Thursday evening, October 16 at 7:30 pm | 913 Brighton Road
Everyone is encouraged to attend this meeting and participate in the planning process, especially if:
- you are a homeowner on tour or would like to be on tour (we still need 1 or 2 more homeowners to open their homes for the regular tour and brunch or lunch groups);
- you are a homeowner who is hosting a brunch or lunch;
- you are chairing a sub-committe: greeters, tour guides, street decorating, tickets, mailing, party, trains, etc;
- you would like to volunteer for a task.
If you would like to help but cannot attend, please contact Carole Malakoff:
email@example.com (412) 321-3612
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.
– Ernest Thayer, Casey at the Bat
If you’re like me, you are still getting over the drubbing that the Pirates took at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. The only solace I can offer is that at least it wasn’t the Atlanta Braves this time. That, and I suppose the Steelers may still eke out a good season. Well, maybe.
On to more pleasant matters, then. The AWCC Nominating Committee is about to put together a slate of officers for 2015. I encourage anyone who is interested in serving to call John DeSantis or me. We spent 2014 with one vacancy on the Executive Committee, and I don’t want that to happen again in 2015. Rest assured, if you decide to chair one of our committees, you will receive help from the other committee chairs. No one has to go it alone.
Even if an Executive Committee position is not right for you, you can still help by serving on one of our committees. You can help with Membership (event planning), Ways & Means (tours), Finance, Green Space, Property, and Housing & Planning. It’s an easy way to help make your home a better place.
Speaking of events, bowling is set to resume in January, but several of your neighbors are having regular pre-season bowling sessions on Wednesday nights at the Elks Lodge. Come on down and bowl, or just have a drink with your neighbors.
Lastly, before I sign off, the annual Victorian Christmas House Tour preparations are now in full swing. I know that the planners are looking for a few more houses for the tour, so please consider taking a turn this year. There are also plenty of other ways to help out, too. If you’d like to get involved (and I hope you will), please contact any of the Executive Committee members, including myself.
Have a great October, folks.
Submitted by John DeSantis
The 2014 Annual Meeting of the Allegheny West Civic Council will be held on Tuesday November 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the social hall of Calvary Church, entrance on Beech Avenue. In order to be eligible to vote or to hold office, individuals must be current Members of the AWCC, with dues paid as of the October 14 AWCC Membership meeting.
At the November 11 Annual Meeting, the election of Officers for the 2015 calendar year will be conducted.
The 2014 AWCC Nominating Committee has proposed the following slate of candidates. In addition, nominations may be made from the floor at both the October and November General Membership Meetings. All nominees must be an AWCC Member in good standing, and must have
agreed to serve in the nominated office if elected.
President: Cathy Serventi
Vice President: John DeSantis
Treasurer: Bob Griewahn
Secretary: Tim Zinn
Sergeant at Arms: Gloria Rayman
Membership: Mary Callison
Housing & Planning: Jim Wallace
Property: Howard Brokenbek
Ways & Means: vacant
Friends of Allegheny West: Michael Shealey
Communications: Fran Barbush
Sourced from the Department of Public Safety – City of Pittsburgh
For many, Halloween is a festive night celebrated by both children and adults. Halloween is also the night when the time honored tradition of trick-or-treating takes place.
This year the City of Pittsburgh’s official trick-or-treating hours are from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Friday, October 31, 2014.
In addition to trick-or-treating, many community groups and churches throughout the City host Halloween parties, parades and other events as alternatives to trick-or-treating. To connect interested residents with neighborhood events, the Department of Public Safety’s SaferTogether initiative has created an easy, user-friendly way for community and church groups to register their Halloween festivities online.
For more information, or to request a free activity book, please contact Liz Style or John Tokarski:
(412) 255-8977 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
With your help, we can make Halloween a safe and enjoyable event for all residents of Pittsburgh.
Submitted by Carole Malakoff
My issue of the Victorian Homes Holiday issue arrived last week. Our Christmas Tour is listed on “The Spectator” page again this year. This means that potential visitors from all around the country will pick up the information about our tour. Last year we had visitors come from the tri-state area, New York, and as far away as California.
I titled this story Our Christmas Tour because the funds raised from this event benefit all of us who live and work in Allegheny West. The funds raised from this event go toward neighborhood beautification, remediation of problem properties, social events, etc. The Tour Committee is asking everyone to GET INVOLVED.
Of course, we will need help the weekend of the tour with house sitting, guiding tours, lighting luminaries, and decorating our streets. Right now we need homeowners to step forward and offer to open your homes for the tour. Many of us have done this over the years. Some have done it every year, for 32 years. We need some of you who have not participated before to do so. Please DO NOT sit back and think that it is not your responsibility or that “someone else will do it”. It is the responsibility of all of us to see that our neighborhood continues on an uphill mode.
So-o-o, if a member of the Tour Committee asks you to open your home this year, please say, “Yes this is the year that I can make a big contribution to my community”. Yes, it is stressful, but help is out there if you need it, and it is a great ego booster. Visitors always offer compliments on the work you’ve done.
Contact Carole Malakoff:
(412) 321-3612 firstname.lastname@example.org
The next meeting of the Tour Committee is on Thursday evening, October 16 at 7:30 pm at 913 Brighton Road. Everyone is invited to attend. Come and find out what you can do to help!
WHILE not a leaf seems faded; while the fields,
With ripening harvest prodigally fair,
In brightest sunshine bask; this nipping air,
Sent from some distant clime where Winter wields
His icy scimitar, a foretaste yields
Of bitter change, and bids the flowers beware;
And whispers to the silent birds, “Prepare
Against the threatening foe your trustiest shields.”
For me, who under kindlier laws belong
To Nature’s tuneful quire, this rustling dry
Through leaves yet green, and yon crystalline sky,
Announce a season potent to renew,
‘Mid frost and snow, the instinctive joys of song,
And nobler cares than listless summer knew.
– William Wordsworth, September 1815
After the muggy weather we had for the Labor Day Block Party on N. Lincoln Avenue, it’s hard to believe that
autumn is on its way. Still, the calendar tells me that it’s so. While we’ve had an unusual amount of cool weather this past summer, I’m still looking forward to the crisper days ahead.
I think everyone who attended the block party will agree that it was another excellent Allegheny West event. A tip of the cap goes to Tom Barbush – the Corn Master, and Scott Mosser – the grill master who tended the hot coals and turned out some truly excellent roasted ears of corn. I’d also like to thank everyone who provided side dishes or desserts. They were uniformly excellent, with the possible exception of the Keebler Cashew Sandies that I brought.
Thanks, too, go to all the folks who helped set up before the event, or cleaned up afterwards. I’d also like to express my appreciation to Cathy Serventi, who staffed the donations table for the food pantry, and to all those who donated. The biggest thanks, though, go to Tim Zinn, our Membership Chair, who has overseen these events for the past two years. He’s done a great job with Allegheny West parties and community events. Give him your thanks when you pass him on the street, and tell him that his beard looks good, too.
Please don’t forget the next membership meeting on Tuesday, September 9, at Calvary U.M. Church on Beech. There will be lots of exciting games and prizes. Well, maybe there won’t be games or prizes, but it will be an informative meeting nonetheless.
I’ll leave you now with one more September quote:
I love September, especially when we’re in it.
– Willie Stargell
I hope you have a great month.
Submitted by Lydia Yoder
Growth Through Energy and Community Health (GTECH) is on a search for ten Northsiders looking to make change in their neighborhood. From the fall of 2014 to the spring of 2015, these individuals, called Ambassadors, will meet for classes and workshops to learn about Pittsburgh’s vacant land issue and think about recreating vacant lots in ways that benefit their communities.
Throughout the spring and summer of 2015, each Ambassador will make their ideas come to life. Participants will use what they’ve learned in the classroom to build their very own project on a vacant lot in their neighborhood. We’d love to have an Allegheny West resident as part of the cohort.
Please help spread the word or recommend any potential Ambassadors. Here is a link where more information about the program can be found along with the application:
Learn More and Apply
Submitted by Fran Barbush
The members of the AWCC extend our sympathy to Donna’ surviving family. Her devoted husband, Gary; her daughter, Lonice Wells (Keith), Cindy Musselman; her stepson, Aaron Otto; sister, Laura Artinger (Robert); and beloved grandchildren, Layla Raye Musselman, Wynn Musselman, and Laura Wells.
Bob Griewahn asked if I could write something about our neighbor Donna Otto. For those of you who knew her, I hope that you will recognize her from my reflections, and find inspiration from the way she lived her life.
What words could I use to describe Donna Otto?
Beautiful, funny, successful, charming, generous, loyal, competitive, focused, engaging, welcoming, compassionate, and loving come to my mind very quickly. But these individual words could never capture the vitality and love of life that she exhibited. When I first met Donna she was dating Gary and was meeting other long time neighbors for the first time. She completely disarmed me with her candor. I learned that you could talk with Donna about anything. She actively listened, and had a gift for building strong relationships. All her friends sought her counsel, her listening ear, and her shoulder. I think it was because she valued people, and was open and honest with them. I can also say that I never heard her speak negatively about anyone. Donna had accomplished much in her life, but would remind people that she was from “the bottoms” of McKees Rocks. She never wanted to put too much distance from where she grew-up.
I feel so blessed to have known her, become one of her friends, and shared wonderful precious moments. My last fun moment with Donna was on the 4th of July. I met her on her porch on my way home from watching the fireworks on Allegheny River. Carrie Doyle, brought out some sparklers. A collection of neighbors – young and old; the grandchildren – Layla Raye, Wynn, and Laura; Donna and I enjoyed one of those youthful moments twirling and writing with sparkler wands. I thought to myself, “Remember this.” I try to keep these wonderful moments strongly in my memory. They are precious to me.
Donna loved life. She did all that was possible to spend as much time living as she could. That is why it is particularly sad that she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on Tuesday, August 5, 2014. After her death, I was talking with friends and we were surprised that we had a common thought. “What Would Donna Do?” We decided to keep this in our minds when faced with decisions. We felt we couldn’t go wrong if we approached life as she did. We spoke about the extra time she would take to invite you in; drive you somewhere; look at your pictures; share a glass of wine; sing and dance in the kitchen; help you select an outfit for a special occasion; or any number of other ways that she showed that she valued you. In doing so we all hope to be a little more like her.
Love Allegheny Commons Park and looking for a way to meet new people in the neighborhood?
Host an Allegheny Commons Meet & Greet! These small gatherings with neighbors, light food and beverages exist to celebrate Allegheny Commons and to inform the community about the park restoration process. Hosts invite friends from the neighborhood and prospective Friends of Allegheny Commons to the event. Participating in an Allegheny Commons Meet & Greet is a great way to learn about current and future projects taking place in the park. If interested in hosting or attending a Meet & Greet please get in touch:
Email Erin Tobin
Project Administrator | Allegheny Commons Initiative
Submitted by Tim Zinn
Many times in the past I have written about the importance of volunteers to the Allegheny West Civic Council. We are, after all, a volunteer-based organization with no paid staff. Without dedicated volunteers, we would accomplish nothing and AWCC would cease to exist. Fortunately, we have a core group of faithful volunteers that we know will continue to give of their time and talents. However, we have very few NEW members that attend civic council meetings, and are therefore knowledgeable of the workings of AWCC and understand its structure, finances, current challenges, and projects.
The problem, however, is two-fold. Not all can be blamed on neighborhood apathy or the seeming unwillingness of some of our newer residents to become involved in the civic council. The bylaws of AWCC specifically direct each committee chair to “select from between two and ten members for their committees within 45 days following their election. This stipulation has not been rigorously followed in the past. However, this is precisely how we encourage new or currently non-participating members to become active in AWCC and ensure that we have a strong membership and future leaders within the organization. Please thoughtfully consider any request you may receive from a committee chair to join their committee.
In the next few months we will prepare for our largest fundraiser of the year, the Christmas House Tour. While this event draws dozens of volunteers from not only inside our neighborhood but far beyond it, there is always a need for additional help with some aspect of the event. If you have never participated in the house tour, I encourage you to do so.
In addition to the tours, numerous other challenging, enjoyable, and rewarding volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year. We need your help to ensure that the quality of life we enjoy in Allegheny West continues to be enhanced year after year. Show your support of YOUR civic council by becoming a member, renewing your membership, volunteering, joining a committee, and attending the monthly general membership meeting.