Tomorrow is the anniversary of the first televised baseball game (1939 between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers), it is also the anniversary of the biggest explosion in recorded history. The eruption of the volcano on the Indonesian island of Krakatoa was heard 3,000 miles away and created 120 foot tidal waves in 1883.
Well, we’re getting close to the tenth anniversary of 9/11. It’s a Sunday this year and weekends are pretty busy for me, though at this point that one is still pretty soft. I’d like to go out to Shanksville. The people in the other two planes were victims (as far as we know), the passengers that crashed in Shanksville were heroes. The intention is not to be dismissive or say the other two planes were less tragic. The two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center make me mad, Shanksville gives me hope about us. I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of various coverage on the event, what television has announced so far, on August 28 National Geographic is doing an indepth interview with George W Bush. On September 5, NBC is airing a special “Children of 9/11″ which follows the lives of 11 children who lost parents in the attack. Also, on September 5, the Smithsonian Channel is offering “9/11 Day that Changed the World. This special focuses on the leaders at the time like Ruddy Giuliani. On September 8, WQED features “Return to Shanksville” that focuses on construction of the permanent memorial honoring the 40. On September 9, the History Channel will be featuring “9/11, the Days After”, a follow up to an earlier work “102 Minutes that Changed America”. History Channel will broadcast “Voices from Inside the Towers” on September 10. This will focus on actual audio recordings taken from various sources on conversations that took place right before and during the attacks. Showtime will be airing the Sundance Film Festival hit “Rebirth” on September 11. The History Channel takes on the building of the Trade Center Memorial on September 11 with “Making the 9/11 Memorial”. And finally, CBS will have a feature “”9/11 10 Years Later with host Robert De Niro. I’m sure there will be a lot of other specials, but these are the early guys to announce.
There’s a lady in Ross that recently inherited property that is zoned residential and she’s asking the township to rezone it to commercial so she can sell it. She’s saying because the township won’t rezone it, they are “crippling” her. She says she had a buyer that walked away from an offer because the township won’t automatically rezone it from residential to commercial. She refuses to tell anyone what kind of commercial development she wants to sell it for. I don’t know, if my home was near the corner of Perry Highway and Rochester Road, I would want to know what kind of commercial application she’s seeking a variance for -maybe a porn shop, acid battery recycler, pawn shop, exotic dancer bar just to name a few. She finally got title to the property after “a lengthy battle” with her relatives. Do we see a pattern here? Not getting along with relatives, keeping secret from her neighbors what business she wants to sell her property for? I’d say someone needs to learn how to play well with others. Life is not a one way street.
Speaking of seedy, did you notice some of the big banks are getting into payday loans? As if they weren’t already of questionable caricature. Wells Fargo, for example, is offering direct deposit customers a $7.50 charge on a $100 loan (less than the street lenders rate of $16), but it’ still 261% when amortized annually. They have no shame.
There’s a pretty cool art exhibit at the Mendelson Gallery at 5874 Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside (412.361.8664). Luis Castellanos Valui, a Mexican artist of forty years, is having a show through September 3. Hours are noon to 5 Wednesdays – Saturdays. They are having an opening reception this Friday from 6 – 10 p.m. and a closing lecture on September 7 in Pitt’s Posvar Hall from 4 until 6 p.m. with free admission. His art is very colorful and somewhat whimsical. He’s doing a mural for his Pittsburgh artist friend, James Simon’s Gist Street Studio in Pittsburgh’s up town section, and it will be on loan indefinitely. I don’t know why I put a hyperlink to Mendelson, their out dated web site has nothing on this upcoming show. But at least you can get directions, etc from there.
South Park Fairgrounds is having their annual Rib & Wing Challenge with 17 competitors, 35 vendors and Everclear performing on Saturday, War on Sunday and Molly Hatchet on Monday. More info at 412.405.9631. And these people actually have useful info on their web site.
The Irish Festival is back the following weekend at Riverplex, next to Sandcastle. They will have four stages of Irish music, authentic Irish food and beverages (potatoes and mead?). Just kidding. An Irish market place and much more. More info (like ticket prices, times, etc) can be had by calling 412.422.1113 or visiting their web site, which also has useful info.
This weekend from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. the 14th Annual Shadyside Arts Festival is back. It is on Walnut Street between South Negley and South Aiken. I haven’t made it to it in awhile, but they at least used to bring in some very talented vendors and I’m sure they still do. More info at 412.682.1298 or their informative web site- Steve Mendelson, are you getting a hint here?
The 6th annual Savor Pittsburgh is again at Southside Works Thursday, September 1 starting at 6:30 p.m. They will have representatives from more than 21 Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants competing. This year’s recipient for proceeds of this fund raiser is the National Pancreas Foundation. Last year’s event raised more than $150,000 for the National Respiratory Alliance of Western Pennsylvania. More info at 412.966.4684 or their informative web site-Steve, am I getting to you?
The Salvation Army is again trying to outfit kids this year for school. This is so cool on so many levels, children are our future, their innocence. There was two pictures in Sundays Trib that really struck me. The innocence, pride, hope in those little eyes are vary strong. Rape a woman, shoot a man, but leave the kids alone (please don’t take me literally here.) Many years ago, I when I was in the Army and stationed in Germany and when I went to Dachau for the first time, one image still haunts me. They did a really good job building up how Hitler started fairly innocuously with banning books, then burning books, then forcing certain “groups” to “register” then placing them in ghettos, then transporting them to “labor camps” etc. And the museum at Dachau had a progression of pictures and text describing how all this started and progressed. And you see images of the banning of books, burning of books, the ghettos, maps showing how different cities fed their “undesirables” into certain camps. You then walked around the corner and there’s an unidentified boy, maybe 12 with his cap, knickers and jacket standing next to all the high booted Nazis. You don’t even see them above the waist. The terror and confusion in his eyes I can still see as clearly as I did then. Sorry, I guess I just went on some kind of a rant. Little kids getting school supplies is nothing like the Holocaust, but a worth while charity non the less. Click on the hyperlink for how you can help or call Captain Rickie Armour at 412.224.6310.
Thanx and have a great evening (or day if you read this tomorrow),