Thursday, April 15, 2010

A hectic week

The common misconception about breadliners is that we don't do anything. That couldn't be further from the truth, especially for me this week. On Monday morning, I ventured out with the Census and enumerated 18 people for a few hours. Then I wrote a story about a new apartment complex in Braddock for the Trib in the afternoon before covering the Mt. Lebanon School Board meeting in the evening. That's when I got a call from Dan Hirschhorn of asking me to cover a union endorsement on Tuesday for Jack Wagner. Back from that, I had to write a couple political stories for his website before polishing off the Lebo school meeting for the Trib. Toss in a few extra bucks for yardwork and I'd say it was a very productive week.

Braddock housing complex a symbol of renewal

A sparkling new apartment complex for low-income seniors, situated in the shadow of the defunct UPMC Braddock hospital, is set to open Friday, a $13 million project that county and local officials hope will help revitalize the borough.

The Avenue Apartments complex, on Braddock Avenue in the borough's main drag, has 53 units. Pennrose Management Co. has finalized 10 leases since it began accepting residents last month.

The property manager and Mayor John Fetterman are concerned the lack of a hospital next to the apartment complex will waste an opportunity to serve the complex's residents.


Wagner looks to showcase union support

Auditor General Jack Wagner rolled out a slew of union endorsements on Tuesday, seeking to demonstrate his support within the organized labor community even as the state’s largest umbrella labor group did not make an endorsement in the Democratic primary for governor.

About 35 members from six local unions stood behind Wagner in the lobby of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center here, where the AFL-CIO was holding its state convention. Neither Wagner nor Democratic rival Dan Onorato were able to garner the two-thirds vote needed for an endorsement from the AFL-CIO, but the Wagner campaign was clearly looking to downplay that by holding Tuesday morning’s news conference.

“I think it’s powerful,” Wagner said of the union endorsements. “I appreciated every one of them from the bottom of my heart. I always make sure my employees are treated the way I want to be treated. They are really about the middle class and providing quality jobs for Pennsylvania.”


Mt. Lebanon renovation draws criticism, support

Residents packed the Mt. Lebanon School Board meeting Monday night, some to support and others to rail against the proposed high school renovation project.

The board was considering a motion to submit the renovation plans and public feedback to the state Department of Education for approval.

About 25 people spoke -- with opinions on the project's $113.3 million cost evenly divided -- before the board voted 7-2 to forward the documents to the state. School directors James Fraasch and Faith Ann Stipanovich voted against the motion.

The project has prompted a petition drive to lower the costs to $75 million. Mt. Lebanon resident Elaine Gillen brought a stack of papers to the meeting containing 3,333 signatures and laid them on the desk in front of the board.


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