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Essential Pittsburgh
5:41 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Jazz Saxophonist Roby Edwards Comes to the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater

Credit Asaf Antman / Flickr

After living abroad for a number of years, jazz saxophonist Roby Edwards has returned to Pittsburgh. This weekend he’ll be taking part in the Alto Madness concert at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater.

He speaks with WESA jazz host Bob Studebaker. Also taking part in the conversation is Mensa Walli, artistic director of the Kente Arts Alliance.

Essential Pittsburgh
5:08 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Sharing the Road: A Conversation on Bike Lanes and Better Commuting for All

Credit daveynin / Flickr

Recently Pittsburgh debuted a substantial amount of new bike lanes. Many cyclists are celebrating the changes, but those who don’t bike may be scratching their heads. Why is bike infrastructure beneficial for a community? Who benefits? What about the costs?

We’ll speak with Ngani Ndimbie, Communication Manager of Bike Pittsburgh, and Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, about how bike infrastructure impacts communities -- regardless of whether you bike or not.

For more on Bike PGH's "Better Bikeways" vision, visit here.

For Joe Wos's op-ed rejecting Pittsburgh bike culture, go here, and then jump back to Bike PGH for his change of heart.

Government & Politics
4:06 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

PA Senate Battles Over Who Controls Economic Development Funds

A skirmish is unfolding in the final days of the state legislative session.

It's over an effort to change who approves state grants for economic development projects, so often touted by lawmakers.

Opponents call it a legislative power grab.

Senate Republicans have voted to put economic development spending in the hands of a little-known state authority with an abysmal record on transparency.

But, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa says the governor’s office should maintain control of which projects get funding.

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Public Safety
2:57 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Pittsburgh Police Officers Asked to Not Blame Mayor for Citations Issued

As the Pittsburgh Police continue to work to mend relationships with the community, some officers are allegedly throwing the mayor under the bus. Director of Public Safety Stephen Bucar has sent an e-mail to the new police chief, asking that officers stop blaming Mayor Bill Peduto for tickets they issue.

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Mobile Medical
1:31 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

New Mobile Medical Unit to Take to the Streets

The new 39-foot $310,000 RV sits outside of PMHS

A doctor’s office on wheels, which looks just like an RV on the outside, is taking to the streets Monday.

Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s (PMHS) new mobile medical unit features: three private examine rooms, one for therapy and psychiatric evaluation, and the other two are physical exam rooms, one of which can double as a dental clinic.

“For all practical purposes, the luxury on the inside is as good as any physician’s office in town, but it offers that level of care to people who don’t normally get it,” said PMHS CEO Ray Wolfe.

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Community
9:45 am
Fri October 10, 2014

'Back of the House' Event Brings At-Risk Youth Together with Pittsburgh's Best Chefs

You can sample casual fare from some of Pittsburgh's best chefs this Sunday at YouthPlaces on the North Side.
Credit Emmai Alaquiva / Courtesy Table Magazine

When Christina French joined the board of directors of YouthPlaces, a non-profit after school program with 17 locations throughout the Pittsburgh region, she saw an opportunity.

French is the publisher of Table magazine, and she’d been hearing from restaurateurs and chefs in the area that they were having a hard time finding people with basic kitchen skills to fill entry level positions.

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Science and Technology
7:30 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Following An Online Dust-Up, Science Center And Others See A Conversation Starter

This April 8, 2014 photo shows the Carnegie Science Center at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers in downtown Pittsburgh.
Credit AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

A recent story about the disparity in Boy and Girl Scouts course offerings at the Carnegie Science Center caught fire online. The outrage was made all the more contentious because the seemingly single course offered for Girl Scouts centered on creating beauty products.

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90.5 WESA Celebrates
3:30 am
Fri October 10, 2014

‘Miss Audie’ Hart, Volunteering at the Neighborhood Academy

“Miss Audie” Hart
Credit Debbi Casini Klein / 90.5 WESA

Read and listen to a story about “Miss Audie” Hart as part of a series honoring the individuals who make a difference in people’s lives: 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference.

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Essential Pittsburgh
12:13 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Friday Rundown: Iconic Pop Art, A Jazz Homecoming and Commuting Culture Change

Credit Peter Max / Facebook

These topics air Friday October 10, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

A Conversation on Biking Infrastructure and Cultural Change

Recently Pittsburgh debuted a substantial amount of new bike lanes. Many cyclists are celebrating the changes, but those who don’t bike may be scratching their heads. Why is bike infrastructure beneficial for a community? Who benefits? What about the costs? We’ll speak with Ngani Ndimbie, Communication Manager of Bike Pittsburgh, and Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, about how bike infrastructure impacts communities -- regardless of whether you bike or not.

Alto Madness

After living abroad for a number of years, jazz saxophonist Roby Edwards has returned to Pittsburgh. This weekend he’ll be taking part in the Alto Madness concert at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. He speaks with WESA jazz host Bob Studebaker. Also taking part in the conversation is Mensa Walli, artistic director of the Kente Arts Alliance.

Peter Max - A Retrospective

The iconic pop culture artist Peter Max is in Pittsburgh this week for a gallery exhibition and retrospective. The German-born Jewish-American painter is known for creating vibrantly colored works based on Americana such as the Statue of Liberty, sports figures, American presidents and other symbols that have made him a commercial success. Before you go see his work at the Christine Fre’chard Gallery in Squirrel Hill, hear his stories of travel and what it’s been like creating art for some of the most well known public figures in recent history.

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Arts & Culture
4:59 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Social Club for the Weekend of Oct. 10

For the beer lovers out there — you might be able to call us that — 90.5 WESA's Josh and Yelp's Rachel brought in a special guest. Scott Smith, head brewer at East End Brewery, joins the Social Club this week. On tap in this episode: carefully-placed T-shirt racks, twirly hot dog machines, brewing for charity and the controversy of pumpkin beer.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:34 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Don't Feed the Deer! Here's Why...

A woman walking in Allegheny Cemetery stops to feed one of the many deer that can be found on the cemetery grounds.
Credit Heather McClain / WESA

While it might be tempting to feed the deer that may wander into your surroundings this fall, the Pennsylvania Game Commission advises against this. We’ll find out why from Dr. Justin Brown, a veterinarian with the state Game Commission.

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Education
4:21 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Report: Colleges and Universities in Pittsburgh a Major Economic Driver

The 10 colleges and universities that make up the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) represented approximately 32 percent of the city’s gross domestic product in FY 2012-13, according to a report released by PCHE.

“We have contributed close to $9 billion into the regional economy and we’re supporting more than 70,000 jobs in the City of Pittsburgh, which is one out of every four jobs,” said Paul Hennigan, PCHE chair and president of Point Park University.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:00 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

The Supreme Court: What cases will be heard this term?

Credit David / Flickr

 

 

The 2014-2015 session of the Supreme Court began on Monday. The court wasted no time in making news by refusing to rule on same-sex marriage. There are a number of other issues on the docket including first amendment rights in the digital age and whether to hear a challenge to the affordable care act. The current term also marks John Roberts’ 10th year as chief justice. Joining us for an overview of the cases the Supreme Court could be ruling on is University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris.

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Government & Politics
2:35 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

PA Chief Justice To See Raunchy Email 'Materials' Friday

Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ron Castille on Friday will find out more about whether bawdy e-mails traded among current and former state employees went all the way to the state judiciary.

Jim Koval, a spokesman for Castille, said the chief justice will meet with an agent from Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office. Castille requested more information specific to any "top jurists" who sent or received sexually explicit e-mails in a letter to Kane two weeks ago.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:21 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

A Weekend in Cleveland

Credit Dustin Jamison / Flickr

It seems Cleveland’s efforts to shed the image of “the mistake on the lake” are paying off. LeBron James has returned to the Cavaliers, the latest Captain America adventure was filmed in the city and the GOP has selected it for the next Republican convention. With the Steelers set to play the Browns, travel contributor Elaine Labalme takes another look at Cleveland.

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Religion & Faith
12:52 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Buddhist Relics On Display In Pittsburgh

Statue of Shakyamuni Buddha
Credit courtesy Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour

This week Chatham University is hosting a traveling exhibition of thousands of Buddhist relics, including one that organizers of the Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour believe belonged to the religion's founder.

Most of the relics are of the type known in the Tibetan tradition as "ringsel," according to tour manager Amanda Karg.

"They look like pearl-like crystals or jewels," Karg said. "We only find these relics in the cremation remains of people who are highly realized and great saints."

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Arts & Culture
12:02 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Pittsburgh Brewers Host Beer Sampling for Charity

Knocking back a couple of brews has never been more charitable.

The eighth annual Brewing Up A Cure craft beer festival, this Saturday at PPG’s Wintergarden in Downtown Pittsburgh, will feature more than 75 beers from microbreweries in Pittsburgh, with all proceeds benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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Environment & Energy
10:13 am
Thu October 9, 2014

New Bridge Restores Greenspace Near Zoo

For the first time in decades Heth’s Run in Highland Park will soon reach the Allegheny River, and the change is as much due to a transportation project as it is an environmental effort. 

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Electon 2014
8:07 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Corbett, Wolf Continue to Trade Blows at Third and Final Debate

Democratic party candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, right and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett debate at the WTAE-TV studio in Wilkinsburg, Pa. on Wednesday
Credit AP Photo/Rodney Johnson,WTAE-TV, Pool

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf met for their third and final debate in Wilkinsburg Wednesday evening.

The tone was less combative than previous debates, which Wolf attributed to the format of the debate, in which each candidate had one minute to respond to questions from an in-studio panel and the public via social media.

The main topics of the evening were education funding and the state’s pension debt shortfall.

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Community
7:50 am
Thu October 9, 2014

On Police/Community Relations, Peduto Says 'Culture Change' Underway In Pittsburgh

Acting Police Chief Cameron McLay, Brandi Fisher, president of Alliance for Police Accountability, former police officer Sheldon Williams and Mayor Bill Peduto (left to right) were panelists during a special live community forum Wednesday evening.
Chris Squier 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s acting police chief and Mayor Bill Peduto were two panelists in a discussion on police/community relations as part of the Mayor’s Night on Air at the Community Broadcast Center Wednesday evening.

Tensions have been high between police and the black community in Pittsburgh due to issues that have been building up for decades. Now, Peduto said work is underway to change that.

“We have done more than just hiring a police chief; we have created a culture change within Pittsburgh,” Peduto said.

Peduto cited his hiring of Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar and bringing in a new chief from outside the ranks of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. He also said through years of politics in the department, control over the organization and morale has taken a hit. Acting Police Chief Cameron McLay said he has been welcomed by rank-and-file officers, but he knows change won’t occur overnight.

“Culture is a slow thing to change. It takes years and years and years to change culture,” McLay said. “But effective leaders working together can change climate a lot faster, so that’s what we are trying to do here.”

To start to tackle the issue, Peduto said three critical areas within policing need to be reformed. The first is how officers are recruited.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:58 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Thursday Rundown: Cases to Watch on the Supreme Court Docket

Credit David / Flickr

These topics air Thursday October 9, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

The Supreme Court

The 2014-2015 session of the Supreme Court began on Monday. The court wasted no time in making news by refusing to rule on same-sex marriage. There are a number of other issues on the docket including first amendment rights in the digital age and whether to hear a challenge to the affordable care act. The current term also marks John Roberts’ 10th year as chief justice. Joining us for an overview of the cases the Supreme Court could be ruling on is University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris.

Don't Feed the Deer

While it might be tempting to feed the deer that may wander into your surroundings this fall, the Pennsylvania Game Commission advises against this. We’ll find out why from Dr. Justin Brown, a veterinarian with the state Game Commission.

WESA Celebrates - Deidre Kane and Dora Walmsley

A shared frustration of living in a food desert resulted in Deirdre Kane and Dora Walmsley opening up a neighborhood market in Lawrenceville that provides fresh, healthy food. The ladies and their effort are profiled in this week’s WESA Celebrates.

Cleveland Rocks

It seems Cleveland’s efforts to shed the image of “the mistake on the lake” are paying off. LeBron James has returned to the Cavaliers, the latest Captain America adventure was filmed in the city and the GOP has selected it for the next Republican convention. With the Steelers set to play the Browns, travel contributor Elaine Labalme takes another look at Cleveland. 

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Government & Politics
5:41 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

PA Porn Email Scandal Prompts Another Resignation

A Pennsylvania county prosecutor is resigning in the wake of a pornographic email scandal that the state attorney general's office says involved him while he was a high-ranking supervisor there.

Rick Sheetz, who led the criminal division until Attorney General Kathleen Kane took office early last year, resigned Monday from a part-time job as assistant district attorney in Lancaster County.

District Attorney Craig Stedman says the email scandal prompted Sheetz's departure, first reported Tuesday by Lancaster Newspapers.

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Arts & Culture
4:57 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Get Your Autumn Produce, and Some Opera, at the Market Square Farmer's Market

For the next two weeks, amid the autumn offerings of pumpkins and hearty greens, the Market Square Farmer’s Market will feature performances by artists from the Pittsburgh Opera.

Leigh White is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, which hosts the market every Thursday. She said this is the second year they will welcome the Opera to the market.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:26 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Shareable and Sustainable Cities for Everyone

Better busway, bike and rail transit for all neighborhoods is just part of what can make a city sustainable.
Credit NATCO / Flickr

When he lectures throughout the country, Dr. Antwi Akom focuses on two main questions: How do we create more just, sustainable and smarter cities? And how do we create more democratic models of civic and community engagement?

If those don’t sound like typical talking points on sustainability, that’s because Akom, with an impressive list of environmental, educational and sociological credentials, has a very broad view of sustainability.

As a guest of the Green Building Alliance’s Inspire Speakers Series, Akom will talk about how he sees too many communities today with limited access to resources and wonders what the cities of our future would look like if we designed them with everyone in mind.

We’ll also talk about what this can all mean for our town, with Grant Ervin, the first Sustainability Manager for the City of Pittsburgh

This Inspire Speakers Series event takes place at the Hill House in the Hill District, on Thursday October 9, 2014 from 5pm to 8pm, registration is required.

Watch one of Antwi Akom's presentations on Shareable Cities, from the 2013 EcoDistricts Summit:

Essential Pittsburgh
3:33 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration at Allegheny County Jail

Darrell Robinson and Karen Cordaro
Credit Reid Carter / 90.5WESA

Breaking the cycle of jail and prison re-entry is not an easy process, especially for repeat offenders. There are lifestyle choices that need to be considered and often times avoided. 

But that requires the right behavioral coaching and support. The Allegheny County Jail runs a collaborative program with Pittsburgh Mercy Health System which was recently evaluated by the Urban Institute in Washington D.C. and found to successfully reduce recidivism.

We’ll talk about how the collaborative works with Karen Cordaro Team Leader Prevention/Intervention Services for PMHS. We’ll also talk with Darrell Robinson, from the Point Breeze area of Pittsburgh. He’s a repeat offender currently on work-release and going through the collaborative program. He’s also enrolled in the Mechatronics Program at CCAC.

Transportation Safety
3:13 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

AAA Study: Hands-Free Tech Is Not Always Risk-Free

“Not all voice activated systems are created equally,” according to Bevi Powell, AAA’s East Central Senior Vice president.

A study conducted by AAA finds three out four drivers believe their hands-free technology is OK to use while driving, however many systems are actually more of a distraction than they think.

“The problem is when you’re distracted mentally, or you’re cognitively distracted then you’re taking your mind off of what you should be concentrating on and that is operating your vehicle safely,” said Powell.  

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Unions
2:25 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Security Officers Seek Unionization

When an emergency strikes a skyscraper the pressure is on for the in-house safety workers to act quickly, but if the building’s security officers don’t even know where the elevator keys are, first responders could remain stuck on the first floor looking for keys.

On Wednesday, security officers from several downtown Pittsburgh buildings rallied outside of the PPG building with paramedics, elected officials, clergy, and firefighters to encourage unionization.

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Higher Education
11:24 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Former Profs Leave $15M to Point Park University

A couple of former part-time professors have left $15 million to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, the largest gift in the school's history.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the gift is nearly half of the school's $31 million endowment.

It was left to the school by the estate of George and Kathleen White, who never attended the school before both of them taught there as part-time professors after moving to the Pittsburgh area in their 50s.

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Government & Politics
2:24 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Supporters Rally For Mandatory Hepatitis C Screenings

State lawmakers could send to the governor a plan to make doctors test for hepatitis C among patients most likely to have it – baby boomers.
 
The mandatory screening for people born between 1945 and 1965 would address another medical issue contributing to rising health care costs.
 
Hepatitis C causes liver failure if left untreated. Most people don’t know they have it.
 

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Government & Politics
2:21 am
Wed October 8, 2014

House GOP Digs In For Medical Marijuana Hearings

State House lawmakers plan to hold at least one hearing on medical marijuana, which will likely put off any final votes on legalization until next year.
 
House GOP leaders say a Senate-backed plan to allow certain kinds of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania needs to be more thoroughly vetted before it’s lined up for a vote.
 
“What exactly does it do? Do you guys know what it does?” said House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin, addressing reporters. “Do you know it sets up a whole new bureaucracy and industry?”
 

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