Notable quotables of 2013

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The stories and developments in West in 2013 are perhaps best told through the quotes of individuals who played a part in the newsmaking event. Here’s a month-by-month sampling:

January

“The board said they wanted to go in a different direction, and we’re OK with the township going in a different direction.”

— attorney Robert Garvin. Robinson commissioners voted to end their professional relationship of more than 30 years with Mr. Garvin’s law firm, Goldberg Kamin & Garvin LLP of Pittsburgh.

“Geneva is proud to be part of the city, and we are delighted that we are able to participate in a variety of ways with and for the city.”

— Kenneth Carson, Geneva College provost. The college donated $10,000 to the Beaver Falls police and fire departments.

“The idea behind the rural conservation district is to ensure a significant amount of green space even though we’re undergoing a lot of growth.”

— South Fayette Commissioner Deron Gabriel. South Fayette announced plans to create a rural conservation designation that could limit commercial and industrial uses.

“I do not have any problems with placing tax-delinquent properties up for sheriff sale. I do have problems with the public directing our lack of a policy.”

— Scott commissioner Bill Wells after the board passed a motion to put two homes on Bell Avenue up for sheriff’s sale.

 

February

“This is the first time I’ve felt it necessary to come to you for help. Unless the ordinances on snow clearing are enforced, I can’t safely get to my driveway.”

— Debbie Taylor, a 23-year Scott resident. Commissioners heard complaints about residents of Greenbriar Drive who are responsible for clearing a private alley themselves.

“It’s going to be a big deal. The financial benefits are going to be great, but these financial rewards are going to be secondary to the safety of our residents.”

— Findlay Supervisor Janet Craig. Allegheny County held an open house on a proposal to drill for natural gas on Pittsburgh International Airport property.

“They would be a least 50 percent taxable to us and at least 50 percent taxable to the school district.”

— South Fayette solicitor Jonathan Kamin. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC will include the school district in a tax deal for its planned $20.5 million outpatient pediatric center on Route 50.

“We received so much feedback from patrons and from the South Fayette Library about patrons who said they tried to visit the Bridgeville library that the board decided to restore service on Mondays.”

— Joyce Heinrich, Bridgeville library fundraiser. The library had reduced its operating hours because of state funding cutbacks.

 

March

“I don’t see why there’s such a big dispute about why it’s a problem to produce the records.”

— David Montz, Green Tree manager. The borough announced it is going to court to obtain copies of quarterly earned income tax records and payments for 2012.

“People ask,’Who do I make the check out to?’ and I say, ‘The Milkman.’”

— Jeff Brunton. He’s a one-man show delivering mostly Brunton Dairy products door to door throughout portions of Beaver and Allegheny counties.

“That is the source of the water we’ve been talking about all of these years. It appears to have been there a long time and discharges a lot of water.”

— Larry Lennon, Scott engineer. The water that sometimes floods the Glendale area of Scott is coming from a 4-foot-by-1.5-foot sewer behind the Patete Kitchen and Bath Center on Washington Avenue.

“I have done everything but drive a school bus.”

— Superintendent Donna Belas of the Cornell School District. She retired June 30 after spending her entire professional career at Cornell. Her successor is Aaron Thomas, who had been high school principal.

 

April

"The nice thing about TreeVitalize is they totally try to put the right-size tree in the right-sized place."

— Bridget Van Dorn, a member of the Carnegie Shade Tree Commission. The organization marked its third year by planting flowers in the Main Street planters and at the Sunflower Rain Garden on West Mall Plaza.

"County Executive Rich Fitzgerald issued a challenge to municipalities to meet five criteria, and our commissioners felt we could accomplish all of those." 

— Collier manager Sal Sirabella. Collier was one of 21 municipalities selected as a Banner Community, a brand-new honor awarded by the Allegheny League of Municipalities.

"The concept is simple: bring a book, take a book." 

— Heidelberg Councilman Bob Debar. The borough installed a book-lending kiosk in the Ellsworth Avenue playground after Mr. Debar read about the idea in a magazine.

"We have every yearbook ever published. People can look at them in the library. The display will be a history lesson for the 350 elementary students." 

Jacie Maslyk, principal of Crafton Elementary School, which turned 100 years old. The school formerly was Crafton High School.

 

May

"This really will be a test well to see what kind of production we get, and then the company will make plans on not just the other two wells on this well pad, but the development of other wells in the area." 

Glenn Truzzi, environmental engineering manager for Range Resources in Cecil. Findlay supervisors approved the first Marcellus Shale wells with more in the pipeline.

"The future looks bright." 

Greg DeFeo, president of Pittsburgh Technical Institute in North Fayette. Energy giant Chevron purchased the property occupied by a Super Kmart Center in Moon as a potential site for a regional headquarters. 

"This was the worst voter turnout I have ever encountered. The so-called super voters did not vote." 

— Chartiers Valley school director Jeff Choura of Scott. Mr. Choura served on the board for 36 years until he was defeated in the primary election.

"You're opening this up to tell everyone where it is when there  is really not enough parking." 

Doreen Ducsay, former Collier commissioner. She was among residents of Rennerdale objecting to the township's installation of metal poles for directional signs that will advertise the nearby Panhandle Trail.

 

June

"We try to put bees where there's good food, where they have something to eat, and that way they'll make better honey, and more of it." 

Jeff Allison of Findlay. Beekeepers such as Mr. Allison were concerned about township plans to control rules for raising honeybees.

"It helps to preserve farmland and protect the property owners from potential development." 

Laura Ludwig, North Fayette development director. More than 760 acres in North Fayette were considered for a state-sanctioned program to encourage the continuation of productive working farms.

"Secession petitions rarely succeed. I think the [Pennsylvania] Secretary of Education understood that once this starts, there would be no end to it." 

Ira Weiss, former solicitor for the Carlynton School District. The state denied a petition by Rosslyn Farms to secede from Carlynton and join the Chartiers Valley School District.

"The reality is so many of the smaller parishes can't survive on their own." 

The Rev. Samuel J. Esposito, episcopal vicar for Region 3 of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. The diocese announced the merger of Christ the Divine Teacher in Chippewa, Divine Mercy and St. Philomena in Beaver Falls, and St. Rose of Lima in South Beaver into one parish, St. Monica.

 

July

"The agreement we entered into mandates that at least 50 percent must be taxable to the township and the school." 

Daron Gabriel, chairman of the South Fayette commissioners. Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC applied to South Fayette for five years of tax breaks.

"Our teachers were understanding about what we are going through. This is the lowest annual increase I have ever seen." 

— Carlynton school board President David Roussos. The district and the teachers union agreed to a five-year contract.

"This is going to be a big step for the township, for fire protection, for the department."

— North Fayette Volunteer Fire Department Chief Gary Hamilton. The fire department announced plans for a third station at the township municipal complex, 400 North Branch Road.

"It's a nice change of pace for Carnegie. It's very upeat and I like the combination of old and new." 

Patrick Martin of Scott. The former post office on East Main Street in the heart of the Carnegie business district was converted into a coffee shop.

 

August

"It's just ubelievable. It's what we've been dreaming about for years." 

Pam Perry, president of the Western Allegheny Community Library in North Fayette. After 10 years of planning and 10 days of moving, the library moved into a new building.

"We thought long and hard about it. You're in a Catch-22. The way they drill, it's my opinion they're going to get the gas whether you sign or not." 

— Findlay resident Bill Ehrlich, one of the visitors at an open house to explain how drilling for natural gas at Pittsburgh International Airport will yield hundreds of millions of dollars in development.

"I know we don't have anough money to build the civic center that was envisioned by the previous board, so we would have to figure out how to make that happen." 

— South Fayette Commissioner Joe Horowitz. The township is reconsidering plans to convert the former Star City Cinemas building into a civic center.

"They fly by and beep their horns at the kids. They're using the street as a cut-through." 

— Scott resident Lori Lang. Some residents of Orchard Spring Road in Scott complained about Port Authority buses traveling their street from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

"There's a lot more space and a lot more opportunities for the kids to do hands-on activities." 

Karley Rossi, fourth-grade teacher at South Fayette Intermediate School. The new $30 million school opened to accommodate growing enrollment.

 

September

"People are laughing at it. They're calling it Penis Road." 

Pat Martin, resident of the Glendale section of Scott. New concrete posts known as bollards installed along two streets in Scott as a safety measure were the talk of the town because of their shape.

"I couldn't have even walked under that bridge without ducking."  

— Oakdale resident Dave Scisciani. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spent $50,000 to remove accumulated sediment from under three state-owned bridges to stem flooding in Oakdale.

"I use tough love. I want them to succeed. When I hand them their diplomas, I will know they have what it takes." 

— Chef Norman Peter Hart, who teaches at the new American Academy of Culinary Arts offered at Pittsburgh Technical Institute in North Fayette.

"We don't have enough buses with the amount of students we're transporting." 

— South Fayette School District transportation director Donna Harshman. The district announced plans to add four 72-passenger buses to its fleet.

October

"Personally, I can't understand how these two schools have not been addressed over the past two decades."

— Moon Area school board member Gia Tatone. The district is studying what to do with its elementary facilities and an abundance of empty classrooms.

"The objective of the logo image was to develop a fresh, modern design supportive of the organization's strategic plan, adopted in January 2013." 

— News release from the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce, which updated its image with a fresh logo.

"This story goes to the heart of the education mission of the show." — Aidan Pickering, executive producer of "Sea Rescue," an ABC television program. Students at Crafton Elementary School were filmed for the show about marine animal rescues.

"It definitely is an important milestone, and now that we have received the road permit, it does enable us to proceed with more work."

— Eric Newhouse, project manager for the planned Newbury Market in South Fayette. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issued a highway occupancy permit for road improvements surrounding the 88-acre development.

 

November

“It’s a very exciting rebirth for McKees Rocks. I am excited for the town. It’s a shot in the arm that’s really needed.”

— Tracey Pedersen, a member of the McKees Rocks Historical Society. CSX Corp. announced plans to build a $50 million rail cargo transfer station on the former P&LE railroad yards in McKees Rocks and Stowe.

“We think the partnership is going to end up being stronger for both of our communities than each of us standing on our own.”

— Robert Milacci, South Fayette library board president. South Fayette and Bridgeville libraries are forming a partnership to save money and boost services.

“You pick the best of the best from all of the schools and you get one wickedly good production.”

— Laura Mitchell, Moon Area language arts teacher. Student performers from Moon Area High School and Robert Morris University collaborated in a fall musical production, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

“The connection to Main Street in Bridgeville is going to occur — we understand that. Please build an arterial roadway we can all live with.”

— Bridgeville resident Pasquale DiBlasio. Bridgeville residents were concerned about traffic nightmares from Bedner Farms, a housing development proposed in neighboring Upper St. Clair.

 

December

“We are proud to partner with a host of area school districts to best meet the academic and co-curricular needs of all students.”

— Quaker Valley superintendent Joseph Clapper. Quaker Valley and Cornell school districts renewed their sports partnership agreement for two years, which enables Cornell football players, cheerleaders and marching band members to play on teams and take part in organizations at Quaker Valley.

“I’m going to miss those guys. Those three as a group are the heart and soul of Collier Township.”

— Collier manager Sal Sirabella. Commissioners Robert Schuler, Kay Downey-Clarke and Timothy Young, who served a combined 18 years, are retiring.

"We're going to focus on the aftermath of Gettysburg. We hope to bring to light what happened to the people." 

Diane Klinefelter, the new part-time curator of the Civil War Room at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie. Ms. Klinefelter is organizing a series of Civil War programs.

"It's amazing. The reason I wanted it was for public awareness. It's a tool to help our police department do its job better." 

— Carnegie police Chief Jeff Kennedy. Police have turned to Facebook to spread news about a recent theft or to alert residents to a potentially dangerous situation.


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