Volume 27 No. 3 March 2011
Care, compassion root Historic status sought of ex-offender program for Nunnery Hill incline By Kelly Thomas Of the nearly 18,000 people incarcerated in the Allegheny County Jail at any given time, 10 to 12,000 will be released and reincarcerated within three years. That is 60 to 70 percent of all inmates, according to 2009 data from the Allegheny County Jail. The Hopeshot Aftercare Jail and Prison Ministry of Allegheny Center Alliance Church has been working hard for the past year to reduce that number by supporting inmates after they are released and connecting them with the services they need. Program Facilitator Lindsay Hargrove, a recovering addict of 18 years, said that having a support group and resources is essential for returning inmates, many of whom have been in jail for years and have nowhere to go upon their release. “If [ex-offenders’] needs are not addressed, it’s very easy for them to go back to old people, old places, old things,” Hargrove said. Hopeshot addresses those needs in four ways. The first is referring exoffenders to other organizations that can help them with transportation, job skills, clothing, shelter, food and anything else they might need. Hopeshot volunteers also mentor ex-offenders and help keep them on the straight and narrow, and ACAC provides counseling services, or refers them to other counseling resources. Ex-offenders are paired up one-on-one with one of Hopeshot’s mentors, who will call to check in on
them throughout the week. The fourth component of the ministry is its Christ-centered support group that meets every Saturday at 801 Union Place. The support group provides a place for ex-offenders and their families to come and share their experiences with others who have been through similar situations. During the week, ex-offenders are encouraged to call each other to check in and give each other a few kind words to help them through what is usually a rough transition to life outside of jail. Most ex-offenders that come through Hopeshot committed crimes related to drugs and alcohol, like theft, assault or possession, Hargrove said. Hopeshot Ministries has a relationship with the Hope Program operated inside Allegheny County Jail by Christian Associates of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Hope Program works with inmates in the time leading up to their release and refers them to various Christian aftercare support groups like Hopeshot. “Many people struggle,” he said. “Relapse is a reality. We deal with the practical side of addiction, but we also deal with the evangelical side of sin.” Co-facilitator Rodney Cuspard, another ex-offender who recently celebrated his seventh anniversary of sobriety, said that Hopeshot helps former inmates and recovering
See Hopeshot, page 13
Photo taken from “Allegheny City: 1840-1907.” Courtesy Allegheny City Society
A man stands on the tracks of the Nunnery Hill Incline, the region’s first curved-track incline, in this period photo. Fineview Citizens Council is looking to secure a historic designation for the incline, which operated from 1887 to 1899.
By Ethan Cohen The Fineview Citizens Council on Feb. 15 met with Pittsburgh City Council to discuss a proposal for historic designation for what remains of the Nunnery Hill Incline. All members present at the meeting, including representatives from the Department of City Planning, the Historic Review Commission and the Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation, were in favor of the proposal, said FCC Program Director Ed Lewis. A supporting wall and a landing house is all that remains of the once well-traveled incline. The Nunnery Hill Incline, designed by engineer Samuel Deischer, ran
from 1887 to 1899 and was one of the first inclines in the world to be built with a curved track, making it one of Pittsburgh’s most famous inclines, according to “Pittsburgh Railways” by Ronald L. Beal. A ride on the incline cost five cents and carried passengers and freight up the hill where Henderson Street is today, according to “A Century of Inclines.” The proposal is part of the Gateway Improvement Project, a community initiative by the FCC to create a welcoming atmosphere to the Fineview neighborhood. “We would like to see our historic buildings repainted, the
See Inclines, page 13
The Northside Chronicle
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2nd Monday, monthly, 7 p.m. Allegheny Traditional Academy 412.231.7742
Charles Street Area Council 1st Monday, monthly, call for times Pittsburgh Project, 2801 N. Charles St. 412.321.5567 Community Alliance of Spring Garden/ East Deutschtown 2nd Tuesday, monthly, 6:30 p.m. Fuhrer Building of St. Michael’s Church 412.977.1979 Deutschtown New Hope Council 3rd Thursday, monthly, 6:30 p.m. Community Center, 623 Suismon St. East Allegheny Community Council 2nd Tuesday, monthly, 7 p.m. The Bistro Annex (behind Bistro Soul) 412.321.1204 Ex-offender Aftercare Support Group Saturdays, 4-5:30 p.m. Allegheny Center Alliance Church 801 Union Place Fineview Citizens Council 3rd Wednesday, monthly, 6:30 p.m. Reformed Presbyterian Home Pennsylvania Ave. 412.231.0330 Mexican War Streets Society 3rd Tuesday, monthly, 7 p.m. AUU Church, Resaca Pl. and North Ave. 412.323.9030
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The Northside Chronicle
Blues Orphans blend blues, punk, hip hop By Kelly Thomas At the Penn Brewery on a Friday night, with tables packed and chatter thick in the air, six gentlemen with graying hair ferry heavy-looking instruments, amps and speakers into a corner opposite the bar. No one pays attention as they set up. Those who aren’t engaged in conversation keep their eyes on the restaurant’s sole television where the Penguins battle the Buffalo Sabres. The Blues Orphans step up to their microphones, instruments in hand, and launch into their patented style: blues blended with rock, hip hop, punk and everything else. The guitar, drums, brass instruments, harmonica and upright bass keep each other in check as they plow through the ambient noise. By the time the Orphans get to “Yinzer Polka,” the chatter has died out and more than a few patrons are dancing around tables and twirling
City of Asylum wins LINC-Ford Foundation competition City of Asylum/Pittsburgh was one of 12 winners in the national LINC-Ford Foundation “Space for Change” Competition. The award, which is accompanied by $50,000 and two years of technical support, will go to completing a new literary center on Monterey Street. The literary center on Monterey Street will convert a former bar, a vacant lot and an abandoned home into a unified space with a bookstore (specializing in translations), a bar-café-restaurant and spaces for readings and writing workshops. The project will enable an expansion of City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s literary program and residencies. City of Asylum/Pittsburgh was begun in October of 2004 and is the publisher of Sampsonia Way. The organization is best known for its exiled-writer residency program and its “house publications” on the
each other jubilantly. If you ask any member of the band for a definition of “conventional music,” he will look at you as if something particularly odd is growing out of your head and inform you that he has no idea what you’re talking about. Over the band’s thirty years, 70 original songs and four albums that span every genre imaginable have had Pittsburghers up and dancing, or at least tapping or swaying along to the beat in bars, restaurants and venues across the city. Blues Orphans founder and chief lyricist Bob Gabig might take his musical influences from everywhere, but the most important part of any song, he says, is the lyrics. “Hooks are easy to come by, but a good story really makes a song.” When composing lyrics, Gabig starts with a “crazy idea for a topic,” or something about Pittsburgh or an issue that affects the world, and
Photo by Kelly Thomas
The Blues Orphans from left to right: Charlie Barath fills in for Andy Gabig, Nelson Harrison, Mark Custer, Dave Erny and Bob Gabig. writes from that. His songs often touch upon serious topics, such as pollution in the ocean in “Plastic Soup,” but he laces humor throughout. After the lyrics, Gabig, who also plays guitar and sings, writes the
chord progressions, but allows each band member to play his own part however he wants. “We could play it 10 different ways before it starts to settle,” Gabig says. The rest of the band consists
See Blues Orphans, page 16
News Briefs facades of the houses where the writers live. Expungement workshop offered by NEC, Rivers Casino The Northside Leadership Conference Neighborhood Employment Center and Rivers Casino are co-sponsoring a free workshop providing information on the expungement process. The workshop will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at the CCAC Allegheny Campus, Foerster Student Center, 808 Ridge Ave., second floor. Limited on-campus parking will be available, metered parking is available near campus, or public transportation is available via PAT bus route 18 Manchester. The workshop is for anyone with charges on their record that may be expunged as a way to address a potential barrier to employment. Assistance provided by the city’s NECs and employment at Rivers
Casino will also be discussed. Children’s Museum named one of top museums in country The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh was named by Parents magazine as one of the 10 best children’s museum in the country. Parents researched children’s museums to identify those with clever educational exhibits, mommyand-me outings and festivals, healthy places for lunch, nursing areas, family restrooms and stroller parking. CMP came in at seventh place. 1-The Children’s Museum of Houston; 2-The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; 3-Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia; 4-Boston Children’s Museum; 5-Madison Children’s Museum; 6-Kohl Children’s Museum; 7-Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; 8-Children’s Museum of Phoenix.; 9-National Museum of Play, Rochester, N.Y.; 10-Minnesota Children’s Museum.
The Northside Chronicle
PPS board rejects Propel N. Side application Charter school cites ‘confusion’ over documents, content needed by board By Kelly Thomas The Pittsburgh Public School Board Feb. 16 voted not to approve the charter application for Propel Charter Schools Northside location, as recommended by the district’s Charter Review Team. Propel was not alone. The board rejected two other charter school applications and approved one, that of Urban Pathways Charter School Downtown. Reasons cited for the review team’s “no” recommendation include the absence of a comprehensive curriculum for all grade levels, absence of a curriculum for science and social studies, absence of longrange goals for all students and the lack of a plan for meeting the needs of students with disabilities in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The district’s Charter Review Team did acknowledge the success of the other six Propel schools throughout Allegheny County. Propel Northside would have begun as K-4 school with 40 students in each grade and expanded to K-8. Before the vote, Propel Executive Director Jeremy Resnick told The Chronicle Propel staff were disappointed by the decision and said it was not always clear what the school board was looking for in an application. Resnick did not return a request for comment after the school board voted. “I guess there’s just some confusion about what paper they wanted,” Resnick said before the vote. “Once it becomes clear what [the school board] is looking for, we’ll give it to them, and we’ll be approved.”
Resnick did not want to comment on what exactly the “confusion” was, and said it is too early to think about whether or not they will need to appeal to the State Charter School Appeal Board. Under Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law, charter applicants can appeal to state board if a local school district denies the charter application. Charter schools are independent public schools funded partly by local school districts and the state. Under Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law, charter schools must adhere to the same state standards as regular public schools, but should provide different, creative curriculums from other available schools. Before the vote Resnick also said the search for a location was ongoing, and would not comment on whether the address in Manchester
included in the charter application was a place holder. Manchester already has two schools: the Manchester Elementary School, a public school, and the Manchester Academic Charter School, which serves grades K – 8. Some Manchester residents opposed Propel’s application because they fear it will take away from the public school. At least one Northside group, the Manchester Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, had asked the board not to approve Propel’s application at a public hearing in December. PTA President Lisa Freeman today said she was glad Propel’s application was denied, because she feels putting a charter school on the Northside would divert funds away
See Propel, page 20
The Northside Chronicle
Petitioners: Noise, not race, reason for hearing By Kelly Thomas A City Council hearing Jan. 31 requested by a petition signed by nearly three dozen area residents was meant to address excessive noise, litter and damage to the park caused by events in the park and not racism or animosity toward any specific groups, a North Avenue resident said. Although homeowner Laurie Charlton said she filed the petition for the hearing to address the way permits are issued and enforced in Allegheny Commons Park for all park events, one group in particular, the Northside Oldtimers, took it personally. The Oldtimers hold their antiviolence Unity Day gathering in the west side of the park each year, and felt that the petitioners singled them out because they are mostly black and the petitioners mostly white. After reading the petition, which refers to “recent events” but does not name specific events, Oldtimers board
member William Thompkins told The Chronicle he and other members of the group felt the petition was directed at them. “There have been some very ugly things said,” Thompkins said. “If we were a non-African American association, would we have been responded to in the same way? I don’t know, but I don’t think so.” Other events, though not as large, that are held in and around Allegheny Commons Park, include the annual African Arts in the Park, Deutschtown’s Pumpkinfest and an anti-violence rally held by the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Group. At the hearing, the Allegheny West Civic Council also requested a moratorium on park permits until the city could work with the Allegheny Commons Initiative to come up with a better set of rules and regulations for holding events in the park, said AWCC President Timothy Zinn. Zinn said in an e-mail that AWCC’s biggest complaint was not
Hazel Harris cooks ribs at the Oldtmers picnic in September in Allegheny Commons Park. groups using the park for events, but Steelers fans who light fires in the park, leave empty beer bottles lying around and dump coals from their grills onto the lawn.
“I think the accusations of racism are totally unfounded … and a result of sensationalism and poor journalism that somehow wrongly implicated Allegheny West as the originators of the petition and as the organization that requested the hearing,” Zinn said in the e-mail. Councilman Daniel Lavelle, whose district includes Allegheny Commons Park where the Oldtimers hold their event, denied the moratorium, and told The Chronicle that the city’s process for issuing permits was not a problem. “I think we may need to look at how we enforce during the actual day [of the events],” Lavelle said. In speaking with individuals, Lavelle said he believes a lack of communication within the community left parties on both sides of the debate without all the necessary information. “Unfortunately, it turned into a
See Park Permits, page 14
The Northside Chronicle
WPAHS introduces first EMS app for iPhone By Kelly Thomas In the past, you probably couldn’t have cared less what kind of phone your emergency medical services professionals used. Now, you’re going to hope they have an iPhone. The West Penn Allegheny Health System, of which Allegheny General Hospital is a part of, released in late February an iPhone application specifically designed to help EMS professionals respond to medical emergencies faster and more efficiently. The app, called the EMS Field Partner, is available for free in the online Apple Store. In addition to containing reference materials on state procedures and standard medication dosages, the app will tell EMS professionals which WPAHS hospital can best treat the patient based on symptoms and allows them to
more quickly summon a LifeFlight helicopter. Integration with Google Maps gives ambulances turn-byturn directions to the appropriate hospital and also communicates with helicopter dispatch to give pilots the patient’s exact GPS location. EMTs or paramedics will still have to call 911 to launch the helicopter, but using the app allows the flight team to prepare and should save between three and five minutes, which could be crucial in a timesensitive emergency. WPAHS Outreach Development Coordinator Eric Schmidt, who helped conceptualize and develop the app’s functions, said the idea for the app was to give EMS professionals everything they needed to respond quickly to emergencies in one place. Anyone can download the app, but in order to access some of the functions like the ability to call a helicopter, users must register and
A screenshot of the new iPhone EMS app developed by WPAHS. provide their credentials. Schmidt personally reviews each registrant to make sure they are EMS
professionals. In the app’s first week of availability, Schmidt said it had about 700 downloads and 100 approved EMS users. At the end of February no one had used the more advanced features like calling a helicopter, but paramedic Craig Pearson of Penn Hills and Shaler EMS said he was looking forward to the chance to use the app on the job. After playing with the app, Pearson thinks the ability to select from a list of symptoms and have the app tell you which hospital is most appropriate will be one of the most useful features. Because of the many hospitals in the region, WPAHS and otherwise, he said it can be hard to know whether or not a specific hospital will be able to provide the best care in specialized cases.
See EMS, page 18
The Northside Chronicle
Mary Jane Barbush
Long-time Fineview resident and community leader Mary Jane Barbush passed away on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, at the age of 73. Barbush, who served for more than 30 years in multiple positions on the Fineview Citizens Council’s board, has been lauded as a committed, active neighborhood figure who took her role in the community seriously. From writing proposals and treasury reports to producing the neighborhood newsletter, “Her heart was always open to making things happen for Fineview,” said Pat Buck, an FCC board member. “She was intense and stern about some things, but she was a pleasant lady who was very nice. She was a caring, committed, educated person who really cared about Fineview and the Northside.” One of her proudest and biggest accomplishment was founding the Fineview Step-a-Thon 15 years ago, Buck said, which has grown into a yearly event where challengers climb the 5 miles of steps throughout Fineview. Fineview resident and FCC board member Margaret Eldridge met Mary Jane shortly after she moved to the neighborhood and called her “a fun, generous woman.” She described how she and Mary Jane once completed a survey of every vacant and occupied home in their neighborhood, walking street by street until the job was done. “Mary Jane was very precise. She was really a no-nonsense lady,” Eldridge said. “As a neighborhood organizer, you could count on her. Any job she was given, she did it well. She was very effective.” Mary Jane and husband, Michael, who sat on the North
Side / North Shore Chamber of Commerce’s board for many years, attended almost every Chamber function, said Robin Rosemary Miller, Chamber director. Aside from her community work Mary Jane also was an avid gardener, Miller remembers. “They had this beautiful outdoor garden that she took great pride in. Beautiful flowers, and you’d walk in and she’d tell you what kinds of plants they were,” Miller said. “She kept a beautiful house. She had great taste in art.” “Mary Jane was a volunteer among the many hundreds of volunteers that helped to revive this city,” Buck said. “Her legacy will be that Fineview is a better place.” Mary Jane is survived by her husband, the owner of Burke & Michael, an interior design firm located in Allegheny West.
LaMar Barnes LaMar Barnes, Perry Hilltop Citizens’ Council member and past president, passed away on Feb. 9, 2011. PHCC board member Janet Gunter worked with LaMar when he was president, a role which he held for several years. “He was a forceful leader,” Gunter said. “He helped us in many ways with the sometimes confusing city government. He was a good neighbor.” Sherman Culver, current president of PHCC, called LaMar an advocate for the community and a friend. “LaMar will be sadly missed with his bigger than life heart and smile,” Culver said in an e-mail. PHCC will be accepting donations on behalf of the Barnes Family. Please forward donations to: Perry Hilltop Citizens’ Council Attn. PHCC Treasurer C/O Barnes Family Donation 2344 Perrysville Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15214
Hospice care benefits not known by all, groups say By Ethan Cohen Three Northside organizations are teaming up for an initiative to provide end-of-life care for the Northside’s African-American community. Through Transitions, a partnership with Bidwell Presbyterian Church and Northside Christian Health Center, Manchester-based Family Hospice and Palliative Care hopes to provide education and easy access to its services for Northside African-Americans with life-limiting illness or injury, said Family Hospice President and CEO Rafael Sciullo. “Many people in the AfricanAmerican community believe that hospice and palliative care are ‘not for them.’ A primary goal for the Transitions program is to educate the community in order to show that endof-life care is for everyone,” Sciullo said.
By providing care and to other hospice centers, the Transitions program will help members of the community understand end-of-life care and also cope with the difficulties families face with the death of a loved one. According to The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, a non-profit that represents hospice and palliative care programs, these types of care are utilized by over 1.2 million patients and their families each year. Hospice care focuses on improving the quality of life for patients with short life expectancy while providing support for the patient’s family, while palliative care is a more long-term approach. Further research by NHPCO shows that the Africa-American community underutilizes these services, even when services are
See Transitions, page 18
The Northside Chronicle
FEBRUARY 2011 Chronicle Blog Highlights For full stories go to www.thenorthsidechronicle.com/blog Student stars Every Monday The Chronicle posts a profile of one of the area’s best students. February featured Kahdafi Ariff Gilmore of Schiller Middle School, Jessie Foley of MLK Elementary, Asha of Northview K-8 and Robert Morris of Allegheny Traditional Academy. February 23 The Northside Chronicle publishes a schedule of upcoming housing court cases as we are made aware of them. February 18 Two Northside museums, the Carnegie Science Center and the Children’s Museum, are hosting
photography competitions. The Science Center’s focuses on the beauty of science and the Children’s Museum’s on the history and heritage of the Pittsburgh region February 15 Friends of the Riverfront celebrated its 20th anniversary on Valentine’s Day this year. It plans to celebrate all year long. February 11 A group of French students from Oliver High School are raising funds to pay for a trip to visit their pen pals on the French-speaking island of Guadeloupe. They held a Carribbean-themed benefit dinner at Bistro to Go on Feb. 19.
Letter to the Editor
Elimination of 500 bus line Dear Editor, You should be aware that in March Port Authority intends to eliminate the 500 bus line that runs from Bellevue and the Northside to Downtown, Oakland and Highland Park. This is not a temporary budget measure. It’s been planned and scheduled in the name of PAT-style “progress” to raise fares through the sale of transfers and reduce runs into the Northside. In March, we would need to take a less frequent bus into Downtown and then make a transfer, thus ending our direct connection between the the Northside, Fifth Avenue Corridor and
the major universities in Oakland. Are we satisfied with a plan promoted by paid consultants and/ or modeled after what other cities are doing? Or do you believe the people of Pittsburgh deserve to have a transit system that serves the interests of its own residents and neighborhoods? Please make your opinion known, and keep doing it! Write or email Port Authority and the news agencies. Please discuss this in your neighborhood and meetings. --Kathleen Hagan
Letters to the Editor of no more than 250 words should be emailed to email@example.com. All letters must be signed and include a phone number. We reserve the right to edit all letters for grammar, brevity and clarity, and to refuse publication of letters for any reason.
From the office of City Council President Darlene Harris
Legislation currently in progress We are in the middle of putting together legislation addressing many quality of life issues for residents city-wide, but especially those in District a. Here are three examples: noise pollution, street lighting and urban agriculture. Noise Pollution Just about all city districts have issues with noise pollution, so I set up a task force co-chaired by Councilmen Patrick Dowd and Bruce Kraus. Also on the committee will be Council colleagues Theresa Kail-Smith and R. Daniel Lavelle. Their job is to review ordinances currently on the books and find the best way to enforce them. As an example, many neighbors of the new Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville have been complaining about loud sounds emanating from the hospital’s heating and ventilating system and other residents don’t want to hear the sound of dumpsters being emptied in the early morning hours behind many restaurants across the
city. City residents are losing sleep. We need to find the best way to measure the sound, determine the allowable limit and prosecute those who do not keep to those limits. Street Lighting Last year, I put money aside to install lighting to properly enhance the District a business areas. Currently, we are determining how best to use that money. We are looking at issues such as energy consumption, aesthetics, brightness, electrical upgrades, needed manpower and making sure that residents who live in those business districts are not affected by the new lights in their homes. Finding the correct product for each neighborhood may mean different fixtures for each neighborhood. In neighborhoods were cameras are installed, we need lighting bright enough to make out images from the cameras. Urban Agriculture Have you ever tasted fresh
See Harris, page 20
The Northside Chronicle
Dark green spaces, kit houses and “Hollywood” Driving down the valley the car came to an abrupt stop as six deer gingerly sauntered across the roadway from one green space to another. The roadway was Charles Street, less than two blocks from where it intersects with Brighton Road and California Avenue. The green spaces, most dear to deer, have been growing in number throughout Northside communities over the past decade. Houses, mostly built well over a century ago, that provided homes to working families for generations have disappeared. Empty and badly deteriorated, most of these structures were leveled. In their place are gapping straw covered holes in the urban landscape. Demolition acts as an expanding cancer threatening the next block or row of homes. This is indeed the darker side of green and a sight too common in our communities. Some may see this greening of our neighborhoods as a positive step into the 21st century — more trees, more deer, more turkeys. Others see it as a step backward. The question facing almost every one of our neighborhoods is how these dark, green spaces can be reincarnated with homes that are affordable to working families.
One solution to rebuilding communities was suggested by a team of urban planners who worked with the Central North Side Neighborhood Council in the development of a community plan. These urbanists suggested the possibility of the rebirth of kit houses, an early 20th century phenomenon whose time has come again. Janet Gunter and Tom Wilson live in a kit house in Perry Hilltop. Their home is one of many such kit homes built throughout the Northside in the first half of the last century. Theirs was designed by Sears Roebuck. Adam Meyer, a young Northside urbanist who has followed his heart to California, alerted me several years ago of the Sears houses he identified in Brighton Heights and Observatory Hill. These kit homes produced by Sears and other companies could be purchased from a catalog of different styles and sizes. They arrived in a kit that included all building materials, hardware, electric fixtures, plumbing supplies, even down to the required number of nails, screws, bolts and nuts. Plans were supplied that were necessary to prepare a site for construction. They were
See Canning, page 20
Photo courtesy John Canning
A painting of a kit house on Chautauqua Street in Perry Hilltop.
The Northside Chronicle
Manchester Academic Charter School - Northside Voices The Northside Chronicle has paired with Manchester Academic Charter School to feature students’ articles. This month, 8th grade students paired up to interview long-time Northsiders who have contributed to their neighborhoods. Inspiration at its best: Joan Kimmel By Deontae Coker & Tamiya Martin I had the pleasure to sit down and talk with Joan Kimmel who is a Northside native. When we first started talking I could see that she was a very outgoing person and very passionate in what she did. She also expressed to us how much she really cares about the Northside. Q) What is your name? A) My name is Joan Kimmel. Q) What community on the Northside do you live or work in? A) I live in Central Northside and I work right at the very edge of Central Manchester and Northside. Q) When and what brought you to the north side? A) I came moved here in 1974 and it turns out that my sister lived here and she has been living here for a few years, and I had somebody already living here, and I was fortunate enough to purchase a house for $3,000. Q) Why did you stay? A) Because I fell absolutely in love with it. I thought the Northside had the most amazing people, things were always changing, it had an amazing mix of people, a huge diversity, and I just never fell out of love with it. Q) What activities do you do on the Northside? A) I actually do just about everything on the Northside and it’s not that often that you see me off of the Northside… It’s usually if I’m going to the movies or something. I own a garden center that’s right on Brighton Road, I walk around the park all the time, I shop in the Northside, I have a fancy dinner tomorrow on the Northside. Q) How have things changed from when you first came to the Northside to now? A) Well the most pointed is there are thousands more cars than there ever were. When I first moved here there would be at the most five cars, but now you can hardly find a parking space. A lot of people found out how wonderful it is to live in a
city where you can walk to things. More people are moving back to (the city) fix up the houses, so that been a big change. Q) What is your most memorable moment/event that has happened on the Northside? A) Oh good heavens. There’s been so many from street parties, to ice skating in Lake Elizabeth, and Christmas Caroling. Q) Do you have any children, if so how has it made an impact on them? A) Yes, my daughter, she was seven years old when we first moved here. She went to Martin Luther King grade school, Columbus Middle School, and then that’s right when buses began running, then we sent her to Greenway. When she became an adult she moved to Athens, Oh. But it’s interesting that when she had a child, and he’s now a teenager, she decided to move back to Pittsburgh. It’s one the best places to live. Q) What was your occupation when you first came to the Northside? What is it now? A) I was a secretary at the University of Pittsburgh and now I own a garden center called the Urban Gardener. Q) What contributions do you feel you and your business have made to the Northside? A) Well one contribution I feel I have made is that I took an old vacant abandoned gas station and turned it into a just a massive greenery of flowers, which is a place that people come from all over the region. We don’t just get our customers from the Northside. For me personally I think that it is important. I was involved from the time I came here in my community organization, so beyond the board, we work on affordable housing, we help take care of the problems the community is having with the city. Q) How do you envision the future of the Northside? A) I think it will be just fabulous. I think it will be the star of the city, it’s positioned beautifully, we have many benefits and assets here. West Park is one of the most amazing parks.
People always ask: Tom Roberts By Taylor Fitzpatrick & Shayonna Herring My name is Taylor Fitzpatrick. This past week, Shayonna Herring and I had the opportunity to interview a Nortside resident, Tom Roberts. We found Mr. Roberts to be a very charismatic Northsider who makes a positive contribution to the community. Q) What is your name? A) Tom Roberts. Q) What community on the Northside do you live or work in? A) I live in the Mexican War Streets of the Northside. Q) When and what brought you here? A) I actually grew up in Pittsburgh, and then I had moved to New Orleans to go touring with another musician. I then moved from New Orleans to Maryland. Then I moved back to Pittsburgh. I started looking for a recording studio when I found one on North Avenue on the Northside. I chose this recording studio because Johnny Costa, a pianist who played for Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and a childhood hero of mine, and recorded there. Q) Why did you stay? A) I loved the old buildings around and the diversity that takes place on the Northside. I liked being surround by colorful types of people. Q) What activities do you like to do on the Northside? A) I enjoy walking my dog around West Park and Riverview Park. I also like going to Buena Vista Coffee Shop where there are tons of fun people. They also have movie nights and game nights. I also enjoy teaching kids all over the Northside how to play the piano. Q) How have things changed from when you first came to the Northside and now? A) The biggest thing is the prices of houses are going up and becoming expensive. Also it seems as if everyone is splitting up and branching off into their own groups instead of staying as a community. Other than that people are around the same. Q) What was your most
To listen to the entire interview of Joan Kimmel, Tom Roberts and many others, visit http://neighborhoodvoices.org/ Find other MACS stories and interviews at www.thenorthsidechronicle.com
memorable moment or event that took place on the Northside? A) Everyday there is something memorable and worth account. I could be depressed beyond belief and just walk around the Northside and people would amaze me. If I had to pin down to one it would be when the Northside had their 100th anniversary and my wife and I performed. Q) What was your occupation when you first came to the Northside? A) I have always been a musician. Q) What contribution do you feel that you have made to the Northside? A) I feel as if I am the ambassador of the Northside. I can go around telling people that, “Yes I live on the Northside, yes it is safe, and yes it is a beautiful community.” When I talk to my friends and they ask me if the Northside is safe and I always turn the tables on them and ask them if they feel safe just to stick it to them. We have brought a lot of people from the East End to the Northside to visit the coffee shop for concerts and also to the pub. A lot people come and end up saying wow who knew this was here. Q) How do you envision the future of the Northside? A) Well, I would like to see smaller businesses. Not a lot of chain stores. I enjoy the fact that we have the Amani Café, the Buena Vista Coffee Shop, and the Café and Creamery. I would like to see us, as community take care of each other. I would also like to see people calling the Northside as a “self sufficient” community.
The Northside Chronicle
Tutors give and receive in Northside schools By Isaac Saul After seeing an ad calling for tutors to help Northside students learn how to read better, Sandra Chieffe decided to give it a shot. After nine years of volunteering at Allegheny Traditional Academy, she couldn’t be happier with the result. “The kids are wonderful,” Chieffe said. “To see how much of a difference it can make in their lives, whether it’s helping them read better, being more interested in school, doing better in school, having less disciplinary problems or participating more in class.” The program, called Oasis, focuses on reading and brings together children in grades K-4 with adults ages 50 and older. It is a national organization headquartered locally in the Macy’s in downtown Pittsburgh and worked with 1,320 students from Pittsburgh over the last 10 years. Oasis tutoring coordinator
Marlene Rebb is impressed with praise from the judicial system. the numbers, but stops short of Allegheny County Court of saying she is satisfied. The program Common Pleas Judge Dwayne D. is always looking for more tutors, Woodruff applauds the program and and Oasis staff and the potentially life volunteers understand changing foundation utoring many more kids need it creates. extra help. “With [the Oasis is very “Last school year tutors’] strong efforts rewarding 96 percent of the on the front end teachers reported while kids are still here is just improved confidence elementary age, it and self-esteem in their is more likely that I a different students who were will not see the kids kind of tutored,” Rebb said. in my courtroom on Glenna Creaves, the back end once relationship who tutors at Spring they become teens,” Hill and has been with -Glenna Creaves, Woodruff said. the program for years, “Young kids who Oasis tutor said that working can read well will be one-on-one with the more academically students allows her to meet their needs. capable and thereby inclined to “It’s very rewarding,” Creaves avail themselves to the wide world said. “There is just a different kind of opportunities created by their of relationship.” prowess while steering clear of The program has been gaining illegal activities for financial gain.” momentum and has even received Creaves is a retired teacher,
but not all the tutors have teaching experience. Shirley Fisher, the acting manager of the Pittsburgh program, said people “from all walks of life” volunteer. “We have doctors, lawyers, school teachers, health professionals. We get them through word of mouth, catalog and newsprint,” Fisher said. The program only requires a commitment of “One Hour, One Day, One Time a Week,” yet some of the tutors schedule extra hours. One of those tutors, Philip Wilson, decided to volunteer after seeing a sign for Oasis in 2001. He tutors two days a week in two different schools: Allegheny Traditional Academy and Clayton Academy in Bellevue. Despite the program’s focus on reading, Wilson is happy say that the learning doesn’t stop there. He said he has seen improvement in
See Oasis, page 17
The Northside Chronicle
Sustainability: Take action now for future By Joseph Reznik Editor’s note: Over the next few months, Joseph Reznik will present a series of articles on the challenges of sustainability: Meeting our basic needs today without harming our resources so that future generations can also meet their basic needs. As Pittsburghers are very well aware, our city has been the poster child for poor air quality, often called the Smoky City. There are several photographs in the archives at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh’s Frick Art Collection that show the street lights on at noon because the air at midday was as dark as night. You can still see the evidence of coal soot embedded in many buildings. Improved air quality, however, has been one of the best local and national successes over the past few decades. This is clearly demonstrated in a 2009 Harvard-Brigham Young study that demonstrated that the regulations put in place to reduce fine air particulates increased life expectancy in the United States by five months and locally by an average of 10 months, twice the national average. Studies have shown that poor air quality increases the rates of diseases like bronchitis, asthma and air pollution. Economically, car, truck and bus emissions cost the nation approximately $56 billion a year in medical expenses, according to a 2010 study by the National Research Council. When you consider that the Pittsburgh region represents about 1 percent of the national population according to 2009 Census Bureau estimates, this is a cost of $500,000 per year to the local economy. Poor air quality diminishes our environmental quality by decreasing
our local biodiversity. Maintaining a high biodiversity of plants and animals allows for redundancy in the environment by providing ecological services. So what does that mean? As an example, many plants in your garden need pollinators to produce fruit. If there was only one pollinator, or low pollinator biodiversity, and this pollinator was lost to bad air pollution, then there would be no pollinators to pollinate your garden. By having several different species of pollinators, or high pollinator biodiversity, then if one species is lost in the region to environmental pollutants, there are other species that can do the job of pollinating your garden. So by decreasing air pollution, we provide an environment in which more species can persist. Socially, diseases associated with poor air decrease our quality of life. There are steps everyone can take to improve the local air quality. Planting trees improves local air and also gives you the opportunity to exercise in a social setting with family and community and boosts your spirits. For more information about planting or caring for trees in Pittsburgh, visit Tree Pittsburgh online at www.treepittsburgh.org. The Pittsburgh City Council is currently considering legislation to clean up diesel emissions from heavy construction equipment. Air pollution from diesel emissions is associated with heart disease, asthma and lung cancer. To show your support for this initiative, you can contact Council President Darlene Harris, at 412255-2135 and Councilman Daniel Lavelle at 412-255-2134. Joseph Reznik teaches science and sustainability at CCAC and Robert Morris. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greening the Northside Each month, The Chronicle will feature a profiile of a green business. This month: Fred Underood of The Paper Exchange By Kelly Thomas Even in an era of computers and electronic files, people still go through a lot of paper. So much paper, in fact, that Northside document storage and recycling company The Paper Exchange shreds hundreds of tons of unwanted and unneeded documents every month. Jeff Prunzik, who co-founded The Paper Exchange in 1996 with his brother Dan, said his business shreds and then recycles all kinds of documents, from invoices and bills to legal cases and medical records. Once the documents have been shredded twice at their Spring Garden facility, the client receives a certificate of destruction and the paper is shipped off to be recycled. In fact, 98 percent of everything The Paper Exchange shreds is turned into consumer products like newsprint, paper towels, tissue paper, toilet paper and drywall. “We’re ‘green’ because our logo is green,” Prunzik said with a laugh. In a more serious tone he added that his company is a green business because it essentially produces no waste. It doesn’t even have a dumpster, because it doesn’t need one, he said. Although Prunzik has seen some technology and software companies successfully go paperless, he doesn’t think most businesses will follow suit for a long time to come. “Companies, people will always have a need for hard copies,” he said, adding that he prefers hard copies for his own business. Prunzik cited one client in Pittsburgh that hands over a full truckload of documents to be shredded every week as evidence of the pace of the document destruction business. Some companies, Prunzik said, don’t only shred important or confidential documents, they shred
anything and everything including junk mail and Post-it notes just to be on the safe side. “In this day and age identity theft and confidentiality have really jumped to the forefront,” Prunzik said. Under federal law, for example, medical records must be destroyed by either burning or shredding. Since Allegheny County bans burning, shredding is the only option for most companies that need to destroy large numbers of documents. In the past few years the company was inundated with calls from individuals who had years and years worth of financial documents they needed to get rid of but couldn’t throw away for fear of someone finding the papers in the trash. Now The Paper Exchange is the only company in the region providing large-scale shredding services to both businesses and individuals, Prunzik said. The Paper Exchange, which employs 16 full-time employees, can provide its secure shredding service at the client’s office with one of its two shredder-toting trucks, or it can pick up the records and shred them at its facility. Make no mistake about the shredding power of the trucks. These are not SUVs or pick-ups with a small office shredder in the back seat. These shredders eat about 6,000 lbs. of paper per hour, Prunzik said. Most office shredders will simply overheat if used for an hour. The shredders at The Paper Exchange can do at least twice what the trucks can, putting them at 12,000 or more pounds per hour. In addition to shredding documents, CDs, VHS tapes, microfilm and pretty much anything used to store data, The Paper Exchange since 2004 has provided document storage solutions for
See Paper, page 17
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The Northside Chronicle - Summer Youth Guide
Get moving in the city: Great Outdoors Week
Courtesy Cara Rufenacht, Venture Outdoors
A mother and daughter paddle along the Ohio River at last year’s Venture Outdoors Festival. Kids and adults alike can learn how to kayak, fish and more at this year’s festival, held on May 21 at Point State Park.
By Emily Leone In his 2005 book “Last Child in the Woods,” author Richard Louv coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder,” which refers to the alleged trend that children are spending less time outdoors. Fortunately for kids and their families that live in the region, there are plenty of opportunities and locations to get outside and enjoy
nature. And Great Outdoors Week is the perfect opportunity to shake off the winter chills and get moving again. The 10th annual Great Outdoors Week will be held this year from Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 22. Five major events, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, National Bike to Work Day, Learn to Row and Paddle,
Venture Outdoors Festival and Pedal Pittsburgh are among the more than 60 events planned by local organizations throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. One of the plusses of GOW is that children and adults of any skill level, from novices to pros, can get a lot out of the activities planned. Many of the activities are free or low-cost, and some do not require any pre-registration. “Many Great Outdoors Week events serve as a safe and easy introduction to kid-friendly activities here,” said Ginette Walker Vinski of Sustainable Pittsburgh, the group that coordinates Great Outdoors Week with the help of a network of outdoor recreation partners. “Allowing kids time to play in nature is greatly important to their health and development. Utilization of our natural resources helps kids develop a sense of respect and value for these places.” In 2008, Sustainable Pittsburgh and its partners launched Walls are Bad, designed to increase awareness and participation in the many outdoor recreation activities available. Find out more at www. wallsarebad.com.
Fun, injury prevention keys to exercise a balanced lifestyle, according to Dr. Anthony Mannarino, a child psychologist and vice president of the department of psychiatry at Allegheny General Hospital. “When children have a moderate amount of exercise, there are clearly some health benefits,” Mannarino said. “Included in that are better mood and less anxiety.” In his experience, Mannarino feels that just like with anything else, Courtesy Cara Rufenacht, Venture Outdoors children first and foremost need to be interested in the exercise in order for Making exercise fun is key to to want to participate. getting and keeping kids active. “If it is just running laps at the track or just doing pushups without By Isaac Saul reason, most children and even adults With spring around the corner are not going to sustain that workout,” and the snow melting, it’s time for kids he said. “Create some kind of exercise to get back outdoors. that is fun for them because kids are Exercise is a crucial part of going to be drawn to that more.”
One important thing to remember, he added, is that children tend to play follow the leader. “If adults exercise, their children are more likely to follow suit. If their parents or other caregivers do not, then it’s going to be harder to get their kids to do it.” Getting your kids to exercise might be easier than you think. Dr. TaTanisha Smith, a pediatrician at Allegheny General, says that the exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be structured. “Very often, many of our parents are looking for an organized sport,” Smith said. “It doesn’t have to cost anything. Say, for example, during commercial breaks walking around the table or doing pushups — any types
See Exercise, page 7
Great Outdoors Week Sustainable Pittsburgh and its outdoor partners are hosting the 10th annual Great Outdoors Week from Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 22, 2011.
Sunday, May 15 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
The annual marathon, half-marathon and kid’s marathon makes for a great family activity. The Runner’s Expo will run from Friday to Saturday, while the racing takes place on Sunday. The kid’s marathon is held on Saturday. Visit www.pittsburghmarathon.com. Friday, May 20 National Bike to Work Day Coordinated by Bike Pittsburgh in conjunction with Car Free Fridays, this is a great opportunity to try car-free transit. Bike pools and mechanics will be available. Call 412-325-4334 or visit www. bike-pgh.org. Friday, May 20 Learn to Row and Paddle 2 sessions: 6-7:30 pm; 7:30-9 p.m. Three Rivers Rowing Association invites you to try rowing in their indoor tanks at their Millvale Boathouse. A free event. Space is limited. Register by calling 412231-8772 or visiting www.threeriversrowing.org. Saturday, May 21 Venture Outdoors Festival Point State Park, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Free activities include a climbing wall, fishing, kayaking, dragon boating, yoga, biking and more. Call 412-255-0564 or visit www. ventureoutdoors.org. Sunday, May 22 Pedal Pittsburgh 6:30 – 10 a.m. Perfect for families with children, recreational riders or fitness enthusiasts! Courses range from 6-60 miles, starting and finishing at SouthSide Works. Call 412-391-4144 or visit www. pedalpittsburgh.org.
The Northside Chronicle - Summer Youth Guide
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The Summer Youth Guide is brought to you by The Northside Chronicle on behalf of the Northside Health Improvement Partnership (NSHIP). The Chronicle and NSHIP are dedicated to improving the neighborhoods of Pittsburghâ€™s Northside with the help of our sponsors.
Front page: Gold sponsor - The Pittsburgh Pirates; Silver sponsors - Allegheny County Health Department, Right by Nature and Community College of Allegheny County This page: Partners - Allegheny General Hospital, The Northside Leadership Conference, NSHIP and The Northside Chronicle Print sponsors - Mercy Behavioral Health, Forbes Hospice, American Heart Association, Gateway Health System, North Side Christian Health Center, Central Northside Neighborhood Council and Fineview Citizens Council
The NSHIP is a collaborative effort whose creation was facilitated by Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) and the Northside Leadership Conference (NSLC). NSHIP was designated a State Health Improvement Partner (SHIP) in 2000. The mission of the NSHIP is to improve the health of all Northside residents. Participating members of NSHIP include but are not limited to; Allegheny General Hospital, Northside Leadership Conference, Allegheny County Health Department, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association of Western Pennsylvania, American Heart Association, BRAVO Health, Central Northside Neighborhood Council, Community College of Allegheny County, City Council President Darlene Harris, City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, Fineview Citizens Council, Forbes Hospice, Gateway Health Plan, Highmark, Meals on Wheels, Mercy Behavioral Health, North Side Christian Health Center, Silver Sneakers, Troy Hill Citizens, Inc. and VITAS Innovative Hospice Care.
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The Northside Chronicle - Summer Youth Guide
The Summer Youth Guide was created based on submissions from community and cultural organizations and is not an all-inclusive listing. If you would like more information on specific programs, please contact those providers directly. Information provided is subject to change. The Northside Chronicle is not responsible for typographical errors.
The Northside Chronicle - Summer Youth Guide
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The Summer Youth Guide is the property of The Northside Chronicle and may not be reproduced without permission.You can also find the guide online at www.thenorthsidechronicle.com. Please call us at 412-321-3919 with any questions.
Old Allegheny Soccer Old Allegheny was founded more than 20 years ago to provide a positive learning experience so kids can have fun and learn to play soccer. We offer instructional, inhouse recreational and travel team soccer programs for children ages 5-19. All necessary registration documents can be found online at //www.leaguelineup. com/oldallegheny. Forms and payments can be mailed to: Dave Wilson 3102 Norwood Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15214 email@example.com Registration begins in June and play begins in August. For questions, call 412-231-1408.
Kayak Pittsburgh Kayak Pittsburgh will return to Lake Elizabeth for a third season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Just 3 feet deep, this shallow lake offers great views of the downtown skyline in a controlled environment. Lake Elizabeth is located inside the Allegheny Commons across the street from the National Aviary on Pittsburghâ€™s Northside. Parking is available around the Allegheny Commons on W. North Avenue and Arch Street.
Boy Scouts & Cub Scouts The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nationâ€™s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship and develops personal fitness.
Free weekdays from 4 p.m. to dusk. $5 per boat on weekends from 10 a.m. to dusk.
Packs and troops around the Northside include: Bidwell United Presbyterian Church, Providence Family Support Center, Brighton Heights Lutheran Church, St. Cyril of Alexandria RC Church, Most Holy Name Church and Emmanual Christian Church.
Kayak Pittsburgh is a project of Venture Outdoors. Visit www.ventureoutdoors. org or email kayakpittsburgh@ ventureoutdoors.org for more information.
For more information on local sign-up dates, please call Greater Pittsburgh Council, BSA, Flag Plaza 1275 Bedford Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15219, (412) 471-2927.
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The Northside Chronicle - Summer Youth Guide
The Northside Chronicle - Summer Youth Guide
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Sports: Fun Raising a healthy eater way to get fit Parents should model good eating, drinking habits From Exercise, page 2 of physical activity are sufficient.” Even though the exercise can be playing outside, Smith said that an hour a day is sufficient. “That hour a day doesn’t have to be a solid hour,” she said. “It can be broken up into two half-hour segments or four 15-minute segments, but the idea is to raise the heart rate and preferably break a sweat.” Smith also recommends keeping an eye on injuries and hydration. If a child does complain of pain or injury, the parent should re-evaluate the kind of exercise the child is doing and make sure it’s appropriate. One way to prevent injuries is to make sure the children stretch after exercising. “Stretching is very important and that decreases the risk of injury,” Smith said. “At least part of that one hour of exercise period should include five to 10 minutes of stretching.” As for hydration, she recommends eight to 10 glasses of fluid each day, especially in the summer when we might lose track of how much we’re drinking. Although Smith emphasized that structured exercise is not a must, there are plenty of opportunities to get your children involved in sports teams in the area. Dave Wilson, who taught physical education at Shuman Detention for thirty years and has been the commissioner of Old Allegheny Soccer for 21 years, sees a lot of benefits in learning about exercise from sports. “I think they go hand-in-hand,” Wilson said. “Sports are good for kids and the coach’s enthusiasm helps promote the exercise as well as the game.” When the question of balance comes up, Wilson agrees with Mannarino that it can be extremely beneficial to a child’s health to have regular exercise. “I don’t think it’s debatable that exercise should be a part of life,” Wilson said. “Movement and your physical being, at all stages of life, are
Quick eats and healthy treats
Courtesy Alan Perry
Boy Scouts Pack #327 of Emmanuel Christian Church made delicious “boats” out of fruit to demonstrate healthy eating. From left are Romand Frankovich, David Dean, Julian Younge, Matthew Laughlin, Winston Rouse, Xavier Rouse and Chris Neal Jr.
By Kelly Thomas If you want your kids to start eating healthier, you’re going to have to start, too. Allegheny General Hospital Pediatrician TaTanisha Smith says the most important thing parents can do to make sure their children stay away from pop, fried foods and unhealthy snacks like chips and cookies is to stay away from those things as well. “Our children are watching us 24/7,” Smith said. “The big thing parents can do is model the behavior.” If a parent tells a child to drink water and the next thing the child sees is her mom drinking a diet cola, it sends a bad message, Smith said. Some children may say they don’t like water, but that doesn’t mean parents should give in and let their kids have sugary drinks like pop or juice. “If [water is] the only thing they have to be offered, if they get thirsty enough, they will drink it,” Smith said. There is a misconception that
in order to eat healthy parents have to shop at places like Whole Foods, which offers all organic foods but can be more expensive than stores like Giant Eagle. A 3 lb. bag of oranges or apples at Giant Eagle, when in season, won’t cost much more than $4, Smith said, and gives you something healthy that you can take pretty much anywhere. Making small adjustments like buying more fresh fruits and vegetables goes a long way toward better nutrition, Smith said. “The biggest thing is watching what you bring in the home.” Because we live in a fast-paced society, it’s tempting to stop at McDonald’s for a quick meal, but another easy way to stay healthy is to prepare more meals at home. When you do eat out, Smith said, avoid fried foods and anything slathered in gravy or oil. It’s also a good idea to only eat half of an entrée and take the other half home, because restaurant portions are generally too big, she said. “You have to be willing to make that choice” to be healthier, Smith said.
There are some very simple ways to get kids to eat healthier. Vegetables can sometimes be boring, but you can liven them up with a little oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper or parsley. Try roasting carrots, zucchini, squash, red onion and red pepper for about 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees. Here are a few common foods that are healthy and easy to make from scratch. Search for recipes online or turn to your favorite recipe book. •Banana bread •Applesauce •Peanut butter •Zucchini muffins •Oatmeal squares with berries •Fresh fruit in yogurt •Pretzels and trail mix •Fruit kabobs
Recipes Turkeys in a Blanket
Simply take a mild flavored turkey sausage, and cut into 2 inch portions. Wrap with Pillsbury crescent dough and bake till golden brown and cooked through. Or, season ground turkey and form into nuggets, then resume recipe. Serve with BBQ sauce or honey mustard.
Parsnip or Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Parsnips are remarkably sweeter than carrots, their closely related cousin. Cook parsnip or cauliflower with potatoes and then mash them together, or roast in oil and seasoning in the oven at 325 degrees.
Berries and Cream
Fresh whipped cream is easy to make, and much healthier than store-bought. Whip some cream with powdered sugar, and use it to top off a bowl of fresh berries or peaches.
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The Northside Chronicle - Summer Youth Guide
ACAC helps with life after prison From Hopeshot, page 1 addicts change their mindset, a critical step in breaking the incarceration cycle. “You come back and the only place you have to live is where you got arrested at most of the time,” Cuspard said. Cuspard was in and out of jail more than 30 times before he met Hargrove and went through a 12-step program. With Hargrove’s help navigating the program, Cuspard turned his life around and like Hargrove, has dedicated himself to helping other ex-offenders reintegrate into society. Hargrove said stories like Cuspards are, unfortunately, rare, but that Hopeshot’s goal is to make them less rare. After a year, he estimates that 60 percent of the people Hopeshot has helped are back in the workforce and living sober. “Staying clean and sober is hard work. It’s not easy. … We’re very pleased with what God has done with the ministry,” Hargrove said.
The Northside Chronicle
Fineview incline historic marker sought From Inclines, page 1 brush covering the wall on Henderson cut, as well as a ‘Welcome to Fineview’ sign,” Lewis said. “Receiving an historic designation will highlight the importance of keeping the entrance to our community well maintained.” The only other Northside incline, the Troy Hill Incline, was named a historic landmark in 1987. The Troy Hill Incline’s landing house at 1733 Lowrie Street, now a Fidelity Bank, was also designed by Diescher. It ran from East Ohio to Lowrie Street and carried passengers, freight and wagons up and down the hill where Rialto Street is today. Because the trip only took one minute, the Troy Hill Fire Department, located at the top of Troy Hill, used the incline to quickly reach fires on East
“What remains of the Ohio Street. Employees of the Nunnery Hill Incline is Pennsylvania Railroad, many of whom lived on Troy Hill, also an important part of the community’s used the incline to history. The travel to and from hat preservation work. remains of the of the incline’s According to the Historic Review landing house unnery ll and supporting Commission wall will create a guidelines, once a ncline is an welcoming gateway building has been deemed an historic important part to the Fineview neighborhood,” landmark, the history Lewis said. organization has to of FCC approve any plans -ED Lewis, to alter or demolish Fineview Citizens introduced its proposal to the the exterior of the Council commission last building. summer. The By receiving a review process historic designation normally takes up to eight for the Nunnery Hill landing months to complete. house on Federal Street and Ethan G. Cohen is a senior the wall on Henderson, FCC at the University of Pittsburgh, will have the support of the majoring in English Literature and commission in improving Philosophy and currently interns the gateway to the Fineview with The Northside Chronicle. neighborhood.
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City living on the Northside
Dispute creates tensions From Park Permits, page 5
Ethan G. Cohen was born and raised in Philadelphia. He is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in English Literature and Philosophy and currently interns with The Northside Chronicle.
Photo courtesy Joe Renckly Photography
Construction workers pour nearly four yards of cement for the townhouses on James Street in Deustchtown. The five townhomes, four of which are for sale, sit behind Allegheny General Hospital. The townhomes are selling for $225,000 and the city grants the buyer a 10-year property tax forgiveness.
bigger deal than it had to be,” he said. In August, the Oldtimers and residents who live around the park and dog owners who utilize the off-leash exercise area clashed over Unity Day. Park users complained about chicken bones left in the dog park area and trash left around the neighborhood after both the 2009 and 2010 events, in addition to “no dogs allowed signs” that were posted during the 2009 event. Oldtimer President Allen Turner told The Chronicle in August that he wasn’t sure where the animosity was coming from, as his group hired a constable service to not only police the event, but clean up afterwards. He did not mention race as an issue. Thompkins said that the Oldtimers have made adjustments to better cleanup and police their event, and this year are looking more closely at how to properly clean up charcoal used in grills. Charlton said that in terms of noise and cleanup, the Oldtimers event was “one of the better ones,” and that the hearing request was sparked by a succession of events along North Avenue. One event featured a stage with speakers pointing toward the homes along North Avenue, including her own, Charlton said, and went on for most of the day. She did not know who organized the event or its name, but said it was “allegedly a peace thing,” and that organizers did not respond to her request to turn the volume down. Julie Peterson, who lives on
Resaca Avenue, signed Charlton’s petition and echoed her sentiments about events along North Avenue. “We had everything you could imagine blasted down the street,” Peterson said, speaking about an event the name of which she did not know. Peterson, who is vice president of the Central Northside Neighborhood Council but supported the petition as a resident, said she attempted to get in touch with the Northside Oldtimers before the hearing, as she was aware of past tensions. “I really think that if the two parties had a chance to sit down and talk it wouldn’t have turned out like that,” Peterson said about the accusations of racism that flew at the hearing, and spilled over into an online neighborhood chat forum, Chat Northside. The Central Northside Neighborhood Council did not present a testimony at the hearing and was not involved in the petition for the hearing. Lavelle and City Council President Darlene Harris are currently arranging a meeting between all parties involved. “We simply wanted the City and the Commons Initiative to work together to develop and enforce guidelines for the use of the park so that all users would be treated fairly,” Zinn said. Thompkins said the Oldtimers are willing to sit down and discuss the issue of park use with other residents, but also said he felt there are underlying issues of racial tensions that need to be addressed in general. “There is a level of divisiveness that exists in the Central Northside,” he said.
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The Healing Space by Ayeshah A. Bulls
Watered seeds I have a pet peeve. Yes, even me. Ms. Happy-Go-Lucky, alwaysstriving-to-be-positive, glass-halffull-thinking me, has a particular issue that just gets my blood boiling. My issue is when the youth are blamed for the dysfunction and confusions of our society. I have been in the company of many dialogues that began with the statement, “I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today.” How is it that the most vulnerable, the easiest to influence, and most eager to please population of our society has become the cause of the problems of our world? Our youth are not the problem, but the product of all that the world is or is not. I have had the pleasure of working with children in many facets of my life. I have always valued and respected the innocent
curiosity, honesty and free expression of children. There have been many studies conducted that have proven that we are not born hateful, distrustful or fearful. We are born loving, trusting and feeling as if there is nothing we can’t obtain or do. However, at some point seeds of hate, distrust and fear get planted into our little fertile beings as children. The seeds may be planted by parents, teachers, family members or any other adult influences in our lives, yet once that seed takes root it gets watered throughout our lives and forms within us. Music is water, television is water, relationships are water, food is water and anything that influences our beings is water to our spirit, mind and body. Considering the vulnerability of children and the major influences of our society, are those influences truly
designed to impact children in the most positive way? Popular youth culture in media, the foods that are most popular for young people, the examples of relationships, familial or intimate — are they the most positive influences? Are children the creators of these things or are they the “creation” of these things? Increased violence and sex in the media leads to increased violence and sex in children. Unhealthy food leads to unhealthy children. Dysfunctional relationships leads to dysfunctional children. If we want the state of our children to improve, we must improve as a society. The next time you come in contact with children in your family, community or every day journey, plant a healthy seed in their beings and allow the “good” waters of life to provide positive growth in them, one drop at a time. Are our children the problem or product of our society?
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Blues Orphans know music From Blues Orphans, page 3 of Andy Gabig on harmonica, Dave Yoho on drums, Mark Custer on trumpet, Nelson Harrison on trombone and Dave Erny on upright bass. They never rehearse, and they don’t need to. Those who have been with the band less than three decades are still life-long music lovers, and all are incredibly talented. “It’s probably every musician’s dream to not have to rehearse,” Yoho says. “[Our performance is] very non-structured but it’s tight, and it’s tight because because of the longevity of the band.” Sometimes, Gabig will start playing and no one will know exactly which song he’s playing until he starts singing. They just roll with it. “None of us know what Bob’s going to pull out of his pocket,” Yoho says. Over three decades, the
Orphans have defied everything that music has ever thought about defying, and some things it hasn’t. Trombone player Nelson Harrison even invented his own instrument: the trombetto. Harrison bought a pocket clarinet at a pawn shop, but when he took it home he was disappointed with its sound. So, he put a trombone mouthpiece on it, and after playing it that way for awhile he asked a friend of his to add some extra tubing and another valve. “I’m the best player in the world,” Harrison says, “because I’m the only one!” A samba line forms as complete strangers give in to the Orphans’ siren call to dance. “There’s a party going on on the Northside all the way to Sunday,” Gabig shouts into the audience. They cheer and keep dancing. You can find the Orphans online at www.myspace.com/bluesorphans.
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From the office of City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle
2011 Summer Youth Program Over the summer of 2010 our office received the help of two interns hired through the City’s Summer Youth Program. The program is an initiative that provides positive employment opportunities to young people in outdoor work or indoor internships. From these experiences they are exposed to the workings of local businesses, city government and city services, with participants gaining knowledge and insight on fields they may pursue in the future. Ours was a positive experience, one we wish to highlight in anticipation of the opening of applications for the 2011 Summer Youth Program this upcoming spring. Participants must be city residents between 14 and 21 years of age. Youth who are TANF eligible are encouraged to apply and may receive priority consideration. Positions are for the length of six weeks. The jobs pay $7.25 an hour for as much as 30 hours a week and six hours a day. Types of work include restoration and conservation of city parks, public property and vacant lots, as well as general office work in a variety of businesses. Once they become available, applications for the program can be downloaded from www. pittsburghpartnerhsip.org or www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us, with hardcopies available at YouthLINK Center and other neighborhood locations. Applicants are required to apply in person, with youth under 18 years of age needing an authorization signature from a parent of guardian. The Summer Youth Program is a great opportunity for Pittsburgh youth to gain experience and knowledge in fields that may inspire a future career path. We were fortunate to employ two bright high school students in last year’s program and look forward to doing the same in this year’s cycle. I encourage all eligible participants to consider submitting an application.
Tutors give and receive From Oasis, page 11 his students, and the schools have noticed and reached out to him to make sure he comes back each year. “I think it encourages the students, and they feel special, and they have somebody to talk to,” Wilson said. “The students spend a lot of time discussing their career goals, problems they have in the neighborhood and at home and at school. We sometimes discuss black history or even sports. There is a huge variety of things,” he added. That kind of relationship between the schools, the tutors and the students is what has helped Oasis to continue to grow. Chieffe also finds that making time for the kids is easy, especially considering the rewards. “One hour a week, to me, is just very easy to do,” she said. “You don’t think one hour a week is going to make a difference — but it does. It’s very rewarding to see them improve their reading or their writing, playing word games with them. It’s just delightful.” Isaac Saul is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh and currently interns with The Chronicle.
Green ‘Paper’ From Paper, page 12 companies who may not want to pay premium prices for extra space at their office buildings. Another reason companies may choose to store their documents with The Paper Exchange is the same reason they might shred them: to protect confidentiality and prevent identity theft. The company’s Downtown temperature-controlled storage facility is kept under 24-hour surveillance, both inside and out. For more information, visit The Paper Exchange online at www. thepaperexchange.org or call them at 412-325-7075.
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App could be a life-saver Hospice care options shared From EMS, page 6 “Somebody who has a significant injury, you press the button and AGH shows up,” he said. The reference material, too, will be useful. Although Pearson thinks he’ll still carry his hardcopy reference material for awhile, eventually he thinks he will transition to only using the in-app material. Butler-based EMS professional Nico Soler agreed with Pearson’s evaluation of the app. “There’s so much on our heads, it’s nice to be able to grab our phone and have some reference,” he said. Soler believes the GPS function will help the LifeFlight helicopters find them more quickly, and will also help the helicopters find closer places to land, which will cut down on
travel time, he said. “It’s definitely a very valuable tool for EMS providers.” In the future, Schmidt said they may release the app for other mobile phone platforms like Android and BlackBerry, but they want to make sure they “have it right” on the iPhone first. Schmidt worked with about half a dozen EMS professionals to conceptualize the app, which was coded by German-based Ritter Technologies. “We think that every function is useful at one time or another,” Schmidt said. Of course, Schmidt also hopes that more people will choose to come to WPAHS systems because of the app. Although patients often can choose which hospital to go to, EMS professionals do sometimes have a say depending on the patient’s condition.
From Transitions, page 7 readily available in their neighborhoods. End-of-life care may seem expensive, but it is normally covered by insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, Sciullo said. Family Hospice also provides free end-of-life care for those without insurance. The Transitions program is hoping to provide hospice and palliative care to about 20 people within the next year and about 70 people within the next two years, Sciullo said. Reverend DeNeice Welch, Bidwell United Presbyterian Church pastor and Transitions program coordinator, said that the initiative is based on a grassroots community partnership. It aims to reach African-American community in order to make end-of-life care more easily accessible. “On any given Sunday I have the opportunity to speak to at least 175 people at my church,” Welch said. “I have the wonderful opportunity to use the pulpit as a tool to educate the congregation
about the Transitions program. My congregation can then go out into the community and let other people know about the program.” Bidwell Presbyterian contributes to Transitions further by providing volunteers and spiritual mentoring for end-of-life patients and their families. “Word of mouth is a powerful tool for us to let people know about Transitions,” Welch said. “The partnerships that have been established through the program will ensure that the African-American community is educated on the benefits of hospice and palliative care and that those services can be accessed and provided with compassion and care.” Transitions received a two-year grant totaling $62,326 from the Highmark Foundation. The Buhl Foundation, the McKinney Charitable Trust and other organizations have also provided funding. Transitions will be housed at Family Hospice’s Anderson Manor site and Bidwell United Presbyterian Church. Call 412-651-2583.
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‘No’ to Propel Canning: Kit From Propel, page 4 house memory from other public Northside schools that need them. Freeman praised public school teachers but said that great teachers aren’t the only component necessary for a successful school, and that the board should focus on improving the schools it does have rather than approve new ones. “The only difference between a charter school and Pittsburgh Public Schools is parent participation,” she said. Despite some opposition, Resnick is confident Propel Northside will eventually become a reality. “It’s a process,” Resnick said. “At the end of the process, there will be a school.”
Harris: New ideas for city From Harris, page 8 honey just taken from the hive? It’s just fantastic! Urban agriculture in the City of Pittsburgh includes growing vegetables on vacant lots for consumption by those who do the farming, taking care of chickens, roosters, horses, bees and other nondomesticated animals. We also have a lot of people in District 1 doing urban agriculture. It is a zoning issue. We are working with local organizations including Burgh Bees, the East End Food Co-op, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Pittsburgh Food Policy Council to determine the best ways to address permit and licensing, and square footage for certain types of animals. Pittsburgh’s urban agriculture community wants City Planning to consider changes in fee structure, and bees’ flight path rather than hive placement when considering square footage needed for bee hives. Call me any time if you have any questions or comments. You can reach me at 412-255-2135.
From Canning, page 9 smart looking, well designed and affordable. Here is a concept that could reclaim the destructive impact of dark green spaces in our neighborhood. The kit homes of the 21st century might be a product of Lowes or Home Depot. Perhaps we Northsiders could work with a number of model kit home designs that would be affordable and expandable. In many ways it would be like the sort of common designs that led to the construction of the hundreds of late 19th century row houses throughout our oldest neighborhoods. Here my immediate thoughts went to Hollywood. “Hollywood” was the name of the neighborhood where my mother and her childhood friends grew up in the 1920s and ‘30s. We now call that neighborhood CaliforniaKirkbride. Growing up I constantly heard stories of what a great place Hollywood was. Mom’s home is still there at the corner of St. Ives and Lamont streets. Unfortunately it is one of only a few homes that have escaped the forces of demolition. Folks with an eye for urban architecture can see the entire community of Calbride was built with a definite sense of style and unity. While large sections of the row houses that filled the neighborhood are gone, the very site lends itself to redevelopment. Here the plan should not be piecemeal but address the whole. New styles should be integrated with the old, 21st century needs replacing those of the early 20th century like yards, parking spaces, etc. Calbride/Hollywood is perhaps the perfect site for kit housing that would reclaim abandoned straw covered dark green spaces with new homes, affordable homes, expandable homes and jobs for many folks trained to assemble the kits. In the process the deer can head back to Cranberry where they belong.
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From the office of State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program now taking applications In these difficult economic times, many Pennsylvanians, particularly those on fixed incomes, are looking to save or stretch a dollar any way they can. The stateâ€™s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program may provide some help to those in financial need, particularly our seniors. The program, supported by the state lottery, benefits Pennsylvanians 65 or older; widows and widowers 50 or older; and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 per year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum rebate a homeowner or renter can receive is
$650. Seniors living in Allegheny County with incomes under $30,000 will receive an additional 50 percent rebate if their property taxes for 2010 were at least 15 percent of their income. The modification will be automatically computed by the Department of Revenue. If you received a rebate last year, you should have received a 2010 application form in the mail. Applications are also available at my office, online at www.revenue.state. pa.us, and at local area agencies on aging, senior centers or by calling 1-888-222-9190. The deadline to apply is June 30. Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1. For any assistance or questions
regarding the program, please stop by my Brighton Heights office at 3689 California Ave. between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or call 412-321-5523. You can also contact me through my website at www.pahouse.com/ Ravenstahl. Last year, more than 600,000 homeowners and renters received $281 million in rebates for taxes and rent paid in 2009. About 120,000 homeowners had school property taxes completely eliminated last year when rebates were combined with general property tax relief provided to all homeowners through slots revenue. If you think you qualify, I urge you to look into this program. And again, please contact my office if we can be of assistance with this program or any state-related issue.
From the office of State Sen. Jim Ferlo
Legislative update On Jan. 4, I was sworn into my third term serving as your state senator for the 38th District of Pennsylvania. Thank you for the opportunity and the privilege. In this session, I will serve as Democratic chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee. It is a real honor to be entrusted with heading this important committee. Issues of liquor control and enforcement will be extremely important as we head into this new session, especially with Governor Tom Corbettâ€™s calls to privatize the state liquor stores. Also of extreme importance are issues of law enforcement and public safety. It will be my pleasure to work toward strengthening legislation dealing with these issues. The Senate Law and Justice Committee focuses on liquor control
and enforcement issues, state and municipal policing matters and public safety and protection issues. I will also serve as vice-chair on the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member on the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Education, Finance and Policy committees. I have recently submitted cosponsorship memorandums to my fellow senators to re-introduce pieces of legislation that would ban texting while driving, expedite the ability of local officials to remove abandoned vehicles from vacant lots, improve the accessibility of homestead exemption applications and to clarify language on tax bills
to deliver property tax reform to more Pennsylvanians and to place a one-year moratorium on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation. These are amongst the legislative priorities I have set thus far, and I am eager to hear from you about the changes that we need to grow our economy, protect our citizenry, and improve our neighborhoods throughout our commonwealth. To learn more and to make your concerns heard, please visit my website at www. senatorferlo.com or contact my district office at 412-621-3006. I look forward to working for you and with my Senate colleagues in a bi-partisan matter on these very important issues.
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From the office of State Sen. Wayne Fontana
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Prohibiting private transfer fees Senate Bill 353, my legislation that would prohibit private transfer fees from being imposed in Pennsylvania, has now had second consideration in the senate and I am hopeful that it will be considered by the full senate in the very near future. Private transfer fees are also known as resale fees or capital recovery fees and allow the developer or builder of a home (or in some cases, a commercial property) to collect 1 percent (or more) of the sales price from the seller every time the property changes hands for the next 99 years. It is a new tool being used by developers and builders seeking new ways to gain access to cash in the depressed housing market. This is a consumer protection
issue. In some states, a declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions isnâ€™t included in the closing papers and doesnâ€™t even require a signature. Essentially, someone with no ownership stake or interest can continue to collect revenue off of a property that they may have built up to 99 years ago. Opponents believe that it exploits an already complex real estate transaction and think that it could also hurt real estate values in the future if buyers are reluctant to purchase properties that have a fee attached. Other negative consequences of the fee include the fact that it takes equity from consumers, can cost consumers money when the home is sold, will depress home prices, has no positive impact on an
assessment, creates an additional disincentive to sell or purchase property in a depressed housing market, reduces transparency for buyers, creates lien issues for lenders and increases the risk of title claims. This legislation was also introduced in the last legislative session as Senate Bill 1481 and was unanimously passed by the senate. Unfortunately, it was not considered by the house before the end of the legislative session. The bill is supported by the PA Association of Realtors, the PA Land Title Association, the Community Associations Institute and the PA Bankers Association. For information on this and other issues, contact my office at 412-344-2551 or e-mail me at Fontana@pasenate.com.
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The Game Page Last Month’s Puzzle Solutions First published in a U.S. puzzle magazine in 1979, Sudoku caught on in Japan in 1986, and became internationally famous in 2005. The aim of Sudoku is to enter a number from 1 through 9 in each space on a 9×9 grid made up of 3×3 subgrids (called “regions”). Some of the numbers have already been given. You may not use the same number twice in a single row, column, or region of the grid. Completing the puzzle requires patience and logical ability.
Crossword puzzles provided by www. bestcrosswords.com / Used with permission.
Chronicle Crossword Across 1- Free from danger; 7- Ed.’s pile; 10- Cereal grain; 14- Demented; 15- Salt Lake City athlete; 16- Scheme; 17- Rouse to action; 18- Mark of Zorro; 19- French 101 verb; 20- Fiercely; 23- Grow to maturity; 26- Black gold; 27- Causing goose bumps; 28- Culture medium; 29- Charge; 30- Possessed; 31- Bulrush; 33- Bounder; 34- Bandleader Brown; 37- “___ had it!”; 38- Candle count; 39- Hydrocarbon suffix; 40- Resinous deposit; 41- ___ Rosenkavalier; 42- ___ Moines; 43- Pertaining to the distant past; 45- Atmosphere; 46- Biol., e.g.; 47- “So be it”; 48- Addis ___; 51- Moo goo ___ pan; 52- Stare angrily; 53- Erythrocyte; 56- Shoppe sign word; 57- Slender bar; 58- Draw idly; 62- Some are pale; 63- Compass pt.; 64- Honest!; 65- Frees (of); 66- DC bigwig; 67- Compositions; Down 1- Curved bone; 2- Chemical ending; 3- Draft org.; 4- Place where cats are kept; 5- Conjunction; 6- Architect Saarinen; 7- Russian peasant; 8- Pilfer; 9- Observed; 10- Uncovered; 11- Communion table; 12- Japanese gateway; 13- Inscribed pillar; 21- Throws; 22- Make less sensitive; 23- Swift; 24- ___ at the office; 25- It beats rock; 29- Boring tool; 30- Capital of Vietnam; 32- Like some tires; 33- Containing lime; 34- South American ruminant; 35- Enthusiastic; 36- Biscuitlike quick bread; 44- Gibbet; 45- Superior of a convent; 46- Get down; 48- Bellowing; 49- Attorney Melvin; 50- Summed; 51- Farm bird; 52- Glaze; 54- Minerals; 55- Actress McClurg; 59- Narc’s org.; 60- Put Down; 61- Hesitant sounds;