A Publication of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Community Services at Work
If you could help make an amazing diﬀerence, would you?
Some kids face challenges that would overwhelm the toughest adults. They come to The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh from across the region — sometimes across the country or around the world — and that’s when the amazing differences begin. Your contribution to The Children’s Institute can keep the amazing differences happening. Won’t you help change the future for the kids and families who so greatly deserve it? To learn more, visit www.amazingkids.org/giving
Squirrel Hill For more great content visit our website at www.squirrelhillmagazine.net!
Spring Cleaning Time: Recycle Responsibly By Barb Grover
PWSA’s Sewer System Renewal Project: Squirrel Hill By Chris Zurawsky
SHUC President’s Message
Port Authority Keeps Moving Forward By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt
What’s New From Our Advertisers
The Partnerships that Make Your Parks Great By Scott Roller
This Just In
Squirrel Hill Guide to Social & Community Services By Elizabeth Waickman
Sick of Litter? You Can Make a Difference! By Michael Jehn
Book Review: Fleabrain Loves Franny By Melanie Linn Gutowski
Representing Squirrel Hill: A Guide to Your Local Leaders By Deborah Monti
Check Out More Than Just Books At Carnegie Library In Squirrel Hill By Katie Maloney
Carriage House Children’s Center Celebrates 40 Years By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt
In Every Issue
Good News from Our Schools
Squirrel Hill Historical Society Public Works of the Past By Helen Wilson
SHUC Snapshots News and Notes from your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Phipps Conservatory’s historic glasshouse, built in 1893, as seen from within. Phipps has been a vibrant local attraction and research hub for decades, offering farmer’s markets and other public events throughout the year. Photo Credit: Meghan Poisson-DeWitt"
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Making the Cut: A Squirrel Hill Success Story By Rachael Dymski
From the Editor The City of Pittsburgh and the organizations within Squirrel Hill offer so many wonderful programs and services that help our community stay strong and beautiful. Their projects affect our daily lives in countless ways. These tireless and ever evolving groups keep our city moving and thriving. For our Spring 2015 Issue, SHUC and SHM decided it was time they were recognized for their efforts and contributions. Here’s a big thank you to all our public service organizations! Keep up the good work! If you have comments or suggestions for future issues, please send them to Meghan Poisson-DeWitt at email@example.com. If you’re interested in advertising, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (412) 422-7666. Advertisers can now pay with Visa, MasterCard or Discover.
Murray the Squirrel
Murray is available free of charge for visits and events to local organizations and schools. Give SHUC a call at 412.422.7666 or email email@example.com
Community Services at Work PAGE1
SQUIRREL HILL URBAN COALITION OFFICERS: Raymond N. Baum, President Richard Feder, Vice President Gregg Roman, Vice President Ceci Sommers, Vice President Chris Zurawsky, Secretary Barbara Grover, Assistant Secretary Peter Stumpp, Treasurer James Burnham, Assistant Treasurer Stephen Kijanka, Assistant Treasurer Steven Hawkins, Immediate Past President BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Raymond N. Baum, James Burnham, Norman Childs, Vivian Didomenico, Andy Dlinn, Richard Feder, Lori Fitzgerald, Ed Goldfarb (Board Member Emeritus), Barbara Grover, Steve Hawkins, Michael D. Henderson, Steven Kijanka, Lois Liberman, Cynthia Morelock, Gregg Roman, Ceci Sommers, Sidney Stark (Board Member Emeritus), Erika S Strassburger, Peter Stumpp, Erik Wagner, Roger Westman, Chris Zurawsky Marian Lien, Executive Director MAGAZINE STAFF: Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Editor Rachael Dymski, Intern CONTRIBUTORS: Ray Baum, Rachael Dymski, Melanie Linn Gutowski, Barb Grover, Michael Jehn, Carolyn Ludwig, Katie Maloney, Deborah Monti, Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Scott Roller, Melissa Wagner, Elizabeth Waickman, Helen Wilson, Chris Zurawsky DESIGN & PRINT: Patricia Tsagaris, Pinkhaus Design, Creative Director Knepper Press, Printer Printed with soy inks and 100% wind energy!
The Lifelong Learning Issue
A Publication of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Squirrel Hill Magazine, Vol. 13, Issue 2, is published through the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, 5604 Solway Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Please direct any questions or comments to SHUC by calling 412.422.7666 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To inquire about advertising, please contact email@example.com. Please support our advertisers—their ads solely finance this magazine!
Reserve your space today for the Summer 2015 issue!
Winter 2015 Correction: In “PA Cyber Offers Online Learning to Local Children,” names were misspelled. The correct spellings are Jackie Laffey and Jane Camp. SHM would like to apologize for this error. PAGE2 Community Services at Work
Our Mission The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is a non-profit community organization dedicated to preserving, improving and celebrating the quality of life in the 14th Ward of the City of Pittsburgh.Volunteer-supported standing committees provide leadership to our community by studying, debating, and advocating positions on issues affecting our neighborhood’s vitality. Our mission is implemented through a long range planning process, which fosters community-based initiatives in the areas of education, public safety, transportation, parks and open spaces, and commercial, institutional and residential development.
shuc president’s message
Familiar Faces: Your Coalition Board Members By Raymond N. Baum, President firstname.lastname@example.org
The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is fortunate to have a strong and dedicated board of directors working on behalf of our community. Attending our open monthly board meetings is just the beginning of the work they do for the Coalition and the community. Though their names are listed on page 2 of each issue of Squirrel Hill Magazine, it’s important that you know more about who our Coalition board members are and what motivates them. Perhaps it will also motivate you to become involved with the Coalition! This will is the first in a series of articles profiling our amazing board members. Lori Fitzgerald Lori has lived in Squirrel Hill since graduating from CMU in 1999. She is a practicing architect with Indovina Associates. She has been on our board since 2006, co-chairing the Commercial Development and Residential Quality Committees. Lori has worked many hours with developers, architects, businesses and the community to help solve issues and promote positive investment. Her keen eye, creative mind and ability to patiently listen to and work with all parties has helped resolve many thorny issues and support positive development. Lori and her family enjoy living within walking distance of Schenley Park and the Squirrel Hill business district. As Lori says, they are “in love with the lovely people and beautiful parks as well as the convenience, walkability and energy of the neighborhood. The social and cultural diversity of Squirrel Hill offers us the best of both ‘small town Pittsburgh’ and the global community.” Lori’s motivation for being on the Coalition board is best said in her own words: “I enjoy being on the board because I find it rewarding to contribute to positive change in our community, and because it’s been a personal privilege to get to know and work with the smart, savvy and thoughtful volunteer board members, staff and SHUC members. I’ve learned so much from these truly amazing people who work so hard for our neighborhood.” We have all learned a great deal from Lori, too.
James B. Burnham No one can deny Jim Burnham is qualified to be on the Coalition board, or any board he wants. After receiving his PhD in Economics from Washington University in 1969, Jim joined the staff of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C. From there, he went to Mellon Bank from 1971-1981 and 1985-1989, rising to the position of Senior Vice President /Manager of the Global Treasury and Foreign Exchange. In between Mellon Bank stints, Jim served as Staff Director of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisors and U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank. Jim held the position of Professor and Murrin Chair in Global Competitiveness at Duquesne University from 1990 to 2009. He continues to teach at CMU’s Osher Program and maintains a blog titled, “Topics in Political Economy” at www.jamesbburnham.typepad.com. Naturally, all of that qualifies Jim to be Assistant Treasurer of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, a member of our Finance Committee, and one of our wisest and most active board members. Jim and his wife, Ann, moved to Squirrel Hill from Shadyside in 2010, and he joined the Coalition board in 2011. Like Lori, Jim loves living in Squirrel Hill: “Squirrel Hill is a very livable community, with many facilities and services — superb parks, shopping, religious, educational (including several universities with accessible libraries) — within walking distance. Plus, downtown venues for sports and cultural events are a short drive or bus ride away.” Jim believes that as a community we can’t sit still. “While change can be disruptive, we can’t be afraid of it — a vibrant community is always open to sensible change, whether, for example, it involves land use, building height or demographic shifts. Institutions, property owners and individuals should be aware of the pressures for such change and be ready to deal with them in a positive way. The alternative can be quiescent stagnation.” SHM
Community Services at Work PAGE3
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris By Jacques Brel, English lyrics and additional material by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman
April 29-May 9
RUN TO CELEBRATE SUNDAY, MAY 3, help
Partnership2Gether (P2G) welcome runners from Pittsburgh’s Israeli partnership region, Karmiel–Misgav, to the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. đƫƫCHEER: 8–noon Encourage visiting Israeli runners and watch the marathon at the Community Day School–Partnership cheer station at Wilkins & Fifth avenues. đƫƫCELEBRATE: 7–9 p.m. Meet the Israeli runners at the Jewish Community Center, Squirrel Hill, and help us launch a year-long 20thAnniversary Celebration of Partnership. Meet the mayors of Karmiel and Misgav! To learn about the P2G Partnership and its marathon activities or register for the May 3 events, call 412-681-8000 or visit www.jfedpgh.org/RunnersHi. Coordinated locally by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and supported by the Federation’s Annual Campaign, P2G is a joint program of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish Federations of North America.
Pittsburgh Premiere Peirce Studio Trust Arts Education Center Downtown Series
This year, springtime is the season of romance, renewal… and the profound music of legendary Belgian songwriter, Jacques Brel. This sophisticated musical revue performed in cabaret style will transport you through time to a European cafe, where you will find the poignant, passionate tunes of the “Master of the Chanson” brought vividly to life.
Try a Family 4-Pak for only $100. Or get $5 off adult price ticket with code SQH5Off. Restrictions may apply.
412.561.6000 | www.PICTTheatre.org
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What’s New Dancespace304 has been in the Wightman School Building in room 304 since 1987. Classes for children, ages 4 & 5, are taught in Creative Movement with a little Ballet. Classes are available for children 6 and up in Ballet, Jazz, and Tap. Ballet classes for teen and adults are taught for beginners through advanced levels. Dancespace304 also offers a Strictly Stretching with Pilates class as well as Hatha Yoga for teens and adults. An Alexander Technique Workshop is offered once a month.
Ready to Quit Smoking? Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC are testing a novel compound, originally developed to prevent decline in cognitive function, to determine if it can help people quit smoking. “Withdrawal symptoms include difficulty in concentrating and short-term memory problems”, said Kenneth A. Perkins, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, epidemiology and psychology at Pitt and principal investigator of the study. These cognitive difficulties and other symptoms often lead to relapse in the majority of smokers who try to quit. The experimental compound, developed by Janssen Inc. and known as JNJ, acts at specific nicotine receptors in the brain involved in cognitive function, and researchers will assess whether limiting decline in cognitive problems may decrease motivation for tobacco and lessen the withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to quit altogether. Study participants will try to quit briefly during each of two week-long periods, in which they receive JNJ during one and placebo during the other. The difference in their ability to quit will be compared between the JNJ and placebo periods. All participants will be offered counseling and the FDA-approved cessation medication bupropion (Zyban) at no cost to help them permanently quit once they have completed study testing. They also will be compensated for attending study visits. Smokers already planning to quit soon can find out more information by calling (412)246-5306 or visiting www.SmokingStudies.pitt.edu.
Photo: Neil Richmond, 2013
On May 16th, Dancespace304 will present its school ballet performance, held in the Wightman School Building Gym (3rd floor) at 3:00 p.m. Adults and children will be performing to music by Mozart. The recital is free and open to the public. Please come enjoy their wonderful dancing and support our students!
Dena Holland, owner and director, has been teaching dance and movement for 40 years. Classes are geared toward progressive development of skills and discovering one’s own physical and creative potential. For more information, call (412) 421-6694 or visit www.dancespace304.com.
Mexico Lindo Meticulously handcrafted wooden animals, or “alebrijes” as they are sometimes called, by Gran Maestros Zeny and Reyna Fuentes of Oaxaca, are just a few of the astounding and unique treasures to be found inside of Mexico Lindo, which is commemorating its 10th year in Squirrel Hill. Step into a world of riotous color and warmth and let owner Lisa DiGioia-Nutini regale you with tales of her travels, in which every item is hand selected and purchased directly from the artists. Mexican culture and customs are also a favorite topic of conversation and many customers find that if they have a special request she will do her utmost to return with their hearts’ desire or even advise them as to where to stay and what to see if they decide to go forth on adventures of their own. Stop in today to experience the warmth, creativity, and generosity of Mexico at Mexico Lindo!
Community Services at Work PAGE5
fresh off the street
Temporary Traffic Havoc Anticipated for New Bridge Construction
Coco Bella Naturals Gets Ready for Spring Heather Pavlik began making homemade personal care products four years ago when she discovered the soap and lotions her family were using contained harmful chemicals. As soon as she began using her own blends, she knew there was no going back to store bought products. She soon began to share them, and her healthy mission, with friends and family. When her coconut oil lotion worked better for a friend’s son than the doctor prescribed eczema medication, she knew she had to start sharing the importance of what you put on your body with others. Sale of her products began online and has since grown in size and demand, calling for dramatic expansion. In November of last year, Heather opened Coco Bella Naturals, offering her own brand of all-natural, handmade skin care products. Located at 2102 Murray Avenue, just south of Hobart Street, Coco Bella offers body scrub, lotion, facial scrub, candles, eye cream, bar soaps, lip gloss, and bath bombs. Her 4-year-old has also created a popular product, dubbed ‘goo’. All her products are made from all-natural ingredients that are gentle on skin and eco-friendly. If you’re looking for a healthy, natural, LOCAL cure for your recovering winter skin, make sure you stop into Coco Bella Naturals first! You can even order online at cocobellanaturals.com. Call (412) 480-0616 to find out about their new spring hours. Are you a Pinterest addict? Follow us @pinterest.com/SquirrelHillMag! PAGE6 Community Services at Work
The Greenfield Bridge has been a crumbling hazard for many years. Originally built in 1921, the deterioration of the bridge has demanded reconstruction for many years. Due to budget restrictions in the 1980’s, the city was forced to choose an alternative to replacement; they built an under bridge to catch falling debris. This year, this iconic bridge is finally being rebuilt. Over 200 people attended a public meeting on February held on February 3rd, City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works, Bureau of Transportation & Engineering presenting the final plans for the Greenfield Avenue Bridge Project, including demolition and construction. A new, slightly wider bridge will be built to replace the old one, maintaining the same location. The new bridge will have slight alterations to the traffic pattern and distribution. On the side moving toward Greenfield will be a 10-foot-wide sidewalk, a 14-foot-wide shared traffic and bike lane, and a second 11-foot traffic lane. The side approaching the park will have an 11-foot-wide vehicle lane and a 5-foot-wide bike lane. Many architectural features of the current bridge will be preserved or replicated, including the overall look and design of the current bridge. The new design increased lane and sidewalk widths while making space for bikeways. The current bridge is slated to be demolished between Christmas and New Year’s this year, closing the parkway for five days out of the seven day window. A marked detour will redirect traffic away from the construction zone, down Beechwood Avenue and up Murray Avenue to Beacon Street during this closure. Increased traffic through Squirrel Hill can be expected. The actual implosion of the bridge will occur between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm on December 28th, 29th or 30th. What cannot be manually removed by crews prior to implosion will be dropped onto the parkway, cushioned by several feet of dirt. The debris will be hauled out and the parkway reopened to traffic by New Years. The bridge itself will be closed to traffic beginning in October. The closure will reach from Alger Street in Greenfield to Overlook Drive in Schenley Park. Pedestrian and bike access may be maintained along Greenfield Road to Pocusset pending contractor concurrence. Detours during this time and after demolition will direct traffic onto the parkway to Boulevard of the Allies and Panther Hollow Road. These detours will remain active until the completion of the bridge in May of 2017. Oakland Smart Commute has suggested commuting alternatives like carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, and walking to help minimize traffic during construction.
Photo: Todd Wilson
This Just In
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good news from our schools Share your school updates with Squirrel Hill Magazine! Do you have news to from your school? We’d love to hear about it! We’re especially looking to connect with local private schools by sharing their updates on our online blog, The Burrow. If you’ve got information or contacts you’d like to share, please email email@example.com.
Minadeo’s Got Talent! By Melissa Wagner, Principal Pittsburgh Minadeo PreK-5
On February 13th, Pittsburgh Minadeo held an event with a long standing tradition of 28 years: The John Minadeo Talent Show. This show is hands down one of the best school-wide events at Minadeo. The John Minadeo Talent show is held annually to honor the late John A. Minadeo’s birthday. It provides the school and communities the opportunity to come together to celebrate the one thing we love most: Minadeo Students! This year, students shared their talents in singing, dancing, musical instruments, joke telling, hula-hooping and much, much more. Thank you to all the parent and community volunteers who work endless hours to keep the tradition going and each year’s show a huge success. Bringing Golf Into Pittsburgh Minadeo! The First Tee National School Program will be implemented at Pittsburgh Minadeo. We are very excited to provide our students with the opportunity to learn a life-long sport through this program. This wonderful opportunity was made possible by Pittsburgh Public Schools and The First Tee of Pittsburgh. The program introduces the game of golf and The First Tee Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits to elementary students during physical education classes. This golf school program will create an environment where our young students learn the skills and integral values of the game.
School Musical at Colfax Sees Great Growth By Carolyn Ludwig
Once On This Island, Jr. will be the second middle-level school musical that Colfax produces. 32 students have committed to perform in this year’s musical, which is a fantastic increase in participation from last year. Returning to lead the cast and crew again, is Musical Director, Bridgette Perdue. “We have incredibly talented and hard-working kids who want to be challenged. In preparation, the students will rehearse three afternoons a week for three months,” states Ms. Perdue. “They are showing a tremendous commitment and I’m committed to them and their arts education.” This musical has it all — calypso music, energetic singing and dancing and a wonderful storyline. Don’t miss the chance to see this fun-packed show. Three performances will be held from May 15-17 and tickets are available at the door. To support our school musical, either through program advertising or volunteering, please contact Ms. Lucci at firstname.lastname@example.org. On February 21, Colfax held its annual adult fundraiser, Party 4 Play. This year’s event, held at The Edgewood Club, was able to raise funds for countless school programs. A huge thank you to everyone who made this year’s event a big success!
Ludwig Carolyn Photo: PAGE8 Community Services at Work
A round of congratulations are due to our Middle Level Girls and Boys Basketball Teams. Both teams made it to the championships in February and the Girls Team won the title! An incredible achievement by all!
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neighborhood notes The Squirrel Hill Farmer’s Market RETURNS! The Squirrel Hill Farmer’s Market, a much beloved weekly social and shopping event, enters its second year this June! A production of NextGen:PGH, in coordination with Pittsburgh CitiParks, the market features locally sourced products, including fruits and vegetables, cheeses, breads, and much more! This year’s market will feature even more vendors while offering seating and shade, allowing more people to enjoy the music and festivities of the day. Organizers are also hoping to soon offer more cultural programming and kids activities. The farmer’s market will return to its previous location in the parking lot between Beacon and Bartlett, behind the new Friendship Circle location. Join your neighbors every Sunday from 9am to 1pm starting in June! Look for a larger feature on the Farmer’s Market in our Summer 2015 issue!
J-Serve Pittsburgh 2015 J-Serve Pittsburgh, the international Jewish teen service day, will be held this year on Sunday, April 19, with the Agency for Jewish Learning (AJL), the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Volunteer Center, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, and national partners Repair the World and J-SERVE International. Planned by a teen Steering Committee of 13 students from around the community, J-Serve serves 20 non-profits and worthy causes each year to make a difference in Pittsburgh. On April 19th, over 250 Jewish teens will address homelessness, hunger, senior care and the environment, giving back to Pittsburgh 500+ hours of service. J-Serve 2015 is part of the International Day of Jewish Youth Service, and Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), which is the global day that mobilizes millions of young people in over 100 countries to improve their communities through service while addressing the world’s most critical issues. For more information about this event, or to volunteer, contact Carolyn Gerecht at the Agency for Jewish Learning at (412) 521-1101 ext. 3204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To donate to J-Serve, visit https://www.crowdrise.com/jservepittsburgh.
Age Well Pittsburgh offers Building a Better Caregiver Workshop Being a caregiver can be hard, and it can be hard on your health, too. Whatever you’re facing, a Building a Better Caregiver workshop can help you build the strength you need to take better care of others- and yourself. This online workshop created by Stanford University allows you to work at your own pace. Join a group of 25 caregivers in each workshop, with new sessions posted each week for 6 weeks. This program can help you find practical ways to manage your fatigue and stress, improve your sleep, eat better, and stay active. Caring for a loved one doesn’t mean you should stop caring for yourself. Be the best caregiver and your best self by enrolling in this free workshop. Contact Age Well Pittsburgh to register — Nadine Kruman (412) 420-4000 ext 2252.
Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition welcomes Zip Car as an Organizational Member! Zip car believes that car-sharing should be a requisite part of the planning for all college campuses, urban, residential, and commercial developments, and city planning agencies. Their mission is to enable simple and responsible urban living. We welcome their support and partnership!
PAGE10 Community Services at Work
“I’ve been so happy since I came here. I wouldn’t change a thing.” -Dorothy York, retired flower show judge
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Canterbury Place Personal Care and Skilled Nursing Lawrenceville 412-622-9000
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Spring Cleaning Time: Recycle Responsibly By Barb Grover
Spring time is well known as the season of renewal, growth, and, of course, cleaning! But what do you do after you’ve made everything spic and span? Recycling your unused or broken belongings can be a problem. What are you supposed to do with that old computer, TV, or other old electronic device? What about those old tires, unused paint in cans, aerosol cans? Even more confusing, what do you do with all those prescription and non-prescription pills that are unused or out of date? The Pennsylvania Resources Council and Zero Waste Pittsburgh have the answers. Each year between April and October, these organizations hold Recycling Collection events in the Greater Pittsburgh Area (which includes Washington, Beaver, Cambria, and Allegheny Counties). They sponsor two types of events: Hard to Recycle collections (such as TVs, computers, electronics, tires, medical equipment), and Household Chemical Collections (such as paint and aerosol cans). Although there is a small charge for some of the items collected, most of the items will be accepted for free. Details of exactly what is accepted at the Hard to Recycle and Household Chemical Collections different events and the charges can be found at zerowastepgh.org. Unfortunately, Pharmaceutical Collections (unused prescription and non-prescription drugs) are no longer a part of these events. However, several pharmacies in our area are collecting these items. These are listed below for a 20 mile radius of the 15217 area. For other locations, you can go to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s page for Controlled Substance Public Disposal locations or to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs for Prescription Drug Take-Back Program. The state department has detailed instructions as to how to prepare for the disposal and which medications are accepted (including pet medications) and which are not. Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they can be accidentally ingested, stolen, misused, and abused. Please dispose of these pharmaceuticals responsibly!
The 2015 Collections Schedule is as follows: Hard to Recycle Collections (9am – 1pm) April 11 – Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills April 25 – Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills May 9 - Washington County – Washington Mall August 22 – West Mifflin- Allegheny County Airport October 3 – The Mall at Robinson
Household Chemical Collections (10am – 2pm) May 2 – Allegheny County - North Park Pool May 16 – Cambria County - CTC – ETF Facility July 18 – Washington County – Washington Mall Aug 15 – Allegheny County – Boyce Park Four Seasons Sept. 12 – Allegheny County – South Park Wave Pool Oct. 10 – Beaver County – Brady’s Run Park
Pharmaceutical Collection Controlled Substance Public Disposal Locations authorized by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration in our local area are Wilson’s Pharmacy, 4101 Penn Ave., Asti’s South Hills Pharmacy, 250 Mt. Lebanon Blvd., Donora Union Pharmacy, 642 McKean Ave., and the Heritage Valley Pharmacy, 720 Blackburn Road.
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PWSA’s Sewer System Renewal Project: Squirrel Hill By Chris Zurawsky
he Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) traces its roots to 1802 when the city established its first documented public water system for a municipality of about 1,600 people.
Today, PWSA provides clean drinking water and other water services to approximately 83,000 customers, maintaining more than 25,000 catch basins and 1,200 miles of sewer pipes. The pipes are 60-70 years old, on average, with some parts of the system topping the century mark. Keeping up with breaks, leaks and loss of service can seem like a never-ending task, especially in bad weather. For example, during a three-day, below-zero cold snap in mid-February, PWSA crews responded to water main breaks on Murdoch Street near Forbes Avenue, Lilac Street in Greenfield, and in two other city neighborhoods. “If a bridge is too weak for heavy traffic or there’s a pothole in the road, the public sees it, but [PWSA] handles the equivalent of two or three bridge failures that are hidden underground every day,” says Brendan Schubert, PWSA’s Manager of External Affairs. “When you get a water main break, it could affect one person to multiple hundreds of residents — water is shut off, sometimes a business or a restaurant has to close,” Schubert noted. “Our customers expect clean, safe drinking water. When the system is broken and we can’t provide that, it runs counter to our mission.”
Sewer Project Snapshot Crumbling pipes also lead to sewer back-ups, flooding and property damage. Just ask residents of block-long Valmont Street. PWSA found that the street’s existing combination sewer had partially collapsed and an attempt to line the sewer, instead of replacing it, failed. To address the problem, PWSA embarked last June on a major sewer separation project on Valmont and nearby Northumberland Street as well as Aylesboro and Murray Avenues. PWSA is incrementally separating stormwater from sewer pipes at locations across the city, with site selection determined in part by the age of the infrastructure in a given area and the impact of the work on system functionality. Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman got the ball rolling on Valmont when he sent a list of eight problem areas to PWSA Interim Director James Good in January 2013, requesting faceto-face meetings between affected residents and PWSA. A community meeting was convened in May 2014 to prepare residents for the imminent “carnage”, as Valmont resident Barry Fulks characterized it, and the project is ongoing. In an email last fall to Councilman Gilman, Fulks took issue with the project’s “relentless noise and dust, the excavation and other work that cause our entire house to vibrate alarmingly, the obligatory long-distance parking, etc.”, and he noted that in the midst of the construction, a heavy August rainstorm clogged sewer grates at the base of his street; a cruel irony, he noted, given that the project aims to alleviate flooding. According to PWSA, major construction on Valmont lasted 37 weeks, with the contractor “demobilizing” on February 12. During excavation and pipe installation a six-person crew was usually onsite, with another crew completing restoration work as needed. At the same time, another crew worked on Murray and Northumberland. In addition, five PWSA engineers and designers mapped out the project, while three managers from PWSA and Chester Engineers directed construction. Some facts and figures show the scope of the project: The combination sewer on Northumberland was installed at a
Continued on page 16 Photo: Chris Zurawsky
Community Services at Work PAGE15
squirrel hill feature cont. depth of roughly 18 feet and is 79 feet long, with a new storm sewer placed 8-11 feet underground. The sanitary and storm sewers at Valmont and Aylesboro run 722 feet and 770 feet, respectively, with another 281 feet of storm sewer still to be installed under a new contract. On top of that, nearly 800 feet of sewer “laterals” —private line that carry drainage from a private property to a public sewer — were also installed. During the first week of March, PWSA was scheduled to complete some catch basin work at the intersection of Valmont and Aylesboro, with a final course of asphalt paving on Valmont set for spring, along with installation of a remaining storm sewer on Aylesboro. Even as work winds down around Valmont, PWSA is gearing up for a similar effort around Fair Oaks Street. Originally scheduled to begin last November, the Fair Oaks project is being rebid as part of a larger sewer improvement project and is expected to start this summer, lasting 4-5 months, weather permitting. A sanitary sewer line will be installed from the intersection of Beeler Street and Wilkins Avenue to a little bit east of the intersection of Fair Oaks and Inverness Avenue. That project is budgeted at $590,000, according to a PWSA report on capital improvement projects for 2014-2018. Another nearly $2 million is earmarked for eight more pipe replacement projects over the same period in other parts of Squirrel Hill (see box for locations). SHM Chris Zurawsky is chair of SHUC’s Stormwater Task Force.
WELCOMING NEW PATIENTS The physicians and staff at Plenary Family Practice–UPMC are now accepting new patients at our office in Squirrel Hill. We provide care for patients of all ages, from birth to geriatrics.
Barry G. Segal, MD Family Medicine Dr. Segal received his medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He completed a family medicine residency at Ohio State University in Columbus, and a fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Segal is board-certified in family medicine and geriatric medicine.
Shaylin Miller, PA Family Medicine Ms. Miller graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh with a Master’s of Physician Assistant studies. She also earned her Bachelor of Health Sciences at Duquesne University. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants.
To better serve our patients, we offer office hours on Sunday as well as extended hours throughout the week. We now provide immigration physicals.
Squirrel Hill Pipe Replacement Locations 2014-2018 • • • • • • • •
Beechwood between Beechwood Court and Beechmont Hastings between Beechwood and Fenimore Beechwood between Hastings and Wilkins Shady (east side) between Northumberland and Solway Shady (west side) between Northumberland and Solway Negley between Wilkins and Woodmont Solway between Negley and Arco Lyndhurst
To schedule an appointment at Plenary Family Practice–UPMC, or for more information, call 412-422-1067. Squirrel Hill Medical Building 6301 Forbes Ave., Suite 235 Pittsburgh, PA 15217
The projects range in cost from $120,000 to $410,000 each, totaling nearly $2 million. Source: 2014-2018 PWSA Capital Improvement Projects (http://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/pwsa/CIP_web.pdf) Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC is ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
PAGE16 Community Services at Work
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squirrel hill feature
Port Authority Keeps Moving Forward By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt
The public transit system in Pittsburgh is often negatively compared to transit systems in other large cities, such as New York or Chicago. While these criticisms may have merit, Port Authority is working hard to change this and implementing improvements across the board to make your commute easier. The Wayfinding Project “We are currently in the beginning stages of a project to improve wayfinding signage throughout the system,” explained Heather Pharo, Communications Manager for Port Authority. “Essentially, what wayfinding means, is that it's a system of signs that help guide people to their destinations, and in our case, it's going to help people use our system to get them from point A to point B.” Working with CHK America, a national company specializing in wayfinding programs, Port Authority is looking to change the way riders navigate the system. While still in the initial phase, the concept is to create signage that is easier to understand and that provides more information than current signage. Though many T and busway stations offer route maps, most stops across the city consist of two elements: the blue and white ‘flag’ that indicates a bus stop and the ‘blade’ that lists buses that use that location. The blade also features an ‘information number’ which can be used with TrueTime services to locate the bus stop in their system. The improved signage includes a redesigned flag and blade, with two new additions: a ‘lollipop,’ or round pole topper featuring the stop number, as well as a map of connected bus routes. The lollipop will allow riders to locate the exact stop they need, alleviating confusion in areas such as downtown, where bus stops are plentiful. These new signs will make navigating the system easier for everyone, regardless of their familiarity. “As a transit agency, we always have to keep in mind that there's a very wide array of people using our system,” said Pharo, “So we’re really glad we can do something like this that can help a lot of different people.” PAGE18 Community Services at Work
This multi-year project with be expanded in phases, beginning with key locations downtown and on the North Shore. The next few phases will likely reach out to fixed guideway stations, such as busway and T stations, and key transfer points. Keep a look-out for these improved signs this spring! ConnectCard and Ticketing Improvements Most Port Authority riders are familiar with the re-loadable ConnectCards that serve riders weekly, monthly, or annually. In early February, Port Authority announced a new addition to its ticketing services: single trip tickets. These affordable paper tickets allow customers the convenience of riding on Port Authority buses without the hassle of exact change or the needless purchase of a week card. Single trip tickets can be purchased at any ConnectCard machine across the city,
The ConnectCard itself is also benefitting from the stream of improvements. ConnectCard holders no longer need to ask for a paper transfer on multiple bus trips; the ConnectCard will do it for them. ConnectCard users once followed the same protocol for transfers as cash users, which is to request a transfer from the operator. System improvements now allow ConnectCard riders to transfer between buses seamlessly, as long as the transfer is made within three hours of the first transaction. There are more ConnectCard improvements on the way. While there is no formal release date, Port Authority is working on an online portal to give users access to their ConnectCard accounts. This will allow users to reload their cards online or sign up for automatic renewals, eliminating the extra step of going in person to reload. With everything available online, users won’t have to worry about a low balance or forgetting to renew at the end of the month. TrueTime Is Mobile! While bus users have largely become acclimated to referencing Port Authority’s TrueTime website (truetime.portauthority.org), independent app developers have also benefitted from access to TrueTime data. Using this data, they can design new apps or adapt existing apps to more easily display arrival times. Port Authority does not endorse any independent app but fully supports developers in the creation of these services. Riders are encouraged to try several apps and find one that suits their needs. A list of apps, both for iPhone and Android, can be found on their website: portauthority.org/paac/RiderServices/MobileApps. Riders can also receive bus times by email. By creating a TrueTime account, users can personalize time tracking emails by time, bus stop, and even days, creating even more ways to connect to TrueTime. Never miss a bus again! SHM
for knowing community means everything. Working for the community. Inspiring the community. PNC supports those who are striving to do amazing things every day. That’s why we’re so proud to be a part of Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition. Jaclyn Ziskind - Branch Manager 412 521-8800
©2014 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC
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including those at the T-stations and the airport.
squirrel hill feature
The Partnerships that Make Your Parks Great By Scott Roller, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
Nature — as we learn again and again — relies on an intricate cycle of partnerships. The root needs the water, the ground needs the leaves, and the air needs the carbon-storing and oxygenreleasing magic Frick Park’s distinctive stone gatehouses share something of our trees. The with the Jefferson Memorial: they were both designed Pittsburgh Parks by the famed architect John Russell Pope. The Reynolds Conservancy’s Street gatehouse (shown) was the first capital project nature-focused completed under the Parks Conservancy/ City of Pgh experiential edupublic/private partnership. Photo: Melissa McMasters cation programs at the Frick Environmental Center return to this theme often: everything in nature depends on everything else. The Parks Conservancy and City of Pittsburgh have long understood the power of dedicated partnerships, first signing an official public/private partnership agreement in 1998 to restore the city’s four major parks — Frick, Highland, Riverview, and Schenley. In the years since that historic partnership was formed, 14 capital projects — including the gatehouses at Frick Park, The Riverview Chapel, and Mellon Square — have been completed. Public Works and the City of Pittsburgh’s Parks and Recreation departments have brought their dedication, the skills of experienced park foremen and their teams, and the energetic support of public officials. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has provided expertise in park design, restoration ecology, environmental education, and 80 million dollars in privately-raised contributions. The clear and consistent focus on the betterment of our city’s expansive greenspaces so that all may enjoy their benefits has been key to the continued successes. It is the guiding force in current and future projects. This past summer, the first in a series of green infrastructure projects was begun in the Panther Hollow Watershed in Schenley Park. Made possible by a carefully-planned partnership between the Department of Public Works, ALCOSAN, City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the Beacon Street Meadow PAGE20 Community Services at Work
and Bob O’Connor Golf Course green infrastructure components are the first part of a multi-phase Panther Hollow Watershed wastewater management project. Such an expansive project – spanning park land, city streets, sewage systems, and private property alike -would only be possible with the resources and trust of the involved partners. What lessons have been learned and can be used to guide us to future success that betters our region? There are many. They include: Consistent and laser-like focused aim that keeps the people of Pittsburgh as the first priority. Create a master plan with input from all partners — in this case a plan to restore our city’s parks to their original magnificence and health, with attention to historic detail and the needs of our diverse region. Involve the community in the planning and decision-making process. Celebrate the work and the progress with all the people who have a stake in it, and the vital role our parks play in the ecological and economic health of our city. Focus on quality. Whatever is done, do well. High quality projects accomplish physical restoration, fuel community pride, encourage potential funding sources, and deter abuse and misuse. Create realistic timelines, and expect improvement to be incremental. Tackle one area at a time to build an everincreasing area of restored parkland.
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Have a plan for the future of projects so that they may be maintained and funded for the coming generations. The success of these partnerships in restoring and caring for our city’s parks is no surprise when considered in the context of the traits that make Pittsburgh great. We have a history of pulling together through challenging times, partnering with each other to achieve our people-oriented goals, and celebrating together when we accomplish great things. That streak of vision, hard work, and partnership has served us well in the past, does so now, and will lead us to future environmental successes. Come outside and watch what we can do — together. SHM
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Help Build For over 40 years, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition has worked to preserve, improve and celebrate the quality of life in our community.
Here are four great reasons to become a member!
1 2 3 4
Over 20 significant community improvements have grown from our 20-year master plan, including Summerset at Frick Park, the Giant Eagle expansion, plus park/playground and school renewal. We’re working to update that plan now! New lighting, banners, trees, murals and more from the Forward Avenue parkway entrance up Murray Avenue. Even more improvements are on the way! Strong schools. We’ve worked with parents and educators to keep our schools strong, despite previous budget cutbacks. With your involvement, we’ll do it again! Squirrel Hill Magazine. We publish and mail it four times each year to every household and business in the 15217 zip code—as a free community service!
Your tax-deductible membership goes a long way! We do all this with people power and just a part-time staff.
Become a member today at www.shuc.org or call 412-422-7666 for more information. Help keep Squirrel Hill Pittsburgh’s premier urban neighborhood!
squirrel hill urban coalition
SHUC Snapshots: News and Notes from your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Greetings from your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition Gateway Committee You may remember the Design Center grant that provided for a series of community meetings in 2009 held to hear from residents and business owners as to their vision for improving the entrance to Squirrel Hill. Later in 2010, we added the entire business corridor and began working on getting streetlights all along Murray Avenue from Forward to meet those at Forbes. With a second Design Center grant, Pashek Associates began to work on the Welcome Sign, O’Connor’s Corner, the Beacon Entrance and the Parklet at the Post Office. Then, in August of 2014, the CMU School of Architecture choose SHUC as their client for the semester to build on previous work through an “Envisioning” process. Two more neighborhood meetings were held, turning our attention again to the 5-way intersection of Forward and Murray Avenues, our most highly visible site when coming to the neighborhood. It is, unfortunately, one that is dismal and unfriendly, with vacant buildings and inattentive property owners. Finally, the Poli’s site was sold and plans are underway by Action Housing to rehab that section of the site. CMU has proposed enhancements for the extended gateway area which are currently under consideration by your Gateway Committee. If you are interested in reading about and seeing some really creative designs for various aspects of the F-M “gateway,” please see the complete report on our website, www.shuc.org. Let us know what you think – your personal favorites! Stay tuned for activity on Murray Avenue this Spring!
Coming Soon: Squirrel Hill Night Market! SHUC, Uncover Squirrel Hill and NextGen: PGH are proud to announce their first joint project: the Squirrel Hill Night Market! The night market is an opportunity to showcase
the diversity of our wonderful neighborhood. Both sides of Forbes Avenue will be lined with local vendors and businesses selling their wares and extending their welcome to neighbors and strangers alike. These family friendly events will be held the last Saturday night of each month through October. Full of fun, music, drinks, and dining, these events are sure to enliven the streets. The first night market will be first held at the end of May. Help us make start it off with a bang! Keep of look for new on our social media outlets and blog as it develops!
SHUC Night Out at Independent Brewing Company This April, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition will be celebrating the successful first year of the Independent Brewing Company, by partnering with this new local icon to host the first ever SHUC Night Out. In February of 2014, the Independent Brewing Company (IBC) opened its doors to their first Squirrel Hill customers. IBC is “dedicated to serving fresh, local beer, made only by Western Pennsylvania breweries.” They also offer an astounding array of locally sourced spirits and cocktails to match their gourmet dinner menu. Each Saturday, this popular spot features a new specialty cocktail curated by a guest bartender. IBC’s dedication to supporting and celebrating local products makes them an invaluable partner! Come meet board members, staff, and volunteers of the Coalition and learn about the neighborhood improvement projects underway and how you can be involved in YOUR community! IBC has generously offered to donate a percentage of the evening’s proceeds to support the projects of the Coalition. Join us on April 29 from 5-7:30 pm to celebrate with IBC. SHM
Community Services at Work PAGE23
squirrel hill feature
Squirrel Hill Guide to Social & Community Services By Elizabeth Waickman
quirrel Hill is a hub for social and community services of all kinds, from recreational activities for children and services for seniors to organizations dedicated to helping individuals and families through all of life's changes and challenges. Squirrel Hill has it all, and this guide highlights a few of the many organizations and agencies serving our community in so many ways.
Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) 5743 Bartlett Street (412) 422-7200 www.jfcspgh.org email@example.com Jewish Family & Children’s Service
JF&CS has spent 78 years is the parent agency of the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry on making a positive impact in Pittsburgh’s communities and Hazelwood Avenue. The Pantry serves individuals and families in changing the lives of hundreds need of emergency food. Photo of thousands of individuals Credit: Adam Flanagan and families in need of comprehensive, quality services when facing life’s changes and challenges. As one of Pittsburgh’s leading social service agencies, JF&CS has remained committed to helping everyone in need without regard to race, religion, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, sex, sexual orientation, familial status, age, handicap or disability. Each year, JF&CS helps more than 8,000 people throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region, offering services in the following areas: adoption (Family Hope Connection), career services (Career Development Center), counseling (Squirrel Hill Psychological Services), critical needs and emergency assistance, elder care, foodassistance through the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry, guardianship, refugee resettlement and legal immigration services and services for those with special needs.
continuum of individualized quality care consistent with Jewish values and traditions. Residential services are provided through the Charles M. Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Terrace and Residence at Weinberg Village. Additional home and community-based serives include the JAA Center for Rehabilitation, JAA Home Health Services, AgeWell Pittsburgh (a collaboration of the JAA, Jewish Family & Children’s Service and the Jewish Community Center), Anathan Club Adult Day Services, Mollie’s Meals and Sivitz Jewish Hospice. National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section (NCJW) 1620 Murray Avenue (412) 421-6118 www.ncjwpgh.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Jewish Association on Aging (JAA) 200 JHF Drive (412) 420-4000 www.jaapgh.org email@example.com The Jewish Association on Aging works to improve on and enhance the lives of older adults through a PAGE24 Community Services at Work
Volunteers fill drawstring bags with toiletries,
The National Council of stuffed animals, crayons, and other comforting items for children removed from their Jewish Women (NCJW) is a homes to enter foster care. (Photo courtesy grassroots organization of volof NCJW Pittsburgh Section) unteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Services for the community include NCJW’s Back 2 School Store, The Center for Women, advocacy efforts, Pic-a-Bag, Children’s Rooms in the Courts, Suit Yourself, as well as NCJW’s consignment stores; DDB Upscale Consignment Boutique, Thriftique and Home Consignments.
The Jewish Association on Aging provides services to help older adults live their best lives. (Photo courtesy of John Schiller)
The Center for Women 1620 Murray Avenue (412) 421-4400 www.centerforwomenpgh.org firstname.lastname@example.org The Center for Women offers programs to increase financial literacy, build career-related skills, connect women with mentoring and internship opportunities, and
provide referrals to additional support services, all with the goal of ensuring women in transition are able to achieve and maintain economic independence and self-sufficiency. The Center for Women Life coach and Center for Women volunteer Monique DeMonaco is a collaborative leads a workshop on personal growth and healthier relationships (Photo courtesy of The Center for Women) program of the National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section (NCJW) and the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh (JWF). CFW is nonsectarian and serves women of all backgrounds.
Ursuline offers four main programs, Guardianship, Protective & Supportive Services, Independence Support Services and the Good Grief Center, which help make decisions for those who can’t themselves, provides protection for those vulnerable to abuse and offers grief and bereavement support to people of all ages. Ursuline also expanded its services to include Cart to Heart volunteer grocery shopping service, Checks and Balance programs and Senior Reassurance, a daily wellness phone call program for seniors.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh 5738 Forbes Avenue (412) 521-8010 www.jccpgh.org email@example.com
Services include internship and mentoring programs, financial fitness workshops, career workshops, confidential law consultations, the Women Helping Women program, which provides volunteer assistance from experts in areas such as legal, financial, insurance, budget and business plans. The Center for Women also provides referrals to various community organizations.
The JCC provides social service, recreational and educational services and programs, and houses state-of-the-art fitness and wellness facilities, heated indoor swimming pools and an Olympic-size outdoor pool for summer use, gymnasiums, squash/racquetball courts, outdoor playgrounds, auditoriums, dance studios, classrooms and meeting areas.
Ursuline Support Services/Good Grief Center Administrative Center/Good Grief Center 2717 Murray Avenue (412) 224-4700 www.goodgriefcenter.com
Comprehensive programming includes child care and preschool, after-school and school’s-out programs, day and overnight camping, senior adult activities, fitness and wellness programs, special needs services, arts and cultural activities including a nationally-accredited Jewish museum and scores of programs for the community.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh clock is a landmark in view of the “Squirrel Hill Treasure” — the corner of Forbes and Murray. (Photo courtesy of the JCC)
The Good Grief Center in Squirrel Hill. (Photo: Ursuline Support Services)
Ursuline Support Services is a nonprofit, charitable organization that supports those who are vulnerable and in need in our communities, enabling them independence through life’s many transitions. Whether a person in need suffers from abuse, neglect or financial and emotional distress, Ursuline provides the critically needed adult and senior services, and provides the support and care that one would expect from family. Community Services at Work PAGE25
squirrel hill feature cont. national origin, language, age, gender, and disability status, and without regard for their insurance status or ability to pay. Uninsured low income patients may be eligible for a nominal charge. Language interpretation is available for any patient with limited English proficiency. House calls are available for medical visits to home bound patients. The Aleph Institute 5804 Beacon Street (412) 421-0111 www.alephne.org firstname.lastname@example.org
A client accepts a check from Ellen Clancy, director of operations at Hebrew Free Loan. He received a loan to purchase a new computer when his broke in the midst of his undergraduate education. (Photo courtesy of Hebrew Free Loan Association of Pittsburgh)
Hebrew Free Loan Association of Pittsburgh (HFL) 4307 Murray Avenue (412) 422-8868 www.hflapgh.org email@example.com Hebrew Free Loan Association (HFL) is a financial nonprofit organization that offers interest-free loans to Allegheny County residents on a nonsectarian basis. The application process is confidential and quick. Loans are offered for a variety of purposes: car purchase or repair, home improvement, tuition, debt consolidation, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, adoption, fertility treatment, summer camp, medical/dental bills, small business, funeral expenses and more. Squirrel Hill Health Center (SHHC) 4516 Browns Hill Road (412) 422-7442 (medical) 412-697-7997 (dental) www.squirrelhillhealthcenter.org firstname.lastname@example.org At its single site in Squirrel Hill, SHHC provides patient-driven, highPhoto courtesy of Squirrel Hill quality health care for patients of all Health Center ages, including prenatal care, pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine, gynecology, geriatrics, behavioral health services for primary medical patients, preventive, restorative, and emergency dental care, care coordination to connect patients to needed services not offered directly at SHHC, lab services and Marketplace insurance enrollment counseling. All major insurance is accepted including commercial plans, Medicaid, and Medicare; uninsured or underinsured patients may apply for an income based sliding fee scale. SHHC operates with a special concern for patientsâ€™ religious beliefs, race, PAGE26 Community Services at Work
The Aleph Institute is a not-for profit Jewish religious, educational and humanitarian organization serving the Jewish community. The organization offers a multitude of services to imprisoned Jewish men and women and their families, including those in re-entry and families of those incarcerated, and programs for those in long-term medical facilities and group homes. The Aleph Institute also hosts many 12 step programs, provides computer training and job training and social media introduction programs for individuals of the Jewish faith. The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh 5872 Northumberland Street (412) 224-4440 www.fcpgh.com The Friendship Circle is dedicated to helping children and young adults with special needs become more fully integrated into the broader community. Each year, The Friendship Circle offers more than 100 programs, which pair youth with special needs with teen volunteers in a wide range of social activities. The Friendship Circle aims to enrich the lives of all participants, creating lasting friendships with strengthen both the Jewish and greater communities. Services include recreational programs for youth ages 5 to 18, community service and volunteer opportunities for young adults and outings for older teens and young adults. All programs include participants with and without special needs. SHM Friendship Circle members soaking up sunshine and good company at Kennywood. (Photo courtesy of The Friendship Circle)
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Public Works of the Past By Helen Wilson Vice-President, Squirrel Hill Historical Society
“Beacon Heights is located on the highest point of ground in the city with the exception of the Herron Hill reservoir, from which it draws its water supply.” That’s a thought-provoking sentence from a small book, Homes of Squirrel Hill, written around 1900. The book is an ancestor of today’s real estate circulars, a snapshot of the exact time Squirrel Hill was in transition from rural farmland to residential city neighborhood. Its water supply came from the Herron Hill reservoir. Channels for the water pipes had to be dug and pipelines laid, an operation that couldn’t have been done without a city public works department. Public works. Defined as “publicly constructed infrastructure” by Joel Tarr, Richard S. Caliguiri Carnegie Mellon University Professor of History and Policy. In his essay “Infrastructure and City Building in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries” from the book City at the Point, Dr. Tarr writes that a city’s infrastructure “accommodates flows of people, vehicles, messages, energy, water and sewage and includes structures such as bridges, public buildings and parks.” His essay details the convoluted relationships between public and private entities with their sometimes contradictory agendas. Private enterprise was concerned with marketing and profit. Public works were concerned with the public good, or at the very least, political benefit. Working together profited both entities. This interplay between public works and private enterprise can be seen in the microcosm of Squirrel Hill’s development. A passage from Homes of Squirrel Hill states, “Thousands of dollars have been spent in paving and grading and sewering, and although almost all of this has been done in the last year or two, a great many of the building lots have already been sold and houses erected on them.” In other words, If you build it, they will come. Prior to 1900, Squirrel Hill had only a few roads and country lanes. Although some development had taken place along Fifth Avenue, Squirrel Hill was still mostly farmland, isolated by its steep slopes from the urban development taking place in the rest of the East End. When electric trolleys began to climb those slopes in the 1890s, large tracts of land around the trolley routes were bought by land speculators, who divided them up into residential lots arranged in orderly blocks of houses with streets and avenues. Homes of Squirrel Hill is set not only in a specific time but in a specific location in the community—the part within walking distance of electric trolley lines running up Forbes and down Murray. The book is full of selling points such as, “The Homestead cars running down Murray avenue are only two or three minutes from any part of the plan [of houses], and the new Wilkinsburg line, out Forbes street, will be easily reached, down either Shady avenue or [Beechwood] boulevard.” The development of Squirrel Hill required that roads be designed, roadbeds cut and graded, ravines filled in, creeks buried in culverts, bridges constructed, and streets paved with the primitive asphalt paving
The Beechwood Boulevard (Greenfield) Bridge under construction. (Engineering News-Record, Vol. 89, 1922)
contraptions of the time. Wide, tree-lined streets and sidewalks were part of the master plan for Squirrel Hill’s development from the beginning. The real estate agents who wrote Homes of Squirrel Hill emphasized over and over that “houses are all back a proper distance from the street, sidewalks are wide, and lined with shade trees; everything has been planned and carried out with the one idea of enhancing the natural beauty of the district and making it an ideal residential spot.” Above ground, Squirrel Hill lived up to the hype. The wide streets and well-spaced houses were testimony to careful planning. Underground, however, the sewer system wasn’t as pretty. Untreated sewage flowed directly into the Monongahela River. The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) wasn’t created until 1946. When the sewers were installed in the early 1900s, they were designed to deliberately overflow in heavy storms. They still do in Nine Mile Run in spite of the outstanding restoration project the Army Corps of Engineers undertook in the valley. Today, the creek looks clean but is still polluted. With development came the need for more and more public services. Streets had to be cleaned in summer and plowed in winter. The development of the automobile in the early 1900s increased the need for traffic control. The creation of city parks, of which Squirrel Hill boasts two of Pittsburgh’s finest, called for a Park Maintenance Division. The trees lining the streets needed to be tended, so the Forestry Division was given that task. Perhaps the biggest, hardest-to-miss public works effort in Squirrel Hill was the construction of the Homestead Grays Bridge and its Browns Hill Road approach, a 1930s Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. It benefitted out-of-work laborers and the public good, easing traffic congestion from Pittsburgh to Homestead and the Allegheny County Airport. It helped private sector steel mills and airlines as well as working men and women. When walking along the sidewalks of Squirrel Hill, look at the manhole covers and storm grates and drains. Look at the traffic signals and stop signs. See roads being repaired and potholes being filled. Squirrels use the utility wires as an aerial pathway. The rest of us depend just as much on the infrastructure under our feet, put in place by public works. SHM Anyone interested in learning more about Squirrel Hill history is invited to attend the meetings of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Go to www.squirrelhillhistory.org to view upcoming lectures and events. Consider joining the SHHS. Membership is only $10 per year. There is no charge for attending the meetings. Community Services at Work PAGE29
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squirrel hill litter patrol
Are You Sick of Litter? You Can Make a Difference! By Michael Jehn
Are you tired of garbage drifting across the sidewalks and collecting in the gutters of your community’s streets? Are you fed up with trash landing on your lawn? Are you frustrated that business owners and property managers aren’t doing enough to combat the trash problem, or don’t appear to be doing anything at all?
Are you concerned that the appearance of litter detracts from the beauty and vitality of Squirrel Hill’s business district? Do you worry about where all the garbage is going and how it might be affecting our city’s waterways and natural treasures like Schenley Park and Nine Mile Run? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, or if you’ve contemplated what you can do to make a tangible difference, rest assured that you are not alone.
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The proliferation of unsightly garbage, from cigarette butts and fast food waste to airborne shopping bags and discarded appliances, is a pervasive cultural and environmental problem that can be traced to many sources (unintentional carelessness, willful disregard, improperly bagged waste, spillage during collection, wind, storm runoff). It’s no secret that litter can have dire consequences reaching far beyond mere aesthetic degradation. Luckily, you share your community with an organized collective of dedicated citizens who are taking action. They’re passionate, relentless, and always on the lookout for fresh new leadership and enthusiastic volunteers. The Squirrel Hill Litter Patrol, a subgroup of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, is excited to announce its Annual Spring Cleanup which will occur on Sunday, April 26 from 10am to 2pm, headquartered at the corner of Forbes and Murray beneath the Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library. Volunteers of all ages will collect trash and recyclables in the central business district and surrounding blocks. Cleanup tools and bags will be provided along with light refreshments, and groups or individuals can request assignments at the registration table. The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works partners once again with the Litter Patrol to collect bagged trash at various intersections as well as to generously provide tables and chairs at cleanup headquarters. Environmental Services will provide blue bins for collected recyclables. SHM Please contact the Litter Patrol at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the cleanup, want to report a problem area, or would like to sign up as a regular volunteer. Look for the Litter Patrol on Facebook and help spread the word!
& Community Services at Work PAGE31
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squirrel hill review
Book Review: Fleabrain Loves Franny By Melanie Linn Gutowski
It’s 1952, and ten-year-old Francine Katzenback is in an iron lung in Children’s Hospital. She’s contracted the polio virus, a disease her neighbor, Dr. Jonas Salk, is about to prevent for all subsequent generations.
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She’s the main character in Joanne Rocklin’s book published late last year, Fleabrain Loves Franny. The book takes place in and around Squirrel Hill, where the Katzenback family lives. After she’s discharged from the hospital, Franny returns to her Shady Avenue home to recuperate with her parents, older sister, and a nurse whose brusque bedside manner leaves much to be desired. Alienated by her disability and by her friends’ erroneous insistence that she can somehow infect them, Franny retreats into books. It’s there that she meets Fleabrain. It’s unclear whether Fleabrain is “real” or if he exists only in Franny’s imagination, but he’s an intellectual flea who lives on Alf, the family dog. He writes Franny letters about books he enjoys and later they go on adventures through the neighborhood.
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Fleabrain seems to drag the story down. It’s hard to care about him, especially in light of the book’s frequent references to the nowfamous arachnid in Franny’s favorite book, Charlotte’s Web. The author worked with the Squirrel Hill Historical Society for neighborhood details and mentions many familiar local spots, including the Manor Theater, Frick Park and Homewood Cemetery. Colfax School, J&L Steel, KDKA Radio and the Gulf Tower weather beacon also make appearances. Even “gum-band” finds its way into the book. Rocklin does a good job of portraying the facts about polio and people’s reactions to it, though it is painful to read scenes of Franny struggling to educate her friends about her illness. The neighborhood kids don’t include her in their outings, won’t touch her (or anything she's touched), and decline their invitations to her 11th birthday party. It takes a scientist neighbor who works with Dr. Salk, the fictional Dr. George Gutman, to set the children straight: Franny is not contagious. Unfortunately for her, Franny will face bigger challenges than getting her friends to accept her again and making it up and down the steep front steps to her home. By the end of the book, she’s taking on society at large, though Dr. Salk’s miracle vaccine won’t be able to help her. Melanie Linn Gutowski, a local historian, is the author of Pittsburgh’s Mansions. Community Services at Work PAGE33
squirrel hill feature
Representing Squirrel Hill: A Guide to Your Local Leaders By Deborah Monti
Name: Bill Peduto Position: Mayor of Pittsburgh Start date: January 6, 2014 Contact Info: Phone: (412) 255-2626 Twitter: @billpeduto Facebook: Facebook.com/pedutoforpittsburgh Via Web: pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/feedback Bill Peduto has served as Pittsburgh’s Mayor since November of 2013. Before being elected, he worked in and represented District 8 in Pittsburgh City Council for almost two decades. He has been extremely influential in the recent redevelopments of the East End and in creating the New Pittsburgh. Peduto has established developments centered on communities and has worked to keep investments focused on specialized but profitable new industries. He is the only politician to encourage the city to apply for Act 47 state protection, a legislation that allows distressed municipalities to restructure debt. He has recently expressed a desire for a new street planning model and accompanying committee meant to cater to citizens beyond just drivers and pedestrians. These new streets are also meant to accommodate citizens with special needs, those that rely on public transit, cyclists, and businesses that rely heavily on street parking, but the appointment of the committee may not occur until later in his term. Peduto co-created iBurgh, the nation’s first iPhone app that allows users to directly interact with local government and registers complaints directly to 311. SHM
PAGE34 Community Services at Work
Name: Dan Frankel Position: Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 23rd District Start date: January 5, 1999 Contact Info: Phone: (412) 422-1774 Twitter: @RepDanFrankel Facebook: Facebook.com/RepDanFrankel Via Web: pahouse.com/Frankel/ Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Representative Dan Frankel has served as a Pennsylvania legislator for over 15 years. Frankel graduated from Pennington School and Kenyon College, later receiving a certificate for senior executives in state government from Harvard University’s School of Government. He has previously worked as Allegheny County Delegation chair and as a chairman of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition. He is a member of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees and serves on boards of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, WQED Multimedia, and Magee Women’s Research Institute. As the Democratic Caucus chair, Frankel has worked on the leadership team and helps decide the policy directives of the House Democrats. He is Co-Chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus and the Women’s Health Caucus, and is part of numerous other caucuses such as the Asthma, Autism, and the Community College Caucus. Frankel has won the Legislator of the Year award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the Citizen of the Year Award from the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, among many others. SHM
When it comes to public works, no one gets things done faster than our dedicated local politicians. We wanted to give you a chance to get to know some of them better! The following feature highlights five officials at various levels of government working to improve life right here in Squirrel Hill and the City of Pittsburgh.
Name: Dan Gilman Position: City Councilman of District 8 Start date: January 6, 2014 Contact Info: Phone: (412) 339-0347 Email: email@example.com Twitter: @danielgilman Via Web: dangilman.com/contact-us
Name: Corey O’Connor Position: City Councilman of District 5 Start date: January 3, 2012 Contact Info: Phone: (412) 255-8965 Twitter: @CoreyOConnor2 Facebook: facebook.com/PittsburghDistrict5 Via web: pittsburghpa.gov/district5/feedback
A graduate of Shady Side Academy and Carnegie Mellon University, he represents all of Shadyside, Squirrel Hill North of Forbes Avenue, North Oakland, and South Point Breeze. While his powers as Councilman include legislation and budget control, Gilman works more locally; he oversees everything from snow removal and pothole patching to new developments and zoning laws. A firm believer that “local government is where you [do] the things that touch people’s lives the most,” he works actively to integrate smart technology into city services. He is determined to increase efficiency by “making sure that permits are all online, every credit card can be used for government payments, and making sure that people can interact with us easier.”
Corey O’Connor, the youngest son of late Mayor Bob O’Connor, is the Councilman for Greenfield, Glen Hazel, Hays, Hazelwood, Lincoln Place, New Homestead, part of Regent Square, Squirrel Hill South, and Swisshelm Park. A graduate of Central Catholic High School and Duquesne University, O’Conner worked for Mike Doyle as a Community Development Representative before taking the position of District 5 Councilman. O’Connor oversees anything from zoning and planning to funding for projects and tax increment finances while also handling the usual pothole, paving, and plowing problems. He has recently worked to pass legislation prohibiting smoking in parks and playgrounds, and is active in pushing land banking in his district.
Gilman is focused on infrastructure and development, specifically in the Strip District, Hazelwood and the Hill District, and is leading the charge on many projects and renovations around these areas while trying to maintain the city’s authenticity. He is also very involved in education, bringing together the school districts and meeting regularly with principals and Parent Teacher Associations, as well as helping to raise funds for new education initiatives. In the upcoming year, Councilman Gilman plans to continue his efforts in development and education as well as push to create a sports commission in Pittsburgh. SHM
O’Connor is also spearheading initiatives on green infrastructure and hopes to re-do the old system of ALCOSAN for a more efficient way to separate storm and wastewater. In an effort to “connect neighborhoods together,” he is initiating a plan to tear down the Greenfield Bridge in December of this year to build a wider bridge with a raised bike lane. O’Connor is also overseeing the rebuilding of the Frick Park Environmental Center and the launch of Bike Share, a new bike-renting service coming to Pittsburgh. SHM
Community Services at Work PAGE35
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squirrel hill feature
Check Out More Than Just Books At Carnegie Library In Squirrel Hill By Katie Maloney
hat would happen if you could check out a phone book at Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill?
“Our customers would read the whole thing and say ‘there are lots of interesting characters, but there’s no plot,” jokes Children’s Collection Coordinator Lisa Dennis, as she discusses the way her patrons find a way to use everything in the library.
Branch Manager Jody Bell says that it’s the patrons’ craving for knowledge that makes the Squirrel Hill branch unique. “Our location is in the heart of Squirrel Hill, right on the corner of Forbes and Murray in the middle of the neighborhood. That says a lot about our community,” said Bell. Bell, who managed a small public library in Beaver County for six years before enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh and receiving her Master’s in Library Science, says that her main role as Branch Manager is to understand the information needs of the community and to develop the skills and abilities of the staff to meet those needs. “We focus on our patrons and how we can say ‘yes’ instead of ‘no,’” said Bell. One of those needs includes remaining open on Sundays so that community members have access to the library’s resources all week long.
applying for jobs with experienced career and education professionals. The library also offers One-On-One Computer Assistance and One-On-One Career Assistance classes to anyone looking to learn workplace computer programs or to navigate the application and hiring process. But these classes aren’t just designed to stimulate your mind. Yoga with Phyllis offers a weekly yoga session, free and open to the public, for anyone looking to get active while enjoying the health benefits of yoga. Tuesday Teen Scene provides a space for teens, ages 11 to 19, for gaming, crafting and playing on iPads. During the spring and summer months, the library offers Little Green Thumbs, a program that teaches children the basics of gardening while allowing them to water the plants located in the garden of the library’s green roof overtop the parking garage.
“We have such a diverse population: babies in arms, toddlers, elderly folks, teenagers, and we want to promote literacy, learning and engagement for the entire community.”
“It’s really great to see a place where people can get out and meet other parents while children develop social interaction skills,” said Bell.
Part of this engagement involves offering free classes, events and meet-ups to community members. These classes range in topics from creative writing, to language, to career development.
When asked to choose a favorite program, Bell says that it’s difficult to choose just one.
The library’s Skills for Success: Resume and Cover Letter Tune-Up program offers community members a chance to talk about the process of building resumes and
“Everyday is a special moment at the library,” said Bell. “We have children who visit, we have our regulars who come in to read the newspaper, we have volunteers who come in to help. There’s so much going on, it’s difficult to choose just one.” The library strives to offer a variety of events that reflect the needs of all community members. But, if there isn’t a class for your hobby, don’t worry. Bell says that all the Carnegie Library branches work as a collective to provide opportunities to patrons. “We are constantly thinking, ‘how can we share resources?’” said Bell. “If we don’t have it, we’ll help you find a branch that does.” SHM
For more information on classes, events, or volunteer opportunities, visit www.carnegielibrary.org/locations/squirrelhill/ Community Services at Work PAGE37
squirrel hill feature
The Carriage House Children Center Celebrates 40th Anniversary By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt
he Carriage House Children’s Center has been a Pittsburgh icon since its inception in 1974. The non-profit, non-sectarian organization hosts child care programs for children from six weeks to six years. Squirrel Hill Magazine (SHM) and the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition could think of no better way to recognize the hard work and dedication of this wonderful organization than by sharing their story with the community they have helped shape.
The Benedum Carriage house
The Carriage House Children’s Center was founded in 1974 by Natalie Kaplan. With the help of the Chatham College board of directors, she started a full day program for three and four year olds on Chatham’s campus, which was an unheard of concept at the time. It began with only 18 children. Within a year, that number had doubled. Full day care, at first frowned upon, quickly gained popularity. As demand for full day care grew, so did the services Carriage House offered. It wasn’t long before they added a program for two year olds, quickly followed by a kindergarten. Carriage House continued to draw in more and more families. When Wightman School, a pillar of the Squirrel Hill community, closed in 1980, the neighborhood was devastated. The city and school board were left with an empty building. Mayor Caligiuri
Wightman Community Center
and the board of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition at the time, decided it would make a good community center. The first thing the Coalition did, was to administer a needs assessment to the community, which exposed a lack of infant and toddler care in the area. The search began to find a way to fill this gap in services, utilizing the newly available building. The Carriage House, upholding their innovative thinking, rose to the challenge. Under the aspices of their non-profit status, they opened an infant care program at Wightman. The first of its kind in the area, it inspired other organizations across the city to offer similar programs. The Carriage House Children’s Center operated out of two locations until, in 1985, Chatham College sold the Benedum property, on which their carriage house was located, to developers. When the new owners took over, they chose to demolish the building. Looking for a new home, Carriage House approached the Coalition, hoping to rent more space. The Coalition countered with another option: they wanted to sell the building to Carriage House. After innumerable meetings, discussions, and mounds of paperwork, the two organizations reached an agreement and the Wightman Community Center came under new ownership. Unfortunately, the building was no longer up to code and needed major improvements before its new life could begin. While still hosting their infant program in the basement, Carriage House began their renovations, updating the building while maintaining its original charm. Within a year, the first floor was finished, finally allowing Carriage House to open its doors to more children. Over time, the second floor would be remodeled into office spaces to house organizations like PAEYC, the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, the Pittsburgh Chess Club, and the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition.
PAGE38 Community Services at Work
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The Wightman School Community Building has been transformed by the Carriage House and given new life. For the last 40 years, the Carriage House Children’s Center has left their mark not only on Squirrel Hill but the greater Pittsburgh community. The Coalition is happy to have been part of their story throughout the years. Their programs are a valuable asset to the community and SHUC and SHM are proud to celebrate their achievements with them!
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the Carriage House Children’s Center will be hosting a range of events, beginning with their annual Family Fun Night. Family Fun Night is April 16th from 6-7:30pm and is open to all current students and recent graduates. This music themed evening will offer lots of fun activities for young children and their families!
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On May 16th, Carriage House would like to invite all their families, current and long graduated, to an Open House Celebration. Come to reminisce, meet former friends, and see how the building has changed and grown. Admission includes a night of swing dancing with Swing City, which holds weekly dances in the 3rd floor gymnasium.
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Their final celebratory event, a picnic, will be held in August for former Carriage House graduates. These three events will allow all generations of students to enjoy anniversary festivities. For more information on any of these events or to RSVP, call (412) 421-0300 or email the Carriage house at firstname.lastname@example.org. SHM
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Making the Cut: A Squirrel Hill Success Story By Rachael Dymski
Shear Visions is a bustling, successful salon in Squirrel Hill, known for its relaxed atmosphere and quality of service. To celebrate its 25 years of business this year, I sat down to interview owner Valentina Modne-Birman. Through speaking with her, I discovered that working at Shear Visions is much more than just a job for her. The salon itself is intertwined with her own story of immigrating to the United States, learning English, and pursuing her passion. Valentina Modne-Birman was born in the Soviet Union, in modern day Ukraine. She was born to a Russian Orthodox mother and a Jewish father. The 1970s and 80s was a difficult time to be Jewish in the Soviet Union. “At that time,” Modne-Birman said, “In the Soviet Union people had to hide their religions, especially if you were Jewish... Some church was always open. But, in Kiev, the first synagogue legally opened just a couple of years before I left.” Jews were not openly discriminated against. Instead, they constantly ran into dead ends, both academically and professionally. Jewish people struggled to get into good universities, receive job promotions, and be accepted in certain social circles. “My dad never told me a lot about it,” said Modne-Birman, “but I knew there were issues. My dad was named Israel when he was born. When he married my mom, and knew they were going to have children, he had to change something. In Ukraine, when a child is born, their middle name is named after their father’s first name. During the Soviet Union communist regime it was undesirable to have a middle name Israel, just in case… So, my father changed his name.” Finally, when Modne-Birman was 21, her parents felt it was time to leave the Soviet Union. Her father didn’t want his children to face the same kind of discrimination in the professional world that he had faced. His first cousin lived in Pittsburgh, so it was decided: the family would move to Squirrel Hill. They arrived on February 6, 1995. “Growing up we didn't know much about America, the only thing we knew was that it was a big and great country,” said Modne-Birman, “Once the changes in the Soviet Union started happening we began to watch American movies and all we saw were big and tall skyscrapers.”
“We landed at midnight, and it was so little, so much smaller than Kiev. I looked out the window, and saw the small houses and of course there was snow, and I thought— this is the America?” Modne-Birman remembers the first time she walked the streets of Murray. “I saw all the names of the businesses and shops on the street, and I was like, I will never be able to understand what it says there. While the Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS), was preparing paperwork to keep Valentina as a licensed beautician in the United States, Modne-Birman found a job as an assistant at Shear Visions. When she started, she could only speak three words of English. “My language really started to develop when I started working here. Mary Ellen Chester (owner of the “Shear Visions” at this time) and people in Squirrel Hill were so patient and helpful.” Modne-Birman still has customers who remember when she first began. “They took such an interest in what I wanted to say, and continued to talk to me. The more we talked, the more my language built up. So, I learned to speak English right here in this salon. When asked about the main differences between the country she left and the United States, Modne-Birman replied that it is the stability. “There,” she says, “And of course we’re talking about twenty years ago, but you never felt economically safe. With the laws and rules making the economy goes down or up on a daily basis, you'd never know if your business would be open the next day.” Modne-Birman was able to find the job she wanted in the United States, but other immigrants from the Soviet Union at that time had to become creative with using their talents. “My nail lady [Svetlana Beniaminov] was an artist in Moscow,” says Modne-Birman. “She couldn’t live as an artist here, so she found another way to do what she loved. She became to be a successful a nail technician and makes beautiful nail art.” It’s clear that this salon is ModneBirman’s passion. Since becoming the owner of Shear Visions in 2000, she has worked to make it a place where people feel comfortable and relaxed. She always has a plate of cookies out, coffee ready, and the radio on. “When people look good, they feel good,” Valentina Modne-Birman said. “If I can make people happy then I’ve done my job.” SHM Community Services at Work PAGE37
events & happenings
Calendar Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill Branch 5801 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill (412) 422-9650 or www.carnegielibrary.org Genre Book Club Meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm April 15th: The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton May 20th: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel June 17th: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker Slim For Summer April 22, 6:30 pm Vanessa Alberts, certified nutritionist, Sweat & Butter Health Coaching, joins us on Wednesday, April 22 at 6:30 pm for “Slim for Summer”. This workshop busts through all the nonsense about dieting. Discover how following "good advice" has kept you from losing weight and learn how to lose weight without counting, measuring or obsessing. Registration required. To register, or for more information, call 412.422.9650 or visit www.carnegielibrary.org. Smart Gardening April 29, 6:30 pm Gardening is a strenuous activity and it is very easy for people to overdo it. Common gardening tasks such as digging, planting, weeding, mulching and raking can cause stress and strain on muscles and joints, especially for seniors or those who are normally sedentary. Come enjoy an interactive presentation on tips to help you minimize the risk of injury! Wednesday, April 29 at 6:30 pm. Presented by Jeffrey Rothman, DPT, OCS Centers for Rehab Services-Squirrel Hill. Pat DiCesare to Speak May 4, 6:00 pm Pat DiCesare, author of “Hard Days, Hard Nights: From the Beatles to the Doors to the Stones…Insider Stories from a Legendary Concert Promoter”, will be at the library on Monday, May 4 at 6 p.m. to speak about his experiences in the concert-promoting business. He will sell and sign books after the discussion.
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Classes Polish for Beginners Thursdays at 6:30 pm French for Beginners Saturdays at 10:30 am Mandarin for Beginners Learn Mandarin from a native speaker right at the Library! Class will be held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at 6:30 pm. Creative Aging in America’s Libraries: Paper Cutting WednesdaysApril 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th May 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th Learn the delicate art of paper cutting in this eight-week course! It’s never too late to learn something new. Get creative and use your hands with local artist Kathryn Carr’s paper cutting class. Discover your hidden talent and make some new friends along the way. The class is free and open to older adults 55+. Because each class builds on skills learned in the previous class, you must attend every session. Registration is required, spaces are limited. The Writers’ Studio: Spark the imagination for your own writing Every Sunday, 2-4pm
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens One Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (412) 622-6914 or www.phipps.conservatory.org Spring Flower Show March 14 - April 12, 2015 Thousands of colorful tulips, daffodils, lilies and more will be on display during Phipps’ Spring Flower Show. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $11 for children (ages 2-18). Members and children under 2 enter for free. Butterfly Forest April 25 - Sept. 7, 2015 Watch as gorgeous butterflies emerge from their chrysalises to flutter among cheerful tropical blooms and enchant nature lovers of every age. This exhibit is included in the price of Phipps admission, which costs $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $11 for children (ages two-18). Members and children under two enter for free.
May Market May 8 and 9, 2015 Friday, 9:30 am - 7 pm; Saturday, 9:30 am - 5 pm Celebrating spring, May Market features a wide selection of plants, including organic seedlings, specimens from the Conservatory’s greenhouses and more. This event is free and open to the public. Summer Flower Show May 2 - Oct. 4, 2015 Enter the colorful and lush world of Phipps' Victorian glasshouse to discover the wild, weird and wonderful world of plants. Admission costs $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $11 for children (ages two-18). Phipps members and children under two enter for free. Farmers at Phipps Wednesdays, June 3 - Oct. 28, 2015 2:30 - 6:30 pm Refresh your food shopping experience! Visit Phipps' historic and sustainably managed front lawn every Wednesday between 2:30 & 6:30 p.m. to stock up on organic and Certified Naturally Grown fruits, vegetables and more from local farms.This event is free and open to the public. The Remembered Garden Annual Planting May 16th - 9am Join Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition’s Gateway Committee for the annual planting of our Remembered Garden, just right of the Parkway East on ramp. Contact Info@SHUC.org to volunteer!
Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon For information or to register, visit www.pittsburghmarathon.com Sunday, May 3, 7:00 am Pittsburgh is known for its rivers and bridges, and the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon course will not disappoint. You’ll cross Pittsburgh’s three rivers over five different bridges, each with their own distinct architecture and incredible views of the city. Your tour of the city will take you through 13 different and unique neighborhoods featuring festivals, bands, and cheerathoners that will keep you motivated and smiling all the way to the finish line.
Annual Memorial Day Celebration Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum Monday, May 25, 2015 11:00 am to 4:00 pm The event begins with a Memorial Service for all fallen Pennsylvanian service members from the War on Terrorism. The Memorial Day Celebration is the only celebration of its
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events & happenings cont. type held in Pittsburgh and our free event provides entertainment, food, and beverages for purchase, museum tours, and children activities. the event reflects on the origination of the National holiday 150 years ago, Decoration Day, which began during the Civil War.
Squirrel Hill Historical Society
Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival
May 12: “The World Class Battlefield Next Door” (Battle of Braddock’s Field’s) 1755 Speaker: Robert T. Messner, Director, Braddock’s Battlefield History Center
May 14-18, 2015 Wednesday-Thursday: 9:00am-2:00pm Friday-Sunday: 9:00am-6:00pm Bringing extraordinary and unique experiences to young people, the EQT Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival is dedicated to continuing the tradition of theater for your children. Live performances engage people from different cultures and perspectives, showing them different ways to express ideas. This year the 28th Festival moves to downtown PIttsburgh’s vibrant Cultural District, showcasing classic Festival experiences as well as new adventures, performances and theater.
Pittsburgh’s 58th Annual Folk Festival Monroeville Convention Center - Monroeville, PA May 5, 2015 Festival hours: 4 pm - 10 pm on Friday and tickets are $5. The 58th annual Pittsburgh Folk Festival brings with it, plenty of exciting fun, food and entertainment for the entire family to enjoy. From live performances by over 500 dancers and musicians, a bazaar with an International array of arts and crafts, a cafe that serves traditional ethnic cuisine, plus educational cultural exhibits ... it's the perfect excuse for getting out of the house and enjoying the mild spring weather.
Pittsburgh Pride Awareness March Downtown Pittsburgh June 14, 2015 1 pm - 6:30 pm and all events are free. Kicking off an afternoon of fun festivities will be the Pittsburgh Pride Awareness March which starts at 12 pm. Thousands of people will line up at 10 am on Blvd of the Allies between Smithfield and Grant Streets, then march down Grant Street, turning left onto Fifth Avenue, and continuing to Liberty Avenue and the main entrance to PrideFest. This annual festival takes place on Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh between 6th and 10th Street, and will feature two stages of live entertainment, street performers, lots of food for purchase, games and attractions, and much more. In 2014, it was estimated that over 60,000 people attended Pittsburgh’s PrideFest.
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June 9th: “Getting to Know our Neighbors: A History of Lawrenceville” Speaker: Jim Wudarczyk, Researcher for the Lawrenceville Historical Society
Pittsburgh Public Theatre 621 Penn Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh Box office: (412) 316-1600 Spring/Summer Season: April 16- May 16: Othello May 28-June 28: Buyer and Cellar
PICT Classic Theatre Charity Randall Theatre, 4301 Forbes Avenue Box office: (412) 561-6000 Spring/Summer Season: April 29-May 9: Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris May 28-June 13: How the Other Half Loves
Swing City Wightman School Community Building, 5604 Solway Street 412-759-1569 Saturdays 8 pm – Midnight The dance hall is located in Squirrel Hill on Solway Street in the Wightman School Community Building. The dance lesson and practice are held every Saturday night, and beginner dance lessons are from 8 to 9 pm. The dance practice goes until midnight, and there is a cover charge of $11.00 for this air-conditioned, all ages and nonsmoking event.
Tea Class and Tasting Margaret’s Fine Imports 5872 Forbes Ave. 412-422-1606 First Wednesday of the month, 7 pm Learn the history of tea, steeping and storage techniques, health benefits, and more. Tea and European cookies will be served.
Cultural District, Downtown Pittsburgh
The Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue Events are held on the second Tuesday of each month FREE at 7:30 p.m. April 14: “History of Colonel James Schoonmaker” Speaker: Frank J. Kurtik, Historian
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