City Council District 7 Newsletter – February 2012


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

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  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 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.


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.


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