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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 3:19 PM

PWSA interim executive director Jim Good
  • PWSA interim executive director Jim Good

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority today submitted its Wet Weather Feasibility Study to the Department of Environmental Protection and Allegheny County Healthy Department.

The plan, according to agency leaders, will ultimately reduce combined sewer overflows — which occur when storm water and sewage overload the sewer systems and flow into waterways untreated. It also spells out efforts to bring the PWSA system into compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act and Pennsylvania Clean Streams Act. Alcosan has proposed its own plan to come into compliance with its own federal consent decree to reduce CSO.

And as part of the study, PWSA and city officials today touted many green infrastructure projects included in the proposal.

"This plan is our guidebook," said city councilor Bill Peduto, at a press conference held this morning in Larimer. "We have a blueprint to be able to take us through the combined sewer overflow project which is going to be the largest public works project of our time in this city, of our time on this earth, and gives us the pathway to make us a model of sustainability."

According to the PWSA, if the study is implemented as-is, combined sewer overflow volume and frequency could be reduced by 95%. The plan proposes a number of projects — touted as a "gray" and "green" investments. The gray investments — or infrastructure projects like storage tanks, pipes and screens for the CSO output, will average $3.8 million per year over the first 12 years and cost a total of $165 million over 20 years.

Proposed green projects include stream restoration of Saw Mill Run, mitigating run off on Route 19 and alleviating flooding on Route 51 and Edgebrook. And the agency says it will invest $2.5 million a year for the next four years for green infrastructure.

Jim Good, interim executive director, said that rates for PWSA customers would increase by about $100 a year in about 15 years to help fund the project in combination with private sector funding and foundation money. The study, which has been in the works since 2002, cost the agency $18 million, Good said.

"The thing about green is a lot of cities have done a little bit," Good said. "We're talking about doing a whole watershed."

Environmental groups praised the plan. In a statement, Jennifer Rafanan Kennedy, director of the Clean Rivers Campaign, said that “The public has made it clear that it wants to see a plan to deal with the region’s CSO problem that includes the community benefits that come from a green approach. With this plan PWSA has made it clear they are listening to the public and that they are leading the way toward a broad approach to our wet weather issues that makes wise use of our ratepayer dollars and provides considerable ancillary benefits.”

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 1:47 PM

A street market for neighborhood-based and citywide vendors, including food trucks from Franktuary and other favorites, are a new feature of the Unblurred gallery crawl. More in Program Notes.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 1:41 PM

If you’re up Penn Avenue way Friday night, for the Unblurred gallery crawl or otherwise, look out for the first edition of the Garfield Night Market.

The street market on North Pacific Avenue, fairly food-oriented, will include familiar vendors like the Franktuary truck and Fukuda’s Lomito truck, as well as The Creped Crusader and Garfield-based vendors Healcrest Farm and Abby’s Sweets and Treats.

Also expect reps from the Carnegie Libraries, the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and upcycled-accessories maker Bulla Designs.

The Night Market, a project of cityLAB and the Bloomfield-Garfield Corp., is meant to foster vendors from the neighborhood — business-incubator style — and to build a connection between Unblurred and the neighborhood.

The Garfield Night Market runs 6-10 p.m., about the same as Unblurred. Future Night Markets will also coincide with upcoming Unblurreds, on Sept. 6 and Oct. 4.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Future Tenant spotlights underground artists working in comics and and more in Obscuro Bezango! Details in Program Notes.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 3:00 PM

If you’re into underground comics and outsider art in general, a stop at Future Tenant might be in order this Friday.


The Downtown gallery is opening Obscuro Bezango!, showcasing work by three artists whose work reflects “the underground culture of self published artists and cartoonists that arose in the advent of widely available, inexpensive photocopying, today known as Obscuro art.”

FT says the show “will feature traditional sculpture, outsider sculpture, and Obscuro art and comics all unified by their singularity of vision.”

The media include comics, sculptures and woven masks. The artists include Thomas Rehm (who also curated), Elmore “Buzz” Buzzizyk and Maximum Traffic (locally based founder of comics and art zine The White Buffalo Gazette). Friday’s special guest is Obscuro cartoonist Steve Londy Willis, creator of underground comix fave Morty Dog. And there’ll be live music from local duo Pairdown.

The show’s Facebook page has a little more detail

Friday’s opening runs 7-10 p.m. It’s free and includes drinkies compliments of Straub, Jack’s Hard Cider and Johnnie Ryan Soda.

If you miss the opening, gallery hours are 1-6 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 1-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. There’s also an Aug. 24 Zine Exchange at the space, co-sponsored by the Roboto Project..

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Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Pittsburgh City Paper was on-site at the Pittsburgh Summer Beerfest on July 26 & 27 at Stage AE. You could sample over 250+ Craft Beers in one awesome indoor/outdoor venue along with great local entertainment and Food Trucks.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Posted By on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Thao Nguyen and her band, the Get Down Stay Down, reminded Pittsburgh of the power that a passionate female frontman can have over an audience this past Saturday night.


Thao Nguyen

First up was local act, Gypsy And His Band of Ghosts, who served up some buoyant folk-rock to get the night started. They harmonize in a way that brings Fleet Foxes to mind but in combination with a high BPM and bouncy drum line, they have a sound all their own.


Gypsy And His Band of Ghosts

Up next was Portland sweetheart Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. She stood in the dark and let her mellifluous voice, a fusion of Janis Joplin, Feist, and Jessica Rabbit, take center stage as she sang her first song in a capella. Light, tingy loops of electric guitar provided additional dimension to her vocals, and amped up the audience for guitar goddess Thao Nguyen.


Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

About twenty minutes after Lady Lamb finished up, the Get Down Stay Down took the stage. In a pink chiffon dress and cowboy boots, Thao bounced closely behind her band, swung her acoustic guitar over her head and under her arm and gave the audience a quiet greeting. But once in song, that adorable shyness shifted into full blown sexiness as she and her band threw themselves into the music. She was backed by her drummer, bass player, and keyboard/vocalist while she rotated between electric and acoustic guitar, banjo, and mandolin. There was a point, mid song, when she put down her guitar and joined her drummer on percussion. I’d wondered if that would be the peak of the performance, but then as soon as the thought crossed my mind, Thao broke out in Ludacris’ What’s Your Fantasy, and absolutely every person in the crowd lost it.


Thao Nguyen

It felt like there were no limitations to Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, they were there for just that; to get down and to stay down. This was their first visit to Pittsburgh, but hopefully not their last.

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Posted By on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Heyo! It's Monday and that means a new MP3! This week we bring you "Corner Store" by Shaky Shrines.


Pittsburgh music veterans make up this group. The combination of current and former members of the Harlan Twins, October, Worn Out Tigers, Coal Miner, and Science is Dead comprise the grungily good garage drone band we know as Shaky Shrines.

"Corner Store" comes of off their freshly released self-titled debut EP. In October they will release an LP entitled Mausoleum.


To download, right-click here and select "save link as."

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Posted By on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has announced that the Monongahela Incline will be closed for a few hours on Wednesday for state inspections.

The incline will be closed from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

During the closure, bus shuttles will operate between the incline’s upper and lower stations.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Every once in a while I run into something on The Internet that could probably use a larger audience than it's had thus far. That is true of this Yelp review of Belvedere's, the Lawrenceville "Ultradive" known for its roller-skating parties and '80s night. It's 600 words long and begins, "David went to Louis's house, as was his habit when he was bored. He burned for attention, desperately." Hats off to you this Friday afternoon, Yelp reviewer Sid S.!

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