Hi,

Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the Water Pollutions Control Act, the anniversary of the first newspaper comic strip (1896-there had been individual comics, but the first comic stretched over several panels was in the New York Journal) and it is Azerbaijan Independence Day (1991).  Tomorrow is the birth anniversary of James Brooks (born 1906, he was one of the muralists employed during the Great Depression’s public works program-his most famous, the one in the Marine Air Terminal at La Guardia Airport and was painted over in 1950.  In 1980 it was restored).  It is also the birth anniversary of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

For you Angry Birds players, I assume you already know the Angry Birds Star Wars is coming out next month.  Those cranky birds and pigs dress up in Star Wars garb and take on their characters personas.

South Baldwin firefighters did a UTube video with a take off of the Korean Gangnam Style promoting fire safety.  It’s very cute.

While recovering from a knee injury and bored, second year Steeler running back Baron Batch he decided to take up painting.  He started making art for his bare walled home and has progressed since.  This he added to his already passion for photography.  Sherry Jo Matt with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation saw his work and arranged for his debut art show November 16 at Pavilion X at 120 Boulevard of the Allies.  Tickets are $75 and you can bid on any of his exhibited art work.  More info on Baron’s art work and blog is at his web site.  More info on the art show by calling 412.321.4422 (there’s nothing on their web site).

What’s up with those WVU students?  They’re happy they won, they burn couches in the streets.  They’re upset they lost, they burn couches in the street.  A world event occurs, they burn couches in the street.  These fires have wasted precious safety resources.  These fires have caused extensive damage to buildings and vehicles.  It’s criminal.  I bet if WVU didn’t have a similar “old boys club” attitude like PSU the fires would stop pretty damn fast.  I’d say felony arson and permanent expulsion would have an immediate effect.  These are not “pranks” and the “responsible adults” in charge of this university should be held accountable just as those at PSU should be.

There’s a free heating solutions workshop being offered October 20 from 1 – 4 pm in the Park Place, Pittsburgh.  High Performance Homes, the Next Frontier in Home Renovation will be held at the Environmental Charter Lower School at 309 S Braddock Avenue (Mayor Fedderman strikes again)  :)  I love that guy.  More info at their web site, at 888.728.9288 or by e-mail info@deawp.org.

Have you seen a picture of Miley Cyrus?  I’m not into country, nor into the celebrity gossip columns.  I occasionally see something that peaks my interest, like when her dad was pushing her recording a few years ago.  There was all that controversy about “robbing the cradle”.  I just saw a  picture of her in the newspaper, granted newspapers don’t have the clearest pictures, but OMG, that 20 yr old looks 35 – 40.  What a shame.

Phipps Conservatory (my favorite space in the city, next to The Parador Inn) :) just opened their fall show themed after the Chinese “Year of the Dragon”.  In the Sunken Garden they have a dragon made of oak leaves (and other things), in the East Room you’ll find Under the Sea.  There are many other dragon and fall themed displays throughout the conservatory.  Normal rates and hours prevail, more info at their web site or by calling 412.622.6914.

With the State closing Liberty Pet Control over in McKees Rocks (the place owned by the 70+ that kept failing State inspections), the Western Pa Humane Society is over run with animals.  They’ve doubled up the kennels, they have 30 – 40 animals in foster homes and they’re even in the offices.  They are running a promotion of $30 adoptions for dogs older than 2.  If you’ve been thinking about a pet, now’s a great time.  More info at their web site or by calling 412.321.4626.

The city’s giving Buncher $50M in TIF money, allowing them to tear down 1/3 of the iconic Terminal Building and creating a boring white bread development.  No one is mentioning all the great small businesses rescuing many of our buildings.  There’s the huge building along Railroad Street in the Strip between 28th and 29th Streets.  There used to be the International Carpet Company (I think that was there name), followed by Mod Cloth (who’s now in the West End in an old grocery store).  Whoever owns the building tore down a ratty addition to it across from the metal recycler’s location on 28th and are in the process of replacing the metal facade and windows with energy efficient ones.  They are even dressing up the parking lot.  Then there’s the building down around 18th Street and Smallman in the Strip that some some independent seems to be totally redoing the brick facade and also replacing the windows (it’s building that houses Kaya restaurant on the first floor, Odyssey computer company on the second and a good bit of newly renovated retail/office space available.  Then there’s Brian Mendelssohn in Lawrenceville, not even a Pittsburgh native.  After graduating CMU he bought a place in Lawrenceville to live and fell in love with Lawrenceville.  Mendelssohn, the principle with Botero Development, has restored row homes along 48th Street, the Omega Credit Union Building, the Arsenal Bank Building with lofts on the second floor.  His current project is the former Starr Discount store, the largest building in Lawrenceville and he’s putting a 72 seat single screen theater, a restaurant, some retail space and bottle shop.  There’s the two guys (I don’t recall their names) buying up individual buildings in the Strip and Lawrenceville corridor, rehabbing them and putting them back on the market.  I’m OK with the profit motive.  I have a problem with the greed motive, all about making as much money as you can, it doesn’t matter that you’re tearing down 1/3 of an icon building to make the maximum profits you can, it doesn’t matter that a cash strapped stupid city administrators are willing to give you $50M so you can suck the city dry.  Why doesn’t Buncher apply for a job at Bank America?  The city should start some sort of recognition program for entrepreneurs that invest their own money in the city.  There are a lot of local entrepreneurs like ed menzer at The Parador that have invested a ton of there own money and sweat making a real impact on the city.  :)

Have a great day tomorrow,

ed

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