Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Spartacus and Lebo

The pace of commenting on this blog seems to have picked up in the last couple of months, which is good thing. Thanks!

Some of the commenters express the hope that our local politicos read the blog and, presumably, the comments.

While I'd be delighted to have any and all of those folks as readers and/or as occasional posters, don't rely on this blog as a sole means of communicating with the School District or the Municipality. Anonymous venting has many useful purposes, but effective policy change is usually not one of them. There are lots of ways to make change happen. Dialogue can start the process, even blog-based dialogue, but it rarely brings that process to a conclusion. Write, call, show up.

There are also ways to make dialogue more effective. One way, I believe, is to surrender the cloak of anonymity. Here and at my other blogs, I post under my own name. I've thought about the "retribution" issue that some commenters have raised, and I've concluded that it's not a problem. At least, it hasn't been a problem for me or my family, and I've been posting about Mt. Lebanon both here and elsewhere since the Margery Sable situation first burst into public view. People disagree about big things and small things, but I've been impressed by the level of civility I recognize in just about everyone who I've encountered in conversations about the blog. Be civil, and most of the time you get civility in return. Putting your name with the opinion makes the opinion more than just gossip. Now you're a constituent with a complaint. And, a la Spartacus, there is strength in numbers.

Thoughts on a cold evening. Anonymous comments, of course, will still be welcome here.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Bistro 19 - A Winning Addition To Washington Road

With a population of 35,000 and a main street that offers a variety of restaurants and specialty stores, the Mt. Lebanese can find everything they need without coming near a river or a bridge. The newest addition to the lively Washington Road restaurant scene is Bistro 19, a sleek, contemporary eatery serving lunch and dinner from a menu focused on modern American classics.


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Survey Will Have Historic Significance

From Thursday's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Mt. Lebanon needs volunteers for the final phase of a three-year, $90,000 cultural resource survey cataloguing about 7,500 homes in the municipality that are 50 years old or older. The data collected will create a detailed record of historic resources to help promote preservation and restoration of Mt. Lebanon homes, landscapes and neighborhoods.



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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Suburban Fans Lack Imagination

Today's P-G South Neighborhoods section features a story on behavior by student fans of men's basketball in the South suburbs, obviously inspired by the recent misbehavior at the Mt. Lebanon v. Upper St. Clair game.

There are some interesting and serious issues lurking in the background here. Unfortunately, the story didn't give them enough prominence. Instead, I came away dazzled by the lack of imagination demonstrated by both Lebo and St. Clair fans:
Student chants range from clever jokes about their opponents' neighborhoods and incomes to more targeted and hurtful taunts about how a player looks.

At a recent Mt. Lebanon-Upper St. Clair game, for example, USC fans chanted: "We have buses."

Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils fans retorted: "We have sidewalks."

Fans of Upper St. Clair are known for waving dollar bills at players and fans from districts that are perceived as less affluent and shouting: "That's all right. That's OK. You're going to work for us someday."

At one recent game, Mt. Lebanon fans seized on a clothing choice by the Bethel Park coach and yelled "sweater vest" at him.

We have buses? We have sidewalks? Making fun of a coach's sweater vest? I knew that the South Hills was insular, but this is ridiculous.

Kids, get a clue. Stop yelling overused slogans that make you sound juvenile and entitled. (Of course, maybe you are juvenile and entitled. If so, don't flaunt it. You look foolish, and it embarrasses the town.) Get organized, and get your rivals to assault their own dignity.

Or, get really organized, and get your rivals to assault their own dignity on national television.
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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sports in Perspective

Think Mario's Penguins are having a hard time finding a new home in Pittsburgh? Think the local baseball/basketball/soccer/football/wrestling/crew team is put to unjustifiable burdens by unknowing, unsympathetic skeptics? Think again. Every soul involved in youth sports -- child, parent, volunteer, administrator -- should read this moving account of what a coach and a soccer team in Clarkston, Georgia are trying to overcome.

[Cross-posted to Pittsblog.]
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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Students Behaving Badly. Calling Officer Krupke!

A Mt. Lebanon High School student allegedly was assaulted by the principal of Upper St. Clair High School. The Upper St. Clair police have closed their investigation -- apparently without interviewing anyone from Mt. Lebanon, and some Upper St. Clair residents have put on their best "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" faces.

Some observations:

Sometimes I'm glad that I pay taxes that pay for the Mt. Lebanon Police Department. This is one of them. This is another.

I suspect and hope that a video of the events at USC will pop up on YouTube.

Mt. Lebanon School District administrators should proceed with caution before claiming the high ground here. Last year the District all but ignored student complaints over the "Top 25" list. Just as some quick and quiet intervention by the District could have avoided ugly national publicity and a lawsuit then, some humility and class on the part of USC may avoid what the family of Joe Rodella -- victim of the alleged assault -- plans next. How about starting with: "It is inexcusable and a tragedy that a visiting student got assaulted while attending a basketball game at our high school. Upper St. Clair will do everything in its power to identify and discipline the perpetrators and to ensure that everyone attending sporting events at our high school, and especially those visiting from other towns, is treated courteously." Instead, we hear blame-the-victim. If a kid runs onto the court after the game and ignores warnings not to, uniformed security should escort him from the building. If a mass of kids runs onto the court and ignores warnings not to, the school should rethink its security approach. As the man once said, "It's time to get a bigger boat."

For these and related reasons, it's probably a good thing that Mt. Lebanon is planning to increase security when USC visits the Lebo gym, because the game is likely otherwise to turn into a suburban version of Sharks and Jets. That's both sad and bizarre. Can't we all just get along? The one and only time I attended a Lebo home basketball game, about three years ago, the Lebo team ran onto the court and went through pre-game warmups while the audience was treated to ear-splitting, building-shaking hip hop music. I don't have anything against rap or hip hop (aside from the obvious incongruity of playing it to stoke suburban audiences), but has anyone given a thought to conducting warm ups to the applause of the fans -- and to nothing else?

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MTLSD Hires New Principal

From Thursday's Post-Gazette Route 19 News Briefs:

The school board hired Ronald Davis, principal of Gateway Regional School District, as the new principal of Mt. Lebanon High School on Monday. Dr. Davis replaced Zeb Jansante, who left Mt. Lebanon this year to become principal of Bethel Park High School.

Dr. Davis, 36, is a native of McKees Rocks, but has spent his educational career outside of the area. He said he initially worked in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as a social studies teacher, athletic director and baseball coach. Seven years ago, he moved to Gateway Regional, a 7-12 school, where he spent two years as assistant principal before becoming principal. He served as principal for five years. The school serves about 1,100 students.

"We are a little bit smaller in size, but when you look at the traditions of the district, the academic mission, the interest in having kids be proud of their school, the friendly culture, there are a lot of similarities," Dr. Davis said.

One of the biggest challenges Dr. Davis will face in Mt. Lebanon is the planning and construction of either a new or renovated high school. He said he was up to the task and had experience since Gateway Regional recently finished a $15.2 million renovation and building project.

Dr. Davis holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Slippery Rock University and a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. He said he was engaged to be married and planned to move to Scott.

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MTL Cultural Resource Survey Needs You

Phase III of the Mt. Lebanon Cultural Resource Survey, launched two years ago to record pertinent historic data on older town homes, has begun. The survey, funded in part each year by a $15,000 matching grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museums Commission, will document all properties more than 50 years old. Mt. Lebanon's historic preservation board is overseeing the project.

The survey will create a complete record of historic resources and promote the preservation of neighborhoods.

Phase I documented areas around Washington and Lincoln elementary schools. Phase II focused on properties in the Howe and Markham neighborhoods and near Mt. Lebanon High School. Phase III will take place in the Foster and Jefferson school areas.

Volunteers are needed to research municipal records, conduct fieldwork that includes photography and record data on computers. Anyone with an interest in history, architecture and community is welcome. Training is provided, and the time commitment is flexible.

For more, call Susan Morgans at 412-343-3780, or write


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Friday, January 19, 2007

MTL May Add Security for Upcoming Basketball Game

Mt. Lebanon School District officials are considering increasing security for the boys' high school basketball game against Upper St. Clair on Feb. 9 after the Mt. Lebanon School Board president said his son was attacked after a game at Upper St. Clair.


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Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Pool Talk

As if there hasn't been enough talk, meetings, etc. about pools in recent months, members of the commission and school board attended a meeting this past Tuesday night to discuss their plans for new pools for the municipality and the high school. Instead of not being able to agree on plans (like the first time they talked), it looks as though they're trying again to see what they can come up with.


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MLHS To Address Teen Social Pressures

High school students everywhere can quickly identify the social pressures they feel daily about appearance, sexuality, popularity, drug and alcohol use and the desire to fit in.

How those pressures are handled and how they affect relationships among students will be explored at Mt. Lebanon High School on Jan. 24, with a program called "Putting Others First. It Starts With You ... How You Can Make a Difference?"



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Taxes In The South Hills

The Post-Gazette put together a list of the towns in the south hills and who has/has not raised property taxes as part of their latest budgets. Interestingly, Mt. Lebanon and West Elizabeth are lumped together as the only towns that raised their taxes.



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Lebo TIF Defended

Rats. There's an interesting Letter to the Editor in today's PG South section from the lawyer for the Washington Park development proposed for the Bower Hill Road/Washington Road intersection, but so far (at least) it hasn't shown up on the paper's website. So I'll type in and critique the relevant statements. The title assigned by the paper is "Mt. Lebanon TIF won't drain coffers," and the basic argument is that the TIF requested by the Washington Park developer (Zamagias Properties) will add tax money to the town's and district's bank accounts. It won't divert tax resources.

The author of the letter isn't just the lawyer advocating for this TIF. She makes a good part of her living representing real estate developers seeking TIFs. It's an honest living, and TIFs, in appropriate circumstances, are valid development vehicles. But the letter should be understood as what it is -- advocacy -- and not as what it purports to be -- fact.

The letter starts off by criticizing a "campaign of misinformation, broadcast via Internet blogs." So first, thanks for reading! This blog, I mean, not the misinformation. I'm not aware of other Mt. Lebanon blogs that have addressed this project, but commenters can correct me. To the best of my knowledge, neither I nor Joe Polk wrote the actual blog-words that the letter quotes, but that's a quibble. I can't speak for Joe, but I was clear in earlier posts: I think that this TIF is a bad idea.

Next, the letter sets out some important assumptions -- without acknowledging them as such. When economists make assumptions, which they always do, those assumptions are front and center, so that the assumptions can be critiqued and the analysis refuted. When lawyers make assumptions, which they always do (I'm a lawyer, and I teach law, so I'm on pretty solid ground here), they are as careful as possible to hide their assumptions behind a facade of objectivity. Done well, that makes their arguments seem both right and inevitable, and the lawyers get what they want for their clients. Done badly, the arguments seem clumsy, and the lawyers and clients get nothing -- or worse.

Here, the assumptions are presented smoothly, which means that it's all the more important that they get exposed, so that the argument doesn't carry any more weight than it should.

Letter assumption #1: the Bower Hill/Washington Road intersection is "a prime location." That sounds plausible, since that's an intersection where two major roads meet, and it sits at one entrance (not the entrance, but certainly one entrance) to Mt. Lebanon. The argument that follows the assumption is this: This is a prime location, but it has been vacant for more than 20 years, and the vacancy stems from the fact that development would be profitable only if it were publicly subsidized. In other words, the private sector can't develop this "prime location" on its own. But wait. Real estate developers are acutely profit-sensitive, and their informal global motto is "location, location, location." If this really is a *prime* location, then it should have been snapped up and developed long ago. Maybe the location isn't so "prime" after all, and the lack of development reflects market reality. It turns out, however, that the assumption is true. At least I'll grant the assumption. But the argument above doesn't follow logically. If the location really is so special, then maybe the location is profitable even without the TIF. All you need is the right market and the right loan. And if you examine Zamagias's submissions carefully, as Bill Matthews and others have done, you'll see that this is actually the case. Zamagias could develop this site with its own (private) money, and without a TIF, and still make a reasonable profit. Read this letter carefully; it doesn't say otherwise.

Letter assumption #2: "But if we want a signature residential and retail building and the related public amenities that have been proposed, and if we want the significant increases in tax revenues that this project will generate, Mt. Lebanon and its school district can facilitate this substantial addition to the tax base by using the TIF." But wait! Why does the project need to be a "signature residential and retail building"? The scale of the project is flattering to people who like to think of Mt. Lebanon as an upscale community. I, for one, am endlessly frustrated by that image. Mt. Lebanon needs more housing that's affordable, not more half-million-dollar residences like the ones in Washington Park. Can Zamagias could make its intended profit by forgoing a TIF and building $250,000 condos? If so, I'm all for it. I'm sure the building would still look nice. Just remember: The TIF proposal and half-million-dollar condos go hand in hand.

Letter assumption #3: "I don't know about you, but I like it when my elected official figure out how to pay for public improvements without increasing my tax burden." But wait again; there is a tax impact here, but it's hidden, and it's hidden in much the same way that the public subsidy for the proposed Isle of Capri hockey arena was hidden. It can be teased out with a little hypothetical: Here, Zamagias has come to Mt. Lebanon and the School District and made what amounts to the following offer:
We propose to build a fancy residential/retail building in your town, a building that will generate $XYZ thousands of dollars in tax revenue. We know that Mt. Lebanon and its citizens already pay high taxes, and we know that there are pressing capital and other needs around the town -- renovation of the high school, special needs programming in the schools, library services, public safety, sewers and street repairs, and so. Town residents will be taxed for years to come to pay for all of that. However, Zamagias will build our proposed building on one condition: That a large proportion of the new $XYZ thousands of dollars be given by the town and the School District back to us, and dedicated to fixing up the roads around our new building, rather than applied to more significant existing and future needs of the citizens.

I look at that hypothetical offer -- which I think is economically equivalent to the TIF proposal itself -- as an offer to increase my taxes more than those taxes otherwise would increase (the contrast isn't a tax decrease; taxes around Mt. Lebanon never seem to go down). In other words, Mt. Lebanon residents can see their taxes go up a little, relatively speaking, without a TIF, or a lot, relatively speaking, with a TIF.

Letter assumption #4: "At a time when the school district is considering large capital expenditures and the municipality is attempting to hold down residents' taxes, it would be absolutely outrageous to turn our backs on this proposal." But wait! No. It wouldn't be outrageous at all. It would be the height of political, and fiscal, wisdom.

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Lebo Soccer on Sunday Mornings?

Mt. Lebanon may weigh in on whether to extend use of some or all of the district athletic facilities to Sundays.

The matter was brought to the table by board vice president Josephine Posti Jan. 8. She offered the topic to the board to collect opinions on whether such a move might be supported by a board majority. Both the boys and girls soccer teams made the playoffs this past fall, and as a result needed additional practice time. So some fields were used on Sundays by special exception.

The district policy as written discourages the use of the fields on Sundays.

"Perhaps there might be merit in expanding that policy for community use," Posti said. "There is limited space that community organizations have access to for things that are outside school team sports. I would like to invite board discussion on whether community use of our facilities might be something that might interest you."


This seems like a no-brainer to me. Growing up in California in the 1960s and early 70s, my soccer teams -- town and "travel" teams (not that the terminology had been invented yet) -- always practiced and played games on municipal fields on Sundays. Scheduling would have been impossible otherwise. The leagues and teams paid for the permits.
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Another Arrest Made In Mt. Lebanon Burglary Case

Mt. Lebanon police arrested Eve M. Conkey, 23, of Scott, Monday and charged her with one count of receiving stolen property in connection with a recent Mt. Lebanon burglary ring.



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MLHS Student Claims Attack By USCHS Principal

The rivalry between Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair High Schools has always been pretty strong, but the latest news takes it to a whole new level. Joseph Rodella, son of School Board President Joseph Rodella, has accused USCHS's principal of attacking him at a recent basketball game between the schools.

Update: USCSD and fans respond

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Meeting To Float Pool Ideas

From today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Ed Fogarty just wants to be able to take a dip outside without freezing. After swimming in Mt. Lebanon's 30-year-old, unheated pool on cool summer days, Fogarty, 42, of Scrubgrass Road, hopes the municipality's new aquatic complex will be outdoors -- and heated.



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Friday, January 12, 2007

New Lebo Feeds

The ever-helpful Matt Wilson has kludged together some very useful feeds for folks who would like to subscribe via RSS to various info sources around Mt. Lebanon:

The Mt. Lebanon HS Renovation Blog:

The Mt. Lebanon HS Renovation Blog Comments:

Mt. Lebanon Police Blotter:

Thanks, Matt!
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Lebo HS Pins Wrestler

Mt. Lebanon HS officials have succeeded where almost no one else in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania could. They have kept Sam Brownlee from winning wrestling matches.

Sam Brownlee is a high school sophomore and a star wrestler. Until recently, he lived in Mt. Lebanon.

According to this morning's Post-Gazette, he and his family moved out of Mt. Lebanon and Sam transferred to Canon-McMillan. Lebo officials complained to the WPIAL that the move was related to "athletic intent," a no-no under WPIAL rules. The WPIAL agreed, as did the PIAA.

So the family has sued, in federal court, for the right to get Sam back on the mat.

From the article:

The Post-Gazette obtained a copy of a letter dated Nov. 3, 2006, from Mt. Lebanon athletic director John Grogan to WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley. In it, Grogan wrote:

"I do not want in any way for this letter to be perceived as an attempt by our district to have Sam wrestle at Mt. Lebanon. The family has chosen to transfer and we accept his father's decision. However, we also feel that it is our responsibility, as part of the WPIAL, to inform you that we believe that his decision to transfer to Canon-McMillan was in part for athletic reasons.

"Our belief is that the decision to transfer to Canon-McMillan was in part for athletic reasons because of the following:

  • Past issues/disagreements with our wrestling program.

  • Decision to transfer to highly competitive wrestling program."

[The Brownlees' lawyer Brad Bassi] said he didn't agree with the notion that his client transferred for athletic intent. He also said Brownlee's father had inquired about some incidents with the Mt. Lebanon wrestling program while Sam was a member, but that neither the younger Brownlee or his father had a rift with any Mt. Lebanon coaches.

"The fact that the PIAA is depriving Sam the opportunity to wrestle is creating harm to him," Bassi said. "This is not about a young man wrestling. It is about providing him an activity, in this case wrestling, that complements his overall education at Canon-McMillan. Allowing Sam to wrestle motivates him in a lot of other areas of his life and not allowing him to do so could have the opposite affect."

Set aside the known flaws of WPIAL rules on "athletic intent." The text of the letter above doesn't sit well with me. If Mt. Lebanon HS really doesn't care whether Sam Brownlee wrestles at Mt. Lebanon, why is it trying to keep him from wrestling anywhere else in the WPIAL? Why not be classy -- and send a letter to the family that reads, "Thanks for your contributions to wrestling in Mt. Lebanon, and we wish you happiness with your family and success in Sam's athletic career"?
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Lebo News Roundup

Lebo deer hunt nears approval
There are no plans to notify neighbors that deer hunting will be taking place near their backyards.
Link #1:
Link #2: The proposed deer management plan

Field to honor late Lebo resident
The soccer field at Bird Park will be renamed to honor John Doctor, the tireless soccer volunteer, Lebo parent, and Duquesne professor who died a year and a half ago.

Tobacco shop at the Galleria has expanded; smoke-free restaurants in Mt. Lebanon are doing fine
If you want to avoid cigar smoke, then avoid using the main level covered garage off of Gilkeson Road.
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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lebo: Police Crack Burglary Ring

Mt. Lebanon police arrested two South Hills men for burglarizing eight Mt. Lebanon homes and they intend to arrest a Mt. Lebanon businessman for purchasing and distributing the stolen items.

On Saturday morning, Mt. Lebanon police arrested Michael Evangelista, 22, of Mt. Lebanon and Matthew Allen, 21, of Castle Shannon and charged them with eight counts each of burglary, theft and conspiracy and possession of controlled substances.

Police plan to charge Bruce Henkel, 53, owner of Distinction Jewelry on Beverly Road, with crimes relating to the purchase, destruction and distribution of the stolen items.

Link 1:

Link 2:


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Young Mt. Lebo MySpace

The "Young Mt. Lebanon" social group has a MySpace page at
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Lebo HS Renovation Blog

The Mt. Lebanon School District has set up a blog specifically to gather comments regarding the renovation process. The site is located at I've added it to the list of links in the right-hand column.

The URL for the blog suggests to me that more blogs are in the School District's future.


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Seconds Sale at Planet Art

Linda at Planet Art sent me this announcement:

B-Sides: Artist's Experiments and "Seconds" Sale
Imperfect to the artist, a perfect deal for you!
January 20 - February 3, 2007
Unveiling Party, January 20 from 6-9 pm with refreshments.

Paintings, pottery, blown glass, turned wood, fused glass, jewelry, and more -- 30% to 60% off regular prices. Pieces by Scott Hunter, Joe Sendek, Jason Amstutz, Denise Graham, Birch Frew, Sandy Miller, Karen Howell, and others. These pieces are only on the floor during the seconds sale, come early for best selection (we open at 11:00am Saturday). All sales are final.
Remember, sometimes the B-Side is better than the A-side. Just for fun here are some great examples: Elvis - "Hound Dog", Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive", Rod Stewart - "Maggie May", Madonna - "Into the Grove", and who could forget Deee-Lite - "Grove is in the Heart".

Linda Mitchell
632 Washington Rd
Pittsburgh (Mt. Lebanon), PA 15228
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Monday, January 08, 2007

Lebo: No Wrongdoing in MLSD Project

A state audit of the renovation of seven elementary schools in the Mt. Lebanon School District has found no wrongdoing in the handling of change orders on the $52 million project.

"We found no evidence of fraud, waste, conflicts of interest, or other conduct that would warrant referral of the matter to other agencies," wrote Jeffrey H. Gribb, director of the state auditor general's Office of Special Investigations.



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Friday, January 05, 2007

Lebo: Residential Burglary Alert

NOTE: This is a press release from the Mt. Lebanon Police Department. I am posting this at their request because it pertains to our entire community:

Mt Lebanon Police Department Press Release
For Immediate Release 1-5-07

Residential Burglaries

The Mt Lebanon Police Department is investigating a series of residential burglaries. 12 similar incidents have been reported to police since October 24, 2006, but they appear to be increasing in frequency. 4 incidents were reported in December and 4 more since the first of the year, The latest incident was reported on 1-3-07.

The incidents have been spread across the Municipality, mostly on residential back streets. In some incidents, doors were left unlocked, and in others pry marks were found, and/or force was used to open doors or windows.

Items taken include jewelry, electronic goods, credit cards, laptop computers, and in one instance a weapon was taken.

In at least two cases, the victims were away from the residence for several days.

Most of the burglaries occur during the daylight hours when the houses were vacant.

Police are requesting the community’s assistance in being watchful for suspicious person(s), vehicles and activity, and immediately reporting such to police so that they may be properly investigated.

In several of the reported incidents, neighbors reported hearing noises, or seeing suspicious vehicles after the fact. That type of information may have been helpful in generating a quick response by Police, and preventing the crime, and/or arresting the actor during a crime in progress.

Additionally, residents should take customary and routine precautions to secure doors and windows properly when they are away from home.

For security suggestions or ideas about making your home more safe, residents can contact the Crime Prevention office at 412 343-4068.


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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Lebo: Final Report On Aquatic Center

From today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette South Neighborhoods News Briefs:

Residents will get a final report from independent aquatic center consultant Scot Hunsaker at a meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center. Mr. Hunsaker, a principal in Counsilman-Hunsaker, of St. Louis and Los Angeles, has conducted a $32,000 feasibility study for an aquatic center that would replace Mt. Lebanon's 30-year-old, outdoor swimming pool. At the January meeting, Mr. Hunsaker will present his final report. The decision will then rest with the municipal commission.

Link 1: Post-Gazette article
Link 2: Lebo Aquatic Center blog


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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Lebo: Walgreens Not Welcome

Over the holidays, I took the time to catch up on my reading and I stumbled upon this letter to the editor to The Almanac and I thought it hit the nail on the head with regards to why the St. Clair Shops are in the condition that they are. If you ask any of the people that have already left -- Hallmark, Truver's Jewelry, etc. -- they'll tell you they were not offered the ability to sign a long term lease for their location because of the (future) development of a Walgreens in that location.

I made my opinion abundantly clear last year when I commented on this issue before, and nothing has changed. The Food Gallery/Scozio's/Sparkle Market stores were great places where lots of "west side" Mt. Lebanon residents could walk to for groceries -- especially elderly residents of the large Bower Hill Apartments complex next door.

I personally do NOT welcome Walgreen's to Mt. Lebanon and I think it's a damn shame that this has happened at all. As John said in his letter, this shopping center used to be busy all the time before Walgreens bought it. Having another mega-pharmacy is not what we need right now.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Lebo: Critical Thinking

From today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

The Mt. Lebanon school board soon is expected to decide if it will abet yet another assault on its taxpayers. It's gathering information on a multimillion-dollar tax break for a very tony condominium complex on a piece of "blighted" property that another local government agency has kept off the market for decades. For a district that constantly touts how it instills in students "critical thinking skills," this would be a good opportunity to practice what it claims to teach.


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