3:30 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Small Jazz ‘Club’ to Open in Pittsburgh Bus Shelter

“I have this image in my mind of people walking in, and the music starts playing and people looking around at each other confused,” said Amy Kline, describing the bus shelter located near Chatham Square downtown.

As the Patron Services and Marketing Manager as Manchester Craftmen’s Guild Jazz, it was her idea to create “Pittsburgh’s Smallest Jazz Club” in the bus shelter – and Awesome Pittsburgh, which awards $1,000 grants for projects in the city, is helping that image move from her mind to reality.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:40 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Making Pittsburgh More Accessible in the Arts

Improving accessibility in Pittsburgh's cultural arts.
Credit DJK1 / Flickr

  For the second year in a row the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts called the Art Works grant. The support provided by the NEA is helping to fund an increasing accessibility initiative for Pittsburgh arts.

This initiative is designed to serve specific portions of the city‘s population. Anne Mulgrave, manager of grants and accessibility for the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council describes the initiative, its goals and who it benefits.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:00 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Evolving Standards for Wheel Chairs and Accessibility Worldwide

Credit Mark Grapengater / flickr

There are 70 million wheel chair users worldwide. Our guests Dr. Rory Cooper and Dr. Jon Pearlman are helping to create new standards for as many of them as possible.

The doctors are co-directors of Pitt’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and this month they’re launching the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals and they discuss how their work will impact wheel chair users around the world.

“The whole goal of this society is to provide opportunities to everyone around the world who needs access to a wheelchair,” says Dr. Cooper, who uses a wheel chair for mobility.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:08 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh Resolves to End White Silence

Police Chief Cameron McLay holding the #EndWhiteSilence message in Downtown Pittsburgh on First Night.
Credit WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh

Throughout the last 6 months of demonstrations and protests of police violence, activists all over the world have adopted the phrase, “Black Lives Matter.” In addition to that message, you may have seen the phrases, “I resolve to challenge racism” and “End White Silence.” 

In many cases, the people holding up signs with those phrases have been white.

Recognizing that discussions of race and racism can be different when people of color are not present, WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh is a local group focused on promoting anti-racist action, and knowledge.

Members such as etta cetera and Rose Lynd who identify as white, look at ways to challenge racism in their communities, among family and friends, even within themselves. They discuss the ongoing work of WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh and the many ways they confront racial injustice.

Recently, Police Chief Cameron McLay came under fire for appearing in a photograph with the hashtag "End White Silence," a social media campaign initiated by WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh. Critics of McLay's photo say he was inferring that the police were racist. etta and Rose, however, say their message is more about helping white people to become active when considering racial issues.

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Reema Khrais joined WUNC in 2013 to cover education in pre-kindergarten through high school. Previously, she won the prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship. For the fellowship, she spent a year at NPR where she reported nationally, produced on Weekends on All Things Considered and edited on the digital desk. She also spent some time at New York Public Radio as an education reporter, covering the overhaul of vocational schools, the contentious closures of city schools and age-old high school rivalries.

Government & Politics
4:07 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Wolf’s Transition Team Says PA Facing 'Budget Crisis'

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team says Pennsylvania is in the throes of an all-out budget crisis.

Pennsylvania is facing a $2.3 billion shortfall for the fiscal year beginning in July, according to a report by the governor-elect’s transition team.

The projected shortfall is even bigger than they expected — big enough to sink existing state programs, not to mention all of the additional spending Wolf proposed during his campaign.

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Environment & Energy
4:00 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Range Resources to Pay $1.75 Million Settlement to DEP

After nearly five years of incorrectly reporting water withdrawal rates, Range Resources will pay a $1.75 million settlement to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

All oil and gas companies are required to report the amount of water they use to the DEP, and it must be within a specified amount. During July 2009 until February 2014 Range was misreporting its numbers saying the company was not using as much as it was, and at times not reporting to the DEP at all.

Range approached the DEP with its mistakes and has since worked to fix them.

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Government & Politics
12:33 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Wolf's Team to Release Fiscal Analysis Findings

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf says his transition team's examination of the state's fiscal situation didn't turn up any surprises, merely confirming the presence of a roughly $2 billion deficit for the fiscal year beginning in July.

Key findings from the group's report are expected to be released Friday.

"We have a mess. I knew that going in," Wolf told reporters Thursday before heading into a tour of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. "The mess is as big as I feared it was, so I have a lot of work to do — we all do."

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Government & Politics
12:28 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Purchase Is First Step to URA Reviving Shadyside Armory

The City of Pittsburgh, through the Urban Redevelopment Authority, approved plans Thursday to purchase the Alfred E. Hunt Armory in Shadyside from the state.

The 102-year-old historic landmark will be purchased by the URA without having to go through a bidding process, according to Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman.

“That allows us to have better local control over the future redevelopment plans, whereas the state just requires selling to the highest bidder,” he said.

But Gilman said the city doesn’t want to own the property for long.

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8:07 am
Fri January 16, 2015

For the Girls of Steel, Building Robots Is a Team Sport

Girls of Steel members Isabella Salvi, 17, (left) and Kyra Halbert-Elliot, 14, work on a robot with team mentor Tom Pope.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

At a lab in Carnegie Mellon University's Field Robotics Center, dozens of goggle-clad teenage girls are drilling, hammering and writing code.

They’re the Girls of Steel, and the goal is to build the mind and body of a robot in the next few weeks. Then the girls — and their robot — will enter robotics competitions.

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