Josephine Street Cleanup - Apr 19, 2014 9:00 am

The April 19th cleanup will begin at Josephine and South 27th, and will travel up Josephine as far as possible.

Earth Day in South Side Park - Apr 26, 2014 9:00 am

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Celebrate Earth Day by volunteering with us in the park! We will be sprucing up the park by picking up litter and removing invasive plants.  The event will run from 9am to 1pm and we will be meeting at the Quarry Field parking lot.  This event will be held rain or shine and is recommended for ages 5 and up. Sign up here with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Free Home Repairs

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Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, a local nonprofit organization, delivers no-cost home repairs to qualifying low-income homeowners in Allegheny County. We are currently seeking applicants in the South Side Slopes, so please apply today!
To request an application or learn more, call: Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh at 412-922-0953

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SCA Seeking Community Conservation Crew Leaders

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Conservation Begins Here.

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) SCA is America’s #1 conservation service organization seeks qualified applicants to lead, educate, and inspire high school students for the 2014 Pittsburgh summer program

 

Lead, mentor and coach a crew of 5-6 students, ages 15-19, while completing various conservation service projects designed to build an ethic of community and environmental stewardship. Projects include a range of activities such as trail and park maintenance, habitat restoration, revitalization of abandoned urban properties or to urban agriculture and run for 6 weeks at a time. In addition, leaders will facilitate pre- and post- program planning which includes crew training, environmental education and reporting. The 2014 Pittsburgh Program locations include:

  • Frick
  • Highland
  • Schenley
  • Riverview
  • South Side
  • Pittsburgh Parks
  • Hazelwood
  • East Liberty
  • Green spaces in Pittsburgh

Program Dates:June 30th – August 10th, 2014

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be able to legally work in the US
  • Current First Aid certification & CPR required by the start of training
  • Experience working with youth or young adults (ages 14-19)
  • Ability to perform manual, physical labor for up to 8 hours per day, exposed to the elements. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move 40 pounds or more.
  • Must be able to attend mandatory Crew Leader training: June 5 – 14th, 2014
  • Ability to meet SCA’s criminal background check standards

Compensation: $4025 total salary depending on funding, experience & crew length.

To Apply: Please visit www.thesca.org/employment for a detailed description including information on how to apply. Leader applications are accepted only online. For questions, concerns or more information contact scaPittsburgh@thesca.org and/or nschaefer@thesca.org.

 

SCA is an EOE dedicated to workforce diversity.

For more information about SCA, visit us at www.theSCA.org

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Notes from February 2014′s General Meeting

If you weren’t able to make our last general meeting, please see the minutes here. It was a very full agenda and we had many residents and political leaders in attendance. For follow-up questions, email jamin.bogi@southsideslopes.org.

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2014 Meeting Dates

Mark your calendars! These are the planned 2014 Meeting and party dates for the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association:

  • Tuesday February 18 – General Meeting
  • Tuesday April 8 – General Meeting
  • Tuesday July 8 – Summer Picnic
  • Tuesday October 7  - General Meeting & Elections
  • Tuesday December 9 – Christmas Party

All general meetings are held at the St Paul of the Cross Monastery Retreat Center at 7PM. In order to be a voting member, you need to attend at least 2 meetings during the year.

We will have more details for each event as we get closer. We hope to see you at an event this year.

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Congratulations to our new Pittsburgh elected officials!

Last night, South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association President Brian Oswald and former President Brad Palmisiano celebrated the inauguration of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and the election of new City Council President Bruce Kraus. Congratulations to our new officials, and we look forward to working with you going forward.

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Cheer for the Dirty Dozen Riders

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If you haven’t heard of it, the Dirty Dozen is an annual bike race in Pittsburgh that climbs the city’s 12 steepest hills. The event is now in its 30th year and attracts hundreds of bikers. Needless to say, the race passes through the South Side Slopes.

The race occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and features Welsh Way and Eleanor Street. If you’re home, show some support and cheer them on as they struggle up our streets!

More Information: http://wesa.fm/post/going-dirty-dozen-bike-race-rides-again-weekend

Photo: Welsh Way, Dirty Dozen 2012 

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Special Thanks to our South Side Slopes Veterans

Did you know there are multiple war memorials on the South Side Slopes?

Along 103-105 Pius Street, you can see the “All Wars Memorial”. This memorial was restored with an Elm Street grant in 2007 with new landscaping, sidewalk, fencing, and a flagstone.

Additionally, there are 2 honor rolls in the South Side Slopes. One is on Mission Street across from St Josephat’s church. Another is at the intersection of 18th St and Quarry St. For a full list of Pittsburgh memorials, click here. 

Pius St All Wars Memorial                               Mission Street Honor Roll

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Monastery Street Steps Demolition Update

There are at least 2 sides to every story.

From our perspective: 10 of the residents of Monastery street received letters on June 27, 2013 that the city had funding to replace the Monastery Street Sidewalk & Steps this year. They were directed to a contact number at the Department of Public Works if they wanted more information.

Throughout the summer, the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) met with city officials (including the city’s public works director Rob Kaczorowski) to discuss our plans for the 13th annual StepTrek and make requests for step repairs. Many minor repairs were made. The Monastery Street project was never mentioned.

On October 5,  StepTrek brought ~800 people onto the Monastery Street Steps – unknown to us that they were considered dangerous and structurally deficient by the city. We just thought they were another set of steps.

A board member who lives on Monastery Street (but did not receive notice) woke up Monday morning to the sound of steps being demolished, and since then the SSSNA has been on full alert to this project.

The original plans call for reducing the number of stairs from 118 to 30. To remove these stairs, requires a very steep grade of 17.5% along the sidewalk. A benefit with this plan is that all of the houses on Monastery Street would have direct access to the roadway. It is also cheaper.

As an association, we want to reach a compromise that will bring the grade into standard architectural guidelines (maximum of 10%) while improving the safety and livability of our neighbors. Furthermore, we demand an opportunity to learn about capital projects in our neighborhood before the backhoe shows up. The city publishes paving schedules for the season ahead of time. The city requires all zoning hearings to be published in the newspaper and open to public discussion. Why isn’t a $177K re-design of our steps and sidewalks given the same requirements for public disclosure? With time, we could potentially have raised private funds to offset the city’s cost and create a win-win situation for everybody as opposed to a last-minute frantic compromise.

Additionally, we want to work with the city to come up with a reasonable set of guidelines that the city will follow for determining which steps need to be replaced. Currently, Mr Kaczorowski says that the city guideline for a maximum sidewalk grade is 20%. For reference, here is a 20% grade hill:

Both KDKA and the Post-Gazette have given some coverage to the sensitive issue of tearing down city steps without adequate public input.

Post-Gazette: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/11/06/Tearing-down-city-steps-draws-ire-in-Slopes/stories/201311060085

KDKA:
http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/11/05/south-side-slopes-residents-upset-over-new-plans-for-steps/

Board members are meeting with the Department of Public Works this morning to try to reach a compromise. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for timely updates as we make any progress in this important safety issue.

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URGENT: Save the Monastery St Steps!

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UPDATE (11/5/2013 – 10AM): According to Chuck Half at the Mayor’s office: “The City’s Director of Public Works is Shutting Down the job for now. Did any of you receive notification letters…..From: Kaczorowski, Rob <rob.kaczorowski@pittsburghpa.gov>”?

UPDATE (11/4/2013): The assistant director of DPW is supposed to be calling in AM. We will post an update then.

Today our organization and our neighborhood received a slap in the face from the City of Pittsburgh. We have long worked at being stewards to the stairways that make our neighborhood unique. StepTrek is a prime example of the effort our neighbors put forth to ensure our infrastructure remains in the fabric of our historic hillside. Without public process, today the city’s contractors began demolishing the Monastery St Steps (63 years old) to replace with an “at grade” sidewalk. Have you ever walked this street? If you did StepTrek Gold Route this year, you have and these steps allow you to do so without dealing with the insane grade of the street itself. After contacting our councilman and the mayors office, nobody knew of this project. We are working to halt this demolition! Please share this post and/or contact anyone who may have a say to help us save the Monastery St Steps!

 

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Read All About It!

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The Fall 2013 South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association newsletter has articles on City Parks Plans, Paper Streets, StepTrek, Trash Eradication, and more! Click here to read the newsletter!

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