Tuesday, October 08, 2002
Following last week’s Board of Trustee’s meeting, University of Pittsburgh spokesman Robert Hill announced the school is planning on building a new $76 million state-of-the-art something-or-other. The new whatever-it-is is slated to be built in the block between Atwood and Meyran Streets, which is currently occupied by the Sennott Street parking lot.
“This is a very exciting time for the university,” began Hill. “What better way to celebrate the university’s bright outlook toward the future than by building some kind of new technologically-advanced marvel in some highly visible location in the Oakland community.”
As Pitt’s campus thrusts deeper and deeper into the South Oakland neighborhood, many residents are wondering what exactly the university has in store for their community.
“When students and residents see what the university has planned,” continued Hill, “be it a very modern glass and steel, a more traditional style, or something completely different, the community is going to have something to be proud of both functionally and aesthetically.”
While construction will build over the Sennott Street lot, Hill pointed out that university officials foresee no problems for faculty and students to easily access whatever it may be. “With the nearby Meyran parking garage, not to mention the normal off-street parking, no one will have any difficulty being able to learn or dine or practice or live in this wonderful new facility that will forever change the landscape and skyline of our community.”
With this new endeavor, Pitt hopes to once again garner national attention for having yet another over-blown, over-priced facility featuring the very latest advancements for on-campus housing or biotechnology or athletics or something.
“Be they pre-med, engineering, women’s basketball or even home-sick freshmen,” Hill added, “one small cross-section of students or faculty is really going to be blown away.”
“No matter what they build,” says long-time “Pitt Stop” owner and former Panther Charles “Chaz” Bonasorte, “I just hope they tell me soon, so I can put it on one of these competitively priced, super-durable, heavy-duty, cotton T’s.”
Labels: lead story
Business in Oakland was booming in September.
A dominant part of the population returned for the fall semester at the University of Pittsburgh and other local colleges. But the return of the students also signals a rise in the Oakland economy because they actually have money to spend as their lenders hand over a semester’s worth of funds for living expenses.
“It’s just amazing,” said Janet Connolly, manager at Starbucks Coffee at the corner of Atwood and Forbes Avenue. “Money that is supposed to be used for rent and food for an entire four months is spent on frivolous purchases in under seven days – I love that time of year!”
Merchants reported a rise in sales of coffee, cases of beer, Dr. Martens shoes and boots, Diesel jeans, used CDs and DVDs, and other “exorbitant amounts of crapola,” as one business owner said.
As September progressed, funds ran low, and the out-of-control spending was curbed as students ran out of available cash. Now, business owners are trying to find innovative ways to lure kids back into their shops.
Businesses will be conducting promotional events during the middle of October as the slump continues, including “We accept purchases made entirely with assorted change” and “A case of beer is like buying 36 quarter drafts – and at the same price.”
Higher education costs continue to rise each year, and the perfect example is Pitt’s recent 14% tuition hike. Companies across the country, including Giant Eagle, McDonald’s, AT&T, American Express, and CVS have elected to become part of Upromise, the national program which helps parents save for their children’s college education.
This week, Mellinger’s Beer Distributor formally announced its involvement in the program. “Hey, college kids are my best customers,” said owner Pasquale “Patsy” Bellasario. “If I can’t keep the new generations of kids coming in, who will I have left?”
When individuals create a Upromise account, participating businesses and companies contribute a percentage of the member’s purchase to the account. Mellinger’s is contributing 2% of every case, keg, and cigarette purchase to members’ accounts.
“How great is this? I’m contributing to my future children’s college educations as I drink mine away!” said junior Tom Keys. “And my mom and dad always say I’m really irresponsible.”
Richard Florida, professor of regional economic development at Carnegie Mellon University, has lectured on the value of keeping creative Pittsburghers in this city. He writes about the dangers of losing these human resources to other, more prosperous cities like Charlotte, NC, Austin, TX, Washington, DC and New York City. Now Florida is specifying his theory towards South Oakland residents.
“We have untapped potential in this neighborhood,” Florida explained. “There are residents here who can make a bong out of an apple and can throw a happening party for less than $40. We really have to keep these residents here and provide them with opportunities, or else they will continue to move back home with their parents.”
Florida cites examples of the high turnover rate in South Oakland, where an astonishing 39% of residents live in the neighborhood for only one year, and 16% of its residents leave the city of Pittsburgh every year.
“It all comes down to opportunity, where are the prospects for these residents? Why can’t we have these residents putting together industrial machinery for Alcoa instead of marijuana pipes? And why can’t these people be organizing $100 a plate fundraising dinners for Cystic Fibrosis instead of collecting three dollars for a keg party? What’s stopping us as a city for providing those opportunities?” Florida continued.
To put his theories into action Florida announced creation of a new non-profit training and development organization called Bong Hits to Business Ventures. The group will provide out of school stoners with training and resources to stay competitive in the current job market.
South Oakland resident Craig Barton can’t stop popping placebos.
“It's like this insatiable hunger,” Barton explained. Sometimes I take 50 to 100 pills a day!”
Barton developed his placebo-dependency after years of research study volunteerism. In 1999 he participated in a UPMC-sponsored trial of the impotence drug Viagra, where he took 10 placebos over a two-week period.
“It felt great! I was making money and having awesome sex,” he said, “so I decided to sign up for other experiments.”
Barton completed 64 studies – ranging from acne-drug tests to sleep disorder remedies – before hitting the streets in search of a more potent placebo. He immersed himself in the seedy, sugar-pill underworld and his life soon spiraled out of control.
“I was stealing from friends and family ... selling my body on Liberty Avenue ... anything that I could do to score some ‘bo,’” Barton said.
Last month he hit rock bottom. After experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms, Barton rooted through his girlfriend’s purse and stole her “reminder” birth control pills – she subsequently became pregnant.
“I’m going to be a father,” he said. “It’s time to admit that I have a problem and get help. I don't want my kid getting ridiculed because his dad’s a bohead.”
Barton checked into Placebo No-No, a local clinic that specializes in sugar-pill addiction, where he’ll undergo weeks of experimental treatment.
“It’s a painfully slow process,” said Dr. Steven Miller, director of Placebo No-No. “We’ll start him off on a strict regimen of Pixie Stick injections and gradually step down to Sweet N’ Low shock treatment before eradicating sugar from his system all-together.”
Barton is confident that he'll beat his addiction.
“I gain strength through the Serenity Prayer,” he said. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference between a placebo and a medicinal substance. Amen.”
A new exhibit focusing on the decline of the Oakland area is set to open on November 2. “How Oakland Declined” is being touted as a sister exhibit of the popular “Designing Oakland” that ran from June 22 to September 29.
The exhibit features scenes from Oakland’s past and present, displayed to highlight how great Oakland fixtures such as the Duquesne Gardens, are now parking lots. A whole section of the exhibit is devoted to how once tree-lined beautiful streets are now overrun with trash and empty beer bottles.
Exhibit curator Jack Shopfler is enthusiastic about this new, ground-breaking exhibit on the Carnegie's neighborhood.
“Oakland used to be so cool,” explains Shopfler. “Places like The Decade had great bands, such as an early ‘80s appearance by U2. The Beehive was a bustling coffeehouse in a time before the coffeehouse was fashionable. Forbes Field hosted a historic World Series. A game at Pitt Stadium would fill Oakland almost every Saturday in the Fall. Now, look at this place.”
The idea for the new exhibit came from watching museum patrons, especially Pitt students, talk about how all the plans on display for Designing Oakland would probably never come to pass.
“I saw all that stuff on how they want to beautify Oakland,” said Pitt student Amy Rotello, “But, c’mon, we all know nothing’s going to happen. They had some great ideas for this dump, too.”
“Calling Oakland a “dump"” isn’t too far off,” Shopfler quipped. “The streets are always lined with trash – there are beer bottles and empty cans all over the place. Often on Saturday or Sunday morning, you can see vomit on the sidewalks. Oakland is really falling apart. This new exhibit will hopefully show everyone that Oakland wasn’t always a shithole.”
Support for “How Oakland Declined” is provided by the Henry Hillman Foundation and the Heinz Architectural Center.
I Love the Strip
- by Sala Udin, Pittsburgh City Councilman - District 6
Man, I love the Strip. Where else in Pittsburgh can you get fresh seafood, meat, and vegetables, a mean fish sandwich, and tons of Steelers merchandise right down the street from all the great night clubs?
The clubs in the Strip are always happening. We got Rosebud, M, Area 51, Whiskey Dick's, Club Millennium, the “boardwalk,” hell, even BAR’s OK sometimes. These clubs bring a much needed scene to the city of Pittsburgh, a scene which has a prominent role in keeping young people in Pittsburgh. There are different clubs for every kind of person – rock and roll, techno, house, trance, drum and bass, you name it we got it.
In the Strip District there is something for every type of person – black, white, Asian, Mexican, doesn’t matter what you are or where you come from. The Strip has something for you. I love it here!
I Love to Strip!
- by Mandy "Star" Peters, Stripper - Bare Elegance
Man, I love to strip! At first, I really hated it – I hated men ogling over my trim body and large medically-enhanced boobs. But then I realized: why did I spend $15,000 on tits if I wasn't going to show them off? Hell yeah! And in three weeks of stripping, I made the money back.
I’ve been stripping for three years and made enough money that I started CMU Engineering last fall. I know enough about physics to know that this bod might look great now, but hello entropy! It’s not going to last. Plus, stripping has the greatest hours – I can go to classes all day, do my homework, study, and then I go to the club around 10 or so and dance for about 2 hours, then I’m home and in bed by 1 a.m.! It’s great! And if I do a private party, I’ll make a ton of money – I usually try to get parties around midterms and finals so that I can take the week off to study.
What a great job! I love stripping!
Blawnox native and Pitt junior Donny Lewsheski is not the kind of guy to get on your bad side. Just ask the residents of 367 Atwood Street. Last weekend, they hosted a “kick-ass kegger” and resident Bill Jones invited Lewsheski to come over and “peep the scene.”
“Yeah, I invited [Lewsheski] over. We’re both English majors and we’ve had most of our classes together for the last three years, but we never really hung out much. Don lives with his parents in Blawnox, and I live in Oakland, so we never got to party together,” explained Jones.
Unfortunately, Jones’ good intentions turned sour during a beer pong game when Lewsheski and his partner, Jen Marliva, lost to Jones and his roommate Todd Evans. Lewsheski reportedly went “fucking ape-shit.”
“No, dude, he definitely went fucking ape-shit,” clarified Evans. “One minute it was all a friendly game. We had them by like a cup, but that hottie Jen, she hits the muther fucker to tie it all up. But then we’ve got both the balls, right, and Jonesie just nails that shit and is all like, ‘what you got now, Lewsheski?’ ya know, some friendly table-talk. Well, fuck me if Donny didn't throw the cup at Jonesie. It was fucking crazy. Jen ducked for cover as Donny tossed the table to the side like he was the [Incredible] Hulk, dude. And it took like four guys to keep him from wiping the floor with Bill. Fucking nut case.”
As the situation began to quiet itself, Jones, Evans, and fellow residents Chuck Upstien and Jay Rebert asked Lewsheski to leave quietly. Lewsheski was anything but compliant. Lewsheski reportedly said, “Fuck off, Bill,” as he walked out the front door, then he turned and delivered his most solemn oath of hatred, known in Blawnox as the worst curse utterable: “yinz are all a bunch a jag-offs!” And he stormed off into the night.
“Donny’s cool, but I guess he gets a little competitive sometimes. To be honest, I'm glad we escaped with our lives. I’ve heard that Blawnox people are fucking psycho when they get hammered.”
By Akimoto Saburo
Foreign Exchange Student
I love the Panthers of Pittsburgh. Last Saturday the night I went to game at the Heinz field. Panthers played a red and white team. The team was good, but the Panthers play much better to win match. #25 run ball fastly and good. He big strong American. Run over red and white team players like horses run over people.
Scoreboard say 3:23. Then red ketchup come out of bottles. Me take picture, send back home to family on computer.
Me buy Nachos and Hot Dogs. I no like the Heinz Ketchup on hotdog I buy. Mustard and relish me like more better. I no buy Coca-Cola. No color soda. I like the no color soda.
#12 throw ball very far. Football filled with much things happening. I think I go back to game. I think Panthers win many games and go to World Series. Thank you!
After months of hands-on research, scientists from the Institute for Promiscuity Studies revealed to the nation what Pitt fans have known for years: Penn State sucks. A lot!
Findings indicate that students of The Pennsylvania State University, both male and female, perform fellatio at a staggeringly high rate.
No wonder they call it “Happy Valley.”
“The incidence and frequency of oral sex on this campus is 75% higher than the national average,” head researcher Dr. John Doettler said. “It's jaw-dropping!”
Novelty sex shops in the State College-area report an overwhelming demand for flavored condoms and dental dams. Mark Adams, owner of Kondom Kingdom, says that he can't keep his shelves stocked. “The kids just keep coming, and coming, and coming,” he said.
Scientists conducted their research from the famous Penn State Creamery, a popular campus hangout, where they were able to interview a large number of students at random. “This whole campus is a ‘creamery’ if you know what I mean,” said researcher Mike Brown.
When it comes to identifying the reason for Penn State's collective oral fixation, scientists have a firm grasp on the situation, “There’s absolutely NOTHING else to do in this godforsaken cow town!” Dr. Doettler ejaculated.
Senior Mindy Smith agrees, “On weekends it’s either keg stands or blowjobs. I go for blowjobs ‘cause beer makes me gag … okay, makes me gag more.”
Rodney Erikson, executive vice president and Provost, was shocked by the statistics. “This really blows me away,” he said. “It’s all very hard to swallow.”
As word of Penn State’s reputation trickles out across the country, some Pitt students are changing their views on the university's long-time intra-state rivals.
“P-E-N-N-S-T sucks, dude,” sophomore Sam Moorhead cheered, “I’m totally transferring!”