Health Dept. Surveillance for West Nile Virus

NEWS RELEASE

Public Urged to Report & Submit Certain Dead Birds for Testing

As part of its annual surveillance program for the West Nile virus, the Allegheny County Health Department is calling on the public to report and submit certain dead birds for testing throughout the summer and early fall.

The reporting and testing of dead birds can help health officials track West Nile and determine where to focus mosquito control efforts.  Mosquitoes and birds pass the virus to each other via mosquito bites.  It is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes but not by birds carrying the virus.

The public is asked to report and in some cases submit seven bird species for testing — crows, blue jays, hawks, owls, falcons, ravens and buzzards.  In addition, five or more dead birds of any species found in one location should also be reported.

Dead birds can be reported to the Allegheny County Health Department by calling 412-687-ACHD or by visiting its web site at www.achd.net.

No birds have tested positive since 2006.  One did that year, 3 each in 2005 and 2004, 5 in 2003 and 162 in 2002, when West Nile first appeared here in birds, mosquitoes and humans.

The surveillance program also includes the trapping and testing of mosquitoes.  Fifty-eight mosquito samples tested positive last year, but only 2 in 2009, 28 in 2008, 19 in 2007, 11 in 2006, 28 in 2005, 3 in 2004, 16 in 2003 and 34 in 2002.

No human illnesses have occurred since 2007.  One each occurred in 2007 and 2006, 6 in 2005, none in 2004, 10 in 2003 and 22 in 2002.  No deaths have been reported since four victims died in 2002.

About 80% of those infected with West Nile do not get sick.  When symptoms occur, they are usually mild and may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash.

Less than one percent of those infected with West Nile develop serious illness, such as encephalitis, which can be life-threatening.

Bruce W. Dixon, M.D., Director
Guillermo Cole, Public Information Officer
412-578-8004, e-mail: gcole@achd.net

VFW PA Post 3945 Dedicates New Memorial

The Veterans of Foreign Wars PA Post 3945, located at 1820 Morningside Avenue, will dedicate a new memorial on Monday, May 30th at 2pm to honor those that have and are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The new memorial will be alongside the existing monuments commemorating previous foreign conflicts.  For more information, please contact John Winters.

OpenSpacePGH Public Meetings

The City of Pittsburgh is embarking on PLANPGH, the City’s first Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of PLANPGH is to create a shared vision and policies for the next 25 years of our City’s development. OpenSpacePGH, the City’s Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Plan, is one of the initial components of PLANPGH, and will provide the City with goals and strategies for its parks, recreation, and formal open space systems, as well as a tool to assist in putting its vacant properties into productive re-use. As part of the public outreach and participation for OpenSpacePGH, the City will be holding five public meetings in late April and early May. The outcome of these meetings will create the City’s vision for its open spaces, parks, and recreation areas, so get involved and help make Pittsburgh an even better place to live, work, play, and thrive! For more information:  http://planpgh.com/files/OpenSpacePGH_Meeting_4-25-11.pdf

Pittsburgh Public Schools Panel Discussion with District 2 Candidates

4/21/11 at 7:30pm at the Union Project (821 N Negley Ave)

Please join the Highland Park Community Council to learn more about your District 2 PPS board member candidates and other developments in the school district.

The Pittsburgh Public Schools primary will be held on May 17, 2011.  District 2 candidates include Dara Allen and Regina Hollley.  The District 2 PPS board member will represent Highland Park, Morningside, Stanton Heights, Lawrenceville and other neighborhoods.  Both candidates will speak briefly, provide information on their campaign and answer questions.

Kevin Bivens, the principal of Fulton K-5 will also be speaking on community engagement at Fulton.  Members of the School Green project will also speak about their efforts.

Contact Dave Atkinson at westpennworks@gmail.com for more information.

Zero Waste Pittsburgh Website and Household Chemical Collections

The Pennsylvania Resources Council has developed a great website, Zero Waste Pittsburgh.  This new site has added features for both commercial and residential users and provides information on everything from waste audits and certification for businesses, institutions and special events to household chemical, pharmaceutical and hard to recycle collection for individuals.

The 2011 Schedule of Household Chemical Collections kicks beginning Saturday, May 7, 2011 in Allegheny County at the North Park swimming pool parking lot.  Please contact Michael Stepaniak with questions or if you need any other information at 412-488-7452 or Michaels@ccicenter.org.

Street Paving Survey- From the Office of Patrick Dowd

We will soon be submitting our 2011 paving request list to the Department of Public Works and we’d like your feedback. DPW will make the final determination of which streets are paved based on the amount traffic, the condition of the road, and your input. Please take a quick survey and let us know what streets are the most in need of repaving in your neighborhood.  Your responses will be tabulated and submitted to DPW.  We need your responses by Friday at noon so we can submit them.  Additionally, we encourage you to submit paving requests to the 311 system now and throughout the year.

Steven Fatur· Office of Patrick Dowd · Pittsburgh City Council District 7
510 City-County Building · 414 Grant Street · Pittsburgh PA 15219 · 412 255 2140
steven.fatur@city.pittsburgh.pa.us · www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/district7

Allegheny Riverfront Vision

As you may have heard by now, the Allegheny Riverfront Vision has been released.

“The Allegheny Riverfront Vision Plan presents a new direction for the banks of the Allegheny River and for the Strip District and Lawrenceville riverfront communities. It is a vision based on respecting fundamental ecological principles, employing smart strategies to increase resident and business connections, increasing the quality of urban living, and achieving a regenerative and sustainable market for long-term investment. Its recommendations address six miles of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Riverfront, but its vision offers guidance for Pittsburgh as a riverfront city.” – Allegheny Riverfront Vision Plan

Additional reading about the Allegheny Riverfront Vision:
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11046/1125509-53.stm
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_722892.html

City Council Unanimously Passes Legislation Creating Allegheny River Greenway

Pittsburgh, PA — Today, City Councilman Patrick Dowd, District 7, led City Council in the passage of legislation designating a protected ‘greenway’ along the Allegheny River stretching from Morningside through Stanton Heights. To be called the Allegheny River Greenway, it will provide significant benefits to the proximate neighborhoods and the City as a whole. Such benefits include passive recreation opportunities, storm water management, erosion and sedimentation control, enhanced aesthetics, air quality improvements, a positive identifying neighborhood feature, and stabilizing or increasing property values.

Grant Ervin, President of Morningside Area Community Council, states that “The Allegheny River Greenway Project is a great example of what can happen when communities plan and work together. The Greenway was a concept that residents developed during Morningside’s community planning process. Working together with our neighbors in Stanton Heights and with assistance from Councilman Dowd’s team and other City staffers we’ve been able to implement that vision.” He continues “The Greenway is a great way to preserve the lush green hillsides along the Allegheny River and accentuate the character of our neighborhoods.” Press release from the Office of Council Member Patrick Dowd. For more information, please contact the District 7 office at 412.255.2140 or district7@city.pittsburgh.pa.us.

A Review of Morningside’s 2010 Successes

  • Improving communications systems
  • Well-attended, well-received activities
  • Good volunteer leadership
  • 100 new trees in neighborhood
  • City Planning Commission’s approval of the Allegheny Greenway
  • Welcome signs on Morningside Ave.
  • Increase in MACC membership
  • More students at St. Raphael’s
  • Housing values going up
  • Completion of the new building at the corner  of Greenwood and Morningside

Way to go Morningside!  Give yourselves a pat on the back 🙂

Ready for Snow? from the Office of Councilman Dowd

Winter is officially here and we have received many inquiries about the new City of Pittsburgh Winter Weather Emergency Resource Guide produced by the Office of the Mayor and the Department of Public Works. It provides vital information about both routine and emergency snow removal operations and presents the new snow emergency routes. If you have not received your copy by now through the mail, please call 311 to request one. You may also download your copy.

Please do NOT call 311 during a snow and ice event to request street plowing and salting unless it has not been addressed after 24 hours after the storm. Allow more time for larger snow events. Please do not hesitate to call 911 in case of emergencies.