The Library @Pittsburgh Public Market

Staffski is excited to report that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is going to have a presence at the Pittsburgh Public Market! You will be able to pick up and return books and other media and CLP will be offering a selection of food-related materials at the location. From CLP’s announcement —

“The extended service pilot is part of the Library’s LYNCS (Libraries in Your Neighborhood Community and School) initiative. Staffed by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh librarians and graduate students from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Library & Information Science, the library services of LYNCS at the Pittsburgh Public Market (LYNCS: PPM) will provide customers with easy access to comprehensive library services during the weekend on their trips to the Strip’s great eateries and shops. Customers will be able to borrow materials from an on-site collection of materials, register for a library card, pick up or drop off library materials and access the Internet and online library catalog from an express computer hub.”

The CLP will be celebrating a grand opening at the Public Market on April 15. There are some fun events planned for the weekend, with a special appearance by Timbeleza! Following is a schedule of events planned for the weekend —

Friday, April 15 / 10 am Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting
Friday, April 15 / 12 pm – 12:30 pm 30 Books in 30
Minutes Librarians will share 30 great titles in just 30 minutes.
Friday, April 15 / 5 pm Timbeleza
Timbeleza is a Brazilian percussion ensemble based out of Pittsburgh, PA that has been performing since 2005. Their goal is to expose people to samba as well as invigorate the community with music and performance.
Saturday, April 16 / 9 – 11:30 am Drop-In Story Telling
Storytellers will intrigue and inspire audiences with their stories for young and old.
Sunday, April 17 / 12 – 2 pm
Gadget Lab Staff will demonstrate how to use the Library’s downloadable services with eReaders and MP3 players.

The CLP station at the Pittsburgh Public Market will operate —
10 am – 6 pm on Friday; 9 am – 5 pm on Saturday; and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday.

For additional Library events at the Pittsburgh Public Market call 412.622.3114 or please visit, or


Have a Brewski on The Public at Superior Donuts

Blogski received a very fine offer from Polish Hillarian, Lou Castelli, who works for the Public Theater. This sounds like one of those don’t-miss opportunities for our neighbors and friends. We hope that you have a chance to take advantage of this offer and enjoy a local production which promises to be entertaining. From the description —

Arthur owns the small Chicago donut shop, Superior Donuts, but with a last name like Przybyzewski, Arthur would be right at home in Pittsburgh! In the play by Tracy Letts, Arthur tells us about the experience of his Polish parents immigrating to the United States. He says his Dad was going to name the shop Przybyzewski Paczki, but since the sign maker charged by the letter, they decided on Superior. Many people of Eastern European ancestry will relate to Arthur’s history. If you decide to see and your last name ends with “ski” (or “sky”), we’ll even buy you a beer at the theater so you can toast your heritage. To purchase tickets, call the O’Reilly Theater Box Office at 412.316.1600, and spell your name. Beer vouchers will be included with your tickets. directed by Ted Pappas, contains adult language and adult laughs. It runs at Pittsburgh Public Theater, in the heart of Downtown’s Cultural District, from April 14 through May 15. For details visit

Superior Donuts
April 14 – May 15
Check the Pittsburgh Public Theater site for times and ticket prices
at the O’Reilly Theater
621 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Box Office: 412.316.1600

Easter Egg Hunt

Pictures with the Easter Bunny! Egg Hunt & Egg Dyeing!
… and more fun activities!

We’ll be celebrating spring in style at the West Penn Community Center! Lots of fun activities are planned for the kids! West Penn is serving refreshments, and the Easter Bunny will be there for pictures. We will also be doing hands on activities – wear old clothes that are okay to be stained! Hands-on crafts are planned, with a special prize for the best work. An egg hunt, and dyeing some eggs are also in store. It’s going to be a really fun day, we hope you can join us –

Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 16, starting @noon
For children up to 11 y/o
RSVP to West Penn at 412-622-7353 with name/age
Citiparks/West Penn Community Center
470 30th @ Paulowna Street
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219

There was a celebration at West Penn last year, too. We had a really good time, looking for eggs and listening to stories.

Just another spring theme post

Are you clearing your house for spring cleaning? The question of what to do with unwanted appliances and other household goods always comes up this time of year. ACHD has a curbside pick up for freon appliances. From their announcement —

The Allegheny County Health Department and The Pennsylvania Resources Council are partnering to provide free curbside pickup and disposal of freon containing appliances. This Limited Time Offer of free curbside pickup of Freon containing appliances includes refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, water coolers, and freezers. No commercial appliances please.

To schedule your free pickup, call the Appliance Warehouse at 1-888-463-7366 or Parkway Heating & Air Conditioning at 412-279-6001 for the western municipalities.

Flier available here. Print and share with your neighbors!
The ACHD website has a number of helpful links to other kinds of recycling programs.

Office of Councilman Patrick Dowd — April 2011

News and Updates


A great way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22, 2011) is by helping renew the beauty of our local communities and public areas. The Great PA Cleanup, Pennsylvania’s participation in the national Great American Cleanup campaign sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, provides the perfect opportunity. Please join District 7 in helping our neighborhoods celebrate a refreshing Spring by participating in a local cleanup effort. Communities, groups and individuals looking to connect with a clean up in District 7 should contact Boris Weinstein at 412-688-9120 or by e-mail at


Spring time is also the time to start thinking about fresh and nutritious foods straight from our region’s plethora of local farms. The David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership has developed a new scorecard—the Food Abundance Index (FAI)—to measure food security within a neighborhood or geographic area. The index was created to determine the access to and availability of healthy, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food and to eliminate food deserts—areas where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain.

The Lawrenceville neighborhood is identified in the study as one of the many “food deserts” within our City limits. In light of this unfortunate label, Councilman Dowd is helping the community establish a new farmer’s market. The location has not yet been determined, but a committee is developing to influence the process. They will be working with the organization Farmers Market Services to consider ideas such as location, day and time of the week, products available, special events and activities and funding. If you would like to be a part of the solution to the unacceptable food access issues in Lawrenceville, please contact Jennifer Thoma or 412.255.2140.


Goodwill of Southwestern Pa is offering a free tax service for lower income, elderly, disabled and limited-English taxpayers. Goodwill Lawrenceville VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Office, 118 52nd Street, Monday and Wednesday from 12 to 4 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. Call Keisha at 412-632-1732to make an appointment.

Also, at Goodwill this month, friends from District 7 are invited to attend the Goodwill Open House and Dedication Ceremony on April 20, 2011. The new Workforce Development Center is located on 118 52nd Street.

Stop by any time between 10-2 to tour the new facility and learn why Goodwill is much more than thrift stores.  Learn about the agency’s services and programs, including employment training, job search assistance, adult education, computer recycling, the Good-to-Go Café and more.  No RSVP is needed.

Upcoming Events & Meetings


Join Councilman Patrick Dowd at Council to Go, his mobile district office, to voice your concerns, ideas, and questions about local government and services.

Lawrenceville Council to Go — Friday, April 15, 7:30-9am — Perk Me Up, 4407 Butler Street

Morningside Council to Go — Thurs., April 28, 7-8pm — Morningside VFW, 1820 Morningside Ave.


Friday, April 1 — Sunday, April 3 — Union Project Spring Open House, 801 North Negley Avenue
Union Project’s historic building has been restored over the past ten years through over 30,000 community volunteer hours and the generous support of individual donors and foundations. It is home to a variety of community-based tenants, artists and classes, and filled with an ever increasing number of events ranging from community meetings to festivals to weddings. For more information about the event-filled weekend, please go to

Thursday, April 14, 1pm — Driver Education for Seniors — Lawrenceville Senior Center, 4600 Butler Street
This AARP-approved driver improvement program, designed especially for seniors, is designed to refresh driving skills and knowledge. Seniors will develop positive driving attitudes and regain lost confidence. Upon completion of this program each senior will receive a 5% reduction in their automobile insurance premiums for a period of three years, as mandated by PA State Law. Safe driver instruction must be updated every three years to continue insurance discount. You can register for this informative class by calling Rose at 412.621.4199.

Sunday, April 17, 12:15-2:15pm — Morningside Area Community Council’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt, St. Raphael’s Multi-Purpose Room.
Children 2-12 are invited to attend at. Activities will include the East Egg Hunt (BYOB – Bring Your Own Basket), Crafts, Face Painting and games and goodies galore! Please RSVP by April 12th to Corrine Antoszewski, 412-441-8475, or Jennifer McCarthy,

Saturday, April 30, 6pm – Sunday, May 1, 2pm — Art All Night — Iron City Brewery at 3340

Liberty Avenue

Art All Night is a grassroots event staged by an all-volunteer crew. A joyful celebration of the arts and community, the show grows in popularity each year, bringing thousands of people from all over the region into Lawrenceville. In 2010 Art All Night Lawrenceville featured work by 1189 artists and was attended by over 12,000 guests.


If you know of any free community-oriented events in your District 7 neighborhood that we should publicize through our monthly newsletter andDistrict 7 website, please email by the 1st of each month.


Did You Know?

One explanation of the origin of April Fool’s Day follows that many ancient cultures such as Romans and Hindus and the medieval Europeans used to celebrate New Year’s Day sometime near the vernal equinox that could range from March 20th to April 5th. In the Julian calendar, April 1st was designated as the New Year’s Day and was so celebrated till 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII ordered the adoption of the new Gregorian Calendar, which specified January 1st as the New Year’s Day. However, due to slow communications and resistance of people to change their traditions, many people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day as before on 1st of April.

One of the most successful hoaxes portrayed on this day in history happened in England, 1957: The well-respected BBC news show Panorama announced that, thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers had grown a bumper crop of spaghetti that year. They even showed footage of peasants pulling spaghetti down from the trees. Viewers believed it, calling into the BBC to ask how they could enjoy their own spaghetti crop. The BBC replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

Potshots at Potholes

It’s spring time in Pittsburgh, and along with budding trees, sprouting gardens and wetter weather, potholes are making their presence known. All of that snow and cold weather pushes those gaping holes into the background, what with paying attention to the cold and watching the streets and sidewalks for treacherous patches.

So, the Pothole Patching season begins! The city is making it a goal to respond quickly to reports and they have a special 311 form and number that you can call just too make sure that the reporting goes smoothly. From their site —

When Public Works Crews are not responding to winter weather conditions, they will be on aggressive pothole patrol working 16-hours a day, split between two eight-hour shifts. Crews pledge to have the pothole requests filled within five days, with the majority filled within the first 72-hours. Read more

Public Works asks that residents be as specific as possible when describing a roadway of concern, so that crews can prioritize calls and get to them swiftly. Please report your potholes at —
or by calling the Mayor’s 311 hotline
Non City-residents can report potholes to 311 by dialing 412-255-CITY

Who cooks for you

Gillian Goldberg is a Polish Hill resident during the winter and a farmer in New Bethlehem during the growing season. In New Bethlehem, Gillian works and lives on Who Cooks for You Farm, that uses organic farming practices sustainably working with their soils and nature. Who Cooks for You offers their fresh fruits and vegetables through its Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) and Farmer’s Market. Gillian has this to say about the farm and what they do —

On Who Cooks For You Farm, we grow a wide range of fruits and vegetables, from juicy summer tomatoes and sugar-sweet strawberries to things that might be a little less familiar but no less delicious–ever tried kohlrabi or celeriac? We sell our organically grown produce on Mondays at the East Liberty farmer’s market and also through our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). In a CSA, members purchase shares in the farm before the growing season begins and receive a box of fresh produce weekly throughout the season. We still have some shares available for the coming season. You can find more information on the FAQ page.

Gillian is more than happy to answer your questions. She can be reached by email at gdgoldbe (at) or by phone at 412.551.8613.


Last July, a film crew spent some time here in Polish Hill filming Lightweight, a screenplay by Randy Kovitz and Deborah Hosking. The film was shot at a residence as well as neighborhood businesses. You can read more about the details of the filming on the BLOGSKI post. Lightweight will be previewing at the Melwood Screening Room (Pittsburgh Filmmakers) in April (see details below).

The film is about Elizabeth, a young woman who returns to Pittsburgh for a funeral and loses her footing. From the Lightweight site —

While visiting Pittsburgh for a family funeral, her boyfrend announces that he’s leaving her. She lost her job a few weeks ago; now she’ll need to find a new apartment, too. It’s all too much; she becomes disconnected from her surroundings. Literally, she begins to float.

The Lightweight site has information about the cast and crew of the film. Do check the trailer, it gives a great sense of the film and features Lili Coffee*Shop.


Lightweight (trailer) from brooke on Vimeo.

Preview Screening
April 7, 2011 @7PM & 8PM
Call the box office for admission prices
Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh PA 15213

Community Garden Exchange, sponsored by Grow Pittsburgh

Grow Pittsburgh is holding a very intensive garden exchange, to include guest speakers on a variety of topics. The event will include an opportunity to exchange information with other gardeners, as well seeds. The event includes a covered dish potluck. Following is the schedule for the day —

Free event! Seed swap! Skill share!

Potluck brunch! Kid’s activities!

The Exchange runs from 10am to 4pm at the Millvale Community Center, 416 Lincoln Avenue, in Millvale, PA.

The schedule, for your convenience:
10:30 – Welcome
10:45 – 11:00 Kate Hickey, Grow Pittsburgh – Fundraising for Community Gardens
11:00 – 11:40 General Introductions
11:40 – 12:40 Networking Brunch
12:50 – 1:10 Troy Hottle, GTECH/Pittsburgh Permaculture – Soil Building for Community Gardens
1:10 – 1:30 Lauren Seiple, GTECH – Composting for Community Gardens
1:40 – 2:00 Terry Doloughty, Polish Hill Civic Assn. – Garden Reuse & Creative Water Systems
2:00 – 2:30 Coffee Break
2:30 – 2:50 Leah Smith, PASA – Seed Saving
2:50 – 3:10 Susanna Meyer, Grow Pittsburgh – Pest ID and Management
3:20 – 4:00 Marisa Manheim, Grow Pittsburgh – Keys to a Successful Community Garden

PHCA’s President, Terry Doloughty, will be on hand to talk about garden reuse and creative water systems. Say hello if you are at the garden exchange event. Grow Pittsburgh offers directions on how to do a germination test on old seeds. The information is available on the event flyer, along with more detailed information about location, seed packaging and other activities.

PAT service cuts begin Mar 27

Port Authority will be cutting service on a lot of routes and even eliminating some of them, starting this Sunday. From the PAT site —

To address a loss in state funding, Port Authority is reducing service by 15 percent effective March 27, 2011. Twenty-nine routes will be eliminated and weekday service will be significantly reduced on 37 additional routes. Along with the reduction in service, the Authority will close its Harmar bus division and eliminate about 270 agency jobs, including 180 through layoffs.

For those of you in Polish Hill that use the 54, the news is not quite so gloomy. Due to feedback provided by transit patrons, PAT has actually increased service to Polish Hill. The decision to alternate stops in Polish Hill and Penn and Main was made some time ago, and remains in place for this transit cut. In comparing the current schedule to the schedule that will be in effect starting Sunday, Staffski notes that the Polish Hill route is consistently every other trip, where previously the 54 had been scheduled to stop in Polish Hill every 3rd during non-peak hours. Throughout the week, the bus will run earlier and later. The frequency is slightly better than it was previously, with the biggest difference in the extended trips at the beginning and end of the day. Saturday and Sunday service begins later, but runs later on both days. The frequency is about the same as the current schedule for both days. Please feel free to look into the details. The new schedule is posted on the PAT site and, of course, we have hand copies for the 54 (as well as some other nearby routes) at the PHCA office.

However, if you are transferring to another line, you will need to check the schedules to see how the service cuts will impact your trip. A full listing of discontinued lines and revised schedules is available on the PAT site.

In other PAT news, it seems that the farebox glitch has been addressed. When the new fareboxes were first installed, their sensors were set at such a delicate level that they would only accept the most pristine currency without jamming. I’m sure this frustrated PAT more than it did their patrons, since fares were waived when the fareboxes malfunctioned. The sensors have been fixed and PAT is moving ahead with installing the new fareboxes on all routes, with the eventual introduction of the smart card. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the new smart cards will be available in the beginning of July 2011.