Troy Hill Happenings – September and October 2017

There’s a lot to catch up on as well as a lot to look forward to this Fall.  So without further ado, here’s a quick run down:

  • September 8th
    • We released our third newsletter of the year.  If you didn’t catch it at one of the community bulletin boards, local businesses or organizations, its available for download here.  Printing double sided is recommended.  The online version is also available here.
    • As a reminder, all dues paying members are automatically subscribed to the newsletter via e-mail.  If you would like to receive a newsletter, either by mail or email, please send an email to troyhillpittsburgh AT gmail.com, by using the Contact page and “General” Send To: option.  Please specify the delivery method in your email and use a subject that includes “newsletter.”
  • September 13th
    • Third quarterly general Troy Hill Citizens meeting at Most Holy Name School Hall.  Meeting minutes can be found here.
  • October Events
    • Troy Hill is a happening place the entire month of October, with events ranging from community service, dances, fundraisers and food specials.  For full details, please visit our Events Calendar.
    • We’ve just released a special edition of the Troy Hill Chronicle newsletter on October 9th, given the high volume of events happening this month.  Be on the lookout for it at local businesses, organizations, bulletin boards and your own e-mail inbox!  Its available here for download and print.   The online version is also available here.
  • Odds are we missed something/many things/hopefully not all the things…but if we did, click HERE to tell us about it.  Be sure to use the “General” Send To: drop-down when you do, along with a descriptive Subject.  Thanks!

As a general reminder, we are a small, volunteer board, and we could always use help from some self-starting, motivated, energized, enthusiastic neighbors who are looking to take leadership or supporting roles in various projects.  If that sounds like you, then drop us a line and we’ll get you started helping out! If you already have a project in mind that you’d like to manage, all the better. We’re here to help in any way we can, even if that’s just giving advice or assisting with funding and networking.

2017 General Meeting #3, September 13th – Meeting Minutes

  • Brian Schimmel (Chair) and Sam Morris (Vice Chair) opened the meeting.
  • A PDF of handouts given during the meeting is available here.  This includes:
    • Job and career fair event flyer (October 12th), and free document shredding event flyer (October 7th).  Both events are sponsored by State Representative Adam Ravenstahl.
    • Pittsburgh staircase survey website links from the City of Pittsburgh, used to justify funding for step repair and maintenance.
    • Save the date flyer for Troy Hill Halloween in the Park, sponsored by Troy Hill Citizens.
    • Director’s Action Line flyer provided by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS).  This flyer was provided in the context of assisting those currently affected by the opioid epidemic, by Judge David Spurgeon.
  • Penny Barrett (Board member, Events committee) presented the following:
    • Save the date for Halloween in the Park: A Safe Alternative to Trick or Treat.
      • Event details are being finalized the week of October  1st and will be posted on the website shortly.
      • This event is tentatively scheduled to occur in Troy Hill Citizens Park on October 28th from 5-7pm, with a showing of Hocus Pocus following (also in the park, so bring your chairs and blankets!).
    • There will be another “Movie in the (Troy Hill Citizens) Park” on November 18th.  The movie will be announced as the date gets closer.
    • Funds raised from the Christmas in July celebration will be put towards the community Christmas tree.
    • Volunteers are always needed for Troy Hill Citizens events.  Please email or call if interested.
  • Chief of staff for Adam Ravenstahl was in attendance and announced the two events listed above.  The free document shredding event has a 5 box limit.
  • Judge David Spurgeon presented updates on the local opioid epidemic and took questions from community members.   David was appointed by the governor after having nearly 20 years experience as a district attorney, and currently focuses on juveniles, children, and those being removed from bad circumstances.
    • In particular, David highlighted “Act 53” for those who have children affected by addiction.  This act forces rehab if its determined a child has an addiction, with a re-occurring 45 day review period.  The purpose is to correct addiction before it leads to crime and the child accumulating a permanent criminal record.
    • There is also the 412 Youth Zone program available for youth counseling.
  • A representative from the city presented a project to survey residents on Pittsburgh’s many staircases.  The city has over 800 staircases, many in need of maintenance.  With a finite budget, this survey is meant to justify future budgets as well as to prioritize immediate need.   The following links can be used to make your voice heard:
  • Pat Hasset from the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works (DPW) was in attendance to discuss the recent repair of the war monument located at the intersection of Ley and Lowrie St., in front of Scratch F&B.
    • A city representative was requested by Troy Hill Citizens, due to the fact that we were kept out of the loop during the final planning stages of the monument re-design, we were not asked for final approval, and because we received several complaints from the neighborhood in terms of the lack of community involvement and how the new design affects local traffic.
    • Pat Hasset mentioned that he was involved during the 2009 Troy Hill master neighborhood plan, and is familiar with the history of the intersection and how it used to be. Based on his recollection, he believed that the current re-design approximately matches that plan and its intentions.  There was some disagreement from those in attendance.  He stated that the new island was designed with pedestrian safety in mind, which required to a certain degree for the it to be larger in order to reduce the width and therefore risk associated with the crosswalks.
    • He described how the monument got to its current status from the original Troy Hill master plan document, before soliciting feedback from those in attendance.
      • His explanation was that the City of Pittsburgh is understaffed, the project had 3 managers, there was excessive turnover, and as  a result there was miscommunication between project managers and city officials, and a lack of communication to the community.  There was an admission that while a final sign off meeting  between the city and the stakeholder (Troy Hill Citizens) is standard procedure for a project of this type, it simply did not happen due to the above issues.
      • Those in attendance were instructed to forward further, written feedback to Troy Hill Citizens, via e-mail, such that all feedback could be consolidated before providing it to Pat Hasset and the city.
    • Common complaints from the neighborhood were:
      • That the new island is too large, causing difficulty for large vehicles (buses, trucks) and reducing available parking for businesses and those customers that would typically “drop in” for a quick purchase.
      • There is still a need for a stop sign for traffic calming on Ley St., coming from the direction of Rialto St.  The new design did not slow traffic in this direction.
      • The turn one now makes to get from Lowrie onto Ley St. is dangerous and has some blind spots.
      • The intersection still requires additional traffic calming, particularly because of its use as a school bus stop.
      • Making the Lowrie St. section one way towards Lookout Park disrupts its historic usage as the main thoroughfare of Troy Hill, and has been seen to cause confusion.  It was understood that the purpose is to traffic calm those traveling on Lowrie towards the east end of the community, but the point was made that the traffic calming is required on Ley St., not Lowrie St.  This is because Lowrie St. is predominantly used for local traffic, while Ley St. is used by many people who commute thru Troy Hill.
    • There seemed to be unanimous agreement that a stop sign at the Ley St. entrance to the intersection, coming from the direction of Rialto St., was needed. Pat Hasset believed that this can be implemented regardless of budget, as it is an immediate safety concern.
    • Pat Campbell inquired about the sidewalk stamping that was promised during initial designs for traffic calming purposes. The response was that the stamping was pulled because of budget.  If new budget is available, Pat Hasset proposed using a stamping that represented the history road material.  When an inquiry was made into the availability of future funding to make changes or additions the community requests, the response was that there is no more budget available, and future funding is not allocated or guarenteed.
    • Remaining work includes the following.  These items were put on hold until community feedback was solicited.
      • An American flag will be installed.
      • Landscaping will be done in the green space of the new island.
      • Mounting for a Christmas tree will be added.
    • As of October 3rd, 2017, Troy Hill Citizens has collected all community feedback and will be forwarding it to the city.  We expect a prompt reply, and are prepared to elevate the issue to higher city officials and representatives if need be.
  • As a reminder, the THC Board recommends using 311 as the most effective means to resolve common neighborhood issues, from sidewalk and road maintenance requests, to trash and illegal dumping, and so on.
  • As a reminder, the next General Meeting will be held on December 13th.
    • Please plan on attending to meet your neighbors, discuss neighborhood issues, and learn about the various Troy Hill and Pittsburgh programs and services available to assist both you and the community you live in.  If you want to get involved before then, please call or email using the Contact page.
    • During this meeting voting will also occur for five (5) open general board positions.  To be on the ballot, you should be a Troy Hill Citizens dues paying member in good standing by October 15th (extended this year to October 31st), and declare you intention to run by November 15th by submitting a short written bio using the Contact menu.  This bio will be circulated as part of the ballot during the voting process.
  • Brian Schimmel adjourned the meeting.

Newsletter: June-July 2017

Hopefully by now you have had a chance to catch the first  re-release of the Troy Hill Chronicle newsletter in April, either thru email subscription or in print at one of our local businesses.  If you haven’t, the newsletter can be viewed at this link.

We’re pleased to share our next newsletter for June-July, 2017, available for download and print (double sided suggested) HERE.

As a reminder, if you’d like to subscribe, either by email or print, please send an email to the main THC email or give us a call.  The same applies if you’re an individual, organization or local business with a story or announcement you’d like featured in the newsletter.   We hope to have an email signup form available shortly to streamline this process in the future, so please bear with us! Thanks!

2017 General Meeting #2, June 7th – Meeting Minutes

  • Brian Schimmel (Chair) and Sam Morris (Vice Chair) opened the meeting.
  • Jennie Kohnfelder from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) provided an overview of currently available programs for potential home buyers in Pittsburgh including a lead abatement program.
  • Alyssa Lyon from the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) presented on the Community Acquisition & Rehabilitation Loan (CARL) program, which simplifies the financing process for the purchase and rehabilitation of a property by reducing the cost, time and complexity of obtaining multiple loans.
  • Molly Onufer from the city’s Office of Community Affairs announced that the capital budget deliberative forums will be held on June 8th and June 14th.
  • Vince Pallus, new chief of staff for Rep. Adam Ravenstahl introduced himself and offered help to citizens dealing with state issues.
  • Sam announced that the proceeds from the House Tour will be used for the window flower box program.  It is planned that the window flower boxes will be part of the Christmas in July Troy Hill Citizens event. Boxes will be provided on a first come, first served basis, with reservations for house tour attendees.
  • Brian announced that the Christmas in July event is still looking for vendors (food and crafts) for July 22nd.  A page will be created shortly on the website under the Events directory with full details.
  • Brian announced the Love Your Block Grant flower planting date is June 24th.  Volunteers should meet at 9am at the new Welcome Sign located at the bottom of Troy Hill Road, across from the Penn Brewery.
  • Brian solicited for information / content / announcements for the upcoming newsletter.  The newsletter for June/July will be circulated soon.
  • Brian announced that an e-mail and website announcement will be coming out regarding the date for the new Rialto St. mural unveiling / happy hour / community gathering event.
  • Sam mentioned Patrick Duffey’s four community trashcans, asking for suggested locations and potential volunteers where the city does not provide and service a trashcan.
    • As a reminder, Troy Hill has many neighbor-donated trashcans which are serviced by community volunteers. These trashcans help reduce sidewalk and street trash. Please do not overfill or dump at these locations!
  • Cathy Baysek announced the Most Holy Name Summer Festival, June 9th-11th.
  • Don Donaghey asked about the crumbling sidewalk across from the Provident charter school.  In response, the THC Board instructed that 311 would be the most effective means to resolve the issues.
  • As a reminder, it was mentioned that the next General Meeting will be held on September 13th.
    • Please plan on attending to meet your neighbors, discuss neighborhood issues, and learn about the various Troy Hill and Pittsburgh programs and services available to assist both you and the community you live in.  If you want to get involved before then, please call or email using the Contact page.
  • Brian Schimmel adjourned the meeting.

Troy Hill Happenings – June 2017

There’s been a lot of activity recently, and a lot to look forward to this summer as well.   Here’s a quick run down:

  • May 18th
    • Last Blockwatch meeting of the spring.  There will be no Blockwatch meetings during the Summer months, but we’ll see you again in the Fall.
  • May 19th
    • Neighborhood work day in collaboration with Gtech and Landforce, a workforce development non-profit.  In Troy Hill Citizen’s Park we weeded, mulched, pruned, removed invasive vines and planted several trees.  Along Rialto St. we weeded, mulched, cleared the steps, and installed a section of concrete block retaining wall.   On Elbow St., we painted a portion of the guard rail safety yellow to add a little flair to the neighborhood.
  • May 20th
    • The Troy Hill House Tour was a huge success! Click the previous link to find out why and to download the tour booklet.
  • June 1st
    • Approximate completion date for the Rialto St. Troy Hill Incline mural.  All we can say is WOW (see below).  We are planning an unveiling party so keep an eye out for that announcement.
  • June 2nd
    • THC board members pitched their application for 2017 ACCBO funding. Fingers crossed, we presented some really neat ideas which are bound to make a big impact in the community and real estate in particular.  This years ideas were all about “power to the people!”
  • June 7th
    • Quarterly General Troy Hill Citizens meeting at Most Holy Name School Hall, Tinsbury entrance, 7PM.  All are welcome,  please check the event listings for more information.  Topics and guests to focus on city programs that assist with funding home ownership and maintenance costs for low income households.  Meeting minutes will be posted following the event under the “News” section for those who cannot attend.
  • June 10th
    • “Pay-What-You-Can-Yoga” at Providence Charter School has ended with the school year, but never fear for your fitness needs! Troy Hill’s very own Chris Williams will be leading the first of hopefully many High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT) workouts at 9:30am in Troy Hill Citizen’s park.  Although the name sounds intense, its accessible to all fitness levels.  HITT is most easily explained as “Marine Crossfit.” Details can be found thru the “Troy Hooligans” Facebook page under Event listings.
  • June…12th?
    • We hope to have the second newsletter out to everyone.  As a reminder, we’ll be dropping them off at businesses and bulletin boards around the community, as well as emailing them to those on the email list.  If you would like to receive a newsletter, either by mail or email, please send an email to troyhillpittsburgh AT gmail.com, by using the Contact page and “General” Send To: option.  Please specify the delivery method in your email and use a subject that includes “newsletter.”  The newsletter will of course be featured on the website as well.
  • June 17, 18, 24, 25
    • Come visit Troy Hill Citizen’s park at 2PM (all days) for “The Tempest,” a play by William Shakespeare, directed by Jeffery Chips and presented by the Steel City Shakespeare Center. Although attendance is free, suggested donation is $15.  More information is available HERE.
  • Odds are we missed something/many things/hopefully not all the things…but if we did, click HERE to tell us about it.  Be sure to use the “General” Send To: drop-down when you do, along with a descriptive Subject.  Thanks!
  • As a general reminder, we’re a small, volunteer board, and we could always use help from some self-starting, motivated, energized, enthusiastic neighbors who are looking to take leadership or supporting roles in various projects.  If that sounds like you, then drop us a line and we’ll get you started helping out! If you already have a project in mind (i.e. Dog Park!) that you’d like to manage, all the better. We’re here to help in any way we can, even if that’s just giving advice or assisting with funding and networking.
    • We are currently looking for an individual to help organize the Troy Hill Flower Box project.  Responsibilities include organizing a budget, bill of materials, build instructions and so on for DIY flower boxes for the community. Please contact us if interested!

Troy Hill Happenings – April 2017

There’s lots to look forward to in April, but here’s a quick re-cap:

  • Its Spring!
    • Just look at those blooming trees and flower beds at the top of Rialto St. from last year’s Pittserves work day!! (pictured below)
  • April 10th
  • April 13th
  • April 19th
  • April 21st
  • April 22nd
  • April 29th
    • Belated Earth Day Community Cleanup volunteer event.
  • Odds are we missed something/many things/hopefully not all the things…but if we did, click HERE to tell us about it.  Be sure to use the “General” Send To: drop-down when you do, along with a descriptive Subject.  Thanks!
  • As a general reminder, we’re a small, volunteer board, and we could always use help from some self-starting, motivated, energized, enthusiastic neighbors who are looking to take leadership or supporting roles in various projects.  If that sounds like you, then drop us a line and we’ll get you started helping out! If you already have a project in mind (i.e. Dog Park!) that you’d like to manage, all the better. We’re here to help in any way we can, even if that’s just giving advice or assisting with funding and networking.

Rialto St. in bloom

 

Newsletter Re-launch: A New Beginning

Hopefully you’ve noticed our April newsletter either thru email subscription or in print at one of the local businesses.  If you haven’t the newsletter can be viewed at this link.  We hope to maintain the newsletter on a quarterly basis (or monthly, if we find some good help!), so keep your eyes open for it in the future.

For now, if you’d like to subscribe, either by email or print, please send an email to the main THC email or give us a call.  The same applies if you’re an individual, organization or local business with a story or announcement you’d like featured in the newsletter.   We hope to have an email signup form up within the next week to streamline this process, so please bear with us! Thanks!

Block Watch Meeting Minutes – March 2017

Guest Speakers

Zone 1 police officer Payton, Doug, Tim

Topics

Officer Payton gave a recap of recent crime activity in the neighborhood.   There were a string of license plate thefts, and unfortunately some drug overdoses.

Tim spoke about street awareness, including always being aware of your surroundings and always having your keys ready when approaching your car or house.  He also spoke about remembering to lock your car and to not have any visible items inside the car which would prompt a break in such as CDs, purses, bags and so on.

Doug gave a talk about on-line safety such as keeping an offline list of user accounts and passwords, password strength, using anti-virus software, computer backups, and avoiding scams and spam.