Remember When: 1979

Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 7:32 AM


In the news this week 40 years ago:

• At its meeting last week, Sewickley Borough Council voted to hire its first director of public works at an annual salary of $17,500. Only one council member, Marie Guy, dissented, saying “$17,500 is an awful lot to put on our taxpayers. I’m afraid the borough is going to get top-heavy.” Councilman Louis Tarasi countered that the present system involving unsupervised street and sanitation employees cost the residents far more in wasted funds.

• Negotiations were set to begin between Sewickley Borough representatives and Buckeye Pipeline Co. after the latter admitted liability for damage one of its contractors did to several trees on public and private properties through which its pipeline passes. During summer maintenance work, Asplundh Tree Service sprayed Tordon 101, a Dow Chemical herbicide, along the pipeline’s right-of-way. Trees on either side of the pipeline began dying shortly thereafter, and an expert from Bartlett Tree Service estimated the cost of replacing the damaged trees at $40,000.

• At a news conference last week, Dr. Craig Black, then-director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, explained his decision to get rid of the institution’s collection of coins and stamps, saying that three years earlier, the museum staff conducted an extensive survey and evaluation of all of its programming to establish objectives for the museum as a whole. The survey revealed that the Coin and Stamp Collection was not being used for teaching or research and did not lend itself easily to a broader exhibition program. After a period of evaluation, the museum determined that part of the collection would be sold at auction; the library accompanying the materials would be given to Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh so as to be accessed by the public; and additional coins and stamps would go to several other local institutions. The museum was to retain its Greek and Roman era coins given their relevance to the organization’s archaeological and anthropological research and exhibitions.

• A feature profiled John Brown’s Armoury, a year-old business on Beaver Street in Sewickley. Brown and his son, Tim, had been in the antiques business for about 15 years and also owned Sewickley Galleries. The Armoury specialized in buying and selling antique weapons, modern firearms and other weapons and war artifacts, including crossbows, suits of armor, Civil War uniforms, and Native American crafts.