Blue recycling bins have been popping up in city business districts for a while now, and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced more are on the way.
An additional 80 recycling containers will be installed in Lawrenceville, Oakland, Shadyside, the Strip District and Squirrel Hill in the coming weeks, with the ultimate goal to eventually have them in every business district. The city also has received a $433,000 performance grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for its successful recycling efforts, which helped pay for the bins.
“Recycling benefits our city and its residents by cutting landfill fees, saving taxpayer money and reducing waste,” Ravenstahl said in a press release.
From 2007-2012, 78,000 tons of waste were recycled with more than 19,000 tons composted, according to the city. Such strategies — as we've noted before —have saved the city $1.9 million in landfill costs and generated $3.4 million in recycling revenue. Participation in recycling is also up — increasing from 49 percent in 2007 to 69 percent in 2012
To find your curbside recycling schedule, check here.
Putting a new spin on the lunch break, the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater yesterday introduced Friendship to the midday dance party. On Wednesday, the artsy work crowd from the East End neighborhoods descended on Penn Avenue’s Quiet Storm restaurant for Beats n Eats Volume I.
DJ Nate da Phat Barber manned the turntables in the vegan/vegetarian restaurant’s lounge, playing mostly hip hop and house music. A crowd of about 20 people, sitting at tables, bopped along from their chairs and swapped pleasantries between bites of tempeh and tofu.
The patrons — many greeted with cheek smooches and a friendly “How have you been?” — all seemed to know each other. “Everyone eats lunch so we’re all here anyway,” said Kelly-Strayhorn executive director Janera Solomon, “and it’s never too early to dance.” This group was mostly made up of dancers, but the theater’s monthly shindig is open to all “Penn Avenue creatives,” from designers and architects to visual artists.
Kelly-Strayhorn Theater also offers these gatherings to remind the neighborhood it's here. “A lot of East End people don’t know we’re open,” said box-office manager Jackie Baker, who stood outside the restaurant, handing out information, free tickets and Ring Pops. The theater, now named after two Pittsburgh greats (dancer Gene Kelly and composer Billy Strayhorn), first opened in 1914, as a movie theater. Before its current incarnation as a 350-seat live arts venue, with a specialty in contemporary dance, it had been frequently in and out of operation.
After the minglers had finished their meals and had a chance to catch up, Solomon took the mic to thank everyone for coming. “There’s only one rule with this party,” she said. “We have to dance.” DJ Nate kept the beats coming as most attendees abandoned their tables and hit the floor. This lunchtime dance party will continue with volumes 2 and 3 on July 10 and Aug. 14. For more information visit kelly-strayhorn.org.
For Pride, Port Authority has announced several detours and temporary stop changes.
You can view Saturday's detour affected by the closure of Smithfield and Liberty for Pride in the Streets here. Detours for Sunday's Pride Awareness March can be found here for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the rest of Sunday's transit changes here.
The agency is encouraging riders to allow extra time when traveling this weekend. Minor detours for other events will also be in effect in Downtown and nearby areas this weekend.
Details are available on Port Authority's website. For more information, visit www.portauthority.org or call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 (TTY: 412-231-7007).
A new documentary, Free Angela and All the Politcal Prisoners, directed by Shola Lynch screens in Pittsburgh on Thu., June 13.
"Angela" is, of course, Angela Davis, an iconic crusader for civil rights in the late 1960s and early '70s, particularly for politcal prisoners. In time, she herself was jailed — and freed.
The local premiere, at AMC Loews in Homestead, is hosted by New Voices Pittsburgh. The film begins at 7 p.m., and Dr. Joyce M. Bell, assistant professor of sociology at Pitt, will lead a post-screening discussion. For more information, see www.freeangelafilm.com.
We take a look at the Arts Fest's Juried Visual Arts Exhibition. See Program Notes.
As part of the agency's regular four-time yearly schedule adjustments, more than 70 Port Authority bus routes will see changes on Sunday.
Approximately 45 bus routes will be adjusted. Among the changes are tweaks to routes affected by the ongoing weight restriction on Swissvale’s Kenmawr Bridge, as well as changes to better serve Bedford Avenue in the Hill District, according to the agency.
Port Authority will also begin bus-stop consolidations. Nearly 430 stops that see little to no use will be eliminated Sunday.
Details on the service changes and links to new schedules are now posted at www.portauthority.org under “Service Changes" and are available here.
Paper schedules will be available prior to the changes.
The Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission released the first comprehensive study of youth offenders in the state.
Entitled Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice Recidivism Report, the study's goal was to create a "recidivism benchmark" to measure the effectiveness of the state's Juvenile Justice Enhancement Strategy. The idea behind the strategy, according to a press release from the state, is that "recidivism rates can be reduced through the implementation of evidence-based practices."
In the study, recidivism is defined as "a subsequent delinquency adjudication or conviction in criminal court for either a misdemeanor or felony offense within two years of case closure."
In 2007, cases were closed on 18,882 youth who had been under the supervision of a county juvenile probation. Within two years of that time, the study reports, 3,827 youth were subsequently adjudicated delinquent or convicted in criminal court for a new misdemeanor or felony offense. This equates to a 20% — or 1 in 5 — statewide recidivism rate.
According to findings, recidivism rates ranged from 0% (in Clinton and Sullivan Counties) to 45% (in Clarion County). In Allegheny County, the recidivism rate was 16%, with 1,603 juveniles with a case closed in 2007 and a total of 257 recidivists.
The study also notes that expunged cases "create a significant limitation" to the study because when a case is expunged in Pennsylvania "all of a juvenile’s identifying information pertaining to that case is 'erased' and is therefore not available for analysis." Allegheny County had 181 expunged cases.
Here are some other the findings from the report:
• One in five juveniles recidivated within two years of their 2007 case closure.
• 80% of repeat offenders were from “disrupted’’ family situations — situations where parents might be deceased, separate or divorced, or never married. Twenty percent of repeat offenders, meanwhile, were from families where the offender's biological parents were married.
• The younger a juvenile was at the time of their first referral to juvenile court, the more likely he or she was to recidivate.
• Youths under supervision for sex offenses recidivated at a rate of 14 percent. About 2 percent of sex offenders committed another sex offense.
• Boys are three times more likely to return to the system then girls.
• Drug offenders and property offenders were most likely to commit the same types of crimes when they re-offend.
To view the full report, please visit here.
The plastic swan at the Allegheny Cemetery fountain enjoys the pleasant late-spring weather.
For a few months now, cyclists have been able to park their bicycles at the Third Avenue Bike Station — a transformed space in the Pittsburgh Parking Authority's Third Avenue Garage. That area offers a fix-it space and parking for 30 bikes.
And starting July, a "premium" parking area — a fenced in section accessible only by a badge that opens a magnetic door — will be available for cyclists who want to lease an area with secure, weather-protected storage lockers and parking for 24 bicycles.
“Providing cyclists with safe, secure parking for their bikes is another step forward in making Pittsburgh a world-class, bike-friendly city,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said in a press release announcing the station. “Project Pop Up: Downtown has made great strides in increasing Downtown’s vibrancy and bringing more people into the heart of our city. This collaborative project will make shopping, dining and entertainment amenities more accessible to cyclists as we continue to make Pittsburgh an even more livable city for everyone.”
Annual leases for the premium space are $100 and will run from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014. Leases will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Cyclists interested can call 412-560-2504 for more details.
The bike station was led by the city's cycling advocate group, BikePGH, with a $10,000 grant from the city's Project Pop Up: Downtown program, $7,200 from the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, and the donation of parts and labor by the PSX Group, one a Parking Authority contractor, worth $4,200.
Nonprofit groups who want to perform their own version of neighborhood clean-up and beautification have until Friday to apply for funding from the city's Love your Block grant program.
Projects selected by the program will receive a $1,000 Home Depot gift card and support from City departments.
Past projects have included a rain garden, a war memorial clean-up and pop-up cafe in a vacant store.
Grant applications can be found online here and will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday. And for more information, call 412-255-2280 or email email@example.com.
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