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Economy
4:02 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Report: Pittsburgh Region Sustained Five Consecutive Years of Economic Growth

Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, outlines the region's economic successes of 2012.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh region was one of three U.S. metro areas to be deemed fully recovered from the 2008 recession by the Brookings Institution in late 2012.

A report released Tuesday shows the region has sustained five years of economic growth, including 2012, which was a benchmark year for employment.  

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Health Care
3:39 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Pittsburgh May Conduct Review of Employee Health Care Costs, Eligibility of Dependents

As Pittsburgh continues to grapple with hundreds of millions of dollars in unfunded health care liability for current and former city employees, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration has introduced a bill that would hire a private firm to investigate the eligibility of employees' and retirees' dependents.

The proposed $55,000 contract with HMS Employer Solutions of Texas would allow the company "to conduct an eligibility audit of all employee and retiree dependents enrolled in the City's healthcare program."

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Health Care
3:25 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

SEIU, Lawmakers Sue Corbett Administration Over Planned Health Care Cuts

Updated: 5:38 p.m.

The Service Employees International Union Healthcare (SEIU) Pennsylvania, along with two Democratic state senators and three state representatives filed a lawsuit against the Corbett administration over its plan to close 26 state health centers and eliminate 73 Department of Health positions.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:57 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

The Black Middle Class Experience in Pittsburgh: A Public Dialogue

Representives from The Urban League, Pittsburgh City Council and UPMC weigh in on Pittsburgh's African American Middle Class
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

On Wednesday, March 20th 90.5 WESA’s daily public affairs program Essential Pittsburgh hosted a Public Forum on the Black Middle Class in Pittsburgh. Inspired by a Pittsburgh Quarterly article by journalist Ben Schmitt, the forum addressed the history and current experiences of the Black middle class in Pittsburgh. Listen to our broadcast of the forum and leave a message at 412-256-8783 letting us know what you think!

Taking part in the discussion: journalist Ben Schmitt, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Esther Bush, Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle and Candi Castleberry-Singleton, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer (CIDO) at UPMC

Pennsylvania
12:25 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Schwartz Run for Pa. Governor Appears More Certain

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz appears close to formally announcing a run Pennsylvania governor in 2014.

A fellow Democrat, Sen. Daylin Leach, said Tuesday he's running for the Philadelphia-area congressional seat that Schwartz has occupied since 2005.

A Schwartz political spokeswoman isn't definitively saying what the fifth-term congresswoman is up to. Schwartz has said she plans to run for governor, and Leach says he's convinced she will.

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Speaking Volumes
9:00 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Speaking Volumes on Essential Pittsburgh: Betsy O'Neill

Betsy O'Neill gives us her take on Melville
Credit Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

North Sider Betsy O'Neill admits, "In a previous life, I probably lived in the 19th century."

90.5 WESA Morning Edition host, Josh Raulerson interviews Betsy in her present incarnation about the summer she spent immersed in Melvilliana.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Taking Care of Business with Rebecca Harris

Rebecca Harris is the Director of the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University
Credit Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Last week our business contributor Rebecca Harris gave us a look at some of the fastest growing occupations. This week she talks about job opportunities for women and growth areas for entrepreneurs. Did you know 2013 is expected to be the Year of the Woman Entrepreneur?

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Michael Lamb Dropping Out of the Race: What Happens to the Dem's Endorsement?

City Controller Michael Lamb withdraws from the Pittsburgh mayoral race and endorses Jack Wagner.
Credit Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb withdrew from the city's mayoral race Monday and endorsed former Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner.

So what does that mean for Lamb's Democratic Party endorsement? Does it fall by the way-side?  Does this mean committee-people are free to publicly back anyone they wish? Pittsburgh City Paper Editor, Chris Potter gives us the details of Lamb's announcement.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Focus Brasil Focusing on Pittsburgh

With Brazil's growing economy, should Portuguese be offered as a second language course in Middle and High School?
Credit Giselle Varga / Flickr

Focus Brasil takes place all over the world, promoting Brazilian music, movies, culture and the Portuguese language. It's become an annual forum for the most distinguished Brazilian leaders to address issues of interest to Brazilians abroad. This year Pittsburgh joins the ranks of cities like Ft. Lauderdale, London and Tokyo in hosting Focus Brasil Seminars. But with a focus on Pittsburgh's Universities called U-Circuit.

We’ll talk with Karen Goldman, Assistant Director of Outreach at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Latin American Studies, Ron Alvarado Chairman of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Brazilian Jazz vocalist, Kenia Ashby a local coordinator of Focus Brasil, about the importance of Portuguese in the global economy and why Pittsburgh has what's considered one of the best centers for Latin American Studies, yet Latin Americans are underrepresented in the Steel City.

Mayoral Race
4:42 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Out Like a Lamb: City Controller Exits Pittsburgh Mayoral Race

City Controller Michael Lamb withdraws from the Pittsburgh mayoral race at his campaign HQ in Greenfield, choosing to support Jack Wagner instead.
Credit Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb withdrew from the city's mayoral race Monday, instead opting to endorse former Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner.

With five Democrats vying for the party's nomination before today's announcement, Lamb cited the need for clarity in a race that has been "muddied" since the March withdrawal of incumbent mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

"I don't want the conversation for our next leader to be generalities," said Lamb. "We need a real dialog to ensure we get the best possible candidate for the job."

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Solar Energy
4:01 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Shale To Solar: Farmers Use Gas Money to Build Solar Arrays

Duane Miller in front of the solar array he installed to reduce his energy bills.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / The Allegheny Front

Dwayne Bauknight and Duane Miller share a first name. They live 1.9 miles apart on the same road and have almost nothing in common — except for a row of gleaming new solar panels on their farms.

Dwayne Bauknight drives onto his Washington County property in a golf cart. He pulls a U-turn to park between two rows of 15-foot tall solar panels and shows how they work.

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Environment
3:49 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Rebates Available with Switch from Gas to Electric or Battery-Powered Lawn Equipment

Homeowners are beginning to pull mowers and trimmers out of garages and sheds to work on their lawns, and although the gasoline-fueled tools might make the yard look presentable, they could be bad news for human health and the environment.

Lawn mowers, trimmers, chainsaws and leaf blowers, which are powered by gasoline, can create volatile organic compounds according to a public/private air quality group.

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Medicine
3:29 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Pitt Research Finds New Protein, Could Lead to New Drug to Fight Inflammation

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have discovered a new biological pathway, or protein, that ramps up inflammation. They also have identified agents that can block it.

This could be effective in fighting the damaging inflammation that results from conditions such and pneumonia.

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Medicaid Expansion
3:13 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Capitol's Health Care Hawks Waiting for Corbett-Sebelius Meeting

All eyes will be on the governor in the days following his April 2 tete-a-tete with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Ever since Gov. Corbett said he would go straight to the source to answer some of his remaining questions about a Medicaid expansion, the pressure mounting over the issue has subsided.

Even state Senate Democrats, the Legislature’s loudest champions of expanding Medicaid, are easing off their criticism of the governor’s reluctance to add hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to the government-run health insurance program.

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State News
3:03 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Pennsylvania's Financial Scorecard: Only One 'A'

Credit cfed.org / Corporation for Enterprise Development

Pennsylvania is far from being honor roll-worthy when it comes to helping its residents become financially stable. 

The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) released its 2013 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard Monday, and the commonwealth earned a "C" in three subjects: businesses and jobs, housing and homeownership, and education.  Pennsylvania received a "B" for financial assets and income and an "A" for healthcare.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:59 am
Mon April 1, 2013

City Council News with Noah Brode

Noah Brode is the Pittsburgh City Council reporter for 90.5 WESA
Credit 90.5 WESA / 90.5 WESA

  90.5 WESA City Council reporter, Noah Brode talks about some interesting bills regarding police that will be up for discussion this Wednesday. A continuation of the discussion of bank accounts for secondary officer detail, policies for off duty officers and restarting discussion of a new domestic violence policy for Pittsburgh police. 

Chautauqua Institution Lectures
11:37 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Nancy Gibbs on the Bond Between the Members of the Presidents Club

In the first lecture in a week that examines the exclusive brotherhood known as "The Presidents Club," Nancy Gibbs lays the groundwork for the complex narrative. Gibbs, deputy managing editor of Time, co-wrote the book, "The Presidents Club," with Michael Duffy. Her talk focuses on the behind-closed-doors partnerships between former presidents and the relationships those dealings fostered. Tales of Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon and more abound.

Chautauqua Institution Lectures
11:36 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Teresa A. Sullivan Talks About Combating Cheating in Higher Education

College students today comprise a large number of the millennial (post-1980-born) generation. As they progress through university, the pressure to succeed increases. Some students turn to cheating to gain an advantage, which is now quite easy due to technology improvements. How do we remedy this? Teresa A. Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, offers some answers in this lecture that ends a week of exploring "The Ethics of Cheating."

Chautauqua Institution Lectures
11:33 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Dahlia Lithwick Discusses Digital Identity and Privacy

Chautauqua Institution Lectures
11:31 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Hussain Haqqani on Clashing U.S.-Pakistani Narratives

In this lecture, Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., seeks to explain the mystery behind hot-and-cold foreign relations between the two nations. Tracing their history, Haqqani touches on some of the key misunderstandings that have led to the current situation. The remedy, Haqqani suggests, is friendship — a more lasting alternative than mere alliance and partnership.

Chautauqua Institution Lectures
11:29 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Freeman A. Hrabowski on Changing the Face of Math and Science

Chautauqua Institution Lectures
11:25 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Roger Rosenblatt Talks with Sissela and Derek Bok About Exploring Happiness

Derek and Sissela Bok, authors of books discussing happiness, speak with author Roger Rosenblatt about the importance of a moral education and how the arts can enhance the search for happiness.

Chautauqua Institution Lectures
11:21 am
Mon April 1, 2013

American Historian Ed Ayers Discusses the Logical Causes Behind Secession

Author and president of the University of Richmond Edward Ayers talks about the actual thoughts and reasons of Southerners behind secession. Ayers has written "In the Presence of Mine Enemies," "What Caused the Civil War?" and eight other books.

Chautauqua Institution Lectures
11:11 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Jump Associates CEO Dev Patnaik on Answering Ambiguous Questions

Dev Patnaik, author of "Wired to Care" and CEO of Jump Associates, speaks about how hybrid thinking can help innovation by bringing about empathy, creativity and execution.

Chautauqua Institution Lectures
11:08 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Fred Bergsten on the United States' Role in the World Economy

Director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, former senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and author C. Fred Bergsten talks about the global impact of the U.S. economy.

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