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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or call (412) 216-0207.
At the next membership meeting, Tuesday, November 12th, revisions to the Allegheny West Civic Council’s bylaws will be discussed for later adoption. Please orient yourselves to the changes as well as the committee putting them forth:
View the Proposed Bylaws About the Bylaws Committee
Fall has arrived and there are some important civic events to add to your already busy calendars:
On Wednesday, October 16th, a Pennsylvania Historical Marker will be dedicated to honor Dorothy Mae Richardson who was a lifelong resident of the Northside. In the mid-1960s, Richardson and her neighbors enlisted city bankers and government officials to help improve their neighborhood. Together, they convinced 16 financial institutions to give out conventional loans to the community, which were used to finance the rehabilitation of dilapidated homes. This effort laid the groundwork for the new field of community-based development and led to the founding of Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Pittsburgh in 1968.
One of the projects made possible by NHS was the rehabilitation of a row of dilapidated houses on Western Avenue in Allegheny West known now as McIntosh Row. Allegheny West Civic Council still owns and has its office at 806 Western, in McIntosh Row.
The dedication will take place at 4:00 pm on the 16th at 1419 Arch Street and a reception will be held afterwards at The Mattress Factory. Everyone is invited to attend. It would be great to see an Allegheny West contingent joining the celebration of such an impressive woman whose work many years ago helped make our neighborhood what it is today.
Tuesday, November 5th is Election Day. Among the items we’ll see on our ballots is an amendment to the Pittsburgh Home Rule Charter to establish a dedicated Parks Trust Fund:
Shall the Pittsburgh Home Rule Charter be amended to establish a dedicated Parks Trust Fund beginning in 2020 to: improve, maintain, create and operate public parks; improve park safety; equitably fund parks in underserved neighborhoods throughout Pittsburgh; be funded with an additional 0.5 mill levy ($50 on each $100,000 of assessed real estate value); secure matching funds and services from a charitable city parks conservancy; and assure citizen participation and full public disclosure of spending?”
AWCC allocates time on every membership meeting agenda to discuss what’s happening in our park, Allegheny Commons. Please take some time to research the pros and cons of this ballot measure and make sure to vote on the 5th.
AWCC Membership will vote to approve the slate of officer nominations at the General Membership meeting on Tuesday, November 12th. The slate of nominations will be presented at the October 8th meeting.
President: Ann Gilligan
Vice President: Tom Barbush
Secretary: Bob Griewhan
Treasurer: Cathy Serventi
Sargent-at-Arms: Sara Sweeney
Membership: Tim Zinn
Housing and Planning: John DeSantis, Robin Zoufalik
Ways and Means: Annette Trunzo
Communications: Trish Burton
Friends of Allegheny West/Green Space: Diane Caruso
Property: Michael Shealey