Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Dog Daze Of Summer

After having lived in Mt. Lebanon for only a week (we moved here from San Francisco three years ago), my then-five year old son said "Mom, it's so much EASIER living here!"  I knew exactly what he meant:  the walkable neighborhoods, friendly families and plentiful services and diversions were a boon to our city-weary family.  It seems that summer is the easiest of the seasons (my husband would beg to differ as he hates humidity) as the number of things to do is almost limitless.

On most mornings, my son trots off to playground camp, a cavalcade of activities that allows for imaginary play and the fantastical creations of young minds.  Warmer afternoons are spent at the oh-so-refreshing Mt. Lebanon Pool or if clouds loom, we head for a nearby tennis court to hit some balls (we don't pretend to have a "game").  The Mt. Lebanon Public Library is also a regular stop for summer reads that keep us busy at odd hours or on weekends away.  If we're in town, we follow most library visits with a stop at Uptown Coffee for sweets and a refreshing drink.

We're tickled pink that the Galleria Theater is still around, the better to catch summer matinees in an air-conditioned space.  Bowling at AMF Lanes on Washington Road is an even sweeter deal thanks to our "Kids Bowl Free" coupons, obtained at the start of summer at the AMF web site (and the two games per day really ARE free, even if bowling shoes have to be rented for a small fee).  Some days, we opt for a slice of pizza at the lanes but the truth is we head over to Bruster's on Library Road more often than not for a creamy cone (Key Lime Pie, oh my!).

And then there are the really simple pleasures, like sitting on the back deck for a late dinner and watching fireflies as they light up the night sky.  I love how a neighbor will often call and offer up a cold one at their backyard or mine and how easy it is to catch a group of folks chatting at the proverbial "stoop."  This last pleasure always brings back memories of my youth, tugging at my father's shirt as he talked to the "men" of the neighborhood in Bridgeport, Connecticut, solving the world's problems in one night.

It's a gift to be living in Mt. Lebanon, one that is not lost on me or my family.  Happy summer, everyone!

In Memory of Lisa Styles

Saturday, July 17, 2010

ULTRAparty - August 7th, 2010

The Mt. Lebanon Historical Society is partnering with the Mt. Lebanon Partnership for ULTRAparty, 8 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, August 7, on Washington Road. The '80s cover band Velveeta will perform. $5 donation for those over 21 gets you a wristband that allows you to purchase beer. Proceeds will go to area organizations, including the Children's Institute Center for Autism and the Historical Society.

ULTRAparty 2010 provides an excellent opportunity for the young (and young-at-heart) to literally party in the street, enjoying live music and refreshments in desirable and easy-to-access Uptown Mt. Lebanon. The street is closed to vehicular traffic, the stage is centrally located, and food and drink vendors are strategically placed on each side of the closed street area. Registration tables are set-up to check IDs and sell wristbands to those 21 and older. Wristbands are required to purchase alcohol.

Click on this link for more info:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mt. Lebanon Couple Dedicated to Fight Cystic Fibrosis

Edward and Jodi Kubit have been selected as one of Pittsburgh’s Finest Couples. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation chose the couples based on their leadership and commitment to helping their community.

Ed and Jodi’s dedication to their community is demonstrated through their involvement in various activities, board, chair, and volunteer positions. Jodi has always had a passion for philanthropic causes. For the past three years she has been a Brownie Troop Leader, organizing many community service projects with the troop, she was a part of Mt. Lebanon’s Junior Women’s Club for five years, where she served as a member of their philanthropy committee, along with serving as President, Newsletter Editor, and Silent Auction Co-Chair, she is active in Markham Elementary PTA and Mt. Lebanon City Council of PTA and she was the chair for the 75th Anniversary Gala for Mt. Lebanon Public Library which raised over $50,000. Ed is a phenomenal asset to Mt. Lebanon’s School District. He is the President of Mt. Lebanon’s School Board and is currently dedicating his time to the high school’s construction project. He has been serving on the School Board since 2007. Along with his volunteer position as President, Ed is a territory representative for the software company, Check Point. The Kubit’s have three children; Molly Anne, Eddie, and Lilly, ages five, eight, and nine and have been married for 10 years.

On September 11, 2010, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will host an event, Pittsburgh’s Finest Couples for a Cure at the Smart House in Mt. Washington. The event will be held to thank and celebrate the couples that have dedicated their time to their community and helping to fight for a cure for cystic fibrosis. Tickets to this fabulous event for a cause cost $100 each. In 2009, Pittsburgh’s Finest Couples raised over $120,000 for cystic fibrosis research and this amount is expected to grow this year.

If you would like to make a donation in honor of Ed and Jodi, visit the Cystic Fibrosis website at! Or contact Jodi at

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lisa Styles - Mother....Hero...


Lisa Styles, 36, is being praised as a hero for pushing the stroller carrying two of her children out of harm's way. Family and friends of a Mt. Lebanon woman fatally struck by an SUV last week while pushing a stroller said goodbye.Lisa Styles, 36, was at the intersection Washington and Beadling Roads. She's being praised as a hero for pushing the stroller carrying two of her children out of harm's way.Styles appeared to have a life only most people could dream of. She was a well-educated woman with a law degree; a mother happily devoted to her three young children and had a husband who adored her."And it touched me when he said … how he was honored just to be her husband, that she was his wife," John Mihm, of Mt. Lebanon, said.Styles was killed when an SUV ran a stop sign. She was running with two of her kids in a stroller. She was training for a half marathon.The 20-year-old man charged with the accident may be facing prison time.For two of Lisa Styles' children, they'll grow up knowing that their mother gave her life while saving theirs."She acted to protect her children," Nihm said. "She gave her life for her children."Some mourners expressed the hope that the Styles family will find a way to forgive and not be overwhelmed with anger."I just hope that God will give them the strength to carry on and not to let hate enter his heart because his life was so drastically changed," Nihm said.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th Festivities Right in Our Own Backyard!

Our very own Mt. Lebanon Park will be host to a fun-filled day of July 4th activities. Games, Food and Fun from 12 - 5 PM/ a concert by Dancing Queen at 7:30/ Fireworks at 9:30 PM. Enjoy the day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Obituary: Lisa Styles/ being a mom was Mt. Lebanon woman's true calling

Jan. 1, 1974 - June 29, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010
By Kaitlynn Riely, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Lisa Clay Styles planned princess birthday parties, made cakes with smiley faces and filled each weekend with activities and field trips for her three young children.
"Her sails were most full when she became a mother," said Brett Styles, her husband.
She would call in the middle of the day to tell him when one of their children accomplished something, even if it was a small thing. Not long ago, she called him to say that their son Nate, 3, who has autism spectrum disorder, was able to put his first two-word, simple sentence together: "Turn page."

"She made every day like that," Mr. Styles said. "She looked at being a mother as these sequential triumphs, so excited about every single step."

On Monday, Ms. Styles, who was training to do the Chicago half-marathon with her brother in September, was running with a double jogging stroller along Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon, where the family moved in December. As she crossed Beadling Road, she was struck by an SUV that failed to stop at the stop sign as it turned onto Washington Road. Ms. Styles died at UPMC Mercy the next day from a severe head injury. She was 36.

The stroller carrying Nate and Ms. Styles' daughter Evelyn, 14 months, turned on its side into Washington Road, but the children were not injured. Another daughter, June, 4, was at a play date.

Ms. Styles, born Jan. 1, 1974 to Ellen and Carl Clay, was the first baby born in Cobb County, Ga., that year. Her family lived in Atlanta until 1983, then moved to Wexford. She attended North Allegheny High School, then went to Tufts University near Boston, where she received a bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in Mandarin. She became practically fluent in the language after she spent her junior year of college in Hong Kong.

Traveling became a hobby, and over the next several years she lived in Ireland for a few months, and traveled to places such as New Zealand, Portugal, French Guiana, and then closer places like Canada and the Caribbean once she had children.

She spent a few years after college living in San Francisco, where she waitressed and bartended and developed a talent for cooking.

She decided she wanted to get into child advocacy work, so she moved to Cleveland to attend Case Western Reserve University. Her initial plan was to do a 5-year program at Case Western and get a master's in social work and a law degree.

But she ran into Brett Styles, a high school classmate, on a visit to Gooski's bar in Polish Hill in 2002, and they began dating. After she earned her master's, she decided to get her law degree at the University of Pittsburgh.

They bought a house in Brookline and married in 2004. She continued to attend school while June was an infant and while she was pregnant with Nate.

"She sat for the bar and she passed the bar while she was eight months pregnant," her brother, Kevin Clay, of Omaha, Neb., said. "She had to get special bathroom privileges."
Her son was born prematurely and spent weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. Ms. Styles would take him for 25 hours of therapy a week, Mr. Styles said, and put off pursuing a career so she could take care of him and his sisters.

"She dropped everything for her family," Mr. Styles said.
The last six years of her life were her happiest, her brother, Mr. Clay said, and the part that defined her the most.

Ms. Styles planned to pursue child advocacy work once her children were all in school.
"She was brilliant, and I think the main act of her life, it started now," Mr. Styles said.
In addition to her husband, brother and three children, Ms. Styles is survived by her mother, Ellen Clay of Cleveland.

Visitation will be Monday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Beinhauer Mortuary on West Liberty Avenue in Beechview. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at noon at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon, with a private interment.

The family suggested that memorial donations be made to groups supporting autism research.Read more: