Tomorrow’s anniversaries include the Iranian attack on the USS Stark (1987), the New York Stock Exchange was established (1792), first Kentucky Derby (1875), the first Same Sex Marriage in the U.S. in Massachusetts (2004), and the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs the Board of Education.  Birth anniversaries include actress Maureen O’Sullivan (1911), baseballer James “Cool Papa” Bell (193) and English physician Edward Jennifer (1749).

Angelina Jolie had a mastectomy.  It’s her body and her right to do it.  When she made it a public issue by pushing for more of them among women, she opened the door for my opinion.  She’s a role model for many women and I think she’s giving out a bad precedent.   If a woman wants to take radical steps when an illness hits, I don’t agree with it, but again it’s her body.  I believe in the least invasive, least amount of drugs, the minimum of everything.  You can always up the anti if needed.  But having both of your breasts remove because you carry a gene that predisposes you to that cancer is like not crossing a bridge because if you fall off you would probably die.  I know I’m pushing the analogy, but I think it makes my point.

The group Paddle Without Pollution is always plying our waterways for recreation as well as cleaning up all the litter in the water and on the shores.  Their event is all oar powered craft, as you can tell from the title of their event.  They’re official clean up on June 8 is looking for help.  Their event last year had about 500 volunteers that removed 15 tons of debris.  (As a side note, you don’t actually have to go in the water, they need volunteers land side to sort and process recycling from trash and other tasks).  There are 86,000 miles of waterways in Pennsylvania.

The fired president of Penn State received $2.9M compensation in 2011-2012 school year, the HIGHEST compensated president of ANY of the 212 public research universities.  Spanier is fighting accusations that he orchestrated cover ups of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.  Greed knows no bounds and integrity is not in some people’s vocabulary.

The market for for first class office space Downtown is the strongest in the country (92.9% for first class office space).  As older buildings are being converted to condos, lofts and apartments, the more affordable space is being eaten up adding to the high occupancy rates.  In addition to office space, Pittsburgh has one of the highest apartment occupancy rates in the country which is the driving force behind the push for 2,400 city residential units either under construction or in the planning phase.

Every three years since 1997, the Fiberarts Guild holds the juried exhibit of international artist that is widely considered a benchmark for documenting trends and innovations in the field.  This exhibit at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Society for Contemporary Craft has 79 works by 63 artists from across the globe.  The Best in Show award went to Japanese artist Naoe Okamoto for her piece A Laughing House, made of knitted and felted wool, hemp and silk.  Kate Kretz’s The Final Word is on black cotton velvet with a deliberate cut on the top with a crude patch job with a white tied sacrificial lamb on the bottom made of thousands of tiny French knots.  (She posted a picture on her Facebook page on April 29, just scroll down a bit).  Though most assume the inspiration was Japanese, Naoe was inspired by the ancient stone houses in the English countryside.  Admission is free at Contemporary Craft and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is asking for a $5 donation.  It runs through August 18.  More info at their respective websites or by calling 412-261-7003 or 412-361-0873.

A year ago, the Trib did a poll on Pittsburgers which surprised me.  I’m making these number up, but they are fairly close-54% of the responders to the poll had attended a cultural event and 35% attended a sporting event.  The cultural events were not all high brow symphony and ballet, they were rock concerts, high school plays, etc.  But still …… I found something like 133 concerts this summer in Pittsburgh and 34 of them were free.  Since the ones making money can do their own advertising, I’m only listing the free concerts:  On May 31 at the South Park Amphitheater the CLO will be performing at 7:30 pm (412-350-2528).  The Pittsburgh Opera will perform at Hartwood Acres at 7:30 on June 2 (412-350-2528).  At the South Park Amphitheater on June 7 at 7:30 it will be Italian Night featuring We Three, Vito DiSalvo and Giorgia Fumanti (412-350-2528).  Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will perform on Dollar Bank Stage on June 7 at 7:30 (4112-471-3191).  Cello Fury and Scott Blasey will perform on the Dollar Bank Stage on June 9 at 7:30 (412-471-3191).  Hartwood Acres will host Bob Mould on June 9 at 7:30 (412-350-2528).  On Dollar Stage on June 10, the Pittsburgh Symphony will perform at 7 pm (412-471-3191).  Grupo Fantasma will perform on the Dollar Bank Stage at 7:30 on June11 (412-471-3191).  Glen Hansard will perform on the Dollar Bank Stage on June 12 at 7:30 (412-471-3191).  Lucius will perform June 13 on Dollar Bank Stage at 7:30 (412-471-3191).  Tommy Castro and the Painkillers will perform June 14 at 7:70 on South Park Amphitheater (412-350-2528).  Red Baraat will be on the Dollar Bank Stage June13 at 7:30 (412-471-3191).  (I think there’s a typo, can’t have Red Baraat on stage the same time as Lucius-need to look into that).  The Vogues will perform at Hartwood Acres on June 15 at 7:30 pm (412-350-2528).  The Wailers will perform at South Park Amphitheater on June 21 at 7:30 pm (412-350-2528).  Langhorne Slim and the Law will be at Hartwood Acres June 23 at 7:30 pm (412-350-22528).  June 28 brings BNY Mellon Jazz Monty Alexander at 7:30 pm (412-350-2528).  The Pittsburgh Symphony will perform at South Park Amphitheater on July 6 at 8:15 pm (412-350-2528).  David Cassidy will take stage at the South Park Amphitheater on July 12 at 7:30 (412-350-2528).  Great Big Sea will perform at Hartwood Acres on July 14 at 7:30 pm (412-350-2528).  The Stickers are featured July 19 at South Park Amphitheater at 7:30 (412-350-2528).  Sixpence None the Richer command the South Park Amphitheater on July 26 at 7:30 pm (412-350-2528).  Joy Ike, Johnny Miller will be at Hartwood Acres July 28 at 7:30 pm (412-350-2528).  The August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble will take the stage at South Park Amphitheater on August 2 at 7:30 (412-350-2528).  The Yellow Jackets will perform at Hartwood Acres on August 4 at 7:30 pm (412-350-2528).  Los Amigos Invisibles on August 9 at 7:30 pm will appear on South Park Amphitheater (412-350-2528).  Galactic will perform August 11 at 7:30 at Hartwood Acres (412-350-2528).  James Hunter at 7:30 on August 16 will perform at South Park Amphitheater (412-350-2528).  Pittsburgh Ballet Theater will take the stage August 18 at Hartwood Acres at 7:30 (412-350-2528).  The Duquesne University Tamburitzans will perform on South Park Amphitheater August 23 at 7:30 pm (412-350-2528).  Rickey Lee Jones will be at Hartwood Acres on August 25 at 7:30 (412-350-2528).  The Hometown Music Fest featuring JD Eicher, Caleb Lovely and Danielle Barbe will be on South Park Amphitheater’s stage at 7:30 August 30 (412-350-2528).  Finally, at Hartwood Acres September 1, the Allegheny County Music Festival starts at 7:30 pm with Rusted Root, Joel Plaskett (412-350-2528).  Pant-Pant.  🙂

On Saturday, June 8, City of Asylum will feature Exiled Voices of China and Tibet from 1 until 10 pm under a tent on the 1400 block of Monterey Street here on the Northside.  All sessions will either be in English or with English translations.  To reserve your seats for this free event, visit their website or call 412-323-0278.  Very low keyed, very nice group of people trying to make a difference in the world.


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