Articles

10/9/15

Community-based and independently-produced Maker Faires are happening all over the globe -- from India to Egypt to Greece -- and this weekend, in Pittsburgh, where students from both Northgate and Avonworth school districts will have the opportunity to display some of their recently-learned skills by demonstrating products of their own making.

Maker Faires were created by the publisher of "Make Magazine." They are gatherings of artists, inventors, designer, tinkerers, and do-it-yourselfers, all who exhibit, share and "make" or create things.

10/2/15

As the curtain falls on Act I, the audience for the fall production of Ken Ludwig's "The Game's Afoot" will be puzzling over the classic murder mystery question: "Who done it?"

But fear not, Watson! By the conclusion of the play, all will be made clear.

"We have put on some terrific plays over the years, but this is truly one of my favorites," said Community Theatre Players' Jennifer Bett, who is directing this year's production. "Ken Ludwig is a tremendous writer and 'The Game's Afoot' is a wonderful combination of comedy, romance, suspense and just good fun."

10/2/15

Fifty years ago, the Brit rock band The Who released "The Kids Are Alright," a song that went on to become one of the most misunderstood in all of rock history. Skip over the song and just take the title and apply it to a group of local kids who are in no danger of being misunderstood. It's the Avonworth area (Awesome) DoSomething Club, a social action club designed to get teens involved in humanitarian causes in the community.

9/12/15

The "Strong Women, Strong Girls" organization recently honored Avonworth senior Becca Volk with this year's "Strong Girl" award in a ceremony held at Pittsburgh's Doubletree Hilton,

9/8/15

Rege Costello walks six miles each day, weather permitting, two miles after each meal, mostly along the streets of his hometown, Emsworth, on into Ben Avon and sometimes maybe to the Avalon border.

At one time not so long ago, though, Rege was running those streets, as well as marathons in South Park, North Park, Johnstown, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Boston. In all, 49 marathons, Boston being the easiest, in Rege's opinion.

"No steep hills!" he said.

But then came a hill too steep for him to climb: torn knee cartilage, and Marathon 50 would forever elude him.

8/31/15

The closing of Emanuel's Lutheran Church on North Fremont Avenue in Bellevue marks yet another passing of a long-established house of worship in the North Boroughs. With active membership no longer topping 50, a dramatic falling-off from nearly 600 members in the early 1960s, the congregation simply could no longer meet the expenses of maintaining the gothic-styled church that was dedicated in 1909, with additions and embellishments made throughout the century that followed.

8/3/15

If you happen to be strolling through Pittsburgh's suburbs -- or even the city itself -- don't be too surprised when you hear the soft cluck, cluck, cluck of...chickens?

Yes, chickens. They are a fast-growing trend in the area of urban farming, right up there with homegrown organic produce, beekeeping and community gardens.

An Avalon couple who recently moved to the area brought a unique request to the borough this month: Were they allowed to have a small chicken coop in their back yard?

8/3/15

It's only the second gardening season for Pam MacLeod in her Bellevue home, but she has grown more veggies and flowers on her deck garden than many folks have grown in a decade.

The gardening effort really is a family affair, the up-down duplex shared by her son and his family upstairs and Pam living on the first level, keeper of the dogs, on-call babysitter, and chief garden caretaker, although, as daughter-in-law Becca says, "We do everything collectively."

7/18/15

Boy Scout Troop 321 has added another Eagle Scout to its extensive list of those who have risen to the highest level in scouting.

Isaac George of Ben Avon recently was recognized for his achievements in an honor court held recently at Mt. Nebo Presbyterian Church in Ohio Township.

Isacc's Eagle project centered on upgrading the library at his home church, Bellefield Presbyterian, in Oakland.

7/18/15

There are no cascading waterfalls and no manicured lawns, but anyone visiting Nancy D'Angelo's Brighton Heights' garden is in for a sensory treat.

7/6/15

Anyone looking for meticulously tended plots and precisely clipped lawns won't find them in Joanne Nixon's Bellevue garden.

But there may be something even better to be found for anyone who can harken back to high school English class to remember the definition of the literary term, metaphor: something that represents something else.

Just pass by, or stop in for a few minutes -- everyone is welcome -- to find a garden that is more than just a garden. More like life itself.

6/16/15

By NANCY WHYTE

"This little organization is the best kept secret in the city," said Ann Heckel, a retired art teacher who volunteers at the North Boroughs YMCA Community Center. Located at the corner of California and South Home Avenues in Avalon (in the former Church of Epiphany), the Community Center is an extension of the North Boroughs YMCA, and is the go-to place for seniors seeking companionship, socialization, mental stimulation, physical exercise, delicious home-cooked meals and an overall good time.

6/16/15

By NANCY WHYTE

"This little organization is the best kept secret in the city," said Ann Heckel, a retired art teacher who volunteers at the North Boroughs YMCA Community Center. Located at the corner of California and South Home Avenues in Avalon (in the former Church of Epiphany), the Community Center is an extension of the North Boroughs YMCA, and is the go-to place for seniors seeking companionship, socialization, mental stimulation, physical exercise, delicious home-cooked meals and an overall good time.

6/8/15

Even the most ardent students of Bellevue history may have a hard time placing the name Daniel Rosemeier. That name, however, is now etched on a monument honoring police officers from across the country who have died in the line of duty.

Daniel V. Rosemeier had served with the Bellevue Police Department for 26 years and held the position of police chief on July 6, 1934, when he died as a result of a heart attack suffered on duty.

5/10/15

Avonworth opened its Pittsburgh Galleries Project in conjunction with the district-wide art show on Wednesday evening, with the public invited to view artwork displayed throughout the school from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For the past two years, the Galleries Project program has provided students the opportunity to design, create, curate and manage exhibition spaces in middle and high school areas.

5/2/15

House tour.

The words bring to mind such locales as Sewickley, Ben Avon, Mt. Lebanon.

Rightfully so, with their unique architecture, tended landscapes, welcoming hosts.

But now it's time to add one more stop on the tour circuit: Bellevue.

From 1 to 5 p.m. on May 9, several of Bellevue's best will be open to the public for self-guided tours, with four homes and two churches, as well as the Hermann museum selected for viewing.

5/2/15

By NANCY WHYTE

Cancer survivor Dawn Reinhart of Ben Avon has been named chairperson of this year's “Race for the Cure” in Pittsburgh. As chair, Reinhart, a 16-year breast cancer survivor, becomes the "ambassador and face of the race," which takes place Sunday, May 10, at Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park.

Reinhart has been active with the Susan G. Komen race since 2001. She finds gathering with other breast cancer survivors to be empowering.

4/25/15

The owners of Grille 565 have strong ties to the area, and they hope to make them even stronger by attracting diners to the restaurant that is named for its address: 565 Lincoln Avenue.

Jennifer Cirlingione, husband Gary Cirlingione, and Mike Welsh also have strong ties to the restaurant business, with over 60 years of combined experience among them, much of it at the former Ohio River Boulevard eatery, Burgers Wagon Wheel, as well as at Sunny Jim's and the Primadonna, formerly in McKees Rocks.

4/25/15

Animal advocates from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania gathered in Harrisburg this past Monday with one objective: blitz their representatives in the state house and senate with information on pending legislation that will, if adopted, add legal protections for countless animals, as well as the people who love them.

4/11/15

Jimmy Viscusi started cutting hair in 1965, and he has not stopped since, in part because it has been such a strong family tradition.

His father, Dom, had a shop on the North Side before moving to Bellevue and, after that, to West View in the 1950s, where he was the "go-to" barber who knew how to duplicate all of the latest trends in young men's hairstyles --- the fade, the Ivy League look, the flat top.

And then his life ended in a boating accident on Lake Erie in 1964.

4/11/15

After some of the more serious musicals staged at Avonworth High School, among them "Phantom of the Opera" and "Man of La Mancha," along comes the light and frolicsome "Seussical, The Musical" as this year's production.

But wait. Adults who think that the show has little to say to audiences over age 12, should think again. Director Deborah Frauenholz promises that it will be an enjoyable show, but that it also has some meaningful, all-ages messages.

4/4/15

A group of area teens will present their "Views of Bellevue" through original photographs taken as part of a program offered by The Drop, a youth center housed in the basement of the former United Methodist Church located in the center of the borough. The show will open at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, with photos on display for a month at Grille 565 on Lincoln Avenue.

Photographs will feature architecture, people, and other Bellevue scenes.

3/29/15

By NANCY WHYTE

Last Saturday at Avalon Library, young readers had the opportunity to read aloud to a therapy dog. Butterscotch, a trained therapy dog, along with her handler Maggie Dobbins, visited the library’s children’s room, where a number of children petted “Butters” and read a favorite book to her.

3/29/15

Students in Avalon and Bellevue elementary schools once again competed in the Future Chef's Challenge by creating recipes for tasty and healthy foods that are easy to make and win parental approval, as well.

The contest began in January when 32 students in grades 6-12 at the two schools answered the invitation to submit their recipes for the contest, which was coordinated by Northgate food director Julianne Griffin. Judges narrowed the field to six finalists, who took to the kitchens at Northgate to prepare their specialties this past Wednesday.