France 1839: St. Jeanne Jugan takes an elderly infirm woman who could not walk nor see into her home. It was on that day that the campaign of caring known as The Little Sisters Of The Poor came into being.
One would be challenged to find a more staunch believer in peace than St. Jugan. When she was assaulted by a young man after soliciting a donation, she said to him "You gave that to me, now give me something for the elderly." Legend has it that the young man was so taken by St. Jugan's response and so overcome with generosity that he gave her all the money in his pockets.
TLSOTP came to Pittsburgh in 1872 and has Homes in Brighton Heights and Lawrenceville. Their mission has not wavered; to care for the impoverished and aged among us with the utmost compassion and to the best standards their resources will allow.
With Social Security and Medicare in danger, TLSOTP are essential defenders of some of our society's most vulnerable and forgotten citizens. They are doing what Christ, the original rock-and-roll left-wing socialist warrior, would be doing if he walked the Earth today.
TLSOTP provides assisted independent living services, medical services, and personal care to destitute people over 60. Their good works are done without regard to religious, racial, and ethnic differences.
They could always use some funding and are more than deserving of it. No matter what your beliefs are, send them a little of your expendable income today if you ever had a grandmother or grandfather or just believe in tipping the scales on behalf of Benevolence.
Brother's Brother is Pittsburgh's own version of Doctors Without Borders and doesn't get nearly enough coverage in the media. Because of this, it's easy to forget about their good works and be completely in the dark over their existence.
Since 1958, Brother's Brother has been doling out care where disease has spread, dropping food and seeds where famine has taken hold, and educating people where poverty has seemingly siphoned off all hope.
Over 3 billion dollars has been raised since Brother's Brother was founded. All of this money has been used for nothing less than the unmaking of all that imperialism has formed; their administrative and operating costs are kept under 1 percent.
With at least 10 million lives saved in 140 countries (ironically and tragically enough, U.S. forces currently occupy over 150), Brother's Brother does and has done what bombs, missiles, sanctions, neo-conservatism, and neo-liberalism can never do.
If the United States gave more funding to Brother's Brother and less to defense contractors and weapons makers, the world would be more secure and just, sans any bloodletting.
Overturn The Grand Chessboard. Donate.
Spit in the eye of Ares. Donate.
Throw a wad of rubber cement into the cogs of the War Mech. Donate.
Counter the notion that human nature is inherently and helplessly bent towards violence and greed. Donate.
Light a wildfire in the souls of your peers, one that burns out of control for nothing but peace and equity. Donate.
And to think they're right over the drink in Manchester.
Yes, their acronym is GASP! Righteous subversive brilliance!
43 people started this organization in 1969 to confront the spectre of pollution, one that looms large in Pennsylvania.
With the recent developments concerning Marcellus Shale and fracking, watchdog outfits like GASP need to stay strong. Had they never existed, it is likely that Pittsburgh would still be known as a soot-covered city with rivers fish won't swim in.
GASP helped bring elements of the Clean Air Act to Allegheny County, aligned themselves with the EPA to get US Steel's Clairton Works to adopt cleaner air quality standards, helped sue LTV, and caused their Hazelwood plant to fold.
By keeping our air breathable and our water drinkable, GASP helps keep our area liveable.
That the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust took a once sleazy part of Downtown Pittsburgh and transformed it into a bustling center for the arts is enough to warrant a 5 star rating. 20 years ago, I recall avoiding Liberty Avenue as a teenager, worrying that I might be approached by drug or sex peddlers while heading to and from school. Today, Theater Square, The Benedum, The Byham, The Harris, and The O'Reilly (to name a few) have usurped the outlets for peepshows and pornography. As ambivalent as I am towards gentrification (I'll admit to being uneasy about the encroachment of the well-to-do), I'm appreciative of what the PCT has done for this section of our city since the organization's conception in 1984.
What prompted me to write a review about the PCT, however, was their sterling customer service.
A few nights ago, I was waiting for my paycheck to clear through direct deposit so that I could grant my lovely Kay, a former high school marching band member, a wish; to witness the musical extravaganza known as "Blast!" live at Heinz Hall.
Early Friday morning at around 1AM, I placed an order on PCT's website after almost forgetting to do so. Immediately upon looking at my online receipt, I gasped in horror for I had ordered tickets for the wrong night! I wanted to order tickets for the Saturday night show, but instead, I mistakenly ordered tickets for the Friday night show! I don't get off work until 8PM, which means we would have been late!
So I forced myself to get some sleep and called their customer service line at 9AM. Without any difficulty, the representative honored the exchange when I explained what I had done, and the following night, we picked up the tickets at the venue's Will Call window. The teller didn't even ask to see my ID or credit card. Our weekend had been rescued from certain disaster.
Try doing that with Ticketmaster.
With apologies to the late, legendary pro wrestler Buddy Rogers, it's class that counts, and it's written all over The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Research and prevention aside, the scourge of AIDS will be ended by a fusion of education and mercy. The Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force has been leading that two-pronged manner of crusade in our city and Southwestern Pennsylvania for over 25 years.
PATF not only administers anonymous, free-of-charge testing without the need for an appointment but also offers emergency funds, workshops, support groups, case management, outreach programs, and AIDS 101 presentations among other services.
In 2007, there were close to 3,500 cumulative AIDS diagnoses in Pittsburgh alone. If the statistics are correct, those living with AIDS cross lines of gender, race, age, sexuality and levels of risk in their lifestyles.
Until AIDS is defeated like polio was decades ago, the reasons PATF has to exist are as legion as the number of infected. PATF's reasons to keep going are your reasons to support them in any way you can. Even those unafflicted with this tragedy of a disease are not unaffected by its cruel wake, but all of us, infected or not, have a role to play in reversing this tide of Death. PATF is there for those who choose to act as well as those who need their help.
Note: 877-PGH-ACLU is their toll-free number.
However, this is less a review and more a personal note of thanks to the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union for sending representatives out to act as legal observers during yesterday's Occupy Pittsburgh march. As someone who is fairly new to direct action, having folks from the ACLU there to ensure that no one's rights were being violated was comforting.
Be grateful for the canary-shirted/jacketed sentinels of liberty that chaperoned the 99% this past Saturday. They protect democracy in a way that no army ever could, do so without guns or billyclubs, and are there to fight for YOUR right to express yourself and live freely without regard to how extreme your viewpoint is or what background you come from.
I was the one carrying a dual-sided sign. On one side it read...
"CAPITALISM KILLS, SOCIALISM SAVES"
On the other side it read...
"NOAM CHOMSKY NOT MILTON FRIEDMAN! HOWARD ZINN NOT AYN RAND!"
Maybe ya saw me.
I was interviewed by 3 people, debated a bunch of clueless free-market supporters who infiltrated the gathering at Market Square, and was photographed about 50 times. So, I'd like to think I got the word out in my own small way.
It may be premature to say this, but marching with 3,500 fellow progressives from Freedom Corner to Market Square and then Mellon Green will probably be be one of the events racing past my eyes when my lifeblood is nearly spent.
This was inspiring, empowering, electrifying.
This was peaceful. No violence occurred. The only vandalism that occurred was done with chalk on concrete.
This was diverse, strikingly so. White people, black people, Asian people, Indian people, hippies, working class people, students, young, elderly, secularists, clergy, affluent people, destitute people, heterosexuals, homosexuals all demonstrated together, displaying solidarity in a manner all too often unseen in this city with no issue affecting workers and poor of all socioeconomic groups left unaddressed.
Unemployment rises. The canyon between rich and poor grows. Corporate power increasingly concentrates. Yet the public will not be denied. They are increasingly wiggling out of their straightjackets, clearing the consumerist clutter from their minds, and finding strength in a healthy, inclusive mass movement. They're embracing anger, but it is a focused, righteous anger where offensive violence has no place and where all are heard.
The 99% are being led by love, compassion, cooperation, peace, justice, and ecology. No individual can lead this. No individual needs to lead this. They do not wear foil hats. They have objectives. They are your co-workers, neighbors, subordinates. They are YOU.
* As much as I criticize the Pittsburgh Police, they were a class act yesterday.
* I'm very proud of my Kay for breaking out of her comfort zone (as did I) to participate with me.
* I'm so glad I took part. I can only hope there will be more. This was such a rewarding experience.
* We were going to camp out but didn't plan or park well enough. After sticking around muddy Mellon Green for a spell, we gave up our spot for someone else to occupy.
* Thanks to the local ACLU chapter for sending legal observers.
We won't be ignored. Sorry fatcats.
P.S. Highlight of my day: Getting to belt out a few bars of Sepultura's "Refuse/Resist!" into a megaphone as we marched.
Dr. Joe Lagana retired in 1999 after a nearly 40-year career as a science teacher and school superintendent. At his retirement party, he accepted no gifts for himself. Instead he asked his friends, family, peers, and colleagues to funnel their money into the creation of The Homeless Children's Education Fund.
Since then, HCEF has grown from utilizing a single small room with just 3 computers to building 11 Learning Centers. In addition to that, over the past decade, HCEF has argued in favor of this act...
HCEF has also distributed over 7,500 backpacks and 900 books to area children and have provided money for educational fieldtrips among many other things. Their work is by no means finished.
Donate today if you believe that education is a right, that homeless children are entitled to an education regardless of their situation, and that breaking the cycle of homelessness involves ensuring that homeless children get a quality education along with everyone else.
Note: I changed the address in the Yelp listing since it was outdated. In case the amendment doesn't show up right away, here it is...
Operation Safety Net
1518 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
This recent article from Barbara Ehrenreich illuminates the timely connection to the Occupy Wall Street movement and homelessness...
OSN is a medical outreach that falls under the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System and was founded by Dr. Jim Withers, an internal medicine specialist, who in 1992, began a crusade to heal and rehabilitate the forgotten, indigent citizens of Pittsburgh. Withers would even go so far as to disguise himself as a homeless person after dark in order to blend into and therefore help a population that is sadly over one million in number.
In what is the most affluent nation in the world, there are over one million human beings without a decent place to live.
Think about that for a moment.
Whether they dwell under bridges, sleep in public parks, or find shelter in abandoned buildings, the homeless are as deserving of health care as much as any of us, and remaining blind to their plight will only worsen the problem.
Are you unsure about giving cash to people that are homeless, worrying that they might spend the money you drop into their cups on illicit substances? Try giving to Operation Safety Net instead...
Or consider donating household and personal hygiene items to the address provided in this review instead of funds.
Meanwhile, take the time to view this audio slide show on the work of Dr. Withers and the crew of streetwise ex-homeless persons who aid him in his mission...
Remember the destitute. Remember that the cause of their situation isn't personal failure and that crowing at them to "buck up and find a job" or pushing them out of sight will do nothing.
Hey. Tough guy.
Yeah, I'm talkin' to you.
You and that lady of yours are gettin' serious.
If you care about her and yourself, you'll get tested, and guys can get tested down here through their health insurance. I had just a minimal co-pay.
Yes, today was a first for me, and it did feel a bit like being on "a very special episode" but was something that had to be done.
At 9AM, we strolled down to PP and were greeted by idiot pro-lifers and their manipulative, well-dressed masters. It was early for me so I didn't bother with them, and I could have. However, they're too deluded to get that they're being used by The Right to vote against their own interests, and they like freakshow confrontations, so I walked away and ignored the grotesque abortion photos they paraded around with. These people must be closet fans of splatter flicks. Christ.
You'd think they'd spend more time protesting wars and the death penalty, y'know?
Curiously, the ladyfriend is medically unable to have children. What they didn't know. Heh.
We waited 4 HOURS!!! Despite that, the unfortunate scene outside, and the strict security, we chatted up lots of people in a refreshingly frank way. What's there to be ashamed of? The staff is the same way, not to mention very friendly. Nobody judges you. In fact, they were all glad to see a guy come in willingly to get tested. It's called being responsible.
Kudos to the gal who took my blood. Her name was Farren. I swear to Ronnie Dio. She appreciated the little notes I belted out upon getting stuck with the needle. It's how I buck up for the pinch.
At one point, I put the urine sample in the empty towel dispenser inside the wall instead of the box. I had 'em chuckling over that and talking about me for sure.
They said to put it in the box on the wall.
"Ohhh, the other box..."
My morning was guest-scripted by Larry David.
Anyway, go down and get tested. Maybe you'll have fun with it like I did. Well, it was as much fun as it could have possibly been.
Before we walked out the door, I closed my eyes, clenched my fists and uttered the incantation "No pro-lifers, no pro-lifers, no pro-lifers..."
When we got out of there around 2PM, the pro-lifers were all gone, like magic. Swear to Ronnie Dio, again.
Thus ends my PSA for the day.
With over 700,000 members strong, the almost 7 decades-old United Steelworkers is the mightiest industrial labor union in North America, and its master headquarters has a Pittsburgh address.
Unions were assailed then and are being assailed now by regressive, laissez-fare capitalist forces that bow to the unholy, unstable power of markets and stomp on the dignity of working people. USW is biggest David we have in the battle against the Goliath of Greed that is Corporate America.
The USW was founded in the blood of those who toil, those whose fingernails have soot under them, those 146 garment workers who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, those whose muscles ache at the end of their day, those who make society function, those who produce, those who forge, smelt, lift, climb, rescue, and nurse the injured and sick back to health.
Unions are imperfect, but without them there would be no rights for those who work, and the few in power who scheme, gamble, downsize, and profit would be unstoppable in their economic campaign of terror. Realize where your interests lie. Realize that the USW's issues of universal health care, unfair trade practices, outsourcing, job security, living wages, protecting/bolstering Social Security, a clean environment, and the simple right to organize are your issues too.
I'll leave you with a few quotes from current USW president Leo Gerard.
"All we want to do is sit down and negotiate. Negotiation is the cornerstone of democracy as well. And I've threatened and challenged to debate people. Show me a country on earth that is a democratic country that doesn't have a free, strong, independent labor movement. If you crush the labor movement in America, you crush democracy."
"53,000 factories have closed since the Bush years, since the collapse we have 27 million unemployed and underemployed. Let's be clear -- this mess was not caused by workers, but by corporate thugs on Wall Street."
"How many companies have to go under before Washington gets the message? How many American workers and communities will have to be devastated by the predatory practices of foreign governments before Washington realizes that the country's economic and national security is being totally undermined for the sake of protecting trade policies that have patently failed."
"Anything Goes capitalism is something that must go."
"GOP governors from Ohio to Indiana to Wisconsin have claimed last November's elections gave them a mandate to decimate worker rights. But numerous polls, from those sponsored by the New York Times to USA Today/Gallup, have shown that these Republicans are wrong, that the public is not with them. Consistently, 60 percent in the polls say they oppose legislation terminating worker rights."
They don't want corporations and they don't want governments to return to the days of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, when young women, without a union and without an effective collective voice, labored in a fire trap that eventually killed them. They don't want government to give itself or corporations the unfettered ability to exploit workers again."
"No matter how better educated American workers get. No matter how much more innovative. No matter how much more productive. No matter how many tax dollars the government spends on research and development, if the corporations that benefit move manufacturing overseas, the American workers who paid for it will suffer."
"An ordinary American dreams of a family-supporting job, owning a home, saving enough to pay for a child's college education, helping to build a safe community. Corporations aren't Americans, no matter how often the U.S. Supreme Court grants them rights that the U.S. Constitution guarantees to human beings. Businesses aren't citizens. Their allegiance isn't to America. It's to profits. They dream only of dollars. They concede no responsibility to family, community or country."
"Without the slightest regret or hesitation, the rich are killing the great American middle, rendering it a casualty of their shirked social responsibilities. Their campaign has been abetted by Republicans since Ronald Reagan. The Gipper contended slashing taxes for the wealthy would increase revenues for the government. Republican George H. W. Bush rightly ridiculed Reaganomics as voodoo."
Run, Leo, run, for POTUS that is.
Whether or not it is appropriate for me or anyone else to write a review of this 4 decades-old offshoot of the National Organization of Women's Pittsburgh chapter is something I'll let the local Yelp community decide. In the meantime I'll leave you with some statistics that will not surprise you and some that might.
25% of women and over 16% of men have been sexually assaulted at least once.
Around 80% of boys and girls alike have been sexually harassed during their school years.
66% of disabled women have been raped.
Only a little over a third of rapes are reported to authorities.
67% of reported sexual assaults victims are under 18.
A third of rape victims are left with suicidal thoughts.
Over 3/4 of victims knew the perpetrator.
On average in Pennsylvania, 9 rapes are reported daily.
In this age of "he said, she said" controversies and instances where people lacking in character lied about being sexually attacked in sensationalized scandals, the sheer numbers and facts need to surface in order to remind the public that rape is a very real pandemic.
Sexual abuse survivors are your friends, neighbors, relatives and are aged as well as young. Sexual abuse creates fear, distrust, and resentment between the genders and at times within genders. The consequences are both physical and mental. It is a crime borne not of lust but of humilation and dominance. It poisons the gift of consensual, sexual love.
PAAR has a hotline that is never closed for weekends or holidays, operates continuously at all hours, and covers all of Allegheny County. They train, they educate, they advocate, they counsel, they heal. Keep them strong. Donate.
I really don't know what else needs to be said.
Hunger is one subject that rarely comes up in discussions about food. When the subject of hunger does come up, it remains limited to talk of the developing world. It is difficult to think about the fact that adults and children here in the States are going to sleep with pangs in their stomachs. It's easier to think about where to get good pho instead.
In 2009 it was reported that over 50 million Americans were living in "food insecure" households.
It's cliche to ask this, but have you ever in your life had to wonder where your next meal might come from? I hope you haven't, but if you have, that's food insecurity. For some, the situation is temporary. For others it's a chronic hardship.
In these dire, murky economic times where the gulf between the wealthy and the impoverished is only growing, food banks are as essential as they've ever been, and The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has been meeting that need throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania for more decades than I've been alive.
Annually, the Food Bank allocates 21 million pounds of food from their Duquesne warehouse via manifold avenues not limited to senior citizen centers, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and pantries.
And if you think that you will never find yourself relying on a food bank to feed you or your family, you should read this article from late last year...
Hunger is spreading, even into the supposedly lush, insulated suburbs. Food banks can help stifle and even reverse that tragic advancement.
After all, you never know when the rug you're standing on will be yanked right out from under your feet, and yes it could be YOU someday. So, if you're not going to donate food or funds to the address above out of a concern for those who are not as privileged as you are, do so out of self-interest. As long as we support our local food banks, they will continue to be there for all of us if and when we need them.
If you can't afford to give money, take a look inside your cupboard. Are you really planning on making something with that can of Cream of Mushroom Soup?
Over the past two decades, Lawrenceville has undergone a strange metamorphosis. Formerly a somewhat depressed and crimeprone part of town, Lawrenceville is currently an almost ideal blend of chic and hardscrabble without becoming overly gentrified, yet anyway. As a lifelong Pittsburgher, the whole phenomenon still has me scratching my bald noggin with a cautious, curious smile on my lips. Lawrenceville has turned into the "it" neighborhood of Pittsburgh and is a Cinderella story I never thought would happen.
L-Villians, do you love your neighborhood? Are you willing to put down roots in old Larryville?
Don't tell me that you're gonna split in a few years when you have kids? Yer not gonna flee to Robinson, are ya?
Then put your pesos where your pieholes are; join Lawrenceville United and help keep Lawrenceville liveable, lovable, funky, friendly, safe, sunny, vibrant, and vital for the old heads as well as the bandwagon-jumpers.
The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights is a local organization with a worldwide reach that doesn't allow the abuse of workers to go unnoticed no matter where it occurs. The organization was established in Pittsburgh in 1981 as the National Labor Committee and has offices and research groups in Bangladesh, China, Central America, and Jordan.
Back in June, The Institute published an expose on the exploitation of workers in Jordan who manufactured products for Classic Brands, Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Target, Macy's, and Hanes...
Burlington Coat Factory, The Dallas Cowboys, and a clothing line headed by Kathy Lee Gifford have also been targets of The Institute's essential, moral muckraking.
Do you care about where the products you buy are made? Do you care about who makes these products? Do you care about the horrid conditions under which they are produced? Does it have to be like this? Support this non-profit and use it to enlighten your peers.
P.S. Their Alerts page will break your heart...
Regardless of your support of or opposition to war (and regular readers know where I stand), the cold, tough fact that over a quarter of the homeless in the U.S. are veterans (5,000 of them alone are here in Pennsylvania), should be enough to move anyone of conscience to act.
Veterans are alternately put onto pedestals and demonized. What is all too often forgotten is that they also end up unemployed, living on the streets, and plagued by physical and mental maladies.
The VLPWPA, which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year, aims to rectify that in Western PA by finding veterans gainful work, decent housing, and by helping them readjust to civilian life in any other way they possibly can.
One can send donations directly to the organization itself...
Or...you can donate indirectly in a really fun and scrumptious way.
Go to a King's Family Restaurant and order the Double Fudgin' Trouble Sundae for dessert. A portion of the proceeds from each one of these deridiculicious treats goes to the VLPWPA. While it may not be good for you (deep-fried brownies are involved), it will do another person's life a bit of good.
|Monsters of bread, vegetable, and protein stalk Western Pennsylvania. Beware!||The American shopping mall is dying a slow and arguably deserved death. Here is a memoir of my journey through the badlands of suburbia. Prepare for a dark, cynical ride...|
|Low and...slowwwww...||'Cause 100's too easy.|
|The lousy reviews help one maintain a sense of perspective. To know what good is, you have to know what bad is...||We're cozy, down-to-earth, and if nothing else, good, good eats can be found here. Come. Step out of the box.|
|I'm including restaurants that fall under the entire Asian umbrella since many of the restaurants offer more than one genre of Asian fare and because there's a bit 'o fusion goin' on as well...||These are a few of my favorite sandwiches that aren't burgers or gyros...|
|I urge thee to visit this easeful hamlet 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh...||Come, come, into the coven of confectionery sin. Indulge. Swear allegiance to the unlight!|
"The Odd Man Out Who Likes The Odds"
Pittsburgh, PA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
Februar 2009Dinge, die ich mag
Boxing, lifting weights, laundry, yardwork, wetshaving, writing, singing, reading, the paranormal, progressive politics, pro wrestling, comic books, heavy metal music, film.Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
way over my head.Heimatort
Pittsburgh,PAWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm engaging in spectacular battles that cause much property damage.Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
I'm not a yuppie or a hipster and therefore add a sorely needed perspective.Meine zweitliebste Website Was ich zuletzt gelesen habe
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared DiamondMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
I believe was at Heinz Hall on an elementary school field trip. I dozed off.Mein Lieblingsfilm
Capitalism: A Love StoryMeine Henkersmahlzeit
Potato/avocado/truffle salad with fresh garlic mayoErzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
...I've never had a cappuchino and never will.Meine neueste Entdeckung
Ne ObliviscarisIch schwärme gerade für
Sweet Lady Kay
Dieser User kommt von Qype, ein europäisches Unternehmen, das Yelp 2012 übernommen hat. Wir haben die beiden Seiten zusammengefügt, um euch ein großartiges lokales Erlebnis zu ermöglichen.