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Stay Visible, Stay Safe

With another full month until the winter solstice, the days are getting shorter, but most of us have to continue on with our regular schedules. This means being outside in the dark as we pick up kids from school and activities, travel to and from work, and walk our dogs. Keep yourself and your neighbors safe this winter by being seen!

On Foot

When walking, it’s just as important to be visible. If your coat is dark, accessorize with a brightly colored or high vis scarf or hat. Get a reflective dog leash or dress your dog in a reflective dog vest. Keep in mind that cars parked too close to a cross walk make it very hard for drivers to see you when you are trying to cross. If you see a car that is closer than 20 feet to a crosswalk or 15 feet from a stop sign, it is parked illegally, regardless of the signage or paint. Illegally parked cars can be reported to 911. If you see that curb paint or proper signage is missing, report it to 311.

Safe Bicycle Travel

Make sure your bicycle is equipped with the right kind of lighting for winter travel. Relying on your your reflectors alone is not enough! Use a red light on the back and a white light on the front. Some experts recommend using two lights for after-dark riding…one set on blinking and one set on a steady beam. Lighting options have improved in the last few years and you can get lights that recharge with USB cords so you don’t go through a million batteries. Lights can be mounted directly to your bicycle or clipped onto your helmet or bag. You may also consider layering with a reflective or a high visibility vest, or applying reflective tape to your bike frame or bags. If your commute includes time on trails or poorly lit streets, be sure that your light is strong enough to illuminate your way…many cheaper lights are just designed to make you visible to other vehicles. Visit the BikePGH website for a complete list of regional bike shops that can help you properly outfit your bicycle. http://bikepgh.org/shops. Read more about bicycle lighting options here: https://www.bikelightdatabase.com/faq

Stay Off the Phone!

And whether you are walking, biking or driving, keep your phone in your pocket! Texting or reading is extremely distracting during any mode of transportation and extremely dangerous.

9th Annual Holiday Potluck

When I moved to Park Place 7 years ago, I knew very little about the neighborhood. It was a dreary November and anyone who was out and about was in a hurry to walk their dog or catch a bus. I didn’t meet many neighbors right away. But I did see a flyer for a neighborhood potluck dinner, and convinced my husband to check it out with me. Now, I’m going to be honest…we kind of had an escape plan to get out of there quickly if it was lame. But we were blown away by the spread of delicious food, the relaxed atmosphere, and of course the friendly neighbors. It’s a great time to reconnect with those you haven’t seen in a while and to meet some new folks. Now that we have an active neighborhood Facebook group, it’s fun to talk face to face to people I’ve “met” on Facebook.

The 9th Annual Holiday Potluck will take place on Wednesday December 2, 2015 from 6:30-8:30pm in the social hall at the Waverly Church on the corner of Forbes and Braddock. Bring a dish to share. Drinks and paper products are provided. Supervised children are welcome and there will once again be a craft/activity room where they can play. In addition, we always collect food and monetary donations for the Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank.  We hope to see you there!

New Officers for GPPNA

The new officers for the GPPNA board are:

  • President: Susan Speicher
  • Vice President: Katy Frey
  • Secretary: Stephanie Sullivan
  • Treasurer: Sue Breslow

Also currently serving on the board are Mary Hupe, Liz Swartz, and Joni Rabinowitz. If you would like to get involved with the organization  (or maybe need GPPNA’s support for a neighborhood project you have in mind), please get in touch with Susan Speicher. There are many ways to get involved.

Monday November 9, 2015 at 8:00pm at the ECS Lower School there will be an open meeting for anyone who wants to help plan the holiday potluck. We need help getting the word out to new neighbors, planning music, volunteers for set up, and assistance with the food drive portion of the event. Enter through the back door of the school off the lower lot.

Vote! On November 3, 2015


Do you know where your voting poll is? You can search for your polling place here. This will even show you what your ballot will look like.

One of the most important elections to occur is that of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judges. The Court has 7 judges and 3 will be elected on November 3.

To learn more about the judicial candidates, visit their websites listed below:

Supreme Court

Superior Court

Commonwealth Court

Court of Common Pleas

Get Stuffed With Love

Our Zone 4 Community Resource Officer, Officer Leshan has recently shared that the Get Stuffed with Love program is officially underway. Volunteers prepare food for Thanksgiving and Pittsburgh Police officers deliver the meals right to the homes of those in need. Last year the program provided nearly 3,000 meals city wide and 350 of those meals were delivered right here in Zone 4.  They are looking for volunteers to help prepare food, as well as monetary or food donations. In addition, they would like referrals for neighbors who may benefit from this program. Meal requests need to be made by November 19, 2015. If you are in need or you know someone or family that could use of our help, please call Shannon Leshen or Thomas Pauley at 412-422-6520.

If you would like to volunteer, contact Heather Dieckmann at 412-310-1308 to schedule your time. Meal preparation will occur at the Holy Assumption of Mary Church, 105 S. 19th Street, at the following times:

  • Friday, November 20 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, November 23 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday November 24 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 25 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

If you would like to send money to support these efforts, the contact information is:

United American Savings Bank 1812 E Carson St. Pittsburgh PA, 15203, Attn: Heather Dieckmann

Checks should be made out to The Rotary Club of Bethel-St Clair, with “Get Stuffed With Love” in the memo.