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

As a central H.J. Heinz Company product, pickles have played a key role in Pittsburgh’s past. And if you ask Jeremy Waldrup, president of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, they’ll play a key role in the city’s future as well.

The PDP on Wednesday announced plans for the first ever Picklesburgh food festival, slated for July 17-18 on the Rachel Carson Bridge and supported by prime sponsor H.J. Heinz.

Flickr user Jon Cassie

Real estate agent Helen Perilloux has lived in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood for nine years, and says off the top of her head, she can think of about 30 buildings that have been demolished in that time.

Only one has been replaced with a new structure, she told Pittsburgh City Council President Bruce Kraus and members of the City Planning Department at a public hearing Tuesday.

Flickr user Chesapeake Bay Program

‘Tis the season for landscaping, gardening and yard work, and the Allegheny County Conservation District is hoping homeowners will include storm water management in their plans for improving their outdoor spaces.

To make that task easier, the ACCD and a consortium of other organizations have put together the first ever Southwestern Pennsylvania Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater, available online and at conservation district offices.

Elizabeth Thomsen / via Flickr Creative Commons

Economic issues are central to women’s health, according to Pennsylvania State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), co-chair of the legislative Women’s Health Caucus, which on Monday announced its 2015-2016 Agenda for Women’s Health.

The bi-partisan, bi-cameral group has four main goals goals: creating family-friend working conditions, promoting economic fairness, enhancing healthy lives and raising awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault.

Flickr user GSCSNJ

72 percent of working moms say they would still work if they didn’t have to, according to a new poll released today by the staffing company Express Employment.

That’s only slightly lower than working fathers: 80 percent said they would still work even if they didn’t need the money.

Deb Gray, franchise owner of the Pittsburgh West Express office, said the number of mothers in the workforce has increased drastically over the last sixty years, including mothers-to be.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Dozens of members of the Service Employees International Union packed Pittsburgh City Council chambers Wednesday morning for a preliminary vote on a bill that would mandate increased training for security guards in the city.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

It’s been nearly six months since Pittsburgh City Council introduced a bill that would require all rental property owners to register with and pay a fee to the city. A public hearing on the matter was held in early December, but the bill has continuously been held by council and has yet to come up for even a preliminary vote.

Flickr user Mike Licht

Allegheny County Council on Tuesday voted down a proposal to change the way the results of restaurant health inspections are communicated to the public.

The proposal would have tied existing narrative reports to number and letter grades, ranging from A to C, and posted those letter grades in conspicuous locations at the restaurant or food service site.

Only Councilman John Palmiere, chair of the Committee on Health and Human Services, voted in favor of the legislation.

Courtesy Nature Climate Change

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is slated to finalize its Clean Power Plan this summer, spelling out new carbon emissions standards for America’s 2,400 fossil-fuel-fired power plants.

According to a new paper published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, Pennsylvanians are among those who stand to benefit most from the health impacts of lower carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

“We find that there are health benefits in all of the 48 states that are modeled, but the states with the greatest benefits are Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas,” said co-author Dallas Burtraw, senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a DC-based research institute focusing on the environment and economics.

Flickr user Walter Lim

There are currently five bills in the Pennsylvania state Legislature that propose raising the minimum wage, and the most recently introduced is also the most ambitious, calling for the current minimum wage of $7.25/hour to more than double, to $15/hour.

Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Delaware, Montgomery) last week introduced the “One Fair Wage” bill, for which he is currently seeking co-sponsors. Leach said the bill would do three things.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

On Sunday 30,000 runners will take the streets of Pittsburgh for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Fed Ex Ground Marathon Relay, while even more people line the course to cheer them on.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman introduced a bill Tuesday that he said will save the city between $10,000 and $20,000 a year. He said that’s how much it costs to print and mail residential parking permit stickers and renewal notices.

The legislation would call on the Pittsburgh Parking Authority to provide residents the option to renew parking permits online and do away with the sticker system, instead relying on license plate recognition technology.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Sheila Gold met her best friend Joan Dufore under tragic circumstances: Dufore is the mother of the woman whose liver Gold received after she was diagnosed with liver disease.

Dufore, of Norwalk, Ohio, said her daughter always had an altruistic streak, begging her parents to adopt the orphans she saw on television commercials for the nonprofit Save the Children.

“She always wanted to save people and … I always told her ‘We can’t save the world,’ but she did,” Dufore said. “She saved six people.”

Comcast Corporation on Saturday announced a $25,000 grant for the Sarah Heinz House on the Northside, the home of one of Pittsburgh’s many Boys and Girls Club locations.

Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen made the announcement at the start of the annual Comcast Cares Day.

“Comcast Cares Day is the largest single corporate volunteer day of service in America,” Cohen said. “Last year we had 95,000 volunteers and members of their families working on 800 projects in 35 states and 11 foreign countries.”

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Pennsylvania legislators are again trying to reduce the size of the state House of Representatives and Senate, with a pair of bills that would be the first steps toward amending the state constitution.

House Bill 153 proposed to reduce the House of Representatives from 203 members to 153, while House Bill 384 would shrink the Senate from 50 to 37 seats.

Antoinette Palmieri / Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority

More than four years after the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s water line service protection program was scrapped, Pittsburgh City Council took the first step last week to create a new program.

This time, said Councilman Dan Gilman, homeowners will have to actively opt-in to the program, rather than opting out.

Flickr user daveynin

A group of state senators is hoping toughen traffic laws around cell phone use.

Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) earlier this year introduced a bill to make using a cell phone while driving a secondary offense.

“There would be no violation of this law, if it were to pass, unless the person was convicted of another traffic offense,” Teplitz said.

As the Penn Hills School District seeks an $18 million bond to cover operational costs, state Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny) is asking state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale to get the bottom of the district’s fiscal woes.

DeLuca is calling for a full audit of the district’s budget after last week’s announcement that the district would seek court approval for the bond in order to meet debt service, payroll and retirement fund obligations.

Courtesy The Mr. Roboto Project

The Mr. Roboto Project, a cooperatively run, alcohol-free all ages music and arts venue in Garfield, prides itself on being a “safer space.”

According to the Roboto website, “racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or any other types of oppressive language are considered inappropriate and are not tolerated. Roboto is meant to be a safe, respectful, welcoming space for everyone.”

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The advanced manufacturing sector led the 10-county Pittsburgh region in the number of investment deals last year, according to the yearly Business Investment Scorecard from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the marketing affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development (ACCD).

PRA CEO Dennis Yablonsky said it was a “typical, solid year” for Pittsburgh, with $2.3 billion in capital investment and more than 10,000 jobs created. He said 70 percent of investment deals funded the expansion of existing companies.

Pittsburgh’s South Side often gets a bad reputation as merely a drinking destination for rowdy college kids, but residents say the historic neighborhood’s more wholesome aspects often get overlooked.

That’s according to a presentation made to City Council Tuesday afternoon by students from the University of Pittsburgh’s Urban Studies program.

Flickr user bbyrnes59

Transportation advocates in Pittsburgh and more than 100 other American cities are joining forces to call attention to the fast-approaching expiration of surface transportation funding from the federal government.

Thursday is being billed as Stand Up for Transportation Day. Chris Sandvig, regional policy director from the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, said most people don’t realize that funding is about to dry up.

Flickr user Mike Myers

While University of Pittsburgh students criticize a lack of campus wide initiatives during the institution’s “Year of Sustainability,” the Katz Graduate School of Business is gearing up to host a water conservation panel on Tuesday.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council is poised to approve a $100,000 funding request for the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center in the Hill District, but the expenditure is not without its detractors.

In last week’s committee meeting, Councilwoman Darlene Harris expressed concern over the city’s decision to fund upgrades to the building’s heating, ventilation and cooling system, despite the fact that she voted in favor of a companion bill setting aside the money in December.

Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

Eleven-year-old gymnast Danielle Norris is practicing a roundoff back tuck dismount for her balance beam routine. She has a meet coming up soon, and later this month she's competing in the state championship. Danielle’s mom, Karen Norris, says she practices about 22 hours a week.

“When Danielle was first invited to join the team and they told us the amount of hours that were involved, we were a little taken aback by that,” Norris said. “That was fourth grade.”

Flickr user Joseph Wingenfeld

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has been studying the prospect of running a rapid bus line through Uptown from Oakland to downtown for several years now, and though the project is still several more years from becoming a reality, city planners are bracing for a wave of development along the Fifth Avenue and Forbes Avenue corridors.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Just two years ago, your options for getting a ride in Pittsburgh were pretty much limited to public transportation, taxis, or for those in higher income brackets, executive car services and limousines.

But when ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft rode into town in with their slick mobile apps, quick response times and, in the case of Lyft, their hot pink mustaches, a sea change that had already taken hold in cities such as San Francisco and New York began closing in on the Steel City.

Flickr user Joseph A

There are currently 19 cities and boroughs in Pennsylvania designated as “distressed” municipalities under Act 47, including Pittsburgh, Braddock, Rankin, Duquesne and Clairton in Allegheny County.

A State House bill meant to help those municipalities identify ways to make their operations more efficient may end up not doing that at all.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Alcosan rates are set to increase 11 percent in 2016 and again in 2017, and activists with the Clean Rivers Campaign and Action United are calling on the sanitary authority to implement a Customer Assistance Program, or CAP, to help low-income rate payers.

Activists held a rally in Market Square Monday afternoon, handing out fliers alerting passers-by to “skyrocketing sewer rates.”

Courtesy Dianne Shenk

It’s been several years since Hazelwood’s last grocery store, Dimperio’s, closed. According to Chatham University food studies graduate Dianne Shenk, the neighborhood now officially qualifies as a food desert.