Noah Brode


 

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Arts & Culture
9:26 am
Sat March 23, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch

Saturday, March 30:

First, the downtown gallery “Space” is hosting a reading entitled “Mean Girls” tonight at 7:00. The readings are meant to raise awareness and increase discussion of the problem of bullying among teenage girls, and the literature works in tandem with an ongoing art exhibit of the same name.  Tonight’s readings begin at 7:00 at the “Space” gallery on Liberty Avenue downtown.

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Marcellus Shale
5:01 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

New Organization Will Independently Certify Shale Companies for Pollution Standards

A new Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization has been created to independently certify companies that develop shale natural gas based on their adherence to 15 pollution control standards.

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development was created with funding and input from southwestern Pennsylvania foundations, gas companies and environmental groups.

"Unusual bedfellows in this day and age, to be sure," said Robert Vagt, president of the Heinz Endowments.

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PASSHE
3:41 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

State System Finalizes Contracts with Professors, Coaches

With a special board vote on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) finalized new contract agreements with roughly 6,000 educators and 400 coaches across its network of 14 state-owned universities, ending a saga of negotiations lasting nearly two years.

The employees had been working without contracts since midway through 2011. In the autumn of 2012, the union authorized a strike, but no action was taken.

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Property Taxes
3:48 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

State-Level Bills Would Prevent Local Challenges to Nonprofit Tax Exemptions

Two bills up for full votes in the state legislature would prevent municipalities from challenging the tax-exempt statuses of nonprofit organizations by transferring that power to the General Assembly.

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh City Council passed a resolution condemning Senate Bill 4 and its counterpart, House Bill 724. The former is up for a Senate vote on Wednesday.

Because the bill would change the state constitution, it would need to pass in two consecutive legislative sessions and be approved by a voter referendum.

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Downtown Pittsburgh
12:25 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

PDP Says Downtown Pittsburgh Is On the Rise

Credit Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Local leaders in business and politics highlighted the recent successes of downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday as the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) released its annual report for 2012.

For one, Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he's happy with several new developments in the Golden Triangle, including a new skyscraper currently being built by PNC Bank and the revamped Market Square. He said some people were skeptical of the Market Square renovation at first.

"Now, they're (angry) that they can't get in for lunch or dinner," Ravenstahl said.

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Police
4:24 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Mayor Ravenstahl: Policeman in Taser Incident Should be Fired

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has threatened to fire a police detective who allegedly placed a stun gun against the neck of a man who fell down before he was arrested for public drunkenness on Saturday.

Detective Frank Rende was working an off-duty security detail on the South Side during Saturday's St. Patrick's Day weekend festivities when the incident occurred.

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said tests show the stun gun wasn't fired, which supports Rende's version of the incident as spelled out in a criminal complaint against 27-year-old Mark Keyser.

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Redevelopment
2:02 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Colteryahn Dairy at Center of Brownsville Road Redevelopment

A mural on the side of Carrick's historic Colteryahn Dairy
Credit Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh officials gathered outside Colteryahn Dairy in Carrick on Monday to announce a $50,000 study of redevelopment options for the 1600 block of Brownsville Road.

The four- to six-month study of the so-called "Dairy District" by Desmone Architects is meant to attract private investment, said Stephen Glassman, president of the Design Center, which is funding the research along with the city and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.  

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Government & Politics
4:44 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Wagner and Four Other New Names Enter Mayoral Race

Jack Wagner meets with reporters after filing his nominating petitions to run for Mayor in the Democratic primary.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

There are now seven candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for Pittsburgh Mayor.

Joining Bill Peduto and Michael Lamb, who have been running for months, are State Senator Jim Ferlo, State Representative Jake Wheatley, City Council President Darlene Harris, Community Activist A.J. Richardson and former Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner. 

Wagner filed his nominating petitions two-and-a-half hours before Tuesday’s deadline.

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Police Slush Fund Scandal
4:49 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Ravenstahl Defers Decision on Next Police Chief to His Successor

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said Monday he won't nominate a new, full-time police chief before he leaves his post at year's end, instead leaving that decision to his mayoral successor.

It appears acting chief Regina McDonald, who assumed command after former chief Nathan Harper's forced resignation last month, will continue on an interim basis at least until the first months of 2014.

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Biking
4:46 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Bike-Share Program Coming to Pittsburgh Next Year

Pittsburghers will be seeing a lot more of these sturdy bikes around town when a bike-share program takes off next year.
Credit Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Biking advocates gathered in Bakery Square on Monday to announce plans for a bike-share system to start in Pittsburgh next year that would feature 500 bicycles stationed at 50 special bike docks across the city.

Slated for a spring or summer 2014 opening, a subscriber could choose a short-term membership of one day or a long-term plan of one year. The user can then check out one of the sturdy bikes from one docking station and deposit it at any of the other 49 destinations.

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Economy & Business
12:32 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Hot Dogs Here! 3 More Pittsburgh Vendor Sites Approved

A Strip District vendor sells Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirts on the roadside.
Credit Jeffrey Inscho / Flickr

Pittsburghers will have three more chances to buy hot dogs, T-Shirts and other paraphernalia after City Council gives final approval to three new vendor sites on Tuesday.

Council gave preliminary approval to the necessary legislation on Wednesday, and if approved next week, the three new vending sites will be advertised in local newspapers.

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Public Safety
12:27 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Pittsburgh Council Votes to Fund CCAC Police Training Program

Although Pittsburgh City Council voted on Wednesday to fund a police education program at the Community College of Allegheny County, at least one Council Member raised questions about the necessity of a rule that requires all Pittsburgh police officers to have 60 college credits before joining the force - particularly for military members.

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Government & Politics
9:25 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Pittsburgh Council Approves More Money for New Financial System

Pittsburgh Council Members listen as Ravenstahl administration officials brief them on the city's switch to a new electronic financial system.
Credit Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh has spent roughly $4 million since 2010 to merge its financial management system with Allegheny County's, and City Council on Wednesday approved $150,000 additional dollars for its new electronic database. Final approval is expected next Tuesday.

Pittsburgh Innovation Performance Manager Chuck Half said when it's implemented, the "JD Edwards" financial system from the software company Oracle, will save Pittsburgh money every time the city cuts a check to a city employee, a vendor, or a pensioner.

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Transportation Funding
5:02 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Transportation Report Calls for More PennDOT Funding

In a first-ever report, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation received high marks for 'safety' and 'accountability,' a middling grade in 'mobility,' and a poor assessment in terms of 'preservation and renewal.'

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Acid Mine Drainage
3:16 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Should Gas Companies Be Able to Use Acid Mine Drainage for Fracking?

Credit Rana Xavier/Flickr

Acid mine drainage is the most widespread water pollution problem in Pennsylvania. When water wells up inside abandoned coalmines, it leaches the iron compound ‘pyrite’ from the rock to form an acidic, sulfuric brine — called “yellowboy” for its color. As the pressure builds in the empty, underground mines, it often begins to seep out, the risk of a blowout increases, and, at times, the yellowboy could end up flowing into the nearest stream and killing wildlife.

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Environment & Energy
3:08 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Gov. Corbett's Spending Plan Ties DCNR, DEP Budgets to Gas Drilling Revenues

Democratic State Senators have a few problems with Governor Tom Corbett's proposed budgets for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

First of all, State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) said DCNR's budget is too dependent on royalties garnered from Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling in state forest land. While $53 million of the DCNR budget comes from the state's General Fund, roughly $77 million comes from royalty fees on gas extraction.

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Gambling
3:03 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Slot Machine Revenue Smaller Last Month than February 2012

Credit Alan Alfaro/Flickr

Pennsylvanians and tourists pulled the slots levers fewer times last month than in February of 2012, according to a report from the state’s Gaming Control Board.

Of the ten Pennsylvania casinos operating in both months, revenue was 11.5% lower this year. Even counting a casino that opened last March, Valley Forge Casino Resort, the state’s income fell 9.2% to $196 million.

Gaming Control Board spokesman Richard McGarvey said the decrease probably resulted from a few contributing factors.

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Health
11:00 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Allegheny Valley Hospital Program Reduces Readmissions

In its first year, a program at Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights has substantially reduced readmission rates for its sickest patients.

Allegheny Valley Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas McClure said the High-Risk Care Team (HRCT), created February 2012, singles out the patients who have the highest risk of returning to the hospital. McClure said the five team members do everything they can to ensure those high-risk patients don't have to come back for more treatment.

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Public Safety
11:00 am
Mon March 4, 2013

How to Get Guns Off the Streets? Allegheny County Officials Have a Plan

Elected officials at three levels in Allegheny County have announced tentative plans for the creation of a gun buyback program, in which residents would be paid to drop off illegal guns at the county sheriff's office.

State Representative Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny) said he understands that criminals won't turn in their own illegal guns, but he said family members might hand them over if they can do so anonymously and for a reward.

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Recreation
11:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Pittsburgh Council Considers Smoking Ban in City Playgrounds

A bill in Pittsburgh City Council would prohibit smoking in the playground areas of city-owned parks.

The legislation from Council Members Rev. Ricky Burgess, Corey O'Connor, and Bruce Kraus was held for two weeks on Wednesday so Council could get an opinion from Michael Radley, the Director of Citiparks, before passing the measure.

Councilman Burgess called it a common sense regulation.

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Economy & Business
4:29 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

CMU Professor: Online 'Crowd Workers' Need Protections, Organization

Millions of people around the world get paid to perform small online tasks for private companies. By most estimates, these 'crowd workers' get paid anywhere from $3 to $9 per hour to gather information, transcribe text, or evaluate websites. Some work for as many as 50 companies in one day, with flexible hours and little commitment.

Usually, there are no contracts, no unions, and no opportunites for training or advancement. Sometimes, there's no pay at all.

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