Content about Entertainment


I am completely aware that spring has just arrived, but that does not negate the fact that the long-awaited winter is, in fact, coming this very weekend.

I speak, of course, of the Season 5 premiere of Game of Thrones, the HBO series set in the fantasy world of Westeros and its neighboring lands. In Westeros, seasons can last for many years, so many that the younger people of the land have never actually lived through a winter. And the winter that is creeping in from beyond the Wall promises to be one for the songbooks.


Upcoming events at Avalon Public Library include:

Monday, Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Story Time, “Be Mine.

Monday, Feb. 9, 11:15 a.m., Community Book Group. Meet at the YMCA Community Center. Discussing “The Book Thief,” by Markus Zusak.

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 6:30 p.m., Family Story Time, “Be Mine.”

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m., WQED grades K-3 Writers Contest, parent information session.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m., Wednesday Walk. Meet at the YMCA Community Center.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Babies and Books, for ages 0 – 24 months and their caregiver.


Upcoming events at Bayne Library include:

Monday, Jan. 12, 4:30-6 p.m., Writing Group. Join fellow authors and exchange experiences, suggestions and support.

Wednesday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m. informational meeting for anyone interested in becoming a member of the Friends of Andrew Bayne Library.

Thursday, Jan. 15, 11 a.m., Morning Story Time for young children accompanied by parent or caregiver.

Friday, Jan. 16, 10:30 a.m., Baby Lap Sit.


In his new book, “Civil War in Pittsburgh: Forge of the Union,” Ben Avon resident and Post-Gazette reporter Len Barcousky describes events in Southwest Pennsylvania during the Civil War. The public is invited to a free event to hear Barcousky tell these stories originally chronicled in Pittsburgh's major newspapers of the era.

Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase.


The temperature in the area had pushed into the 90s last Thursday, but one spot in Ohio Township registered some extra degrees. As winner of radio station WDVE's contest to host a porch/patio party with TV star and comedian Billy Gardell, the Hartle family’s house on Bradshaw Drive was definitely the hottest place around. Pictured at the party, from left, are Joey O'Connell, John Hartle, Billy Gardell, Jodi Hartle and Makenzie Hartle

John Hartle explained how his family's home came to be party central for the day.


For the second consecutive year, Avonworth's spring musical production took "Best Musical" in budget category II of the Kelly Awards, which recognize high school musical performances throughout Western Pennsylvania. In addition to taking home the top award, "The Phantom of the Opera" was honored with four additional nominations: Emma Baker for best actress; Nathan Pool for best actor; best director; and best stage crew.


The Bellevue Dog Woods Association will officially celebrate the grand opening of its off-leash dog park with a fun festival for dogs and their humans on Saturday, May 4.


Avonworth seniors Nathan Pool and Emma Baker rehearse a scene from "The Phantom of the Opera."

It opened in London in 1986, in New York in 1988, and has been staged in national tours, regional theater and college productions across the country, making it one of the most popular shows in musical history.

And now, Avonworth High School presents "The Phantom of the Opera" for a two-weekend run, opening for a senior citizen performance at 4:30 p.m. on April 11, followed by April 12, 13, 19 and 20 shows with 7:30 p.m. curtain times.


Bayne Memorial and Avalon libraries are challenging adults and teens to take the “50 Book Challenge.”

Registration starts Monday, Sept. 10, for participants, who must keep a record showing that they have read at least 50 books before Sept. 14, 2013.

The books do not have to be from the libraries. They can range from fiction to nonfiction, audio and e-books, graphic novels and even cookbooks. Newspapers, magazines and children's books do not count.

Those who complete the challenge will receive a reward and be entered into a drawing for larger prizes.


Bellevue will celebrate National Night Out with a variety of activities in Bayne Park on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 4 - 8 p.m.

The event will start with a bicycle parade at 4 p.m., and include martial arts and yoga classes, music, children's games, free hotdogs and hamburgers, a puppet show, a fly fishing demonstration, a book sale, face painting, fingerprinting and I.D. cards, activities at the new skate plaza, and more.

The Northgate and Avonworth football teams will compete in a hotdog eating contest at 6:30 p.m.


Hiding out from the heat over the weekend, I had the chance to catch up on some television. My choice? The HBO documentary "One Nation Under Dog."

I picked this show from the On Demand menu with more than a little trepidation. I don't like to watch shows in which animals are mistreated. It makes me physically ill. But sometimes, no matter how much it hurts, we have to open our eyes and really see what's going on around us.

The documentary told many stories, shared many lessons, touched my heart any number of times.


Upcoming events at Avalon Public Library include:

Tuesday, June 26, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday evening book club discusses “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave.

Friday, June 29, 1 p.m., movie matinee, 2012 award winning silent movie.

Saturday, June 30, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., movie matinee, 2012 award winning silent movie.

Wednesday, July 4, closed.

Saturday, July 7, 2 p.m., mystery book group discusses “Indulgence in Death” by J.D. Robb.

Tuesday, July, 10, 7 p.m., executive board meeting in the library conference room.


My favorite TV show has returned to ABC -- "What would you do?"

This show sets up scenarios, using actors, that present innocent bystanders with what essentially are moral dilemmas. Most people know what they SHOULD do, but the show explores why some people just don't do it.

For instance, one of last night's scenarios involved people in a restaurant who observed someone stealing another patron's laptop computer. The responses ran the gamut, from people who did nothing, to people who chased down the culprit.


Winter is a trying time for many people. Many become isolated, confined to their homes by the cold and limited daylight hours, the challenging driving conditions. In warmer weather we might sit on our front porches or go for a walk, connecting with neighbors and strangers alike. Sometimes that smile in passing has a bigger impact than we might imagine.

In response to the bitter cold, however, we hunker down in our homes as much as possible, drawing inside ourselves.

That can be very depressing.


For far too many of us, Monday, Jan. 16, will be, at best, just another day off work or school. Few of us will stop to really think about the man who is honored on that day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In reality, this world would be a far better place if all of us stopped for a bit and really thought about Dr. King, about the role race plays in the way we think and respond, about the horrifying events that unfolded not centuries ago, but in our lifetimes.


Upcoming events at Avalon Public Library include: Saturday, Dec. 24, and Monday, Dec. 26, library closed. Wednesday, Dec. 28, 1 p.m., travelogue, destination is Iceland. Saturday, Dec. 31, and Monday, Jan. 2, library closed. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2 p.m. mystery book club reads “Tampa Burn,” by Randy Wayne White.


To say that I am disappointed in the proposed 2012 budget for the Borough of Bellevue is putting it mildly.

It's not so much the tax increase. It's not even the sewer surcharge increase.

It's the fact that this town obviously is governed by a whole bunch of people who just don't get it.


The second annual “Improve the ‘Vue,” sponsored by Bellevue Initiative for Growth and Revitalization (BIGr), will be held Saturday September 24.

The goal is to recruit 500 volunteers to take part in 11 community service projects aimed at improving assets in and around the town. Some of the projects volunteers are being asked to take part in include litter pick-up and weed pulling, painting the Bayne Library conference room, extending the Bellevue hike and bike trail, and painting the fence around the local YMCA, among others.


Civic Light Opera's current production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" at Benedum Center includes two area actors performing in the children's choir in the musical that runs through Aug. 14.

Allison Adams and Felicia Niebel earned their positions in the "Hosanna" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" scenes following auditions on May 10.

Both girls have previous theatrical experience.

Allison appeared in the children's choir for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in 2009, "A Musical Christmas Carol" in 2010, and in "Evita" in March at Point Park Playhouse.


The Community at Holy Family Manor will host a Family Fun Day with activities for all ages on Saturday, July 30, 1-5 p.m.

The celebration commemorates the 40th anniversary of Mt. Nazareth Learning Center and the 45th anniversary of Holy Family Manor.

Those who attend will have the chance to learn about the programs available to the community, tour the facilities and see what services are provided.


The Bellevue Avalon Baseball Association (BABA) is asking area residents to join them in raising funds to help the family of a volunteer coach.

Mark Trimmer, a local postal carrier, was critically injured in a car accident earlier this month and passed away on Monday.

BABA will lead a fund-raising effort on Sunday, June 26, from noon to 6 p.m. at the baseball fields at 521 New Brighton Road, Avalon.

There will be a D.J., home run and infield competitions, dunk tank, flea market, moon bounce, face painting, basket raffles, a Texas hold ‘em tournament and more.


Avonworth filmmakers (seated) Olivia Konopka, Sam Werley, Tad Abramowich and (standing) Nathan Pool took first place in a regional competition with their animated film “Candy.”


You can feel it, can't you? Spring is definitely here.

All the signs are there: longer hours of daylight, daffodils and crocuses blooming as the lilies push their way out of the ground again and the trees start to bud.

Doesn't it just make you feel more energetic? Aren't you just rarin' to let go on some home improvement project?

In my case, the excitement over a new project is often more theoretical than practical. I can dream up all kinds of new projects. Getting them done is somewhat more of a challenge, as is evidenced by the rather extensive to-do list I've compiled.


We ran a story last week about one young man's opinion that journalism as we know it today is bordering on extinction because of its inability to deliver immediate news to a variety of handheld devices.

I would argue that the news industry is alive and will remain that way for precisely the same reason.

The fact is that a news story requires time and training that is incompatible with immediate delivery.