Hi,

Tomorrow’s the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla (Cinco de Mayo) (1862), the Battle of the Wilderness (1864-the first battle between Generals Grant and Lee), the AMA was founded (1847), the liberation of Denmark and Netherlands (1945) and the first solo female flight between England and Australia by Amy Johnson (1930).  Birth anniversaries include actor Tyrone Power (1913), socialist Karl Marx (1818), journalist Nellie Bly (1867) and culinarian James Beard (1903).

There’s a new trail in the planning stages for 41 miles along the Ohio River from the Coraopolis-Neville Island bridge all the way to the Ohio boarder.  This trail, when completed, will join with the Allegheny Passage and the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway.  The first section will be from the Neville Island Bridge to the Sewickley Bridge.  The plan includes turning some “brown fields” into usable spaces with possible boat houses, multifamily housing and other uses.  The proposed trail can be seen on the article in the Trib.

Venture Outdoors is having their Outdoors Fest at Point State Park on May 17 from 11 am until 6 pm.  They plan on boating, fishing, rock wall climbing, a kids zone, dragon boating, River Quest (the educational boat I spoke about last post) will be there, capoeira (a Brazilian martial arts) will be demonstrated and much more.  See their website for more details and links explaining the various events.

Also on May 17 & 18, the Warhol Museum is going to host their 20th anniversary gala and community day.  More info on their website  or by calling 412-237-8300.

On May 22, The Wailers will perform at State AE with Rusted Root, definitely a concert for me.  :)

Pyrofest will be returning to Hartwood Acres on May 24.  It’s billed as America’s largest fireworks festival.  They are planning a US Military Salute & National Anthem Daytime Display,  Daytime & Colored Smoke Fireworks, Pyro UFO Launch, “Fantasy in the Sky” Fireworks Challenge (Choreography designed by an aspiring fireworks choreographer and chosen by PyroFest judges to kick off the night-time displays), Direct from Spain world-renowned award winning Ricardo Caballer Ricasa Fireworks Production and  World Premiere of a Never Before Seen Pyrotecnico Production!  For you fireworks aficionados, this is the event to attend.

And for my “cute” post, here’s Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos.

There’s a new bus tour in Pittsburgh, Lights, Camera, Pittsburgh will start May 31 and run through October.  These bus tours will go to site locations of movies filmed in Pittsburgh.  Movies being featured will be locations for Flashdance, Striking Distance, Inspector Gadget, Wonder Boys, The Bread, My Sweet, She’s Out of My League, The Dark Knight Rises, Jack Reacher, Foxcatcher and of course Night of the  Living Dead.  Tickets are $30 and $40 and can be purchased at ShowClix.  The bus tours do stop at the various locations and you can get off and scout the area out.  The tours are being put together with Yellow Cab’s new Pittsburgh Tours and More in conjunction with Pittsburgh Film Makers.  Snacks will be provided and film clips of the movies will be shown.

Capoeira

Steve Mendelson, name sake of Mendelson Galleries is celebrating 40 years as an artist and gallery owner.  He’s been at the current location for the past 30 years after buying a former brothel at an IRS auction.  After extensive renovations, Steve has hosted numerous known and yet to be known artists in his gallery.  In the course of time, he has become friends with many that went on to become world famous.  His current show will feature many of these artist/friends like Not Vital, Jane Katsales, Emily Lukas and David Lewis.  The gallery is open Wednesdays through Saturdays noon until 5 pm and the show runs through May 31.  More info a the website or by calling 412-361-8664.

Last year, there were 23,000 boat registrations sold in Allegheny County.  That’s a lot of boats!  The local Coast Guard Axillary is offering free boat inspections to be sure you’re operating a safe boat.  Obviously not mandatory, but a good idea to let them check you out to be sure you’re safe.  And you get a sticker for your boat saying that you passed the inspection.  The first one will be May 17 at Cabela’s at One Cabela Drive in Triadelphia, WV, the next will be May 24 at Loyalhanna Lake, then May 31 at the Pittsburgh Aquatic Club 517 Twin Oak Drive, Neville Island, June 22 they will be at Point State Park and finally June 26 back at the Aquatic Club on Neville Island.  All events are from 10 am until 4 pm.   It’s always better to be safe than sorry.  More info by e-mailing normarbels@gmail.com.

Michael Warhold, president of Castle Shannon’s Revitalization Committee saw an idea in Leechburg honoring past and current Vets that caught his attention.  He teamed up with Harry Munson, owner of HTM Designs to develop the program that posts pictures and a very brief bio on local vets that hang on utility poles in the community.  Originally the banners were placed in Castle Shannon’s Memorial Park, but the idea was so popular that they have spread to Library Road (where I first saw them) and the business district.  There are plans in South Park, Whitehall, Carnegie and Scott to copy the plan.

Celebrate Spring next weekend by going to Phipps 78th annual May mart Friday and Saturday.  Besides Phipps, 55 other nurseries, farms and other vendors will be set up on the lawn selling plants, garden accessories, pottery, jewelry and more like free advise.  :)  Friday hours are from 9:30 am until 7 pm and Saturday hours will be 9:30 am until 5 pm.   And Phipps will be offering 1/2 price admission during the Mart.  More info at their website or by calling 412-622-6914.  As a side note, their Summer Flower Show starts that Saturday.

This post is for my good friend, Jeff Trebac, the owner of Peppi’s, the best cheese steaks in the city.  The Justice League will be a feature film set to release in 2018.  Warner Brother’s president of production, Greg Silverman wouldn’t disclose many details, but hinted that Henry Cavill may return as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman and Cal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture has been in the news quite a bit since they defaulted on the mortgage and insurance.  Tax payers and foundations have already ponied up $30M for this $40M center that’s $9M in debt.  If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know I am no big fan of banks, basically I think most are evil incarnate.  But a deal is a deal, I pay my mortgage monthly (although I love my bank, Slovak Savings Bank). Dollar Bank, holds the $3M mortgage and there’s other creditors including the Stage Hands Union, contractors, etc.  The best anyone has come up with so far is a $4M offer from a consortium of local foundations.  #1, that leaves a lot of people stuck without getting what they are owed, big and small.  #2, it still has the same problems that put the Center in this position.  A real estate company out of New York has offered $9M to take ownership of the building.  Their stated intent is to let the Center continue on the first floor while they put a hotel above it.  In my opinion, this could be the best of both worlds.   The devil is in the details, but if someone with some brains guides this option through, what a great deal.  The Center can continue, they don’t have to worry about digging themselves out of this massive debt and (again the devil’s in the details), the Center can focus on the arts, which is what they were created for.  As a bonus, the property goes back on the tax roles (probably pro rated for the Center’s space being tax exempt), a new hotel will grace the city that will be paying the county bed tax and other operational taxes.

I am unable to upload a picture of the banner I hung for the runners in the Pittsburgh Marathon that ran past The Parador this morning.  It’s super cool and I saw many of the runners looking at it as they ran past.  I will post it on my next blog.

Enjoy this spring weather,

ed