90.5 WESA's Essential Pittsburgh

Essential Pittsburgh airs weekdays from noon to 1 p.m. and is repeated at 8 p.m.
Paul Guggenheimer

Essential Pittsburgh is a locally produced program from 90.5 WESA dedicated to developing a deep, ongoing exploration of critical issues affecting Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, as well as featuring community leaders and newsmakers in the arts, sciences, technology, business, healthcare, government and education.

  • Call (412) 246-2002 from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays to participate in the discussion.
  • Dial (412) 256-8783 to leave a question or comment before or after the show.
  • Follow #EPLive on Twitter or tweet your question to @esspgh.
  • Continue the conversation on our station Facebook page.
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
  • What stories are we missing? Send your thoughts to esspgh@wesa.fm 
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Essential Pittsburgh
2:09 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

A Year in Review with Bishop Zubik and Local Memebers of the Catholic Church

Sister Nancy Langhart and Sister Margaret “Peg” Markey
Heather McClain 90.5 WESA

It has been a year since Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik discussed the state of the Catholic Church with Essential Pittsburgh. In that time, Pope Francis has celebrated his one year anniversary.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:24 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Voices of the Catholic Church in Pittsburgh

Bishop David Zubik of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

These topics air Wednesday April 16, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

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Economy & Business
3:30 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

The Business of Summer Camp, from Architecture to Arts & Crafts

Summer camps give kids structure during their off time from school, and lets them learn and grow while making new friends.
Credit Adrián Merinero Sánchez / flickr

While winter is hardly a distant memory, it’s time to start making summer plans. If summer camp is in your child’s future, contributor Rebecca Harris says now is the time to sign-up. This week she focused on the business of summer camps.

More than six million children attend summer camps each year, and there are many different options. There are day camps, sleep away camps and even summer camps for adults. Rebecca has suggested just a few to check out before sessions fill up.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:30 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

PSO Violinist to Bring Pittsburgh Love to Boston Marathon

Susanne Park will join her sister Irene in this year's Boston Marathon. She'll be running for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Last weekend, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra violinist Susanne Park held a benefit to raise money for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

The institution was key in helping victims of the Boston Marathon bombings last year. This year, Park has gathered donations from local businesses to help the cause. Her sister ran in the marathon last year and she said she tracked her sister’s progress in the race until everything suddenly stopped.

Park's sister was one of the many runners unable to contact family for hours amidst the chaos.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Why These Pittsburgh Marathon Runners Are Returning To Boston

Joe Myers and Karen Harr both ran the Boston Marathon last year and plan to return again this year.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

 

When Joe Myers and Karen Harr began the Boston Marathon one year ago, neither of them expected to be a part of the chaos following the bombings at the finish line.

After two explosions detonated on Boylston Street, many runners found themselves stranded in the masses. Myers, who had not yet finished the marathon, remembers the crowds of confused people in front of him.

He was unable to contact his family, but eventually returned to the hotel of a fellow runner. Despite the scare, he plans to return to Boston this year and finish what he started.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:52 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Pittsburgh Marathon Runners Return to Boston

Marathon runners from Pittsburgh talk about going back to Boston for this year's race.
Credit BorisKasimov / flickr

These topics air Tuesday April 15, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:22 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Is MyPath 101 a New Path to Success?

MyPath101 was created in part because less than 32% of college students graduate within four year.
Credit Jessie Jacobson / Flickr

According to the Princeton Review fifty percent of college students change their major at least once. A Pittsburgh company has developed an app called MyPath101 to help students graduate on time.

Rachel Gogos, CEO of MyPath101, described the app in 3 parts.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:09 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Think Before You Post: Mainstream Media's Increasing Reliance on Social Media

What should people be thinking before they post photos or updates to their social media accounts?
Credit Pat Williams / Flickr

 

As national media reports about the attacks at Franklin Regional High School began to unfold last week, a story of one of the injured victims taking a selfie from the hospital quickly went viral and prompted a range of reactions. Was the student showing off or simply communicating to his circle of friends?

Gordon Mitchell and Brent Malin, University of Pittsburgh associate professors of communication talked with us about the importance of media literacy and the evolving relevance of social media in our lives and in mainstream news.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:46 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Is Video Replay in Major League Baseball Worth the Wait?

A challenge flag is thrown, the Major League Baseball officials talk to the coach who throws it, and one official goes to a screen and reviews the play. The official comes back and rules the runner out at first base.

That scene can and did happen at the Pirates' opening day Major League Baseball game, thanks to new rule changes that have increased the use of video replay in umpiring.

Are all of these replays really necessary or is it not worth the price of slowing down the game? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak has covered the Pirates for many years and shared his opinion on the hot topic.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:22 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Monday Rundown: Social Media Literacy and College Advising in an App?

What should people consider before they post?
Credit Pat Williams / Flickr

These topics air Monday April 14, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here

From Personal to Private in the Blink of An Eye: Being Social Media Literate

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:00 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

'Unclear' Circumstances on the Ground During Chevron Blaze

After talking to the DEP, no one could give a clear answer as to why they acquiesced to Chevron when blocked at the entrance.
Credit Katie Colaneri / StateImpact PA

It recently came to light that Department of Environmental Protection investigators were blocked by Chevron employees in the days after a natural gas well explosion in Greene County. The explosion, which killed one Chevron employee, set off a fire which blazed for five days in February.  

StateImpact reporter Katie Colaneri recently broke the story and said Chevron would not allow the DEP to park or drive onto access roads toward the well for nearly two days. Colaneri says the rules are pretty straightforward concerning incidents such as the well explosion.

The DEP has authority over companies like Chevron during environmentally dangerous conditions, but Colaneri says the overall situation is still very unclear. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:37 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Roger Humphries: Uplifting Pittsburgh Through the Generations

Pittsburgh jazz legend Roger Humphries
Credit Billy Jackson / NOMMO Productions

Roger Humphries is one of Pittsburgh’s most notable jazz musicians. He’s performed professionally since the age of 14 with artists such as Horace Silvers and Ray Charles. But his contributions to the Pittsburgh community go beyond music, he’s uplifted generations of young people.

Humphries is the focus of the award-winning documentary Roger Humphries: Pass it On made by Billy Jackson.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:36 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

The Beatles and Their Historic High Five Anniversary

The Beatles revolutionized the music industry and did many historic things along the way. Among these accomplishments was holding the five top positions on Billboard charts in April of 1964.
Credit CBS / Wikipedia

The Beatles have sold more than 2.3 billion albums through the years, a remarkable sales record by any measure. But the group's most historic chart-making moment was the first week of April, 1964 when the band held the top five positions on the Billboard charts.

Penn State Laureate Kenneth Womack is an English professor at Penn State as well as an expert on the Beatles. 

He explained how this record came about, “This great moment with these top five songs, in addition to drawing from these different periods in The Beatles' career, also are the culmination of what happened back in February when the Beatles came to America, had the wonderful series of appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. This first week of April is when it all came together and just exploded in this kind of frankly, commercial moment for the Beatles."

The historic high-five refers to the top five positions on the Billboard charts all held by the Beatles in 1964:

5. “Please Please Me”

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:09 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Friday Rundown: Roger Humphries and Hits of the Fab Five

Pittsburgh jazz legend Roger Humphries
Credit Billy Jackson / NOMMO Productions

These topics air Friday April 11, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:01 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Ways to Help Young People Cope with Traumatic Events

Credit Victoria Pickering / Flickr

In the wake of the violent attacks at Franklin Regional High School, students and staff at the school have begun the process of coping with the traumatic event.

For young people this can be a particularly difficult journey. The Center for Victims is a victim advocacy group which offers support for those affected by violence.

Diane Dahm is director of prevention education and outreach and Toya Jones is a trauma therapist with the center. They explained how important it is to maintain a child's sense of normalcy while still keeping alert to any possible signs of trauma

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:39 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Balancing Business and Fun with Pop-Up Canada

Canadian Consul General John Prato plans to meet with political, community and business leaders during his time in Pittsburgh.
Credit Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

For one week, Pittsburghers can experience the culture of Canada in a temporary installment downtown called Pop-Up Canada.

The concept, according to Canadian Consul General John Prato, is to encourage a conversation between Pittsburgh and Canada about different urban issues including energy, innovation and civic life.

Prato says the week is designed so that Canadian representatives can meet and learn from local political, business and community leaders. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:32 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

What Does It Take To Be A Canadian Mountie?

This RCMP uniform is often referred to as The Red Serge, it's only worn for special occasions and services.
Credit Marcus Charleston / 90.5WESA

What would a visit from a Canadian delegation be without the presence of one of the country's most recognizable symbols - a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman?

We spoke with Constable Eric Hymander, a former banker, about what it takes to become a Mountie.  

Every year there are anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 applicants that want to join the RCMP and only the top 1 percent of applicants are accepted.

Hymander said it takes about a year to review applicants’ abilities, and once accepted they spend six months undergoing vigorous training in Saskatchewan.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:28 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

After Checking out Pop Up Canada, Pop on Up to Niagara Falls

The Maid of the Mist tours leave every 15 minutes for tours of Niagara Falls. Make sure to wear clothes that can get wet!
Credit Helen Zhang / flickr

With the celebration of Canada taking place this week in the Steel City, Niagara Falls offers something for visitors on both the American and Canadian sides. 

Long regarded as a honeymoon destination, Niagara Falls is close enough for a long weekend getaway. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme offered suggestions for a trip to the falls.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:06 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Thursday Rundown: Canadian Relations in Pittsburgh

Constable Eric Hymander is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Credit Marcus Charleston / 90.5WESA

 These topics air Thursday April 9, 2014 at noon and 8 p.m. on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between noon and 1 p.m. weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:24 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Building a Financial Timeline: Why Students Need to Be More Proactive With Money

Students are coming out of college with thousands of dollars of debt and Gene Natali says he can help them secure their financial futures.
Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr

Many college students have very little to no experience in financial planning, which is why University of Pittsburgh Professor of Finance, Jay Sukits, created an event to help students become financially literate.

Gene Natali, Senior Vice President at CS McKee and co-author of The Missing Semester is speaking at the event, Money 101-Taking Control, dedicated to teaching high school and college students about managing their finances.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:57 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Conscious Uncoupling and Finding A Way to Divorce Without Courts

When the honeymoon is over and it's time to part ways, more couples are looking for a win-win approach to divorce.
Credit Trevor Hurlbut / flickr

If you follow celebrity news, one story which made news last week was Gwyneth Paltrow’s divorce from Coldplay musician Chris Martin. The news was especially notable because of a term they used to describe the breakup - “conscious uncoupling.” The phrase raised eyebrows in the relationship counseling and divorce industries.

Paula Hopkins, a divorce attorney who specializes in collaborative law in the Pittsburgh area had never heard of conscious uncoupling until Paltrow’s announcement. But following the announcement, Hopkins found quite a bit of information about the term.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:07 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Franklin Regional High School To Be Closed for Investigation After Multiple Stabbings

Emergency management officials provide an update following a multiple stabbing incident Wednesday morning at Franklin Regional High School in Westmoreland County.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Multiple injuries were sustained at Franklin Regional High School this morning. 19 students and one adult security guard were stabbed and taken to area hospitals.

Condition reports of all 20 victims continue to change, at least 7 people are said to be in serious condition, all are expected to survive.

A 16 year old suspect is in custody, according to 90.5 WESA’s ongoing coverage of the incident

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:37 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Franklin Regional Update, Financial Literacy 101 & A New Way to Divorce

When the honeymoon is over and it's time to part ways, more couples are looking for a win-win approach to divorce.
Credit Trevor Hurlbut / flickr

These topics air Wednesday April 9, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:33 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Steps for Older Adults to Reduce the Risk of Falling

Following a statewide rollout in 2008, Healthy Steps for Older Adults has helped reduce falls in the elderly by 17%.
Credit Jym Ferrier / flickr

Among people 65 and older, falling is a dangerous reality. Yet a new program has reduced falls among the elderly by 17 percent statewide according to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Steven Albert is Chairman of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Services and says older adults often do not realize the severity of their falling risk. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:04 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Take A Trip To Canada, In Downtown Pittsburgh

This maple syrup poster is just one of the many Canada-themed images on display at Pop Up Canada on Smithfield Street.
Credit Marnie Schleicher / 90.5WESA

This week our neighbors to the north – Canada - will be celebrated in Pittsburgh via a temporary Canadian consulate. Canada is Pennsylvania’s largest trading partner and export market, receiving 30 percent of the state’s foreign-bound goods. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the state’s business connections to Canada.

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