Heather McClain

Assistant Producer, Essential Pittsburgh

Heather McClain is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, originally from the Main Line Philadelphia area. Her interests in the environment and sustainability have been reflected throughout her career, most recently as a news anchor and features reporter/producer at WBZH Community Radio in Pottstown, PA. At WBZH, Heather was host and producer of the weekly program Our Environment, and worked part-time as production assistant for the PBS TV program Growing a Greener World. Heather started her career at the CBS Early Show and the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. She developed her public radio skills at WRTI public radio at Temple University.

Pages

Essential Pittsburgh
11:03 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Coming Out in the NBA

Washington Wizards player Jason Collins came out earlier this week.
Credit Washington Wizards / NBA.com

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman shares his thoughts on NBA player Jason Collins becoming the first active athlete in any of America's four major professional sports leagues to acknowledge his homosexuality. He'll discuss what it means for the LGBT community as well as the African American community.

Essential Pittsburgh
8:40 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Negative Ads in the Mayoral Primary

Image consultant Bob Oltmanns
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Negative ads, like shaking hands and kissing babies, have become a staple of political campaigns. The recent news of Mayor Ravenstahl's link to attack ads has turned our attention to the impact of negative ads in this year's mayoral primary. Joining us for this discussion is public relations advisor Bob Oltmanns, president of the OPR Group.

Essential Pittsburgh
8:29 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Images From the Silk Road

Spices sold in a market along the Silk Road
Christopher Rolinson Point Park University

In 1972, Alban and Virginia Curtze of Erie, PA traveled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and India in an area known as the Silk Road. Little did they know their vacation photos would become artifacts of world history. Thirty nine of the Curtze's images have been transferred from slides to 11-by-14-inch prints and are on display at an exhibition on the Point Park University campus. The exhibition curator and associate professor of photojournalism and photography, Christopher Rolinson gives us a tour of the Silk Road images.

Essential Pittsburgh
8:09 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Girlfriend Getaways with the New Girl in Town

Enjoy a weekend away with the girls at he Waldorf Astoria in NYC
Credit Chris Breeze / Flickr

Bachelorette weekends, reunions spa retreats or the need to simply get out of town. Those are some of the reasons you and your best girlfriends may want to plan a weekend away. This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme offers up some suggestions for girlfriend getaways.

Start planning your own getaway with these recommendations from Elaine Labalme:

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
12:01 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Finding Pittsburgh's Light Rail

Light Rail stops in the Free Zone, such as the sleekly designed Gateway Station Downtown, are highly visible
Emily DeMarco PublicSource

  Roughly 28,000 people ride the Pittsburgh area’s light-rail system every day. But many more could be using and funding the system if the stops were easier to access. Inspired by a study from the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, PublicSource reporter, Emily DeMarco embarked on a tour of the Port Authority's 52 T-stops. She took photos, gathered audio and asked commuters what they think of the light-rail system.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:56 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me Hits the Big Screen

Peter Sagal is the host of Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me, the NPR news quiz show
Credit Kyle Cassidy / Wikipedia

  NPR's weekly news quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me has been entertaining public radio listeners for more than 15 years. Now the show hits the big screen with a nationwide cinecast. We'll talk with host Peter Sagal about the radio show, it's failed TV pilot and his experience at the recent Boston Marathon.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:55 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Tightening Security for the Pittsburgh Marathon

City officials pledge to tighten security for the Pittsburgh Marathon
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5/WESA

  Less than three weeks after the Boston Marathon bombing, Pittsburgh will stage its own annual 26.2 mile event. While Pittsburgh Marathon officials say security has been beefed up since a bomb scare during the 2010 race, Public Safety Director Michael Huss joins us to discuss other plans in the works to secure the event and what racers and spectators can expect on May 5th.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:50 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

TALKPGH Pittsburgh's First Mobile Talk Show

The TALKPGH mobile talk show set parked outside a restaurant in the neighborhood of Beechview
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

  Throughout the month of April, an odd looking truck serving as a mobile talk show set drove to each of the Pittsburgh's 90 neighborhoods to interview residents.  TALKPGH is a collection of stories and opinions structured like a show. It's part of PLANPGH, Pittsburgh's comprehensive game plan for growth. Assistant Producer Nina Sarnelle and Pittsburgh Public Art Manager Morton Brown talk about the common threads they found, and the challenges of recording a mobile talk show on the streets of Pittsburgh.

Essential Pittsburgh
12:29 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

John Dean on How Watergate Revolutionized Legal Ethics

John Dean speaks about legal ethics and the legacy of Watergate
Credit Watergate CLE

Forty years ago, John Dean was a young attorney with the the job of a lifetime, White House counsel to the President of the United States Richard Nixon. But that year he was called to testify before the Senate Watergate Committee and it was his testimony that ultimately linked President Nixon to the scandal that would bring down his presidency. John Dean and his business partner Jim Robenalt recently gave a talk at the Allegheny County Bar Association on How Watergate Revolutionized Legal Ethics.

View an interactive timeline of the Watergate Scandal, courtesy of TimeToast:

Essential Pittsburgh
12:27 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Watergate's Legacy and Legal Ethics (Web-Extra)

David Harris is a Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Research at the University of Pittsburgh Law School
Credit University of Pittsburgh Law School

Our legal contributor, University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris talks about the lessons attorneys learned from the Watergate era and why lawyers must now consider more than just attorney client privilege.

"Before John Dean, a lawyer had two choices, keep his or her mouth shut or quit. And that was it."

Speaking Volumes
8:00 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Speaking Volumes on Essential Pittsburgh: Mary Calland

Mary Frailey Calland is author of the historical novel Consecrated Dust
Credit Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Writer and Mt. Lebanon resident Mary Frailey Calland does intensive research for her Civil War era novels. In between deep dives in the archives she reads contemporary fiction. She talks with  WESA Morning Edition Host Josh Raulerson about her reading selections.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:48 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

The Business of Running Shoes

The world of running shoes is a fast-paced industry Rebecca Harris talks about how to stay ahead of the curve
Credit Timothy Takemoto / Flickr

Whether you’re a marathoner or recreational runner it goes without saying, the most essential piece of running equipment is a good pair of running shoes. This week, our contributor Rebecca Harris discusses the business of running shoes.

Interested in the running shoe business? Find out more about the athletic footwear industry and pick up some tips for training for a marathon:

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
7:18 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System to Become Allegheny Health Network

A partnership between Highmark and other major health systems has been approved
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Highmark Inc. has finalized its partnership with a long list of healthcare providers including the West Penn Allegheny Health System. Now that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department has approved the deal, what happens on Dec. 31, 2014 when the UPMC-Highmark contract expires? Diane Denis, Katz Alumni Chair in Finance and Pitt Professor of Business Administration, dissects the deal.

Essential Pittsburgh
10:06 am
Mon April 29, 2013

City Council News with Noah Brode

90.5 WESA City Council reporter Noah Brode
Credit 90.5 WESA / 90.5 WESA

WESA City Council reporter Noah Brode joins us for a weekly update on Pittsburgh City Council. The battle continues between the City of Pittsburgh and UPMC regarding its nonprofit status. The lawsuit was moved to federal court on April 19th. And last Friday UPMC motioned to have the lawsuit dismissed.  Also, we'll talk about the status of a proposed gunshot detection system in neighborhoods prone to violence.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

The Missing Semester: Making Good Financial Decisions At An Early Age

College and High School students from across the region talk about the good and bad financial advice they've received through the years.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

  As a college student, what was your approach to financial planning? Did you even have one? High school seniors preparing to move on to college and college seniors starting careers or graduate work often find that there's something missing from their education, personal financial management. The Missing Semester is a financial planning book by Gene Natali Jr., Senior Vice President at C.S. McKee a Pittsburgh investment firm. He and Katz School of business professor Jay Sukits recently held a student roundtable on financial literacy where college and high school students from around the region shared their financial planning stories. Hear how Western PA students are making financial choices and consider your own as we discuss the challenges of money management and school.

"The choices we make every day have financial consequences--in some cases, BIG financial consequences. "

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Sports N' @: Discrimination Within the NFL?

Bob Dvorchak is sports writer emeritus for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Credit Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  Every major business in the U.S. has an anti-distrimination policy when it comes to hiring. That includes the National Football League. But what about reports of loaded personal questions for players trying out for the draft? Sports Contributor Bob Dvorchak talks about how athletes are tested at the NFL scouting combine and where the league stands on the discrimination claims.

Essential Pittsburgh
4:15 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

A Conversation with Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane

PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane
Credit The Office of the Attorney General

  Kathleen Kane is the first woman and Democrat elected to the position of Pennsylvania Attorney General. When she was sworn in earlier this year, she faced a host of challenges from the Corbett Administration and scandals within the PA Turnpike Commission.

"We're watching.  And if anybody decides that it is in their best interest to get involved in public corruption, we will teach them otherwise. "

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Limiting Reproductive Healthcare in Pennsylvania

A bill passed this week in the State capitol will add to increased inspections and restrictions on health care providers who offer abortion services
Credit 90.5 WESA

Under a  Pennsylvania House passed bill, women who want an abortion have to buy coverage separate from the affordable care act. This is one of the latest challenges for organizations like Planned Parenthood in providing access to reproductive health care. Joining us to talk about these challenges is Kim Evert, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Western PA.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Empowering Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa

 This topic is of a mature nature and may not be suitable for all listeners

It's a sad and troubling fact that women young and old are being raped in Africa by men who believe it will cure them of AIDS. Rape, along with a lack of hygiene products, is causing many women to miss school on a regular basis. We'll talk with Linda Ambroso and Kathy Surma, two Pittsburgh women who, through their volunteer work with the Girl Child Network, are helping the young women in this region live safer and healthier lives.

Tapestries of Hope is a film that documents the experiences of some of the young women they've worked with in Zimbabwe.

To make a local donation to GCN, contact Kathy Surma ksurma2008@gmail.com

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Don't Just Sit There, Do Something About Climate Change

Ever more people are concerned about global warming and climate change but perhaps no group more so than women, since air quality issues caused by C02 emissions can have such damaging consequences on our children (asthma), babies and unborn children (mercury poisoning). We'll talk with Joylette Portlock who has launched DoSomethingAboutClimate.com, a humorous and informative volley to get people to listen, and act.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

The New Girl in Town, Vacationing for a Cause

A Habitat for Humanity Global Village in the Dominican Republic
Credit Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire / Flickr

While many people use their vacation to get away, soak up the sun and forget about the cares of the world, others vacation for a cause, such as Habitat for Humanity. If a trip like this is in your future, travel contributor Elaine Labalme offers tips for foreign travel including visas, health/safety precautions and more.

For travel volunteerism opportunities with some Pittsburgh based groups check out:

Global Links Pittsburgh

Amizade Global Service Learning

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Miranda Rights and the Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect

David A. Harris is Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Credit University of Pittsburgh Law School

    

A great deal of news coverage has been reported about the decision to read or not to read the Miranda Rights statement to Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. According to our legal contributor, University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris, much of the coverage has been off base. He joins us to discuss what Miranda rights do, in general, and specifically how they apply to this case. We'll also talk about the current Supreme Court case, Salinas v. Texas, which begs the question, how much protection should we get from our "right to remain silent?"

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Sandra Bernhard is Off the Wall

Sandra Bernhard comes to the Byham Theatre this weekend for the Warhol Off the Wall Series
Credit Andy Warhol Museum

Actor, comedienne, singer, and author Sandra Bernhard is coming to Pittsburgh as part of the Warhol Museum's Off the Wall Series. She talks about how her entertainment career has evolved through the years, her affinity for Andy Warhol and the 30th anniversary of the King of Comedy, a film that greatly impacted her acting career.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Exploiting Extraterrestrial Resources: Economic and Legal Issues in Outer Space

Point Park Professor Dimitris Kraniou pushes his economics students to think on the macro-level with his extraterrestrial economics course
Credit Point Park

With the steady depletion of earth’s natural resources and accelerating population growth, more and more people are giving serious thought to the idea of outer space resource exploration.

But how should the process be regulated? Professor Dimitris Kraniou, Point Park University Chair of the Department of Global Management and Organization, has been teaching this subject matter for years in his special project classes for graduate students. He turns real life global problems into outer space "what if" scenarios for students to solve.

Essential Pittsburgh
12:50 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Living with Autism and Revising the DSM

Dorene Ciletti and her autistic high school aged daughter Sabrina Filipek.
Credit Alexis Eperjesi / 90.5 WESA

April is Autism Awareness Month and if you or your child has autism you've likely heard of the DSM, published by the American Psychiatric Association. DSM stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and the main purpose of the manual is to provide standard guidelines for clinicians to use when diagnosing psychological disorders and conditions. The manual outlines criteria that must be met to receive a diagnosis, as well as labeling and coding sometimes used by insurance companies to identify the diagnosis. The DSM is periodically revised and this spring new revisions to the manual will be published.  

Read more

Pages