Greetings all you ghouls and fools to www.PUzine.com! Our motto here at good ol' PU is that if it's Underground and in Pittsburgh - WE DIG IT!!!

Check back periodically for new articles, links, artwork, and more for all things in the Pittsburgh Underground! You can follow us on our Official Facebook Page, Dead Zed Zombie Twitter Page, and PU Youtube Channel as well and don't forget to Like Us, Subscribe, and shoot us the occasional email or comment - we always love to hear from our minions!

Also, don't forget that if you have a kitschy, kooky, and ooky event here (or near) the Pittsburgh area and want us to get the word out email us ALL the details (a few weeks in advance please) and we'll do our best to spread the word. Until then...

Stay Smokin,
Hot-Toddy
Co-Founder / Pittsburgh Underground

Friday, June 15, 2018

PU It Stinks: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fires Political Cartoonist Rob Rogers

The gang here at Pittsburgh Underground really do our best to try to stay out of the political arena for more reasons than we can count, but mainly because it’s just plain ugly. We’re a pop culture website first and foremost, however, on rare occasion even we can’t turn a blind eye to injustices done, especially in the city we love so dearly.

It was announced today that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has fired long time political cartoonist and friend of good ol' PU, Rob Rogers. To say that we were completely floored by this news would be an understatement, especially due to the content of this man’s character -  incredibly good natured, generous, brilliantly talented, and a consummate professional. To say that we were lucky enough to get to know Rob in various ‘cartooning’ social circles throughout the years has been a true joy which is why the news of this firing came as such a shock.


Melting / Rob Rogers 2018

We live in an age where media reports on ‘men’ being fired due to sexual misconduct, corruption, and other nefarious acts seem to be fairly (if not sadly) commonplace, making it a lot harder on the rest of us that are just trying to lead decent lives in the best way we can. That’s why news of this announcement didn’t make sense. Rob Roger’s is a stand up guy who sheds light on incredibly tough subjects in a light hearted and creative way that (provided you have a sense of humor) can be enjoyed no matter what side of the political spectrum you fall under. 


Summit / Rob Rogers 2018

So if Rob Rogers didn’t get fired for being a lout, and he wasn’t stealing work supplies in order to cartoon, and his work has stood the test of time for a whooping 25 years as a valued employee of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette then what happened? 

In a nutshell, the once ‘liberal’ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has been poisoned from the inside out with Trump supporting owners and editors that rejected 19 of his ideas and cartoons since March 2018 due to ‘political differences’. Check out this interview with Rob Rogers on CNN.



Rob Rogers Addresses Firing From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / CNN 2018

Rob had stated that he was willing to cooperate with the publishers ‘to a degree’, but he wouldn’t draw cartoons he disagreed with. In essence, Rob Rogers was fired over his right to free speech which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt is no longer valued by the owners or editors at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Good Guy With A Gun / Rob Rogers 2018

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists recently issued a statement linking Rogers' situation to "the recent arrival of a Trump-supporting editorial page editor." 

Mayor Bill Peduto was recently quoted in a statement in response to the firing of Rob Rogers:

"The move today by the leadership of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to fire Rob Rogers after he drew a series of cartoons critical of President Trump is disappointing, and sends the wrong message about press freedoms in a time when they are under siege.

This is precisely the time when the constitutionally-protected free press – including critics like Rob Rogers – should be celebrated and supported, and not fired for doing their jobs. This decision, just one day after the President of the United States said the news media is 'Our Country's biggest enemy,' sets a low standard in the 232-year history of the newspaper.


I've known Rob a long time. That has never stopped him from publishing cartoons that are critical of me, of my policy positions, or of my actions (or inactions) in office. He's even made fun of my weight. But he is one of the best in the world at his time-honored craft, and I know people of all political persuasions stand with me in support of him, even if the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regrettably does not."


The culprit behind this latest misstep from the PG is Keith Burris who became the paper’s editorial director in March. Oddly, neither Burris nor conservative owner John Block has commented on the firing of Rob Rogers. Oddly,  in an article Burris posted in April 2018 on ‘A primer on opinion writing’ states that his ‘job’ as an opinion writer ‘should not pretend to play investigative reporters or sleuths. Their job is not to report the news, but to help readers make sense of the news and the world we live in. This is not a slight responsibility’. 

If an ‘opinion writer’ is to help make sense of the news and the world we live in, then why can’t he explain why they would fire Rob Rogers, who’s talent for ‘helping make sense of the news and the world we live in’ was evident in his political cartoons that were a staple of the Post-Gazette for the last two and a half decades? Maybe there’s only room for one guy to ‘explain the world we live in’ at the Post-Gazette, and that man is Burris. 

Our ‘opinion’ here at Pittsburgh Underground is that the move to fire a well received and established visual artist looks a lot like jealousy for a guy in a position of power that can write his opinions without a care in the world, but when someone who can do the same thing in not only an amusing way, but also a visual one crosses his path he does the only thing he can - get rid of his perceived rival. The act of a very small man indeed.

Publisher, editor-in-cheif, John Block has had controversy surrounding him at the beginning of this year as well due to an editorial that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and it’s sister paper The Blade of Toledo Ohio were forced to run on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the goal of the piece to provide cover for and support of Donald Trump’s bemoaning that Haiti and African countries were “shithole” places of origin for many immigrants to America. “Calling someone a racist is the new McCarthyism,” the editorial opined. “Calling the president a racist helps no one—it is simply another way (the Russia and instability cards having been played unsuccessfully) to attempt to delegitimize a legitimately elected president.” And, it asserted, “There are nations that are hellholes … It is not racist to say that this country cannot take only the worst people from the worst places.”

Block, a strong Trump supporter, demanded that the piece run in both newspapers to the dread of the employees for both newspapers. Michael A. Fuoco, an enterprise reporter at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and president of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh/CWA 38061 wrote an article about this debacle stating that ‘In the end, we decided to break precedent set during the 84 years of the Guild’s existence at the Post-Gazette and write a letter to the editor decrying an editorial. In the letter, signed by all 11 members of the local’s Executive Committee, we noted that Guild members were “collectively appalled and crestfallen by the repugnant editorial ‘Reason as Racism’”. You can read the full article here.

Immigrant Children / Rob Rogers 2018

With controversies that keep mounting from the owners of the floundering Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the firing of Rob Rogers should be the final straw for anyone  who values freedom of expression. When twelve people at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo died in 2015 for depicting Muhammad in cartoons it published they didn’t stop them from continuing on because they understood the value of this freedom. You may not always agree with what’s being said, but without continuing on with this type of expression we can’t grow as people to work out our differences or at a bare minimum, find some common ground. 


Sensitivity Training / Rob Rogers 2018

It’s a sad state of affairs when a 231 year old institution like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette falls so hard due to the failings of the wrong people in positions of power. The firing of political cartoonist Rob Rogers was the final shot. As far as Pittsburgh Underground is concerned... this means war. Free speech is no longer valued at the PG as it’s conservative minded owners and editors are interested in only one thing - spreading their own political agenda. This is the type of thing we were all warned about in any political science class that we attended throughout our formative years as we were warned that suppressing the free press is not only how dictatorships get started, but It truly undermines our democracy. 

We hear about the ‘undermining of our democracy’ a lot lately and it’s usually from people screaming it at the top of their lungs from both sides of the aisle. Most of us can’t help but flip the channel or turn off the device entirely when it happens. The problem is what do you do when it’s in your own back yard? 

It would be easy enough to say just don’t buy the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or end your subscription if you value free speech. The thing is, most people still want to know what’s going on in the local news. With that said, Pittsburgh Underground felt it would be best to list some alternatives to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette where you can still get everything and more than what the PG can provide, especially now that freedom of speech and expression is no longer a part of their core values which incidentally...


PU IT STINKS!!!

Here's a list of better alternatives to the censorship minded Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

KDKA TV - On the airwaves of Pittsburgh since 1949, you can get the news in real-time.

New Pittsburgh Courier - this Pittsburgh original has been catering to the African American community since 1966. News, sports, entertainment, business, and lots more for everyone!

Next Pittsburgh.coma woman-owned business, is the must-read Pittsburgh publication about the people driving change in our city and the innovative and cool things happening here.

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh's leading alternative weekly newspaper which focuses on local news, opinion, and arts and entertainment.

Public Source / In-depth Stories for a Better Pittsburgh - Public service journalism for a Pittsburgh in need of substance over click-bait. Meaningful stories and inclusive journalism at it's best.


Pittsburgh Gem: Rob Rogers, Political Cartoonist

Also, anyone who needs to get their Rob Rogers fix including some exclusives at Rob's online store, you can visit him at the following links:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Movies That Have Everything: Incredibles 2 Starts TOMORROW!!!

To say that Friday will be an incredible day would be an understatement! It’s taken an exasperating 14 years to for fans of the original Incredibles to finally get a sequel and tomorrow it’s day is due. Check out the trailer for Incredibles 2 below!


Incredibles 2 (2018 Trailer / Pixar / Walt Disney Pictures)

The entire Parr family is back - Bob / aka Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Helen / aka Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), their daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell), and sons Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile). Old friends return as well including Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), Edna Mode (voice by director and creator Brad Bird), Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks taking over for the late, great Bud Luckey), along with his 'Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul' co-star Bob Odenkirk as Winston Deavor, and even the last villain to show his face in the original - the Underminer (voiced by Cheers alum John Ratzenberger).

So the biggest question on most fan’s minds is what took so long (especially since the sequel picks up three months after Syndrome’s defeat in the first flick). For writer-director Brad Bird, it all came down to story.

Brad Bird, writer and director of The Incredibles and voice of Edna Mode

“The thing is, many sequels are cash grabs,” Bird told reporters during a recent press event to promote Incredibles 2. “There’s a saying in the business that I can’t stand, where they go, ‘if you don’t make another one, you’re leaving money on the table.’ It’s like, money on the table is not what makes me get up in the morning; making something that people are gonna enjoy a hundred years from now, that’s what gets me up. So if it were a cash grab, we would not have taken fourteen years – it makes no financial sense to wait this long – it’s purely [that] we had a story we wanted to tell.”

The original also debuted in 2004 before Disney, Pixar’s parent company, had purchase Marvel Comics who has since flooded the silver screen with a barrage of super hero movies which, as Bird stated, made it feel that it was much harder to tell an original story. 

“On some level, it’s like going out to the football field and there’ve been way too many games on it, and there’s this dried dirt with a few sprigs of grass, and everything’s kind of clunky, and life doesn’t grow there anymore. So there’s that aspect, where you feel like, ‘oh, Jesus, it’s really been covered,’” Bird said. “It makes it very challenging on a story level. Because not only do you have every superhero under the sun and cross-promoting films and blah blah blah blah blah, but you also have a bunch of television shows … So it’s easy to freak out and go, well, why even try? Everybody’s got everything done to death. But I return to, what makes us unique? And it’s this idea of a family, and that superheroes have to hide their abilities [from the public, due to Superhero Relocation Program]. And those things are actually unique to us, and there’s plenty left to explore.”

When it comes to the plot of this new tale, Bird teased that much like in the first film, Incredibles 2 will explore "the roles of men and women; the importance of fathers participating; the importance of allowing women to also express themselves through work, and that they’re just as vital as men are. And there’s aspects of being controlled by screens. There’s feelings about the difficulties of parenthood, that parenting is a heroic act.”

Two of the primary story lines for the sequel happened as Bird was developing the first film. “The two ideas that were in my head as the first movie was ending, like ‘oh, this would be interesting,’ was a role switch between Bob and Helen, and showing Jack-Jack’s powers, and exploring them, and making Jack-Jack a main character rather than a side character,” he explained. “Those were in from the beginning and never left the project. What changed is the villain plot. And that shifted endlessly. And it drove me insane. Because I always was faced with the release date, and if something didn’t work, I couldn’t sit there and try to bang on it. I had to throw it away immediately and go to another idea that solved some of the issues that the first idea didn’t have. So that half of the story was shifting always.”

The gang from good ol’ PU will be hitting the theaters this weekend as Incredibles 2 soars into your local theater tomorrow. As always, don’t  forget to stay incredible!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Movies That Have Everything: Solo A Star Wars Story STARTS TOMORROW!!!


If you would have told any Star Wars fan back in 1977 that 41 years later that Ron ‘Opie’ Howard would be directing a movie about the adventures of a young Han Solo, his first introduction to his best pal Chewie, and how he swindled the Millennium Falcon from previous owner, Lando Calrissian, you would have been greeted with more disbelief than when you’re ‘friends’ spilled the beans about Vadar being the daddy of our favorite Jedi as revealed in The Empire Strikes back three years later. Well, fast forward to 2018 as Solo: A Star Wars Story premieres on the silver screen in all it’s glory. Check out the trailer below!


Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018 Trailer / Lucasfilm / Walt Disney Pictures)

Taking on the role of a younger, less cynical Han (he has a good feeling about this) is Alden Ehrenreich as our favorite galactic scoundrel in his first adventure with his future first mate, the mighty Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo taking over for the original (and very missed) Chewie, Peter Mayhew. Along the way, they’ll meet the notorious gambler, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) along with all new characters Qir’ra (Emilia Clarke), L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), Val (Thandie Newton), and Beckett (Woody Harrelson) - mentor to the fledgling smuggler. 

Star Wars alum will also make cameos, but in different roles this time around including Anthony Daniels playing Tak, but more famously known for his portrayal of our favorite protocol droid, C3PO. Warwick Davis is also back as Weazel, but appeared in everything from Star Wars Rebels, The Last Jedi, Rogue One, The Force Awakens, The Phantom Menace, and most notably as Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi. Also keep your eyes peeled for Ron Howard’s brother, character actor Clint Howard to make an appearance as a new character named Ralakili.

The gang from good ol’ PU is very excited to see another Star Wars story play out, but centering around one of our favorite characters is only an added bonus (we miss you Han!). Solo: A Star Wars Story starts this Friday at your local theater.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Fundays At 420 : Star Wars Day is TODAY!!!

It's that time again gang! May 4th or as most of us nerds know it to be - Star Wars Day!!!

The tale for this event is as legendary as Star Wars itself when back on May 4th, 1979, the phrase was first used the day that Margaret Thatcher took office as UK prime minister. The Conservative party allegedly placed an ad in the London Evening News which read,"May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations."

To celebrate Star Wars day, Star Wars: Force for Change has recently announced Roar For Change - a global challenge in support of UNICEF. The initiative invites fans and families to share their own version of Chewbacca’s iconic roar.

For each public post, like, or share on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter that includes #RoarForChange between May 3 – 25, 2018, Star Wars: Force for Change U.S. will donate $1 to UNICEF USA, up to $1 million. Funds will be used to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world.

Check out special Roar for Change videos from Hasbro, Funko and from the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story (which opens May 25th) below!

Star Wars #RoarForChange

Hasbro Roar For Change | Star Wars Partners w/ UNICEF

Funko Roar For Change!

Star Wars: Force for Change is a charitable initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm with the goal of is harnessing the strength of Star Wars and its global fandom to empower people to come together to make a positive impact on the world around them to inspire people to be “forces for change” in their everyday lives.

For more info, check out the Official Star Wars: Force for Change Website to donate.


May the 4th Be With You...Always...

Friday, April 27, 2018

Movies That Have Everything: Marvel Studios Avengers Infinity War STARTS TODAY!!!

Happy Friday everyone! Can you believe that it only took 18 movies and 7 televisions shows to get to this point? The day has finally arrived that’s all been leading up to the premier of Marvel Studios Avengers: Infinity War that starts this weekend at a theater near you.

Marvel has successfully created an intricate connected universe that all started ten years ago when the first Iron Man movie successfully launched back in 2008. The real innovation came when the head of Avi Arad, head of Marvel’s film division, realized that the licensing deals that were made with Colombia, New Line Cinema, 20th Century Fox, and others were making very little profit and wanted to change that along with maintaining artistic control of their projects and distribution. Marvel Studios was then formed which was the first major independent movie studio to be formed since Dreamworks. 

With the help of Kevin Feige (Marvel’s studio head) a committee of experts was formed that were familiar with Marvel Comics lore including Marvel Studios co-president Louis D'Esposito, Marvel Comics' president of publishing Dan Buckley, Marvel's chief creative officer Joe Quesada, writer Brian Michael Bendis, and Marvel Entertainment president Alan Fine. 

The rest is as they say is history - and an incredibly successful one at that with the Walt Disney Company acquiring Marvel in 2009. This has only expanded the reach of Marvel Comics beyond that of comics, movies, and television into the ‘real world’ as the characters now appear at Disney theme parks all over the world.
The Infinity Gauntlet / The Infinity War / The Infinity Crusade 
(Jim Starling / Marvel Comics)

So what’s all the hoopla over Avengers Infinity War? First, it’s based on the 1992 six issue comic sequel to the 1991 comic, The Infinity Gauntlet written by Jim Starling. The Infinity War, also written by Starling was pencilled by Ron Lim, Ian Laughlin, Al Milgrom, Jack Morelli and Christie Scheele and is continued in the 1993 story This Infinity Crusade. As with all comic book adaptations, this one won’t be a direct translation as one part of the directing / brother team up, Joe Russo explained in a recent interview:

“We’re inspired by the books, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not the Marvel comic book universe. They’re different. As a comic book fan, I think it’s fun to take elements from the books that I identify with. But if I want a literal interpretation, I’ll just read the book. I think that Marvel jumped off with this cinematic experiment that they started 10 years ago with a narrative that diverts from that. So we wanted to fulfill storylines that we’ve set up in Captain America: Winter Soldier and Civil War that we want to carry forward into Avengers: Infinity War and the next one;  but not necessarily do a literal interpretation of Jim Starlins’ book. But there are great ideas in that book, and we owe a lot of the movie and what’s behind the movie to Jim.” Check out the trailer below!


Marvel Avengers: Infinity War (2018 Trailer / Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Company)

Directed by Joe Russo and his brother Anthony, this adaptation is a massive cinematic event, bringing all the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe together in an unprecedented way never seen before on screen. Our villain Thanos (portrayed by Josh Brolin) is finally here in all his glory (his first appearance in a mid-credit scene in the first Avengers movie) in order to collect the elusive Infinity Stones (or gems as they are called in the comics) that bedazzle his Infinity Gauntlet. Here’s a complete list of what they do:

Soul : Allows the user to steal, control, manipulate, and alter living and dead souls. The Soul Gem is also the gateway to an idyllic pocket universe. At full potential, the Soul Gem grants the user control over all life in the universe.

Time : Allows the user to see into the past and the future; stop, slow down, speed up or reverse the flow of time; time travel; change the past and the future; age and de-age beings; and trap people or entire universes in unending loops of time. At full potential, the Time Gem grants the user omniscience and total control over the past, present and future.

Space : Allows the user to exist in any location; move any object anywhere throughout reality; warp or rearrange space; teleport themselves and others any place the user can imagine; increase their speed; and alter the distance between objects contrary to the laws of physics. At full potential, the Space Gem grants the user omnipresence.

Mind : Allows the user to enhance their mental and psionic abilities and access the thoughts and dreams of other beings. When backed by the Power Gem, the Mind Gem can access all minds in existence simultaneously. The Mind Gem is also the manifestation of the universal subconscious. Currently affixed to the brow of the Vision (played by Paul Bettany). 

Reality : Allows the user to fulfill their wishes, even if the wish is in direct contradiction with scientific laws, and do things that would normally be impossible; and create any type of alternate reality the user wishes. When backed by the power of the other Gems, the Reality Gem allows the user to alter reality on a universal scale.

Power : Allows the user to access and manipulate all forms of energy; enhance their physical strength and durability; and boost the effects of the other five Gems. At full potential, the Power Gem grants the user omnipotence.
Thanos & The Infinity Gauntlet (Marvel Comics)

So, with Thanos on the prowl for all six gems in order to become a god it will take the entire Marvel hero roster to defeat him from The Avengers both past and present to The Guardians of the Galaxy and everyone in between (we’re sure to even see co-creator Stan Lee make his usual cameo appearance somewhere in the film). 

The ten year in the making event, Marvel Studios Avengers: Infinity War finally graces the silver screen this weekend at a theater near you! The gang from good ol' PU will be there - hope to see you join in on the fun!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Artsy Fartsy: Art All Night 2018 THIS WEEKEND!!!

The 21st installment of Art All Night Pittsburgh will be held from 4 p.m. Saturday, April 28th to 2p.m. Sunday, April 29th at The Highline, 198 S 4th Street, Pittsburgh PA. The annual event provides a free, live, non-juried, uncensored 22-hour art show to a Pittsburgh audience. Both Art All Night admission and artist participation are free and open to the public.

The 21st annual Art All Night features original artwork, activities for children and adults, an art auction, and live entertainment. Throughout the night, guests can participate in collaborative art activities and enjoy performances by local bands and performers. On-site artists will collaborate to create works of art, and a live art auction held at noon on Sunday, April 29th will give guests a chance to bid on the artwork. Art All Night merchandise is also available for purchase. All proceeds directly support future Art All Nights.
Art All Night for Children
Children’s activities will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 28th, and again from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday. The children’s area will be adjacent to a youth-friendly section of art. The rest of the show is uncensored. Children and families are invited to create CD scratch mandalas, “Warhol hands”, egg carton flowers, painting with balloons, silk screening and button-making. Other activities include a string art nail board and a fun cardboard village.

Call for Artists
All artists are encouraged to participate by submitting one piece of artwork to the show. These pieces may be sold or displayed not for sale. All media are accepted and participation is free. Online registration starts on the first week of April at artallnight.org

To participate in the show, artists must drop off their work between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28th at The Highline, 198 S 4th Street, Pittsburgh PA . All artwork must arrive before 2 p.m. and be ready to hang or otherwise be displayed. Teachers wishing to register their students’ work as a group should contact nan.dowiak@gmail.com to make arrangements. Artists submitting work are required to show a photo ID during registration and pickup. Art pickup is 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 29th.
Call for Donations and Volunteers
Donations from businesses and friends of Art All Night will be listed on the acknowledgement board during the event.

A dedicated team of volunteers organizes and staffs Art All Night. Volunteer shifts are available throughout the entire show as well as before and after. Please visit artallnight.org to learn more about volunteering and donation opportunities.

Art All Night Online
Connect with Art All Night via social media. Join the event on Facebook at
facebook.com/artallnight and follow us using #artallnightpgh on Instagram for event updates, behind-the- scenes pictures and more. Find inspiration, photos, and other information for this year’s Art All Night Pittsburgh by searching the hashtag #artallnightpgh.

Use #artallnightpgh to be a part of the conversation with the Art All Night volunteer team and other Art All Night participants.

Additional Information
For general information on Art All Night 2018 call (412) 235-1950 or contact Kate Bechak at 412-398-2034. All other info can be viewed on the Official Art All Night Website.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fundays At 420: Happy 420 Day!!!

Greetings gang! Not only is it Friday, but it’s also one of our favorite counterculture holidays - International 420 Day! April 20th (4/20) is a big day for those who celebrate all things cannabis from medicinal to recreational purposes and those who support the cause will be out in full forces today to promote and bring awareness of all the positive things this little herb provides. 

Medical Usage in Pennsylvania (Update)
Two years ago, Governor Tom Wolfe signed Senate Bill 3, making Pennsylvania the 24th state to legalize medical cannabis. In February of 2018, Pennsylvania began it’s first legal sales of medical marijuana for those with one of 17 qualifying conditions, including AIDS, autism, cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and Crohn’s disease. This includes nearly 3,000 patients have obtained medical marijuana cards, and more than 17,000 have registered to participate with the aid of some 700 doctors who have been qualified or are getting qualified to treat patients.

So far, the 2016 state law restricts the drug to pills, oils, vapor or liquid marijuana, but not in smokable form or what are considered edibles. However, earlier this month, the state medical marijuana board recommended that Pennsylvania allow the sale of marijuana in dry leaf form, in theory to allow users to vaporize and inhale it, and expand the kinds of medical conditions it can be used to treat, including cancer remission therapy, opioid-addiction therapy and to treat neurodegenerative diseases and spastic movement disorders. It also recommended that certified patients be able to bypass the law’s requirement that patients first try other painkillers or therapies before they use it to treat severe pain.

In an update to this news, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced Monday she will approve the recommendations of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board that includes allowing the sale of medical marijuana in dry leaf or flower form which should be available this summer. It has also been confirmed that list of conditions has expanded from 17 to 21 now including neurodegenerative disease, spastic disorders, and patients with a terminal illness whose life expectancy is one year or less.
Dry Leaf Medical Marijuana is now legal in Pennsylvania as of April 2018

Selling dry leaf marijuana will have two other important benefits for patients, by allowing patients or caregivers to process it at home in small batches to better control dosage and it will substantially lower prices in Pennsylvania, which are currently $60 to $144 per gram for processed oil. Buyers currently pay $200 to $250 (sometimes more) per ounce for dry leaf marijuana on the underground market, or under $10 per gram.

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program has been so successful that in March dispensaries had reported shortages in which many patients have reported that they haven’t been able to get the quantity or variety that they are looking for. In the Pittsburgh region, there are two dispensaries that have opened (Solevo Wellness in Squirrel Hill and CY+ Dispensary  in Butler, PA), however, only one grower supplies to them due to a new state law that says dispensaries can not get supplies from out of state and in-state grower-processors like PurePenn in McKeesport have only been growing since December. 


Pittsburgh World Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo 2018

Pittsburgh also hosted the second World Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo in April over a three day period that included vendors, doctors, care center representatives, and patients who are all interested in this every expanding industry in our region. Check out this short video from KDKA on the convention and some of the challenges that growers have had due to the high demand for product.


Pittsburgh World Medical Marijuana Conference 2018  (courtesy of KDKA TV)

Recreational Usage in Pennsylvania (Update)
With the demand high (no pun intended), talks also continue for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Pennsylvania. Auditor General Eugene Depasquale has stated that Pennsylvania  cannot afford to lose out on economic and social benefits from marijuana legalization as public support grows and more states allow possession of small amounts for personal use.

DePasquale said regulating and taxing marijuana could:

‒ Pour $200 million into Pennsylvania’s state tax revenue at a time when budgets are strained and there is little appetite for additional taxes.

‒ Reduce an estimated 20,000 marijuana possession arrests annually in Pennsylvania estimated to have cost at least $47 million in tax dollars in 2017.

‒ Help prevent some people from getting addicted to prescription painkillers and entering the potentially deadly spiral of opioid addiction.

‒ Create thousands of good-paying jobs.

‒ Reduce the loss of income and other social, personal and emotional impacts on those arrested for simply possessing a small amount of marijuana.

“Other states are already taking advantage of the opportunity for massive job creation and significant savings from reduced arrests and criminal prosecutions for possession of small amounts of marijuana,″ DePasquale said. “The longer we wait, the more we will miss out on new business development, good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians and tax revenues to support services for residents.″


High Demand for Legalized Cannabis Brings Huge Profits & Jobs For All

To put this into perspective, last year, Colorado, one of the first states to legalize cannabis for recreational use, made $1.4 billion in recreational cannabis sales last year totaling in $70 million in taxes as opposed to $42 million in alcohol taxes. Dispensaries regularly sell more than $100 million worth of cannabis products every month and Colorado earned more than $230 million in licensing fees and tax revenue combined in 2016. 

What’s Next?
Now with Pennsylvania law makers championing the use of medical cannabis, increasing the list of conditions it can be used for, and considering the benefits of legalizing use for recreation purposes, the region is steadily catching up to states like Colorado and Washington who have reaped the benefits of this amazing little plant. 

With that said, the gang at good ol’ PU wants to wish everyone a happy 420 day and provide a few resources below for those who would like to connect to a doctor near them to approve medical treatment using cannabis, apply for their own medical marijuana card, and find dispensaries near them in order to purchase legal product. These resources will also be found in our Beyond PU / Pittsburgh Medical Marijuana Info & Dispensaries section.

Don’t forget, at 4:20 pm today, smoke em if you got them as Pennsylvania has a lot to celebrate on 420 day this year!


Happy 420 Day Everyone!!!

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Information:
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program Website - The official PA gov website to help guide you in finding licensed practitioners, obtaining a medical marijuana card, and finding dispensaries near you.

Marijuana Doctors / Pennsylvania - A free resource for a more in-depth explanation of cannabis laws, medical qualifications, and answers to questions concerning marijuana in Pennsylvania and other states who have made cannabis legal.

Weedmaps - The 'Google Maps' for cannabis dispensaries. Just enter where you live and it will show you the closest places to purchase legal cannabis.

Western Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Dispensaries:
CY+Dispensary (201 Pillow Street / Butler, PA 16001 / (724) 276-0069)

Solevo Wellness (5600 Forward Avenue / Pittsburgh, PA 15217 / 412-422-0420)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Announcement: Mister Rogers 50th Anniversary Celebrated in a Stamp and MORE!!!

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood indeed with this week commemorating what would have been the 90th birthday of Mister Fred Rogers! To honor Pittsburgh’s best and brightest hero, the U.S. Postal Service is issuing forever stamps TODAY showcasing the gentle TV host in his trademark cardigan with King Friday at his side.

Not only are we honoring Mister Rogers, but also his long loved children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood which celebrated it’s 50th anniversary on PBS this year. His legacy of kindness, love, and acceptance touched all his ‘television friends’ and especially those in the Pittsburgh region who were lucky enough to meet him in person. 
David Newell aka Mr. McFeely

It's a sentiment echoed by David Newell, who popped in to make "speedy deliveries" as cheerful postman Mr. McFeely throughout the series' 31-season run. 

"This is the year of Fred," Newell says. "The program has really resonated — it's very rewarding. People in their 50s now are the first generation that watched the Neighborhood, and it goes all the way down to teens. It's four generations (of fans)."  Check out Mr. Newell in this interview below:
David Newell aka Mr. McFeely talks
Fred Rogers and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Pittsburgh's own WQED aired the first episode of Mister Rogers Neighborhood on February 19, 1968. A young Fred Rogers entered the living rooms of children to teach them about caring, kindness and the value of being true to yourself - a message he would continue to deliver over nearly 900 episodes and 33 years.
The Mr. Rogers Exhibit Courtesy of the Pittsburgh International Airport

Mister Rogers is being honored in many ways this year, including the Pittsburgh International Airport where today travelers can view the Trolley and Daniel Striped Tiger from the Land of Make Believe along with his trademark red cardigan sweater and sneakers in a display that can be viewed in the Airside Terminal Center Core. Visitors can also share memories of Mister Rogers on a large chalkboard, have refreshments, and pick up free buttons and red shoelaces from employees wearing red cardigans. Also, travelers who want to pick up some of those forever stamps can do so at the post office in Concourse D.
The Mr. Rogers Exhibit Courtesy of the Heinz History Center

Fans of the show can also visit the set of Mister Rogers Neighborhood by heading to the Heinz History Center in the Strip District. Mr. Rogers living room, King Friday’s Castle and the Great Oak Tree are just some of the familiar set pieces you can check out.

Also on the horizon is the new documentary being released in theaters on June 8th called Won’t You Be My Neighbor that features a retrospective on the life, lessons, and legacy of the iconic children’s performer. The documentary will feature interviews with those involved in the creation of the children’s television series, including producer Margy Whitmer, who quips, “You take all of the elements that make good television, and do the exact opposite — you have ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’….yet, it worked.” Others interviewed in the trailer include Elizabeth Seamans, who played Mrs. McFeely, and Francois Clemmons, who played Officer Clemmons. Check out the trailer below:

Won't You Be My Neighbor (2018 Trailer / Focus Features)

If that isn’t enough, it was also recently announced that Tom Hanks will be portraying Fred Rogers in a new movie entitled You Are My Friend directed by Marielle Heller with the story largely focused on a reporter who is at a critical point in his life - becoming a new father, having issues with his own father and meeting Mr. Rogers to write a piece about him, thinking it’s going to be a bit of a puff piece, but it ends up changing his entire life. The story is still in the development stage, but great news for fans who can’t get enough of Mr. Rogers.
Fred Rogers Tribute to Children Monument Courtesy of Hot Toddy

Now that warmer weather is finally on the way, the gang from good ol’ PU encourages all of you to check out one of our favorite spots in the city, the Mister Rogers ‘Tribute to Children’ Monument located on the North Shore overlooking the Allegheny River at the former Bridge pier near Heinz Field. 

The 7,000-pound memorial, opened in 2009, showcases an 11-foot bronze statue of Mister Rogers sitting down and tying his sneakers, as he did at the beginning of each episode of his show that was created by the late sculptor Robert Berks whom Fred Rogers was an admirer of. The monument also features sound clips of Mister Rogers timeless wisdom allowing his words of kindness, encouragement, and understanding to live on. Trust us - if you’re ever feeling down, one trip to this Pittsburgh landmark will bring a smile to your soul to make you instantly feel better.

For more on Mister Rogers, check out the Fred Rogers Company Website for news, merchandise, and wonderful memories of our favorite neighbor. 

FRED ROGERS' FRIDAY BONUS!!! Check out the wise words of Fred Rogers' below as he appeared before the United States Senate in 1969 to defend public television from budget cuts. President Richard Nixon had proposed slashing funding for programming such as Rogers’ in half as the war in Vietnam raged on. The world needs Mister Rogers now more than ever.

Mister Fred Rogers' Addresses the U.S. Senate 
to defend Public Television Budget Cuts in 1969

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Tits For Telly: Marvel's Jessica Jones Season 2 STARTS TOMORROW!!!

Greetings gang! Can you believe it’s been two years since Jessica Jones debuted on Netflix? Fans of the show need not wait any longer as Jessica Jones Season 2 starts premieres tomorrow on Netflix, coinciding with International Women’s Day. Check out the trailer below!
Jessica Jones - Season 2 (2018 Trailer / Marvel / Walt Disney Pictures / Netflix)

As Krysten Ritter returns as Jessica Jones, she'll face some consequences after murdering her tormentor, Kilgrave (David Tennant) in season one. Now known as a ‘super powered killer’, a new case comes along that will make her reluctantly confront who she really is while digging deeper into her past to explore the reasons why.

Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) and Kilgrave (David Tennant) Together Again For
Jessica Jones - Season 2

If that isn’t cryptic enough, what’s even more surprising is that rumors are that Kilgrave will be back in some form this season (which Marvel has been keeping under wraps for some time now) as shown in a few leaked photos of Ritter and Tennant on the set of season 2.

Luckily, all of our questions will be answered tomorrow with the binge-worthy return of Jessica Jones Season 2 on Netflix! Stay tuned!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Movies That Have Everything: Marvels Black Panther Starts TODAY!!!


Greetings loyal viewers and happy 2018. After a long hiatus we’re back and just in time as the superhero movie season starts ridiculously early this year with Marvel’s Black Panther leaping into theaters TODAY! Check out the trailer below!


Marvels Black Panther (2018 Trailer / Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures)

If you haven’t noticed, there has been a lot of hype for this movie for a lot of good reasons. Although mainstream media keeps toting it as ‘the first black superhero movie’ they would be wrong (somewhere Wesley Snipes is sitting in his armchair asking, “doesn’t anyone remember me in Marvel’s Blade, Blade 2, or Blade 3?). Semantics aside, Black Panther, is a seminal movie for pop culture as it does spotlight a predominantly African American cast along with director Ryan Coogler who also shares writing duties with Joe Robert Cole.

1st Appearance of Black Panther in Marvel's Fantastic Four, 1966

Based on the comic created by legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby who introduced Black Panther and the fictional kingdom of Wakanda to mainstream audiences in Fantastic Four #52 back in 1966. He also starred in what was considered to be one of Marvel’s first graphic novels appearing in the Jungle Action series back in 1972. He got his own book in 1977 and has in guest starred in numerous Marvel titles over the years including joining the Avengers as one of their rotating members. 
Marvel Comics Jungle Action Featuring The Black Panther, 1972

The new movie stars Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa who takes on the Black Panther mantel that has been handed down from father to son for generations.  After the events that take place in Captain America: Civil War, King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda (home to the world’s biggest supply of ‘vibranium’, the metal used to make Captain America’s shield) to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

The women of Wakanda take a central role in this movie as they did in the comics as King T’Challa’s protectors known as the Dora Milaje. The all female special forces unit serve as his bodyguards that includes  leader Okoye (the Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira) heading up the team, his former partner Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), his 16 year old sister Shuri (Lititia Wright) who is not only a princess, but also head of technology for Wakanda. Rounding out the cast is T-Challa’s mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Zuri (Forest Whitaker), M’Baku (Winston Duke), W”Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman), and Ulysses Klaue (played by the always awesome Andy Serkis) returns as our villain.

Marvel’s Black Panther finally springs into theaters starting today!