Hi,

Tomorrow has lots of anniversaries like when the Bar Code system was introduced (1974), the Federal Credit Union Act (1934), the human genome was mapped (200), the Saint Lawrence Seaway was opened (1959), the pardoning of three of the men convicted in Chicago’s Haymarket Riot by the Illinois governor and the United Nations charter was signed (1945).  Birth anniversaries include author Pearl Buck (1892), Union Civil War officer (and for awhile was credited with inventing baseball) Abner Doubleday (1819) and Revolutionary War leader Arthur Middleton (1742).

Honest, I had a post last Saturday.  But when I went into WordPress today, it showed up as a draft and I thought I had a double copy and deleted it.  Damn, I hate putting all that work into a post and then losing it on my own fault.

Why do guests want to know where I live?  I think it’s a legitimate question if I live on-site, but the exact location I find irksome.  A lot of people ask if I live on-site and I always say yes and drop it.  Sometimes guests get persistent about where.  What, are you going to stop by later and ask me out for a glass of wine?  :)  What difference does it make?  It’s just one of those little things that I find annoying.

I had 21 guests for the Kenny Chesney concert and then a wedding for a neighbor’s son on Sunday.  Quite a challenging weekend, but all went well.   There were 55K people in the stadium for the concert and they estimate as high as an additional 30K where here just to party.  That kept the police a little busy with 73 arrests and they had to respond to 10 large fights.  When you consider the number of people (many who have been consuming alcohol since the morning), I don’t think the negative stats are too bad.  I did at one point walk outside the front of my Inn and found three young guys standing right inside the fence separating my parking lot from the sidewalk, which in and of itself wasn’t too strange, but I had “a feeling” and when I started walking towards them, a fourth came out of the back of my lot.  When I approached, they discretely, but quickly walked down the sidewalk away from me.  I figured he was using my lot as a toilet, but didn’t find any wet spots.  So my assumption was he was trying door handles to see if the cars were locked and would steal anything they could get there hands on.  I hate thieves as much as liars.

Anyway, on July 18, the Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming is hosting an instructor’s recital at the Shady Side Academy’s Hillman Center.  It’s a pretty cool organization I support yearly with a gift certificate.

Camp Erin, founded by professional baseball pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife offers a yearly camp to help kids cope with loss.  This year it was held at YMCA’s Camp Kon-O-Kwee in Butler county along the Conoquenessing Creek.  No cell phones, no TV, no electronics, what a great way to show kids besides how to cope with death of loved ones, but also that to be disconnected can be fun.  This last camp they had 103 kids that are encouraged to laugh, sing as well as cry.  The adult volunteers show kids it’s OK to grieve, that’s the best way to work loss out.  If you know a child that needs help coping with a loss, they start taking applications in December for the 2014 camp.  Camp Erin has expanded to 39 locations in the US and 2 in Canada.

Have you ever been on the USS Requin?  It’s on the river right next to the Carnegie Science Center and I have always been fascinated with it.  I’m not overly claustrophobic, but I do get the willies going in it and thinking of being confined on it for months on end when it was in service.  The Carnegie has started guided tours on select Sundays, one of the guides actually served on the Requin in the 60′s.  To have an “inside” tour of the submarine would be like having an inside tour of The Parador getting all the little details you could miss on your own.  The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non members.  Reservations are required.

The gift that keeps giving, P.W.S.A.  The state oversight committee trying to work with the city (and in this instance the county) has been insisting the city pick up a computer software package the county is using so the systems can integrate and be more efficient and save money.  I think this has been an issue for almost five years now.  Instead of getting the same system so everyone can talk together, the water authority bought their own system that doesn’t have the ability to communicate with the city or the county.  After spending $2.7M on the system (and it’s still not fully operational) three years ago, they say it would cost and additional $2M to make it able to communicate with the city.  We really should get rid of all these authorities.  They are by nature, independent.  But when you see the stupidity and ineptness, there’s nothing much you can do.  You certainly can’t vote them out of office.   The water authority has a special place in my heart after costing me $42K pre-opening to separate the domestic and the sprinkler system waters (LONG story here).  Although the stadium authority did stand up to the Steelers about paying for the additional seats the Steelers want added and other amenities, they basically let the sports teams have complete control of developing public lands around the stadiums at bargain basement prices.  It wasn’t until the gentleman that owns Alco Parking made a realistic offer for the Northshore properties that the stadium authority finally made the Steelers pay a price that was discounted, not just robbery.  The other authority that needs disbanded is Port Authority.  During the initial pre-construction phase of the Northshore connector, then director Steve Bland was asked if he would put additional cars on when the Steelers have home games.  He said “No, that would involve overtime”.  OMG, 65K people going to a game and he wasn’t planning on adding additional cars.  He quickly changed that story.  Most recently, our county executive nominated an ex-turnpike official that ended up getting indicted for theft and corruption.  I’m sure Councilman Ricky Burgess has the best of intentions, but he’s proposing creating a new authority to make up a land bank for abandoned properties predominately in the Homewood Brushton sections of the city.  We already have a Urban Redevelopment Authority, why do we need another urban redevelopment group?  The sky is blue, it’s hot and humid, but a nice breeze.  See, I’m not all negative.  :)

I don’t know how much you watch our waterways, but Campbell Transportation Company is a pretty big local company that does a lot of barge movement on the rivers.  This privately held company out of Houston, PA has been around over 50 years has expanded into building tugboats.  They are christening their two new boats, the Renee Lynn and Alice Jean on Tuesday at a private (but very large group of invited guests) here on the Northshore.  I like seeing local companies grow.

The Three Rivers Regatta is this coming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Besides all the boats, boat races and food vendors, a big attraction is Sandsational Sand Sculpting‘s of 160 tons of sand into America’s Pioneering Spirit.  The sneak picture in today’s paper looks pretty impressive.  Better than my weak sandcastles I used to make on the beach. :)

Well, that’s it for today, have a great day and enjoy this hot, but sunny and nice weather,

ed

Hi,

I found the blog I inadvertently deleted a week ago.

Happy summer solstice.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of the end of the battle of Okinawa (1945), New Hampshire ratified the constitution (1788) and the anniversary of Hurricane Agnes (1972).  Birth anniversaries include presidential wife Matha Washington (1731), French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (1905), novelist Mary McCarthy (1912) and black artist Henry Tanner (1859).

I have a new one, when I pulled the bath linen out of a guest room yesterday, I noticed one of the towels was terribly thin.  I spoke with Dee about and she thinks the guests stole a towel from a Motel 6 or some place like that and swapped towels with me.  Too funny.

Another kick-butt at The Parador.  21 guests for the Kenny Chesney concert and a small conference at Duquesne University.  Then Sunday afternoon, my neighbor’s Paula & Lenny’s son will be marrying April.  Small event, very intimate.

Ron Gdovic is the inventor and marketer of Power Stax Power Systems on Smallman Street in the Strip.  They’re twenty foot tall wind turbines (instead of the tall blade wind machines you see on the hills in Somerset) that the blades are made of okoume wood, an Asian wood known for flexibility and and are frequently used in boat construction.  They are housed in a polyvinyl chloride posts and are relatively small in their foot print.  Unlike their tall bladed counter parts, they are not dangerous to birds, in fact, although they don’t recommend it, you can actually put your hand in them while their turning without injury (it might hurt though).  :)  The blades are installed backwards with the blunt end out.  Starting price is around $7,500 and they say they can generate enough electricity for a smaller house.  Before they sell the units, they place a machine in your space that records wind and other environmental factors to see if it’s feasible and then send a tech out to survey the area.

The iconic Schwartz’s Market on East Carson Street that closed last year after 84 years is reopening as Schwartz Living Market.  I’m not real sure what they are, I think they’re like a Whole Foods.  In addition to local natural farm products, they will be offering educational movies and things like “living juices”, not sure here.  I hope it’s not a slurpy with live germs or small animals in it.  :)  Anyway, it’s great to see small local markets opening and giving the Southside residents an option besides the evil Giant Eagle in Wharton Square is a great thing.

You know, when I was looking to replace some windows, I spoke with several contractors looking to make an INFORMED decision.  I did that what I contracted out to replace the Veranda floor with exposed aggregate concrete.  I seek information from knowledgeable sources.   Alcosan is facing a federal court order to clean up what they’re dumping in the rivers.  This is no small matter, the estimated costs exceed $2B up to almost $4B.  You would think with that much on the line, Alcosan would be seeking information from all sources to come up with the best solution at the lowest cost.  Alcosan is famously famous for not being green or thinking in those terms.  Clean Rivers requested information on Alcosan’s plans and Alcosan has refused.  Their spokesperson Nancy Barylak said they will tell Clean Rivers.

6what Alcosan’s plans are when their finished!  Maybe take a billion dollars and invest it in rain gardens, rain barrels, public educational classes and so much more.  My suggestion, which they summarily dismissed was when replacing storm water catch basins along the roads, instead of digging a whole, placing a sealed concrete box that connects directly to the sewer, dig the holemaybe two feed deeper than normal, fill it with rock so some of the water can dissipate right there.   I’m sure if I was a scientist or had the time, the amount of water you could keep out of the system could be huge.  You don’t need to invest the money immediately by replacing all the catch basins at once.  If they did they study (and they do like to commission studies), show the DEP how much run off water you can divert if all basins are replaced this way whenever it’s time.

Pittsburgh hosted the Americans for the Arts convention last week and we had scads of people from all over the country touring our city.  Th responses I’ve heard were extremely favorable.  It’s like my guests that have never been to Pittsburgh rave about how clean, interesting, friendly and filled with interesting attractions they had no idea we had.  As a side note, did you know that the arts generate $1.17B a year in economic impact?  The average per capital spending on non-profit arts and culture is $315 per county resident compared to $267 per capital nationally.  We spent $249 participating in individual artists’ shows compared to a national average of $148.    That’s pretty impressive.  I saw a poll last year where something like 45% of Allegheny County residents attends a sporting event where 53% attend some sort of cultural event of some sort (I’m making those numbers up, I don’t recall the exact percentages, but mine are fairly close).

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is hosting an interesting exhibit that’s traveling the world.  Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia runs through November 3.  This exhibit examines the impact of trade routes through the middle east from the west to the east.  They have over 200 recently excavated objects, some from as far back as 6 BC and shows how the area changed over time, including the advent of Islam after 7 AD.  I haven’t seen it yet, but get a copy of their magazine and the statues, etc look pretty interesting.

In 1863, as the Confederates were marching north, Pittsburgh and Allegheny City felt a real threat and employers released thousands of employees to help build 37 fortifications in and around Pittsburgh.  The Allegheny City Society has been researching the one here and will be hosting tours of the significant sites tomorrow.  I don’t have much information on them, I’ve been to their web site and when I click on the link to the tours, it just brings me back to their home page.  If you are interested in attending, visit the link above.  The cost ($40) includes bus and walking tours as well as lunch.

That wraps it up for today, hopefully I will have time to ramble on more than once a week soon.  Next week isn’t too busy (at this point) :), the following week (4th of July and Taylor Swift concert) is going to be gang busters again.

Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend and remember to keep hydrated,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Bunker Hill (1775), Iceland Independence Day (1944), South Africa repealed the last apartheid law (1991) and the 41th anniversary of Watergate (1972).  Birth anniversaries include Methodist Church John Wesley (1703), PA Governor Tom Corbett (1949), composer Igor Stravinsky (1882) and constitution signer William Hooper (1742).

Business has been crazy busy.  A huge trend the last few weeks is a ton of European guests (probably 10% of my total guests).  I don’t know Pittsburgh’s becoming more of a destination or if The Parador is a becoming an international destination.  :)

Did you go out to the 15th Annual Atlatl Competition Saturday at Meadowcroft?  Loosely speaking, an Atlatl is and ancient attachment to a spear that extends it’s distance and accuracy.  They believe to have been in use by primitive hunters as far back as 30,000 years ago.  I guess that’s where Jean Auel got the idea for her heroine Ayla’s idea for her innovative weapon in the Clan of the Cave Bear.  It’s funny how as life goes by, you see things from your past that makes more sense with new perspectives.  It’s like years ago when I first read Frank Herbert’s Dune I thought how creative he was with the city names.  Then about ten years ago, as the middle east came to the front page of news, I swear all the city names he used are right out of Yemen.

Also on Saturday was the 23 Annual River Sweep, the largest river clean up in the country that cleans more than 2,400 miles of shoreline.  Cleaning the Ohio River from Pennsylvania through Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois they pulled more than 40 tons of trash out of the river.  This was accomplished by 600 volunteers in 24 groups, good work guys!

Well, the commute is open, you can now accept that job in DC and bike all the way.  :)  Seriously, they finally opened those two last segments around Sandcastle and up around McKeesport for the Great Allegheny Passage Trail to be completed.  The organizers already have their eyes on some smaller improvements along the trail and a fairly large challenge getting the motor traffic and bikers separated along the Mon Wharf,  they just received a $2M state earmark for it.  It’s about 150 miles to Cumberland, MD where it meets the C&O Canal Towpath that completes the 334.5 mile trip to DC.  It’s a very cool trip (not that I’ve done it), going through the mountains, over rebuilt bridges over waterway and through refurbished tunnels that trains once uses, so the grade is minimal.

Next Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm they will be having a Pollinator Open House by St Vincent College in Unity.  Penn State Master Gardeners will be giving tours of the Reserve’s gardens and a local beekeeper will be their giving demonstrations.  Great opportunity if any of you are thinking of taking up apiary as a hobby.  More info by calling 724-837-1402 or by  visiting their website.

Next month, July 11 Phipps will be teaming with Penn State Cooperative Extension and nationally known garden designer David Culp for a special Summer Short Course on design and use of native plants.  It runs from 8:30 until 2:30 and the $95 includes lunch and coffee.  Limited spaces in their new learning center and a $50 deposit will be required.  More info by calling 412-441-4442 or by visiting their website.

Have you seen Mr Epic Man’s YouTube posting How Animals Eat Their Food?  I like it how his dining partner keeps a straight face watching his antics until the kangaroo.  Pretty cute.

144 years after Samuel Morse sent his first telegram, the  Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited will be sending the world’s last telegraph and closing it’s doors on July 14.

That Philadelphia company that’s been all over Downtown buying properties and converting them into apartments and condos mainly is planning a Kimpton Hotel chain Hotel Monaco brand, watch out Fairmont Hotel, you’re going to have a run for your money on the higher end guest market.  I like to see it because Pittsburgh’s been lacking in the availability of upscale hotel rooms.  It gives the city more of an upscale destination image. This 250 room luxury hotel will be in the old James Reed Building that has law offices of Reed Smith most recently.  So now we have luxury accommodations in The Parador, The Fairmont and a Monaco.  :)

I’ve been a big fan of John Conti for some time now.  What a well presented argument for a compromise for the Terminal Building in the Strip (maybe he read an earlier blog of mine) he made in today’s Trib titled “Lost” Buildings Can Never Be Replaced.  :)  Instead of tearing the entire bottom third of the building down, cut a pass through at 17th Street.  This leaves the imagery of the 1500 foot solid building framing what could be a VERY dramatic plaza framed by the Terminal Building on one side, the various old buildings (some have been re-habbed WITHOUT public money Buncher Group) on the other side and on the end that very dramatic St Stanislaus Kostka church.  They are even proposing leaving some of the structural metal work in place between the two parts of the Terminal Building for visual affect.    If you go to the link, there’s a rendering of their proposal.  I suggest going one step further, make a park in the middle of the street, a long narrow park.  Angled in parking and single lane in each direction would leave at least thirty feet in the middle for my park, maybe call it Parador Park?  :)  Unlike Buncher, Mr Conti and myself are willing to compromise.

Have a great week,

ed

 

 

Tomorrow’s anniversary include one for me, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935.  :)  The ball point pen was patented (1935), the rape of the town Lidice by the Germans (1942), in defiance of England, the first mint was established in Massachusetts (1652) and the first Arab Spring started in Jordan (1916).  Birth anniversaries include Canadian author Saul Bellow (1915), actress Judy Garland (1922) and the first African American to win an Academy Award, Hattie McDaniel (1889).

Kicked my butt.   The 20 new windows are stained and two coats of polyurethane in the inside and two finish coats on the outside.  The contractor was OK, at best.  At least I think the windows were installed properly.  I’m missing a whole stack of hand towels, the workers went into and used the guest bathrooms and their hygiene was REALLY bad, Dee had a fit.  Marginal clean up, when I say marginal, they picked the big things up and swept the obvious floor.  We found debris everywhere.  I spend an entire day cleaning the big suite, Lady Palm myself.  But it’s over and everything’s put back together, and clean. :)

Casa Rasta has opened a second location over on Federal Street two doors up from El Burro.  Both are basically take out with some counter type seating.  I don’t recall if I spoke of El Burro in the past when they opened, nice people, good burritos a welcome addition to the Northside.  And I know I’ve talked about Casa Rasta and the great job they do up in Beechview.  A friend of mine is the head librarian at the Federal Street Carnegie Library and we’ve talked about lunch over there.  All the little storefront restaurants literally run out of food by the end of lunch.  They can’t keep up the demand from Allegheny General Hospital’s main location and the AGH medical facility on Federal.

Have you heard of Memes?  It lets you add text and alter images of pictures you have taken for online.  Like Ian Richards posting of the 300 feet on the Ft Duquesne bridge you have to get from the left lane to the right lane in five lanes.  There’s some pretty cute ones out there.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is bringing back the Festival of Firsts for the third time since 2004.  The festival runs from September 27 through October 26.  They will be showcasing a wide range of art forms including dance, theater, performance, music and visual art.  The “mascot” will be Floretijn Hofman‘s 40′ high and 30′ wide bright yellow floating rubber duck that has been seen recently in Sydney and Hong Kong.  One of the events will be Kiss and Cry where Belgium collective NanoDanses will present the story of a woman recounting her greatest loves told by hands portraying persons in miniature backgrounds.  Austrian Kurt Hentschlager‘s Vee which will be an enclosed room filled with odorless, dense (and hopefully non lethal) :) which limits your normal senses and add to the a constant droning sound will probably not be for the faint of heart.  A second piece by Hentschlager will be Hive, a 3-D animated audio/visual where swirling human shapes spiral into one one form.  Measure Back is an audience participation to seek out the difference between citizen-as-spectator and citizen-as-participant in war and was created and run by Christopher McElroen and T Ryder Smith.  More info and ticket sales are at the Festival of Firsts web site.

Have you seen the Mr. Roger’s auto tunes re-mix?  To compliment last year’s  release Garden of Your Mind, Sing Together has recently been released.  Kind of perks Mr. R. up a bit.  :)

There’s some websites with deals much better than the mammoth E-Bay.  Govdeals is one where they sell confiscated items from airlines.  USAgov also has deals on surplus items and can direct you to local sites that are selling these items.  And Woot has deals on it’s site.

Pittsburgh is the home to many small museums, I have covered most of them in the past, but the Trib ran an article with a bunch together, so I thought I’d talk about them as a group.  Trundle Manor is one I missed.  When Rachel Rech first met Anton Raphael Mirello, he told her he had a freezer full of squirrels he’d like her to eviscerate and stuff them, she was hooked.  There are tons of stuffed animals there to include a grouse/raccoon/alligator thing, a singing tumor and much, much more.  By appointment in Swissvale, 412-916-5544.  More info at their website.  Center for Post-Natural History a CMU professor Richard Pell opened this storefront museum in Garfield dedicated to genetically modified organisms.  Hours are noon to 4 pm Sundays and 5 – 8 pm the first Fridays of the month.  He hopes to raise enough money through donations to be able to hire a staff member to have it opened more.  More info at his website or by calling 412-223-7698.  Bayernhoff Museum is one of my favorites.  This rambling hilltop mansion O’Hara Township is filled with his obsession with antique musical instruments, automatons, music boxes and player pianos.  Open by appointment only, more info at the website or by calling 412-782-4231.  Downtown is the Toonseum which is dedicated to cartoon art in America.  In addition to his in-house rotating collections, there’s frequently guest exhibits as well.  Rivers of Steel/Carrie Furnace in Homestead has tons of visitors.  This article didn’t quote numbers, but I’ve read in the past they have somewhere around 200,000 visitors a year at the small museum.  The museum is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 am until 4 pm and Carrie Furnace is by appointment.  More info at their website or by calling 412-464-4020.  The Roberto Clemente Museum in Lawrenceville is by appointment and is dedicated to all things the great athlete and humanitarian was all about.  More info at their website or by calling 412.621-1268, admission is by appointment.  The next three museums are home over here on the Northside.  Bicycle Heaven is down off Beaver Avenue by the river.  Craig Morrow has saved tons of classic bikes, restored them and put them on display hanging from the walls and ceilings in this old factory.  It’s a great resource if you are into classic bikes for parts.  Next to and owned by the famous Bernie’s Photography is Photo Antiquities on East Ohio Street.  This narrow museum is stuffed with all kinds of classic photographs.  He was trying to raise money to move to a new location just north of it’s current showroom to expand the exhibition space and so he could have classes, dark rooms, etc.  I haven’t heard lately of any progress in this endeavor.  More info at his website or by calling 412-231-7881.  It is open from 10 am until 4 pm Mondays, Wednesdays through Saturdays.  The Mattress Factory in the Mexican War Streets is open 10 am until 5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 5 pm Sundays.  Barbara converted this former mattress factor to house installational art, the room is the piece of work.  She brings local, national and international artists in.  If you go there, be sure to check out their Annex right down the street as well.  If you go to the Mattress Factory, right down the street is Randyland.  Although not an actual museum, Randy has taken two three story Victorian houses and they are his canvas, as is his Courtyard which is open when he’s home.  It’s worth a trip in and of itself.  All the more reason to plan a visit to The Parador Inn:)

Be sure to go to the Three Rivers Arts Festival and check out the newly re-opened Fountain at the Point.

I’ll be back sooner than a week, I promise,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow’s Italian Republic Day where in 1946 they passed a referendum which kept it a republic instead of returning it to a monarchy, the Salem Witch Trials began in 1692), it is the anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (1953) and Saint Erasmus holiday, the patron saint of sailors also know as Saint Elmo.  Birth anniversaries include actor Johnny Weissmuller (1904) and no introduction needed for Marquis De Sade (1740).

I know it’s been a week since my last post, but the window project is just about completed.  I haven’t pulled a weed in almost two weeks.  I’ve stained the insides of all twenty windows and given the insides two coats of a Polycriylic sealant.  I’ve given the exterior of the windows the first coat of the teal finish and cleaned the windows up (ended up in a clinic because a gashed my palm on the LAST of the 112 staples I had to take out from their packing).  Tomorrow I give them a second finish coat of the teal and I’ll be all set for installation starting on Monday.  They really look great, I’m so excited.

I really hate Giant Eagle grocery stores.  They do all sorts of sly things like listing specials and not differentiating between a sale for the general public and a sale for their frequent shopper patrons.  I really don’t like people following my habits and never sign up for any of those perk cards, my privacy’s worth more to me than the few dollars a year I’d save. When I first moved back to Pittsburgh and saw Giant Eagle would have banners for specials, but not differentiate between frequent shopper specials and general specials, I  brought it to the attention of the store manager and she literally told me they can run their specials any way they want.   GE is constantly carrying an item and then it’s only available under their label and of lesser quality (and price I admit).  Their latest salvo is black bean and corn salsa.  Paul Newman’s brand is one of the items Kuhn’s doesn’t carry and I go to GE for.  Last night, the only black bean and corn salsa available was under the GE label and it definitely doesn’t have the taste or quality of Paul Newman’s.  Also, when I came into the GE last night, I walked through their produce section and in the center of the floor was this display of red and green bell peppers.  The big sign said “Green Peppers $2.49 lbs”.  No mention of the red peppers which are always more expensive than green.  Just another sly trick of theirs.  They are also HUGE on trying to force you to use their perks card one way or another.  Their latest is you have to have their perks card to use the self check out line.  They claim the reason for this is they experience a lot of theft through the self check out line.  I’ve gone from occasionally shopping there, to seldom and now it’s probably going to never.  In case you don’t remember, GE was busted for threatening Schweppes that if they didn’t withdraw their bid for  that bottling company in Latrobe, GE would NEVER carry their products again, or if they did, it would be on a lower shelf.

Do you own a pool?  It is illegal to dispose of pool water into anything that would flow into a waterway in Pennsylvania.  It has to be put through a sanitary sewer system so the chlorine and muriatic acid can be removed.  So if you do own a pool and clean out last years water, don’t just dump it out into your yard or a storm water drainage system.  Every year around now, the DEP gets reports of fish and other aquatic life kill-offs because of it.  More info on proper disposal of pool water is at the DEP’s website and use the keyword pool waste water.

Did you know there are 55,390 small businesses in Allegheny County with 100 or less employees?  I wasn’t.  Go Small Businesses.  :)

On Tuesday, Preservation Pittsburgh and a Lawrenceville architect Sarah Kroloff filed to have the 87 year old Terminal Building in the Strip declared a historic building.  Go guys!  Hopefully their hard work will finally save one of our iconic buildings city hall seems to quick to dismiss.  Although I hear mayoral candidate Bill Peduto is against the Buncher plan to destroy 1/3 of the building.

Forty years ago, the Westmoreland County Historical Society  started a flea market to generate revenue at the historic village they created.  The flea market is not as popular as in it’s heydays, back when my Dad would go out there, there were almost 300 vendors.   Next Sunday, Historic Hanna’s Town opens for the season.  It’s a pretty extensive antiques flea market out in Greensburg (almost an hour east of Pittsburgh).  Now it’s down to a little over 100, but you can usually fine some great stuff.  It’s held the second Sunday each month of it’s season.   More info on their website.

For a longer trip, SeaWorld has opened it’s Antarctica, Empire of the the Penguin on a four acre site in Orlando.  This is on the foot heels of the Universal opening their Harry Potter theme park three years ago.  Both theme parks are giving DisneyWorld a run for it’s money, which happens to be HUGE money.  Disney is banking on it’s Avatar theme park to keep it in the lead, scheduled to open in 2017.

Did you know CMU was ranked #4 in the top 25 drama schools or the WORLD rated by the Hollywood Reporter coming out next week.  CMU has graduated the winners of six Oscars, 24 Tony’s and 95 Emmys.  Pretty good score card.

Daniel Tosh is coming to Heinz Hall June 13.  I don’t get to see many of his politically incorrect shows on the Comedy Channel, but he really makes me laugh when I do.

Speaking of entertainment, the Three River’s Arts Festival starts next Friday (June 7) and runs through Sunday, June 16.  I don’t often find things I want to buy there, but enjoy the crowds, shows and other entertainment during the festival.  Huge this year is the final re-opening of the fountain on the point.  To celebrate, they are doing a laser show on top of the fountain beamed from on top of PPG Place.  They are going to do this along with the new LED lighting in the fountain and some other light shows around Point State Park.  There’s still construction going on down there, but at least the fountain will be on again, I for one have really missed it.

There’s a cool nonprofit over here on the Northside, Artists Image Resources.  Founded in 1997, this 10,000 square foot facility teaches intaglio (etching), lithography, screen-printing shops, a digital imaging lab, exhibition and archival spaces.  Founded by Ian Short and Robert Beckman they’ve taught and learned from hundreds of artists, teachers and students.  Worth checking out.

Lastly, LMS Greenhouse and Nursery out by Hartwood Acres is hosting their second fairy gardening class next Saturday (June 8) at 10:30 am.  A fairy garden is a miniature garden in a container that uses plants that are naturally of a small scale and props of small buildings, furniture, accents and of course fairies.  The art form started in Japan in the 1800′s and was first seen in America at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893.  The cost of the class is $40 and you get a container, soil, three plants and instructions.  LMS has other fairy products for purchase as well.  Yard supervisor Jane Getsey will be teaching the class and reservation are required.  You can make them by calling 412-767-7020 or by e-mailing Jane at jgetsey@lmsgreenhouse.com.  More info general info at their web site.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, we’ll talk again soon,

ed