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Dancing on ICE Sixteen-year-old Alannah Binotto competes nationally as a solo ice dancer

Special Section: Health & Wellness Page 27

School District News WINTER 2013

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21 A New Home for a Hometown Favorite After much anticipation, Milano’s Pizza will relocate this winter.

24 O Christmas Tree Choosing a live evergreen in Pine-Richland.

27 Special Section: Health & Wellness How to live a healthier, happier, longer life.

40 Go Figure–Skate! Local skater Alannah Binotto excels in ice dancing.

42 Saddle Up Our area is full of horseback riding opportunities.

44 Rock On A unique music school in Wexford offers the chance to perform the music kids really love. But the message is clear – hard work is part of the package.

46 Rooted in Tradition Harvest Valley Farms thrives on four generations of sustainable farming.


50 Forgotten Taste Pierogies A decade later, Forgotten Taste Pierogies is bubbling along in Wexford and also offers catering services.

on the cover Alannah Binotto performs an ice dance routine at Skate Pittsburgh. PHOTO BY PRIMETIME SHOTS.

departments 4 10 12-18

From the Publisher IN the Loop

52 54

School District News Northern Tier Library

IN Events



Business Spotlights

Industry Insights

9 Edward Jones 31 American Back Center 37 LiveWell Dentistry

5 Your Home: Nest Expressions

13 Dining Out: Andora Restaurant


In Community is a publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Pine-Richland 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.

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 3


PUBLISHER PUBLISHER Wayne Dollard EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Julie Talerico REGIONAL EDITORS Mark Berton [South, West and Erie]

At Seven Springs with my wife Lisa and our three sons.

Top-notch health care, education, banking and technology are what make Pittsburgh known, but our communities are what make us home. Home – where you live, go to school, shop, work and play – is what IN Community Magazines is all about. Each quarter, we bring you the latest news and information about schools, businesses, nonprofits and the people who make them exceptional. We also bring you coverage of interesting events and articles about historical sites you may pass every day without even knowing. We like to surprise you with little-known facts about your community and profile intriguing people who’ve made their mark locally – and sometimes even globally. One thing that makes our communities in western Pennsylvania special is the beautiful seasons. As autumn comes to an end and the snow begins to fall, we hope you take some time to enjoy the many winter activities our area has to offer and hit the slopes, sled ride, cross-country ski or ice skate at one of our many beautiful parks. Or simply build a snowman in the backyard! The staff at IN Community Magazines wishes you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year!

Wayne Dollard Publisher

Send Us Your Story Ideas!

To Advertise

We’d love to hear from you if you know someone in your community who is making a difference or has done something extraordinary. We’re also looking for interesting story ideas (little-known facts, history or other news) within your community.

As the largest magazine publisher in western Pennsylvania, IN Community Magazines are direct mailed to more than 518,000 households, reaching 1.15 million readers. If you’d like to partner with us, please contact our general sales manager, Tamara Myers, at

If you have suggestions, email us at

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Pamela Palongue [North and East] OFFICE MANAGER Leo Vighetti ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Debbie Mountain DESIGN DIRECTOR Michael Miller DESIGNERS Cassie Brkich Jim Paladino Anna Buzzelli Melissa St. Giles Sharon Cobb Tamara Tylenda Jan McEvoy CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jonathan Barnes Leigh Lyons Jennifer Brozak Joanne Naser Earl Bugaile Melanie Paulick Tracy Fedkoe Melissa Rayworth Brenda Haines-Cosola Marilyn Wempa Elvira Hoff Mandie Zoller Heather Holtschlag CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ginni Klein Kathleen Rudolph Evan Sanders Jennifer Steenson Primetime Shots Gary Zak GENERAL SALES MANAGER Tamara Myers SALES MANAGER Brian McKee ADVERTISING SALES Sophia Alfaras Connie McDaniel Matt Amoroso Gabriel Negri Pamela Arder Aimee Nicolia Jennifer Dahlem Vince Sabatini Julie Graff Mike Silvert Robin Guest RJ Vighetti ICM PRINTING SALES MANAGER Tom Poljak ©2013 by IN Community Magazines. All rights reserved. Reproduction or reuse of any part of this publication is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. Direct all inquiries, letters to the editor and press releases to:

IN Community Magazines 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 724.942.0940; Fax: 724.942.0968 Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.


COMMUNITY AWARDS FOR SERVICE EXCELLENCE (C.A.S.E.) What makes communities great are the special people who volunteer their time, talent and effort in order to help others. At IN Community Magazines, we would like to honor these special people who have made a positive impact in their community and whose philanthropic leadership sets an inspiring example for us all.

2013 Master of Ceremony

Andrew Stocky

WTAE Channel 4

IN Community Magazines’ second annual C.A.S.E. Awards will recognize volunteers from each of ICM’s 35 magazines. Awardees will be selected in the following categories: Volunteer of the Year Youth Volunteer of the Year (21 years and younger) Small Nonprofit of the Year (staff of 10 people or less) Large Nonprofit of the Year (staff of 11 or more)


Awardees will be honored at an awards dinner in Spring 2014.


Name of Nominee_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone___________________________________________Email_________________________________________________________ Category (check one)

❍ Volunteer of the Year ❍ Youth Volunteer of the Year (21 years and younger ) ❍ Small Nonprofit of the Year (staff of 10 people or less) ❍ Large Nonprofit of the year ( staff of 11 or more) Which community is this nomination for?___________________________________________________________________________ Name of person submitting nomination_____________________________________________________________________________ Phone___________________________________________Email_________________________________________________________ Why are you nominating this person or nonprofit organization? Please submit a type written statement of no more than 600 words. Send nomination form and statement to: Wayne Dollard, IN Community Magazines, 603 E. McMurray Road, McMurray, PA 15317. If you have any questions, please contact Debbie Mountain at 724.942.0940. Deadline for nominations is February 1, 2014.


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Your Home


Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 7

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FINANCIAL FOCUS Can P/E Ratio Help You Make Smart Investment Choices? Despite frequent periods of volatility, the stock market has enjoyed a pretty good run since the financial crisis of 2008 and early 2009. In fact, since the market bottomed out in early 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gone up more than 100 percent. Does this mean that stocks today are now getting too “expensive” for individual investors? Not necessarily. To evaluate whether a stock is either expensive or reasonably priced, you’ll need to understand the concept of the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. When looked at mathematically, P/E is a simple concept — it’s calculated by dividing the current stock price of a company by its earnings per share. So, for example, a stock that is now priced at $40 and has $2 of earnings per share will have a P/E of 20. Generally speaking, a stock’s P/E reveals how much investors are willing to pay per dollar of earnings. So, for the stock mentioned above, its P/E of 20 implies that investors are willing to pay $20 for every $1 of earnings that the company generates. It follows, therefore, that the higher the P/E, the more “expensive” a stock is perceived as being. Because the average P/E in the stock market has been around 15 over the past 50 years, one might say, in a broad sense, that a stock with a P/E of 20 is neither terribly expensive nor particularly cheap. Overall, the P/E ratio is typically a good indicator of a stock’s value — and a much better indicator than the price alone. To illustrate: A $20 stock with a P/E of 70 may actually be much more

“expensive” than a $100 stock with a P/E of 20. As an investor, you’re paying much more for the future earnings of the $20 stock than you are for the earnings of the $100 stock. So, in the presentday situation, with the market having gone through a relatively long and steady upswing, you might be able to use P/E to get a clearer sense of which stocks are still priced attractively and which ones are expensive, given their market value. Keep in mind, however, that a low P/E doesn’t automatically mean that a company is undervalued. One way of interpreting P/E is as a measure of the market’s optimism about a company’s growth prospects. So, if a company has a P/E that is lower than average, it could mean that the market has low expectations for this company. Furthermore, just looking at a stock’s P/E in isolation can’t always tell you if it’s a good deal. For that, you also need to compare its P/E with other stocks in the same industry. That’s because some industries, such as utilities, typically have low P/Es, while others, such as technology, generally have higher ones. As you can see, you’ll need to consider a few “wrinkles” in P/E before using it to evaluate whether a stock is priced attractively. Consequently, you may want to get some help from a financial advisor.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Member SIPC.

Matt Dudkowski, AAMS | Financial Advisor | 412.487.3300 | 1007 Mt. Royal Blvd. | Pittsburgh, PA 15223 | Matt Dudkowski has been a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones since 2002, serving individual investors in the Pittsburgh area from his Shaler Township office. Since joining Edward Jones, Dudkowski has obtained the professional designation of AAMS. Prior to Edward Jones, Dudkowski, as a CPA, worked at the H.J. Heinz Company, and as a Senior Consultant and Auditor for Ernst & Young LLP. He currently serves on the board of directors for Community Health Challenge, a local non-profit. He is a native of Butler County and graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He resides in Gibsonia with his wife, two sons, and daughter.

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 9

in the


Mary Ann Craig, president, Judy Woffington, committee member and Sally Anderson, member and model


What’s news in Pine-Richland Seated, president Mary Ann Craig, Standing Judy Woffington, Nancy Irvine and Jean Ann Jones, committee members


The Women’s Auxiliary of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra hosted the Chic and Classy Fashion Show to benefit the symphony and also the City Music Center at Duquesne University at The Chadwick in Wexford on Nov. 9. Guests enjoyed a luncheon, Chinese and silent auctions and fashions from Chico’s, the Four Seasons Boutique and The Fur Vault at Macy’s. The Women’s Auxiliary was formed in the 1960s and helps support the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

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Originally started as a program for stroke and heart patients, the Adult Nature Walk has become so popular, it has expanded to any interested adult. The group meets every Thursday of the year at 10 a.m. rain or shine, at the North Park Ice Rink parking lot for an outdoor stroll. Local naturalists guide the group for an enlightening, leisurely-paced outing. There are new nature adventures and discoveries every week. Dress well for outdoor walking, including comfortable shoes.


The 2014 Kean Quest Talent Search is open to singers in youth and adult categories, so this is your chance! The competition will take place in the Kean Theatre, located in Gibsonia. The adult category is for singers age 19 and older. In April, the fourth annual Jackie Evancho Award will be presented to the competitor who displays talent, motivation and perseverance in pursuing his/her dream. The awardee must have participated in the contest for two or more years.

Preliminary rounds for youth competitors will be held: Round 1 Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at 2 p.m. Round 2 Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at 2 p.m. Round 3 Sunday, Mar. 2, 2014 at 2 p.m. Round 4 Sunday, Mar. 30, 2014 at 2 p.m. Semi-Finals 1 Sunday, Mar. 30, 2014 at 2 p.m. Semi-Finals 2 Sunday, Mar. 30, 2014 at 5 p.m. Youth Finals Friday, April 11, 2014 at 7 p.m. The adult competition will be Friday, April 4 at 7 p.m. The top finalists from each round will advance to the semi-finals and the winners will be presented with the title of 2014 Kean Quest Talent Search. There will be a winner chosen by the judges and a winner selected by the audience. For more information on how to enter, call 724.625.3770, or email ltassos@ Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund, which provides care for needy patients at St. Barnabas Nursing Home, Valencia Woods at St. Barnabas and The Arbors at St. Barnabas who otherwise would not be able to afford care.


Richland Township Parks and Recreation Dept. is offering a line dancing class for fun, exercise and socializing. In line dancing, everyone is doing the same steps at the same time, so you can dance with or without a partner. This one-hour class is limited to ages 18 and older. Please wear leather-sole shoes to avoid scuffing the floor. The deadline for registering for the class is Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 and the instructor is Holly Deeme. The first class will be Monday, Feb. 24, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Richland Municipal Building Activity Room. There is parking available in the back of the building. n Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 11



Hundreds of guests gathered for a fun afternoon at The Washington Place and Kean Theatre at St. Barnabas in Gibsonia to help the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund by shopping with more than 50 specialty retailers and artisans. Guests also enjoyed a luncheon and a lavish array of raffle baskets and a designer purse raffle. Trisha Pittman, WPXI-TV’s traffic anchor, served as emcee for the fashion gala and Suzanne Mauro was the fashion stylist. Proceeds from the Fashion Gala benefited the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund for patients at St. Barnabas Nursing Home, Valencia Woods at St. Barnabas and The Arbors at St.Barnabas who otherwise would not be able to afford care. The organization provided more than $4.5 million in care for patients in 2012.

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Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 13

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Contact us today for all your printing needs.


before we were printers, like you, we were customers...



Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 15



The theme of Pine-Richland Homecoming 2013 was Traveling Through the Decades. Each day of the week was represented by a different decade, beginning with the ’50s on Monday. The Rams fought hard against powerhouse Central Catholic, but in the end, lost the contest 49 – 14 in a valiant effort on Oct. 4. The Homecoming festivities included a dance and a parade in which school alumni participated with current students. The week was a great celebration of Pine-Richland spirit, both past and present.

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Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 17



Pine Holiday Dazzle was the place to be on Nov. 17! Santa dropped by the Pine Community Center to have his picture made with local residents before heading back to the North Pole for a hectic holiday schedule of toy making and eggnog sipping. His reindeer, Dasher, got a brief rest before making the return trip and children were able to talk with him through the fence. Some children were brave enough to go for a camel ride, while others opted for a horse-drawn carriage. It was a fun day for everyone who attended!

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Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 19


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Pittsburgh’s premier guide to stylish living, sophisticated design and the best resources in Pittsburgh and surrounding regions. l aunc hi ng f i r s t i s s ue De c e mbe r 2013 To advertise contact Leo Vighetti at 724.942.0940 or 20 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine Richland

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A New Home for a Hometown Favorite After much anticipation, Milano’s Pizza will relocate this winter. BY MELISSA RAYWORTH Last March, word began circulating that the building Milano’s Pizza was housed in would be closing. The reaction was immediate –folks began stopping in to ask whether Milano’s Pizza would be closing or moving. The guys working behind the counter patiently reassured customers that they had no intention of shutting down. But they couldn’t offer any information beyond that. They didn’t know where they were headed next or how long it would take to get plans in place for a move. Throughout the spring, conversation would bubble up among neighbors—has anyone heard what’s going to happen with Milano’s? There are, of course, plenty of places to get pizza in the surrounding towns. Many have good pizza and a friendly staff. But for many people, Milano’s has always been a part of the landscape of their lives. The shop has been serving pizza for 39 years. At a time when most quick dining options in our area are national chains, Milano’s is entirely local. It’s entirely ours.

Local residents who now stop by to pick up dinner for their families on their way home from work remember going there as children. For Bill Dreyer, 45, it was the place where he and his teenage friends would buy a pizza and wolf it down after a pickup basketball game during their high school years. It was a constant throughout his teens and his 20s, a place to order from when he was visiting his mom for dinner. It’s even the place where he stopped to pick up a pizza on the way to the hospital when his wife Lori was in labor, about to deliver their first child. (She laughs looking back today at waiting in the Milano’s parking lot in the early stages of labor, patiently understanding that a few slices of Milano’s pizza was just what her husband needed to fortify him for the hours ahead. They still joke about it today, nearly a decade after their son was born.) For the Dreyers and so many other area families, Milano’s has remained over the years a friendly, familiar place to grab lunch (yes, it offers slices) and a perfect solution for busy families who want a hot, weeknight dinner without cooking. All that history and goodwill meant, as you can imagine, that residents had more than a passing interest in the fate of Milano’s. As the spring and summer progressed, diners continued asking what the fate of their favorite pizza place might be. To quell some of the concern, a sign was hung that simply said, “Still Open.” As we prepare this issue in early winter, customers will soon have the news they’ve been waiting for. Milano’s has a contract signed on a new home. After exploring the options at various available storefront locations along Route 8,

the announcement will be made shortly after the first of the year. The move is expected to take place sometime in late January or early February. Until then, be assured that Milano’s will continue serving at its longtime location at 4700 William Flynn Highway. n

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 21

O Christmas Tree

Choosing a live evergreen tree in Pine-Richland By Matthew J. Fascetti


t’s the most wonderful time of the year, and choosing a real Christmas tree is a season highlight for many families. Whether you make the trek to a tree farm to cut down your own, or head to your neighborhood tree lot, the smell of fresh pine in your home signals the beginning of the holiday season. Your tree selection is often the result of personal preference and budget, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Perhaps the most popular type of tree is the Fraser Fir. It has one-inch needles that are silvery-green and soft to the touch. Because there is space between the branches, the Fraser is easier to decorate and the firm branches hold heavier ornaments. Also very popular is the Noble Fir, with a deep green color, soft needles and well-shaped, sturdy branches. Other varieties include the Colorado Blue Spruce, known for its blue foliage and pyramidal shape with strong limbs that can hold heavy ornaments. The Grand Fir has glossy dark-green foliage and is soft to the touch, however it may not hold heavier ornaments. The Balsam Fir is a wonderful dark-green color with airy, flexible branches and a pleasant fragrance. The branches are not as sturdy so it’s not the best choice for heavy decorating.

Find it here...

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The White Fir has a pleasing natural shape and aroma and good needle retention. The Eastern White Pine is known for making garlands, wreaths and centerpieces due to its long, feathery-soft needles. Though it’s a beautiful tree, the branches can be a bit too flexible to use as a Christmas tree. Finally, the Douglas Fir makes a visually appealing tree with soft, shiny green needles and wonderful aroma. If you purchase your tree at a lot, keep in mind some pre-cut Christmas trees may have been cut weeks earlier. Try to buy your tree early to extend its freshness. Check the tree for brown needles and perform a “drop test.” Raise the tree a few inches off the ground and then firmly place the tree trunk on the ground. If green needles drop, it could indicate the tree may have been cut some time ago. Once you take your tree home, make a straight cut at the bottom of the trunk, removing about one inch. This will improve the tree’s ability to absorb water. Place the tree in a container that holds at least one gallon of water and add more as needed. The base of the trunk should always be in water which will help sustain the beauty of the tree for as long as possible. ■

e TLC Tree Farm 5169 Lakeview Dr.

e Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse 700 Grandview Crossing Dr.

e Grateful Acres Christmas Tree Farm 427 West Cruikshank Rd.

e The Home Depot 25 Dutilh Rd.

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 25

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Great Ways to Live a Healthier, Happier, Longer Life in Pine-Richland


Though finding the fountain of youth (or miracle product) is unlikely, you can embrace the following ways to feel and look younger. Gleaned from age-defying experts this list is a must-keep for your desk or refrigerator.

So turn the page — hack into the havoc that aging can wreak on your body! ››

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 27

H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Pine-Richland

HEALTH & FITNESS EXERCISE TO LIVE LONGER. Pine-Richland has many walking and biking trails to help you stay fit. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), regular exercise helps control blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol levels, and reduces the risks of hardening of the arteries, heart attack and stroke. Not to mention you will look and feel better! WARM UP AND COOL DOWN. Regardless of the types of exercises you do, warming your muscles as well as cooling down with slow rhythmic stretches is key to avoiding injury, reducing soreness, and speeding up your recovery. COMMIT TO DAILY FITNESS. Getting out there and staying active translates into better health and well-being — both physically and mentally. FOCUS ON TOTAL FITNESS. ACE recommends aerobics and muscular conditioning along with exercises to stretch your body and promote good posture. YEAR-ROUND EXERCISE. Don’t ditch your fitness routine because of inclement weather. Try new activities, such as snowshoeing, swimming at an indoor pool, or fitness classes at your local fitness or senior housing facility. JOIN A HEALTH CLUB. Be social and get fit. This one’s worth its weight in sheer motivation points.

TAKE SUPPLEMENTS. Don’t mega-dose, just take a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. GET AEROBIC. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting moderate aerobic activity 30 minutes per day, five days per week or 20 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular activity, three days per week. BREAK IT UP. Instead of 20 or 30 minutes of exercise, break up your cardio into 10-minute segments throughout the day. MAKE WORKING OUT FUN. Getting out of the house and traveling to interesting places where you can walk around is one of the best ways to get exercise without even trying, and you get to enjoy the sightseeing, too. PUT A SET OF DUMBBELLS BY YOUR TELEVISION SET — and use them!

STOP SMOKING. Nuff said.

PUMP IT UP. Margaret Richardson, author of Body Electric, says one pound of fat burns three calories a day while one pound of muscle burns 30-plus.

GO GREEN. Eat organic, use eco-friendly products and practice green living to protect your health as well as the environment.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF. To counteract age-related muscle loss, do exercises with progressively challenging resistance.

“The exercise programs that we provide are something extra that we can offer to people that is affordable,” said Diane Illis, assistant Northern Tier Regional Library director. “They can use hands-on learning to try something new in the familiar setting of the library.” 28 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

COGNITIVE BOOSTERS MUSIC THERAPY. Music can regulate mood, decrease aggression and depression, improve sleep, and, because old songs are stored in memory, even create new brain cells. BRAIN FOOD. Keep your mind sharp by eating salmon, nuts, olive oil, soy, meat, eggs, dairy, leafy greens, beans, oatmeal and dark skinned fruits.


TRAIN YOUR BRAIN Working a daily crossword, Sudoku puzzle or another brain teasing game can help improve your mental fitness.

ORAL HEALTH & HEARING BRUSH AND FLOSS YOUR TEETH. According to research, chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. TURN IT DOWN. According to the House Ear Institute, noiseinduced hearing loss is a leading cause of permanent hearing loss that can be prevented by turning down the volume on your TV, radio, or headsets to a level that you can comfortably hear.


POSTURE AVOID SITTING CROSS-LEGGED. Pain management specialists at New York Chiropractic warn that crossing your legs puts excessive stress on your knees, hips and lower back. SIT UP STRAIGHT. When you slouch or strain to look at the screen, these patterns stick and posture learns these positions. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. See a chiropractor, physical therapist or post-rehabilitation specialist for postural exercises to reduce pain and risk of injury. STRETCH. Stretching your neck and chest can prevent short and tightened muscles that can lead to injury. A simple stretch involves bending your head to your shoulder, holding it there and slowly bringing it back to the mid line and then switch sides.


BELLY BUTTON TO SPINE. Not only will this exercise help you stand taller, it will take five pounds off your waistline!

Not getting enough nightly rest puts you at risk for accidents, depression and other illnesses, and it decreases your quality of life.

HEAD UP. Instead of scrunching your head to your shoulder to hold the phone, get a headset and avoid injury to your neck and shoulders.

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 29

H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Pine-Richland


EAT AND DRINK COCONUT. The type of saturated fat in

guru Dr. Andrew Weil recommends eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and minimal processed foods to reduce inflammation in your body.

coconuts does not contribute to heart disease and it is rich in lauric acid, which boosts your immune system.

EAT ALL NATURAL. Avoid high-calorie foods full of sugar, fat and artificial ingredients and concentrate on eating high-nutrient, high-flavor foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.

primarily derived from animal products, and trans fats, which are used in commercial fried foods, margarines, and baked goods like cookies and crackers.

EAT MANY SMALL MEALS. Eat something every three hours

SPICE IT UP. Dr. Wendy Bazilian, author of The SuperFoodsRx

to keep your metabolism high and your blood sugar and insulin levels steady.

Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients, recommends high-antioxidant spices and herbs such as cinnamon, ginger, curry, rosemary, thyme, oregano and red pepper.

DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST. The easiest meal to skip but the most important. Eat something small, even if you aren’t hungry.

READ LABELS. Opt for products with at least three grams of fiber, low sugars and no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

EAT LESS AND LIVE LONGER. Maoshing Ni, author of Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to be 100, suggests the “three-quarters rule,” essentially not eating any more after you feel three-quarters full.

DRINK TEA. Ni recommends daily tea because tea is a proven preventive and treatment for hardening of the arteries and has potent antioxidant powers.

SLIM DOWN WITH SOUP. People who eat soup before a meal reduce the total number of calories they consume.

SINK YOUR TEETH INTO SUPERFOODS. Experts say superfoods can help ward off heart disease, cancer, diabetes, cholesterol, bad moods, high blood pressure, and improve digestion, skin, hair, nails, bones and teeth. Superfoods recommended by are beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soy, spinach, green and black tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts and yogurt.

EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS. According to University of Michigan Integrative Medicine, healthy fats to include in your diet are monounsaturated fats, found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and some plant foods as well as polyunsaturated fats, like omega-3s found in fatty fish and omega-6s found in nuts.

P EAT A VARIETY Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, dairy, and omega-3 fats better ensures you get all the nutrients your body needs. 30 724.942.0940 724/942-0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland West Allegheny

AVOID BAD FATS. Bad fats include saturated fats, which are

DRINK UP. Drinking water throughout the day can decrease your urges for sweets, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, minimize pain associated with arthritis, migraines, and colitis, hydrate your skin, and help with your digestion.

LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE TO ONE OR TWO DRINKS PER DAY. According to the Centers for Disease Control, too much alcohol can increase your risk for developing various diseases and physiological and social problems.

SIDELINE THE SODA. The phosphoric acid in carbonated beverages, particularly colas, can put you at risk for osteoporosis.

DRINK RED WINE. Red wine is renowned for its many health benefits, primarily for the heart. However, new research from the Institute of Food suggests that wine may also protect you from potentially fatal food-borne pathogens, such as E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and H. pylori.

MARINATE YOUR MEAT. Research from the Food Safety Consortium recommends marinades with rosemary, thyme, peppers, allspice, oregano, basil, garlic and onion to cut down on carcinogens.


Business Spotlight


American Back Center – Disc Treatment Specialists Helping Patients Avoid Surgery Since 1994

VAX-D TREATMENT What is VAX-D® Treatment? VAX-D® is a non-surgical treatment developed for the management of disabling low back pain. VAX-D® Treatment is designed to relieve pressure on structures that may be causing low back pain. It relieves the pain associated with herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, posterior facet syndrome and radicular pain. VAX-D® achieves its effects through decompression of intervertebral discs and facet joints, that is, unloading due to distraction and positioning on the VAX-D® Table.

Much like gauging the air pressure in a car tire, scientists have been able to use pressure sensors to measure the various pressures put on spinal discs while lifting, standing, sitting, lying down, undergoing traction, and undergoing VAX-D® therapy. Like other pressures found in the body such as blood pressure, intradiscal pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). High intradiscal pressures cause discs to bulge out and press painfully on nerve roots. It has been clinically proven that VAX-D® creates a vacuum of negative pressures as low as -160 mmHg within the injured disc during the treatment session. This repositions the disc, taking pressure off of spinal nerve roots, which helps to reduce or eliminate back and sciatica pain. This breakthrough was developed by Dr. Allen Dyer, former deputy minister of health, Ontario, Canada, who pioneered research on the heart defibrillator used around the world. Research to develop the treatment was conducted over a period of six years with the combined efforts of physicians, engineers and technicians at major teaching hospitals. All treatments are administered with patients fully clothed. However, two-piece clothing that separates at the waist and can be loosened at the wrists is the most comfortable. The VAX-D® Treatment Table is protected by patents issued in the U.S. and internationally. Contact your insurance provider for assistance regarding payment for VAX-D® treatment. Conveniently located on Bradford Road, off of Route 19, across from Atria’s, American Back Center accepts most major insurances, Medicare, credit cards and offers discounted fees and payment plans for patients without insurance. American Back Center can also help make arrangements for lodging and physical activity for patients travelling longer distances for treatment services. For more information on American Back Center, go to, or call 724.935.3300 today.

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 31

H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Pine-Richland

STRESS CONTROL SMILE. Smiling lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol.

AROMATHERAPY. Essential oils improve your mood, reduce stress and even improve your memory. Try lavender, lemongrass, cinnamon or cedarwood. Being outdoors with green plants, fresh air and the sounds of nature is a proven stress buster.

YOGA. The Mayo Clinic recommends practicing yoga to reduce stress and anxiety.

GET KNEADED. Research from the Touch Research Institute indicates that regular massage lowers heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety levels, depression, hostility, and the stress hormone cortisol.

SEE A THERAPIST. Mental health professionals can help you deal with stress.

BEGIN WITH BREATHING. The first thing you ever did for yourself was breathe. And consciously focusing on your breath remains the epitome of self-care throughout your entire life.

P HUMOR YOUR STRESS Laughing improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, releases tension, and improves your immune system.

Reprinted with the permission from


GET FIT IN PINE RICHLAND Here are just some of the fitness classes available:

Northern Tier Regional Library 4015 Dickey Rd., Gibsonia; 724.449.2665

Pine Community Center

A six-week series of Zumba will be offered for a fee of $30, or you can pay as you go at $7 per class. This class will be held on the library’s lower level on Mondays from 6:15 p.m.-7 p.m. Call to register. A six-week series of hula hooping will be offered for a fee of $30, or you can pay as you go at $7 per class. This class will be held on the library’s lower level on Tuesdays from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Call to register.

Group fitness classes are intended to suit participants of all ability levels. To learn more about the wide variety of drop-in classes, from yoga to cardio, costing $10 for nonmembers per class, visit the website.

100 Pine Park Dr., Wexford; 724.625.1636

North Park Skating Rink

Richland Township Municipal Building Activity Room

301 Pearce Mill Rd., Allison Park; 724.935.1780

4019 Dickey Rd., Gibsonia; 724.443.5921

Free Learn-to-Skate lessons for individuals, five years old and up to adults, will be offered in January, 2014. Information about registration in early December and other details are available on the website.

Line Dancing Class on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. beginning on February 24, 2014 for ages 18 and up. The cost is $55.00 (only $5.50 per class!) for a 10-week session. Registration is required by February 21, 2014.

32 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

West Allegheny | Fall 2013 | 32

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 33

SAY WHAT? Your mother was right when she warned you that loud music could damage your hearing, but now scientists have discovered exactly what gets damaged and how. In a research report published in the September 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists describe exactly what type of damage noise does to the inner ear, and provide insights into a compound that may prevent noise-related damage. “Noise-induced hearing loss with accompanying tinnitus and sound hypersensitivity is a common condition which leads to communication problems and social isolation,” said Xiaorui Shi, M.D., Ph.D., study author from the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the Oregon Hearing Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University. “The goal of our study is to understand the molecular mechanisms well enough to mitigate damage from exposure to loud sound.” To make this discovery, Shi and colleagues used three groups of six- to eight-week-old mice, which consisted of a control group, a group exposed to broadband noise at 120 decibels for three hours a day for two days, and a third group given single-dose injections of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) prior to noise exposure. PEDF is a protein found in vertebrates that is currently being researched for the treatment of diseases like heart disease and cancer. The cells that secrete PEDF in control animals showed a characteristic branched morphology, with the cells arranging in a self-avoidance pattern which provided good coverage of the capillary wall. The morphology of the same cells in the animals exposed to wide-band noise, however, showed clear differences - noise exposure caused changes in melanocytes located in the inner ear. “Hearing loss over time robs people of their quality of life,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal. “It’s easy to say that we should avoid loud noises, but in reality, this is not always possible. Frontline soldiers or first responders do not have time to worry about the long-term effects of loud noise when they are giving their all. If, however, a drug could be developed to minimize the negative effects of loud noises, it would benefit one and all.” SOURCE: MEDICAL NEWS TODAY

34 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

Protect YOUNG ATHLETES The risks of sports-related traumatic brain injuries among professional athletes are making national headlines. However, prevention should begin at childhood, especially among those involved in contact sports. Each year, approximately 300,000 people in the United States experience sports-related concussions. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury most often caused by a sudden bump or blow to the head or other parts of the body. It also can be caused by a fall. As a result of the sudden impact, the brain moves around in the skull causing chemical changes. These changes make the brain more sensitive to stress and other injuries until it fully recovers. In addition, the immature brain of a young athlete is known to take longer to recover. Most people who have experienced a concussion realize that something is wrong, however, the symptoms can be tricky, so those around the injured person must pay close attention for the warning signs. This is especially apparent among football players who are conditioned to being knocked down and getting back up again, only to realize later that they’ve been hurt. Many athletic directors for public schools require that athletes who participate in “high-risk” sports must have a baseline

symptoms of a concussion Difficulty concentrating Difficulty completing tasks Changes in behavior Worsening headache Persistent double vision Excessive drowsiness Stroke-like symptoms

neurocognitive test before their first contact football practice, within the first week of cheerleading or before the first game for other sports. Although treatment for concussions is individualized, almost all physicians recommend physical and mental rest immediately after the injury. This includes no texting, video games, TV, reading or physical activity. It’s also important to understand that medications will mask the pain and do not heal the brain. In fact, anti-inflammatory medications can be dangerous because they increase the risk of bleeding. However, there are situations where medications are warranted. It is paramount to have an evaluation and obtain clearance by a physician experienced in diagnosing and treating concussions before returning to sports activities. SOURCE: UCF PEGASUS HEALTH/UCF COLLEGE OF MEDICINE

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H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S / Pine Richland


Childhood Obesity One Child at a Time By Heather Holtschlag

Imagine – for the first time in four generations, a child’s life expectancy may not match his/her parents. One in 10 American children is obese, and between 16 to 25 percent of children are overweight. Children average a weight of about nine pounds heavier today when compared to the 1960s, and the average teenager’s weight has increased by 12 to 16 pounds, according to government statistics. Beyond the issue of just being overweight is the risk factors associated with obesity, including heart disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Fit-Trix Fit Kidz, located in Bethel Park, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is devoted to the prevention of childhood obesity in the western Pennsylvania region. The purpose of Fit-Trix Fit Kidz is to educate children and parents on the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight by adopting increased physical activity and healthy eating. “We promote fitness, proper nutritional habits and self-esteem in a fun, positive and safe environment,” said Lynn Ross, owner of FitTrix Fit Kidz. “Our 45-minute program provides a full body workout regardless of fitness ability. We focus on cardio, hydraulic and resistance training with kid-friendly equipment, including BOSU balls, punching bags and agility ladders.” Fit-Trix Fit Kidz also encourages small lifestyle changes that may provide immediate health benefits for children, such as lower blood cholesterol levels, increased independence and productivity and reduced demands for health care services. And, staff members are committed to disseminating these healthy lifestyle messages to children of 36 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

all ages, regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic status. Ross said that the main purpose of Fit-Trix Fit Kidz is to teach kids that fitness can be fun, so that they can develop a healthy lifestyle to maintain throughout their entire lives. The staff members do this by providing a fun and safe environment where they teach healthy behaviors to children at young ages, hoping that by doing so, the children will carry their good habits well into adulthood. “At Fit-Trix Fit Kidz, we believe that exercise and proper nutrition are the pinnacles of preventing obesity in children and adolescents,” Ross explained. “We differ from other gyms in that we work by appointment, which helps make the children we see to remain accountable to their fitness goals and gives the staff the opportunity to work with and get to know each child on an individual basis.” According to Ross, there are a number of benefits that can have an impact on children as they begin an exercise program. These include an improved body mass index (BMI), an increase in self-esteem, a boost in athletic performance, increased flexibility and endurance, and an increase in lung capacity and fat burning through cardio exercise. “Strength conditioning also will increase a child’s bone density and improve tendon and ligament strength,” Ross noted. For more information about Fit-Trix Fit Kidz, call 412.831.1200, stop by the facility located at 4941 Library Road in Bethel Park, or visit the website at


Business Spotlight


Treats More Than Teeth


or more than 15 years, Dr. Leslie Pasco has been delivering exceptional dental care to her patients, and teaching them that a healthy smile can also indicate a healthy body. Her new practice in the Village at Pine Plaza opened in September, bringing the latest in dental technology, comfort and quality to Wexford. Dr. Pasco’s new office marks her return to Pittsburgh, where she attended the University of Pittsburgh Dental School, graduating in 1998. She had moved to New York to practice dentistry, but returned in July to raise her daughter with her husband, Gary, closer to their families. While in New York, Dr. Pasco not only practiced dentistry, but taught her patients how dental health and hygiene is intertwined with the rest of the body’s health. It’s something she has been instilling in her new patients here. “There’s a relationship between the health of the mouth and heart disease, diabetes and stroke,” Dr. Pasco said. “And there’s strong evidence that links it to Alzheimer’s and other inflammatory diseases as well. My practice is focused on connecting the health of your body to the health of your mouth, and vice versa.” LiveWell Dentistry can treat your family members of all ages, and specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Pasco

utilizes safer methods and technologies in her office, such as scatter-free, digital X-rays, which minimize radiation exposure to patients and staff by photographing teeth in one continuous, directed motion. If you hate biting down on those oversized X-ray tabs that scrape and pinch the inside of your cheeks and wearing bulky lead vests, you will love this machine. But there are creature comforts at LiveWell Dentistry also, such as individualized cable TV sets in each exam room, and heated massage chairs to reduce any “dentist jitters” you may have. “Our office is designed to be relaxing, from the flood of natural light that comes in through the windows, to the chairs, where patients can enjoy heat, massage or both,” Dr. Pasco said. “And the televisions aren’t just for shows; we can switch them over so you can watch as you’re getting procedures done or while we detect areas of possible tooth decay with our infrared camera scope. If it can help our patients achieve better overall health and exceptional dental health, you’ll probably find it here.” And, if you’re worried about the planet’s health, LiveWell Dentistry is paperless and chemical free, so the environmental impact is minimal. LiveWell Dentistry’s hygienists and staff have all been in the dental field for more than 20 years, so in addition to an experienced dentist, you are getting an experienced team at LiveWell. The practice also works with most insurance plans and methods of payment, accepting cash, check and credit cards. It also offers 0 percent financing for six or 12 months for any

patient needing it. The practice has plenty of free, accessible parking, and is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on all of the services, go to online, check out the Facebook page, or call 724.719.2866 to make your appointment today.

Dr. Leslie Pasco

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 37

HEALTH &WELLNESS DIRECTORY Positive Steps Therapy, LLC 724.444.5333

Pediatric Therapy Professionals 724.656.8814

Cheryl L. Haibach, PT, PCS, is the CEO and owner of Positive Steps Therapy, LLC, the region’s leading provider in pediatric therapy services, offering care at four outpatient pediatric sites and across seven counties. She is a physical therapist recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist. She is passionate about helping children and their families and is committed to encouraging healthy child development.

Pediatric Therapy Professionals, Inc. is an Early Intervention provider in parts of Western PA. PTP provides services to children birth to three in their home through a family approach. These services included Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Special Instruction, Nutrition, Teachers of the Hearing and Visually Impaired, and Behavioral Support. If you are concerned about your child's development, please call 800-CONNECT to start the process.

The Skin Center 1.800.429.1151

Centers for Medical Weight Loss 877.584.4191

Recognized as one of the top cosmetic surgery medical spas in the country and the largest in the region, The Skin Center Medical Spa is the premier destination for facial rejuvenation, body contouring and the treatment of vein disorders. All surgical and nonsurgical treatments are performed with precise artistry and compassionate care under the direction of our founding medical director and board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dominic Brandy, MD.

I am Dr. Miguel A. Marrero, who graduated from medical school at Case Western Reserve University. A subspecialty fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at The Mayo Clinic has given me the skills and insights into the endocrinology aspects of obesity. I have extensive training in medical weight loss, which has led me to seek board certification by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Dr. Miguel Marrero, 533, Washington Avenue, Suite 205, Bridgeville, PA 15017

Dr. Bradley A. Levinson Cranberry 724.741.6020 or Pittsburgh 412.777.4352

LiveWell Dentistry 412.349.8190

Dr. Brad Levinson is a board-certified colon and rectal surgeon with over 30 years’ experience. Dr. Levinson performs most procedures in his office or on an outpatient basis. Some procedures such as for hemorrhoids are painless and can take only seconds. Others can prevent colon and rectal cancers. He and his staff give each patient all the time they need, making themselves available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Leslie Pasco, DMD, is a Pitt graduate with 15 years of experience. Dr. Leslie has opened a brand-new, state-of-the-art dental practice located in the heart of Wexford at the Village at Pine Shopping Center. Dr. Leslie truly believes a healthy mouth is an essential part of a healthy body and is known for her gentle approach. Dr. Leslie provides general and cosmetic dental care. Visit Dr. Leslie at or call 724.719.2866.

Rametta Audiology & Hearing Aid Center Allison Park 412.487.9883

American Back Center 1.888.222.8293

Founded in 1958, Rametta Audiology and Hearing Aid Center has served the hearing health care needs of the region for over 50 years. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible hearing care we can, based on your individual needs. We provide a comprehensive array of services related to evaluation, rehabilitation, and prevention of hearing impairment.

Dr. Peduzzi is a recognized leader in the field of non-invasive disk decompression. He is available for public speaking, both to general audiences and medical professionals. He conducts disc decompression seminars for medical and chiropractic physicians and other health care workers. To arrange for a seminar fitted to your audience please contact him at DrPeduzzi@vaxd. org or through the office at 1.888.222.8293.

38 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

SURGERY OF THE FUTURE IS NOW A relatively new approach to gynecological surgery is revolutionizing the standard of care in obstetrics and gynecology. daVinci is a technology that enhances a surgeon’s capabilities while offering patients the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, such as less surgical trauma, smaller incisions and a faster recovery time. “daVinci is like an extension of the surgeon’s hands,” said Shannon McGranahan, MD, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at St. Clair. “It can mimic the natural movements of my hand while causing less bleeding, less pain and fewer complications than traditional surgery.” Gynecological procedures being performed with daVinci include hysterectomies, which is the most common utilization; complicated hysterectomies; pelvic pain present with endometriosis; and myomectomies, or removal of fibroids. daVinci also is being used across many other disciplines as well, including urology, colorectal surgery and thoracic surgery. “In the past, surgery such as hysterectomy would require an extended recovery period of several weeks or more, which is a large reason why many women procrastinated with their care. The long recovery interfered with their daily responsibilities,” Dr. McGranahan said. “Surgery performed with daVinci, however, usually requires only one overnight stay in the hospital, and the woman can return to work in about one to two weeks.” A common patient misconception, however, is that daVinci is a programmed robot that will be performing the surgery. “That’s simply not true,” Dr. McGranahan noted. “Board-certified surgeons are still managing and performing the operation. daVinci is there to enhance their capabilities.”

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 39

Alannah Binotto in action at Skate Pittsburgh.

Local skater Alannah Binotto excels in ice dancing. By Pamela Palongue


s temperatures fall and snowflakes fill the air, ice rinks will become the place to be for skaters of every level. Local figure skater Alannah Binotto is a tough competitor, despite her small frame and somewhat delicate appearance. The 16-year-old finished fourth in national competition last year as a solo ice dancer. Solo competition for ice dancers has been added as a division in the last three years, although most people are more familiar with the pairs ice dancing competition in the Olympics. Though Binotto is perfectly comfortable skating individually, she is looking for a partner, since her last one moved out of the area. When asked what would make an ideal skating partner, Binotto points out that height is a factor, and that he should be no more than 5' 10". She also adds that age is important as well — she’s hoping for someone who is 16 to 18.

40 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

Many local skaters, including Binotto, are members of the Pittsburgh Figure Skating Club which includes younger, competitive skaters as well as adults who enjoy skating purely for exercise and enjoyment. The group participates in the annual Skate Pittsburgh at Robert Morris University Island Sports Center and encourages all forms of figure skating, including singles, pairs, ice dancing and synchronized skating. Binotto has tried all forms of figure skating and ice dancing is her favorite, although she admits that her least favorite is the waltz.

Binotto began skating in the same way many youngsters do with a “Learn to Skate” class at the age of seven. Both of her brothers were learning to skate in order to play hockey and Binotto tagged along, discovering she had a knack for skating. Although many figure skaters enter the sport while still children, many others start at age 40 or 50. You don’t have to perform double axels to enjoy skating, or to derive health benefits from it. Even beginning skaters can benefit from ice skating and particularly figure skating. It’s a low-impact aerobic activity and it’s a great cardio workout. Figure skating alternates between more difficult moves and gliding. This change-up helps increase endurance. Most people realize that ice skating increases muscle tone and leg strength, but it’s also great for abdominal and lower back muscles too. It also helps improve balance and coordination and many of the moves performed in figure skating require flexibility, another important fitness marker. There are great mental benefits in skating, as concentration shifts from stressful thoughts to maintaining balance and performing a choreographed routine. If you’re lucky

enough to skate outdoors, you’ll have the added benefit of nature surrounding you during your workout. Binotto’s mom, Maria, feels figure skating has taught her daughter to be a good competitor. Since competing at her level requires a lot of practice, she also feels she has learned excellent time management skills. Binotto hopes to compete at the highest level of the sport she can achieve. But for now, her first priority is finding a partner for ice dancing competitions. For more information on figure skating, visit the Pittsburgh Figure Skating Club website at, the RMU Island Sports Center website at or call 412.397.3335. n

Most people realize that ice skating increases muscle tone and leg strength, but it’s also great for abdominal and lower back muscles too.

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42 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland


t’s a scene Norman Rockwell would appreciate: a family slowly riding on majestic horses through snow-covered woods on a wintry afternoon, silently enjoying the crisp air and natural beauty around them. Sound lovely? In many communities around the country, an afternoon spent on horseback is the stuff of dreams rather than reality. But here in Pittsburgh’s North Hills, horseback riding opportunities are all around us throughout every season. A growing number of Pine-Richland families are taking advantage of this fabulous local resource. FAMILY-FRIENDLY At Babcock Stables, owner Stacey Meckler sees many families discovering the fun and beauty of riding horses. Babcock Stables ( specializes in beginner lessons, getting the kids out trail riding and teaching them to handle basic trail obstacles, Meckler says. She works with children as young as age seven or eight (depending on their level of coordination) and says some area barns that have small ponies will work with even younger kids. Riding is a unique opportunity for families. With soccer or baseball, kids play while parents coach or watch from the sidelines. With horseback riding, parents and kids can learn together, bonding over the shared experience. And for kids who are struggling with behavioral challenges, including autism, horseback riding can be a wonderfully calming experience.

WHERE TO GO Babcock Stables is located at the edge of North Park, so students there get to enjoy the park’s trails. The North Allegheny Horsemen’s Association ( is also based in North Park, and uses the park’s show arena for its events. Even if you don’t ride, you can attend the events as a spectator. And the horsemen’s

association can connect you with volunteer opportunities to help clean up the park’s trails, Meckler says. Johnston Highland Stables, located in Gibsonia, has taught people of all ages to ride and has been around for decades. The stables are also wheelchair accessible. Park View Riding Academy located in Wexford is another good choice. Adjacent to North Park, staff members also teach all age groups to ride. Willow Brook Stables is located on Old Route 8 in Valencia. Lessons at this 23-acre horse farm cost $45 for one hour. Visit for more information. Costs vary from barn to barn, generally ranging from about $30 per hour for beginning training to upwards of $45 per hour for more advanced lessons, says Meckler. Other expenses include riding clothes and riding gear – horseback riding isn’t an inexpensive hobby, but it can be a deeply rewarding one. WHO CAN RIDE? Although sports experience is certainly helpful, kids don’t have to be athletically adept to succeed at horseback riding. “Any kid could probably give it a try,” Meckler says, “especially if already comfortable riding a bicycle and turning right or left with some ease.” It’s also helpful if the child has a reasonably good attention span, but that’s not a requirement. In fact, horseback riding can be a great hobby for kids who are trying to improve their attention and focus. “Kids are usually crazy about animals, so you already have their attention typically, just because they’re around animals,” Meckler

says. “The animals bring the shy kids out of their shells, too.” Learning to ride horses can also be therapeutic for special needs kids. “There are [autistic] kids who do really well with the horses,” Meckler explains. “I have an autistic client and he just lights up. Typically he’s quiet and withdrawn, but when he works with the horse he’s much more expressive.” TAKING IT FURTHER For some Pine-Richland families, a love of basic trail riding can lead to the pursuit of higher-level training in dressage and show competition. Although Meckler’s barn is relatively small (on average she boards 25 horses at one time) she mentions that larger barns like Hodils in Hampton and Misty Hills in Renfrew can train riders for high-stakes competition. Other families pursue horseback riding in an effort to help others through an organization called Riding for the Handicapped of Western Pennsylvania ( You can learn to care for and walk horses, then volunteer to help disabled people enjoy the fun of horseback riding. The staff can teach you to “groom and help saddle the horses,” Meckler says. It’s an enriching experience and a chance to give back to the community. “For older kids and teens,” Meckler adds, “that looks great on a resume or college application.” n

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 43

44 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

Rock On

A unique music school in Wexford offers the chance to perform the music kids really love. But the message is clear – hard work is part of the package.


By Melissa RaywoRth

ou can picture it –or maybe you even lived it: music lessons in which a teacher arrived at your home once a week to drag you through boring exercises and music you would never listen to by choice. School of Rock does things completely differently. And the response it’s gotten from students nationwide is that its method is a whole lot more fun. But be warned, fun doesn’t equal easy. Students at School of Rock who want to learn vocals, guitar, drums or other instruments are taught to play the rock music they love. And they’re learning from experienced musicians who are currently working in the local and national music scene. They also get to perform with other student musicians in public performances. They actually get to “rock out” on stage, showing their families and friends how much they’ve learned. And yet this isn’t all about wishing you were a rock star. IT’S NOT ABOUT FANTASY The kids at School of Rock quickly learn that unless they put in serious hard work, unless they’re willing to practice and practice and practice some more, their skills won’t progress and they won’t land the plum opportunities to perform. Each season, the teachers at School of Rock plan several public shows, some best suited for less experienced students and others which are more challenging. The students are asked which shows

they’d like to audition for, but their preferences won’t necessarily land them the gigs they want. “We cast them in shows where we think it’s going to help them grow the most,” says Alicia Pascazi, general manager of the Wexford location. “The kids who are practicing the most … can [be cast in] harder shows because they’re going to practice. And they know that.” This inspires them to work even harder. There are also national performing opportunities for those who are serious about learning to rock. “Every summer, [the organization] does auditions at every school around the country,” Pascazi explains. “[Staffmembers] pick 40 kids from across the country who go on tour all summer.” Classes are competitively priced, but not inexpensive. Rates are based on age group. Prices range from $75 per month for a weekly 45-minute session for 2 – 5-year-olds, and $300 per month for about four hours per week of instruction for 10 – 18-year-olds. There are also one-day workshops which dive deep into a specific aspect of musical performance, including advanced vocal skills. These workshops are $49 for a full day. And for moms and dads, there are also School of Rock camps for grown-ups, in case you’ve always had a desire to rock a stadium full of people. They’re offered at various locations throughout the country, though none are currently on the schedule at the Wexford location. ■

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 45

Rooted in Tradition Harvest Valley Farms thrives on four generations of sustainable farming. BY JENNIFER BROZAK


n an era of mass-produced food and industrial agriculture, one local farming family has made it their life’s work to remain firmly rooted in tradition. For four generations, the King family, owners of Harvest Valley Farms in Valencia and a seasonal market and bakery in Gibsonia, has been dedicated to providing the community with naturally grown, healthy produce through the practice of sustainable farming. Although it can include many variations, sustainable farming typically uses farming techniques that are designed to protect the environment while cultivating the land. Sustainable farming techniques can include rotating crops to control pests or growing cover crops, which are non-cash crops meant to fertilize soil and suppress weeds. At Harvest Valley Farms, the Kings use a fouryear crop rotation to suppress weeds and pests and sell all of their produce within a 25-mile radius of the farm. They use as many organically certified pesticides as they can and only what is absolutely needed. “I see organic farming as one extreme, and conventional farming as another. Sustainable farming allows us to reach a happy medium by leaving the smallest footprint we can on the land,” says Art King, co-owner of the farm along with his brother, Larry and son David. For instance, the Kings grow and use rye as a cover crop, which helps to aerate and protect the soil over the winter. “Once the rye is all rotted down, it becomes organic matter for the next year’s crop,” explains Art. The farm began as a poultry and vegetable farm, with Art’s great-grandfather selling eggs, vegetables and pork door-to-door. Art’s father, Norman, continued this tradition of selling pork and eggs – taking young Art along with him on deliveries. 46 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

“I started selling eggs with my dad when I was eight years old. We would visit the same people every week, leaving two or three dozens of eggs at each house. Here I was, talking to customers and trying to make change, and I wasn’t even old enough to do the math,” he adds, laughing. The business was quite successful, and Norman and his wife Zita were able to raise Art and his seven siblings on the farm’s profits alone. By the 1970s, however, poultry and egg sales were declining, and in 1982, the farm transitioned to vegetable farming. After Norman King passed away in 1992, Larry asked Art to join the family business. At the time, Art had been happily working in sales at a locally owned lumberyard, but was lured by the prospect of being able to spend more time with his children. In 2005, after graduating from college, Art’s son David, a fourth-generation King – joined the business. Today, Harvest Valley Farms produces more than 65 varieties of fruits and

vegetables. The seasonal market and bakery on Cunningham Road in Gibsonia opened in its current location in 2009 after operating from a detached garage for a number of years. It is open seven days a week from mid-March until Christmas. The Kings employ the use of high tunnels to extend their growing season and keep their fresh produce in stock when the weather turns cold. “Since we opened in 2009, the response has been phenomenal. The community support for our farm and market has just been great,” says Art. The farm also offers a CSA (communitysupported agriculture) program that currently includes more than 440 members. Each week, the farm delivers eight different fruit and vegetable varieties to drop-off points around Pittsburgh, including in Monroeville, Regent Square, Squirrel Hill, East Liberty and the North Hills. CSA members also have the option to pick up their weekly produce during designated hours at the farm.

“With support from farms like Harvest Valley, we are able to provide fresh, nutritious produce to the clients we serve.”

The King family also supports the community by donating all of their excess produce to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s gleaning program. Through this program, the food bank sends volunteers to collect the farm’s surplus or unmarketable produce. Annually, the farm typically donates 20,000 pounds of corn to the program, along with a variety of other surplus fruits and vegetables. This year, Art says, the farm donated approximately 20 percent of its potato harvest to the program. “Harvest Valley Farms is a long-time supporter of Greater Pittsburgh Community

Food Bank,” says Jeralyn Beach, the food bank’s produce coordinator. “With support from farms like Harvest Valley, we are able to provide fresh, nutritious produce to the clients we serve. “The donations of excess or unmarketable produce are brought back to the food bank warehouse in Duquesne and are distributed to our network of agencies, including soup kitchens and food pantries,” she explains. This strong commitment to the community, coupled with the farm’s sustainable farming practices, is imperative to King because, he says, “It’s important to look at the big picture.”

“We’re not just farming for today – we’re farming for today, tomorrow and for years beyond. We’re farming for the future.” For more information on Harvest Valley Farms, visit or call the Farm Market and Bakery at 724.898.FARM. n

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 47

SHARING THE HARVEST If you’re a hunter but your freezer’s full, please consider donating your deer to Hunters Sharing the Harvest Hunters Sharing the Harvest is a program that’s been helping to feed Pennsylvania’s hungry for more than 22 years. The program is simple and rewarding – you go hunting, you arrange with your nearest participating processor to donate the deer (or elk, moose and caribou where applicable), and you make a tax-deductible $15 donation to help cover the cost of processing. All donations, whether monetary or deer meat, are recognized by a letter for your taxes and a window decal to let people know that your hunt helped feed the hungry. From the processing plant, your deer meat will be butchered and distributed to area food banks and charities throughout the state. Your average-sized deer can provide up to 200 meals to help those in need. The program is a dedicated, 501(c)(3) charity supported through public and private entities. As a hunter, you probably already know that deer meat is an extremely healthy food source that’s low in cholesterol and saturated fat. It has more protein and fewer calories than other processed meats, and is on par with other meats for nutritional content such as vitamins and minerals. For more information, call 866.474.2141 or email

The meat processors serving the region for 2013 are: Allegheny County

Kip’s Deer Processing Paula Padgelek 3 Saint John’s Drive Carnegie, PA 15106 412.279.6527

Butler County

Bims Boloney Bim Slater 145 Morris Road Petrolia, PA 16050 724.894.2569 McKruit’s Custom Meat Cutting Tracy McKruit 1011 Bear Creek Road Cabot, PA 16023 724.352.2988

48 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

Washington County

Bobeck’s Deer Processing Mary Bobeck 139 Craig Road Monongahela, PA 15063 724.258.2298 Lenik Deer Processing Ron Lenik 204 Railroad Street Finleyville, PA 15332 724.348.7019

Romes Meat & Deli Ronald Rome Sr. 312 Bonniebrook Road Butler, PA 16002 724.285.1236 TA Giger Deer Processing Tim Giger 121 Kyle Road Valencia, PA 16059 724.898.2244

Erie County

Shuba’s Processing Steve Shuba 1116 Allison Hollow Rd-Shop Washington, PA 15301 724.255.4861

Westmoreland County

Custom Deer Processing Samuel J. Monteparte 131 Flowers Road New Alexandria, PA 15670 724.668.8950

McDonald Meats, Inc. Neeli McDonald 10445 Ridge Road Girard, PA 16417 814.774.3507

Espey’s Meat Market Joe Espey Jr. 319 Espey Meat Market Lane Scottdale, PA 15683 724.887.3226

Pacileo’s Great Lakes Deer Processing John Pacileo 8890 Wattsburg Road Erie, PA 16509 814.825.3759

G. Karas Packing Sharon Karas 606 Story Road Export, PA 15632 724.468.5811

Scott’s Custom Deer Processing Scott Mills 212 S. Main Street Albion, PA 16401 814.449.5335

Hoffer’s Ligonier Valley Packing Denise Zimmerman 582 Darlington Road Ligonier, PA 15658 724.238.7112

Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 49



“Before the holidays, before Christmas and even before Thanksgiving, people are coming and ordering trays of pierogies for family celebrations.� 50 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

A decade later, Forgotten Taste Pierogies is bubbling along in Wexford and also offers catering services. BY MELISSA RAYWORTH


rowing up near Krakow, Poland, Jolanta Kudla saw how traditional recipes and delicious foods brought relatives and neighbors together. A steaming dish of pierogies could warm up the coldest winter night. A shared tray of halushki could serve as the centerpiece for a memorable party with friends, and a simple meal of cabbage and peppers could feed a large family, even on a modest budget. These hearty dishes were the stuff of everyday life for Jolanta’s family. She learned throughout her childhood that besides providing nourishment for the body, meals could also provide nourishment for the soul. Fortunately for Pine-Richland, Jolanta brought all those memories – and traditional recipes – with her when she emigrated to the United States. She and her husband Marek came to the U.S. in the early 1980s. They began raising what would eventually become a family of three children, happily settling into American life while still enjoying the traditional foods they’d loved in Poland. It wasn’t until 2001 that the Kudlas began making and selling traditional homemade pierogies out of their kitchen. It was a small project at first. But the popularity of the recipes grew quickly. In 2003, they opened their first Forgotten Taste Pierogies. A lot of hard work and a commitment to tradition helped the family build their business, and they had a lot of fun working together. The kids pitched in, helping in the kitchen (and no doubt nibbling a pierogie or two along the way). A decade later, Forgotten Taste Pierogies is bubbling along in Wexford and also offers catering services. In Pine-Richland, there is huge competition among restaurants and specialty food stores. But while so many dining options in this area are chain restaurants and chain stores, Forgotten Taste is totally local and unique.

It offers 13 different types of pierogies, including (of course) classic potato and cheese, and also favorites like roast beef with mushrooms, hot sausage and pierogies spiked with jalapenos. One very traditional recipe surprises some customers and delights others. Lekvar is a traditional prune butter that Jolanta says some customers haven’t had for many years. Many customers drop in at the Wexford location for ready-made weeknight dinner. Fried fish is also added to the regular menu on Fridays. Other customers seek out special treats, especially at the holidays. “On a regular basis, they are coming for supper,” Yolanta says of her customers. “But before the holidays, before Christmas and even before Thanksgiving, people are coming and ordering trays of pierogies for family celebrations.” If memory had a taste, it might well be Yolanta’s dishes. The faces of her customers light up when they discover that Forgotten Taste offers unique flavors they once enjoyed as children. Many Pittsburghers have Polish roots and can remember their grandmothers making the very same dishes. “People are able to find something that they had a long, long time ago,” says Jolanta. Some customers even strike up conversations with each other and the staff, retelling stories of their childhood memories of traditional foods. It delights Jolanta to be bringing these dishes to local families. n WHERE TO FIND FORGOTTEN TASTE? Online, visit 11978 Route 19 in Wexford (Village at Pine) 724.940.2277 Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 51

Pine-Richland High School Seniors Honored in National Merit & National Achievement Programs Officials with the National Merit Scholarship and National Achievement Scholarship programs are recognizing 14 Pine-Richland High School seniors in its 2013-2014 recognition program. The National Merit Scholarship program is naming PRHS seniors Meher Babbar, Kristen Baxter, Lauren Brown, Sonali Dadoo, Sara Dugan, Tyler Fitzgerald, William Misback and Margaret Shope as “Commended” students in the 2014 program. They are among the 34,000 “Commended” students in the nation to earn this status in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. In September, organizers named PRHS seniors Rachel Halliday, Monica Lacek, Jennifer Lott, Lena Ogiwara and Kyle Pomerleau as “Semifinalists” in the program. These students are among 16,000 “Semifinalists” and have a 90 percent chance of earning “Finalist” status. They have the opportunity to earn one of 8,000 National Merit Scholarships to be offered in the spring of 2014. The National Achievement Scholarship Program is naming PRHS senior Edem Akwayena as an “Outstanding” participant in the 2014 program. She scored in the top three percent of more than 160,000 African Americans. To achieve “Commended,” “Outstanding,” and “Semifinalist” status in the 2013-2014 competition, students excelled on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

52 724.942.0940 | Pine-Richland

the West Middlesex School District in Mercer County. “I am excited to be given this opportunity to serve the community of Pine-Richland School District,” says Pasquinelli. “I believe all children can and want to learn when challenged with topics and ideas that are relevant to their lives and are motivated by educators who find ways to connect with them. Great schools equal great communities and great communities equal great schools. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.”

Michael Pasqinelli PRSD Assistant Superintendent

New Assistant Superintendent to Join Pine-Richland Team The Pine-Richland School Board is welcoming Michael Pasquinelli to the administrative team as assistant superintendent. Pasquinelli will be finishing his duties as principal of Marshall Elementary School in the North Allegheny School District in December. He has served in other capacities at North Allegheny since 2009 including serving as coordinator of academic technology and assistant principal at Carson Middle School. Prior to that, Pasquinelli was a principal in the Gateway School District. “Mr. Pasquinelli is a proven educational leader with administrative experiences at all levels of education,” says Dr. Brian Miller, PR superintendent. “He is student-centered in his approach and believes strongly in the importance of building relationships with students, staff and the community. As a new member of the district administrative team, people will immediately notice his honest, positive, and straightforward style of communication and leadership. We look forward to his arrival.” Pasquinelli replaces Dr. David Foley, who accepted a promotion as superintendent in

Students & Teacher Become Published Poets Pine-Richland Middle School students and their teacher celebrated being published poets as they participated in a special book launch at the University of Pittsburgh on Nov. 2. Eighthgraders Ben Cohen, Mahak Sethi, Brendan Lowe, Meredith Muschweck, and Sarah Metzmaier along with PRMS English Teacher Jason Prucey are being published in the Poetic Classroom: A Collection of Lessons, Reflections and Poetry from Teachers and Students in Western Pennsylvania. Prucey explains this is not your standard “submit your poem, we’ll publish it, and you’ll buy the book” moneymaking publication. Instead it is a product of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project and the University of Pittsburgh through Autumn House Press. “The book is comprised of selections from various schools from the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels in the region,” says Prucey. The selections include an introductory narrative by the teacher followed by poems written by students and the teacher.

Seniors Nate Larson and Kyle Krisby prepare to operate a robot that they designed, programmed and built at Pine-Richland High School.

PRHS Students Design, Program & Build Robots Pine-Richland High School students are putting to the test robots which they designed, programmed and built in their robotics-engineering course. The students are using RobotC software created by Carnegie Mellon University. The software allows students to program and equip the robots with sensors to provide feedback, which controls which direction the robot moves. “The students get to see how engineers work together on one project,” PRHS Teacher Evan Clark says. “Usually the first time the students write the program, – they find out it might not work, so they work together to troubleshoot.” Students responded well to the lesson. “It’s cool, because we get to build actual robots,” says eleventh grader Austin Hayes. “It’s not just on paperwork.” Junior Michael Coholich adds that his prior experience with Java script helped him to code the program. “It’s cool to actually see my work in progress,” Coholich says. “We had five days to program and build our robot.”

PRHS Thespians Present 1984

The Pine-Richland High School International Thespian Society presented George Orwell’s 1984 on Nov. 21 – 23. The adaptation by Robert Owens, Wilton E. Hall, Jr. and William A. Miles, Jr. of the famous novel, gave audience members a look into the character of Winston and his

typical day at work, altering old newspapers to change history. The information in the newspapers must match the new truth as decided by The Party. However, things become complicated when Winston refuses to see the alterations as the truth. Barely old enough to recall a time when things were different, he sets out to expose The Party and its untruths. PRHS Sponsor John Dolphin says PR International Thespian Society Troupe #7468 worked extremely hard to put together this production. “We pride ourselves in producing pieces of literature that are familiar to middle and high school students,” Dolphin explains. “In keeping with this concept of studentcentered productions, our Fall plays were a collaboration between student department heads who oversaw the running of every aspect of the production. Our shows were created by students, for students.”

PR Girls Soccer Hosted Annual ‘Kick for Cure’ Game Benefiting Gilda’s Club The Pine-Richland Girls Junior Varsity & Varsity Soccer teams hosted their annual Breast Cancer Awareness “Kick for the Cure” Game as they took on Shaler Oct. 9. This year, the team honored Eden Hall Upper Elementary Teacher Janice Bagnato, who is a breast cancer survivor. The team donated portions of the proceeds to Gilda’s Club.

Gilda’s Club of Western PA was founded by oncology nurse Cynthia Stanish and her husband Al. They opened in June of 2006 in the Strip District on Smallman Street in hopes that those living with cancer and their friends and families would have a place to come together and learn from one another how best to live with cancer. It’s a warm and welcoming place where men, women, teens, and children diagnosed with cancer, and family and friends join with others to build social, emotional, and informational support as a supplement to medical care. Coach Jodi Chmielewski says the PineRichland Girls Soccer program was honored to be able to support the cause.

Pine-Richland Field Hockey Participates in “Play4theCure” The Pine-Richland Field Hockey team joined hands with the National Foundation for Cancer Research to participate in its fundraising campaign entitled Play4theCure, in which sports teams across the country were invited. Teams committed to donating proceeds from at least one game to the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Pine-Richland Field Hockey raised funds during their games versus the North Allegheny Field Hockey team on Oct. 15, at Pine-Richland Stadium in Gibsonia. In addition to proceeds from ticket sales, the team also collected general donations and sold t-shirts and baked goods to raise additional funds. Players on the Pine-Richland team embraced the theme “Whatever it Takes!” and wore special one-of-a-kind event t-shirts designed by Pine-Richland Sophomore Erica Davis and pink socks in support of the cause. The Field Hockey organization hosted a design contest and Davis’ winning design earned her a $50 certificate from Utrecht. Davis is in PRHS Teacher Vince Thearle’s Drawing & Art History I classes. For more information on the “Play4theCure” campaign or to participate, please visit Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 53

NORTHERN TIER REGIONAL LIBRARY ASSOCIATION SERVING RICHLAND AND PINE TOWNSHIPS Richland Center 4015 Dickey Road | 724.449.BOOK (2665) Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Northern Tier Library, Richland Center will be closed on Tuesday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 25. We will close at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31 and will be closed on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Pine Center Pine-Richland High School | 724.625.5655 Library hours are Monday–Thursday, 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. The Northern Tier Library, Pine Center, will be closed Monday, December 23–Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Bookmobile Service Pine Tree Shoppes – Route 19, Wexford Friday, 12:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m. 24 Hour Book Drop Market District Township of Pine – Village at Pine Shopping Center

WINTER BREAK @ THE LIBRARY! Dec. 26 join us at the library for our 1st ever Winter Break @ the Library for lots of fun and free activities! Moviethon! Thursday, Dec. 26, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Join us for popcorn and family movies. Game Day! Friday, Dec. 27, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Come and play games, put together puzzles, build with legos, and participate in our first ever Twister Tournament. Tournaments will take place at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve Crafts! Monday, Dec. 30, 11:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. Come and make some festive crafts to get into the party mood – hats, rattles, big glasses, big ties – you name it! New Year’s Eve Disco Party! Tuesday, December 31, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Join us to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a kid friendly Disco Party and our very own countdown! The fun starts at 1:00 p.m. and our “midnight” will be at 3:00 p.m.! 54 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland

ZUMBA Zumba is a strong cardio and muscular workout, incorporating dances such as merengue, salsa, hip hop, and belly dancing. A six week series will be offered on Mondays, January 6–February 10, at 6:30 p.m. A fee of $30 will be charged for the series, and advance registration is requested as the class will be cancelled if there are not enough participants. This class will be held on the library’s lower level.

ONGOING PROGRAMS AUTISM FORUM Do you have a loved one with autism? Get together with other parents and family members on the third Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. Share your joys, triumphs, and challenges, and offer advice based on your own experiences. Upcoming dates are: Dec. 21 and Jan.18. Registration is required.

HANDS AND VOICES Adults and teens are invited to learn the basics of American Sign Language at the library. This informal, interactive class meets every other Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Upcoming dates are: Dec. 28, Jan. 11 and 25, Feb. 8 and 22, and March 8 and 22. Please pre-register, and bring your questions.

COFFEEHOUSE POET DISCUSSION GROUP Do you like to talk about poetry? Our discussion group meets on the first Thursday of each month, 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. to explore and discuss the works of various poets. Meetings will be held on Jan. 2, Feb. 6 and March 6. Please call the library for details on upcoming poets.

CONVERSATION GROUP The Conversation Group meets on the second Thursday of each month, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., to share ideas and hear what others have to say. Spirited conversation is guaranteed! Join us on Jan. 9, Feb. 13 and/or March 13.

BRIDGET’S BOOK CLUB Joining a book club doesn’t mean you have to read books that make you cry! Bridget’s Book Club meets on the second Thursday of each month, at 7:00 p.m., to talk about thoughtprovoking and entertaining reads. On Jan. 9, we will discuss The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. We will also choose books for our upcoming meetings on Feb. 13 and March 13.

KNIT LIT Do you knit, crochet, or craft in any way? If not, would you like to learn? Bring a project and your latest read, and join us for crafting, conversation, and fun. Dates are: Jan. 23, Feb. 27 and March 27.

NTRL BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP Our daytime book group meets on the last Thursday of each month at 10:00 a.m. Upcoming dates and titles are: Jan. 30 – The Orphan Train by Cristina Baker Kline Feb. 27 – Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks March 27 – TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

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Join in Community magazines’ Team of Professional Sales reps IN Community Magazines is seeking an energetic salesperson to sell print advertising in your area. Full-time is preferred, but part-time will be considered. Please contact our General Sales Manager, Tamara Myers, at for more information.

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Pine-Richland | Winter 2013 | 55




North Park Water Tower Was Once An Observation Deck? BY JONATHAN BARNES


n a hilltop near a picnic grove in that’s one of Allegheny County’s best

North Park’s old water tower was built in 1937 and was utilized for storing and supplying water to the 3,075-acre park. It North Park Water Supply System Standpipe. For many years, the tower’s sky-high for anyone capable of climbing the 154 steps. Unfortunately, the tower is no longer open to safety reasons.

covered deck has some stylish architectural decorated with mosaics of zodiac symbols


benches on which visitors once sat to enjoy panoramic view of wooded areas, a nearby golf course, housing developments and the spectacular greenery of the park, all laid out like a topographical map sprung to life. Generations back, young people from the North Hills would climb the steps to take in the view. But for many years, the creaky metal stairway leading up to the observation deck has been padlocked due to structural instability. ■

Did You Know? We are looking for little-known facts, history or other interesting stories about your community. Please send your ideas to 56 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE | Pine-Richland


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