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Pittsburgher wins women's marathon in Baltimore

Written by A Pittsblogher on .

In keeping with the rivalry established by the Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, a Pittsburgher won the women's division of the Baltimore marathon this weekend.
According to the Baltimore Sun:

 

Elizabeth Perry, 36, of Pittsburgh, won the women's marathon in 2:58:01... Perry edged out second-place finisher Julia Roman-Duval, 31, of Columbia, (Maryland), by less than three minutes.

“I definitely went out a little faster than I had planned, but I felt good, so I just tried to go with it for as long as I could,” Perry said. “There was a lot of support out there, and it helped me a lot."

 

The very idea of running a marathon is exhausting for the Pittsbloghers. But a Pittsburgher winning in Baltimore is a concept we can get on board with.

We had a hard time finding a photo of Ms. Perry from the race we could use on the Pittsblogh. If any of our readers know her, let her know we'd love to talk to her, and, to get a picture of her and her medal.

 

 

 

 

 

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Passive conference on aggressive savings

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

 

passivehouse
Pittsburgh is host to the eighth annual North American Passive House Conference next week and would be bringing in bringing in U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary Shaun Donovan for the opening keynote address if it weren't for the Grande Olde Government Shutdown.
 
The conference is October 15-19 at the Omni William Penn Hotel, 530 William Penn Place. Two days of pre-conference technical workshops begin Tuesday, Oct. 15. On Wednesday, from 5:30-7:30p, a reception will open the poster session and exhibit hall.
 
The conference opens on Thursday with keynote plenary sessions, lunch, and an afternoon of four breakouts.
 
An optional tour of passive house projects is on Saturday.
 
You can find out more about passive houses and the conference, plus register to attend here. The site will provide information if you want to exhibit and if you want to present the process of your own passive house project.
 
Passive houses are designed and employ systems to use 80 percent less energy than standard new constructions. They typically cost 10 percent more to build. 
 
They do not use solar or geothermal systems for heating and cooling or electrical recovery. They are built to be like a Thermos. Here's an article that helps explain how passive space works.
A few plans for passive houses have sprung up in Pittsburgh and one is complete. Lucy de Barbaro and Ayres Freitas are in the process of planning theirs in Squirrel Hill.
 
Laura Nettleton, a principal at the green architectural firm Thoughtful Balance, is retrofitting an old house in Shadyside to meet passive house standards. Her firm built the area’s first passive house for ACTION-Housing in Heidelberg last year.
 
The conference highlights include two speeches on Thursday by Sean Penrith, executive director of The Climate Trust and Sebastian Moreno-Vacca, a Belgian architect and educator who founded and presides over Plateforme Maison Passive.
 
 The conference is brought to you by the Passive House Alliance-US, the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture and Passive Buildings Canada with support from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
 
Photo by Elliott Kaufman

 

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Hail to the Washington Gridlockers

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

There’s continuing controversy in our nation’s capital over the nickname of the city’s professional football team. And some writers have publicly announced that they won’t use it in their coverage anymore. Astute football follower Gregg Easterbrook, whose Tuesday Morning Quarterback column on ESPN.com should be a must-read for fans, calls the team the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons. My suggestion: call them the Washington Gridlockers, in tribute to Congress. There’s plenty of precedent for naming Washington teams after civic institutions — the old Senators and the soccer Diplomats come to mind — and since football is played on the gridiron, there’s added relevance. Fans will root for the Gridlockers defense to induce gridlock on the field! The only possible drawback would be if Congress one day became efficient and responsive. Yeah, right.

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The 28th annual Columbus Day parade will be held in Bloomfield on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The route is on Liberty Avenue from Baum Boulevard to the Bloomfield Bridge. Street closures will start at 9:30 and the full parade route will close by 10:45 a.m. The Bloomfield Bridge will remain open throughout.

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From the Post-Gazette’s ace city hall reporter, Moriah Balingit:

Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval to a bill to advance plans for Pittsburgh Bike Share, but amended the legislation to give council members the ability to approve future location of bike stations.

The bill, which amends a public works ordinance to define a bike station and would have allowed the city to enter a maintenance and operations agreement with the nonprofit Pittsburgh Bike Share, is essential for the project to move forward.

Councilwomen Theresa Kail-Smith and Natalia Rudiak, who represent communities in South Pittsburgh, the West End and Mt. Washington, both abstained. They protested that the project cut their districts out as none of the 50 proposed bike stations were in their district.

The station locations were determined in part by a consultant, who studied a variety of factors -- including the existence of bike lanes -- in deciding where the highest demand for bike share would be.

But Ms. Rudiak argued that her district should not continue to be punished because it lacks amenities. She pointed out that the East End, where demand was projected to be highest, has received millions in investment for bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

The East End “is where demand has been created by public investment,” she said. “What we’re doing is actually doubling down on the millions of dollars of investment in these neighborhoods.”

Stephen Patchan, the bike-pedestrian coordinator for the city, said last week that the system was designed so that it could become financially self-sufficient after an initial investment from a federal grant and foundation dollars, which is why it was important to focus bike stations in places where demand was projected to be high.

Five council members voted for the bill. Ms. Rudiak, Ms. Kail-Smith and Council President Darlene Harris abstained from the vote.

The bill is up for final approval next Tuesday.

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menatworkPaving on Route 65 will have traffic in an alternating one-way pattern tonight. The restriction will begin at 8 p.m. both days and conclude by 6 a.m. between Elizabeth Avenue in Avalon and the McKees Rocks Bridge. Flaggers and police officers will direct traffic.

The Squirrel Hill Tunnels will be open this weekend, with the usual overnight lane restrictions.

The Freedom Road bridge over the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Cranberry will have single-lane traffic from 9 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday during painting and repairs.

 

The pedestrian bridge at East Liberty Station on the East Busway is closed because of construction. Pedestrians are being redirected via sidewalks.

 

Demolition of what’s left of the old Masontown Bridge will cause closure of Route 21 at the bridge area from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday.

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Struggling to be an equitable city (with update)

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

 

 
One of the most frustrating realities of urban revitalization is the economic slope that’s created when a place gets hot. 
 
Some people call this gentrification. That’s a loaded word whose meaning isn’t accurate anyway. Where there is no nobility there is no gentry.
 
But there’s a word for what’s wrong with letting the market dictate who lives where — exclusion. Cities have done a pretty good job of figuring out, at least in recent years, how to ensure that people who have less money can remain in the mix.
 
The problem is, there are more people with less money and fewer properties in the mix.
 
An article by Sarah Goodyear in Atlantic Cities“What We Haven’t Figured Out Is the Question of Gentrification” addresses this issue.
 
Amanda Burden, director of planning for New York City, is quoted in the article: “I have never, since I had this job, come up with a satisfactory answer of how to make sure everyone benefits. It’s a question I would welcome more answers as to how to make this a more equitable city. Because that’s how we continue to attract people from all over the world, is people perceive the city as an equitable city, and a city with opportunity for all. It’s not just those poetic words. But I really wonder how we can do it.”
 
We can do it if we appreciate neighbors for what they contribute that's of real value instead of money. 
 
Here's a link to another story for thought food on where we are headed.
 
I ran into a low-income housing advocate in a neighborhood bar the other night and we talked about the discouraging circumstances that have created two sides of residents in the Central Northside neighborhood — those who want an expanded Mexican War Streets historic district and those who don't, fearing that historic standards will drive their future home repairs beyond their means to stay in the neighborhood.
 
Not that there’s a problem with two sides of a discussion. But this is a discussion begging for some kind of compromise. Compromise is why we have rent-control when the market would otherwise lick its chops and let the poor be damned. Compromise is why something gets done that might not get done without it.
 
What many people tend to forget as soon as they reach their comfort zone is that the poor are every kind of people in the world, not just a static “element” that could be better off if they would just try. Van Gogh, whose effort spoke for itself, died poor.
 
Most of our great-greats came here from other countries with $4 in their pockets. OK, mine had $5 but still.
 
Who isn’t struggling now might be struggling next year. It might be me or you and we sure would love to stay in the homes we love. I’d like to think the neighbors would want us to stay, too.
 

 

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Pittsburgh version of "Royals"

Written by Heather Schmelzlen on .

As far as Pittsburgh parodies of popular songs go, this version of Lorde's "Royals" is pretty great. Give it a listen. Lyrics are below the video, which was uploaded to YouTube yesterday by Drew Praskovich.

 

I have smelt a corpse flower in the flesh 

I cut my teeth on super bowl rings
In the burgh
And I am proud of my address
In the 412, in the steel city.

But every songs like:
Gumbands
Chipped Ham
Slippy in the bathroom
Incline
PAT bus
Traffic goin' downtown

We don't care, we're singin' black n' yellow in our dreams

But everybody's like:
Pittsburgh Penguins
Pirates
And the Steelers
Kennywood
Warhol
Wiggins on my TV

We don't care, we got Troy Polamalu's hair

And we'll always be yinzers
Ketchup runs in our blood
That kind of Hunt's just ain't for us
We crave Potato Patch for lunch
Let me be a ruler
You can call me Carnegie
And baby I'll rule (x3)
Let me eat Primanti's please

My friends and I, we hit Southside
We count the bars we hop all night on Carson
And everyone who knows us knows
That we're fine with this, we didn't come from Philly

But every songs like:
Gumbands
Chipped Ham
Slippy in the bathroom
Incline
PAT bus
Traffic goin' downtown

We don't care, we're runnin' pierogi races in our dreams

But everybody's like:
Pittsburgh Penguins
Pirates
And the Steelers
Kennywood
Warhol
Wiggins on my TV

We don't care, we got Troy Polamalu's hair

And we'll always be yinzers
Ketchup runs in our blood
That kind of Hunt's just ain't for us
We crave Potato Patch for lunch
Let me be a ruler
You can call me Carnegie
And baby I'll rule (x3)
Let me eat Primanti's please

Ohh,ohh, ohh
We're prouder than we ever dreamed
Meet me at the Clemente


Ohh,ohh,ohh
Life is great with pickle flair
we got Troy Polamalu's hair

And we'll always be yinzers
Ketchup runs in our blood
That kind of Hunt's just ain't for us
We crave Potato Patch for lunch
Let me be a ruler
You can call me UPMC
And baby I'll rule (x3)
Let me eat Primanti's please

 --

BONUS VIDEO: Here's another for your Pittsburgh playlist — "Batter Up" by Emanuel feat. Lay Lanskey. It should get you sufficiently pumped up for tonight's NLDS Game 5 between the Pirates and the Cardinals.

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