Commissioners Lament ‘Divisiveness’ Of Mt. Lebanon Deer Culling Debate

The most disappointing part of Mt. Lebanon’s deer management program that ended abruptly last week was “the divisiveness and mean-spirited rhetoric” that split the community, commissioners said at their meeting Monday night.

“For the good of the community, we must try to reset the dialogue,” President John Bendel read from a letter at the meeting.

But opponents of the program said there is still work to be done.

They again lined Washington Road before the commission’s discussion session and subsequent meeting.

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http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2015/03/24/Commissioners-lament-divisiveness-of-Mt-Lebanon-deer-culling-debate/stories/201503240130

Pittsburgh Bald Eagles’ Egg Expected To Hatch This Week

For birdwatchers and fans of the great outdoors, 2014 was a red letter year when a pair of nesting bald eagles along the Monongahela River in Hays successfully hatched and reared three young eagles.

The pair started with two eggs this year but lost one about a week ago when it broke. The remaining egg is expected to hatch sometime this week.

Though it is normal for eagles to hatch one or two eggs each spring, eagle sightings remain something of a novelty in the region. Bald eagle fans regularly flock to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail just west of the Glenwood Bridge to watch the pair on the hillside above Route 837.

Worldwide, millions keep tabs on the eagles, day and night, by way of a video stream on the Pittsburgh Bald Eagles website ( http://triblive.com/news/projects/pittsburgheagle)

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/7992465-74/eagles-eagle-bald#ixzz3VENJJ1Ow
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On The Horizon: PNC’s $400M Tower Nears Completion

Picture of PNC Tower in July 2014

Picture of PNC Tower in July 2014

PNC Financial Services Group’s $400 million skyscraper in Downtown is nearly 80 percent complete and on track to be finished in the fall, the company said Friday.

Mayor Bill Peduto said he welcomes “the addition of their new tower to our celebrated skyline,” along with the financial giant’s continued investment in Pittsburgh.

PNC’s Downtown presence includes the 30-story One PNC Plaza, 34-story Two PNC Plaza, 23-story Three PNC Plaza and five-story PNC Firstside Center on First Avenue.

Construction of the skyscraper, dubbed The Tower at PNC Plaza, began in spring 2012. A PNC-run website dedicated to the project says The Tower is 78 percent complete, with work to enclose the building about 90 percent done and interior construction about 60 percent finished. The latter work is expected to be completed in the spring.

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Stylebook Snapshot: Pittsburgh Knit And Crochet Festival Embraces Growth With New Venue

What do you compare to covering the Andy Warhol Bridge with a rainbow of 500-plus knitted and crocheted blankets as part of the Knit the Bridge fiber arts installation in 2013? How about a 78-foot “waterfall” of yarn cascading along the walls of a Downtown hotel?

This spectacle will be among the sights next weekend at the 11th annual Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival, which will include a fashion show, design contest, giveaways and more than 80 classes and hands-on activities. This year, the event also will attract a film crew to Pittsburgh that will tape a segment about the city and its fiber arts scene for a reality television show.

For the first time, the festival will be held Downtown at the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh hotel to accommodate its growing attendance. Last year, about 3,500 people came out for the festivities at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Marshall, where the festival took place for several years.

“We have people who come from across the country to attend,” says festival organizer Barbara Grossman. “It’s become like a retreat.”

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http://www.post-gazette.com/life/fashion/2015/03/22/Stylebook-snapshot-Pittsburgh-Knit-and-Crochet-Festival-embraces-growth-with-new-venue/stories/201503220015

PennDOT Expects $272 Million In District Road Work This Year

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will start or continue several major projects on local roads and bridges this year as it spends an estimated $272 million to give drivers a smoother, safer ride.

There will be plenty of inconvenience on the way in District 11, which includes Allegheny Beaver and Lawrence counties. PennDOT officials at a briefing this morning stressed the importance of safe driving, including adhering to work zone speed limits.

Specific announcements of road and bridge closures or restrictions will come as the events draw nearer, officials said.

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http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2015/03/16/PennDOT-expects-272-million-in-road-work-this-year/stories/201503160147

Mt. Lebanon’s Controversial Deer-Culling Program Gets Underway

Mt. Lebanon’s controversial deer-culling program began late Monday night with another protest, though all the activity surrounding the cull scared deer away from at least one of the corrals and the rest of the night appeared to pass uneventfully.

About 15 anti-culling protesters gathered starting at 9 p.m. in the parking lot for Bird Park off Beadling Road, hoping to document the arrival of the contractors and their departure with any deer, said Dina Alberts, 27, of Carnegie.

“Our goal is to go to each (commission) meeting with up-to-date information, truthful information, and the only way to get it is to see it with our own eyes,” said Alberts, who grew up in Mt. Lebanon but joined the protesters who feel the culling will be inhumane and ineffective.

The group broke up and headed home by 11 p.m. without seeing any activity, though other protesters who’d visited Robb Hollow Park were approached by police and asked to leave earlier in the evening, said Leila Sleiman, who helped organize the protest at Bird Park.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7909414-74/deer-benner-culling#ixzz3U0JgoFgs
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Man Gets 17 3/4 To 44 Years In Prison For Killing Pittsburgh Police Dog

The man who fatally stabbed a Pittsburgh police dog will spend 17 34 to 44 years in prison, an Allegheny County judge ruled Tuesday.

John Rush, 22, of Stowe, said nothing as sheriff’s deputies led him back to his holding cell in handcuffs and shackles.

Rocco’s handler, Officer Phil Lerza, said he was “happy” with sentence.

“I lost my partner from this and he was also a family member,” Lerza told the judge. “I lost a family member that day.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7940758-74/rocco-rush-police#ixzz3U0I1N6Cy
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Technical Issues Could Delay Mt. Lebanon Deer Cull

The cull of 150 white-tailed deer in Mt. Lebanon, scheduled to start tonight, might be delayed for technical reasons.

Brian Benner of Wildlife Specialists in Wellsboro, Tioga County, said Sunday that some necessary equipment wasn’t in place.

The company also plans to request an addendum to its Pennsylvania Game Commission permit, he said, expanding the number of workers it may use during the operation.

“I’m not sure if we’ll start Monday or not. It depends on how much equipment we can set up,” Mr. Benner said. “We still have to set up some cameras and different technology that lets us know where the deer are.”

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http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2015/03/08/Mt-Lebanon-deer-cull-may-be-postponed/stories/201503080211

Study: Minorities In Pittsburgh Region Dominate Low-Wage Jobs

Ever since the British defeated the French and the Indians then changed the name of Fort Duquesne to Fort Pitt, the vast majority of the population of Pittsburgh has been white.

The workforce of the Pittsburgh region is now 89 percent white, with the remaining share of workers split between African Americans (7 percent), Hispanics and Asians (2 percent each), and 1 percent people who are listed as another racial minority, according to a study released Thursday by the Workforce Diversity Indicators Initiative that was the subject of a forum on diversity at the University of Pittsburgh on Thursday.

The employment sectors with the most diversity also were the lowest-paying sectors, such as administrative and support services with 20 percent share of minorities. That sector includes office work jobs and marketing but also security services, cleaning and maintenance and waste disposal. Minority workers in those jobs make $2,761 a month, which, according to the report, was one of the lowest of all sectors.

Even lower pay was found in the sector with the second highest concentration of minority workers — accommodation and food services — which had 16 percent representation by minority workers on the payrolls earning $1,442 a month.

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http://www.post-gazette.com/business/career-workplace/2015/03/06/Pittsburgh-region-minorities-dominate-low-wage-jobs-study-finds/stories/201503060177

Alcoa May Close Or Sell Some Aluminum Plants To Cut Costs

Alcoa Inc. may close or sell 14 percent of its smelting capacity and 16 percent of its refining capacity in a move to lower costs in the face of falling aluminum prices and higher production in China.

New York-based Alcoa, which has significant operations in Pittsburgh, said it will review high-cost operations across its global system of aluminum production facilities over the next 12 months.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/7914995-74/aluminum-capacity-percent#ixzz3TcpomCh1
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McKeesport Backs Effort To Rebuild Housing In Seventh Ward

McKeesport soon may have two new homes built in the city’s Seventh Ward cultural and educational district — and perhaps more after that.

City council Wednesday gave “unqualified support” to ACTION-Housing Inc.’s requests for funding for two homes on space cleared near the Twin Rivers school complex.

“ACTION-Housing will act as a partner with the city in the development and sale of the two new homes,” Mayor Michael Cherepko wrote in a letter dated Feb. 27 to Allegheny County’s Department of Economic Development.

That department handles a housing development fund and affordable housing trust fund that could be part of a mix of funding sources the nonprofit will pursue.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/7898583-74/housing-mckeesport-action#ixzz3TcnnpAo8
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Boston’s Policy On Affordable Housing Inspires Pittsburgh Task Force

The ultra-chic Residences at Mandarin Oriental in Boston’s Back Bay — a development with its own concierge and marble foyers, as well as rents that range from $4,700 to $17,000 a month — has been the province of the rich and powerful since opening in 2008.

But not exclusively.

Thanks to a 15-year-old city policy, teachers, police officers and other modest wage earners live next door to the wealthy at the Mandarin and other luxurious residential developments in Boston.

Because of the city’s inclusionary development policy, the Mandarin houses 10 affordable apartments — comparable in size and quality to the others — with rents ranging from $1,365 to $2,340 a month. The lucky recipients were chosen by lottery.

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http://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2015/02/22/Boston-s-policies-on-affordable-housing-inspires-Pittsburgh-leaders/stories/201502220077

Plan To Relocate Pittsburgh Playhouse Downtown Approved; Millcraft Proposes Condos For Saks Site

The stage is set for the relocation of the Pittsburgh Playhouse to Downtown. City planning commission members unanimously approved plans for construction of new playhouse complex on Forbes Avenue Downtown today, clearing the way for its move from Oakland.

Approval came over the objections of preservationists who urged the commission to no avail to save three Forbes Avenue facades that will be relocated and integrated into the new complex under the plans advanced by Point Park University.

With today’s decision, Point Park intends to start construction in March with the demolition of three Forbes Avenue buildings and hopes to have the new complex ready for audiences in July 2017.

The $53 million project will feature a 550-seat main theater, a 200-seat adaptive theater with doors that will open to a plaza for outdoor performances, a 100-seat black box theater and supporting facilities.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2015/02/10/Millcraft-proposes-to-build-condos-garage-at-former-Saks-site-Downtown-Pittsburgh/stories/201502100184

Farm To Table To Sponsor ‘For The Love Of Pittsburgh’ Food Tasting

In the middle of a cold Pittsburgh winter, a Farm to Table Local Food Tasting might seem like an unfeasible event to pull off.

Even though local produce is hard to find now in this region, Erin Hart, director of health-benefit services for American HealthCare Group, the sponsor of Farm to Table, says it’s a great time of year “to slow down and savor the winter offerings of local farms and food producers.”

Those offerings include greens, squash, potatoes, apples, onions and garlic; shelf staples such as canned goods, honey and maple syrup; and all kinds of meats, eggs and cheeses.

The first “For the Love of Pittsburgh” Farm to Table Local Food Tasting will take place Feb. 8 at Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District.

Read more: http://triblive.com/lifestyles/fooddrink/7509114-74/farm-local-pittsburgh#ixzz3QvMNhKKN
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As Banking Goes Mobile, Branch Closures Rip Through Local Economy

Phil Arlia has been dispensing medication in Pitcairn since 1968, but he was more than a pharmacist.

He was a kind of banker.

“We always had a courtesy of cashing customers’ paychecks, state checks, any kind of check,” said Arlia, owner of Phil’s Pharmacy on Broadway Boulevard.

But he stopped cashing checks when the borough’s only remaining bank, a Citizens Bank branch, closed last March. Arlia no longer had fast access to cash to replenish his register when it got low.

The branch closure made it more difficult for Pitcairn residents to access cash to spend at local businesses.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/7501236-74/bank-branch-banking#ixzz3QcH1zOMS
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Settlement Reached Between Monroeville, Former Manager

A former Monroeville manager will receive $45,000 in back pay in addition to retirement benefits as part of a settlement with the municipality.

In exchange, Lynette Mc­Kinney, 48, of Monroeville will drop lawsuits she filed over her termination a year ago, according to the terms of the settlement the Tribune-Review obtained Thursday under a Right-to-Know request. Old National Insurance Co. will pay McKinney $45,000 in back wages and $23,000 to her attorney, Joseph Chivers. Monroeville will pay $7,000 in insurance premiums directly to her.

Council approved the terms of the settlement this month.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7619207-74/settlement-court-mckinney#ixzz3PelzOnq0
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Monroeville Mall Quieter Today After Friday Night Fracas

No trouble was reported as of this afternoon at the Monroeville Mall, which reopened today under heightened police watch after a series of fights broke among 1,000-plus teenagers and young adults Friday night, prompting the facility to close early.

Two injuries not believed to be life-threatening were reported in the skirmishes that began on the first floor and moved upstairs, startling shoppers on the day after Christmas and drawing police from multiple communities. Authorities expected to cite at least one for disorderly conduct, in addition to a pair of arrests made earlier Friday over a domestic dispute.

Monroeville Police Chief K. Douglas Cole said today he knew of no connection between the disturbance at the mall in his community and problems reported Friday in at least two other malls elsewhere in the nation.

Some mall stores within Independence Center in Independece, Mo., were locked down Friday night after several hundred youths congregated inside, with some fights breaking out, The Kansas City Star reported.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/east/2014/12/27/Monroeville-Mall-quieter-today-after-Friday-night-fracas/stories/201412270116

Penn Hills Wants To Step Up Code Enforcement, Cite Violators

Penn Hills officials say they plan to be more proactive in code enforcement while they wait for litigation to free up funds for additional code enforcement officers.

“The current number of code enforcement officers is not acceptable for the needs within the municipality,” Deputy Mayor Sara Kuhn said at the Dec. 22 meeting.

At a public budget hearing attended by about 60 residents, nearly every speaker asked council to include funds in the 2015 budget to increase the number of code enforcement officers.

Penn Hills resident Sandy Sikora told council that more code enforcement officers are needed to help fight blight and code violation in the municipality.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7435434-74/story#ixzz3Mk2LvFog
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Garfield Residents Plan Rally Over Bottom Dollar Site

Discount grocer Aldi is ignoring a community development group’s request for information on the future of one of the stores it is acquiring from a competitor, representatives of the group said.

The Bloomfield-Garfield Corp. plans to lead a rally Monday requesting that Aldi share its plan for the 6-month-old Bottom Dollar Food store at 5200 Penn Ave. in Garfield that will close by the end of the year.

“We want it to remain a grocery store so that our neighbors have access to food,” said Sarah Burke, communications and marketing manager for the Bloomfield-Garfield Corp.

In November, Belgium-based Delhaize Group announced that it planned to close its 66 Bottom Dollar Food stores, including the 20 in the Pittsburgh area, by the end of the year and sell the real estate and remaining lease liabilities for $15 million to Aldi Inc., which operates more than 1,300 stores in the United States.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7413662-74/bottom-dollar-garfield#ixzz3MeRfMLhQ
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