Tomorrow is ground hog day, good luck Punxsutawney Phil.  Birth anniversaries celebrated tomorrow include the first woman elected senator Hattie Wyatt Caraway (1878), film star Clark Gable (1901) and Soviet leader Boris Yeltsin (1931).  It is the anniversary of the rescue of Alexander Selkirk whom Robinson Crusoe was based (1709), action figure GI Joe was introduced (1964), the first session of the Supreme Court (1790) and the first moving picture studio Black Maria at Thomas Edison’s laboratory at West Orange, NJ (1893).  (The term Black Maria comes from the studio resembling black police wagons of the time and they were referred to as Black Marias.)

Just to make you jealous, here’s where we will be “camping” while in Costa Rica:

One more picture:

Does anyone want to buy The Parador of Pittsburgh, Leigh may have a permanent resident.  🙂

Founded in 1952, non profit Auberle, assisted 2,374 Western Pennsylvania children and families last year.  Some children were referred through the state’s juvenile justice  or child welfare systems.  Also, school districts and relatives refer youth to the programs.  It operates six sites in the Mon Valley offering assistance for housing, substance abuse, mental and behavioral health counseling, foster care and employment training.  They’ve created an Employment Institute with programs in landscaping, construction, food handling, computer graphics, design and commercial driving.  They partnered with Massaro Properties in O’Hara for the landscape training.  Dave Massaro hopes to expand the program this year because of the excellent results he’s seen with his trainees.  In fact, Dave commented that some of the students actually improved upon the work done by some contractors.  They recently the added hazardous waste operations in conjunction with Carnegie-based Weaverton Environmental Group.  Dawn Fuchs, who was on Auberle’s board of directors readily agreed to spearhead this initiative.  Because of state regulations in handling hazardous wastes, Dawn is not able to provide the same “on the job” experience as some of the other trades, but with all the expanding oil and gas industries and environmental concerns, this could be a bright future.  If you are looking to fill entry level positions (or offer your expertise and assistance), you may want to contact them.

Mt Lebanon is doing trial runs on valet parking on the weekends on Washington Road.  I’m not going to touch that one.  🙂

Sewickley United Methodist Church, at 337 Broad Street is having their 65th annual turkey dinner February 7 from 5 until 7.  The cost for this fund raiser is $15 for adults and $6 for children 6 to 10.  You can even get take out for $15.  The turkey and all the trimmings are prepared by a team of around 100 volunteers.  They shoot for a traditional turkey dinner, not a gourmet faire.   They  will be roasting 34 turkeys, 300 pounds of potatoes, 156 pounds of green beans, 125 pounds of cole slaw, 600 dinner rolls and 42 batches of stuffing.  I don’t know about dessert, you may have to bring your own.  🙂  They anticipate serving 600 dinners this year.  So it is strongly suggested to make reservations by calling Dottie Price at 412-741-4460 or the church office at 412-741-9430.

Back to back blogs about Sewickley, the Sweetwater Center for the Arts is hosting an exhibit featuring some pretty striking prints through February 23.  The exhibit showcases 18 pieces of art by 13 artists from across the country and none of them are digital (I’m not saying digital is bad, there’s a lot of incredible work done in digital.  It’s just nice to see more traditional art forms together sometimes).  Denise Presnell-Weidner of Wisconsin used the sun to etch her plates to create Translucent Liz, Indrani Nayar-Gall of North Carolina used intaglio, transfer printing, tracing and drawing to create her Travel Log-Mighty M and Barbara Westman used monoprints created from materials  she collect that give her different textural qualities when inked and printed.  An interesting exhibit.

This Sunday at The Warhol, Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artist, Fifty Years will span four floors of 45 Warhol works displayed alongside 100 works by 60 other artists.  This exhibit is to show how Warhol’s interest in consumer goods, pop culture, film making, magazine publishing and design affect world cultures.  It should be interesting to see how the staff at The Warhol pair his work with more contemporary art.  The show is included in your regular admission and regular hours.  That info is at their web site.

Speaking of Warhol, the Warhol Foundation is putting 125 paintings, drawings, photographs and prints up for auction at Christie’s International from February 26 through March 5.  Pre-sale estimates range from $600 to $70,000.  You can bid on line or by phone and receive instant updates in case someone over bids you.  Just thought you’d like to know.  🙂  The proceeds will be used in the Warhol Foundation’s endowment.

I’m all in favor of turning public control over to private interests.  I would really like to see the state liquor control board abolished and that function turned over to private enterprise for all the obvious reasons, high paying political patronage jobs, rude service, inconvenient hours and products, etc.  I also am in favor of turning the lottery over for many of the same reasons.  But I get nervous when the governor rams the lottery take over by a British company down everyone’s throats.    Not saying anything is under the table, it just lacks transparency.

ALCOSAN this week requested an extension on the controversial (and outrageously expensive) solution they came up with to meet DEP new standards so they can explore greener and less expensive options.  FINALLY.  Heinz Endowments has kicked in $31,000 to help the 83 municipalities served by ALCOSAN come up with local green initiatives to help relieve the strain on the sewer systems.  Looks like we may be on the right path, finally.

The owner of Delaney’s Pub in Youngwood reported income of just over $10,000 a year for the last few years.  When State Police and the Feds raided them, they found $586,310 in a safe in the bar’s basement, $117,000 in one safe deposit account and $781,630 in their residence.  OMG are they in trouble.  A roommate of mine in college lived out there and we’d stop by for a beer on occasion.  🙂

Some disturbing statistics.  Nearly 44% of Americans are one emergency away from financial ruin.  Many of these work full time (75%), and 15% earn more than $55,000 a year.  Almost a third of Americans don’t have a  savings account.  We seem to be taking a good first step because credit card debt is down, but we need to start saving.  The report didn’t breakout people that had investments in lieu of a savings account, but we all should have a bit of one, even if the interest stinks.

Well, this may be my last post in awhile.  I leave for Costa Rica this weekend.  I’ll try and do some blogs with pictures, but I’m not guaranteeing. 🙂  Keep warm and happy,


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