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Young musical artist competition set

Serious music students in grades 7-12 in Washington County have a chance to win an opportunity to perform a solo with the Washington Symphony Orchestra at its February concert and receive a $500 cash prize.

The annual Washington Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Competition is accepting applications until Nov. 15 for the Dec. 17 audition competition.

Interested music students may apply online at

The competition will allow students to perform for a panel of musicians, who will serve as judges, grading the competitors and offering feedback.

The winner will play a solo selection with the orchestra at its concert on Feb. 8. Past student winners have played their favorite music on piano, cello, vibraphone and oboe.

Bill Galvin, former Trinity High School band director and a musician with the Washington Symphony Orchestra, has coordinated the competition for the past several years. He also is the conductor of the orchestra's chamber ensemble.

Details: or 724-223-9796.


Hospital hosts seminar on palliative care

Hospice and palliative care will be the topic of a free seminar from 8 to 11 a.m. Nov. 14 at Monongahela Valley Hospital.

Speakers include Daniel A. Iracki, whose physician specialties include palliative care. His topic is "Ethical Conversations Between Patients, Families and Physicians About Hospice: How and When to Have Them."

The event is designed for nurses, social workers, case managers and administrators of nursing and personal care homes.

A continental breakfast will be served and parking in the hospital garage is free.

Reservations: 724-258-1932.


Swim center's contract awarded

Commissioners awarded a $1.38 million general construction contract to DiMarco Construction Co. Inc. of Clairton for the Mt. Lebanon Swim Center renovation project. Action was taken Monday during a commission meeting.

Work will include an overhaul of the existing bathhouse and improvements to the 36-year-old pool. The total project cost, including contracts that already have been awarded, is about $3.72 million, according to David Donnellan, recreation director.

The general construction portion was rebid at the commission's direction, and the new contract is for $226,000 less than the original bid.

"We were pleasantly surprised that the bids came in lower than expected," said Mr. Donnellan, who noted that the increased number of bidders the second time "forced everyone to be more competitive."

The project's intended completion was by Memorial Day weekend, but the new target date is June 15.

Mr. Donnellan said that design consultant Mark Edelman has recommended a contingency fund of 5 percent of the project cost, or about $185,000, "against unforeseen problems."

"The idea is we won't need it," he told commissioners, who took no action on assigning money for the purpose.

* Several residents spoke for and against the possibility of a "pay as you throw" waste disposal program for Mt. Lebanon.

Commissioners are gathering information before making any decisions about changing the current system.

The residents' comments followed a presentation during the commission's discussion session by Lorin Meeder, sustainability coordinator for Cranberry, which has had a "pay as you throw" system since 2004. The program is intended to provide incentives for residents and business owners to recycle more materials while decreasing the amount of garbage.

Kathleen Hrabovsky, who chairs the Mt. Lebanon Environmental Sustainability Board, said that on Oct. 10, the board voted to approve a measure to support the concept.

She also said she has spoken with new residents who inquire why such a program is not in place already.

"They're looking for that when they come here, and they're surprised we don't have it," she told commissioners.

Abby Lawler-Morycz of Morrison Drive also supports the concept, contending that it will prompt more residents to recycle.

"I think it's going to make, also, conscious consumers," she said. "People are going to think about what they're buying."

Patrick Everz of Navahoe Drive, the lone member of the sustainability board to vote against supporting "pay as you throw," expressed concerns about the potential cost of implementing such a program.

He urged the commissioners to "pursue it, because it could be a good idea. Caution should be taken."

Elaine Gillen of Vallevista Avenue told the commission she is opposed.

"We have a good system. Why would be want to change it?" she said.


Roofing contract awarded

The school board awarded a contract to replace part of the middle school/high school building roof, including the middle school wing, entrance and cafeteria roofs, to a Cleveland firm for $440,691. Action came at a meeting last week.

Bruce Mancini of Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance Inc. of Cleveland, who was at the workshop meeting to answer questions about the project, said the roof will come with a 20-year warranty that includes roof maintenance.

He said work on the roof could start about two weeks and could be completed within 45 days.

* This school year, the district increased its "College in High School Classes" from 12 to 18 credits. The district offers five classes at the high school worth 18 college credits from the University of Pittsburgh.

The cost of each class is $225 versus taking three credits at Pitt for $2,028 and four credits for $2,704. These credits are accepted by the University of Pittsburgh and other colleges.

Courses include Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1; Basic Applied Statistics; Basic Physics for Science & Engineering 1; Intermediate College French I and Communication and Rhetoric.

The classes are taken during the regular school day and college credit is earned through successful completion of the course.


Firefighter training center faces opposition

Fire and emergency personnel last week expressed opposition to a firefighter training center and memorial proposed by Commissioner David Jason for Idlewood Avenue and Duncan Way in East Carnegie. The firefighters learned about the proposal from a newspaper article.

"We don't need a training station in Scott Township. We asked for a [memorial] in the main park," said Tom Salerno, Glendale Hose Co. chief.

Patrick Mulligan, president of the Scott Township Emergency Services, said: "We're here to set the record straight."

Mr. Mulligan was angered, too, because the firefighters were not contacted. The three fire departments, which also include Bower Hill and East Carnegie, are getting along well, he added.

They added that they are content to use the Allegheny County Training Center, which one called "phenomenal."

Mr. Jason said there is money in the budget for a training station/memorial, but that it wouldn't be pursued if the firefighters aren't interested. He pointed out that his ward ---Ward 6 -- is the only one of Scott's nine wards without a park.

Board President Tom Castello said officials have not approved either a memorial or a training center.

* Michael Christ of Waste Management presented a green-and-yellow automated recycling container on wheels that each resident will be given for recyclables. Residents will have to place the containers in a certain way on the curb so that the collection truck can pick them up and empty them.

Instructions will be sent to each resident, and Manager Denise Fitzgerald said that families can purchase second containers for $40-$45.

Noting Scott's costs are expected to go down the first year and up in later years, Mrs. Fitzgerald said, "We are hoping to increase our tonnage by 10-15 percent."

Solicitor Robert McTiernan said Waste Management was the low bidder on a five-year contract bid through the South Hills Area Council of Governments. The automated recycling will begin April 1, 2015.

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