DON’T FLAKE OUT and forget to take care of your sidewalks. You may get tired of the chore, but your neighbors’ safety is too important to neglect shoveling. If you need help, ask a friend and if you can offer help, please do so. Snow removal is regulated by law. When we get an inch or more of snow or ice on sidewalks or paved public walkways, you have 24 hours to remove it or be subject to a citation. Additionally, help the plows get through by keeping your car off the road, if possible, on days and nights when snow or ice is predicted. Even if you previously received permission to park on the street, that permission is revoked when the plows need to pass.
TRASH PICKUP REMINDER Mt. Lebanon’s contract with Republic Services, which began this year, contains a cap on how much trash you can put out in a week. Republic will collect up to 15 bags of trash and two “bulky items,” items not in a bag or a can but weighing less than 50 pounds. If you have more trash than that in a week, you can contact Republic at 412-429-2600 or email@example.com  and arrange for a special collection, which you will have to pay for. You can also call Republic to make arrangements for backyard trash pickup instead of curbside. Just to recap the general rules for trash pickup: You can take your trash to the curb anytime after 6 p.m. the evening before regular pickup, and it should be at the curb no later than 6 a.m. on the day of collection. Trash containers should hold no more than 50 pounds each. If you’re missing a garbage and recycling schedule, pick one up at the customer service center in the municipal building, or download one . The schedule also lists what is acceptable for recycling.
ASK THE JUDGE Magisterial District Judge Blaise Larotonda will be at Mt. Lebanon Public Library for a program titled “Ask the Judge,” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, December 9. Stop in to find out what a day in the life of a magisterial judge is like and how Larotonda weighs cases and makes decisions. General questions are welcome, but please note that Larotonda is not permitted to comment on specific cases or give advice.
POINSETTIA SALE Deck the halls and support the Dormont-Mt. Lebanon-Castle Shannon Rotary Club’s fifth annual poinsettia sale, December 18 to 23, at Mt. Lebanon Public Library. $10 will get you a fabulous 6-1/2 inch foil-wrapped pot of red, pink, or white poinsettias.
LEARN SOME LOOPHOLES Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is looking for volunteer tax preparers for the 2015 tax season. The IRS provides training, certification, and continuing support. Training classes are the week of December 8. For information, contact Ray Fretterd at 412-341-8328 or RayFretterd@comcast.net .
Volunteers will be available through April 15 to help prepare individual income tax returns for taxpayers who earn less than $52,000. No appointments are needed. Help is available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Bible Chapel, 300 Gallery Drive in McMurray.