Allegheny County Concerts & Events for August 20-23

It’s short notice, I know. But if you are in the mood for music, you might want to check out the Allegheny County Parks concerts and events schedule for August 20-23. All events are free unless otherwise noted. For additional information, call 412-350-2478 or visit www.alleghenycounty.us/parks.

Date Event & Location Time
Fri., Aug. 20 Kenyan Food Friday presented by Thumbi Catering

Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 20 Poetry, Prose & Picnics in the Park with Everest College

South Park Amphitheater

7:00 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 20 4-H Forestry – Trees and Me

Pre-registration required at 724-935-2170

North Park

7:00-9:00 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 20 Harps & Harmonicas

Tickets $12, students $5 – www.southparktheatre.com

South Park Theatre

8:00 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 21 Disc Golf Championship & Fundraiser

Deer Lakes ($20 entry fee)

9:00 a.m.
Sat., Aug. 21 Wildflower Walk

South Park: Oliver Miller Homestead Parking Lot

10:00 a.m.
Sat., Aug. 21 Harps & Harmonicas

Tickets $12, students $5 – www.southparktheatre.com

South Park Theatre

8:00 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 21 Movies in the Park: How to Train Your Dragon

Gilbert Love Shelter, Settler’s Cabin Park

Sunset
Sun., Aug. 22 Oliver Miller Homestead Tours

South Park

1:30-4:30 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 22 BNY Mellon Jazz Series: Joe Sample Trio

Hartwood Amphitheater

7:30 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 22 Harps & Harmonicas

Tickets $12, students $5 – www.southparktheatre.com

South Park Theatre

8:00 p.m.

Polish Hill Voice August 2010 edition is available

The August 2010 Polish Hill Voice is off the press and ready for your enjoyment. The newsletter is available for download. Following is the President’s message.
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President’s message

As I write this, summer is in full swing on Polish Hill. Gardens are growing, and vegetables, flowers, and herbs are being traded around the neighborhood. Get out and enjoy a good long walk around Polish Hill. Try a walk down a street that you haven’t explored yet. Our community offers hidden little treasures. Through a space in a fence you may glimpse a garden with picture-perfect flowers. Perhaps it’s time for your own yard to become a treasure, a place to relax from the labors of the day. This is a wonderful time to get some dirt under your fingernails and break a sweat.

Just like we did last winter, take a moment to help out your neighbors. While you’re pulling weeds or cleaning up, go a few feet farther. These extra bits of effort really add up. If you fight the weeds a little each day, they will not spread as far next year. I have to remind myself that community improvements are a process, and the process takes time.

We all get a better place to live because of the people doing good works in our community. But we do need to take the time to enjoy what we have worked so hard to build. We have fantastic views from our hillsides. Pick out a good spot and take an occasional evening to view a few sunsets this season. We could all use more sunsets.

As we walk and bike through the neighborhood, there is more of a chance to encounter friends and neighbors. Our four-legged friends take their owners for long walks these days and are the facilitators of many a conversation.

With the opening of The Urban Gypsy, Lili Coffee Shop. Mind Cure Records and Copacetic Comics, we now have new spaces where our residents have an opportunity to gather. These new businesses give residents more destinations and entertainment options right here in Polish Hill, and provide a few of our residents the chance to live and work within their own community. I hope to see this trend continue. To all of our Polish Hill businesses owners, new and existing, I would like to extend a “thank you” for being here.

Late summer is also a time to fix up our homes and apartments. I encourage residents and property owners to take advantage of the materials that are available at Construction Junction in Point Breeze. You can save money and find quality materials to repair, renovate or redecorate your space. If you have leftover building supplies or architectural salvage, like old fireplaces, radiators, stair posts, and the like, please donate them to Construction Junction. Your leftovers could be exactly what someone else needs to finish their project. Along with saving money and keeping materials out of a landfill, there is always a thrill to finding something just a bit different for your home.

So take some late summer advice from a Polish Hill resident: add a few enjoyable items to that project list. Take a walk, go out and do some gardening, spend some time with friends, and enjoy our community.

Terry Doloughty

The photo of Terry was taken by Julie Gonzalez, whose black and white portraits of Polish Hill residents are on display at Lili Coffee Shop. Julie hopes to eventually photograph every resident of Polish Hill!

If you’d like to be included in this project, get in touch with us at phcapgh@gmail.com and we’ll let you know when the next photo session is planned.

Onorato Announces County Participation in Effort to Aid in Reliability of Mid-Atlantic Electricity Grid

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato today announced that the County is participating in the PJM Interconnection’s Demand Response Program to aid in the reliability of the regional electricity grid. The PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. PJM serves 51 million people. Through the program, successful participants will receive payments for voluntarily reducing their electricity use when heavy demand threatens the PJM electricity grid and brownouts or blackouts are imminent.

“As participants in this conservation program, Allegheny County has made a commitment to doing our part to ensure a stable and reliable energy system in Pennsylvania and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Onorato. “The Demand Response Program is yet another step in our ongoing efforts to conserve energy and save taxpayers money.”

The goal of the program is to temporarily reduce electricity consumption during times of peak energy demand to ensure system reliability and to decrease the environmental impacts and economic costs of building new power plants to meet infrequent peak demand.

As a PJM Demand Response Program participant, the County will receive event notifications up to a day in advance, and it will initiate pre-determined measures to reduce energy consumption throughout its buildings. Event days are triggered by power system capacity constraints caused by (but not limited to) a localized system capacity emergency declared by PJM or forecasted high temperatures.

PJM has scheduled a test event from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. today, Thursday, August 19. County buildings that will be participating in today’s test event include the Courthouse, County Office Building, Medical Examiner’s Office, Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, Jail, and all four Kane Regional Centers.

The County’s Department of Public Works has developed specific plans to temporarily reduce electricity consumption throughout County buildings and facilities, focusing on a number of large energy consuming functions, such as air conditioning, ventilation and lighting.

During the test event, as well as actual events, County employees have been instructed to take the following actions immediately:

· Turn off all lighting not necessary for safety or productivity;

· Use natural lighting and supplement it with task lighting if possible;

· Turn off office equipment, computers, printers and other electrical equipment that is not required at the time;

· Use central copiers and turn off smaller copiers; and

· Run laptop computers on battery power if possible;

· Turn off coffee makers and other devices that can be off temporarily.

When the test event is over, the County will begin to slowly restore systems to full operation in order to not spike demand on the electricity grid.

Ed from fIREHOSE at Lili Coffee Shop Thursday 7pm

Ed Crawford, former singer and guitarist with the California band fIREHOSE, will play his music at Lili Coffee Shop tomorrow, Thursday August 19th, at 7 pm.  After the death of legendary guitarist D. Boon brought an end to the punk band the Minutemen, fIREHOSE was formed after Ed travelled to San Pedro to offer his services to remaining members Mike Watt and and George Hurley.  After five albums, fIREHOSE broke up in 1994.

Come out to Lili and see what Ed’s doing now–as always, music at Lili is free!

Check out Lili Coffee Shop’s Facebook page for regular information on events and the menu for their new and amazing Sunday brunch.  Finally, a delicious and highly affordable breakfast on Polish Hill!

Pool closes on Sunday

The West Penn pool, beloved of many and busier this year than it has been in in a long time, is open for the final day of the season on Sunday the 22nd.  The early closing is not for budget reasons, but because the lifeguards, who are mostly high school and college students, are going back to school.

Only a few of the Citiparks pools will stay open until Labor Day.  The Citiparks webpage does not list the pools that are staying open, but we know that Schenley Pool, which is the closet to Polish Hill, is one of them.

Since we’ll have at least another month of summer weather, it’s disappointing that the pool will not be available.  Last year, a number of residents volunteered to take unpaid lifeguard shifts just to help the pool stay open on weekends; that offer was refused.  So if you want to enjoy one of the nicest and least crowded, pools in Pittsburgh, you’ve got less than a week left.  Get your swim in now!

Public hearing on bus service and fares on Thursday, 8 am – 8 pm

Port Authority of Allegheny County will hold a public hearing on proposed fare and service actions this Thursday, August 19, from 8 am to 8 pm at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The proposed changes are intended to balance the Authority’s FY2011 budget, which was adopted in June with a $47.1 million revenue shortfall. Port Authority is one of many transit agencies throughout Pennsylvania facing a funding crisis due to the federal government’s decision not to approve tolling on Interstate 80.

The fare changes would increase base fares across the board and introduce premium pricing for light rail service and 13 express bus routes. Service hours would be reduced by 35 percent, cutting the number of routes from 129 to 85. About 90 neighborhoods throughout Port Authority’s coverage area would be left without any public transit service or see significant service loss.

Fare changes are scheduled to be implemented on Saturday, January 1, 2011. Service changes are scheduled for Sunday, January 9, 2011. The proposals could be discontinued or rescinded if the funding crisis is resolved.

Individuals wishing to testify at the hearing are encouraged to pre-register by calling 412-566-5437 (TTY 412-231-7007) from 9 am to 3:30 pm on weekdays. Oral testimony will be limited to three minutes per speaker. Those who have not pre-registered may register at the hearing and will be called on as time slots become available. Port Authority will provide a sign language interpreter at the hearing as well as Braille copies of informational documents.

A public comment period is ongoing, and comments may also be submitted online at www.portauthority.org or by mail at Port Authority Fare & Service Proposals, Heinz 57 Center, 345 Sixth Avenue, Floor 3, Pittsburgh PA, 15222. The comment period began July 28 and the deadline for comments is Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 4 pm.

For more information, including details on transportation to the hearing, call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 (TTY 412-231-7007) or visit portauthority.org. To request printed information only, call 412-566-5543.

Onorato Dedicates Green Roof on County Office Building


Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato today dedicated the green roof on the County Office Building located at 542 Forbes Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. The green roof is the first of its kind on a public building in Allegheny County.

“The County Office Building green roof is already saving energy, reducing stormwater runoff, and cutting down on the amount of pollution reaching our rivers,” said Onorato. “We will use the green roof to show residents and businesses how they can employ green infrastructure to benefit the environment and be energy efficient as well.”

Half of the County Office Building’s roof, an area of 8400 square feet, was covered in waterproof fabric, various insulating and water-trapping materials, and soil and plants native to Southwestern Pennsylvania. It features four distinct types of green roofing methods, including mat and tray systems, as well as semi-intensive and intensive systems. Additionally, a vegetative green screen surrounds the cell tower that sits atop the building. Green screens provide many benefits, including an aesthetically pleasing alternative to fencing, improved air quality, and a natural shield in weather. The green roof’s unique design also reflects our region’s hills, valleys and rivers.

As part of the demonstration project, the other half of the roof remains as-is and serves as a control so the County can measure differences between the two sides. Monitors on both halves of the roof collect data regarding temperature, humidity and rainfall. The data will be available online so the public can track the benefits and impact of the green roof versus the normal roof.

The green roof is already providing an insulating effect for the County Office Building, reducing heating and cooling costs for taxpayers. Preliminary results indicate that electricity usage in the building was 35,400 kilowatt hours less in June 2010 than it was in June 2009, a savings of $7000. Additionally, preliminary data for July 2010 show a reduction in electricity usage of 33,600 kilowatt hours compared to July 2009, resulting in savings of $6500. In September, Carnegie Mellon University will begin to quantify the actual temperature differences inside and outside of the building to help determine actual cost savings.

In Southwestern Pennsylvania, an average rain storm can produce two inches of rain in a 24-hour period. Even two inches of rain falling on a roof can result in more than 600 gallons of water rushing through downspouts and into sewer systems. As little as 1/10 inch of rain can cause combined sewers to overflow.

As rain travels over hard surfaces, it picks up and carries pollutants. The large amount of impervious surfaces in urban areas does not allow rainwater to permeate into the soil. Instead, rainwater flows into storm and sanitary sewers, as well as local streams, which are often unable to handle the higher water volumes, causing back up and eventual flooding.

The County Office Building green roof absorbs rainwater, thereby alleviating stress on Pittsburgh’s combined sewer system and reducing pollutants entering the rivers. The roof is designed to capture one inch of rain once it has fully matured. Monitors show that the roof is already capturing 60 percent of rainwater that falls on it based on data collected from a recent rainfall of 1.02 inches.

“We must come together as a community to address the issue of stormwater management, and green infrastructure is a key component,” added Onorato. “Allegheny County government is proud to provide leadership in this area, and our green roof can be used as a model for residents and businesses. In fact, our green roof has already hosted tours for several businesses that are considering constructing green roofs on their buildings.”

Data also show that the temperature of the green roof is 40 to 50 degrees cooler than the control roof, thereby decreasing the “urban heat island” effect in Downtown Pittsburgh. In addition, the green roof is reducing air and noise pollution and providing habitat for birds and butterflies.

Allegheny County worked with the Penn State Center and Pennsylvania Environmental Council to develop a request for proposals to attract a contractor that could develop the green roof. Cuddy Roofing, a women’s business enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh, was selected as the contractor to perform the initial roofing work and provide the protective layers. Eisler Landscapes, a women’s business enterprise headquartered in Prospect, Pa., planted the roof, and John Buck of Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. provided the monitoring equipment and protocol. The green roof cost $621,400 and was funded through federal stimulus grants.

Residents can learn more about green roofs and other energy- and water-saving initiatives at the Allegheny Green & Innovation Festival, which will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 14, at the Hartwood Amphitheater. The free event will celebrate Allegheny County’s evolution to a green economy and feature ways for residents to become more sustainable in their everyday lives. The festival will be a zero-waste event and will include earth-friendly food and product vendors, crafters, green living demonstrations, musical entertainment, and children’s activities.

Witamy Do Polish Hill

Now, doesn’t that look spiffy?

The Polish Hill Green Team was hard at work yesterday morning, clearing weeds and building a brick border at the Witamy Do sign at 28th and Brereton. Lovely, isn’t it?

Many thanks to Josie Ramsey and Debbie Jozwiak for all of their hard work on this project. You are what makes Polish Hill such a special place!