Content about Pennsylvania


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.


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.


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.


A health fair will be held Wednesday, May 15, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the PrimeTime Senior Community Center, 440 Lincoln Ave, Bellevue.

The event is free and open to the public. There will be refreshments, vendors, shingle shots and assistance in completing the Pennsylvania property tax or rent rebate form.

Seniors should call Maggie at (412)307-1775 with questions or to preregister for shingle shots and tax form assistance.


Volunteers from Ben Avon and Emsworth, with help from members of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, planted trees on Laurel, Prospect, Dickson, and Sturgeon avenues in Ben Avon, as well as in Avon Park, on April 11. The trees, obtained through the TreeVitalize project, were selected specifically for each site by professional urban foresters. Local coordinator Ephraim Zimmerman said that the planting event was very successful.


A group of pets will be breathing a little easier in 2013 after being given another chance at adoption as part of Animal Friends’ New Year’s Eve rescue.

The annual event saves dozens of animals who had been housed in shelters throughout Western Pennsylvania that are not no-kill, as is the Animal Friends shelter on Camp Horne Road in Ohio Township.


There is a little trick that magicians use to make their illusions successful. It's called misdirection. Basically, the magician uses some tactic to pull your attention away from where the "magic" is really happening -- waves a scarf, calls upon a scantily-clad assistant, sets off a couple minor explosions. You see what you're supposed to see, and not anything that will break the illusion that is being created on stage.

Magicians, it seems, are not the only ones who use misdirection in their work, and the results are not always so entertaining.


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.


I recently read an article shared by a friend that shocked me to my core.

Someone studied Google search terms and their relationship to how people voted in the last presidential election. The study looked at very specific search terms. It looked at how many people in different areas of the country Googled a specific racist term that cannot be mistaken for anything other than a racist term.


In Western Pennsylvania, we're not used to primary elections that are dominated by Republican contests. It's usually the Democrats tearing each other apart, and more times than not, the general election is decided by the results of the primary.

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but the Republicans are proving this year that they can get as down and dirty as their Democratic colleagues. From the presidential primary to local state offices, the mud is flying in record quantities.


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.


A Veterans Day service will be held in Bayne Park in Bellevue on Friday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m.

The keynote speaker will be SSG Matthew Claycomb of the Pennsylvania National Guard. Students from Lincoln Elementary will be part of the tribute. Refreshments will be served immediately following the ceremony.

There also will be a dedication at 1 p.m. of the monument created to honor North Boroughs veterans who were lost in the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom conflicts.


Ben Avon volunteer firefighter Steve Kosak brought the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to life for Avonworth students this week. Kosak was part of an emergency response team sent to the scene of the plane crash in Shanksville, where volunteers spent weeks combing through the wreckage and debris.


Eric Cosmides has good reason to be leading up a team of volunteers who will assemble 800 brown bag lunches for cyclists riding in the Tour de Cure fund-raiser for the American Diabetes Association this weekend in Harmony, PA.

His efforts will serve as his senior project at Avonworth High School, but, more importantly, it will send a personal message of the need to find a cure from someone who has lived with diabetes for more than six years.

"I was diagnosed with Type I juvenile diabetes in May of 2005," Eric, 17, said.


I'm always amused when people get the precise government they asked for with their votes, and have to face the consequences.

A perfect example is the election of Tom Corbett as governor of Pennsylvania.

Only a few short months after the majority of Pennsylvania voters bought into Corbett's promises of balancing the state budget and cutting state spending, they're finding out that the way he's going to do that is by pushing the tax burden onto local government. Over all, each of us will end up paying more to maintain the same or fewer services than we now have.


The Avonworth High School softball team will present two lucky winners autographed Penguins memorabilia in a fund-raising raffle.

The raffle will be based on the Pennsylvania Lottery number on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011.

Each $5 ticket will have a chance to win two different prizes. The winner of the midday number will receive an autographed Mario Lemieux hockey stick. The winner of the evening drawing will get an autographed Sidney Crosby jersey.

Anyone who wants a ticket should call Debbie or Tracy Catanzarite at (412)741-1238.


Bellevue Borough's "Health and Safety Day" will be held at Bayne Park on Saturday, Sept. 25, from noon until 4 p.m., with a variety of activities and informational booths.


Many of you have had the opportunity to meet my new BFF, Arthur. Arthur is a 140 lb. Great Dane who comes to work at The Citizen offices every day, and goes pretty much anywhere else I can get away with taking him.

Arthur came to me through the Pennsylvania Great Dane Rescue organization, which saves Danes who end up in kill shelters and those who have been neglected, abandoned, abused or surrendered by people whose circumstances have taken a turn for the worse, or those who just didn't realize that cute little puppy was going to get "that big."


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.


Dolores Stapanik Dolores "Dolly" Stapanik died Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. She is survived by her sister, Ruth Hardesty; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Rozalia Stapanik; and four siblings, Mary Louise Wisniowski, John Stapanik, Agnes Kosinski and Helen Westover. Friends were received at Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home, North Side. A funeral mass was held in Risen Lord Church on Friday. Joanne Searight Joanne M. Searight, 81, of Brighton Heights, wife of the late Lynn R. Searight, died Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015.


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.


Sr. Virginia Cummings Sr. Virginia "Ginny" Cummings, OSF, 89, of the School Sisters of St. Francis of the United States Province, died Friday, July 10, 2015 in Mt. Assisi Convent Motherhouse, Ross Township.