Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Come and mingle with some of Mt. Lebanon's finest ladies"

If you want to attend "Celebrating Women of Mt. Lebanon," you better act quickly.

Mt. Lebanon Democratic chair Michelle Zmijanac is honoring Carolyn Byham, Terri Greenberg, Rania Harris, Mary Larsen, and Susan Morgans*.

*Mt. Lebanon's Public Information Officer Susan Morgans just learned that Halloween was moved to October 31 this year.


We asked last year where the Deer Archery was going to take place, so that we could protect ourselves and our pets, but Judge Terrence O'Brien ruled that those twelve properties were "donated."

ICYMI*, archery is taking place right here in Mt. Lebanon. Archery season is from September 17, 2016, and continues through January 28, 2017, with a break between November 27 and Christmas in Twin Hills Park, McNeilly Park, Robb Hollow Park, the Golf Course, the Conservation District, and Public Works, along with twelve super secret private properties and any other ones who Mt. Lebanon Partnership's Erin Hart could drum up for her brother in law. These public areas will remain open during Archery Season. 

*In Case You Missed It. I just looked that up after I saw it in a mtl Magazine tweet. 

You do know that...

the Popular Vote does not elect the President of the United States, don't you?

The Electoral College elects the President of the United States. The popular vote does not count in a Presidential Election. Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, against George W. Bush. He had about 540,000 more votes than Bush.

So what's my point? Yes, please register to vote, but make sure you vote in all state and local elections, where your vote does count. Our local officials make decisions which directly affect our lives.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Jessica Walliser to speak at Mt. Lebanon Public Library

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, from 7-8 PM, Jessica Walliser will be speaking at the Mt. Lebanon Library about Deer Proofing and Pest Proofing Your Yard Naturally - Simple Strategies that Work. Ms. Walliser writes for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” on KDKA-Radio.

I wanted to provide a little background about Jessica since her name is not spelled correctly on the Municipality's website.

  • September 27, 7-8 p.m., Jessica Wallister, free-lance horticulturalist, Deer Proofing and Pest Proofing your Yard Naturally—Simple Strategies that Work.
About Jessica

Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” on KDKA-Radio in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a former contributing editor for Organic Gardening magazine and a regular contributor to Fine GardeningUrban Farm, and Hobby Farms magazines. Jessica also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of The American Horticultural Society.
Her two weekly gardening columns for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review have been enjoyed by readers for over eight years. Her fourth book, Attracting Beneficial Bugs to the Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control, was released by Timber Press in January of 2014 and was named one of the Top 12 Gardening Books by Martha Stewart Living magazine in March of 2015. It was also awarded the American Horticultural Society’s Book Award.
The former owner of a 25-acre organic market farm, Jessica received her degree in ornamental horticulture from The Pennsylvania State University. She’s taught a diverse array of gardening topics for over 20 years and is a former faculty member of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
She is author of the Amazon best-seller Good Bug, Bad Bug: Who’s Who, What They Do, and How to Manage Them Organically and blogs weekly for both SavvyGardening.com and HobbyFarms.com.
Jessica lives and gardens northwest of Pittsburgh with her husband and son, seven chickens, two hermit crabs, and billions and billions of very good bugs.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Keystone Oaks Teacher Accused Of Inappropriate Behavior

According to a release from The Keystone Oaks School District, officials have “become aware of allegations of inappropriate behavior between a teacher employed at Keystone Oaks High School and high school students.”

The statement goes on to say that the District is cooperating with the Mt. Lebanon Police Department and other authorities as they conduct their investigations.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How long has this been on the municipal website?

Rent a Home  

I found it when I was looking for the police blotter, which this week, is two pages long.

Just a few minor details

I'm sure the Public Information Office is giving high fives for the new reporter from The Almanac. Luke Campbell has been covering Mt. Lebanon's meetings for a short time now, replacing Harry Funk. I know from RTKs that the Divine Ms. M had some issues with the reporters here, except the PG's John Hayes, the PA Game Commission's mouthpiece. Luke Campbell's Professor offers Mt. Lebanon commissioners affirmation on deer management delivered the message that the PIO wanted to get out. Except for a few minor details.

As I have written here before, but you won't read it anywhere else:

  • Paul Curtis never stepped foot in Mt. Lebanon.
  • Paul Curtis didn't know how big Mt. Lebanon is.
  • Paul Curtis is in cahoots with Anthony DeNicola, president of White Buffalo, the "non-profit" organization hired to kill deer in Mt. Lebanon.
This will never be brought out to the unsuspecting public. Don't ya just love how Mt. Lebanon controls the media?

Monday, September 19, 2016

A violation of the Sunshine Law? UPDATED THREE TIMES


The other day, I asked about the block party ordinance and when it was passed. No response from any of the commissioners. I would like a response so that I may read the actual ordinance.

I have noticed a change on the municipal website regarding the actual block party ordinance. It now reads:
Also, permits will not be granted for highway, arterial or collector streets without review and approval of the Mt. Lebanon Police Department. Because of the volume of traffic on these streets block parties can cause unnecessary traffic restrictions and can present safety challenges to people residing along these streets. BLOCK PARTIES ARE NOT PERMITTED ON HALLOWEEN DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS. 
It once read:
Also, permits will not be granted for highway, arterial or collector streets. Because of the volume of traffic on these streets block parties cause unnecessary traffic restrictions and can present safety challenges to people residing along these streets.
Who approved the amendment of this ordinance? When did you vote on it? Did you hold a public meeting? Also noted on the municipal website under block parties, Last Modified: Sep 6, 2016 10:20 AM Was this in time for the Sleepy Hollow block party? I did have this post on my blog last year, when exceptions were made for the Sleepy Hollow block party last year. Special rules for special people

I hope to hear from the commissioners since you are the ones who pass the ordinances.

Elaine Gillen

Update September 19, 2016 5:30 PM I heard back from my commissioner, Steve McLean and from Keith McGill. To the "anonymous" Sleepy Hollow block party attendee, sign your name and you will be published. But if you had signed your name in all of your personal attacks, I mean "comments," I'm reasonably sure that you wouldn't have been so rude. By the way, you were the only one, "Anonymous."

From Steve McLean:

The ordinance was not changed that allows the municipal manager authority to temporarily close municipal streets for special occasions. That remains.  The framework for which block parties are handled has been adjusted to provide consistency and allow the police to review the request.  I'd have to check my notes for when this was brought.  
Steve McLean
3rd Ward Commissioner 

From Keith McGill:

Good afternoon Elaine, 
Commissioner McLean is correct. Additionally there is no ordinance related to block parties. The language that was previously on the municipal website was the result of a discussion a few years ago when the municipality started to notice an increasing number of requests for block parties on Halloween. I believe this was some time in 2011. As part of this discussion the issue of arterial and collector streets was also discussed. The result of those discussions was the language that was then placed on the municipal website related to block party applications. I also believe the associated fee went into effect in roughly the same time frame. 
The change to the language was at my suggestion after discussing the issue with Chief Lauth and Public Works Director Sukal. I sent the suggested language to the Commission for their review and recommendation. The Commission was in agreement with the change.The language now provides for a review by Public Safety for any block party applications received for arterial or collector streets to determine if the issuance of the permit would create any public safety concerns. If there is a public safety issue or concern related to the issuance of the permit the application is denied. If there is not it may be issued. The amendment to the language is in keeping with the original intent when the restriction was put in place. 
The permit that was issued for Sleepy Hollow had nothing to do with the change to the language  it was issued based on a prior determination that this segment of Sleepy Hollow is not an arterial street.  
Update September 19, 2016 7:46 PM Keith McGill followed up with:
From:Keith Mcgill <kmcgill@mtlebanon.org>
To:egillen476 <egillen476@aol.com>
Cc:Stephen McLean <smclean@mtlebanon.org>; Commission <commission@mtlebanon.org>; Rep. Dan Miller <repmiller@pahouse.net>
Subject:Re: block parties
Date:Mon, Sep 19, 2016 7:29 pm

Good evening Elaine,

The change to the language on the website was made to better reflect the intent of the restriction and provide for a process for applications for these type of streets to be reviewed. This language is not part of an adopted ordinance or a formally adopted commission policy.

As to your question, I do not believe this would apply to all of the streets listed as collector or arterial.


On Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 5:53 PM, egillen476@aol.com <egillen476@aol.com> wrote:

I didn't realize that this could be done without a public meeting. You should also review your list of streets and let the public know that there are segments of arterial and collector streets that are not arterial or collectors. By definition, wouldn't that apply to all of the streets that you listed?
I sent the suggested language to the Commission for their review and recommendation. The Commission was in agreement with the change.
Update September 21, 2016 7:08 AM Uh, I think the Commission violated the Sunshine Act.

Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act: The Basics The basic requirement of the Act is simple: Any time a government body (referred to within in the act as an “agency”) holds a meeting in which “deliberation” or “official action” by a quorum of its members takes place, the meeting must be open to the public after public notice of the meeting. Each of these provisions can be described in more detail.

What is “Deliberation” Under the Act? The Act defines “deliberation” as “the discussion of agency business held for the purpose of making a decision.” 65 PA. CONS. STAT. § 703. The definition is a simple one and has been construed as such by courts of the Commonwealth.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I know. Mind my own business. Take TWO

Controversial deer cull starts again in Mt. Lebanon

I know. Mind my own business. UPDATED 2X

Remember when Joe Kramer, from 327 Sleepy Hollow came to my house unannounced last year over his illegal block party on Sleepy Hollow? See Another unexpected visitor  Even though Sleepy Hollow is not permitted to have block parties since it is a collector street, they continue to be above the law. Do you think it is because Susan Morgans' family lives there or does Joe Kramer have some pull with the commissioners?

Update September 17, 2016 7:14 PM Straight from the Chief of Police:

From: Aaron Lauth [mailto:alauth@mtlebanon.org]
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2016 3:23 PM
To: Nicholas Meduho, Jr.
Subject: Re: block party

Mr. Meduho,

Police Administration, Fire Department Administration, Public Works Administration and Municipal Administration conferred and were in agreement that permitting this block party on Sleepy Hollow Rd would not cause any significant traffic or public safety concerns.  The language related to this approval can be found in the following guidelines for block party approvals, "permits will not be granted for highway, arterial or collector streets without review and approval of the Mt. Lebanon Police Department. Because of the volume of traffic on these streets block parties can cause unnecessary traffic restrictions and can present safety challenges to people residing along these streets."


Aaron Lauth 
Chief of Police 
Mt. Lebanon Police Department 

Sent from my iPhone

Update September 18, 2016 12:03 PM
Alternate route for Sunset
Limited edition bobblehead

Friday, September 16, 2016

Good turnout for RTK Session

Last night's Right To Know Session at Mt. Lebanon Library had a good turnout. I saw lots of familiar faces, including Mt. Lebanon Manager Keith McGill. He was the only one representing an agency. There was no representation from the MTL School District or from any other local government.

The evening began with State Representative Dan Miller introducing the Executive Director of the PA Office of Open records Erik Arneson. Erik began with a PowerPoint presentation, followed by an update from Dan on proposed current legislation, including Senate Bill 411.

Dan and Erik took questions from the audience up until the very last minute the library was open. One of the questions that sticks out in my mind was the question about attachments in a Right To Know. Here is the background. ORO Bonnie Cross would not include the attachments in a RTK which Nick M. requested. She felt that Nick needed to specifically request attachments. Seriously. I'm not joking. I don't know where she gets this stuff. Erik said that the attachments must be included with the requested public records. I hear that she is going to attend an Open Records event next week. I did hear that the assistant manager, Ian McMeans is the back up ORO. I hope he attends too.

I want to thank Dan Miller's office for sending the presentation, as well as thank both Dan Miller and Erik Arneson for a very informative session.

800 dots

Cornell professor Paul Curtis and coauthor with Tony DeNicola estimated that Mt. Lebanon has between 700 and 800 deer in Mt. Lebanon with 100 more immigrants from neighboring communities. Amazingly, Curtis has never been to Mt. Lebanon, nor knew that it is six square miles.

So what do 800 deer look like superimposed over the municipal deer accident map? Here is a graphic representation of Curtis' claim. 

If Mt. Lebanon had 800 deer, people would be seeing them everywhere. I haven't seen a deer in days.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Six Degrees of Anthony DeNicola

Deer expert Paul Curtis, from Cornell, spoke to the commissioners last night about "deer management." Curtis, who has never stepped foot in Mt. Lebanon, has estimated that we have between 700-800 deer which is based on deer/vehicular collisions. But who is this guy? It turns out that Curtis has published a paper with the legendary Anthony DeNicola in 2000. Managing White-Tailed Deerin Suburban Environments A Technical Guide

Remember Jody a.k.a. Jodi a.k.a. Joe D. Maddock (Triple J) who claimed to be an expert from Bryn Athyn College? Agenda for the Dog and Pony Show He turned out to be Tony's guy, the head of the archery program.

Mt. Lebanon hired a firm to do two aerial surveys in 2013 and 2014. Aerial surveys have always been considered as the gold standard when counting deer populations. This company was not part of Tony's gang. Tony was able to convince our commissioners that aerial surveys are highly inaccurate, even though they are capable of not only counting deer, but also able to track the number of does and bucks in any given area.

Based on this "expert," who is totally not connected with Tony DeNicola (ha!), three commissioners have agreed to file the proper applications to continue "sharpshooting" this winter. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

And nobody laughed CORRECTED/UPDATED

The deer expert from Cornell, who never stepped foot in Mt. Lebanon, has estimated at tonight's commission discussion session that we have between 700-800 deer PER SQUARE MILE. We need to continue to kill deer in the daylight, but also add killing over bait at night with lights because our deer are smart and believe that it is only safe to come out at night.

We have gone from DeNicola's estimates from last year as 400-600 deer in Mt. Lebanon to...are you ready for this?...Cornell's expert estimates, based on the deer/car collision numbers, almost 5,000 deer in Mt. Lebanon. It doesn't matter that the Cornell guy never stepped foot in Mt. Lebanon. He is an expert. For Mt. Lebanon to have sooo many deer/vehicular collisions, we must have THAT many deer. No mention of pedestrians hit  - many within crosswalks, or bicyclists hit. Or cars clocked at 71 mph on Washington Road. No. No mention of that. We have to have up to 5,000 deer in Mt. Lebanon, not that we have bad drivers. We must continue to kill the deer.     F O R E V E R.

And nobody laughed.

Update Same Night 9:19 PM To put this guy's estimates in perspective, Mt. Lebanon School District publishes something called Third Day Enrollment annually. I looked on the MTLSD website and all I could find was Third Day Enrollment for September 2015. Last year, there were 5,361 children enrolled in the Mt. Lebanon Schools. There isn't a day that goes by when we don't see kids. Seriously, do we see that many deer in a day? I have gone weeks without seeing any deer. 219 deer were killed during the archery/"sharpshooting" seasons. Tony DeNicola left early last March because he ran out of deer to kill. How can anyone take this "expert" seriously?

Correction September 14, 2016 Well, I'm embarrassed. I am watching the discussion that the municipality had last night with Cornell's Paul Curtis. Curtis did not say that we had 700-800 deer per square mile, as I was told last night by a meeting observer. What he said was that we have approximately 700-800 deer in six square miles based on the number of deer/vehicular collisions. He is estimating that we have possibly 400 does dropping two or three fawns a year. He is also estimating 100 additional "immigrating" deer in the area. We need to kill many more deer for at least three or four more years. But don't walk away from it. Do it again and again.

Update September 14, 2016 I finally got around to hearing the citizen comments from last night's meeting. There were two against the deer killing and one for the deer killing. The second resident also heard that there were 700-800 deer per square mile, but none of the commissioners corrected her. I found that interesting. The third resident was commending the commissioners with their decision to move forward with more deer killing. She also pointed out that Professor Curtis "has no vested interest in the Mt. Lebanon program." Well, we now know that isn't accurate since he is a crony of Tony DeNicola.

Paul Curtis guestimates that there are between 700-800 deer in 6.06 square miles plus approximately 100 "immigrants" or transients from other communities. Taking his numbers:

700 / 6.06 = 115.5 deer per sq. mile

800 / 6.06 = 132.0 deer per sq. mile

900 / 6.06 = 148.5 deer per sq. mile

PA Department of Natural Resources, supported by Penn State research, claims there are 30 deer per square mile in Pennsylvania. The 2014 aerial survey indicated that we had 196 deer in 6.06 square miles. The aerial survey results for 2014 are here. This is right in line with the PA Department of Natural Resources numbers. But Tony DeNicola, who pays himself quite well from his "nonprofit" organization for killing deer, dissed the aerial survey.

Imagine going on a walk in Mt. Lebanon. Have you ever seen 148.5 deer per sq. mile? 132.0 deer per sq. mile? Or even 115.5 deer per sq. mile? Certainly this exercise is not as accurate as Paul Curtis', who never stepped foot in Mt. Lebanon, right? I didn't think so.

Don't expect a LeboALERT for Dan's RTK session

In my previous post, I shared a link from Dormont's website with an announcement for State Rep. Dan Miller's Right To Know seminar.

Curious minds wondered how our "transparent enough" municipality was going to play this.

Here ya go:

From: Keith Mcgill <kmcgill@mtlebanon.org>
To: egillen476 <egillen476@aol.com>
Cc: Commission <commission@mtlebanon.org>; Susan Morgans <smorgans@mtlebanon.org>
Sent: Tue, Sep 13, 2016 1:59 pm
Subject: Re: A LeboALERT planned?

Good afternoon Elaine,
The municipality typically does not send out LeboALERTS for events organized by elected officials, unless the municipality is directly involved with the event or participating in some way.

On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 11:10 AM, egillen476@aol.com <egillen476@aol.com> wrote:

Hi Keith,

Will you be sending out a LeboALERT for State Rep. Dan Miller's RTK seminar which is this Thursday?

Elaine Gillen

Keith McGill, AICP
Municipal Manager

To which I replied, "Of course."

Shortly after I posted this, I received two examples of LeboALERTS sent specifically for Dan Miller's events.

From: egillen476 <egillen476@aol.com>
To: kmcgill <kmcgill@mtlebanon.org>; repmiller <repmiller@pahouse.net>
Cc: commission <commission@mtlebanon.org>; smorgans <smorgans@mtlebanon.org>; bcross <bcross@mtlebanon.org>
Sent: Tue, Sep 13, 2016 5:41 pm
Subject: Re: A LeboALERT planned?

I do hope that your right-to-know officer participates. 

Below is an email that I received where you sent out a LeboALERT for Dan's mental health summit. And below that, a LeboALERT for another one of Dan's events.

It would be nice if you would be consistent with your LeboALERTs.


-----Original Message-----
To: egillen476 <egillen476@aol.com>
Sent: Tue, Sep 13, 2016 5:13 pm
Subject: FW: LeboALERT: Get info/RSVP for St...

Here is Dan Miller's mental health summit.
Our commissioners need their heads examined, so I guess it ties in with local government.

> To:
> Subject: LeboALERT: Get info/RSVP for St...
> From: noreply@mtlebanon.org
> Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:53:37 -0400
> This is an important notice from LeboALERT.
> Get info/RSVP for State Rep Dan MIller's Disability/ Mental Health Summit Wed &Thurs. at Beth El. http://www.pahouse.com/Miller/RSVP/?id=1081
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> For up to date municipal information visit:
http://www.mtlebanon.org - http://pd.mtlebanon.org - http://www.mtlfd.org - http://www.lebomag.com
> Also tune to Comcast channel 17 or Verizon FIOS channel 34.
> To unsubscribe or change your alerts, visit http://leboalert.mtlebanon.org.
> Please do not respond to this message as it is sent from an unmonitored account.

-----Original Message-----
To: egillen476 <egillen476@aol.com>
Sent: Tue, Sep 13, 2016 5:12 pm
Subject: FW: LeboALERT: Tonight at 7, Jeffer...

Here's a lebo alert for Dan Miller regarding legal issues.
Not sure how it ties in with local affairs.

> To:
> Subject: LeboALERT: Tonight at 7, Jeffer...
> From: noreply@mtlebanon.org
> Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:04:06 -0500
> This is an important notice from LeboALERT.
> Tonight at 7, Jefferson Middle School: Rep. Dan Miller sponsors Young Adults & Law panel discussion on legal issues for teens/young adults.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> For up to date municipal information visit:
http://www.mtlebanon.org - http://pd.mtlebanon.org - http://www.mtlfd.org - http://www.lebomag.com
> Also tune to Comcast channel 17 or Verizon FIOS channel 34.
> To unsubscribe or change your alerts, visit http://leboalert.mtlebanon.org.
> Please do not respond to this message as it is sent from an unmonitored account.