Wilkinsburg Tour To Highlight Blight In Hopes Of Spurring Redevelopment

It’s a home tour visitors don’t typically take: overgrown gardens leading to homes with boarded-up windows, peeling paint and broken stairs.

The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation and a group of Carnegie Mellon University students hope to highlight hidden beauty in the borough and reframe how people see vacant properties. The students conceived the idea for a Vacant Home Tour on May 9 as a way to address blight.

They’ll walk people through the history of five vacant properties in Wilkinsburg that could be prime candidates for restoration.

At each house, volunteer docents from the neighborhood, who researched the homes’ histories and owners, will present old photos or documents to show the houses in their heydays, said Marlee Gallagher, communications and outreach coordinator for the CDC.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8083071-74/wilkinsburg-tour-properties#ixzz3XCZ490tS
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Downtown Pittsburgh Enjoys Growth In Population, Building Boom

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The ...

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The Point” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join to form the Ohio here. The West End Bridge crosses the Ohio in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fred and Christine Thieman migrated from the suburbs to Downtown when their youngest child went to college about three years ago.

That year, for the first time in more than 90 years, the nation’s biggest cities, including Pittsburgh, grew faster than their suburbs, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington policy group.

The trend continued in each of the past two years, though growth rates for cities and suburbs hover around 1 percent and the gap between them is narrowing, Brookings reported in May.

But the population living Downtown has soared. Census data show the area was home to 12,343 people last year, up 10.5 percent from 2010.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6202435-74/downtown-units-percent#ixzz33UyDfZnb
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Cuts In Suburban Pittsburgh Bus Routes Changed Lives

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple years ago, when Gloria Jefferson of McKeesport wanted to go somewhere, she walked to a bus stop near her house.

Then, in 2011, her commute became much less convenient. During a round of cuts to fix a budget deficit, the Port Authority canceled her route, which ran through the middle of McKeesport. Now, Ms. Jefferson, who is 80, has to walk a mile downhill to another stop.

The walk is tough for her, especially when she’s carrying grocery bags. Sometimes, she pays for a ride there or avoids going places. She wonders whether she’ll still be able to make the walk when she gets older.

“Right now, I feel good. How long it’s going to last, I don’t know,” she said. “I keep on praying that one day they’ll turn it around and bring the bus back up the hill.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/04/06/Cuts-in-suburban-bus-routes-changed-lives/stories/201404060065#ixzz2y9vjCoPz

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Second Bear Spotted Near Pittsburgh Mills Mall

The Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer experienced a rush of new clientele this weekend: two bears in two days.

Unlike a small, 150-pound bear that perused electronics at Sears on Saturday night and prompted an evacuation of the mall, a second larger bear was more interested in the dining establishments.

Around 11:45 p.m. and about an hour and 45 minutes after wildlife conservation officers tranquilized the small bear in Sears, the second 250 to 300 pound bear emerged near the Olive Garden parking lot.

Frazer police Officer Tim Christian said he and his fellow officers warned employees outside the Longhorn Steakhouse to leave as the female bear wandered over to the restaurant.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-north/second-bear-spotted-near-pittsburgh-mills-mall-645841/#ixzz21SjL1kJP

Upper St. Clair Couple Create A Christmas Wonderland

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Image via Wikipedia

“Everybody comes in and says that they just can’t believe it,” she said proudly.

The trees are a beautiful sight to behold. Every room has a tree that befits the traditional decor of their home. In the entry hall, a spiral topiary-style tree is festooned with red and gold tapestry ribbon, glazed fruit and more. Packaged gifts in red paper and gold foil ribbon surround a classic Santa who is busily checking his pocket watch for the countdown to the big day. Lush swags of dried fruit and ribbon adorn the staircase.

Mrs. Wilson explained that each tree offers a hint of what’s to come in the next room. On her carefully planned tour, the next stop is the family room, whose tree has a woodland theme. Burgundy poinsettias, mini-birdhouses, charming birds, bird nests and tapestry ribbon fill the branches. The creche takes center stage beneath the boughs and an old-fashioned sleigh sits close by, filled with presents. A grand oak mantel is swagged with more ribbon, pine cones and stockings while the fireplace burns brightly within. Even the artwork on the wall is changed out, with holiday scenes of sleighs and Santas.

Read the full article: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11351/1197459-30-0.stm#ixzz1gr0nEICm

Pittsburgh’s “Christmas Lady”

Even though it was summertime, the living room and dining room were still decorated for Christmas. Ms. Vicini leaves her Christmas tree, village and Santa collection out year-round.

“I enjoy them so much, I never wanted to put them away,” she explained. “Why just enjoy them for one month when you can enjoy them all year?”

Ms. Vicini, who turned 61 this week, has been celebrating Christmas every day for at least 15 years. She says her family and friends understand perfectly.

“They figure this woman was born on St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6) and she’s named Carol. Apparently she has the Christmas spirit, so let’s just let her go,” she said, laughing.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11344/1195943-55.stm#ixzz1gBvXxNL0