Pittsburgh Has Dim View Of Ads On Sign Above Point

DSC01824

The sign in question is to the right of the tall building and the incline. Looks like a cement wall next to the trees on the cliff. Actually a billboard.

Picture this scrolling hundreds of feet above the iconic confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers: “Chipped ham, $1.39 a pound.”

That’s the plot Mayor Bill Peduto says his administration has foiled as it negotiates a new permit with Lamar Advertising for the company’s famous 32-foot-tall, 225-foot-long neon sign on Mount Washington, which has loomed over the Point since around the time of the 1929 stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression.

Bayer, which for years had pushed for upgrades to the dilapidated sign that was covered with a banner during the G-20 summit in 2009 like an embarrassing piece of furniture, finally dropped its nearly 22-year lease of the sign last summer. Lamar pledged to overhaul it. During its lifespan, the sign has also been graced by the sponsorship of Iron City Beer and Alcoa, and displayed the time and the temperature.

Mr. Peduto said Friday that the company is threatening to cease the improvements over his administration’s insistence that the sign not be used for advertising purposes beyond displaying a company name. Mr. Peduto said he was told his stance “killed” a deal with Giant Eagle to become the new sponsor.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/05/23/Pittsburgh-has-dim-view-of-ads-on-sign-above-Point/stories/201505230071

Officials Envision Reinvigorated Allegheny County Airport

The county airport authority wants West Mifflin’s Allegheny County Airport to be a destination — but not for commuter flights.

That sums up a meeting borough officials had Monday with new authority CEO Christina Cassotis that came 24 hours before a $1.5 million federal grant was announced for taxiway rehabilitation there.

“It was a positive meeting,” borough Manager Brian Kamauf said. “We discussed the history of the airport.”

It dates back to Pittsburgh and McKeesport’s window to the world between 1931 and 1952, when commercial service moved from West Mifflin to what then was Greater Pittsburgh Airport, now Pittsburgh International.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/8407018-74/airport-county-authority#ixzz3asqtZ8jy
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Developer Plans To Turn North Side’s Allegheny Center Into Technology Hub

A New York developer unveiled plans today to convert the Allegheny Center mall on the North Side into a technology hub and campus to be known as Nova Place.

The multimillion-dollar project being undertaken by Faros Properties will include an extensive renovation of the 1.2 million-square-foot complex, making it one of the largest redevelopment projects in the country, officials said.

Work will include upgraded offices, collaborative workspaces, new restaurants, a fitness center, a conference center and improved common areas.

In unveiling the changes, Faros announced that Innovation Works has signed a lease to occupy 12,000 square feet in the complex. The company will move from its current space in Pittsburgh to Allegheny Center next month and into permanent space in the fall.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/05/21/Developer-to-turn-Allegheny-Center-into-a-technology-hub/stories/201505210194

Grand Jury Investigating Plum Sex Scandal Involving Possibly 8 Students

An Allegheny County grand jury is investigating whether teachers at Plum High School abused as many as eight female students over as many as eight years and that school officials kept it quiet, according to a sealed search warrant executed Tuesday.

The warrant — signed Monday by Common Pleas Judge Jill E. Rangos, who supervises the grand jury — sought records that could show whether district officials knew about inappropriate contact between staff and students.

The warrant indicates that a grand jury is investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against school officials for failing to report known sexual abuse.

Among the violations under consideration are tampering with records, fabricating evidence, obstructing the administration of law, failure to report abuse and intimidation, retaliation or obstruction in a child abuse case, according to the warrant.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8399593-74/ruggieri-hearing-charges#ixzz3ahY6QGzu
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Pittsburgh’s Healthy Ride Bike Share System To Start May 31

Pittsburgh’s bike share system will begin May 31, organizers announced Monday.

The rental network of 50 stations across 11 neighborhoods will provide access to 500 bikes. Dubbed Healthy Ride, the system will be operated by Pittsburgh Bike Share, which was established in 2012 with the goal of starting a public bike sharing system.

“We are excited to bring bike share to the city of Pittsburgh,” said a statement from Executive Director David White. “Residents, businesses and community groups have all shown tremendous support and enthusiasm for the launch. Healthy Ride will provide the city of Pittsburgh with an active transportation choice for locals and visitors.”

Rentals will be available for $2 per half hour. Monthly membership plans will cost $12 a month for unlimited 30-minute rides and $20 for unlimited 60-minute rides. Users can pre-register for free on the program’s website or at the rental kiosks at stations.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/8393723-74/bike-share-pittsburgh#ixzz3aavvY4hv
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

In The Lead: Carnegie / The Comeback Continues

Hans and Virginia Gruenert wanted to start a theater company when they lived in New York City. That’s where you’d do something like that.

But Off the Wall Theater Co. was destined to be born in Western Pennsylvania when Mr. Gruenert’s work brought the couple here in 2007. And after five years in Washington, Pa., they found a better fit in Carnegie.

Their decision happened to mesh with the borough’s trajectory of late.

The economic doldrums that gripped the region for years didn’t miss Carnegie. Then in 2004, when Chartiers Creek overran the business district as a remnant of Hurricane Ivan, dozens of businesses were damaged and many did not return.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/in-the-lead-2015/reports/2015/05/14/In-The-Lead-Carnegie-The-comeback-continues

Downtown Pittsburgh Continues On Strong Growth Trajectory

DSC01801Developers announced about three dozen economic development projects totaling $526 million in Pittsburgh’s Greater Downtown in 2014, capitalizing on dramatic growth in recent years, according to a report released Thursday.

“With more than $5 billion of transformative investment in Downtown Pittsburgh over the last decade, Downtown is well-positioned,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the nonprofit Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/8363736-74/downtown-report-greater#ixzz3aE7Xi4L1
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Cargo Train Derails In Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood Section

No injuries have been reported in a freight train derailment in the Hazelwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

The train went off the rails about 10:15 a.m. on tracks near Irvine Street, according to emergency dispatchers.

About 10 freight cars derailed, and some of the cars blocked Irvine where the tracks crossed.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8369008-74/derailment-emergency-injuries#ixzz3a7t25DQ5
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Pyrex, Pa.: Charleroi Celebrating The Centennial Of Its Famed Product

A name change is being cooked up for Charleroi.

Beginning May 16, the Washington County town is going to be named for probably its best-known product: Pyrex.

“For 100 days, we’ll be putting up signs saying, ‘Welcome to Pyrex, Pa.’ or changing the name of events to things like the Pyrex Baseball Tournament,” says Mike Scheffki, brand manager of Pyrex, the ovenware manufactured there.

It is part of the centennial celebration for Pyrex, the heatproof ovenware Scheffki estimates is in 80 million homes in North America.

Read more: http://triblive.com/lifestyles/history/8223960-74/pyrex-glass-says#ixzz3Zwmcrfxk
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Mt. Lebanon Landlord With History Of Housing Violations Sued By State Attorney General’s Office

A Mt. Lebanon landlord who has been repeatedly fined for failing to have water service to his properties in Carrick and elsewhere – and who was accused of running a garden hose from someone else’s property to get water – is being sued by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.

The complaint, filed today in Common Pleas Court, names as defendants Davin Gartley, as well as his companies, Davin Investments Inc. and R.A.E.D. Investments Inc.

According to the complaint, the defendants operate at least 11 properties, including 2531-2539 Brownsville Road in Carrick, which has been the subject of the water problems.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants are violating Pennsylvania’s Consumer Protection Law by failing to maintain habitable properties, failing to provide water service and failing to return tenant security deposits.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/05/12/Mt-Lebanon-landlord-with-history-of-housing-violations-sued-by-state-Attorney-General-s-office/stories/201505120157

Braddock’s Backers See Lots Of Potential In Community’s Future

When talking about Braddock, Molly Rice and Jeffrey Carpenter avoid the word “revitalization.”

The term, they say, implies what already exists in the community isn’t vital, and, therefore, doesn’t apply to the historic town.

“Braddock isn’t what you might think it is. There are so many elements and varieties of colors and layers and things to see,” says Rice, a playwright who’s working with Carpenter’s Bricolage Production Company and Real/Time Interventions to bring her “Saints Tour” immersive theater experience to Braddock in May and June.

The show is one of many efforts to draw outsiders in while the community continues to move forward from its unstable past.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/8147634-74/braddock-sousa-theater#ixzz3ZrLDNYdB
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Hazelwood: Almono Gives Neighborhood A Shot At Recovery

Salvation sits just across the railroad tracks from Alex Bodnar’s Hungarian restaurant on Second Avenue in Hazelwood.

It doesn’t look like much now, just acres and acres of vacant land, graded but idle. But the redevelopment potential of the 178-acre site has raised the hopes of the struggling city neighborhood.

“The good Lord is answering my prayer,” Mr. Bodnar beamed as he stood in the kitchen of his restaurant preparing a bowl of goulash.

For much of the last century, the Monongahela riverfront site has been closely tied to the neighborhood’s fortunes. For decades, the massive coke works that dominated the land brought prosperity. Jobs were plentiful and Second Avenue teemed with grocery stores, shops and restaurants.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/in-the-lead-2015/reports/2015/05/11/In-The-Lead-Hazelwood-Almono-gives-neighborhood-a-shot-at-recovery/stories/201505140090

Entrepreneurial Meet Up Group Looks For Members In Mid-Mon Valley

Editor’s note:  A reader sent in this request – if you are interested, contact Rick.

I’m trying to start an entrepreneur meet up in the Charleroi, PA area.  Looking for people interested in joining me.  I can be contacted at 724-992-8695.
Rick

Study: Pittsburgh’s Network Of Riverfront Parks Contributes To Boom In Development

DSC01818Pittsburgh’s riverfront parks system is not only a haven for rest, relaxation and recreation but an economic powerhouse that has helped to generate billions of dollars in development over the past 15 years, a study has found.

In that time, the $130 million invested in the 13-mile Three Rivers Park has helped to produce nearly $4.1 billion in development on and near the riverfront, according to the study by Sasaki Associates, a Massachusetts-based architectural and planning firm.

In addition, the study, commissioned by Riverlife and to be released today, determined that since 2001, property values along that stretch have jumped by 60 percent compared with 32 percent in the rest of the city.

“The pattern in Pittsburgh and in other cities across the country is clear: properties with close proximity to high quality park infrastructure increase in value more than properties that do not,” the report stated.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2015/05/07/Study-Pittsburgh-s-network-of-riverfront-parks-contributes-to-boom-in-development/stories/201505070094

Pittsburgh Needs 21,000 Affordable Homes, Study Says

DSC01828Mayor Bill Peduto’s newly named Affordable Housing Task Force has daunting numbers to chip away at. For starters, a shortage of 21,000 homes in Pittsburgh that are affordable enough for families of four whose income is $24,000, which is 30 percent of the area’s median income for that size household.

Attorney Robert Damewood of Regional Housing Legal Services called the shortage “severe” and said that throughout Allegheny County, more than 30,000 people live in housing they can’t afford, most paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing. “This makes them very insecure and at risk of eviction.”

The  has just issued a report on a situation it expects to escalate as rents rise in more neighborhoods.

Mr. Damewood researched and prepared the report for the Housing Alliance’s Building Inclusive Communities work group. It recommends the city establish inclusive zoning, assuring a percentage of affordable units in any development, either by mandate or incentives to developers, such as land use approvals, height density bonuses and additional build-outs at no extra cost. In flat markets, a community land trust or land bank can preserve properties for affordable development.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/05/06/Pittsburgh-needs-21-000-affordable-homes-task-force-reports/stories/201505060095

Allegheny Health Network’s $600M Plan To Expand Reach Depends On Highmark

Allegheny Health Network proposes investing part of $175 million from Highmark Inc. in renovations and technology upgrades at its Allegheny General and West Penn hospitals, anticipating that they will accommodate more patients when Highmark insurance subscribers lose in-network access to UPMC next year.

The Highmark-owned hospital system would build outpatient medical centers and expand emergency, trauma and women’s health services to underserved parts of Western Pennsylvania as part of a spending plan that executives say will help it better compete with UPMC.

“The entire amount … will be used for capital improvements at Allegheny Health Network to fill in certain service line gaps,” Chief Financial Officer Karen Hanlon said during a state Department of Insurance hearing Monday. “No portion of the requested funding will go to pay operating expenses.”

UPMC Treasurer Tal Heppenstall Jr. said Allegheny Health Network is in worse financial condition than Highmark has reported and chided the company for its “profound lack of financial transparency.” He said it appears Highmark is hiding huge losses in “sporadic, fragmented and murky” financial statements.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/healthnews/8208546-74/highmark-health-network#ixzz3ZH4hmeqt
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

CEO Takes The Blame As Sales Continue To Fall At Vitamin Retailer GNC

Mike Archbold fell on his sword Thursday, calling an unexpected drop in first-quarter sales at GNC a “self-inflicted wound.”

Archbold, who was hired as CEO in August to turn around a yearlong slump in sales and profit, said he mistakenly cut the Downtown-based vitamin and supplement retailer’s advertising budget by $5 million.

“We intentionally did not deploy a full slate of marketing. … This caused us to talk to our customers less, a lot less,” he told analysts. “To be clear, this was a mistake.”

Not a factor in the decline, he said, was negative publicity from a probe by the attorney general of New York that questioned the purity and authenticity of some herbal supplements sold by GNC and other retailers.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8253719-74/sales-million-cents#ixzz3YuG3RfYW
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

More U.S. Steel Layoffs Coming, CEO Says

U.S. Steel Corp. expects to lay off more workers this year as the Downtown-based steel manufacturer accelerates cost-cutting to deal with a significant downturn in demand, CEO Mario Longhi said Wednesday.

The company has laid off 2,800 workers since the beginning of the year as it reduces steel production at all its plants in North America. It has issued notices to 9,000 of its workers warning them that they could be cut which gives the company flexibility to react to worsening conditions.

Longhi told analysts that the number of layoffs will go higher, but he didn’t provide specifics.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8253660-74/steel-company-longhi#ixzz3YipFlqKv
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Plum High School Teacher Hires Attorney Who Also Represents Jerry Sandusky

A Plum High School teacher has hired an attorney who also represents Jerry Sandusky.

Drew Zoldak, 40, of New Kensington, has hired Butler county defense attorney Alexander H. Lindsay Jr. to defend him against charges of witness intimidation.

Lindsay also represents Sandusky in the former Penn State assistant football coach’s post conviction relief act appeal of his conviction for molesting young boys.

Zoldak is accused of identifying a girl in his class as one who allegedly had sex with Joseph Ruggieri, 40, of Plum, an English teacher at the school charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and witness intimidation.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8254654-74/zoldak-attorney-plum#ixzz3Yd9jBB00
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook