Marcus Charleston

Producer, Essential Pittsburgh

Marcus Charleston joins Essential Pittsburgh after working at WYPR, the NPR/public radio station serving Baltimore, Maryland. While at WYPR, Marcus produced a live two-hour daily public affairs program called Midday that was the recipient of numerous regional and national journalism awards. Marcus brings this same energy and professionalism to Essential Pittsburgh.

Essential Pittsburgh
5:43 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Friday Rundown: What Does WWI Have To Do With Climate Change?

Credit Nicola Jones / Flickr

These topics air Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 at noon and 8 p.m. on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon and 1 p.m. weekdays at (412) 246-2002.  

WWI and Climate Change

What does World War I have to do with global warming? We'll talk with David Titley, the director of Penn State's Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, who finds a parallel between the choices today's elected officials face regarding climate change, and those confronting their predecessors as the Great War loomed 100 years ago.

Russian Hackers

Russian hackers have stolen 1.2 billion internet credentials from major U.S. companies and others around the world. Tribune-Review reporter Andrew Conte joins us to look at the ramifications of this attack. Who was susceptible? Who was targeted? How do these sophisticated attacks develop?

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:18 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: 'Reading Rainbow' Redux

LeVar Burton
Credit readingrainbow.com

These topics air Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 at noon and 8 p.m. on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon and 1 p.m. weekdays at (412) 246-2002.

A Conversation with LeVar Burton

Steel City Con is hosting our guest LeVar Burton. LeVar Burton is an actor known chiefly for starring in "Roots" and appearing on the iconic sci-fi series "Star Trek: The Next Generation," but Burton has also hosted a PBS show called "Reading Rainbow" since 1983. "Reading Rainbow" went off air in 2009.

But in 2011, Burton and his business partner, producer Mark Wolfe acquired the "Reading Rainbow" license, promising to bring to the next generations of kids the finest reading and enrichment experiences found anywhere. "Reading Rainbow" is now a fully re-imagined app bringing the beloved brand to children of the digital age and one of the most popular and highest rated children’s products in the market.

Steel City Con

Resistance is futile. Geeks have taken over the world, according to our guest Joe Wos, executive director of the Toonseum. Joe joins us this week to explain why Pittsburgh is Geek City USA, preview the Steel City Comic Con and how the role the city played in the start of the comic-con culture movement.

House v. President Obama

Last week the House of Representatives approved a plan to file a federal lawsuit against President Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Pitt Law Professor David Harris joins us to address what this means from a legal and constitutional perspective.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:47 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Comemmorating the March on Washington

The 1963 March on Washington.
Credit U.S. Marines/Wikipedia

Nelson Harrison is a Pittsburgh musician who teaches jazz and played with numerous groups including the Count Basie Orchestra. He was at the March on Washington in 1963 and talks about how the march shaped who he is today.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:45 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

College Sports with Bob Dvorchak

Bob Dvorchak blogs at Sports 'n 'at
Credit Bob Dvorchak

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak talks about the University of Pittsburgh opening a new chapter in Panthers athletic history, inaugurating the school's entry into the Atlantic Coast Conference by taking on Florida State on Labor Day night at Heinz Field.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:17 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Rolling Stone Cover Controversy

The August issue of Rolling Stone magazine
Credit Rolling Stone Magazine / Wikipedia

One of this week’s leading media stories is the controversy surrounding the August issue of Rolling Stone magazine. The publication, known for featuring in-depth profiles of rock musicians, actors and politicians, is courting controversy with its decision to feature Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover. The decision has sparked outrage across the country and started a backlash against Rolling Stone.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:55 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Are Gratuities Becoming Gratuitous?

Are you noticing more tip jars on the counters of businesses you frequent?
Credit David Dugdale / Flickr

A recent article in the online magazine Slate called Tipping is an Abomination calls for the end of this practice. It’s a custom that originated in Europe. It transferred across the ocean when wealthy Americans returned from the continent. At first is it was slow to catch on but now it seems tip jars are as ubiquitous as cell phones.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:17 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Central New York State of Mind

Keuka Lake is one of the many bodies of water that makes up the Finger Lakes region of New York State
Credit Darren McGee / Finger Lakes Region

Upstate New York covers a lot of territory. From the Adirondacks to the Thousand Islands there's a lot to see in the Empire State. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme scopes out the central New York region, from Cooperstown to the Finger Lakes.

“The Finger Lakes region is fairly close to western Pennsylvania and there’s lots of arts and recreation you’ll want to access there and it’s an easy trip from Pittsburgh,” says Labalme.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:49 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Immigration Reform Clears A Major Hurdle

The US Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill Thursday.
Credit Wikipedia

A strong showing of bipartisan support Thursday resulted in the U.S. Senate's vote in favor of immigration reform. This marks the most significant overhaul of the nation's immigration laws in a generation.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:24 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Rapid Transit Tips from Cleveland

Local government officials recently traveled to Cleveland to observe the city’s HealthLine rapid bus service.
Credit Center for Neighborhood Technology / Flickr

Last Thursday, Pittsburgh government and business officials took a trip to Cleveland to tour the Healthline—Cleveland’s rapid transit system—with the hopes of bringing back ideas for Pittsburgh’s own Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:46 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Reporting Cases of Infectious Diseases in VA Hospitals

Congressman Tim Murphy
Credit Office of Congressman Tim Murphy

Congressman Tim Murphy is working with the House Veterans Affairs Committee to pass legislation requiring veterans' hospitals to report cases of infectious diseases to state and local public health agencies.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:38 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

The Men Behind the Creation of Superman

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman, were unable to share in the wealth their famed character garnered.

The latest Superman movie Man of Steel opened last weekend to record box-office. The character, created by two guys from Cleveland, has been recognized as one of the leading pop culture icons.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:02 am
Thu June 20, 2013

My Market: An Essay by Bob Batz Jr.

Credit Keana / flickr.com

Pittsburgh has farmers markets in virtually every neighborhood, making it possible to visit a different market every day of the week. But being a city of neighborhoods, is it any wonder that many Pittsburghers prefer their local farmer's market? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette food editor, Bob Batz Jr. loves the atmosphere of his farmer's market in Mt. Lebanon and shares the sounds of opening day in an essay.

Essential Pittsburgh
1:50 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Fracking Reporter Tom Wilber Screens Gasland II

Credit http://tomwilber.blogspot.com/

Journalist Tom Wilber has been reporting on hydraulic fracturing since 2008. He’s been our guest in the past to discuss the issue and help us sort fact from fiction when documentaries on the topic come out. He recently attended a screening of Gasland II, in his hometown of Binghamton, New York.

Essential Pittsburgh
8:00 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Arts & Culture and Brian's "American Originals"

Credit The Andy Warhol Museum / pictify.com

The Andy Warhol museum's newest exhibits feature local and national artists with unique styles, perfect for the Warhol. Arts and Culture contributor Brian Siewiorek talks about what you can look forward to with this summer's artists.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:41 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Training the Next Generation of African-American Leaders

Rex Crawley, is co-director of the 7th annual Black Male Leadership Development Institute being held at Robert Morris University.
Credit Robert Morris University

Pittsburgh is one of the few major cities in the northeast that has not had an African American mayor. At present there are only two African Americans on its city council. Where will the next generation of community leaders come from?

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:41 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Political Commentary on Essential Pittsburgh

Essential Pittsburgh has convened a political panel to disucss the  impact of recent state and regional political developments. Up for discussion this week: Governor Corbett asks for, and receives, the resignation of DCNR Chief Richard Allan, former Governor Ed Rendell jumps into the fray on the transportation plan before the House, and control of Allegheny County's Port Authority board could be at risk as a bill moves through the state Senate.    

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:24 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Chasing Greatness: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer and the Miracle at Oakmont

The book Chasing Greatness recounts the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open
Credit Adam Lazarus

Forty years ago, in 1973, a week after Secretariat won the third leg in racing’s Triple Crown, another great sporting event took place. The finish of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club is considered by some to be one of the greatest golf rounds ever played.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:33 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Breakthrough in Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Allegheny General Hospital researcher find genetic markers predict response to treatment.
Credit Tips Times / Flickr

 

A New York Times op-ed by Angelina Jolie disclosed her decision to have a double mastectomy after learning she carries a mutation of a gene that increases her risk of breast cancer.

Last week, researchers at Allegheny General Hospital, in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic published important findings regarding breast cancer.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:01 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

A Conversation with NPR President Gary Knell

NPR President and CEO Gary Knell
Credit Sesame Workshop

Gary Knell is the President and CEO of NPR which remains unique among news organizations. While a number of large media outfits have shuttered their foreign bureaus NPR has reporters throughout the world. However, public radio is also at a crossroads as some of its long time shows like Talk of the Nation comes to an end and Car Talk no longer produces new shows.

What will the future of NPR look like and can it stay relevant in the changing media landscape? Also, how is NPR cultivating new talent to reflect and appeal to a new generation of public radio listeners? Mr. Knell is in Pittsburgh to speak at the Americans for the Arts convention.

Essential Pittsburgh
11:22 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Will Congress Vote on Immigration Reform?

Dr. Patricia Documet, UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Credit UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

The White House released a video on  immigration reform  featuring staffers in an attempt to push their support for the issue.  It's hoped Congress will vote on the issue before before the July 4th holiday? Six years ago President Bush urged lawmakers on Capitol Hill to pass his proposed immigration reform. Instead the bill passed away.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:13 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Opera Theater and Fallingwater: Two Worlds Making Beautiful Music Together

The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh will be performing from the terraces of Fallingwater
Marcus Charleston WESA

Celebrated American architect Frank Lloyd Wright once drew up plans for the area occupied by Point State Park. While those plans didn’t come to fruition, the area is proud to boast two homes designed by the visionary architect – Kentuck Knob and the iconic Fallingwater. This weekend, which would have been Frank Lloyd Wright’s 146th birthday, the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, in conjunction with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, will present Shining Brow, an opera covering eleven years in the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, performed on the exterior terraces of Fallingwater.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:41 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Prosopagnosia: When The Face Just Isn't Familiar

What if you couldn't regnize the faces of people closest to you?
Credit Bernard Farrell / Flickr

At one time or another you’ll see someone and say, “the face is familiar but I can’t remember the name.” For people with prosopagnosia, known as “face blindness,” the face isn’t familiar. Actor Brad Pitt, in a recent interview with Esquire magazine reported having the condition.  Dr. Marlene Behrmann of Carnegie-Mellon University is one of the leading researchers on this condition

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:35 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Touring Historic Homes in Observatory Hill

Paul and Joyce Aloyi's home is surprisingly spacious and was built in 1925
observatoryhill.net

Observatory Hill is a neighborhood just past Pittsburgh’s North Shore, on the eastern rim of Riverview Park. It’s named for its most prominent landmark, the Allegheny Observatory, part of the University of Pittsburgh. Like many Pittsburgh neighborhoods, the area boasts a range of architectural home styles from the first half of the 20th century. Many have been beautifully restored. Each year, members of the Observatory Hill community open their homes for a historic house tour. It's one of several in the city of Pittsburgh and serves as part community fundraiser, part history lesson and part renovation inspiration.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:53 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

The New Girl Visits America's National Parks Part One: Eastern Parks

The New Girl gives you a taste of the National Parks, including the scenic Everglades.
Credit Matthew Paulson / Flickr

Now that summer’s here, one of the best places to go and explore the great outdoors is a national park. With so many parks in the U.S. we begin a two part look, focusing on the eastern half of the country including The Everglades, The Great Smoky Mountains, Acadia, Shenandoah, and 
 Cuyahoga Valley

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:24 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer's Research

A recent study with lab mice could reverse some of the effects of Alzheimer's Disease
Credit Rick / Flickr

Millions of Americans suffer from Alzheimer's Disease and the number is expected to increase. Researchers at Pitt have recently confirmed a cancer drug that improves brain function in mice. Could this be a breakthrough in helping humans?

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:51 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

The New Girl in Town is Hitting the Beach

It's Memorial Day, time to hit kick off your shoes and get some sand between your toes.
Credit Heather McClain / WESA

Memorial Day is the official start to the summer season and many people will be headed to the beach. One shore town you may want to visit is Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. You'll find something for nature lovers at Prime Hook, something for sports adventurers, and for those who just want to stroll along the Boardwalk.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:07 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Building the Perfect Resume with Rebecca Harris

Rebecca Harris is the Director of the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University
Credit Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Graduation season is here and as a new group of college graduates enters the real world, how do you stand out in a tough job market? This week, business contributor Rebecca Harris offers suggestions for building the perfect resume. And find some surprising and not so surprising facts on new graduate employment.

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