Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ross Planners OK HEARTH project...

Ross Township Planning Commission approved designs for a new housing development that will cater to low-income clients of HEARTH, a non-profit organization that helps families with transitional housing.

Tattler Paul e-mailed me with the following:

Don't know if you saw it or not but I thought I'd make sure...

Last Thursday, Ross planners approved the "affordable housing" HEARTH at Benet Woods proposal. For the Post-Gazette article, click here.

I guess some in Ross have decided to follow the James Burn/Millvale model of importing dependent classes to maintain and increase their political power. I figured when we moved to the North Hills I'd have just enough time to get my daughter through school before Lana Mazur had poisoned the environment to the point we'd be looking to move.

You'd think that politicians around here would look at the Penn Hills and Monroeville's Garden City debacles and avoid repeating those errors, but I guess that's to much to expect from the power hungry. Can't wait to see the first check cashing and payday advance joint to open on McKnight.

While this Tattler agrees with Paul fundamentally, I think some may be getting ahead of themselves. These plans must now go before the Ross Township Board of Commissioners for final approval.

A date will be set to discuss the plans. I urge any of you to come out and let your opinions to be heard.

Unfortunately, this dispute it makes HEARTH look bad. In reality, this is a non-profit organization that works to help those in need. Through counseling, education and other resources, this organization assists people in getting back on their feet.

What they do is a good thing but this Tattler still believes these particular development plans aren't good for Ross Township or at least that area of the municipality right now.

Over the coming years, those neighborhoods will undergo drastic changes after North Hills closes Seville Elementary in 2009. The HEARTH project would add even more complications to an already frustrating situation.

When I find out a hearing date for this issue -- I'll let you know.

Working to keep you posted...

Monday, October 29, 2007

What happened to Tubby the Pig?

I took my annual trip to Soergel's in Wexford today to pick up some freshly-picked apples, cider and a pumpkin to carve. Each year, I like to visit the petting zoo while I'm there, which features a myriad of animals including sheep, rabbits, goats, horses and pigs.

In year's past, the highlight of this visit was taking a look at Tubby the Pig, which I must say was the biggest sow I've ever seen. However, Tubby is no longer a resident of Soergel's Petting Zoo and has been replaced by a younger pig.

My fellow Tattlers, do you have any ideas as to what happened to Tubby? Did he die of old age, was he made into some pork by-products or did he find a new home? Any info would be a great help.

Working to keep you posted...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween times...

Halloween trick-or-treat times have been posted. All times are for Halloween evening (Wednesday, October 31).

From the Post-Gazette:

5 to 8 p.m.: Millvale

5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Reserve

5:30 to 8 p.m.: Etna

6 to 7:30 p.m.: Adams, Aspinwall

6 to 8 p.m.: Aleppo, Avalon, Bellevue, Ben Avon, Ben Avon Heights, Bradford Woods, Cheswick, Cranberry, Fox Chapel, Franklin Park, Hampton, Harmar, Kilbuck, Leet, Leetsdale, Marshall, McCandless, Middlesex, Ohio Township, Pine, Richland, Ross, Seven Fields, Sewickley, Sewickley Heights, Sewickley Hills, Shaler, Sharpsburg, Valencia, West Deer, West View, Zelienople.

6:30 to 8:45 p.m.: Blawnox

Several community events are being held over the next week. So there's much more to do than stay at home and watch an old horror movie on TV. Although this Tattler loves "Halloween," "Poltergeist" and "Night of the Living Dead."

Friday, Oct. 26

Wexford -- Halloween parade; 6:30 p.m.; Wexford Volunteer Fire Company, Manor Road.

Saturday, Oct. 27

Cranberry -- Wild West Fall Festival for children and families; noon to 3 p.m.; Dutilh United Methodist Church, 1270 Dutilh Road. Games, bounce house, candy and shows. Dress in costume. Free. 724-776-1094.

Marshall -- Halloween parade; 1 p.m.; meet at Marshall Township Fire Station in Warrendale to march to Warrendale Park for activities and refreshments. Dress in costume to participate. in Marshall's Halloween Parade.

Shaler -- Halloween parade; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Shaler Plaza. Ages 2 through 10 may wear Halloween costumes and begin trick-or-treating at Kmart, where free treat bags will be distributed. Participating merchants will give candy to children during those hours. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Shaler -- Costume ball for adults; 8 to 10 p.m.; Shaler North Hills Library, 1822 Mount Royal Blvd. Live music, games, contests and refreshments. $15 for singles; $25 for couples. 412-486-0211.

Sunday, Oct. 28

Shaler -- Family harvest festival; 2 p.m.; Shaler North Hills Library, 1822 Mount Royal Blvd. Children may attend in costume. To register, call 412-486-0211.

Monday, Oct. 29

West View -- Halloween parade; 7 p.m.; begin at Highland Avenue and Perry Highway, along Perry to Center Avenue for goodie bags. Prizes awarded in age and costume categories.

Wednesday, Oct. 31

Millvale -- Halloween parade; 7 p.m.; starts at Hardee's and marches on North Avenue to Lincoln Avenue, ending at the recreation center for activities.

Have fun and be safe out there.

Working to keep you posted...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hot dog shop has opened...

Well, a new restaurant has opened in West View specializing in hoagies and hot dogs. Joe's Hot Dog and Hoagie Shop is located along Perry Highway near West View Elementary.

The eatery offers five specialty hot dogs including several variations of a chili-cheese dog. Patrons can also build their own hot dog by adding a myriad of toppings including ketchup, sauerkraut, pepper rings, bacon and relish, just to name a few.

The sandwich shop also offers hamburgers, salads, a variety of steak hoagies as well as a long list of baked hoagies.

This Tattler has not yet visited this establishment but it seems to be a good fit for West View. Residents and visitors can choose this independent eatery over the other chains in West View when grabbing a quick bite to eat.

If any of you stop by to this eatery, let this Tattler know what you thought of it. Email me at sirfuller@hotmail.com.

Working to keep you posted...

Monday, October 15, 2007


For those Tattlers who enjoy German cuisine, Kretzler's Tavern along Babcok Blvd in Ross will feature Oktoberfest entrees on Thursday and Saturday nights through the end of the month. The menu features several German dishes such as sauerbraten, roast pork, sausages, wiener schnitzel, potato pancakes, sweet n sour red cabbage and more.

This Tattler stopped by last Thursday and ordered the sauerbraten (his favorite). While it doesn't compare to the type of meal you would get at Max's Allegheny Tavern in the North Side, I still enjoyed it and would urge you to stop by sometime this month.

Working to keep you posted...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

North Hills Business Report...

My fellow Tattlers,

In recent weeks, the commercial corridors in the North Hills have undergone several changes.

~ Walgreens has opened in the former location of Eckerd Drug Store in McKnight-Siebert Shopping Center. Earlier this year, Eckerd got the boot to make way for the large pharmacy chain.

~ Eckerd will soon start construction for their new site along McKnight Road near Save-On-Beer. The drug store has already gotten the OK from Ross Township officials.

~ Quizno's has closed in recent weeks at their location along McKnight Road across the street from McKnight-Siebert Shopping Center. This comes as no surprise since the sandwich shop was rarely ever packed and had earlier closing times than other eateries in the area.

~ Hollywood Video at the former Ponderosa location along McKnight will be closing soon. Officials have said this is due to severe water drainage issues on the property as well as past robberies. Right now the location is liquidating videos at small prices (new releases are $7.50 and older movies range from $3 to $5).

~ Construction at Shoppes at Northway is well underway. The Aldi location looks like it will be completed by the end of the year and several new stores have opened such as Shoe Carnival and Kid Company.

~ Global Cafe has opened at the former Taco Bell location in West View. An ad for the restaurant notes that it will offer American, Asian and Mexican cuisines. It looks as if this might be a good spot to grab a quick bite to eat when on the run.

~ Patron Mexican Grill has opened along Perry Highway in Wexford just south of Pine Tree Shoppes. More info will follow.

This business report is not necessarily a bad sign for the North Hills. As time goes by, things change for a variety of reasons. Who knows what other businesses may be locating to the North Hills in the near future. Don't fret, the Tattler will fill you in with those developments.

If anyone has tips on any North Hills business news, e-mail this Tattler at sirfuller@hotmail.com.

Working to keep you posted...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Stokes Grill revisited, again!

Well the Tattler finally made his way to Stoke's Grill located between Kinko's and El Campesino. I was very pleased with the quality of food and variety of offerings at the small eatery.

Stoke's offers homemade soups, pretzel sandwiches, hoagies, deli sandwiches, salads a variety of quesadillas and more.

This Tattler got a roast beef pretzel sandwich that was served on the real thing and not a pretzel-shaped bun that you would find at Sheetz.

The sandwich featured cuts of real roast beef and I don't mean the lunch meat. This sandwich was packed with flavor and I'd highly recommend it.

My father got a meatball hoagie and had good reviews on this sandwich made with real meatballs, not processed ones. Additionally, We shared an order of fried zucchini, which also got good reviews.

The only thing that could affect Stokes' chances of survival are their prices. Most sandwiches are in the $6-$7 range, much like what you would pay at Panera Bread. While the food is delicious, the prices seemed just a little high.

I would however, encourage all of you to try this place that would be great for lunch or takeout. I definitely will be a returning customer at Stoke's Grill.

Working to keep you posted...
My fellow Tattlers,

I know this post doesn't have much to do with the North Hills -- but it is for a good cause.

Below is a fundraiser that will help a culinary student affected by Hurricane Katrina. It's being offered by Chef Paul Prudhomme (you know, the Cajun cook who has a striking resemblance to Dom DeLuise) and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (one of my Alma Maters).

Chef Paul Prudhomme and The Art Institute of Pittsburgh announced plans for the Chef Paul Prudhomme Culinary Scholarship, a full-tuition opportunity offered to help re-start the culinary career of a New Orleans resident affected by Hurricane Katrina. The scholarship includes the applicant’s choice of an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts or a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management.

In addition to the academic scholarship, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh has waived housing expenses bringing the value of the opportunity to $102,960, the largest single scholarship offered in the college’s 86-year history. Chef Paul’s staff at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen and Magic Seasonings will assist The Art Institute in making people aware of the scholarship and will assist the college in identifying candidates willing to go through the application process.

The intention of the scholarship is to honor Chef Paul’s commitment to New Orleans by awarding the scholarship to one of his current or former employees who would plan to return to New Orleans after earning his or her degree to contribute to the region and inspire others.

Chef Paul will join Art Institute administration to announce details about the scholarship at an upcoming fundraising dinner on Friday, October 19 hosted by The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Two varieties of tickets are available for the October 19 event. Tickets for “An Evening with Chef Paul” are $150 and include a cocktail reception from 5 to 7 p.m. and the five-course exclusive dinner from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets for “The Cocktail Affair” are available for a $40 donation.

If you can still get tickets for this event, it sounds like it will be a memorable evening and goes to a good cause. Hey, you could probably even write this off on the taxes. For details, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/pittsburgh.

Working to keep you posted...