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Town Topics

 

Markham Elementary students celebrated Arbor Day by planting a serviceberry tree on school grounds. From left, Cameron Baird, Elizabeth Baldridge, Ben Moyer, Cecily Mueller, Alex Deneen, and Owen Diaz. Mt. Lebanon marks the occasion at a different elementary school each year as part of its Tree City USA status. Photo: John Schisler

 

TOP-LEVEL TENNIS One of the many good things COVID-19 chased away was the chance to see some of the best professional tennis players in the world battle it out at the Mt. Lebanon Tennis Center. While the tournament played on last year and the year before, spectators and ball retrievers were not permitted.

That’s in the past tense now. From July 11 to July 17, some of the top-ranked players will compete for cash and, more important, points from the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Players accrue the points that allow them entry into big-ticket tournaments.

“The players are mainly here for the points,” says Hank Hughes, tennis center director and head tennis pro. Mt. Lebanon is a stop on a six-city tour that includes Rochester, Buffalo, Columbus, Indianapolis and Wichita.

Formerly called the Men’s Futures Tournament, now referred to as the Men’s 15 because of its $15,000 prize pool, the tournament is limited to 32 entrants, 18 of whom will be selected on the strength of their ATP rankings. Those entrants must be ranked in the top 300 in the world. A tournament qualifier at the tennis center the week before the main tournament will provide entry for eight players; of the remaining six, two can play their way in through wild-card tournaments and four spots are reserved for high-level junior players. The winner receives 18 ATP points.

Special to this year’s event will be a celebration honoring two longtime former tournament directors, Dan Hackett and Don Mercer. Hughes shares credit with the two for their efforts in making the tournament a success for so many years.

“2020 would have been the 20th anniversary of the tournament,” he said. “Most don’t go beyond six or seven years, for a variety of reasons.”

At 5:30 each afternoon of the tournament, weather permitting, there will be a featured match, selected by Hughes. Matches go on all day. Admission to the tournament is free.

 
Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker

RETIRED WITH RESPECT Boy Scout Troop 22 is conducting a flag retirement ceremony at 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 14, at the Bird Park fire circle. If you have an American flag that is worn, damaged or otherwise unusable, you can drop it off at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, or at 480 McCully Street.

According to the United States Flag Code, “when a flag is so tattered that it no longer fits to serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.”

The scouts begin by cutting the flag into pieces, taking care not to cut the blue field of stars, since that represents the unity of the 50 states.

While some scouts are performing the flag dissection, others start and tend a medium-size wood fire, preferably in a metal drum or incinerator. Once the flag remnants and fire are ready, the scouts perform their ceremony and maintain a vigil over the fire until all traces of the flag remnants are destroyed. Then, the fire is extinguished and the ashes are buried. The burial can be completed with a moment of silence while a bugler plays Taps.

The flag retirement ceremony is open to the public. For more information, call 412-606-5972.

 
Photo: Rob Papke

CONSTRUCTION SEASON Mt. Lebanon’s 2022 street reconstruction and repair season is underway. The municipality awarded a bid of $2.28 million to Niando Construction for reconstruction of parts of nine streets, and drainage improvements to six others. Funding for the project comes from Mt. Lebanon’s Capital Improvements Budget ($1,445,836), the sanitary fund ($9,328) and the stormwater fund ($591,109 for curb replacement and $236,932 for other stormwater improvements). Monitor the project at www.mtlebanon.org/streets [1]

Streets selected for reconstruction are:

Academy Place Austin Avenue to Parkview Drive

Alexander Place Summer Place to cul de sac

Baywood Avenue Cochran Road to 273 Baywood

Clemson Drive Bower Hill Road to Payton Drive

Folkstone Drive Glaids Drive to 1269 Folkstone

Longridge Drive Bower Hill Road to 439 Longridge

Mabrick Avenue Atlanta Drive to Magnolia Place

Pinoak Road Ruth Drive to 773 Pinoak

Florida Avenue Municipal Way to Magnolia Place

Drainage improvements are slated for Academy Place, Clemson Drive, Longridge Drive, Mabrick Avenue, Pinoak Road and Florida Avenue.

During the reconstruction, residents will not be able to park on the street. The contractor will leave a notice on your front door a few days before contruction begins. If the construction means you cannot use your street or driveway, you will be permitted to park during the day and overnight on nearby streets. The municipality will notify the police department so you will not need to call them yourself Emergency services, trash collection and mail delivery will continue during the project. If you are expecting a large delivery while your street is under construction, call the municipal engineer at 412-409-2398 and the municipality will try to accommodate your schedule. If you have an irrigation system or an invisible dog fence, let the contractor know before work begins. These systems are not marked on street maps, and may be damaged if the contractor is not aware they are in place.

As with any construction project, use caution when driving or walking through the work area. If you need to move a barricade be sure to replace it immediately.

Several other streets are included on the street maintenance list. Street maintenance involves roto-milling existing pavement and resurfacing with bituminous material. The maintenance contract, at a total cost of $409,761, was awarded to Youngblood Paving, for the following streets:

Beadling Road Seneca Drive to Cedar Boulevard

MacArthur Drive 878 MacArthur to Stilwell Court

Newburn Drive Morrison Drive to N. Meadowcroft Avenue

Standish Boulevard Entire street

Sunridge Drive Connor Road to Vallimont Drive

Wainwright Drive Woodland to MacArthur drives

Mapleton Drive Cedar Boulevard to Rae Avenue

Wynnewood Drive Entire street