Archive for October, 2010

Steeler Fans Overwhelm The Big Easy
October 31, 2010

It started on the plane. A Steeler Monkey–but not one on their backs! This is Rich Lubic, who reminded me he had been at a Steelers pep rally at a Steeler bar in Jacksonville, Florida, back in 2006, when NFL films shot “Steeler Nation.” And he reminded me they all sang Happy Birthday to me.

Fast forward four years, and we are in New Orleans, at the Super Dome. John Meyer and I have never been here, but Guy Junker had. None of us had ever experienced The Crescent City during Halloween, and the trek down Bourbon Street was delightful madness, punctuated by costumed Steeler fans, like these nurses from Allegheny General Hospital,

and a host of characters like these

and these

and these (Guy and John)

Not a great  photo, but try taking a cell phone picture with throngs bumping into you.

After we did some work inside the amazing Super Dome, I headed out to a jazz spot with DVE’s Randy Baumann, Ryan Camuso, and their buddies.

We listened to the most amazing trombone band, at Tipitina’s. Several years ago, Randy arranged a benefit in Pittsburgh for the Tipitina Foundation, to raise money for the musicians devastated by Katrina. He brought in 50 thousand dollars. The foundation supports the musical culture of this gem of a city, and helps put musical instruments into the public schools here. It is hard to believe, looking at the regions’s remarkable recovery, that Katrina almost destroyed this resilient city. There are still scars, though. Still work to be done. Reminders were on display at the Katrina Exhibit that opened this week-end at the Louisiana State Museum. One can understand how the Saints’ Super Bowl win was a galvanizing lift for the city. Too bad the Steelers are not going to help in that department Sunday night!


The PA Governor’s Conference for Women
October 13, 2010

Times are tough, and if you are a woman- looking for a job, looking for a way to help your family live better, or just looking for a recipe to be healthier–October 14, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center may be a destination for you. It is the seventh annual Pa Governor’s Conference for Women–co-hosted by Governor Ed Rendell and the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. It is non-profit, non-partisan, and one day, with 75 speakers from around the country. It was here in Pittsburgh two years ago, and they had the hosts of Biggest Loser as speakers, as well as Elizabeth Edwards. This year you can hear from author Kelly Corrigan, who wrote the best-selling, “The Middle Place.” The playwright who created ,”The Vagina Monologues,” Eve Ensler is also speaking. She  founded a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space will be on the ground in Downtown, and there will be a Career Fair led by Women For Hire CEO Tory Johnson, She is the workplace contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America. The Fair will be from 2:30 to 5:30, and will feature workshops on career development and advancement.  There will also be one-on-one’s with people about resumes and interviews. All cool stuff.

And ,with the election front and center in many women’s minds, PA Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato will be on stage for an interview, as well as Susan Corbett, the wife of Tom Corbett, the Republican opponent.  I will be interviewing them separately, and asking questions important to the women of this state. Hope to see you there. For more information, go to

A Pepsi Refresher for Turtles
October 11, 2010

It is a bit of a lovable face, and, thanks to a lot of you out there, you will see more of them here in Pittsburgh. This is a rescued sea turtle from the Gulf Oil spill, being worked on at an Audubon facility outside New Orleans. This past summer, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium veterinarian, Dr. Ginger Takle spent  two weeks down there rehabilitating the struggling animals. WTAE Channel Four Action News did a story about her efforts, and the Zoo’s application for a grant to rehab more of the sea turtles at our PPG Aquarium . The $25,000 grant  was the Pepsi Refresh Grant, part of the soft drink company’s “Do Good in the Gulf Effort.”  We placed a link to the voting on, and when we checked the next day, the Zoo was leading in the voting for the grant, thanks, in part, to you guys watching and taking action!!!!

Here is a link to the winning announcement:

The Zoo & PPG Aquarium is a partner in the Sea Turtle Second Chance program. It allows the Aquarium to expand its sea turtle facilities to help the Gulf facilities that are overwhelmed with the growing number of turtles affected by the spill. Here’s a quote from the Zoo’s press release, from assistant curator, Allen McDowell. “We can take sea turtles not directly affected by the oil spill, but who still need care and rehabilitative support and provide a home for them, freeing up space and medical staff to concentrate on the more urgent care of sea turtles affected by the oil spill…If they can be released back into the wild that is great. If not, they will have a home at the PPG Aquarium.”

And you will be able to see them through large viewing windows, to the left of the Aquarium entrance.  Know that you who voted after seeing and reading about the plight of this endangered species deserve a huge “thank you.”