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.

Pages

City Government
7:58 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Does City's Tech Team Have the Resources to Implement Peduto's Data-Driven Approach?

Mayor-elect Bill Peduto and his team have repeatedly said they want to implement a data-driven approach to governance, but in Tuesday’s budget hearing, questions arose as to whether City Information Systems, or CIS, has the resources to provide the kind of data the future mayor will need.

CIS is responsible for a wide variety of tasks, including, but not limited to, network administration, website development and maintenance, software development, voice and data communications and operating the 311 response center.

Read more
City Government
7:47 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Urban Redevelopment Authority Facing Massive Cuts in 2014

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority is facing massive cuts under Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s proposed 2014 budget.

At a City Council budget hearing on Tuesday, Robert Rubenstein, acting executive director of the URA, said he was disappointed with the proposed budget’s $2.2 million cut to the authority’s budget.

Read more
Government & Politics
7:11 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Are Pittsburghers More Civic-Minded Than The Average American?

People living in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area are significantly more likely to contact their public officials, attend public meetings, volunteer and join community groups than the average American.

That’s according to a new report, called the Pittsburgh Civic Health Index from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and the National Conference on Citizenship.

Read more
Community
3:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

After Three Decades of the Dirty Dozen, Competition Is Tougher Than Ever

Riders struggle up Canton Avenue in Beechview during Saturday's Dirty Dozen cycling competition.
Liz Reid 90.5 WESA

    

When Danny Chew does something, he does it all the way. The cyclist's goal is to ride a million miles over the course of his lifetime.

The 51-year-old Pittsburgh native has won the Race Across America twice, riding 3,000 miles in eight days on three hours of sleep each night. So it’s only natural he’s the guy responsible for what many consider to be the most grueling bike race in Pittsburgh: the Dirty Dozen.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:34 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Hill After Hill, Hundreds Crank Away In Pittsburgh Bike Race

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 7:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Now to a mode of transportation better suited to the budget of a public radio reporter - bicycling. If you think cyclists are not among the toughest athletes, well, you haven't been to Pittsburgh. The city has some brutal hills which actually attract a certain breed of cyclists. As Liz Reid from member station WESA reports, cyclists have been attacking those hills for 30 years in an event called the Dirty Dozen.

Read more
Veteran's Affairs
3:30 am
Thu November 28, 2013

PA Lawmakers Want Accountability for Preventable Deaths at Pittsburgh VA

It has been a little more than a week since the United States Justice Department completed its investigation of a rash of preventable deaths at the Pittsburgh Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System.

Five veterans died of Legionnaires’ disease at the Pittsburgh VA in 2011 and 2012, while more than 20 other patients were sickened. The Justice Department has concluded that no VA employees are criminally liable for the deaths.

Read more
Community
7:26 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Going Up: Dirty Dozen Bike Race Rides Again This Weekend

Pete Buryk, 32, of Mt. Lebanon, will compete in the Dirty Dozen race this weekend. Photographed at the top of the city's steepest paved street — Canton Avenue — this will be Buryk's first time competing in the event. "It seems cliche," he said, "but it's the ultimate bike challenge around here."
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

One of Pittsburgh’s most popular bicycling events turns 30 years old this Saturday.

The Dirty Dozen bike race challenges cyclists to climb the 13 steepest hills in the city. The 50-mile route takes riders from Highland Park, through the North Hills and the North side, across the Roberto Clemente and Smithfield Street bridges, through the South Hills and the South Side, ending in Hazelwood.

Read more
City Government
3:33 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Budget Director: City Needs $20 Million in Additional Revenue

City Council Monday held a hearing with Budget Director Bill Urbanic. The takeway: The city is doing OK, but it could do better. Urbanic said the city’s margin between revenues and expenditures is “razor thin.”

“We’ve addressed many of the underlying problems in the last few years, with the help of Act 47 oversight,” Urbanic said. “The 2014 budget shows we’re staying balanced, as usual, but revenue is still going to be an issue, now and into the near future. We need at least $20 million annually.”

Read more
City Government
10:21 am
Tue November 26, 2013

East Liberty's Penn Circle Streets Likely to be Renamed

A proposal to rename the four streets that make up Penn Circle was introduced in City Council Monday.

Justin Miller, a senior planner with the Pittsburgh City Planning Department, says the change has been a long time coming.

“Two legs of Penn Circle have already been converted to two-way traffic," he said. "It doesn’t function as a circle anymore. In the near future, we’ve got a project to convert the other two parts of Penn Circle, Penn Circle North and West, also to two-way traffic.”

Read more
City Government
12:40 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Peduto's Early Retirement Plan for City Employees Moves Forward

Mayor-elect Bill Peduto saw his plan to offer early retirement to some city employees move forward in City Council Monday.

The plan would allow 136 city employees, whose age plus years of employment equals 70 years, to begin collection their pensions early. Currently that number has to equal 80. The employees must also be at least 50 years old and have no less than 8 years of service to the city.

Peduto says this is all part of his vision for a major shakeup at City Hall.

Read more
City Government
5:11 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

City Council Approves Minimum Staffing Policy for Police

After more than nine months of discussion, Pittsburgh City Council Monday passed a minimum staffing policy for the Bureau of Police.

The policy authorizes the chief of police to initiate a new class in the training academy once the police force falls to 98 percent of the budgeted union sworn police personnel. The class itself would be equal to 5 percent of the budgeted number of officers.

The 2013 and 2014 budgets both allot for 892 officers. The Bureau of Police currently has 840 officers, far less than the 874 officers needed to initiate hiring.

Read more
Community
7:53 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Heinz Chapel to Celebrate 75 Years with Group Wedding Vow Renewal

Credit Flickr user rwoan

Nearly 200 couples from as far away as California will be renewing their wedding vows at Heinz Chapel’s 75th anniversary celebration on Saturday.

Pat Gibbons is the director of Heinz Chapel, located on the University of Pittsburgh campus. She said the response to this weekend’s festivities has far exceeded her expectations. Including 196 married couples, she is anticipating around 560 guests for the vow-renewal ceremony.

Read more
City Government
4:24 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Peduto's Early Retirement Plan for City Employees Hits a Snag

A City Council vote on Mayor-elect Bill Peduto’s plan to incentivize the early retirement of roughly 400 city employees has been delayed once again, and may even have hit a major snag.

Councilman Ricky Burgess wants to tie the bill to increased funding for the Pittsburgh Summer Youth Employment Program, or PSYEP.

Burgess said it’s a matter of priorities.

Read more
Government & Politics
5:45 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Food Banks Plead for Piece of a Diminishing Federal Funding Pie

Representatives of more than a dozen local food banks and other public service organizations made their annual plea to Pittsburgh City Council for Community Development Block Grant funding on Tuesday.

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank asked for $200,000, which is consistent with what they received in years past.

Read more
Government & Politics
11:09 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Local Government Academy Provides Education for Newly Elected Officials

Many of the people who run for, and win, municipal offices are not career politicians. They are every day people who want to make a difference in their communities, according to Susan Hockenberry, executive director of the Local Government Academy, or LGA.

“Serving in municipal government is like nothing people have done before,” said Hockenberry. “It’s very rewarding, but it can be very demanding as well.”

Read more
Environment & Energy
4:57 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Council Members Urged to Pursue Green Solutions to Storm Water Overflow Problem

A broad coalition of environmental and community groups Monday urged Pittsburgh City Council to pursue green infrastructure solutions to the city’s storm water overflow problem.

Read more
Science & Technology
11:15 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Building 'Optimus Prime' with Light-Sensitive Polymers

For well over a decade, scientists have known about a class of polymers that would react to and move toward light with no other power source.

While certainly fascinating, the technology was limited in its application in the real world, because the movement was so slow.

“So we asked ourselves, can we make these materials move faster and increase the mechanical power that they generate?”

Read more
Health
5:55 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Edible Schoolyard Program Looks to County to Help Fund Expansion

Elementary and secondary schools in the Pittsburgh region are increasingly interested in integrating gardening into their curricula. At least, that’s what it looks like from where Jake Seltman is sitting.

Seltman is the director of educational programming at Grow Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization that provides gardening and farming education to people of all ages.

Seltman said that in the last six months he’s fielded 22 requests from schools and school districts to bring the Edible Schoolyard program to their schools.

Read more
Transportation
7:44 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Transit Activists Ask Pennsylvanians to Call State Reps About Transportation Bill

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has just four voting days left this year, and they still have not passed a transportation funding bill. A Senate bill that would fund roads, bridges and public transit has been languishing since it was passed in June.

Now, a local nonprofit is trying to turn up the heat on key legislators by calling the constituents in their districts.

Read more
Public Safety
2:50 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Monroeville Police Officer Will Not Be Charged in Death of Pedestrian

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said in a news conference Tuesday that the Monroeville police officer who struck and killed a pedestrian in early October will likely not be charged with a crime.

According to the DA’s office, Michael Barnes, 49, was struck by a police car driven by Sgt. Edward Lewkowicz at around 7:23 p.m. on Oct. 3. Zappala said Barnes was crossing Monroeville Boulevard, a four-lane road under the jurisdiction of Allegheny County.

Read more
Community
3:01 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Cold Hands and Warm Hearts at Pittsburgh's Veterans Day Parade

Members of the West View VFW march in Monday's parade.
Liz Reid 90.5 WESA

Thousands of people converged on downtown Pittsburgh Monday for the annual Veterans Day parade. Many of them were watching, and even more were marching.

Dozens of high school bands provided entertainment while veterans from every generation marched down the length of Smithfield Street.

Onlookers greeted the vets with cheers and applause, shouting “Thank you!”

Paul Kennedy, western vice commander for the Pennsylvania American Legion, lives in the North Hills and said it was great to see so many people come out for the parade.

Read more
Community
3:30 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Pittsburgh Honors Veterans with 94th Annual Veterans Day Parade

The city of Pittsburgh will hold its 94th annual Veterans Day parade on Monday.

Tony Filardi of Overbrook served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and has been the chair of the Veterans Day parade committee since 1990.

Filardi said the parade is an important tradition that pays tribute both to veterans and to active duty military.

“It’s to honor all the veterans who served in the service and also the military people who are serving currently,” Filardi said. “After all, without them, our nation would not be free, because freedom is not free.”

Read more
Business
12:20 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Allegheny Conference on Community Development Welcomes New Chair

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development welcomed their new chair at the organization’s annual meeting Wednesday evening.

Morgan K. O’Brien, CEO of Peoples Natural Gas, chair of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and current vice chair of the conference, will take over as chair on Jan. 1, 2014.

O’Brien said he looks forward to continuing the mission of the conference to improve the quality of life in the greater Pittsburgh region.

Read more
Election 2013
11:21 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Deb Gross Clinches District 7 City Council Seat

Deb Gross (right) talks with campaign staffers Nate Lerner, Roy Samaan, and Sara Rummel after her acceptance speech.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

District 7 has been without a City Council representative since Patrick Dowd vacated the seat in July to serve as executive director of the new nonprofit Allies for Children.

Though it seemed like it could have been a close race between Democrat Deb Gross and Independent Tony Ceoffe, her party's nomination and the endorsement of now mayor-elect Bill Peduto served as enough to push Gross over the top.

In the end, Gross was able to carry the district with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Read more
Environment & Energy
1:48 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Activists Call on City of Pittsburgh to Divest from Fossil Fuel Industry

Climate change activist Bill McKibben has been spending considerable time in Pittsburgh recently, first for the Power Shift 2013 conference in October, and on Monday to receive an award from the Thomas Merton Center.

The Thomas Merton Center bills itself as “Pittsburgh’s peace and social justice center,” and along with McKibben, they are launching a campaign to pressure the City of Pittsburgh and other regional institutions to divest from the fossil fuel industry.

Read more

Pages