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A Publication of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition

Spring 2018

Inside: New JRS Development on Poli Site Solevo Wellness Opens Its Doors

Breaking Ground

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The Potential To See What Others Might Have Missed.

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SQUIRREL HILL URBAN COALITION OFFICERS PRESIDENT Richard Feder VICE PRESIDENT Marshall Hershberg VICE PRESIDENT Chris Zurawsky SECRETARY Barbara Grover ASST. SECRETARY Cynthia Morelock TREASURER Gina Levine ASST. TREASURER James Burnham IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Raymond Baum BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dalia Belinkoff, Rita Botts, Vivian Didomenico, Lori Fitzgerald, Michael D. Henderson, Martha Isler, Lois Liberman, Lisa Crooks Murphy, Joshua Sayles, Mary Shaw, Ceci Sommers (Director Emerita), Sidney Stark (Director Emeritus), Lisa Steindel, Erik Wagner, Eveline Young EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Marian Lien MAGAZINE EDITOR Rosemary Bernth MAGAZINE INTERN Katie Hatcher CONTRIBUTORS & EDITORS Harriet Baum, Raymond Baum, Rosemary Bernth, Meghan Bollens, Rita Botts, Richard Feder, Hilda Fu, Jody Handley, Eleanor Hershberg, Carolyn Ludwig, Katie Hatcher, Ian Rawson, Kat Rutt, Kimberly Saunders, Helen Wilson Squirrel Hill Magazine, Vol. 16, Issue 1, is published by the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, 5604 Solway Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Four issues per year are delivered free to the residents in zip code 15217. Subscriptions are available for $25/year. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without permission. Printed by Knepper Press. For advertising inquiries, contact All other communications can be directed to or (412)422-7666. The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization dedicated to preserving, improving, and celebrating the quality of life in the 14th Ward of the City of Pittsburgh.

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Editor’s Note Rosemary Bernth

Spring brings forth a time of change, whether it be in our gardens, our neighborhoods, or even ourselves. With this issue’s theme of Breaking Ground, we cover the new building projects happening in Squirrel Hill, engaging community programs, and profiles of people who have gone against the grain and made an impact. Our past creates a foundation for us to build our future. This year, SHUC is celebrating its 45th Anniversary in serving the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, an extrodinary milestone. As the new editor, I am excited to be part of this team in helping to foster community growth for our residents. To celebrate the 45th Anniversary of SHUC, each magazine cover for this year will reflect the services and events our organization provides for the Squirrel Hill community. I’d like to thank all of our advertisers for their support. Without them, this magazine would not be possible. When you shop local, you not only help the businesses, but the community they are a part of as well. It’s amazing to see how much Squirrel Hill has changed over the years, and yet stays true to its roots. On the Cover: SHUC volunteers work to beautify the Remembered Garden at the Forward Avenue entrance to Parkway West. (Photo by SHUC)

Inside squirrelhillmagazine squirrelhillurbancoalition squirrelhillmag

In Every Issue 7


President’s Message By Richard Feder

10 Familiar Faces Dan Butler By Raymond Baum 16 SHUC Snapshots 29 Neighborhood Notes 30 Good News from Our Schools 34 Book Review Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders By Katie Hatcher 35 What’s New From Our Advertisers 36 Squirrel Hill History To Think That It Happened on Forward Ave By Helen Wilson 38 Events & Happenings Murray the Squirrel is available free of charge for events and visits to local organizations and schools. Call SHUC at (412) 422-6777 or email to request a visit.

14 Attendees at the 2018 Lunar New Year parade include Governor Wolf’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, elected officials, and grand marshals. (Photo by Justin Hsieh)

14 Lunar New Year Year of the Earth Dog 18 New JRS Facility Emerges from Poli Site By Ian Rawson 20 Solevo Wellness Opens Its Doors in Squirrel Hill By Rosemary Bernth 23 Code Orange: From Squirrel Hill to the Grammys—and Back By Kat Rutt 24 One in a Million: Danny Chew By Rosemary Bernth 26 Join the Club: Transitional Employment at JRS By Kimberly Saunders Spring 2018 | 5

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shuc president’s message

Richard Feder, President Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition


he Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is a non-profit community organization dedicated to preserving, improving and celebrating the quality of life in the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh’s 14th Ward. Formed in 1973 to preserve the city’s largest middle-class residential area and turn around the beginnings of deterioration, and SHUC was to be made up of citizens living or working in Squirrel Hill and adjacent areas. Neighborhood needs that could be addressed by local action were identified in 1968, but actual planning began in July 1971, organized by the United Jewish Federation, now the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Discussions and organizational planning took place over an 18-month period. Early activities included organizing the Squirrel Hill Street Fair, with 150 booths located along Forbes from Shady to Murray and in the first block of Murray to Darlington and organizing block watches. SHUC occupied a storefront office at 2012 Murray Avenue between Beacon and Hobart. Future priorities identified at the time included the need to plan and provide for attractive and moderately priced housing for young marrieds and seniors; enforcement of building codes; improving transportation and enhancing our schools; public safety; and community relations. SHUC has fostered community dialogue and education on many issues, which has provided valuable guidance in formulating the organization’s perspective and positions on these issues. Squirrel Hill is blessed to be the home of our neighborhood’s many institutions, including places of worship, medical facilities, recreational and cultural institutions, schools and colleges. These organizations not only perform their missions, but they also act as anchors to the neighborhood and contribute to community life.

SHUC has worked with these institutions when they have considered potential changes for which they have sought community input. This has helped the overall community and supported the institutions and the groups that they serve, thereby strengthening the neighborhood. This being the 45th anniversary year of Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, I chatted with Yale Rosenstein, who was one of the early SHUC presidents back in the late 1970s. He recalls the Squirrel Hill Street Fair taking place during the late summer or early fall, encompassing Forbes Avenue from Shady to Murray and the first block of Murray Avenue down to Darlington. The fair featured food and entertainment for children, families and adults, and merchants sold merchandise in front of their stores. Squirrel Hill has always been a melting pot of ethnic groups, and Yale considers it to be perhaps even more so today. He remembers when Forbes Avenue in our business district was three lanes wide, handling two lanes of traffic in one direction (towards Oakland) and one lane in the other, with the parking lanes on both sides of the street. Those traffic lane assignments were in theory anyway, because there was a lot of double parking taking place which made Forbes effectively a two-lane street. Ultimately there was a Forbes Avenue reconstruction project that widened the sidewalks and reduced the number of lanes to one in each direction. The project also removed the streetcar tracks, re-built access vaults below the sidewalk, and re-built underground utilities. This bow to traffic reality was an early example of “traffic calming,” addressing traffic problems and other infrastructure issues, enhancing commerce, and updating the community’s appearance. As early as the 1930s, Squirrel Hill was generally known as a middle-class, primarily Jewish area. Today, of course, the neighborhood is still primarily middle-class, though we are proud to have a population with a broad range of cultures and household incomes; and we continue to be the center of Jewish life in Pittsburgh. ………………. Thanks to my friend Yale Rosenstein, who has been the inspiration for this President’s Page, and to Helen Wilson and Wayne Bossinger of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society.

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familiar faces

Judge Dan Butler: Influencing Generations By Raymond Baum, SHUC Board Member


quirrel Hill is fortunate to have so many people who are dedicated to our community. Right at the top of the list of outstanding citizens is Judge Dan Butler. His is a life of community service and devotion. He is the third of five generations to serve the Squirrel Hill community and the local and national Jewish community. Dan and his wife, Nina, now live in the carriage house behind the home in which Dan grew up. In accordance with family tradition, the next generation, their daughter, Mollie, and her husband can live in the main house. Dan Butler is the Magisterial District Judge serving the Fourteenth and Seventh Wards of Pittsburgh. He was elected to a six-year term last November. He patiently and compassionately hears legal disputes involving up to $12,000, landlord tenant cases, and summary criminal offences such as traffic violations. He conducts arraignments and preliminary hearings on the full range of state criminal proceedings, from petty theft to first degree murder. He also spends half his time on the judicial bench hearing criminal cases at the Municipal Courts Building Downtown. Being the only Jewish District Judge, you can always see him there on Christmas. Dan is a judge who sees his job as requiring a substantial degree of rachmanis, the dispensing of compassion. He tactfully settles disputes among neighbors and business people and assiduously works to save the futures of teenagers, particularly those who are brought before him for truancy hearings. Judge Butler has learned that youngsters not attending 10 |

school are failing at school and at life and, much more often than not, come from dysfunctional families. Finding them to be criminally truant also means that they will lose or not be able to get a driver’s license for years. Dan’s strategy, in addition to counseling the student and their family is, in many cases, to take them to Municipal Court for a day to witness their friends and acquaintances who also started off with truancy and petty crimes being held for trial on serious crimes. He also tries to get them needed resources like a warm coat. Not exactly “Scared Straight,” but it helps the kids, Allderdice High School, and the community. Dan’s magnanimity is clearly rooted in his religious faith and upbringing and reinforced by his experiences in facing adversity and receiving support from family and community. Dan and Nina were blessed with five children, a girl and four boys. One son, Geoffrey, lives and practices law in New York City. Their daughter Mollie is a commercial flooring sales representative. Their eldest son, Mikey, suffered all his life from cystic fibrosis. He died from complications of the disease, but not before valiantly earning his degree and a lot of support from Yeshiva University. Their sons J.J. and Uri are significantly autistic. With support from their employers and family, J.J. works at the Milky Way Kosher Restaurant, and Uri works at Murray Avenue Kosher. Both are trusted and productive workers who love their jobs, their community and their lives. One of Dan’s great loves is his work supporting Camp HASC, a summer camp located in the Catskills that provides a summer-long camping experience to 330 children with profound and multiple mental and physical challenges. Camp HASC provides a staff of 700 skilled and compassionate adults to children who need and appreciate it so much. Camp HASC is deeply subsidized by charitable donations. No child is turned away because of the family’s inability to pay. Dan is also a professional motivational speaker who nearly every week addresses large audiences ranging from

Radio City Music Hall and the Vermont legislature to college groups across the county on legal issues, the human condition and Jewish ethics. His past exploits include being a syndicated weekly columnist, a securities salesman, a college professor, a retail store manager and a regional director for the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY). His legal career includes being a judicial law clerk, a prosecutor, a family court hearing officer and a family court mediator. He has settled over 1,100 custody cases. Dan is an active Board Member of many charitable organizations, is past chairman of the Holocaust Commission of Greater Pittsburgh, and is on the Executive Board of the Orthodox Union. Dan and Nina have enough close friends to fill a convention center because they are truly great neighbors.

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Sunday, April 22 • 2018 • 9am - 1pm @ the Corner of Forbes Ave. & Murray — Carnegie library

Join us for a spring tradition. Make new friends. Make a difference. NOTE: please bring your own water this year, as bottles will not be provided.

• Connect with the Litter Patrol on Facebook or visit to learn more • Sponsored by the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition & Litter Patrol

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2018 Lunar New Year of the Earth Dog in Squirrel Hill Lunar New Year kicked off two weeks of celebrating on February 17 with food, crafts, and four hours of live performances in the JCC. On March 4, Grand Marshal Karen Fung Yee and Honorary Marshals Dr. Freddie Fu and Mike Chen led the parade on Murray Avenue. Organizing partners for this year’s event were Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, Uncover Squirrel Hill, the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh and OCA Advocates for Asian Pacific Americans. Special thanks to this year’s generous title sponsors: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Allegheny Health Network, UPMC Orthopaedic Care, V&T Wealth Advisors, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, Solevo Wellness, and Pittsburgh Chinese Restaurant Association. (Photos by Justin Hsieh) For more photos of the LNY events, check out our social media sites and blog, The Burrow! (

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shuc snapshots News from your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition Committees

Litter Patrol Committee By Rita Botts, SHUC Board Member

Squirrel Hill Spring Cleanup The Squirrel Hill Litter Patrol invites you to the Squirrel Hill Spring Cleanup on Sunday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join your neighbors at the corner of Forbes and Murray Avenues, in front of the Squirrel Hill library, where the Litter Patrol will provide volunteers with grabbers, vests, and other tools for beautifying our streets. Murray the Squirrel will be on hand for photo opportunities, and coffee and refreshments will be provided. Volunteers of all ages, including those with scout troops, school groups, or other organizations are welcome. In an effort to reduce waste and plastic consumption, the Litter Patrol encourages volunteers to bring their reusable water bottles to the cleanup. While the Litter Patrol provides plastic bags for collecting litter, please consider bringing bags from home, such as previously used shopping bags. In addition to volunteers for street cleanup, the Litter Patrol needs volunteers to help set up the event from 7:30 to 9 a.m., staff tables during the event, and break down tables and supplies from 1 to 2:00 p.m. Contact Barb Grover at or 412-521-9526. For more information, follow the Squirrel Hill Litter Patrol on Facebook. The patrol is a volunteer-run committee of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition

Adopt-a-Block Program If you’re eager to start cleaning your streets now, join the Litter Patrol’s Adopt-a-Block program. You can make a huge difference just by cleaning the area around your home or business on your own schedule. Nearly 20 Squirrel Hill families have already adopted a block. To join them, contact Dave Grover at or 412-5219526. Bags and gloves will be provided. I pick up litter when I see it, but what else can I do? Did you know that you can call or text 311 whenever you see litter in public areas or a city trash can is overflowing? You can also contact business owners and landlords whose properties need extra attention. Be sure to thank and patronize those businesses in Squirrel Hill who tirelessly maintain their storefronts, parking lots, and sidewalks to ensure they are free of cigarette butts and trash. SHUC Night Market Volunteers Love the Squirrel Hill Night Markets? Want to keep the streets looking great throughout the event? The Litter Patrol needs your help on three Saturdays this summer: 6/23, 8/25, and 9/22. Please join us in picking up litter along two blocks (Murray Avenue between Forbes and Bartlett) from 4-6 pm prior to each market and again at its close, from 10-11 pm. Bags, gloves, and safety vests provided. Contact Barb Grover (; 412- 5219526) if you can help.

Come Join Us! For 45 years, community volunteers have worked to make Squirrel Hill a more vibrant, thriving neighborhood. The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is a volunteer-driven organization. If you’d like to get involved – whether once in a while or on a regular basis – we’d love to have you join us! Tell us a little about yourself and how you’d like to help at

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We are grateful to our latest donors. As a membership-driven organizations, we rely on our members and their contributions to continue our work of serving you and making our neighborhood an even more vibrant place to live, work and play! Consider joining your neighbors below and become SHUC members today! $5250 Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh $1000-$4999 Grable Foundation Vibrant Pittsburgh Asian Pacific American Bar Association Of PA Norman and Gayle Childs Jack Buncher Foundation Solevo Wellness $500 Ben Speiser & Valentina Vavasis $200 - $499 Gina Levine Ray and Harriet Baum Janie Caruso Hal D. Coffey & Erica Baum David Ebling European Wax Center Anonymous Martin Lubetsky Pittsburgh Chinese School Educational Foundation James Cook & Marian Lien Peter & Sylvia Leo Ten Thousand Villages Cynthia Morelock $100 - $199 Rose Tea CafÊ Sixth Presbyterian Church Coriander Restaurant T-Swirl Japanese Crepes Daniel & Karon Siewiorek Dalia Belinkoff James & Anne Burnham Richard Cohen Peter Davis Rocco and Vivian Didomenico John & Lucy Douglas Steven Feinstein Barbara & Dave Grover Jewish Residential Services Lucky Nine Chinese Restaurant Cecilia F. Sommers Barry Stein Michael Widom Eveline Young and Ka Sing Lau David Zubrow Wayne Zukin Roy Weil & Mary Shaw Jiqiao Shi Marshall & Eleanor Hershberg

$50 - $99 Martha Funderburgh Community Day School Pittsburgh Eleanor Mayfield Arthur & Barbara Westerberg Berry Fresh Kathy Callahan Gilbert DeBenedetti E. J. Donnelly Bob Fagan Brian Feingold Marcus Gottlieb Greenlight Juice Ronald Hartman Michael Douglas Henderson Martha Hunter & Michael Elmer Barbara J Levine & David S Kaufer Rick & Lisa Murphy Harvey Nathanson Carole Neiberg New Dumpling House Steven and Marcie Ritter Zarky Rudavsky Lisa and Stephen Steindel Erika Strassburger Sumi's Cakery James and Barbara Weiser

Up to $49 Deborah Gilboa Richard Feder Berkowitz Rita Botts Nancy & Morris Cohen Susan Saul Fineman James Hathaway & Laura Quinn Kathleen Lokay Bill & Mardi Isler Jaclynn Ma Thelma & Allan Katz Lois Bron Joel & Nancy Merenstein Loren & Ellen Roth Suzanne Staggenborg Ellen Toker Rosemary Bernth Ben Lecrone Alex Botkin

Special thanks to our newest sustaining monthly members! Ben Lecrone Alex Botkin Kathleen Lokay

Yes, sign me up as a member!

Name: _________________________________ Email: __________________________ Address: _______________________________________________________________ Street City Zip Telephone: ___________________________________

At this level: __ $500 Advocate __ $200 Neighbor __ $100 Friend __ $50 Family __ $25 Individual Other $_______

Payment Method:

Check or Visa or Mastercard No: ____________________________ CVV (back of card): ________ Expiration Date:________ Signature: ______________________________________

Please mail to Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition 5604 Solway Street, Pittsburgh PA 15217

or go to our secured website:

New JRS Facility Emerges from Poli Site By Ian Rawson, Contributing Writer

Construction at the old Poli site is underway. (Photo by Rosemary Bernth)

hose of us who miss Poli restaurant can take comfort from the new six-story building emerging on its former site. Seymoure and Corinne Krause Commons will house a new Sally and Howard Levin Clubhouse, the administrative offices of Jewish Residential Services, and 33 affordable apartments. This unique collaboration between ACTION-Housing, Inc. and JRS, two charitable organizations dedicated to serving the needs of those with special needs, will sustain the spirit of nurturing and care that they have joined to provide for two decades. E.J. Strassburger, who took the lead in developing the financing for JRS, said, “This project will address a laundry list of JRS’s major needs.” He cites the consolidation of JRS’s offices, the expansion and improvement of the Clubhouse, and the reduction of operating expenses. He added, “The project will benefit the entire community by jump-starting the redevelopment of the long-blighted entrance to Squirrel Hill.” “I think I began to envision this project more than 20 years ago,” said Debbie Friedman, the founding director of JRS. This is JRS’s third Squirrel Hill joint venture with ACTION-Housing to address the supportive and affordable housing needs of people with psychiatric and intellectual or developmental disabilities. Eighteen years ago in their first foray, JRS and ACTION purchased and rehabilitated a small apartment building. Both developments have proven invaluable to the tenants. “Squirrel Hill is such a great community,” Ms. Friedman added enthusiastically. “We have a diverse and accepting population, with amazing resources like the library, shopping, restaurants and coffee shops, and all of them in walking distance.” She foresees that this project will strengthen this quality of life by welcoming people with special needs and limited income into an already diverse and friendly community. Ms. Friedman described ACTION-Housing as an excellent

partner, with ACTION serving as the developer and property manager and JRS as the supportive service provider. This model will be continued in the Poli site, with 33 affordable apartments on the top four floors and The Clubhouse and JRS occupying the first two floors. The project took over the past five years of hard work to reach this stage, reported ACTION-Housing’s acting deputy director Linda Metropulos. “We were able to put this together through a tax credit program and HUD support for affordable rental rates, ” she said. When asked about the unique design and engineering aspects of the project, Ms. Metropulos said, “ACTION-Housing is creating an efficient and healthy building with an environmentally sound design that will conserve energy use.” Seymoure and Corinne Krause Commons is located on several public transit routes and will include a parking deck across the street. Bill Stein, the JRS Interim Executive Director, is enthusiastic about the new facility. “It will allow us to bring together the JRS programs from several different rented and borrowed spaces,” he says. “The building, on this prominent site in Squirrel Hill, is evidence of our commitment over the long haul to the permanence of our services to the community.” Valuable support for the Clubhouse has long been provided by the Levin family. Robert Levin, reflecting on his mother’s vision for the Clubhouse’s program of rehabilitation and transitional employment for people living with mental health issues, feels that the space will retain its sense of community and meaningful impact on the lives of the participants. When asked about the financing for this innovative project, E.J. Strassburger deflected any personal


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credit. He stated the project was made possible by the enthusiastic and unanimous endorsement of our local and elected officials, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, and the incredibly generous support of local foundations and individual donors. In a conversation recently with Barbara Krause, daughter of Seymoure and Corinne Krause, I learned that this project is a lasting tribute to her parents’ commitment to community service and the product of the energy and generosity of Architechtural model of finished facility (Photo provided by Jill Pawlowski) many local families. The Krause family involvement with JRS began when Ms. Krause’s sister was hospitalized in Baltimore after a psychiatric diagnosis. Her family wanted to bring her home to Pittsburgh, but there About the Clubhouse were no appropriate facilities here. Corinne Krause had Howard Levin Clubhouse learned about the Jewish Residential Services located 2621 Murray Avenue in Washington, D.C. With the support of her husband, 412.422.1850 cardiologist Seymoure Krause, she determined that a with Hours: a similar resource in Pittsburgh, her daughter and others M-Th: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. with similar challenges could be integrated into a supportF: 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. ive community. Pittsburgh’s Jewish Residential Services Holidays (except Yom Kippur): 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. was established, and Staisey House soon opened its doors. The Krauses’ daughter, today a healthy, talented and indeMembership is open to adults over age 18 pendent woman, was among the first residents to benefit with a documented primary mental health diagfrom the JRS mission. She later told her parents, “I’m no nosis, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, longer lost because I have found what I want here.” major depressive disorder, or schizoaffective Ms. Krause said, “My parents never forgot their disorder, that impacts their lives. Culturally roots or their community. Their names may be on the Jewish, HLC is open to individuals from any Commons building, but they were certainly not alone in religion, faith or culture. making the new home for JRS a reality.” Since it was established in 2000, the When asked about the spiritual element of these Clubhouse has served hundreds of individuals generous gifts, Ms. Krause reflected that her parents lived from all over the Pittsburgh area. Membership their lives according to the traditional Jewish teaching of is free and lifelong. For more information, visit “repairing the world” regardless of cultures or origins. Just as we offer individual gifts of human kindness, she implies, we can come together to address a recognized need.

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squirrel hill feature

Solevo Wellness Opens Its Doors in Squirrel Hill By Rosemary Bernth, Editor


olevo Wellness has become the first medical marijuana dispensary in the City of Pittsburgh, offering patients diagnosed with serious medical conditions a sense of relief. Annie Corbin, a Solevo Wellness patient care consultant, understands their need. Her daughter was born with a rare brain condition called PACC. That meant a portion of the corpus callosum was missing, causing the brain to learn how to rewire itself for the left and the right side to communicate, triggering seizures. Desperate for a solution, Corbin had originally moved to Colorado to have her daughter try medical marijuana, which improved her daughter’s health. “This medication has changed our lives remarkably,” said Corbin. “I feel liberated to finally take control of our own health. To wake up every day and not have to worry about a seizure is truly a miracle. She is looking for jobs and truly succeeding at life.” Solevo Wellness got involved with the Squirrel Hill community early, attending several community hearings and laying out its case why it would be an asset to the community. Instead of building from the ground up, Solevo Wellness decided to renovate a building located off the interstate parkway at the Forward Avenue entrance to Squirrel Hill. As this is a key intersection between Squirrel Hill and Greenfield, the dispensary is working with the City of Pittsburgh to create a pedestrian and bike path. “It has been a long, hard journey to get to this point,” said Samuel Britz, Chief Operating Officer of Solevo Wellness. “It took huge efforts by a lot of people.” At the Open House held February 7th, City Councilman Corey O’Connor and State Senator Jay Costa were part of the ribbon cutting ceremony held at the Solevo Wellness building. The inside of the building has a circular floor plan 20 |

with a reception desk, waiting room, consultation offices to speak with a pharmacist, and a community room to hold educational seminars and workshops. As per protocol, there is a separate entrance to the community room and the dispensary. The dispensary itself is modeled after a jewelry room, with glass cases displaying the variety of products patients can buy through their prescriptions. It also comes with the jewelry store security. Solevo Wellness has security guards, at least 50 closed-circuit cameras, steel mesh lining the garage, and access cards at nearly every doorway—just to name a few security measures. “Security is a priority,” said Britz. “I think we’re more secure than a bank.” Every patient care consultant at Solevo Wellness is required to take an online certification course. This course includes material addressing Act 16 (Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act), inventory and record keeping, prevention and detection of diversion, and safety procedures. Corbin wanted to use her life experience to help others by working as a patient care consultant for a dispensary. With Solevo being one of the 27 dispensaries awarded a permit by the State of Pennsylvania, it gave her the chance to be closer to her family again. “I was drawn to Solevo by the professionalism that the staff showed,” she said. “With my daughter’s condition, I did not like how in Colorado, at times, I had to walk into dispensaries that were more focused on recreational rather than medical, so it made it hard to come to terms with giving the medication to my daughter at first. To be able to find a place that has corrected all of the things I did not like in the dispensary atmosphere when I was looking to heal medical conditions was something I was thrilled to find.” Zach Kesneck, another patient care consultant at Solevo Wellness, said he had been researching cannabis for over a decade and wanted to help the new industry in Pittsburgh.

CHATHAM UNIVERSITY at Tree of Life Congregation

COO Sam Britz cuts the ribbon with elected officials and Solevo leadership board at the Open House. (Photos By Rosemary Bernth)

“As a patient care consultant, I help people find the degree of medical marijuana that would be best for a person’s ailments and the application method that would best suit his or her lifestyle,” he said. “Solevo Wellness happened to be the manifest that catalyzed me in applying my education and helping people with first-hand experience.” Before a patient can receive any form of medical marijuana, whether it be vape pens, capsules, oils, or tinctures, he or she must have a medical marijuana ID card. In order to obtain one, he or she must first register online for the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program. Patients must be a resident of the state of Pennsylvania and at least 18 years old or have a caregiver if underaged. After that, the patient must complete an in-person exam with a physician registered with the PA Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program. This is to confirm the patient suffers from at least one of 17 serious medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. Once a physician issues a certification, the patient can complete the online registration and pay a $50 processing fee for the ID card. This card can then be taken to dispensaries like Solevo Wellness. “We want to bridge that gap between the doctor and the patient,” said Britz. “We want to try to stay engaged with the doctor to have him stay involved with the process.” “Our goal is to find the right strain and dosage for patients so the medicine they take will not deter them from their day-to-day lives,” said Kesneck. “We deal with an array of patients and we are here to help them find relief and an alternative path.”

Created with the enrichment of the community in mind, Chatham University and Tree of Life have created a lifelong learning event series featuring lectures, discussions, musical performances, workshops, and film screenings that deepen knowledge, broaden connections, and expand horizons.

7:00 P.M. at TREE OF LIFE and free to the public unless otherwise noted. MARCH


The State of Gender Equity, Dr. Jessie Ramey, Chatham University Women’s Institute Director

08 11 15

Concert: Kassia, 7:30 p.m. Concert: Ruud Scholars, 3:00 p.m. The Iran Nuclear Deal and What It Says About How American Foreign Policy is Made, Former Ambassador Dennis Jett


Workshop: Sourdough Bread-Making, 3-6 p.m., Shauna Kearns, Chatham University, $75


Jewish Horror Film: Rosemary’s Baby, University of Pittsburgh Professor Adam Lowenstein, at Chatham University’s Eddy Theater


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Globalization: What It Is and What to Do About It or Not Do, Former Ambassador Dennis Jett Workshop: Creating a Vessel of Felted Wool, 3-6 p.m., Juliane Gorman, Chatham University, $50


The Significance of Souvenirs, Dr. Bill Lenz, Chatham University Professor Emeritus

For more information and to register, visit


squirrel hill feature

Code Orange From Squirrel Hill to the Grammys—and Back By Kat Rutt, Contributing Writer


and vocalist Jami Morgan. Mineo’s (where guitarist ong-time friends Dom Landolina worked until Jami Morgan, Reba recently to focus more on the Meyers, Joe Goldman, Eric band), Aiello’s, Napoli, and Balderose, and Dominic Bull River Taco are among Landolina are the five some of their favorite dining Pittsburghers who make up destinations in Squirrel Hill. the genre-bending metalcore “We pretty much like all band Code Orange. If 2018 the restaurants on Murray proves to be anything like Avenue,” says Goldman. 2017, get ready to see them The group has played everywhere. Last year, the shows at venues all over quintet graced the cover of Pittsburgh, from the small Band members Jami, Reba, Joe, Eric, and Dominic pose by Allderdice DIY music venue Mr. Roboto Revolver Magazine. They High School after coming back from the Grammys. (Photo by Kat Rutt) Project, to opening for Gojira earned the number one slot in Rolling Stone’s 20 Best at the North Shore’s 2,400 Metal Albums of 2017 list. Their hit song “Forever” capacity Stage AE. But they say they would love to see a music was crowned Best Metal Song of 2017 by Loudwire. venue come to Squirrel Hill. “I would love to open a music venThey infamously became the first band ever to perform ue here down the road someday,” says Morgan. They give big on WWE’s NXT Takeover. They hit number one on credit to Manny Theiner, the owner of now-defunct Garfield SIRIUSXM’s Liquid Metal station and were played on Artworks, who booked many shows for them in Pittsburgh in an hourly basis nearly all year long. The impressive list the band’s earlier years. On June 1, 2018, Code Orange will be goes on. But the biggest news came in November, when headlining a highly-anticipated show at Mr. Smalls in Millvale, Code Orange was nominated for a Grammy Award in making it their first hometown show in over a year. the Best Metal Performance category, making them the With all their success, it is quite surprising to learn that first rock band from Pittsburgh to ever be nominated for Code Orange is not being played or mentioned on the local raa Grammy. dio stations in town. “They really need to play us,” Morgan says Code Orange (formerly Code Orange Kids) was bluntly. “Pittsburgh has influenced us a lot; we grew up here born at Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School and learned everything here. Not being played on the radio here downtown in 2008. Several of the members grew up in is the difference between us headlining Mr. Smalls vs. Stage Squirrel Hill and Greenfield. Today, Morgan, Goldman, AE. It’s really important and would really help us a lot.” and Landolina live in a shared house in Squirrel Hill, They may not have won the Grammy this time around, but which serves as a home base of sorts for the band. you can be sure that Code Orange is here to stay. They possess “This is kind of like our meeting spot,” says bassist Joe the hunger, energy, confidence, and raw talent to take the world Goldman. “There are a lot of good restaurants here, by storm. we like the small-town-big-city vibe,” adds drummer Spring 2018 | 23

One In A Million

Overcoming the Odds with Squirrel Hill’s “Million Mile Man” arms. I hope to get over 2,000 miles on the handcycle this year.” quirrel Hill resident For Chew, the transiand Dirty Dozen co-founder, tion to handcycling has been Danny Chew, is known in the eye-opening, as he pointed out cycling world as the Million the differences from his prior Mile Man due to his lifetime biking experience. goal of wanting to ride a million “You’re sort of laying miles. A former Pitt math major, down a lot closer to the road, so he loves to keep track of stats it’s a lot harder to see because and numbers. on a bike, you’re up higher,” “I picked my goal about he said. “It’s more dangerous, the time when I was in college, so if I was going to be on open about the time the Dirty Dozen roads, I would want to have happened in ’83,” said Chew. “I good bright lights and a safety knew I wanted to be riding for a flag for visibility because when long time, and if I had a longyou’re low like that, you don’t range goal like that, it would have the visibility of a bicycle. make me do at least 20,000 This also gives me a better miles a year, which I was doing Part of his physical therapy regiment is exercising with the appreciation, because I was an Krankcycle, a machine developed by Johnny G. (Photo by elite cyclist before my accident. back then. So, it would just Rosemary Bernth) make sure I rode a lot, because This has knocked me down to I like to ride anyhow. I like to a much slower rider. Hills that I keep track of numbers and statistics, so I charted my daily, used to float up are monsters on handcycles, so it gives monthly, weekly, and yearly totals.” me a better appreciation for the average rider.” But after surviving an accident in 2016 that left him It seems that Danny Chew has become the embodiparalyzed from the chest down, Chew hasn’t stopped. With ment of the Dirty Dozen – an endurance cycling race he the support of family and friends in the cycling community, he helped create that not only takes a toll on your body, but has made the transition from biking to handcycling. your mind as well. “I know a lot of people that do it already, like Attila “If you’re not wiped out after the Dirty Dozen, you Domos,” said Chew, referring to the Pittsburgh cyclist who didn’t try hard enough,” said Tom Chew, Danny’s brothattempted to set the handcycling record for most miles in a er and fellow Dirty Dozen co-founder. 24-hour period last year. “Last year I was only able to go 1,400 “The Dirty Dozen is like my kid,” he said. “I miles on a handcycle. Obviously your legs are a lot stronger watched it grow up and now it’s this huge thing. than your arms, so I’m not able to go nearly as fast with my Originally, I would have thought that winning the Race

By Rosemary Bernth, Editor


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squirrel hill feature Across America (RAAM) would have been my biggest legacy. But now that I’ve seen the Dirty Dozen grow so big, creating the Dirty Dozen is going to be a bigger legacy than winning RAAM.” The Dirty Dozen is a point-based cycling race in Pittsburgh that features 13 of the steepest hills in the city, ranging from Tesla Street in Hazelwood to the infamous Canton Avenue in Beechview. It was created when Danny, Tom, and a friend looked at some topographical maps and searched for the streets where the lines were closest together, sometimes leading them to a set of stairs. What came out of it was a baker’s dozen of hills, with some grit. “We didn’t know we were inventing the Dirty Dozen when we were doing it. It just happened,” said Tom Chew. “We were just having fun exploring Pittsburgh and looking for the biggest hills. It was 13 because I figured the 13th was a dirty trick. You’ve already done 12 hills, you get one more to do and the last one is Tesla which is one of the hardest, so that’s why it’s dirty. And I think it’s also because we’re fans of the World War II movie of that name.” The Dirty Dozen race has been held the Saturday following Thanksgiving every year, despite the often nasty winter weather. “We have lost a hill due to ice over because it wasn’t even safe to go on it,” said Tom Chew. “Berryhill Road is not maintained in the winter, so at least one or two years we’ve had to put a substitute hill in, but never had to cancel the whole event.” Safety has always been a priority for Danny, especially when it comes to the Dirty Dozen. With an event with over 400 cyclists competing, he relies on his staff to keep things running smoothly to minimize any risk of injuries. For example, he has cyclists travel in smaller groups and marshals hold traffic at intersections so groups can ride through safely. “The greatest nightmare of any bicycle race promoter is for someone to get killed at their event,” said Chew. “It would be horrific.” So what’s next for the Million Mile Man? Danny Chew said he plans to be in the handcycle division of this year’s Pittsburgh Marathon, with a goal to finish in under three hours.

Chew has written a page a day in his journals for years. The page featured displays the day the Dirty Dozen was created in 1983. (Photo by Rosemary Bernth)

“The toughest hill in the Pittsburgh Marathon is going across the Birmingham Bridge onto Forbes Avenue, and that’s nothing like a Dirty Dozen hill, so I should be able to make it no problem,” he said. “He’s self-driven, more than anyone I know,” said his brother. Danny also wants to hit the bike trails. He’s already been on the Panhandle in Washington County and wants to explore the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail all the way to DC. He hopes that even if he reaches his million-mile mark, he’ll keep on cycling. “Hopefully I still have enough life to do a few more miles to allow what they call a margin of error,” said Chew. “A one-percent margin of error in a million is 10,000 miles, so that’s a lot.” At 55, Danny Chew still manages to stay positive. “As bad as I am, I sometimes think about people in worse case scenarios,” he said. “They would love to be in my shoes and have use of their hands and arms. I’m thankful for what I do have.”

Register for the 2018 Dirty Dozen (November 24) at

Spring 2018| 25

Join the Club:

Transitional Employment at JRS maintenance, writBy Kimberly Saunders, SHUC ing grants, engaging Committee Member in policy making, writing articles for the group’s newsletter, bookkeeping and ike many adults, Pat lives event planning. with mental illness. A traumatic “The clubhouse workplace experience years ago model is based on the left her suffering from debiliWork Ordered Day tating depression and PTSD. In that requires all staff spite of medication and outpatient and members to run Jill Pawlowski, Director of Howard Levin Clubhouse, makes lunch with the clubhouse colletherapy, Pat felt “humbled and broken.” Ultimately, a referral to collegues.(Photo by Jill Pawlowski) gially. And it relies a unique psychiatric rehabilitation on consensus, much program in Squirrel Hill a dozen years ago changed her life. like a Kibbutz,” explains Director Jill Pawlowski. “The “Here, they focus on my strengths instead of my weakness. philosophy of this model is such that if a person feels They value my opinion, they treat me as an equal. Here, I found wanted, needed and expected, it directly engages them hope again,” says the former school teacher. in the process of recovery.” Here is the Howard Levin Clubhouse (HLC), a state-liNancy, a retired college professor from New York, censed social rehabilitation facility in the heart of Squirrel is a testament to the power of this principle. Diagnosed Hill that helps adults living with mental illness find support, with anxiety and bipolar disorder, she moved in with acceptance and a renewed sense of purpose. At HLC, there are her adult daughter and underwent intensive outpatient no medical teams, no therapy sessions, no protocols on how to treatment through a hospital-based program before disthink, feel or act. Participants in the program are members not covering HLC three years ago. The Clubhouse, she says, patients, colleagues not subordinates, people who feel empow“gave me back my independence and saved my life.” ered, not dependent. Nancy commutes to HLC from Shadyside three The HLC is a program of Jewish Residential Services, or four times a week, enjoying lunch, yoga class and a nonprofit that pioneered efforts in the Pittsburgh Jewish Friday night Shabbat dinner with other members. She community to identify and support individuals with intellectual also works in the gift shop and kitchen and is a member disabilities and mental illnesses. of the fundraising committee. Most recently, she was HLC follows a clubhouse rather than clinical model, invited to join the HLC advisory board. “Previously, focusing on each member’s strengths and establishing comI avoided any kind of groups but at the Clubhouse, I munal principals. Members and staff work together toward a found myself asking, ‘What can I contribute.’ I’m now common good—the successful operation of the Clubhouse— living on my own again. I really surprised myself,” she through their participation in one of three in-house work units: continues. Business Employment and Education, Member Services, or “The Clubhouse model believes that work is an Food and Horticulture. The work ranges from making lunch, essential part of everyday life and the rehabilitative


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squirrel hill feature process. We help members gain concrete and soft work skills that will enable them to obtain the confidence necessary to lead satisfying social and vocational lives,” explains Jill. In addition to the in-house work units, members have the opportunity to participate in the Transitional Employment (TE) program. Designed to re-acclimate individuals to the workforce who have been absent for an extended period of time, a TE placement offers members a paid, part-time position for six to nine months in local businesses. The participating partner organizations are Jewish Family and Community Services, Jewish Federation, Thriftique, and Chatham University. Employees of TE placements have the same responsibilities as other employees, but they are offered extra support from Clubhouse staff to ensure their success—from morale-boosting advice to filling in for them if they are sick. “The Clubhouse provides a support network for members and also guarantees employers that the position is always filled by a trained worker. For example, if an employee is unable to work, either another member or staff person from HLC will provide coverage, at no cost to the employer. “The in-house work areas of the Clubhouse can be great stepping stones to TE or more permanent employment. For example, someone applying to the TE placement at Thriftique may find it beneficial to work in the Clubhouse thrift store, which is maintained by the Member Services Area. A member seeking a clerical job may find it useful to work in the Business Employment and Education Area practicing bookkeeping, for instance,” explains Jill. Pat, the former teacher, has spent the last six months in a TE placement at Jewish Federation. She does administrative work there three half-days a week and spends much of her free time at the Clubhouse. She finds the work rewarding and the fellowship the missing piece of her therapeutic regimen. “Here, the philosophy is that we are all equal. We matter,” she declares. “The medical treatments for my mental illness are for surviving. My experience at HLC is what helps me thrive.”

About the Transitional Employment Program The Transitional Employment program has placed approximately 200 members in paid, part-time jobs since its inception in 2000. These jobs give members the opportunity to develop on-the-job skills, increase selfconfidence and enhance their resumes. The Clubhouse currently partners with Jewish Family and Community Services, Jewish Federation, Thriftique, and Chatham University. In addition, it has partnerships with The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and AHEDD to support members who are ready to rejoin the workforce. If you are interested in becoming a partner organization, contact Jill Pawlowski at 412.422.1850. “NCJW Thriftique has been involved in Howard Levin’s Transitional Employment Program for nearly 15 years. Each client who has been placed in a temporary employment position at our store has become an integral part of the Thriftique family during their sixmonth tenures. Two members have become part-time, permanent employees! We are so proud and blessed to be a small part of the outstanding and important work of the Howard Levin Clubhouse staff and clients. Such a wonderful resource for our community.”

Lynn A. Tomasits Director of Retail Operations National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section

“Over the past six years, Chatham University has employed eleven Clubhouse members as TE’s. Their primary responsibilities involve documenting lamp hours on our projection systems, reporting errors on our podium machines and AV systems, and cleaning the electronics of dust and debris in the classrooms across our Shadyside and Eastside campuses. The TE’s bring solid dedication and professionalism to their work. They are also a joy to work with personally and mesh well with the campus culture. I would absolutely encourage other businesses to support the work done by the Howard Levin Clubhouse. Their mission of encouraging work through the TE program builds independence and the necessary skills for their members to prosper.”

Brian Cottington Event Media Specialist Chatham University, Information Technology Services Department

Spring 2018 | 27

Call Me For All Of Your Real Estate Needs! Maureen T. States Associate Broker / Owner Cell: Office:

(412) 377-7775 (412) 241-4700 Extension 11 Put nearly 4 decades of proven experience to work for you! Get the best of customer service and make the process easy.


Are you considering cremation? As with any funeral arrangement, the options available for cremation are many. We understand the need for prudent decision-making, but we also understand you or a loved one may have questions: I have ashes at home, what can I do with them? What all is involved in cremation? Where should we have a memorial service? Where can we store the cremated remains? Do we need an urn? Can we scatter the cremated remains? How will we memorialize? What are the costs for cremation? Can we pre-plan the cremation arrangement? These are only a few of the questions we get asked every day when someone is considering cremation. Get the facts about the options available to you and your loved ones by calling 412-421-1822 or you’re welcome to visit our office

at 1599 South Dallas Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 28 |

neighborhood notes

City Plans to Improve Accessibility for Children of All Abilities in City Parks Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, City Councilman Dan Gilman, and the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works announced the addition of play equipment for children of all abilities throughout Pittsburgh. The City will install 91 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible swings and six wheelchair-accessible swings in 78 parks and playgrounds citywide. The City also unveiled a strategic plan to improve accessibility for children with differing abilities in all City parks and playgrounds. “The installation of 97 accessible swings is a transformational first step toward ensuring that all of Pittsburgh’s world-class parks and playgrounds are inclusive and can be enjoyed by children of all abilities.” said Councilman Dan Gilman. “I would

Church Hosts Guest Speaker on Fracking Sixth Presbyterian Church is hosting a program regarding climate change with renowned speaker Larry Schweiger on March 24 at 7 p.m. Schweiger is a leading voice in the environmental movement nationally and in Pennsylvania. He is currently the Chapter Co-Chair of the Climate Reality Project here in Pittsburgh. He has also served as President and CEO of PennFuture, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Seating is limited, so please register online at or call 412-421-2752.

like to thank Mayor Peduto, the Department of Public Works, and Pittsburgh families who tirelessly advocated for more accessible parks and playgrounds.” Department of Public Works crews will install 91 ADAaccessible swings that can be used by children of all abilities. In a first for the City of Pittsburgh, crews will also be installing six wheelchair-accessible swings in playgrounds with four or more swing bays capable of safely bearing additional weight. The first phase will cost $81,000 to implement. Parks that will be included are: Davis Park, Frick Park, Mellon Park, Schenley Park, Swisshelm Park, and Wightman Park.

@ shady side academy

DAY CAMPS SPECIALTY CAMPS SUMMER SCHOOL Grades PK-12 • Fox Chapel & Point Breeze Lunch Included • Before and After Care Busing Available • Flexible Scheduling Spring 2018 | 29

SSASummerSqHillAd2018.indd 1

1/23/18 9:45 AM

neighborhood notes

The Light of Spring Inspires Luminari By Hilda Fu, Luminari Founder and President

good news from our schools

Minadeo Gets Creative for Community By Jody Handley, Minadeo PTO President

Year-round, the Luminari Team is inspired by our mission to foster activities for local teens that broaden minds, inspire innovation and promote community engagement. As the darkness of winter recedes, we are especially moved to recommit to our core values of knowledge, education and open-mindedness and reaffirm that our actions always will be guided by compassion and kindness. Luminari is now actively engaged in preparing for our ninth year of unique summer teen camps – I Want to be an Ambassador!; Camp Delicious!; Teen Writer: Fantastic Fiction; and Speak & Tell. All offer unforgettably rewarding experiences that promote civility, enrich diverse perspectives and forge long lasting friendships. Our success over the years emanates from reaching out broadly to our region’s students in public, private, charter and home schools. We actively recruit teens from a wide range of different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, including, importantly, those who speak English as a second language, immigrants and refugees. Here is a glimpse of what’s in store for Summer 2018: • A new central location for all of our Teen Summer Camps thanks to a partnership with The Ellis School in Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhood (6425 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206). • Building more vibrant relationships with partners, parents and organizations that drive our long-term planning and community outreach efforts. • Supporting a dynamic instructional team for all of our camps; and • Embracing new friends who applaud our efforts to educate and strengthen our community. We could never accomplish all of this alone! As Luminari continues to move forward with great optimism and determination, we invite you to join us! Learn more at:

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Heading into spring, Minadeo students have been hard at work contributing to their school and community! They decorated a dragon head, made lanterns, and walked in the Squirrel Hill Lunar New Year Parade on March 4. Only a week before that, the annual Talent Show again wowed audiences with performances ranging from yo-yo tricks to singing, dancing, and playing music. The next Maker Night/PTO meeting is Wednesday, April 5, and the kids will be decorating for the PSSA tests! Since we have to remove or cover “any materials that may contain content that could be tested,” we’re going to make sure the walls look beautiful. We’ll be decorating butcher paper with flowers, butterflies, and other spring-themed decorations. That evening will also include the slate for next year’s PTO officers, so if you’re interested in running, please contact The annual Teacher Appreciation Breakfast is Friday, May 11, and elections for 2018-2019 PTO officers are on May 22. The year ends with our annual Family Fun Night on Friday, June 1. Carnival games, music, and dancing entertainment will be provided, along with a silent auction. Family Fun Night will also include the unveiling of new safety posters for the Minadeo playground, designed by the students!

Minadeo scholars march in the Lunar New Year parade. (Photo by Justin Hsieh)

Breaking Ground at St. Edmund’s Academy By Meghan Bollens, Director of Institutional Advancement

With a strong foundation built over 70 years, we look to the future with excitement and optimism. St. Edmund’s Academy has recently launched a $5 million campaign to support three strategic priorities: modernizing facilities for inspiring programs, enhancing programs for 21st century success, and expanding access through endowed scholarships. Within the next year, St. Edmund’s Academy will undergo a major facility renovation that allows us to implement programmatic enhancements associated with our strategic plan. Through the generous support of our donors and local foundations, our building, schedule, and academic program will be enhanced in ways that best support 21st century learning. During this period of evolution, we remain committed to the time-honored Core Values and Core Academic Program that have been the hallmark of a St. Edmund’s Academy education and will continue to provide children with a life-long foundation of strong personal character and academic preparation. As part of the planned facility enhancement, an inviting Forbes Avenue façade and lobby atrium will welcome students, faculty, and the community to the Center

St. Edmund’s Academy - Center for Integrated Discovery Field House and Forbes Avenue Lobby Additions

for Integrated Discovery, a hub of creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving. Within the modernized space, students will blend Core Values and academic skills in service-based, “Signature Experience” projects at each grade level. A renovated athletic facility, expanded engineering and design lab, and newly designed visual and performing arts spaces will emphasize the interconnectedness of children’s learning – physical, emotional, intellectual and aesthetic. Inspired by new space, the expansion of our curriculum extends our commitment to a strong foundation in the core academic disciplines while additional enrichment electives inspire curiosity and individual interest. St. Edmund’s Academy is collaborating with architectural partner Strada on the transformational design that will positively impact the St. Edmund’s Academy community and improve the aesthetic presence of St. Edmund’s Academy within our Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Construction is projected to begin in early June and continue through the beginning of the academic year. To learn more about the exciting changes underway, visit or contact Meghan Bollens at or 412.521.1907 x117 for additional information on the campaign and strategic priorities. Architechtural rendering of finished building (Photo by Strada Architechture LLC)

Spring 2018 | 31

STRIP DISTRICT 412.281.6366 60 21st St. • Pittsburgh, PA 15222



SQUIRREL HILL 412.422.9457 1711 Murray Ave. • Pittsburgh, PA 15217 SHADYSIDE 412.683.1003 5527 Walnut St. • Pittsburgh, PA 15232 MILLVALE 412.821.4655 232 North Ave. • Pittsburgh, PA 15209 OAKLAND 412.683.4066 3703 Forbes Ave. • Pittsburgh, PA 15213 MT. LEBANON 412.343.3344 427 Washington Rd. • Pittsburgh, PA 15228

By Carolyn Ludwig, Contributing Writer

Congratulations to both our Girls and Boys Basketball teams for winning the City Championship! Both teams are heading to PIAA playoffs (beginning in Erie). Both the Girls and Boys Swim Teams are going to WPIAL’s and Wrestling Regional Qualifiers will represent Allderdice in Altoona. Allderdice Fencing extends its undefeated streak. Sophmore Peyton Klein has been Above: Boys Wrestling Team Regional Qualifiers will compete in Altoona. named a finalist for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Peyton is the founder and director of “Global Minds,” an intercultural inclusion program that’s now reaching 350 students at nine schools in the U.S. and Canada. Allderdice took top honors at the Western PA National History Bee & Bowl Competition. They held an Invitational Quiz Bowl tournament and competed against 21 teams at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational. The Allderdice Travel Club sponsors trips abroad for students and parents. This Spring Break students will visit France and Italy. Sign-ups for Spring Break 2019 have begun as well to the Galapagos Islands. The Allderdice Travel Club uses the Shirley Kruman Fisher ‘42 Fund for Purposeful Student Travel to support students in need who have a desire to travel abroad. Other travel opportunities for students (in the PRC loop) can tour Paris, London, and Dublin this Spring Break. Planning the tour for two years, participating students study and take part in an online course which earns them each three college credits- a truly wonderful opportunity! Allderdice’s Spring Musical will be “The Addams Family”, playing April 19-22. Tickets may be purchased at door.

good news from our schools

Opportunity Abounds At Allderdice

The Girls Basketball Team (Above Left) and Boys Basketball Team (Above Right) each won the City Championship. (Photos provided by Carolyn Ludwig)

Spring 2018 | 33

squirrel hill book review

Lincoln In the Bardo by George Saunders Reviewed by Katie Hatcher, Intern


or the first few pages of veteran author George Saunder’s first novel, the reader might not suspect that she’s embarked on a journey of remarkably well-executed experimental fiction, but by the end of the first chapter, she’ll be thinking to herself, Well, this is different. Told in turns by ghosts, historians, and actual first-hand accounts of the events that unfold, Lincoln in the Bardo takes place in the early days of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and the Civil War, when the Lincolns’ dearly-loved elevenyear-old son, Willie, takes ill and passes away. What follows next is part ghost story, part factual history, and all wonderfully weird. Saunders exquisitely weaves together excerpts from historical texts, biographies of Lincoln, letters written by witnesses, and books about the Civil War with his own imaginings of what happens after we pass out of this life by borrowing the Tibetan ideology of bardo—the transitory state between this world and the next. When Willie Lincoln dies of typhoid fever, he finds himself in a cemetery surrounded by those who haven’t quite come to terms with the fact that they aren’t alive anymore. Though it’s not usual for those who die young to linger in this

Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh Join us! Call 412-697-3522 •

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in-between-place, and Willie is discouraged from doing so, he is reluctant to move on to the next life when his grief-stricken father, the President of the United States, visits his crypt late at night after the funeral. Lincoln’s promises to return only convince Willie he should stay, setting in motion terrifying consequences. Gorgeously wrought and fiercely compelling, Saunders’ novel is difficult to put down. The multivoiced storytelling paints a portrait of the time period, humanity’s reluctance to accept death, and the overwhelming and reality-defying power of a father’s love. Saunders does this all while bending the genre of fiction to suit his needs and breaking ground on a new kind of storytelling.

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The Center for Women prepares golf fundraiser to benefit community

Save the date for our big golf outing fundraiser Camp NCJW - that will be this August 20. Proceeds benefit the Center for Women, which serves women in transition (for example, returning to work after carrying for a child or an aging parent, being recently divorced or widowed). The day will include golfing - with prizes for top golfers! - card games, a tennis tournament, and swimming. There will be raffle and auction items and a dinner in the evening. Visit for more information. The Center for Women is a project of the National Council of Jewish Women Pittsubrgh.

Participants at last year’s fundraiser celebrate on and off the golf course. (Photos by Neil Richmond)

READY FOR A NEW JOB? Are you headed back to the workforce or looking for a career change? The Center for Women has resources to help you get the job that’s right for you.

• Career Guidance • Resume Assistance • Mentoring Program • Internships • and more! Call today to speak to our Intership Manager! | 412-421-4400 Spring 2018 | 35

To Think That It Happened on Forward Ave By Helen Wilson, SHHS Co-Vice President

Forward Avenue has been in the news a lot lately, mostly of the city’s first school board and president of the concerning the new building projects at Forward and Murray National Tube Company. and the opening of the medical marijuana dispensary at the A century before Allderdice was built, the land Buncher site. Beyond that, Forward is a more or less nondebelonged to Walter Forward, Sr. (1786-1852), for script street used mainly to get from one side of Squirrel Hill to whom Forward Avenue is named. Forward was a the other. However, if you dig into its history, you’ll uncover a U.S. Congressman, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, richness you might never have imagined. and Charge d’Affaires to Denmark. He returned to Forward Avenue is so old, it probably originated as an Indian Pittsburgh to serve as presiding judge of the District trail. It comes up the eastern slope of Squirrel Hill from Nine Court of Allegheny County. Judge Forward owned 160 Mile Run valley and descends the hill’s western slope into the acres of land around Forward Avenue, where he lavishly Saline Street valley—a shortcut to the Point. Its route served entertained distinguished guests at his mansion. the same purpose as a newer one does today (literally)—the The next block of Forward Avenue, from Shady to Parkway East and Squirrel Hill Tunnel. Murray, has perhaps seen the most changes. The very Forward Avenue starts at the sharp curve by the Irish first “little red brick schoolhouse” in Squirrel Hill was Centre. In the late 1800s, the Keysers owned the land where the located on Forward at Eldridge Street around 1868. The Irish Centre is now. They bottled and sold effervescent mineral school was “more or less fondly remembered by many water from a sparkling spring on the property. Before penicillin, men and women who have survived those strenuous mineral water was highly prized as a treatment for dyspepsia, days when climbing the hill of science meant climbing kidney stones, hepatitis, gallstones, urinary tract inflammaover three or four miles of Squirrel Hill twice a day,” tions, and other disorders. When natural gas was discovered says a 1907 article in the Pittsburgh Gazette Times. in the valley, the Fern Hollow Gas & Oil Company took over A photo of the building accompanies the article, but the facility and drilled gas wells in the early 1900s. The wells by then it was no longer a public school, having been quickly played out, and by the late 1920s, the replaced in 1886 by bucolic valley fell victim to slag dumping. another Forward At the top of the hill where Forward Avenue School Avenue crosses Beechwood Boulevard sits the further down the sprawling Community Day School campus. road, before that part On the corner is the poignant Gary and Nancy of Forward became Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs on the Holocaust sculpSaline Street and ture. The walls of glass blocks are arranged was later wiped out in a Star of David shape, filled with 6 million by construction of pop tabs commemorating the Jews who were the Parkway East. murdered by the Nazis in World War II. It was also in The next block of Forward Avenue, the Shady-to-Murray The first school in Squirrel Hill at Forward and Eldridge between Tilbury and Shady, runs alongside block of Forward Pittsburgh Allderdice High School, an imposthat Thomas A. ing neoclassic temple of learning built in 1926. It was named for Watkins (1861-1925) built the Watkins Development Squirrel Hill resident Taylor Allderdice (1863-1934), a member in the 1920s. This complex of buildings took up both

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squirrel hill history sides of Forward Avenue and included all of the smallformed in 1942 to give boys a place to go instead of hanging er apartment buildings behind the Morrowfield Hotel. out on the streets and causing trouble. In 1958, the Center There were eight stores inside the Morrowfield, and the made the momentous decision to move to its present location adjacent buildings included a new-car showroom, dance at Forbes and Murray and merged with other Jewish organizahall, theater, snack bar, soda fountain, drugstore, bowltions to become the Jewish Community Center. ing alley, five-story garage, and a heating and refrigerAt the corner of Forward and Murray, the old buildings ation plant. The Watkins Development made apartment are gone. One burned in 2015, and Poli’s, which had closed living fashionable and was instrumental in increasing before that, was demolished as well. Only recently has the Squirrel Hill’s corner begun to population density, rejuvenate, with the thereby contributing construction of the to the growth of its Jewish Residential business district. Services’ In the 1920s, Seymoure and the Morrowfield Corinne Krause was the place to be Commons buildand be seen. Endless ing and a proposal parties and grand for a mixed-use galas were held retail and resiDave & Len’s “Drive Inn” Barbecue, 1939 there. Dance prodential project for grams were broadthe Squirrel Hill cast from the ballroom by KDKA. Celebrities and pro Theater site by developer Herky Pollock. sports teams stayed there when they came to Pittsburgh, Today, that final block of Forward Avenue is little more enticed by the luxurious apartments and the rarest of than an entrance ramp to the Parkway East. The Squirrel amenities—an indoor parking garage. Hill Urban Coalition and other community organizations are This was the era of the automobile. Catering to planning to remake that block into a more welcoming entrance all those cars on Forward Avenue in 1939 was Dave way to Squirrel Hill. and Len’s Barbeque (5609 Forward, “opposite the Near the end of Forward Avenue, as it does near its Streamline Market”), which served food by attaching beginning, the Parkway East soars above, both physically and trays to the cars that drove into its graveled parking lot. symbolically—old and new ways to get through Squirrel Hill. Most of Watkins’s red-brick buildings are still Forward Avenue connects to every era in Squirrel Hill’s histostanding. The bowling alley moved to its present ry. It’s always moving Forward. location from the building that was on the site of the Squirrel Hill Theater, which, when it opened in 1937, Anyone interested in learning more about Squirrel was “the first theater in Pittsburgh to be built expressly Hill history is invited to attend the meetings of the Squirrel for sound projection, … a delightful difference from the Hill Historical Society, held on the second Tuesday of each gaudiness of the motion picture palaces of yesterday,” month at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 gushed The Pittsburgh Press. Forbes Ave. Go to to view Meanwhile, at 5832 Forward Avenue, adjacent to upcoming lectures and events. Membership is only $15 per the theater, the Jewish Community Center got its first year ($25 for families). There is no charge for attending the toehold in Squirrel Hill when the Irene Kaufmann meetings. Center followed its clientele to Squirrel Hill and took over the Boys’ Club in 1943. The Boys’ Club had been

Spring 2018 | 37

events & happenings Incredible GU Stroopwafel Eating Contest March 21, 6:30-7:30pm Pro Bike + Run

This will be the final of three qualifer rounds for the first annual Pro Bike + Run Gu Stroop Wafel Eating Contest. All prelimnary events, including this one, will lead up to the finals at the new North Park location later this spring 2018. If you have any questions please contact Matt Imhof, Director of Running Operations, at matti@probikerun. com.

Fracking in Our Future? March 24, 7pm Sixth Presbyterian Church

Waldman International Award Ceremony April 11, 6:30-8pm Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh

The Waldman International Arts and Writing Competition allows students in grades 6-12 to submit original art and compete for academic scholarships. There are categories in creative writing, visual arts, and short film. Tickets available at

East End Food Co-Op Orientation April 8, 11am-12pm

Sixth Presbyterian Church is hosting a program regarding climate change with renowned speaker Larry Schweiger. Seating is limited, so please register online at or call 412-421-2752.

Orientations ensure East End Food Co-op members feel completely comfortable using our store and participating in our Co-op. They provide an opportunity to ask questions, meet other members and staff, review member benefits, and learn more about the cooperative business model. Curious about membership? Non-members welcome!

Customer Easter Egg Hunt March 26-31 Ten Thousand Villages

Squirrel Hill Spring Clean-Up April 22, 9am-1pm Carnegie Library - Squirrel Hill

Each customer or family can find 1 egg hidden around the store. Each egg contains a coupon, free gift, or gift card (up to $20!). Bring a friend and get ready for Spring.

Easter Egg Eggstravaganza at The Frick March 31, 10-11:30am The Frick, 7227 Reynolds Street

Families with kids of all ages will enjoy traditional Easter egg rolling, along with an Easter egg hunt on the Frick grounds. Snap some pictures in our one-of-a-kind photo booths, delight in face painting and snacks, and take home special prizes to round out the day. Event will take place rain or shine. $10 for the first child, $7.50 for each additional child. Accompanying adults are free. Space is limited; advance registration and pre-payment required.

Check out our Events Calendar on for more happenings! 38 |

Join your neighbors at the corner of Forbes and Murray Avenues, where the Litter Patrol will provide volunteers with grabbers, vests, and other tools for beautifying our streets. Murray the Squirrel will be on hand for photo opportunities, and coffee and refreshments will be provided. Volunteers of all ages, including those with scout troops, school groups, or other organizations are welcome.

Allderdice Dragon Spirit Party April 28, 7-11pm Pittsburgh Golf Club, 5820 Northumberland Street

Join the Allderdice High School Community as we celebrate this Squirrel Hill landmark and raise funds to help enrich the learning experience for all students and support improvements at Allderdice. The evening will include heavy hors d’ouevres, delicious desserts, cash bar, raffle baskets, entertainment, and a spectacular silent auction.

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Spring 2018 issue  
Spring 2018 issue