Tomorrow is the anniversary of the founding of the American Library Association (1876), the assassination of Anwar Sadat (1981) and it is the anniversary of the Yom Kipper War (1973). Birth anniversaries include physician Florence Seibert (1897), industrialist George Westinghouse (1846), tennis star Helen Moody (1905), Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882), actress Janet Gaynor (1906) and Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyedahl (1914).
People drive me nuts. Mayor Peduto initiated our first real bicycle lanes in the heart of Downtown. I think it’s a fabulous idea and hope to see a lot more of it. As the Mayor of our fair city and the person responsible for public safety, he made the command decision to place police officers at strategic locations to be sure the transition from a two way motor vehicle road on Penn Avenue to a one way motor vehicle lane with a dedicate two way bicycle lanes went smooth and no one was injured. Of course there’s the negative residents out there whining about the police overtime. Would you rather have a cyclist get run over by an inattentive driver that was used to Penn being two way for cars? And the other thing they are whining about is the lack of bikes on the new lanes. Did they expect Rome to be built in a day? It’s going to take awhile to get people out of cars and start being more healthy riding bikes to work and other activities Downtown. One of the reasons I don’t bike is I’m afraid of the drivers. I can’t tell you how many times I would be taking RJ down to the park for his run and while crossing the Brighton and Western Avenues intersection (with the green light for us) we were almost run over by a distracted driver on the phone. One was so close I slammed my palms on her hood to get her attention!
SCORE‘s celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Score is generally retired professionals that donate their time and expertise to people thinking of starting their own business. They are retired accountants, attorneys, business executives, and such. Not only do they have the experience to guide potential new business owners in the right direction, they have the networks (in SCORE as well as their personal contacts) to steer you to professionals that have more experience where you need help. When I was getting ready to open The Parador of the Palm Beaches, I worked with the TED Center in Delray Beach and they were very helpful getting my business plan together and they connected me with other small businesses that helped me a lot. The nice thing about these resources is there’s nothing in it for them to string you along. It’s totally nonprofit and if your ideas don’t add up, they have no problem telling you so. If you are thinking of starting a new business, I highly recommend checking them out, they’re not perfect, but certainly can give you an edge on getting started than going it alone.
Well, it looks like the August Wilson Center spat is over. 980 Liberty Partners have withdrawn their offer and the group of non-profits is going to pay off the bills. They are still almost $1M less than 980 offered, so we’ll see how this pans out. The non-profits are suggesting they may add a hotel on top of the Center themselves. My concern with this arrangement is there a fair amount of small creditors that I’m afraid will loose out, and their the ones that can least afford it. One of the main objections the non-profits had was there’s over $30M in citizen money involved in the Center (government as well as non-profit’s money) and they didn’t want to loose that investment. 980 wanted to take ownership of the entire building and give the Center “some” space to continue their operation. I don’t understand why 980 didn’t just come up with a proposal to leave the Center to the Center and just do what the Fairmont did in the PNC building. You enter the PNC building and take an elevator up to the hotel’s front desk. 980 could have leased access to the hotel they had planned on building. Anyway, it seems the Center will now be solvent, they will have a steady revenue stream from the hotel. The Center just needs to find a developer and a hospitality company to build and run the hotel giving the Center a percentage. It seems to be a win win for all concerned.
Do you have a smart phone? If so, so you have a security code to open it’s operation? Usually it is a four digit number and is fairly secure. Google is working on face recognition software that if you want to use your phone, you turn it on and aim it at your face. The phone then will recognize if it is your or not. There’s nothing much more secure than your own face. That can’t be hacked.
What’s with Goddard College in Vermont inviting Mumia Abu-Jamal to speak at one of their commencement ceremonies from prison? Jamal was convicted of ambushing Philadelphia Police Officer Faulkner, shooting him in the back and as Officer Faulkner lay helpless on his back cold bloodily shot him in his face. Officer Faulkner left behind a widow and I think two little kids in this 1981 crime. I’m all for rehabilitation and I think we should look at the way we treat ex-cons. They’ve paid their price, hopefully did something productive while in prison, like Jamal did and get a college degree. But Jamal has never expressed regret that I know of and he’s still in prison. Speaking at a commencement is an honor. I believe in free speech, but certainly wouldn’t invite James Holmes from Aurora, CO to speak either. If I was anyway connected to that college, they certainly would hear from me.
Well, it’s that time of year again, Halloween. It’s a trend that more and more adults are enjoying Halloween. It’s a strictly fun holiday with no strings attached. Thanksgiving you have to worry about cooking, Christmas you have to worry about gifts, cards, decorating, multiple entertainment commitments. National holidays you remember the horrors and courage that made our country great. Halloween is just fun, and if you want, it’s a time to give in to our fears. Fears come in many forms like walking down a dark deserted street in a questionable section of a city, jumping out of an airplane (with a parachute, hopefully ), watching a scary movie. They all induce a basic part of nature in us, fight or flight and our mind releases a chemical dopamine that makes us feel invigorated and invincible. The thing about scary movies and haunted houses is we have that fear sensation while being aware that we are in control, not like walking down that dark alley. And even though we know on some levels the haunted house is not a real threat, the fear response does not does not control the rational side and we receive that chemical high. So if you’re game, here’s some scary things you can visit to get your adrenalin pumping:
Bruce Klein of Photo Antiquities (part of Bernie’s Photos) over on East Ohio Street is hosting his annual Spirits! Good and Evil exhibit. The exhibit features post mortem photographs which became popular in the 1840’s. Because of the high infant mortality, parents would frequently have pictures taken of their children after they passed on for remembrance. They would have the kids staged as if they were asleep, sitting up and some even had their eyes open. Bruce also has “Spirit” photographs. These feature translucent or ghost like images that are captured by using a double-exposure technique. Bruce has an amazing collection of photographs, he can only exhibit a small portion of them at a time.
Academy Hill Ghost Walk, October 17 & 18 starting at the Greensburg YWCA at 424 N Main Street. Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 in advance. More info at their website.
Castle Blood in Monessen runs Fridays and Saturdays in October and cost $16. Castle Blood is located at 100 Schoonmaker Avenue. More info at their website.
Cheeseman Fright Farm runs Fridays through Sundays in October and cost $15 and are located at 147 Kennedy Road, Portersville, Slippery Rock Township. More info available at their website.
Demon House is located at 417 Coyle Curtain Road, Monongahela and costs $18. Open Saturdays and Sundays in October and more info can be found at their website.
Downtown Butler Ghost Walk will be held October 24, 25, 31 and November 1. Tours cost $10, they begin and end at Diamond Park and reservations are required. More info at their website or by calling 724-256-9026.
Haunted Guyasuta will occur Saturday, October 18 and will be held at the Guyasuta Boy Scout Camp at 300 23rd Street Sharpsburg with tickets between $10 and $20. More by calling 724-782-2669.
Haunted Hills Estate runs Fridays through Sundays the month of October and run $14 – $15 per adventure and are located at 236 Rolling Hills Estate Road, North Union. More info at their website.
Haunted Hillside Haunted Trail runs Fridays and Saturdays through October and cost $17. They are located 7217 Route 819, Mt Pleasant and more info at their website.
Hell’s Hollow Hunt is Fridays and Saturdays in October and cost $20 ($12 for children 12 and under) and is located at 340 Bestwick Road in Mercer. More info at their website.
Historic Ghost Tour will be held October 16. The tour begins at the Tarentum train station and ends at the Gatto’s Diner. Sponsored by the Tarentum History and Landmarks Foundation the cost is $10 and more info at 724-612-0076.
Historic Haunted Hayride will be October 18 at Bushy Run Battlefield, Route 993, Penn Township. More info at 724-527-5584 or their website.
Hobgoblin Hikes will be October 17 at Twin Lakes Park, Hempfield and October 24 at Cedar Lake Park, Rostraver. This one is free and it recommended 8 yrs old and older. More info at 724-830-3950.
Hundred Acres Manor in South Park is one of the best recommended and is daily (except October 13 & 14) at 1 Hundred Acre Drive, Bethel Park cost $18. More info at their website.
Huston’s Haunted Hollow Fridays through Sundays all month long cost $18 ($14 for under 52 inches) at 126 Woodland Road, Rockwood (out by Somerset). More info at their website.
Lincoln Caverns Ghosts & Goblins Fridays and Saturdays in October on Route 22 at Lincoln Caverns just past Huntingdon cost $19.98. More info at their website.
Lonesome Valley Farms Corn Maze cost $8 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October and will be next to the Westmoreland County Fair Grounds in Pleasant Township. More info at their website.
Monongahela Candlelight Ghost Walk will be October 11 & 12 and 17 & 18 and cost $10 and is sponsored by the Monongahela Historical Society. More info at 724-258-2377 or at their website.
Nemacolin Castle Halloween Ghost Tours cost $9 ($4 for kids) at 136 Front Street in Brownsville. Presents Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October. More info at their website.
Phantom Fright Nights is at Kennywood Park Fridays and Saturdays through October cost $32.99. More info at their website.
Rich Farms Fright Farm runs Wednesday through Sundays in October and cost $25 – $40 for all five attractions. Located at 2043 Springhill Furnace Road, Smithfield. More info at 724-564-7644 or their website.
The Scarehouse Thursdays through Sundays in October cost $29.99 and then $29.99 for one guest and $49.99 for two guests to enter the basement. This long running venue is in Etna with parking at the Zoo’s parking lot. More info at their website.
The Shadows Haunted Attraction is at 748 Bull Creek Road in Fawn. It’s open Thursdays through Saturdays (weather permitting) the month of October. The cost is $10 and more info at their website.
Terror Town is on Smallman Street by 17th Street where that discount seconds store used to be in the building that has all those night clubs. Open Thursdays through Sundays in October and cost $20 – $30. More info at their website.
Terror Trolley Tours depart from Station Square Thursdays through Sundays and cost $25. More info at 412-391-7433 or their website.
I got this list from a Trib article by Kellie Gormly. Check the links to the sites, some of the attractions have even more dates they are open.
If you want to be truly terrified, visit The Parador during October to see our fun and ghoulish decorations:
Well, that’s it for today, keep warm and have a great week,