Office of Councilman Patrick Dowd — April 2011

News and Updates


A great way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22, 2011) is by helping renew the beauty of our local communities and public areas. The Great PA Cleanup, Pennsylvania’s participation in the national Great American Cleanup campaign sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, provides the perfect opportunity. Please join District 7 in helping our neighborhoods celebrate a refreshing Spring by participating in a local cleanup effort. Communities, groups and individuals looking to connect with a clean up in District 7 should contact Boris Weinstein at 412-688-9120 or by e-mail at


Spring time is also the time to start thinking about fresh and nutritious foods straight from our region’s plethora of local farms. The David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership has developed a new scorecard—the Food Abundance Index (FAI)—to measure food security within a neighborhood or geographic area. The index was created to determine the access to and availability of healthy, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food and to eliminate food deserts—areas where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain.

The Lawrenceville neighborhood is identified in the study as one of the many “food deserts” within our City limits. In light of this unfortunate label, Councilman Dowd is helping the community establish a new farmer’s market. The location has not yet been determined, but a committee is developing to influence the process. They will be working with the organization Farmers Market Services to consider ideas such as location, day and time of the week, products available, special events and activities and funding. If you would like to be a part of the solution to the unacceptable food access issues in Lawrenceville, please contact Jennifer Thoma or 412.255.2140.


Goodwill of Southwestern Pa is offering a free tax service for lower income, elderly, disabled and limited-English taxpayers. Goodwill Lawrenceville VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Office, 118 52nd Street, Monday and Wednesday from 12 to 4 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. Call Keisha at 412-632-1732to make an appointment.

Also, at Goodwill this month, friends from District 7 are invited to attend the Goodwill Open House and Dedication Ceremony on April 20, 2011. The new Workforce Development Center is located on 118 52nd Street.

Stop by any time between 10-2 to tour the new facility and learn why Goodwill is much more than thrift stores.  Learn about the agency’s services and programs, including employment training, job search assistance, adult education, computer recycling, the Good-to-Go Café and more.  No RSVP is needed.

Upcoming Events & Meetings


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 Council to Go — Friday, April 15, 7:30-9am — Perk Me Up, 4407 Butler Street

Morningside Council to Go — Thurs., April 28, 7-8pm — Morningside VFW, 1820 Morningside Ave.


Friday, April 1 — Sunday, April 3 — Union Project Spring Open House, 801 North Negley Avenue
Union Project’s historic building has been restored over the past ten years through over 30,000 community volunteer hours and the generous support of individual donors and foundations. It is home to a variety of community-based tenants, artists and classes, and filled with an ever increasing number of events ranging from community meetings to festivals to weddings. For more information about the event-filled weekend, please go to

Thursday, April 14, 1pm — Driver Education for Seniors — Lawrenceville Senior Center, 4600 Butler Street
This AARP-approved driver improvement program, designed especially for seniors, is designed to refresh driving skills and knowledge. Seniors will develop positive driving attitudes and regain lost confidence. Upon completion of this program each senior will receive a 5% reduction in their automobile insurance premiums for a period of three years, as mandated by PA State Law. Safe driver instruction must be updated every three years to continue insurance discount. You can register for this informative class by calling Rose at 412.621.4199.

Sunday, April 17, 12:15-2:15pm — Morningside Area Community Council’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt, St. Raphael’s Multi-Purpose Room.
Children 2-12 are invited to attend at. Activities will include the East Egg Hunt (BYOB – Bring Your Own Basket), Crafts, Face Painting and games and goodies galore! Please RSVP by April 12th to Corrine Antoszewski, 412-441-8475, or Jennifer McCarthy,

Saturday, April 30, 6pm – Sunday, May 1, 2pm — Art All Night — Iron City Brewery at 3340

Liberty Avenue

Art All Night is a grassroots event staged by an all-volunteer crew. A joyful celebration of the arts and community, the show grows in popularity each year, bringing thousands of people from all over the region into Lawrenceville. In 2010 Art All Night Lawrenceville featured work by 1189 artists and was attended by over 12,000 guests.


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


Did You Know?

One explanation of the origin of April Fool’s Day follows that many ancient cultures such as Romans and Hindus and the medieval Europeans used to celebrate New Year’s Day sometime near the vernal equinox that could range from March 20th to April 5th. In the Julian calendar, April 1st was designated as the New Year’s Day and was so celebrated till 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII ordered the adoption of the new Gregorian Calendar, which specified January 1st as the New Year’s Day. However, due to slow communications and resistance of people to change their traditions, many people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day as before on 1st of April.

One of the most successful hoaxes portrayed on this day in history happened in England, 1957: The well-respected BBC news show Panorama announced that, thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers had grown a bumper crop of spaghetti that year. They even showed footage of peasants pulling spaghetti down from the trees. Viewers believed it, calling into the BBC to ask how they could enjoy their own spaghetti crop. The BBC replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”