November Voting Reminders – in-person or by mail

To all 4th Ward Neighbors,
ELECTION DAY IS NOVEMBER 3, 2020. for presidential election and other candidates running for office.

IMPORTANT DATES:
OCTOBER 17, 2020: DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE
OCTOBER 27, 2020: DEADLINE TO REQUEST BALLOT TO VOTE BY MAIL
NOVEMBER 3, 2020: ELECTION DAY

Now is the time to register to vote, or to check to make sure you are registered to vote. If you plan to vote in the election, you must be registered to vote by October 19, 2020.

Are you on the voter registration lists in Pennsylvania at your current address? Visit this site to find out:
https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegistrationStatus.aspx

REGISTER TO VOTE, you may do so online or in person.

(1) REGISTER ONLINE: : https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx

On the Application to register to vote, by answering, “Yes” to Question 15, you are indicating that you would like to receive mail-in ballots for future elections. If you answer “No”, you will need to request an application for a mail-in ballot for each future election.

(2) REGISTER IN PERSON, fill out a written application to register and bring it in person. or mail it to Allegheny County Voter Registration, 542 Forbes Ave, Suite 609, Pittsburgh PA 15219-2913.

You will find a copy of the application to register which can be printed to vote at this address: htpps://www.votespa.com/Resources/Documents/Voter_Registration_Application_English. pdf
In addition, paper registration forms are can be obtained in the Allegheny County Voter Registration Office.

A completed paper registration form must be present (brought by person or mailed) in the Allegheny County Voter Registration Office 9542 Forbes Avenue, Suite 609, Pittsburgh PA 15219-29130 , received by 5 p.m. on October 19, 2020.

REQUEST A BALLOT TO VOTE BY MAIL:

Requests to receive a by-mail ballot must be received by 5:00 p.m. on October 27, 2020.
New in 2020: Pennsylvanians can vote by mail without any excuse. With COVID-19 still surging across the U.S., the Allegheny County Elections office staff anticipates that it will receive many requests for mail-in ballots (not absentee for cause ballots) by the October 27, 2020 deadline.

Instructions to request a mail-in ballot online or by paper application are available: https://www.votespa.com/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Mail-and-Absentee-Ballot.aspx

Filing your application for a mail-in ballot early will increase the chances that you will receive your ballot in a timely manner from Allegheny County.

You may a copy of a ballot at: https://www.votespa.com/Register-to-Vote/Documents/PADOS_mailInapplication, pdf. In addition, you can obtain a paper ballot at the local county registration office.

VOTE IN PERSON: YOU ARE ALWAYS ABLE TO VOTE IN PERSON AT THE POLLING SITE, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE NOT PREVIOUSLY SENT IN A MAIL-IN BALLOT.
If you received a mail-in ballot but choose instead to vote in person, you can bring the mail-in ballot with you to the polling place.

Currently, Allegheny County expects residents who vote in person to vote at precinct polling places where they voted before the 2020 General Primary. Our neighborhood votes at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall. If Allegheny County has to consolidate voting locations, county officials should inform us of changes in advance of Election Day.

SUMMARIZING IMPORTANT DATES:
OCTOBER 17, 2020: DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE
OCTOBER 27, 2020: DEADLINE TO REQUEST BALLOT TO VOTE BY MAIL
NOVEMBER 3, 2020: ELECTION DAY

The Pennsylvania Secretary of State and Allegheny County’s Elections Board are trying to protect voters’ rights. Please be advised that mail-in ballots include an inner envelope to protect the confidentiality of the contents of the ballot from the person(s) opening the ballots, and an outer envelope. Remind friends and relatives to seal their ballots in the inner envelopes first, and then to place them in the outer envelopes for mailing.

Pennsylvania law prohibits County Election staff from opening and processing mail-in ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day. There are requests to extend the period in which mail- in ballots may be opened and processed for a few days or a week before Election Day underway. At this time, it is unclear how this will be resolved.

Notice submitted by SF neighbors: Al Zangrilli and Alida Merlo

SFCA organizing CROW project (Coalition to Re-locate Our Wildlife)

Below is an email sent to SF neighbors on 8/27/20, asking for volunteers to help “harass” the migrating crows as they start up a roosting site in mid-October. The goal is not to hurt birds, to hopefully to persuade them to choose another site besides the large trees of busy Oakland streets and neighborhoods.

CROW PROJECT – COALITION TO RELOCATE OUR WILDLIFE

Our Schenley Farms neighborhood has a seasonal ‘problem’ with migrating CROWS roosting in our neighborhood. This issue is long-standing and involves many areas of Pgh, but things seems to have worsened for our locale in the recent years – more birds, more droppings, longer time period (October thru February).

SFCA is working to improve this problem, and WE ARE WRITING TO ASK FOR YOUR HELP.

A few quick background points:

* The crows are a protected species, and are important in major ecology systems. The goal of any intervention is NOT to hurt the birds but to dissuade the crows from choosing this area for roosting, and then to help them go to a more ‘acceptable’ space.

* This is accomplished by ‘harassing the crows’ as they start to invade at the beginning of roosting season. Harassment measures mainly include making loud noises (e.g. banging wood pieces) and possibly employing pyrotechnics (screamers and bangers propelled with launchers). Other measures might be added to plan being developed.

* This effort is complicated because it impacts other places (neighborhoods) and other institutions (U Pitt, Carnegie Library, etc). The exact plan of intervention is being developed with much input, especially from bird aficionados who admire crows but who also understand the negative aspects of “human-wildlife conflicts”.

WE ARE ASKING YOU TO VOLUNTEER.

What we think will be necessary:

The project begins when the crows arrive. Last year it was mid-October.

Volunteers will be “on-call” by cell phone, and be asked to go outside and make noise for about 20-40 minutes each evening, at the times when crow herd are flying from their staging areas to their newly-chosen roosting areas. This occurs usually a little before sunset (sunset on Oct. 15 is 6:36 p.m.) but really depends on when the birds start to move. Volunteers will be given some instruments of noise-making and suggestions for others measure.

It is unclear how long this harassment effort is needed, but somewhere between 2 – 6 weeks is the estimate. The basic point is to make our neighborhood unwelcoming to birds! And if/when crows stop coming, we can stop making noise.

Two of our neighbors (Laura Waxman, Shirley Cassing) are organizing our volunteers. Most of us will be home during this time, since traveling is sadly limited. Please consider replying and putting your name on the volunteer list, so that we can contact you and get organized as we get closer to early October.

It’s actually quite interesting. Crows are very smart, very social, and very adaptable! This could be a fun family project, and it really could allow each of us to help the property/sanity/health of ourselves and our neighbors !!

Hope you will consider putting your name on the CROW project volunteer list. Do this by email by writing back to SFCA board members.

Volunteers will receive interesting crow-friendly education by ZOOM meeting and learn how humans might be able to alter bird behaviors…. planned for early October.

Interesting readings:

https://extension.psu.edu/managing-urban-crow-roosts-in-pennsylvania-and-the-northeast,

https://www.lancastercrows.org/

BE SURE TO BE COUNTED IN 2020 CENSUS

SFCA HAS BEEN ASKED TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTICIPATION IN THE CENSUS.

The census occurs every ten years.   Money from the Federal Government depends on accurate numbers.   It is estimated that PA will lose about $2000 for every family not counted.   As there is concern about a negative impact on accuracy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has never been easier to respond to the 2020 Census in minutes by one of three ways:

1) Visit www.2020census.gov

2) Call 844-330-2020

3) Return the form that was mailed to you by the US Census Bureau (another copy will be mailed to households who have not yet responded)

EXPLORING OUR ROOTS: Annual Educational Presentation : OCTOBER 8, 2020 7:00 p.m. ZOOM

SFCA sponsors and annual history/architecture educational presentation each Autumn … in a series called “Exploring our Roots”.

An exceptional speaker is planned for 2020, the 100th Anniversary year of SFCA: Louise Sturgess who has been a prominent education presenter for PHLF for more than 30 years..

Details:

WHEN: Thursday, October 8, 2020 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:    The comfort of your own home – a ZOOM presentation (due to public health recommendations during Covid Pandemic)

WHO:  Speaker:  Louise Sturgess,   Education Advisor for Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation

Audience:    SFCA, SF neighbors, and anyone interested in Pgh History

TOPIC: Big Gifts, Big Dreams: Oakland Civic Center

Brief Bio: A fifth-generation Pittsburgher, Louise Sturgess has worked for PHLF since 1981. She served as executive director from 1983 through 2019, and became education advisor in 2020. She has edited more than 60 publications featuring Pittsburgh’s architecture and history (including Poetry and Art books by students and teachers), and edited 105 editions of PHLF News. She has helped create many of PHlf’s award-winning place-based education programs and oversees the Landmarks Scholarship. Through her work, Louise opens people’s eyes and minds to the lasting beauty and significance of our regions’s architectural heritage.

 

 

 

 

 

Oakland-wide community Zoom Meeting – 28 July 2020, 6:00-7:30PM EST

Oakland Community Meeting
28 July 2020, 6-730pm via Zoom
Details here

Info from Mayor Peduto Office 6/2020

Report to SFCA Annual Meeting
June 2020
 
Hersh Merenstein, Office of Mayor Peduto

hersh.merenstein@pittsburghpa.gov
 

Mayor Peduto’s announcements:

-Sign up for the Mayor’s newsletter to stay up to date during COVID-19 at newsletter.pittsburghpa.gov or continue to visit pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/covid-updates for COVID-19 updates and data from the Mayor’s Office. This website can be translated in commonly spoken languages.
 
-Mayor Peduto has announced his 2020 street paving list. This year, nearly $16 million will be allocated to resurfacing, totaling 27 miles of streets with more to be resurfaced in coordination with utility companies. ADA curb ramps will be upgraded, and the City will be repairing concrete, brick, and block stone streets. For the full list of streets slated to be resurfaced: https://pittsburghpa.gov/domi/street-resurfacing. For an updated weekly schedule: https://pittsburghpa.gov/domi/paving-schedule.
 
-As Allegheny County has moved to Governor Wolf’s green phase of reopening, organized sports will be allowed to resume — provided that organizers follow safety guidelines — and permits will again be accepted for rental of ballfields and open-air park shelters. Block party permits and special event permits for outdoor groups will be allowed for groups of up to 250 attendees, though they must include a COVID-19 safety plan. Crews from the Department of Public Works are rehabilitating ballfields and other sites this week, and will be posting signage on their safe use. While crews will also seek to regularly clean playgrounds, parents and caregivers are urged to regularly make sure children wash hands and not use playgrounds if they are sick. Restrooms, water fountains, swimming pools, recreation centers and senior centers remain closed. For a full list of City amenities and functions that are beginning to reopen, please visit: https://pittsburghpa.gov/press-releases/press-releases/4034.
 
-The City of Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation and its partners distributed a total of 52,087 meals since they first started giving out food at the start of the COVID-19 shutdown in March.
 
-In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Peduto has allocated more $12 million in federal funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  For a full list of organizations that received funding, please visit: https://pittsburghpa.gov/press-releases/press-releases/3912.
 
-The Mayor’s Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) offers one on one professional financial counseling as a free public service. The FC helps clients take control of their debt deal with debt collectors, improve their credit, create a budget increase savings, connect to safe and affordable financial products and much more. Contact to schedule your FREE counseling session: 1-800-298-0237 or email fecinfo@advantageccs.org. So far, the FEC has helped 557 local residents to save over $319,000 and reduce debt by more than $223,000.
 
-The Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to offer a new, Rec2Tech-based Virtual Coding Camp for Pittsburgh kids. This Virtual Coding Camp builds upon the onsite computer coding workshops that took place during the 2019/20. Sign-up: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rec2tech-summer-camp-tickets-109669037042.
 
-Citiparks’ CitiCamp@Home, a six week program, offers weekly take home STEM/STEAM projects, games, giveaways and chances to win family-friendly prizes. Conveniently packaged into To-Go Kits, each kit has everything your child needs to create great projects that have built-in literacy and math components.  More information: https://pittsburghpa.gov/citiparks/citiparks-kids-citicamp.
 
-Mayor Peduto’s Imagination Library program in conjunction with the Dolly Parton Foundation sends a book every month to children in Pittsburgh until they reach their 5th birthday. Recently, the program sent its 30,000th book to a Pittsburgh family. To sign-up a child or grandchild in your life, please visit: https://pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/imaginationlibrary.
 
-For a full list of rental, mortgage, and business assistance programs offered by the City’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, please visit: https://www.ura.org/pages/covid-19
 
-To learn more about the Pittsburgh Water Sewer Authority (PWSA)’s Community Lead Response program, including the Mayor’s commitment to remove every lead service line in the city by 2026, please visit: http://lead.pgh2o.com/

 

Annual meeting 6/25/20

SFCA annual mtg 6.20

 

The 2020 Annual Meeting was held via ZOOM app on 6/25/20.

Speakers included:    Paul Supowitz of U Pitt; Erika Strassburger, District 8 Councilperson; Amy Hess, Wildlife Biologist with USDA.

New board members elected:    Jose Morales,  Ursula MacKenzie

 

Annual Meeting to be held ‘virtually’ 6/25/20

Precautions recommended by health officials concerning the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic preclude an sizable gathering of persons, which impacted the annual SFCA Membership meeting held each May.   Though it won’t replace the socialization, a virtual meeting using ZOOM is scheduled for Thursday 6/25  7:00 – 9:00.   Neighbors have received an email with the necessary link/information.

Agenda items include 1.) updates from SFCA board members, 2.) updates from representatives of U Pitt, UPMC, City of Pittsburgh, and there will be representatives from Police Zone 5 and Oakland Planning & Development Corp, 3.) a wildlife specialist from the US Dept of Agriculture to introduce the topic of Urban Crow Migration and options for potential intervention.

Harpers Continue Porch Dioramas of Teddy, Tedina and Friends …. always brings a smile

Rumor has it that Bears are heading for cooler weather on July 5. They have so far survived the Covid pandemic, and help bring a spark of fun and joy for any neighborhood stroller!

Teddy bear picnic

Road work on Bates Street 6/15 – 6/23

Route 885 Bates Street Utility Pole Work Begins Monday 6/15/20 in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA – PennDOT District 11 is announcing utility pole work on Route 885 (Bates Street) in the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County will begin Monday, June 15 weather permitting.

Single-lane restrictions will occur on Bates Street between Hodges Street and the Boulevard of the Allies weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday, June 26. Crews from Sargent Electric will conduct the utility pole work.

PennDOT is not involved in this work and is providing this information as a public service announcement only. For further information contact Marten Coulter at 412-480-4482.
Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 950 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Cowan, 412-429-5010