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.

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City Government
5:49 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

City To Hold Public Hearing on 2015 Capital Budget Wednesday

The second of two public hearings on Pittsburgh’s 2015 capital budget is scheduled for Wednesday evening at the Morningside Senior Center.

“It’s a good way for the mayor and his administration to get out in the community and hear what’s on people’s minds about what they want to see in the capital budget,” said Sam Ashbaugh, Budget Director for Mayor Bill Peduto.

Peduto will submit his 2015 capital budget to City Council on Nov. 10. Ashbaugh said city departments submitted $70 million in funding requests for $30 million in funding, which is why public feedback is important.

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Community
12:17 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Carnegie Science Center To Get Spooky With 'Spirits And Spirits' Event This Halloween

If you’re the type of person to leave a bowl of candy on your porch and head out to party on Halloween, you may want to consider the Carnegie Science Center’s special adults-only event this Friday evening.

The center hosts 21+ events on the last Friday of each month, and this month’s Halloween theme is “Spirits and Spirits,” presented in collaboration with Wigle Whiskey, Maggie’s Farm Rum and Independent Brewing Company.

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Arts & Culture
9:41 am
Tue October 28, 2014

ARAD Votes To Help Fund August Wilson Center Purchase, Looks Ahead To 2015 Grants

A new roof for City Theatre Company on the South Side, lighting for the baseball field at Boyce Mayview Park in Upper St. Clair and an updated heating and air conditioning system for the Mattress Factory museum on the North Side.

These are just a few of the dozens of projects the Allegheny Regional Asset District is planning to fund in 2015.

The ARAD board met Monday afternoon to consider the proposed $93.7 million budget, up from $91.2 million in 2014, and to hear public comment.

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Health
2:43 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Children’s Hospital to Expand, With Taxpayer Help

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC will soon begin a 5 year, $19 million expansion project.
Credit Flickr user Michael Goodin

According to Diane Hupp, chief nursing officer at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, the neonatal unit at the hospital is running out of space.

“Five years ago, we had 31 neonatal beds. Today, we have over 60 neonates in the hospital and we are busting at the seams,” Hupp said.

That’s one of the challenges caused by the hospital’s rapid growth since its relocation to Lawrenceville in 2009, a challenge that administrators hope can be overcome with a $19 million expansion project announced Wednesday.

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Government & Politics
4:35 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

New Commissary And Post Exchange Open In Moon Township

It’s been nine years since the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility in Oakdale was slated for closure, a move that could have left 168,000 veterans and active duty military personnel in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio without a commissary or post exchange nearby.

Pennsylvania delegates in Congress, including Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey and Representatives Tim Murphy, Mike Doyle and others have been pushing for a replacement facility ever since.

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Life of Learning
2:32 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

More Allegheny County Kids In After-School Programs, But Service Gaps Still Exist

Students at the after-school program at Assemble in Garfield learn how to build video game controllers.
Credit Courtesy of Assemble

There’s good news and there’s bad news when it comes to after-school programs in Allegheny County.

The good news is that more children than ever are participating in after-school and out-of-school-time programs: 10.2 million nationwide and 52,646 in Allegheny County, according to a new report from the Afterschool Alliance. That puts the national participation rate at 18 percent, while Allegheny County’s participation rate is much higher at 28 percent.

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Public Safety
8:10 am
Tue October 21, 2014

This Wednesday, Don't Forget To Thank Your Neighborhood Crossing Guard

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…” goes the old Postal Service creed, but that phrase could just as easily be applied to Pittsburgh’s crossing guards.

Bike Pittsburgh wants you to show some gratitude to those neon-clad guardians of city crosswalks this Wednesday on Crossing Guard Appreciation Day.

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Community
9:38 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Mt. Lebanon Neighborhoods Designated As Historic District On National Register

Yvette Yescas says Mt. Lebanon is a prime example of an early "automobile suburb."
Credit Flickr user Jon Dawson

The population of Mt. Lebanon increased more rapidly during the decade from 1920 to 1930 than it has in the eight decades since. According to the 1920 census, the suburb had 2,258 residents. By 1930, that had increased almost six-fold to 13,403. As of 2010, the population was 33,137.

Why? Two words: Liberty Tubes.

According to Yvette Yescas, president of the Mt. Lebanon Historic Preservation Board, local land developers, led by Lawrence Stevenson, anticipated a population explosion upon completion of the tubes in 1924.

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General Assembly
7:54 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Municipal Gun Laws Targeted In 11th Hour Legislative Session

In the eleventh hour of this year’s state legislative session, Republicans are again trying to pass legislation that would allow citizens and groups to sue municipalities that pass gun laws.

House Bill 1796 was drafted by Representative Todd Stephens, a Republican from Montgomery County, and meant to beef up protections for victims of domestic violence.

An amendment approved in the Senate late last night added language that has come before the legislature in the past.

Stephen said he’d prefer to see the bill pass clean.

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Environment & Energy
5:30 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Climate Activists March from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh

Climate marchers rallied outside Allegheny Unitarian Church on the North Side after spending the last seven months walking from Los Angeles. Their final destination is Washington, D.C.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

A group of 50 climate activists made their way into Pittsburgh from Los Angeles Tuesday — on foot.

The Great March for Climate Action” is the brainchild of former Iowa State Representative Ed Fallon.

He said the idea came to him last February, after a discussion with environmental activist Bill McKibben about how best to address the what he calls the “climate crisis.”

“It’s not an issue; it’s a crisis,” Fallon said.

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Environment & Energy
4:48 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Report: Natural Gas to Replace Diesel as Marine Cargo Vessel Fuel

35 million tons of freight passed through Pittsburgh's waterways in 2012.
Credit Flickr user KordIte

As the natural gas boom continues across Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, producers are looking for new markets for their products.

A recent study commissioned by America’s Natural Gas Alliance, an industry trade group, identified opportunities for the use of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to power cargo vessels on the nation’s waterways and railroads.

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Sports
5:07 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Bucs Fans Celebrate 54th Anniversary Of Mazeroski's 1960 World Series Winning Home Run

In this Oct. 13, 1960 file photo, baseball fans rush onto the field toward Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski as he comes home on his Game 7-ending home run in the ninth inning to win the World Series in Pittsburgh.
AP Photo/Harry Harris

If Bill Mazeroski hadn’t hit a walk-off home run against the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth inning of the 1960 World Series, Irene Abel may never have met her husband.

“I was working in downtown Pittsburgh,” Abel said. “When the Pirates won the World Series, everyone stopped working and threw their computer tapes and all their paper and everything out the window, closed the office and walked out. It was 3:36pm.”

She called up a couple of girlfriends and asked them to find some guys with a car to pick them up and take them out on the town to celebrate.

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Community
9:45 am
Fri October 10, 2014

'Back of the House' Event Brings At-Risk Youth Together with Pittsburgh's Best Chefs

You can sample casual fare from some of Pittsburgh's best chefs this Sunday at YouthPlaces on the North Side.
Credit Emmai Alaquiva / Courtesy Table Magazine

When Christina French joined the board of directors of YouthPlaces, a non-profit after school program with 17 locations throughout the Pittsburgh region, she saw an opportunity.

French is the publisher of Table magazine, and she’d been hearing from restaurateurs and chefs in the area that they were having a hard time finding people with basic kitchen skills to fill entry level positions.

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Electon 2014
8:07 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Corbett, Wolf Continue to Trade Blows at Third and Final Debate

Democratic party candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, right and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett debate at the WTAE-TV studio in Wilkinsburg, Pa. on Wednesday
Credit AP Photo/Rodney Johnson,WTAE-TV, Pool

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf met for their third and final debate in Wilkinsburg Wednesday evening.

The tone was less combative than previous debates, which Wolf attributed to the format of the debate, in which each candidate had one minute to respond to questions from an in-studio panel and the public via social media.

The main topics of the evening were education funding and the state’s pension debt shortfall.

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Arts & Culture
4:57 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Get Your Autumn Produce, and Some Opera, at the Market Square Farmer's Market

For the next two weeks, amid the autumn offerings of pumpkins and hearty greens, the Market Square Farmer’s Market will feature performances by artists from the Pittsburgh Opera.

Leigh White is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, which hosts the market every Thursday. She said this is the second year they will welcome the Opera to the market.

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Allegheny County
2:11 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Fitzgerald Presents 2015 Budget Proposal, Increases Funding for Parks, Transit

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald presented an $832.9 million 2015 operating budget to County Council at their meeting Tuesday evening, along with a $79.9 million capital budget.

Among the highlights, according to Fitzgerald, is the lack of a real estate millage increase for the 13th time in 14 years.

Fitzgerald linked that millage stasis to county bonds that were refinanced over the last two years.

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City Government
3:30 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Councilman Wants Arena Site Development to Include Affordable Housing

Construction of the old Civic Arena in the Lower Hill District displaced 8,000 residents.
Credit Flickr user Joseph Novak

City Councilman Daniel Lavelle, who represents much of the Hill District, wants to make that the history of the area does not repeat itself.

In the mid-1950s, redevelopment of the Hill District and construction of the Civic Arena displaced 8,000 residents, most of whom were black and more than a third of whom ended up in public housing.

Now, that same area is slated for redevelopment by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Plans include housing, mixed-use retail, a hotel and an outdoor plaza.

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Public Safety
5:36 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Allegheny County Controller Says 911 Dispatchers Are Overworked; County Manager Refutes That

It’s reasonable to expect that, when calling 911, the person on the other end of the line is alert, well rested, and not overworked.

But Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said she’s concerned that the county’s 9-1-1 center employees are racking up too much overtime, leading to escalated costs and risks to public safety.

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City Government
7:47 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Pittsburgh’s 311 Response System Slated for Decades-Overdue Facelift

Even in 2014, fulfilling a request for service made to the city of Pittsburgh’s 311 Response Center involves data entry and paper printouts. But all that is about to change.

The city’s 311 Response Center system, which allows citizens to request that potholes be filled, buildings be inspected, or streetlight bulbs be changed, is slated to get a major upgrade.

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Government & Politics
4:50 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Unpaid Parking Tickets Spur Harsh Words for Peduto from Councilwoman Harris

A relatively small city expenditure of $167 led to a fervent critique of Mayor Bill Peduto by City Councilwoman Darlene Harris Wednesday morning.

In its committee meeting, City Council received a list of invoices to be paid this week, as it does in every weekly committee meeting. For the most part, these invoices are paid without incident.

But a charge for unpaid parking tickets attributed to the Ravenstahl administration caught the eye of City Councilman Dan Gilman.

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Pittsburgh Police
4:09 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Pittsburgh Police to Purchase New Protective Vests for K-9 Officers

Officer Phil Lerza, second from right, walks with his family behind fellow Pittsburgh police officers carrying a photo of K-9 officer Rocco, left, an American flag, center, and an urn, center right, with the remains of Lerza's K-9 partner, Rocco, during a funeral procession on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Pittsburgh.
Credit Keith Srakocic / The Associated Press

Pittsburgh Deputy Police Chief Paul Donaldson said he doesn’t know if a protective vest would have saved the life of the late K-9 Officer Rocco, but the bureau is planning to purchase newer, more practical protective gear for the 24 K-9 officers currently on the force.

The $26,273 price tag of the vests will be covered by donations from the general public in the wake of Rocco’s death, funneled through the Pittsburgh Foundation, the Black n Gold Girls and the Fraternal Order of Police.

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Health
4:04 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Duquesne Elementary Becomes First Live Well Allegheny School

Second graders learn yoga poses during Tuesday's Move-a-Thon at Duquesne Elementary School.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Students at Duquesne Elementary School in the Mon Valley spent Tuesday running, jumping and playing, all in the name of health.

“It was really exciting to be going through the school, going through the play area, the gym, seeing the Move-a-thon, seeing the kids doing yoga, and relay races and the dancing and the nutrition, having meals with fruits and vegetables,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who joined the kids for a couple of yoga poses during Tuesday’s event.

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Government & Politics
12:51 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Pittsburgh City Council Considers Bill to Protect Pregnant Workers

In the state of Pennsylvania, it’s technically legal for employers to refuse pregnant workers accommodations like a place to sit, access to water and more frequent breaks.

State lawmakers in March attempted to change that by introducing a bill to require such accommodations, but that bill has languished in the Senate Labor and Industry committee ever since.

Now, city of Pittsburgh lawmakers are moving to codify such protections for pregnant city workers.

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City Government
1:53 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Promising 'Truth in Budgeting,' Peduto Unveils 2015 Budget Proposal

Pittsburgh budget director Sam Ashbaugh and Mayor Bill Peduto unveiled their 2015 budget proposal Monday morning.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

“We’ve been through a lot.”

That’s how Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto began Monday’s press conference, where he unveiled his 2015 budget proposal, as well as a five year plan to solve the city’s financial problems.

The theme of the morning was “truth in budgeting,” something Peduto and budget director Sam Ashbaugh said had been missing from previous administrations’ approach to revenue and spending.

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Community
7:57 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Post Office Workers Turn Empty Lawn Into Garden for the Needy

Terese Caldararo, Mike Caplan, and Bob Brown planted a garden at the main Post Office on the North Side, and donated all of the harvest to the local food pantry.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Mike Caplan and Terese Caldararo are walking through the rows of their garden, pointing out the different fruits, vegetables and herbs they planted this spring.

“We’ve got 25 tomato plants: Cherokee tomato, German Johnson’s, Rutgers. You name it we got it,” Caplan says. “And up front we’ve got peppers, bell peppers, and a lot of banana peppers."

“Different kinds of squash and zucchini: acorn squash, summer squash. We grew lettuce here. We had cilantro, we had parsley and rosemary,” Caldararo adds.

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Allegheny County
11:25 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Allegheny County Controller Concerned About 'Potential Abuse' of County Vehicles

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner says she has received incomplete and inconsistent information about how many vehicles the county owns.
Credit Flickr user dfirecop

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said Tuesday she is concerned that the county does not know how many vehicles it has and how many of those go home with employees each night.

In a letter sent to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and County Manager William McKain Monday evening, Wagner reiterated a request for complete information about county vehicles and their usage for a pending audit.

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Economy & Business
3:43 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Report: In East End, Bloomfield Has Lowest Unemployment Rate; Larimer Has Highest

With its densely clustered row houses and narrow streets, Bloomfield is the most populous of the East End neighborhoods.
Credit Flickr user Stephen Grebinski

If you work in one of Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhoods, there’s about a 50-50 chance that you work in health care or social assistance industries.

But chances are, if you work in the East End, you don’t actually live there. And if you live there, you probably don’t work there.

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Allegheny County
4:22 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Suburban Poverty Report Reveals Richer Picture of Community Needs in Allegheny County

The Community Need Index revealed pockets of high need in every area of the county that were not previously on the Department of Human Service's radar.
Credit Courtesy Allegheny County Department of Human Services

According to 2010 census data, 7.5 percent of Penn Hills residents live below the federal poverty line. That’s about a third of the rate in Pittsburgh, and a little more than half of the rate in Pennsylvania as a whole.

In McKees Rocks, on the other hand, more than a quarter of residents live below the poverty line.

Based on that data, one might conclude that county services like summer food programs and job training should be concentrated in and around McKees Rocks and not in Penn Hills.

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Government & Politics
9:39 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

County Council Votes Against Displaying 'In God We Trust' in Council Chambers

Some speakers and Councilmembers pointed to the the presence of "In God We Trust" on American currency as evidence of the phrase's inherent connection to patriotism and democracy. Others said referencing God on money secularizes and therefore diminishes the importance of religion and spirituality.
Credit Flickr user Kevin Dooley

Despite an impassioned speech from Republican Allegheny County Councilwoman Sue Means, an initiative to place the words “In God We Trust” above the Bill of Rights in Council Chambers failed Tuesday night.

Six members of Council voted for the bill, while eight voted against it. A bill needs eight affirmative votes to pass.

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Allegheny County
7:51 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Republican County Councilwoman Says Dems Won’t Hear Her Ideas

Tucked away in Allegheny County’s administrative code is a rule saying that all bills introduced in County Council must be voted upon within 90 days.

In contrast, the rules of Allegheny County Council state that bills can only be pulled from committee and put on the council’s agenda for a final vote if they get a two-thirds affirmative majority in committee within 60 days of being introduced.

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