Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam (1862), our Constitution was ratified unanimously by all 12 states attending (1787) and it is the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah.  Birth anniversaries include Chief Justice Warren Burger (1907), Israeli ex-general & UN delegate Chaim Herzog (1918), the Prussian general that fought in our revolution Baron Friedrich Von Steuben (1730) and country musician Hank Williams Jr (1923),

It’s not in concrete, but it appears The Parador will be hosting it’s first Paranormal Weekend, the weekend of Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2.  (Friday is the start of the South American holiday of Dia de lost Muertos, the day of the dead.)  The price of $200 per night plus tax will include a welcome wine and cheese before the psychic readings on Friday and then Saturday will be the paranormal investigation by an investigator that used to work with SciFi’s Ghost Hunters before they became big on SciFi.

I’m sure you’re aware of ALCOSAN, the agency responsible for treating the sewage in the greater Pittsburgh area.  They are under the magnifying glass with the EPA for consistently dumping raw sewerage into our waterways.  The problem basically is the sewer treatment plants can’t handle the volume of water coming through when we get heavy rain.  So ALCOSAN basically opens the gates and lets all that storm runoff AND raw sewage dump into our rivers.  ALCOSAN finally received an ultimatum from the EPA to come up with a concrete plan (pun intended-read on).  :)  ALCOSAN came up with a plan the will cost in around $3B that TOTALLY relies on building HUGE retention vats and a vast network of pipes feeding into the new vats.  ALCOSAN has REFUSED the help or suggestions of Friends of the Riverfront, or any other expert in reducing the amount of actual storm water run off. ALCOSAN’s arrogant response to these offers for help was “We’ll tell them what we’re going to do when we make our plan public,” I’m paraphrasing here.  ALCOSAN’s directors lack of transparency has caused two board members, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith and Point Park executive Kristen Baginski to resign.  ALCOSAN is facing a $70,000 fine from the IRS for issues with a bond issue they had.  These things are complicated, pretty much beyond my financial abilities, so I don’t overly blame them here.  Although they hire enough “experts” that make me wonder why the “experts” were paid.  What I totally don’t understand is how they failed to renew a basic permit and were fined $52,600!  Who’s running the show there?

There’s a free app out, Redlaser, that lets you use your smart phone to scan the bar code on the product to see if you are about to pay the lowest price and access reviews from other buyers.  I assume it also will alert you what stores nearby offer the same product at a lower price.

On September 21, the Origami Club of Pittsburgh will be celebrating their 25th anniversary at the Carnegie Library of Squirrel Hill (they meet there the third Saturday every month) with free classes.  The classes are for both beginners (noon) and advanced (1:30).   Sue Neff, practiced origami since childhood.  25 years ago, as a graduate school for art student, she decided to put an invitation out for anyone else interested in origami to meet at the Squirrel Hill library.  Two people responded and the club was formed.  Sue likes teaching children origami because it also teaches various mathematical concepts like fractions, quadrants and geometry. If you are interested in origami and can’t make their anniversary, the club is open to all on the third Saturdays of each month.  Congrats Sue Neff and the Origami Club for your longevity.

You’ve missed the first two (August and September) but still have time to attend Sharon’s WaterFire Festival October 12 starting at 10 am.  This free event started in Providence in the mid 1990’s as a way to celebrate Providence’s 10th anniversary of their first night festivities.  Providence’s WaterFire generates $55M in revenue for their festival.  Sharon is a cute little town on the Shenango River on the Ohio boarder and with this being their first year, I doubt they will reach the $55M. :)  The festival will feature ethnic dance, fire performers, food and art.  They will have 50 cedar and pine bonfires floating on the river.  If you go up there and want to make a trip out of it, a friend of mine runs both the Buhl Mansion Inn in Sharon and the Tara Inn nearby in Clark.

Here’s a cool way to help out children, volunteer to be a tutor through Oasis.  Oasis is a national non-profit with a location here. Oasis has partnered with the Pittsburgh Literacy Council, Pittsburgh Public Schools and Woodland School District.  There’s two five hour training sessions you need to complete and then they place you either in a school with the highest needs or one more convenient for your location.  You then spend several hours helping tutor these kids.  One of the big things Oasis pushes is improving the kid’s self-esteem.  These at risk kids frequently, if not mostly, suffer from low self-esteem.  Giving frequent pats on the back and high fives might seem hokey to you, but go a long way with this age group.

That’s about it for today, have a great one,

ed

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