Students participating in the Career Works program at the Tube City Center for Business and Innovation pose with Lisa Abel-Palmieri, Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania president and chief executive officer (fourth from right) and Emily Donato, career development coordinator (sixth from right). (Tube City Almanac photo)
Lisa Abel-Palmieri, president and chief executive officer, told Tube City Almanac the Pittsburgh-based non-profit wants to serve a growing demand for services for young people in the Mon Valley and eastern boroughs of Pittsburgh.
"We're excited to continue to grow our footprint in the Mon Valley," she said.
The new facility would include a "maker space" for STEM education, community center, gymnasium space and classrooms, Abel-Palmieri said. Although the facility is still in the planning stage, the organization hopes to possibly break ground in "two to three years" and will need to raise funds to it possible, she said.
School superintendents who attended a press conference in McKeesport on Thursday said most urban school districts in the Mon-Yough area --- and across the country --- face similar challenges created by poverty.
In the Wilkinsburg School District, about 99 percent of approximately 1,000 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, said Linda J. Iverson, superintendent.
Some of them are coming from generations of poverty and "fragmented" home environments, she said.
“It's not just that they're coming in from trauma-informed instances," she said. "They may not have had food or sleep the night before, or they may not have clothes.”
Charter schools are causing “financial instability” to urban school systems, said McKeesport Area School District Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. and officials from other area districts, who participated in a state-wide rally Thursday to ask Pennsylvania legislators for charter school reform.
The news conference held in McKeesport was part of an effort among nearly 20 other districts and timed to coincide with the 64th anniversary of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycotts sparked by Rosa Parks.
State Sen. Jim Brewster joined Holtzman and school district superintendents Sue Moyer of Duquesne City, Nancy Hines of Penn Hills and Linda J. Iverson of Wilkinsburg to discuss the impact of charter school funding in Mon Valley school districts.
State Sen. Jim Brewster speaks during a breakfast for veterans last month in White Oak. (Photo courtesy state Sen. Jim Brewster)
Saying “public service is about reaching out and meeting the needs of those you represent,” State Sen. Jim Brewster kicked off his re-election campaign Friday with a rally at the Monroeville municipal building.
Brewster, a Democrat from McKeesport, is seeking his third full term representing the 45th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
The former McKeesport mayor, who was first elected to the state senate in 2010 to replace former state Sen. Sean Logan, pledged to seek bipartisan solutions to problems in education, economic development, job creation and infrastructure upgrades.
“By working side-by-side, and with the goal of helping everyone, we can do more and that is why I am seeking another term in the state Senate,” Brewster said in prepared remarks delivered Friday. “The district has a large geographic footprint, the communities are diverse, and the people are strong, vibrant and energized, yet there are challenges to overcome.
Killarney Cline, 8, and Hailey Fasiska, 7, both of Versailles, celebrate after a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Thursday night at McKeesport’s Festival of Trees. The event continues through Monday. (Photo special to Tube City Almanac)
McKeesport’s 34th Annual Festival of Trees continues from 12 noon to 9 p.m. through Monday, with more than 90 specially decorated Christmas trees on display. But before the doors open Sunday, volunteers will pause to honor the memory of a longtime volunteer.
At 11:45 a.m. Sunday, a live tree outside of Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park will be dedicated in memory of the late Pat Harris, who died in July at age 87.
Many in McKeesport knew Harris for the countless hours of effort she put into various volunteer organizations, including McKeesport International Village, the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center and the Festival of Trees, for which she served as co-coordinator.
Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.
When: Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for students.
Reservations or more information: 412-673-1100 or through the website.
McKeesport Little Theater, with its intimate setting and close proximity of the audience to the stage, is the perfect venue for “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.”
Joe Landry adapted the play from the holiday movie classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” which features James Stewart as George Bailey. Landry’s twist was to stage it as a 1940’s radio play, performed before a live audience as a show within a show.
Director Kalee George said the show shaped up “wonderfully, no pun intended. The cast keeps coming back with more and more ideas in layers.”
For the first time in anyone’s memory, holiday lights are decorating the windows of the People’s Bank Building, Downtown. Building owner Jonathan Stark and volunteers decorated the building in time for McKeesport’s Light-Up Night on Wednesday. (Tube City Almanac photo)
Scaffolding will be going up soon on part of the People’s Bank Building as workers replace a tile that fell into Lysle Boulevard on Nov. 27, and make other repairs to the facade.
Owner Jonathan Stark said an engineer visited the site on Monday and determined that each of the tiles was supposed to be secured with four metal anchors. On the tile that fell, two of the anchors were missing or never installed in the first place, Stark said.
The tile fell from the facade on the “annex” of the building that overlooks the corner of Lysle Boulevard and Walnut Street. The annex was reportedly built in the 1940s, after Lysle was widened.
Members of LaRosa Boys & Girls Club joined McKeesport city officials Downtown on Wednesday night for a Light-Up Night celebration.
For the first time, the city's holiday tree is located not in Kennedy Park, but in the nearby lobby of the Tube City Center for Business and Innovation, the former Daily News Building.
Participants in the Boys & Girls Club’s Career Works Teen Workforce Development Program, which meets in the Tube City Center on weeknights, served hot chocolate and refreshments to guests, while Paul Anselmo of New Century Careers, which is offering machinist training in the building, provided tours of his group’s classroom space.