Archive for November, 2010

Missing Pittsburgh Art FOUND!
November 22, 2010

Pittsburgh sculptor Peter Calaboyias allowed me into his personal workshop in Shadyside to watch him create.  He is an amazing contemporary artist.

In 1971-72 he created Five Factors….. it was part of a contemporary art competition and his was one of three that won.  His piece was placed outside of the Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill.  This was the spark for a life-long career. He went on to create other amazing works…  including the fan for the ’96 Olympics in Atlanta which became infamous when a bomb went off beside his sculpture and damaged it. Tourists still come to the spot and look at the scars left on the sculpture.

But in the 80’s when the library was renovating, Calaboyias’ Five Factors was removed for safe keeping… but then lost!  For years he searched for his missing art.  And finally, he was able to track it down…. it was under the 62nd street bridge!  The space is sort of an outdoor- warehouse for the city… and Five Factors was there along with old lamposts and scrap!  After years of restoration and recreation…. Five Factors is back for the public to enjoy. You’ll find it in Mellon Park at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Penn.

Here’s Peter instructing the crew on installation.

If you go check it out… feel free to walk through it. Peter says that’s how he wants the public to experience it.

‘Dancing W/ the Stars’ Star Coming to PGH!
November 17, 2010

All of you Dancing With the Stars fans…. Great news! Mark Ballas is coming to Pittsburgh! He’ll be performing with a show called Burn The Floor at Heinz Hall December 28-January 2nd.

Click here to buy your tickets now! And if you use the promotion code: SAMBA you’ll get $15 off tickets to the Tuesday evening, Friday evening and Saturday matinee performances. (This discount is valid until Nov. 26)

For those of you who don’t get a chance to keep up with Dancing With the Stars, Mark has performed on it for seven seasons and won the show – with his celebrity dancer- twice!  WOW! (He’s paired with Bristol Palin this season)

Harley Medcalf, the producer for the world-wide touring company of Burn The Floor invited me to be his guest in Philly to watch the show to get an idea of what to expect…. it was amazing!  The dancers are beautiful and obviously in fabulous shape. Harley (pictured here) gave me  a pre-show behind-the-scenes tour.

Harley allowed me to join the dancers for their pre-show ritual to get psyched up for the performance…. which included a chant they adopted from Japan.  The dancers were so poised and their passion for dance was obvious. I have no idea how the women are able to be so athletic and graceful in those high heels!  As I was leaving to head to my seat I accidentally said, “Good luck tonight!” NOOOOOOO!!!!!  AHHHHHH! Those words are supposed to bring bad luck and I cringed after they spilled out of my mouth!  But thankfully I didn’t seem to jinx anything because the performance was smooth! Thank goodness! LOL

If you go… just know they love it when audiences get loud… so don’t hold back! (They told me Japan’s audiences are especially exhilarating for them.)

( By the way, Ballas will be partnered with Giselle Peacock, known to US audiences from her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Superstars of Dance.” )

Making Ebelskivers
November 17, 2010

I bought this new kitchen gadget and my daughter couldn’t wait to help me try it out.  It’s an ebelskiver pan.  They’re little stuffed pancake balls.

Here she is mixing up the vanilla batter.

A bird’s-eye view of the cinnamon-apple filling.

You can see the new ebelskiver pan on the right. We put a scoop of batter in… then dumped in 1/2 a spoonfull of the filling … and then topped it off again with the batter.

In less than three minutes it’s time to turn them over. In another couple of minutes they’re done!  We also made a batch filled with chocolate. Yummy!

Of course we had to sprinkle powdered sugar on top. 🙂

A Heartwarming 1970 GTO Reunion
November 9, 2010

These pictures tell a wonderful story…. and the two guys you see here couldn’t hold back the tears. (Click here to watch my full report.)
Walt Laney and his son, Brian worked hard on their prize-winning 1970 Pontiac GTO in the 80’s. It was a cool father and son bonding time.  The cruises and the competitions and the wonderful memories. But then, in 1990 Walt wanted to spend more time on the rivers and sold this GTO to buy a boat.  Brian wasn’t happy.  The GTO had become his passion and would later turn into his career…. he now runs a body shop in Swissvale.
Brian never forgot about the car… and about five months ago started searching online for a similar GTO…. and then he found it. He knew it was his car just as soon as he saw it for sale in California. A quick check showed the vin numbers matched ….. and there was no way Brian was letting her go again.  When it pulled up and Brian got his first look ….. tears filled his eyes and he couldn’t talk.  I sat down with Walt in his car… now with a few more dings and dents that will have to be fixed.  His voice quivered when he talked about the wonderful memories it brought back of the times he and his son shared.
Walt bought the car for $6,000 in 1970 and Brian had to pay $20,000 to get it back.  Brian told me it was worth every penny.
When our interview was done…. they took it for a spin…. remembering the good ol’ days ….. and ready to make new memories together.

Real Food
November 9, 2010

I had a great time interviewing two amazing people who’ve written more than a dozen cookbooks together.  I talked to Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough when they were in Pittsburgh for the Good Taste! Pittsburgh event about their new book Real Food Has Curves which you can buy here.

They preach against processed foods and showed me… to my surprise… how many common things we think are “healthy” for us actually are filled with unhealthy chemicals and preservatives.  I’ll never shop at the grocery store the same way again!   Since our interview I’ve been following their cool blog!  They are both so interesting!  Click here for the Real Food blog.

And if you missed my story Friday… you can Click here to watch it.

PGH Film Office First
November 9, 2010

Check out this release I just got from the Pittsburgh Film Office as it celebrates the November releases of three films shot in our area.  For the first time ever there will be three films at the box office all at the same time that were shot in the Pittsburgh area! (I am so proud of my friend and co-anchor Mike Clark who has an awesome role in Unstoppable! I can’t wait to see it! He was so awesome his part even made the commercial! He is now a star of the big screen and small screen!)

(Pittsburgh, Pa.) – The Pittsburgh Film Office (PFO) said today that November may very well need to be designated “Pittsburgh Movie Month”.  Beginning next week, three movies, Unstoppable, The Next Three Days and Love and Other Drugs, will premiere – one each week – that filmed in southwestern Pennsylvania.  “We are so proud to be celebrating such an amazing milestone, and want to thank all of the residents, local crew, business owners and government officials for their support in the making of these three films,” said Dawn M. Keezer, director, The Pittsburgh Film Office.

All three films were produced in the region during late 2009.  Cumulatively these films:

  • Hired 633 local crew members
  • Booked a total of 40,159 hotel room nights
  • Spent more than $1 million on car rentals
  • Spent more than $1.7 million on construction supplies
  • Spent more than $1.2 million on local groceries and supplies by the catering department
  • Paid more than $1.4 million to people/business for use of locations

Below is a synopsis and release dates for each of the three films:

Unstoppable will be released on November 12th by 20th Century Fox.  Directed by Tony Scott, the film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pine and Rosario Dawson as rail company employees who frantically work to prevent an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train carrying combustible liquids and poisonous gas from wiping out a city.  The film was shot using sites in Emporium, Tyrone, Milesburg, Port Allegany, Eldred, Port Mathilda, Turtle Point, Lawrenceville, Monaca, Carnegie and downtown Pittsburgh.

The Next Three Days – will be released on November 19th by Lionsgate.  A thriller directed by Paul Haggis and starring Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Neeson, the movie is about a married couple whose life is turned upside down when the wife is accused of murder and the husband hatches a plan to free her from prison.  It was shot in downtown Pittsburgh, Oakland, the North Side, Regent Square, the South Side and Pittsburgh International Airport.

Love and Other Drugs – being released on November 24th by Bedford Falls Productions and Fox 2000 Pictures.  Directed by Ed Zwick and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, the movie is based on Jamie Reidy’s memoir, “Hard Sell:  The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.”  Maggie is an alluring free spirit who won’t let anyone – or anything – tie her down, but she meets her match in Jamie – whose relentless and nearly infallible charm serves him well with the ladies in the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales.  Maggie and Jamie’s evolving relationship takes them both by surprise as they find themselves under the influence of the ultimate drug – Love.  The film was shot in downtown Pittsburgh, the Hill District, the North Side, Oakland, Fox Chapel, Sewickley, McKees Rocks, McCandless, Monongahela, Brownsville, Aliquippa and Lawrenceville.


The Pittsburgh Film Office (PFO) is a non-profit economic development agency dedicated to the mission of marketing the southwestern Pennsylvania region to the film industry.  Dawn Keezer has been the Director of the PFO for the past 16 years.  Since 1990, the Pittsburgh Film Office has assisted 99 feature film, television and commercial productions and generated an economic impact of more than $490 million into the region.  For every $1 invested in the PFO, the organization is able to generate approximately $105 in new spending.  The southwestern Pennsylvania region has been extremely busy since the establishment of a full-time presence in Los Angeles and the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit program.  This year the economic impact in the region totals more than $100 million.  Recent productions include I Am Number Four starring Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron and Timothy Olyphant; Abduction starring Taylor Lautner, Sigourney Weaver and Maria Bello; One for the Money starring Katherine Heigl and A New York Heartbeat starring Eric Roberts.

Mannheim Steamroller is Coming
November 7, 2010

If this chilly weather is getting you in the spirit….. I have some good news! I just got word that The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller is coming to the Benedum Center for their 25th anniversary show December 3rd & 4th.  Here are the details:

Pittsburgh, PA: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis, at 8:00 p.m., on Tuesday, December 3 and Wednesday, December 4, 2010, at the Benedum Center. Mannheim Steamroller’s performances will feature the band’s innovative arrangements and extravagant multi-media show of images, synchronized lighting and special effects. Mannheim Steamroller celebrates their 25thyear touring the holiday concert across the United States this year. This performance is part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series.

Known for their classic arrangements of Silent Night, Deck the Halls, and Angels We Have Heard on High, the concert will feature the group’s distinctive Christmas music from many of their multi-platinum award holiday albums heard over the past 25 years. Mannheim founder and composer Chip Davis comments, “The music, along with our state of the art multimedia production, is meant to make this an experience for the whole family.”
Founded by Chip Davis, Mannheim Steamroller’s music is best described as 18th Century classical rock with a musical fusion of acoustic, analog, digital and electronic sounds. Named after an 18th Century musical term that now translates as “crescendo,” the group’s popularity began in the 1990s with their album “Fresh Aire.”  The seventh recording in the Fresh Aire series received a Grammy Award for Best New Age Recording. Billboard calls the ensemble one of “the pioneers of neo-Classical electronic music” and “one of the driving forces behind the New Age phenomenon.”

Tickets ($34.50 – $79.50) may be purchased at the Box Office at Theater Square, at 655 Penn Avenue, online at, or by calling (412) 456-6666. To purchase 10 or more tickets at special discounted rates, please call (412) 471-6930.

Videos of Dessert Sushi
November 7, 2010

Here are a couple of videos taken of our infamous Dessert Sushi Competition!

Trevor Corson was our celebrity judge.. and he’s one of the top experts on sushi! Click here to read more about him and the amazing books he’s written ( The Story of Sushi, The Secret Lives of Lobsters).  There were five competitors as part of the Good Taste! Pittsburgh event. We were challenged with using a variety of candy to make five pieces of “sushi” which had to include the secret ingredient of ……… Swedish Fish!

When we were done … my plate was, by far, the WORST. I’m not kidding! I really struggled! LOL….. Take a look.

Ron Antill from Wish 99.7 won the fierce competition. His plate was so cool!  Meteorologist Erin Kienzle did a great job, too! Mine was LAME…. but the sugar rush was worth it 🙂 (my kids saw this video and were so jealous of all that candy! LOL )

My Dessert Sushi Competition!
November 4, 2010

I’m not exactly sure what I’ve gotten myself into now.  I was asked to participate in an event for Good Taste! Pittsburgh which is this Saturday. Now I find out that I am part of a “Dessert Sushi Competition.” HUH?  There will be lots of candy ingredients and I will be timed in making a fantastic dessert and I’ll be getting judged!  I love watching those cooking competitions on tv.. but I’m getting nervous about this!

I’ve recruited my dear friend (and awesome meteorologist) Erin Kienzle to be my partner.  I have no idea who our competition will be …. but we’ll do our best and I promise to take pictures! LOL  If any of you out there have any ideas… please send them to me!

For those of you interested in coming out to check out what promises to be an AWESOME show…. it’s Saturday from 9am-5pm at the Monroeville Convention Center (the new one across from the K-Mart in the old furniture store building)  Chefs from Bravo’s Top Chef, The Cooking Channel and Food Network will be here.  There will also be food samplings, wine tastings, hands-on workshops, demonstrations, the latest kitchenware, book signings and holiday gift ideas… and much more ! Click here for more information.

Election Night Blogging
November 3, 2010

I wanted to take a quick look at our election night adventure.  I was assigned to cover Republican Pat Toomey’s Senate race in Allentown. Our crews were “Live Blogging” all night on but for those of you who didn’t catch it… here are some highlights.

Here are my partners: Photographers Art Carr (left) and Dave O’Neil. All the media were on two risers and there were a lot of us….. more than two dozen video cameras alone!

The reporters stood on anything they could find to be tall enough to see what would happen at the podium. We all knew there would soon be hundreds of supporters waving hundreds of signs and that would block our view of the speech unless we stood on something.

You can see ladders and chairs …. and this was mine….. LOL….. I had on high heel black boots…. but had to exchange them for tennis shoes so my heel wouldn’t get stuck in the holes in this crate.

And check out the election night grub….. and that’s all I should say about that! HA!

The night was exciting…. it was a true cliffhanger just as the polls had promised and Senator-elect Toomey didn’t give a victory speech  until well after midnight.

For all of you who stayed with us late into the wee hours of the morning… thanks so much for sticking with us!

Cursing Crackdown
November 1, 2010

My story tonight is on the “cursing crackdown” in the Wilkinsburg School District.  I talked with Superintendent Archie Perrin who said inappropriate language is starting to become a problem and he sent a letter home to parents reminding them of the 2004 policy about swearing and saying it will no longer be tolerated. Punishment ranges from a warning to suspension to expulsion.




Students today are faced with so much….. I checked out the iTunes list of the most popular current songs and was surprised by how many included the red box warning “explicit”  tagged to it.  Cable television also offers more choices including what seems to be more inappropriate language than ever.  Superintendent Perrin told me that just because it’s becoming more tolerable in today’s pop culture, it has no place in the classroom.  He wants to make sure that students have the best environment in which to learn and says such misconduct is detracting from students’ ability to learn.

The letter says ” I have recently become aware that there has been an increase in abusive language directed toward teachers and staff members. Any educational environment requires that both teachers and students demonstrate respect toward one another. When students use offensive and abusive language toward educators, it diminishes the effectiveness of classroom instruction.”