Happenings around Town
- * Carlynton
-- Eating at the Pizza Hut at 7 Poplar St. on Friday will help two worthy causes at Crafton Elementary School. Jacie Maslyk, Crafton Elementary principal, said 30 percent of each order will benefit the Support Positive Behavior and the Title One programs. Dates for future fundraisers are Feb. 17, March 2, 16 and 30 and April 6 and 20.
-- Carlynton administrators hope to acquire part of a $38 million grant earmarked to support literacy in Pennsylvania schools. Jacie Maslyk, principal at Crafton Elementary School, is part of a committee that filed a pre-application with the state Department of Education for the "Keystones to Opportunity" grant. Maslyk said 350 school districts across the state are contending for their share of the funds. "The size of our district tells we can apply for between $250,000 to $1 million," she said. She said the committee, comprised of teachers, administrators and child care providers, is working on a needs assessment. If the district's pre-application is approved, they can then submit a full application, "It is a very rigorous process," Maslyk said. "I believe we have a really great committee in place."
Interim Superintendent Joseph Dimperio praised the committee's efforts. "They've been working very hard on this and Jacie's taken some real leadership."
-- Interim Superintendent Joseph Dimperio took time last month to shine a spotlight on the service of Carlynton school board members. He presented directors with certificates of appreciation in recognition of January's "board recognition month." "It really is an opportunity to thank the board, as a board, and each one of you individually for your service to the communities of Carnegie, Crafton, and Rosslyn Farms and the school district, as well. "There are many meetings and many, many big issues that you have to deal with." Dimperio pointed out Pennsylvania is one state that does not monetarily compensate members of school boards. "If you're in the Commonwealth, it's strictly public service. It's another reason to be so appreciative of the many long hours and hard work you put into serving the school district and the community. "It's our chance to say thank you very much. We do mean that from the bottom of our hearts."
* Green Tree
-- The Green Tree Public Library, 10 W. Manilla Ave., will hold "Share and Save with Coupons" at 7 p.m. next Thursday. Donation is $10, $5 with a boxed food or health-and-beauty-aid item. Registration is required. Information: 412-921-9292.
Rosslyn Farms For the second time in seven years, Rosslyn Farms officials are debating whether to retain the borough's police department.
* Rosslyn Farms
-- A dilemma is being driven by the upcoming retirement of Chief Larry Fischio, a 34-year police veteran, at the end of August. In January 2005, then-Sgt. Fischio took over for Tom Gilles, who had retired after being chief for more than 45 years. Officials wrestled then with the question of whether to outsource police services but ultimately decided to keep their own department. Rosslyn Farms Mayor Jim Stover, who oversees the daily activities of the police department, said economic considerations will weigh heavily in the decision, which will be made by the seven-member council. "Cost is going to be the driving factor," Mr. Stover said. "That's what the citizens of Rosslyn Farms will have to decide. Is it worth another $1 a day per household to have our own police department?"
Besides Chief Fischio and Sgt. Scott Kercher, the police force also has four part-time men. The borough is 0.6 square miles, has 194 homes and a population of less than 500. It has won the East Central AAA's Gold Award for its traffic safety efforts for the past three years. To make an informed decision about police service, the borough in early January distributed an 18-page request for proposal document to half a dozen police departments. They also sponsored a joint meeting Jan. 13 with most of the departments. According to the document, the contract would run from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, 2015.
Two scenarios are possible -- the borough disbands its own department and contracts with another community for round-the-clock service seven days a week; or the borough keeps its police force and contracts for emergency response at night and during part of weekends from another department. The document includes the borough's police activity, complaint, fine, court costs, officer pay and vehicle fleet records for the last few years. Officials have set March 16 as the deadline for receiving proposals from interested departments, which include Carnegie, Crafton, Heidelberg, Ingram, Robinson and Scott. All but Heidelberg and Scott border the borough.
Crafton, which is part of the Carlynton School District like Rosslyn Farms, provides fire protection for the borough while Robinson provides its ambulance service.
Carnegie provides contracted police service to Pennsbury Village. Like Rosslyn Farms, Heidelberg and Ingram are boroughs with a combination force of full and part-time officers. Scott and Robinson have the largest departments, with 20 and 26 officers respectively. Heidelberg Police Chief Vernon Barkley said he would hire six more part-time officers if his borough was picked by Rosslyn Farms. Sharing a common border with Rosslyn Farms would not be an issue, both he and Mayor Stover agreed. The mayor said officials may hold a communitywide meeting on the policing issue after all of the proposals have been submitted. He expects council to make the decision in April or May on whether to keep its own department.
Should the council opt to retain its police department, the borough would have to conduct a search for a new chief, he added.
Rosslyn Farms traces its roots to 1788, when James and John Bell received several tracts of land from King George III of England.
In 1892, 450 acres of this land were sold to the Chartiers Land Co., whose president, James Turner, named the area Rosslyn Farms in honor of his parents' home in Rosslyn, Scotland. Construction of the first houses in the borough began in late 1901.
* St. Philip School, Crafton
-- Today marks 100 days of school with popcorn and virtues. Friday features an all-school liturgy, a program on the virtue of work, thank-you letters to parishioners, and a talent show by grades 6-8.
- * Carlynton
-- Parents can follow their child's schedule, learn about the Keystone Exams and watch an anti-bullying movie during the high school open house starting at 6:30 p.m. today at 435 Kings Highway. Student clubs and groups will be in the cafeteria with gourmet popcorn and other food items to raise money for organizations.
-- The annual homecoming festivities will feature a parade at 6 p.m. on Washington Avenue in Carnegie with the homecoming court, student-built floats, firetrucks and the high school marching band. The homecoming queen will be announced at halftime of the game versus Brentwood. The homecoming dance will be Saturday night in Cefalo's on Washington Avenue in Carnegie.
-- The district has outsourced its technology department. Robert Mickolay, director of technology, learned about the change prior to the board's vote last Thursday. Two technology positions will be eliminated. The network facilitator position, which was held by Frank Sacco, also was eliminated. Mr. Mickolay worked for the district for six years and Mr. Sacco worked for the district for five years. The Allegheny Intermediate Unit will provide the district with technology support. Superintendent Gary Peiffer was directed to enter into a technical services agreement with the AIU.
Board president David Roussos did not know how much the district would save from eliminating the two positions. He said the intent of the board was to provide the best available technology for the students and the teachers. He said outsourcing would be more cost effective because the AIU has better resources.
-- A parent coffee meeting will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Oct. 23 at Panera Bread at The Pointe at North Fayette. The meeting, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Local Task Force for the Right to Education in Allegheny County. The group is a resource for children with all disabilities and their families. The task force communicates the needs and problems to the appropriated sources in the county.
-- Catholic Church of the Ascension, 114 Berry St., will hold a flea market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Information: 412-922-8820 or 412-922-1187.
* Green Tree
-- The Green Tree Public Library, 10 W. Manilla Ave., will sponsor a monthly Language Round Table at 7 p.m. Wednesday and every third Wednesday of the month for those interested in practicing a foreign language. Information: 412-921-9292.