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806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Letter from the President – April 2015

So I go to a lot of meetings (A LOT!). And, not that I would admit this out loud, but I kind of like them; it turns out that they’re a pretty good stand in for a social life1. Obviously the folks in the neighborhood are cool to hang out with – frankly you all make me laugh – and it’s a bonus that the meetings often end up being at some nifty local restaurant like Carmi’s or the Allegheny Sandwich Shoppe or sometimes lemon loaves or chocolate mousse just appear (seriously, you guys should be coming to these meetings: I’m not telling you which ones, you’ll just have to try for yourselves). It also turns out that there’s a ton of really interesting ideas that get talked about in these meetings: the Candidates Night on April 14th; potentially developing the Stables into swanky condos; mulch (so complicated!); train trips to West Virginia, etc…

One meeting really stood out this month, though. I went to a talk at the Allegheny YMCA given by Diana Brucco of the Buhl Foundation. Honestly it was mostly to see if I could get some tips on for resubmitting the Sprout Fund grant that had been rejected. (Turns out 2nd time was the charm and we can now put our knowledge of mulch to good use on Tree Well day, April 11th). I was stunned to discover that the survey, that I had sort of half-heartedly filled out last summer had, turned into a $60 million commitment over 10 years to all the neighborhoods on the Northside. Even us!

My own assumption before attending this talk was that programs from these grants weren’t really intended for “affluent Allegheny West2”. But the focus of Buhl Foundation’s work around education, quality of place and employment apply just as much to the folks in our little corner of the Northside as anywhere else. Frankly, if nothing else the folks in our neighborhood have a lot of expertise to offer to folks in other neighborhoods who are embarking on work similar to what was started here 20 years ago. But what really impressed me was the fundamentally practical way the Buhl folks have approached setting priorities and implementing solutions: ask me about the work they’re doing around food programs in schools – it’s super cool but too complicated for a newsletter article. They are definitely interested in hearing what we have to say. I left that talk not wanting to be left out of plans that have such an incredible amount of potential. And so of course, I’m doing what we always do when we’re excited about something: I’m setting up (yet) another meeting – this time with Buhl Foundation. Expect to hear a lot more about this!

  1. Feel free to remind me that I said I liked meetings when I’m getting grumpy two hours into any random meeting. I’ll probably roll my eyes at you (such a bad habit!) but you’ll know it’s just because it’s probably the 3rd night that week that I’m at a meeting – getting inspired all the time is exhausting!
  2. From this article. I’m not sure I entirely agree with that characterization. even if the stats say our average income is higher. It’s way more complicated than that.

311 Follow Ups from Last Meeting

Now that the folks are starting to venture out of the house after the Winter “blahs”, we’re starting to see an uptick in requests for AWCC to follow-up on issues like potholes, streetlights and parking. I figured this was a good time to remind people of strategies that have worked for us in the past when we’re trying to get some assistance from the City.

The first thing that any department we speak with asks us is a reference number for the 311 report that we should have already filed about the complaint. That means that it’s really important that when you call to make a report or when you make a report by email, make sure the operator gives a “Reference (sometimes called a Ticket) Number”. Generally we prefer that neighbors make the initial report since you’re the person with the most first-hand knowledge of the problem. If you’re not able to get the issue resolved, AWCC needs that 311 Reference Number to follow up. To make it easier to notify AWCC when you’ve filed a report and to keep track of reference numbers we set up the email address 311notifications@alleghenywest.org which you can use in one of the optional cc’ sections in the online reporting.

For more information about 311 tracking, as well as direct links to the City 311 online reporting website go to our Government Resources page. Happy reporting!

Membership Activities for April and May

Monthly Mixer for April will be something new, both time and place. On Monday, April 20th we will meet at Lola Bistrô on North Avenue at 6:30 pm. Because the restaurant is small the owners agreed to host us on a Monday when they are normally closed. We will order from the menu, dinner entrees or just appetizer or dessert. Lola Bistrô does not have a bar, we may bring our own wine. There will be a corkage charged.

May 15th the Mixer will be an Allegheny West Art Show and Party at 832 Western Avenue, 6:30 pm. Dennis Bergovin suggested having an art show featuring Allegheny West artists and their artist friends. Linda Iannotta offered to organize the food and everyone will bring their own beverage of choice. If you have art that you want to exhibit contact Dennis at (412) 323-0539 for details about submission. The rest of the neighborhood is invited to come, eat drink and enjoy the art.

May 25th will be the Memorial Day Block Party, first street party of the summer.

Mark your calendars, join the fun and get better acquainted with your neighbors.

Above & Beyond

If you’d like to recognize a neighbor who went above-and-beyond for you or the neighborhood this month please send a note to abovebeyond@alleghenywest.org or give Cathy a call at (412) 418-2027 and, space allowing, we’ll recognize them in the Gazette.

  • Anne G. spent a good bit of time tracking down and getting confirmations from an ever changing field of City Council candidates for the Candidates Night forum.
  • Holly P. got us an amazing deal on mulch for the Tree Well clean up.
  • Speaking of tree-wells, Gene and Trish spent an evening passing around flyers for the event and Michael S. is making donut runs & organizing coffee.
  • Super excited that Q Development will be sponsoring the garden triangle this year!

AWCC First Annual Art Show: May 15th!

Submitted by Mary Callison 

Thanks to Dennis Bergovin’s idea for a neighborhood Art Show featuring our own artists and their friends! The event will be at Dennis’s studio at 832 Western Avenue on May 15th starting at 6:30 pm. Bring your own beverage of choice; party food will be provided. If you or a friend have art to be exhibited, please contact Dennis at (412) 323-0539 for information. (This event will also be our Neighborhood Mixer for May.)

Tree Well Project Update: Free Flowers Available May 16th

Hopefully by the time you’re reading this the neighborhood will have had a successful first round for the Tree Well project for this spring. Luckily we were able to qualify for one of the Buhl Foundation / Sprout Fund Neighbor-to-Neighbor Grants AND Holly was able to get us an amazing deal on mulch so we have plenty of funds left over for phase 2.

Starting the day of the mulch clean up AWCC residents and business owners will be eligible to order (free) flowers for their tree wells. Watch for more information on the email list and save the date, for May 16. Make sure you take a “before” picture now that your tree wells are pristine: we’re considering a contest for the the most creative plantings after the 5/16 event.

Neighborhood Cleanup!

Submitted by Michael Shealey 

Saturday, April 11th at 9:00 am

Please join your neighbors at the AWCC office at 806 Western for the first neighborhood cleanup of 2015. If we have mulch, we will be mulching some of our neighborhood’s tree well. With or without mulch, we will be getting trash off our streets and alleys. Refreshments provided.

Reminder: Neighborhood street sweeping begins April 13!

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Grant deadline is this Friday!

One Northside Logo

$1,000 to support community projects on Pittsburgh’s Northside

The next deadline to apply for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Grants of up to $1,000 to support new projects, events, and activities in Pittsburgh’s Northside communities is this Friday!

Applications are due by 5:00pmFriday, April 10th: Submit your application online.

Check out the most recent round of funded Northside projects at sproutfund.org.

Deadline Day Support

Sprout staff will be on-site at the Pittsburgh Project from 10:00am to 5:00pm this Friday to accept hand-delivered applications, assist in the use of the online application form, and answer questions from grantseekers.

Where: The Pittsburgh Project, 2801 North Charles Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15214
When: Friday, April 10th, 10:00am – 5:00pm

No need to RSVP, just stop by the Pittsburgh Project and we’ll help you out!

Apply for a Neighbor-to-Neighbor Grant

Suggest a Question for the Allegheny West Candidates Night

Candidate's Night

AWCC will be hosting the City Council candidates for District 1 on Tuesday April 14 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Calvary Church. All three of the candidates have confirmed their attendance.

Anne Gilligan will be moderating. All candidates will be given 2 minutes to answer each question, and then they will all be given 1 minute of rebuttal time. The speaking order will be decided by a random drawing.

We are going to start everyone off with the question:

What is the biggest problem facing Pittsburgh and how will you address it?

The committee would also like to solicit questions from the neighborhood in advance. Please submit your questions below or on this website and the committee members will group the most popular questions together. Assuming time allows we’ll also take some questions from the audience the evening of the event.

Anyone from District 1 is invited to attend. We will have some cookies, veggies and drinks but you’re welcome to bring a snack to share. (No alcohol please, out of respect for Calvary and the moderator’s sanity. )

NOTE: Our regular AWCC membership meeting will take place at 8:30pm following the event, and we hope everyone will stay (even if it’s messes up our quorum count.)

Submit your question using the form linked below or by sending a note with your name and question to president@alleghenywest.org

Submit Your Question  Learn More: View the Flyer

AWCC Membership Meeting Agenda – April 14, 2015

7:00 – Candidates’ Forum

8:30 – Guest Speakers

8:35 – Welcoming New Neighbors and AWCC Members

8:40 – Minutes (review/corrections from last meeting)

8:45 – Treasurer’s Report

8:50 – LRC Nominations for Historic Preservation Request

  • Budget request for 2 plaques not to exceed $100 each

9:00 – Pancake Supper Request

9:05 – City Council Grants

9:05 – 928 – 930 Western Avenue Update

9:10 – Neighbor of the Year / NSLC Annual Dinner

  • Neighbor of the Year Nominations
  • Budget request for tickets for Annual Dinner 6/11

9:20 – NSLC (budget request for annual dues – $75)

9:21 – Upcoming Membership Events

9:25 – Friends aka: Public Spaces (follow up to 4/11 Tree Well)

9:30 – New Business

9:35 – Q&A w/ Committee Chairs