Liz Reid

Weekend Host and General Assignment Reporter

Liz Reid's initials spell EAR, and she’s just enough of a mystic to believe that working with sound is her destiny. Liz came to 90.5 WESA from KRPS public radio in Southeast Kansas, where she was a Feature Producer and the local host of All Things Considered. Previously, Liz interned and freelanced at KQED public radio in San Francisco. She has an MA in Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University, where she also taught audio production classes. She’s done stints working in academia and the music industry, but she’s happiest in a public radio setting. When Liz is not reporting and hosting at 90.5 WESA, she likes to sing and play guitar, ride her bike, camp with her partner and puppy, and watch science and nature documentaries.

Ways To Connect

Flickr user matt.farina

Andreas Beck has heard it all. Everyone has a great idea for a website.

Beck, executive board member of Drupal Camp PA, said the camp he helps organize, which teaches people how to use the open-source programming software Drupal, can help almost anyone with basic computer skills build a website.

The two-day camp will be held at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Systems this Saturday and Sunday. The conference includes speeches from developers and training sessions geared toward everyone from beginners to advanced users.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

Disc golfers from all over the world will flock to Pittsburgh to compete in the Professional Disc Golf Association World Championships during the first week in August. Disc golf is similar to traditional golf, only it uses Frisbee-like discs and metal baskets. 90.5 WESA brings you this profile of Pittsburgh’s own three-time disc golf world champion.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called the Legionella-related deaths of six veterans at a Pittsburgh VA hospital a “tragedy.”

“Whenever there are any missteps, there is no excuse,” Obama told thousands of veterans at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh.

The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections is changing the way it handles appeals to its decisions regarding businesses licenses and property violations.

PLI Chief Maura Kennedy said a review of all bureau policies last year revealed that the current system — wherein Kennedy herself evaluates and adjudicates appeals — violates state law.

“Legally there needs to be an independent body that you appeal the director’s decisions to,” she said. “It’s not appropriate for the department both to be the judge and the jury.”

Flickr user fcastellanos

At least 135 movies have been filmed in Southwestern Pennsylvania in the last 20 years, according to Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office.

“As of August 1st, that will total $1 billion … from film activity in Southwestern Pennsylvania, which primarily takes place in the city of Pittsburgh,” Keezer told City Council at their committee meeting Wednesday.

Council gave preliminary approval to a bill sponsored by Councilwoman Darlene Harris that aims to codify the city’s process for permitting filming activities on public property.

CCAC North Library

Dwight Boddorf thought he was going to make a career out of the military. But when he was medically discharged after an encounter with an improvised explosive device in Iraq, he said he wanted to switch gears and move as far away from the military as possible.

He now works in education as the director of military and veterans services at the Community College of Allegheny County.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said Tuesday that he gets “a little emotional” when he talks about the city’s summer employment program for teenagers and young adults.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera was an engineering major in college – for one semester.

“Then I tutored at one of the local high schools, at Reading High School, and I fell in love with education,” Rivera told a group of high school students at Duquesne University on Monday. “I remember calling my mother and telling her, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about switching my major from engineering to education.’ There was a pause on the phone, and she said, ‘Oh no you’re not.’”

Screenshot from

Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday will take a final vote on a bill that would take the city one step closer to the creation of a Regional Data Center.

The legislation authorizes the city to enter into cooperation agreements with Allegheny County and the University of Pittsburgh to create and operate a web-based open data portal.

Courtesy Guy Reschenthaler official Facebook page

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania has nominated a former judge and military prosecutor to run in this fall’s special election to fill the seat left vacant by former state Sen. Matt Smith (D-Mt. Lebanon).

Guy Reschenthaler will run against a still unnamed Democratic opponent on Nov. 3rd.

Reschenthaler, who tendered his resignation as a District Judge upon receiving the nomination, beat out five other opponents in five rounds of voting.

Megan Sweeney, communications director for the party, said 81 conferees met Sunday morning in Pittsburgh to cast their votes.

Flickr user Brad Wilson

The last time Pittsburgh Public Schools furloughed a substantial portion of its teachers was in 2012, when 190 teachers got pink slips. Those layoffs were based on area of certification and seniority, as is required by the district’s contract with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers.

House Bill 805, which is now in the Pennsylvania Senate would end that practice, instead basing layoffs on performance.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

“This is Pittsburgh. We want French fries on our sandwiches, not (the flu),” Councilman Corey O’Connor told a group of supporters shortly before introducing legislation that would mandate paid sick days for all workers in the city.

Courtesy Good Jobs Healthy Communities

Public education advocates with the group Good Jobs Healthy Communities gathered outside the former William Penn School in Harrisburg Wednesday morning, as part of a week-long “occupation” of Pennsylvania’s capital city.

The vocational and alternative high school was closed by the school district in 2010 due to a lack of funds to upgrade the deteriorating structure. Classes were relocated to other buildings in the district.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Republican Allegheny County Councilwoman Heather Heidelbaugh on Tuesday suggested to the Government Review Commission that the legislative body on which she serves be disbanded.

At a news conference ahead of the commission’s meeting Tuesday afternoon, Heidelbaugh called the council “superfluous,” citing a 91.8 percent passage rate for ordinances proposed by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Courtesy The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company

In most industries, companies want consumers to buy their products, not go make their own versions at home.

The craft beer world is not most industries.

The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company in Braddock will host the American Homebrewers Association for a rally celebrating all things craft and homebrewed beer from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Courtesy Jennifer England / Pink Coat Communications

Workers in Pennsylvania’s largest city now have the right to earn and use sick days without retaliation, thanks to a bill passed by Philadelphia City Council in February.

But for the state’s second biggest city, it might not be so straightforward.

A bill in the state House Labor and Industry Committee would prohibit municipal governments from mandating that businesses offer sick leave to employees.


Pittsburgh is putting more capital budget dollars into bicycle lanes and infrastructure this year than it has in recent memory, but it’s still not enough to accommodate the growing number of cyclists on the road, according to Patrick Roberts, Pittsburgh's principal transportation planner.

Women and Girls Foundation

One hundred high school girls are in Harrisburg this week shadowing legislators and participating in their own mock congress to kick off this year’s GirlGov program.

GirlGov was created in 2009 as an offshoot of the Women and Girls Foundation’s Girls as Grantmakers program.

Heather Arnet, CEO of the foundation, said they set aside $10,000 in grant money and asked the girls to work out how to appropriate the funds during their pseudo-congressional session.

Flickr user Ronald Woan

Mayor Bill Peduto said he receives weekly requests from American cities and abroad asking him to visit and tell the Steel City’s story of resilience.

He couldn’t possibly visit them all, so it’s convenient that 25 municipal, non-profit and business leaders from across the country are coming to Pittsburgh this week for the Innovative + Inclusive City workshop.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Tuesday issued an executive order aimed at repairing and maintaining the city’s aging public safety, public works and parks facilities.

The order coincided with a previously planned City Council post-agenda meeting with administration officials and leaders from the city’s three public safety unions.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The 2015 Three Rivers Arts Festival officially got underway at noon Friday in Point State Park.

Art and music lovers were already milling about even before 12 p.m., as the festival’s first band, locals Black Little Birds, sound checked.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Councilwoman Heather Heidelbaugh said she will call for a public hearing on the status of health care at the county jail.

The move is in response to efforts of prison justice activists and family members of those who have been or are currently incarcerated at the jail.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The chair of late Allegheny County Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko’s re-election committee took over her seat in Council on Tuesday.

Terri Klein is active in local politics and currently serves as vice chair of the 14th Ward Democratic Committee. The Squirrel Hill resident works as a physical therapist and sits on the board of American Civil Liberties Union’s Pittsburgh chapter.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

“Stand up, get down, Pittsburgh is a union town!”

That was one of the chants shouted by protesters who circled the Allegheny County Courthouse Tuesday ahead of a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board hearing for the Rivers Casino, which is operated by Rush Street Gaming, LLC.

The board is considering whether to renew the North Shore casino’s license, a process undertaken every three years.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

June is officially “The Mentoring Partnership” month in Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh, as the program which helps thousands of mentors and mentees every year celebrates twenty years.

The Mentoring Partnership of Southwest PA began in 1995 and provides training, resources, research, and information about best practices to more than 500 partner organizations.

Flickr user woodleywonderworks

A week after Governor Tom Wolf stopped at a Harrisburg prison to promote his plan to increase early education funding, Pittsburgh City Council will consider the link between public safety and preschool.

A bill approving the Department of Public Safety’s “Promised Beginnings” initiative is scheduled to come up for discussion in Council’s committee meeting Wednesday.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner credited her campaign team for her victory over challenger Mark Patrick Flaherty Tuesday night.

Supporters gathered at Young Brothers Bar in Brighton Heights, welcoming the incumbent with cheers shortly after Flaherty, himself a former controller, called to concede the primary.

Somerset County is on track to upgrade its 30-year-old 911 radio system by early fall, according to 911 coordinator Dave Fox.

Fox said four of the six tower sites have been put together.

“The (concrete) slabs have been poured … the prefabbed (equipment) shelters have been set,” Fox said. “All the grounding that needs done for the electrical around the complex has been done, the fence has been put up, the microwave dishes and antennae have been hung.”

More than 500 structurally deficient bridges across Pennsylvania are slated for upgrades in the next year and a half.

PennDOT has contracted with Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners in what project manager Dan Galvin calls a unique public-private partnership.

“This is something that’s done quite a bit in Europe and Asia, but it is something rather unique in the United States,” Galvin said.

Courtesy ZENO Group

Back in the 1910s, rail companies had a problem. The lanterns on their trains were very hot, and when they went through colder climates, the glass globes would burst. Scientists at Corning Glass were charged with creating a heat-tempered glass that could withstand the fluctuations in temperature.

According to Pyrex brand manager Mike Scheffki, scientist Jesse Littleton brought home a casserole-sized piece of the glass for his wife Bessie to try out in the kitchen.