Arbor Aid 2010: Reveal – Call for artists

From Caitlin —

Arbor Aid celebrates the possibilities presented to us by trees as resources within our city and region, and is a fund raising event for Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest. Rather than chip or log urban trees that need to be removed, Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest encourages giving them a longer life by repurposing them as art, furniture, flooring and everything in between. Arbor Aid showcases artwork both decorative and functional created from salvaged wood. This year’s event, Reveal encourages artists to reveal the beauty of urban trees. Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest also hopes that artists are able to play with the theme in a variety of ways.

This year’s event is special as we both mark a new chapter in our organization’s history with the unveiling of our new name and logo as well as honor the memory of our dear friend and supporter, John Metzler, creator of the Urban Tree Forge.

About Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest

Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest is an environmental non-profit whose mission is to protect and restore the urban tree population in the City of Pittsburgh through tree planting and maintenance, education, and advocacy.

Interested artists meeting: Tuesday August 10th, 6:30pm @ Urban Tree Forge, 1004 Washington Blvd.

If you cannot make this meeting, but want to submit, contact Caitlin, below.

Submission Guidelines:

1. All artists who intend to participate must contact Caitlin Lenahan at 412-362-6360 or . There will be one or two meetings regarding resources for materials, and other resources available to artists who would like to participate in Arbor Aid.

2. There will be space for a limited number of larger scale installations. Please let Caitlin know if you plan to create an installation or display a larger work.

3. The artist assumes all responsibility for obtaining materials and costs associated with creating their piece(s) for Arbor Aid. Artwork does not have to be created solely for Arbor Aid, but does need to include salvaged wood.

4. So that we can ensure that all submissions will be granted adequate space, in-progress photos and measurements of submissions must be given to Friends no later than October 1st. Installation of artwork in the event space will be during a limited time the week of October 25th. The event is Friday October 29th, 2010.

5. Artists are permitted and encouraged to sell their piece(s) at Arbor Aid. Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest will retain 10% of the sales and donate it to the Urban Tree Forge in honor of John Metzler. Artists may donate a larger portion of the sale if they chose.

6. All participating artists will receive one (1) ticket to the event for free.

To see some images from Arbor Aid 2009, see . If you have any questions about the event, please contact Caitlin at 412-362-6360 or

It was a grand opening

The Grand Opening event at 3138 Dobson Street in scenic Polish Hill for Mind Cure Records, the Copacetic Comics Company and the Lili*Coffeeshop was just a wonderful day for everyone!

Staffski did notice a new addition for all of you pedal pushers out there. Parking! Just for you!

Everybody had something special to mark the day with. Lili was selling large coffees for small prices, Mind Cure Records had the latest Reid Paley CD and Copacetic Comics had a booksigning by local comics illustrator and writer Pat Lewis. If you missed the grand opening celebration at 3138 Dobson St, just stop by during their regular hours. Staffski is sure there will be other special events.

Lili*Coffeeshop, Mind Cure Records and Copacetic Comics
3138 Dobson St, Polish Hill

Strip Fest 2010, Saturday July 31 2-6 pm

If Saturdays in the Strip are not enough of a festival for you, welcome to Strip Fest!  Right by Nature and Cioppino are taking it to the streets with Strip Fest on Saturday, July 31 from 2-6 pm at 23rd and Smallman Streets.  Enjoy a full day of fun including live music, a BBQ pig roast, a beer wagon gig rig, red and white wine, lamb sliders, lobster rolls, product sampling and more!  And, to make it even better, parking is free!

Entertainment will include:
Universal Roots Band  12:00 – 2:00
Randy Elliott Duo   2:00 – 4:00
The Terrance Vaughn Band   4:00 – 6:00

Come down this Saturday and see how the Strip is growing!

A percentage of the proceeds from this event will help support renovations for our historic landmarks, St. Patrick and St. Stanislaus Kostko Churches.

(above, St. Stanislaus, date unknown, from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh)

August newsletter from Councilman Patrick Dowd's office

News and Updates

On Thursday, July 29, 2010, from 7pm-8:30pm, the Office of City Councilman Patrick Dowd will host a panel discussion at the Teamster Temple, 4701 Butler Street, Lawrenceville, regarding Marcellus Shale drilling and its impact on the urban environment. Doors open at 6:30pm to offer an opportunity for community members to collect information at tables hosted by relevant organizations. More information

Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, with Councilman Dowd as a co-sponsor, has recently introduced an amendment to the current City statute regarding how the positions on the Citizens Police Review Board (CPRB) are filled.

The central purpose of the CPRB amendment is twofold: to clarify and define the difference between a vacancy on the board (whenever a board member suddenly leaves their position due to death, move out of the city, etc.) and expiration of a member’s term. It will also serve to provide a more detailed timeline and guidelines for the appointment/reappointment process of board members. More information

For special note, City Council will be on recess and not meeting from August 3rd through August 26th. The District 7 office will have limited phone and office hours. Please leave a message in the event that we cannot directly answer your call and we will return it promptly.

Upcoming Events

Council to Go

Friday, August 20: 7:30 to 9:00am, Councilman Dowd and staff will be in Lawrenceville at Perk Me Up. 4407 Butler Street.

Thursday, August 26: 6:30 to 8:00pm, Councilman Dowd and staff will be at Morningside’s Morning Glory Coffeehouse, 1806 Chislett Street.

Community Events

Thursday, July 29, 6:30pm: Marcellus Shale Panel Discussion, Teamster Temple, 4701 Butler Street, Lawrenceville.

Every Sunday in August beginning Sunday, August 1, 5-7pm: Reservoir of Jazz, Highland Avenue & Reservoir Drive, Highland Park. Sponsored by Highland Park Community Club.

Every Sunday in August beginning Sunday, August 1, 7-8pm: Summer Soul Line Dancing, Highland Avenue and Reservoir Drive, Highland Park. Sponsored by the City of Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, August 3: 27th Annual National Night Out is an annual celebration held around the country to raise awareness around issues of community building and crime prevention. Please look for the following events in District 7:

Lawrenceville Cookout, Leslie Park, 5-8pm. Sponsored by Lawrenceville United.

Porch parties, various times and locations in Friendship. Contact Emily at for more information or to volunteer. Sponsored by the Friendship Preservation Group.

Tuesday, August 3, 6-7pm: Electronic Signs and Billboards Community Meeting, first floor conference room, John P. Robin Civic Building, 200 Ross Street, Downtown Pittsburgh.

August 6th -15th: Bike Pittsburgh’s Bike Fest 2010, various times and locations.

Tuesday, August 10th, 7-8pm: Zone 5 Public Safety Meeting, Union Project, 801 N. Negley Avenue, Highland Park.

Another organization that wants you to go outside!

Walls Are Bad is an initiative established by over 300 outdoor recreation groups in Pittsburgh that aims to get Pittsburgh residents off the couch and into the great outdoors.  WAB is funded partially by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Venture Outdoors.

Their official mission statement:  “Walls Are Bad is a movement focused on getting everyone outside where they can enjoy the natural resources of southwestern PA.  Walls Are Bad promotes everything good about outdoor recreation — from biking and hiking to kayaking and climbing.  Walls Are Bad is composed of more than 300 outdoor organizations and receives funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.”

Every Thursday WAB co-sponsors summer concerts downtown in Mellon Square, with BobFM.  The concerts are from 12 – 1pm, with live music, some free snacks, free frisbees and other items.

To find out more about current doings, check out the Walls Are Bad Facebook page.

(above, Frick Park Trail, by Perry Planet from Wiki Travel)

Community meeting on electronic billboards, Wed Aug 4

The City is preparing to finalize revisions to Pittsburgh Code regarding the placement and operation of electronic billboards within Pittsburgh.  These changes will affect every neighborhood’s potential to enjoy and protect its scenic beauty.  Hear the latest details from the experts and make sure your neighborhood is represented by attending this important public meeting.  Legal and lighting experts will explain the draft legislation and listen to your feedback at the upcoming meeting to be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 200 Ross Street.

In recent years, new technology has created many new types of moving, flashing and color-changing electronic signs that were previously not possible. With new LED technology,these signs can often be seen for miles.

As Pittsburgh residents and business owners, how do we use electronic signage and take advantage of new lighting technologies while still protecting our city’s famous scenic vistas, controlling light pollution and maintaining motorist safety? New legislation is being developed to bring the zoning code up-to-date with the new technology.

This community meeting will include the Department of City Planning, legal expert Chris Duerksen of Clarion Associates, and lighting expert Nancy Clanton of Clanton & Associates, Inc.  They will explain the draft legislation for electronic signage and hear your opinion on how to proceed.  All interested and concerned Pittsburgh residents are invited to attend.

City Council Public Hearings on Mayor’s Plan to Lease Parking Assets

Pittsburgh City Council will hold four public meetings beginning Monday, July 26th about Mayor Ravenstahl’s plan to lease the parking assets (garages and possibly meters) in order to fund the city’s pension. The purpose of this series of meetings is for Council to hear the public’s thoughts on the Mayor’s plan. Each meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Dates and locations:
Monday, July 26 – Downtown – in City Council Chambers, 5th Floor, City-County Building, enter on Grant street side

Tuesday, July 27 – South Side – Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers Headquarters — 10 S. 19th Street at the River

Thursday, July 29 – Oakland – Pittsburgh Board of Education headquarters – 341 S. Bellefield Avenue, second floor

Monday, August 2 – North Side – Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School Cafeteria – 50 Montgomery Street – enter by the loading dock

In June, Councilman Dowd proposed a resolution that called for public meetings in September, after the mayor will have announced the final plan, including the company selected and the amount they will be paying. Any alternatives suggested by Council will also be released around this time. The aforementioned resolution passed unanimously. Thus, there will be another opportunity for the public to comment to Council in September.

To learn more about the Mayor’s plan, you can find the written draft agreement here.

If you have comments about the Mayor’s plan, we encourage you to attend one of the four upcoming meetings.

Strip Fest!

Oh, this sounds like it will be a lot of fun! From our good friends at Neighbors in the Strip

Join Us…JULY 31st for Strip Fest. Right By Nature & Cioppino’s bring you Music, Food & Fun including a BBQ Pig Roast, Beer Wagon Gig Rig, Live Music and product sampling, and as always, we have FREE parking!

Cioppino and Right by Nature are sponsoring Strip Fest
Saturday, July 31st | 2-6PM
Located at 23rd & Smallman Streets, Pittsburgh PA 15222

Live Music from 2 pm ~ 6 pm
BBQ Pig Roast · Beer Wagon Gig Rig
Red & White Wine
Lamb Sliders · Lobster Rolls
Product Sampling & More
Free Parking!

Also, they are looking for vendors to set up and sell their products during the event. For more info, contact Shona at or 412-281-6593.

Grand Opening Celebration!

Come on down to 3138 Dobson Street in scenic Polish Hill for the grand opening celebration of Mind Cure Records, the Copacetic Comics Company and the Lili*Coffeeshop. The grand opening event will run both Saturday and Sunday, July 24 & 25, 2010.

Lili will be serving some of the great treats from their menu. Italian sodas and root beer floats are available on their regular menu to cool you down.

Mind Cure will open at 11am on Saturday and plans to unleash 1,000 previously-unseen used LPs just for this occasion!

Copacetic Comics promises plenty of FREE COMICS along with mind-boggling bargains, special coupons, SURPRISE…S, and, we hope, a pervasive sense of good deals to be had. There will also be special appearances by some of Pittsburgh’s top cartoonists. On Saturday you’ll get a chance to meet Frank Santoro, Jasen Lex, Pat Lewis, and Chris Cornwell. Frank Santoro and Chris Cornwell will grace our fair establishment on Sunday as well, along with Joltin’ Jim Rugg, so there’ll be never a dull moment.

Of special note is a cross promotion between Mind Cure and Copacetic: Buy the latest Reid Paley CD at Copacetic and get a copy of the legendary LP, THE FIVE, for free at Mind Cure (or, vice versa, if you prefer).

Lili*Coffeeshop, Mind Cure Records and Copacetic Comics
Grand Opening Celebration
July 24-25, 2010
3138 Dobson St, Polish Hill

Onorato Announces ADA 20th Anniversary Celebration

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato today announced a special celebration marking the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The community forum and street festival will take place on Monday, July 26, at Station Square and is hosted by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS), in conjunction with United Cerebral Palsy/CLASS, Three Rivers Center for Independent Living, City-County Task Force on Disabilities and Consumer Health Coalition.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act has led to greater access and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout our nation and region, and on Monday, we celebrate the ADA’s successes,” said Onorato. “Allegheny County will continue to work through our Department of Human Services and non-profit organizations to improve accessibility throughout our region.”

Monday’s anniversary celebration will begin with a community forum at 1:30 p.m. in the Admiral Room of the Sheraton at Station Square. The forum will focus on the celebration of disability-related accomplishments and recognize past and future leaders. Three Rivers Center for Independent Living President & CEO Stan Holbrook will deliver the keynote address entitled “Forging a New Freedom: Local Response to National ‘Calling on America’ Campaign.” Allegheny County Disability Connection Director Judith Barricella will present the Disability Agenda.

“We commend our Disability Connection and its many partners for the work that has been done,” said DHS Director Marc Cherna. “They have persisted, with much success, to foster a culture of dignity and independence for people with disabilities in Allegheny County. Through them, we’ve realized many positive changes that are cause for celebration, but our work is not over.”

A panel discussion honoring the accomplishments of the first 20 years of the ADA will also be part of the community forum and will feature Disability Rights Network Staff Attorney Paul O’Hanlon, United Cerebral Palsy/CLASS CEO Al Condeluci, ACCESS Transportation Executive Director Karen Hoesch, and ADA Inc. President & CEO Joan Stein.

Those planning to attend the forum are asked to RSVP to or 412-350-2769. Please let Judith know if any special accommodations need to be made.

A street festival with food, live music, dancing and other entertainment will follow the community forum from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. in Bessemer Court at Station Square.