , to help her regain movement of the extremities that were av ected b y the hemorrhage. However, after several weeks in rehab ilitation and slight improvements in her vision and speech, Ashly’ s overall condition b egan to worsen. Ashly still maintained her hearing, b ut what she heard going on around her, she didn’ t like. U ntil she met Rob ert Friedlander, M D, at U P M C.


“I’m pretty close to 100 percent now. My hand and foot are the last things I’m waiting for to come back. I’m writing again. It’s like a 3-year-old, but I am. I’m going to be 100 percent.” Ashly Hunt

From left to right, Brian Jankowitz, MD, Paul Gardner, MD, Daniel Wecht, MD, and L. Dade Lunsford, MD, discuss a complex neurovascular case.

Dr. Friedlander was called after Ashly’ s family doctor consulted with a neurosurgeon at The J ohns Hopkins U niversity, who recommended that Dr. Friedlander manage this complex situation. Within four hours of the initial consultation, Ashly was in an amb ulance headed for P ittsb urgh where, she said, she met the doctor who made all the div erence. “ I couldn’ t speak and had a hard time seeing, b ut my b rain was processing everything. All of the other doctors were talking ab ove me and not looking at me, not doing anything with me even though I understood them all, ” she said. “ U ntil I went to Dr. Friedlander and he worked with me through my condition to give him the answers he needed. He never came ov as pompous. He’ s the most caring person I’ ve dealt with to this day. ” Ashly’ s hemorrhage was caused b y an underlying condition called a cavernous malformation, which is an ab normal, b erry-like patch of b lood vessels located inside her b rain stem. B ecause the b rain stem is deeply situated within the b ase of the b rain and controls important functions such as movement, sensation, b reathing, and instructing the heart to b eat, surgery to remove the malformation was extremely risky. However, if left untreated, the malformed vessels could again b leed and result in additional critical neurologic damage or even death. Dr. Friedlander and the neurosurgeons at U P M C faced the challenging task of removing the malformation without causing further complications. U sing advanced b rain imaging technology known as High Defi nition Fib er Tracking, pioneered at the U niversity of P ittsb urgh, Dr. Friedlander was ab le to view the detailed wiring of Ashly’ s b rain fi b ers to determine the b est way to execute the surgery with as little damage to her b rain as possib le. In order to ob tain appropriate access to the b rain stem, Dr. Friedlander turned to Dr. B arry Hirsch, a skull b ase EN T surgeon at U P M C. U sing a special microscope and image guidance device, Dr. Friedlander approached the b rain stem and was ab le to completely remove the cavernous malformation.

After surgery, Ashly’ s vision and speech b egan to improve. She also could move her right hand, which had b een paralyz ed. She improved daily, making strides with her b alance, speech, movements, and other functions, and credits her improvement to her strict discipline in following her doctors’ recommendations and her physical therapy program. “ If I could say one thing to inspire anyone going through this it’ s that you can’ t j ust sit there. It b ecomes your j ob , ” she said. “ I’ ve seen a lot of people who have had strokes. Y ou can’ t j ust sit down and think you’ ll get b etter. Y ou have to follow the therapy and give your b ody time. ” While she’ s b een living with her parents in J ohnstown during her recovery, Ashly is looking forward to getting b ack to her life in B altimore. “ I’ m pretty close to 1 0 0 percent now. M y hand and foot are the last things I’ m waiting for to come b ack, ” she said. “ I’ m writing again. It’ s like a 3 -year-old, b ut I am. I’ m going to b e 1 0 0 percent. ” Her road to recovery has b een long. Approaching the anniversary of her ordeal, she and her family are thankful to Dr. Friedlander and everyone on the U P M C stav who helped her through this challenging time. She maintains a b log at ashlystatus. com, where family and friends post updates on her condition. “ I’ ll never forget, Dr. Friedlander said to me, ‘ We’ re a team. I’ ll do my part as long as you do yours, ’ ” she said. “ That’ s b ig in my mind. That made an impact. ” For more information, please call the U P M C Department of N eurological Surgery at 1 -8 6 6 -9 7 9 -1 3 3 6 or visit U P M C. com/ nv. This patient’ s treatment and results may not b e representative of all similar cases.

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 35


R E A L E S TAT E

WEST ALLEGHENY

AN ENJoYABLE LIVINg SPACE

IS AS CLOSE AS YOUR

If you’re looking for ways to increase your property value, attract buyers or just improve your way of life, you may find the answer is in your yard. Figures in the last two years suggest that the landscaping of your home is worth somewhere between 5% and 15% of the total home value. We’re all familiar with the term “curb appeal,” which basically means that buyers must be attracted to the outside of the house before they will ever see the inside. If your yard is unappealing, it may kill the sale of your home in the first few seconds. And the new outdoor room is increasingly appearing on the list of “must-have” features for new homebuyers. Today, landscaping is more than just plants and bushes. Some of the features you may want to consider in making your space more attractive are lighting, color, foliage, fencing and water features. Lighting goes a long way in defining an outdoor space for nighttime enjoyment, but it’s also a wise investment for security. Motion detector lights can illuminate pathways and deter crime. They are inexpensive, and solar-powered models are available that are wireless. For more subtle lighting, wall sconces can create ambience in heavily-used areas. For dining spaces, outdoor chandeliers come in a variety of styles from old world to contemporary. Next, try adding some color. Pick a shade that will coordinate with the color and hue of your home, but add some contrast. The color theme can be achieved through the use of chair cushions, throw pillows, table umbrellas, canopies and flowering plants. Keep in mind that wooden patio furniture can also be painted to further carry out the theme. Trees, bushes, plants and flowers can breathe new life into a barren space. Trees increase in value over time as they grow. Bushes and hedges can be used to add beauty and also to add security. Thorny rosebushes or holly bushes with their pointy leaves can be strategically planted in front of ground floor windows to discourage would-be intruders. Lavender bushes generally grow fairly quickly and will add a wonderful scent to your outdoor area. They are also a good deterrent for spiders since they avoid the lavender scent.

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West Allegheny

by Pamela Palongue When choosing plants and flowers, keep in mind that most people prefer low maintenance if you are planning on selling your home. Some good low-maintenance flowers for our area, Zone 6, are Shasta daisies, irises, coneflowers and peonies. These perennials come in a variety of colors to highlight your yard and your color scheme. Don’t forget the lawn. It’s the foundation for your landscape. Be sure to replace all the “bald” spots with new sod to cover these worn areas. Consider using paving stones for heavy traffic areas. If your grass is brown in spots and you are having a party or open-house showing, consider using a green lawn spray that is specially made to dye your lawn, giving it a lush, verdant look. The dye is permanent and will last until you mow the lawn. Although fencing may be one of the more expensive improvements to your landscaping project, it is also one of the most attractive and efficient. A fence defines property lines, and adds privacy and security. A lattice fence is a less-expensive option and lends a cottage flair to most yards. It may be purchased in sections for fairly quick installation. Chain link fencing is a sturdier but more expensive option. Fencing is generally available in brown, green or black to blend in more easily with natural surroundings. Split rail fencing adds a rustic feeling and may be lined with chicken wire to keep small pets secure. Water features are extremely popular and offer the greatest opportunity for creative expression in your landscape design. They can be as complex as a custom-designed waterfall and as simple as a birdbath. Keep in mind that still water breeds mosquitoes. If your water feature is not going to be aerated with a circulation pump, it will need to be flushed out and cleaned weekly or you can add fish which will eat the mosquito larvae. Many solar-powered pumps are available for use with water fountains which eliminate the need for electricity or cords. Most come with a back-up battery for cloudy days and nighttime use. An outdoor space is a great place for the entire family to spend time and enjoy nature while adding to the value to your property.


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WEST ALLEGHENY

WALKER-EWING LOG HOUSE —

More Than

200 Years of History

in Our Own Backyard Ed Snarey has a particular interest in the Walker-Ewing Log House in Settler’s Cabin Park, mainly because he can trace his lineage back to the Ewing family. He’s not alone. Members of the Pioneers West Historical Society either have a similar bond, or a love of preserving the house in general. “The initial building was started by the two Walker boys in 1762,” Snarey said. “It

“ I’m 85 years old, but I appreciate the fact that my ancestors came over here in the 1600s and 1700s.” was in the time of the French and Indian War, and from what we understand, the Walkers were chased off the property by Indians. upstairs, there is 1762 carved into the stone. We surmise that was when it was started. We think it was finished in 1792. None of that can be officially confirmed, but that’s the best knowledge we have.” The Walker home was later given to the Ewing family as a wedding gift, Snarey said, and the Ewings finished building it in 1792. The family kept the home generation after generation until Mrs. Jane grace, a Ewing

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descendent, donated it to the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation which (according to a 1976 newsletter) planned to turn it into a “vacation, live-in museum.” However, those plans never materialized. “It was going to pot,” Snarey said. “Mrs. grace had to go to [the foundation] and buy it back so she could turn it over to us. She’s been donating money to maintain it ever since.” And in that time, the Pioneers West Historical Society has been actively maintaining the property in earnest. “We’ve redone the roof. We resealed all of the logs. on the inside, we’ve put some new flooring in, removing a modern-day door that was put in, and put period logs back in. It was redone to make it look more like the original,” Snarey said. “[There is] a little wishing well, which has been repainted and resealed. New chinking was put in the logs.

West Allegheny

We did a lot of work on it. And Mrs. grace has been our benefactor. We don’t have any other projects going. We just keep that log cabin up. It’s in good shape on the inside now and the outside.” While the house isn’t open to the public


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WEST ALLEGHENY

After restoration

Before restoration

other than sporadic open houses, it is visible from the road. Snarey said the Pioneers West Historical Society worked extensively with Meadowcroft Village in Avella, which also has an historic period settlement that it maintains, to acquire the period building materials to make the house look as authentic as possible. “If we didn’t replace the roof, there

wouldn’t be anything there,” Snarey said. “We do have water and electric and gas and sewage, but it’s kept as old fashioned-looking as possible.” other repairs to the property included redoing the driveway, which Snarey said became rutted over time. A mowing service keeps the property from becoming overgrown, but most other maintenance is done by the society. Even at 85, Snarey said he still checked in during the winter months to see if any work needed to be done. Fortunately, during one of those check-ins, he found a burst pipe that was caught early and repaired, resulting in no damages. “And the water company wasn’t too bad on

us, so we got off lucky,” he said. “There are only a few of us that are actually active. I’m 85 years old, but I appreciate the fact that my ancestors came over here in the 1600s and 1700s. I had an uncle killed in the Revolutionary War. The history goes back quite a bit.”

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 39


R E A L E S TAT E

WEST ALLEGHENY

by Pamela Palongue Once upon a time, even larger, more Increase in Average Square Feet young people bought a luxurious home if house and lived there income allows. happily ever after. End of There are a story. Now an individual few key or couple may buy four or considerations to 2000 2,200 sq. ft. five different houses in a look at when lifetime and even more if buying a home 1970 1,500 sq. ft. they are working in an and upgrading it industry where transfers as an investment. 1950 happen frequently. In Most importantly, 1,000 sq. ft. today’s real estate when selecting a market, is it smart to buy neighborhood in and sell so many times? which to live, take Or is it safer to buy a special notice of dream home and remain there for life? the school district. Because parents want their According to Sandy Goldstein a Pittsburgh Real children to be able to attend the very best schools, Estate Agent, it all depends upon the individual the school district is key to the area retaining its and the situation. Decades ago, people stayed in value over the long haul. Choosing an area that is the same job for their entire lives. Now people safe, low-crime and likely to remain that way is may switch companies or relocate across the also important. People country for job opportunities. Corporate executives tend to gravitate may be transferred within their company 10 or toward areas with more times in a 25-year period. People are also shopping malls, basing their housing choices on their immediate groceries and needs, rather than long-term requirements. entertainment “Since 2009, I have noticed that there nearby as well. are fewer move up buyers. Most These elements buyers that are move up buyers will help ensure that are ones that have out grown your home retains its a small home or have value when you are included a family member in ready to sell it in a the home,” says Goldstein. few years. People begin their homeAnother important buying adventure in a consideration is to starter home, which may make sure that you have only two bedrooms are not overand one bath. Then when they start a family and are more stable in their careers, they will advance to a mid-range home to accommodate the growing number of children. Eventually they may upgrade to an

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West Allegheny

improving for your particular neighborhood if you hope to get a good return on your investment. Check comparable home prices in your area before making remodeling choices Goldstein has also pointed out that that Pittsburgh’s growing elderly population has created a need for housing that is sensitive to the mobility problems of this age group. Many older parents are moving in with children making in-law suites more desirable. Retirees- mostly as emptynesters don’t need as much space as a growing family. They also don’t need stairs. A type of dwelling called a “flat” has become popular. A typical flat has no basement, and the kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom are all located on the ground floor. The upstairs may include one or two bedrooms and a bath for their adult children when they are visiting or residing in the home while taking care of their aging parents. Most older Pittsburgh homes do not fit this description. There were new flats being built in recent years, until 2008 when the economic recession halted new construction. In the future, with the greater numbers of elderly, this type of housing could be in short supply. Goldstein is optimistic about the current state of Pittsburgh real estate and says, “If you have a home to sell, now is the time. Inventory of homes is extremely low. The market has appreciated nicely and if the home is priced correctly, it will sell easily.”


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West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 41


R E A L E S TAT E

WEST ALLEGHENY

Real Estate Options for the Retired By Pamela Palongue

Retired persons are commonly advised to sell their homes to avoid the cost of repairs and maintenance. Well-meaning friends and relatives often point out that they won’t be able to mow the lawn forever. Is selling your house always the best choice? According to Kathy McKenna, a real estate broker with over 20 years of experience in Pittsburgh, it’s a decision that needs to be weighed carefully with knowledgeable people you can trust. There are many reasons a home may not be practical to maintain in retirement years. McKenna explains, “Some older homes may not be well insulated and this can lead to high gas or electric bills.” There are the major expenses like replacing a roof as well as the ongoing costs of lawn maintenance, snow removal and real estate taxes. Also on an emotional level, some individuals may not be prepared to live alone and would prefer more sociable surroundings. Some retired persons opt for condominium living which quells many of the anxieties of home ownership. As McKenna points out, the maintenance is usually taken care of in the association fees and will generally include lawn maintenance, roof repairs and replacement, and siding. Some condos may include exterior painting as part of their upkeep agreement. The downside is that association fees can be raised over time. However, most associations manage their money wisely and the increases are usually infrequent. McKenna also adds, “Do your homework. Attend the association meetings and see how the money is being spent and if they are managing it well.” Another thing to consider is that condo associations occasionally may assess their members a one-time fee to pay for a major renovation or repair.

Donald C. Grau, CPA Tax Returns • Bookeeping Small Business Start Up PHONE: 412.264.5151 FAX: 412.264.5110 CELL: 412.770.7202

Grau & Co., LLC 200 Commerce Dr., Suite 210 • Moon Township, PA 15108 don@graucocpa.com • www.graucocpa.com 42 724.942.0940 to advertise |

West Allegheny

This is not common and generally the tenants have months to years of prior notice before such an assessment is made. An alternative to home ownership that may be even more attractive to seniors is apartment living. Apartments that have utilities included ensure that high utility bills will not be a problem in cold winter months and there are no repair bills or real estate taxes with which to contend. However, if utilities are granted a rate hike or real estate taxes are raised, those additional costs will likely be passed on to the tenants in the form of a higher rent amount. A recent trend called the reverse mortgage is a loan where the homeowner, who must be at least 62 years of age, uses the home’s equity as collateral. The bank or mortgage company in turn pays the homeowner a set amount each month. Homeowners are allowed to remain in their homes until death. The payments are based on the seller’s age; basically, the younger the homeowner at the time of procuring the mortgage, the smaller the monthly payment. McKenna adds, “This allows the homeowner to pull the equity out of his house while still living there.” The disadvantage is that the homeowner is still responsible for any repairs and maintenance for the home. Although not an attractive alternative for some, those who are living on a fixed income and need more money to meet their monthly bills may opt for this arrangement. While some people savor their privacy, others crave social interaction. one of the most popular trends in recent years has been the retirement village. These villages allow people to have the privacy of their own home while joining other residents for entertainment, activities and communal dining. Each one offers different financial plans and must be studied carefully for the best option. McKenna advises, “Before you sell your home, be sure to list it with someone who is reputable that you can trust and talk to about your particular situation.”


By Tom Poljak

When it comes to interesting and bold foods from “South of the Border,” nothing is more famous than Salsa. In fact, salsa has become so popular it outsells ketchup as the number one selling condiment in America. The key to great salsa is using only the freshest ingredients. The great thing about this recipe is the simplicity and ease of making it to taste so good – even for the amateur! So go right ahead and have yourself a little fiesta – Enjoy!

SALSA 10 Medium Tomatoes (Concasse) 1/2 Cup Green Peppers (finely chopped) 1/2 Cup Banana Peppers (finely chopped) 1 Cup Onion (finely chopped) 6 Fresh Jalapeño Peppers (finely chopped) 2 Tablespoons Fresh Garlic (minced) 3/4 Cup White Vinegar 3/4 Cup Sugar 2 Tablespoons Salt 1/2 Tablespoon White Pepper 2 Ounces Olive Oil 1. Tomato Concasse (skinless, seedless tomatoes cut into small squares). Method: (1). To remove the peel from the tomatoes, take out the core and cut an “X” on the opposite side

of the tomato. (2). Place tomatoes in simmering water for about 40 seconds or until you see the skin slightly separating from the pulp. (3). Remove tomatoes from the water and place them in ice water until cool. (4). Use a knife to easily peel off the skin. (5). Cut tomatoes in half and gently remove the seeds by softly squeezing the tomato and using your fingers. (6). Cut tomatoes into small diced squares. (7). Hold until the recipe calls for them. 2. Sauté peppers, onions and garlic in the olive oil. 3. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients. 4. Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for one hour. 5. Remove from heat, place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 43


oakdale

Findlay Township Meetings

Council

Board of Supervisors

Huck Gamble, President 1 Highland Avenue Oakdale, PA 15071 724.693.9906

Caucus Meeting - 1st Thursday each month, 7 p.m. 1271 Route 30 P.O. Box W Clinton, PA 15026 Phone: 724.695.0500 Fax: 724.695.1700

Regular Meeting - 2nd Wednesday each month, 7 p.m.

Administration

Workshop Meeting - 4th Thursday each month, 7 p.m.

Mayor

Public Safety Findlay Township Police Department

Administration Township Manager Gary Klingman 724.695.0500 x244 gklingman@findlaytwp.org

Asst. Township Manager/Planning Administrator Christopher Caruso 724.695.0500 x248 ccaruso@findlaytwp.org

1271 Route #30, Clinton, Pennsylvania 15026 Emergency Number: 911 or 724.695.7777 Non-Emergency Number: 724.695.1300

Public Works

Imperial Volunteer Fire Department

Real Estate Tax Collector

Barbara Coates 724.695.0521 bcoates@findlaytwp.org

115 Main Street Imperial, PA 15126 Emergency Number: 911 or 724.695.7777 Non-Emergency Number: 724.695.8845 staff@imperialvfd.org

Real Estate Tax Collector

Valley Ambulance Authority

Wage/LST Tax Collector

3550 University Boulevard Moon Township, PA 15108 911 or 412.262.2040

Dorothy McCullough 724.695.2995

Ross Rohbeck, 405 Clinton Avenue Ext. Oakdale, PA 15071 724.693.8382 Bob Patterson 6115 Noblestown Road Oakdale, PA 15071 Phone: 724.693.9740 Fax: 724.693.0100 Donna Swider P.O. Box 222 Oakdale, PA 15071 724.693.9889

Borough Secretary Kelly Rohbeck 6115 Noblestown Road Oakdale, PA 15071 Phone: 724.693.9740 Fax: 724.693.0100 rohbeck@oakdaleborough.com

Paul Hennemuth, Vice President 110 Jade Drive Oakdale, PA 15071 724.693.9628 Keith Merlino, Councilman 16 Vincennes Avenue Oakdale, PA 15071 724.693.2844 Tom Potts, Councilman 305 Clinton Avenue Oakdale, PA 15071 Bud Sturgeon, Councilman 4050 Noblestown Road Oakdale, PA 15071 724.693.2748

Public Safety - 911 Oakdale P.D. 6115 Noblestown Road Oakdale, PA 15071 724.693.9639 724.693.0740 (Fax) Chief Dr. James J. Lauria

Oakdale Hose Company 6111 Noblestown Road Oakdale, PA 15071 Station: 724.693.9408 Fax: 724.693.0742

North Fayette

400 North Branch Rd Oakdale, PA 15071 Phone: 412.788.4888 or 724.693.9601 Fax: 724.693.8132

Administration Township Manager Mr. Robert T. Grimm rgrimm@north-fayette.com

Parks & Recreation Director Bob Brozovich rbrozovich@north-fayette.com 724.693.3118; 412.788.4888, ext. 118

Earned Income Tax Collection and Emergency & Municipal Services Tax

Public Safety

Mr. Tom Falcioni 724.693.9190

400 North Branch Road Oakdale, PA 15071 Phone: 724.787.8900 Chief: Jeffrey Falconer

Board of Supervisors Mr. Jim Morosetti, Chairman Mr. John Meyers, ViceChairman Mr. J. R. Mangan, Member The Supervisors hold a Workshop meeting the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m., a General Supervisors meeting the second Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m., and a Payroll Meeting the fourth Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the Township Municipal Building.

Real Estate Tax Collection Mr. Tom Falcioni 724.693.9366 44 724.942.0940 to advertise |

West Allegheny

North Fayette P.D.

North Fayette Twp. Volunteer Fire Dept. Station 1 Business Office 7678 Stuebenville Pike Oakdale, PA 15071-9300 Office: 412.787.2883 Station 2 8036 Steubenville Pike Imperial, PA 15126 Office: 724.695.3727

NorthWest EMS Station 195 West Allegheny North Fayette Municipal Complex 400 North Branch Road North Fayette, PA Non-Emergency 412.331.2600


West Allegheny School District Mailing Address: P.O. Box 55 Imperial, PA 15126 Phone: 724.695.3422

Administration Superintendent Dr. John DiSanti jdisanti@westasd.org 724.695.5211

Asst. Supt. Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Chris Assetta cassetta@westasd.org 724.695.5204

Asst. Supt. Personnel & Student Services Dr. William Englert, Jr. wenglert@westasd.org 724.695.5216

Business Manager George Safin gsafin@westasd.org 724.695.5212

Coordinator of Pupil Services Elaine Fitzgerald EFitzgerald@westasd.org 724.695.5221

Communications Coordinator Carol Bonnar cbonnar@westasd.org 724.695.5274

School Board Debbie Mirich (president) Patrick Konieczny (vice president) Dr. Anne Bolind Ed Faux Tracy Kosis Robert Ostrander Ronald Pasic Eugene Sciulli John Scott

Schools West Allegheny High School 205 West Allegheny Road Imperial, PA 15126 Phone: 724.695.7368 Fax: 724.695.8690 Principal: Daniel Smith

West Allegheny Middle School 207 West Allegheny Road Imperial, PA 15126 Phone: 724.695.8979 Fax: 724.695.8211 Principal: Richard Smith

Donaldson Elementary School 600 Donaldson Road Oakdale, PA 15071 Phone: 724.213.1010 Fax: 724.213.1002 Principal: Patricia Nolan

McKee Elementary School 1501 Oakdale Road Oakdale, PA 15071 Phone: 724.693.8451 Fax: 724.693.0924 Principal: Thomas Orr

Wilson Elementary School 100 Bruno Lane Imperial, PA 15126 Phone: 724.695.3300 Fax: 724.695.0610 Principal: Kathleen Sites

★ ★ North Fayette Resident Honored as ★ ★ PennDOT Star of Excellence Recipient ★ Agency Recognizes 28 Employees across Pennsylvania ★ ★ ★ PennDoT Secretary Barry J. Schoch, P.E., Wednesday recognized ★ 28 PennDoT employees for their outstanding performance with the ★ of Excellence Award, PennDoT’s highest recognition. Two ★ Star ★ employees from PennDoT’s District 11, which represents Allegheny, ★ Beaver and Lawrence counties, were among the honorees. ★ “These employees are being recognized for going above and ★ beyond what’s expected of them,” Schoch said. “Despite constant fiscal ★ challenges and the increasing ★ ★ demands placed on them, they ★ ★ are dedicated to producing excellent results. They find ★ ★ efficiencies and serve as examples to their co-workers. I ★ ★ thank them for their service ★ and congratulate them on this ★ accomplishment.” ★ ★ Local winner Douglas M. Thompson, P.E., was honored ★ ★ at an awards luncheon at the ★ ★ governor’s Residence in Harrisburg. ★ ★ “Doug demonstrates exceptional work ethic and ★ ★ dedication to his job,” District ★ Douglas M. Thompson, P.E ★ Executive Dan Cessna, P.E., “[He] goes beyond the ★ call of duty to provide excellent service said. ★ for the traveling public every ★ day. His conscientious efforts make a difference and he deserves to be ★ ” ★ recognized. ★ Thompson is the district structure control engineer in the construction division. His sustained efforts have improved the quality ★ of bridge construction in District 11 by continually resolving ★ ★ structure-related issues and providing education to field personnel ★ (inspectors and contractors). He also provides timely and accurate ★ reviews ★ of numerous structure-related submissions during the largest bridge program ever. Thompson has done an ★ district’s ★ outstanding job mentoring his staff of two young civil engineers, ★ making them valuable assets to the district during this very busy ★ construction program. Taking safety very seriously, Thompson ★ bridge ★ ensures staff have the applicable training and equipment and even develop a district fall protection program. Thompson also ★ helped ★ assists with the design of repairs to ensure they are practical and ★ effective. He is recognized for his structural expertise by the local ★ and colleagues across the state. ★ industry Thompson lives in North Fayette Township, Allegheny County, ★ with his wife, Jennifer and two daughters, Carly and olivia. He is 1993 ★ ★ graduate of Penn State with a degree in civil engineering, and has 18 ★ years experience with PennDoT. ★ The Star of Excellence Awards are presented annually to ★ employees who represent the department’s values of service, ★ performance and integrity. The recipients represent a variety of ★ organizational ★ positions, spanning from highway maintenance and ★ driver and vehicle services workers, programming specialists, ★ communications staff and design and engineering specialists. ★ ★ West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 45


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Exercise is important for every age, and mature adults are no exception. According to UPMC Sports Medicine’s Dr. Jeanne Doperak, “The ultimate goal—whether you’re 3 or 104—is some sort of activity.” Dr. Doperak suggests a combination of aerobic exercise (exercise which raises the heart rate and increases the body’s need for oxygen,) two days a week of strength training, and some sort of balance and flexibility training. Before beginning any type of aggressive workout program, it is always best to consult your physician. Many people make the assumption that running is bad after a certain age, but this actually depends upon the individuals and their physical condition. Dr. Doperak explains, “As we age, our activities don’t necessarily have to change but the way we train has to be adjusted. We do not recommend that anyone over the age of 30 [engage in] impact activities every day.” An example of an impact activity would be jogging. It is recommended that impact activities be staggered with non-impact exercise such as yoga, tai chi or bicycling every other day. If an individual cannot tolerate impact activities due to arthritis or other problems, swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise (as is bicycling, which can be done with a recumbent stationary bike).

Yoga and tai chi rotated with impact exercise can fulfill the need for balance and flexibility training. Many churches, synagogues, libraries and other non-profit organizations offer classes for free or at reduced rates. Also important to overall optimum physical health is strength training. Although strength training conjures up images of heavy weightlifting, Dr. Doperak suggests that this can be accomplished with weights as light as two pounds. With active workouts, it is vitally important to replenish liquids in the body, especially in the summer months. A vigorous activity such as jogging or tennis for more than 10 to 20 minutes requires fluid replacement. Serious dehydration depletes the body of electrolytes which ensure that the heart’s electrical system works properly. Dr. Doperak recommends water as the best replacement. Although there are many drinks on the market that advertise their benefits of electrolyte replacement, they can also be quite high in calories. Individuals trying to reduce their weight will conversely be adding more calories to their diet. The main thing to remember is that bodies need movement to be healthy. As Dr. Doperak says, “Keep moving.”

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Pamela Palongue

in

W EST A LLEGH ENY

When fair weather arrives, the call of the road beckons. For seniors, travel options abound in various lengths, styles and price ranges. If you find that you are on a limited budget, why not consider a day trip to a nearby attraction? Many churches and civic organizations offer day trips to interesting destinations such as Gettysburg or Fallingwater and you usually do not have to be a member to attend. Transportation, admission and one or two meals are usually included in one reasonable fee. If you can’t find a group going to the destination of your choice, why not form your own? A small group of three or four friends can carpool to save on gas and enjoy a day in the country. McConnells Mill State Park is less than an hour away and features a covered bridge and 19th century gristmill. The hiking trails are scenic and great exercise. A Pennsylvania winery is never more than a 45 minute drive from anywhere in the state. Most offer tours and free samples and some even have a restaurant onsite. Be sure to have a designated driver! If the fact that you are single or widowed is keeping you at home, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that most local travel agencies

offer group tours to U.S. and European destinations especially for those over 50 at discounted prices. You may also be surprised to learn that most of the individuals on these tours are also traveling alone or with a friend. Within a few hours into the trip, you will have new friends and feel a part of group. Many older Americans are interested in exploring their European roots. Be sure to let your travel agent know of your interest and they can customize your tour with travel connections to records offices and churches. Before departing on any kind of trip, be sure to take into consideration any mobility issues that you or your travel companions may encounter. Many travel agencies have specially designed itineraries for those with limited mobility. Additionally, don’t forget to pack all the medications you will need for the duration of your visit since refilling them may prove difficult. Be sure to keep them in their original containers. A little planning can make your trip a success, so get out there and have some fun!

West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 47


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By Pamela Palongue

o you have anyone addicted to power tools living in your home? Do their eyes glaze over when they enter the local hardware store? Do they sometimes try to replace the washers in your washerless faucets? Have they been known to use a jack hammer to refinish your hardwood floors? If this sounds familiar, there is help. In my own case, I will never forget the moment I realized I was married to a compulsive handyman. It was a summer day that began like any other. I had left early in the morning for some weekly grocery shopping and a few errands. I returned just a few short hours later to find my husband standing in the middle of the bathtub amid wall tiles and debris up to his knees. He froze in midswing of the sledge hammer with drywall dust still floating silently down around us. The bathroom wall had been taken down to the bare plumbing, presumably to

I have since learned that with a few easy, inexpensive changes, you too can leave your home with the comfort of knowing it will be reasonably intact upon your return. The easiest solution is to prevent the purchase of power tools in the first place. When your handyman casually mentions that he has to “stop by the lumberyard and pick up a few things,” distract him by mentioning the playoffs, offering to cook his favorite food or showing him the latest issue of the Victoria’s Secret catalog. Next, use the parental controls on your TV set to block out HgTV, DIY Network or any other channels that may convince your handyman that he can add a wing to the house over the weekend. Cover ALL appliances with several rolls of duct tape. (This will deter him from taking them apart.) Although this is not

fix a minor leak. When he saw my look of horror, he sheepishly told me that he had to break down the wall in order to gain access to the plumbing. When I pointed out that we would no longer be able to take showers, he reminded me how much money we were saving by not calling a licensed plumber. This incident was not the main cause of the divorce as I largely blame myself for leaving him unsupervised in the house with access to heavy equipment.

guaranteed to prevent the dismantling of your refrigerator, it will slow him down considerably. Finally, if all else fails, tell him the local electronics store has just introduced a new line of plasma screen TVs that are 9 x 20 feet, the exact dimensions of the north wall of your house. Keep in mind that he will likely be extremely disappointed upon learning that no such TV exists outside of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek. He may instead buy an extreme number of video games and cameras, but at least he cannot destroy the house with Dungeons and Dragons.

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West Allegheny


WEST ALLEGHENY SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS Time to remodel? Come to us for all of your remodeling needs. • BATHROOMS • GAMEROOMS • KITCHENS • ADDITIONS SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY!

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WA HIGH SCHOOL ECOLOGY PROJECT HELPS BEAUTIFY HIGHWAY A group of West Allegheny High School students planted flowers to beautify an area along Route 60 on May 21, at the Montour Run on-ramp to the Parkway West (near garden Ridge) from 8:30 a.m. until noon. High school biology teacher Suzanne Lambert coordinated the project in conjunction with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy as part of an assigned ecology project for students enrolled in the Honors Biology class.

WEST ALLEGHENY STUDENTS HONOR ADULT ROLE MODELS West Allegheny High School sophomores selected a role model, an adult who had a major impact on their lives, as the subject of a biography writing assignment in their Honors English class. The process included interviewing the subject, recording the conversations, and writing a 10-page biography of that person. Along with the biography, the students also included an “About the Author” section in which they described themselves and their approach to the project. As the final component, the students hosted a biography reception on May 12, in the high school cafeteria to honor the individuals they wrote about. Students shared personal comments about their subjects or excerpts from their compositions before presenting the honorees with a written copy of their biography. Sponsored by the High School English Department, the event, was coordinated by English teachers Jessica Conforti, and Jennifer Fox.

WEST ALLEGHENY SECOND SEMESTER BIG ON ACHIEVEMENT Three Rivers Travel and Tours Wayne C. Dollard 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 owner Notice is hereby given that Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Department of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on April 28, 2011with respect to a corporation which has been incorporated under the provisions of the Business Corporation Law of 1988. The name of the corporation is Three Rivers Travel and Tours, INC.

• At the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania, April 4-6, 2011, West Allegheny High School senior Victoria Williams took a second place in the Client Services category to qualify for the FBLA National Leadership Conference in orlando, Florida in June 2011. This is the third consecutive year that someone from the West Allegheny Chapter of FBLA has qualified to represent the state of Pennsylvania at the national level. other FBLA members placing in the top ten at the State Competition included Jordan grogan (fourth place, HTML), Brandon McCracken (fourth place, Leadership), and the following students working in teams: Anthony Marucci and Jonathan Lazarowicz (third place, Computer game and Simulation Programming), Dave Kline, Kristen Rohm, grace Shields, Josi Sinagoga, and Shannon Ye (fourth place, Parliamentary Procedure), and Joey Falcioni and Jordan grogan (fourth place, E-Business). FBLA faculty advisors Dan Marshall and Pam Volakis coordinated the trip with help from Chris Lucas, Barb Lecker, and Julie Mcgough. • West Allegheny High School seniors Neeti Bhatte and Stephen oswalt took first place in the technical problem solving category of the Science olympiad held at California university of Pennsylvania in. Also representing West Allegheny were sophomores Deborah Heyl and Alex Nolte and senior Sarah Whipkey. West Allegheny competed against 32 other public or private high schools, including Bethel Park, Fort Cherry, Franklin Regional, gateway, Norwin, Peters Township, Trinity, Imani Christian Academy, and Shady Side Academy. West Allegheny | Summer 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 49


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

603 East McMurray Road McMurray I PA I 15317 724.942.0940 www.incommunitymagazines.com

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603 East McMurray Road

McMurray, PA 15317

Ph: 724.260.5341

www.threeriverstravel.com

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Authorized agent for these trusted vacation specialists:

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