Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Free Spay/Neuter for City of Pittsburgh Pets

After a seven-year hiatus, Pittsburgh's spay and neuter program will be back in March. The program is open only to city residents, who may have as many as five pets spayed or neutered at no charge and who may also apply to bring in feral cats. The program will cost the city $170,000 per year, but that is less than the $340,000 the city spent last year to detain and euthanize cats and dogs. 

"One spayed animal can save 55 unwanted pets from being born," City Council President Darlene Harris said.  Director of the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania said spayed and neutered animals also live longer, healthier lives.

Beginning in March, applications will be available on the city website. Eligibility will be determined by the city's animal control staff.  Pets must be properly licensed and vaccinated. Procedures will be performed at Animal Friends in Ohio Township, Animal Rescue League in Homewood and Western Pennsylvania Humane Society on the North Side.

Animal Friends
Animal Rescue League
City of Pittsburgh
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate
Western PA Humane Society

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Iron Eden A Natural For Pittsburgh

What could be more fitting than for a city once known as the iron and steel making capital of the world than to become the home of John Walter, a blacksmith and owner of Iron Eden?

Walter's free-flowing, nature-based creations – gates, chairs, staircases, trellises, tables and sculptures featuring trees and flowers that curve and jut in all directions- would look at home in Alice's Wonderland or in a scene from "The Nightmare Before Christmas." 

Admittedly, organic iron work is his signature style.  Iron Eden's one-of-a-kind artwork has been springing up all over the city for the past quarter of a century. At Phipps Conservatory, Walter conjured up "Gates of Hell," featuring iron tree branches rising from the ground like flame.  He also restored gates at the 100-room Sewickley Heights estate of industrialist Benjamin Franklin Jones. The fixtures and mirrors at Maxalto and Moda  in Shadyside and a wood-burning pizza oven at Enrico's are all his creations.

The material for many of Walter's creations comes from industrial and manufacturing leftovers. He says their scrap is his beginning piece.  Walter's shop, Iron Eden,  is located in Bloomfield at 4071 Liberty Ave. Take a drive by, or even stop in.  Either way you'll instantly know this is a very very extraordinary place.

Iron Eden
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate
Phipps Conservatory

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hartwood Acres Manion Set For New Fox Series

Hartwood Acres Mansion

Hartwood Acres ...... a place suffused with a warm, nostalgic glow of guided tours, weddings, visits with family to view the Christmas lights, sled riding on the grounds .... will be seen it in a very different light. The beloved mansion will be transformed into a shadowy, sinister lair full of subterranean chambers, mysterious portals, malevolent spirits and murderous intent for "Locke & Key," the pilot for a proposed Fox television series.

Filming started last week, and also is taking place at the 31st Street Studios complex in the Strip District. "Locke & Key" focuses on three siblings, played by Jesse McCartney ("Greek"), Sarah Bolger ("The Tudors"), and Skylar Gaertner as the youngest, Bode. Nick Stahl ("Carnivale") plays their uncle, and Miranda Otto ("Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers") plays their widowed mother. Mark Romanek ("Never Let Me Go") is directing the pilot.

"Locke & Key" is based on a comic book series by writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. Both were in town last week for a book signing at New Dimensions Comics in West Mifflin. Hill, the son of horror-novel icon Stephen King, seems to have horror in his blood. Although he's an acclaimed novelist ("Heart-Shaped Box") and short story writer in his own right, Hill grew up as a comics fan, and the "Locke & Key" series is his first foray into the format.  Hill has been coming to Pittsburgh for a long time, beginning with an acting role in George Romero's "Creepshow" (1982), which was written by his father. In that film, he plays Billy, a young boy who is punished by his father for reading horror comics.  Every time Hill is in town, he tries to make a pilgrimage to Monroeville Mall, where Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" was shot.

Numerous television pilots have been shot here, some successful ("Justified"), some less so ("Three Rivers"). There also was a short series, "The Kill Point,' which aired on Spike TV. So far, none of the pilots have turned into full-time episodic television series. "Locke & Key" has a chance to change that if it goes into a full series.  If the pilot goes well, the series will be shot in Pittsburgh and that means 10 months of work each year for possibly five years.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed.

31st Street Studios
Dawn of the Dead
Hartwood Acres
Joe Hill
Locke & Key
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate
Strip District

Former Lutheran Church Now Artist's Home

641 Linden Ave in East Pittsburgh

Dan Riccobon purchased the former Emanuel Lutheran Church in East Pittsburgh in 1998 and slowly but surely turned it into his home and studio. A retired Woodland Hills art teacher, Mr Riccobon has done most of the work himself, acting as architect, contractor, carpenter and interior designer.  The renovation work ahs been varied and wide-ranging, from removing the rotting steeple to building the bathroom and kitchen to painting the ceiling of the nave, on his back on a scaffold, with the constellations and the creatures that inspired them.

The congregation that built Emanuel Lutheran Church pretty much lived and died with the Westinghouse plant just across the street. Westinghouse Electric built its primary plant in East Pittsburgh in the Turtle Creek Valley in 1895, making electric railway motors, generators, switches and other railway equipment. Two years later, German immigrants founded Die Reformations Gemeinde and built a frame church on a narrow, elevated triangle of land on Linden Avenue, then a bustling commercial street.  In 1923, the church was demolished and the triangle leveled to build the new brick church. The congregation sold the building 75 years later, a decade after the Westinghouse plant closed in 1988.

For a dozen years Mr. Riccobon had a studio in Oakland, where he worked on sets and costumes for the late Don Brockett's productions (Mr Roger's Neighborhood).  For Mr. Riccobon, the best part of having home and studio in the same building is not the easy commute but having work in progress so close at hand. There's an advantage to "being able to look at what you're working on as you walk by, rather than leaving it and not beginning to think about it until you see it again," he said. "As an artist, about 80 percent of the work you do is thinking about it, judgmental things, rather than the actual painting."

The 12-year renovation process had its drawbacks but also had some advantages.  "It allowed me to live here and get a feel for what I needed," he said. "If I hadn't, it would have been a disaster. I had thoughts of putting in a second floor. What I finally decided I should do is make everything look like it belonged here in the beginning.  Nothing's nicer than these giant ceilings."

Two Locals Nominated For Food & Wine's "The People's Best New Chef" Award

Sonja Finn, ower/chef of Dinette in East Liberty

 Two local chefs have been nominated for Food & Wine Magazine's "The People's Best New Chef" award:  Sonja Finn, 31, chef/owner of Dinette in East Liberty, and Justin Severino, executive chef of Elements Contemporary Cuisine, Downtown.

Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Ms. Finn serves thin-crust pizzas, salads, soups and hearty small plates crafted from largely local ingredients. Ms. Finn, whose experience includes working at San Francisco's legendary Zuni Cafe, was a semi-finalist for the James Beard "Rising Star Chef" in 2009 and 2010. A Pittsburgh native, she began as a prep cook at age 18 for Toni Pais at Baum Vivant.

Chef Severino, 32, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, trained at the Pennsylvania Culinary School (now Le Cordon Bleu) and previously worked at Eleven in the Strip District. There he got to exercise his butchery and charcuterie chops learned in California, at famed farm-to-table restaurant Manresa as well as at his own charcuterie business, where he used only local meats.

Nominees "are all talented innovators, who have run their kitchens for five or fewer years."  The winner of this award will be determined by popular vote. Whereas Food & Wine's editors will continue to select the magazine's Best New Chef Award.
For this award the magazine, "with the help of its trusted sources, chefs and food insiders," compiled a list of 100 nominees, 10 each from 10 regions across the United States.

Anyone may vote, but only once for each region. The chef who receives the most votes overall wins. To vote go to The People's award will be announced on March 2.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Local Restaurants Among James Beard Finalists

Short Ribs with Mole Poblano Sauce at Salt of the Earth

Pittsburgh has four semifinalists in the running for The James Beard Foundation's national chef and restaurant awards. Salt of the Earth in Garfield has been nominated for Best New Restaurant; Sean Ehland, executive chef of Kaya in the Strip District for Rising Star Chef; Tom Baron of the Big Burrito Restaurant Group for Outstanding Restaurateur; and David Racicot, executive chef and owner of Notion in Oakmont for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.

Five finalists in each category will be announced on March 21, and the winners will be named at the annual awards ceremony and gala reception at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in NYC.

Trader Joe's To Open 2nd Store in Upper St Clair

Trader Joe's in East Liberty

Trader Joe's is bringing its funky ambience to Upper St. Clair. The California-based grocer confirmed reports that it will open a 12,000-square-foot store, its second in the region, at 1600 Washington Road later this year. The upscale discount grocery will be located in The Shoppes on Washington. The store will take space occupied by a Pier 1 Imports.

Trader Joe's currently operates a store in the old Wheeler Paint Co. building on Penn Avenue in East Liberty. That store opened in 2006.  The choice of Upper St. Clair for its second location was a logical one.  Upper St Clair is densely populated, has very strong demographics and it is a pretty captive trade area as it is not easy to leave the South Hills to go to other areas.  There is already a Giant Eagle Market District store in the area.  But there are not any other grocers which could be considered competition for Trader Joe's.

The store, where employees sport Hawaiian-style shirts, has developed somewhat of a cult following. The reasons are reasonable prices and a unique product mix. A lot of the Trader Joe's labels are very popular themselves and Trader Joe's prides itself on introducing about 12 new items each week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Future Filming In Pittsburgh

Batman:  "The Dark Knight"

Director Christopher Nolan and his next Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises", may be headed to Pittsburgh.  News reports suggest Pittsburgh could serve as a location for the movie along with London, Los Angeles and New York.

Warner Bros., the studio behind the "Dark Knight" movies, could not confirm the Pittsburgh location Monday.  But Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office, said she has five feature films looking at coming into Pittsburgh this spring and summer, however nothing has been finalized yet.

The Dark Knight Rises
Pittsburgh Film Office
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Plan For The Allegheny Riverfront

The City of Pittsburgh just released a 20-year blueprint for transforming the Allegheny riverfront corridor from a faded industrial relic to a boom town, with new housing, businesses, industry, transportation connections and a complete environmental makeover. The 77-page "Allegheny Riverfront Vision Plan" describes the 2,000 acres stretching from the fringe of Downtown Pittsburgh to Highland Park as prime for development, with an abundance of vacant and underused property.  The report, by a consulting team led by Perkins Eastman Associates, follows nearly two years of studies and meetings with property and business owners, residents, community leaders and nonprofit organizations.

The plan envisions five "layers" of development moving away from the riverfront, with the more intensive changes nearer the river, including residential development, walking and bicycle trails, trees and a riverfront populated with green spaces and affordable housing alongside new industries.  Pedestrians and cyclists are encouraged and are separated from heavy vehicular traffic.  The redevelopment corridor stretches from 11th Street on the fringe of Downtown to Washington Boulevard on the edge of Highland Park.

Suggested transportation improvements are:  a commuter rail line stretching along the current Allegheny Valley Railroad right of way, connecting Greensburg and Arnold with Downtown Pittsburgh; a "circulator" trolley that would move people through the Strip and to Lawrenceville, with a later phase going into Oakland; and a "green boulevard" through the heart of the redevelopment that would accommodate multiple forms of transportation.

The earliest development activity is likely to be on property in the Strip District owned by the Buncher Co. and currently used for parking.  It is one of the nation's premier development sites and apartments, an office building and a parking garage were possible.  Already happening is the conversion of the old Armstrong Cork factory into apartments and the Otto Milk building into condominiums.

Allegheny Riverfront Plan
Highland Park
Strip District
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Monday, February 14, 2011

Highland Park's "Park Bruges Cafe" ..... Its Finally Open!

Carnitas Poutine at Park Bruges Cafe

Opening day at a restaurant is usually a stress-filled day.  Did they pick the right location?  Do they have the right chef?  Is the waitstaff up to snuff?  Is their menu going to be received well by the local patrons?  Opening day at Park Bruges, however, included none of the above worries.  Instead, they had a jubilant crowd assembled outside the door waiting for the "Open" sign to appear in the window.

Park Bruges in Highland Park is the new sister restaurant of the much-loved Point Brugge in Point Breeze.  From the moment Point Brugge announced its expansion plans, the entire Highland Park neighborhood awaited the opening with great anticipation.

The slight spelling difference in the names (Brugge vs Bruges) was purposeful to signify that the Belgian restaurants will each have their own different personalities.  Belgium is home to both Dutch-speakers and French-speakers. The Point Breeze restaurant took the Dutch spelling and Highland Park has gone the way of the French.

Park Bruges will be open for breakfast and lunch, and for brunch on both Saturday and Sunday. It will offer some of the dishes popular at Point Brugge, but with a new twist, such as moules frites with different sauces and slightly different frites. One of Park's signature dishes, however, will be the Carnitas Poutine which has carnitas-style pulled pork, cilantro and scallions,  Another is their Tarte Flambee, bread dough rolled thin and classically topped with creme fraiche, cured pork and onions. Park Bruges neighbor E2 will help out by lending their wood fired oven for this dish.  Park Bruges will have a slightly larger wine list as well as a few new cocktails. But they'll also offer plenty of the Belgian and Belgian-style beers.

Like Point Brugge, Park Bruges won't be taking reservations. The dining room is slightly larger, but given all the anticipation for the opening of this restaurant, waits are probably in order.

Park Brugges 
Point Brugge
Highland Park
Point Breeze
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Friday, February 11, 2011

More "Allegheny Grows" Gardens Sprouting Up

Millevale's Uban Garden

"Allegheny Grows" is itself growing with urban-agriculture projects spreading to three more communities:  Bellevue, Wilkinsburg and Penn Hills. This year is the second for the program designed to dress up empty lots, build community spirit, encourage local organizing, aid the environment and provide fresh produce for local food pantries.  The source of the money is federal community development block grants.  Allegheny Grows has a budget this year of about $75,000, and in addition to setting up the three new agricultural projects, the funds will be used to cover second-year costs for garden projects begun last year in Millvale and McKees Rocks.

Bellevue's project will be an urban farm on Davis Avenue on a 1-acre vacant tract owned by North Hills Community Outreach. The land had been donated in 2008 to the faith-based North Hills Community Outreach by the Amelio family for an organic garden. Most of the labor for the organic farming effort will be provided by volunteers, supervised by a part-time agency employee. Produce grown there will be donated to food pantries.

Wilkinsburg's urban farm is a 2-acre site in the city's Hamnett Place neighborhood. The land is owned by Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, which already is involved with several housing renewal projects in the community. Allegheny Grows will be working with a citizens organization called Hamnett Place Community Garden Association to plant and care for the site.

Penn Hills officials are providing a water truck and leaf-mulch compost for its community garden on the site of a former municipal ball field. The tract had been planted as a garden last year by a youth group. Produce grown through this year's effort will benefit up to three local food pantries.

Second-year Allegheny Grows' assistance to gardens in Millvale and McKees Rocks will include providing both seedlings and some technical advice from Grow Pittsburgh. Millvale also will receive several rain-collecting barrels and McKees Rocks will get help in edging its garden beds and making them accessible to people with disabilities.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hampton Township Celebrates Its 150th

Hampton Community Center

When Hampton hosts its Sesquicentennial Anniversary Gala on Saturday, its history will be present in the form of honored guests. In fact, some of their names are already familiar to anyone passing through Hampton: Bardoner, McCully, McClaren, Ault. More than just the names of roads and buildings, they're names of families who founded the township 150 years ago.

Hampton Township began as a soldier's bonus for service during the Revolutionary War.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania paid these bonuses by issuing 'depreciation certificates' to veterans.  The term depreciation was used because the certificates were issued in lieu of pay in war script, which had little value when the war was over.  In March 1786, 309 tracts of land in District 4 were sold at an average price of 1 shilling, 7 pence per acre. The land was surveyed by James Cunningham, who settled 600 acres for himself in the district's heart.  Clear title of land required each settler to clear at least two acres, build a home and live there for five years, after which time  a patent was granted.

Many members of Hampton's founding families still live in Hampton and are hoped to attend the anniversary celebration.  The gala, will include a buffet dinner, entertainment and a ceremony honoring the ancestors of the township's early settlers.

Educator, author and historian Sandra Bardoner Rodenbaugh will be one in attendance. She is the great-granddaughter of John Nicholas Bardoner, a Civil War veteran and a the son of German immigrant Johann Peter Bardoner. Her great-grandfather arrived in America in 1840 as a baby. Oddly enough, Mrs. Rodenbaugh's husband, Steven, is a descendant of William Alexander McCully, who emigrated from Balleyblack, Ireland, in 1825 with his wife, Nancy Gilmore McCully.

But the friendship of the Bardoners and the McCullys go back to Hampton's very beginnings. William McCully purchased 159 acres in an area he called Talley Cavey in 1832 and built his farmhouse and fathered 10 children, whom he raised on the farm.  McCully's farm and homestead were on the south side of McCully Road and his neighbor was none other than John Nicholas Bardoner.  The McCullys and Bartdoners became best of freinds and remained so through several generations.

The Sesquicentennial Gala will kick off a year of festivities and fun for Hampton.  A fabulous dinner menu will be offered through the Common Plea Restaurant and a chance to toast the founding families who helped to make Hampton this special place a lot of people call home.  Tickets are available at a cost of $75 per person.  The gala begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at Hampton Township Community Center, 3101 McCully Road.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Consol Energy Center Wins Award

Consol Energy Center

Since its completion, there has been a great buzz about Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center.  Early predictions and expectations came true on Saturday at the 22nd annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards in Los Angeles when the Center was named the nation's Best New Major Concert Venue for 2010.

Along with being the new home to the Penguins, Consol has played host to the likes of Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Rush and the Eagles since opening in August. It also welcomed Roger Waters' "The Wall" tour, which was named Major Tour of the Year and Most Creative Stage Production.

Huge ticket sales played a factor in winning the award.  If tickets weren't selling, the promoters would not have voted for the venue. The nominations were made by a cross section of more than 150 industry professionals and voting was done online by subscribers of Pollstar, the industry's leading trade publication. Consol's competition in the major venue category were the 1STBank Center, near Denver; Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan.; and Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CMU On The Moon

CMU's "Red Rover"

Carnegie Mellon University spin-off company Astrobotic Technology Inc. has signed a deal with SpaceX to launch its robotic rover into space as early as December 2013. SpaceX is an aerospace company formed by PayPal founder Elon Musk and makes Astrobotic the first competitor in the $30 million Google Lunar X-Prize competition to sign a launch contract.

The competition, announced in 2007, has 21 competitors all racing to see who can be the first to put a private venture robotic rover on the moon, travel 500 meters and transmit video, images and data back to Earth.
The December 2013 launch date on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is eight months later than Astrobotic said it would launch what it calls its Red Rover.  The delay is in part because of what "the customers" want.  To help pay for the mission, Astrobotic is selling 240 pounds of payload space on the rocket, and some of the customers have an interest in seeing the rover land on the moon at a certain time of year.

In addition, Astrobotic is negotiating with television companies for exclusive rights to broadcast the mission from the moon from Red Rover's high-definition, 3D cameras.  Because they are not NASA, they have the ability to do an exclusive deal.  So when the rover rolls out and turns on its camera, we here on earth will be able to see it with the clarity and depth perception of an Apollo astronaut.

Pretty cool stuff going on over at CMU!

Astrobotic Technology
Google Lunar X-Prize Competition

Monday, February 7, 2011

K&L Gates In Brussels

Last year, Pittsburgh's K&L Gates started off 2010 with new offices in Tokyo and Moscow.  In the previous year, 2009, the firm entered the Dubai and Singapore markets.  This year, the firm has looked to the hub of the European Union, announcing last week it had opened an office in Brussels, Belgium. This makes the 37th office for K&L Gates. The new office will be led by competition and corporate partners Philip Torbol and Patrice Corbiau.

Mr. Torbol concentrates his practice on EU competition law, state aid and government strategies. He advises European, U.S. and Asian clients on matters such as cartel investigations, merger control and anti-competitive conduct.  Mr. Corbiau advises Belgian and multinational corporations on a range of corporate and commercial transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, distribution and licensing in EU jurisdictions and dispute resolution.

K&L Gates
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chocolate Beer?

Chocolate and beer?  Together?

Penn Brewery is coming out with an unusual beer .....Chocolate Meltdown.  It will be part of the North Side brewer's "Reserve" series and will use local Betsy Ann chocolates.  The chocolate stout will be available next week on draft on a nitrogenated tap, a la Guinness, and Penn is going to bottle some in 22-ounce bottles. Kegs should start showing up in the are next week, too, with the bottles in time for Valentine's Day.

East End Brewing once again has just released its Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout, an American stout brewed with Belgian dark chocolate plus cocoa powder, all fermented with Michigan tart cherries. Get it by the growler at the Homewood brewery during its growler hours or at its booth on weekends at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District.

You can find several chocolate brews at area bottle shops and beer bars. Five of them will be showcased at the next Tasting Tuesday at the Pines Tavern in Pine. From 6 to 8 p.m. Beer director Lisa Donaldson will present O'Fallon's Cherry Chocolate, Arcadia Cocoa Loco, Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout, Rogue's Chocolate Stout and Young's Double Chocolate Milk Stout. As she notes, "Chocolate beers use 'dark' chocolate or cocoa in any of its forms other than or in addition to hops to create a distinct (ranging from subtle to intense) character. Underhopping allows chocolate to contribute to the flavor profile while not becoming excessively bitter."

These brews will be served with chocolate-themed appetizers in honor of Valentine's Day. Cost is $10 plus tax and gratuity; you can reserve at 724-625-3252 or just walk in.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Whole Foods To Open In McCandless

Whole Foods will move into Wexford Plaza in McCandless about a year from now, marking the nation's largest natural-goods grocer's second location in the Pittsburgh region.  The chain's first store opened in 2002 along Centre Avenue in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  Whole Foods has more than 300 stores in the United States and United Kingdom.

The McCandless location will be within a few miles of a half-dozen grocery stores, including an 88,000 square-foot Giant Eagle in The Village of Pine shopping center that opened last year. But spokesmen for the company say they aren't worried because the Whole Foods demographic is very defined: A more upscale, younger market, better educated, more sophisticated consumer.

McCandless residents hope the store will provide a boost to Wexford Plaza, which now includes about 25 retail spaces, including Levin Furniture, Starbucks and a dry cleaners bur also has about a half-dozen vacant stores.  Businesses already are inquiring about the vacant stores and Wexford Plaza execs are hoping they will soon have the pick of who they want to move in.

Whole Foods
Wexford Plaza
McCandless Township
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Friday, February 4, 2011

R.K. Mellon Foundation Gives CCAC $3 Million

CCAC's West Hall

The Community College of Allegheny County has received the largest single gift in its 45-year history, a $3 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation made to CCAC's foundation. The award will enhance college programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The college said the grant provides funding for equipment for CCAC's allied health programs; faculty and a simulated instructional lab for the college's Green Institute; money for a science lab at CCAC's West Hills Center and funding to help construct on each of CCAC's campuses and two of its centers "math cafes," math assistance spaces that support programming that fosters greater connection among faculty and students

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Mooon Area High School Opens

New Moon Area High School

An abundance of windows and ceiling skylights brought sunlight into the new $76 million Moon Area High School for its first day of classes on Monday. The old high school, built in 1964, had few windows due to noise concerns, because it was close to what was then Greater Pittsburgh Airport.

Students and staff toured the building last week and arrived in the new building Monday armed with maps.  Everyone will have a chance to see the new building Feb. 19. A dedication will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The new 297,000-square-foot high school is on University Boulevard, behind the old school and the football stadium. The old high school will be remodeled (windows will be added) and converted into a middle school, which is scheduled to be ready in fall 2012. The current middle school will be demolished.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

White Oak Chocolatier At The Oscars

Cherry Cordials

Dorothy's Candies in White Oak will supply its hand-dipped chocolates for celebrity gift bags to be passed out at this year's Oscars on Feb. 27.  A far cry from their humble beginnings during the Great Depression, the current proprietor's grandmother, Mae Gillespie, sold homemade confections in the West End during those tough times.  Mae's daughter, Dorothy, later opened a tiny shop in the basement of her McKeesport home.  It was that tiny basement shop that has become the Dorothy's Candies of today.

As lot has changed since the basement kitchen of 1947 ....They produce their chocolates in a state-of-the-art facility with climate-controlled storage rooms and advanced chocolate melters. But the most important things have not changed at all ...... They still use "Mom's" secret recipes developed over the years, they still use only the finest ingredients available, and the candies are still hand-dipped.

Apparently those things do make a difference .... Their chocolates have been featured twice before in giveaway bags at the Oscars and other celebrity events such as the Kentucky Derby.  If you haven't tried Dorothy's Candies yourself, stop by some time and see what all the excitement is about!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cognition Therapeutics Advances Drug For Alzheimer's

Scientific Director Susan Catalano works to develop Alzheimer's drug

Cognition Therapeutics on the South Side has raised a $2.5 million series A1 financing that will advance its promising Alzheimer's compound to the next level of development. The therapy they developed selectively blocks the activity of the toxic form of the protein that interferes with memory and learning and should be effective at all stages of the disease.  Toxic proteins play a crucial role in a large class of diseases and there are currently no therapeutics available to prevent toxic protein accumulation or block their destructive effects. Studies indicate that blocking the effects of this protein may halt or reverse Alzheimer's disease.

The new funding will elevate one or more of the company's compounds to Investigational New Drug (IND) candidate status. This latest funding effort was led by Golden Seeds, one of the largest angel investing groups in the country, and was syndicated with Southern California-based Tech Coast Angels. 

But a Pittsburgh family, The Breedlove Limited Family Partnership and TMC Investment Company, was also among the investors in this round.  Previous Pittsburgh investors also participated in the round including Ogden CAP Associates, M5Invest, the PLSG and Innovation Works.  Scientific Director Susan Catalano says the company's Pittsburgh roots are very deep and they are excited to be an integral part of our business community.

Cognition Therapeutics
South Side
Golden Seeds
Tech Coast Angels
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate