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Since 1939, Serving The South Pittsburgh Neighborhoods of • Allentown • Arlington • Beltzhoover • Bon Air • Carrick • Knoxville • Mount Oliver • Mount Washington • South Side Vol. 82 No. 1

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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Forum hears plans for E. Carson safety plan, Reporter extention of PED days Zone 3 Inside This Week’s South • Pittsburgh

The post-pandemic surge in crowds, disruptive behavior, and crime in the East Carson St. corridor was a major focus of the July 22 monthly Zoom meeting of the Zone 3 Public Safety Council (Z3PSC).

By Margaret L. Smykla, Contributing Writer Throngs of post-pandemic revelers, and the ensuing unruly and sometimes criminal behavior, on weekends in the East Carson St. corridor was the focus of the combined July-August meeting @ of the South Side Planning Forum on July 27. Mt. Oliver The next day, in response Highlights from the department reports for Mt. to the increased violence, Oliver Borough from the traffic safety concerns, overDecember department re- crowding, noise complaints, ports for the month of June and more, the Dept. of Public Safety announced adjust2021: @ ments to traffic patterns. Beginning July 30 on FriKnoxville days and Saturdays from The Knoxville Commuth S. 10 to S. 18th streets, 7 nity Council (KCC) will p.m. to 4 a.m., East Carson meet on Thursday, Aug. 5 St. vehicle traffic will be at 6 p.m. via Zoom. outbound only. Below 10th @ St. and beyond 18th St., will Pittsburgh be two-way. Are you a homeownSide streets from S. 11th to er or a business owner in S. 17 th  inclusive will be Allegheny County? Have closed to traffic. Vehicles you asked yourself: Why will be diverted around those is my basement flood- streets via either Muriel St. ing? Why is the street or Sarah St. Only valid resflooding? What do I do idential permit holders will in a flood? How do I pro- be allowed to enter those tect my house? When do areas. I evacuate? To answer Busses and emergency vethese questions, join lo- hicles will be able to travcal, state, and national ex- el in both directions at all perts for a free flood ed- times. Ride-sharing services ucation workshop series like Uber and Lyft will not this summer. be permitted on East Car@ son St. between S. 10th and S. 18th streets. Pittsburgh If too many cars are directIn collaboration with ed to residential streets, the public agencies and compilot program will stop, city munity planning partners, the City of Pittsburgh’s Councilman Bruce Kraus reDepartment of City Plan- ported at the July 27 Planning has released a final- ning Forum meeting. He also announced the ized  Neighborhood Plan increase in litter and debris Guide.  from the crowds will ex@ tend the Parking EnhanceClassifieds................... Page 2 ment District (PED) to inHistoric Review............. Online clude Thursdays beginning Zoning Board................ Online August 5. Or check them out at: The PED is the ment of South Side Flats

parking meters from 6 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Mr. Kraus said an expansion of PED hours to include Thursdays will help with funding the clean-up aftermath. For the first month, there will be a grace period in which an “Oops Card” on the windshield will give a break to violators. But starting Sept. 2, fines will be issued.  The Planning Forum meeting began with the PED report by nighttime economy coordinator Allison Harnden. In the June report, Ms. Harnden said revenue totaled $12,800, or $1,000 more than last month. The 2021 revenue to date is $60,570.72. The total revenue since the PED began in April, 2017, is $739,369.33. The PED trust fund totals $218,853.64. PED funds must be invested back in the neighborhood for public safety, cleanliness, and infrastructure improvements. Due to a “significant” increase in trash in June, Ms. Harnden said a third person was added to Block by Block Clean Team, which maintains the E. Carson St. corridor. There are now three Clean Team workers for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning cleanups. The Clean Team removes trash and graffiti/stickers, lends hospitality assistance, and more. In June, the Clean Team removed 17,418 pounds of trash and 20 graffiti/stickers. Mr. Kraus reported the $13,000 purchase of a gaspowered Gator cleaning machine used by the Clean Team throughout the streets. Continued on Page 3

Rafael Vencio speaks to a group of about 60 people, including PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, at the Hilltop Urban Farm (HUF). Mr. Vencio, a participant in the Farmer Incubator Program at the HUF, talked a little about growing crops from his home country of the Philippines such as alugbati, gourds and kangkong. A chef, he hopes someday to open a restaurant utilizing the produce he grows.

Parking continues to be a problem for neighbors in Mt. Oliver Boro By Tom Smith South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor

Parking concerns on Overhill Street in Mt. Oliver Borough were on the agenda again at the Borough Council’s July public meeting. Darla Stabryla testified before the council she “never knew we had problems on Overhill Street” until she read it in The South Pittsburgh Reporter following

June’s council meeting. She said her neighbor, Vincent Nararek, said last month there hasn’t been parking on that side of the street for 100 years, but she’s been living on the street for forty-some years and there has always been parking there. Ms. Stabryla also denied his claim parking disputes have almost gotten physical. She said once when he was cutting his grass, a rock

Carson has one-way traffic on weekends The Department of Public Safety, in coordination with PennDOT, has begun adjustments to traffic patterns in the South Side business corridor on weekend evenings. As pandemic restrictions have eased, the increased volume of visitors to East Carson Street has created serious concerns such as increased gun violence, overcrowded sidewalks and streets, traffic safety obstacles, and noise complaints.

In response, the City of Pittsburgh Public Safety has implemented the following changes as a pilot project: • Between the hours of 7 p.m. until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, vehicle traffic will be allowed outbound only on E. Carson Street between S.10th and S.18th streets. • Side streets from S.11th to S.17th inclusive will be closed to traffic. Vehicles Continued on Page 3

was thrown from the mower and broke a window. She told Mr. Nararek about it and he agreed to pay to repair the broken window. “We’ve never had issues on parking on that street. We park on the side of the street that gives us the most parking spaces,” she said. “The other side of the street where he wants us to park there’s two driveways and two sidewalks so you’re going to go down from seven parking spaces to three or four at the most.” Councilman Nick Viglione, a long-time area resident, said there’s always been parking there. Council President Amber McGough noted council members were tasked with looking at the situation on the street after June’s meeting. Councilman Francis Heckman asked why she didn’t park on their side of the street. Ms. Stabryla explained when people were parking on both sides of Continued on Page 2

Beginning our 82 Year In South Pittsburgh nd

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Mt. Oliver parking Continued from Page 1 Overhill, cars couldn’t get by and they would end up having to move their vehicles. Ms. McGough said after she looked at the situation, she thought there should only be parking on one side of the street. “We all live in the borough and we all deal with cars parked at the edge of our property. I have a curb, but when I go to mow my lawn or weed whack, there are cars parked there and I have to whack around them or cut around them and sometimes the grass gets on them,” Councilman Aaron Graham said. “To me, this seems a matter of living in the city or a borough where you live with your neighbors right next to your property. I’ve looked where you’re saying and I’m not sure why you can’t mow there,” he added. “Why can’t these people park in front of their own property where there would be no issues and I could maintain my property? Why don’t they have to park in front of their property,” Mr. Nararek asked. He said he’s lived there for 22 years and for the last seven there has never been parking on that side of the street. Mr. Graham said he didn’t see anything in the legal code that would be appropriate to prevent people from parking on Mr. Nararek’s side of the street. “I see an

Concord Church has space for vendors at fair The Concord Presbyterian Church Vendor Fair and Food Stand will take place on August 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside and inside. Spots and/or tables are available for $10 by calling 412-882-1141. Concord Presbyterian Church is at 1907 Brownsville Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15210.

inconvenience for you, but I don’t see a legal issue.” Mayor Frank Bernardini said there’s no one street in the borough that is unique and with the amount of vehicles now, there are parking problems “all over.” “I think what I’m hearing is that we’re going to have parking on one side, on (Mr. Nararek’s) side where his property is, is where the parking is going to be,” Ms. McGough said. Council members agreed and asked Borough Manager Rick Hopkinson to make the change to the ordinance. In the Fire Department report, the department answered 39 calls for service in June: 26 were for EMTs and 13 were fire calls. The department also provided help on five mutual aid calls to other fire companies. At the end of the month, five members of the department would be going to the National Fire Academy. In other news, the council voted to approve the hiring of Phil Quattrone for the full-time position of Code Enforcement Officer/Property Maintenance Inspector. Mr. Graham called the hiring “a real benefit to our residents” and said it was a positive step in the right direction. Mr. Graham also said in positive news for the borough, a number of new businesses have opened, bring a new face to the business district. He said for anyone thinking of opening a new business in the borough, that the borough will work with you. “Strike now while the iron is hot,” he said. It was also noted five buildings in the commercial district will be getting new facades with the help of the Hilltop Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Hopkinson said they have applied for a Keystone Communities Program grant to do up to 10 more commercial facades.

Reporter S outh • Pittsburgh

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TUESDAY, AUG. 3, 2021

City residents can get vouchers to use Dormont Pool The City of Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation (Citiparks) has a new program for city residents to use voucher coupons to swim at the Dormont Pool for the remainder of the

summer 2021 season. City residents will be able to present coupon vouchers at the Dormont Pool for free entry for children and $2 off for adults, matching the daily city pool rate of

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$5 per day for adults. Coupons are available from the eight open City of Pittsburgh pool locations during business hours or from Brookline Recreation Center or Phillips Recreation Center between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. City season pool tags are not transferrable at the Dormont Pool. The program was initiated under the leadership of Pitts-

burgh City Council in partnership with the Borough of Dormont. The Dormont Pool is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. until August 22. After that, it will be open on weekends through Labor Day. City pool schedules are available on the Citiparks website,

• Legal Notices

• Legal Notices

Borough of Mt. Oliver Notice of Intent to Adopt Ordinance 992 The Council of Mt. Oliver Borough will consider the adoption of Ordinance 992 at their regular meeting on Monday, August 16, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. at the Borough Building, 150 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15210. Ordinance 989 Amending Chapter 248 of the Borough Code of Ordinances, Vehicles and Traffic, Section 62, Schedule X: Parking Prohibited at All Times. Specifically, the amendment will prohibit parking on the western side of Overhill Street from Jacob Street to the dead end.


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Forum hears plans for E. Carson safety plan, extention of PED days Continued from Page 1 Funding for both the machine and a third worker will be from the PED trust fund. Regarding a St. Patrick’s Day parade, it is planned for September 18, after which partiers from Pittsburgh and surrounding states typically descend on South Side. There will be portable toilets and hand-washing stations again this year at the lots at 13 th , 18 th and 19 th streets at a cost of $3,000. Returning to the issue of the crush of partiers returning to the bars post-pandemic, Mr. Kraus said, “We are not alone in this,” as other cities are experiencing the same phenomenon. Ms. Harnden said she is one of 10 nighttime managers in the U.S., and this is occurring in all of those cities. Most are not customers, she said, but are coming in and causing trouble. It is people behaving badly in a district sandwiched between residents, she said. Thirty additional police officers are also assigned to the area on Fridays and Saturdays. Mr. Kraus said he would like them trained on what they can and cannot enforce, such as illegal food

trucks and grilling on the street. He would also like to see the Dept. of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections (PLI) on site. Another step is the addition of light towers on 15th and 17th streets to help with public safety while increasing visibility for police. Mr. Kraus said a lot of hard work over the years has gone into reducing cars in the area. But now, with the crowds, East Carson St. is congested, and cars are being parked in residential areas, like the Giant Eagle lot. Numerous complaints are being received from residents. City officials and departments are working to develop strategies to quell the crowds and bad behavior, Mr. Kraus said. Help from state elected officials – who write the laws for liquor licenses, enforcement, and more -- is also needed. He called the state’s BYOB policy, in which any individual may legally bring their own alcohol into an establishment, “the bane of our existence.” “It is just madness,” he said. Mike Clark, of the South

Side Community Council (SSCC), blamed bars for blasting music onto the streets, opening their doors, and more. Occupancy is also a problem in need of a “crack down,” he said, as first floors are packed with the top floors empty. Ms. Harnden, agreed, saying we should not allow occupancy for the whole building but rather floor by floor. State Rep. Jessica Benham said she is pushing in Harrisburg for local communities to have some power over liquor concentration. She is advocating funds from the governor’s budget for this. South Side resident Jerry Morosco called the pilot program that pushes traffic to the residential areas “a horrible idea.” Ms. Harnden said it is not permanent. “This is to calm the chaos and break patterns of behavior,” she said. Adrian Smith, who has worked on East Carson St. for 20 years, said the situation is getting “worse and worse.” “This problem has been brewing for a long time,” she said. She does not feel safe leaving work, and called for a “long-term solution.”

Continued from Page 1 will be diverted around those streets via either Muriel Street or Sarah Street. Only valid residential permit holders will be allowed to enter these areas  • Only emergency vehicles and Port Authority buses will be allowed to travel in both directions on E. Carson • Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft will not be permitted on East Carson Street between S.10th and S.18th streets. Passengers must arrange pick-up and drop-off points in advance, utilizing one of

the open side streets • Parking and deliveries will be prohibited on either side of E. Carson Street between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m. • Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers will be posted in key areas to ensure the safe flow of traffic • During this pilot period, PennDOT is working closely with the City of Pittsburgh to halt overnight work in connection with its East Carson Street Improvement Project These changes will be in place for the foreseeable future in an effort to mitigate gridlock, allow for a dedicat-

ed emergency vehicle corridor, and create a safer, more pleasant experience for residents and visitors to the South Side. “Public Safety recognizes that these traffic shifts will be an adjustment to those who live in or frequent the South Side. Our personnel will be working closely with businesses and community groups to ensure a seamless transition. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience during this time,” said Public Safety Director, Wendell Hissrich.

Changes made to Carson flow of traffic

“I share your frustrations,” Mr. Kraus said, noting he is 20 years into the fight. To a question from Mr. Morosco of who do we turn to, Mr. Kraus said the state holds all power on licensing, enforcement, and liquor concentration. Locally, it is a combination of agencies, law enforcement, traffic engineering, and more. Mr. Morosco said he will call the mayor’s office and ask for a meeting with the heads of departments. “The plan of the 18th St. reroute is too much,” he said. SSCC president Barbara Rudiak said a plan of action is needed. She said she will work with Mr. Morosco “to get the ball rolling.” Next, in Old Business, Ms. Rudiak reported there were two presentations at the Aug. 19 Development Activities Meeting (DAM) of the SSCC. Both presentations were about façade issues: the Rite Aid at 1915 East Carson St., and the former American Eagle Outfitters at 2655 East Carson St. A DAM provides an opportunity for citizens, property owners, business owners, and stakeholders to learn about the proposals that affect them and to resolve concerns at an early stage of the application process. Next, in the South Side Neighborhood Plan update, Tom Smith reported the neighborhood plan committee did not meet as it is awaiting city guidelines. The goal is development of a new neighborhood plan through City Planning, which crafted a standardized process that takes 18 to 24 months, and includes an involved public process. In New Business, Mark Bucklaw, president of the South Side Chamber of Commerce, reported the South Side Summer Golf

Classic, co-hosted by the Chamber and the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association, will be held Aug. 2 at the South Hills Country Club. He also reported the Chamber Board is working on an ambassador program with South Side businesses. In news of the SSCC, Ms. Rudiak announced the organization has a new and improved website: Kathleen Petrillo, of the SSCC, reported a block watch clean-up will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 7. There will be weed and trash removal by block watch members with drop off points for black bags along Sarah St. south of Carson St. and Bingham St., followed by Sidney St. north of Carson St. Black bags and gloves will be available. Next, National Night Out (NNO) will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. The annual event is designed to advance the importance of neighborhood unity and community-public safety relationships, and is held locally in various neighborhoods as porch gatherings, block parties, festivals, and more. South Side residents should gather at S. 17th St. and Edwards Way. The celebration will include information on Esser’s Plaza and the work in South Side Park. In the report of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA), president Blake McLaren said the 21st Annual StepTrek will be held on Oct. 2 The annual non-competitive, self-guided walking tour of the Slopes is the organization’s biggest fundraiser.  He also reported that heavy rains resulted in a landslide on Billy Buck

Hill on June 13, with limited road access since then. He thanked Mr. Kraus, Rep. Benham, and others for their assistance. Next, Rev. Kathy Hamilton-Vargo, pastor of South Side Presbyterian Church, announced she will be retiring in September. But she will still “be around” to work on the transition as the church acquires a new pastor. Rev. Hamilton-Vargo said she has worked at the church in two capacities for 40 years. Next, Moira Kaleida, of the office Rep. Benham, reported a Hilltop health fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Brashear CARES Center, 320 Brownsville Rd. The final comments were from Matt Brungo, of the SSCC, who noted UPMC representatives were not in attendance that evening to make a scheduled presentation. The presentation was to be about a review of new UPMC 2400 East Carson St. location plans, the future of the Mary St. complex, and Jane St. medical walks-ins. Regarding 2400 East Carson St., numerous concerns were expressed at the May 27 DAM of the SSCC about UPMC operating a program for children to age 5 at the former Goodwill Building. Those concerns included drop-off, pick-up by parents, and how will this occur on the busy street? What is the plan for the flow? Where is employee parking? and more. Mr. Brungo said variances and parking exemptions are being sought. Ms. Rudiak said she will be in touch with UPMC about rescheduling the presentation. The next Planning Forum Zoom meeting will be on September 14.


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TUESDAY, AUG. 3, 2021

Port Authority asking for input on future of South Hills Junction

Esser Plaza named a Lowe’s 100 Hometowns project

Esser Plaza receives grant as a Lowe’s 100 Hometowns project South Side Community Council’s (SSCC) Renovation of Esser’s Plaza Project is one of the 100 impact projects of 100 Hometowns, an initiative to celebrate Lowe’s centennial. The SSCC will receive a monetary donation in addition to volunteer and materials assistance for the project. The Esser’s Plaza project, at 1200 East Carson Street, entails new pavement, new lighting, two gardens and other amenities. The project has also received funding support from local residents, the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Neighborhood Initiative Funding, Colcom Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Financing Authority and Department of Economic Development and the City of Pittsburgh’s South Side Parking Enhancement District. Engineers Without Borders’ local arm, Community Engineering Corps, has worked on the renovation project for a number of years. LaQuatra Bonci Associates have contributed landscape architectural expertise free of charge as well. Lowe’s received more than 2,200 submissions to the 100 Hometowns program, which invited people across the country to nominate their hometown projects in need. The 100 Hometowns program will complete 100 projects across 37 states that rebuild areas

reeling from natural disasters, repair critical housing, restore beloved community centers, and revive green spaces. The 100 Hometowns projects span urban, rural and suburban communities and will benefit an array of community members, from tod-

dlers, teens and seniors to veterans, small business owners, students, and more. Details of every 100 Hometowns project and their progress can be found at the 100 Hometowns landing page and at #100Hometowns on social media.

Grant will mean more trees for South Side Park South Side Community Council is thrilled to announce that Duquesne Light Company (DLC) has chosen South Side Community Council among the first group of microgrant recipients for South Side Park through its Community Impact Grants program, the new signature initiative of DLC’s Charitable Giving arm. The company is awarding $100,000 among 22 grassroots nonprofits across Allegheny and Beaver counties to support efforts in connectivity and technology, public art and green spaces. The Community Impact Grant will allow Allegheny

GoatScape to spend two additional weeks munching the invasive plants in South Side Park. It will also fund a fall planting of trees in the park. Not only has DLC committed funding to the park, it is also committing laborers. A corporate volunteer day will be held in early October. Since the first ten new trees were planted in 2018, Friends of South Side Park has planted 200 trees with the help of many partners, notably TreeVitalize, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy the University of Pittsburgh and PittServes. The DLC Community Impact Grant will significantly add to the new tree count.

Construction causes lane restrictions on E. Carson

Lane restrictions due to construction on East Carson Street (Route 837) in South Side began on Monday, Aug. 2 weather permitting.  Starting 6 a.m. Monday, traffic in each direction on

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East Carson Street will utilize ten-foot width lanes aroundthe-clock: Between Eight and Tenth streets through 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6 and between 21st and 24th streets through mid-October. Crews will conduct pavement and sidewalk replacements, drainage installation, and signal and median work.

Next Issue of The South Pittsburgh Reporter planned for August 17

Port Authority of Allegheny County is seeking public input to help determine the future of South Hills Junction.   The Authority wants the community’s input to help identify opportunities to make the station easier to use, to improve access to the site, and to identify transit-oriented development scenarios.   Port Authority invites the public to attend online workshops and an in-person open house.   Port Authority held its first workshop for this project on May 10. The presentation focused on past analysis and the current opportunities and constraints for the station area, and for potential development. Comments from participants included the need for improved access to and through the site, including improved ADA access; upgraded station amenities; and the importance of exploring residential opportunities on the site.   A recording of the meeting and presentation documents can be found on Port

Authority’s project website:   Based on the feedback from the workshops and from a map-based interactive exercise posted on the website, Port Authority and its consultant are developing two concept plans for South Hills Junction.  The second round of workshops will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 18. The content of each of these workshops will be the same; they are being offered at two different times to accommodate participants’ schedules.  To access these meetings by computer or phone, register in advance by visiting

HillsJunction or call 412566-5312.  In addition to the virtual workshops, Port Authority is convening a public open house to allow in-person feedback: Thursday, Aug. 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Warrington Recreation Center, 329 E. Warrington Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15210. There is no need to RSVP in advance for the public open house. 

Next Issue of The South Pittsburgh Reporter planned for August 17

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