District 7 Newsletter for March 2012

NEWS AND UPDATES

PWSA release RFP for Management Consulting

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) issued a Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals (“RFQ/RFP”), for the provision of Interim Executive Management Services. The contractor will provide Interim Executive Management Services to PWSA and will essentially serve as Executive Director for one year. As such, the contractor will oversee day to day operations as well as provide strategic vision and direction required for effective, timely, and transparent management of the PWSA.

The scope of services for the contract includes: the provision of Interim Executive Management Services; general administration and management consulting; financial analysis; infrastructure maintenance and replacement consulting; operating and capital budget development; and miscellaneous responsibilities. The term of the contract is for 12 months, not to exceed 18 months. Follow the link to view official RFQ/RFP . The Authority hopes to have the chosen firm on board by July 1, 2012.

Summer Camp Returns for Youth in Lawrenceville

Lawrenceville United will once again host a free summer camp (Summer Celebration) with new and exciting environmental activities for Lawrenceville youth thanks to new and generous support from the Verizon Foundation and continued partnerships with the City of Pittsburgh, Arsenal Middle School, and local private and public youth service and program providers. For more information, please go to Lawrenceville United Summer Celebration Day Camp.

TreeVitalize Deadline Approaching

TreeVitalize supports street tree, park and riverfront trail plantings in the region. The application process for Fall 2012 TreeVitalize plantings is now open for communities in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.  All applications are due by 4pm on Friday, March 23, 2012. City of Pittsburgh Tree Request Forms are required.

February Proclamations

During the month of February, Councilman Dowd presented the following proclamations to City Council for approval:

Carnegie Library Customer Appreciation Week – to celebrate the restoration of hours and all that the Library has to offer, several Friends of the Library groups hosted Customer Appreciation Open Houses at their respective neighborhood libraries during the week of February 20.

Center for Victims of Violent Crime Peace It Together Day – City Council named Wednesday, February 22 after this event which recognizes awardees and their commitment to resolve conflict, restore relationships and build peaceful communities. 2012 Peace Partner Award honorees include: Dr. Mary Carrasco, Matthew Fidel, Fred Rogers (posthumously) and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, PA.

Mike and Robert Perry-Nichols Day – 2012 marks the twentieth year that Mike Nichols has served the youngest learners in the Pittsburgh Public School system through his community self-designed reading program and the first anniversary of his son Robert surviving a double-lung transplant–the first ever done in Pittsburgh on a sickle cell patient.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS

Council to Go

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

Polish Hill — Wednesday, March 14, 7pm-8pm — PHCA Office, 3060 Brereton Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Special Guest: Gerald Akrie, Supervisor of Animal Care and Control.

Highland Park — Thursday, March 29, 7pm-8pm — Enrico’s Tazza D’oro, 1125 N. Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.

Community Events

Wednesday, March 14, 1pm-3pm — City Council Chambers, 414 Grant Street, 5th Floor, Pittsburgh — Cablecast Post Agenda regarding the resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into negotiations for an agreement with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority granting the Authority the rights and responsibility relative to stormwater management in the City of Pittsburgh. Free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 15, 6pm–8pm — Grey Box Theatre, 3595 Butler Street, Lawrenceville — Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Plan Community Meeting. Free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 15, 7pm–8pm — Canterbury Place’s McVey Auditorium, 310 Fisk Street, Lawrenceville — Lawrenceville Historical Society will host Sandra Baker, of the Senator John Heinz History Center, who will speak on the topic: Taming the Tomato, The History of the H. J. Heinz Company. Free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 22, 6:30pm-8:30pm — Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Main Lecture Hall, Oakland — Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Annual Meeting. Free and open to the public.

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

DID YOU KNOW?

Attention: Port Authority Comment Deadline Approaching

If you are unhappy about proposed transit cuts in the East End and throughout the city,  now is the time to let the Port Authority know. The Port Authority Board will vote on the cuts on April 27, but the public comment period ends March 9. To make your voice heard, send written comments to Port Authority, Fare & Service Proposals, Heinz 57 Center, 345, Sixth Avenue, Floor 3, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527. You can also visit their online comment page. To learn more about their current funding crisis, please go to 2012 Proposed Service Reduction Information.

City Council District 7 Newsletter – February 2012

NEWS AND UPDATES

Announcing the New District 7 Website

With the assistance of our City’s excellent webmaster David P., District 7 has just completed the content of their new website which was launched January 31, 2012. Within it you will find up-to-date stories and links to media articles about the District and initiatives promoted by Councilman Dowd. You can also find media releases, upcoming events, District 7 projects, contacts for community groups and city offices, and reports that impact our neighborhoods.

Please take the time to peruse the new site, which is part of an ongoing effort to update all of the City’s web pages. Our new address is district7.pittsburghpa.gov.

We have also taken this opportunity to feature photos unique to our neighborhoods and submitted to us from around the District. If you are a shutterbug and would like to see your work online, please submit your own photos for posting to district7@pittsburghpa.gov.  All photos will be credited to the photographer.

2012 and 2013 County Property Reassessments – Update

An improved website for 2013 court-ordered reassessment values for the City of Pittsburgh and Mt. Oliver is now available. The site includes full information on each property, including general information, building information, images of the property, and comparables used to set the value. It is accessible from Allegheny County’s website.

A court order handed down on January 12, 2012, ensures that your current base-year value will be used to calculate your county, municipal and school district real estate taxes for 2012. It is the value listed under “CURRENT” on the notice you received in the mail. You may also view this value by searching for your property on the Allegheny County Real Estate website. The new assessment values will not be used until 2013.

Should you have any further questions regarding your 2012 or 2013 assessment, please go to the County’s FAQ. There you will find answers to many common questions as well as how and why to schedule informal or formal reviews of your case if you disagree with either assessment value.

Fundraising for Bernard Dog Run in Full Swing with Lawrenceville Gourmet Spaghetti Dinner

The Lawrenceville Gourmet Spaghetti Dinner, founded by the Boys of Lawrenceville in 2004, marks its return on Friday, March 2, 2012 at the Teamster’s Temple in Lawrenceville. This event will benefit the Bernard Dog Run community initiative, aimed at building an off-leash dog park for the residents of Lawrenceville.

The Bernard Dog Run initiative started in 2008 with the mission of establishing a community-based, off-leash dog park that is well-maintained, safe and enjoyable for the dogs and dog owners of Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. The initiative, supported by Lawrenceville United, District 7 Councilman Patrick Dowd and the City of Pittsburgh, is continuing its momentum as all clearances and approvals have been secured; now, raising funds to cover construction and maintenance costs remains as the final step in launching this much-needed community asset.

The off-leash exercise area will be named in honor of the late Jay Bernard, a Lawrenceville resident, businessman and abandoned dog advocate. Mr. Bernard pioneered neighborhood involvement in Lawrenceville, serving as a catalyst for community activities including Art All Night, the Joy of Cookies Tour and the Lawrenceville House Tour. He founded The Boys of Lawrenceville, a benevolent organization of gay men in Lawrenceville, and created its Gourmet Spaghetti Dinner fund-raiser to benefit local families and organizations.

February 20th-25th Marks the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Customer Appreciation Days

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh customers will now have greater access to programs, materials and facilities. Beginning Monday, February 20, most Pittsburgh library locations will have expanded hours, opening more evenings, after school and weekends for customer use. In total, library customers will gain an additional 119 hours per week, with all neighborhood libraries open for service Mondays and Fridays. Hours at CLP – Main in Oakland, CLP – Downtown & Business and the Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped will remain unchanged.  The new hours are in direct response to feedback from customers who were previously affected by cuts in library service due to budget constraints and shortfalls.

To celebrate the restoration of hours, several Friends of the Library groups will host Customer Appreciation Open Houses at their respective neighborhood libraries during the week of February 20.  For event details and to locate hours of operation for all Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh locations please visit carnegielibrary.org.Council members Patrick Dowd, Bruce Kraus and Natalia Rudiak will soon sponsor a proclamation in honor of the restoration of services at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS

Council to Go

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 — Friday, February 17, 7:30am-9am — Perk Me Up, 4407 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Bloomfield — Tuesday, February 21, 7pm-8pm — Big Idea Bookstore, 4812 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Morningside — Thursday, February 23, 7pm-8pm — St. Raphael’s Multi-Purpose Room, 1118 Chislett Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Community Events

Friday, February 3 – Penn Avenue Arts Initiative Unblurred – 4800-5500 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206. 6pm-11pm. Walkable gallery and venue tour featuring artists and performers along the way. FREE to the public.

Saturday, February 4 – Night at the Races – St. Mary’s Lyceum, 330 45th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201, Lawrenceville. 7pm-10:30pm. $10 entry fee benefits Lawrenceville’s 68th annual Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration.

Tuesday, February 14 – 100.7 STAR and the City of Pittsburgh present Valentines on Ice – Schenley Park Skating Rink, Overlook Drive. 7pm–10pm. $4 per couple includes a rose to the first 200 couples compliments of Alex’s Flowers in Oakland; assorted chocolates to first 200 couples courtesy of Betsy Ann Chocolates; mini-massage compliments of Massage Envy of Squirrel Hill; free dance lessons courtesy of Jeff & Colleen Shirey of Salsa Pittsburgh; chance to compete in “Go for the Heart” puck shooting contest; free slice of pizza compliments of Lucci’s Pizza in Squirrel Hill; and a keepsake photo with your sweetheart.

Tuesday, February 14 – Zone 5 Citizen’s Public Safety Council – Union Project, Stanton and Negley Avenues, Pittsburgh, PA  15206 (please use side entrance on Stanton). 7pm. The primary purpose of the Zone 5 Public Safety Council is to enhance the quality of life within the geographic area covered by the Zone 5 Bureau of Police and associated public safety personnel.

February 20-25 – Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Customer Appreciation Days – Check out their website for specific events at the libraries in East Liberty and Lawrenceville.

Friday, March 2 – Lawrenceville Gourmet Spaghetti Dinner – Teamster’s Temple, 4701 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201. 4:30pm-9:30pm. $11 advance ticket price; $13 at the door. Children under 10 FREE. To benefit Lawrenceville’s Bernard Dog Run.

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

DID YOU KNOW?

Attention: Women of District 7

During February, many of us celebrate romantic affairs of the heart— with our spouse, partner, children, family and friends. But this February, District 7 asks that you also love yourself by considering the physical affairs of your heart. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. This means women — mothers, sisters and friends — are dying at the rate of one per minute. Unfortunately, this killer isn’t easy to see. Heart disease is often silent, hidden and misunderstood.  But you can do something to make a difference.

February 3 marks National Wear Red Day sponsored by the American Heart Association in partnership with Macy’s and Merck. This event is part of the Go Red for Women Campaign, a social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health. For every free Valentine heart sent from Macy’s Facebook page through Feb. 14, Macy’s will donate $2 – up to $250,000 – to help fight heart disease in women.

Know the risks for heart disease and take action to reduce personal risk by visiting your doctor regularly and by learning more at the American Heart Association website.

For information on District 7 concerns, contact:  Jennifer Thoma, Administrative and Communications Director
at 412-255-2140 or Email

January newsletter from the office of District 7 councilman Patrick Dowd

NEWS AND UPDATES

2012 County Property Reassessments

Pittsburgh residents have started receiving their 2012 property values from Allegheny County’s Office of Property Assessment.  Allegheny County is the governing body responsible for determining the values of every property and structure located within the City.

Meetings in District 7 to address appeals process

If you believe that your new assessment is inaccurate, there will be a window of time for you to file an appeal with Allegheny County. It is our goal to make the County’s appeal process as easy as possible for you. In an effort to do so, District 7 along with the City’s Finance Department will host two meetings on January 3, 2012 to explain the appeal process and to answer residents’ questions. The first will be held in Lawrenceville at the Stephen Foster Center, 286 Main Street, at 12noon, and the second in Morningside at the VFW, 1820 Morningside Avenue, at 6pm.

The notice being sent out by the County offered the following information on the appeal process:

“Property owners in the City of Pittsburgh and Mt. Oliver have until January 13, 2012, to request an informal review by calling 412-350-4600 or going to http://apps.alleghenycounty.us/InformalReviews. Property owners, along with the school and municipality, also have the right to file a 2012 formal appeal with the Board of Property Assessment Appeals & Review until February 10, 2012. Appeal forms may be obtained by calling 412-350-4600 or by visiting www.alleghenycounty.us/opa/aforms.aspx.

Additional resources

City of Pittsburgh: Frequently Asked Questions – http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/appealassist/faqs

City of Pittsburgh 311 Non-Emergency Response line: 311 or 412-255-2621

Holiday Tree Composting

Christmas trees may be dropped off for composting from Jan. 3 to Jan. 31, Monday through Saturday from 8am until 2pm, at these locations:

— 2nd Division Public Works (East End) -North Dallas Avenue at Hamilton Avenue
— 3rd Division Public Works (Hazelwood) -Melanchton Avenue, off the 5200 block of 2nd Ave
— 5th Division Public Works (West End) -1330 Hassler Street, off of Hershel & Steuben (next to Herschel Park)
— Environmental Services Lot (Strip District) -3001 Railroad Street (next to the former CityTow Pound Location

The trees cannot have ornaments, lights, or stands and cannot be in plastic bags.  Please be aware that trees left at the curb will be collected but not composted.  For more information contact the Pittsburgh’s Recycling Division at (412)-255-2631.

AGAIN, PLEASE NOTE: Help District 7 Go Green!

We are currently preparing the 2011 Annual Report for distribution early in the new year. If you would like to receive only an electronic copy (not a mailed hard copy), please email Jennifer at jennifer.thoma@pittsburghpa.gov and provide your address so we can remove you from our “snail mail” list.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS

Council to Go

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

Polish Hill — Wednesday, January 11, 7pm-8pm – Polish Hill Civic Association Office, 3060 Brereton Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Bloomfield — Tuesday, January 24, 7pm-8pm – Location TBD – details will be posted on the event calendar at http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/district7/html/council_to_go.html

Highland Park — Thursday, January 26, 7pm-8pm – Enrico’s Tazza D’Oro, 1125 N. Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Holiday Hours

Monday, January 2, New Year’s Holiday observed – District 7 Office Closed

Community Events

Tuesday, January 3 – Allegheny County Assessment Appeal Process Overview – Lawrenceville, Stephen Foster Center, 286 Main Street at 12pm and in Morningside at the Morningside VFW, 1820 Morningside Avenue at 6pm. Free.

Monday, January 9 – Adult Book Discussion Group – Lawrenceville, Carnegie Library, 279 Fisk Street at 6pm. Free. Group will be discussing Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine brooks.

Monday, January 16 – Honoring MLK, Jr. – East Liberty/Highland Park, Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre (5941 Penn Avenue) and Union Project (801 North Negley Avenue) from 12pm-7pm. Free.

Thursday, January 19 – 2012 Lawrenceville Historical Society Lecture Series – Dr. Stanley States, Director of Water Quality and Production at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority talks about the history of Pittsburgh’s water supply system. Lawrenceville, McVey Auditorium of Canterbury Place, 310 Fisk Street.

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

DID YOU KNOW?

Allegheny County offers several exemptions that may reduce your county tax bill. You may qualify to save on your Allegheny County Taxes through what is known as the Homestead Tax Exemption (Act 50). The initial $15,000 in assessed value of each owner occupied residential property, and certain farmstead properties, within Allegheny County can be exempted from county property taxes.

This exclusion is not automatic however; you have to apply. Applications must be submitted by March 1 for the exclusion to be in effect for the current and for future tax years. Residents who have already filed for the Act 50 exclusion do not need to file again.

Also, Allegheny County offers a Senior Tax Relief Program (Act 77). Seniors age 60 or older who have lived in and owned their current Allegheny County residence for at least 10 years may be eligible for a flat 30% discount on their county real estate tax. To be eligible, the gross household income, including 50% of Social Security and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits, must be $30,000 or less.

Information on other Allegheny County tax abatement and exemption programs, including new construction (Act 202), clean and green (Act 156-PA), and homeowner improvements (Act 42), can be obtained through the Allegheny County Property Assessment Website.

The City of Pittsburgh also offers these types of programs but with slightly different guidelines. Please go to http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/finance/html/forms-real_estate.html.

Tip: If you aren’t sure whether you’ve already applied for the Act 50 and Act 77 tax exemptions, check under the “General Information” tab for your property on the Allegheny County real estate website. There will be a “YES” in the Homestead line on the left side of the Web page if you already have an application on file.

December newsletter from the office of Councilman Patrick Dowd

NEWS AND UPDATES

Local Senior Centers Help Our Seniors All Year Round

Monday through Friday, at 15 senior centers throughout the City, those ages 60+ can enjoy a nutritious and satisfying meal with Citiparks while socializing with neighbors, friends and volunteers. District 7 boasts four senior centers: two related to Citiparks and two sponsored by the Catholic Youth Association. They are located in Lawrenceville (two centers – one at 4600 Butler Street and another at the Stephen Foster Center), Morningside (6944 Presidents Way) and Polish Hill (West Penn Rec Center). More…

Recently Presented Proclamations

11/10/11 – Stanton Heights native Gene A. Pietragallo, Jr, lead actor in and co-producer of the independent film The Encore of Tony Duran was presented with a proclamation declaring “Tony Duran Day” in the City of Pittsburgh. The film was winner of “Best Feature Film” at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, winner of “Audience Favorite” at the Tallgrass Film Festival, and winner of the Jury Prize for “Best Feature Film” at the Las Vegas Film Festival. More…

11/21/11 – Initially funded by the City’s Weed & Seed program, Unity Art is a partnership between Lawrenceville United and local artist Donnie Freyer among various other community partners. The Unity Art program ran six weeks on Sunday evenings and instructed 55 students in the various aspects of beginning photography and framing, more…

If you are aware of a milestone, event or person in your community that deserves special recognition, please email us and we’ll try to accommodate your suggestion.

PLEASE NOTE: Help District 7 Go Green!

We are currently preparing the 2011 Annual Report for distribution early in the new year. If you would like to receive only an electronic copy (not a mailed hard copy), please email Jennifer at jennifer.thoma@pittsburghpa.gov and provide your address so we can remove you from our “snail mail” list.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS

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

Bloomfield — (RESCHEDULED from November) Tuesday, December 6, 7pm-8pm – Crazy Mocha, 4525 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Lawrenceville – Friday, December 16, 7:30am-9am – Perk Me Up, 4407 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA  15201

Holiday Hours
Monday, December 26, Christmas Holiday observed – District 7 Office Closed
Monday, January 2, New Year’s Holiday observed – District 7 Office Closed

Community Events

Thursday, December 8 – Holiday Networking Mixer – Highland Park, Union Project, 801 N. Negley Avenue, 5:30pm. Free. Sponsored by Classic Events!

Friday, December 9 – BGC Annual Family Holiday Party – Garfield, BGC Community Activity Center, 113 N. Pacific Avenue, 6pm-8pm. Free.

Saturday, December 10 – Holiday Pottery Tour – Highland Park, all-day, self-guided tour. Celebration at the Union Project Studio, 7pm-11pm. Free. For more information and a map, please go to www.HighlandParkPotteryTour.wordpress.com

Sunday, December 11 – Merry Morningside – Morningside, Rep. Dom Costa’s Office, 6808 Greenwood Street, Caroling at 5pm; party at 6pm. Free.

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

DID YOU KNOW?

There is a wide range of non-profit organizations that work hard to turn what is often the loneliest time of the year for some in our community into a happy holiday. You can help them help the needy with your gifts of time, money or donations of goods and/or services. Here is just a brief list of those organizations that need your help not only this holiday season, but all year round.

Community Human Services Holiday Gift Drive
East End Cooperative Ministries Christmas Gift Program
Goodfellows Toy Fund
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Holiday Menorah Mitzvah
Light of Life Ministries
Presents for Patients
Toys for Tots
Treasures for Children

December newsletter from the Mayor's office

Dear Neighbors,

As the days become shorter and the temperatures continue to drop, it is clear that winter is fast approaching.  There are many joys that come along with the winter season – the holidays and the excitement of the first snow – yet winter can also be one of the most difficult times for many Pittsburgh residents. It is a time when our City’s culture of neighbors-helping-neighbors is most important to assist residents to overcome its hardships and enjoy the best that winter in our City has to offer.

Snow removal can be one of the most challenging aspects of winter and snow covered sidewalks can be hazardous for everyone. With Snow Angels, I aim to make snow removal less daunting for our elderly and physically-disabled residents. Along with fostering stronger community relationships, and relieving the elderly of the stress that comes from a snow storm, the Snow Angels initiative will also make our sidewalks safer for those who continue to serve despite the winter weather – such as postal service workers, firemen and police officers.

With this in mind, I am proud to announce a new program, Snow Angels, which will match willing volunteers with neighbors-in-need to shovel and de-ice their walks this winter season.  The Snow Angels program will be launching this November. For applications to volunteer or receive assistance, please visit snowangels.pittsburghpa.gov.

Snow Angels is one of my signature servePGH programs, which promote citizen service to impact local challenges. For more information, email servepgh@city.pittsburgh.pa.us or call the 311 hotline and ask about the program. If you are calling from outside the City of Pittsburgh, please call 412-255-2621.

Thank you to the countless Snow Angels who already assist their neighbors with snow removal. I appreciate the precedent that you have set for local residents, and I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to join a Pittsburgh-wide effort to keep our sidewalks clear after winter storms and provide your neighbors with the reassurance that their community cares.

Together, we can make this winter an enjoyable season for everyone!

Sincerely,
Luke Ravenstahl
Mayor, City of Pittsburgh

 

November newsletter from the office of Councilman Patrick Dowd

NEWS AND UPDATES

Vote “YES” for Our Libraries on November 8
As many of you know first-hand, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is one of our community’s most valued and trusted assets. The Carnegie Library helps young people learn and develop literacy skills beyond the school day, seniors continue their life-long learning, job-seekers find resources when they are applying for work or learning new skills. More…

Special Yard Debris Collection
City Environmental Services crews will hold a special fall yard debris collection on Saturday, November 12.  Properly packaged bagged leaves, tree branches, bushes, and pumpkins will be picked up and recycled for compost. More…

PLEASE NOTE

We are pleased to announce that the City has chosen Google Apps for its new email, calendar and contact platform. The transition from our former system will entail changing our email addresses. Our new District 7 email addresses will follow this format:   firstname.lastname@pittsburghpa.gov

During this time of transition there may be a few bumps in the road. Please feel free to email both of our addresses if you are inclined. Our former address that will be forwarded follows this format: firstname.lastname@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

If you do not hear back from us within a few days of writing to our former email addresses or new ones, please do not hesitate to try again or phone us at 412.255.2140. We are eager to hear from you.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS

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

Polish Hill — Wednesday, November 9, 7pm-8pm – Polish Hill Civic Association, 3060 Brereton Street

The Bloomfield and Highland Park Council to Go’s will be canceled due to the holiday.

Holiday Hours

Friday, November 11, Veteran’s Day – District 7 Office Closed

Thursday, November 24, Thanksgiving Day, and Friday, November 25 — District 7 Office Closed

Community Events

Check out Garfield’s new Pittsburgh CONNECTS center at Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation’s Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center at 5321 Penn Avenue. Some of the free and interesting programs they will be offering in November include:

Wednesday, November 2, 10am, Project for Freedom’s Job Readiness Training for people with disabilities

Monday, November 7, 3:30pm-5pm, Researching Candidates and Issues Online

Thursday, November 10, 5pm-6pm, Excel Training Class

Tuesday, November 15, 12noon-1pm, Free Computer Repair

Saturday, November 19, 10am-12:30pm, NeighborWorks Foreclosure Prevention Workshop

Friday, November 4 – Reblurred – 5 Neighborhoods, 1 Event – From intersection of Penn and Highland Avenues to Penn Avenue and 38th Street.

Thursday, November 17, 7pm — Lawrenceville Historical Society Free Lecture – Lawrenceville, McVey Auditorium of Canterbury Place, 310 Fisk Street. Explore the lives of Frances Slocum of Wyoming Valley and Massie Harbison of Allegheny River Valley.

Wednesday, November 30, 6pm-8pm – Tree Lighting – Lawrenceville, 47th and Butler Streets

If you know of any free community-oriented events in your District 7 neighborhood that we should publicize through our monthly newsletter and District 7 website, please email Jennifer.thoma@city.pittsburgh.pa.us by the 1st of each month.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, helps low-income families pay their heating bills.  LIHEAP is a grant that offers assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company, or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat.

Applications for the 2011-2012 LIHEAP season will be available beginning Nov. 1, 2011.  There are three different ways you can apply for LIHEAP–online, on paper, or in person.

1. You can apply for the LIHEAP benefits online by using COMPASS. COMPASS is the name of the website where you can apply for LIHEAP and many other services that can help you make ends meet.
2. Download an application for LIHEAP benefits by clicking on the links below (links will be available beginning November 1) and return it to your Allegheny County Assistance Office, or

English – Energy Assistance Application Spanish – Energy Assistance Application

3. File an application at your local county assistance office:  Allegheny County Assistance Office Headquarters,
Piatt Place , 301 5th Avenue, Suite 470, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: 412-565-2146 LIHEAP (Cash Assistance)
412-562-0330 LIHEAP (Crisis Assistance)
800-851-3838, FAX: 412-565-3660

For more information, please contact the Allegheny County Assistance Office or the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095, Monday through Friday (individuals with hearing impairments may call the TDD number at 1-800-451-5886).

Mayor's August Newsletter

Dear Neighbors,

As August rolls around, many children and families will begin thinking about the upcoming school year. This summer, I’m asking you to give some thought to how you can help support Pittsburgh youth.

I believe that Pittsburgh’s future is in the hands of its young people. That’s why I’ve committed to serving as a middle-school mentor during the 2011-12 school year – and I want you to join me.

There are lots of great ways to get involved. One opportunity is through the Be A 6th Grade Mentor Program– the largest mentoring project in the region’s history. Simply by sharing your time, you can make a tremendous difference. In a recent study of mentoring relationships, youth with mentors were shown to get better grades, be less likely to get involved with drugs and 86% more likely to go to college.

Along with serving as a mentor myself, I recently established the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative to help grow youth mentoring efforts in our City. The Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative provides City employees with the opportunity to serve as middle-school mentors in partnership with the Be A 6th Grade Mentor Program. It is my hope that other businesses and corporations will follow my lead and make mentoring opportunities available to their employees as well.

For more information about the Be A 6th Grade Mentor project, please call 412-456-6770 or click on the link.  To learn about the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative, please call 412- 255-4765 or click here. You can find additional mentoring opportunities here.

July newsletter from the office of District 7 Councilman Patrick Dowd

NEWS AND UPDATES

Farmers Market Opening Postponed

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the opening of the new Farmers Market in Lawrenceville has been postponed until July 9, 9:30am. It will continue on Saturday from 9:30am-1pm through October. It will be located in the Goodwill parking lot near 52nd and Berlin Streets.

Should you have further questions or would like to volunteer to be part of this great community development, please contact Jennifer at Jennifer.thoma@city.pittsburgh.pa.us or 412.255.2140.

Allegheny Cleanways and Mennonite Youth to Clean Up Heth’s Run

Heth’s Run, a long-neglected dumping ground in the East End of Pittsburgh, will be getting a makeover on July 5-8, 2011.  Allegheny Cleanways and the Office of Councilman Patrick Dowd, along with other service organizations in the region, are working with the Mennonite Church USA Convention organizers to plan community service opportunities for the approximately 3,500-5,000 people attending the conference from July 4-9.  Read more…

Dialogue and Resolution Center to Attend Meetings in District 7

Beginning in July, the Dialogue and Resolution Center of the Center for Victims of Violent Crime will be our guest at meetings throughout District 7. The Dialogue and Resolution Center is a proactive violence prevention initiative dedicated to resolving conflicts peacefully. The DRC is the “front line” resource for resolving community conflicts such as: conflicts between neighbors, landlords and tenants, businesses and consumers, youth and adults, employers and employees. Read more…

UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS

COUNCIL TO GO

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

Polish Hill — Wednesday, July 13, 7pm – 8pm — Lili Coffee*Shop, 3138 Dobson Street

Bloomfield – Tuesday, July 26, 6pm – 7pm – Crazy Mocha Coffee Company, 4525 Liberty Avenue

Highland Park — Thursday, July 28, 7pm – 8pm – Enrico’s Tazza D’Oro, 1125 N. Highland Avenue

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Saturday, July 2, 12pm-10pm – 67th Annual Independence Day Celebration – Arsenal Park, Lawrenceville

Sunday, July 9, 11am-4pm – Doo Dah Days – Stephen Foster Music and Heritage Festival – Allegheny Cemetery, Lawerenceville

Thursday, July 14, 10am-1pm – Roving Art Cart coming to West Penn Community Center, Polish Hill

Saturday, July 16, 4pm – 9pm – Live at Leslie – Leslie Park Pool, Lawrenceville — A FREE, arts-and activity-packed daycation geared to14-18 yr olds. (But parents and everyone can experience the activities!)

Sunday, July 17, 12pm-9pm – Polish Hill Arts Festival — 3060 Brereton St., Polish Hill

Monday, July 25, 10am-1pm – Roving Art Cart coming to Joe Natoli Field, Morningside

Fridays through August 26, 2011, 7:30-10pm – Free Movies in Arsenal Park @ Dusk

If you know of any free community-oriented events in your District 7 neighborhood that we should publicize through our monthly newsletter and District 7 website, please email Jennifer.thoma@city.pittsburgh.pa.us by the 1st of each month.

DID YOU KNOW?

Stanton Heights is located east of Downtown, Pittsburgh in the heart of Council District 7. This close-knit, family-oriented and pet-friendly neighborhood appeals to those looking for a quiet and relaxed way of life. This neighborhood, set at the top of Stanton Avenue, has the character of a suburb – with new homes, quiet streets, and little to no traffic. Many City police officers and fire fighters call Stanton Heights home.
Read more…

 

Polish Hill Voice February 2011 edition is available

The February 2011 Polish Hill Voice is ready for your enjoyment. Following is the President’s letter.

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President’s letter

We’re past the midpoint of winter, when each day has a bit more light and thoughts of spring will soon be filling our minds. As we deal with the snow, ice and low temperatures, we begin to mentally plot our gardens and think about cleaning up our green spaces. Until garden plans and dreams have their season, let’s celebrate the current one.

Why celebrate winter? Ask any of the children taking a few moments to run and fall in the snow, or sledding down my favorite hill at West Penn. It may be hard to understand their answers through all the laughter. If one of the kids seems a little bigger than the
others … or you notice “Terry” written on his sled with magic marker, let me finish building my snowman before you ask why. Actually, it would be better if you just join in and figure it out as we go. It’s not my fault if you don’t remember that snowballs spontaneously
occur … just because. The best part of any season is embracing the changes it brings, and experiencing them by getting out and living.

Over a hot chocolate at Lili Coffee*Shop, the adult side of my mind begins to ponder. The seasons and their changes give the opportunity to reflect on past and present … and especially the futures we can explore and build together. My mind’s eye begins to
draw flowcharts as I assess programs, set schedules, anticipate outcomes, and create flexible “Plan B” options. Then, I look out the window. As I see friends walking with their children and their dog, a little something from Robert Frost creeps into my head: “The woods are lovely dark and deep but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

The reminder is this: Let your inner child out for a bit of winter fun! Find the best place to ride your sled. Build your snowman and begin to wonder if he will enjoy the garden view you’re envisioning.

Terry Doloughty
President
Polish Hill Civic Association

Polish Hill Voice November 2010 edition is available

The November 2010 Polish Hill Voice is ready for your enjoyment. The newsletter is available for download Following is the President’s letter.
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President’s letter

We are embarking on a time of preparation and planning here on Polish Hill. As the scope and pace of our neighborhood changes, the community has the opportunity to adjust and renew its focus. Through grant writing, and asking local businesses for support, the Polish Hill Civic Association has raised the funds necessary for a strategic community plan. We will work through the planning process with assistance from the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development. Having open community meetings combined with information gathered in recent years, we will be able to identify the issues and concerns our residents define as priorities. Keeping community consensus in mind, we will work with a professional firm to create a plan for Polish Hill. This focused approach will help us make the best use of time and resources to achieve our goals. Since the majority of our efforts are volunteer-based, with support from dedicated part-time staff, efficiency will be key to our success.

Every day we are taking steps to improve the quality of life in Polish Hill. Recently we collected twelve large boxes of household chemicals: paint, thinner, insecticide, varnish and weed killer were all disposed properly at Allegheny County’s disposal event. We will continue to lead initiatives on environmentally safe practices. The best thing we can do for future residents is to leave our community a little better than we found it.

Along with the daily, ongoing work we do at the PHCA, there is still time for friends and neighbors to gather. Our recent successes, including the PHCA yard sale on August 28, PARK(ing) Day on September 17, and the Polish Hill Flea Market on September 25, are proof that community building has its place alongside the bricks and mortar. Our connections to each other, and the network we form, is the living, breathing part of Polish Hill. The magic happens when our residents gather together — young and old, native and newcomer.

Looking back as well as looking forward, I see what we have accomplished and what is left to do. I am in my second term as President of the PHCA, still making contact with residents every chance I get. New challenges constantly arise, presenting great opportunities to learn and apply new skills. Some people may not realize that being president of the PHCA is a volunteer role. Working for the neighborhood is my continuing education and career. I just keep my day job to pay the bills.

Terry Doloughty
PHCA president