806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Pittsburgh’s Top Songwriting Talent

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Songwriters in the Round

Sunday, January 26th
6:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what it takes to write a new song? Ever been curious about the stories that inspire musicians to pluck a new chord or pen a new lyric?

In this acoustic concert, four songwriters take turns showcasing original songs and sharing the stories behind how they were written. This is an evening to support local musicians and experience the process of composing and workshopping new songs. It’s open to budding songwriters and music enthusiasts alike.

Presented in cooperation with the Pittsburgh chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

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Letter from the President – January 2020

Happy New Year 2020!

20/20: denoting vision of normal sharpness
20/20 Hindsight: the full knowledge and complete understanding that one has about an event only after it has happened

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who contributed to a successful Christmas House Tour and, like always, it seems like everyone contributed. A special thank you to Annette Trunzo and Carol Gomrick they both worked very hard to manage all the pieces of the tour puzzle. They assembled a great team. If you volunteered or went on the tour, you saw the results of everyone’s hard work. We’ll get a breakdown of the financial results of the tour at the membership meeting this month.

Another item on the agenda at this month’s membership meeting is a presentation from Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy on the Allegheny Commons North Promenade Project. PPC will be asking for a Letter of Support for the Historic Review Commission, which will require membership approval.

Andrew Reichert will also be attending the membership meeting to provide an update on the Stables Building development project.

It is heartening to see that the number of people attending the General Membership meetings increased month-to-month last year, particularly in December. In 2019 we had a surge of new members, also mostly occurring towards the end of the year. An interesting and positive twist – many new members are neighborhood businesses.

It will be challenging to keep the enthusiasm level as high as it was at the end of last year but I’m hopeful we can. I look forward to seeing new members and members who started attending meetings again continue to stay involved this year. There is a lot going on in our officially smallest neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

AWCC currently has 4 standing and 2 ad hoc committees, listed with their chairs below:

  • Property: Michael Shealey
  • Housing & Planning: Robin Zoufalik
  • Ways & Means: John DeSantis
  • Friends of Allegheny West: Diane Caruso
  • By-Laws (ad hoc): Bob Malakoff
  • WANID (ad hoc): Ann Gilligan

The Committee Chairs will be writing brief columns to appear in this and subsequent Gazettes to describe what they are doing, who they’d like to have on their committees and how to join. I encourage all members, long-time and newly joined, to volunteer on one of these committees.

Do you see a need for neighborhood volunteer work that doesn’t fit one of the current committees? Let me know how you want to contribute and I promise I’ll do whatever I can to help make it happen!

Wishing everyone health, peace and prosperity in the New Year.

Ann Gilligan
President, AWCC

AWCC Membership Meeting – January 14, 2020

Calvary United Methodist Church, 971 Beech Avenue
Tuesday, January 14th at 7:30 pm

  • 7:30 – Guests
    • Officer Burford, Pittsburgh Police
    • Molly Onufer, Mayor’s Office
    • Councilman Wilson’s Office
    • Senator Wheatley’s Office
  • 7:50 – November & December Membership Meeting Minutes
  • 8:00 – Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy: Allegheny Commons North
  • 7:20 – Treasurer’s Report
  • 8:30 – Committee Reports
    • Ways & Means
    • Housing & Planning
    • Friends of Allegheny West
    • Membership
    • By-Laws
  • 8:50 – New Business
    • Allegheny Historic Preservation Society, Tiffany Concert Series
    • Andrew Reichert, Stables Building Progress Report
  • 9:20 – Meeting Conclusion

Property Committee

Submitted by Michael Shealey

The Property Committee oversees the maintenance and any alterations to most, but not all, AWCC properties. These properties include, primarily, 806 Western Avenue with its AWCC office on the first floor and rental apartment above. It also includes the AWCC vacant lot on Western Avenue and sidewalks in front of all AWCC-owned properties. Property Committee responsibilities do not include maintenance of the AWCC parklet at the corner of Brighton and Western Avenues.

Current projects include the installation of air conditioning for the apartment at 806 Western Avenue and repair of the roof on that building. Various small maintenance tasks are also in process. If you want more information or wish to join the committee, you may contact me at

Housing & Planning Committee 2020

Submitted by Robin Zoufalik

Hello Allegheny West Neighbors and Members of the AW Civic Council: Happy New Year 2020!

As Chair for the Housing & Planning Committee, here is a message for the coming year of meetings and activities anticipated. Past Chair, Ashley Webb, has briefed me on various items on the agenda for the committee that have been discussed over the last few months and are anticipated for the coming year. Having attended a couple of the meetings the most recent being on Dec 17th, I believe a message to the neighborhood and members of the AWCC is appropriate, at this time, prior to the 1st meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 21st (3rd Tuesday of the month) starting at 7:30 pm at GoRealty, 848 W North Avenue.

The AWCC Bylaws have the following mandate for the standing committee:

The Housing and Planning Committee shall be responsible for the physical planning and housing conditions in Allegheny West. It should be as representative as possible of residential, business, and institutional sectors of the neighborhood.

Additionally, the committee members are to be chosen as follows:

Standing committee chairmen shall select from between two and ten members for their committees.

Please let me know if you are interest in being a member of the H&P Committee. Everyone is welcome to attend any of the H & P meetings and participate in discussions and votes, whether or not a member of the committee.

Prior to the 1st meeting, I would request all of you to provide input as to any items you would like the committee to address in the coming months that may not be on the current list relayed to me as follows:

  • Western Ave Neighborhood Improvement District (WANID)
  • Northside Leadership Conference (NSLC) Bridge Committee & Opposition to double-stacked trains
  • Code Enforcement Concerns
  • Historic District Expansion
  • Galveston Ave. Traffic Calming
  • Stables Development
  • Value Added Properties
  • Scrap Yard
  • CCAC Workforce Development Center
  • Allegheny Commons Master Plan and Noise along Brighton Road
  • Light of Life Ridge Ave Facility
  • HIP at the Flashlight Factory

The meetings will be conducted in an orderly manner to have productive discussions and allow  everyone to actively participate. However, personal attacks by attendees will not be acceptable and non-factual statements will be questioned. We are all neighbors and should have equal opportunities to speak and listen in a respectful manner.

All comments, feedback and suggestions are always welcome!

Either email me at or call (412) 216-0207.

From the Membership Committee

Bowling has begun. It takes place at the Elks Lodge on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. It’s a bargain at $2.50/game, and that includes bowling ball and shoes. Food and beverages are of course available, also at prices not seen at many establishments!

This is social bowling with friends and neighbors, not a league, so don’t think that you need to be a good bowler (some of us – I’m speaking personally – are not!).  Or, just come to help us keep score or to socialize. Hope to see you this winter on Wednesdays at the Elks Lodge, 400 Cedar Avenue.

Note, too that Allegheny West Mixers will resume soon. Keep your eye out for updates in the e-newsletter and on the Allegheny West Facebook page!

Neighborhood Tree Project

Submitted by Mary Callison

In 2016, a study was done by Pashek Associates, funded by the Buhl Foundation, to address four issues in our neighborhood: 1) sidewalks, 2) trees, 3) traffic and 4) street lighting. The report was 60 pages in length.

I have been asked by Diane Caruso, chairwoman of the Friends of Allegheny West, to work on neighborhood trees. The goal is to have a plan completed to submit to Pennsylvania Conservancy by March 13th for the fall 2020 planting.

If you are interested in working with me on this project, please call me at (412) 321-5951 or email I would love to have at least one person from each street in the neighborhood. Thank you!


Rail Pollution Protection Pittsburgh

RP3 ( asks that neighbors PLEASE take a few minutes to write to our city and state representatives (contacts below) to demand:

  • A freeze of the $20 million in Pittsburgh Vertical Clearance Project Funding;
  • a repair, not a replacement, of the bridges, since their current height is grandfathered;
  • an investigation into Norfolk Southern’s rail and bridge inspection practices;
  • an investigation into the installation of 5 million nearly untraceable defective rail ties;
  • an Environmental Impact Study that includes, air, noise and vibration;
  • distribution of the above results to the public;
  • Positive Train Controls throughout the 20 mile route of the Pgh Vertical Clearance Project/Allegheny County (with agreement for a backup PTC system when that system is offline for maintenance;
  • creation of emergency response plans funded by Norfolk Southern;
  • enhanced oil spill regulations;
  • a true public town hall meeting attended by Norfolk Southern and our elected representatives, despite Norfolk Southern announcing this week there will be no more public meetings.

Rosemary Chiavette,
Secretary, PA Public Utility Commission
400 N Street, 2nd Fl
Harrisburg, PA  17105

Leslie S. Richards,
Secretary, PA Dept of Transportation

400 N Street, 8th Fl
Harrisburg, PA  17120

William Peduto,
414 Grant St, 5th Fl
Pittsburgh, PA 15219 

Tom Wolf,
Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Bldg
Harrisburg, PA 17120

John Fetterman,
Lieutenant Governor:
Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Bldg
Harrisburg, PA  17120 

Josh Shapiro,
Attorney General:
Office of the Attorney General
16th Fl, Strawberry Sq,
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Bobby Wilson,
City Council District 1
City-County Bldg
414 Grant St
Pittsburgh, PA 15219 

Jake Wheatley,
PA House of Representatives, 19th District :
36 East Wing
PO Box 202019
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Wayne Fontana,
PA State Senator:
Senate Box 203042
543 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120

The Consequences of Corporate Corruption

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Kickback: Exposing the Global Bribery Network

Tuesday, January 14th
7:00 pm

The World Bank estimates that rich multinational corporations pay hundreds of billions of dollars in bribes every year to officials overseas. The perpetrators are not a handful of rogue companies, but many members of the Fortune 500.

Kickback is a searing exploration of this global system of corruption and inequality, and how these backdoor transactions undermine global democracy. From Nigeria to Bangladesh, Greece to China, journalist David Montero tracks how corporate payments line the pockets of some of the most authoritarian and repressive regimes in the world and ultimately exact a devastating toll on human rights, political stability and the overall health of many of the world’s poorest nations.

David Montero

Formerly a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and a regular producer for PBS’s flagship investigative series, FRONTLINE, David Montero has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award and has won the South Asian Journalist Association’s Daniel Pearl Award. Montero has also written for Longreads, The New York Times, The Nation, Le Monde Diplomatique, Harvard Business Review and many others

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Discounted Tickets for Northsiders: The Secret Life of Gym Girls

The Secret Life of Gym Girls

Part of the Community Supported Art Performance Series
December 5-6 | 8PM

The Secret Life of Gym Girls is a solo performance that tells the story of Harper Frances and her gymnastics team, their moms and their coach. While together at the gym, they are seemingly happy in their world. Apart, their queer and unusual desires are revealed. Full of quirky animation and lullaby music, Azizzy’s work is hilarious, weird and imperfect.

You’re Invited

Northside residents and workers are invited to attend this performance for free. A limited number of tickets are available online, so reserve your seat today. Tickets are available for both Thursday and Friday performances. Use promo code:


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