Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
While those who attended the Community Input Meeting on developing the Lower Hill District site, formerly occupied by the Civic Arena, did enjoy a casual atmosphere and a dinner of wings, potatoes and green beans, they did not hear a lot of new details about how many buildings of what type would go where.
But the nearly 200 residents and stakeholders who attended the April 10 meeting at the Hill House Kaufmann Auditorium did hear one bit of news; that, if everything goes smoothly, infrastructure development could begin in as soon as six weeks.
This revelation came during Community Design Center Program Director Chris Koch’s presentation on the process of gaining multiple zoning approvals simultaneously for large development sites by creating a Special Development District. As she went through the process, she explained the first part requiring approval is a Preliminary Land Development Plan, which include details for infrastructure, development patterns, landscape design, and architectural details and is accompanied by updated zoning text.
Hill District city Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle told the New Pittsburgh Courier that plan would be submitted to the Department of City Planning within two weeks.
“I’ve been having weekly meetings with the Pittsburgh Penguins about this for some time,” said Lavelle. “We have a couple more to go then we’ll submit the plan. So, after that, if the process goes smoothly, we could begin site work in six weeks.”
That process would involve a minimum of three more community meetings before the zoning board, city planning and city council all sign off on the plan. The site work would also include an archeological study and digs to recover any historical artifacts if need be.
Furthermore, as both Lavelle and Hill Community Development Corp. Director Marimba Milliones reminded the audience, that initial site work offers opportunities for people to bid on contracts ranging from construction management to the guy who sells hot dogs on site.
“At every phase in these projects from before, during and after, we’re looking to maximize participation,” she said. “All of this is in keeping with the Hill Master Plan to connect the human side with the development side. We have a total of eight different designs stretching from the Upper Hill to the Lower Hill.”
Milliones also updated the community on nearly completed new housing on Dinwiddie and Reed Streets, and how housing plans call for residential expansion down Crawford Street to Fifth Avenue.
She also noted the ongoing construction of the SHOP ‘N SAVE underway on Centre Avenue and the upcoming groundbreaking for the first phase of the Addison Terrace public housing community redevelopment.
Hill Consensus Group co-convener Carl Redwood Jr. reminded the audience that now and into the near future, parking would generate practically all revenue on the 28-acre Lower Hill site, and that he is still campaigning to have $1 per car earmarked for Hill District development/community needs.
Other than parking taxes generated from the new spaces created following the demolition of the Civic Arena, that revenue goes to the Penguins.
Travis Williams, COO of the Penguins, and Clarence Curry from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh also made a presentation about the infrastructure plans for the site. A second community meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., April 17 at the Thelma Lovette YMCA.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 10:25
Category: Metro Written by Rebecca Nuttall - Courier Staff Writer
VANESSA GERMAN (Photo by J.L. Martello)
In some cities, business ventures are launched in backroom deals at exclusive clubs where powerbrokers make decisions without community input. But in Pittsburgh, business relationships are developed at the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise’s Annual Inclusive Voices community exchange where corporate executives, nonprofit professionals and activists come together to improve their city.
On April 12, PACE held their 5th Annual Inclusive Voices at the Omni William Penn, where prominent Pittsburgh leaders led table conversations. The event is designed to advance PACE’s mission to strengthen nonprofit organizations that can assist African-Americans and economically disadvantaged communities.
“I was actually there at the inception of PACE. It was a sad time in our society, but there was a great urgency and a great hope that we could bring about change,” said the event’s master of ceremonies Robert Nelkin, president and chief professional officer of United Way of Allegheny County. “As a community we have a vision for change.”
Though the conversationalists were not directed by any singular theme, the conversations at many tables seemed to mirror Nelkin’s words. The conversations focused on shaping the future of Pittsburgh.
“Right now Pittsburgh is known as the ‘Most Livable City.’ That’s the narrative that’s really powerful now,” said Germaine Williams, a table conversationalist and senior program officer for arts and culture at the Pittsburgh Foundation. “If we could look out ten years what should the narrative be?”
With an important mayoral election coming up for the city, conversations also shifted to the political future of Pittsburgh. At retired city councilman Sala Udin’s table he asked guests to put themselves in the future mayor’s shoes. How would they handle issues like the police department?
At other tables, the conversation turned to the problem of Black-on-Black gun violence. While some argued for greater gun control, others looked at ways to improve the socioeconomic status of the African-American community.
“The people at the table are all deeply invested in developing the Black communities in Pittsburgh,” said table conversationalist Jesse Washington, a journalist with the Associated Press, before illustrating a point made by fellow table member Mark Lewis, executive director of the Poise Foundation. “We’re in the business of helping people. How do we change people or solve the problems?”
PACE was founded following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an effort to continue the struggle for social change. Over the years the organization has made $10 million in grants to over 300 community-based organizations.
“We are also celebrating this year our 45th anniversary,” Peggy Harris, chair of the PACE Board of Commissioners. “PACE was founded out of the civil rights movement so this is an important year for us.”
P.A.C.E. 5th Annual Inclusive Voices Event 2013 Video SlideShow
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 14:55
Category: Metro Written by Associated Press
HELPING THE INJURED--Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The explosions at the Boston Marathon have city police and organizers of the Pittsburgh Marathon reviewing security for the May 5 race, though officials said security is already pretty tight because of a bomb scare in 2010.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:37
Category: Metro Written by Courier Newsroom
Career Development Class
APRIL 19—Pennsylvania Women Work will host a New Choices Career Development Class at the Homewood YWCA, 6907 Frankstown Ave., Homewood. There will be a free five-week Career Development and Computer Class that will give attendees the tools needed to get back into the workforce. Registration is required. For more information, call 412-391-5101.
Gospel Liturgical Dance Festival
Cancer Survivors Conference
APRIL 20—The American Cancer Society of Western Region will host its 25th annual Cancer Survivors Conference from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 101 Mall Blvd., Monroeville. The theme is “Celebrating 25 years through music, laughter and courage. The guest speakers will be Charlie Lustman, a singer, songwriter, producer and cancers survivor, and Ronda Hartzel, U.S. Navy operating room nurse and cancer survivor. For more information, call 412-919-1100 or visit www.cancer.org/wrsurvivorconference.
Project Prom Shop
APRIL 23—The Allegheny County Department of Human Services will host its Project Prom Shop from 3-7 p.m. at Century III Mall, 3075 Clairton Rd., West Mifflin. This is a one-day extension of its offer to eligible high school girls to choose a free gown and accessories. For more information, call 412-350-3428 or visit www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/projectprom.
Free Health Expo
Beer Tasting Fundraiser
APRIL 25—The National Association of Black Accountants Inc. Pittsburgh Chapter will host the 2nd Annual “Cultivate & Brew” Beer Tasting Fundraiser from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Sharp Edge Bistro, 922 Penn Ave., Strip District. The tasting will feature four exclusive beers and will be paired with hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds will benefit the Chapter of Operations and scholarship funds. For more information, visit www.nabapittsburgh.org.
Bayard Rustin Lecture Series
APRIL 25—Deryck Tines will host the 2013 Bayard Rustin Lecture Series with Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright at 7 p.m. at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. Reservations are required and there is VIP available, which will include a reception. For more information, call 412-983-8895.
Youth at Work
APRIL 26—YouthWorks will host “Youth at Work: Building Dreams and Futures” from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Rivers Club, One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant St., Downtown. This is a celebration of the region’s future workforce. Brittny McGraw will be the mistress of ceremonies and producer, mentor and entrepreneur Emmai Aliquiva will be the special guest speaker. He will speak on “The sky is not the limit.” For more information, call 412-281-6629.
Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 10:14
Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
by Christian Morrow
Courier Staff Writer
Back when steel ruled the local economy and Pittsburgh boast multiple corporate headquarters, the NAACP Pittsburgh Unit could always count on corporate support for its single largest fundraiser, the annual Human Rights Dinner.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 14:14
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