Message from State Representative Dom Costa

Fall is upon us; winter with its harsh weather isn’t far behind.That is why I want to remind you about the state’s LIHEAP program to help you pay your winter heating bills, and let you know about ACCESS service to Morningside, and my Senior Fair that will provide free flu shots.

I have been working tirelessly with Port Authority to restore bus service for the Morningside area. While progress has been slow, I have been able to obtain ACCESS/OPT service for our senior citizens – many of whom do not drive, or are uncomfortable driving in bad weather – by providing them transportation to shop at Waterworks Mall.

As many of you may already know, there is now an ACCESS/OPT bus designated for Morningside residents age 60 and older at 10 AM on Tuesdays and 12:30 PM on Thursdays. ACCESS will pick you up at your home or the Senior Center, take you to the Waterworks Mall and return you right to your door. Fare is 3 OPT tickets each way ($0.75). You must call ACCESS the day before to schedule pick up.

I was hoping that this service would be so popular that we could use the overwhelming response to show Port Authority how badly we need service restored to the neighborhood. Unfortunately, four weeks into this program, we are already in danger of losing it since no one has utilized it. Please know that I have not stopped fighting for service restoration but also understand, if this service is not utilized within the next three weeks, it will be discontinued, and along with it goes our bargaining chip for service to the Waterworks/St. Margaret’s area.

I will be holding a Senior Fair on Wednesday, November 10th from 10 AM to 1:00 PM at the Cherry City Volunteer Fire Hall. There will be free flu shots, free health screenings, representatives from several senior programs and speakers on PACE, PACEnet, the doughnut hole and the new changes coming to insurance coverage. There will also be free light refreshments, and my staff and I will be on hand to help you with any state government-related question you may have. I look forward to seeing you there.

Don’t forget that the LIHEAP program will begin taking applications in November. LIHEAP helps low income people pay their heating bills. You can receive this money without being in the Cash Assistance program and no lien is placed on your property. Please visit my office at 6808 Greenwood St. for applications or assistance in filling out the forms.

You may also call my office at 412-361-2040 with any questions or further information on any of the topics listed above.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you and your family, and thank you for letting me serve as your State Representative.

Sincerely,
State Representative Dom Costa

Message from Senator Ferlo

Over the past few years a new and seemingly endless resource has been revealed right below our feet, and now it has become a prominent topic in the media, in communities, and in homes throughout the state. I am of course referring to the natural gas reserves held in the Marcellus Shale formation that can be found in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York State. These natural gas reserves are said to be able to power America for a century.

There is enormous potential for Pennsylvania to benefit from this resource; however, I believe there are many significant risks and questions that we must address NOW.   While techniques like hydraulic fracturing/”fracking” are not brand new, the volumes and technologies employed have rapidly expanded and changed, making it all the more important that we examine the possible impacts to our environment and to our residents.

We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves on this issue and take the time to formulate a thoughtful approach that will generate revenue, bring jobs, and protect our environment and our health.  To begin addressing this I have introduced Senate Bill 1447 calling for a one-year statewide moratorium on all new Marcellus Shale natural gas well drilling in Pennsylvania while a study commission is formed to analyze gas well drilling and make recommendations.

I also recently moderated a virtual tele-town hall event where a panel of individuals connected to the industry was on hand to answer questions, explain procedures, and address concerns.

This is only the beginning.  It’s a complex issue with many sides, and it will continue to be debated at kitchen tables throughout the commonwealth and in chambers in Harrisburg.   Please join with me in this education process, and I encourage you to visit my website to link to information on Marcellus Shale issues and regulations from the Department of Environmental Protection, view the tele-town hall video, and ensure that we identify and implement policies that will allow this industry to grow and ensure benefits back to our residents.

Please take a moment to let me know your opinion on this issue.  You can find more information and email me on my website at www.senatorferlo.com , or call my office at 412-621-3006 to learn more. I hope to hear from you.

Citizen’s Police Academy

The Pittsburgh’s Citizens Police Academy brings the police and the community close together in a setting that offers a sample of police training to each participant. Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, this program is given twice a year for members of the community who wish to become closely acquainted with the roles and responsibilities of the Police Bureau.

The 15-week program meets one evening a week for three hours of training. Participants are exposed to the operations of the Police Bureau, taught the basics of criminal law, search and seizure, patrol tactics, firearms, and other highlighted police training topics. They also learn about processing a crime scene, conduct a ride-along with an officer, and will meet many street officers as well as command and training staff.

The current session of the Citizens Police Academy is being held at the Police Training Academy and participants are scheduled to graduate December 15th.
If you are interested in signing up for the next session or for more information, you can call the Citizen’s Police Academy at 412-665-3600 or visit the City of Pittsburgh web-site at www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/police/html/citizens_police.html

MACC Clean Up & Painting

Saturday, October 16, 2010 beginning at 10am.  Volunteer pre-sign up is encouraged. All interested volunteers/groups should call Amy at 412-414-7407 or email ervin_amy@hotmail.com  .  Volunteers should sign in the day of event at the VFW to receive trash bags, gloves, instructions, etc. The first 30 volunteers get t-shirts!  Areas of clean up include: Natoli Field, Heth’s Field, Baker Street and throughout neighborhood (walking tour for street/sidewalk clean up).

As always your help is greatly appreciated. Remember WE are in charge of keeping M-Side safe, clean & respected.

Please forward to friends and neighbors.

Thank you!

Changes to Bus Service

Changes to bus service in Morningside will be coming soon. Starting Sun., Sept. 5, 94B service to N. Negley and Penn Avenues, Larimer, Aspinwall, Waterworks and O’Hara will be discontinued. Beginning Sept. 7th route 77F will be revised and replaced by 87 Friendship (Morningside branch). 87 Friend

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ship will operate between Downtown Pittsburgh, the Strip District, Bloomfield, Friendship, Negley and Stanton Avenues, Chislett, Greenwood and Jancey streets. Limited trips will operate to Baker and Butler streets. Service to Larimer from East Liberty, formerly offered by the 94B, will be available on route 74 Homewood-Squirrel Hill. Meanwhile, service to Waterworks is available on route 74B and 500 from East Liberty. Both operate through Highland Park, not Morningside. Alternate trips on route 87 will serve Stanton Heights beyond Stanton at Chislett. Limited trips will operate to Baker and Butler streets. Service on the Stanton Heights branch of 87 Friendship will operate seven days a week.

PAT Hearing on Proposed Changes

Port Authority of Allegheny County will hold a public hearing and public comment period on proposed fare and service changes. Fare changes are scheduled to be implemented on Saturday, January 1, 2011. Service changes are scheduled for Sunday, January 9, 2011.  The public hearing will be held Thursday, August 19, 2010 from 8 am to 8 pm at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh. Individuals wishing to testify are encouraged to pre-register by calling 412.566.5437 (TTY 412-231-7007) from 9 am to 3:30 pm on weekdays.

Oral testimony will be limited to three minutes per speaker. Those who have not pre-registered may register at the hearing and will be called on as time slots become available. Port Authority will provide a sign language interpreter at the hearing as well as Braille copies of informational documents. The public comment period will begin Wednesday, July 28, 2010. Comments on the proposals will be accepted by mail at Port Authority Fare & Service Proposals, Heinz 57 Center, 345 Sixth Avenue, Floor 3, Pittsburgh PA 15222- 2527. Comments may also be submitted online via portauthority.org . The deadline for receipt of public comments is Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 4 pm.  For more information, including details on transportation to the hearing, call Customer Service at 412.442.2000 (TTY 412.231.7007) or visit portauthority.org . To request printed information only, call 412.566.5543

Potential Greenway Designation

Please attend a community meeting on Thursday, July 1st, 2010, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, at the Union Project, 801 N. Negley Avenue, to learn more about the Greenway designation and whether it makes sense for the green hillside along Baker and Butler Streets in the Morningside and Stanton Heights neighborhoods. This meeting will be attended by the City Planning Department, the Real Estate Department, and Councilman Patrick Dowd.

The City of Pittsburgh, in partnership with community groups, may designate publicly owned land as “Greenway”. Lands that are designated as part of a Greenway have certain protections from development, typical park programming, and other high-impact uses. Alternatively, this land can be improved by community members interested in fighting dumping, removing invasive species from the land, or creating small, unpaved trails for community use.

Please help us spread the word to your neighbors., If you have any questions, please contact Councilman Dowd’s office at 412-255-2140.

Two Great Recycling Opportunities!

Two great opportunities to recycle and make sure your unwanted items are being disposed of properly!   First, the Allegheny County Health Department and The Pennsylvania Resources Council are partnering to provide free curbside pickup and disposal of freon containing appliances. Includes refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, water coolers, and freezers. No commercial appliances please. Click for more info! To schedule your free pickup call the Appliance Warehouse 1-888-463-7366. Secondly, the next 2010 Hard to Recycle Even, September 25th…

Acceptable items include:  Tires, E-waste, Useable Building Materials, Medical Supplies,
Cell Phones, Alkaline Batteries, CFLs & Printer/Toner Cartridges  Click here for all the details!

Become a Tree Tender

The MACC & TreeVitalize Pittsburgh a partnership to restore tree cover in the Pittsburgh region) invites you to join in the effort by REQUESTING a planting of a FREE Street Tree on your sidewalk. Street trees are trees planted between a street curb & sidewalk.

Request includes FREE evaluation of site, FREE curb cut (if needed), FREE Tree (if approved), FREE planting. Please know that the trees will be sized appropriately to the area; relieving the possibilities of too large roots that can damage sidewalks and utilities. Please know that these are smaller shade trees and not overwhelming forest trees.

If you haven’t noticed, we have already planted over 50 sidewalk street trees in the community and we hope to reach 100 or more by 2010.

If you would like to be considered for a

FREE tree & planting, contact Amy Ervin at 412-414-7407.