90.5 WESA Celebrates
3:30 am
Fri June 27, 2014

How Jeremiah’s Place is Helping Kids in Crisis

Eileen Sharbaugh, Dr. Lynne Williams, Dr. Tammy Murdock (left to right) of Jeremiah's Place.
Credit Debbi Casini Klein / 90.5 WESA

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

It’s called Jeremiah’s Place, a crisis nursery where children from birth up to age six can go for a few days while their family is dealing with a crisis of any kind.  

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
10:59 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Friday Rundown: Preserving Pittsburgh's City Steps

Just one of hundreds of flights of city steps that can be found throughout Pittsburgh.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

These topics air Friday June 27, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

100th Anniversary of WWI

One-hundred years ago tomorrow, June 28, 1914, Arch-duke Francis Ferdinand, nephew and heir of the Austrian Emperor, was shot and killed while riding in an open car through the Bosnian capital. The tragic incident set in motion events that led to the start of World War I. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Len Barcousky has written a piece on the “political crime” that sparked the war and joins us to talk about the impact of these events on Pittsburgh.

South Side Steps

The city steps of Pittsburgh are as much a part of the city’s iconic geography as the bridges and tunnels. However, maintaining them is not easy, especially when so much the city’s infrastructure needs work. A South Side group has recently received a grant to make much-needed repairs to steps of the South Side Slopes. Brad Palmisiano, board member of the South Side Neighborhood Association.

The Last Billboard

At the corner of Highland Ave and Baum Blvd, above one of the most busy intersections in East Liberty, you may or may not have noticed an old fashioned metal framed billboard on one of the rooftops. If you’ve taken the time to read the billboard over the last 3 or 4 years you probably noticed that the messages change fairly often; the phrases are simplistic and not like a typical advertisement. Recent press from websites such as Buzzfeed have prompted curiosity about where the messages come from and why they’re there. We’ll profile Jon Rubin, the unique interdisciplinary artist behind the billboard project. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:47 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

WorKing that Interview: How to Nail the Job

Job interviews are one of the most stressful aspects of life, but King recommends the best ways to stand out.
Credit bpsusf / Flickr

The job interview can be one of the most nerve wracking experiences you’ll ever go through. Magazines and websites regularly run stories about how to answer questions, what mistakes to avoid, etc. In this month’s On the Job segment, independent career consultant Sasha King explains all you’ll need to know in order to nail the interview.

One of the most important things King mentions is for an interviewee to ask questions of the company. She calls it “auditioning the company” while they are in turn auditioning you for the job.

“The first question I usually have them ask is ‘What are your 30, 60 and 90 day goals for someone in this position?’ Why would you want to know that? It helps you, as a job seeker, to know what they expect of you in your first 90 days. But, it also sets a favorable impression with the interviewer that you plan on achieving certain things within the first 90 days, or know what the expectations are.”

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:35 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Organizers Hope Point Park Is Just The First to Unionize

Credit Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

Point Park University Adjunct Facility have voted to unionize and the administration seems to be ready to let that happen. 

“This is long over due,” said PPU adjunct English and French teacher Rebecca Taksel.  “We adjuncts… have been marginalized for so long.”

Following the 172-79 vote, the University responded with a written statement, which read in part,

“We are pleased that so many adjunct faculty members took the time to make their voices heard on this important issue. We respect the decision made by those eligible to vote and look forward to working with all faculty members to fulfill Point Park’s mission of educating the next generation.”

The university had originally fought the unionization effort run by the United Steel Workers. 

“As soon as we are officially recognized next Wednesday (July 2) we will be sending them (University administrators) a letter asking them for dates for bargaining,” said USW organizer Randa Ruge who thinks they will be able to negotiate better pay for the workers.

Read more
4:33 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Social Club for the Weekend of June 27th

In this episode, we have a beer tracking app, a pile of trash in Heinz Field, food trucks and the opportunity to get your wino on. Josh Raulerson is back from vacation in Colorado, and he brought with him some recommendations on the best local brews in Boulder. He trades them with Yelp’s Rachel Carlson, in exchange for some weekend party tips. Listen in for why there’s, “a time and place for every wine.”

This weekend's happenings:


Read more
Highway Trust Fund
4:29 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Senator Casey Pushes Short-Term Highway Funding Patch

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there could be a shortfall in the highway trust fund (HTF) as soon as mid-July.

For much of the country, that could mean a halt to construction on bridges and roads.

“What we’re facing in transportation is the transportation equivalent of a government shutdown, it is that simple, but it is that stark and disturbing if folks don’t start (to) surrender some of their predispositions on what should happen next,” U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) said.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:27 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

A Summer Staple: 5 Outdoor Concert Venues to Visit

Outdoor concerts are considered a rite of summertime.
Credit Heather Harvey / Flickr

One of the many joys of summer is listening to music at an outdoor venue. Whether you enjoy opera, jazz, rock or classical it somehow seems more enjoyable outdoors.

Travel contributor Elaine Labalme, suggests some famous performance spaces where you can enjoy an outdoor concert.

Read more
3:28 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

An Uncertain Future For Pittsburgh's Abortion Protest Buffer Zone

It’s uncertain what will happen to that the yellow semi-circle marking a 15-foot buffer zone outside Planned Parenthood’s downtown Pittsburgh location.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Thursday striking down the 35-foot protest-free zones outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts, saying that law violates the First Amendment Rights of protesters.

But the question remains if the high court’s decision will have on Pittsburgh’s eight-year-old law.

Read more
Government & Politics
10:55 am
Thu June 26, 2014

House Sends Budget To Senate As Tax Talks Continue

The state House passed a $29.1 billion spending plan Wednesday, five days before the July 30 budget deadline. The measure now heads to the Senate, which looks likely to make big changes to the revenue sources assumed in the plan, if not the final spend figure.

House Republicans heralded the proposal as a reflection of their priorities: holding the line on spending, without raising taxes, and passed before July.

Read more
STEAM Learning
7:45 am
Thu June 26, 2014

From 'Pantry' to 'Kitchen': Transforming the Way Teens Use the Library

Using the graphic editing software Adobe Illustrator, 11-year-old Winston Bell participates in a lesson on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics at The Labs at the Carnegie library’s East Liberty branch.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

People often think of the library as a place to sit quietly while reading or studying.

But the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is challenging that stereotype by turning the library into a creative hub for teens.

It was the second week of June, and Pittsburgh Public Schools had been out of session for two days. And yet, half a dozen teenagers and pre-teens were sitting around a table, enthusiastically engaging in a lesson about ancient Egypt.

“What do we know about Egypt and why was it such a big deal?” asked Oliva Hric, museum educator with the Carnegie Library of Natural History. “Can you think of anything in the landscape that maybe would make Egypt a really great place to live?”

“Because they were on the Nile River they could have had a good water supply,” answered 12-year-old Jonathan Freeman, clearly familiar with the concept.

Freeman and the other teens weren’t at summer school; they were at The Labs at the Carnegie library’s East Liberty branch.

Read more
Art From the Ground Up
3:30 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Get This Gardening Book Dirty, Author Recommends

Author Sandra McPeake wants you to take her book with you into the garden.
Credit Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

Speaking about her self-published “In The Garden: A Botanically Illustrated Gardening Book,” Sandra McPeake says, “I want it to become a very dirty book … take it to the garden … learn how to plant.”

McPeake’s love of gardening is a family tradition, and it’s based on the food she likes to eat.

"What are we really hungry for and what do I normally harvest to cook with” are questions she asks herself before each spring’s planting.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
8:58 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Thursday Rundown: Unionizing Point Park's Adjuncts

Credit J.James / wikipedia

These topics air Thursday June 26, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Point Park Adjuncts Vote for USW Representation

Point Park University adjunct faculty have voted in favor of United Steel Workers representation. Results tabulated Wednesday at the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board in the Federal Building showed 172 faculty members voted in favor of USW representation, while 79 were against. Point Park now has seven days to put in any challenges. We'll talk with Point Park adjunct instructor Rebecca Taksel and USW organizer Randa Ruge.

On the Job with Sasha King - Nailing the Interview

The job interview can be one of the most nerve wracking experiences you’ll ever go through. Magazines and websites regularly run stories about how to answer questions, what mistakes to avoid, etc. In this month’s On the Job segment independent career consultant Sasha King joins us to tell us all we’ll need to know in order to nail the interview.

Summer Music Venues

One of the many joys of summer is listening to music at an outdoor venue. Whether you enjoy opera, jazz, rock or classical it somehow seems more enjoyable outdoors. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme, suggests some famous performance spaces where you can enjoy an outdoor concert. 

Read more
City Government
5:07 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Debt Is Down and Spending Is Up, Says Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb

City of Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb says an interactive version of the Popular Annual Financial Report will be available online for the first time this year.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

There’s good news and bad news.

That was the message from city of Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb Wednesday, as his office released its 2013 Popular Annual Financial Report. Lamb called the report the “layman’s version” of the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which was released early this year.

The good news, said Lamb, is that the difference between the city’s liabilities and its assets shrunk by $4.1 million in 2013, to $423.8 million. In 2007, the gap was close to $600 million.

Read more
Flight 93 Memorial
5:03 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Construction Moving Along On Flight 93 Memorial Bridge

Work is “progressing well” on a pedestrian bridge at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Somerset County.

Park Director Jeff Reinbold says the 800-foot bridge will span some wetlands and be a key section of the 1.7-mile pathway to connect the under-construction visitor center with the crash site.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:06 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Pittsburgh Businesses Are Ready for Thursday's USA-Germany World Cup Game

Watching from Pipers Pub on the South Side, soccer fans from the Pittsburgh area celebrate a goal scored by Germany during Monday's match against Portugal.
Christopher Squier 90.5 WESA

The next game the United States plays in the World Cup could be its last of the tournament. The match against Germany is already being considered one of the most important soccer games in the country's history. With this important matchup beginning in less than 24 hours, some fans are getting ready by watching rally videos, getting their USA team gear, and setting up plans to watch the game with friends and other fans

Nick Sandi, owner of Nick's Imports on East Carson Street, sees the excitement of the World Cup growing in Pittsburgh first hand. Sand has been selling soccer shirts and country jerseys for each World Cup since 2002.

For him, the excitement has reflected in sales.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
1:31 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

How Pittsburgh Plans to Get Out of Act 47 in 5 Years

Kevin Acklin, the mayor's Chief of Staff and Chief Development Officer, believes the collaboration between Mayor Peduto and City Council is key to the success of Pittsburgh.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

On Tuesday, with a 7-2 vote, the Pittsburgh City Council approved Mayor Bill Peduto's Act 47 recovery plan. The five-year plan includes recommendations for a possible property tax increase and bond issues to improve deteriorating infrastructure.

Kevin Acklin, the mayor's Chief of Staff and Chief Development Officer explained how the City plan is different from past plans.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
1:11 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

U.S. Soccer's Greatest Upset

Joe Gaetjens puts Walter Bahr's shot past English goalie Bert Williams to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead on June 29, 1950.
Credit The Aged P Blog

On Thursday, the U.S. World Cup soccer team can advance to the round of 16 with either a win or tie against Germany. The United States has surpassed expectations; few thought they would escape the so-called “Group of Death” that also included Ghana and Portugal. As stacked as the odds have been against the United States in 2014, it is nothing compared to the odds faced by the U.S. team when Brazil last hosted the World Cup in 1950.

The U.S. team that year consisted entirely of semi-pro players who often held additional jobs- one player missed the tournament because he could not take time off of work. In their second game, they faced England, who were widely considered to be the world’s best team. But when the final whistle blew on June 29, 1950, it was the U.S. who had won, 1-0.

Read more
Government & Politics
7:53 am
Wed June 25, 2014

House Panel Links Budget To Liquor Privatization

With about a week left before the state budget deadline, House lawmakers have advanced an actual spending plan.

Until now, the House has been teeing up a bill referred to merely as vehicle - last year's budget in new legislation, a placeholder for whenever the Republican majority put together the plan it intended to send to the Senate.

And in some ways, the $29.1 billion spending plan voted out of the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday is still just a vehicle. It's likely to undergo some big changes before heading to the governor's desk.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:48 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Breaking Down the Act 47 Plan & World Cup Fever in Pittsburgh

Credit Andy / Wikipedia Commons

These topics air Wednesday June 25, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

An Act 47 Primer

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh City Council approved Mayor Bill Peduto's Act 47 recovery plan. We'll talk with Kevin Acklin, the mayor's Chief of Staff and Chief Development Officer about what is in the plan, what's different about it from past plans, and how it will play out over the coming years.

Walter Bahr

Thursday is an important day for the U.S. World Cup Soccer team, which faces Germany in a game that determines who advances to the second round of the tournament in Brazil. Whatever odds the U.S. team faces against the powerful German squad, they are nothing compared to the long odds the U.S team faced when it beat heavily favored England 1-0 in the 1950 World Cup. It's considered one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history. We'll talk with Walter Bahr, one of two surviving members of the 1950 World U.S. Soccer team.

World Cup Fever

TV ratings for the U.S. - Portugal World Cup game exceeded those for the NBA Finals. In Pittsburgh fans aren't just watching from home. They are jamming into sports bars like Piper's Pub, which has become a haven for soccer fanatics. We'll take you there as well as another must stop for soccer crazies on Carson Street, Nick's Imports, which sells a variety of World Cup national team jerseys.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:33 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Attorney General Kane: Corbett Did Not Drag Feet Over Sandusky Investigation

Even though the report did not find any evidence of Corbett mishandling the case for political reasons, his chances of re-election may still be hurt.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane released a report Monday regarding Tom Corbett's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse investigation when he was Attorney General. Patriot News opinions editor John Micek talked about how the findings of Kane's office could impact Governor Corbett's chances of re-election.

The Attorney General’s report found no evidence of Corbett mishandling the investigation due to political influence. Micek said even though the report was issued well before voting begins, for Corbett's re-election campaign, the report may hurt his chances in the polls.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:20 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Shatterproof Aims to Find Better Treatment for Addiction

Shatterproof founder Gary Mendell rappelling.
Credit Zachary Tristan / Shatterproof

The loss of a child is difficult for any parent. Losing a child to drugs or alcohol addiction can sometimes leave a parent wondering if they could have done more to save their child. For Gary Mendell, the loss of his son inspired him to create an organization called Shatterproof.

The organization is committed to protecting children from drugs as well as overcoming the stigmas associated with addiction. Mendell described his son, Bryan, as “what every father could ask for and more.” When he tried marijuana for the first time a year before high school, he became addicted.

Read more
Government & Politics
5:15 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

City Council Members Tackle City’s Parking Woes

Whether in Lawrenceville, Downtown, the South Side or the Strip District, many Pittsburghers and visitors to the city complain about parking; either the lack of it or the cost of it.

City Councilman Dan Gilman held a post agenda on the issue Tuesday. Pittsburgh Acting Police Chief Regina McDonald said one of the problems is crowded neighborhood streets.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:04 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

The Business of Soccer

Rebecca Harris is director of Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship
Credit Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Arguably the biggest sporting event in the world is currently taking place down in Brazil. The World Cup draws big numbers of television viewers across the planet, making it a great opportunity for companies looking to get their brand in front of a global market. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of soccer.

“It’s a widely viewed sport. It has a cumulative audience, in the 2006 figures that we looked at, 26 billion people watched it over a course of a month, with an estimated 715 million people watching the final match, which is 1/9 of the entire world’s population. When we talk about those numbers, automatically that translates into television advertising, sports apparel sponsorship, infrastructure building in the host country, think about what's been built in Brazil alone, it’s just remarkable. So this really is big business.”

Read more
2:39 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Last Steel Beam Placed Atop PNC's New Headquarters

A construction worker signs the last steel beam to be placed atop the Tower at PNC Plaza on Tuesday.
Chris Squier 90.5 WESA

Hard hats and neon vests filled the Fifth and Wood intersection in downtown Pittsburgh Tuesday morning as construction workers placed the last beam on the Tower at PNC Plaza.

The project is far from complete. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done on the inside before 2,200 PNC corporate workers can fill the 33-story building, which will serve as the new headquarters. The project will be finished by mid-2015, according to Bill Demchak, PNC chairman, president and CEO.

Read more
Government & Politics
11:23 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Nothing But Questions As the June Budget Deadline Nears

State lawmakers are heading into the final stretch of June, and for the first time in four years, a budget agreement doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.

Gov. Tom Corbett, who ran for office promising timely state budgets, has said he’ll forgive a late spending plan in return for passage of two other legislative priorities: an overhaul of public pensions and changes to how alcohol is sold in Pennsylvania.

Read more