No water service for Melwood residents on Wednesday evening

Residents on Melwood Street in Polish Hill will have no water from 6 p.m. to midnight Wednesday.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will replace two water valves on Melwood during that time. Most other residents in Polish Hill will experience low water pressure and possible interruption of service.

In the event of a water or sewer emergency, residents should call PWSA at 412-255-2429 or 412-255-2409.


Port Authority Thanksgiving Day service changes

Port Authority’s bus, T and incline service will operate on holiday schedules for Thanksgiving this Thursday, November 22.

Port Authority’s Customer Service phone line (412-442-2000; TTY: 412-231-7007) will have special holiday hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the Downtown Service Center will be closed on Thanksgiving.

Service will operate on regular weekday schedules on Friday, November 23.

Riders traveling over the holiday weekend should be advised of two major detours.  On Thanksgiving morning, buses will be detoured in Downtown Pittsburgh and the North Shore due to the annual Turkey Trot race.  Then on Saturday, November 24, buses will be detoured due to the My Macy’s Holiday Parade in Downtown.  Details on those detours will be posted this week at

Allegheny County Prepares for Hurricane Sandy Threat; Urges Citizens to Prepare

Not to be alarmist, just wanted to share the press release just issued by Allegheny County:

Allegheny County is preparing for the possibility of strong winds, heavy rain and even snow as Hurricane Sandy moves north.

“Obviously, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the forecast for early next week with the track of Hurricane Sandy, although we expect to see rain and some snow for portions of our area,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.  “Our Chief of Emergency Services and his staff have been constantly monitoring the reports on the storm and are readying our center to be able to respond to whatever this region may see as a result of Hurricane Sandy.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) is reporting that the storm could combine with another system to bring a combination of snow, wind, rain and flooding to much of Pennsylvania.  The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has indicated that the potential heavy rains, high winds and risk of flooding may result in extensive damage to roads, streets, bridges, and property.  The County’s Emergency Operations Center is prepared for whatever the storm may bring.

“We have has been monitoring the progress of this storm and receiving regular briefings from the NWS and PEMA, and will certainly continue to do so throughout the weekend,” said Chief Alvin Henderson.  “We have a multi-faceted plan which provides for incremental and/or urgent changes in staffing based upon assessments and anticipated needs and have notified and provided information to all 130 municipal emergency coordinators.  We are currently monitoring the situation and are ready to implement any changes that may be necessary.”

Allegheny County Public Works is also prepared for any needs from its Department.  “Starting on October 1, Public Works began getting its equipment serviced and prepared for the snow fighting season, fitting the plows, setting the spreaders and other steps to ready our equipment,” said Public Works Deputy Director Bernie Rossman. “Over the last few days, given the potential for winter weather, we made sure that our salt supplies were adequate at every district and now have trucks filled with salt in every region, ready to go.  Crews will be on standby when the weather hits.”

County Executive Fitzgerald also urged the public to be prepared for the storm – whether it be to stay in their homes during the duration, or to evacuate if it is recommended or ordered by local authorities, “Residents should have enough provisions in their homes to last at least 72 hours because help from emergency responders may not be immediately available when severe weather strikes.”

Chief Henderson added that personal preparedness is just as important as professional response in emergency situations, “At a minimum, residents should have the following on hand:  flashlights and extra batteries; portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries; first aid kit and manual; emergency food and water; non-electric can opener; essential medicines/prescriptions; cash, credit cards and important legal documents; and sturdy shoes.”

For more information on how to make a disaster supply kit and how to prepare for all kinds of disasters, visit

Get some yard work in over the next few weekends — the City's fall yard debris pickup is November 10

The City of Pittsburgh’s fall yard debris collection is still three weeks away — so that’s three weekends in which to get your yard or garden tidied up for winter, and to get that debris bundled up for pickup.  Here’s the info, straight from the City:

The City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works, Bureau of Environmental Services will be collecting leaf and yard debris from all residents in a special collection on Saturday November 10, 2012.

Yard debris should be placed at your normal collection site on Friday November 9th. All yard debris materials will be collected by city refuse / recycling crews and composted on Saturday November 10th.

Bag Leaves for Collection: Residents must bag leaves in paper bags only and place them out at your normal refuse collection site. Bags should NOT exceed 35 pounds.

Leaves in plastic bags will not be accepted. Paper yard debris bags can be purchased at local hardware or department stores.

Tree Branches and Bushes: Cut, bundle and tie branches and bushes in lengths not exceeding 5 ft. in length. Tree branch diameter should not exceed four (4) inches.

Please note that City crews will NOT collect dirt, rocks, stones or cement. Yard debris left at the curb by contracted lawn care workers or independent contractors will not be collected by city crews.  Yard debris not meeting the collection guidelines will not be collected by city crews.

Click here for more detailed information on what they will and will not take.  If you have any questions, contact Environmental Services at (412) 255-2631 or (412) 255-2773.

October 9th is the deadline to register to vote on November 6

The Allegheny County Elections Division has reminded us that residents who wish to vote in the November 6 general election must be registered by Tuesday, October 9.  Registered voters who have moved or changed their name or party affiliation must also notify the Elections Division by October 9.

In order to quality to vote, one must be a Untied States citizen at least one month prior to the election, a resident of Pennsylvania and the election district at least 30 days before the election, and 18 years of age on or before the day of election.

Individuals needing to register may apply in person Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Office of the Registration Commission in Room 609 of the County Office Building located at 542 Forbes Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh. The Elections Division will remain open until 5:00 p.m. on October 9 to accept hand-delivered voter registration forms.

Registration-by-mail forms may also be used to register or to change name, address or party affiliation. These forms are available at Armed Services Recruitment Centers, Area Agencies on Aging, as well as many branches of the U.S. Postal Service and state, county and municipal offices.  Registration-by-mail forms must be postmarked by October 9.

Once the form is completed and returned to the Elections Division, approved applicants will receive a Certificate of Voter Registration.

Voter registration forms may also be obtained by visiting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s website at and following the link to “Register to Vote.”

Allegheny County residents who have questions or would like to verify their registration status may call the Elections Division at 412-350-4510 or click here.

84 days until Election Day. Do you have proper ID? (a guest post from the office of Senator Jim Ferlo)

Dear voter,

As you probably already know, Election Day is coming, and now Pennsylvania voters need to produce a state-approved identification at the polls in order to cast a vote.

Don’t let the partisan, convoluted voter ID law take away your right to the ballot box on November 6th! We can help you verify whether or not you have an approved ID.

Visit my website, and take our Voter ID Quiz – our site will walk you through a series of yes or no questions to help you determine if you have what you need in order to vote.

Please ACT NOW and be sure you have proper ID by taking our Voter ID Quiz online! If you discover you don’t have an approved ID, both of my district offices are prepared to assist you to get what you need in time to vote.

With 84 days and counting, don’t risk missing out on voting in a high-stakes election! Take our Voter ID Quiz on my website:

Best wishes,
State Senator Jim Ferlo

Pittsburgh office:
3519 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Phone: (412) 621-3006
Fax: (412) 621-0373

Posted in PSA

Public safety alert

A resident stopped by the PHCA yesterday afternoon to let us know that there was a mugging on Melwood Avenue around  1:00 a.m. on Monday evening.   A young man leaving the Rock Room was jumped by two young men in their late teens or early twenties.  He had nothing of value on him for them to steal, but he was injured.  He chose not to call the police.

It was also reported that another resident caught someone breaking into his car.  We didn’t get a description of the perpetrator — but we are told that the resident chased him down to Liberty Avenue!

There isn’t a lot of crime in Polish Hill, so these rare incidents are notable.  This is a good time to say it again:  if you are aware of a crime, or are the victim, please call the police — and make sure they file a report, so that it’s on record.  If the police aren’t made aware of incidents, then officially, nothing happened.  We are happy to  get very low crime stats each month from Zone 2 — but only if those low numbers truly represent what’s going on.

Let’s hope this was an isolated incident — but do be careful, particularly if you are out late at night.  Lets keep an eye out for our neighbors, share information, and keep Polish Hill safe.