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.
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  • What stories are we missing? Send your thoughts to esspgh@wesa.fm 
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Essential Pittsburgh
4:52 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Local Voices React to Lifting of Travel and Commerce Restrictions

The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, an event which marked the symbolic ending to the Cold War. But you wouldn’t know it looking at the relationship between the United States and Cuba, who continued the mid-20th century conflict well into the 21st.

That was until President Obama announced on December 17 that the United States was taking steps to change its relationship with Cuba and ease restrictions on travel and commerce.

These steps will obviously have an enormous effect on the island nation, about 90 miles off the coast of the U.S. But it will also have an effect on many parts of the United States, including Pittsburgh.

Kenya Dworkin y Mendez, the Cuban-born associate professor of Hispanic Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and Scott Morgenstern, the associate professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh discussed the matter on today’s Essential Pittsburgh.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:45 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

A Former Officer's Perspective on Appropriate Use of Force

Credit macwagen / flickr

For as long as there has been law enforcement, there have been arguments over how much force police reserve the right to use.

These arguments have come to dominate the national conversation in the wake of the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York. This conversation has spread to Pittsburgh, in the form of regular protest demonstrations focused on local issues.

Sheldon Williams is a former Pittsburgh Police Officer and a member of the Citizen Police Review Board who answered some of the  lingering questions about the use of deadly force by police.

Williams said that he was somewhat skeptical about Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s testimony.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:02 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Thursday Rundown: Making Sure Police Use of Force is Proportional to the Crime

Credit Elvert Barnes / Flickr

These topics air Thursday December 18, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Cuba Policy Changes

As the United States takes steps to change our relationship with Cuba and ease restrictions on travel and commerce, with a place President Kennedy described as an "imprisoned island," we'll talk with Cuban born Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Kenya Dworkin y Mendez and University of Pittsburgh associate professor of political science Scott Morgenstern. What opportunities does this create for Pittsburgh?

When Police Use Deadly Force

As public outcry continues in the wake of the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York, former Pittsburgh Police Officer Sheldon Williams answers lingering questions about the use of deadly force by police. What obligation do police officers have to make sure the use of force is proportional?

Travel Segment

With the year coming to a close and holiday celebrations abounding, Travel contributor Elaine Labalme stops by with suggestions to help you answer the musical question, "What are you doing New Year's Eve." 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:15 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Are Local Prosecutors to Blame for Failure to Prosecute Police?

Credit David Harris

The public outcry over the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men, at the hands of white police officers continues to spark protests around the country. 

One of the many legal aspects being called into question in these instances is the role of local prosecutors taking the cases to grand juries. Pitt Law Professor David Harris examines the part that local prosecutors have played in these cases.

Harris says that local prosecutors often have ties to police departments, thus producing a possible conflict of interest. Although sometimes local prosecutors do indeed prosecute police, Harris acknowledges that concerns about impartiality are justifiable.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:09 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Untold Stories behind Holiday Songs

Credit Pamla J. Eisenberg / Flickr

From “Jingle Bells” to “White Christmas,” many of our most popular holiday songs have interesting stories behind them. Pop culture contributor Joe Wos tells us the stories behind some of our favorite holiday songs.

Wos singles out “Jingle Bells” as possibly the first Christmas pop song. Originally intended as a Thanksgiving song, “Jingle Bells” became a popular drinking song and ultimately became associated with Christmas.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:59 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Why US Representative Mike Doyle Voted against the Latest Spending Bill

Credit US House of Representatives

Four days ago, Congress put final approval on a long term one-trillion dollar funding bill, the main item on the year's agenda. The measure provides money for nearly the entire government through September 30, 2015.

But the spending bill has plenty of critics, including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who called it "the worst of government for the rich and powerful.”

Pittsburgh Congressman Mike Doyle voted against the bill and explains that he did so because it contains “egregious provisions,” including a rider that allows banks to make risky investments that are FDIC insured, thus putting taxpayers at risk for private investment. Citigroup actually wrote the terms of the provision, Doyle emphasizes.

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Essential Pittsburgh
12:09 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Weighing the Power of Local Prosecutors

Credit Emmanuel / Flickr

These topics air Wednesday December 17, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Local Prosecutors

The public outcry over the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men, at the hands of white police officers continues to spark protests around the country. One of the many legal aspects being called into question in these instances is the role of local prosecutors taking the cases to grand juries. We’ll examine the part local prosecutors have played in these cases with Pitt Law Professor David Harris.

US Representative Mike Doyle Explains His Vote on the Spending Bill

Four days ago, Congress put final approval on a long term one-trillion dollar funding bill, the main item on the year's agenda. The measure provides money for nearly the entire government through September 30, 2015. But the spending bill has plenty of critics including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who called it "the worst of government for the rich and powerful.” Pittsburgh Congressman Mike Doyle voted against the bill and he joins us to explain his decision. 

Holiday Songs

From Jingle Bells to White Christmas, pop culture contributor Joe Wos gives us the stories behind some of our favorite holiday songs.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:10 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

The Story Behind Andy Warhol's 13 Most Wanted

A recreation of Andy Warhol’s “13 Most Wanted Men” banner was installed for the opening of the Warhol Museum's exhibition.
Courtesy of the Warhol Museum Twitter

Fifty years ago, the 1964 World’s Fair opened in Queens, New York. The organizers commissioned work from Andy Warhol, to be displayed on the facade of the New York State Pavilion, one of the fair’s main venues. 

According to Jessica Beck, assistant curator at The Warhol Museum, the NY World's Fair was all about “Peace through understanding, and man’s place in this changing and shrinking world.” 

She says it was meant to be a family-friendly attraction. 

But at that time, Andy Warhol was still experimenting with pop art, and growing in notoriety. For his commissioned work, Warhol created “Thirteen Most Wanted Men,” a mural composed of 22 head-and-shoulder mug shots taken from a booklet created by the New York City Police Department with images of the most wanted criminals of 1962. The painting, unsurprisingly, caused a scandal. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:29 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Pittsburgh Maintains Low Unemployment, But Blue Collar Jobs Still Struggle

Construction workers standing below the PNC Tower being erected in Downtown Pittsburgh
Credit Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh continues to have lower levels of unemployment than most similarly sized cities such as: Indianapolis, Kansas City and Cleveland. 

The Steel City weathered the economic crisis of 2008 better than just about any of these cities and its low unemployment and housing prices have drawn residents back to the area. But will this trend continue?

Mark Price, a labor economist with the left-leaning Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, discusses Pittsburgh’s prospects going forward. In particular, he explains that economic recovery has not yet affected those in blue collar jobs. 

“Two sectors that are going to be important for Pittsburgh, two sectors that have not performed well at all for obvious reasons would be manufacturing and construction… that reflects the deepness and the nature of the recession.”

Overall, however, Price does feel good about the economy going forward.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:56 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Are You A PANK Or A PUNK? What These Demographics Mean for Business

"What more can we say?"- Essential Pittsburgh Assistant Producer and resident PANK, Heather McClain
Credit Sarahnaut / Flickr

In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are always looking for the next overlooked demographic to exploit. Some past examples include Young Upward Professionals (Yuppies) and couples known as DINKs (double income no kids).

The next overlooked demographic to get its own nickname are PANKs, which stands for: Professional Aunts, No Kids. 

Business contributor Rebecca Harris explains the PANK concept and their effect on the marketplace.

She says this group consists of child-loving women who do not have children of their own, and no, they're not spinsters

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:47 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: From Help Wanted to Warhol's Most Wanted

One of the enlarged images displayed by Andy Warhol at the 1964 World's Fair. Most Wanted No. 2, John Victor G.
Credit Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.

These topics air Tuesday December 16, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Pittsburgh's Low Unemployment

The Steel City continues to have lower levels of unemployment than most similarly sized cities such as Indianapolis, Kansas City and Cleveland. But will this trend continue? We'll talk with Mark Price, a labor economist with the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg.

Warhol's 13 Most Wanted

Fifty years ago, the 1964 World’s Fair opened in Queens, New York. Iconic pop culture artist, Andy Warhol was asked to take part in a set of public commissions for the exterior of the New York State Pavilion, one of the main venues of the fair. The images Warhol chose to display caused a scandal at first. Now they are part of a major exhibition currently on view at the Andy Warhol Museum. Jessica Beck is the assistant curator of the exhibition, she’s here to talk about the story of Warhol’s 13 Most Wanted.

WESA Celebrates - Miss Audie Hart

“Miss Audie” Hart plays many different roles at the Neighborhood Academy in Garfield. To a number of students she’s a grandmother. Some staff members see her as a mother figure. The love and support she provides to those at the Neighborhood Academy are the reason she is the subject of this week’s WESA Celebrates profile.

The Business of PANKS

It seems every demographic gets a name from young upward professionals (yuppies) to couples known as DINKS (double income no kids). This week business contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the newest demographic making headlines – PANKs (professional aunts, no kids). 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:32 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

J Street Looks at the US-Israel Relationship, and a Two-State Solution

Credit Rusty Stewart / Flickr

What impact could last month’s US elections, as well as the upcoming elections in Israel have on that region? 

We pose that question to our guest, J Street Chief-of-Staff Steve Krubiner, as he prepares for a discussion on the US-Israel relationship and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Find out why he's advocating for a two-state solution.

Essential Pittsburgh
3:52 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

A New Venue For Storytelling in Pittsburgh

Lisa Kirchner is an author and creator of the Pittsburgh Story Syndicate.
Credit Lisa Kirchner

Chicago has its 2nd Story, Baltimore has the Stoop and public radio has The Moth. They’re all storytelling series where everyday citizens relate a true-life story.

The Pittsburgh Story Syndicate became the latest venue for people to connect and share their stories after holding several events in the city earlier this month. Bringing her storytelling skills back to Pittsburgh was author Lisa Kirchner who joined us in Studio A to discuss her creation.

Kirchner, who lives in New York City, was involved with the Moth as a story coach and traveled to places such as schools and rehab centers to encourage people to share their stories.

“To be able to tell your story is a way to connect more deeply with other humans… going onstage can be a lot of fun and a great motivator of people to hone their skills,” she said.

On Mondays at Cannon Coffee in Brookline, all participants put their name into a hat. When a name is drawn, that person comes up on stage and has five minutes to tell a true story- with a beginning, middle, and end. Other than that, Kirchner says there are no rules.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:37 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

An Hour of Coding Makes A Difference For Female High School Students

Students at Oakland Catholic High School learning to code.
Credit OCHS

Pittsburgh has become a hub for technology and computer developments, thanks to institutions like Carnegie Mellon University and Google.

Local students who wish to one day join this field must learn at a young age the language of computers- coding.  

Last week students around the world took part in the second annual Hour of Code event in which they spent an hour learning computer code. The program was created by Hadi Partovi at Code.org to introduce individuals, not just students, to the coding process.

Oakland Catholic High School was one of the schools that participated in the event, and school president Mary Claire Kasunic stopped by Essential Pittsburgh to explain the significance of the program.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:39 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Monday Rundown: Seeing the Importance of Coding For the Next Generation

A kindergartener coding in October 2014
Credit Kevin Jarrett / Flickr

These topics air Monday December 15, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

US-Israel Relationship

What impact could last month’s US elections, as well as the upcoming elections in Israel have on that region? We’ll pose that question to our guest J Street Chief-of-Staff Steve Krubiner, as he prepares for a discussion on the US-Israel relationship and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Cracking the Code

Last week students around the world took part in the Hour of Code event in which they spent an hour learning computer code. Locally, an event was held at Oakland Catholic High School. As part of WESA’s Life of Learning Initiative we’ll discover how the event went and what it could mean for the student’s future with School President Mary Claire Kasunic.

Pittsburgh Story Syndicate

Chicago has its Second Story, Baltimore has the Stoop and public radio has The Moth. They’re storytelling series where everyday citizens relate a true-life story. Beginning this month the Pittsburgh Story Syndicate becomes the latest venue for people to connect and share their stories. Bringing her storytelling skills back to Pittsburgh is author Lisa Kirchner who joins us in Studio A. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:01 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

News from the World of College and Pro Football

Credit Parker Anderson / Flickr

NFL owners have voted unanimously to adopt six game minimum suspensions for domestic or sexual violence and other crimes.

The changes come after the NFL was criticized for its handling of alleged off-field violence by high profile players. But will the players go along? 

John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State, offers his assessment and also talks about the upcoming departure of Pitt football coach Paul Chryst for Wisconsin.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:33 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

With A New Governor In The New Year, Will PA Have New Options For Healthcare?

Credit Tom Wolf / Flickr

Carnegie Mellon University Health Law professor Gary Kaplan joins us to talk about how Pennsylvania’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act could change under the Wolf administration.

Professor Kaplan represents private employers in advising them on health care plan options. So what do employers need to know about the UPMC and Highmark contract in 2015?

Kaplan explains that Wolf is interested in going with a different plan for the implementation of the Medicaid expansion than what Tom Corbett had planned. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:08 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

MoonMail Raises Questions About Commercial Space Flight and Space Freight

Credit Astrobotic / www.astrobotic.com

So, your life's dream has always been to send something to the moon? You may soon have your chance. A Pittsburgh company called Astrobotic is introducing a new service called MoonMail that will allow individuals to send their keepsakes to the surface of the moon. 

But with whose permission, and for what purpose? Astrobotic CEO John Thornton joins us to talk about the future of space freight.

Thornton describes Astrobotic as a “lunar logistics company” -- something like FedEx or UPS but with service to the moon. There’s been a great amount of interest in lunar freight, explains Thornton, including a plan to put a tiny house on the moon’s surface.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:08 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Friday Rundown: Will Personal Items Sent to the Moon Be Viewed as Trash or Treasure?

What do you think about the future of commercial spaceflight resembling FedEx or UPS?
Credit Stephen Rahn / Flickr

These topics air Friday December 12, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

NFL Owners OK Tougher Penalties for Domestic Violence

NFL owners have voted unanimously to adopt six game minimum suspensions for domestic or sexual violence and other crimes. The changes come after the NFL was criticized for its handling of alleged off-field violence by high profile players. But will the players go along? We'll talk with John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State.

High Policy Weeds of Health Care

We’ll talk with Carnegie Mellon University Health Law professor Gary Kaplan about how Pennsylvania’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act could change under the Wolf administration. Professor Kaplan represents private employers in advising them on health care plan options. So what do employers need to know about the UPMC and Highmark contract in 2015?

Send Your Stuff to the Moon

So, your life's dream has always been to send something to the moon? You may soon have your chance. A Pittsburgh company called Astrobotic is introducing a new service called "MoonMail" that will allow individuals to send their keepsakes to the surface of the moon. But with who's permission, and for what purpose? We'll talk with Astrobotic CEO John Thornton about the future of space freight.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:11 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Sexual Assault on College Campuses

A campus sign from a University of Oregon Rape Awareness initiative in 2013
Credit Wolfram Burner / Flickr

According to our guest Vice President of Government Relations for the American Association of University Women, Lisa Maatz, we’re seeing more outrage from student advocates, survivors and politicians regarding sexual assault on college campuses.

She and Julie Evans, Director of Prevention and Crisis Services at Pittsburgh Action Against Rape talk about how universities can better deal with this issue.

Essential Pittsburgh
6:02 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

How Media Coverage of Sexual Assault Could Be Improved

Protests outside the University of VA Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in late November after Rolling Stone published an article titled "A Rape on Campus"
Credit Bob Mical / Flickr

In November, Rolling Stone published a story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, relying on the account of the victim. 

The magazine later apologized to readers, revealing it believed her story contained inaccuracies. We'll discuss the most recent developments with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman and Jeff Ritter, Communications Department Chair at La Roche College.

Essential Pittsburgh
5:47 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Finding Winter Warmth in a Bed and Breakfast Getaway

The opulent Buhl Mansion in Sharon, PA has been ranked as one of America's top 10 romantic inns, by the National Register of Historic Places
Credit Jon-Mark Davey / Flickr

Looking for a way to de-stress from the holidays? Travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests some bed and breakfast getaways in the Commonwealth. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
12:49 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Thursday Rundown: What Can We Do to Deal With Sexual Violence on a College Campus?

What does it take to make it clear that "no means no"?
Credit roga muffin / flickr

These topics air Thursday December 11, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Sexual Assault on College Campuses

According to our guest Vice President of Government Relations for the American Association of University Women, Lisa Maatz, we’re seeing more outrage from student advocates, survivors and politicians regarding sexual assault on college campuses. She and Julie Evans, Director of Prevention and Crisis Services at Pittsburgh Action Against Rape talk about how universities can better deal with this issue.  

Rolling Stone's Rape Story

In November, Rolling Stone published a story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, relying on the account of the victim. The magazine later apologized to readers, revealing it believed her story contained inaccuracies. We'll discuss these developments with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman and Jeff Ritter, Communications Department Chair at La Roche College.

Bed and Breakfast

Looking for a way to de-stress from the holidays? Travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests some bed and breakfast getaways in the commonwealth.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:21 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Cathy Lewis Long Explores the Future of Pittsburgh Education

The Sprout Fund's Cathy Lewis Long in Studio A with our own Paul Guggenheimer.
Credit Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Last week educational visionaries from the area who are rethinking education gathered for their annual summit. As part of the WESA’s Life of Learning Initiative we’ll explore what’s on the educational horizon with Cathy Lewis Long, Executive Director & President for The Sprout Fund.

Essential Pittsburgh
4:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

7 Cold Weather Races for Dedicated Runners

Credit János Balázs / Flickr

Like the postman, rain, snow or dark of night can't keep some runners indoors.

If you’re a dedicated runner and can’t wait until the nice weather returns we’ve got good news for you.

Fitness contributor Joe Vennare joins us with information about seven cold weather races taking place in Pittsburgh this winter.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:09 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Riverlife President & CEO Lisa Schroeder Looks Back on 15 Years of Development

Credit Joseph / Flickr

Riverlife recently announced the departure of President and CEO Lisa Schroeder. Before she leaves the Steel City we’ve invited her to Studio A for an exit interview about the recreation, economic and ecological aspects of Pittsburgh’s river fronts.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:37 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Riverfront Resurgence with Lisa Schroeder

Discussing changes in the Pittsburgh's riverscape with outgoing Riverlife president and CEO Lisa Schroeder.
Credit Joseph / Flickr

These topics air Wednesday December 10, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Innovative Learning in Pittsburgh

Last week educational visionaries from the area who are rethinking education gathered for their annual summit. As part of the WESA’s Life of Learning Initiative we’ll explore what’s on the educational horizon with Cathy Lewis Long, Executive Director & President for The Sprout Fund.

WESA Celebrates - Deidre Kane and Dora Walmsley

A shared frustration of living in a food desert resulted in Deirdre Kane and Dora Walmsley opening up a neighborhood market in Lawrenceville that provides fresh, healthy food. The ladies and their effort are profiled in this week’s WESA Celebrates.

Winter Running Events

Like the postman, rain, snow or dark of night can't keep some runners indoors. If you’re a dedicated runner and can’t wait until the nice weather returns we’ve got good news for you. Fitness contributor Joe Vennare joins us with information about seven cold weather races taking place in Pittsburgh this winter.

Exit Interview

Riverlife recently announced the departure of President and CEO Lisa Schroeder. Before she leaves the Steel City we’ve invited her to Studio A for an exit interview about the recreation, economic and ecological aspects of Pittsburgh’s river fronts. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:00 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Analyzing Big Data Comes With Big Challenges

Credit Martin Gysler / Flickr

All those clicks, likes, and retweets you do on social media add up to a huge amount of data that can be worth millions to some companies.

But according to new research, actually using that data is easier said than done.

Derek Ruths, assistant professor of Computer Science at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec stresses that, at a general level, using social media data to predict behavior is challenging.

That's because data analysts are typically asked to study data for purposes different than what the data was originally intended for-- in effect, “trying to extract information that wasn’t intentionally put in there.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:45 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

The Business of Food Banks

Credit Nancy Furbee / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's mission is to feed people in need and mobilize our community to eliminate hunger.

Their vision is for a hunger-free southwestern Pennsylvania. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at food banks in the region.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:05 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

So What Does It Really Take to Indict a Police Officer?

Local protesters staged a "die-in" on the University of Pittsburgh campus in the wake of the NYC Eric Garner decision
Credit Britt Reints / Flickr

The recent decisions by grand juries not to press charges against white police officers involved in fatalities of unarmed black men in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY has led the headlines in recent weeks. 

These incidents have called into question the difficulty of charging police officers with crimes, even with video evidence, and what alternatives there could be to address police misconduct.

Pitt Law Professor David Harris explains the difficulty of charging officers, and how police departments are changing.

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