Margaret J. Krauss

90.5 WESA Programming & Content and Newsroom Volunteer

Margaret J. Krauss was a programming and newsroom volunteer in 2013.

Agriculture
7:39 am
Tue September 24, 2013

How the Ancient Practice of Gleaning is Still Getting Food to the Needy

Jack Greenawalt holds up a soybean plant. Greenawalt Farms is one of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s 35 farm partners.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

On a muggy Wednesday morning, before the sun has burned off the morning’s clouds, Lionel Greenawalt drives across his 100-acre Westmoreland County farm to a field of sweet corn.

While Greenawalt and his children pick an average of 400 dozen ears of corn each morning, at the moment, they have more corn than they can sell.

“It was kind of rainy this summer season, and we weren’t able to get into the field to plant every five to seven days,” he said. “So what happens is we have a lot of corn that comes in all together.”

That’s where gleaning comes in.

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Arts & Culture
4:02 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Czech Folk Ensemble Taps Into Pittsburgh's Past

Members of Muzicka, sporting Terrible Towels, prepare to play in Squirrel Hill.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Making music is to Czechs what barbecueing is to Americans, a means of coming together.

This week a traditional Czech folk ensemble is performing throughout Pittsburgh and tapping into the region’s past.

If your idea of folk music is a particularly soulful rendition of “Oh, Susanna,” or perhaps the “Wabash Cannonball,” prepare yourself for a paradigm shift.

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Transportation
3:30 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Pittsburgh Installs New Bike Racks With Hopes of Boosting Local Economy

Fifty new bike racks will be installed throughout downtown by the end of this month, bringing the total of city-installed bike racks to more than 500.

Stephen Patchan, Pittsburgh’s bicycle-pedestrian coordinator, said adding more bike parking downtown is intended to spur business growth.

“The more bicycle-friendly business districts are, the higher customer capacity they generally have, which equates to more foot traffic for local businesses,” he said.

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State Pensions
4:29 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Keystone Research Center Says Corbett's Pension Plan Costly to Local Economies

While the state legislature considers pension reform, the liberal-leaning Keystone Research Center released a brief Thursday meant to demonstrate how public pension benefits paid to state and school employees drive local and regional economies.

Stephen Herzenberg, economist and executive director of the center, said the data was important to consider in the context of the ongoing debate about state pension reform, and in particular, the plan championed by Gov. Tom Corbett.

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Science
1:57 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Scientists Discover the Oldest-Known Fossil Primate Skeleton

The oldest-known fossil primate was found encased in layers of rock near the course of the modern Yangtze River.
Credit Carnegie Museum of Natural History

A team of international scientists announced Wednesday the discovery of the oldest-known fossil primate skeleton, Archicebus achilles, uncovered in an ancient lake bed near the modern Yangtze River in China’s Hubei province.

Christopher Beard, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said the fossil’s discovery has profound implications for understanding eras of human evolution that remain shrouded in mystery.

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Arts & Culture
4:06 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Pittsburgh Kicks Off Summer With Two Weeks of Festivities

Two weeks of arts, culture and sporting events will kick off with the rededication of the Point State Park fountain on June 7.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Look alive, Pittsburgh — two of the year's busiest weeks are upon us.

On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Wow! Partnership, a collaboration between some the city’s most prominent cultural, business and civic entities, announced a two-week bonanza of events meant to highlight and contribute to the city’s vibrancy.

Taking place from June 7 to June 16, events include rededicating the Point State Park fountain, playing host to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, commemorating the completion of the Great Allegheny Passage and cheering on the Pirates at a string of home games.

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Business
3:51 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

PA Ranks 42nd on Magazine's List of Best Places To Do Business

If 736 chief executive officers had their druthers, they’d rather operate in 41 other states before setting up shop in Pennsylvania.

Each year, Chief Executive magazine asks hundreds of CEOs to evaluate the national business climate on a state-by-state basis. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, J.P. Donlon, said that the annual ranking feature provides a holistic, qualitative view of states’ ability to attract and maintain businesses.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:20 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Pittsburgh's Second Bicycling Boom

BikePGH

At the turn of the 20th century, bicycling enthusiast and Pittsburgh native, Frank Lenz was an American celebrity. His two wheeled global journey, and eventual disappearance in Turkey, are chronicled in David V. Herlihy's book The Lost Cyclist. Last year Herlihy came to Pittsburgh and Essential Pittsburgh to celebrate Frank Lenz Day. This year, in observation of Lenz's world tour departure, we look at Pittsburgh's place in cycling history with WESA reporter Margaret Krauss.

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Community
3:38 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Bike to Feed Families Ride Travels Same Trail as Lost Cyclist

On May 15, 1892, bookkeeper, amateur photographer and bicycle enthusiast Frank Lenz set off on his bike along rail lines in Pittsburgh. He was headed east to New York City on the first leg of his journey to cycle around the world.

More than a century later, cyclists in Pittsburgh will gather Saturday morning at the Pump House in Homestead. They are not headed for New York but rather Duquesne. And the supplies they will be carrying are food donations destined for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.  

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Air Quality
4:29 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Summit Assesses Overall Health Effects of Pittsburgh Air Quality

Air quality in Pittsburgh is getting cleaner, but it continues to negatively affect the health and well-being of city residents.

The Breathe Project and Allegheny General Hospital convened a summit Tuesday — World Asthma Day — to examine the overall effects of poor air quality, from increased instances of asthmatic attacks, higher mortality rates and cancer.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:44 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Pondering a Life with Robots

Robot Parts at Fraley's Robot Repair Shop/Art Instillation
Heather McClain 90.5 WESA

Through recent artistic conceptions, we explore a world of advanced robotics and consider the philosophical questions one might ponder if robots were a part of everyday life. Essential Pittsburgh Production Assistant Rebekah Zook  and WESA reporter Margaret Krauss visited Fraley's Robot Repair Shop in its final week Downtown and we spoke with Japanese contemporary theater Director Oriza Hirata at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Education & Learning
4:05 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Bon Appetito: Heinz History Center Launches Healthy Heritage Cooking Series

As part of the Heinz History Center's Healthy Heritage Cooking Series, Viviana Altieri demonstrates to Pittsburgh Public School students how to make fried risotto balls called supplì.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The Heinz History Center on Tuesday kicked off the Healthy Heritage Cooking Series, a three-month pilot program designed to introduce students to Italian, Syrian and Bulgarian cooking and connect health to history.

Viviana Altieri, who directed an Italian cooking demonstration, is the executive director of Mondo Italiano, a local meet-up organization that promotes Italian language and culture. She said food traditions have always been important to mankind and that the Healthy Heritage series will broaden students’ cultural horizons.

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New Market Tax Credits
2:41 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Tax Credits Could Spark Economic Development in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives (PUI) has been awarded $35 million in tax credits by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help spur investments in the city’s low-income communities.

The New Markets Tax Credit Program began in 2000 and allows individual corporations and investors to receive a credit against their federal income tax in exchange for making equity investments in Community Development Entities such as the PUI.

Investors can then receive 39 percent of their total investment in credits over seven years.

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Ticks
3:48 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

2013 Likely Won't Be a Heavy Tick Year, But Caution Still Advised

Ticks are about as well-loved as invasive dental surgery, so it’s likely a relief to many that 2013 is forecast to be an average or below average tick year, according to the Carey Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Despite that prediction, it’s still important to be wary of ticks, said Ed Rajotte, a professor of entomology at Penn State.

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Community
6:46 am
Mon April 22, 2013

It's NPR Coffee Week, Pittsburgh! Share your best mug shots

Hopefully your coffee mug is a bit more lively than this one.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

All this week, NPR's Morning Edition will be telling the stories behind your morning cup of coffee. If you're anything like us, you take pride in your coffee cup. Show your mugs via Twitter and/or Instagram with #PghCoffee.

If Pittsburgh stopped serving coffee tomorrow, bean aficionados in Brooklyn or Seattle might not gnash their teeth or tear their hair at the loss, but the loyal patrons of this city’s coffeehouses would mount a full-on revolt.

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Soundscapes & Postcards
12:08 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Lawrenceville Cookie Tour a Real Treat

Once a year, the Lawrenceville Corporation organizes the Joy of Cookies shopping tour. This year, 26 businesses set out plates of treats along the Butler Street route, giving neighbors a chance to meet in a very merry setting.

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Soundscapes & Postcards
12:00 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Chandelier Cleaning a Delicate and Difficult Affair

One of the three crystal chandeliers in the William Penn Hotel is lowered to the lobby floor for hand cleaning. Dusting and buffing the 1,754 individual pieces takes a three-person team eight hours to complete.

Soundscapes & Postcards
11:58 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Grumbling and Creaking, the Duquesne Incline Climbs On

Take a ride on the Duquesne Incline. Its cars have carted Pittsburghers up and down Mount Washington since 1877. And it sounds like it.

Soundscapes & Postcards
11:52 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Can Pittsburgh Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

Co-owner of Lawrenceville’s House of the Dead, Chuck Cramer believes Pittsburgh stands little chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

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Soundscapes & Postcards
11:48 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Games as 'Social Grease' and 'Spatial Glue'

Adam Nelson plays games and thinks you should, too. Nelson ruminates on how games can change a city’s landscape and its citizens for the better.

Soundscapes & Postcards
11:42 am
Mon April 15, 2013

For Mustache Champ, a Growing Sense of Community

Adam Paul Causgrove
Credit Chelsea Banks

Winner of the 2012 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award, Adam Paul Causgrove ruminates on the past, present and future of the mustache.

Energy Efficiency
5:15 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Pilot Program Seeks to Help Allegheny Co. Families Deal with Energy Costs

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle applauds new energy initiative that seeks to prevent home foreclosure in Allegheny County.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A pilot program in Allegheny County seeks to keep families in their homes by lowering their energy bills.

The Energy Efficiency Foreclosure Prevention Initiative (EEFPI) is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), ACTION-Housing, Inc. and four area utility companies.

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Health
3:30 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Downtown Stair Climbers to Raise Lung Health Awareness, Research Dollars

Many organizations say to accomplish their goals they take it one step at a time. The American Lung Association (ALA) means that literally.

This Saturday in downtown Pittsburgh 478 participants are expected to climb 897 steps to raise $120,000 for the ALA in the organization’s second annual "Fight For Air Climb."

The numbers don’t stop there.

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Pittsburgh Public Schools
5:09 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Pittsburgh Public Schools Reappoints Superintendent Linda Lane For Three More Years

Linda Lane
Credit Pittsburgh Public Schools

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane has been awarded a three-year contract extension.  

Lane, who was appointed as superintendent in December 2010, will see her salary increase to $220,000 effective September.

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Health
3:30 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Pilot Program Aims to Provide Preventative Care Through EMTs

The newly announced Community Paramedic Program, from Pitt’s Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT), retools the image of emergency medical service personnel.

Instead of racing through city streets, sirens screaming, EMTs participating in the pilot initiative will provide regular in-home care for area residents with chronic conditions.

CONNECT is part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs’ Center for Metropolitan Studies and represents the City of Pittsburgh and 37 contiguous communities.

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Health
9:23 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Sen. Smith Wants State Tax Dollars Better Used for Nursing Home Care

A study released today by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare PA found that Pennsylvania nursing homes generated $511 million in net income for 2011, but one in three failed to fully spend state funds on direct resident care.

State Senators Matt Smith (D-Allegheny / Washington) and Sean Wiley (D-Erie) proposed three bills that would mandate minimum spending levels of state appropriations as well as require nursing homes to meet and report on staffing levels.

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