Treehouse meeting summary!

Last night was the meeting of the Regent Square Civic Association regarding the proposed Kate and Peter Ambrusko Memorial Treehouse project for the Turtle Park area of Frick Park. First, thanks to those of you that were able to come out and thanks for saying hi to me. Big thanks to Kim who showed up with a box of coloring books, bags, and DVDs for Make Room for Kids.

It was a standing room only crowd, and it was nice to see the wearing o’ the green in support of Amy.

I’ll let Bram (who wore a green PittGirl shirt. HAH!) give you the more detailed rundown as my opinion is way too biased for me to tell you everything that was said. I just want to say that it was a positive meeting in that both sides expressed their opinions in a calm and civil way, which is what Amy wanted all along. A majority of the problems expressed had to do with traffic and parking, so hopefully, the city and the conservancy can address those concerns in a way that makes everyone happy. It remains to be seen. You can read Amy’s thoughts on the meeting here.

I spent the meeting in the back of the room, hiding under a worn out Pirates ball cap, and I have to tell you that near the end, one of the women who got up to say that Regent Square residents take care of each other and they are simply trying to preserve their small slice of paradise, said that regardless of “what some of you may have read on some ‘blog’ …”  She not only kinda rolled her eyes a bit when she said the word, she FINGER-QUOTED the word blog, and possibly gagged in the middle of the word. I’m not saying this to be difficult or to create drama or anything. I’m saying this because it was my FAVORITE MOMENT of the whole evening. It was hilarious and I literally laughed out loud, quietly.

However, if she had said “mommy-blog” she would have been met by a crumpled ball of paper bonked off her nose from somewheresabout in the back of the room.

[awkward kung fu moves]


  1. spoon
    June 8, 2010 12:49 pm

    how can she finger quote the word blog? either it is one or it isn’t? dumbass. That’s like President Clinton asking to define the word “is”.

    you’ll always be my favorite mommy-blogger whenever burghbaby isn’t around to beat my ass.

  2. JAF
    June 8, 2010 12:55 pm

    I think the area of Frick Park in question is “Turtle Park” not “Turtle Creek” – I suspect Turtle Creek would be happy to have a treehouse/playground ….

  3. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    June 8, 2010 12:56 pm

    Well, you know what the favorite part of the meeting was for me, but I swear I don’t think you’ll be on his hit list for too long. Or if you are, then I will be right there along with you!! :)

  4. Virginia
    June 8, 2010 12:56 pm


    HAH! Fixed. Thanks. ;)

  5. JD
    June 8, 2010 12:57 pm

    So glad Bram was able to point out the subplots. I really love the one pointing to the power of politics and committee members. As to the folks who are worried about parking and traffic. What a short sided outlook on what would be a great community asset! So, sad.

  6. Bram R
    June 8, 2010 1:10 pm

    Ginny, you totally *were* hiding. I don’t think I spotted you until 2/3 thru the meeting.

    I saw our friend with the scare-quotes and the gag reflex outside afterwords, with a clipboard, furiously organizing. I need to figure out whodat. I found her presentation interesting and want to make sure nothing in my write-up of the meeting was “”””lost in translation””””.

  7. Which finger?
    June 8, 2010 1:33 pm

    Here’s the difference. The person who called out this lame blog had the guts to stand up in a public meeting and state her position, then engage other members of the public face-to-face after the meeting.

    The totally awesome, OMFrickinG uber-mommy-blogger, on the other hand …

  8. Silica
    June 8, 2010 1:43 pm

    This decorum is very nice to hear about. There was a similar, albeit smaller, meeting of the Dormont Borough Council last night surrounding the approval of a memorial skate park, that was already approved last spring, and a council member motioned to rescind that vote approving the park to be constructed in some location in the borough (which was needed so that the group constructing the park could apply for grants). Many of the residents who showed up (almost universally against the park…even though a majority of residents in the borough, as suggested by polling data, favor the construction of the park) for the meeting were rude and immature, spoke out of turn, and harassed those who disagreed with them. Then again, a few members of the Council were not particularly gracious, either.

    I thought a lot about the meeting in Regent Square yesterday while I sat in that meeting wondering how it was going; I’m glad that it was respectful and both sides were able to present their sides. I just hope more people can aspire to be that way, besides just paying lip service to it.

  9. k
    June 8, 2010 1:48 pm

    Putting the air-quotes aside, the person who said, “Regent Square residents take care of each other and they are simply trying to preserve their small slice of paradise,” should be reminded that a city park is NOT theirs to preserve.
    It is the public’s small slice of paradise to enjoy as the PUBLIC sees fit.
    Regent Square folks, you need to understand something. THIS PARK IS NOT YOUR BACKYARD. It does NOT belong to you.
    You purchased or rent property near a public park, you cannot complain after the fact that the PUBLIC wants to use THEIR park.
    What if this treehouse is never built, but because you created all this drama about not wanting anyone to visit ‘your’ park so much attention is drawn to ‘your’ park that it becomes overrun with traffic anyway.
    Now you’re out a treehouse and a public agency to complain to about said traffic.
    “Which finger?” it’s interesting that you find this blog lame, and yet are compelled to not only read it, but to comment on it. When things are truly lame, no one comments on them.

  10. bluzdude
    June 8, 2010 1:54 pm

    yeah, I got your finger right here…

  11. Sara
    June 8, 2010 2:23 pm

    Oh sheesh, why are people always so friggin concerned with parking? The majority of people in that area have garages or driveways, anyway, so are you really that big of an a-hole that you have a problem with either a. letting park-going folk parking by your house or b. walking a few more blocks from your parking spot? Yeesh. Lame.

  12. empirechick
    June 8, 2010 2:24 pm

    Which finger @ #7 – If you had read any of Ginny’s posts on this topic, you would know that the reason she’s involved is because Doug Shields’ chief of staff tried to strong-arm Amy into going away.

    Good for the resident who voiced her oppostion to the project – that’s all Amy (and Ginny) wanted anyway: for EVERYONE’s views to be heard, not silenced by the political machine.

    And no matter how ‘lame’ you think this blog is (yet you read it and comment on it), alot more people were at the meeting last night (on both sides, I’d imagine) because of it.

  13. BagitTagit
    June 8, 2010 2:32 pm

    I agree with my fellow Regent Square residents. You have to worry about the traffic and parking…

    In the city…




    I’ve gone a little further though. I have been going door to door here in Regent Square getting people to sign my petition to eliminate (or, at least, stop building in) the city itself. The streets are too tight for all the, you know, city…

    And to be honest, most of the city is in my back yard. At the very least, as the one fine person pointed out… we could work to make sure the city isn’t 24/7… couldn’t we? From my front porch overlooking Braddock Ave., I can tell you… I know what the city attracts. Maybe we close it around 10:30? Open it back up at 6 am. We could start a trend for the nation. It’d be great.

    I also have been harping about the “keeping Frick Park as filled with real nature as possible” issue for a while now. I mean… seriously!!! It’s only 561 acres. (That’s approximately 24.4 MILLION square feet for those of you that don’t own a farm). While I’m lost biking in Frick Park for 3 or 4 hours I keep getting upset about the random junk I stumble upon. Public ball fiends. Benches next to waterfalls. Railings on hills. It’s sick.

    Unfortunately all my ideas seem to have trouble taking off. I had almost given up when, out of nowhere the other night, I met the world’s most interesting man (coined the phrase myself, btw). As an aside, his mom has a tattoo that says “son”! Anyways, after telling him my ordeal he took a sip of his Dos Equis and then, spoke the words that have forever changed my life.

    Apparently there is a place that has everything I’m looking for. This place doesn’t just have parks… they have these things called fields and other things called forests! People, let me tell you… this man says not only is there no traffic… but there’s all the parking you want! And you probably won’t believe me… but it’s free. I’m going to let that sink in.



    You would think you couldn’t ask for any more… but there’s more. Maybe the greatest part of all. This place… it actually DOES close at 10:30. Every night. Sometimes it stays open till midnight on the weekends… but not all the time.

    I’m done people. The house goes up for sale tomorrow. Good riddance City!

    I just have to google maps “Suburbia” and I’ll be moved in by the weekend!

  14. Noelle
    June 8, 2010 2:42 pm

    I found #13’s post so witty, charming, and entertaining that I read it three times.

  15. Bram R
    June 8, 2010 2:44 pm

    Wait, heh heh, just to be clear. Ginny wasn’t “hiding”. She was wearing a hat, and chose to hang out with Amy instead of speaking and probably repeating what was already being said. She doesn’t wear an identifying costume and cape, much as I’ve tried to convince her otherwise.

  16. Carpetbagger
    June 8, 2010 2:45 pm

    Middle finger:

    As a reader without a strong opinion in this matter, it never seemed that the object of this blog was to take over the meeting with an agenda, but merely provide enough public pressure to allow Amy’s side to be heard when it seemed as though she was being strong-armed into backing off.

    It seems like both sides were heard in a civil and courteous manner, which means: “blog” mission accomplished.

    Except, perhaps, for your missed opportunity to hiss and boo and use said finger.

  17. Cassie
    June 8, 2010 3:08 pm

    @#13….GENIUS! You should write a ‘blog’

  18. LegallyPgh(Kathy)
    June 8, 2010 3:49 pm

    I think what middle finger is describing is how that person who supposedly had “guts” cross-examined a member of the Parks Conservancy regarding any possible wrong-doing (which there is none); questioned with self-righteousness where the funding from the family came from (like its any of her business); and then afterward, as part of her “engaging other members of the public face to face,” made a young woman cry — the former babysitter of Katie and Peter. So, (clap, clap) yes, what a wonderful display I saw last evening by that particular member of the Regent Square community.

  19. Me
    June 8, 2010 4:12 pm

    I tip my hat to BagitTagit.

  20. BeauJacques
    June 8, 2010 4:50 pm

    I think I was rather well behaved….

    (I was the “…Hey!! I live next to PNC Park, I don’t want to hear it….” guy.)

    I really wanted to strangle those NIMBY bitches!!

    Who the F*** do they think they are??

    It’s NOT their private park!

    Traffic is bad ALL over!!

    They can suck it!!

    In my humble, reserved, polite opinion. :-)

  21. BeauJacques
    June 8, 2010 4:52 pm

    PS- one more quote “This isn’t a Sandcastle they’re proposing,

    it’s a TREEHOUSE!!!!!!!!


  22. BeauJacques
    June 8, 2010 4:53 pm

    PSS- Did any of you think I was really Scott R. Priester?? :-)

  23. Aunt Rere
    June 8, 2010 5:53 pm

    I’d been next to you…in the back, kicking like a ninja.

  24. Noelle
    June 9, 2010 5:06 am

    You know NewBurgher, all kidding aside, having a get together is actually kind of a really good idea. Maybe at the Treehouse dedication? We could all bring a covered dish.

  25. SteelCityPride
    June 9, 2010 7:31 am

    I am starting to really feel like the folks of the regent square area really do not deserve the tree house. Really do not deserve an environmental charter school.

    More or less they deserve to be abandoned. When all the positive forward thinking folks and businesses move out – and the whole place looks like The Hill – will they be standing in their front windows (behind iron bars now) cheering about their “”victory”” ?

    It makes me wonder if in the future when they build a giant shopping mall in east liberty or point breeze and everyone uses braddock avenue to get there if the Regent.Square.Opposition.Coalition (just made that up) will run over to the east liberty meetings and squawk about how east liberty isn’t allowed to have a shopping mall because regent square said so. Because it will bring traffic. And “”that sort of people””.

  26. BeauJacques
    June 9, 2010 8:30 am

    What I heard at the meeting was a very strong anti-any use of the park sentiment, by close neighbors who even went so far as to complain about the tennis center (which presumably they don’t happen to use) and the restoration of Nine Mile Run as “draws” which bring people to the park!

    They moaned about the traffic in general in the area.

    Traffic is heavy EVERYWHERE!

    Frick is the LARGEST city park, over 500 acres, it’s THE place
    for these tiny spots, INCLUDING
    the treehouse!

    Hey! Regent Squareites, you get in your cars, drive to wherever YOU want to go don’t you?
    Rt. 88 to South Park?
    North Park? Point State Park?

    The opposers CLEARLY just want everybody to stay away. including “those” people!

  27. Bitter
    June 9, 2010 9:12 am

    I love Frick Park, but I don’t go as often as I used to since I moved to Dormont. It’s a little far for us now, but I think my daughter Zoe and I are going to start making the drive so she can enjoy Blue Slide Park.

  28. NewBurgher
    June 9, 2010 9:48 am

    Ya know, we moved to Pgh, and landed in Cranberry, so I’m still learning about the area. But Frick Park sounds like a great place to go! Maybe we should coordinate a HUGE picnic there in a few weeks? Where is the best place to park around there? :D

  29. houndogg
    June 9, 2010 10:30 am

    what part/area of frick is “turtle park”? someone please explain

  30. Jenny
    June 9, 2010 10:48 am

    houndog, Turtle park is a small grassy area adjacent to the Environmental Charter School. It is at the intersection of Henrietta and Milton Street.

  31. Jenny
    June 9, 2010 10:49 am

    houndog, Turtle park is a small grassy area adjacent to the Environmental Charter School. It is at the intersection of Henrietta and Milton Street. There is a large sculpture of a turtle there along with a few benches and picnic tables. Also, there is a World War Two Memorial honoring those that fought in the war who were from regent Square.

  32. houndogg
    June 9, 2010 11:42 am

    thanks jenny! i’m kind of familiar with a couple main bike trails in frick park and couldn’t figure out just where everybody was talking about. now i can see both sides of the discussion a bit more clear.

  33. BeauJacques
    June 9, 2010 11:57 am

    I’ve got the solution!!!

    Get a $1 billion refund on the useless “North Shore” T wastedump, and build:

    Build Frick Park’s own exit from the Parkway, directly into an underground tunnel and parking garage complex for, say,
    2500 cars (like the Port Authority’s useless garage at S. Hills Village) and have elevators and escalators whiz visitors into the middle of Frick park!

    OH, I forgot, this is supposed to be enviromantal.

  34. Matt
    June 9, 2010 1:57 pm

    Okay, the rock band name is now changed to “The Lame Mommy Bloggers of Self Important Inanity”.

  35. LegallyPgh(Kathy)
    June 9, 2010 3:38 pm

    Matt: Only if you add in the all important *gagging sound* right after the word blogger. Then I think it works.

  36. LaReina
    June 9, 2010 4:17 pm

    “which finger” seems to have one of his (or hers) up a particular part of his (or her) anatomy.