Fill out the Polish Hill traffic calming survey!

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Some of the most difficult issues facing our neighborhood are related to traffic, particularly the number of vehicles that cut through Polish Hill and the speed at which many drivers move through our streets.  We’ve been working with Zone 2 traffic division, District 7 Council office, and the City of Pittsburgh to find ways to slow down and perhaps reduce the traffic that comes through our neighborhood.

To request traffic calming improvements such as crosswalks, signage or speed humps, we need to have data to make the case, including as much input as possible from residents.  To that end, we’ve created a traffic calming survey.  If this is an issue you care about, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey.

Fill out the survey online, or pick up a paper copy at the PHCA office.

And if you use the East Busway, you might want to check out this mindmixer document from GoBurgh.  You can add your own ideas to the document, which was created for residents to talk about what they like and don’t like about the bus way and the areas surrounding it.

Halloween plans — please join us!

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The PHCA has a couple of cool things planned for Halloween and we’re calling for residents to join us. Whether you are interested in helping with traffic calming efforts or just want a chance to show off a really great Halloween costume, we’ve got something for you.

On Thursday, October 30, we’ll be participating in the Bloomfield Halloween parade leading a group of Polish Hill residents and friends and a brass band including Lungs Face Feet and members of the May Day Marching Band.  This will be the third year we’ve participated in the parade and this year, we’d like to take an even bigger group to represent Polish Hill.  If you have kids who would like to be in a parade, you and your friends or family have an idea for a fun costume, a float, a drill team, or if you just want to come along and help hand out candy, we’d love to have you there.  It would be great to have Polish Hill really represent in the biggest and best nighttime parade in Pittsburgh!

And on Friday, October 31 the PHCA will be doing a traffic calming event from 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. Volunteers will be handing out candy to safe drivers to remind them to slow down while passing through Polish Hill.  Volunteers will be stationed at Melwood and Finland and (if enough people volunteer) on Dobson street, either at Herron Avenue or at Hancock street.  We did this last year and got a really great response.  There will be a meeting for traffic calming volunteers at the PHCA office on Monday, Oct 20 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information on either the parade or the traffic calming, call us at 412.681.1950, or email leslie@phcapgh.org.

(Photo by Mark Knobil)

Calling all Polish Hill parents!

Calling all polish hill Families

Anyone who lives in Polish Hill has probably noticed that there are a lot more kids around these days. If you have school aged children, you probably know that our neighborhood feeds into the following public schools:
— Woolslair K-5,
— Arsenal PreK-5,
— Arsenal 6-8, and
— Milliones 6-12 (also known as University Prep)

Student achievement at all of these schools is in the lowest 15% of Pennsylvania’s public schools.

A group of Polish Hill parents hope to create a network of families in the neighborhood who know one another, want to enhance Polish Hill’s amenities for children, and who are interested in demanding better learning environments for our children in the public schools.

Join them for a brainstorming session about what this could look like on Tuesday, October 28 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at 3029 Pulawski Way. Children are welcome. RSVP if possible to rainandgran@gmail.com.

Harvest Moon Pet Parade on October 26

Harvest Moon Pet Parade Oct 2014

Cindi Hickman and her grandson Axler had a great idea for a fall event and they asked for our help in getting the word out.  They’re planning a Harvest Moon Pet Parade to take place on Sunday, October 26th.  Anyone interested in walking with them should meet at noon at the intersection of Melwood and Finland.  Costumes — for you and your pet — are not required, but certainly encouraged.

Cindi says,”All pets & neighbors please come & share the celebration of our incredible Polish Hill, the fall season and our beloved pets!”

For more information, message Cindi on Facebook.

Coming up soon, an opportunity to participate in another parade.  We’re looking for residents who would like to march with us to represent Polish Hill in the Bloomfield Halloween Parade.  If interested, contact us at 412.681.1950, or email phca@phcapgh.org.

Join Allegheny County Health Department for a conversation about health in your community

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The Allegheny County Health Department has scheduled 13 public meetings, one in each Allegheny County Council District, which will serve as an opportunity to disseminate information on the current health of the County and engage the public in a community discussion about health issues.

The closet meeting to Polish Hill will be on Monday, October 6 from 6:30pm-8:00pm at the Carnegie Library of East Liberty, 130 S. Whitfield Street.

“Our Health, Our Voice will be the theme of our public outreach campaign as we share key information about our population’s health and hear from residents about what issues are affecting their community’s health. The meetings are critical to helping the Health Department and residents work together to create a countywide health improvement plan and move toward a common vision of making Allegheny County the healthiest county in the nation,” said Health Director Dr. Karen Hacker.

Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting in their County Council District, but are also welcome to attend any of the other meetings. Light refreshments will be available. Please contact Casey Monroe at 412-578-8364 or cmonroe@achd.net for more information or if special accommodations are needed.

Click here for more information on the ACHD community meetings.

Celebrate National Pierogi Day at Rock Bottom Brewery and help support the PHCA

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Did you know that October 8 is National Pierogi Day?  To mark the occasion, Rock Bottom Brewery in Homestead will have a $10 all-you-can-eat pierogi (from Forgotten Taste in Wexford), sauerkraut, and kielbasa buffet from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  and a 50/50 raffle.  Proceeds from the buffet and the raffle will benefit the PHCA.  This is your chance to have a big pierogi dinner, try some great beers, and help out your friendly neighborhood community organization.   We hope you can join us!

Rock Bottom Brewery is at 171 Bridge Street in Homestead — that’s among the restaurants and the movie theater, next to the Waterfront shopping center.

(Photo and a recipe for making pierogi at home, from The Small Boston Kitchen)

Towards a more tolerant neighborhood: the new Diversity and Inclusion Committee

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The PHCA has created a new committee – the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, with a kick-off meeting on Tuesday September 23 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the PHCA office at 3060 Brereton Street.

The goal of the committee is to encourage our increasingly diverse neighborhood to work well together — respecting, appreciating and valuing our differences in background, ethnicity, lifestyle and culture. The need for this became clear after some unfortunate harassment incidents that seemed to be fueled by intolerance for cultural and lifestyle differences. between residents.

The committee is being established to not only raise awareness about the benefits of inclusion and diversity and remind folks to get along, but also to put our stake in the sand as to what kind of neighborhood that we all want Polish Hill to be!

At this kick-off meeting, we’ll discuss this topic and start brainstorming what we want to do.  Possible projects could include an event, an art project, or a marketing campaign. If these issues are of particular interest, if you believe civility and respect to the others who live around you is essential, your participation is welcome. Come help us to explore the possibilities of how to make Polish Hill a more accepting, respectful neighborhood. If you have any questions, or if you are not able to attend but wish to be involved with these issues, please get in touch. Email phca@phcapgh.org, or call us at 412.681.1950.

(Above:  The Golden Rule (1961) by Norman Rockwell.  From the Norman Rockwell Museum website)

One hundred and seven years ago today: Phelan Way

Water issues still cause problems on Phelan Way today, but things have been worse:  As this photo taken on September 11, 1907 shows, once Phelan Alley was nothing but mud.  (We’ve posted this before, but on the 107th anniversary of the photo, and with a very similar cloudy and misty today, it seems fitting to share it again.)

A little over a year later, on October 12, 1908, the street had been regraded and covered with gravel.

The view from the other end of the street:

Phelan Way from 30th st Oct 12 1908

(Photos from the Historic Pittsburgh image archive.  Click on photos to see a larger image)

Volunteer now to help with the Three Rivers Film Festival

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This November, the Melwood Screening Room (just outside of Polish Hill at 477 Melwood Ave. in Oakland) is once again hosting the annual Three Rivers Film Festival (3RFF) along with the Harris Theater (Downtown), the Regent Square Theater (Regent Square), and Waterworks Cinemas (in the Aspinwall/Fox Chapel area).  The Festival, which is sponsored by Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Dollar Bank will run November 7 – 22 and, as in past years, will screen an amazing variety of films – independent American cinema, sneak peeks, new documentaries, restored classics, a competitive shorts program, critically-acclaimed international films, and the new concept micro-cinemas. There will also be a wide assortment of related activities like visiting filmmakers, informal discussions, live music events, and micro-cinemas, as well as Opening Night and Closing Night parties.

Pittsburgh Filmmakers is now looking for volunteers to help with the festival.  If you’d like to be part of the Volunteer Committee or simply want to volunteer to help at the screenings in the theater of your choice, contact 3rffvolunteers@gmail.com.

For updates on the festival, keep your eyes on future editions of this publication, check the festival website (3rff.com) from time to time, and “like” the festival on Facebook (3RFF).

Above:  still from Duane Michals:  The Man Who Invented Himself (2013), screening on Tuesday, November 19.  

Excerpts from the District 7 monthly newsletter

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Here are upcoming events excerpted from the District 7 monthly e-newsletter.

Parking Permit Meeting in Lower Lawrenceville

On September 4th, there will be an informational meeting regarding the Residential Parking Permit Program for a section of Lower Lawrenceville.  The affected area can be found here.  This is the first step in the lengthy resident-driven process.  It will not be determining the final outcome, but is designed to provide information to residents regarding the program.

Voice Your Opinion on the Capital Budget!

The City of Pittsburgh announced two public hearings designed to give residents the opportunity to voice their opinion about the 2015 Capital Budget.   The first hearing will occur at 6:00 pm on September 19th at the Ammon Recreation Center, 2217 Bedford Avenue.  The second hearing is scheduled for 6:00 pm on October 29th at the Morningside Senior Center, 6944 President Way.  City assets such as bridges, roads, parks, and buildings are built and renovated through funding provided by the Capital Budget.  It also supports long-lasting programs to strengthen neighborhoods and improve resident quality of life.  If you would like to give testimony at either of the meetings you can register ahead of time with Jennifer Sample Presutti at 412-255-2640 and jennifersample@pittsburghpa.gov, but registration at the meetings is also acceptable.

News from the Neighborhoods

Pittsburgh Park(ing) Day

Spend a day this fall reimagining urban space in the City of Pittsburgh!  The 7th Annual Pittsburgh Park(ing) Day is happening on September 19th.  Each year individuals, community groups, organizations, and businesses set up displays in designated parking spots to showcase the power of “green” in otherwise “gray” areas.  The goal is to showcase the possibilities for reducing pollution and highlight how land development is impacted by automobile use. Read about last year’s event here. A map of locations will be coming soon and can be accessed here.

LIVE! in Lawrenceville

The annual benefit for Lawrenceville United, Live! In Lawrenceville, is just around the corner!  Enjoy live music, an auction, interactive games, dancing, and food from Butcher on Butler, Dive Bar & Grill, Hambones, and other Lawrenceville businesses.  The event on September 20th is your chance to celebrate and learn about the programs offered by Lawrenceville United.  Purchase your ticket today!

Ground Breaking at Three Crossings Coming Soon

One of the major redevelopment efforts slotted for the Strip District should begin in September.  Three Crossings is designed to include a 299-unit apartment building with 250,000 square feet of office space next to a multimodal garage with 700 parking spaces.  The project is envisioned as helping connect downtown to Lawrenceville.  Read more about it here.

ReLeaf Lawrenceville!

Join Tree Pittsburgh to learn about Pittsburgh’s first neighborhood level urban forest master plan.  On September 17th at St. Augustine’s, 225 37th Street, between 6:30 and 8:00pm the organization will be unveiling the plan and discussing next steps.  Enjoy light refreshments and participate in the effort to re-leafing Lawrenceville!

Polish Hill Market is Back in Business!

Alfred’s Deli & Market equipped with new sign, fresh paint, and polished hardwood floors has re-opened in Polish Hill on Brereton Street.  The redesigned market will carry the basics (milk, butter, eggs, etc.), but also be full of local produce, organic and gluten-free items, Polish favorites, and household items.  The store hopes to continue to carry on the tradition of being a small, local grocery store built to serve the neighborhood and be part of the community.   Read more about it here. 

Did you Know?

Besides holding public hearings regarding the capital budget as mentioned above, the City of Pittsburgh also holds public hearings concerning Community Development Block Grant allotment.  These meetings offer citizens the opportunity to express thoughts and voice opinions to help guide local spending and the implementation of projects.  These meetings are part of the Citizen Participation Plan used by the Department of City Planning to ensure citizens are offered the opportunity to participate in the process.  The CPP can be found here.

Upcoming Festivals and Special Events

Pro Bike Pro Bike Pro Place Conference September 8th-11th

Morningside Mile September 13th

Thrival: Innovation and Music Festival September 13th-14th

Pittsburgh Park(ing) Day September 19th

LIVE! in Lawrenceville September 20th

Friendship House Tour September 28th

Find a complete list of upcoming events on the District 7 calendar.

Follow District 7 Council office on twitter and facebook for the latest news and information.