Hi,

The tomorrow the odometer was invented in 1847, the Netherlands celebrates the 1,150 wind mills still in operation, Native American Rights were recognized in 1879 and King George VI’s coronation was in 1937.  Birth anniversaries include actress Katharine Hepburn (1907), baseballer Yogi Berra and British artist & author Edward Lear (1812).

Three years ago I spoke about the tragic death of John Metzler (I’ve been blogging three years, wow).  :)  He’s the conservationist that founded The Urban Tree Forge and was killed by a U-Haul trailer that broke free from it’s hitch while John was using a chain saw on a log outside his studio.  I case you don’t recall or haven’t been following me that long, The Urban Tree Forge was founded to save the wonderful resource of old trees that no longer are viable.  Various government and private tree removal folks would contact John when they were involved with a pretty notable tree and John and his crew would come out and collect it.  They would then make furniture, sculpture, I think even tooth picks (just kidding here) to save as much of the majestic tree as he could.  Jason Boone came to Pittsburgh as a full time architect and wood working hobbyist.  When Jason ran out of room in his apartment for his projects, he threw in the towel in on being an architect and pretty much became a full time tree guy.  His relatively new  new organization Urban Tree has taken up residence in a shop in Homewood is modeled after John’s.

Last week, South Carolina elected Sanford as their representative to the House of Representatives.  I really could care less about his extra marital affair, I care that he repeatedly lied about his where abouts.  Trust is huge with me.  Which brings me to Joan Orie Melvin’s sentence.  She has house arrest for two years (much harsher than prison I guess) and she has to sign 500 pictures of her in handcuffs and send an apology to her fellow jurists.  Common Pleas Judge Lester Nauhaus thinks that’s tough enough!  She wasn’t just a judge, she was a Supreme Court Justice, and she repeatedly lied about stealing from the state.  Then she got an attorney to fight the charges in a courtroom!  I’m sorry, I hold myself to a higher standard than Dee (my housekeeper/manager).  All justices should be held to a higher standard everyday citizens, and a Supreme Court Justice………

Anyone looking to be in a reality TV show?  Depending on their respective orbits (Earth and Mars), you could be between 35 million miles and 250 million miles from home.  A lot farther than any of the Survivor series had. :)  If you win, it’s a one way ticket and they hope to have it “off the ground” (their pun, not mine) in about seven years-if they get enough funding.  Already 78,000 Earthlings want to give it a try.  If you go to Mars One (a Netherlands based group) and submit an application, the fee is $38 and they want to know:  “why you want to go to Mars”, “how you feel about never returning to Earth” and they want to know about your sense of humor.  Good luck, if you choose to leave.  :)

Brighton Heights Citizens Federation recently opened their new office and they’ve included an art gallery for local artists in it.  Susan Benn, a BHCF board member entered the new space as it was opening this spring, saw all these long white walls and thought, this should be a gallery.  So she recruited three Brighton Heights artists; photographer Kent Noble and painters David Horvath and Ann Heckel to provide art for the space.  What a great idea, your local civic association supporting your local residents (in this case artists).  Something could be learned here by other not named Northside community groups…Nod Nod Wink Wink.  :)

Northside Common Ministry’s are sponsoring their Magical History Tour on June 8 with registration starting at 9:30 and the walk kicks off at 10am.  This leashed dog friendly event will be featuring 1K, 3K and 5K courses.  Participants will learn about Northside history and pass the houses of Gertrude Stein, Mary Cassatt, Martha Graham and Ferris wheel inventor George Ferris.  The Ministry’s run Pleasant Valley, the men’s homeless shelter on Brighton Avenue, they run the local Northside food bank servicing 1,000 challenged local households, they help out in figuring out health care issues and even GED programs for locals.  It’s a non-profit, so there is no fee, but if you care to donate $30 (or more), you get a free Magical History Tour t-shirt.  More info at their website, by e-mailing Jay at jay.poliziani@ncmin.org or by calling 412-323-1163.

The section of Three Rivers Heritage Trail that runs along the Allegheny over here on the Northside is getting a facelift.  Roughly from the Rachel Carson Bridge up to the 40th Street Bridge is the area with a lot of ruts, pot holes, etc.  So they are planning on regrading it so water doesn’t sit on it and regrading with recycled asphalt.  This $200K update isn’t costing Friends of the Riverfront anything.  Pittsburgh City and Allegheny County are donating labor, the asphalt and other items valued at $100K.  Three anonymous Foundations donated the other $100K.  About 4K people use this trail daily, though you can use the trail on weekends, the parking is going to be closed during the renovations for construction equipment.

Just opened Sky Zone out in Leetsdale is a trampoline exercise and play center.  Sky Zone has five courts for dodgeball and basketball, a Foam Zone filled with 34 foam blocks 9′ by 9′ for individual play.  They only allow one person in each block, but family/friends can get adjacent blocks to hop around in.  You can burn 1,000 calories jumping around for an hour.  They offer SkyRobics, kind of like a specialized aerobics class.  General admission is $10 for 30 minutes, $13 for 60 minutes, $17 for 90 minutes and if you have the stamina 120 minutes is $20.  More info at their web site or by calling 724-251-6100.

Kayak Pittsburgh started renting kayaks under the 6th Street Bridge (right by PNC Park) this weekend, through the end of May, it’s just weekends.  Kayaks will be available 7 days a week starting Memorial Day.  North Park and Millvale locations will start May 25.  I’m not sure if they are renting bicycles already, or if that will start later.  More info at 412-255-0564 or at their website.

The 4th Annual Art Museum Day is officially May 18, but the actual days are different for the various museums participating.  The Andy Warhol will be offering free admission from 10 am until 5 pm on May 14, phone 412-237-8300.  The Carnegie Museum of Art is offering free admission on May 16 from 4 pm until 8 pm, 412-622-3131.  The Frick Art and Historical Center is offering free admission on May 18 for docent led tours and reservations are strongly recommended, phone 412-371-0600.  And the Westmoreland Museum of American Art will be celebrating free admission May 18 from 11 am until 5 pm, phone 724-837-1500.  More information on their individual websites also.

Have a great week,

ed

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