Penn Ave Goes Virtual

Penn Ave Goes Virtual

If you have been looking for a way to support your local Penn Ave Businesses we have a Virtual Listing of options that they provide! 

A digital version of #unblurred First Friday Art Crawl it includes Art work by the art galleries and spaces on the Ave. Enjoy!

DIG INTO SOME DIGITAL ART!

Silver Eye Center for Photography

4808 Penn Avenue, 15224

11:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Join our mailing list to receive Silver Eye’s new Newsletter, “Works From Home”

Visit our latest online exhibition featuring Fellowship 20 honorable mention Michael Darough? Darough’s series “The Talk”, featuring striking black and white portraits, was selected as an honorable mention by our juror Julie Crooks, Assistant Curator of Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Visit the exhibitions page of our website to learn more about Darough’s project.

silvereye.org

 

Assemble INC

4824 Penn Ave, 15224

Assemble is doing virtual after school for kids! We welcome people to donate if possible.

https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/115132

http://assemblepgh.org/

 

Level Up studios

4836 Penn Avenue15224

WATCH LEVEL UP PERFORMANCES https://youtu.be/WwDovg70dAI

Online classes https://www.leveluppgh.com

 

Arts & Crafts: Botanica & Occult Shop

4901 Penn Avenue, 15224

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Msv4bup-cbA&feature=youtu.be

Arts & Crafts is short for “Dark Arts and Witch Crafts”. We offer a variety of products and ingredients used in rituals, and general daily life, for those who follow traditional Witchcraft, Wicca, Santeria, Palo, and other paths such as various pagan, folk magic, and more, both light and not-so-light. Our goal is to provide a quality selection at a reasonable price. All are welcome! Discount code is for 10% off. code is UNBLURRED and is good til 4/11 

http://www.artsncraftspgh.com

http://www.facebook.com/artsncraftspgh

http://www.instagram.com/artsncraftspgh

 

Los Sabrosos Dance Co.

4909 Penn Ave., 15224

Helping individuals find freedom, passion, self-expression, and self-confidence through dancing & fitness. Buy a gift card that:

~ Encourages connection with your own body.

~ Promotes wellness & movement.

~ Builds community & strengthens social networks.

The experience of dancing (in our studio and/or our online classes) does all that & more!

Treat your loved ones with our awesome private and group lessons! For adults & kids.

Don’t forget to treat yourself too!

https://pgh.lossabrosos.org/gifts/

Instagram: @LSDanceCo    Twitter: @LSDances Facebook: @LosSabrososDanceCo

 

Everyday’s A Sunday

4919 Penn Ave-15224

Curbside pick up WED-SUN 9AM-3PM

https://www.facebook.com/EverydaysASundaeCafe/

https://www.grubhub.com/restaurant/gluten-free-all-day-4919-penn-ave-pittsburgh/1950242

 

ICAG+MWFA

5022 Penn Ave, 15224

WORKS BY JASON SAUER, JOE WOS, AND JULIE SOKOLOW

jason Sauer Www.youtube.com/mostwantedfineart  TikTok/InstaGram @mostwantedfineart

Please subscribe and follow the links, to view daily video documentaries, of #AmericasBestKnownArtist #JasonSauer

The series follows Army Veteran Jason Sauer across America visiting other artists, and focuses on the creation of his large enamel paintings plus his exciting and dangerous, spray painted demolition derby cars! #JasonSauerArtBook ,#MWFA lightweight hoodies and #MWSlaps are for sale via DM Mostwantedfineart@gmail.com

Pittsburgh based internationally acclaimed cartoonist Joe Wos is offering free cartooning classes daily at 1pm Eastern via YouTube at howtotoon.com

On Saturday’s at 1pm he offers an illustrated story time. The classes are open to all ages. He has also been doing live drawing jams on Facebook nightly.

He has provided FREE printable coloring books and mazes on his site at www.mazetoons.com

Aspie Seeks Love, is now available to watch for free until 04/07! The film is about David Matthews, a hilarious writer on a quest to find love after a late-in-life autism diagnosis.

Thanks to the film’s production company Animal for releasing Aspie Seeks Love in honor of World Autism Awareness Day (on 04/02).

https://vimeo.com/401502709

VaultArt Studio

5100 Penn Ave, 15224

12:00 PM- 11:00 PM

VaultArt Studio presents “#virtualgallery” an exhibition that will be held completely online! 200 Illustrations, paintings, and sculptures from the Vault archive! Join us on Friday April 3rd at 12pm as the Virtual Gallery goes live on our website www.vaultartstudio.org ! All pieces purchased through the website will be kept on lay-away until VaultArt Studio re-opens.

VaultArt Studio is a project of ACHIEVA, which advocates for, empowers, and supports people with disabilities and their families throughout their lives.

www.vaultartstudio.org/virtualgallery

 

The Mr. Roboto Project

5106 Penn Ave., 15224

The Mr. Roboto Project is a cooperatively-run show space and art gallery located in Pittsburgh, PA. Our aim is to create a comfortable and open safe space for people to experience a true DIY (do-it-yourself) community.

http://www.therobotoproject.com/

 

The Clay Penn

5111 Penn Ave, 15224

Watch new art being made! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLr53rKnP2buB2VSY3GXZmQ

People can check out website to learn about artist Luara Jean McLaughlin and thy can also check Etsy page for buying work or contact her directly at her cell phone or email.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LauraJeanMcLaughlin

Http://www.laurajeanmclaughlin.com

412 951-6133- Ljmclay@hotmail.com

LIKELIKE ONLINE at likelike.org

7:00 PM- 11:00 AM

AN ITSY BITSY CRISIS

Join us for the opening of LIKELIKE ONLINE, the littlest Massively Multiplayer Online World! Choose a fashionable avatar, hang out with pixelated friends, stand awkwardly in the corner of a loud gallery, play obscure games together… just like before the pandemic!

This month we are presenting a selection of works about crises and rebirths. All six games are made in Bitsy, a friendly tool created by Adam Le Doux. In recent years the Bitsy scene has produced a myriad of playable zines, confessional pieces, minimalistic adventures, and interactive poems. Playing and making Bitsy games is a perfect activity for a long day in quarantine.

Works by: Sophie Houlden /// Cecile Richard /// porpentine charity heartscape /// Withering Systems /// Pol Clarissou /// Cephalopodunk

http://likelike.org/

 

Artica retro and antiques studio

5110 Penn Avenue, 15224

Start checking Artica on FACEBOOK for items that will be offered for sale starting on April 3, 2020. due to circumstances beyond our control, we will be closed during the Global Pandemic — COVID 19 —until further notice. Also sales by appointment 412-596-6521 Modnartpgh on Instagram https://www.facebook.com/aboutartica

 

Black Cherry Design

5124 Penn Avenue, 2nd Floor, 15224

6:00 PM- 10:00 PM

Our new studio opening party may be postponed, but artwork from local artist, Heather Heitzenrater will still be available and is now live on our website, www.blackcherrypgh.com. Her work has been shown in Erie Art Museum, Boxheart Gallery, Baton Rouge Gallery and other galleries across the country. We (Black Cherry Design) are offering free local, contactless delivery. http://www.blackcherrypgh.com/…/www.fa…/blackcherrydesignpgh

Workshop PGH

5125 Penn Ave, 15224

12:00 PM-6:00 PM

Workshop will be hosting free craft packs for the community taped to our window and accepting online donations to help keep our doors open

Workshop PGH is a do it yourself or school, Creative Community space and retail store that sells handmade. We offer classes in Sewing, Woodworking fiber arts, art, leather plants and more. Workshop employees local makers and small business owners to support them paying a livable wage of $25 an hour. In addition we hire local artists as support staff – also paying a livable wage. Workshop is an inclusive space and it supports diversity, LGBT and a diverse staff and customers. Learn to make stuff and be inspired.

http://www.workshoppgh.com/  @workshoppgh Instagram and Facebook

 

People’s Indian Restaurant

5147 Penn Ave.-15224

Peoples will be OPEN 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5pm to 10pm Take out and delivery only. 15% off any take out order placed directly at the restaurant. call 412-661-3160

https://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/the-pabla-family-gives…/…

Pittsburgh Glass Center

5472 Penn Ave, 15206

Pittsburgh Glass Center is a non-profit school, gallery and studio. Although we normally fund approximately 50% of our operations through earned revenue, due to cancellations and closures caused by COVID-19, we are not able to earn any revenue at this time. Support PGC by making a donation, buying a gift certificate, becoming a member or following us on social media. https://www.pittsburghglasscenter.org/

online gift certificates https://squareup.com/store/pittsburghglasscenter

facebook.com/pittsburghglasscenter

twitter.com/pghglasscenter

Yoga Hive

5491 Penn Avenue, 15206

6:45 AM- 8:30 PM

Yoga Hive is offering daily virtual online classes that you can sign-up for (https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/home/?studioid=12149) AND has an online library of yoga vidoes on vimeo. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/yogahivepgh. We also have free videos on our website as well as content on our facebook and instagram page. Videos + classes are all levels and we have several kids yoga options!

yogahivepgh.com

https://www.instagram.com/yogahivepgh/

https://www.facebook.com/YogaHivePgh/

 

Pistella Beer

5514 Penn Avenue, 15206

Beverage Retailer https://www.beerstorepittsburgh.com/

 

KST’s Alloy Studios

5530 Penn Ave 15206

Ty Greenwood & Cherish Morgan-Freshworks Artist Talk-Friday, April 3, 5:00pm

https://kelly-strayhorn.org/events/ty-greenwood-cherish-morgan-freshworks-showing/

Playwright Ty Greenwood and Choreographer Cherish Morgan join KST Senior Producer, Ben Pryor to discuss their collaborative project, DEATH DREAM.

Let’s Move! Family Dance Party Dance Class and Crafts for Kids! Saturdays, 12:00pm Register for Zoom chat Link! https://kelly-strayhorn.org/events/letsmove/PLUS MORE DIGITAL CONTENT THROUGH OUT THE MONTH https://kelly-strayhorn.org

 

The Pittsburgh Fringe is an open access performing and visual art festival that was supposed to happen this weekend. We moved to coincide with Unblurred next month on May 1st. Come visit us online to learn more about being part of our festival next month!www.pittsburghfringe.org

 

Unblurred CELEBRATING 24 YEARS!!

Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn is a monthly art and entertainment crawl organized by the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative and sponsored by The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation.

Each month, people from all over the region stroll Penn Avenue between the 4800 and 5500 blocks to meet with artists and local business owners. Visitors can expect to see everyone and everything. Families, singles, workers, students, long-time residents and first-time visitors alike can bask in Penn Avenue’s creative energy – experiencing a mix of photography, dance, painting, sculpture, music and spoken word performances. The Garfield Night Market also takes place during Unblurred from May through

September.You can find each month’s Unblurred listings on our Events calendar. If you take any cool pics during your visit to Unblurred, please feel free to share them on your social media sites with the hashtags #proudtobepenn #unblurred #pennavenue412 #openonpenn.

 

Covid-19 Resources: Get Help!

IMPORTANT: 

Local Help is Available during the Covid-19 Social Distancing Initiative

DOWNLOAD AS PDF

Garfield NEIGHBORS IN NEED FUND– A fund to help individuals & families facing a hardship. Typical grants average $0-$500. Bloomfield Garfield Corporation: 412-426-5329 or email PAM@bloomfield-garfield.org

APPLY ONLINE Garfield Neighbors in Need Crisis Fund Online Application: https://tinyurl.com/GarfieldCrisisFund.

DONATE TO THIS FUND: CHOOSE NEIGHBORS IN NEED

GARFIELD FOOD RESOURCES:

Care Packages Delivered: A volunteer service delivering packaged meals to those in need in Garfield. Garfield Jubilee: 412-277-4616

Receive ‘Grab n Go’ Meal Bags on your doorstep Mon/Fri between 2:30 – 4:00Local non-profit located on the corner of Friendship Ave. and S. Pacific Ave delivering daily lunches door to door. Must contact to fill out distribution form EVO FOOD DELIVERY WaiverMarilyn Chaney at Earthen Vessels Outreach Call: 412 – 214-0862 or email: earthenvessels98@gmail.com

GARFIELD Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank Distribution Site-3rd weekend (Sat) April at 9am Morningside Church of God in Christ-5173 Dearborn St, Pittsburgh PA 15224. Residents of GARFIELD (15224, 15206) can be issued food boxes at this church location and must bring proof of residence and source of financial income to register. 

GARFIELD Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank Distribution Site Friday April 3rd at 11am. Valley View Presbyterian Church- 601 N Aiken Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 Stay in your car and volunteers will place bosses in their cars.  If you cannot drive then they will deliver to your doorstep. Must call ahead 412-708-6158 Please include your Name and address if need delivery, and how many live in home. No documents needed.

BUDDY PROGRAM– 

A City wide Buddy program is organized by Pittsburgh Cares. If you would like to sign up to be a “buddy” for someone, or are looking to find a “buddy”, email info@pittsburghcares.org, or call 412-471-2114 x200 and someone will get back to you.

A “Buddy” program to match Lawrenceville, Bloomfield & Garfield volunteers with seniors and others at high risk for phone calls / check-ins, grocery/prescription runs, meal deliveries, etc. To sign up for a buddy or be a buddy go to  https://tinyurl.com/CovidBuddy

To sign up for a buddy’s help call: Bloomfield Garfield Corporation: 412-426-5329, Lawrenceville United: 412-802-7220, or Bloomfield Development Corporation: (412) 681-8800

RENT & UTILITIES-Housing Stabilization Program  The Housing Stabilization Program (HSP) is a housing crisis intervention program that provides one-time or short term (up to 4 months) financial assistance to renters who are facing a temporary, non-reoccurring housing crisis. CALL 412-227-4163

HEALTH INFORMATION- What we know:

    • The new Coronavirus, or COVID-19*, was identified in December 2019
    • It produces flu-like symptoms–fever, cough, shortness of breath, but is more contagious.
    • In about 15% of cases, it can lead to severe respiratory illness, such as pneumonia
    • There is no vaccine and no antiviral treatment at this time.
    • The virus is fatal in about 2% of reported cases–more than the seasonal flu.
    • If you are experiencing symptoms or believe you may be at risk for COVID-19, please call your doctor’s office or 24/7 Nurse line first before going to be seen by a Doctor.
    • You can also contact one of the following sources with questions:
      • Allegheny County Health Department at (412) 687-2243
      • PA State Department of Health at 1-877-724-3258.
    • For answers on Coronavirus, the flu, or any health-related questions, call your doctor.
    • Call 24/7 Nurse Line for help in understanding your condition
      • In the Pittsburgh area call (412) NURSE-4-U
    • If you don’t have a doctor, find a doctor now, call (412) DOCTORS or (814) SAMEDAY
    • If you are in a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
    • All Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP recipients will have testing and treatment covered.’
  • UPMC, Highmark, and Aetna will waive applicable deductibles, copayments, or other cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing when ordered by a member’s treating medical provider.
  • Uninsured:  Metro Health Clinic (sliding scale); iHealth Clinic in East Liberty ($35 flat fee)

ACCESS TO INFO & UPDATES:

  • In order to best serve residents with questions and concerns about COVID-19, Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) has partnered with United Way 211 to offer a 24/7 hotline. Please call 888-856-2774 to speak with a representative.
  • We are working hard to ensure that you have the best and most current information. Stay up to date by signing up for Allegheny Alerts (www.alleghenycounty.us/alerts) and subscribing to COVID-19, follow the Health Department on Facebook (@AlleghenyCountyHealth) and Twitter (@HealthAllegheny), and visit www.alleghenycounty.us/coronavirus.
  • FOR ANY GENERAL ASSISTANCE: United Way helpline (help connecting to all kinds of resources), call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211 or visit PA211sw.org

Pharmacy delivery services:

    • Wilson’s Pharmacy (412.621.6471) offers free delivery typically 4:30-7 p.m. Call ahead. 
  • Shop N Save Pharmacy (412.784.8600) offers free delivery during regular hours (9a-7p weekdays, 9a-2p weekends). Call ahead. Can order over-the-counter medications that are out of stock and include that for delivery with day’s notice.
  • The Rite Aids in Lawrenceville (412.682.6970) and Bloomfield (412.621.9987) offer delivery of prescriptions on weekdays in the later afternoon. Call ahead. There may be $3 delivery fee. Possibly will include over-the-counter meds with prescription.

Food donations: 

  • Meals on Wheels: 412.350.5460 or 412.350.4234
  • Garfield Jubilee- delivering care packages to Garfield residents: 412-277-4616
  • People’s Indian Restaurant- those with out can pick up an individual meal CALL 412-661-3160 | 5147 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15224
  • Receive ‘Grab n Go’ Meal Bags on your doorstep Monday – Friday between 2:30 – 4:00 Marilyn Chaney at Earthen Vessels Outreach Call: 412 – 214-0862 or email: earthenvessels98@gmail.com
  • Lawrenceville Healthy Active Living (Senior) Center: 100 pre-packaged meals given out 11a-1p on M/W/F to seniors who are registered with the program.
  • Pittsburgh Community Services Inc: 412.904.4700.
  • Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (412) 460-3663

Food Donations Cont:

  • East End Cooperative Ministry community lunch – EECM’s daily community lunch from 12:15-1:15 pm will not be served in their dining room but rather as take-out only. Clients can pick up take-out bagged hot lunches and other food items at Entrance G of EECM’s building.
  • 412 Food Rescue- Food donation inquiries: (412) 277-3831
    • Local distribution sites:
        • Garfield Jubilee: 412-277-4616
        • Fridays: Lawrenceville United. Call (412) 802-7220 before noon.
        • Lawrenceville Family Care Connection: (412) 784-8683
        • IW Abel: (412) 687-7120
    • Just HarvestOver-the-phone COMPASS applications: (412) 431-8960
  • Food Pantries
      • St. Mary’s Lyceum (Lawrenceville): 412.682.3877 – M & Tu 11a-12:30p
      • East End Cooperative Ministries: 412-345-7149.- M-F
      • Morningside Church of God in Christ 3rd weekend (Sat) April at 9am
      • Valley View Presbyterian Church Must call ahead 412-708-6158 Friday April 3rd at 11am  

Utilities/Internet/Phone: Contact each provider

Childcare- Circles – Greater Pittsburgh

If you need a babysitter in order to go to work, please contact Tammy Thompson via email: tthompson@Circlespgh.org.
Please provide the following: 1. Number of children you need care for    2. Age of child/children   
3. The hours that you need care for them   4. Name of Employer 5. Community you live in

Older adults

VOTING: Absentee and Mail-in Ballots: https://www.votespa.com/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Mail-and-Absentee-Ballot.aspx

MENTAL HEALTH & PEER SUPPORT:

  • A Peer Support and Advocacy Network is available from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. 1-866-661-9726 | Crisis Services available 24/7 call 1-888-796-8226
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. The agency’s Disaster Distress Hotline is 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990

FREE COMPUTER- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are aware that many students will be completing their schooling online for the foreseeable future, and not every student may have access to a computer at home. We are giving out desktop computers to families that may not have one so that students can continue to be successful in their education. In order to receive a computer, we are asking that you, the teacher/administrator, PLEASE FORWARD ALONG THE GOOGLE FORM LINK BELOW.  An adult family member of your student/s must fill out the Google Form in order to receive the computer (IDs will be required at desktop takeout location at Computer Reach located at 1 DRV Drive, Wilkinsburg, PA 15221

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdnqIwqfNqgyFWQG9G8C_S7CKbTS9z2wA3ZR6Hkw3lhMsubdg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Supplies are limited and at this moment the first 200 families that respond will be guaranteed a desktop computer. Following requests will be fulfilled as soon as feasible.Thank you for supporting this coordinated effort to ensure your students a successful end of the school year, The Education Partnership Computer Reach The Fisher Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation

Small business and service industry support

CARE ACT: https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/cares-act-small-business-guide

Borrowers can receive a $10,000 emergency grant cash advance that can be forgiven if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses.

The Paycheck Protection Program offers loans for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, select types of businesses with fewer than 1,500 employees, 501(c)(3) non-profits with fewer than 500 workers and some 501(c)(19) veteran organizations. Additionally, the self-employed, sole proprietors, and freelance and gig economy workers are also eligible to apply. Businesses, even without a personal guarantee or collateral, can get a loan as long as they were operational on February 15, 2020.

THE CARE ACT QUALIFIES YOU FOR THE SBA disaster loan program (Please note: SBA Advises that you apply using THESE FORMS. The online portal is overwhelmed and doing a physical application will end in a faster result)
MAILING ADDRESS:
US Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155
FORMS: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RhpbtFu2J9B8MANFLF_IuGx8Q08OE5ro?usp=sharing

OTHER SMALL BUSINESS INFO:

Up to an additional $15,000; 0% interest rate, no fees; 3-year term, 6 months no payments, 2 ½-year full amortization; Available to existing URA small business borrowers ONLY 

COVID19-Business-Continuation-Resource-Flyer

What-Experts-are-Saying_v6

Coronavirus_2019-nCoV_Info_TipsforRestaurants

 

 General Links

Freelance/artists

Policy

  • Gov. Tom Wolf has requested that the U.S. Small Business Administration implement a disaster declaration to provide assistance to small business and non-profits in the form of loans. The application process is to-be-announced.

Organizations in the city, who have joined this outreach effort: Bloomfield-Garfield Corp, Morningside Church of Christ in God, Garfield Jubilee, Valley View Presbyterian Church, Brothers and Sisters Emerging, Boom Concepts, Earthen Vessels Outreach, Lawrenceville United, Garfield Community Farm, Assemble, Bloomfield Development Corporation, Thomas Merton Center, Action-Housing.

The Bulletin: Remembering BGC co-founder Aggie Brose

RIP Aggie Brose: tenacious Garfield advocate in memoriam

A Message from the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation Board & Staff

Garfield native Aggie Brose stands proud in the neighborhood she always supported. Working with the BGC for more than four decades, she always nurtured a sense of community. Brose passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Wednesday, Jul. 17.  Photo by Rob Larson, NEXTpittsburgh.


Pittsburgh – In one sense, Agnes J. Brose is gone. The strong woman who, 44 years ago, co-founded the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, died on Wednesday, Jul. 17.

But the reality is that Aggie (on a first-name basis with her neighbors and the “powers-that-be”) is still with us, and she will forever be a part of Garfield – the neighborhood that raised her – and its evolution in the city’s East End.

Pittsburgh is famous for its distinctive neighborhoods, and the passing down of every local enclave’s lore and legend. Those who grew up in one of these little communities are familiar with the stories about its leaders, athletes, tough guys, business owners, teachers, ministers, and families of every kind – folks who give life to their histories and give each community its unique flavor.

So it is that Aggie will live on through Garfield’s lore for a very long time.

Most people will remember her as a force for good, helping to transform the community in which she had lived for decades from a hopelessly blighted area to a neighborhood filled with unlimited potential.

Aggie’s dream was to help create a community known for its diversity, one with better housing, safer streets and playgrounds, enhanced infrastructure, robust education and employment opportunities, a thriving arts district, a local grocery store and, hopefully soon, a new bank.

Those who knew Aggie best were amazed at how balanced her personality truly was. She was maternal and nurturing with family, friends, and co-workers – always willing to impart her life’s wisdom.

Yet, at the same time, she was also capable of directing outrage at the injustices she saw and the artificial limits imposed on the community by people in positions of power or influence. When she did go nose-to-nose with recalcitrant elected officials, bureaucrats, or business owners, she never stripped them of their dignity in the process.

It was a gift that enabled her to double back months or years later, and make it seem like there had never been a hard feeling or grudge of any kind in the first place. It was a graceful quality that left all of them shaking their heads. And ours, too.

May Aggie rest in peace, now that her many labors have ended.

Those who knew Aggie are encouraged to jot down their favorite Aggie stories and email them to AggieStories@gmail.com.

Check out the August 2019 Bulletin for more local stories.

 

The Bulletin: Penn Plaza Matters

Neighbors rally for East Liberty residents displaced by developers

Story by Jason Vrabel, Bulletin contributor

ABOVE: Former Penn Plaza resident Randall Taylor (right, holding microphone) speaks to local community members at a Mar. 19 rally in East liberty. Taylor and other members of the Penn Plaza Support & Action Coalition voiced concerns about the redevelopment plans for the gateway site at Penn & Negley Aves. Photo by Jason Vrabel.


East Liberty – More than a year after the city’s Planning Commission unanimously denied a redevelopment proposal for the former Penn Plaza apartment site, the public got its first full look at a revised plan during a public meeting at Eastminster Presbyterian Church on March 21 [Read accompanying article, “Plans for Penn Plaza debated at contentious community meeting,” on page 5 of the April 2018 Bulletin].
A 2017 Consent Order between the City, developer, and other entities officially put to rest a number of legal disputes between them, and established conditions to guide the redevelopment. But critics of the Order raise the issue that the revised plan leaves many social and economic concerns unresolved.
Pennley Park South, a subsidiary of LG Realty Advisors, the owner of the property, is the developer for the project. Envisioned in their revised proposal is a mix of high end office and retail space for the site that previously provided several hundred units of affordable housing.
According to documents furnished by the property owner, the estimated $150 million project will improve the urban realm, enhance Enright Parklet, provide a range of job opportunities, and reaffirm a “commitment to East Liberty and Fair and Affordable Housing.”
In February of 2017, a lack of community engagement was cited by the Planning Commission as a primary reason for denying the plan. The Consent Order sought to correct this, but stated that the first of two public meetings must be scheduled within ten days of a “determination of completeness” by the City’s planning department.
The meeting was announced on March 14, giving everyone less than a week to review Pennley Park South’s 84-page plan. This slim timeline actually emboldened the advocacy group, Penn Plaza Support & Action Coalition (PPSA), which encouraged its members to attend. In a written statement, PPSA deemed the rushed timetable “a violation of democratic public process.” Still, the organization managed to attract over 200 attendees to the March 21 meeting.
“LG Realty and the City have refused to engage the real community,” former Penn Plaza resident and PPSA member, Randall Taylor, said following a March 19 press conference in front of the empty Penn Plaza site. “The more you involve the community and former residents, the more opportunities you have to make sure that days like this don’t happen.”
PPSA objects to other aspects of the order, including tax incentives for high-end development in the rapidly gentrifying East Liberty neighborhood.
The site is within a Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) that will reduce Pennley Park South’s future tax obligations. As part of its settlement with the City, the developer agreed to use 50% of the tax break for infrastructure investments like new sidewalks & sewer lines. The remaining 50% will help fund improvements to Enright Park and the creation of a local housing fund.
According to the developer’s plan, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh has estimated that “Pennley Park South’s total pledge, upon completion of all phases of the Development, will amount to approximately $6 million of direct investment towards Enright Park and the [housing fund].”
Specifically, the plan states that the funds will “provide amenities such as (a) accessible roads and sidewalks, (b) bicycle enhancements, (c) community and recreational spaces; and most significantly (d) GAP Funding for Affordable Housing.”
The Order states that no housing will be built on site, and that replacement housing will be built “within one mile” of the intersection of Penn and Negley Aves. PPSA members argue that this distance will place people too far from job opportunities, public transportation hubs, and supermarkets.
The housing fund will target those earning 60-80% of the area median income ($817-$1,090 for a one-bedroom unit), which PPSA has stated will be far out of reach for low-income renters.
As Alethea “Lee” Sims, president of the Coalition of Organized Residents and another former Penn Plaza resident, said at PPSA’s press conference, “We need housing more than office. We need housing more than stores. We need places for people to live.”
PPSA members say that the Order was “negotiated behind closed doors” and, that by not including any representation for displaced residents, it sets a “dangerous precedent” for the city.
“It is okay for you to destroy a neighborhood’s affordable housing and create plans behind the community’s back,” PPSA member Dan Yablonsky said facetiously. “In fact, we will give you huge tax breaks – as long as you promise that, down the line, you use a portion of that tax break to fund housing in a different neighborhood, at costs that displaced residents can no longer afford,” he continued. “Pittsburgh deserves more.”
The group will use the Planning Commission Hearings to illuminate other aspects of the project that they deem unacceptable. The allocation of the housing funds will be determined by a “Housing Committee,” represented by the City and four community groups. PPSA sees this as part of an ongoing exclusion of former tenants, and has demanded that the committee add representation for displaced residents.
However, Taylor said that the future elements of the plan are not his primary concern right now. “We intend to stop their plan, so that stops all of that. I think we’re going to stop this plan.”
As per the Order, “All parties shall respond to issues raised [in] the first meeting at the second meeting.” On Monday, Apr. 16, the second community meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Eastminster Presbyterian Church (250 N. Highland Ave.); it is open to the public.

Summer Jobs in the Hospitality Industry

Looking for a job this summer? One of our neighbors on Evaline Street just landed a job through LGC Hospitality Staffing, a firm that orchestrates placement at work-sites like PNC Park and Heinz Field, among others. Specializing in the hospitality industry, LGC offers a number of full and part-time positions in the Pittsburgh area. Staffing manager Sara Vuich will work with each candidate to find them the right job, regardless of their background or work experience. Interested candidates seeking more information can email pittsburgh@lgcassociates.com or call 412-343-5087.

It’s Official! Garfield has a grocery store!

Aldi has announced plans to open at 5200 Penn Avenue. Neighbors have fought long and hard to bring a grocery store back to Garfield, so this news comes as quite a victory for the surrounding communities.

No more long walks up the street to buy groceries. No more relying on jitney cabs for transportation home from the store. No more “bulk trips” to stock the pantry at faraway grocers.

Now that we’ve secured a bona fide grocery store, it’s time to celebrate this positive change. Here’s a toast to all our neighbors and community members who advocated to nourish a food desert back to good health. Cheers!

Aggie Brose (Deputy Director of the BGC) celebrates with Allegheny County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, and Henry Pyatt (from the Mayor's Office) at a community meeting to welcome the new Penn Avenue grocery store.

Aggie Brose (Deputy Director of the BGC) celebrates with Allegheny County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, and Henry Pyatt (from the Mayor’s Office) at a community meeting to welcome the new Penn Avenue grocery store.

 

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