Thursday, August 11, 2016

House-sized artwork premieres at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 11:02 AM

Detail of Dennis Maher's "A Second Home" - IMAGE COURTESY OF THE MATTRESS FACTORY
  • Image courtesy of the Mattress Factory
  • Detail of Dennis Maher's "A Second Home"
Buffalo-based artist Dennis Maher premieres A Second Home, his new work that that fills all three floors of the Mattress Factory’s galleries at 516 Sampsonia Way.

As City Paper glimpsed in a walk-through while the site-specific installation was in progress, Second Home packs the building with an array of architectural elements — from wooden archways to miniature curving staircases.

That was about two months ago, which suggests how extensive a process this is for Maher, an artist, architect and educator whose recent projects “have focused on processes of disassembly and reconstitution through drawing, photography, collage and constructions,” according to press materials.

Maher is a professor in the Department of Architecture at Buffalo-SUNY whose works have been exhibited across the U.S. and as far afield as Spain. His award-winning work has been featured in publications from the The New York Times to Architectural Review.

Second Home will be on view “for an undetermined amount of time.”

An opening reception is 6-8 p.m. tomorrow, in the museum’s lobby at 500 Sampsonia Way, on the North Side. Guided tours of Second Home will be given throughout the evening.

Admission is free.

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Pittsburgh's inaugural Re:NEW Festival to celebrate sustainability and reuse through art

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 4:27 PM

Artist and Pittsburgh resident Bill Miller's "Three Sisters" was made from vintage linoleum flooring. Miller has exhibited with Drap-Art for four years. - IMAGE COURTESY OF THE GREATER PITTSBURGH ARTS COUNCIL
  • Image courtesy of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
  • Artist and Pittsburgh resident Bill Miller's "Three Sisters" was made from vintage linoleum flooring. Miller has exhibited with Drap-Art for four years.
Local officials today announced the inaugural Re:NEW Festival, which unites more than 20 organizations and dozens of artists to celebrate the themes of sustainability, transformation and creative reuse citywide.

Re:NEW, taking place Sept. 9 to Oct. 9, will be highlighted by the North American premiere of Drap-Art, the international festival of recycling art from Spain, at the Wintergarden at PPG Place. Drap-Art will feature about 80 works of art all constructed from discarded materials.

Other art installations will go up at Gateway Center, U.S. Steel Tower Plaza and in the North Side's Deutschtown neighborhood. Exhibits are scheduled at 709 Gallery and the Big Room at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, in Downtown; Sweetwater Center for the Arts, in Swickley; and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, in Shadyside.

The festival will also feature walking and biking tours to explore green community initiatives, study native trees Downtown with artist Ann Rosenthal, and discover green spaces throughout the Hill District.

Leadership behind the new festival includes the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Sustainable Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Resources Council, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
 
The festival also includes the latest installment of Art Olympics, on Sept. 17 at 613 Smithfield St., with teams of artists putting their creativity to the test with items donated by Goodwill.

Other events include bestselling author Sebastian Junger discussing his latest book, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, on Sept. 15 at the Carnegie Lecture Hall.

In addition, music and dance performances, workshops for families, film screenings, TEDx speakers, school visits and even a dinner cooked using "rescued" grocery-store produce will color the month-long festival. Prepare to start looking at "garbage" in a whole new light.

To learn more about the Re:NEW Festival and its lengthy list of events, visit www.renewfestival.com.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Q&A with Jeffrey Toobin, author of a new book about Patty Hearst

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 5:10 PM

The story of Patty Hearst's kidnapping has a bizarre staying power. It's been 43 years since the 19-year-old publishing heiress was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, and arrested nearly two years later as their accomplice. Maybe it's the scale of her family's wealth, or the sticky psychological implications of Stockholm syndrome, or maybe it's that infamous bank-robbery photo, but this story continues to fascinate, confound and connect with people even today. 

Count among them Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer at the New Yorker and legal analyst for CNN. His new book Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (Doubleday)  chronicles the kidnapping in the context of a very troubled decade in a very troubled state. 

Toobin will discuss the book and its story tonight at Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. CP called him to discuss the book a few hours prior. 

You were a teenager when the story of Patty Hearst’s kidnapping broke. Do you remember your response to the story at the time?

To be honest, I have very little first-hand memory. I was aware of it in the way that a 13-year-old is aware of big issues in the news. I was kind of a Watergate junkie as a kid, so I knew more about Watergate than I did about the Hearst case.

There was this weird thing where it came out that one of the places she was held briefly, or one of the places she stayed briefly, was on my block in Manhattan on West 90th Street, and I remember joking with my parents about that — “Did you see her?”

That’s funny, I was just talking to a coworker who grew up in San Francisco and had hoped as a kid to be the one to find Hearst.

Speaking of that time period, the immediate aftermath of her kidnapping I feel gets lost in the madness and oddity of the whole story. We don’t hear much about the very beginning of the story. Can you talk about those first few weeks after her kidnapping?


Well, I think it’s important to say that this was a horrible and terrible experience, to be kidnapped. I don’t think we should minimize the horror of what she went through. To be thrown in a car trunk by people she knew to be murderers, who had killed Marcus Foster, the Oakland school superintendent, and bragged about it, was terrifying. But in the bizarre way of how this story unfolded, things changed over time.

When did you become interested in writing about this story?

It was really only a couple of years ago. I had not really thought about it. But then I wrote a story for the New Yorker about a gang that took over a jail in Baltimore. I got interested in the history of the gang, which is called the Black Guerrilla Family. It was founded by George Jackson, the famous prisoner in Soledad prison. I discovered that the prisons in the ‘70s, especially in California, were sort of hotbeds of political activity, and it turned out that the Symbionese Liberation Army came out of the same world. And that’s what lead me back to the Patty Hearst story, through the New Yorker story I wrote.
9780385536714.jpg
You’ve also written in depth about the O.J Simpson case with The Run Of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson (which was adapted for television on FX). Both stories feel emblematic of their decade. Hearst’s in the context of Watergate, Vietnam, domestic terrorism, classism in the 1970s and Simpson’s in celebrity, television, race, and voyeurism in the '90s. Did you run into other parallels between the two stories?

What was particularly striking to me was just how violent and dangerous things were in the '70s. The unbelievable amount of crime, political crime, a thousand bombings a year — just think about that idea of a thousand political bombings a year — which was going on in the '70s. The nature of criminal spectacle certainly was a parallel between Patty Hearst and O.J. But the magnitude of public attention was certainly greater in the '90s because there were just so many media outlets at the time.

What would you say is the biggest misconception about Patty Hearst in the general public?

Well, that Patty Hearst was coerced to commit one bank robbery, when in fact she committed an extraordinary number of crimes over the course of nearly a year and half. Three bank robberies, including one where a woman died, shooting up a street in Los Angeles, setting off bombs in Northern California. This was not a single act she was coerced to commit — this was a crime wave she was an intimate part of.

I imagine it’s because of that iconic photograph of her at the bank.

The photo obviously is the defining image of the experience, but also I think she did a pretty good job of convincing people that this was sort of a one-off thing.

Why do you think this story resonates so well with the general public? 

Because it’s a mystery. I think people identify with the mystery. The question of whether a kidnap victim can turn into a fellow criminal with her kidnappers is a very compelling question and I think people remain fascinated by it, and often react very differently.

My purpose in telling the story is not so much to advocate for one view of her or another, but to lay out the full story in all its strangeness and that, to me, is more interesting than the psychobabble you often hear about the case, about brainwashing, about Stockholm syndrome, terms that are more journalistic than medical.

What’s life for Patty Hearst been like since this story took place?

Perhaps the most bizarre and interesting thing of all about Patty Hearst’s life after the kidnapping is that she has led the life for which she was destined. She is a homemaker, a socialite, a rich woman in the suburbs, and a mother, a grandmother, with a few quirky interests like being in John Waters movies a couple times. But basically she has led the life for which she was destined, notwithstanding this extremely bizarre interlude. 

Tags: , ,

Pittsburgh celebrates the return of the EQT Three Rivers Regatta

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 11:35 AM

It was wacky activity on water Saturday at the EQT Three Rivers Regatta, as it held its annual “Anything That Floats” race. From the simple — an air mattress lashed with pool noodle — to the more elaborate — a bicycle-powered mock-up of the Roberto Clemente Bridge, spectators lined up along the Allegheny River Downtown came prepared to root and laugh.

Brianne Cassidy and Stephanie Georg, the crew of the water-worthy mattress, were among the teams crossing the finish line in one piece. Cassidy was quick to give credit where credit was due — tape. “It pulled the whole thing together,” Cassidy said, as the two sipped celebratory beers.

Slideshow
EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh
EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh

EQT Three Rivers Regatta Pittsburgh

Photos are by Stephen Caruso

Click to View 49 slides


Tags: , , ,

Friday, August 5, 2016

Prayer vigil held in Downtown Pittsburgh for undocumented immigrant Martin Esquivel-Hernandez

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Advocates for Martin Esquivel-Hernandez outside of the federal courthouse in Downtown Pittsburgh - CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • CP Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Advocates for Martin Esquivel-Hernandez outside of the federal courthouse in Downtown Pittsburgh
In June, City Paper uncovered the story of Pittsburgh resident and undocumented immigrant Martin Esquivel-Hernandez. Despite having no criminal record and being an active member of his children's school and the immigrants-rights community, Esquivel-Hernandez is currently in the process of being deported.

Labor activists, religious leaders and community advocates has since coalesced around Esquivel-Hernandez's cause, marching in rallies during the People's Convention in July and forming a website to keep Esquivel-Hernandez in the country. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has also played a part by brokering meetings that helped Esquivel-Hernandez find a local immigration attorney, Jennifer Williams, who will consult on his criminal case and represent him during his immigration hearing.  

And on Fri., Aug. 5, a group of 15 supporters held a vigil on the doorsteps of the U.S. Federal Courthouse on Grant Street, Downtown. The courthouse houses the offices of Western Pennsylvania U.S. District Attorney David Hickton, who is prosecuting Esquivel-Hernandez for felony re-entry. 

"We are out here to reunite the Esquivel-Hernandez family," Guillermo Perez, of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, told the crowd. "Martin has committed no crime, unless you think wanting a life free of violence is a crime."

Esquivel-Hernandez, his wife and two daughters fled a gang-riddled Mexico City slum to immigrate to Pittsburgh in 2011, where Esquivel-Hernandez's mother was living. 

Pastor Linda Theophilus, of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Eastmont in Penn Hills, led the prayer vigil, calling out Hickton and praying he drops the charges against Esquivel-Hernandez. 

"We are praying for David Hickton and that he decides this is not the right thing to do," said Theophilus, during the vigil. "We pray for Martin to be reunited with his wife and family."

Vigil-goers passed out fliers telling Esquivel-Hernandez's story, and held banners of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe and a sign reading "Not One More Deportation." One banner was the same sign that Esquivel-Hernandez held up with his daughters during a May 1 rally, the day before he was picked up by federal immigration officials. 

One passerby picked up a flier and then raised his right fist in the air, calling out in Spanish, "Justicia para Martin!" (Justice for Martin!)

By holding a prayer vigil, Perez hopes to defend Esquivel-Hernandez in a religious context. Perez says the Esquivel-Hernandez family is "deeply religious," and he is hoping to appeal to Hickton and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in this manner, since both are confirmed Catholics. 

Representatives from Sen. Casey's office have met with the Esquivel-Hernandez family, and Perez says the senator is still the process of considering writing a letter of support for Esquivel-Hernandez.

The advocates supporting Esquivel-Hernandez said they plan to meet every Friday in front of the federal courthouse. "We will be here for as long as it takes," says Perez.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

What happened this week in Pittsburgh news

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Here's what's been going down in the Steel City that is Pittsburgh:

PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTT ROLLER/PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY
  • Photo courtesy of Scott Roller/Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
1. August Wilson Park officially opens this weekend in the Hill District, on Cliff Street, just a block from the street where the two-time Pulitzer-winning playwright August Wilson lived. The park is fully accessible for children with disabilities and includes a half-basketball court and performance space, and as City Paper's Bill O'Driscoll writes has "one of a better view[s]" in the city.

——————————-

CP PHOTO BY BILLY LUDT
  • CP photo by Billy Ludt
2. National Night Out — a campaign that encourages outdoor stronger relationships between communities and police — took place in Pittsburgh and around the nation this week. On Tuesday evening the North Side's Spring Garden neighbors gathered at Catalano Park for food, entertainment and discussion about community awareness. “The neighborhoods are safer when they’re together,” says Spring Garden block watch chair Denise Pierce.

——————————-

CP PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • CP photo by Ashley Murray
3. Cheswick and Springdale residents as well as employees of the Cheswick coal-fired power plant testified at the Allegheny County Health Department hearing on a proposed stricter permit for the plant. "We all want clean air, but the plant workers are very concerned that the proposed Title V permit from the county would increase operating costs," said union worker Kenn Bradley. Meanwhile, Dianne Peterson, who lives 10 miles from the plant said, "How many of us need clean air to breathe, to live? We have a responsibility." The health department is now considering each verbal and written comment before it makes a decision on the final permit. 

——————————-

Juliana Huxtable
  • Juliana Huxtable

4. VIA, a music festival that aims to create a diverse space for the intersection of art and technology, announced its lineup this week for its upcoming October dates. Among the performers are post-punk group ESG, legendary MC Rakim and prominent LGBT artist Juliana Huxtable. This year's fest will take place at the Ace Hotel in East Liberty.

——————————-

CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • CP photo by Ryan Deto
5. A prayer vigil was held on Friday for Martin Esquivel-Hernandez, a local man who is facing deportation.  A group of 15 supporters held a vigil on the doorsteps of the U.S. Federal Courthouse on Grant Street, Downtown, where the offices of Western Pennsylvania U.S. District Attorney David Hickton is located. Hickton is prosecuting Esquivel-Hernandez for felony re-entry. "We are out here to reunite the Esquivel-Hernandez family," Guillermo Perez, of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, told the crowd. "Martin has committed no crime, unless you think wanting a life free of violence is a crime." The supporters say they're hoping Hickton's Catholic faith will guide him.

——————————-

CP PHOTO BY RENEE ROSENSTEEL
  • CP photo by Renee Rosensteel
6. And, just ICYMI, OpenStreets Pittsburgh expanded its car-free celebration into the North Side and the West End for its final 2016 iteration last weekend. See our slideshow here.

——————————-

On our podcasts (Listen up!):

PHOTO COURTESY OF ARLO ALDO
  • Photo courtesy of Arlo Aldo
This week we speak with David Manchester of the band Arlo Aldo. Manchester dropped by the CP studios this week to discuss Arlo's latest record House & Home, and he treated us to a live performance of three tracks.


CP PHOTO BY CELINE ROBERTS
  • CP photo by Celine Roberts
On our food podcast Sound Bite (food for your ears), barista D Stubblefield schools us on the difference between first-, second- and third-wave coffee. "Think of Folgers and diner coffee as the first wave of coffee in the U.S."

——————————-

From the pages of our print edition:

CP PHOTO BY JOEFF DAVIS
  • CP photo by Joeff Davis
City Paper's Ashley Murray talks to politics experts who say Pennsylvania is "going to see a lot of these candidates," as the state is an important battleground in the 2016 presidential election. Last Friday, after the DNC finished up, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and her veep pick Tim Kaine, boarded a bus for three stops across Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Republican nominee Donald Trump stopped in Mechanicsburg, Pa. on Monday night. “Trump needs to run the table. It’s simply how the math works out this year,” Kristin Kanthak, of the University of Pittsburgh whose expertise is American politics, says. “He has to win Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, or he won’t get enough votes. So we’re going to get a lot of attention here.”


Editor's note: This post was updated to include information about a prayer vigil that was held on Grant Street, in Downtown Pittsburgh, Friday afternoon.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pittsburgh's Bricolage seeks holidays-themed radio plays

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 11:35 AM

If you'd like to see your work staged for radio (and no, that's not an oxymoron), Bricolage Production Company has an opportunity for you.

bricolage2.jpg
The company, known for its Midnight Radio shows, is accepting submissions of original 15-minute radio plays to be produced as part of its holiday variety hour this December, at Bricolage's Downtown theater space.

No prior radio writing experience is necessary. The scripts should be family-friendly, related to the winter holidays (from Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa to Festivus) and include dynamic sound effects. (Midnight Radio shows are staged for live audiences and not necessarily broadcast; part of the fun is watching performers come up with the appropriate sound effects live on stage.)

The scripts should be 15 to 20 pages long and be a single episode (not a cliffhanger) written for four actors. Also, Bricolage notes, "funny is a plus" and "relevance to Pittsburgh is a plus." One possible model is the company's 2015 show Yinz'r Scrooged.

The deadline is Sept. 1. Submit to submissions@webbricolage.org.

Two plays will be selected for production, and each writer will receive a stipend of $200.

The complete call for submissions follows the jump.


Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Revamped Pittsburgh park re-opens Saturday as August Wilson Park

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Teenie Harris photos displayed along the fence by the park's half basketball court - PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTT ROLLER/PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY
  • Photo courtesy of Scott Roller/Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
  • Teenie Harris photos displayed along the fence by the park's half basketball court

Among Pittsburgh's neighborhood parks, there won't be one with a better view (to name just one amenity) than the brand-new August Wilson Park. The extensively renovated former Cliffside Park, with its spectacular view of the Allegheny River and the North Side, opens with a community celebration this Saturday.

The view north from August Wilson Park (North Side visible in the background) - PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTT ROLLER/PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY
  • Photo courtesy of Scott Roller/Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
  • The view north from August Wilson Park (North Side visible in the background)
The park is named, of course, for Wilson, the two-time Pulitzer-winning playwright who grew up literally right around the corner. And in fact, that building on Bedford Street, now known as the August Wilson house is itself under renovation, and for the month is the venue for a production of Wilson's Seven Guitars.

The new park, which is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, includes a multi-age playground, a half basketball court, a performance space and more.

Special features include installations honoring the work of Wilson himself and banners with photos by famed Pittsburgh-based photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris. (Featured quotes from Wilson's plays include this one, from Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: "You don't sing to feel better. You sing 'cause that's a way of understanding life.")

Quotes from August Wilson plays adorn a wall in his namesake park. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTT ROLLER/PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY
  • Photo courtesy of Scott Roller/Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
  • Quotes from August Wilson plays adorn a wall in his namesake park.
Partners on the park's renovation included Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the city's Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments, Hill House Association and the Daisy Wilson Artist Community (which is renovating the Wilson House), all with input from the community, according to a Parks Conservancy press release.

Saturday's events run from 2-4 p.m. and include a ribbon-cutting, "a festive all-ages procession along the park's winding entry path," music, activities for kids, and treats from Hill District food vendors.

August Wilson Park is located at 1801 Cliff St., a block off Bedford.

Tags: , , , , ,

Cheswick power-plant employees and local residents testify at Allegheny County hearing

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Springdale resident Marti Blake, who lives across the street from the Cheswick Generating Station, shows photos of coal dust on her patio. - CP PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • CP photo by Ashley Murray
  • Springdale resident Marti Blake, who lives across the street from the Cheswick Generating Station, shows photos of coal dust on her patio.

On Monday night, about 100 people crammed into a small, stuffy room at the Allegheny County Health Department's air-quality offices, in Lawrenceville, to testify on a proposed permit for the Cheswick coal-fired power plant, which sits along the Allegheny River in Springdale.

Plant employees and union members pleaded with the health department to recognize that the permit would hurt the power plant economically, while residents living near or upwind of the facility urged the department to recognize pollution's cost on human health.

"We do not oppose reasonable regulations," said Kenn Bradley, a worker with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 29, in his public testimony. "We all want clean air, but the plant workers are very concerned that the proposed Title V permit from the county would increase operating costs and ... puts the Cheswick power station at an economic disadvantage with respect to taxpayer-subsidized renewables and other power plants outside of the county."

Kenn Bradley, union worker at the Cheswick Generating Station, testified at the Allegheny County Health Department hearing. - CP PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • CP photo by Ashley Murray
  • Kenn Bradley, union worker at the Cheswick Generating Station, testified at the Allegheny County Health Department hearing.

The proposed permit tightens the amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOX), particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) and sulfuric-acid mist that the plant's owner, GenOn, can emit. Comparing the plant’s former permit to the new draft, health-department deputy director Jim Thompson says the amount of allowable SO2 would decrease by 59 percent; allowable NOX by 48 percent; PM2.5 by 25 percent; and sulfuric-acid mist by 80 percent. The permit would also require the plant to run its pollution-reducing equipment most of the time.

The plant has not been running at full capacity, and its emissions levels have been below its current allowable limits. But Thompson says that if the plant ran at the same rate as it did in 2014, NOX emissions should be reduced by about 70 percent.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, SO2, sulfuric-acid mist and NOX released into the atmosphere cause acid rain and form ozone (which forms smog). Exposure to SO2 can also affect the respiratory system, causing asthmatic symptoms. Also, the EPA says, “numerous scientific studies connect particle pollution exposure to a variety of health issues” including reduced lung function, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death in those with lung or heart disease. These pollutants can travel in the wind for long distances, affecting surrounding areas, even in other states.

That's why several residents testified in support of the new permit. 

"How many of us need clean air to breathe, to live? We have a responsibility. We are showing our responsibility and saying, 'Please do your best for us,'" Dianne Peterson, who lives roughly ten miles from the plant, said to health-department staff present at the hearing. "Because when you get sick, what wouldn’t you do to get your health back? It’s your kid, your body, your spouse, your asthma, your cancer. It’s all of our responsibilities, and we’re handing it to you and saying, ‘Please take it to the most stringent level you can to protect all of us.’”

A resident who lives across the street from the plant, Marti Blake, waved around photographs of black dust that builds up on her patio. "I'm consistently cleaning coal particles."

While several comments took an emotional tone about the economy and health, local air-quality watchdog Group Against Smog and Pollution, which has previously worked on regulations for Cheswick, read a statement — and submitted written comments — regarding whether the health department is consistently following the EPA's SO2-measurement rules.

"The Rule expressly requires that 'the air agency [emphasis in original] shall conduct the modeling analysis' if it chooses to use air dispersion modeling to characterize peak 1-hour concentrations of SO2 in areas effected by emissions from a source that is subject to the Rule," GASP executive director Rachel Filippini read from her written statement. (CP obtained a copy after the hearing.) "Section V.A.1.u [of the permit] would violate the Rule by allowing the Plant’s operator to conduct the air dispersion modeling. To comply ... ACHD, the air agency with jurisdiction over the Plant, must be the one to conduct air dispersion modeling pursuant to the Rule."  

In its written statement, emailed to CP after the hearing, power company NRG — which recently acquired GenOn — contends that its already doing environmentally responsible work because it installed pollution-reducing equipment.

"GenOn, now a subsidiary of NRG, has spent more than $400 million on emissions control equipment at the Cheswick plant since 2003, and has dramatically improved the plant’s environmental footprint," said a written statement emailed by David Gaier, NRG spokesperson. "The plant is, and has been in compliance with all applicable environmental laws and regulations including all statewide standards established by PA DEP. We look forward to continue working with the ACHD to arrive at a permit that is fair, environmentally responsible, and keeps the station on an equal footing with other generators across the state."

According to the health department's press officer, Melissa Wade, the public record of the hearing will be available on the department's website within a few days.


Tags: , ,

Escape artist Michael Griffin takes on new challenge in Pittsburgh

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 8:45 AM

Michael Griffin
  • Michael Griffin
Michael Griffin defines death-defying. As a two-time World Magic Award-winner and escape artist, the Pittsburgh local has survived a hanging while on the back of a horse and, in a separate stunt, while being submerged in the ocean trapped in Harry Houdini’s original underwater box. Griffin has been featured on Masters of Illusion, America's Got Talent and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

On Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m., Griffin will perform his latest interactive show, 50 Shades of Great, at the Oaks Theater in Oakmont. The program is filled with mind experiments, dangerous stunts and audience participation.

As a special challenge, if 200 tickets or more are sold by Aug. 10, Griffin will be handcuffed and attached with 30 pounds of chains to a cement block and dropped into the Allegheny River at noon on Aug. 11. The location has yet to be specified.

Tickets for 50 Shades of Great range from $17 to $25 for VIP front table seating.

The Oaks Theater is at 310 Allegheny River Blvd., in Oakmont.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Listings

Submit an event

Recent Comments

Spotlight Events

  • Hannibal Buress @ Byham Theater

    • Thu., Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.
  • Schenley Park Ice Rink @ Schenley Park

    • 2 going/interested

NEWSLETTER

Sign up for Daily Rundown and get the freshest content sent right to your inbox.

Subscribe

© 2016 Pittsburgh City Paper

Website powered by Foundation

National Advertising by VMG Advertising