Sunday, June 4 is the city’s largest yard sale, right here in Highland Park! It will be from 9 am – 1ish, and the Bryant Street Festival from noon until 4 pm. There will be food, arts & crafts vendors, live music, kids crafts, and other fun things on Bryant Street, so please come down! Please take care when driving: there will be pedestrians out and about and Bryant Street will be closed from Highland Ave to North Saint Claire most of the day.
Exciting News for Highland Park Residents age 55 and up!
Technology is moving at a rapidly continuous pace. Are you feeling overwhelmed, left behind?
Is your Smart Phone/ TV just a little too smart?
Did you receive a Kindle or Nook Book for Mother’s Day and don’t know how it works?
Need help downloading apps to your phone?
Have a Fire Stick but are uncertain how it connects to your TV?
Need to install a webcam?
Want to see your family and friends, who live in another state, but more often than not are having Zoom issues?
…..And the list goes on and on.
Well, the good news is here! Help is on the way!
The Highland Park Community Council received a City of Pittsburgh Community First Grant to help bridge the gap, both technologically and intergenerationally The name of our new grant funded program is the Senor Online Service, aka SOS, program. It is designed to connect the seniors and young people in the community through technology assistance. The recently formed SOS Team consists of several exceptional, well qualified younger adults – “youth techs” – 18 – 25 years of age and two HPCC Board members serve as SOS coordinators. Our youth techs will provide in-home technology assistance to Highland Park residents 55+. All youth techs have been personally interviewed by the SOS coordinators, possess great technical skills, and passed a state background check.
SOS recipients must reside in Highland Park and be age 55 or up.
All SOS services provided are totally free of charge.
We are ready to go and eager to help our neighbors in Highland Park! All you need to do is:
Tonight’s HPCC Community Meeting will be a social. Join us at the parklet – now freshly spruced up & with a new picnic table thanks to some fabulous neighborhood volunteers! There’ll be food, fun & our new membership stickers. Don’t miss it!
Rats are sometimes depicted as cute or entertaining. Think Ratatouille or Templeton, the rat in Charlotte’s Web. But in real life they can be disease-carrying and destructive: Ask pretty much anyone who has lived in New York City, including the big apple’s recently appointed rat czar.
Unfortunately, rats are a way of life in Pittsburgh, too. With the increase in infrastructure work in our neighborhood, some have been displaced and have made new homes. Rats are generally nocturnal and if you start seeing them in broad daylight looking for food, it is likely that the population has shifted or grown. Take for example when one Highland Park resident found a rat resting in her dogwood tree (yes, they can climb)!
There are measures we can all take to help keep the population down. Primarily, this involves reducing food sources and shelter.
Birds (and that includes you, chickens!)
Many of us like to feed the birds. However, accessible feeders and bird food that drops on the ground make for easy pickings for rats. If you do feed the birds, keep the amount of seed to only a quantity that will be consumed in one day and keep the ground below the feeder clean. Any feeder accessible to a squirrel is also accessible to a rat. If an infestation becomes severe, it may be necessary to temporarily stop feeding birds to help break the reproductive cycle.
Chickens are birds… so these tips also apply to backyard chickens. Chicken feed and chicken feces attract rats. Keep unused quantities of feed stored securely in rodent-proof containers and keep the ground clean and free of extra food. Rats are not good for household chickens, which should offer strong incentive for chicken owners to do the work required to keep them at bay. A number of online resources are available to chicken owners looking to control rodents near their coops.
Composting can provide a nice home for rodents for obvious reasons: a compost pile can provide both food and shelter for rats. However, many composters find that restricting food composting to sealed compost containers and omitting meat and dairy waste from their compost piles prevents rodents from becoming a problem. But even if you have a plastic bin-type composter, there should be fine mesh chicken wire (holes less than ½”) underneath to keep rats from burrowing into the container.
Again, there are plenty of online resources for how to keep your compost rodent-free. One important incentive for rodent-proofing your compost pile is that any compost that has been invaded by rats should not be used on food crops.
Is your garbage stored securely? Do you regularly remove dog feces from your yard? Are there other locations in your yard that would make excellent housing for rats, such as piles of scrap, branches, twigs or other yard waste? Stacks of firewood? All of the above can provide nice homes for rats; keep your yard clean and you shouldn’t have a problem.
Once established, rat populations can quickly grow and may need professional intervention. The City of Pittsburgh has a Rodent Baiting Program that can be used by calling 311. Sometimes, when an infestation is particularly severe and is not being addressed by a resident, the Health Department is called upon to assist (see A Resident’s Guide to Rat Control on Private Property).
The entrepreneurial spirit of Bryant Street acquired a distinctly youthful vibe April 22, when children’s store Periwinkle Fox opened for business at number 5910.
Sizes newborn through toddler and up to kids’ size 10 are available both brand new and gently used. Sprinkled among colorful garment displays, stuffed animals, puzzles and block toys lend a playful air. There are also practical items such as teethers, hair brushes and blankets.
“Second-hand really drove the business idea,” said proprietor and HP resident Amanda Crossland. “I saw a need here, lots of young families.”
Customers can trade outgrown or unused children’s clothes for store credit.
With an emphasis on high-quality apparel that washes well, Amanda takes things home to test in the laundry and on her two daughters, ages 18 months and four years. One label that, to her knowledge, she is introducing to Pittsburgh, is Little Green Radicals, a UK company providing certified fair trade organic cottons in unisex colors. The shop also stocks Goumi, a US brand that combines organic cotton and bamboo clothing with a social service component.
“Why now?” One might ask of a young mother embarking on a challenging business model, the brick and mortar retail store during the age of internet shopping.
“A few things lined up,” Amanda said, rather sooner than expected, as she was contemplating her eventual return to the workplace. Tending towards modeling the American dream of self determination for her daughters, she found a great deal of support not only in the community but in her family. Her husband, a business owner himself, has been very helpful, she said, and her mother recently took an apartment in Highland Park to help with the children during the crucial first year of establishing the store.
There’s plenty of experience to go with the support Amanda enjoys. During college, she worked at a clothing boutique, and spent a junior year semester studying retail fashion marketing at the Lorenzo de’Medici Institute in Florence, Italy. After college, she worked sales and marketing for a small designer denim clothing manufacturer called, not coincidentally, Periwinkle. Adding “fox” to the store’s name seemed to provide a touch of elegance.
While orders will be taken online through the website, Amanda has bigger plans for her mailing list. Parents and caregivers will be kept apprised of events such as storytelling or arts and crafts activities, and there is hope that a Kindermusik teacher can be hosted at the store. “We don’t want to be just a retail store,” Amanda said. “There are always things we can share with our little ones.” ————— Periwinkle Fox is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. with evening hours until 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Now through May 15, anyone who registers on the website for the email newsletter will be entered for a $50 store giveaway.