Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Positively Pittsburgh Live News 3-4-13

Positively Pittsburgh Live News

After six years of broadcasting the Good News about Pittsburgh, we are thinking about a new format at PositivelyPittsburghLive--Separating the Fifteen Minute News from the Roundtable Guest Format.

So tonight we are trying it out and the shows scheduled for 2-25 and today will be broadcast between this week and next.

Watch for a survey for our listeners to decide if you like the new format or we should keep the old. It will be posted here, on the PositivelyPittsburghLive Blog, and also on Positive Pittsburghers Group on LinkedIn, and also in the forum at we will announce the decision.

The news itself will be divided into sections and we will be accepting sponsors for each section. The sections tonight and we can add additional sections later if we need them:
  • Cultural News
  • Kids Stuff
  • Women and Girls Advancement
  • Business News
  • High School and University News
  • Pittsburgh Historical Stuff
  • Non-Profit Events
  • Neighborhood Hilights
  • Positive Pittsburghers Segment
  • Roving Pittsburgher Report
  • Pittsburgh Local Sports
  • Pittsburgh Good News Forum, where we will put out a question and give listeners a chance to answer by the following week. Question tonight: Are you a Pittsburgh Spunky Old Broad?  Answer here
  • Steeltown Hero
Also, we would like to go back to our Steeltown Hero Segment, so please send us your stories of ordinary Greater Pittsburgh Area residents doing good things that are GOOD NEWS. Hope you like our new format for the news and looking forward to some area businesses sponsoring segments.


Cultural Events

Śląsk Polish Ensemble
The song and dance group, Śląsk Polish Ensemble will be performing at the Byham Theater on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. As one of the largest Polish folk ensembles, they have performed over 6,000 shows all over the world. Their 60th Anniversary Tour will celebrate the vivid and dynamic folk music and dance of Poland with an 80-member ensemble and stunning, traditional costumes.

Śląsk Polish Song and Dance Ensemble was formed in 1953 by renowned composer, educator and writer Stanisław Hadyna. Śląsk’s debut performance in Warsaw in 1954 profoundly impacted the country, and as a touring show the ensemble still delights and amazes audiences all over the world. The group is currently based in Koszęcin, Poland and tours worldwide. Read the entire release here.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Presents Unspoken at the August Wilson Center
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre returns to the intimate theater setting of the August Wilson Center for an eclectic mixed repertory program featuring master choreographers George Balanchine, Antony Tudor and Mark Morris in Unspoken, onstage for seven performances March 8-17, 2014. 

Spanning works by 20th Century contemporaries George Balanchine and Antony Tudor to present-day dance force Mark Morris, the Unspoken program features Tudor’s evocative Jardin Aux Lilas (Lilac Garden), Balanchine’s classical Serenade and Morris’ joyful Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes.  Read the entire release here

The Book of Mormon
THE BOOK OF MORMON will run March 26-April 7, 2013 at the Benedum Center. THE BOOK OF MORMON features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are the four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of the landmark animated series, “South Park.” Tony Award-winner Lopez is co-creator of the long-running hit musical comedy, Avenue Q.  The musical is choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone) and is directed by Nicholaw and Parker. Read the entire release here.

THE BOOK OF MORMON Announces Lottery Ticket Policy
THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, is pleased to announce a lottery ticket policy for the National Tour, which begins March 26, 2013 at the Benedum Center and plays a limited two week engagement through April 7, 2013. In Pittsburgh, the production will conduct a pre-show lottery at the Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue, making 1 or 2 tickets available at $25 apiece. Read the entire release here

Juan de Marcos & Afro-Cuban All Stars
Juan de Marcos & Afro-Cuban All Stars
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is proud to present a unique orchestra of full-range Cuban music, the Afro-Cuban All Stars on March 21, 2013 at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Lead by bandleader, producer, and arranger Juan de Marcos, the All Stars ensemble concept spans three generations of musicians, and promotes the full range of Cuban musical styles.

With the All Stars, de Marcos has constructed more than just a standard band; he has created a fluid, dynamic and diverse ensemble of musicians. His ensemble approach has allowed him to constantly adjust his orchestra lineup, which allows him to expand his musical repertoire through the addition of contemporary styles of Cuban music. Many of the band’s musicians have become international stars, and recently de Marcos has focused on featuring the next generation of Cuba’s most remarkable young musicians, emphasizing the ongoing evolution of Cuban music. Read the entire release here.

Women and Girls Events
6th Annual NAWBO Day March 22, 2013
8 AM to 3:30 PM @ DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
500 Mansfield Ave.,  Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Runa Magnusdotter
Susan Newman
Announcing National Branding Expert Susan Newman and International Branding Expert, Runa Magnusdotter from Iceland, as keynote speaker!

One Day Long Pass $65 
Bring Yourself and a Friend $110 
Bring a Group of Five or More for $50 Each 
Call President Elect, Mary Pam Kilgore for groups of five or more. 412-854-4827

Business Events
"Jessica Lee's Entrepreneurial Thursdays"
Musical Networking Happy Hour, EVERY THURSDAY!!! Cover Charge: Only $5.00
Vocalist Jessica Lee & Friends, Little E's Jazz & Blues Club,
949 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222, 2nd Floor above Mahoney's Restaurant
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Jessica Lee
Pre-show networking session at 5:30 pm. Informal matchmaking for job seekers, employers & new entrepreneurs! Live music starts at 6:00 pm.

March 7, 2013: "Ventures in Green Sustainable & Energy"

Featuring interviews with:

Co-host Tom Donoghue, AIA, LEED APProject Manager, Architect, MBA, Donoghue Project Consulting (

Tom JosephEpiphany Water Systems,

Joe Jacobson, Ph.D., Executive Director of Academic Programs,  Energy Innovation Center

Ron Berman, Teaches Solar Power Training for the Private Industry Council & Sales Executive for Vox Energy Solutions

Adam Dilts, President,  Dilts Enterprises

High School and University News

Rock's Dig for the Cure event raises $900 for breast cancer awareness
The seventh annual “Dig for the Cure” event sponsored by the Slippery Rock University women's volleyball team generated $900 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® foundation, event coordinator Erin Street announced.

“We are extremely happy to again be able to assist the Komen foundation in their quest to improve breast cancer awareness and fight the dreaded disease,” said Street, The Rock's assistant volleyball coach. Read the entire release here

Historical Stuff

1968: The Year That Rocked America exhibit, visit 
1968: The Year That Rocked America
Visitors can view video footage from Dr. Martin Luther King’s final public speech and items from King’s funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church, including the communion plate, microphone, and program, as part of the History Center’s new exhibit, 1968: The Year That Rocked America.

Non-Profit Events

We Are the Pittsburgh Marathon
Five years after its 2009 revival, the 2013 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon expects a 30,000 participant sell-out. 2013 marks the year of fives for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, as Cinco de Mayo 2013 will not only recognize the fifth year of this race, but a course crossing five bridges, a ranking as one of the top five family-friendly marathons in the country, and five million cumulative dollars raised by the Run for a Reason Charity Program.

Due to this passion for charity and betterment of Pittsburgh’s community, runners can still register after the point of sell-out with the Run for a Reason Charity Program. The value that the Pittsburgh Marathon places on its charities every year is unmatched by any other race. In 2009, the Marathon started with five participating charities and has since grown to involve more than 70 local and national charities. To honor this growth since its inception, this year we feature five charities that have contributed significantly to the success of the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc.

These charities include: The Animal Rescue League is represented by Executive Director, Dan Rossi. This charity has participated in the Pittsburgh Marathon for four years and is so far this year’s top fundraiser with more than $28,000 raised. Donations go towards anything from micro-chipping to a total month’s care for animals in the shelter. Best of all, Executive Director Dan Rossi will get an Animal Rescue League tattoo if he can raise $10,000!

Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund is represented by Genre himself. This charity for childhood cancer support raised $25,000 through the 2012 Pittsburgh Marathon. Money raised for this charity provides children with cancer with iTunes games and songs, gaming systems, and gas cards for their families. Genre’s Kids’ mission is to help families living through childhood cancer emotionally, financially, and spiritually.

Pittsburgh Promise is represented by Executive Director Saleem Ghubril. 2013 marks the fifth year of Pittsburgh Promise’s participation in the Pittsburgh Marathon. In 2012, they raised $50,000. In efforts to provide access to higher education, they work toward a $250 million goal with $160 million already raised. Each dollar raised has the face of Promise scholar as this charity works to enhance its students, schools, and city.

Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank is represented by CEO Linda Scales. This food bank participated in the 2012 Pittsburgh Marathon and raised $15,000 with 68 runners to fight hunger and poverty in our region. For every dollar donated to this charity, $.94 goes directly to the community and they donate an average of 20 million pounds of food per year to agencies, where people who need food can register and get help.

The Oasis Recovery Center of Western PA is represented by Executive Director Dr. Karen Plavan PhD. As a first-year charity, Team Oasis works to raise money for addiction recovery. The recovery center provides pre and post-rehabilitation needs for addiction recovery. With an attitude of “We know. We can help,” the Oasis Recovery Center of Western PA is located on Penn Avenue and offers intervention and immediate response services.  

Neighborhood Highlights

From Our Friends at the URA
Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) awarded the Sheraden neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh $333,400 in Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program3 (NSP 3) funds. NSP funds are used to address the foreclosure crisis in America by placing foreclosed and abandoned properties back on the tax roles. Sheraden was awarded for acquisition, rehabilitation and resale of approximately seven foreclosed or abandoned homes.

The Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation (PHDC), in cooperation with the West End Alliance, will develop the Sheraden properties. PHDC is the non-profit housing development affiliate of the URA, experienced in affordable, for-sale home rehabilitation and resale. 

"We're thrilled to see such exciting development in a section of the City that too often gets overlooked," Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith said. "I look forward to continued work with the URA to bring much needed economic development to my district." 

Once the renovations are completed the properties will be sold to an income eligible household with an income below 120 percent of the area median income (AMI). Two of the homes must be sold to households below 50 percent of area median income.To date, PHDC has acquired four properties and has closed on the sale of one of the homes.

 From Our Friends at the URA
 It's about momentum.  About seizing the moment, because the world is watching.  Harnessing the excitement, the energy, the opportunity, that is all around us.
And there's no better time to be a part of Pittsburgh than right now.
Right here.  Right now.
Pittsburgh is one of the 10 Great Cities for Starting a Business.
Pittsburgh's total Venture Capital investment  for 2012 increased by 18.1% from 2011.
Pittsburgh is home to one of 10 Best Children's Hospitals in the country.
100 Museums to visit before you die features Mattress Factory and the Warhol.
Pittsburgh is the 4th Most Literate City in the U.S.

Silver Days, Charcoal Nights

From PositivePittsburghers

I just wanted to bring to your attention a special event..... 

April 13 - UPSTAIRS BALLROOM at the historic James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy - 8PM until Midnight

At the newly opened UPSTAIRS BALLROOM at the historic James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, Singer Jessica Lee and Guitarist Mark Strickland will celebrate their Jazz Duo CD Release ("Silver Days, Charcoal Nights" CD) with a full band interpretation, featuring ROGER HUMPHRIES on drums, DAVID PELLOW on bass, and JAY WILLIS on saxophones. Visual artists will also be interpreting the CDs themes and show their visual art during the event, including jewelry, paintings and photography!


Roving Pittsburgher Report

Pittsburgh Opera Brown Bag Concerts Pittsburgh Opera in the Strip
The Pittsburgh Opera has a monthly series called "Brown Bag Concerts" on Saturdays at lunch time. Here is their description: In the George R. White Opera Studio at Pittsburgh Opera’s headquarters (2425 Liberty Avenue) in the Strip District, friends, families and Pittsburghers of all ages are invited to enjoy intimate concerts of some of opera’s most popular arias as well as a mix of Broadway, musical theater and other surprises. These concerts are a wonderful opportunity for an informal introduction to opera. Guests can even meet the performers after the show!

Doors open at 11:30. Please note that the Pittsburgh Opera garage is available only for handicapped parking, by reservation. 

Leslie of Free and Almost Free in Pittsburgh Meet Up Says:
Pittsburgh Brown Bag Opera Free Presentation
It was a wonderful concert. The brown bag concerts are fantastic opportunities to experience opera for free.

For more free or almost free stuff go to:

Drumline Live
Participating in a Feast of Soul
By Hank Walshak
Listening to a drum line hypnotizes me. The staccato beats. The syncopated rhythms. The drummer's acrobatic hand movements. The counterpoised sounds. All of which goes on as the drummers complete their ensemble and solo numbers while they march in intricate, high-stepping patterns. The whole thing gets into the marrow of my bones. And I'm hooked, heart and soul, diggin' it, with feet tap, tap, tapping.

I first got hooked on the movie Drumline a few years back starring Orlando Jones and Nick Cannon. As I watched this film unfold, I kept saying to myself, I wish I could see that in person. Well, on February 26, I got my wish at the Benedum Center, when my wife, Jeannette, and I were thrilled to attend Drumline Live, hosted by Slater Thorpe. Read the full review here.                                                                               

Roots of Rock and Roll
By Gregg Matthis
I had the great pleasure of participating in the RoRaR show at the Benedum on February 23rd. The mostly senior crowd knows by heart most of the music being performed, so it is not just a watching show, it is a singing along show. There was an impressive line up of talent and they were all in fine form and voice for the show.

Since most of the artists were primarily vocal groups the performance of the back-up band is critical. This obligation was well served by Pure Gold's band who provided a steady but not overpowering sound supporting the singers. However, when it was time for the instruments to be highlighted, they sparkled. Read the full review here

Trilogy of Styles at the Ballet
By Helene Vidovich and Martin Thomas
Ballet at the August Wilson Center? Yes, even on the Franco Harris Stage.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theater is creating a prodigious amount of work this year. One wonders how they remember all their steps while learning the moves of the next performance. They couldn't possibly learn these pieces so fast could they?

"Unspoken," consisted of three pieces. The first, Serenade, set to Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings in C, Op, 48, a hauntingly uplifting piece, was originally choreographed by George Balanchine. While PBT brought in stage director (and veteran Antony Tudor dancer) Donald Mahler, a "repetitor" from NYC to maintain the integrity of Balanchine's work, PBT made it their own. The Corp sculpted the stage with their bodies. The ethereal quality of the music, the movements of the dancers and the high stage ceilings raised the viewers to an "other worldly" consciousness. The costumes were simple, yet aesthetically pleasing. There was no scenery to distract from the elegant scenes the Corps presented through their body movements and interactions with each other as they gracefully danced en pointe, jumped and did precision lifts and turns singularly and in unison. The lighting enhanced the overall beauty of the production. Read the full review here

Priscilla Rocks, No, Discos The Benedum
By Tamar Cerafici
I hate March. March has a special, dark place in my heart that makes the knives in my house look particularly interesting, and not in a good way.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
And when one wakes up to the white hellscape known as the North Hills and she has 6 inches of heavy spring snow to clear, she’s tempted to crawl back into the warm comfort of her bed and not come out until June. (I have to distance myself and speak in the third person this time of year.)

That is, unless one has the raucous fabulousness of Priscilla Queen of the Desert still ringing in her ears and creating microseizures in her brain. After last night's performance, this morning's heavy snow is a white wonderland, perfectly suited for memories of a pink bus and dancing paintbrushes. Read the full review here.

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith. (c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2013 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

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