Noah Brode http://wesa.fm en Republican Mayoral Candidate Promises 'Real Change' in City Government http://wesa.fm/post/republican-mayoral-candidate-promises-real-change-city-government <p>The battle lines are set for the general election for the next mayor of Pittsburgh.</p><p>Democratic City Councilman Bill Peduto emerged victorious from a field of four primary contenders, while lone Republican candidate Josh Wander secured his party's nomination with no trouble Tuesday night.</p><p>Now, Wander finds himself facing long odds; a Republican hasn't held the mayor's office since 1934.</p> Wed, 22 May 2013 18:55:10 +0000 Noah Brode 10012 at http://wesa.fm It's Peduto: City Councilman Clinches Mayoral Primary Win http://wesa.fm/post/its-peduto-city-councilman-clinches-mayoral-primary-win <p>City Councilman Bill Peduto beat out three other Democratic contenders Tuesday for a win in Pittsburgh's hotly contested mayoral primary.<br><br>Peduto is hoping to win the seat currently held by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who announced in March he was not seeking re-election. While this was a primary race, Peduto’s victory all but guarantees him the seat. Democrats outnumber Republicans in Pittsburgh by a wide margin, and the city hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1934.<br> Wed, 22 May 2013 01:59:59 +0000 Deanna Garcia, Noah Brode & Larkin Page-Jacobs 9972 at http://wesa.fm It's Peduto: City Councilman Clinches Mayoral Primary Win City Pursues $20M Grant to Lay Green Groundwork for Civic Arena Redevelopment http://wesa.fm/post/city-pursues-20m-grant-lay-green-groundwork-civic-arena-redevelopment <p>The demolition of the Civic Arena wrapped up in March of 2012, and a broad stretch of parking spaces now occupies the space where the Igloo once stood.</p><p>Now, the gears of redevelopment could soon begin to turn for the 27-acre site in the lower Hill District, as Pittsburgh City Council is moving legislation to apply for a $20 million federal grant for the project.</p><p>On Wednesday, Council unanimously approved the legislation necessary to apply for the so-called TIGER grant, readying Hill District Councilman Daniel Lavelle's bills for final passage on Tuesday.</p> Thu, 16 May 2013 14:14:48 +0000 Noah Brode 9618 at http://wesa.fm Citizens Police Review Board Could Weigh in on Rules Before Implementation http://wesa.fm/post/citizens-police-review-board-could-weigh-rules-implementation <p>Pittsburgh City Council gave unanimous preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would allow the Citizen Police Review Board (CPRB) to review police regulations before they're implemented, rather than afterward.</p><p>The measure, sponsored by Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess, will be put to a final vote on Tuesday.</p> Wed, 15 May 2013 18:40:07 +0000 Noah Brode 9598 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh Councilman Proposes Property Tax Relief Program for 2015 http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-councilman-proposes-property-tax-relief-program-2015 <p>Pittsburgh City Council will consider new legislation from Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess that would lay the groundwork for a 2015 property tax relief program for city residents who've both owned their homes for more than ten years and paid higher tax bills following the 2012 property reassessment.</p> Wed, 15 May 2013 13:46:07 +0000 Noah Brode 9561 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh Councilman Proposes Property Tax Relief Program for 2015 The Makings of Pennsylvania's Pension Funding Crisis http://wesa.fm/post/makings-pennsylvanias-pension-funding-crisis <p>Gov. Tom Corbett and his allies in the state Legislature have introduced controversial legislation to reform the pension systems for state employees and public school teachers.</p><p>The sponsors say the bills make necessary cuts to reduce the state’s massive liability problem. Unions argue that the measures are illegal because they cut current workers’ future benefits.</p><p>To get a handle on how Pennsylvania’s two public pensions ended up in their current funding crisis, one has to look more than a decade into the past.</p><p><strong>A Big Commitment </strong></p> Wed, 15 May 2013 10:16:42 +0000 Noah Brode 9554 at http://wesa.fm The Makings of Pennsylvania's Pension Funding Crisis Food Workers at Rivers Casino Garner Pittsburgh Council Support for Union http://wesa.fm/post/food-workers-rivers-casino-garner-pittsburgh-council-support-union <p>The month-old unionization effort of food service employees at the Rivers Casino was boosted with a bit of political clout on Tuesday.</p><p>Pittsburgh City Council passed a resolution in support of the proposed union, which could band together some 800 workers at the North Shore gambling house.</p><p>The union would include waiters, banquet servers, floor workers and others spread out across the casino's five internal restaurants. The labor group Unite Here! would administer the union. A spokesman said the group has no experience organizing casino dealers or security guards.</p> Tue, 14 May 2013 21:07:33 +0000 Noah Brode 9538 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh Council Overhauls Police Training for Domestic Violence Response http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-council-overhauls-police-training-domestic-violence-response <p>Pittsburgh City Council has given unanimous passage to a set of bills that will revamp the way city police officers are trained to respond to domestic violence incidents.</p><p>All nine City Council members agreed to adopt the Maryland Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment Program, a step-by-step questionnaire process used by responding officers to determine the victim's risk of physical abuse. The officer would then be required to call the hotline for the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and ask the victim to speak with the operator.</p> Tue, 14 May 2013 18:21:31 +0000 Noah Brode 9528 at http://wesa.fm State Senate Democrats Denounce Proposed Standardized Tests http://wesa.fm/post/state-senate-democrats-denounce-proposed-standardized-tests <p>Calling it "phony" and a boon to "corporate education," a handful of Democrats in the Pennsylvania Senate blasted Gov. Tom Corbett's proposal to implement new standardized tests that would determine students' high school graduation status based on knowledge of Common Core academic benchmarks.</p> Mon, 13 May 2013 18:02:54 +0000 Noah Brode 9444 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh City Council This Week http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-city-council-week <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Last week, Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval to Councilman Ricky Burgess's bills to reform the police bureau's domestic violence response policies.&nbsp; One bill pays for training under the "Maryland Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment Program," and the second bill changes the city code to reflect the new policies. A final vote comes <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_832176487" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ">Tuesday</span></span>.</p><p>When receiving a 911 call regarding domestic violence, responders must ask the callers a series of questions to determine the risk of imminent harm to the victim. Afterward, the officers must offer to call a women's shelter to help the victim. Mon, 13 May 2013 15:55:31 +0000 Noah Brode & Heather McClain 9436 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh City Council This Week 90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 5/11 & 5/12 http://wesa.fm/post/905-wesa-weekend-watch-511-512 <p>Perhaps you’ve heard of a gallery crawl, or even a bar crawl. Well, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is sponsoring a <a href="http://trustarts.culturaldistrict.org/event/5561/spring-sketch-crawl">“sketch crawl” all throughout downtown Pittsburgh</a> on Saturday. Just bring all the art supplies you need and show up at the Cultural Trust’s Education Center on 805 Liberty Avenue at 10:00 a.m. Accomplished sketch artist Rick Antolic will take participants to various locations throughout the Cultural District, helping with the sketches along the way. Sat, 11 May 2013 13:28:42 +0000 Noah Brode 9379 at http://wesa.fm New Book Documents Construction of Phipps 'Living Building' http://wesa.fm/post/new-book-documents-construction-phipps-living-building <p>Phipps Conservatory is celebrating the release of a book that details the construction of its new Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a $23.5 million facility that produces all of its own water and energy.</p><p>Called "Building in Bloom," the book by Mary Adam Thomas is the first of a series commissioned by the Living Future Institute, an Oregon company that administers the ultra-green Living Building Challenge certification program for structures.</p> Tue, 07 May 2013 20:35:23 +0000 Noah Brode 9127 at http://wesa.fm New Book Documents Construction of Phipps 'Living Building' Liberty-Clairton Air Quality Plan Won't Include Environmentalists' Demand for Stricter Controls http://wesa.fm/post/liberty-clairton-air-quality-plan-wont-include-environmentalists-demand-stricter-controls <p>A week after the American Lung Association declared that the Pittsburgh area has the seventh-worst air quality in the nation, the Allegheny County Board of Health approved an air quality improvement plan mandated by the federal government for the Liberty-Clairton area.</p><p>The vote of approval on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to the plan without including several local groups' suggestions for stricter pollution guidelines.</p> Wed, 01 May 2013 21:14:12 +0000 Noah Brode 8839 at http://wesa.fm Despite Opposition, Pittsburgh Council Passes Homewood Gunshot Detection System http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-council-passes-homewood-gunshot-detection-system-despite-opposition <p>Though called a "reactionary solution" and a "distraction" by its detractors, legislation to install a $1.15 million gunshot detection system in the violent neighborhood of Homewood passed Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday.</p><p>Each of the three bills passed 7-2, with Councilman Patrick Dowd and Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak the only members to vote against them.</p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 20:26:26 +0000 Noah Brode 8758 at http://wesa.fm State Commission Will Restructure Special Education Funding http://wesa.fm/post/state-commission-will-restructure-special-education-funding <p>Legislation signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett last week has created a new commission that will change the way school districts' special education programs are funded by the state.</p><p>Currently, the state simply assumes that all school districts in Pennsylvania have a 16 percent population of special needs students and subsidizes the programs accordingly. Essentially, this provides more populous school districts with more funding.</p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:35:44 +0000 Noah Brode 8697 at http://wesa.fm Workers' Memorial Day Honors Those Who Died on the Job http://wesa.fm/post/workers-memorial-day-honors-those-who-died-job <p>Local union leaders gathered in Market Square on Monday with the families of workers who have died on the job in Allegheny County, honoring them with a Workers' Memorial Day.</p><p>According to the event's organizers, 12 people died on the job in Allegheny County from May 2012 to the current month.</p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:58:48 +0000 Noah Brode 8680 at http://wesa.fm Workers' Memorial Day Honors Those Who Died on the Job 90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 4/27 & 4/28 http://wesa.fm/post/905-wesa-weekend-watch-427-428 <p>The Pittsburgh Opera is continuing its production of <a href="http://www.pittsburghopera.org/shows/view/34">“La cenerentola,” or “Cinderella,”</a> this weekend. With music by Gioachino Rossini, this opera tells the classic fairy tale story in which Cinderella must overcome an abusive step-family with the help of a fairy godmother to fall in love with a handsome prince. However, this production of Cinderella has a special ending that celebrates the power of true goodness. Tonight’s performance begins at 8:00 at the Benedum Center in downtown Pittsburgh. Sat, 27 Apr 2013 13:32:36 +0000 Noah Brode 8586 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh Police Ready to Welcome 4 New Dogs http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-police-ready-welcome-4-new-dogs <p>Although $7,000 may sound expensive for a German Shepherd puppy, it's not too bad of a price if you ask Pittsburgh Police Sergeant Chris Micknowski. Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:42:14 +0000 Noah Brode 8427 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh Police Ready to Welcome 4 New Dogs Pittsburgh Council Approves Gunshot Detection System for Homewood http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-council-approves-gunshot-detection-system-homewood <p>Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval on Wednesday to three bills that would pay $1.15 million to set up and operate a system to detect any gunfire in Homewood and report it to police.</p><p>The two companies that would be hired to install the pilot program told council that the technology provides a wealth of data to police and aids in capturing and prosecuting criminals, all using a tandem of rooftop microphones and streetlight-mounted cameras.</p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 19:42:44 +0000 Noah Brode 8413 at http://wesa.fm Investigation Reveals Failures of Pittsburgh VA Hospital in Legionnaires' Outbreak http://wesa.fm/post/investigation-reveals-failures-pittsburgh-va-hospital-legionnaires-outbreak <p>Southwestern Pennsylvania officials are expressing outrage after learning the details of a Veterans Affairs investigation into the deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak at the VA’s Pittsburgh facilities.</p><p>According to VA Office of Inspector General, the VA Pittsburgh Health System failed to follow its own rules during an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that left five veterans dead from early 2011 to late 2012.</p> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 16:26:20 +0000 Noah Brode 8322 at http://wesa.fm With New Money, Pittsburgh Promise Shortens Fundraising Timeline http://wesa.fm/post/new-money-pittsburgh-promise-shortens-fundraising-timeline <p>Happily announcing a trio of major gifts from locally-based corporations, Pittsburgh Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril said Monday that the city's scholarship fund now expects to raise $90 million more by 2015, three years earlier than expected.</p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 16:39:34 +0000 Noah Brode 8260 at http://wesa.fm With New Money, Pittsburgh Promise Shortens Fundraising Timeline Pittsburgh Police Hope to Digitize Daily Activity Reports http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-police-hope-digitize-daily-activity-reports <p>A bill making its way through Pittsburgh City Council would allow the Bureau of Police to build a software system for filing digital versions of daily activity reports.</p><p>Each officer currently writes his or her daily reports by hand, which costs time and makes research difficult, according to John Warren, executive assistant to acting Pittsburgh police chief Regina McDonald.</p> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 20:30:35 +0000 Noah Brode 8041 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh Council Approves Elimination of Mayoral Petty Cash Fund http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-council-approves-elimination-mayoral-petty-cash-fund <p>Pittsburgh City Council unanimously voted on Wednesday to give preliminary approval to a bill that would terminate a $10,000 "imprest fund" used by the mayor at his own discretion primarily for travel expenses.</p><p>Though he didn't suggest that Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has improperly used the 18-year-old fund, sponsoring Councilman Corey O'Connor said he thinks the mayor should go through the same process of reimbursement for travel expenses that's followed by all city employees.</p> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 17:33:46 +0000 Noah Brode 8021 at http://wesa.fm State Auditor General Finds $35 Million in Unpaid Corporate Taxes http://wesa.fm/post/state-auditor-general-finds-35-million-unpaid-corporate-taxes <p>Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Tuesday that he found errors on more than 1,250 corporate tax returns, totaling a net gain of $35.4 million for the state.</p><p>Some corporations overpaid by a total of $5.5 million, but many more underpaid by a total of $40.8 million.</p><p>DePasquale said the Department of Revenue must now "aggressively go after that money" to reclaim as much as possible before the state budget deadline of June 30.</p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 20:55:04 +0000 Noah Brode 7968 at http://wesa.fm Pitt Students Mobilize to Bolster Campus Voter Turnout http://wesa.fm/post/pitt-students-mobilize-bolster-campus-voter-turnout <p>Citing students' abysmal voter turnout numbers in the last mayoral primary, a few dozen students at the University of Pittsburgh have formed a new group meant to forge a stronger student voting bloc for the May 22 primary election this year.</p><p>Students for Building Power (SBP) said it has secured 1,500 commitments to vote since its campaign began about three weeks ago. The group has a goal of 3,000 confirmed student voters by election day.</p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 18:46:56 +0000 Noah Brode 7954 at http://wesa.fm