Content about Human Interest


In January, I had the opportunity to meet all of Pennsylvania's Democratic gubernatorial candidates except for Rob McCord. At that time there was a whole herd of them about to stampede to the primary election in May, and it was pretty easy to see that a few were definitely going to fall by the wayside. At that time McCord was considered the front runner, the one to beat.


The Bellevue Avalon Girls Athletic Association dedicated its opening day to Bob Loch, one of the league’s founders and the man who led the organization to reclaim a borough dump and turn it into an athletic field that has hosted thousands of girls over the past three decades. Pictured above, Loch threw out the ceremonial first pitch to kick off a new season for BAGAA. He was presented with a proclamation by former state representative David Mayernik, who helped secure grant funding for the project.


Watch very, very closely and you just might catch Avonworth cheerleaders Kelly Evans and Natalie Malloy, pictured here from left, stepping off with thousands of band members and celebrity performers, all mixed in with floats and balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade that has come to mark the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season. Participation in the parade, 9 a.m.-noon, was open to all senior cheerleaders, who learned at summer cheerleading camp of the opportunity offered through "Spirit of America Productions," the group with whom they will be marching.


I planned to blog about politics and the upcoming election this week. I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief civics lesson about the two-party system in America, and warn about hysteria and paranoia running rampant in the streets of Bellevue. I planned to urge people to remain calm and think before going to the polls.

Then my life got rocked by an unforseen crisis or two, and my desire to be the voice of reason waned just a bit.


Avonworth students, from left, Bethany Kujawinski, Chloe Mellon, Lauren Robinet, Ben Pietrusinski and Denise Stone have received top honors from the Carson Scholars Fund.The three ninth graders include Ben, son of Colleen and Carl Pietrusinski of Ben Avon; Chloe, daughter of Brenda and Steve Mellon of Emsworth; and Lauren, daughter of Jane Ellen Robinet of Ben Avon and Yves Robinet of Ohio Township. Bethany, grade 7, is the daughter of Kelly and Nick Kujawinski. Denise, a sophomore, is the daughter of Phil Stone and Peggy Ward of Emsworth.


The NGAC Stingrays will hold a “Swim-a-thon” on Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Northgate High School pool.

During the event, swimmers will have two hours period in which to swim a maximum of 200 lengths. Donors are encouraged to support the athletes by pledging a flat donation, or a certain amount of money per length that the swimmer completes.

The swim-a-thon will provide funds to enable the local club to purchase equipment such as lane ropes, flags, kickboards, and a new timing system. The funds also will help provide scholarships for swimmers in need.


Veterans Day became a four-day tribute to those who have served in the military, as North Boroughs vets were invited to take part in ceremonies at local schools and in municipalities.

Emsworth Borough took the opportunity to dedicate a new memorial plaque that honors two residents who died in the “War on Terror,” Patrick B. Kenny and Robert N. Gilbertson.

The plaque has been installed at the borough hall, and was dedicated during a ceremony on Sunday afternoon.


Avonworth American Legion Post 866 will officially dedicate the “War on Terror” plaque honoring Patrick Kenny and Robert Gilberston on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. (Veterans Day) at the Emsworth borough hall.

A short social at the Emsworth community room will follow.

At 1 p.m., a ceremony will be held by Bellevue Borough in Bayne Park.

All veterans are invited to attend.


Area veterans are invited to attend a Veterans Day celebration at Bellevue Eklementary School on Friday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m.

Students will present songs, poems and essays honoring veterans for their service. Light refreshments will be served after the program.

Veterans who are able to attend should call (412)732-3300, x4000.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Three young men from the North Boroughs will be remembered forever for their sacrifice in Iraq, as a memorial honoring their military service was dedicated on Veterans Day in Bellevue. Pictured here, Midge Hall and Patricia Kenny place a wreath beside the monument that bears the names of their sons, Robert Hall of Bellevue and Patrick Kenny of Emsworth, along with that of Thomas Vandling Jr. of Bellevue. All three were killed while serving with the military in Iraq. The memorial was constructed by Bellevue Boy Scout Brian Halligan for his Eagle Scout project.


This being the second week of the month, I have spent untold hours gathering, reporting and publishing the news of the week -- to the exclusion of such things as sleep and medical attention for what has become the cold from hell.

Now that I am exhausted, cranky and a bit groggy, here's what I think about our big stories this week.


Pat Dragowski admits that she feels honored by being named the North Boroughs YMCA's “Volunteer of the Year,” but she is quick to add that the honor should be shared by an enthusiactic board of directors.

Pat grew up in Point Breeze, lived in Bellevue in the mid-1970s, and then moved to Kilbuck after marrying her husband, Robert. She said that the Y has been important to her through all of her years in the North Boroughs.

"I exercised there for years, and my daughter, Laura, was in many of the classes while she was growing up."


I would like to say that I have spent my entire life being kind, compassionate, forgiving, caring and sensitive to others.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Like pretty much everybody, there have been periods of my life spent in complete self-absorption. There have been many instances of bad judgment, worse choices, and words I wish I'd never said.

Each of these moments, however, provides a lesson that, if we want to grow up into any type of person we can be proud of, we take to heart. We try to do better, to be better.


The Avalon Library Saturday Movie Matinee on Jan. 29 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., will feature “The Takers,” starring Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen.


As an editor, I often struggle with issues surrounding what the public NEEDS to know, versus what they WANT to know.

If we print what people WANT to know, they'll buy papers. But at some point what people want to know drops perilously close to the level of gossip, in which I prefer not to indulge. Obviously gossip is big business, as evidenced by the number of celebrity gossip magazines, tabloids and Web sites. I am not at all convinced that the world needs to know what Mel Gibson said to his girlfriend, or who Miley Cyrus is dating. I'm not even sure why the world WANTS to know.


Hopefully all of you have survived the weekend blizzard without incident. A few North Boroughs residents remained without power as late as Monday morning, but for the most part there was no serious damage to report.

Which is not to say that the storm did not require a massive community effort on all levels.


Most societies -- like most religions -- find that things work a whole lot better when they have rules. Given the boundless creativity of human beings, it's just a whole lot easier when people are told very clearly what they can and cannot do.

There are some, of course, who will argue that it is possible to create a utopian society in which boundaries are determined by the individual. That's why there are a bunch of 40-year-olds walking around with names like Moonbeam and Lettuce. Hippie communes died out real fast once those kids hit junior high.


Angelo Cammarata Angelo H. Cammarata, 101, of Ross Township, husband of the late Marietta Cammarata, died Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 in Passavant Hospital.



Ben Avon Council member Michael Bett brought a resolution before council at Tuesday's meeting that would have the borough urge the Allegheny County Health Department to enforce its air pollution regulations for companies on Neville Island. Several residents were also on hand to express their opinions.


Paul Glevicky Jr. Paul A. Glevicky Jr., 78, of Brighton Heights, died Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. He worked in the steel industry for 47 years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and playing bingo.