info@alleghenywest.org
806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Special Guests for February Membership Meeting

One of the ideas that folks for making the AWCC Membership meeting more interesting is to have more outside speakers. Since your wish is my command (except for Parking, because I’m not actually a magic genie), we have two special guests on Tuesday.

Sarah Quinn, from the City of Pittsburgh’s, Office of Historic Preservation will be visiting to answer all your questions about the Historic Review process. With the spring construction season fast approaching, here’s your chance to get the inside scoop on everything

Erin Tobin from the Allegheny Commons Initiative will also be visiting.  Great timing for us, so we can follow up on the discussion we started at the last meeting about the fate of the West Ohio Street Bridge.

If you have ideas for future speakers, please send them my way, at president@alleghenywest.org or (412) 418-2027.

 

Letter from the President – January 2015

I have to admit, I’ve been really nervous about my first President’s message (which is why this is so late, sorry Fran!). I have some big shoes to fill. Bob Griewahn has done an inspiring job as President the last couple of years, so I hope folks understand while I get up to speed. The rest of the Board, as you might expect since they’re Allegheny West neighbors, has also been wonderfully supportive and generous with their time – patiently bringing me up to speed on where we are on all our ongoing projects.

As one those people who make’s New Year’s resolutions (and even keeps some of them!), I’ve been talking to lots of folks in the neighborhood about what our resolutions for the neighborhood should be. But I’ve only just started figuring out what would get folks get really excited. Based on the conversations so far, here are some of the the things we’re working on for this year.

  • Encourage more folks to come to the meetings and take a leadership role for neighborhood activities. One idea was to have more external speakers come to the meeting, and so have folks lined up for the meeting in January (PennEnvironment) and February (Sarah Quinn from the City Historic Preservation Office). Please share any ideas for speakers or even just what might make you want to come to the meeting.
  • Put the finishing touches on Western Avenue and identify what our next big project is. The Buhl Foundation has made a huge financial commitment to the North Side, on the order of $40 million dollars over the next 4-6 years. I want to be sure we participate.   What are the things in the neighborhood that you think that Civic Council could have the most impact on that would personally make your life better?
  • Modernize our bylaws, so that folks with good ideas see the Civic Council as a place to get support to put great ideas into action. Good bylaws should make it clear how how we can work together to make things happen and not stand in the way. Gloria, Bob, and Jim have been working through them, and we hope to have a draft available to comment on by the March membership meeting. If you have specific concerns that you want to be sure are addressed don’t hesitate to ask me. (That was my best attempt at making bylaws exciting.)

We’re still looking for feedback about how we should be spending our time and resources to improve the quality life in the neighborhood.  Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list, there are ton of other things on the Council’s plate as well. If there’s something not mentioned here that you think should be a top priority please let me know.

I have a confession – I’m a bit of an introvert. At the same time I know it’s really important for me to get to know folks in the neighborhood.   I’m going to work on coming out from behind my computer screen and starting conversations with folks, but it would help me if the extroverts among us could help me get to know folks as well.

Here’s how to get a hold of me if you have any ideas that you would like the Civic Council to support  or are not sure who to contact on the Board with a specific question. It’s easiest to get a hold of me by email (seriously, introvert): president@alleghenywest.org. If you prefer the phone, you’re more likely to catch me in the evenings between 7:00 pm and 10:30 pm or on weekends: 412-418-2027. I’m in meetings a lot during work so I often can’t answer the phone during the day. I’m both excited and nervous about this year – let’s have some fun!

Catherine Serventi
President, AWCC

2015 Membership Plans

Submitted by Mary Callison

The holidays are over and 2015 is here. As a result of the 2014 elections I became membership chair.  Tim Zinn did such a wonderful job as membership chair the last two years it will be a difficult act follow. I discovered after reading the Council by-laws the plan was for each chairperson to form a committee to accomplish the work for that area.  Membership is responsible for planning Block Parties, neighborhood social events and activities. Over the last few years we have bowled, played bocce and gathered at neighborhood sites for a Mixer. I have a couple of additional ideas and hopefully some of you have ideas of things we can do to have even more fun. If you would like to help with this process and be part of the membership committee; call me 412-321-5951 or email me callismar@gmail.com. I plan to schedule a membership committee meeting  by the first of February. Do not be scared, we will not meet on regular basis, once we have plans for the year most things will be done by phone or email.

Introducing the 2015 AWCC Board

Please join using welcoming our 2015 Board members. We are forming committees for 2015 now.

New

President: Catherine Serventi – president@alleghenywest.org, (412) 418-2027

Treasurer: Bob Griewahn – treasurer@alleghenywest.org
Please leave reimbursement requests in the office at 806 Western Avenue

Corresponding Secretary: Tim Zinn – secretary@alleghenywest.org

Membership: Mary Callison – membership@alleghenywest.org
Please contact Mary if you have a great idea for an event for the neighborhood or would like to help plan social events.

Property: Howard Brokenbek – property@alleghenywest.org
Contact Howard if you notice any issues with AWCC properties such as the Stables on North Ave. 928-930 Western Avenue or the office at 806 Western Avenue

Friends of Allegheny West: Michael Shealey – friends@alleghenywest.org
Michael manages the neighborhood clean-ups, works with the City on 311 calls and is a good contact if you’re interested in volunteering for the neighborhood green spaces

Continuing

Vice President: John Desantis – vice-president@alleghenywest.org
John is also representing us at the Northside Leadership Conference

Housing & Planning: James Wallace – housing-planning@alleghenywest.org
Contact Jim for issues such  parking, historic preservation & development

Secretary: Fran Barbush – gazette@alleghenywest.org
If you have articles for the Gazette, please send them to Fran

Sergeant-at-Arms: Gloria Rayman – arms@alleghenywest.org
Gloria brings all the awesome snacks for the meetings

Open

Ways and Means
If you have fundraising or event planning skills please contact Cathy Serventi if you’re interested in hearing more about this  important position

Guest Speaker at the January 13 Membership Meeting: PennEnvironment

Stephen Riccardi is the Western PA Field Associate for the PennEnvironment and has asked to speak at the the AWCC membership meeting on Tuesday, January 13. From PennEnvironment:

PennEnvironment (www.pennenvironment.org) is a statewide, citizen-based environmental organization that is working on a campaign to clean up our air quality here in Allegheny County and is engaging the area’s community organizations  to help us win this fight for cleaner, healthier air.  Air pollution is a longtime problem for Western PA.  The American Lung Association has given our air an F rating and ranked us as the 6th worst metro area in the country. This is putting our health at serious risk. For the 24,000 children and 100,000 adults in Allegheny County suffering from asthma, air pollution makes it risky to even go outside some days. Even for those without respiratory problems, Allegheny County is in the top 2% of US counties for cancer risk from pollution.  It may come as little surprise that much of the pollution in this area is emitted by dirty industrial facilities. One plant, the Shenango Coke Works, recently violated clean air standards 330 out of 432 days. But the agency responsible for regulating the facilities, the Allegheny County Health Department, is not doing enough to protect our health from these big polluters.

Come hear about the work PennEnvironment has been doing to engage with the Allegheny County Health Department to lookout for our most vulnerable citizens and our health.  

AWCC Annual Meeting & Election – November 11

Submitted by John DeSantis

At the November 11 Annual Meeting, the election of Officers for the 2015 calendar year will be conducted.

The 2014 AWCC Nominating Committee has proposed the following slate of candidates. In addition, nominations may be made from the floor at both the October and November General Membership Meetings. All nominees must be an AWCC Member in good standing, and must have agreed to serve in the nominated office if elected.


President: Cathy Serventi
Membership: Mary Callison
Vice President: John DeSantis
Housing & Planning: Jim Wallace
Treasurer: Bob Griewahn
Property: Howard Brokenbek

Secretary: Tim Zinn
Ways & Means: vacant
Sergeant at Arms: Gloria Rayman
Communications: Fran Barbush
Friends of Allegheny West: Michael Shealey

AWCC Annual Meeting and Election: November 11

Submitted by John DeSantis

The 2014 Annual Meeting of the Allegheny West Civic Council will be held on Tuesday November 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the social hall of Calvary Church, entrance on Beech Avenue. In order to be eligible to vote or to hold office, individuals must be current Members of the AWCC, with dues paid as of the October 14 AWCC Membership meeting.

At the November 11 Annual Meeting, the election of Officers for the 2015 calendar year will be conducted.

The 2014 AWCC Nominating Committee has proposed the following slate of candidates. In addition, nominations may be made from the floor at both the October and November General Membership Meetings. All nominees must be an AWCC Member in good standing, and must have
agreed to serve in the nominated office if elected.

President: Cathy Serventi
Vice President: John DeSantis
Treasurer: Bob Griewahn
Secretary: Tim Zinn
Sergeant at Arms: Gloria Rayman
Membership: Mary Callison
Housing & Planning: Jim Wallace
Property: Howard Brokenbek
Ways & Means: vacant
Friends of Allegheny West: Michael Shealey
Communications: Fran Barbush