Amnesty International was founded in 1961, Joseph Guillotin’s birth anniversary (1738- the proponent of the “less painful form of death sentence”),  William Pitt’s birth anniversary (1759), the Sierra Club was founded (1892), Slugs Return to Capistrano (seriously), Jim Thorpe’s birth anniversary (1888) and it’s Barry Commoner’s birth day, he turns 95 tomorrow.

There’s a Mercer County church softball league and they are banning a Mormon church group because they don’t view them as Christians.  Are we never going to learn as a country?  #1, it’s a church league, are we going to go back to the middle ages and have a crusade against Utah next?  #2, it’s sports, competition, intramural, team building, etc.  It is not dogma being taught.  I don’t particularly like the Mormons coming to my door any more than I like the Jehovah Witnesses.  But I prefer both of them to some stupid telemarketer.  At least they believe in something.

While I’m ranting a bit, let me continue my rant on celebrities now.  I don’t like Ted Nuggent’s political stance, nor his activism.  But I respect him as a human and the right to believe in what he believes in and to support those beliefs.  What I have zero tolerance are celebrities like Charlie Sheen who really should just grow up.  He’s not 21 anymore.  And someone I have even less respect for is Alec Baldwin.  He gives a flight attendant a really hard time because passengers are required to shut off electronic equipment during landing and take off.  I don’t know if he’s missed this announcement for the past forty years, or maybe it’s because he’s a celebrity he doesn’t have to abide by this.  What I do find REALLY offensive is he was was running for the mayor of New York at the time.

Oxford Development owns the building on Smithfield Street between Fifth and Forbes across from the old Kaufmann’s.  Built in 1917 as the Frank and Seder department store, it is a 200,000 square foot building. Oxford is considering either renovating the space to bring it up to class A space or possibly tearing it down and building a 33 story new tower.  They are currently seeking commitments from potential tenants before proceeding with either plan.  I vote for the renovation option.  # 1 it’s a pretty cool looking building right now and there’s enough areas with buildings in worse condition that may benefit by tearing down a bunch of nondescript buildings for a big one.  # 2, Oxford says they would need public subsidies to build the 33 story tower, if the market won’t bear constructing 772,000 square foot building, it shouldn’t be built.

Frank Vittor emigrated to America from Italy in 1906 and to Pittsburgh in 1917.  He became an internationally know sculptor and designed a cast they used to make bronze water fountains around the city.  There were around 30 and their the ones with the upside down dolphin on two sides.  There are still five around that function: two in Schenley Park, one each in East Park, Mellon Park (not to be confused with Mellow Square) and Highland Park.  Mr. Vittor did the bronze sculptor of Hons Wagner that sits outside PNC  Park.  The Laurel Foundation donated $50,000 to the city to recreate the molds.  The plan is to create at least two fountains with this money.  They are adapting the design to make them wheel chair accessible.  Not time line on when they expect to have the first two completed.

A rabid bat entered a home in Richland while the residents were sleeping.  Luckily the residents woke up and found the bat and had the sense to trap it between the upper and lower sashes.  That’s how they found out the bat was rabid.  The residents are undergoing rabese shots.  I didn’t realize a bat can bite you while you are asleep and you may not even feel it and they do not necessarily leave bite marks.

Gallery Sim’s latest exhibit is 89, The Neighborhoods of Pittsburgh and it runs through June 10.  Located at 1735 E Carson Street, it’s hours are Noon to 4 pm Thursdays through Sundays.  There are thirty Pittsburgh artists that are highlighting the various neighborhoods with paintings, photography and other mediums.  Besides reflecting the diversity of our city neighborhoods, it also is reflecting the diversity of the artists.  More info at Sim’s web site or by calling 412.586.4531.

The Pittsburgh Bonsai Society will be having their annual spring show June 2 and 3 at the Phipps Garden Center in Shadeyside.  Hours are from 10 am until 5 pm (4 on Sunday).  There will be featured bonsai creations on display as well as vendor selling supplies and giving advice.  There will be an 11 am class both days on bonsai techniques starting at 11 am  for a minimum fee.  More info at their web site.

Well, I’m going to bed.  Had my second wedding, four more to go.  🙂  Big Burritto was the caterer and they did a fantastic job, both in food and service.  Tomorrow’s Memorial Day, please take a minute at some point to ponder the young men and women who has sacrificed everything so we can enjoy this less than perfect country that we all should love.


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