November 30, 2022 - Pittsburgh City Paper

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florid vibrato of many solo ists. Hwang and Dortch deliver masterful and moving renditions of two of musical theater’s most dramatic and ambitious ballads “On My Own,” and “I Dreamed a Dream,” respectively, that are at once lovely and wrenching.

NOV., 22

IORDER the CG Classic Sandwich combo, which comes with fries and a drink. Yes, I know this concept emphasizes its chicken tenders and sauces but, to me, boneless chicken strips in batter are not a serious

AMONG the performers, who are all skilled and well-cast, Christine Heesun Hwang stands out as Éponine, one of the play’s most tragic characters, in part because her more contemporary vocal style cuts through the sometimes monotonous, >>

food for people over the age of 10. But throw them in a sandwich with the right balance of toppings and I’d take them over any of the pretentious offerings vaunted in the fine-dining world.



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WEARING A WOOL CAP and zipped-up coat, Jerome Jackson nurses a cup of coffee to ward off the cold as he shows off Baxter Park in Homewood. The trees are bare, the windows of a nearby building are broken out and boarded up, and a faded mural on a con crete wall displays scenes of Africa.

The playground, renovated two years ago by the city with slides, swings and climbing wall, is devoid of children on a glum fall day with a thick cover of pasty white clouds blotting out the sun. But Jackson, executive director of Operation Better Block, sees what the city could have done.

“We’re not saying the equipment they put up isn’t nice,” he said. “There’s not enough here.”

Baxter is ground zero for a dispute between the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Mayor Ed Gainey. In its nearly $2.9 million request, the Conservancy ranked Baxter as its number one priority for this round of money from the Pittsburgh Parks Tax. In denying this request, critics argue, the mayor rewards less needy neighborhoods like Oakland’s Schenley Park and leaves needy neigh borhoods like Homewood out in the cold.

The decision on how to spend the funds generated by this new and conten tious revenue stream has been no walk in the park.

The mayor excluded Baxter and every other project recommended by the con servancy from his proposed 2023 budget and instead listed projects in other parks, many of which rank low on the equity scoresheet, a system approved by both parties for fairly divvying up parks money.

Conservancy officials responded like a date invited to the prom but not asked to dance.

“As a valued partner to the City for nearly 26 years, we were disappointed to learn that the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy did not receive an alloca tion from the dedicated Parks Tax as part of the Mayor’s 2023 budget allocation, particularly because we were invited to submit a proposal for such an allocation,” wrote Catherine Qureshi,” president and CEO of the Conservancy, in an email.

She added, “The Parks Conservancy believes in the equitable investment of funds into parks that have not seen investment in decades, which is pre cisely what we presented in our proposal to the City.”


But Maria Montano, press secretary for the mayor, says the city first needs to invest in the department’s equipment and resources.,

“We need to have the tools and per sonnel to do the work of caring for and maintaining our parks. This helps set us up for the long-term care of these prized city assets.”

Pittsburgh’s parks date back to the late 19 th century when Public Works direc tor Edward Bigelow convinced wealthy widow Mary Schenley to donate the land that became Schenley Park. Now, the city’s Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation, known together as CitiParks, oversee 3,800 acres in 163 parks.

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy was created in 1996 to help restore dete riorating city parks. In 2019, a joint city and conservancy study disclosed a $400 million backlog in fixing the infrastruc ture of parks and an annual shortfall of $13 million in maintaining them.

Later that year, city residents nar rowly approved a referendum dedicat ing a 0.5 mill parks tax, or $50 on every $100,000 of assessed valuation to fix and maintain the parks, invest in sites, and provide programming. Among the other purposes of the referendum is to “equi tably fund parks in underserved neigh borhoods” and “secure matching funds and services from a charitable city parks conservancy.”

On Jan. 7, 2022, the city and the con servancy signed a 10-year partnership outlining the responsibilities of each party. One of the Conservancy’s duties is to submit a list of projects to be funded by the parks tax by May 15 of every year.

Both sides agreed to use a system that equitably divides the money. The scoresheet considers such factors as poverty, the proportion of youths and senior citizens, and the health of resi dents in the neighborhood, and the con dition of the park. The tax is expected to

raise an extra $10 million a year for the parks.

This year, the conservancy’s $2.875 million request calls for:

– $2 million for shovel-ready projects in Allegheny Commons on the North Side and McKinley Park in Beltzhoover

– $350,000 for planning and design of five projects in Baxter, Spring Hill, McKinley, Kennard and Heth Run parks

– $225,000 for programming in Frankie Place Park in the Lower Hill District

– $150,000 for staffing in climate resil iency, horticulture and forestry; and – $150,000 for developing green jobs for youths.

The mayor released his proposed 2023 budgets of $658.4 million for operations and $164.1 million for capital improvements on Nov. 14. The operat ing budget covers daily expenses such as salaries and the capital budget, and long-term expenses such as buildings,

CP PHOTOS: JARED WICKERHAM Jerome Jackson, executive director at Operation Better Block, poses for a portrait at Baxter Parklet in Homewood.
“We’re not saying the equipment they put up isn’t nice. There’s not enough here.”
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vehicles, and equipment. City Council must approve the budgets by the end of the year.

The operating budget for the parks tax proposed spending $2.6 million and the capital budget, $13.4 million. The latter rebuilt parks, replaced equip ment, and bought 28 vehicles. Montano said the mayor supplemented the parks tax budgets with unused money from other years.

The mayor did earmark $1 million for two projects in McKinley Park, the second highest ranking park on the equity scoresheet, and $664,000 for Kennard Park in the Hill District, the fourth highest.

However, two big-ticket items were $2.5 million for two projects in Brookline’s Moore Park, which the metric ranked 83 rd among 142 sites, and $1.3 million for equipment at the Schenley Park ice rink (Schenley ranks 95th)

The city proposal left the conservancy and community leaders scratching their heads.

In letters dated Oct. 19 to the mayor, Martha W. Isler, president of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition’s board, supported the conservancy’s request for funds and criticized Gainey’s proposal for using the parks tax money.

When looking at the millions of

dollars in 2023 earmarked for Public Works trucks and equipment, she wrote, “it appears that the fear of opponents of the tax is being realized: that the City would simply substitute tax monies meant for parks and pave roads or buy equipment.”

The coalition further lambasted the city’s poor maintenance of Wightman Park. The lack of cleanup at its bathrooms this year forced the coalition to hire a contractor to do the job.

“That’s been glitchy for everyone,” said Maria Cohen, executive director of the Coalition.

The Northside Leadership Conference also supported an allocation to the con servancy and questioned the city’s pro posed budget.

“It’s most likely not what the voters had in mind when they approved that referendum for the parks tax money,” said Dana Fruzynski, interim executive director of the conference.

She speculated that the Gainey administration was shocked by the state of Public Works vehicles when it took office and saw the parks tax as a fix.

“I appreciate what they’re trying to do to build the infrastructure of Public Works, but at the same time, there’s so much needed projects in the parks

This exhibition has been organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York. Generous support for this project provided by Art Bridges. Originally curated for installation at the American Folk Art Museum, February 11, 2020–January 3, 2021, by Stacy C. Hollander, Independent Curator. Tour coordinated by Emelie Gevalt, Curator of Folk Art, the American Folk Art Museum.
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themselves,” she said. She suggested a balanced approach between vehicles and infrastructure and projects in the parks.

Montano said the administration put Schenley in the budget to take advantage of a $2 million grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District. “It’s really critical for us to do that project to keep the city’s ice rink open,” she said.

The lack of money for Baxter grated Homewood leaders.

“This is not just on this mayor but every mayor who’s been in office and has said that they have this love for Homewood and Homewood is a priority,” Jackson said. He also wondered what the absence of money for the Conservancy says about its relationship with the city.

Defending the various low-ranked projects, Montano called the equity scoresheet the Conservancy’s metric. “It’s not the sole metric we’re using to decide the capital projects,” she said. Conservancy officials countered that the scoresheet was devised by them and the administration of former Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

“If I was a partner with someone and there was no role or a limited role, then I would question why are we still doing this,” Jackson said.

Particularly jarring to the Conservancy was the mayor’s lack of money that could have been leveraged to obtain matching funds from foundations, corporations, and other sources. That’s essentially free

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“I appreciate what they’re trying to do to build the infrastructure of Public Works, but at the same time there’s so much needed projects in the parks themselves.”

money for taxpayers.

Qureshi noted that the conservancy has raised $130 million from outside sources to renovate the parks during its history. But Montano argued that secur ing matching funds was not a require ment of the parks tax.

Among its biggest supporters, the Richard King Mellon Foundation has given the conservancy about $3 million over five years; The Heinz Endowments $2.3 million over four years; and The Pittsburgh Foundation nearly $2.1 million over the past 10 years.

“The Foundation is a longtime sup porter of the Parks Conservancy and its mission, but we do not opine on the allocation of city tax dollars,” said Mellon director Sam Reiman in an email. “We defer to the city’s elected leaders on those matters.”

Jackson complained that Homewood residents had no input into the last reno vation of Baxter. As a result, they couldn’t ask for more benches and baby swings or different equipment. “Community

engagement is truly at the forefront of our work,” said Alana Wenk, the Conservancy’s director of philanthropy and public engagement.

From his spot behind the counter of Dorsey’s Records Shop, Marcus Dorsey, 44, of Penn Hills glances through the storefront window for a commanding view of Baxter. As the store's general manager, he has worked here for 30 years. He used to play at Baxter while his father minded the store.

Dorsey said the park used to attract a lot of children after it was first renovated, but that has dwindled. “Now one family and a couple stray kids even in the nicest weather,” he said.

Jackson said an expanded park could benefit businesses on Frankstown Avenue like Dorsey Records. Until then, he says Homewood residents see a pattern in city government.

“It doesn’t matter which mayor is in there,” he said, “people feel the affluent neighborhoods get what they need before others do.” •


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since 1978, you can turn the radio dial to 88.3 FM and listen to the Saturday Light Brigade, a kid-friendly broadcast centered around highlighting youth voices from the Pittsburgh area. Now, SLB wants to help train the next generation of podcasters, audio editors, and NPR hosts.

Open Studio at the Youth Media Center was launched by SLB as a free after-school program for teenagers in grades 6 to 12. Its goal is to provide the technology and space for teens to learn about all steps of creating a podcast, from recording to editing to publishing.

Tucked away in the lower level of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the newly renovated SLB Youth Media Center space features microphones, record ing booths, keyboards, computers, and more. Open Studio, which operates from Monday to Thursday and on Saturday, is a drop-in program, so no sign-up is required to visit (though, if it is your first time coming to Open Studio, SLB asks

that you fill out an online form prior to attending).

Open Studio is designed to be a relaxed program where kids can feel comfortable, even to use it as a time to do homework or play a board game after a long school day.

Larry Berger, the creator and host of SLB’s live show, says kids are encouraged to tinker with the audio equipment and create something that they’re proud of.

“When you get down to it, [radio] all starts with words and language. It really gives you a chance to sharpen that,” Berger says. “You have incredible control — there’s a lot of payoff in learning to create and edit audio correctly.”

The days of portable radios and fireside chats may be long gone, but, to Berger, the idea of audio as a conduit for self-expression remains very much alive. Berger says that, when spoke with stu dents at a Woodland Hills High School career day about radio as a medium, he was happy to hear them praise its “oldschool” qualities.

“I’m always concerned I might hear deficits: ‘There is no video, there is nothing to watch, it limits your creativ ity because you only have half of what is there,’” Berger says. “But to the contrary I heard things like, ‘You can be a little more anonymous, you don’t have to be seen, and everyone listening creates their own image and picture, so it ends up being


Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

10 Children’s Way. North Side.

a more intimate form of engagement.’”

Taking away the visual element can help remove a level of self-consciousness, which is helpful when broaching personal topics. Recently, four high-school girls read their poetry live on air as a part of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Ralph Munn Creative Writing Competition. Their poems dealt with issues such as body image and toxic relationships.

“Audio eliminates bias you might have,” Berger says. “How a person is dressed, what shape they’re body is, what they’re race is, what kind of clothing they’re wearing. And teens, they really get that.”

Two 17-year-old girls created an audio documentary at SLB’s studio in 2015 that dealt with the issue of the “schoolto-prison pipeline” as it relates to Black girls. The piece ended up being so suc cessful that it was picked up by a station and broadcast nationally.

Berger says that collaboration in a team setting is key to SLB’s mission. Their website describes radio as a “tremendous equalizer,” a medium that can eliminate bias and give kids the confidence to work together.

“When we’re working with teams, it’s all about developing confidence, learning to work as a team, sharpening skills and communicating, learning how to meet deadlines,” Berger says.

On the Saturday morning that Pittsburgh City Paper visited SLB’s Open Studio, a toddler and his father came

PHOTO: COURTESY OF SLB RADIO Saturday Light Brigade Open Studio at the Youth Media Center in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

from the museum upstairs and poked their heads into the room. Soon, the toddler waddled into the recording studio, intrigued by the bright red foam micro phone covers. It took some patient ques tion-repeating and microphone adjust ments, but before long, Berger had a short recording of the child saying his favorite food (spaghetti) and animal (elephant).

productions and distribution, says that Open Studio’s drop-in format allows stu dents whose interest might have been piqued at a school program to easily play around with equipment.

“If a teen that we’ve worked with in a school really enjoys what we talked about, they’re more than welcome to come to our space on their own time to continue

Taking this kind of hands-off, “tryit” approach with kids at Open Studio is often the best way to teach them, Berger stressed. Hovering over someone (Berger calls this being a “mousegrabber”) robs them of an “aha” moment, he says.

“Sit on your hands if you have to,” Berger says. “I mean, we’re not gonna make things difficult, but especially with technology, people need to try things and might need to ‘fail.’ We don’t want to eclipse people’s self-discovery. We can’t.”

In addition to activities in their studio, SLB often visits local schools and runs programs teaching kids about audio. Chad Green, SLB’s manager of

building the skills or interests that we introduced them to,” Green says.

Microphones and input levels may not be everyone’s idea of an after-school program, but Berger hopes that Open Studio can be a place for teenagers to form unlikely connections with their peers and feel comfortable enough to experiment, especially for those who don’t have the privilege of a relaxing home life.

“Kids don’t have many safe spaces to talk to people they’ve never met. Kids are discouraged from doing that,” says Berger. “The idea is to create a showcase space to teach people how all this works.” •

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“We don’t want to eclipse people’s self-discovery. We can’t.”
PHOTO: COURTESY OF SLB RADIO Saturday Light Brigade Open Studio at the Youth Media Center in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Magee-Womens Research Institute Challenges the Status Quo in Women’s Health

I magine entering a doctor’s office for help with a medical problem. You learn that every tool the doctor has to treat you — every avail able drug therapy, the recommended course of treatment, even the diagnosis itself — is based on a best guess culled from studying these techniques in people who share some, but not all, of your characteristics. Would you feel confident about your outcome?

In fact, that’s exactly how science has ap proached women’s health for centuries: by studying diseases and remedies in men, then broadly applying that information to the popu lation as a whole. Science considered women too complex to study because of hormone fluctuations in the menstrual cycle, and they were reluctant to expose women to risky ex periments during childbearing years. Unfortunately, this historic practice — as well as the mistaken belief that women respond the same way to treatments as men — has led to significant gaps in science’s understanding of women’s health.

Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) is dedicated to changing that status quo by embracing the not-quite-so-radical idea that women’s health is everyone’s health: when women thrive, so do entire communities.

Founded in 1992, the institute was well ahead of its time. It wasn’t until 2001 that the Insti tute of Medi- cine, now the National Academy of Sciences, asked the key question: Does sex matter in health research? The answer, of course, is yes. From basic cell biology to the way we think, behave, respond to outside forc es such as chemicals and infectious disease, men and women are fundamentally different — and science needs to recognize that fact. Today, MWRI is the largest research institute in the United States devoted solely to the health of women and reproductive biology. The in stitute receives more National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding than anywhere else in the U.S. for reproductive health research, and projects are varied and vital, including:

• HIV prevention for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations

• Noninvasive prenatal testing

• Clinical trials that allowed a pregnant breast cancer patient safely deliver a healthy baby

• Techniques to preserve the fertility of childhood cancer survivors

Development of a nasal spray to prevent COVID-19 without a vaccine

Its location directly across the street from UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital makes MWRI ideally situated for bringing the latest research discoveries directly to patients, a practice known as “bench to bedside.”

In addition to federal support, the generos ity of donors is essential to MWRI’s ability to continue pushing boundaries in scientific re search. Through its affiliated foundation, the institute benefits from the contributions of philanthropic organizations, corporations, and private individuals. It also hosts several events throughout the year to raise money for its re search, including a partnership with Women Who Rock, an annual concert that is founded, produced and fronted by women.

This year’s Women Who Rock show at Stage AE in Pittsburgh featured headliner and Ameri can Idol winner Jordin Sparks and gathered an audience of fans committed to rock the future of women’s health. Honored with the Women Who Rock Impact Award at the event was MWRI’s own Dr. Lisa Rohan, for her re search addressing understudied problems in women’s health, changing the status quo, and transforming lives around the world. The Wom en Who Rock team is already busy cooking up what’s next for 2023, and in the meantime, you can visit the Women Who Rock Pop Up shop located in South Side Works (address). A por tion of proceeds of all merchandise goes to support women’s health research at MageeWomens Research Institute & Foundation.

Visit for more information on events and other ways to support MWRI’s mission.


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HEYAO, I’M ZARAH. You know, I never know where to begin with words about myself. In summary, I’m a Black queer femme born and raised in the ‘Burgh with so many ideas and so little time.

My goal in life is truly to carve a posi tive dent in a world full of once-in-alifetime events. That currently includes ongoing mutual aid coordination, sup porting hospital workers’ rights, and networking with other organizations along the way.

There is so much that goes on in this

community that I’ve wanted for a long time to give those who do the work “their flowers.” Especially doing this work in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, concur ring attacks on marginalized people(s), and more. In this column, you’ll find stories and lives I want to share authentically and straight from our friends’ mouths.

I want to give our neighbors, friends, comrades, and workers the shine they deserve and need in this community. Too often our neighbors have only received their accolades posthumously. Let's change that.

Good morning, neighbors! I want to introduce you to Saint (he/they), someone I’ve seen in action personally. When thinking of the first group of folks to include in this series, I wanted to start with someone who not only focuses on uplifting the youth, but also has proven time and time again that earning the trust of the communities you want to work with should be at the forefront of what you want to accomplish. I personally have seen Saint at events and gone with Saint to distribute food on the North Side.

Zarah Livingston: When and how did you become involved in this social change work? What inspired you?

Saint : In 2020, I went to my first protest, and ever since then I have been embraced by Black queer organizers in the city of Pittsburgh. I eventually sub merged myself into the world of mutual aid and have been doing that as the majority of work I do.

ZL: This answer brought me back to a question I ask myself quite often, when asked to describe myself and “titles” I’d like to be called. That question being do you consider yourself an activist? Why or why not?

Saint: I would not consider myself an activist. Activism is praised due to the lack of participation from the majority of the general public. We as people should be a part of roles that make our neigh borhoods the places they should be.

ZL: While holding that thought in my head, I wanted to get more into Saint’s work and why they enjoy what they do. So I ask, What do you enjoy best about your work in the community(ies) you go to?

Saint:. What I enjoy the most from the

work I do is meeting people. Whenever we go into these neighborhoods and connect with individuals, we are creat ing a community network. This network includes plumbers, electricians, teach ers, and other people with skills and con nections that we can use to lean on each other when in need instead of politicians, who do not have our best interest.

ZL: What organizations or individuals do you interact with in the commu nity? Have you started an organization yourself? How did you get started?

Saint: To start with, Food Not Bombs and the BYOC (Black Youth Organizing Coalition) are who I work with the most, yet we have solidarity with numerous other groups! I am a part of BYOC. BYOC is made up of YVAC-PA (Young Voices Action Collective PA Chapter) , BACC (Black Anarchist Community Council) , and BLAC (Black Liberation Autonomous Collective. I am one of the “founding” members of both BACC and BLAC. None of these groups are organizations, just groups of people that want to help our neighbors.

The group itself formed due to the lack of Black mutual aid groups within the city, plus the lack of action from Black organi zations that claim to help their commu nities and broken promises they were supposed to fulfill. Therefore, BLAC was formed in 2021 and BACC later in the year.

ZL: Now, I do have one question left to ask you. What are ways you think that the youth can take effective action for change in the community?

Saint: Look at your community and get feedback from members of that com munity. We know what is best for our folks. Start where you are at and don’t be afraid to reach out to local mutual

aid groups for help. There is so much love and solidarity among mutual aid groups. We might have different names but we are all one large group of common, working-class people who

take the time out when we can to help folks who need it. Once people realize that no one is going to do the work for us, the sooner we can unite to bring about change. •

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AFEW LINES in Halsey Hyer’s poem “Boy & I” reflect the journey the writer and poet went through writing about their trans orientation.

I want to double down on multiplicity/ Name each part of me/fall in love with & honor all my forms

Hyer said the poem was a response to a question they were asked during a grad uate workshop at Florida International University: “Where are you in your poems?”

“As I came to know myself and under stand my political position in relation ship to gender because I would also consider myself a gender abolitionist in some sense — and I think that there is a serious tension that exists within the ways in which the content is presented on the page, like my personal politics,” Hyer says. “I think that ‘Boy & I’ was an attempt to talk about the fact that the `I’ deserves to be deconstructed. I think that the `I’ is much more plural than a lot of people give it credit to be. So, ‘Boy & I’ was an attempt to integrate, say I’m myself but ‘boy’ is also part of me, and both of these things can exist in tandem.”

Hyer, who serves as an editorial assis tant for Seven Kitchens Press, a collec tive member of The Big Idea Bookstore, and events coordinator at White Whale Bookstore, recently released [deadname] (Anhinga Press), their first full-length poetry collection. A quote from fellow poet Denise Duhamel on Anhinga’s website describes the book as “a poetic tour de force describing the trans experi ence,” adding that Hyer “dares us — then double dares us — to rethink gender through these exquisite, sometimes funny, and always tender poems.”

The foundation for Hyer’s poetry was formed while they were a student at the Community College of Allegheny County on the North Side. Under the tutelage of instructor and writer Kayla Torgerson, and influenced by the work of Jennifer

"Whenever I approach the page, I try to never lift my hand up.”
PHOTO: ELWYN BROOKS Halsey Hyer PHOTO: ELWYN BROOKS Halsey Hyer on right

Jackson Berry, Hyer found a voice to express their ideas.

“It wasn’t until I realized I was occupy ing this identity and gained a lot of the language around it that I was able to fully articulate it,” Hyer says.

While Hyer’s poetry is both autobio graphical and observational, the work is also anecdotal. Hyer read works by Paul Preciado, Jack Halberstam, and Aaron Smith to flesh out their understanding about trans issues. They also had conver sations with other trans people, and talked to feminists, “mostly because there’s a very clear tension sometimes between feminist women and trans people.”

Hyer mentions a disagreement they had with a group of women about whether “boys could get periods” as an example of an issue that sparked further discussion and exploration.

“It invited the question to come alive in me, to ask, what else can boys do that

other people don’t think they can’t?” Hyer says, “and how does that intersect with the feminist socialization experience that is so common in contemporary America. I think a lot of it came from dialogue I was having in my communities. So, it was in some sense observational, but a lot of it was a rhetoric I was saying to them. So, some of these poems are a response I would give to somebody in poetic form.”

Pursuing poetry taught Hyer to observe and notice “every single tiny detail, like a body movement or a facial expression.” They also studied psychology to gain a “grounded understanding” of how memory works.

Poetry emerged for them from both seeing, and feeling, the world

“We can’t pay attention to all the observations we’re making,” Hyer says. “Whenever I approach the page, I try to never lift my hand up. I try my best to free associate without any sort of recoil, or self-editing, so that I can allow the unconscious to bleed on to the page.

“Once it bleeds onto the page, I can pay attention to it and choose what I pay closer attention to, and nurture that.” •

Follow featured contributor Rege Behe on Twitter @RegeBehe_exPTR [DEADNAME] PHOTO: ANHINGA PRESS


Indie Bookseller Spotlight is a regular column listing new releases at Pittsburgh book shops. Support local businesses and find your next favorite read.

The Light Pirate


908 Galveston Ave., North Side.

Lily Brooks-Dalton (Grand Central Publishing)

A Florida woman gives birth to Wanda, an unusual child who grows up in and adapts to a world ravaged by environmental catastrophe. Told in four parts, the book follows Wanda as she remains in Florida, a state abandoned by civilization, and, in the process, “loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.”

A History of Fear

Luke Dumas (Simon & Schuster)

Described as a “propulsive foray into the darkness of the human psyche, marrying dread-inducing atmosphere and heart-palpitating storytelling,” this debut novel from Luke Dumas examines the truth behind a University of Edinburgh grad student who claims that the Devil made him kill his classmate.

A Dash of Salt and Pepper

Kosoko Jackson (Penguin Random House)

Fans of romantic comedies should check out this story about Xavier, who returns to his small Maine hometown after a string of misfortunes. When he takes a job as a prep cook at a hip new restaurant, he forms a connection with his boss, Logan O’Hare, a chef and single dad to a tween daughter. When things get hot, will Xavier and Logan give into their feelings for each other, or keep it professional?

A World of Curiosities

Louise Penny (Macmillian Publishers)

Author Louise Penny continues her series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, a Canadian detective with a knack for solving mysteries. Gamache returns to the small village of Three Pines, where he and an associate must investigate a strange case involving a murdered woman, a 160-year-old letter, and a bricked-up attic room waiting to be unsealed.

Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion

Bushra Rehman (Macmillian Publishers)

This coming-of-age tale set in 1980s New York City follows Pakistani-American teen Razia as she grapples with becoming the person her conservative family wants to be versus her true self. The situation becomes more difficult when she attends a prestigious high school in Manhattan and falls in love with a female classmate.

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19 PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER NOVEMBER 30 - DECEMBER 7, 2022 Call 7 days a week 8am - 11pm EST Se Habla Español 1-877-857-5995 Plus ... Switch to DISH and GET A FREE $100 GIFT CARD FREE FREE FREE 2-YEAR TV PRICE GUARANTEE “All o ers require credit quali cation, 24-month commitment with early termination fee and eAutoPay. Prices include Hopper Duo for qualifying customers. Hopper, Hopper w/Sling or Hopper 3 $5/mo. more. Upfront fees may apply based on credit quali cation. * Requires eAutopay discount and includes Hopper Duo DVR ($5 discount for 24 months) or Wally/211 O er for new and qualifying former customers only. Important Terms and Conditions: Quali cation: Advertised price requires credit quali cation and 24-month commitment. Upfront activation and/or receiver upgrade fees may apply based on credit quali cation. O er ends 4/13/22. 2-Year Commitment: Early termination fee of $20/mo. remaining applies if you cancel early. Included in 2-year price guarantee at $64.99 advertised price: America's Top 120 programming package, local channels, HD service fees, and Hopper Duo Smart DVR for 1 TV. Included in 2-year price guarantee for additional cost: Programming package upgrades ($74.99 for AT120+, $84.99 for AT200, $94.99 for AT250), monthly fees for upgraded or additional receivers ($5-$7 per additional TV, receivers with additional functionality may be $10-$15). Regional Sports: RSN Surcharge up to $3/mo. applies to AT120+ and higher packages and varies based on location. NOT included in 2-year price guarantee or advertised price (and subject to change): Taxes & surcharges, add-on programming (including premium channels), DISH Protect, and transactional fees. Premium Channels: 3 Mos. Free: After 3 mos., you will be billed $30/mo. for Showtime, Starz, and DISH Movie Pack unless you call or go online to cancel. Remote: The DISH Voice Remote with the Google Assistant requires internet-connected Hopper, Joey, or Wally device. Customer must press Voice Remote button to activate feature. The Google Assistant Smart Home features require Google account and compatible devices. Google is a trademark of Google LLC. Other: All packages, programming, features, and functionality and all prices and fees not included in price lock are subject to change without notice. After 6 mos., if selected, you will be billed $9.99/mo. for DISH Protect Silver unless you call to cancel. After 2 years, then-current everyday prices for all services apply. For business customers, additional monthly fees may apply. Free standard professional installation only. * DISH Network received the highest score in the Nation in the J. D. Power 2018-2019 U. S. Residential Provider Satisfaction Studies of customers satisfaction with their current television provider. Visit All new customers are subject to a one-time processing fee. Gift Card terms and conditions apply, call for full details. VOICE REMOTE 190 CHANNELS Including Local Channels! America’s Top 120 Package for 12 Mos. MO. SMART HD DVR INCLUDED STREAMING ON ALL YOUR DEVICES The DISH Voice Remote with the Google Assistant requires internet-connected Hopper, Joey, or Wally device. Customer must press Voice Remote button to activate feature. Promo Code: DISH100 Termsandconditionsapply.Callfordetails. $19./mo. 99 where available ADD TO YOUR PACKAGE FOR ONLY Blazing Fast Internet! CALL TODAY! $6999


THU., DEC. 1


Local A24 fans, rejoice! Harris Theater has Aftersun, the latest drama from the acclaimed indie studio. The debut film from writer/ director Charlotte Wells follows Sophie as she recalls the last holiday she spent with her father 20 years before at a “fading vacation resort.” A synopsis describes the story as a “powerful and heartrending portrait of their relationship, as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t.” 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Continues through Wed., Dec. 7. 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $11.


Life finds a way during Mad Science of Pittsburgh presents Dinosaurs at the Carnegie Library-Hill District. Mad Science, described on its website as a “science enrichment provider,” will lead a kid-friendly exploration into those “terrible lizards” that terrify and intrigue us. Visitors will leave with an understanding of dinosaur habits, the fossilization process, and how big creatures like the T. rex really were. You’ll also have the hands-on opportunity to play archeologist

and make a cast of a dino’s tooth. 3-4 p.m. 2177 Centre Ave., Hill District. Free.


A Pittsburgh-based artist and prisoner advocacy nonprofit will give a talk at the Carnegie Museum of Art. James “Yaya” Hough and Let’s Get Free: The Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee will speak during Refractions, an event series presented as part of the 58th Carnegie International exhibition. Hough’s site-specific mural, “A Gift to the Hill District,” was produced as part of the exjhibition and can now be seen along the 2300 block of Centre Avenue. 6:30-7:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. Registration encouraged.

FRI., DEC. 2


Frontman Andre Costello has played with his band Cool Minors for the last decade, but recently, the group reinvented itself as Forestry Division. The Pittsburgh indie rockers recently released a new single “Are We Ready?,” described as a “dreamy indie-pop

song that’s the first taste of an album due at a later date.” See them take the stage at Brillobox during a show that includes sets from fellow locals acts Mariage Blanc and Century III. 9 p.m. Doors at 8:30 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10.


Pay your respects to the High Priest of Pop, or, at least. the likeness of him, during the Prince tribute show Purple Reign at Rivers Casino. Starring Jason Tenner as the hitmaker behind songs like “When Doves Cry,” “1999,” and “Kiss,” Purple Reign promises an experience that “captures the imagination and seamlessly recreates the blistering performances and raw energy of Prince in his prime.” Don your second-hand store berets and check it out. 7 p.m. 777 Casino Drive, North Side. $19-79. 21 and over.

SAT., DEC. 3


Support local Black small business owners during a speical pop-up market. The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Shayla Hawkins Events will present the third annual

Black Market: Holiday Edition, described as a showcase for Black-owned businesses from around the Pittsburgh region. Visit during the event’s opening weekend and grab some unique gifts for friends and family. 11 a.m.6 p.m. Continues on weekends through Sun., Dec. 11. 623 Smithfield St., Downtown. Free.


Spice up your tree, or the tree of a loved one by making your own ornament during a workshop at Union Project Ornament Extravaganza provides guests with the opportunity to shape, fire, and paint their own clay ornaments. Take them home and add them to your decorations, or wrap them up for someone special. The community center will also host a clay Gingerbread House workship on the following day. Spots sell out fast so get them before they’re gone. 12-1 p.m. and 1-2 p.m. 801 N. Negley Ave., Highland Park. $30.


Discover your new favorite picture book from one of the 25 writers for children and teens during Kate’s Kid Book Bash at The


Kingsley Association. Held in remembrance of the late writer Kate Dopirak, and led by the Buzzword literacy initiative, the event will feature various authors reading from their works. Pittsburgh writers such as Sharon G. Flake (Skin I’m In) and Nick Courage (Snow Struck and co-founder of Littsburgh) will be in attendance. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 6435 Frankstown Ave., East Liberty. Free.

SUN., DEC. 4


Experience a robust lineup of music when the Don’t Let the Scene Go Down on Me! Collective presents a new show at Mr. Roboto Project. See the Colunbus, Ohiobased hardcore band En Love and Brooklyn act Rabbit, along with local bands Cutting Ties, Gloom Doom, and Princess 7:30 p.m. Doors at 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Garfield. $10. All ages.

MON., DEC. 5


Don’t shout or cry, just crawl during a fun, adult-oriented event in Market Square. The Downtown Krampuslauf and Krawl invites guests to samples drinks in various bars and socialize with holiday Krampen demons. The Krampen will terrorize the Peoples Gas Holiday Market, all of which will culminate in a trip to the Miracle on Liberty pop-up bar. Bring your naughty self to this boozy seasonal festivity. 6:30 p.m. Market Square, Downtown.

Free to attend. Search “Pittsburgh Krampuslauf and Krawl” on Facebook

TUE., DEC. 6


Stave off winter gloom with a dose of December joy at Happy Holidays in Pittsburgh with Rick Sebak at Bottlerocket Social Hall. The ‘70s-relic-turned-retro-bar is screening Sebak’s classic 2002 WQED documentary about the way Pittsburghers celebrate the holiday season, from Christmas to Kwanzaa. Stick around after the film for a Q&A with Sebak. Can’t make it? Don’t worry, Bottlerocket is hosting the same event on Tue., Dec. 20. 7 p.m. 1226 Arlington Ave., Allentown. $5.

WED., DEC. 7


Get swept up in the magic and romance of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Pittsburgh Playhouse. Presented by Point Park University’s Conservatory Theatre Company, the show follows the classic tale of a young woman made to serve her wicked stepmother and step-sisters. Yearning for a better life, she, with a little help from her fairy godmother, manages to attend the royal ball, lose a shoe, and attract the attention of a handsome prince. 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Dec. 11. 350 Forbes Ave., Downtown. $23-55.

listen now at

PHOTO: SEAN EATON/COURTESY OF CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART ^ “A Gift to the Hill District” by James “Yaya” Hough


Many Americans are fortunate to have dental coverage for their entire working life, through employer-provided benefits. When those benefits end with retirement, paying dental bills out-of-pocket can come as a shock, leading people to put off or even go without care.

Simply put — without dental insurance, there may be an important gap in your healthcare coverage.

When you’re comparing plans ...

Look for coverage that helps pay for major services. Some plans may limit the number of procedures — or pay for preventive care only.

Look for coverage with no deductibles. Some plans may require you to pay hundreds out of pocket before benefits are paid.

Shop for coverage with no annual maximum on cash benefits. Some plans have annual maximums of $1,000.

Medicare doesn’t pay for dental care.1

That’s right. As good as Medicare is, it was never meant to cover everything. That means if you want protection, you need to purchase individual insurance.

Early detection can prevent small problems from becoming expensive ones.

The best way to prevent large dental bills is preventive care. The American Dental Association recommends checkups twice a year.

Previous dental work can wear out.

Even if you’ve had quality dental work in the past, you shouldn’t take your dental health for granted. In fact, your odds of having a dental problem only go up as you age.2

Treatment is expensive — especially the services people over 50 often need.

Consider these national average costs of treatment ... $217 for a checkup ... $189 for a filling ... $1,219 for a crown.3 Unexpected bills like this can be a real burden, especially if you’re on a fixed income.

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1. Get by
6. Band
14. Pointer 15. Actress Remini 16. Tree growth 17. Rejecting societal expectations and living in an unkempt, hedonistic manner 19. Wax collector 20. Hammock company that doesn’t appear to
anything to do with musician Brian 21. Irish Breakfast, e.g. 22. “Ick!” 24. Character who’s a prop in Hamlet 26. Pulled tight 27. They’re not paying attention while they’re swiping 33. Adobe medium 35. Big daisy 36. Cleaner’s scrap 37. Pleased as punch 38. Blows out of the water 39. “A fellow of infinite ___, of most excellent fancy” (24-Across description) 40. Still in the packaging on them 10. Spicy application to some meat 11. Rubber that hits the road 12. Tests in a tube 13. They span eight countries 18. Case in the New Pornographers 23. Ready for anything 25. Tablet that works with a Magic Keyboard 28. Off 29. Be joyful 30. Perceptual psychologist Karl who created cards to test ESP 31. China setting 32. Hulka’s rank in Stripes: Abbr. 33. Goldfish in Pinocchio 41. Uncut 42. Rock in a schoolyard? 43. Insincere commenter 46. Lake Titicaca nation 47. Aromatic tree resin 51. Wobbliness on deck 54. Avocado leftover 55. Drink for someone who does want a gruit or a gose 56. Key in the corner 57. They don’t appear to be made by anyone 60. No longer bamboozled by 61. Emergency room waiting times, seemingly 62. Group of carolers? 63. Procedures 64. It prevents tick marks 65. Cornish ___ DOWN 1. Noncommittal 2. College town that WMEB broadcasts to 3. Naturally shaded area 4. Currency of 46-Across 5. Kind of jumpy 6. ___ mater 7. Eric Yuan’s title at Zoom 8. Miami-___ County 9. Boxers bite down 34. Event where you might break out the croquet mallets 37. Pill pushers at the mall 38. Raised one’s shoulders 39. Dr. Biden 41. “___ Going to Be Friends” (the White Stripes) 42. Head covering with a covered brim 44. String octet instruments 45. Final passage? 48. Cures in the kitchen 49. Pass (out) 50. Full of shit, say 51. Trash collector 52. Italian volcano 53. Allbirds product 54. “Look here!” 58. Tip jar bill 59. Tasting like
without much effort
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Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell the contents of leased spaces to satisfy Extra Space’s lien at the location indicated: 7535 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15208, 11:00am December 08, 2022.

2101 Shervon Thompson; 4080 Tyleta Howell; 6049 Malcolm Williams; 6051 Amy Branch and 6054 Donna Patterson.

The auction will be listed and advertised on

Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction. Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property.


Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell the contents of leased spaces to satisfy Extra Space’s lien at the location indicated: 880

Saw Mill Run Blvd, Pittsburgh PA 15226 December 8, 2022, at 1:00 PM. 1091 Henry Reid, 1115 Shianne Brown, 2025 Terence Washington, 2043 Martin McKinley White, 2049 Calvin Beck, 2115 Patty Carnovale, 2119 Scott DiDolce, 3125 Nakia Nelson, 3177 Anthony Beck, 3205 Kristy Sabina, 4034 Joshua Watkins, 4076 Selena Watson, 4080 Robert Thompson III, 4210 Paulette Thomas. The auction will be listed and advertised on

Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transac tion. Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the win ning bidder takes possession of the personal property.


Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell the contents of leased spaces to satisfy Extra Space’s lien at the location indicated: 902 Brinton Rd Pittsburgh, Pa 15221, December 8,2022 at 1:30 PM.

Bijani Davis 3190. The auction will be listed and advertised on

Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction.

Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property.


Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell the contents of leased spaces to satisfy Extra Space’s lien at the location indicated: 6400 Hamilton Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15206 December 8, 2022 at 1:15 PM.

1020 Kyna Kearney, 1025 Sadie Moore, 1035 Charmaine Moore, 2049 Sharnina Grayson, 3041 Vince Rae , 3052 Moses Marquis Nelson, 4052 Jazmine Jones, L013 Taylor Earle. The auction will be listed and advertised on

Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction. Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property.


Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell the contents of leased space to satisfy Extra Spaces’ lien at 3200 Park Manor Blvd, Pittsburgh PA 15205 on the December 8 at 12:45pm.

4019 Cinquez Griffin. The Auction will be listed and Advertised on Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction.

Extra Space Storage may refuse and bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property.


Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell the contents of leased spaces to satisfy Extra Space’s lien at the location indicated:

111 Hickory Grade Road, Bridgeville, PA 15017, 12/8/2022, 12:30 PM.

Heidi Lockett 1009, Brianne Watson 2208, Tony Armstead 2293, Jon Galante 3376.

The auction will be listed and advertised on

Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction.

Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property.




Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell the contents of leased spaces to satisfy Extra Space’s lien at 110 Kisow Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205 on December 20th, 2022 at 11:15 am. Eric Mascellino 78, Sheradan Wright 462. The auction will be listed and adver tised on www.storagetreasures. com. Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction.

Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property.


IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-22-013947,

In re petition of Justina Fuller parent and legal guardian of Josslyn Aurora Fuller for change of name to Josslyn Aurora Shash. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 22nd day of December 2022, at 9:30 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all per sons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for.

IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-22-10833

In re petition of Horace Elwood Daniels for change of name to Horace Edward Topeck, Sr. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 16th day of December, 2022, at 9:30 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Build ing, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for.

Franklin L. Robinson, Jr., Attorney for Petitioner.

Address: 5907 Penn Avenue, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.

Phone: (412)363-6685

Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell the contents of leased spaces to satisfy Extra Space’s lien at the location indicated: 700 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203 December 8, 2022 at 12:15 PM. 1047 Shontae Bell, 1080 Barbara Thomas, 137 Kimberly Fitzpatrick, 146 Connie Dixon, 2089 Freddy Bank, 2144 Talonda Simpson, 3107 Larry Gilmore. The auction will be listed and advertised on Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction.

Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property.


Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell the con tents of leased spaces to satisfy Extra Space’s lien at the location indicated: 1005 E Entry Drive Pittsburgh PA 15216, December 8, 2022 at 11:30 AM. 4108 Courtney Mullen, 5103 Kerri Kowalski, 5180 Shelby Lundy, and 7111 Tevor Frazier. The auction will be listed and advertised on Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction.

Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property.


23 PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER NOVEMBER 30 - DECEMBER 7, 2022 (some restrictions apply) Call IVS 1-877-350-1003 TO PLACE A CLASSIFIEDS ADVERTISEMENT, CONTACT SIERRA CLARY AT SIERRA@PGHCITYPAPER.COM OR 412-685-9009 EXT. 113 MARKET PLACE M2M Massage by Lee Lean athletic shape. 24/7 • 412-628-1269 MASSAGE We are an equal rights and opportunity school district. Project Manual and
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