SPR 01-11-22

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REPORTER •

Since 1939, Serving The South Pittsburgh Neighborhoods of • Allentown • Arlington • Beltzhoover • Bon Air • Carrick • Knoxville • Mount Oliver • Mount Washington • South Side Vol. 82 No. 13

Inside This Week’s South • Pittsburgh

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

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Mt. Oliver makes history with first woman mayor

Joanna Taylor sworn in as mayor, eporter council now has three women members

R

Allentown

Abiding Missions has opened its 28 Below winter warming center and will be open any day the daytime high is forecasted at 28 degrees or lower. See Page 3

Pittsburgh

The Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh (PPA), and the Duquesne Light Company (DLC) have announced completion of the largest Electric Vehicle (EV) charging installation in Western Pennsylvania at the City of Pittsburgh’s Second Avenue Parking Plaza. @sopghreporter.com

Pittsburgh

By Tom Smith South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor

The 2022 Mt. Oliver Borough Re-Organization Meeting on January 3 was night of firsts. For the first time in its history, Mt. Oliver has a woman as its mayor and three women council members. In a short swearing-in ceremony, Joanna Taylor took the oath of office as mayor and Lisa Pietrusza as a council member. Brandon Taylor also took his oath as a new council member. Paul Doyle was also re-elected in November

but wasn’t in attendance and will have to be sworn in before he is seated. In addition, Tina Carcia was sworn in as the borough’s tax collector. Council members Pietrusza and Taylor took their seats joining Aaron Graham, Amber McGough, Christina Reft and Nick Viglione for the remainder of the meeting. Mayor Taylor presided over the first portion of the Reorganization Meeting, taking nominations for President of Council, Vice-President of Council and President Pro-Tem. Ms. McGough was re-elected President; Ms. Reft, Vice-

President; and, Mr. Viglione, President Pro-Tem. Further business was conducted by Ms. McGough including the following appointments: Borough manager, Rick Hopkinson; Secretary, Kathy Connolly; Treasurer, Diane Holzer; Solicitor, Goehring, Rutter, and Boehm; Engineer, Gateway Engineers; Planning Consultant, Grass Root Solutions; Advertising Agent, The South Pittsburgh Reporter; Depository, Northwest Bank; Vacancy Board, Francis Heckman; and, SHACOG Board of DiContinued on Page 2

picking up boxes of food and the staff and volunteers helping them to remain safe while distributing the boxes. While supplies last, households are able to pick up two boxes of food totaling approximately 40 pounds; one with produce and one with dairy products while supplies last. People will be able to pick up the boxes either by driving up and having them placed in their trunk or walking up and taking the boxes with them. Those walking are strongly encouraged to

bring a shopping cart or wagon to take their boxes home. The distribution will take place at the St. John Vianney Church parking lot at the corner of Allen and Climax streets in Allentown, beginning at 3 p.m. and will go until all boxes are distributed. Those picking up the boxes, either walking or in a vehicle, will not be permitted in the parking lot The distribution is part of the USDA’s Corona Virus Farm Assistance Program through the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and is specifically for Hilltop residents. Households in the Zip Code areas of 15203, 15210, 15211 and Carrick residents in 15227 are welcome. There is no requirement Continued on Page 3

Joanna Taylor takes the Oath of Office as mayor of Mt. Oliver from District Magisterial Judge Richard King at the borough’s Reorganization Meeting. Ms. Taylor is the first woman elected mayor in Mt. Oliver’s history.

First Fresh Fridays of 2022 is Friday

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, and the Office of Community Health & Safety has launched a new pilot program in partnership with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to help Pittsburgh residents in crisis with immediate need and high engagements with Public Safety have access to shelf stable food.

Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop, a free produce distribution through the Hilltop Alliance, will continue with a distribution on January 14. The Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop, the Hilltop Alliance’s free produce distribution, will again pass out pre-boxed food on Friday, Jan. 14 on Allen Street at the St. John Vianney @sopghreporter.com Church parking lot in Allentown. Pittsburgh Do to COVID-19, the The Office of Managedistribution went from ment & Budget (OMB) a “shopper” style where has released a new budpeople were able to pick get tool to help the puband choose from the availlic engage in the budgetable produce to a Grab-Ning process. Go model where people @sopghreporter.com don’t have to leave their cars and will have a box of Classified Ads.............. Page 2 fresh food along with anLetter to the Editor....... Page 2 other box of dairy products Or check them out at: placed in their trunks. The no-contact distriwww.sopghreporter.com bution allows both those

Did You Know at sopghreporter.com...

Lisa Pietrusza is sworn in by District Judge King as a member of the Mt. Oliver Borough Council. Ms. Pietrusza joins Council President Amber McGough and Tina Reft to give the Mt. Oliver council three women members for the borough’s history.

Brandon Taylor takes the oath of office as a Mt. Oliver Councilmember from District Judge King.

• Classifieds & Dated Stories are Updated Tuesdays • The site is fully updated on Thursday Morning • Read The South Pittsburgh Reporter first at Issuu.com/sopghreporter as early as Monday night • Pick up a paper copy of The South Pittsburgh Reporter on Tuesdays at more than 100 locations


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TUESDAY, JAN. 11, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Oliver swears in new mayor, council members Former mayor says thanks Mt. McGough at the next counContinued from Page 1 I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mt. Oliver residents for allowing me to be mayor of Mt. Oliver. It has been my pleasure. From the very beginning, I made it known at borough meetings that I would be proactive in this position, as mayor. I believe I did that. Any issues that presented itself, that I felt would be negative for this borough, I met it head on, it’s the only way I knew how. There was some degree of success, I am not a believer in “holding your ground” or “let’s wait and see.” I know at times, I used my right of free speech too forcefully. Sometimes it’s the only way a person’s voice can be heard. During these past four years, I had the best supporting cast, by that I mean borough employees. I was fortunate enough to be retired so that I could devote more time to borough business. I did not mind this at all. Along the way I made a lot of new friends and associates, also some enemies, which doesn’t bother me in the least. Mt. Oliver can take great pride in the fact that this borough has always been selfsufficient, and always did

“the most with the least.” In the past 15 years or more, taxes have not been raised. This speaks for itself. Credit this to the borough manager. The borough’s police department has been able to maintain its daily operations, every day, despite the turnover of personnel. This is a credit to the chief and his officers. They have had my support all along and I will continue to do so. The residents have to know that this is the first line of defense. It takes all residents to be vigilant at all times and report any criminal activity, no matter how small. This is the only way we can have a civilized community, is by everyone being involved. I encourage everyone to attend council meetings to voice their complaints or their compliments. Council can not fix a problem if they don’t know what the problem is or a potential problem. My only regret is that I couldn’t accomplish more. There is still a lot of work to be done. In closing, I’d like to say thank you all again. Now I will become a proactive resident. Frank Bernardini Mt. Oliver

Letters to the Editor may be submitted by: • Email to tsmith@sopghreporter.com • Mail to PO Box 4285, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 • By Fax at 412-488-8011 The South Pittsburgh Reporter reserves the right to edit letters for length and accuracy. Submitting a Letter to the Editor does not guarantee publication. Individuals may only have one letter published in a four week period. Unsigned letters will not be published. All letters must include a contact telephone number. Due to the length of letters recently, The South Pittsburgh Reporter reserves the right to limit letters length. Letters to the Editor represent the opinion of the writers and not necessarily those of The South Pittsburgh Reporter.

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Reporter S outh • Pittsburgh

A Neighborhood Publications, Inc. Newspaper Serving The South Pittsburgh Communities of • Allentown • Arlington • Beltzhoover • Bon Air • Carrick • Knoxville • Mount Oliver • Mount Washington • South Side Since 1939

TOM SMITH Managing Editor tsmith@sopghreporter.com

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rectors, Mr. Graham and Ms. McGough. The appointment of Emergency Management Coordinator was left vacant. The council adopted, in a series of resolutions: Mr. Graham as the Primary Delegate and Ms. McGough as the Alternate Delegate to the SHACOG Franchising Authority; Mr. Graham as the Primary Delegate and Ms. McGough as the Alternate Delegate to the SHACOG Cable Television Joint Review Board; Ms. McGough and Hank Keener to the Civil Service Commission; Jason Kottler and Alicia Wentzel to the Planning Commis-

cil meeting, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 17. The council also voted 4-2 to change the time of the public meetings to 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. Ms. Pietrusza questioned what the policy was on the borough offices being open on Federal holidays, January 17 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “How do you determine which holidays you’re going to be open,” she asked. The subject will be placed Tina Carcia is sworn in by District Judge King as Tax Collector for Mt. Oliver Borough. on a future agenda. sion; and, Bernadette Paw- ing Board. Council committee assignloski, Sandy Seiler and Donments will be made by Ms. na Smith to the Zoning Hear-

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ST. JUDE’S NOVENA — May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be loved, adored, glorified and preserved throughout the world now and forever. Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us. St. Jude, Helper of the Hopeless, pray for us. Say this prayer nine times a day and your request will be granted by the 18th day. It has never been known to fail. Publication must be promised. S.J.J. 1/11

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TUESDAY, JAN. 11, 2022

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PAGE THREE

Mt. Oliver Borough passes General Budget with no tax increase By Tom Smith South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor

The Mt. Oliver Borough Council approved the 2022 Borough General Budget without comment at the December public meeting of the council. The council approved the budget by a 5-0 vote with councilmen Aaron Graham and Paul Doyle absent. The budget doesn’t include a tax increase. The borough’s 2022 budget is $2,577,000, a decrease of nearly $375,000 from 2021 due to capital projects concluding including the new sidewalks and parking lots in the business district. Spending on Public Safety will be reduced by $5,000 for 2022. Increases in wages will be offset by two vacant positions, a clerk and a part time position, that will remain unfilled from the prior year. The Public Works budget will remain the same from 2021 at $140,000. The Road Program for 2022 will see a decrease from $200,000 to $125,000. The decrease reflects cost sharing with utility companies on repaving this year, specifically Ormsby Avenue. The biggest increase in spending will be in the area of Community or Economic Development going from $40,000 to $235,000. The budget item benefited from prior year tax revenue and collection increases. The increased allocation will help fund the borough newsletter, Main Street events and homeowner property stabilization efforts along with additional vacant property acquisitions. Along the Main Street, new upgraded parking meter kiosks and streetscape furniture along Brownsville Road are also planned. Under New Business, Councilman Nick Viglione wanted to talk about “people living out of their cars” in the borough. In one instance, he said a man had a disagreement with a family member and threatened with a gun. The man was thrown out of the house and had been living out of his car on the street. Police Chief Matt Juzwick said it would have to be researched with the solicitor

for the police to address the situation. He didn’t believe the man was living out of the car, but was more often than not sleeping there. Mr. Viglione added his wife saw the man get out of his car and urinate on the street. The chief said they would have to look into it, that people can’t be using the street as a bathroom. As far as just sleeping in the car, he didn’t think it was a crime. During the Question and Answer period, a Stamm Avenue resident wanted to relate an “unsettling incident” she had with a clean up crew on the street. She said the crew would place no-parking cones in sections of the street they would be working at the night before, but would move the cones at 7 a.m. the next morning and then tow cars from the area. She said there would be no cones for 100 feet on either side of the street the night before, but in the morning the cones had been moved and cars were being towed. In her experience, the construction company woke her at 7 a.m. to move her car, after the cones had been moved. When she went to move her car, one of the workers was parked in her garage. “I was appalled they would be parking on private property,” she said. After moving her car, she observed a worker direct someone else to park in the space they had just told her to move out of. When she complained to the police about having to move her car, only to have someone else directed to park there, she said the police were dismissive of her complaint. To Council President Amber McGough’s question about posting no parking signs, Chief Juzwick said they have been moving cones from one section of the street to another as they complete a section. He wasn’t able to speak to the company moving cones in the morning after they had been placed the night before. It was noted the construction has been halted until the spring of 2022. Ms. McGough said they would be “having a conversation” with the construction company in the spring when

Warming center opens in Allentown

Abiding Missions has opened its 28 Below winter warming center and will be open any day the daytime high is forecasted at 28 degrees or lower. The warming center will be open 7:00 a.m. – 3:00

p.m. There will be hot beverages and hot meals, and they will offer a quiet space for rest. All are welcome, whether experiencing homelessness, utilities problems, etc. COVID safety protocols will be strictly followed.

they start work again and she else park in the same space. Before adjourning the would have been upset also if they had made her move meeting, Ms. McGough exher car only to have someone tended thanks to council-

men Dave Lowe and Francis Heckmann along with Mayor Frank Bernardini for their service to the borough.

This was the trio’s last meeting with new councilmembers and a new mayor coming in 2022.

security,” said former mayor William Peduto. The URA will take board action in January and the HACP will immediately begin the disposition approval process with HUD. At the same time, the URA will be working with the Allegheny Land Trust who is raising funds to acquire the site to provide long term protection of the nation’s largest urban farm. “What a great way to close out 2021,” said Pastor Maurice Trent, board president of the Hilltop Urban Farm. “We appreciate the dedication and persistence of Mayor Peduto and his team, the Housing Authority and the URA, who have all worked for years to make the farm a reality. We look forward to our continued partnership with Allegheny Land Trust to make the Hilltop Urban Farm an asset for the

Hilltop-communities for decades to come.” “Allegheny Land Trust looks forward to permanently conserving the nation’s largest urban farm in partnership with the local community, the Mayor’s Office, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Hilltop Urban Farm,” says Chris Beichner, ALT’s president and CEO. “Conserv-

ing and caring for close-tohome green space, gardens and farms is part of our vision of making green space easily accessible and available to everyone, and we are thrilled this important project is taking a significant step forward. We will work with great urgency in the coming months to raise the funds necessary to complete the protection of the farm.”

Continued from Page 1 to preregister and there are no income guidelines, but only one set of boxes per car or household. A safe and successful event is a primary concern. Those walking up to receive their boxes are required to wear masks and follow social distancing recommendations. For more information, contact Jeph Martin at

the Hilltop Alliance, 412586-5807 ext. 3. Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop is sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance, Brashear Association, St. John Vianney Food Pantry and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank with support from PNC Bank, Dollar Bank, PA Dept. of Community & Economic Development and Birmingham Foundation.

Hilltop Urban Farm land plans advance The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), and the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) have announced plans to further advance the Hilltop Urban Farm. The URA and HACP have reached an agreement for the URA to purchase the urban farm site at fair market value dependent upon confirmation that the URA has secured full reimbursement for the cost of the acquisition. “I want to thank the leadership of the Hilltop Urban Farm, Hilltop Alliance, Allegheny Land Trust, URA, and Housing Authority for all working together to make this incredible vision come true. 23 acres of farming in our Hilltop will provide job opportunities, agricultural education, community strength and greater food

Fresh Fridays

The South Pittsburgh Reporter 2022 Rate Card & Media Kit

is now available at: https://adobe.ly/3cHjiqM — With Everything You Need To Know To Place A Display Ad Upcoming Publication Dates For S outh • Pittsburgh

Reporter • January 18 • February 8 • February 22 • March 8 • March 22

Print Edition Publication Dates & Deadlines Available @ www.sopghreporter.com under the “Calendar” tab. Or directly at: https://bit.ly/3q6aHUZ * Issue dates subject to change without notice


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TUESDAY, JAN. 11, 2022

Crisis funding is available for PWSA customers needing help Customers of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) are encouraged to apply for the new Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), a temporary assistance program created by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The funds are available as grants and do not need to be re-paid. Assistance can range from $25 - $2,500 for each service (drinking water or wastewater) the customer receives. Eligible PWSA customers receiving both drinking and wastewater services can qualify for grants totaling up to $5,000. Grants are available to support customers in an emergency by helping to maintain essential water services, including pastdue water bills, termination of water service, or facing termination of water service in the next 60 days. PWSA also offers a Win-

10th St. Bridge closed to traffic January 12, 13

The Philip Murray (South Tenth Street) Bridge in South Side will close to traffic between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12 and Thursday, Jan. 13. The closure is required to complete work started last year to replace a damaged expansion dam strip seal. There will be no posted detour for outbound traffic. However, drivers can use Second Avenue, Ross Street, First Avenue, Grant Street, Fort Pitt Boulevard, the Smithfield Street Bridge, and East Carson Street to get around the closure. The $27,590 emergency project is being done by Pugliano Construction Co., Inc., of Pittsburgh.

ter Shut-off Moratorium to income eligible customers. Once enrolled, it provides the assurance that water service will not be shutoff during the winter months from December 1 to March 31. For more information, visit www.pgh2o.com/CAP. “Access to water and wastewater service is an essential part of everyday life and PWSA prioritizes help for vulnerable customers in need of financial assistance,” said Will Pickering, chief executive officer. The emergency funding available through LIHWAP is part of the nation’s continued response to families experiencing financial difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania received approximately $43.2 million to assist families who have lost or are at risk of losing water service in their homes. Applications are on a firstcome, first-serve basis. Eligible customers must be at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. Renters responsible for paying their water or wastewater charges are also eligible. Learn more about LIHWAP at www.dhs.pa.gov/ waterhelp. Apply Online: www.compass.state.pa.us : With a Paper application: Download a paper application, print it, fill it out, and return it to the Allegheny County Assistance Office, located at 301 5 th Avenue. You can also fill out an application at the county office in-person. Grant checks are is-

sued directly to PWSA and applied to the customer’s account. Applications are available in English and Spanish; Or, by phone: Request an application by calling the Statewide Customer Service Center at 877-3958930 or call PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applicants will need to provide the names of people in the household, along with their dates of birth, social security numbers, proof of income, and copy of a recent water bill. For more information, download the flyer at https://bit.ly/31EQe04 Those who need help determining which program is right for them and how to apply, may call 412-2552423 and talk with a PGH2O Cares team member

South Side Park Pump Track PROPERTY WANTED Arlington meeting postponed SOUTH SIDE FLATS

The South Side Park’s Pump Track preliminary conceptual design was to be presented at the Arlington Community Council’s (ACC) meeting on January 10. That meeting was canceled. The ACC meeting has been rescheduled for February 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Arlington Recreation Center. Following the opportunity for feedback, the consultants will next provide a three-dimensional design for a greater understanding of the scale and appearance of the pump track. A pump track is a popular park feature across the country, intentionally designed and built into hills and valleys in order to propel

County Christmas Tree recycling The Allegheny County Parks Department is offering its annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program this holiday season. Residents may drop off Christmas trees from Sunday, December 26, 2021, through Friday, Jan. 14, at all nine county parks from 8:00 a.m. until dusk. All lights, decorations, tinsel and stands must be removed from trees prior to drop-off. Trees will

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The final volunteer effort of 2021 for South Side Park was on December 26 when the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh’s Mitzvah Day brought 12 hardworking volunteers to clean up the park. The group collected tires, a hot water heater, a microwave oven and assorted other trash. They also helped clear a lot of the stones and bricks from the slope below the paved loop of South Side Park Trail. The final tally on new plantings in 2021 at South Side Park was: 250 trees, 117 shrubs and 120 perennials.

be mulched and used in the county parks. Drop-off locations are: Boyce Park at the Soccer Fields parking lot; Deer Lakes Park at the Veterans Shelter parking lot; Harrison Hills Park at the parking lot at Chipmunk Drive & Cottontail Drive; Hartwood Acres Park at the Middle Road parking lot; North Park at the Swimming Pool parking lot; Round Hill Park at the Alfalfa Shelter parking lot; Settlers Cabin Park at the Wave Pool parking lot; South Park at the Wave Pool parking lot; or, White Oak Park at the Chestnut Shelter parking lot. The list of drop-off locations is also available online at www.alleghenycounty. us/parks/christmas-tree-recycling-program.aspx.

a bike or other wheeled vehicle forward without pedaling but merely by a pumping movement of the rider. For a better understanding, this video is recommended: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=uVmurW7F4J8

Commercial • Residential • Homes • Multi-Family • Retail • Office Space • Vacant Lots Can Close Immediately Inquiries Kept Strictly Confidential

412.271.7245

Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop

Friday, Jan. 14 Special Process During COVID-19

Grab-N-Go, Pre-Boxed Fresh Produce & Dairy 3 pm • Friday, Jan. 14

While Supplies Last - Arriving Early Does Not Mean Early Service

St. John Vianney Church Parking Lot 823 Climax Street, Allentown

Off E. Warrington Avenue at Climax & Allen streets

• No Registration Required! • Drive or Walk Up! Volunteers Will Load It In Your Car! • Masks Required • One Box Per Car/Household Households in 15203, 15210, 15211 ZIP Codes & Carrick Residents in 15227

For More Information, Contact:

Hilltop Alliance, 412.586.5807 ext. 3 Sponsored By: Hilltop Alliance, Brashear Association, St. John Vianney Food Pantry & the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Supported By: PNC Bank, Dollar Bank, UPMC Health Plan, PA Dept. of Community & Economic Development & Birmingham Foundation


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