Essential Pittsburgh
4:09 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Pittsburgh Native Anthony Breznican Writes his First Novel set in Western Pennsylvania

First time novelist, Anthony Breznican, is a Pittsburgh native and his first novel is set in a Catholic school in Pittsburgh.
Credit Breznican

Watch any movie about friends reuniting and it’s a near guarantee one of the characters will be a writer.

With Anthony Breznican it’s a case of life imitating art. The senior writer for Entertainment Weekly magazine came home to Pittsburgh for a high school reunion, which coincides with the release of his first novel, Brutal Youth.

The story is inspired by Favorite Hour, an Elvis Costello song that was released in 1994, the year Breznican graduated high school.

The story is set at a crumbling, Catholic high school in Western Pennsylvania called St. Michael the Archangel. The school is a dumping ground for troubled kids and for kids of protective parents who are trying to shelter them from public school.

Breznican said that this ironic combination creates "sort of a perfect Darwinist mix of survival of the fittest."

Between these groups, the book shows the two different types of people in difficult situations.

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11:53 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Outbound Liberty Tunnel To Close Starting Friday Evening

On a daily basis, 18,500 vehicles travel through the outbound Liberty Tunnel. Effective at 8 p.m. Friday, motorists will need to find a new way to the South Hills.

PennDOT is closing the outbound tunnel around-the-clock through 6 a.m. Monday July 28.

Crews will prepare the tunnel walls so they can be painted and complete work that was halted in December.

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Pup Crawl
10:05 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Social Club for the Weekend of July 10th

The Social Club podcast gets charitable this week, as Yelp’s Rachel throws out some weekend suggestions for those in need of a good cause. Don’t worry, though, lovers of debauchery: 90.5 WESA’s Josh made sure to pull Rachel back to talk about something “entirely frivolous.”

Listen in on their conversation for a Pup (not pub) Crawl, '90s covers, a secret song, and for why, “It’s good luck to get pooped on by an exotic bird in the jungle.”

This weekend’s happenings:

Pittsburgh Pup Crawl

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Economy & Business
10:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Study Says Walkability Attracts Millenials

Pittsburgh has been ranked one of the nation’s most walkable cities for years, but a new study suggests if the city wants to attract young talent, it needs to be even more walkable.

According to a report released by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University, Pittsburgh is a city of “moderate walkable urbanism,” meaning more than 70 percent of walkable urban office and retail space is located in the central city.

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Government & Politics
9:49 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Legislation Addresses Affordable Housing Needs

As the housing market continues to rebound after the 2008 recession, some Pennsylvanian residents are still in need of affordable housing.

Currently in Pennsylvania there is a shortage of about 268,000 affordable housing units, according to Liz Hersh, Executive Director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

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Overshadowed by the Budget
9:14 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Bill Would Give Counties More Help With Blight

Special series: This week we're exploring legislative action taken recently in Harrisburg on important bills that were overshadowed by the passage of the state budget.

Most cities are plagued by blighted and abandoned properties, but who is responsible to demolish them after the owner is nowhere to be found? Senate bill 1442 could solve these issues with a fee on foreclosed properties.

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City Government
9:10 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Heth's Run Valley Slated for Major Facelift

The old Heth's Run Bridge was built in 1914. The land beneath the bridge was long used as an industrial dumping site.
Credit Flickr user Todd Shirley

Heth’s Run Valley hasn’t been much of a valley for a while. The area underneath Heth’s Run bridge—a portion of Butler Street between Morningside and Highland Park—had long been a dumping site for industrial waste. City Councilwoman Deb Gross, whose district includes the area, said many of her constituents didn’t even know a bridge was there.

But that area is slated to get a major facelift, which Gross said has been a long time coming.

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90.5 WESA Celebrates
3:30 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Karissa’s Army, Raising Domestic Violence Awareness

Jamie Brown and Alisha Maria King of Karissa’s Army
Credit Debbi Casini Klein / 90.5 WESA

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

Karissa Kunco was a cheerful, optimistic 21-year old with many friends, a close family and dreams of someday being a pharmacist.

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7:20 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Lyft and Uber Await Answer From PUC for Temporary Licenses

Max, a Lyft driver, and Lara Flavin wear mustaches in support of ride-sharing company Lyft.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto lifted his cell phone up, showing the Lyft and Uber apps on his screen.

“I don’t drive them, but I use them,” Peduto said. “I’ve used them both in the city of Pittsburgh and also in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. It’s very easy to use.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:07 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Friday Rundown: Three Author Interviews Hosted by Josh Raulerson

90.5 WESA Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson interviews three visiting authors about their critically acclaimed stories.
Credit 90.5 WESA

These topics air Friday July 11, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA.

Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson takes over the hosting chair for Paul Guggenheimer.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Thomas Sweterlitsch’s debut novel Tomorrow and Tomorrow is enjoying the success every novelist hopes for. It has received critical praise. In addition, Sony Pictures has optioned the book for a film adaptation. The author joins us to discuss the novel and the role Pittsburgh plays.

Hello American Lady Creature

Lisa Kirchner’s book Hello American Lady Creature: What I Learned as a Woman in Qatar has been compared to Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. She doesn’t mind the comparison, after all both books deal with a woman’s journey of self-discovery. The author joins us to discuss her book, yoga and more.

Brutal Youth

Watch any movie about friends reuniting and it’s guaranteed one of them will be a writer. With Anthony Breznican it’s a case of life imitating art. The first time novelist is a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly magazine. He’s come home to Pittsburgh for a high school reunion which coincides with the release of his first novel Brutal Youth.

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