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Candidate Bios

We have three lovely women running for re-election this month. Learn more about their service to the community so far and what they hope to accomplish if re-elected.

Sue Breslow 

I just finished my second term on the GPPNA board of directors. Over the past two years I have done planning work for a new “Welcome to Park Place” sign, worked with a committee to plan a clean-up event for the Forbes/Braddock intersection, assisted the Membership Chair, and have been the board Treasurer.

For the coming two years, if given the opportunity, I look forward to continuing to actively support the six annual events sponsored by GPPNA. I am also interested in arranging a tour of our local firehouse, want to arrange to have the fire department Captain speak at a neighborhood event, want to begin fundraising for the neighborhood sign, and am happy to continue being board Treasurer.

I have lived in Park Place for seventeen years and am inspired to see the stability our neighborhood has achieved while we continually address new challenges and issues. I would be honored to serve for a third term on the board.

Mary Hupe

I moved to Park Place with my husband in 1980 because it was a quiet neighborhood near Frick Park.  We are happy that in 32 years, the pleasant, friendly ambience has continued.

My involvement began with the push to change the zoning designation from R-4 to R-2. This prevented any additional houses from being subdivided into more that two apartments, and encouraged some owners to return their dwellings to single-family homes.  From there I moved on to crime prevention and remain a member of the Zone 4 Citizens Public Safety Council, a Block Watch advocate, and a promoter of National Night Out gatherings.  As a teacher, I arranged interactions with students and police to foster positive relationships.  As a result of these activities, I received the 2012 Governor’s Citizen Crime Prevention Recognition Award.

My other main interest is social events.  For 25 years we have hosted the Park Place Picnic on Abbott Street, and hope that it serves to bring together new and longtime residents to enjoy and strengthen our community.  I also help coordinate the GPPNA-sponsored Holiday Party every December.

If re-elected, I will continue to be a liaison between Park Place and Public Safety, and to coordinate neighborhood social events.

Joni Rabinowitz 

My husband John Haer and I have lived in Park Place since 1976. I love this neighborhood and have always been a big fan. Before retiring, I worked for 25 years as co-director of Just Harvest, an anti-poverty and anti-hunger advocacy organization–activism is in my bones. Currently I’m active in anti-fracking work. In Park Place, I’ve participated for many years on the summer picnic and was also one of the spearheads of the 2004-06 campaign to prevent Walgreens from rezoning the corners at Penn and Braddock and at Penn and East End, and tearing down 3 houses (we had a partial victory). Later, I lobbied Walgreens to repair the 2 remaining houses and put them up for sale.  As a trained Tree Tender I helped organize the first tree planting in the neighborhood in 2008, when we planted 16 street trees. Now, I see that most people are oblivious to the needs of the trees we do have here and I want to work to protect them.  John and I are Democratic committee people and we contact voters to get them out for every election. One of us is always at the polls on election day; we consider this a good opportunity to connect with our neighbors and catch up with concerns people have about anything. I maintain regular contact with Ricky Burgess, our city council member, and Barbara Daly Danko, our county council member as well as our state House and Senate members. I would like to continue serving on the board. I’m eager to recruit and welcome new people into the neighborhood. I’d like to see people buy and rehab some of the vacant housing.

 

Annual Meeting and Board Elections

Please join us at our annual meeting and for board elections on Thursday September 18, 2014 at 7:00pm at Waverly Church on the corner of Forbes and Braddock.

Another Successful National Night Out

National Night Out 2014 was a great success! For the first time ever, we completely ran out of ice cream on the 100 block of South Braddock, and rumor has it that the Hupes ran out of hot dogs down on Abbott Street! We had a 7 week old attend our event, and I’m guessing he was just about the youngest neighbor to participate. Officer Leshen gave the kids of Park Place a tour of her police cruiser and handed out NNO balloons, bracelets, tattoos and glow sticks. Commander Degler and Councilman Burgess also stopped by our neighborhood events. Neighbors on the 7700 block of Edgerton had a lively night. Dixie Thielet hosted about 25 neighbors and their dogs. With lots of delicious food and a “get to know you” game that Dixie uses when she teaches elementary kids, neighbors had a great time connecting and getting to know newcomers.

Our events were just a few of 57  held across the city. Some large and some small, they all had one thing in common, neighbors getting to know each other and having fun together.  Check out this great piece in the Post-Gazette.

We had only two reported incidents in July, down quite a bit from the beginning of the summer, but our police officers reminded us to keep watching out for each other and to call 911 with any suspicious activity. (Really! It’s ok to dial 911!)  Report strangers knocking on doors (“looking for contractors,” “checking utilities”) or looking in car windows. Also, don’t advertise your vacations on social media!

Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your summer. We look forward to seeing you for our annual meeting and board elections on Thursday September 19 at 7pm.

Now Seeking Board Members for GPPNA!

I first got involved with GPPNA about a year after I moved to the neighborhood. We had a lot of problems with trespassing, vandalism, and burglary. My porch lights were stolen right off the side of my house while I was sitting in the living room! But it really hit home when I stepped into my dark house one night and felt the crunch of broken glass underneath my feet. Sometime that day, while I was out at a family reunion, someone had broken the single-pane glass in my kitchen door and reached in to unlock the bolt. They then helped themselves to all of our computers and my wedding jewelry. My anger turned into action, and I started volunteering for Park Place events and attending public safety meetings. The community liaison officer visited our house and gave us some pointers for securing it and I got to know the neighbors living right on my block and formed a block watch. It’s been my pleasure to serve as GPPNA’s president and pitch in wherever I can…organizing events to help neighbors get to know each other and making sure the police and Mayor’s office keep Park Place on their radar. That’s how we keep each other safe. Simple, easy actions like reporting concerns to 311 and 911 and knowing who belongs on your block.

Please consider running for the GPPNA board.  We’re seeking new members for our board to begin a term in October 2014.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Attendance at monthly meetings (Second Monday of each month at 7pm)
  • Leadership in organizing at least one of our 6 regular annual events
  • Serve as a contact for residents of your block
  • Occasional attendance at city-wide meetings
  • Opportunity to work on existing projects or to launch new initiatives
  • 2 year term

Qualifications:

  • Must be a voting member of GPPNA
  • If elected, your presence would be needed at the Board’s Bi-annual planning retreat on October 4, 2014

Elections:

Elections will be held on Thursday September 19, 2014at 7pm at the GPPNA Annual Meeting at Waverly Church. If you are interested in running, please email katyfrey@gmail.com with your name, contact info and a 250 word bio, no later than September 1, 2014.

Summer Events

The 27th Annual Park Place Picnic was a huge success!

The 27th Annual Park Place Picnic was a huge success!

The 27th Park Place Picnic on Abbott Street took place on Sunday June 1, 2014. Thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors, firefighters, entertainers and CitiParks for making it possible! And of course, thank you to all the neighbors who came out to have fun and contributed a side dish or dessert. Summer is here. With kids out of school and longer daylight hours, it is especially important to Pledge to drive 25. Continue the campaign we started last fall, and keep your speed low! Another important way to keep everyone safe is to make sure you don’t park too close to intersections, driveways or crosswalks…this can make it hard for drivers to see pedestrians attempting to cross the street. We recently had a traffic study conducted in the neighborhood, which confirmed what we already knew…lots of fast driving and pretty terrible and inconsistent signage and paint to show where parking is illegal. We hope to correct some of those problems in the coming months. Our next big neighborhood event will be National Night Out on Tuesday August 6, 2014. Neighbors of the 100 block of South Braddock (by the Walgreens) will once again be hosting an ice cream social, and there will be lots of porch parties going on throughout Park Place. If you want to get involved, this is a great, easy way to do so. Make a pitcher of lemonade and invite your neighbors to join you. Organize a basketball game in your driveway. Put out some water so dog walkers will linger and chat for a little bit. Or cruise the neighborhood yourself and meet some new people. Most of the events happen between 6 and 8 pm. And finally, make sure to put Thursday September 18  at 7:00pm on your calendar. That’s GPPNA’s Annual Meeting and we’ll be electing new officers as well as discussing some important projects coming up. Last year’s meeting with speaker Ken Doyno was very interesting and really helped to guide a number of neighborhood improvement projects…including the Traffic Study we recently took part in. And finally…summer unfortunately often means an increase in crime. Be sure to secure windows with air conditioners in them, keep ground floor windows and doors locked, and report all suspicious activity to 911. Have a fun and safe summer, Park Place neighbors!