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Essential Pittsburgh
4:16 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

No No: A Dockumentary Comes to the Harris Theater

Movie poster for No No, which premieres Friday, September 5th at the Harris Theater downtown.
Credit No No: A Dockumentary

No No: A Dockumentary is opening in Pittsburgh, Saturday night at the Harris Theater.

The film tells the story of former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, who pitched a no-hitter on June 12, 1970 - supposedly while under the influence of LSD. After retiring he became a counselor, helping other addicts in their recoveries. Hear from director Jeffrey Radice and view the film trailer.

Essential Pittsburgh
4:14 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

The NFL Takes a Stronger Stance on Domestic Violence

Post-Gazette Sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to discuss the Steelers' regular season opener as well as the possible outcome for two Steelers players who were stopped for marijuana possession. Also, the NFL takes a stronger stance on domestic violence.

Special Events
4:00 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me Comes To Pittsburgh

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning quiz show, is coming to Pittsburgh's Benedum Center on Thursday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, September 8, 2014 via the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

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Community
3:20 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Group Challenging Pittsburgh’s 15-foot Buffer Zone Outside Planned Parenthood

A group of anti-abortion activists has filed suit against a 15-foot buffer zone outside of Planned Parenthood’s downtown Pittsburgh location.

The move follows a U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer that struck down 35-foot protest-free zones outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts for violating the First Amendment rights of protesters.

“We filed suit seeking to have the ordinance found unconstitutional, that it’s an inappropriate restriction on speech,” said attorney Lawrence Paladin.

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Children's Mental Health
12:59 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

$4 Million Dollar Program for Children's Health Comes to Allegheny County

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare has chosen Allegheny County as the pilot site for Project LAUNCH, a new program focused on the mental and behavioral health of children. The effort will be seeded by a $4 million federal grant and will be augmented by an estimated $50,000 "in-kind" contribution from the county.

The project will focus on children ages 0-8, and will combine at home nursing care, screenings, and various promotions about metal health.

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Religion
11:40 am
Fri September 5, 2014

How Church Buildings In PA Are Finding New Lives

The nonprofit performing arts program "Greatness Is In You" leases the church from a real estate company.
Credit Marielle Segarra / WHYY

Walk a few blocks in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or any of Pennsylvania's old cities, and you're bound to see a house of worship. In Old City Philadelphia, these could be churches the founding fathers attended. In other neighborhoods, they could be former ethnic churches that served specific immigrant communities.

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Station News
11:38 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Essential Pittsburgh Wins Pittsburgh Black Media Federation Award

Essential Pittsburgh won first place in the broadcast/radio/public affairs category at the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s Robert L. Vann Awards of Excellence for its program, “The Black Middle Class Experience in Pittsburgh.”

The judges commented: “What really made this piece work was hearing all of the different voices of how economics and social issues were at play in the lives of the black middle class in Pittsburgh.”

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Pension
10:41 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Report: State Worker Pensions Set 'Arbitrarily'

It seems that every few months Pennsylvania’s famously underfunded public pension systems receive some new low ranking or grade. The latest reproach takes issue with the way pension payouts are determined – based on age and years worked.

A report by the nonpartisan Urban Institute calls the rules setting state retirement benefits arbitrary. It restricted its analysis to employees hired in 2013 who will receive pension benefits through the State Employee Retirement System, or SERS:

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Biking Conference
10:38 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Walk, Run, Bike to Cycling Conference Next Week

An estimated 1,000 city planners, transportation engineers, public health advocates, elected officials, and community leaders are expected to attend The Pro Walk/ Pro Bike/ Pro Place Conference beginning Monday, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, and some appropriately will arrive by bike.

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Arts & Culture
9:52 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Social Club for the Weekend of September 5th

The summer has begun to fade, but the Social Club keeps trucking on. 90.5 WESA’s Josh and Yelp’s Rachel have some great outdoor activities to help you take advantage of the warm weather while you still can. This week’s episode features pie of dubious nationality, foot wine and the revival of Tupperware sales. Listen in for why, “You’ve got to let the summer breathe a little bit."

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Arts & Culture
7:59 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks Takes the Stage for 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks staged its first production honoring the famous bard.

The premiere show, “As You Like It,” spanned two weekends in November at Frick Park, and Jennifer Tober served as director, choreographer and even costume designer.

“It was a kind of simple production, I pulled costumes from my own closet, or people wore really kind of utilitarian things that they had, and it was kind of a low-fi, low budget production,” Tober said. “And now the company has grown so much, now we have not-for-profit status and our cast has grown.”

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Health
7:55 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Doctors Eye Prescription Tracking Bills

For about a year, state lawmakers have considered how to make it easier to track prescription drug abuse in Pennsylvania. Supporters say a plan to expand a patient database may be close to final passage.

The commonwealth already has a database to track the drugs most prone to abuse. Pending legislation would expand the tool to include prescriptions that treat migraines, seizures, and anxiety, as well as some cough medicines. Once in the database, those prescriptions would be subject to a dragnet by doctors, pharmacists, and (to an as yet unknown degree) law enforcement.

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90.5 WESA Celebrates
3:30 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Erika Strasburg, Dressing as a Princess to Comfort Kids

Erika Strasburg
Credit Debbi Casini Klein / 90.5 WESA

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

Erika, a singer/actress and graduate from CMU drama school, has used her talent to comfort the children at Children’s Hospital, where she volunteers every week to go room to room dressed as a princess.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:29 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Friday Rundown: Pittsburgh Filmmaking and a No-Hitter Dockumentary

Credit www.nonoadockumentary.com/

These topics air Friday September 5, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

The State of Movie Production in Pittsburgh

Film production in Pennsylvania, and the Pittsburgh area in particular is an important economic driver. The Pittsburgh Film Office has reported more than $100 million brought in to the region each year, for the past 4 years. 10 years ago, Pennsylvania was at the forefront of the film industry tax incentive program, which has made the commonwealth a more enticing place to shoot movies and TV shows. But with annual limits to the tax credits available, how competitive does the region remain? Dawn Keezer, Director of the Pittsburgh Film Office joins us to talk about the state of movie production in the region.

No No: A Dockumentary

No No: A Dockumentary is opening in Pittsburgh, Saturday night at the Regent Square Theater. The film tells the story of former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, who pitched a no-hitter on June 12, 1970 - while under the influence of LSD. After retiring he became a counselor, helping other addicts in their recoveries. We'll talk with director Jeffrey Radice.

Sports with Bob Pittsburgh

Post-Gazette Sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to discuss the Steelers' regular season opener as well as the possible outcome for two Steelers players who were stopped for marijuana possession. Also, the NFL takes a stronger stance on domestic violence. 

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Homeless Veterans
4:30 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Bill Would Give Public Housing Preference to Homeless Veterans

There are 1,500 homeless veterans in Pennsylvania at any given time, according to Senator Vince Hughes (D – Philadelphia).

That’s why he and other Democratic members of the Pennsylvania  Senate Appropriations Committee and representatives of various veterans groups are planning to meet Friday in Pittsburgh to discuss a bill that could help.

The legislation calls for a preference for homeless veterans, then to disabled veterans and then to families of deceased veterans for public housing.

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Health
4:26 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Health Care Workers at Allegheny County Jail Want Higher Staffing Levels

Fast food workers weren’t the only ones taking their message to the streets Thursday. The same day, healthcare workers at the Allegheny County Jail gathered at the County Courthouse, calling on the County Jail Oversight board to enforce staffing requirements laid out in a contract between the county and Corizon, a prison health management company.

“The numbers that have been agreed to as far as staffing for the infirmary, the mental health units – are not being met,” said Randa Ruge, and organizer with United Steelworkers, the union representing the workers.

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Community
3:53 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Fast Food Worker Protest in Wilkinsburg Leads to 8 Arrests

Police try to get protesters who sat down in Penn Ave. outside of the McDonald's in Wilkinsburg Thursday to move. Officers eventually made wight arrests
Credit Micheal Lynch / 90.5 WESA

The nationwide fight over a higher minimum wage for fast food workers landed eight Pittsburgh-area protesters behind bars Thursday.

More than 100 workers and supporters hit the streets in front of the McDonald’s restaurant in Wilkinsburg demanding wages of $15 an hour and union representation.

Local fast food workers have been holding rallies, pickets and job walk offs for months, but Thursday’s event was supported by similar rallies planned in nearly 150 U.S. cities.

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Arts & Culture
2:44 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Pittsburgh is One of the Stars of New Television Documentary

Pittsburgh’s film credits have been steadily growing over the last few years, and the Steel City is the location of a new series called “The Chair,” which premieres on the cable channel Starz this weekend.

It’s about the making of two films – each from the same screen play, but adapted by different directors.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:59 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

New Community Ideas for the August Wilson Center

Credit AWC / Facebook

The August Wilson Center's future remains uncertain, but a group of community volunteers and activists have been holding community meetings to formulate a plan for a new August Wilson Center. The August Wilson Center Recovery Committee laid out the plans yesterday.

Group leader Janera Solomon and committee member E.J. Strassburger talk about their ambitions for the shuttered former center for African-American history. 

Read more about the details of the plan.

Essential Pittsburgh
1:57 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Combating a Global Rise in Anti-Semitism

Credit U.S. Department of State

Ira Forman joins us to talk about his work as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism for the U.S. Department of State.

Throughout his career Forman has spoken and written extensively on Jewish history and public policy, and today he discusses the reported global rise in anti-Semitic sentiment and activity.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:55 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Fall Travel -- with a “Sports” Theme

Credit Wally Gobetz / Flickr

Summer may be winding down, but with autumn comes plenty of fun for Pittsburgh sports fans. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme offers up some travel ideas for the fall with a distinctly “sports” theme.

Whether it’s a college football game, a little pre-season hockey, or taking a one-tank trip to follow the Pirates, she talks about travel destinations that are sure to please sports fans and their families.

Check out some of the highlights she suggests:

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City Government
7:55 am
Thu September 4, 2014

From Street Signs to Vehicles, Pittsburgh to Auction Old Assets Online

Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman said it’s been nearly a decade since he first drafted legislation for then-Councilman Bill Peduto that would allow the city to auction off unneeded assets online.

That idea is finally seeing the light of day as a similar bill received preliminary approval in council’s committee meeting Wednesday. A final vote is scheduled for next week.

Grants Officer Brandon Forbes was on hand to answer questions from City Council about the plan, which would end the practice of selling old vehicles and other large assets once a year at an auction.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:57 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Thursday Rundown: A New Plan for the August Wilson Center

The August Wilson Center
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

These topics air Thursday September 4, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Future of the AWC

The August Wilson Center's future remains uncertain, but a group of community volunteers and activists have been holding community meetings to formulate a plan for a new August Wilson Center. The August Wilson Center Recovery Committee laid out the plans yesterday. We'll talk with Group leader Janera Solomon and committee member E.J. Strassburger.

Combating Anti-Semitism

Ira Forman joins us to talk about his work as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Throughout his career Forman has spoken and written extensively on Jewish history and public policy. He will discuss the reported global rise in anti-Semitic sentiment and activity. He is speaking in Pittsburgh tonight at the Katz Auditorium in Squirrel Hill.

Fall Sports Travel

Before the boys of summer give way to the athletes of autumn, travel contributor Elaine Labalme has some sporting travel ideas. From following the Pirates to destinations within driving distance to college football and pre-season hockey, she stops by Studio A with some fall sports travel suggestions. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:36 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Discussing the State of Working Pennsylvania

Good news for the commonwealth: recent statistics have shown an increase in job growth and a decrease in the unemployment rate. However, according to a recent report from the Keystone Research Center, Pennsylvania falls below other states when it comes to job growth.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:09 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

New Pittsburgh Police Chief Intends to be Visible, Engaged, Transparent

Cameron McLay as the next chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
Credit Courtesy image

Now that Mayor Bill Peduto and Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar have named Cameron McLay the city's new police chief we'll sample reaction from the community with Tim Stevens, chairman and CEO of the Black Political Empowerment Project and take your calls. We'll also talk with University of Pittsburgh Law School Professor David Harris, who was on the Police Chief Screening Committee.

Health
4:56 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Allegheny County Advances Restaurant Grading System, Community Health Assessments

New York City already has a similar food safety grading system in place.
Credit Flickr user Mike Licht

The Allegheny County Health Department wants you to help set its priorities as it attempts to become the healthiest county in the nation.

That’s according to department director Dr. Karen Hacker, who said the county is now moving into the second phase of its community health assessment process. The first phase was an online comment period, which Hacker said garnered more than 1,000 responses.

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bike lanes
4:05 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

City To Install Bike Lanes On Pittsburgh Bridges

The City of Pittsburgh will add temporary bike lanes to the Andy Warhol Bridge
Credit Michael Lynch / 90.5 WESA

Some of Pittsburgh’s busiest bridges are about to become bicycle friendly.

Cycling enthusiasts, along with city and Allegheny County officials, announced Wednesday the addition of short- and long-term bike lanes to the Andy Warhol, Roberto Clemente and 10th Street bridges.

Two temporary lanes will be painted on the Andy Warhol Bridge following rush hour Thursday morning, four days before the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference is set to kick off at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The lanes will remain open through Sept. 13 to aid in conference transportation.

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Transportation
4:05 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

City to Install Penn Avenue Bike Lane

Cyclists in Pittsburgh can worry about one less street when it comes to rider safety.

The city is set to install a protected bike lane Wednesday on Penn Avenue between 6th Street and 16th Street. The lane will feature a two-way cycle track with bollards separating riders from automobiles.

“We expect it to really improve the safety for those riders,” said Ngani Ndimbie, communications manager for cycling advocacy group BikePGH. “To really change the way that they experience the street and allowing them to be able to feel really comfortable on their bikes.”

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Arts & Culture
3:31 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Community Group Planning for Future of August Wilson Center

August Wilson Center Recovery Committee members have laid out plans for the center’s future, which the group of community volunteers and activists said were formed by looking at past failures and successes.
Credit Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

The August Wilson Center’s future remains uncertain, but a group of community volunteers and activists have been holding community meetings to formulate a plan for a new August Wilson Center.

The August Wilson Center Recovery Committee laid out plans for the center’s future, plans that group members said were formed by looking at past failures and successes. Group leader janera solomon said things must operate differently in the future.

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Education
2:47 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

New Program for PA Schools Aims to Prevent Dropouts

According to the state Department of Education, a high school dropout earns $1 million less than a college graduate over a lifetime, so to aid students in the long run Pennsylvania school districts were invited to participate in a new voluntary program aimed at preventing middle schoolers from developing habits that could eventually lead to them dropping out.  

35 school districts and charter schools in 23 counties will participate in the Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog for this school year.

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