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H i l l,
In c o r p o r a t e d
Together as a community, we can make Observatory Hill a safer place for all!
Finally, Darlene Harris addressed many issues that had been brought up ranging from barking dogs to truant children, jobs for youth, etc. that are important to segments of Observatory Hill and some of which are key to improving the overall drug problem and social conditions in the neighborhood. For our immediate problems she reviewed the current camera program. She promised that money for two-way radios is available, if the block watches can demonstrate a need. Ms. Harris emphasized her view that block watches do, indeed, work and recommended that the best way to get good results from the police is to provide them with detailed logs of suspicious activity including license plate numbers, descriptions of suspects and their cars and even photographs. The main takeaway in all this is simple. By working together, residents can be effective in reducing crime in their neighborhood. Strong lines of communication, block watches and even just walking around will make Observatory Hill a less desirable place for drug dealers to conduct their business. The police cannot stop crime if they are not aware of it. OHI and the Northside Leadership Conference can provide forms for logging suspected drug deals and residents should not be afraid to dial 911 at the slightest hint of trouble. We know our neighborhood best, and we know when things aren't right.
Moses Carper President 412-583-5290 Walt Nalducci Vice President 412-322-6478 Katrina Brabham Treasurer 412-323-9577 Glenn Miller Secretary 412-322-5724
The OHI Board
Mike Everhart House Tour 412-322-1680 Michele Mook Business Development 412-321-4600 Peg Perlik Membership 412-231-6710 Dorrie Smith-Richie Housing 412-231-3052 Mia Crow 412-352-8877 Jasun Stanton 412-323-2531 Roxanne Tuinstra Technology 412-931-6013 Richard and Jane Sestric
Emeritus Board Members, Newsletter
Annual Registration Form for Membership to Observatory Hill Inc.
Mail to: Observatory Hill Incorporated. 3888 East Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233 412-231-2887 Member’s Name_______________________________________________ Address_____________________________________________________ City __________________________ State __________ ZIP ___________ Phone ________________________ Date Paid _____________________
The Newsletter for the Friends & Neighbors of Observatory Hill October 2010
Regional Parks Master Plan Update: October 30th at Perry High School
You’re invited to a Community Meeting on Saturday, October 30th at 9:00 am to hear an update of the Regional Parks Master Plan. This is a great opportunity to share your thoughts with Parks Conservancy staff and consultants during a community meeting that will focus on Riverview Park.
Taking Action for Community Saftey
By Chris Cruz Recently, residents throughout Observatory Hill have noticed an increase in illegal drug traffic within the neighborhood. The situation was made even more serious with two possibly drug-related shootings in the span of two weeks. While there were no injuries associated with the shootings, they served as a wake up call to everyone in Observatory Hill, and also highlighted what makes our neighborhood so special. After the incidents, which occurred in Acorn Hill, the neighbors immediately went into action. E-mails were sent describing each incident and the neighbors immediately started planning a meeting to discuss the events. Jason Black and Alonzo Ward, whose property was damaged in one of the shootings, were instrumental in rallying their Acorn Hill neighbors to get involved. They worked with OHI to schedule a meeting with Councilwoman Harris, the Pittsburgh Police and the Northside Leadership Conference. Prior to the OHI meeting, over 30 Acorn Hill neighbors held a planning meeting so that they could speak with one voice at the bigger meeting. The neighbors worked together, prioritizing issues and concerns, while getting to know eachother at the same time. Over 50 Observatory Hill residents attended the OHI meeting, held at the Lamb of God Church on Perrysville Avenue. The meeting opened as Officer Hodges, the Pittsburgh Police liaison officer for Observatory Hill, made an extensive presentation including statistics showing a decline in "reportable incidents" for the Northside as a whole and thought that Observatory Hill (OH) was following this trend, although no specific data were available. He assured us that ongoing operations will bring positive results to the area in the near future. Officer Hodges recommended setting up block watches, continuing regular neighborhood meetings, walking the neighborhood with two-way radio communications and file U-CAN and Silent Complaint forms which are available to report incidents. He also warned not to become complacent when things improve. Mark Fatla, Executive Director of the Northside Leadership Conference, recommended participating in the Northside Public Safety Council, an allvolunteer group, coordinated by Karen McLellan of his organization. He suggested driving around the neighborhood on our way home to observe unusual behavior and supported Officer Hodges by emphasizing the need for continuing action even after current issues have been resolved.
Thanks for Your Involvement All Year
During this time of family holiday reunions and church sponsored Thanksgiving and Christmas programs around Observatory Hill, we want to thank all those who have been so involved in our community as caring neighbors and as friends. Our churches, schools, youth groups and public officials here keep our community connected and a comfortable place to live. The OHI Board appreciates the many volunteers who make our streets feel like home. Best wishes for the Holidays!
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The two-part session will begin at 9:00 with an overview of progress made toward achieving the goals of the 2000 Regional Parks Master Plan, followed by an open dialogue about current and future needs.
Make Checks Payable to: Observatory Hill Inc.
Observatory Hill Journal Credits
Editor: Pipitone Group, Jane Sestric, Chris Cruz Design and Layout: Scott Pipitone, courtesy Pipitone Group – 412-321-0879 Printing: Dave Gilbreath, courtesy Mercury Printing – 412-241-1189 October 2010
At 10:45 am, a mobile workshop will take attendees into the park and provide an opportunity to comment on the park’s amenities and challenges. Appropriate attire and footwear are recommended.
You are welcome to attend one or both sessions.
Please register at
http://www.pitsburghparks.org/masterplan or by calling 412-682-7275 x227. For more information on this program sponsored by Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, visit http://www.pittsburghparks.org
3888 East Street Pittsburgh, PA 15233
What’s Inside: What’s Inside:
3 Neighbors Pride
4 Taking Action Continued
Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 3666 Pittsburgh, PA
from the Desk of Council President Darlene Harris:
Working Together in Our Neighborhood
It’s nice to come home after a long day of work to a calm house and a peaceful neighborhood. We hear from people in our district that sometimes neighbors are not extending courtesies to one another. In the office, we get phone calls about weeds growing through fences into the next yard, garbage strewn in yards attracting rodents, people parking too close to other’s driveways or on sidewalks, cars parked too close to intersections causing accidents and more. Now that fall is here and winter is coming soon, raking leaves and shoveling snow will also be important.
Use These GO TO Numbers to Resolve Issues, Provide Services
You can take action from your own home by contacting the department that provides services for Northside Neighborhoods!
• 311 for Building Inspection and Trash Pick-up, Seek City Services such as Street Cleaning, Snow Removal. Citiparks for information on shelter rentals: 412-255-2370 [7am to 3pm] Northside Leadership Conference 412-330-2559, Karen McLellan, Public Safety Council Coordinator 412-330- 2572; see http://www.pittsburghnorthside.com. Animal Control 7AM to 3PM 412 255 2036 then 412-255-2935 until 11PM. Drug Task Force 412-323-7761 with specific details the red Chevy comes every day at 2:00 p.m., and its license plate is XXX-XXXXX. Nuisance property 412-322-7661 or 311 Mayor's office 412 255 2626 for community surveillance advice. City Police assistance for the following concerns: Abandoned Vehicles 412-255-2621 Crime Stoppers Tip Line 412-255-8477 Nuisance Bar Hotline 412-323-7777 Special Event Permit 412-323-7826 Tow Pound 412-255-2500 Officer Hodges for help setting up Block Watch groups-412-323-7200 See http://www.communitysafety.pittsburghpa.gov for blockwatch ideas For Silent Complaint Form Google "silent complain form Pittsburgh" or get copies from OH For U-CAN forms for narcotics Google "U-CAN program Pittsburgh" or get copies from OHI Northside Public Safety Council meets the 4th Thursday of each month. Please phone one of the board members if you are interested in attending as a local rep.
Neighbors Pride Showing During Clean Up Projects Here
By Barb Stanton
The requirement: pick a community project that is important to you. The results: a cleaned up and beautified section of Observatory Hill and a new sense of community and pride among neighbors and friends. That is what happened when David Van Pelt took on the task of cleaning up the area of Observatory Hill at the bottom of Baytree Street. Mr. Van Pelt, a resident of Baytree, has been taking a personal training and development course through Landmark Education. One of the requirements was to take on a community project that was important to you. He said that cleaning up the area was always something he has thought to do. He said one point he almost resigned himself to the idea that nothing would be done to clean up his street. Then the project came along and this was his chance to do something about it. The results were something more than he imagined.
An Update from Senator Ferlo:
What Are Your Comments on Marcellus Shale Drilling?
Over the past few years a new and seemingly endless resource has been revealed right below our feet, and now it has become a prominent topic in the media, in communities, and in homes throughout the state. I am of course referring to the natural gas reserves held in the Marcellus Shale formation that can be found in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York State. These natural gas reserves are said to be able to power America for a century. There is enormous potential for Pennsylvania to benefit from this resource; however, I believe there are many significant risks and questions that we must address NOW. While techniques like hydraulic fracturing/”fracking” are not brand new, the volumes and technologies employed have rapidly expanded and changed, making it all the more important that we examine the possible impacts to our environment and to our residents. We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves on this issue and take the time to formulate a thoughtful approach that will generate revenue, bring jobs, and protect our environment and our health. To begin addressing this I have introduced Senate Bill 1447 calling for a one-year statewide moratorium on all new Marcellus Shale natural gas well drilling in Pennsylvania while a study commission is formed to analyze gas well drilling and make recommendations. I also recently moderated a virtual tele-town hall event where a panel of individuals connected to the industry was on hand to answer questions, explain procedures, and address concerns. This is only the beginning. I encourage you to visit my website to link to information on Marcellus Shale issues and regulations from the Department of Environmental Protection, view the tele-town hall video, and ensure that we identify and implement policies that will allow this industry to grow and ensure benefits back to our residents. Please take a moment to let me know your opinion on this issue. You can find more information and email me on my website at www.senatorferlo.com, or call my office at 412-621-3006 to learn more. I hope to hear from you.
Author Robert Fulghum once said, “Peace is not something you wish for; it's something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” If you think about it, he may have been talking about being friendly to your neighbors.
• Making peace in the neighborhood and caring about others enough to think of your neighbors to keep peace. Getting to know who lives on either side of you and on your street, making friends may make some of these problems • go away. Once you get to know someone, you may think about that person’s thoughts, feelings, peace and comforts before you make a choice of leaving garbage out in your backyard that may cause a bad odor and bring mice and mosquitoes. •
“People came down and stayed and were committed to the project,” he recalls. Work was done on two separate days this summer. The first day approximately 25 people, including kids, turned out at 9:00 a.m. to work all day. Residents cleaned up trash, mowed grass and trimmed bushes. The project could not have been accomplished without the efforts of all the volunteers, everyone contributed something to make the event a success. Keven from Mandi’s Pizza delivered pizza’s for everyone. Mr. Bill from the Commodore Cafe provided the paint for the sign to be repainted and provided lunch for the volunteers. Steve Gabbert painted the Observatory Hill sign that sits facing East Street. “This project really altered my view of the community,” he said. “It really spoke to the community.” Neighbors plan to maintain their efforts on the second and fourth Wednesday at 6 p.m. and hope to continue the cleanup efforts in the spring.
Recently, a children’s playground in Brightwood was destroyed by fire. It was the privately owned playground at Providence Family Support Center, a community neighbor, who is so generous that they always left the gate to their playground open for the enjoyment of the children in the area. A neighbor that generous did not deserve to have their playground ruined. In 2002, the playground cost $50,000 to construct; who knows how much it will cost to rise from the ashes. Playgrounds are very expensive to build.
• But, if it’s rebuilt, will the center’s executive director, feel safe leaving her gate open for the neighborhood children to again play in the playground? I will not rest until I find out the culprit and I’m setting up a reward for the person or persons who did this horrible deed. •
When men wore spats [Fred Astair]? The DINKY Streetcar that ran between Straw Street and Perrysville Ave.
All that you could buy for a dime? Well a few months ago, I went to a Hardware store on Perry Highway and had a wheel chair leg repaired for a dime ~ for both the missing screw and the gentleman repaired it also! We Northsiders did most of our shopping on East Ohio Street? When all your good clothes went to the cleaners and everything was ironed? Some people never took their ironing boards down.
DO YOU REMEMBER?
By Peg Perlik One of our favorite pastimes is talking about the good times we’ve experienced. Here are some of our favorite memories. Do you remember… When men’s sideburns were called side sluggers?
Now, if there are problems such as vandalism, drug activity or serious disturbance near your home, call the police. They are here to serve. We have provided the phone numbers here for your use as well. Please call our office at 412-255-2135, if you do not get satisfaction or the answers you need. Over this fall and winter, please stay in touch with your neighbors. Who knows? You may build friendships that continue into neighborhood cookouts and block parties next summer!
Observatory Hill The neighborhood that offers something to everyone, located on the Northside of Pittsburgh it boasts a tight-knit community, stately homes, a business district, historic Riverview Park, and the Allegheny Observatory.
The DINKY Streetcar that went up and down Charles Street between Straw Street and Perrysville Avenue? You had to have a transfer slip. Mr. George Carr was one of the Conductors. ~ from Genevieve Carr Playing music using a comb and waxed paper or tissue paper? ~ from Jack Daman Taking pop bottles back for cash: five cents for large bottles, two cents for small bottles?
Growing up together we shared many good times and funny situations. If you want to share some of your memories, please send your comments to Peg Perlik c/o OHI Journal, 3036 Norwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15214
OHI J o u r n a l
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