Hi,

Tomorrow’s the anniversary of the Astor Place Riot (1849), the Golden Spike Driving commemorating the meeting of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads (1869), Nelson Mandela’s inauguration (1994) and it is Lag B’Omer the Jewish feast of harvest.  Birth anniversaries include dance/entertainer Fred Astaire (1899), Declaration of Independence signer George Ross (1730), entertainer Maybelle Carter (1909) and Protestant theologian Karl Barth (1886).

I had a virus in my computer and I couldn’t upload pictures in my last post, I really wanted to post a picture of our new banner.  This is the picture of the banner hung by The Parador to cheer on the Pittsburgh Marathon runners:

P1000621

Here’s a twist on the recession we’re still in, more and more adults 50 – 64 years old are moving pack in with their parents.  And this is not to help their elderly parents get along, it’s a financial decision based on lack of income to support themselves.  In fact, according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, from 2005 through 2012 the number of adults in that age bracket that moved back in with their parents jumped 67.6% in California.  Though there’s more 18 – 29 year olds living with their parents, the older adults are particularly shocking.  That’s the point of life where you should be saving for your retirement and living comfortably.  Job loss, under employment  and sky rocketing rents are the main drivers.

There’s a small, but growing trend with some large businesses, helping out and mentoring small businesses.  Macy’s has The Workshop Macy’s, a training program for women and minority entrepreneurs in how to get their products into major retail stores.  It’s not just altruistic, it exposes Macy’s to some of the newest trends, gives them first dips on their products and is great PR.  Prophet, a brand and marketing company mentors small businesses on creating a presence in the market place and exposes Prophet to the small business’s customer base.  Goldman and Sachs is even getting in on the band wagon with their 10,000 Small Businesses program that hold training classes for new entrepreneurs.  If your thinking of starting a business, or recently did, there’s a ton of mentoring programs out there to help you.  When I opened The Parador of the Palm Beaches, I hooked up with the TED Center in Delray Beach that has retired professionals that donate their time to help fledgling businesses and they were a great help.

I think I talked about Evan Mirapaul up in Troy Hill in the past, but can’t find the post.  Evan is an art adviser that purchased a home on Troy Hill while relocating from Manhattan.  There was a vacant building the city owned that he acquired down the street and he brought German artist Thorsten Brinkmann to create Pittsburgh’s first Art House which he opened last fall.  It’s kind of like the Mattress Factory, where the “room” is the piece of art, or more precisely the “house” is the piece of art.  It is a series of dimly lit rooms, tiny hallways, secret crawlspaces (you can even crawl through a mantel that takes you deeper into the house.  The house at 1812 Rialto Street is called La Hutte Royal and is open by appointment when you e-mail lahutteroyal@gmail.com.  Evan is already creating a second Art House on Rialto Street that he’s commissioned Polish artist Robert Kusmirowski to create.  Evan would like to make a series of these houses all within walking distance.

I love John Conti of the Tribune Review.  He again hits the nail on the head with his latest article on the Terminal Building.  There was so much controversy over the Evil Empire Buncher Group’s plan to demolish 1/3 of the iconic building for easy access to their boring development plans for Riverfront Landing.  When new Mayor Peduto took office, he called for the city to re-look at the proposals.  There’s now three outside proposals for the Terminal Building, all keeping the length intact with one or two pass throughs leaving the roof line in place.  This at least keeps the the presence of the long iconic building.  John takes Buncher to task for their lack of creativity, poor set backs, ill conceived river front access, etc.  It’s worth the minute to hit the link and read his entire article.

Speaking of questionable business companies, Giant Eagle again got caught with their underhanded tricks.  (If you remember a couple of years ago they got caught telling Schweppes to with draw their bid for the closed La Nature Bottling plant or they would stop carrying Schweppes products in their stores.)  The latest is the uproar some Upper Saint Clair residents have caused over the new shopping complex across from South Hill’s Village (with a Market District in an adjacent strip mall).  Resident Margaret Witner has attended township meetings vocally opposing the development and even hired attorney to fight the development.  Witner has never spoken at these meetings or in public about her opposition, she always speaks through her attorneys and guess who’s paying the attorney fees?  Giant Eagle!  When asked about it, Giant Eagle said it offers help to residents who ” exercise their constitutional rights” to oppose such developments”.  I wonder if Giant Eagle will fund my attorney fees to fight the slum load trying to create a 17 unit hostel across the street from me?  To make matters worse, they are recorded as saying it would do “whatever it could to prevent Whole Foods from locating it’s store at the Washington Road property”.  What arrogance!

On a happier note, the Brighton Heights 10th annual Chocolate House Tour will be held Sunday, June 8 from 1 pm until 5 pm.  (No, silly, they don’t have chocolate houses in Brighton Heights, they have local chocolate in the various house for sampling).  :)  Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 the day of the tour.  More info on the tour and online ticket purchases at their website or by calling 412-734-0233.

In a perfect world, we would have unlimited clean energy from fusion power plants and renewable sources, unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world so we need to compromise.  This explosion in various fossil fuel extraction in the United States really needs to be addressed carefully.  (Pun intended). :)  Shipments of oil by rail  car went from 9,500 cars in 2008 to 400,000 last year!  These cars travel anywhere the railroads want to route them, even through densely populated cities.  Not to minimize the catastrophe that leveled the entire town of Lac-Megantic Quebec killing 47 residents, but what would be the consequences of another accident through the Southside?  The rail companies seem to be willing to upgrade the cars carrying the various products of drilling, but want a concrete answer from the Federal government on what the new standards will be.  The Federal government responds that they want to set the standards that are appropriate and safe and this takes time.  They are both valid points, but they should have been addressed several years ago.  Although not as sensational as melting an entire town, these pipelines that are carrying all this dangerous products needs a comprehensive solution.  Exxon’s pipeline leak under Yellowstone River lasted for days before it was noticed.  I’m not an engineer, but we need to develop solutions and add the cost to the energy production.  What good will saving $10 on your heating bill if you can’t drink your water or you happen to get melted standing next to a railroad?

Did you know the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and Power teams all have their uniforms made locally?  Pro Knitwear in Brookline is a little company with 35 employees that hand sew names, logo’s, numbers, etc.  They also customize the fit if needed to the jerseys supplied by the various sports teams.  Like Ben Roethlisberger likes loose sleeves and Casey Hampton liked form fitting jerseys so opponents couldn’t get a hand full.  :)

The trees are turning green, the grass is growing, I’m happy,

ed