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New glimpse into a bureau's response to a K-9's death

Written by Liz Navratil on .

In the days following the stabbing of fallen Pittsburgh police K-9 Rocco, human K-9 handlers on the force stood vigil at the veterinary hospital that treated him and many rearranged their schedules to attend his Oakland funeral.

Records obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law show that acting Chief Regina McDonald gave each officer in the bureau's K-9 unit an extra approved pass day -- or day off -- for their efforts "from the hospital detail to the funeral."

Rocco's handler, Officer Phil Lerza, was given a week off.

The emails also offer a brief glimpses into officers' hopes in the hours after the stabbing that the 8-year-old German Shepherd would survive. 

Pittsburgh police have said that John Rush, a 21-year-old homeless fugitive formerly of McKees Rocks, stabbed the dog Jan. 28 while it was trying to help them apprehend Rush.

Early the next morning, acting K-9 Sgt. Danial Tice wrote an email to training academy Lt. Jennifer Ford updating her on the dog's condition. He wrote: "I met Phil and Rocco. He had two surgeries. They stopped the bleeding. Rocco lost a lot of blood and had blood infusions. They removed one kidney. He should recover 100 percent." 

Then, the sergeant proposed plans to have Officer Lerza assigned temporarily to bureau's training academy to help prepare the dog for his return to work. 

Rocco died the next day.

 

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Photo show: the beautiful and the haunting

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

 

praguesynagogie
A few years ago, photographer David Aschkenas invited me to view an exhibition of his work at the Jewish Community Center and I met him there to look at them.
 
The images mesmerized me. They were from Eastern Europe. They were stark; I remember them as black and white, or sepia. 
 
They homed in on pieces of a scene and magnified the mundane along with the glorious.
 
Not long afterward, he sent me some emails of photos he had taken in Prague, a city I had visited at the dawn of the post-Soviet era. I fell hard for that city of gorgeous 14th and 15th century buildings.
 
On that trip, I found the old Jewish cemetery and took slow, quiet steps along its paths. Its tablet tombstones were tightly packed together in disheveled states of leaning, fallen and stacked It was one of the most disquieting and moving sites I’ve ever visited.
 
His emailed photo of the same cemetery struck a chord of remembrance and I have studied his work ever since, including the series of shots showing the process of disassembling the Civic Arena.
 
His latest photo show "Synagogues of Prague and Budapest," is up now at the Berger Gallery at the Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center, 5738 Darlington Road, Squirrel Hill. The official opening reception is from 6-8p, April 23, and it’s free and open to the public. Museum hours are 5.30a to 10p Monday-Thursday, 5.30a to 6p Friday and 8a to 6p Saturday and Sunday.
 
It shows 23 photographs of the architecture and the artifacts that described the community over time, including pieces of cloth, threadbare chairs and old desks. He took these photos during trips to these cities between 2011-2013.
 
During the run of this show, his works will be displayed at the American Jewish Museum and Jubilee Synagogue in Prague.
 
David Aschkenas photo of the oldest synagogue in Europe, dating to 1270, in Prague, the Czech Republic

 

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Warm-up moves from Mayor Peduto & Rich Fitzgerald

Written by Admin on .

  h/t thenextpittsburgh

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5 days to back bike safety kick-starter

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

 

BikePGH has five days to raise the last $20,000 on Indiegogo to broaden the reach of its Drive With Care campaign. 
 
The effort arose after some well publicized accidents between cars and cyclists to remind drivers that people on bicycles aren’t just people on bicycles but people they might know and even love. 
 
Rude bicyclists and those who do not obey traffic rules and etiquette have their own critics. It may be hard to love those guys who wear skin-tight gear and pedal past you on a trail as if they own it, and a bicyclist weaving around cars and riding in the wrong direction poses his own threat.
 
If the progress we expect and hope to see in Pittsburgh’s bicycle infrastructure is going to sustain itself, we will need more than this but it’s a step away from the antagonism that seems to keep perpetuating the problem.
 
The campaign has been underway on billboards and bus shelters showing real Pittsburghers riding their bikes and reminding others that their lives should be valued, considering they are Pittsburghers’ kids, parents and, of course, (at least one) Steeler, Antonio Brown.
 
BikePGH sponsored these public service announcements last year to positive feedback. The Indiegogo campaign “will allow the Drive With Care message to be broadcast on a much larger scale to make a broader impact,” BikePGH said. 
 
Becca Susman of BikePGH wrote in an email that this spring “marks two years since our colleague Dan Yablonsky nearly lost his life in a hit-and-run crash while he was riding his bike. His road to recovery has been long and has had a profound effect on those of us who know and care about him. There have also been several other serious collisions since then and people riding bikes contend with aggressive encounters with cars on a daily basis.”

 

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Best Neighborhoods nominations open

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

fountainPittsburghers, here’s your chance to get some recognition for your neighborhood.
 
Northwood Realty Services is holding a first-ever process for people to nominate their neighborhoods on points such as best view, best yard sale, architectural features, best holiday decorations, etc. The winners will be featured in regional editions of InCommunity Magazines and receive special recognition and bragging rights.
 
Residents of Allegheny, Butler, Westmoreland and Washington Counties can nominate their neighborhoods across a range of categories, which you can get more information about here.
 
The nomination deadline is April 30.
 
Here is the nomination form.
 
Winners will be notified and announced on June 15.
 
Here at Walkabout, we don’t value neighborhoods based on property values, although this contest’s “best all-around neighborhood” qualifications are based on these, the most prestigious of three being the legendary division, which has property values above $350,000.
 
I will refrain from nominating my neighborhood, but the Mexican War Streets would be a contender in the “best spirit” category, i.e., “most stoop parties,” i.e., “most empty wine bottles.”
 
Best view? Must we see the same Mount Washington hands? How about Fineview? Best yard sales? Anyone?
 
I have some categories that Northwood isn’t considering, with Walkabout winners already decided:
 
Best dried fish, Andean knitted goods and biscotti? The Strip.
Best metal awnings? Tie: Lawrenceville and Bloomfield.
Best bird watching? Duh. Hays.
Best pot holes? Squirrel Hill.
Best fountain? Downtown.
Most rentals? Shadyside.
Best kept secret? Brookline.
Most slender? Esplen.
Most quiet? Ridgemont.
Most potential: Homewood.
 
Go!

 

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