Real estate IN North AllegheNy
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 1
ER 2013 SUMM
IN North Allegheny is a community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Seneca Valley 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.
IN North Allegheny | SUMMER 2013 |
te taeNy althes ReNor Allegh IN
Help People Get on the Road to Financial Independence… . . . . . . . . . . |
Love Has No Borders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 10 Our Fallen Heroes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 15 Unlock the Puzzle of Autism . . . . . . | 18 La Roche College 50th Anniversary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 22
Birdwatchers Flock to Enjoy the Birds of Bradford Woods Reserve . | 60
The American Dream Concert Benefits the American Red Cross . | 66
Race for Joe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 70 Art Walker Named Coach of the Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 72 Life Teen Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 75
on the cover
IN Community Magazines honored community volunteers at its first-ever CASE Awards celebration. -Cover photo by Carl P. Stillitano, CPS Photography.
Franklin Elementary School Helps Students on the Other Side of the World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 82 McCandless Crossing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 88 Two Women Living Worlds Apart Come Together in McCandless for Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 91 “Life is Sweet Chef Showcase” . | 94 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Beleza Plastic Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 14 Advanced Pain Medicine . . . . . . . . . . . | 21
North Hills Family Dental . . . . . . . . . . | 24
CASE Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 6
Vein Institute of Pittsburgh . . . . . . . | 25
Real Estate In North Allegheny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 26
Residential Home Funding Corp . . | 37
UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use . . . . . . . . . . | 45
Nest Expressions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 40
UPMC | Lasik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 64
Pure Athletex & Cafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 53
Movies in the Park Family Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 69
Sperling Family Funeral Home . . . . | 54
Festival in the Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 81
Tri-County Counseling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 57
Events at Northland Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 84
The Disc Institute of Pittsburgh . . | 59
UPMC | Tips on Summer Sun Safety from UPMC Urgent Care . . . . . . | 96
Wealth Management Strategies . . . | 68
Forrest Orthodontics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 73
Generoasta Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 77
Clearskin Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 90
Children’s Dermatology Services & Acne Treatment Center . . . . . . . . . . | 93
Iagnosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 12 Verland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 67 Golden Estate Sales . . . . | 32 Wexford Academy . . . . . . | 80 Venango Trails . . . . . . . . . . | 38 Heartland Homes . . . . . . . | 86
Michel Sauret . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 78
Welcome to the Summer issue of IN North Allegheny. While we focus on the communities that we serve, we don’t live in a bubble. The world throws curveballs at each of us, and we have to decide whether to swing at them. In the case of the Boston Marathon bombing, the city swung and knocked it out of the park. Residents came together to present a united front. First responders put their lives on hold and on the line until the threat was removed. Boston is not unique in that regard. Over the past decade or more that I’ve been publishing magazines, I’ve had the good fortune to come into contact with a lot of residents in the communities we serve. I’ve met dozens upon dozens of municipal officials, police and fire chiefs, EMS teams, and elected officials. I’ve seen them deal with their own issues, and I’ve seen them from time to time mourn their losses in the press. What I’ve seen and who I’ve met along the way has convinced me that the resilience of Boston is not a regional attribute. It’s a way of life that seems to be somehow tied to our very genes. Fortunately, not every city will face a challenge of that magnitude. But we do have it in us to take the inspiration demonstrated by the people of Boston and apply it to our daily lives. We can take small steps every day to ensure that the community we live in is a little bit better by the time we lay our heads down on the pillow at night. Whether it’s raising money for a cause, or visiting someone who needs to see a smiling face, young, or old we can all do something to make our surroundings a little bit better. And by making things a little bit better for each other, hopefully, we can be better prepared to help one another if things suddenly get worse. This May, we honored volunteers and organizations in the community that help make a difference in such ways. Those people and causes were chosen by you, and we are proud to thank them for their service to their communities. We thank you for your dedication to our magazines and hope that you continue to be part of them and contribute your thoughts and ideas to our editors. There are many more stories to be told, and we always welcome your help in finding them. Wayne Dollard Publisher
we want to know
why is your Pet the Best Pet
in the world All Animals Welcome!
Write and tell us why your pet is the greatest. Be sure to send us a photo of your best friend and let us know which magazine you receive at your home. Photos should be as large as possible and may be emailed to our editor, Pamela Palongue at email@example.com or mailed to IN Community Magazines, 603 East McMurray Road, McMurray, PA 15317. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you would like your photo returned.
there’s nothing quite like the unconditional love of a pet, so share the love!
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Fall content deadline: July 25
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 5
CASE AWARDS Honoring Unsung Volunteers
Nearly 500 people turned out for the inaugural IN Community Magazines’ Community Awards for Service Excellence (CASE) presented by Northwest Savings Bank on May 10 in the West Club Lounge at Heinz Field.
he honorees and their guests were welcomed to the prestigious event following a short reception. A total of 111 awards were presented to individual volunteers, nonprofit organizations and corporations who have demonstrated exceptional service to the community either through direct volunteer efforts or support of nonprofits. They represented a cross section of both young and old from 33 different communities in western Pennsylvania. Some of the honorees traveled from as far away as Greensburg and Erie to participate. Popular anchor Andrew Stockey of WTAETV served as Master of Ceremonies and presented the honorees with their certificates. Stockey opened with some remarks on the importance of volunteerism and his own community service background. IN Community Magazines publisher Wayne Dollard addressed the assembly, with special thanks to his wife Lisa, his staff and to the honorees for their service. Dollard read a poem about the importance of making every
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moment count and finished by expressing his hope that the awards will become an annual event to recognize outstanding accomplishments in volunteering. Chris Martin, Northwest Savings Bank president of the southwest region, congratulated IN Community Magazines on the success of the event in highlighting nonprofits. Northwest Savings Bank sponsored the event. Monica Haynes, who originated the concept for the CASE awards, spoke about the process of developing the recognition program. Haynes, a former editor with IN Community Magazines, had visited a local food pantry to conduct interviews on a snowy Pittsburgh day last winter. She was inspired by the dedication of the food pantry workers, who despite treacherous, slick streets, had left their warm, safe homes to honor their volunteer commitment in order that others less fortunate might have enough food to eat. The experience led Haynes to meet with Dollard regarding the possibility of honoring
volunteers who donate their time, talents and money to improve the community. Haynes said Dollard’s immediate response was, “Let’s do it!” “I knew [those volunteers] didn’t do it for any recognition or fanfare,” explained Haynes, “I felt if others were able to know about what [they were doing] they might be motivated and inspired to do the same.” With a firm commitment from Dollard, the initial planning began and an appeal was placed in each of IN Community’s 37 magazines to nominate teen volunteers, adult volunteers, nonprofits and corporations who exhibited extraordinary levels of service to the community. The response was overwhelming, with hundreds of names being put forward as possible honorees. A selection committee sorted through the stacks of nominations to narrow the field to just one honoree for each category in every school district. (The magazine coverage area is based on school district lines.)
Volunteer of the Year, Rita Hirschfield: Rita had a real desire to start the ALS Association after losing her mother to this wicked disease in July 1977. By 1982, her desire came to fruition with a $200 check from one gentleman to buy letterhead and supplies. From there, they started helping patients at no cost to them. Their communication device program helped patients who could no longer speak, but had one muscle that still worked to operate the computer. Other programs began, and again at no cost to the patients. Youth Volunteer of the Year, Anna Sinelnikova: Anna founded HOPE With Us in the fall of her freshman year of high school. HOPE stands for Helping Others by Performing for Enjoyment, and its mission is to brighten the community through fundraisers for local or global causes, educational presentations, and holiday concerts. Small Non-Profit of the Year, Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary: Opening a farm animal sanctuary has been a dream of Karen Phillips since she started working as a shelter veterinarian. It was while working there that she discovered the high numbers of needy farm animals that enter our city’s humane societies. They come from neglect and hoarding cases, humane agent confiscations, abandonment situations, and factory farms. Sadly our local shelters are not equipped to handle farm animals so she became determined to build them a place where they could live their lives
There were volunteers honored from ages 13 to 86. Nonprofits and corporations, both large and small, received awards for their work. “As someone who has managed volunteers for 10 years, it is wonderful to witness your recognition efforts of so many deserving individuals and organizations,” commented Vickie Mottern, volunteer coordinator for Brevillier Village, located in Harborcreek in Erie County. “We are so grateful to be recognized as Small Nonprofit of the Year for Norwin,” said Jodi
free of fear. Hope Haven takes in abused and neglected farm animals that have no other place to go and is a center for public education on animal welfare and compassionate living. Large Non-Profit of the Year, Veterans March for Diabetes: Nearly 36 years ago, Bob Mandera started an annual walk to beat diabetes after his daughter was diagnosed with the disease at the age of five. Bob, a retired mail carrier and a Vietnam vet, has walked in 25 of the past 35, 100-mile walks from Erie to Pittsburgh with the head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and has raised $2 million for diabetes research.
Chris Martin, president of the Southwest Region of Northwest Savings Bank (left), poses with the North Alleghney area winners.
Fowler, one of the founders of Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund. “Never did we imagine... that we would be at this point, developing our organization and receiving this amazing award because of our incredible volunteers – just a few years later.” “It is a great event!” said Chartiers Valley Volunteer of the Year, Susan Zuk. The night was capped off with live entertainment provided by The Clarks, as guests rocked the night away.
IN Community Magazines would like to thank everyone who made the awards event possible. We would also like to congratulate all of our honorees, the nominees and even those individuals who were not nominated and yet serve on a daily basis. It is your constant devotion to helping others, which all too often goes unnoticed, that makes our communities a great place to live!
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 7
Help People Get on the
Road to Financial Independence…
North Hills Community Auto
any of us have two or more cars ready to take us where we need to go at a moment’s notice. We press our garage door opener, start the engine and take it for granted that we have easy transportation to the office, to the soccer game, or for a late night trip to the pharmacy. But for some families, a car is a luxury item beyond their reach. About one in four U.S. families do not have a car, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. And with the current climate of public transportation cuts and fare increases, it is frustrating for the economically disadvantaged who have the willingness to work, but no reliable way of getting to their work location. North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO) is helping to combat this problem. Since 2003, the nonprofit organization has operated the Community Auto program, located in Wexford, which makes vehicle ownership affordable to low-income individuals and families experiencing economic hardship. These people in our community need dependable transportation for getting to and from work, doctor appointments and the grocery store. The cost of each vehicle ranges from $2,500 to $3,500, which does not cover tax, title, plate or notary fees. Although there is no financing available, the purchase includes inspection, a one-year membership in AAA Auto Club, six-month or 6,500-mile limited warranty and car seats for dependent children.
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During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the NHCO Community Auto program assisted 49 low-income families in obtaining vehicles. Lynne Braun-Warth, of Marshall Township, is a North Hills Community Outreach board member. “At NHCO Community Auto, we sell cars to individuals who meet certain income requirements and work at least 25 hours weekly,” said Braun-Warth. “Studies have shown low-income individuals who own cars have more career opportunities because they are not dependent on public transportation, which is very limiting. This in turn often improves their wages. We view this as a handup and not a hand-out.” According to NHCO’s survey of clients served by the program, 55% found jobs, received benefits and/or increased their income level. But with poverty in Allegheny County increasing from 12% in 2010 to 13.6% in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is also a larger demand for vehicles. Finding people who are willing to donate their vehicles to the program is tough. “The problem is that all cars are donated from individuals in the community and at this time we have a waiting list and no cars available to sell,” said Braun-Warth. “We are trying to get the word out, so we can hopefully receive more car donations. If an individual donates a car and it is sold to a lowincome individual, he/she is permitted to take a very nice tax deduction by the IRS.” Ed Holdcroft is the vehicle consultant for the program. “We are always looking for cars and have about 50 families waiting,” said Holdcroft.
“We [host] ‘car classes’ three and four times a month. Before you get a car [through the program], you have to complete a car class first to learn about maintenance, oil changes and things like that, because a lot of our families have never owned a car. [Recently] we had a class with eight families who were ready to get cars. We had to put them back on the list because we didn’t have enough cars.” Besides positively impacting a family’s life for years to come and receiving the highest tax deduction for the vehicle, individuals who donate to the NHCO Community Auto program are also offered hassle-free pickup or towing of their vehicle from anywhere in southwestern Pennsylvania at no cost. There is also the option to drop off the vehicle by appointment. Holdcroft has been a volunteer with the program for four years. “The best part of it is when the families get the cars,” said Holdcroft. “They are just so happy to buy one. It is great to be able to help them, because they have very little money. Sometimes they have to take two to three buses just to get to work. When we are able to give them a car, it changes their life. The cars are very nice when they buy them, with brand-new inspections, six-month warranties and a full tank of gas. Unfortunately, we never have enough cars, so our biggest goal is to spread the word throughout the community that we need more.” To learn more about donating your vehicle to the NHCO Community Auto program or for volunteer opportunities, visit the website at www.communityauto.org or call 724.443.8300.
Photos by Kathy Rudolph
By Kathy Rudolph
The day after he bought his car, William M. went from a part-time retail job to a professional career with great advancement opportunities.
Christal Simmons with two of her three children. Christal, a single mom, is a home health aide and doubled her work hours within days of buying her Jeep!
Karen is ready to wow the world after purchasing her â€œnewâ€? Grand Am. Community Auto puts low-income workers on the road to success.
After buying her car and no longer relying on buses, Reena, a single mom, could get her children to school and Girl Scouts and get to work.
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 9
Local Priest Believes
Love Has No Borders
By Kathy Rudolph
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that I would raise money through my preaching and contacts with people back in the U.S. to build a medical clinic. With good people in Oaxaca and wonderful benefactors in the U.S. who were committed to the poor, I was able to raise the money and open the hospital in 2000.” The hospital is a lifeline for the poor. Turning no patient away, regardless of income, it provides a “holistic and integrated health care model” that consists of preventive health, health promotion, health education, medical attention and direct intervention. “People have nowhere to go,” said Seethaler. “Some will travel to our hospital who live six to eight hours away. At the public hospital in the city, people sometimes wait up to three days to get an appointment. At our hospital, we see people right away and we treat them with compassion and dignity. We ask them to pay what they can for their personal dignity and to show them that they are getting quality care, but that is very little and is subsidized by us.” Between 18,000 and 20,000 people use the hospital, and medical teams now go into the mountains around the city and administer medical treatment to pregnant women, seniors and others who are unable to travel to the hospital. “The hospital keeps growing because people in the U.S. buy into my vision and my dream,” says Seethaler. “It went from a very small, one-story medical clinic to a full-service hospital in six years. But, I want to emphasize that I never let them keep building unless we have the money ahead of time, because I don’t want them to have any debt.” “With economic uncertainty in the U.S., sometimes people will ask, ‘Why would we want to help people outside the country when there are so many poor here?’” said Seethaler. “I tell them that love should have no borders, and generosity to the poorest of the poor will be blessed by God.” To donate or to find out more, visit Fr. Scott Seethaler’s website at www.fatherscott.com.
Photo by Kathy Rudolph
axaca is both a state in Mexico and the capital city of the same province. Some online travel sites describe it as a city that has something for every traveler. There is authentic cuisine, and street markets containing original artwork and textiles for the shopper. Archaeological dig sites, such as Monte Albán which can be traced back to 500 B.C., are also a popular drawing card for the adventurer. After reading that description, most of us would be grabbing our sunglasses and calling our travel agents, but Fr. Scott Seethaler has seen a different side of Oaxaca. “That is just a small snapshot of Oaxaca,” says Seethaler. “Of course, the travel magazines aren’t going to mention the poverty. The fact is that the poor living there do not have health care and there is a high rate of women who have no prenatal care and die at childbirth. There is also a high rate of illiteracy and domestic violence.” Seethaler, a Roman Catholic priest for over 44 years, is a member of the Capuchin-Franciscan Order. Residing in Allison Park, he is a counselor and a motivational speaker who lectures throughout the United States. He has a daily radio ministry on WEDO-AM, writes a newsletter and is the spiritual director for St. Vincent de Paul of Western Pennsylvania. Seethaler is also the founder of the Anna Seethaler Hospital in the city of Oaxaca. He was inspired to build the hospital, named after his mother, after visiting friends who worked with the poor in Oaxaca in 1999. The hospital exists on donations and fundraisers such as the annual Olé 5K race in North Park, which is widely attended by residents of the North Allegheny area. Ninety-four cents of every dollar raised goes directly to the hospital. “I love every aspect of what I do in my ministry,” says Seethaler. “I am a priest and I love my sacramental work, my counseling and working with the poor. I love my work here with St. Vincent de Paul and my work in Oaxaca, where I work with the poorest of the poor.” On his first trip to Oaxaca, it was evident to Seethaler that the Oaxacans had no real chance for health care. “My last day there, I met a doctor and he had such limited resources that I told him
he Pittsburgh Symphony North, an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, presents wonderful music events in the north boroughs throughout the year. The organization will be hosting a tea that is modeled after the “Downton Abbey” series. It will be held at the Ringham’s Williamsburg Colonial Residence in Fox Chapel. The event will take place on June 18 at 1:00 p.m. The tea will be provided by the 20th Century Club. Donna Perkins of Donna Perkins Productions created Abbey-type vignettes complete with butlers, a dowager and countesses. The Pittsburgh Youth Symphony will perform. The event will benefit the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the City Music Center of Duquesne University. For reservations contact: Sue Breedlove, 724.625.2014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 11
The Future of Dermatology
t’s a bit of a paradox that the body’s first line of defense against disease is often the last to be treated. While individuals will quickly seek medical attention for the flu or a sinus infection, skin rashes, lesions and abnormalities go unchecked, largely because of the misconception that a skin ailment is not serious. But according to SkinCancer.org, each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. Unfortunately, a trip to the doctor often involves taking off from work or school, waiting for weeks or months for an appointment and travel to an unfamiliar part of the city. But what if you could go to the dermatologist without going to the dermatologist? Sound confusing? Actually it’s quite the opposite. It’s probably the fastest, and definitely the most convenient way to access quality
dermatological care without ever having to leave your home or office. It’s part of an innovative system called DermatologistOnCall®, which allows patients to send photos of their skin abnormalities to a qualified dermatologist via their iPhone, Android or the Internet. The dermatologist can then visually assess the skin condition, along with the patient’s answers to some screening questions and full medical history to make an accurate diagnosis, and begin treatment right away. This expedites the healing process while relieving the patient’s anxiety and distress in a much more timely fashion than the conventional office visit. Iagnosis®, the parent company behind the development of DermatologistOnCall®, is the brainchild of Dr. Mark P. Seraly, MD, a dermatologist with 20 years of clinical experience who established the “direct to patient” concept of accessing and receiving online care seven years ago. “It came to me one day when I was attending my child’s soccer game. I got nine phone calls from patients requesting my help in only one hour!” explains Seraly.
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“Dermatologists are in short supply these days and with the coming changes in healthcare insurance, the problem will only get worse. It occurred to me that dermatologists are uniquely trained and qualified to make a diagnosis, based solely on visual inspection and patient assessment questions.” Seraly points out, that dermatologists are trained during their residency to recognize common skin conditions by observing photographs of patients with a particular condition. Medical board examinations also require the dermatologist to identify skin problems for board examinations by using digital images. In fact, physicians of many disciplines utilize images for identifying problems and making recommendations within the medical community. Seraly’s DermatologistOnCall® is the first time however, that this same process has been used between patient and physician. He has successfully diagnosed and treated over 6,000 patients with this model of care. “There have been many studies that confirm that visual diagnosis with a photograph or digital image is equally as accurate as assessing the patient in person in an office,” notes Seraly. “The advantage is that with DermatologistOnCall®, the patient can receive treatment within 3 business days. With a regular bricks and mortar office visit, it can take up to eight weeks for an established patient to see a doctor and up to four months for a new patient.”
More good news for patients is that a typical online office appointment will be somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost of a usual office visit and according to Seraly, 96% of patients are satisfied with the care they receive online. Although some individuals might be a bit intimidated about the prospect of sending photos and filling out forms online, the medical questionnaire is very straightforward and userfriendly. Seraly also adds that any photograph that is 1-2MB is acceptable for diagnosing skin problems. “The iPhones and Androids produce photos that are 5MB which are more than adequate in size and quality for accurate assessments,” he says. Seraly began his medical education by pursuing an interest in plastic surgery, but quickly realized he enjoyed helping people of all ages and backgrounds, and that his strength was in patient assessment. “I knew it was a perfect fit,” he says. “And with Iagnosis®, we have the potential to help far more people by linking patients with board certified dermatologists.” The Derm-on-Call application for enabling instant image upload and secure messaging between patient and dermatologist for iPhones is available at Apple Stores and the application for Androids will be available on Google Store by the end of May 2013. For more information on how to access online dermatological care, please visit the website at www.DermatologistOnCall.com.
Special Precautions for Warm Weather Fun By Mark P. Seraly, MD
lmost everyone enjoys spending more time outdoors as warmer weather approaches.
But far too many of us fail to take the simplest sun protection precautions. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately 42 percent of the people in the United States suffer from some degree of sunburn each year. People with fair complexions, blue or green eyes, red or blond hair, and those prone to freckling, are most likely to be sunburned. People with naturally darker skin, notably African-Americans, Hispanics, Indians and those of Mediterranean heritage, are less likely to being sunburned. But under the right conditions, anyone -- no matter the skin type -- can be affected. Sunburn isn’t limited to sunny conditions. Because the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light that causes sunburn can pass through clouds, overcast days can be just as harmful, if not more damaging, because basic protection measures are often ignored.
It’s easy to recognize (and feel) the onset of sunburn. The condition starts as scarlet coloring of the skin, with mild swelling. Depending upon the severity, sunburns can be very painful and cause discomfort. A firstdegree sunburn usually appears within 2-4 hours after exposure to the sun, peaks 14-20 hours later, and lasts 1-3 days. The skin will begin to peel within 7-10 days of exposure.
Swelling starts earlier in more severe cases of sunburn. Second-degree sunburn causes intense pain and blistering, and is accompanied by fevers, chills and nausea. The range of these symptoms is usually referred to as sun poisoning.
The good news is that sunburn is easily prevented. By following some simple precautions, you can enjoy healthy skin throughout the summer. Here are some tips that will help prevent sunburn: • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 30 to all areas of exposed skin. Reapply approximately every two hours for optimal protection, even on cloudy days, and after
swimming or sweating since sunscreens tend to wash or rub off. Wear protective clothing, such as a longsleeved shirt, pants, a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible. Seek the shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade. Use extra caution near water and sand because they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, increasing your chance of sunburn. Make sure your diet includes safe sources of vitamin D from a healthy diet, including supplements. Don’t excessively seek the sun for this health requirement. Avoid tanning beds! Ultraviolet light from tanning beds can cause skin cancer and premature skin wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it. Sunscreen should be applied to dry skin 15-30 minutes before going outdoors. For eye protection, consider wraparound sunglasses that absorb ultraviolet radiation in the UVA, UVB and blue light range. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends sunglasses that block up to 99% of UVA and UVB radiation. Consider using lipstick sunscreens or lip balms (e.g. Vaseline brand) with an SPF greater than 15. Be especially careful to use sunscreen on areas of the skin that are continuously exposed to the sun, such as the face (especially the nose and ears) and neck. Always carry a small bottle or tube of sunscreen for use on these areas.
create an online visit and interact with a board certified dermatologist, the medical experts of conditions of the skin, hair and nails, 24 X 7 any day of the week from the comfort and convenience of their home. “Our providers are the experts in the field and we guarantee a 3 business day turnaround or the patients money back. Simple, Intuitive and Fun! For more information or to start an online encounter, visit us at www.dermatologistoncall.com. Mark P. Seraly is a board-certified dermatologist whose practice is in McMurray. Seraly is the CEO, Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Iagnosis®, the parent company of DermatologistOnCall®, an online dermatological service.
Skin Care Treatment Available from a Board Certified Dermatologist without an appointment from the convenience of your home A person with concerns about sun-related illness, can
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 13
Astonishingly Anatomical Breast Implants
hen it comes to breast augmentation, there are many options from which patients have to choose. They can decide between saline and silicone gel implants in smooth or textured. The implant can be placed below the muscle, called submuscular, or above the muscle, called subglandular. There are also options for incision location. All of these choices will have an impact on the end result. Women who are contemplating breast augmentation also have a choice between round and anatomical breast implants. Anatomical implants may also be called contoured, shaped, or tear-drop implants because, unlike round implants, which are uniformly round, anatomical implants have a tear-drop shape that more closely resembles the natural breast. The upper part of this implant is flatter, while the lower curve is fuller, much like a natural breast. Additionally, these implants are textured to prevent shifting because given their distinct shape, shifting would lead to a change in the appearance. Women now are offered an exciting selection in breast augmentation by these newly approved anatomical implants. In fact, many believe
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that this choice offers the most natural-looking option for breast enhancement. Not only can these implants provide a fuller and firmer appearance to the breasts for the patient looking for aesthetic enhancements, they can create some lift to the breast, restoring lost volume due to pregnancy, and balance out asymmetry between the breasts. They can also be used for breast reconstruction. The cohesive gel in these implants is a firm, form stable gel that is similar in consistency to a gummy bear. For this reason, cohesive gel implants are often generically referred to as “gummy bears”. These implants maintain their form even after being compressed, offering the best shape control, as well as the firmer consistency of natural breast tissue. Round implants provide more of a “one size fits all” approach, while anatomical implants are fully customizable for the individual patient. Of all breast implants followed in clinical trials, anatomical cohesive gel implants have the lowest complication rates of any type of breast implant, including incidences of capsular formation, implant migration and shell failure, as well as implant folding. Anatomical breast implants allow for a fully customized and aesthetically pleasing solution for enhancing both breast shape and volume. Being an advanced tool for providing natural-looking, three dimensional breast augmentation, the implants solve common aesthetic concerns and specialized aesthetic requirements equally well. At the same time, anatomical implants provide the best long-term performance of any implant. Anatomical breast implants will suit women who desire a proportionate and natural-looking augmentation, women who are slim, having moderate breast tissue, women who have breastfed, women with breast asymmetry, and also women who want a breast lift and augmentation simultaneously. If anatomical implants are something you would like to explore, Dr. Anna Wooten would be happy to discuss this option with you. Please call our office to schedule your appointment.
Fallen Heroes Our
Memorial Park Church Remembers
at Field of Flags Ceremony By Kathy Rudolph
Photos by Kathy Rudolph
onald King, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, pauses to look at the stunning display of 6,600 American flags on the front lawn of Memorial Park Church (MPC) and to remember his son, U.S. Army Corporal Jared King, 20, who died in Afghanistan in 2011. He got up early at his home in Erie and drove to the church, located in Allison Park, on his motorcycle. Misha Holman, an adorable little boy, sits patiently under a tent on the laps of his grandparents, Carol and David Holman, and next to his mother, Terri. Mishaâ€™s father is Staff Sgt. Eric Holman, 39, of Evans City, who died in 2012 in Afghanistan. These are just two portraits of the many military family members who came to pay tribute to their loved ones at the Field of Flags Ceremony at Memorial Park Church. The Field of Flags is an exhibit that travels by invitation to churches across the United States. The members of the Memorial Garden Committee of Somers Congregational Church in Somers, Connecticut, came up with the idea in 2005. Each flag, placed by volunteers, represents an American soldier who has continued on page 16 North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 15
Our Fallen Heros continued
SSGT Dane J. Morningstar SPC Dan R. Lukas SPC David J. Kowacich SPC Brad Mifsud
Photos by Kathy Rudolph
Bill Howley, of the Patriot Guard
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given his/her life in military service in Afghanistan and Iraq. In support of our troops, the display “reminds us of the danger and increases the empathy we feel for the families of those who have died.” Jaime Dean of Marshall Township is the director of Community Care for Military, a support group for military families and veterans at MPC, and was organizer of the event. “I wanted to provide an opportunity for the community to pause and thank the families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free,” said Dean. “Hopefully, seeing the flags and what they represent will also start a healing process that needs to continue for veterans and families today.” The ceremony began with a presentation of colors by Squadron 603 of the Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station and a welcoming address to families, veterans and active servicemen and women from Rev. Dr. D. Dean Weaver, the lead pastor at MPC.
David and Carol Holman, of Evans City, with grandson, Misha. Misha’s father was Staff Sgt. Eric Holman, who died in Afghanistan in 2012.
Other highlights of the ceremony included a Battlefield/Unity Brotherhood speech by Rev. Bobby Brown, North Park Evangelical Presbyterian Church assistant pastor and chaplain of the 1-107 Field Artillery Regiment of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. A Call to Worship prayer service by Rev. Dr. Kevin Gourley, MPC pastor of congregational care, was also offered along with prayers and poems read by Cheryl Harris, Julie Hera DeStefano and the Rev. Paul A. Becker, Jr., MPC pastor of administration. A poignant and powerful part of the ceremony was the reading of the 282 names of the military servicemen and women from Pennsylvania who died in Afghanistan and Iraq. Musical performances featured Michael Scott, the Encore Men, Daniel Becker, Sharon Wolf and C/SSgt Ryan McManus from PineRichland High School AF JROTC and C/2Lt Kris Hayhurst, from North Allegheny High School AF JROTC. King was glad that he could participate in the ceremony in honor of his son. “It is a beautiful and wonderful thing that this church and community are doing today,” said King. “Recognizing the sacrifices that are made by our military members and their families is such a big thing.” To learn more about the Field of Flags Ceremony of Remembrance, Community Care for Military, or upcoming events at Memorial Park Church, visit the website at memorialparkchurch.org.
Don King of Erie, veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, honoring his son, U.S. Army Corporal Jared King, who died in Afghanistan.
Rev. Dr. Dean Weaver, Lead Pastor of MP Church Dan and Pat Connolly, of McCandless
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 17
NA Teachers Raise Funds to Help
Unlock the Puzzle of Autism
Photos by Kathy Rudolph
By Kathy Rudolph
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sold-out Phil Buckman, Joy crowd of over 265 Manesiotis, volunteer, guests enjoyed Monte CarloGreg Manesiotis themed games, auctions, libations and delicious cuisine at the Pittsburgh Marriott North in Cranberry at the sixth annual “An Evening for Autism.” “I am overwhelmed by the response,” said Nate Tengowski, North Allegheny High School history teacher and co-chair of the event. “It shows how generous [our] community is.” Lisa Maloney is the walk/events manager of Autism Speaks, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter – the beneficiary of An Evening for Autism. “Our mission is funded through community events such as this one,” said Maloney. “It is so humbling to us that this group of teachers is hosting this benefit. These fundraisers are so important in raising awareness in the community and providing funds for research, treatment and support for individuals and families touched by Sharon Volpe, autism.” volunteer, and Mike Lyons, co-chair
continued on page 20 North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 19
Unlock the Puzzle of Autism continued
With one in 88 children being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, fundraisers such as An Evening for Autism are crucial. The benefit has raised over $20,500 in six years. Autism spectrum disorders are “a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges,” according to the Centers for Disease Control. Rachel Tengowski, volunteer “This year has been a and Nate Tengowski, co-chair real watershed year for the benefit,” said Mike Lyons, also a North Allegheny High School history teacher and cochair of the event. “Annual donors submitted their donations early because they know we are sincere in our efforts in raising money for Autism Speaks. One personal observation that I have noticed this year was the outside help. Many friends and family members from outside the committee offered to help solicit donations. The benefit keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. I believe when you reach out, people want to help.” Other North Allegheny School District staff on the event committee included Connie Anastasio, Lisa Nalepa Failla, Joy Manesiotis, Jill Konton Spak, Rachel Bundick Tengowski and Sharon Volpe. Annmarie Lyons and Ron Volpe are also part of the committee, along with Paulette Bundick, who put together 102 gift baskets for the benefit’s auction. Lyons is grateful for everyone who has supported the event. “Thanks to everyone for everything,” he says. “The committee works hard throughout the year to prepare for the benefit. Our sponsors continue to provide us with great donations. Our friends and families support us with their attendance and patronage. We are very lucky to be where we are with the benefit, but we are not satisfied. We want to continue Maloney and Beth to raise more money to help such great Lisa Whitehouse of Autism Speaks organizations as Autism Speaks. In the next year or two, we will surpass the $100,000 mark. Not bad for a group of teachers who one day thought we could put a little something together to help out a charity.” To learn more about Autism Speaks, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, visit the website at www.autismspeaks.org/site-wide/pittsburgh. For more information about An Evening for Autism, contact Mike Lyons at 412.580.1934, or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AnEveningForAutismPittsburgh. 20
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“Pain is inevitable, but suffering is not.”
s a young physician I heard this at the national academic convention focusing on the treatment of pain. I really didn’t understand its full importance until I was fortunate enough to gain insight with the years of experience with chronic pain. Pain is the physical experience usually described in terms ranging from “unpleasant” or more intense terms up to “agonizing.” It is experienced within an emotional context which can greatly alter that description. As an example, the chronic and smoldering low back ache many of us experience on a frequent basis is frequently described as more intense and bothersome when we are trying to focus during a stressful situation, such as when taking an important academic examination or testing as part of career advancement. That same smoldering low back ache may be entirely ignored when enjoying a quiet afternoon lying on a hot beach, or when holding a newborn baby. The physical mechanism generated from degenerative discs in an aching lumbar spine still completes the circuit by stimulating norms and peripheral nerves, spinal cord, and pain centers in our brains, but the emotional centers of a brain have an important impact on our perception of that pain. Many of us can think of times when we celebrated with jumps for joy, doing the jig, clicking our heels, or doing back flips, only to find later that day that our aging backs, shoulders, and knees remind us that we have long ago worn them down. An emotionally charged joyful event actually
greatly inhibited our ability to perceive pain that would normally limit such activities. Given this association between pain perception and emotional context, it is easy to see how our emotional well-being or state of mind must be considered as we deal with chronic pain. A common emotional stress of patients suffering with chronic pain is associated anxiety. This can either be part of a person’s life before they experience pain, or can actually result from the long-term pain itself. Regardless of which is cause and effect, if morning the anxiety fails to optimize the treatment of the pain, while the patient pursues full functioning in her activities of daily living. Many practitioners who suggest that a pain patient “have his head examined” when making a referral to a psychologist, running to understandable defensiveness or lack of enthusiasm on the part of the patient. This does not mean that the physician believes the pain is “all in his head.” He does mean that the physician recognizes failure to treat any anxiety handicaps the patient’s progress in reducing pain and restoring function. After getting over the initial hesitation to pursue a psychologic examination and treatment recommendations, most patients describe a greatly enhanced sense of well-being, reduced pain, and improved relationships through understanding of how their pain and anxieties were teaming up on them. There are many sources of anxiety for average people today. These include a greatly disturbed sleep pattern, a history is of psychologic trauma or abuse, substance abuse such as marijuana, alcohol, and prescription medications, family stressors such as divorce, dysfunctional parent-child relationships, financial pressures associated with loss of employment, and physical incapacitation producing loss of recreational activities formerly enjoyed. None of these sources of anxiety will be adequately treated with interventional pain procedures, surgery, or pain medications. To pursue those interventions without ameliorating the anxiety would be to expose the patient to perhaps unnecessary risks and complications associated with those medications and procedures. On the other hand, simply using anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax, without psychologic counseling, usually produces no long lasting resolution of anxiety, and often complicates and exacerbates her anxiety condition. That is why at Advanced Pain Medicine’s psychologic evaluations for anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, exhaustion of coping skills, etc. is an integral part of the initial screening process and evaluation for our patients. Patients may be offered counseling on a regular basis, or may simply be invited to access such counseling as they wish during their treatment regimen. With more than 20 years of experience Dr. LoDico is a pioneer in the field of pain medicine. He believes that no one should have to live with undertreated chronic pain. Board Certified in both Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, he founded Advanced Pain Medicine in 2001, uniquely committing the practice to finding precise, ongoing solutions to specific pains. Dr. LoDico earned his medical degree from and completed his residency training at the S.U.N.Y Health Services Center at Syracuse. During his career, he also has held key positions at leading medical schools, hospitals, and other institutions while establishing Advanced Pain Medicine.
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 21
e g e l l o C e h La tRh oc y r a s r e v i n n A 50 By Matthew J. Fascetti
fun didn’t stop of this magnitude. But the an beg e lleg Co che Ro La give all employees n August 2012, there: La Roche decided to n, hio fas nd gra in ation for the vac ilee d its Year of Jub five additional days of pai iversary ann h 50t l’s oo out to the sch d che the g e also rea celebratin akers of year! The colleg spe st gue , nts eve the librar y as l of cia use spe d of with a year munity and offere com e leg col e Th . sity throughout the note and unheralded genero well as several free programs e leg col a as s has evolved from its origin school year. rent state as a unded for religious sisters to its cur Dignified special guests abo m fro ts den stu for n tio Former Senator renowned, coed institu during the Year of Jubilee. ted with the around the world. George Mitchell was presen with off ked kic s wa n atio Peace Medal e ebr The year of cel inaugural La Roche Colleg Roche La ich wh in s res at the annual r add e ake lleg a State of Co and was the keynote spe rocaso, Int ace nd Ca ter Pulitzer Prize Sis ce. ent ren sid nfe College Pre bal Solutions Co Glo the ate ebr cel to istof spoke CDP, Ph.D., detailed plans ning journalist, Nicholas Kr win s wa ess sin bu of to engage in anniversary. The first order with students about ways ich wh ts den stu injustices. He forgiving the debt of 22 defending human rights and of are aw un is ace nd Ca h his knowledge totaled $50,000. Sister captivated the students wit t deb ed olv abs has t tha n any other institutio
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the subject. Most and proactive thoughts on rtin Sheen was Ma or act recently, Hollywood r at graduation. the commencement speake lcome him La Roche was excited to we ial justice issues. soc h wit rk wo because of his ational and he His speech was quite inspir ughtful man. proved to be a kind and tho ing to a close com With the Year of Jubilee ed on the ect refl ace on June 27, Sister Cand future, ght bri a to rd year and looks for wa ed all expectations. “The Year of Jubilee exceed and continued We had a great deal of fun g for ward, we to gain knowledge. Movin tinue to grow. are in a great position to con groundbreaking a Within six months we plan soccer and for d on a new artificial turf fiel lude a pavilion inc ally lacrosse that will eventu
Roche expanded its growing enrollment, La jor Ma . ms roo t res construct the first with concessions and beyond its leased space to the for rks wo the in o J. Wright Librar y. als renovations are college building , the John ure fut r ou ut abo ited exc d its charter to are pte science labs. We In 1970, the college ada beliefs lic tho Ca r ou in ducational ast coe , adf ste ent and remain become an independ â€? ls. course offerings its goa d al ifie ion ers cat and edu titution and div ins o als uld sho it , interior design, While the future is bright to include graphic design and che Ro La l. cia spe is ay as signature be noted that its histor y programs that continue tod of s ter Sis the by 3 196 in College was founded ic offerings. ed for Marie de la academ enrollment Divine Providence and nam In the years to follow, both tion ega ngr Co the of continued or ns eri tio sup Roche, the first numbers and academic op the ago rs yea y che began Fift e. Ro La enc 0s, vid en in the 199 of Divine Pro sisters. Since to rise. Th us igio rel sing its for rea e inc leg ch, col a rea s school wa expanding its global ducational coe a e ning its om ade bec bro has and che lity Ro then, La ernational visibi int ity ual h-q hig ng eri letic programs. institution for students, off academic, cultural and ath its ect refl t tha ies redited by educational opportunit Today, La Roche is fully acc its of rit spi e iqu un the die bo s and Catholic heritage and several national governing . ion zat ani org g rin nso graduate majors, founding and spo offers more than 50 under lay t firs its d duate itte adm che Ro duate minors and four gra In 1965, La its first five 20 undergra on s ional ree cat deg edu red an fer as con wn students and ms. As it has gro gra pro e dat mo om to acc graduates. Two years later,
has expanded the institution, La Roche also amenities it offers nt me cultural and entertain ies of McCandless, the surrounding communit d. La Roche fields Ross Township and beyon teams, competing 12 intercollegiate athletic and the in Division III of the NCAA Conference. iate Allegheny Mountain Colleg letic ath l oo It holds numerous high sch its sports at nts me rna championships and tou eâ€™s Performing facilities. La Roche Colleg ms on campus, for per m Arts Ballet Progra Theater in and each spring at the Byham roduced its first Pittsburgh. The program int stage in 2008. work on a New York City sional artists are Works of student and profes â€™s art galler y, che Ro regularly displayed in La e to provide leg col the of fulfilling the mission community. education and ser vice to the ase visit For more information, ple u. .ed www.laroche
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 23
s the winter weather in Pittsburgh breaks, the spring and summer sports season is finally here! Kids are outside riding their bikes, playing team sports, and doing everything kids should do when they shed their winter coats. As they run around with reckless abandon, I’m sure the last thing on their minds is the protection of their teeth. According to the American Dental Association, more than 2 million teeth are knocked out each year due to sports related injuries. Mouthguards can help prevent serious injuries such as broken teeth, jaw fractures, neck injuries and perhaps (while not proven in the literature) concussions by helping avoid situations where the lower jaw is jammed into the
upper jaw. Mouthguards are also effective at moving the lips and cheeks away from the teeth preventing cutting and bruising of these soft tissues, especially for those who wear braces. It is advisable to wear a mouthgaurd during any activity involving the chance for contact with other participants or with hard surfaces and objects. These activities include, but are certainly not limited to basketball, softball and baseball, football, hockey, wrestling and martial arts, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, skateboarding and bicycling. There are three main types of mouthguards: Stock, Boil and Bite, and Custom-made. Stock: This is the least expensive option and also offers the least amount of protection. They come pre-formed and require the user to close the jaw to hold it in place. It may interfere with speech and breathing and lead to soreness of the muscles of the jaw, therefore it is not recommended. Boil and Bite: These mouthguards can be purchased at most sporting good stores and require it to be softened in hot water. Once soft, the guard is then placed in the mouth and formed around the teeth with finger and biting pressure. A Boil and Bite guard offers some degree of protection, but usually it is cumbersome, bulky and becomes loose fitting over time. Custom made: These are fabricated by your dentist to provide the greatest protection and best fit. Custom mouthguards are made from a mold of your teeth, custom designed to your mouth and offer the best protection against sports related injuries. From a compliance standpoint alone, a comfortable, well-fitting custom mouthguard will be worn properly and more frequently than one that is a hassle to wear. It is also important to remember that our kids grow fast and their teeth are constantly moving. Therefore it may be necessary to replace your child’s mouthguard once a year to ensure proper fit. When it comes to protecting your mouth and teeth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be a part of your child’s standard athletic equipment from an early age. Contact your local Dentist or Orthodontist for more information. This Industry Insight was written by Lawrence Mauro, DMD. Lawrence Mauro, DMD is a General Dentist and owner of North Hills Family Dental, located in Arcadia Court in McCandless. A 2003 graduate of the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Dental Medicine, Dr. Mauro caters to his patients’ dental needs, providing optimum oral health care in a relaxing, comfortable, and state-of-the-art facility. Dr. Mauro and his staff live by their motto, “Going to the dentist shouldn’t have to feel like ‘going to the dentist!’”
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You don’t have to live with painful varicose and spider veins. Should I Have My Veins Evaluated?
Q & A WITH A VEIN SPECIALIST: While finishing charts at the end of my day, I took a few moments to listen to my staff answer questions for a patient on the phone. The questions asked were very important as were the answers that were given. Here are some examples:
What is Phlebology?
Phlebology is the branch of medicine that deals with veins and the disease of veins. Two organizations dedicated to the advancement of this field are The American College of Phlebology and the American Venous Forum.
Why should I see a board-certified phlebologist to evaluate my varicose veins?
When it comes to any aspect of your health care, it is important to be proactive in the choice and research of who will become medically responsible for your evaluation and treatment. Though venous disease is not always a visible ailment, it can be a serious health problem leading to more serious issues, so choosing a specialist, or board certified phlebologist for your venous care is a wise decision. Board certification in phlebology identifies a physician who has taken the extra step of becoming specialized in the treatment of venous disease. Not only is the physician often a member of organizations such as the American College of Phlebology (ACP) and the American Venous Forum (AVF) but they have met additional requirements set by the certifying board. After meeting these requirements, he or she must then pass a certifying exam allowing the physician to identify him or herself as board-certified.
Is membership the same as board certification?
This question is particularly important as it defines the specialty of a phlebologist. While a physician may be a member of many different organizations, these organizations only require an interest in the field for joining. Thus membership is unlike board certification where qualification is determined through training and testing. Here’s how the ACP defines its board certification: “The establishment of a Board Certification Exam brings recognition to both the field of phlebology and those providers in the field who have the knowledge, skills and experience to provide quality care to phlebology patients.”
I had a free screening at a health fair and was told that I don’t have venous disease, but I still have aching, pain and discoloration at the ankles. What should I do?
While free screenings can be informative, remember that this is just a brief glance into a patient’s venous system. A complete venous exam and venous mapping by a boardcertified phlebologist is best to determine if a patient has venous disease. Since a proper venous ultrasound is such an integral part of this evaluation, the American College of Phlebology has set requirements for it that include the following: • A venous ultrasound should be ordered by a physician. • A lower extremity ultrasound should study the entire leg, from ankle to groin. Failure to identify and treat all sources of reflux may result in outright treatment failure. • Evaluation of the venous system should be performed with the patient in the upright position. Sitting or lying down are inappropriate for the detection of reflux or the measurement of vein diameters. • A venous ultrasound should be performed by a trained physician or a registered vascular ultrasound technician (RVT) and then interpreted by a physician.
If I have had an evaluation elsewhere, can I still be evaluated in your office? Of course. A free evaluation is commonly ‘free’ because patients are often not meeting with a physician, a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner, so this visit cannot be billed to insurance. However, most insurances allow for a second opinion. If you have any questions about the second opinion being covered, contact member services on the back of your insurance card.
This Industry Insight was written by Theresa Schneider. Terrance R. Krysinski, MD General Surgeon Board Certified Phlebologist Vein Institute of Pittsburgh 724.934.VEIN (8346)
724-934-VEIN (8346) North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 25
Real Estate IN North Allegheny
Real estate is a big part of our lives. For the vast majority of us it is the biggest purchase we will ever make, as well as the largest investment. Not to mention the fact that our purchase is “our home”…the place we laugh, cry, raise children, share timeless memories with friends and family and so much more. So it is very important that we understand every aspect of the selling and purchasing of a home. This includes mortgage and finance information, curb appeal, new housing developments and new ways to look for homes.
CURB APPEAL Curb appeal is a well-known term that refers to the attractiveness of the interior and exterior of a home. While the term seems overused, it is a very real phenomenon. The old saying goes, “You only get one chance at a first impression.” This phrase perfectly explains the importance of curb appeal. When someone pulls up to a house for the first time, things like paint, landscaping, carpeting and light fixtures, just to name a few, make a huge difference in the person’s opinion. It is much harder for most people to envision the potential of a home when unattractiveness abounds everywhere they look. Most people looking at a home make a snap judgment the moment they enter the property. Sure, these snap judgments can be changed with other positive attributes, but why take the chance when adding curb appeal can be so easy and costeffective.
Real estate by the numbers
IN North Allegheny
Homes for Sale: 152 Recently Sold: 134 *Data provided by Realtor.com. Data presented is representative of the time of publication. For up-to-date information, go to Realtor.com.
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Curb appeal can be accomplished by any number of methods including exterior decorations, repainting, extensive attention to the landscaping, timely grass cutting, new or even recently professionally cleaned carpeting, new hardware on the kitchen cabinets, new stain on a rear deck, new exterior and interior light fixtures and de-cluttering of the interior of the home. Always think of curb appeal when marketing your home or looking at a new home. It may not sell your home on its own, or entice you to buy a home on its own, but it does make a difference. You won’t be sorry because it is worth the time and relatively low cost.
STAGING Selling a home requires more than a “For Sale” sign. Competition is fierce, and if you want the best offers and your home to sell quickly, home staging is essential. Staging involves cleaning, de-cluttering, and decorating a home so it appeals to buyers. Never confuse decorating for staging. Décor is an expression of a particular style, while staging is a strategy. According to www.globalspan.net, there are five basic steps to staging your home. #1 - Clean. Your home must sparkle! To achieve this level is often only feasible by hiring a cleaning crew. In fact, having a cleaning service return weekly while your house is for sale is probably a pretty good investment. Get your windows professionally cleaned inside and out too. #2 - Fix. Got a dripping faucet or a cracked tile? These will send the wrong message to potential buyers. Getting them fixed before you put your house on the market is a smart idea. #3 - Eliminate Clutter. The “50% Rule” requires that you eliminate the clutter in your home by at least half. This may be the hardest rule of all! We love our clutter – it reflects our memories, hobbies, and values. But it doesn’t sell homes! Clutter makes homes seem smaller and disorganized. (Have
Our Real Estate Partners Golden Estate Sales provides a service for people when they need it most. Clients include people downsizing their homes, individuals who have inherited properties, families moving to new homes, retirees, and those leaving their homes to move into assisted living/nursing facilities. Golden Estate Sales has Accredited Members of The International Society of Appraisers who are Antique & Residential Content Appraisers.
Golden Estate Sales
you ever noticed that the really expensive stores seem to have an expansive, clutter-free layout, while “cheap” stores are often a jumble of merchandise?) Even the ancient practice of Feng Shui has as a central focus the elimination of clutter. #4 - Go Executive Neutral. Neutral colors sell. It’s a fact. Try to convey an image of quality and neutrality. Potential buyers walking through your home want to imagine themselves as the owners. If you use styles or colors they would never select, you’ve just turned them off. Staying high-quality, but neutral is safest. #5 - De-personalize. Remove objects that your potential buyers won’t be able to identify with. For example, political and religious items may turn off whole groups of buyers, because they cannot “imagine” your home as their home. Buying a home is an emotional decision, and you want potential buyers to make an emotional connection with your home by being able to “see” themselves in it.
Golden Estate Sales • Patricia A. Golden 724.941.8373 • goldenestatesales.com
Passion. Innovation. Respect. Honesty. At Northwood Realty Services, these aren’t just words – they are words to live by. They represent a promise we make to our clients – and ourselves – each and every day. Say hello to the New Face of Northwood at Northwood.com today. Northwood Realty Services 412.367.3200 • Northwood.com
RE/MAX Real Estate Solutions is a full-service residential and commercial real estate office. Our staff of full-time, experienced professional realtors are available to assist buyers and sellers by leveraging the latest technology and offering personalized service. Our free MLS search app can be downloaded by texting PGH to 87778. The office is located in McCandless at 125 Hillvue Lane, Pgh, PA 15237. Re/max Real estate Solutions 412.366.2900 • realestatesolutionspittsburgh.com
A full time Realtor since 1990, Joe Larkin puts his vast experience into his “client first” philosophy. With a strong market knowledge of Northern Allegheny County, Butler County, and Pittsburgh’s East Side, Joe successfully assists customers in resale, new construction, relocation and buyer representation. Integrity, in-depth community and market knowledge, marketing savvy, effective negotiation skills and a high-quality professional network are all hallmarks of how Joe works. Joe Larkin, Coldwell Banker 412.860.6625 North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 27
Real Estate IN North Allegheny REVERSE MORTGAGE According to www.consumer.ftc.gov, if you’re 62 or older – and looking for money to finance a home improvement, pay off your current mortgage, supplement your retirement income, or pay for health-care expenses – you may be considering a reverse mortgage. It’s a product that allows you to convert part of the equity in your home into cash without having to sell your home or pay additional monthly bills. In a “regular” mortgage, you make monthly payments to the lender. In a “reverse” mortgage, you receive money from the lender, and generally don’t have to pay it back for as long as you live in your home. The loan is repaid when you die, sell your home, or when your home is no longer your primary residence. The proceeds of a reverse mortgage generally are taxfree, and many reverse mortgages have no income restrictions. There are three types of reverse mortgages: •• Single-purpose reverse mortgages, offered by some state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations. •• Federally-insured reverse mortgages, known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) and backed by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). •• Proprietary reverse mortgages, private loans that are backed by the companies that develop them. Single-purpose reverse mortgages are the least expensive option. They are not available everywhere and can be used for only one purpose,
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(724) 898-1501 (724) 776-2800 www.starrlumber.com
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which is specified by the government or nonprofit lender. For example, the lender might say the loan may be used only to pay for home repairs, improvements, or property taxes. Most homeowners with low or moderate income can qualify for these loans. HECMs and proprietary reverse mortgages may be more expensive than traditional home loans, and the upfront costs can be high. That’s important to consider, especially if you plan to stay in your home for just a short time or borrow a small amount. HECM loans are widely available, have no income or medical requirements, and can be used for any purpose. Before applying for a HECM, you must meet with a counselor from an independent government-approved housing counseling agency. Some lenders offering proprietary reverse mortgages also require counseling. The counselor is required to explain the loan’s costs and financial implications, and possible alternatives to a HECM, like government and nonprofit programs or a single-purpose or proprietary reverse mortgage. The counselor also should be able to help you compare the costs of different types of reverse mortgages and tell you how different payment options, fees, and other costs affect the total cost of the loan over time. You can visit HUD for a list of counselors or call the agency at 1.800.569.4287. Most counseling agencies charge around $125 for their services. The fee
Real Estate IN North Allegheny can be paid from the loan proceeds, but you cannot be turned away if you can’t afford the fee. How much you can borrow with a HECM or proprietary reverse mortgage depends on several factors, including your age, the type of reverse mortgage you select, the appraised value of your home, and current interest rates. In general, the older you are, the more equity you have in your home, and the less you owe on it, the more money you can get. The HECM lets you choose among several payment options. You can select: •• A “term” option – fixed monthly cash advances for a specific time. •• A “tenure” option – fixed monthly cash advances for as long as you live in your home. •• A line of credit that lets you draw down the loan proceeds at any time in amounts you choose until you have used up the line of credit. •• A combination of monthly payments and a line of credit. You can change your payment option any time for about $20. HECMs generally provide bigger loan advances at a lower total cost compared with proprietary loans. But if you own a higher-valued home, you may get a bigger loan advance from a proprietary reverse mortgage. So if your home has a higher appraised value and you have a small mortgage, you may qualify for more funds.
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Reverse mortgage loan advances are not taxable, and generally don’t affect your Social Security or Medicare benefits. You retain the title to your home, and you don’t have to make monthly repayments. The loan must be repaid when the last surviving borrower dies, sells the home, or no longer lives in the home as a principal residence. In the HECM program, a borrower can live in a nursing home or other medical facility for up to 12 consecutive months before the loan must be repaid. If you’re considering a reverse mortgage, be aware that: •• Lenders generally charge an origination fee, a mortgage insurance premium (for federally-insured HECMs), and other closing costs for a reverse mortgage. Lenders also may charge servicing fees during the term of the mortgage. The lender sometimes sets these fees and costs, although origination fees for HECMs currently are dictated by law. Your upfront costs can be lowered if you borrow a smaller amount through a reverse mortgage product called “HECM Saver.” •• The amount you owe on a reverse mortgage grows over time. Interest is charged on the outstanding balance and added to the amount you owe each month. That means your total debt increases as the loan funds are advanced to you and interest on the loan accrues. •• Although some reverse mortgages have fixed rates, most have variable rates that are tied to a financial index: they are likely to change with market conditions.
Our Real Estate Partners •• Reverse mortgages can use up all or some of the equity in your home, and leave fewer assets for you and your heirs. Most reverse mortgages have a “nonrecourse” clause, which prevents you or your estate from owing more than the value of your home when the loan becomes due and the home is sold. However, if you or your heirs want to retain ownership of the home, you usually must repay the loan in full – even if the loan balance is greater than the value of the home. •• Because you retain title to your home, you are responsible for property taxes, insurance, utilities, fuel, maintenance, and other expenses. If you don’t pay property taxes, carry homeowner’s insurance, or maintain the condition of your home, your loan may become due and payable.
Goods Goods Remodeling is built on hard work, RemodelinG open communication and honesty. All projects are thoroughly planned and costs are discussed upfront, no surprises or hidden fees. Additional costs for added services are negotiated and agreed upon before completion. Goods Remodeling strives to provide both residential and business customers professional and reliable home improvement and building services. Kevin Good, Owner.
Goods Remodeling 724.244.7864 • www.goodsremodeling.com
•• Interest on reverse mortgages is not deductible on income tax returns until the loan is paid off in part or whole.
FINANCING AND INTEREST RATES
Diamond Landscaping Inc has been creating Landscaping, Inc. beautifully landscaped exteriors since the
There is both good news and bad news when it comes to home financing Diamond Landscaping, Inc. year 2000. From one-of-a-kind paver patios, and mortgage interest rates. The great news is that interest rates are still Diamond Landscaping, Inc. extremely low. According to bankrate.com, the interest rates on 12/26/12 walks, and driveways to customized retaining were 3.59% on a 30-year fixed rate, 2.87% on a 15-year fixed, 2.77% on a systems as well as lovely landscapes. You can be sure that no 5/1 ARM and 4.07% on a 30-year jumbo. However, the bad news is that, due to new mortgage laws adopted after the nation’s foreclosure crisis of several years back, it is more difficult to get a mortgage than ever before. Credit scores are even more scrutinized and debt-to-income ratios are more strict.
detail will be overlooked while creating your unique design. Our staff of professionals bring with them the company values of quality workmanship and outstanding customer relations to every project. Diamond Landscaping, Inc. 412.366.8545 • www.diamondscapes.com
For ALL of your Lighting by Erik North has been serving the heating, cooling North Hills since 1972. We carry exterior and & plumbinglandscape needs lighting, decorative fixtures, mirrors, fans and lamps for
There is an infinite number of loan types out there, and lenders are constantly coming up with creative ways to wrangle in new homeowners. The type of home loan you choose can make or break you as a borrower, so make sure you fully understand it before making any kind of commitment. Most prospective homeowners these days seem to be interested in 100% financing, generally because they don’t have the assets necessary for a down payment. Unfortunately, the proliferation of these types of home loan programs have increased the number of high-risk borrowers in the United States at an alarming rate. But if you take the time to educate yourself on the many home loan types out there, you’ll effectively decrease your chances of defaulting on your mortgage. That said, let’s talk about the many different loan types and programs available today.
25% Below is a list of the types of loans available to potential homeowners. OFF Conforming Loans and Non-Conforming Loans One way home loans are differentiated is by their Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) eligibility. If the loan meets requirements set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it is considered a conforming loan. If the loan does not meet all the
Any heating & cooling repair/replacement or plumbing service (up to $100).
every room. We offer quick, quality repairs and our expert sales staff strive to give that personal service and attention to detail that our clients have come to expect. Allow us to assist you with all your #1 Small Business Workplace #1 Workplace for Values and Ethics lighting needs. Lighting by Erik North 412.821.6443 • www.lightingbyeriknorth.com 412-246-8987 724-426-8825
TUDI Mechanical Systems specializes in heating, cooling, plumbing and tudi.com electrical services in the commercial, industrial and residential markets. The company was just named “Best Contractor To Work For” in the eastern United States and granted Best Work Place for Business Ethics the second year in a row by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Learn more about its nonprofit, Heat for the Needy, at tudi.com. PA011749
TUDI Mechanical Systems 412.246.8987 • tudi.com North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 31
Integrity and Professionalism Make Golden Estate Sales a Cut Above
We can help move household items once they are sold.
t seems like running an a estate sale business b and owning an would go an antique shop s hand in hand. But the reality of this common practice, creates a situation where the best family heirlooms are never person running the sale will cherry pick through a family’s belongings for merchandise to sell in their own store. When Pat Golden began conducting estate sales over 15 years ago, she made a vow never to run an antique store and never to buy merchandise that she was
Pat Golden owner
when a buyer iis curious i about a particular item. It also
We know how to attract buyers!
explains Golden. “For the same reason, to make unfortunately is an unpleasant sure that all of our practices are transparent, reality. No one individual can know the value local charity. We have taken furniture, clothes of every item from artwork to jewelry to motorcycles. But Golden is a member of Goodwill, and the Salvation Army. You name the International Society of Appraisers, an it, we have probably donated items to that non- accreditation that few others in her profession have achieved. “We have to take a test every From the beginning, Golden decided to three years to demonstrate that we are hold herself and her employees to a higher standard than most estate sale companies. stay updated. I also thoroughly research items that I’m unsure of to get the best price for take my employees around and ask them the homeowner,” adds Golden. She is highly questions about the price, quality and history respected as an appraiser and has served as a of the items. I want to make sure that they are volunteer appraiser at Heinz History Center’s familiar with everything and always learning,” Hidden Treasures event. says Golden. “Knowledgeable employees Sometimes professionalism shows up in help ensure that more items will be sold. even the tiniest details. Golden uses green 3M If you know the history and the value of a particular piece of furniture, or can share with the prospective buyer that it is handmade, delivery for a minimal charge which helps move imported, vintage, or whatever makes that item the sale along, since many people may want to special, they will recognize the value and it buy the furniture, but have no way to transport it to their home. Her team also devotes a great She also has three times the number of deal of their time in preparing for the sale by employees on hand for the sale than what’s photographing all the items which are then posted on their Facebook page, their website there will be someone free to answer questions 32
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Golden ld even takes the extraordinary step of purchasing insurance for a maximum of $2 million, to protect the homeowner against property damage and personal injury. “If a person comes to the sale and slips on the carpet, the homeowner is liable for injuries. I make sure that the person having the sale and our company are protected against such estate sale signals a life transition. Someone may be downsizing or moving to assisted living, or perhaps even a death has occurred. With the family going through emotional comforting presence amidst what can be a chaotic time for homeowners. Her advice for any homeowner considering an estate sale is: “Pick two or three good companies and then go and visit their estate sales. See how they handle things, how they set up for the sale and what type of advertising hire for your sale.” For more information on Golden Estate Sales, please visit the website at www. GoldenEstateSales.com or call 724.941.8373.
Real Estate IN North Allegheny underwriting requirements set forth by the pair of GSEs, it is considered “non-conforming.” The main guideline that determines whether a mortgage is conforming or not is the loan amount. Generally, a mortgage with a loan amount below $417,000 is considered conforming, whereas any loan amount above $417,000 is considered a jumbo loan. However, in Alaska and Hawaii the conforming limit is $625,500. Note that the conforming limit may change annually, and has risen quite a bit in the past few years as housing prices skyrocketed. A jumbo loan may meet all of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s loan underwriting guidelines, but if the loan amount exceeds the conforming limit, it will be considered non-conforming and carry a higher mortgage rate as a result. If your loan amount is on the fringe of the conforming limit, sometimes simply dropping your loan amount a few thousand dollars can lower your mortgage rate tremendously, so keep this in mind anytime your loan amount is near the limit.
Conventional Loans and Government Loans Mortgages are also classified as either “conventional loans” or “government loans.” Conventional loans can be conforming or jumbo, but are not insured or guaranteed by the government.
Then there are government loans, such as the widely popular FHA loan. This type of mortgage is backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Another common government loan is the VA loan, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The maximum loan amount for these types of loans varies by county. Now that you know a bit about different home loan types, we can focus on home loan programs. As mentioned earlier, there are a ton of different loan programs out there, and more seem to surface every day. Let’s start with the most basic of loan programs, the 30-year fixed-rate loan.
Loan Programs The 30-year fixed loan is as simple as they come. Most mortgages are based on a 30-year amortization, and the 30year fixed is no different. The 30-year fixed loan is just how it sounds, a loan with a 30-year term at a fixed interest rate for 30 years. What this means is that the loan will take 30
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Real Estate IN North Allegheny years to pay off, and the rate will stay the same during those entire 30 years. There isn’t much else to it. Let’s say you secure a rate of 6.5% on a 30-year fixed loan with a loan amount of $500,000. You’ll have monthly mortgage payments of $3,160.34 for a total of 360 months, or 30 years. You will be required to pay the same amount each month until the loan is paid off. So the total amount you would pay on a $500,000 loan at 6.5% over 30 years would be $1,137,722.40.
LOCAL HOUSING MARKET According to www.buildingpittsburgh.wordpress.com, unlike the overall U.S. market, the housing market in Pittsburgh does not have to bounce back from falling prices and is showing remarkable consistency across a number of metrics. For more than six months the prices of houses sold and the number of homes sold has remained solidly up more than 10% year-over-year. That’s an unusual level of consistent growth, especially since the sales took place in periods of both higher and lower seasonal activity. The third quarter also showed a consistent trend in the year-over-year growth in new construction. Through nine months there were a total of 2,396 new dwelling units started compared to 2,155 during the same period in 2011, an increase of 11.2%. The increased activity was constant whether the construction was traditional detached single-family homes (and attached) or multi-family units, with each cohort up between 10-
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12%. Permits were issued for 1,393 units of detached dwellings compared to 1,264 in 2011 and for 1,003 attached units this year compared to 891 last year. While there is growing evidence that financing conditions are normalizing so that buyers can buy, the dwindling supply of lots are keeping a broader housing recovery from spreading into 2013, although the construction of multi-family apartments will boom for at least the next 18 months. Following is a breakdown of new housing by county. •• Allegheny County — Single Family Detached, 609. SingleFamily Attached, 392. Total, 1001. •• Beaver County — Single-Family Detached, 108. Single-Family Attached, 25. Total, 133. •• Butler County — Single-Family Detached, 190. Single-Family Attached, 323. Total, 513. •• Fayette County — Single-Family Detached, 66. Single-Family Attached, 10. Total, 76. •• Washington County — Single-Family Detached, 251. Single-Family Attached, 74. Total, 325. •• Westmoreland County — Single-Family Detached, 169. Single-Family Attached, 179. Total, 348.
Our Real Estate Partners SMARTPHONE APPS FOR HOUSE HUNTING This is 2013 and we are an “on the go” society. So doesn’t it just make sense to use apps for house hunting before contacting a real estate agent? According to www.msn.com, today there are dozens of cheap — even free — applications you can download that can make your home buying quest easier and savvier than ever before. So go ahead and download ‘em, take ‘em for a test drive … then hit the open-house circuit. This time, you’re guaranteed to waste less time finding a new “home sweet home.”
Nest Expressions is an exclusive shop at home service specializing in flooring and window treatments. Whether you are looking for the latest choices in window treatments, carpet, hardwood, or ceramic we’ll guide you to an informed selection that corresponds with your lifestyle, family and budget. So when you are ready to spread your wings, call Nest Expressions and we’ll help you create the look your rooms deserve. Nest Expressions 724.449.1100 • www.nestexpressions.com
Tools to help you find a home — all with GPS •• Realtor.com says its app has more listings — reportedly more than 3 million — than any other app in the country. You can highlight areas of town to search, check for homes for sale near you and search for open houses. Most homes show multiple photos as well as pricing and open-house info. (Free.) •• Zillow not only lets you see listings and the estimated worth of any home — not just homes for sale – but also has rental-rate estimates. (Free.)
Heartland Homes is Pittsburgh’s number one luxury home builder, and with nearly 30 years of experience, Heartland has created a new series of luxury homes, which include gourmet kitchens, hardwood & ceramic floors, 9 foot ceilings, and cozy fireplaces, all this and more are now standard. Luxury has arrived! Heartland Homes 724.949.0079 • HeartlandLuxuryHomes.com
Seven Seas Pools and Spas have been serving Western Pennsylvania for over 30 years. We are a family owned and operated business that specializes in high quality custom in-ground pools and luxurious spas. A custom in-ground pool adds beauty and value to any house. It is the key ingredient in making a house your home. Let us create paradise in your backyard! Seven Seas Pools and Spas 724.452.SPAS (7727) • sevenseaspools.com
DRH Construction was established in 1994 with the goal of providing our customers with quality materials, craftsmanship, and superior customer service. We take pride in our work and building relationships with our customers. We pride ourselves in having the knowledge and ability to handle any size project. From unfinished projects, to large scale additions, we make sure your project meets and exceeds your expectations. DRH Construction 412.389.2211 • drhconstruction.us North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 35
Real Estate IN North Allegheny Navigating the real-estate maze •• Dictionary of Real Estate Terms. Baffled by a bilateral contract? Confused by carrying charges? You need this dictionary. ($1.99 for iPhone and iPad. Other dictionaries available for different devices.) •• Mortgage Calculator. A solid calculator to help steer you through the finances of a home purchase, this calculator computes monthly rate, price per square foot and your amortization schedule. (99 cents for iPad and iPhone. Other calculators available for different devices.) •• Can you afford that home? Home Buying Power lets you input variables — desired payment or income percentage, plus down payment, loan term and interest rate — and then tells you how much house you can afford to pay for on a monthly basis. ($1.99 for iPad and iPhone.)
Choosing the right city and neighborhood •• Learn your neighborhood: With Wikihood, you can get a mini-tour of most any neighborhood in the world — everything from the history to the culture to companies in the area. (Free for iPad and iPhone.) •• Wonder where that smell is coming from? Worried by those airplanes flying low overhead? You need Suburb Scout. This app allows users to search for possible nuisances near a home — airports, landfills, sewage-treatment plants and more. ($1.99 for Android.) •• Are you worried about sex offenders? Consider getting Safe Neighborhood. This app gives you access to the National Sex Offender Registry and can tell you locations of sex offenders in your area. It’s a little controversial — not only can you search by address, but you can pull up names and pictures of the offenders. (Free for Android.) •• Trying to pick a new city? You might want to look at the crime statistics. The app Crime Stats lets you see statistics on several violent crimes and property crimes for cities nationwide, using FBI data. The app also lets you compare those stats to the national average and to other cities. (99 cents for iPhone and iPad.) •• Want to know what kind of amenities your neighborhood has? Download the Walk Score app. It gives a home a score of up to 100, based on residents’ ability to walk to things such as a grocery, a pub, etc. The better the score, the more walkable the neighborhood.
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Somewhat related, Around Me tells you the distances to key spots such as banks, coffee shops and post offices. (Both are free for iPhone and iPad.) •• SiteWise gives the demographics of your prospective home’s immediate area, using info up to and including the 2010 Census. The app creates a demographic report that includes population by age, education level, number of children, household income, number of renters versus owners and more. ($9.99 for Blackberry and iPhone users.)
When looking hard at a home •• Photo Measures is an app that lets you take pictures of, say, a room and then allows you to save your measurements of the room’s dimensions on the photos. You can take photos during your walk-throughs of an appealing house, note the dimensions of walls and doors and cabinets, then plan your space and refer to the measurements later. ($4.99 for iPhone.) •• ColorSmart. With paintmaker Behr’s ColorSmart app, you can visualize colors in your prospective home. Just take a photo, then fill in the walls with a Behr paint color to check out the new look. (Free for iPhone and iPad.) You now have 15 new ways to find your perfect home — and no excuses.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A REAL ESTATE AGENT Sometimes when the time comes to buy or sell a home the focus is so much on the homes that the real estate agent is an afterthought. However, it is very important to pick the right one for your needs. On the site www.mytitleguy.com is a blogger who has worked in the title industry for 11 years and has met and worked with countless real estate agents. He has come up with a list of things to look for before signing a contract with an agent: “Personable: I want someone who does not make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Someone I can tolerate talking to or sitting across from on more than one occasion. “Licensed: Sounds dumb but it is not. I want my agent to be licensed and in good standing, i.e. no complaints [no legitimate complaints one way]. Google is your friend. Go to Google.
esidential Home Funding is helping all current and future home owners to use their mortgage as a tool to help improve their quality of life. A home typically is a person’s largest purchase. Doesn’t it make sense to have the mortgage work for your goals and not against them? Most people purchase their home based on a couple of main factors: size of the home compared to their family size, a school district they want their children to be in, and of course the price of the home. Although these are good factors to consider, Residential Home Funding has been adding a few questions and solutions for its clients that many are not aware of. Currently there are a lot of individuals looking for homes in the north Pittsburgh market, only to find out there is an extremely low number of homes to choose from. This leads to many frustrated home buyers. Residential Home Funding has been working on this dilemma for some time. “Most buyers pick a location before finding the exact house they are going to buy. With the current low inventory of houses, this can lead to a frustrating experience for home buyers and their agents. A solution to this issue is our rehab loan,” says Tony La Russo, branch manager of Residential Home Funding. A rehab loan allows the new buyer to update the house he/she finds with around $30,000 worth of improvements, and build it into the new mortgage. This allows the buyers to limit their
out-of-pocket cost, and still have the home of their dreams. “Buyers can grab the ‘ugly duckling’ of the neighborhood at a low price and turn it into the gem they always dreamed of,” adds La Russo. How do you know you are getting the best rate, program or deal on your new mortgage? This is another question everyone seems to ask when looking to refinance or purchase a new home. Residential Home Funding has seemed to find the answer to this age-old question. Residential Home Funding is a lender. This means it lends its money; however it also currently is able to use the guidelines of some of the large mortgage companies throughout the country such as Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi Mortgage, BB&T, etc. “This allows us to get our clients access to almost every mortgage option in the country without having them to go to different companies,” explains La Russo. “At the end of the day it is all about having the best options for our clients, so they can make a well-educated decision.” What is a reverse mortgage? Allegheny County has one of the oldest median ages for its residents. This is a mortgage that allows anyone at or over 62 years of age to alleviate their mortgage payment, if they have the required amount of equity in their home. “This product has really just started its growth through our region,” says La Russo. “There are ways for seniors to use this for getting rid of their mortgage payments as well as even to purchase a new home. This is truly a great product for those seniors who have felt the pinch of the tough economy these past years.” The Pittsburgh market has a firm that is finding options for the average individual looking for answers to their mortgage questions. For more information feel free to contact Residential Home Funding.
This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Terms and conditions apply. All rights reserved. NMLS# 34973 Licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking License # 2087, NMLS#34973 and NMLS# 138951
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The Fifth Wall By Nest Expressions
merican artist, Robert Rauschenberg, stated: “a blank canvas is not empty, but rather it is full of potential.” Often, the walls of our home are compared to a blank canvas; they are ours to accessorize and accent in a manner that creatively expresses our unique personality. At Nest Expressions, we understand that homeowners actually have five blank canvases to work with in each room; four walls and the floor. The floor lends homeowners an opportunity to express personal style and to create a functional anchor for the rest of the room. However, many consumers are not aware of the fiber and material advancements in the flooring industry and may not make optimal selections for their circumstances. Let’s take carpet for example. Carpet has been around for ages; the oldest surviving piece of carpet dates back to 2000 B.C! Although certain carpet has gone out of style, there are some pretty incredible alternatives that have recently emerged. For example, Shaw just introduced a new and trendy carpet collection called Caress. Caress is a carpet that is both stain resistant and luxuriously soft. In addition to supreme functionality and quality, it is available in a beautiful variety of nature inspired hues that serve as the perfect complement to modern décor. Mohawk has also introduced a luxuriously soft option called Silk. Silk carpet is constructed with Smartstrand, a renewably sourced advanced stain-resistant fiber. These advanced premium soft carpet fibers feature built in stain resistance that never wears or washes off. With advancements in carpet fiber technology, homeowners now have a plethora of functional and fashionable options to express personal style on their fifth wall. Perhaps carpet is not how you want to decorate your fifth wall, no need to worry! There are countless other options that can be used to creatively express your personal style. At Nest Expressions, we carry a wide array of the industry’s trendiest flooring options including: hardwood, ceramic, cork, bamboo, and laminate. Currently, one of the most notable alternative flooring options is Shaw’s one of a kind hand scraped laminate. Shaw’s hand scraped laminates feature Shaw’s exclusive OptiCore™ boarding - an environmentally friendly laminate coreboard that’s strong, stable, and moisture resistant. When it comes to decorating your fifth wall and expressing your personal style, options are great! However, too many options can also be overwhelming. At Nest Expressions we are passionate about helping homeowners make informed and personalized flooring decisions in the comfort and convenience of their own home. We understand that shopping at traditional flooring retail stores can be burdensome so we bring our mobile showroom to you and help you find the flooring that suits your lifestyle, budget and personal preferences. Instead of letting the frustration of shopping traditional retail stores deter you from decorating your fifth wall, experience the simplicity and efficiency of the Nest Expressions experience! For more information or to schedule your free in-home consultation appointment call 724.449.1100 or email email@example.com. Like Nest Expressions on Facebook and learn more about the Nest Expressions experience at www.nestexpressions.com.
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IN North Allegheny com, put [potential agents’ names] in quotations and see what Google and other consumers have to say about them. “Tech Savvy: an agent who is savvy with technology is a non-negotiable for me. I want someone who has a strong website, who understands the Internet and search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Not so much social media. Remember, 98% of consumers start their home search online — my real estate agent better know how to get my home to stand out online — where the eyeballs are. “Knowledgeable: I want an agent who knows [his/her] way around the purchase contract and how to negotiate. Just because [agents are] licensed does not mean they understand either. I also want an agent who specializes in what I am buying or selling. “Familiar with the local market: I would want an agent who is familiar with my neighborhood, builder, and local market conditions. Local market conditions — not an area 20 miles away. [Yes, markets can vary considerably in as few as 20 miles.] “Communicates well and often: You would hope that service and communication would be the basics [for being] in the real estate industry…but sadly it is not. There are real estate agents out there who are horrible at returning calls or emails or even giving updates. Maybe that is why the #1 complaint in the real estate industry is lack of communication. In an occupation that requires communication, the #1 complaint is lack of it. I want my real estate agent to communicate with me in the method that I prefer [email, text, phone call, Facebook, Twitter, smoke signal, Morse code etc.] whatever that is. I also want a regular schedule of check-ins — even if there is nothing to report. Keep me in the loop! “Truthful: Someone who is going to tell me the truth whether I want to hear it or not. ‘Yes, Mr Garner, that purple carpet is ugly and needs to go’ or ‘Stephen, the deer head or stuffed bear in the den is not a good idea.’ “Full Time: Real estate is not a part-time job. My agent needs to be available when a potential buyer is. I don’t want to have to wait until my agent gets off his/her shift at Walgreen’s before [responding to] an offer on my home. This is where an agent with a team can be beneficial as they can cover for each other so I can get the service I deserve. “Integrity: Integrity is one of those [attributes] that many people say they have. In my opinion, integrity is demonstrated, not necessarily spoken. I want a real estate agent/REALTOR to put my interests above [his/ her] own. That offer of $400,000 on my $430,000 home may only equal a reduction of $900 for the agent’s commission but it equals a $30,000 reduction to me. If I’m buying with an agent and I’m interested in 4-bedroom, 2-bath homes, show them all to me, even the ones offering a reduced commission and the ones listed by an agent you don’t necessarily care for. Put my interests above your own. If my agent represents me, I want him/her to represent me.”
NEW HOME TRENDS The housing industry has taken a beating these past few years, but a glimmer of hope is on the horizon. Housing starts are increasing, according to a story by the National Association of Business Economics. Not surprisingly, though, the Great Recession curtailed many of the extravagances that buyers desired before things went south. Homebuyers want different things from their homes today. The watchword is “flexibility” — things such as rooms that serve multiple purposes and
Our Real Estate Partners Davis Construction provides quality remodeling services to homeowners in the northern Pittsburgh suburbs. We build decks, deck/patio roofs, home or garage additions and finished basements. We provide superior quality work at competitive rates. Gabriel Davis, owner, guarantees excellence in craftsmanship and professionalism from all of our carpenters who are all employees, not subcontractors. Please visit our website at davisconstruct.com to view our projects. Davis Construction 724.831.1035 • davisconstruct.com
At Call Gary, we have established and built trusted relationships with our clients. We have done this by delivering on our clients’ needs and wants offering high quality kitchen and bath design, followed by expert installation. We look forward to working with you to achieve your dreams. Our goal is not to only meet your expectations, we want to exceed them. Please call us today. Call Gary Kitchens & Baths 412.364.1127 • www.callgaryhomeremodeling.com
CHC has been in business since 1998. The owner of CHC has been doing concrete work for 30 + years. CHC takes pride in their work for their customers. There is no job that is too big or too small. We provide quality work at competitive prices. We offer new concrete and decorative concrete applications for both new and existing concrete. We are fully insured and licensed. Visit us on the web. CHC Construction 412.937.9100 • celenderconst.com
Kitchen Distributors of North Hills established in 1975 has served the North Hills Area for 37 years. We handle 3 quality made cabinet lines with hundreds of door styles. We provide everything needed for any Kitchen including Cabinets, appliances, counter tops and flooring. We have a beautiful showroom and offer free design service. Kitchen Distributors of North Hills 412.367.2080 • kitchendistributors.org
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Real Estate IN North Allegheny homes that can accommodate either “boomerang” children or aging parents. According to www.msn.com, [researchers] talked to homebuilders and industry watchers to find out what will be behind the front doors of new homes.
Easy access Accessibility is big and likely only to get bigger, says Kermit Baker, chief economist of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). “It’s strictly an aging-related thing: Boomers are getting older, and parents of boomers are getting older.” Baby boomers in particular are starting to think about what their homes need to look like if they’re going to stay in them as the years advance. That means single-story homes, homes with grab bars in the bathroom, fewer stairs and perhaps even wheelchair ramps. In the AIA’s most recent survey, almost half of the architects who responded said accessibility was a growing design priority.
A bigger garage — for everything but cars Not long ago, homebuilders were adding garage space to accommodate SUVs. Now some are making more room in the garage for all the other items families put there, from tricycles to golf carts. “We know that growing families accumulate a lot of stuff,” says Scott Thomas, director of product design for Pulte Group, which includes Pulte Homes, Centex and Del Webb retirement communities. “These garages help avoid clutter. A trend for the larger garages is to use part of it as a ‘man cave’ of sorts — space where you can fit two cars, in addition to a sofa, TV, weights, etc.”
The ‘resource center’ People want homes that are more flexible, more versatile. Rooms dedicated to one purpose are less popular now, according to the AIA survey. As homes shrank in the past few years, people asked, “Where’s that space going to come from?” Baker says. Those people are realizing that in a smaller home, rooms can serve multiple functions.
David Barista, editor in chief of Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines, calls these multipurpose areas “resource centers” — nooks that include a desk, printer, room for a laptop and even some cubbyholes for mail and bills. “You don’t need this huge den/office anymore,” he says. “Most families are working off laptops or iPads.” Also hearing that demand, Pulte Group has been adding “planning centers” to its homes — spaces adjacent to the kitchen “that serve as the family command center of sorts,” Thomas says. “It’s a place where the kids can do their homework and be within earshot of the parents. They are great for family organization, paying bills.”
Homes within homes Almost one-third of American adults today are “doubled up,” or living in the same household with another adult generation, the U.S. Census Bureau says. Those adults could be “boomerang” kids who have come back home to live after college, or aging parents who moved in with adult children. Homebuilders are starting to respond to this trend. “We’re seeing a huge growth in floor plans that include dual master suites,” Barista says. Lennar Homes has introduced its NextGen home in several areas of the country. “It really is a home within a home,” says Alan Jones, Arizona division president for Lennar. Imagine a home that contains a separate apartment with its own sleeping area, kitchenette, bathroom and perhaps even garage. A door connects it to the rest of the house, Jones says.
Not just ‘green’ — really green Homebuilders have been edging toward greater energy efficiency in the past few years, with features such as compact fluorescent bulbs and Energy Star appliances. But Barista sees an even bigger leap. Once the realm of “out there” rich people, “net zero energy homes” — houses that create as much energy as they consume — are going mainstream, he says. “The production builders (larger builders) are becoming masters at building homes that have really tight building envelopes” — that is, homes that don’t leak air where not intended. For several thousand dollars more, large builders are offering homes with solar panels that help power the house. That’s not only good for the environment, but it helps the homes stand out in the market. “I’ve heard of other big builders going in this direction, too,” Barista says.
Home plans that fit today Another trend Barista sees is “home plans that work for today’s buyers.” In other words, homes designed to accommodate the ways people live today and use their homes. Here are some examples: •• Laundry. “We’re seeing a lot of floor plans that have direct access to laundry rooms,” 42
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Our Real Estate Partners Barista says — for instance, a laundry alcove that’s right in the master suite, where it’s easy to use. He’s even seen laundry chutes. •• “Costco” pantries. One designer told Barista about the appearance of large pantries just off the garage where people can store all the bulk items that they buy at warehouse stores. •• Drop zones. These are small spots, usually near the kitchen, that are dedicated to dropping off your cell phone, keys, purse, maybe the mail, too. “It’s just another example of home plans working for today’s homeowner,” Barista says.
The house that flows Several builders and observers mentioned a trend that’s not exactly new, but continues to pick up speed: the open plan. As homes have gotten smaller in recent years, an open plan is a way to make a home seem larger than it is, Barista says. The most obvious example is the way many new homes now have a continuous space and open sightline — a great room — that extends from kitchen to dining area to living area, says Brent Anderson, vice president of Investor Relations for Meritage Homes. That suits today’s
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North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 43
IN North Allegheny more casual family, he says. “You can watch the football game while you’re cooking dinner.” By losing the walls and hallways, a home can seem much bigger, Anderson says. “If I walked through a home today that’s a 3,200-squarefoot, four-bedroom home, it looks, feels and lives better than a 4,000-square-foot home of 20 years ago. You would literally think that you are in a larger home. But you’re in a home that’s 20% smaller.”
Infill is in Finally, one shift doesn’t involve just what’s in homes but where homes are being built. There’s a real shift toward smaller-scale “infill” development projects within existing towns and cities — projects that emphasize affordability, access to public transportation, commercial opportunities and job centers, according to the AIA. “During the housing boom, builders were building where they could reach sufficient scale in their operations. So they needed big land parcels to produce the volume that they wanted to produce,” Baker says. But companies aren’t building as many homes right now and no longer need all that land, Baker says. Moreover, not everyone liked those sprawling suburbs where “you have to drive 15 minutes to get a quart of milk.” Hence, they are looking back into towns and cities, he says.
Send Us Your Photos!
At IN North Allegheny Magazine we would like to help our readers mark the milestones in their life by featuring them in our magazine. We invite residents of the North Allegheny area to e-mail us photos of your recently born baby, along with the parents’ name, child’s name and date of birth, to be published in our magazine. Also, any couples celebrating 50 or more years together, please e-mail us a photo of the two of you along with your wedding date. (It can be your original wedding photo or a present-day photo.) We also welcome the photos of any residents who are retired, along with their name and the company or business from which they are retiring. Please help us celebrate what makes our area special – the people. *Please send all photos original size (1MB or larger) to our editor, Pamela Palongue, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ummer is basically here. Do you have your beach body yet?! Is your New Year’s resolution still working out? Are you feeling better about yourself every day? If not, you should be and Pure Athletex is the place to help you succeed with your goals! We have so many exciting things going on at our club and if you haven’t stopped by - What are you waiting for?! We have finished renovating our locker rooms! Renovated showers, new colors and flooring make for an updated space that is clean and welcoming. Another great addition to the club is our partnership with Power Train Sports! Power Train Sports Institute is “the player’s place to train and the athlete’s place to succeed.” Power Train will be handling any personal training and sports training here at Pure Athletex, as well as our new member orientations. New Member Orientations are offered to any new member to the club so you can feel confident coming back to the gym or getting started for the first time - your first session is always on us! Our Group Exercise classes have been filling up - as always be sure to look out for new additions to the schedule at our website: www.pureathletex.com or our Facebook
page. We have recently added Les Mills BODYATTACK which proves to be an exhilarating class that is a sports inspired cardio workout that builds strength and stamina. Also, the latest fitness craze that is sweeping the nation, Bokwa, has been added to our group fitness repertoire! Join Kristie on Wednesdays at 7p.m. to check out the new class! Furthermore, Thursday night Zumba is back in action. So, come dance the night away at 7p.m. with Diane! Our Member Appreciation Day Open House on April 6 was a huge success! Thanks so much for coming out and joining us on our One Year Anniversary of being under new management. So, if you have not checked out Pure Athletex - stop by today! We hope to see you soon to keep “Livin’ the Pure Life…” – Angela Cella General Manager/Co-Owner
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 53
If not now, when?
s a dad I am involved in my children’s lives. I have a unique perspective being a funeral director. I must cherish each moment with my family; they are only young for a short period of time. So in that I help coach a number of sports teams to stay active with my kids, read at school and be an active part of their lives. A few years back I was privileged to take a position as an assistant coach for a local high school lacrosse team. All those youth games coaching paid off. This year during a playoff game another assistant was giving the kids a little pep talk and he said something that has stuck with me on many different levels. He challenged the athletes saying “If not right now, then when? That’s a pretty simple statement but again one that I felt has had meaning. It matches pretty well with the perspective to be involved and cherish each great memory right now. So to me this quote becomes a great talking point for funeral service and people’s attitude towards planning a funeral in advance. If not now, when? The trick is in the when. When your family is grief stricken and making emotional decisions? When your family is guessing what services you want? When prices continue to rise each year? When that space is not available anymore in
a cemetery? When they need to decide what finances are available? When they have to guess what it is you wanted. The list goes on and on. The “now” part is pretty simple, but difficult to initiate. If we get over that fear, it’s simple to complete the arrangements. It all starts by picking up the phone and calling to make an appointment. An even simpler way to initiate is through our PrePlanning tab found at www.sperlingfuneral.com. After you take that step, at Sperling Funeral Home, we take the time to sit down with you and accomplish these plans. We help you leave no guess work for your family. The plans that are written down are comprehensive and complete. So when that terrible day comes for them, they can concentrate on the memories and mourning, not the details. Time and time again families are so grateful to not need to make those decisions. If you are unfamiliar with us or our facilities, just stop in to see our home. Families are continually amazed at what a funeral home can be. Breaking stereotypes is difficult, but our goal is to make every loss a meaningful celebration of a life lived.
If you have questions about us or our services please feel free to call or email us. You can also learn more about our family and services by visiting
Sperling Funeral Home, Inc.
700 Blazier Dr. • Wexford, PA 15090 Jarett D. Sperling, Supervisor 724-933-9200 54
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Students Raised $2,500 For American Heart Association
tudents of the Providence Heights Alpha School successfully raised $2,500 for the American Heart Association through their participation in “Jump Rope for the Heart.” This was the first time in five years that the school participated in the event. The students not only enhanced their jumping-rope skills in their regular physical education class, but health components such as proper nutrition and physical activity were incorporated into the curriculum. The event helped to raise awareness about heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and ways to prevent it. “The students really enjoyed the experience and competition amongst themselves,” states Nathan Kramm, Alpha School physical education instructor. “The event created an environment of friendly competition, increased the students’ knowledge of how their hearts work and the best way to take care of them. I frequently have students asking me if they can bring their own ropes into school to practice at recess!”
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 55
Weight Loss Tips for Real Life
McCandless Sele cted As
hances are you’ve been down the weight loss road before. And chances are just as good that you’ve gained it all back. But don’t despair; there are ways to avoid the dreaded yo-yo. Harley Pasternak, best-selling author and the go-to trainer for A-list stars, answers some common questions about how to lose weight – and the tools needed to keep it off: What’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to weight loss? Too many people set unrealistic expectations from the start. For sustained weight loss, you need a diet and exercise plan that you can maintain. How should I get started and pick the right plan? Instead of starving yourself or risking injury by over-exercising, focus on being active throughout the day. Park your car farther away from your destination, take the stairs, make social plans walking distance from home or work; every step adds up. How can I eat healthy when I’m so busy I don’t have time to cook? Planning ahead is a must if you’re going to avoid temptation. Spend some time on Sunday evening preparing simple, healthy meals for the week. I hate to exercise, and gyms are too expensive. What can I do? You don’t need to spend hours a day in the gym to improve your waistline or your health. As little as five minutes a day of resistance training can help Summer House Ads_Layout 1 4/30/13 AM Page 1 device that counts your strengthen your body; or use a 10:10 pedometer (a small steps) and try to hit 10,000 steps each day. The key is consistency.
Banner Community for 2013 T he Town of McCandless has been named a Banner Community by the Allegheny League of Municipalities for providing effective, efficient and accountable services to its residents and businesses. The designation also acknowledges the town’s efforts to inform and engage citiznes through frequent and open communication, public events and community activities. “The Banner Community Program recognizes municipalities that implement best practices in all aspects of their operations and that govern in an inclusive, collaborative manner,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who is also chairman of the Allegheny League of Municipalities. In order to be recognized as a Banner Community, a municipality must demonstrate its commitment to training and education for its elected and appointed officials, and actively participate in professional organizations, such as the Allegheny League of Municipalities, Allegheny County Boroughs Association and other groups. It also must participate in the Council of Governments and share services with other municipalities. McCandless has teamed up with neighboring communities in automated recycling and e-cycling drives, as well as held volunteer-based litter cleanup days. The Banner Communities must also demonstrate the sponsorship of community events and conduct routine communication with its residents through newsletters, websites, or email. Town of McCandless Manager Toby Cordek stated, “McCandless is pleased to be named a 2013 Banner Community. McCandless’ way of doing things is based upon the cooperative wisdom, spirit and pragmatism desmonstrated by its Town Council. We try to do the right thing at the right time to the best of our ability.” Way to go McCandless!
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Don't get left out of our fall education section! Call us for further details on how to get involved.
Codependency — No More!
“Balancing in an Unbalanced Relationship”
ove, is it an addiction-not to drugs or alcohol, but to a relationship? One person is perceived as being emotionally weak, needing to be connected to someone emotionally strong, and one is perceived as being emotionally strong, but is actually weak due to a need to be needed. Both are in denial. Sometimes personal roles change, and yet codependency is characterized by intense highs and lows in a relationship. The couple negotiates the unbalanced relationship as though stuck on a seesaw, from one high to a low and the cycle repeats itself in the relationship. Both suffocate each other in the cycle, and distance from each other. The result is a destructive pattern of manipulation and control that drains their joy and happiness. How to identify a codependent relationship? You could be in a codependent relationship if you: 1. feel a loss of personal identity 2. violate your own conscience 3. have difficulty establishing and maintaining healthy, intimate, and spiritual relationships 4. struggle with low self esteem and low self worth 5. control and manipulate 6. have difficulty setting boundaries 7. become very jealous and possessive 8. are afraid of abandonment 9. have another addiction beside the relationship in which you are involved 10. feel trapped in the relationship
The last step is to find freedom from the codependent relationship through effective communication and the satisfaction of both persons needs. Insist on the necessity of change. Communicate your need for forgiveness for your behavior and attitude as well as what you feel responsible for in the destructive elements of the previous relationship. Communicate what you are willing to do to resolve the destructive issues and ask for the other person to commit to do the same in order to restore the happiness and joy of your relationship. This Industry Insight was written by Dr. James Adelman, PhD of Tri-County Counseling. Dr. Adelman received his bachelor’s, master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees & in psychology & education at the University of Pittsburgh. He worked at Staunton Clinic, Sewickley Valley Hospital, for 34 years before retiring two years ago. He has maintained a private practice in Wexford for 37 years. In addition to individual psychotherapy, he is also trained in marital therapy and is a Certified Diplomate in sex therapy.
How do you overcome a codependent relationship? In an out of balance relationship, both individuals end up in a detrimental relationship that presents a barrier to their happiness in that relationship. First step is to confront your codependency to yourself and to those significant persons in your life. Then confront the consequences of your past behaviors which have hurt your relationship through jealousy, enviousness, selfishness and obsessive behaviors and experiences. Then accept responsibility for the pain caused by your codependency. Stop your destructive behaviors and replace them with constructive patterns. Stop trying to change the other person, and start focusing on changing yourself and your destructive patterns. Then establish emotionally balanced relationships and establish strong personal boundaries. Second step is to evaluate your past addictions. How did you meet the person, how did the relationship progress, what did you become preoccupied with, and how did you expect the person to satisfy all of your needs? Then ask yourself, how do you feel about the person and the relationship now? North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 57
Doing Good, All Year Long While charitable giving increases toward the end of the year as important community needs are showcased, such needs continue all year long. Unfortunately, giving tends to drop off after the holidays, leaving many organizations with a shortfall of donated goods, cash and even volunteers in the new year. While it is true that part of the Christmas and holiday tradition is to give back to others, there are needs in our community throughout the year. What You Can Do Whether you volunteer or collect goods to donate, resolve to take simple steps during the year to better your community. To shine a light on ways to give back, here are three tips on how to make giving a year-long tradition: Tip #1: Simple Items Make a Big Difference: Many local charities collect clothes and essentials for families, particularly children, all year long. From warm coats and blankets to socks, toothpaste and soap, the simplest items can make a real difference for those in need. Consider donating gently used items after your annual spring cleaning, organize a donation drive in your neighborhood, or if you buy in bulk at warehouse clubs, choose a few items from each trip to set aside for donation to your favorite local charity. Tip #2: Think Outside the Can: Food banks are always in need of cash and food donations throughout the year. Feeding America says that for $1, food banks can provide eight meals to men, women and children facing hunger; $50 will provide 400 meals. Call your local food bank and ask for its “most wanted” list. Often, proteins are at the top of the list along with peanut butter, baby food and juice boxes. Home gardeners with bumper crops can glean their harvests and share fresh vegetables and fruits so they don’t go to waste. Tip #3: Ways to Help are Closer Than You Think: Your local community center, religious institution or library most likely has programs to help those in need, so you can help as part of your regular routine. Ask if you can volunteer to serve meals to the homeless after church services, or offer to read to children at the local library. There are countless ways to lend a hand, so find one that feels right to you or visit volunteer websites for ideas. Every community will have unique needs and strengths. To make the greatest impact, those wanting to give back should ask about workplace programs that match volunteer hours, find out local donation guidelines, and make giving back a regular family activity. 58
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Avoid Back Surgery I
f you have been told that back surgery is your only option, or if you have tried everything else and nothing has helped… there is hope! There is a new noninvasive treatment available that can heal your disc without the use of drugs, needles, or surgery. This treatment actually gets to the root of the problem and creates circulation and healing in the disc.
Why does a disc become unhealthy in the first place? The cause of most disc problems is a lack of circulation to the disc due to spinal injuries.
What if nothing else has helped? Most likely, you have tried to manage your pain through pain medication, injections, chiropractic, physical therapy or even surgery. Unfortunately, none of these were Every day at The Disc Institute of able to get to the root of the problem - the lack of circulation in Pittsburgh, we help people like the disc. It would be like trying to you with serious disc conditions: •Herniated Disc •Bulging Disc save a dying plant but never giving it water. Call our office. •Degenerative Disc •Sciatica •Failed Back Surgery •Stenosis 412-906-9600 Can a disc heal once it’s herniated, Conveniently located near the Wexford exit of I79 bulged, or degenerated? Many people do not know that a disc is capable of healing. There is plenty of research published in medical journals that proves this very fact. With today’s advanced imaging capabilities, changes and improvements in the disc can be seen better than ever.
Read success stoRies fRom patients fRom the disc institute of pittsbuRgh: AVOIDED BACK SURGERY. NOW 100% PAIN FREE. I recommend the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh to everyone I know who has had back issues or any kind of pain down their leg or lower back. Before I discovered the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh, I felt like my back was breaking in two. I went to an orthopedic surgeon and he suggested back surgery. I didn’t want surgery. I had written down a phone number I heard on the radio for the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh so when I got home I called and ended up coming for treatment. I avoided surgery. I am pain free, I can walk, go shopping with my friends, go to the grocery store and do things I haven’t been able to do. I can actually move and function without it killing me and best of all I can play with my grandkids. — Linda from Independence Township NO MORE PAIN MEDS I was on a lot of pain medication for my back, three in the morning and three at night. I was spending a lot of time lying on the couch. I would be out shopping with my husband and after 10 minutes I would have to go home. I realized my life was really changing and I wasn’t able to do the things I wanted to do. After going to Dr. Rafferty and the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh, I was able to get my life back. I do not have any pain and I am not taking any meds, that was huge for me because I did not like taking them and it affected other things. I didn’t like that. Now I can go out with my husband and even stood for 2 hours at a football game. All in all I’m very grateful. I did not want back surgery and I’m just glad I found the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh and Dr. Rafferty. — Carol from McKees Rocks
LEG PAIN IS GONE. IT’S CLOSE TO A MIRACLE! It was bad, very painful and I had no use of my right leg. After being treated at the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh, I am back to walking. I’m not allowed to dance yet but I that will be soon I think. My experience with the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh was incredible, I couldn’t be happier. I can’t think of words to describe it. All the pain in my leg is gone...completely gone. Before I came to the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh the only options I was presented with were shots in my back and surgery. I really did not want either at my age. I would encourage anyone to try the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh, no surgery, no recovery. I don’t want to use the word miracle but this is awful close. I recommend the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh to everyone I know who has had back issues or any kind of pain down their leg or lower back. — Jim from Pittsburgh
This Industry Insight was written by Dr. Richard Rafferty, D.C. Dr. Richard Rafferty, D.C. is the founder and owner of The Disc Institute of Pittsburgh, LLC. He is board certified and has over twenty-four years of experience practicing in the Pittsburgh area. He has specialized in treating patients with serious spinal disc problems. His mission is to provide people suffering with chronic and severe lower back and neck pain with the most thorough, non-surgical treatments so they can enjoy their lives again.
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Birdwatchers Flock to Enjoy the Birds of Bradford Woods Reserve
By Kathy Rudolph
continued on page 62 60
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Photos by Kathy Rudolph
hether it’s relaxing on our back porch or hiking with binoculars and a bird field guide, observing the native birds of southwestern Pennsylvania is part of enjoying all that nature has to offer in the spring, summer and fall months. With over four acres of woods, hiking trails, fruit trees, a pond for fishing, small creeks and an open meadow, Bradford Woods Reserve (BWR) is the perfect place to discover our native birds. Located on Bradford Road, BWR was created by Allegheny Land Trust in cooperation with Bradford Woods Borough in 2010. Because it is a conservation easement, which means that the landowner gave up the right to develop the land, it will always be a recreation and green space. BWR is maintained by the all-volunteer Bradford Woods Conservancy. Susan Bayer is a member of the Bradford Woods Conservancy and has been a birdwatching enthusiast for many years. “I think that the neatest thing about the BWR is that it offers a sanctuary for the natural world and is just a few steps or a short bike ride away from home for borough residents,” said Bayer. “You don’t have to travel far to be able to experience a kingfisher
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 61
Birdwatchers Flock continued
diving over the water for a meal, a screech owl calling, a snapping turtle sunning itself, or a muskrat swimming across the pond. You have that chance to reconnect with nature and reset your equilibrium after a busy work day or school day, right at your doorstep. I’ve been on birding expeditions [in remote locations], only to come home and see a more impressive variety of species at the reserve!” Bayer has spotted a wide variety of birds at the BWR. “In addition to all of the commonly seen songbirds in your backyard, like cardinals, black-capped chickadees, blue jays and gold finches, the reserve is home or a visiting point to catbirds, eastern phoebes, rufous-sided towhees, 62
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nuthatches, house and purple finches,” said Bayer. “There are warblers, predators like hawks and owls, ruby-throated hummingbirds, orioles, kinglets, robins, American crows, tufted titmouse, juncos, cedar waxwings, grackles, cowbirds, purple martins, mourning doves, wrens, thrushes, rose-breasted grosbeaks, woodpeckers and turkeys. Visiting waterfowl include Canada geese, mallards, and great blue herons.” If birdwatching isn’t your hobby, there are other creatures that call BWR their home that may capture your attention. “Some other great wildlife include turtles, muskrats, American toads, bullfrogs, salamanders, snakes, moles, voles, and fish,” added Bayer. Besides promoting the appreciation and conservation of the community and encouraging environmental stewardship of natural resources, BWR’s mission is also one of education. On May 22, Laura Hansen, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Wexford, will give tips about attracting birds to your garden at BWR. “Many people like to birdwatch as a hobby because they spend so much time being indoors for work and need to get out
into nature,” explains Hansen. “They can go outside before work to their birdhouse or bird feeder or to an area where they know birds are and then at night after work. BWR provides a wonderful habitat for birds and is a wonderful place to see a lot of great birds. It has incredibly mature trees, fruit trees, water features and insects that attract all kinds of birds.” Many of us have favorite birds and Bayer is no exception. “Although I enjoy them all, I would have to say that probably my personal favorite is the wood thrush. Its song is so lovely; a very melodic flute-like song. It just stops you in your tracks to listen. Comparable in size to a robin, it has a cinnamon-brown color with a white underbelly with many brown spots. The wood thrush migrates to our area, so you know that it’s really spring when you hear the wood thrush singing in Bradford Woods!”
Thoreau once said of the wood thrush’s song, “Whenever a man hears it, he is young.” Persons wishing to contribute to the mission of the conservancy can mail their donation directly to: The Bradford Woods Conservancy, PO Box 47, Bradford Woods, PA 15015. The conservancy also needs volunteers to help maintain the reserve. Opportunities are advertised regularly in the Bradford Woods Conservancy newsletter, throughout the borough, and on the borough website. For more information, please contact Ward Allebach by phone at 412.606.9075 or e-mail at email@example.com.
“ Fore IPF ” Golf outing
Monday, August 26 Wildwood Golf Club The 9th Annual Fran Magister “Fore IPF” Golf Outing event proceeds go toward patient support, outreach, education and research activities that help those with Interstitial Lung diseases. Call 412.624.7225 for details. North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 63
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North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 65
The American Dream Concert Benefits the American Red Cross
North Allegheny High School students who took part either as performers or volunteers were Garrett Borawski, Kevin Carlins, Kate Kaluhiokalani, Rafael Lupidi, Michael Murphy, Corey Noel, Tu Linh Pham, Clara Ramos and Youstina Seliman. Lisa Falk, Cynthia Oâ€™Neill and Sandra Stein of the American Red Cross attended the event as representatives of the organization. For more information on HOPE With Us, or a listing of future events, please visit the website at www.HopewithUs.org. For information on joining the HOPE With Us performance group, please contact Anna Sinelnikova at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Tatiana Mester
n May 17, members of the North Allegheny community joined together at Ingomar Middle School for a fundraising concert called The American Dream, which benefited the American Red Cross. IN North Allegheny Youth Volunteer of the Year Anna Sinelnikova organized the event through the organization she founded in 2010, HOPE With Us. HOPE With Us supports many projects that improve the self-esteem of individuals and helps others in need through the performance of music and dance. The American Dream concert featured students of The Art of Music and Dance, Inc., acclaimed jazz pianist Craig Davis and the NA Jugglers. The audience was delighted with their lively performances.
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Five Decisions You Need to Make Understand and communicate the type of treatment you want. You want a health care power of attorney and other legal documents in place so those who love you and those who are responsible for your care know your wishes. If you want to be kept alive no matter what, communicate that. If you want no life support, communicate that. If you want something in between let others know what’s important for you. Going the next step and explaining why your wishes are important is something I strongly encourage. Communicate how comfortable you want to be. When we get into end of life care there are many choices to how comfortable you want to be. I’ve chosen no pain. If I can’t speak for myself, my family knows my wishes and expects that they’ll be followed through. What about you? Have you communicated with your family about the amount of pain and what type of drugs you want used at the end of your life? There is no need to experience serious end of life pain that is unless you are opposed to the drugs that keep this from happening. Again, the choice is yours. Let people know how you want to be treated. You might not even know how you wanted to be treated as end of life or serious illness gets in the 68
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way. I encourage you to spend some time thinking about what you think you might like and then talk about this issue with those you love. You need to have this conversation with the person who is likely to be your caregiver. I’m sure he or she would love to know where you stand. Decide what you want your loved ones to know. Do you know what you want your loved ones to know? Have you done anything about making what you want people to know a piece of history? It’s easy enough to do this today. Write it down, record it as a voice message, or make a video. It doesn’t even have to be fancy or well done. I have to think your efforts will be appreciated. Who is going to make health care decisions for you if you can’t? You will want to nominate someone to take care of this responsibility for you. You do want to talk with them before they find out through a legal document. Make sure whoever you want to make decisions on your behalf agrees to take this responsibility and do what you want. Please contact our office if you would like us to make a presentation on these five decisions to your religious, community or other group. North Allegheny
Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. NFP Securities, Inc. does not provide tax or legal advice. Consult with a attorney or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. NFP Securities, Inc. is not affiliated with Wealth Management Strategies, Inc. This Industry Insight was written by H. L. Bud Kahn, CPA, CFP®, CIMA® Mr. Kahn is the founding Principal of Wealth Management Strategies, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based enterprise whose professionals provide financial planning, asset management and other wealth management services for a wide range of individual and families throughout the eastern United States. Mr. Kahn’s professional background also includes eighteen years in practice as a CPA. Mr. Kahn is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a BA in Economics and an MBA in Accounting & Finance, and Robert Morris College with an MS in Taxation. Mr. Kahn has also completed executive education studies in finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association, The Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Tax Society. Mr. Kahn lectures frequently for numerous professional and civic organizations on a wide range of topics in the areas of wealth and income distribution planning and alternative investment opportunities in the real estate and natural gas industries. Mr. Kahn’s biography has been included in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America. He is also active in several local charitable organizations, and is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh. Mr. Kahn is married and has two sons.
MOVIES IN THE PARK FAMILY PROGRAMS e “Movies in the Park” ar rk returning to Franklin Pa ing Borough and surround mer. communities this sum or beach Bring your lawn chair e good blanket and enjoy som s FREE. family oriented movie sk and Movies will start at du ld. refreshments will be so
Franklin Park Borough Blueberry Hill Park Log Cabin – 412.364.4115 Ext. 347 June 21 The Lorax (PG) July 12 Rise of the Guardians (PG) July 23 Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG) August 16 The Amazing Spiderman (PG-13) Marshall Township Knob Hill Park – 724.935.3090 June 26 Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG) July 31 The Lorax (PG) August 21 A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventure (G)
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Runners Pay Tribute to Joe Guzzetti at Fifth Annual
By Kathy Rudolph
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Joe Guzzetti, April 4, 1983 - Feb. 6, 2008
“My sister and brother-in-law started this race in Joe’s memory and do such a beautiful job and are so organized,” said Mrs. Guzzetti. “They deserve all of the credit. The Brook Park Association also helps direct the runners and donated their sound system for the race. It has become a neighborhood and social event with so many of Joe’s friends attending.” Arthur Guzzetti, Joe Guzzetti’s father said, “Joe was wonderful; the life of the party, and it is hard, and we do miss him very much. We thank everyone for coming out and supporting this race.” To learn more about The Race for Joe, please visit the website at www.raceforjoe.org. Joe’s family, the Guzzettis
Photos by Kathy Rudolph
Dayton in 2005. Guzzetti sadly passed away oe would have loved this,” said at age 24 from an epileptic seizure at his Clare Guzzetti, Joe Guzzetti’s residence in Chicago, where he was working mother, talking about The Race for in sales. Joe, a 5K run/walk celebrating his memory. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, “He would have probably shown up when epilepsy is a medical condition that produces the race was about to start, after being up half seizures affecting a variety of the night, and would have mental and physical functions been shaking everyone’s and affects approximately hand. Joe was such a joyful 2.2 million Americans. kid!” Ron Duursma, along And Mrs. Guzzetti with his wife, Dianne, isn’t the only one who Mrs. Guzzetti’s sister, feels that way about her organizes the race every year. son. Over 200 runners “This event has brought out and walkers, including the best in the community. coaches and players of Joe was a compassionate guy, North Allegheny High with a contagiously friendly School’s football team personality. The scholarships and friends who traveled in his name are awarded, from as far away as not to the best athletes or Chicago, participated in Clare Guzzetti, Joe’s mother, top students, but to those The Race for Joe. The race, with grandchildren young men and women who which began in front of most resemble Joe’s ‘team spirit.’ We have Joe’s former childhood home in Franklin enjoyed great community support, with many Park, takes runners and walkers through the volunteers stepping up, and very generous neighborhood where he had fun growing up. donations from our sponsor base. Because of Guzzetti was a 2001 graduate of North that, we were able to double the amount given Allegheny High School where he was a out this year to award $2,000 scholarships to four-year letterman on the wrestling team two recipients.” and a captain of the football team. He went on to become a graduate of the University of
Ascension Lutheran Church 412.364.4463 Bradford Woods Community Church 724.935.3135 Franklin Park Baptist Church 724.935.3950 Heritage Presbyterian Church 412.366.1338 Ingomar United Methodist Church 412.364.3613 Memorial Park Presbyterian Church 412.364.9492 New Community Church 724.935.0909 North Hills Christian Church 412.487.4142 Northmont United Presbyterian Church 412.364.0105 Orchard Hill Church 724.935.5555 St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral 412.366.4647 St. John & Paul Catholic Church 724.935.2104 St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church 412.364.6626 St. John’s Lutheran Church of Highland 412.364.1606 Temple Ohav Shalom 412.369.0900 The Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills 412.366.0244 Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church 724.935.2746 Wexford Community Presbyterian Church 724.935.5650 If you would like your organization’s information to be posted, please contact email@example.com with the name and phone number.
North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 71
Named Coach of the Year
roducing a third consecutive WPIAL championship win and a second PIAA title within the last three years, North Allegheny (NA) High School Head Football Coach Art Walker was recognized for his hard work and dedication with the 2012 National Coach of the Year Award by National Sports News Service (NSNS). “When I first got the news about the award, it was kind of unbelievable and I wasn’t really sure if it was for real or not,” said Walker. “It is a great honor, not just for me, but for the team, the coaching staff and the district.” The NSNS award, which has been honoring high school coaches across the country since 1970, has only been given to two other Pennsylvania coaches, Mike Pettine of Central Bucks West in Doylestown in 1998 and George Curry of Berwick in 1992. Along with the NSNS award, Walker also received the 2012 East Regional Coach of the Year award by American Football Monthly. He is proud of the team’s accomplishments. “The kids handled themselves so well in the offseason all the way through,” said Walker. “There was an unbelievable amount of focus and determination and sacrifice. They had the right mindset the entire time for a very long period of time and were a close, very senior-oriented group. There was a chemistry and unity that was created amongst this team. Those are the kinds of things that you
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can’t measure or define. It has nothing to do with how fast, or big, or strong you are. And obviously that took us a long way.” Some of Walker’s past coaching achievements include two other WPIAL titles and one PIAA title with Central Catholic High School from 1998-2004. He enjoys being head coach at NA, a position he has held since 2005. “My entire life I have [been] around football because my dad was a high school football coach,” said Walker, who graduated from Clarion University, where he lettered all four years, was a team captain, offensive MVP and All-American wide receiver. “I played from mid-level and then through college and I did not want to give it up after graduating. I got into coaching right away and it is something that I am passionate about and that I care deeply about.” A new challenge for Walker will be his role as the 2013 head coach of the Big 33 Football Classic in Hershey this summer. The team will consist of the top high school football players in Pennsylvania. “It will be different, because there will be players on the team from all over the state,” he says. “You are not going to develop a chemistry like a community team has, but you need to try to form a bond together as quickly as possible. There are many players who have received a lot of accolades, so my biggest
By Kathy Rudolph
challenge is to make sure everyone leaves their egos at the door and works together to do their jobs the best that they can.” As an English literature teacher, Walker uses some of the same methodology in the classroom as on the field. “Educating and coaching are similar in a lot of ways,” he explains. “When you talk about preparation and coming up with game plans and lesson plans and the final outcome, there is definitely a relationship. That is evident if someone were to watch one of our practices and observe the coaches working. There is a large amount of teaching that goes on at their particular positions. Eighty or 90 percent of our coaches at the varsity level are teachers within our district, which has a direct result on their abilities as coaches. They are all very, very good.” Bob Bozzuto is the athletic director for North Allegheny School District. “We are very fortunate to have Art,” said Bozzuto. “He is an outstanding person who works very hard in everything he does, from leading our young people as an English teacher to leading our football team as a coach. I don’t think people realize how focused, organized and structured he is. I am proud that together, along with our hardworking staff, we have assembled what I think is the best athletic program in the state of Pennsylvania.”
Photo courtesy of Art Walker
by National Sports News Service
hen are my braces coming off?” It’s a question an orthodontist hears everyday. How is it that so many are so excited to begin orthodontic treatment, and later so interested in completing their care as soon as possible? Happily, a series of recent innovations may well make the answer to the question come quicker than ever before. The world of dentistry and orthodontics is changing rapidly. We are all familiar with the changes that are driven by technology as digital impressions and computer designed braces are working their way into the orthodontic mainstream. Lately, advances in our understanding of bone biology may lead to faster orthodontic treatment. I recently attended the 2013 annual meeting of the American Association of Orthodontists in Philadelphia (presided over by my friend and colleague, AAO president Dr. John Buzzatto of Allison Park) and was impressed with the innovation that was presented. Orthodontics has always been quick to embrace developments in related fields and to utilize them when appropriate.
However the sheer breadth of disciplines that are now applied to orthodontics has multiplied the rate of change. The concept of accelerated tooth movement has received more emphasis recently in the orthodontic literature. Two specific areas have received much of the attention: The use of cyclic forces to accelerate bone remodeling (the biological process that permits tooth movement). OrthoAccel Technologies is a Houston, Texas based company that has developed AcceleDent, the first FDAcleared device to move teeth faster through the use of micropulses. These gentle vibration forces are applied to the teeth through the use of a custom made mouthpiece for 20 minutes daily. Clinical studies by OrthoAccel suggest 40% faster tooth movement when compared with controls. Periodontally assisted osteogenic orthodontics. This approach combines an in-office surgical procedure with braces to enhance the rate of tooth movement. Developed by brothers Dr. Thomas Wilcko (a periodontist) and Dr. William Wilcko (an orthodontist) the protocol (“Wilckodontics”) that they conceived over 15 years ago is gaining awareness in the orthodontic community, including a well attended afternoon session at the AAO meeting. I attended a Wilckodontics training seminar recently and the results of case studies presented were impressive. Sample cases that were shown had treatment times reduced in some instances by over 50%. As you may imagine, these reductions in treatment times are a big deal when one contemplates the possibility of two years in braces. In some respects, the concepts are not new, but the particular area of research emphasis is. More is certain to come. So when a patient now asks, “When are my braces coming off?”, the answer may be sooner than before through the implementation of state-of-the-art techniques to help the teeth to move faster. Of course, patients should always remember that their cooperation is often the best guarantee to keep treatment time “on track”.
This Industry Insight was written by Dr. Tom Forrest. Dr. Tom Forrest continues a tradition of orthodontic excellence in Sewickley and McCandless that was started by two fine mentors, his father, Dr. Edward Forrest and Dr. James Tinnemeyer. Dr. Forrest combines diagnostic skill with state of the art technique to provide superior orthodontic care for you and your family.
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Youth Minister Welcomes All High School Teens to
Grow in Faith and Friendship Th r ou g h Life Teen P rog r am
By Kathy Rudolph
hen some of us think about time-traveling back to our teens, we can’t help but cringe when recalling our big-haired perm or our favorite 1980s “rad” music. Sometimes it’s hard to remember these experiences and try to be understanding toward our teens today. Between worrying about grades, having dating dramas and fighting peer pressure, it can be tough for them. Since 2002, Andy Lesnefsky has helped high school teens ease their worries as the youth minister and director of the Life Teen program at St. Alexis Catholic Church, located in Wexford. The program’s core values include striving to be “a community that supports and encourages teens along their faith journey and an outreach that invites them to be a part of our community. It is a discipleship, where they learn how to be disciples of Jesus and imitate Him and a service that serves the poor and vulnerable, both locally and around the world.” “We have an open-door policy and all high school teens are welcome to be a part of the program,” says Lesnefsky. “Obviously, we are approaching it from a Catholic standpoint, but we see ourselves as a ministry reaching out to teens not just from our church, but a broader community at large. We want kids to see our church as a place where they feel welcome and can learn about friendship, love and God in different ways.” Programs such as Life Teen may be having a positive impact. A recent study titled “Religion and American Adolescent Delinquency, Risk Behaviors continued on page 76
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and Constructive Social Activities,” by the National Study of Youth and Religion, found that “religion among U.S. adolescents is positively related to participation in constructive youth activities. In addition, those who participate in religious activities seem to be less likely to participate in many delinquent and risk behaviors.” Lesnefsky enjoys his position as a youth minister. “I like relational ministry, which is sharing who God is with the kids through building relationships with them, and that is at the center of our program,” he says. To achieve that goal, Lesnefsky provides the teens with “Sunday Night Live (SNL)” throughout the school year. “Sunday is the main component of our youth ministry program and starts with 6 p.m. Mass, which is a youth-oriented Mass, but what I love about it is that it has youth, families and older people attending,” he explains. “It has a more contemporary and vibrant feel to it and for us, it is the center of our Sunday night. After that we have our dinner and work on community building where kids can grow in friendship and build their relationships with God. In the fall, we focus more on who Jesus is and what it means to be in a relationship with him. In the spring, we are more focused on what it means to be a disciple and what some of the big topics are that we need to grow in and understand.” Some of the Life Teen activities include pizza, music and video games after the North Allegheny and Pine-Richland High School football games on Friday nights in the fall, along with social events throughout the year, such as a spring softball league. There are also girls’ and guys’ nights at different venues Bob Lesnefsky, Founder of Dirty Vagabond Ministries
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offered once a week throughout the school year. Along with these activities, the teens are invited to take part in mission trips. “Mission trips are great opportunities for kids and adults to participate in,” said Lesnefsky. “I always tell the kids that it is not just a service trip when we go on a mission trip. Many service trips are just about going and doing work, but our priority when we go is to share who God is – through our words, our Katherine and Andy Lesnefsky and Family actions and interactions Through his experiences as youth minister, with people. We do a lot Lesnefsky has learned a lot about teens. of neat building projects, but what is most “One of the most important things is for important are the relationships that we build parents of high school kids to realize how with people we encounter and work with.” important their role is,” he noted. “I think One of Lesnefsky’s more memorable trips that it is easier when kids get older to step was to the New Orleans, Louisiana, area after back in some ways, but I do believe that kids, Hurricane Katrina. whether they say it or not, enjoy and value “We went a couple of months after the their parents’ involvement. The parents’ role hurricane hit and so much of the city hadn’t in their child’s spiritual life is very important.” come back yet,” he says. “The first year it To learn more, visit the St. was very eye-opening to see the devastation Alexis Life Teen website through and the effects on all of the people and to www.stalexis.org. For more information on hear their stories. For two years after that we Dirty Vagabond Ministries, visit the website at went back there and it was great to see the www.dirtyvagabond.com. city come back to life. It was a neat process that the kids were able to see how the city changed, grew and flourished over the years.” Life Teen also partners with Dirty Vagabond Ministries, which provides Catholic youth ministry to urban communities. Teens from the ministry in Steubenville, Ohio, travel to St. Alexis and frequently participate in SNL. There are also weekend mission trips Amy Weixel, and fundraising through LifeTeen Volunteer Life Teen to assist the ministry, which exists solely on donations. “We work on the youth center and do [construction] projects like building staging, booths, stadium seating, and putting down new flooring,” said Lesnefsky. “But we also do repairs on some of the homes of kids who are part of the Vagabond ministry.”
Photos by Kathy Rudolph
Grow in Faith and Friendship continued
What You Can Accomplish with 20 People,
A Good Idea and Some Really Great Coffee! By Pamela Palongue
hen I recently visited Generoasta Coffeehouse in Warrendale, it reminded me of a trip I took long ago to Greece and the many coffeehouses we visited while there. Drinking coffee was as much about spending time with friends and family as it was about getting a quick caffeine fix. Many times the coffee experience in my own neighborhood is starkly different; people seated alone at separate tables, nervously texting and in between, sucking down coffee in huge gulps. At Generoasta, the owners have created a space that is urban, comfortable and upbeat, while encouraging social interaction. The mid-century modern fireplace has seating all around the hearth, which lends itself well to friendly conversation. The room is centered by a long, rough-hewn table, similar to a traditional biergarten table, where people who are strangers can quickly become neighbors in the space of a couple of minutes. There is a long bar similar to the lunch counters of the 1950s, where internet users can sit, elbow to elbow with other patrons. But in fact, the entire coffeehouse is wired with electricity so that computers may be used anywhere. The unique design of Generoasta was no accident. Owners Eric Ravotti and Allison Romano explain that they wanted to create a comfortable space where individuals from the community could connect, rather than just whizzing past each other on the way to the parking lot. Ravotti spearheaded the simple, yet innovative idea which has been years in the making with collective input from all of the owners. “Most businesses give to charity. There’s nothing unusual about that,” says Ravotti.
“But instead of making money our primary goal and then giving it to charity, we wanted to start with the premise of giving to the community and making money the secondary goal.” So with this purpose in mind, the adventurous entrepreneurs began to formulate a plan for continuous giving. Basically, local charities are carefully researched and selected by the group’s charity board which consists of five members. Three non-profits are chosen every six months and featured in the coffeehouse with giant coffee mug “banks” under their shadowbox exhibit. Patrons can read about the work of each of the organizations and then deposit their token, which represents a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of their coffee or meal, into the organization of their choice. “It’s actually very heartwarming to see people spend 15 minutes sometimes, studying the different organizations to make sure they are making an informed choice,” says Romano. Every six months, three different local non-profits are selected to be featured and receive contributions. “More than just the actual contributions themselves, it’s also about awareness for these organizations and other groups which we try to support in the community,” adds Romano. Generoasta recently served as the venue for a Mother’s Day celebration, which raised over $4,000 in just one day for North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO). NHCO is one of the establishment’s three chosen charities, along with Animal Friends and Mars Home for Youth. Incidentally, they also have great coffee! Patrons leave the premises feeling good about
helping their neighbors, but they come back for the wonderful roasted coffee, fresh-baked pastries and sandwiches and salads which are prepared specially for each customer. They don’t even own a microwave! Ravotti is passionate about coffee, and is known around Generoasta as a bit of a mad scientist, finding delight in developing special blends and experimenting with the brewing process for the best possible java. “Our ice coffees are cold-brewed for 15 hours with a special blend from Papua, New Guinea,” says Ravotti. I’d love to try the iced coffee today, but there’s probably a limit to the amount of caffeine one should consume in a single day. I’ve already polished off my large, perfectly smooth vanilla latte. Ravotti explains that the roasting and brewing process gets more of the flavor and oils of the bean, while keeping the acid content lower than most coffees that are ground in huge volumes. “We’ve tried to create a welcoming atmosphere where busy people can still connect with each other, while helping others in their community. We also have a commitment to maintaining the highest quality in our coffees, teas, and menu items that we offer,” says Ravotti. “Our motto is ‘Do good, have fun, drink coffee.’” Soon, there will be coffee tastings, tea nights and live acoustic music on their patio. At Generoasta, helping others really is fun and tastes great! For more information on Generoasta, please visit the website at www.Generoasta.com or visit the Facebook page.
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By Pamela Palongue
student who has difficulty speaking English wouldn’t seem a likely candidate for a professional, award-winning writer. But, as the saying goes, “Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction.” Michel Sauret, a former North Allegheny student, came the U.S. when he was 10 years old. “Although I understood a great deal of English, I knew only a handful of phrases and words,” says Sauret. The child of a French father and Tuscan mother, Sauret frequently used note cards to communicate in English in the early days of his arrival in the U.S. When he finally began to catch on to the language and was able to converse with others, he overheard a young girl comment to some of his classmates, “He’s not as weird as we all thought.” “That still amazes me that they thought I was really weird, just because I couldn’t speak English,” muses Sauret. By the time he reached college, Sauret wanted to be an artist, but decided perhaps a more work-oriented major might be wise. He completed his English writing
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degree and is currently an active reservist as an Army journalist. Though he was deployed to Iraq in 2008, his job now entails training and organizing other journalists here in Pittsburgh at the Army Reserve Center. An impressive accomplishment for a young man who struggled with English in elementary school. Since settling into the area, Sauret has penned Amidst Traffic, a collection of short stories that are seemingly separate, but cleverly connected in the end. The title came from one of the stories included in the book about a woman who tatoos herself with words of emotions she has experienced as she is submersed in the traffic of life. Sauret explains that the book has a somewhat dark side, but would be totally suitable for college age or mature young adults. Philosophical in nature, the work of literary fiction delves into the depths of humanity, based upon Sauret’s belief that we are not just a collection of random molecules recklessly colliding. “I truly believe in God’s providence,” says Sauret. “Nothing happens outside of God’s providence. We don’t always see the reason. We may have a car accident and not understand the reason why. But it may have nothing to do with us. It may have happened because of the other driver.” Sauret believes that seemingly random events may set in motion a chain of cosmic events that affect someone else, and we are sometimes left to wonder why it has happened to us, when in fact we may have only been a bystander to the larger plan at work. Although the book is first a work of literary fiction, there’s no doubt that his beliefs as a Christian have influenced his writing, with the message being one of hope that there is a greater power orchestrating events for the greater good of all. Amidst Traffic can be purchased at Amazon.com. To connect with Sauret, please visit his website at www.MichelSauret.com, or visit his Facebook page.
Is Your Pet Ready for Outdoor Weather? When the weather’s nice, many people like to head outdoors – and their pets do, too. Before you let your pets go outside, make sure you’ve taken steps to prevent pests, care for their skin, and know how to spot signs of allergies. Fleas and Ticks: Pets are susceptible to a variety of bugs and pests – especially fleas and ticks. Both should be avoided as fleas can trigger allergies and dermatitis in pets as well as infectious diseases in people and pets. Ticks may also carry diseases that can be harmful to pets. However, in a survey by the American Pet Products Association, only 64 percent of dog owners and 41 percent of cat owners purchased a flea and tick product for their pet last year. Be sure to purchase preventive topical treatments to protect your pet. And after pets go outdoors, inspect them carefully for ticks and other insects to ensure their safety. Grooming: A winter indoors often leaves pets with dry skin, tangled fur and a thick undercoat, which begins to shed when the weather warms. A professional grooming salon will help keep pets cool with services like a haircut and brushing to remove loose hair, and a bath to clean and moisturize their skin and coat. Medicated flea and tick baths or spot treatments can also be added. Allergies: Since pets can experience allergic reactions to inhaled particles like dust or pollen, pet parents should be on the lookout for signs that their pet may be suffering from allergies. Monitor your pet’s behavior and consult your veterinarian if your pet exhibits reactions such as: • Swelling or irritation of the skin, especially around the eyes, face, head and feet. Hives, rashes, blisters, clear discharge from eyes or nostrils, sneezing, itching and mild discomfort may also be present. • Pets may also chew on or lick their feet constantly. • Allergy treatment for pets varies based on severity, but usually includes antihistamines and other medications. To learn more about pet essentials and services for spring, visit a pet store near you. North Allegheny | Summer 2013 | incommunitymagazines.com 79
Dr. Robert Prazer
lthough the words “sight” and “vision” are often used interchangeably, they actually denote two very different concepts. An individual can demonstrate excellent sight, reading every single letter on the eye chart and yet may lack adequate vision. True vision has more to do with the actual interpretation of the symbols on the printed page and involve the eyes and the brain working together in sync. Without this ability, learning can be suppressed or delayed to the point that the student never realizes their full potential. When he began practicing, optometrist Dr. Robert Prazer was seeing children who had corrected sight, but were still experiencing problems such as headaches, poor development of fine motor skills, lack of hand-eye coordination and a reluctance to perform visual tasks. Although the eyesight problems were being corrected in most conventional eye care practices, the vision problems as they apply to everyday life and learning were not being addressed. In response to this problem, Dr. Prazer spent four years as an associate at the Reading Center at George Washington University, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of visual problems as they relate to reading, learning and performance. The result is the Pediatric and Adult Vision Care Center and the Wexford Academy. The Pediatric and Adult Vision Care Center provides comprehensive eye examinations for infants through adulthood. This includes appropriate optical correction, contact lenses, ocular disease treatment, strabismus/ amblyopic treatment, visual perceptual testing, and traumatic brain injury visual assessments. The Wexford Academy learning center consists of vision therapy, reading and writing programs and an accredited preschool. The vision therapy program at Wexford Academy was developed to address visual deficiencies. The program focuses on children and adults who are lagging behind in their visual skills and patients suffering from brain injury related visual symptoms. “We have had
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remarkable success with correcting vision problems such as double vision, visual motor [copying] difficulties, amblyopia [more commonly known as lazy eye] and headaches from reading,” says Dr. Prazer. “All of our vision therapists are certified.” According to Dr. Prazer, today’s children watch an inordinate amount of television and can spend hours playing video games. Unfortunately, these activities do not promote visual learning, creativity or visual motor development. The number of children who are deficient in their visual development may be increasing. “Various studies have cited between 10 and 20% of children are deficient in visual development. The idea is to help these children before they start school or fall behind in school. Every child should be evaluated at the age of three and again at five to ensure that they are developing properly,” says Dr. Prazer.
The reading and writing programs were developed to compliment the vision therapy program; it is for students who are struggling in reading and writing or who want to enhance their present skills. The programs are private one-on-one remediation and skill building sessions. Each child completes a comprehensive assessment to target areas of reading deficiencies. The students are guided through a research-based, individualized program to promote reading at the student’s grade level and beyond. The writing program is designed for students that are struggling with letter formation, grammar, and essay writing skills. The end result is a student that is an accomplished and more confident reader and writer. The Reading Program offers a summer reading camp for children in
Kindergarten to Fourth Grade. Beth Rupert, the summer reading program coordinator, says, “Our goal is to keep children reading throughout the summer to ensure they retain reading skills and momentum.” The Wexford Academy Preschool is dedicated to providing the foundation for educational success in the lives of its students ages 3-5. Although all of the teachers in the accredited preschool are certified, they each have a separate area of specialization, which gives the staff a well-rounded balance. Beth Rupert, the preschool director and a reading specialist, has a vast psychiatric background providing therapy and crisis support for families and children for over 15 years. “I really think our different backgrounds provide us with a comprehensive approach to teaching and solving learning challenges,” says Rupert. “We are able to approach learning with unique perspectives, which is important since children are all unique. We set up a goal plan based on each child’s needs and rate of development. Our approach is according to their abilities, rather than their age. We are dedicated to providing students with a solid foundation for academic success through sensory focused lessons, thereby increasing their academic and social growth as they approach school age.” The school’s proven curriculum includes an exceptional student-to-teacher ratio, integrated Spanish and Sign Language programs, private reading instruction, individualized lessons and activities that increase both gross motor and fine motor skills. Our fully developed programs are designed to build confidence and a love of learning. Dr. Prazer and his highly skilled staff want to help you and your child to SEE your full potential! Visit www.wdavisiontherapy. com. To make an appointment for a visual evaluation, please call 724.935.9999. For more information on Wexford Academy programs, please call 724.799.8313.
AL K R A P E H IN T
ranklin Park Borough continues its summer tradition of Community Day on Saturday, June 22, 2013. The festivities will begin at 2:30 p.m. and there will be something fun for all ages, including pie eating contests, water balloon toss and many other types of games and entertainment. The summer celebration will be held on the lower fields of Blueberry Hill Park. Come and enjoy the day watching the children play, sampling the delicious festival foods. Explore the Log House and listen to great live musical entertainment. The evening caps off with a magnificent fireworks display that commences at approximately 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.
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Franklin Elementary School
on the Other Side of the World
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n April 12, teachers and parents from Franklin Elementary School faced off on the basketball court to help build a library they will likely never visit and to buy books they will never read. It was all part of a long-term partnership between Franklin Elementary and the Kilimanjaro Education Foundation (KEF), a nonprofit which endeavors to improve education and build school facilities for children in Tanzania. â€œThis project is all about kids helping kids and exposing Franklin students to a part of the world where the children donâ€™t have
as many material things – but yearn for something [our students] may take for granted,” says Jeff Anderchak, principal at Franklin Elementary. Funds raised by the basketball game will help build a fully stocked library in Tanzania at the Eluwai Primary School and Noonkodin Secondary School in the village of Eluwai outside of Monduli. Tanzania has a rich cultural heritage of music and dance and is known for its artistic sculpture, particularly the “Tree of Life” sculptures carved from the dark ebony wood of the Ujamaas trees. Despite this rich culture, about 33.4% of the population live below the poverty line and have a life expectancy of just 58 years, according to figures from The World Bank. “We had set a goal of five years to raise $10,000 for this project,” explains Anderchak, “but hope to exceed this goal a full year early.” Franklin Elementary is approaching its goal with more than $8,500 already raised. The library is being built as funds are available and the building is coming into shape with the majority of the exterior work completed. Todd Grossman, founder of KEF, added, “Franklin Elementary School, its students and staff, have embraced this project, exemplifying the kind of partnership that makes KEF’s work in the region so gratifying. We depend on a broad range of fundraising efforts to build schools and other facilities in the region and the Franklin [Elementary] project stands beside our most successful efforts in the history of the foundation.” Franklin Elementary School parent Jeff Durosko, who also volunteers with marketing for
the project, noted, “In our world of excess, where our kids really want for nothing, I wanted to get involved with a project that would help my kids understand that their reality is not the norm around the world. It has been an eye opening experience and I’m proud to be a part of it.” The basketball game was truly a team effort which included student participation, more than 50 cheerleaders and the school orchestra playing the national anthem. When all was said and done, the Franklin Elementary School staff walloped the parents, 53-34, but it was all for a good cause. Somewhere in Tanzania, there’s a library taking shape... For more information on the Kilimanjaro Education Foundation, please visit the website at www.kef4kids.com.
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Northland Library NORTHLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY PROGRAMS & EVENTS for JUNE 2013 CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE NORTH HILLS: The Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis John Eld, North Hills resident, was assistant director of civil defense for the Town of McCandless during the Cold War and took an active part in plans for our local area’s preparedness for nuclear attack... John will be making a presentation and also displaying some of the equipment and artifacts from those days as he discusses the realities of war we have faced ever since the Cold War. Join us on Thursday, June 13, at 7:00 p.m. for an interesting look at our local history. This program is free to all those interested, however registration is required. Please contact the adult services dept. at 412.366.8100, x113 or you may sign up through the library’s website: www.northlandlibrary.org/news/calendar.html.
ONGOING SERIES & DISCUSSIONS for JUNE 2013 FILM SERIES No registration required for these free movie presentations. TRAVEL FILM SERIES Cruising down the rivers of France, from Paris to Nice, we’ll tour many famous sites, playgrounds of the privileged and be tantalized by the culinary delights of French cooking, wine and perfume. In Avignon, we’ll see the Papal Palace, where the popes resided after fleeing the Vatican in the 13th century. Arles is the site of the impressive Pont de Gard, a world famous Roman aqueduct. In Lyon, we’ll see one of the largest “collections” of preserved renaissance buildings in Europe. Lastly we’ll visit Nice, a playground for the rich. No reservation is required and refreshments will be served during this delightful French river cruise on Wednesday, June 19, at 2:00 p.m. BOOK DISCUSSIONS – No registration required for these free discussion events, newcomers welcome! TUESDAY NIGHT BOOK DISCUSSION Works of nonfiction are the focus of this book discussion group that meets the first Tuesday evening of the month at Northland Library. June 4, 7 p.m. Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre will be discussed. Learn how the British M15 recruited five (ridiculously) eccentric double agents who tricked the Germans into thinking that the D-Day landings would occur at Calais and 84
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Norway instead of Normandy. Make plans to join us for this lively, friendly discussion! SECOND FRIDAY BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP One of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month, The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin is set against the rugged beauty of Washington state at the turn of the twentieth century. The library will serve coffee and tea for you to enjoy with your own bag Friday, June 14, at 11:30 a.m. Chat about our selection of the month at this informal, friendly discussion. The book for July is Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. MYSTERY LOVERS Best loved mysteries are revisited and new mystery works destined to join the classic ranks are the focus of this discussion group that meets on each third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Join us June 20 as we talk about Anne Perry’s The Cater Street Hangman... In July the group will add a little variety to their meeting when they watch a classic mystery/comedy movie. Check the library’s website at www.northlandlibrary.org for details. SERIOUS READERS GROUP The Serious Readers Group at Northland Library explores the many works that have formed the outline of the political and economic philosophies of the United States. Works such as Utopia by Thomas Moore and Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and others are explored at this somewhat serious, but always informal discussion group. You’re invited to join in on the conversation every fourth Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m. Due to a library special event, this month’s group will meet on the fifth Saturday, June 29. No registration is required to attend.
No registration required. Join at any time. CONVERSATION SALON Today’s hot topics are many and varied, from the seriousness of the Boston Marathon bombing to royal baby bump watching. Join us for lively, informal conversation twice each month. No reservation is required. The next Conversation Salons will be Friday, June 14, at 2:00 p.m and Wednesday, June 26, at 1:00 p.m. We hope to see you! NORTHLAND KNITTERS You’re invited to spend an informal, relaxing time with our knitting circles! Newcomers, beginners or experienced knitters are always
welcome. This month’s circles meet on Wednesday, June 12, at 7:00 p.m and on Friday, June 21, at 1:00 p.m in the meeting rooms on the lower level of Northland Library. AMATEUR ASTRONOMY CLUB Until late June, stargazers can see a three-planet grouping visible without binoculars as Mercury rises into predominance soaring above Venus... All those interested in talking about this spectacular event, are invited to join the Amateur Astronomy Club for monthly meetings every fourth Thursday of the month at Northland Library. This month, the club meets on Thursday, June 27, at 7:00 p.m. New members are always welcome. No fees or registration are required to join.
CHILDREN’S/YOUNG ADULT/FAMILY PROGRAMS
There is something for everyone at Northland Library this summer. The Read-To-Me club fosters emerging literacy for children not yet reading on their own. Students reading on their own or entering kindergarten through fifth grade may sign up for Dig Into Reading! ‘Tweens and teens going into sixth through 12th grades can Dig Beneath the Surface for great book finds and adults can get themselves Booked for the Summer when they sign up for Northland’s Adult Summer Reading Club. There will be prizes for all readers, activities and events for the littlest club members through youth. Children, ‘tweens and teens may join the reading clubs by signing up online. These summer reading clubs run through August 24...Reading great books this summer is not the only fun in store for SRC members–check out some of the programs and events we have planned for June, but remember, you must be a registered SRC member to attend:
Picture Book Picnic Thursdays, June 20 – August 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Pack a lunch, spread a blanket and settle in for stories, songs and playground games while you eat. We’ll be outside if the weather is nice and indoors if the weather is stormy or too hot. This program is designed for children in preschool through second grade, with a parent or caregiver. Attend one, many or all of these free story picnic sessions and no registration is required. Build It! Craft It! Create It! Crafts for guys and gals ages 10 and up on Tuesdays, June 25, July 9, July 23 and August 6, 10:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.- 5 p.m. Registration along with a $1 materials fee is required for each session. Register in person at the children/young adult desk. Lego Build Thursdays, June 27 and July 25, 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Young engineers going into first grade through fifth grade can unleash their creativity through Lego block building action. Builders can take on the theme challenge or just do their own thing. Space is limited, but no registration is necessary for either of these free organized building sessions. *Don’t forget, you must register for the summer reading club of your choice to attend these fun-filled events. Check out our website: www. northlandlibrary.org continued on page 87
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Events at Northland Library continued
for even more exciting things to come in July and August. Summer Reading Club, ya gotta dig it! CSI (Children Science Investigators) and the FAMILY SCIENCE OLYMPIAD Looking for something new and interesting to do this summer? Join the CSI Club! Dig into this seven-week program full of science experiments designed for children ages five to seven. Each member will receive a bag with the CSI Club logo on it, and some special science goodies. The program takes place every Wednesday, July 3 through August 14, at 4:30 p.m. Registration for children who are residents of the library’s supporting five municipalities, Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, McCandless, Marshall and Ross townships will begin on June 20. Open registration for all Allegheny County residents begins in June. Please note that registration is limited to 25 children.
Drop in for some fun and learning at the same time! Watch for Northland’s schedule of events to be published shortly...The HowTo Festival does not begin and end at Northland Library! All of the libraries in northern Allegheny County are having a festival on June 22. They will be showcasing many different activities and skills of local residents for you to watch and learn. You may want to stop by several libraries to see what activities are going on. For a complete schedule of all How-To Festival events at every participating library go to: HowToAtYourLibrary.com. YOUR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE POLICY: DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT? Can you answer these simple questions about your automobile insurance policy?
Not sure if this is the program for your child? Then join us for a Family Science Olympiad. This kick-off for the CSI Club takes place on Saturday, June 29. The program will acquaint you with the eight experiments, procedures and expectations we have planned for your child as a member of the CSI Club. Registration is required and limited to 25 families. Residents of the library’s five supporting municipalities may register beginning June 15, all others may register beginning June 24.
What is your tort option? What is UM/ UIM coverage? Who pays the medical bills after an auto accident and how could this cause you to lose your medical insurance? What is stacking?
Registration for both programs will be accepted at the children’s/ young adult services desk or by calling 412.366.8100, x123. These programs have been made possible through a grant from the Northland Public Library Foundation.
For answers to these questions and more, we encourage you to attend a presentation by Christina Westall, personal injury attorney. She’ll explain the basics and what insurance fees cover.
It’s a Mexican Fiesta every Tuesday in June when the Northland Public Library Foundation partners with the Franklin Inn for the Bread for Books fundraiser. When presented with a donation voucher, this locally owned restaurant will donate 20% of your total bill to the library. Vouchers are available throughout the library, at the restaurant and online at www.northlandlibrary.org. Check out the menu at www.franklininn.com, and then visit the restaurant at 2313 Rochester Road to enjoy authentic Mexican fare.
We encourage you to bring your insurance Declarations Page to this free informative program on Monday, June 17, at 7:00 p.m. Reservations required, call 412.366.8100 to register or or you may visit the library’s website at www.northlandlibrary.org/news/calendar.html.
SPECIAL EVENTS HOW-TO FESTIVAL@ NORTHLAND LIBRARY Have you always wanted to learn to how to do some simple woodcarving? Twirl a baton? How about learning some exercises for good posture or some basic tai chi? Throughout the library on Saturday, June 22, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00p.m., you’ll see brief demonstrations of various skills you can learn quickly, from preparing a recipe, to an easy knitting project, growing roses, making gift cards, or even teaching your dog to do simple tricks!
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ork has begun in earnest for the first stages of the “Town Center” McCandless Crossing project. This beautiful area will feature restaurants, including Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and the Longhorn Steakhouse. The “Town Center” will also have an 80 ft. by 60 ft. green space, representing the civic art portion of the downtown area. A four-sided clock will rise above the area for a traditional town square look. Grading permits have been obtained and water lines, stormwater facilities and utility lines are being run to the building site. Once the groundwork has been completed, building will begin in late summer or early fall. Some of the first establishments completed
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will be a Cinemark Theater, restaurants and 53 Ryan Homes. “All buildings will be connected via sidewalks,” explains Zoning Officer Bruce Betty. “You can park, have dinner at a restaurant and then [see] a movie without ever having to move your car. If you live there, you can walk to the bank, the grocery store or have a coffee with friends. Everything was designed to be accessible, walkable and convenient. The landscape plan is tremendous,” adds Betty. The 130-acre development is expected to attract shoppers and diners from several northern communities with its McKnight Road location.
Time for Tapenades T
Tapenade ur es | Chill time: 1 ho ut in m 10 e: tim p Pre ings Makes 8 to 10 serv
d shallots 1/2 cup choppe tomatoes d smoked sun-dried 1/4 cup choppe gin olive oil tablespoons extra vir 2 lsamic vinegar tablespoons white ba 2 d cloves garlic, mince 2 olives, well drained six-ounce can green 1 olives, well drained six-ounce can black 1 cked fresh basil 1/4 cup lightly pa ste ground pepper to ta Sea salt and freshly baguette slices od Crackers or toasted r and garlic in a fo s, olive oil, vinega oe , salt at sil m to ba , d es ie iv dr ol nd opped. Ad ch y Place shallots, su el fin til un off r 1 hour. (May lse on and Cover and chill fo d. processor and pu pe op ch til un n lse agai and pepper and pu d.) ea ah y da 1 ces. be prepared toasted baguette sli or rs ke ac cr Serve with
he ripe olive is one of the most versatile foods in the pantry. While delicious on their own, olives also add flavor to a number of dishes from soups and salads to appetizers and entrees. A simple ripe olive base is all you need to create a world of flavor. One dish that features olives predominantly, and is as versatile as its main ingredient, is tapenade. Tapenade originated in Provence, France, as a simple mixture of chopped olives with various herbs and spices and is often used as a spread on crackers or as a condiment. There are many different recipes for tapenade, and the first step is selecting the type of olive to use. Green and black olives are perfect because of their mild taste and ability to blend well with other flavors. Tapenades are as varied as they are delicious, with consistencies that range from a spreadable paste to a chunky, salsa-like mixture. And their flavors can span the globe, from Greek and Mexican to Asian and French. Although delicious with crackers and a traditional cheese plate, there are a number of creative ways to enjoy tapenade, including: n n n n n
Mixing with sour cream for a zesty dip As a spread on sandwiches Spooned on tacos with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese Stuffed into chicken breasts for a flavorful kick Spread on pizza dough and topped with cheese and veggies
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HEALTH & FITNESS
An Acne Sufferer Finds a Solution…FINALLY! I have suffered with acne for most of my teenage and adult life. I spent many nights at home, missing opportunities because my skin was just too bad, and I was just too embarrassed. I tried every over-the-counter product available and also several prescriptions from a dermatologist in my quest for clear skin. I even considered taking the drug Accutane at one point. The prescription medications cleared my skin temporarily, but once I was done taking the pills, my acne eventually returned, even worse than before! Nothing worked. In frustration, I threw everything away and figured I’d grow out of it…but I never did. One day while reading through a magazine, I noticed an ad for a place called Clearskin Solutions Acne Clinic. Given all of the previous disappointments, I figured it probably wouldn’t work, but decided to at least look into it. When I called to get
information, the first thing that struck me as unique was that they specialized in acne treatment. I was also relieved to hear that they don’t use drugs as a part of their regimen. They offer an acne program which consists of in-office visits combined with a monitored home-care routine. I had nothing to lose, so I decided to schedule a consultation. The owner, Mary, evaluated my skin and performed some tests to determine my skin’s level of sensitivity. Then we sat down and talked for awhile. She explained about my grade of acne and how the program would be catered to target my specific case. I was given a wealth of information about why I had acne, pore clogging ingredients to watch out for, and what foods and products to avoid. My program consisted of visits every two weeks at a reasonable cost. During the inoffice visits, my acne was removed and my skin was treated with a variety of treatments
Mary Bickley, Licensed Esthetician and Owner of Clearskin Solutions
which helped with exfoliating the dead skin cells, keeping it hydrated and decreasing the inflammation. Most importantly, my skin was continually reevaluated and my program was adjusted according to my skin’s response. Between visits, I followed a treatment regimen at home using affordable products designed just for me. Throughout my treatment, I wasn’t alone. Someone was there to answer questions and encourage and help me every step of the way. All in all, it took about four months (or eight visits), and I am thrilled to say that my skin is finally clear! That was two years ago. I found a program that not only cleared my acne, but has kept it clear and given me the beautiful skin I’ve always wished for. Thanks to Mary, her staff and the Clearskin program, I am now confident about myself on both the inside and the outside.
If you or someone you know is struggling with acne, have them contact Clearskin Solutions, 724-453-0555.
Good for One FREE Consult Visit Expires August 1, 2013 CLEARSKIN SOLUTIONS 8035 Rowan Rd., Cranberry Twp.
Hours are by appointment. The information in First Person advertisements is the responsibility of the advertiser.
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Two Women Come Together in McCandless for Children By Kathy Rudolph
Photos by Kathy Rudolph
t first glance, there couldn’t be more differences between Zimbabwe and Pittsburgh; from the culture, to the language, to the distance, which is approximately 8,000 miles. But two women are bridging that distance in an effort to help children. Getrude Matshe of New Zealand is the founder of Africa Alive Education Foundation and Kezia Ellison of Pittsburgh is the founder of Educating Teens about HIV/AIDS. A reception to raise funds and awareness for those nonprofit organizations was hosted by David and Alice Rumberger at their home in McCandless Township.
Getrude Matshe and Kezia Ellison
“David and I are very humbled to be in the presence of these women,” said Alice, who is a North Allegheny Foundation trustee. “They have done so much for children and need to be recognized. We want to help to spread the word about the amazing work that they are doing.” The reception also included students and faculty from Robert Morris University (RMU)— where Matshe was a former 2012 International Rooney Scholar— one of whom is Shellie Hipsky, Ed.D., of Mars, an associate professor of education who was responsible for bringing Matshe to the university.
Matshe founded Africa Alive Education Foundation to provide safe homes and education for a portion of the 17 million orphans in Africa who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. A married mother of three, Matshe is African and is an inspirational speaker, storyteller, poet, published author, and artist. Emigrating to New Zealand in 2001 because it was no longer safe for her and her family to live in Zimbabwe, Matshe was inspired to start the foundation after viewing a TV episode of “Oprah.” “In 2004, I saw an episode [where] Oprah is standing in a soccer field alongside 50,000
AIDS orphans,” said Matshe. “There was a point in that show when she said, ‘This is the lost generation.’ We are a population [with only] little children and the elderly—my age group has been wiped out. I decided to publish my book as a way to fundraise for the children.” Matshe’s book, Born on the Continent – Ubuntu, is about her inspirational journey through life. All of the proceeds from the book go toward her foundation, which has grown to assisting over 500 children. Along with the proceeds from the book, she has created a tourism business to take people on tours to Zimbabwe and has continued on page 92
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sewing school uniforms so that used her speaking engagements the community can continue as another tool to generate for years to come. Along with revenue. the school, the foundation also “I started giving presentations supports an orphanage that is and talks to all kinds of groups, such as Rotaries and Lions Clubs home to AIDS orphans including children with mental and physical and for anyone who wanted a disabilities. speaker, to raise funds,” said “It is hard to fundraise and it Matshe. “For seven years I have is a mission, been funding but it is the the primary most rewarding school that project,” said my husband Matshe, who [attended]. visits Zimbabwe There are 380 four times a kids who attend year. and 70% of After them are AIDS working as the orphans. We try International to keep children Rooney Scholar together in at RMU, Matshe families so they met Ellison last don’t get split year. up.” “I was Matshe is also Alice and David Rumberger, Hosts working at trying to create a self-sustaining community where Westinghouse Public High residents are being trained to take School and at other inner-city care of tasks such as maintenance, schools because I wanted to get my head around what it is like to masonry, farming and even
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be an African American living in America,” said Ellison. Added Matshe, “I was shocked at the poverty levels in Pittsburgh; there are many projects that need support right here. Kezia (Ellison) is doing the same work in Pittsburgh that I am doing in Africa. She is a dynamic, young woman who works hard and saw that AIDS is killing African American teens in her community and just took that on. She needs our support.” Ellison was inspired to do something about AIDS as a senior in high school after creating a service learning project for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School of Excellence for Health Care. After completing college and with the support of her mother, Albertha Graham-Ellison, she founded Educating Teens about HIV/ AIDS, a nonprofit organization to promote and advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention education for preteens, teens and young adults
through collaboration with communities, schools, and houses of worship. One of the organization’s recent projects is the “Manchester Reads” initiative, which assisted Manchester School in Pittsburgh with renovating its library. “Working with the school is key in getting the message to children and parents that HIV/AIDS is 100% preventable,” said Ellison. “We try to invest in children and give them high goals with hopes and dreams and positive role models to look up to. Along with education, we also focus on self-esteem, peer pressure and engage kids in activities so they don’t involve themselves in risky behavior.” To learn more about Africa Alive Education Foundation, visit the website at www.africaaliveonline. com. For more information on Educating Teens about HIV/AIDS, visit the website at www.educatingteens.org.
Photo by Kathy Rudolph
Two Women Living Worlds Apart continued
May is Melanoma Awareness Month
ow is the perfect time of year to have your child’s moles examined by a qualified professional. A board certified pediatric dermatologist is specifically trained to detect abnormal moles and skin cancers in babies, young children and adolescents. Should my child be seeing a pediatric dermatologist for an annual mole check? If your child has not yet developed any moles or simply has a few tiny, light brown moles that all match one another, then your pediatrician may be comfortable to monitor these. If, however, your pediatrician is not comfortable or your child has any of the following, then he/ she could be at a greater risk of developing atypical moles, skin cancer or melanoma, even during childhood, and should be examined at least once per year by a board-certified pediatric dermatologist: • History of any blistering sunburn • History of intermittent intense sun exposure • Freckling • Fair skin, light eyes or hair color • History of immune suppression or radiation • Family history of skin cancer (such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma and especially melanoma)
How can I tell if my child might have an abnormal mole that needs to be urgently evaluated? In addition to this recommended annual visit with a pediatric dermatologist, you can perform your own monthly skin examinations at home looking for any moles that meet the “ABCDE” screening criteria. These criteria were developed by the American Academy of Dermatology in order to help families at home decide if there are any unusual moles that require a professional examination. The “ABCDE criteria” for detecting abnormal moles that require further evaluation: A Asymmetry: one half of the mole is unlike the other half B Border: an irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border C Color: varied colors from one area to another; shades of brown, black, white, blue or red D Diameter: greater than the size of a pencil eraser (6 mm). E Evolving: any mole that looks different from the others or is changing in size, shape or color, itching or bleeding Diameter is the least important criterion, as many melanomas can begin as lesions that are much smaller than a pencil eraser and should not be ignored. If you or your child has an odd-looking or changing mole, never hesitate to have that early lesion evaluated right away, even if it happens to be smaller than a pencil eraser. Most experts agree that the “E” for “evolving” is the single most important sign of a worrisome mole. The “ugly duckling” rule advises that any mole which doesn’t look like the rest should be immediately evaluated. In addition to a change in color or size, other symptoms such as bleeding, crusting, itching, or pain may signal a mole becoming abnormal. How can I make my child’s annual mole check visit more comfortable for him/ her? Many young children and adolescents prefer to wear swim suits under their clothing the day of their visits with the pediatric dermatologist so that they don’t feel self-conscious or “naked”. Anything you can do to make this visit more comfortable for them is well worth your while, as it will help them develop anxiety-free routines of having their moles checked once per year; this is just as important of a habit for them to establish as the routine of regular dental or medical checkups. Welcome this summer season with skin that you know is healthy by visiting your pediatric dermatologist for a complete mole check and discussion of any other problems you may be experiencing with your skin so that your children look and feel their absolute best. Teach them healthy habits now, at a young age, that they will keep for the rest of their lives. When it comes to moles and skin cancer, it may someday make the difference between life and death.
This Industry Insight was written by Robin Gehris, MD. Robin Gehris, MD obtained her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She is the Chief of Pediatric Dermatologic Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and is triple-board certified in pediatric dermatology, adult dermatology and general pediatrics. Dr. Gehris and partner, Douglas Kress, MD, practice at Children’s Dermatology Services in Wexford and are both among the U.S. News & World Report Top Dermatologists in Pittsburgh.
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“Life is Sweet Chef Showcase” Adds Flavor To The Lives Of North Allegheny Students By Kathy Rudolph
n recent years, because of awareness and education, teachers, coaches, and peers have done a good job with inclusion of special needs students in the classroom, on the soccer field or in the art club. But by the time some of these students hit their teens, a social divide sometimes occurs between these students and their peers and it becomes tougher to make friends and feel part of a group. Best Buddies Club at North Allegheny High School was launched in February 2013, with Heather Shiwarski as the program director. Best Buddies pairs regular education students with students who are intellectually or developmentally disabled for school and off-campus social activities during the year. A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Best Buddies was founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver and is an international organization that has grown from one original chapter to almost 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. In order for the North Allegheny Best Buddies chapter and other local chapters to continue, a “Best Buddies Life is Sweet Chef Showcase” fundraising event was held at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.
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Dorian Smith, State Director of Best Buddies PA
Volunteer chefs who paired with Best Buddy members that acted as their sous chefs. Together they served their specialty cuisine to guests. Kevin Sousa from Salt of the Earth, Domenic Branduzzi from Piccolo Forno, Kate Romane from E2, Meghann Walsh from Cioppino, Andrew Hebson from Nola on the Square and Nick Mineo from Sausalido were the featured chefs. Dorian Smith is the Best Buddies Pennsylvania state director.
“Best Buddies exists without state or federal funding, solely on the generosity of individuals coming out to events such as this,” said Smith. “These individuals are supporting the mission to establish a volunteer movement that creates opportunities for oneto-one friendships,” said Smith. Rick Sebak, famous documentary producer of “It’s the Neighborhoods” and WQED-TV personality, was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. “Tonight is an evening of surprises,” said Sebak. “Best Buddies is a wonderful
organization and such a good idea that seems to be working.” To learn how to help or for more information about Best Buddies, please visit the website at www.bestbuddiespennsylvania.org.
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