What's happening in Pittsburgh and around the region:
Video by Ashley Murray
1. Bocce is how the last week in Pittsburgh ended and this week began (if you consider Sunday the first day of the week). Bloomfield's Little Italy Days took over Liberty Avenue, and a two-day double-elimination bocce tournament ensued on Cedarville Street, just off the main drag. The Italian pride shone and wine flowed. Read about it on City Paper's new sports page.
Photo courtesy of Gail Manker
2. The final performances of August Wilson's Seven Guitars, staged in the backyard of Wilson's original Hill District house by Pittsburgh Playwrights, are this weekend. "Seeing Seven Guitars performed in the very Hill District backyard in which it was set should give anyone chills, but also a sense of an artistic birthright restored," writes CP's arts editor Bill O'Driscoll.
Photo courtesy of Gail Manker
3. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and his Democratic challenger Katie McGinty both picked up endorsements from gun-control advocacy groups this week. Toomey received one from the PAC Americans for Responsible Solutions, and McGinty from CeaseFirePa. Americans for Responsible Solutions was started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who in 2011 was shot in the head during a mass shooting in Tuscon in which six people were killed. The PAC's executive director Peter Ambler cited Toomey's sponsorship on a (failed) 2013 background-check bill that was in reaction to the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre as a reason for their endorsement. Meanwhile McGinty maintains that Toomey has done little on gun-reform since.
4. Allegheny County Council is proposing changes to the county's minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprise rules (MWDBE), which guarantee a certain percentage — 13 percent for minority-owned businesses and 2 percent for those owned by women — of county contracts to businesses owned by the aforementioned. The new rules would exclude companies that bring in more than roughly $56 million per year. Some have taken issue with the change, including Councilor Sue Means (R-Bethel Park), who says the vote is happening too hastily, and Maggie Hardy Magerko, owner of 84 Lumber (which brought in $2.5 billion in revenue in 2014), whose legal counsel says the rules changes would exclude the construction giant.
This week in City Paper's arts section, contributor Natalie Spanner reviews the exhibit Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe at The Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh. The show includes six thematic sections of high heels: Revival and Reinterpretation, Rising in the East, Glamor and Fetish, Architecture, Metamorphosis, and Spacewalk. But if you want to see it, do it soon, as the show closes on Sept. 4. "Killer Heels honestly offers something for everyone, whether you wear sneakers, flats or Audrey Hepburn stilettos," Spanner writes. Read the full review and watch our video on the exhibit.