THE HISTORIC boundaries of the Mexican War Streets -- set by the city in 1972 -- should be more than doubled, according to Pittsburgh's Historic Review Commission, which voted Wednesday for the change in order to bring the neighborhood in line with the boundaries recognized by the National Park Service in 2008. The move is supported by representatives of the Mexican War Streets Society and the Central Northside Neighborhood Council because they believe a bigger district will promote investment and discourage demolition of buildings. But some residents fear that poor residents will not be able to afford to comply with some of the rules that come with historic designation. It's a classic argument -- neighborhoods can be improved but in the process can become unaffordable to original residents. In the end, it will be up to City Council to decide what's best.
JOHN MINADEO doesn't have a bridge named after him but he does have a school in Squirrel Hill that bears his name, Pittsburgh Mindaeo pre-K-5 -- and, surprisingly, there's also one in Montagano, Italy, his home town until age 11 when he moved to the United States with his family. Who was John Mindaeo and what did he do? He was a hero -- a 15-year-old patrol boy who died 58 years ago saving several of his classmates by pushing them out of the way of a car that had lost its brakes near Gladstone Junior High School in Hazelwood. The Italian school, closed for several years after an earthquake, reopened recently, an event that sparked curiosity about its name. Thanks to an Internet search, which found a 2011 Post-Gazette story, the mystery was solved. Now the two schools are hoping to have a teleconference. John Minadeo's heroism has turned out to be a bridge between two countries.