90.5 WESA's Essential Pittsburgh

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

Essential Pittsburgh is a locally produced program from 90.5 WESA 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.  
  • Tweet your question to @esspgh
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
  • What stories are we missing? Send your thoughts to esspgh@wesa.fm 
Eric Risberg / AP Images

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are looking to implement a vast network of sensors and devices

on their campus and into the city of Pittsburgh through a Google-sponsored initiative called the “Internet of Things.”  Developers believe the project has the potential to profoundly change the way we approach the world around us as well as improve city infrastructure, communication and decision-making.  But what would it look like if our cars could talk to coffee makers and our calendars to air conditioning units? Lead investigator for the project and director of CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Anind K. Dey, shares his hopes for the CMU undertaking.


Paul A. Hebert / AP Images

The man known for hit songs like "Chances Are," "Misty" and "It's Not For Me To Say," Johnny Mathis, is coming to Pittsburgh next week to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as part of the PSO's Thursday Icons Series. Mr. Mathis will talk about a career in which he has sold millions of records as well as aspects of his personal life including his battle with alcoholism. (starts at 13:06)

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

More than a week after the budget deadline passed for Pennsylvania legislators, it’s become clear that very little progress has been made in negotiation efforts between the governor and Republican majority. Governor Tom Wolf wants to see increases to the personal income and sales tax to help fund his property tax plan for schools and homeowners, however legislators on the right believe that money would be better in the pockets of Pennsylvanians.  Keystone Research Center Executive Director Stephen Herzenberg and Commonwealth Foundation Director of Policy Analysis Liz Stelle provide an economic analysis of the two proposed budgets as well as their thoughts on President Obama’s overtime salary threshold changes. (starts at 14:59)

Matt Rourke / AP Images

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto makes his monthly appearance on the program. He'll discuss why the city has filed suit for $11.4 million in gaming funds he says are owed to the city by the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority. The mayor will also share his reaction to Governor Wolf’s task force’s recommendations on municipal pensions, his experience joining with other mayors to push for immigration reforms, and what he thinks about the Steelers bid to bring the Super Bowl to Pittsburgh.  

AP Photo/Gus Ruelas

 Surveillance of U.S. citizens by the government has received quite a bit of press. However, in our age of social media and oversharing how much information do citizens willingly give up? The Post-Gazette series Surveillance Society looks at how the government, private companies and individuals are tracking the lives of everyday citizens. Our guests, Post-Gazette reporters Chris Potter and Rich Lord, created the series and share their thoughts on modern surveillance.  (Starts at 9:42)

AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam

The nation’s oldest state law enforcement agency is in need of recruits. The Pennsylvania State Police are looking for qualified candidates to fill a growing number of vacant positions. However, attracting more men and women to consider careers as troopers has been difficult. Corporal Brian Carpenter says he thinks recent new events involving police and the public have deterred many applicants: 

"I think that some times even the good people say 'I don't know if I'm willing to go ahead and make the sacrifices that it takes to become a Pennsylvania State Trooper.'" - Corporal Brian Carpenter  

Chris Knight / AP Images

Shortly after a $30 billion budget was approved in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed the entire plan.  He’s the first governor in 40 years to turn down an entire budget proposal.The governor tells us why he decided to veto the plan and what he’d like to see change about the next proposal. Wolf says he speaks on behalf of the compromises needed to be made from both sides to get the next budget proposal underway: 

"The job now is to bring those two points together because whether we like it or not Pennsylvanians voted for divided government and we both have to agree in the end... to come to a place that we can all agree will make Pennsylvania better. We all know we need a budget, we all know we're gonna have to agree and we're gonna have to do that as quickly as we possibly can." - Governor Tom Wolf

 

Also in the program, as The Salvation Army turns 150 years old, discover how the charity has evolved over the years and how they'll be celebrating their anniversary. WESA Celebrates reports a lesser-known story of the Homestead strike, the possibility of larger fireworks being legal in our state will be addressed and our travel contributor shares her favorite 4th of July weekend getaways.

Essential Pittsburgh: Evaluating the Supreme Court's Rulings

Jul 1, 2015
Mark Fischer / flickr

The 2014-2015 Supreme Court session has come to a close. Among the issues the justices have weighed in on are historic decisions on health care and same-sex marriage. However, there were also other cases regarding housing discrimination and lethal injections. Our legal contributor Pitt Law Professor David Harris looks at the rulings the justices have made and how they will impact our lives.  Harris explains the ruling of the recent lethal injections case decided by the Supreme Court: 

"This was the argument made by opponents of the use of that drug that it is cruel and unusual because the people being executed are experiencing pain. The Supreme Court says no there is nothing cruel or unusual about using this particular drug cocktail and they legitimized execution this way by all the states that want to do it." -David Harris

Also in the program, Heinz History Center President Andy Masich describes the background of the iconic Rosie the Riveter and to mark the beginning of July, FreeBurgh highlights fun and inexpensive events this month in the Pittsburgh area.

AP Images

Today is the deadline for Pennsylvania lawmakers to submit a budget to Governor Tom Wolf. With no compromise in sight, many legislators have already prepped for negotiations to continue into the week. Pennsylvania House Majority Leader David Reed provides his thoughts on the big issues standing between the Republican party and the governor's office.

Reed responds to the accusations that Democrat input was not included in the house budget:

"It’s just not a situation where there’s complete agreement on how to move forward...we have taken the responsibility to meet our June 30th deadline very seriously, so we put together a budget proposal that had majority support in the House and the Senate on increasing funding for education, balancing the budget, and doing so without any new taxes going forward, and we will send it to the governor later on today." -David Reed   

Also, the U.S. Women’s World Cup team heads to the semi-finals, including a Pittsburgh-area player. We'll examine soccer's growing fan base in Pittsburgh, then Joe Wos takes a classic and adds a Pittsburgh twist in his new book The Three Little Pigsburghers. 

Governor Tom Wolf / flickr

The deadline for the Pennsylvania state budget is fast approaching. Governor Wolf’s administration is assuring tax payers and state workers failure to meet the deadline will not affect them. Will the governor and state lawmakers be able to agree on a budget on time? State Senator Jay Costa provides his insight on the future of budget discussions. 

Costa believes some of his colleagues are responsible for the delay:

"I am anticipating a late budget and it is largely because the party on the other side has refused to allow the governor to dissipate and to respect and honor the concessions that he's made in this process. They've been significant and they've moved the ball forward but unfortunately you've got some leaders who are simply hell bent on trying to force the governor to veto his budget." - State Senator Jay Costa

Also in the program, Promised Beginnings is an offshoot of Safer Tougher Pittsburgh, aiming to educate parents of young children on public safety.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Pennsylvania has been recognizing same-sex marriages for a little over a year. With the recent decision from the Supreme Court on the nationwide legality of gay marriage, we’ll address how their ruling could affect the nation with Pitt Law Professor Anthony Infanti.

Infanti touches on the impact of public opinion and how far we as a society have come:

"If you think about what would be a, quote on quote, strict interpretation of the constitution some people would say well go back 200 years ago and see what they would have said, the answer would have been very different than the answer we got today. … It does evolve overtime and clearly the court at some level takes into account where the country is at and where the country is willing to go." -Anthony Infanti 

Also, Pittsburgh Business Times reporter Kris Mamula discusses the upholding of a key provision of the Affordable Care Act by the Supreme Court, and we take a look at increased popularity of craft beers in Pittsburgh with food columnist Hal B. Klein and author Mark Brewer.

Essential Pittsburgh: The Act of Forgiveness After Violent Crime

Jun 25, 2015
Elvert Barnes / flickr

In the wake of last week’s tragic shootings at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, many were stunned by the grace shown by the victims to forgive the perpetrator of the crime. Why is forgiveness, from those devastated by a heinous crime necessary and how does one begin to forgive? We’ll pose those questions to Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project Fred Luskin.

Luskin elaborates on how crucial it is to forgive in today's world:

"The reason forgiveness is so essential is if you don't deal with it on a personal level, then you're burdened by it for too long. If you don't forgive you stay too long in the suffering. That's why it's so tricky...forgiveness is the exit door." - Fred Luskin

Also in the program, local artist Alexi Morrissey takes the "kid on a milk carton" campaign of the 1980's idea to commemorate the lives lost during the Slave Trade and Kilolo Luckett pays tribute to Naomi Sims, fashion's first black supermodel and Pittsburgh native.

William / flickr

Nation contributor and fellow at the Nation Institute Dani McClain recently penned a piece in response to Dylan Roof's attack on church-goers in South Carolina, claiming that Roof exploited "a survival tactic as old as the black American experience: a refusal to let one’s heart harden or one’s joy fade in the face of the irrational, deadly actions that white supremacy can generate."  

McClain draws attention to the fact that black communities are already coping with many recent events that have resulted in black deaths, and that the  Emmanual A.M.E. Church was a politically active and aware congregation:

"Despite both the larger national context of this period of violence, and despite whatever personal plights these individuals may have faced, they still welcomed this young man into their community...What felt important to communicate was this idea of the porousness and openness that we see not just in black churches, but I think in black communities in general." -Dani McClain

Also today, Sheldon Williams and Reverend Waltrina Middleton discuss whether or not churches will be able to maintain their accessibility in the wake of last week's shooting deaths.

Andrew Russell / Trib Total Media

On Sunday, the Tribune Review began running the series “Homegrown Terror,” about how and why U.S. citizens join with ISIS in combat overseas and the potential they may return here to bring the fight to the homeland.  Joining us to discuss the series are Reporter Mike Wereschagin and photographer Andy Russell who recently spent time in Minneapolis visiting and talking with the Somali community there in the wake of a federal indictment that has charged 10 of its members with doing just that.

Wereschagin recalls the Somali community in Minneapolis expressing what persuaded their young men to provide material aid for terrorist groups:

"In this community what we saw and what we heard from people there was that it was not merely an economic issue, it wasn’t merely an educational issue, it wasn’t an issue of just alienation, it was all of these things combined." -Mike Wereschagin

Also, two local companies are collecting the data you need to rent your next living space. WESA Celebrates the great lottery fake of 1980, and Rebecca Harris unpacks the business of summer. 

Essential Pittsburgh: What Constitutes A Hate Crime?

Jun 22, 2015
AP Photo/David Goldman

The tragic massacre of members of an African American prayer group at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina has stunned the nation. While the shooting may be a hate crime South Carolina does not have laws to this effect. We’ll address what constitutes a hate crime with Wilson Huhn, distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Akron, School of Law.

Huhn covers the severity of hate crimes and the grave repercussions compared to that of a non-hate crime:

"In all cases, in answer to punishment, it moves it from a less serious felony to a more serious felony, which means additional prison time. …With this particular crime, the motivation is one of the elements of the offense." -Wilson Huhn

Also, Samantha Bushman tackles the awkward stigma of sex education, transforming its delivery for a younger, and vastly unique generation. A new study links the ancient practice of yoga to increased health benefits for those with diabetes. 

European Space Agency / flickr

Happy Martian New Year. That's right it's New Year's Day on Mars and it's being celebrated today and throughout this weekend in Mars, Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburgh. The goal of this three day celebration of the Red Planet is to encourage young people to pursue careers that will enable NASA's journey to Mars. Mars expert Jim Green who is NASA's Director of Planetary Science is giving a talk as part of this weekend's events and joins us by phone.

Green explains how exactly the Martian New Year works, and the reason we won’t be celebrating it next year:

“Mars is further away from the sun than we are so it has a longer year. In fact, there are more than 670 earth days to equal one year on mars. … So we won’t be celebrating this again for another two years.” -Jim Green

Also, the first Allegheny SolarFest will run completely on solar power and explore Western PA's options for renewable energy. Darren Miller takes on the Sub 3 Marathon on Lake Erie.

Office of State Senator Matt Smith

Last month Senator Matt Smith announced he would be leaving the PA State Senate. He departs Harrisburg to take over as head of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. Will his experience with the state legislature help in his new job?  He joins us for another in our series of exit interviews.

Smith indicates what he will miss most as a Pennsylvania State Legislator, specifically mentioning the relationships he has built with his colleagues and staff members: 

"The work that my staff has done for me over the last eight and a half years has enabled me to achieve the legislative success that I have been able to have in a bipartisan way. Really those relationships are always what’s tough when you move from one chapter of your life to the next chapter." -Matt Smith

Also, the Community Leadership Course for Veterans has won an award for utilizing the skills of Pittsburgh veterans to better the city. Elaine Labalme covers National Parks. 

Essential Pittsburgh: Monthly De-Brief With Mayor Peduto

Jun 17, 2015
Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto makes his monthly visit to the program. Among the issues we'll discuss are why Pittsburgh's homicide rate is getting federal scrutiny, his executive order enacting a long-term, strategic investment and maintenance plan for city owned facilities and the recently held CEO's for Cities Innovative + Inclusive City Workshop.

Mayor Peduto presents a new approach Pittsburgh officials are working on to better regulate and diminish crime in the area:

"There's an ongoing partnership that we've created with the Department of Justice in one of the few cities around the country to create, over the next few years, the model of community policing. Our officers have been engaged in participating in community events that occur. We're working it from both ends... to be able to not only just solve crime but try to stop crime." -Mayor Bill Peduto

Also in the program, Andy Masich explains Point State Park's involvement in Pittsburgh's legacy and we'll learn how Pittsburgh is celebrating World Refugee Day, locally. 

glindsay65 / flickr

The manhunt continues for two escaped prisoners in the northeastern section of New York State. One of the men was serving a life sentence while the other, 25 years to life. The escapees present a danger to the public. However, what happens when prisoners serving a life sentence are diagnosed with a terminal illness? While they may not be a threat to the public should they be released? Public Source reporter Jeffrey Benzing looked at the issue of compassionate release and joins us in studio to address the topic. (starts at 11:56)

Benzing discusses the factors judges take into consideration when determining whether an inmate should qualify for compassionate release:

"The judge has the discretion to look at the threat to public safety. If there’s a risk for escape or someone committing some other awful heinous crime, that’s certainly something the judge considers. They hear testimony from the prosecutor. … They also can hear from the victim. It’s ultimately up to the judge to decide, but each of these parties is able to object if they wish to." –Jeffrey Benzing

Also, State Police Commissioner Marcus Brown removes his name after losing the Senate confirmation vote. WESA Celebrates tells the story of the day the South Fork Dam Broke, and a CMU grad travels to Vietnam to remove mines and bombs that still make the Quang Tri Province dangerous long after war's end.

Essential Pittsburgh: Corporate Equity and Pittsburgh Jazz

Jun 15, 2015

In 2010, the Post-Gazette reported the Pittsburgh region was ranked "dead last" on indicators of racial and economic parity with regard to the Black working poor and African American children. This was done in comparison to 30 other regions in the country. A 2012 analysis prepared by the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board reported African Americans in the Pittsburgh region make less than other groups in the same sector of work. Black Political Empowerment Project President Tim Stevens and organizational psychologist Barry Nathan join us to discuss a possible solution to this problem; the Corporate Equity and Inclusion Roundtable.

Stevens addresses what the Corporate Equity and Inclusion Roundtable encounters as they strive to change Pittsburgh’s racial inequalities:

"We’re dealing with uprooting history and creating a new history. We’re creating a commitment where there has not been a commitment." -Tim Stevens

Nathan gives a social solution to inequality in the workplace, especially in regards to Pittsburgh’s newcomers:

“It’s about making one on one relationships over and over again. … We have to somehow create a sense of critical mass so that when newcomers come into the region they say, even if there’s not a lot of people yet, like me, there’s a network that I can form, people are reaching out to me.” –Barry Nathan

Also, The Pittsburgh Jazz Celebration opens in the Steel City tomorrow, and an archive of jazz pianist and Pittsburgh native Erroll Garner's musical career will find a home at the University of Pittsburgh.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

A recent look at The Pittsburgh Promise, a scholarship Pittsburgh Public School attendees can qualify for which helps them pay for college, found African-American males are receiving significantly less financial support than Caucasian males, females, as well as African-American females. Saleem Ghubril, executive director of The Pittsburgh Promise, is in studio to explain why African-American males aren't qualifying, and ultimately not receiving, as much of The Promise as anticipated. 

Ghubril discusses the potential changes needing to take place in order to insure the equality of scholarship acceptance among all students: 

"There needs to be more support services in the community alongside our schools to meet kids mental health needs, physical health needs, to address some childhood trauma issues that are not being dealt with, to provide some academic support services, maybe even some financial literacy. …What we can do better is insuring that the pipeline doesn’t have as many holes in it and the support services that kids need are indeed in place." -Saleem Ghubril

Also, meet two men who are traveling across the country to raise awareness for important causes, and we'll discuss Roots Pride Pittsburgh, an even created out of dissatisfaction with local Pride events coordinated by Delta Foundation. 

Essential Pittsburgh: Healing the Hearts of Pittsburgh Children

Jun 11, 2015
Flickr user Michael Goodin

UPMC’s Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s top research facilities for pediatric cardiac care. The recent arrival of our guest pediatric cardiologist Dr. Bernhard Kuhn to the hospital is a testament to the facility being able to attract top talent. Dr. Kuhn is leading the charge to find a treatment for heart failure in children, and he joins us today in studio to discuss his progress thus far.

Dr. Kuhn expresses hope in how the recent discovery of proliferation in heart muscle cells could be a leading factor in pediatric cardiac care:

"My vision and hope is that neuregulin one day may become something like insulin for heart failure. Neuregulin is currently in phase two trials in adult patients and we want to understand better how it could potentially work in our pediatric patients." - Dr. Bernhard Kuhn

Also in the program, Circle Camps for Grieving Children gives young girls the opportunity to cope with the loss of a parent within a supportive and understanding environment and Andrew Cohen remembers the 48 hours where JFK first implored us as a nation to change our perceptions of race and nuclear weapons.

There has been a public outcry and calls for changes at the Allegheny County Jail in the wake of the unexplained deaths of two inmates in May. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald decided to sever ties with Corizon Health Inc., the provider of health care services at the facility. The first public hearing on the matter has been scheduled for June 23  in the County Council chambers of the Allegheny County Courthouse. We'll talk with County Council member Heather Heidelbaugh and Julia Johnson of the Allegheny County Jail Health Justice Project.

Johnson expresses her concern for the proper treatment and counseling of inmates in hopes to better the health care services in the jail:

"There just needs to be more compassion as far as people with mental health issues and they're compounding those issues at the jail. 60% of people at the ACJ have mental health issues and they are not being give their anti-psychotic medicine, they are not getting counseling." - Julia Johnson

Also in the program, beloved music teacher Adrianne Kelly is retiring after 33 years at Minadeo Elementary School and Steel City Squash is teaching a little-known sport to youth in the Hill District, combining its physical activity with academic development.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

Ron Donoughe has been painting Pittsburgh for 30 years. It was in the last year, however, that he completed 90 separate paintings, each depicting a unique snapshot of each of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods. All 90 paintings are on display together at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, where we met with Mr. Donoughe to learn his reasons for undergoing the project, and what he discovered along the way. (starts at 11:11) 

Donoughe explains his motivation towards the scenes he chose within each Pittsburgh neighborhood: 

“In a lot of cases it was a lighting situation, other times it was where I could find a parking spot. … It was getting out in an area and just walking the neighborhood and finding what really spoke to me.” –Ron Donoughe

Also, Governor Wolf has pulled his nomination for Acting State Police Commissioner Marcus Brown in order to allow more time for consideration. The Frick draws parallels between the industrialization of Wales and Pittsburgh, and Rebecca Harris continues her look at Crawford-Roberts.  

Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board

Mayor Peduto's office and the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board have declared the summer of 2015 as one where the youth of Pittsburgh should prepare to "Learn and Earn" through an increased dedication to placing them in meaningful summer jobs. Stefani Pashman, Chief Executive Officer at the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board and Barbara Parees, Deputy County Manager for Allegheny County join us to outline the joint plan for a productive summer. 

Also in the program, Steve Inskeep chronicles the life of Andrew Jackson in his new book and Bob Dvorchak tries to connect the dots of a potential Penguins ownership shakeup.

Marine Corps New York / flickr

A number of  deployed soldiers return home with severe mental and physical issues. In some instances this could result in criminal actions. The Veterans Court works to find alternatives to incarceration for servicemen and women. We discussed how the program has been working here in Western PA with Ronald Scott, a veteran and graduate of the program as well as David Hickton, US States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Hickton explains that both mentors and mentees benefit from the relationship built by Veterans Court:

"I think they find that the love and support they get from someone they might have never known before gives them the faith they need to trust the society that they're re-entering, and it allows them to shed the anger which causes them to operate off the grid." -David Hickton

Also in today's program, Andy Masich helps us celebrate the 75th birthday of the Jeep (first produced in Butler), and FreeBurgh previews free events in June. 

Flickr user jrgcastro

After stating last month that it would not accept Highmark Medicare patients due to Highmark's cancer treatment "mark-ups," UPMC has been ordered by Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pelligrini to continue to see the 182,000 seniors they currently serve through Highmark. UPMC has already vowed to appeal the court order under a scheduled arbitration to resolve the differences between the two providers. Pittsburgh Business Times health care reporter Kris Mamula joins us in studio. (starts at 15:13) 

Mamula explains Pelligrini's ambitious hopes for the on-going dispute between UPMC and Highmark: 

"He wants all of the contractual issues between Highmark and UPMC resolved by September 30th, which is an ambitious deadline given everything that has happened. ... He wants those things that divide them to be resolved." -Kris Mamula

Also, Acting State Police Commissioner Marcus Brown fielded questions from state Senators at his nomination hearing. Emily Prevetti has the details. And we'll preview this year's Three Rivers Arts Festival with director Veronica Corpuz, and finally, Elaine Labalme has special travel plans to help celebrate dad. 

The city provides Pittsburgh residents with the opportunity to apply for housing vouchers that can place them with attentive landlords, safe structures and affordable rent. However, when landlords become hesitant to accept the vouchers, or standards for housing become overwhelming, are the vouchers being utilized to their fullest value? David Weber, Chief Operations Officer at the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, joins us to explain the voucher program's successes and shortcomings.

Weber explains several hurdles needed to be cleared for the housing vouchers to be successful:

"There are three obstacles: one is a unit that will pass the physical inspection... the second is a landlord who's willing to participate in the program because there are some additional administrative things the landlord, as well as the tenant, have to do, and the third is finding a unit where the rent is within the standard that HUD sets that we're allowed to pay for a unit." - David Weber


Essential Pittsburgh: Pennsylvania's Push for Medical Marijuana

Jun 2, 2015
Mark / flickr

Legislation legalizing the use of cannabis extracts to address certain medical conditions has passed the state Senate by an overwhelming margin and is now being considered in the House of Representatives. Last year a similar measure passed the Senate but died in the House. Allegheny County representative Dan Frankel joins us to discuss where the legislation stands this year.  Also taking part in the conversation is  Vice President of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, Dr. Charles Cutler.

 In response to skeptics who claim not enough studies have been done to disprove negative health conditions, Representative Frankel cites the amount of studies done on an international level:

"We believe that there is great efficacy towards using medical marijuana to mitigate some of these conditions and relieve pain, and that that decision ought to be left between a doctor and a patient, as it has, in some form, in 23 states who have legalized it to some level." -Rep. Dan Frankel 

Dr. Cutler counters with the United States' lack of double-blind studies performed in order to ascertain medical marijuana's safety, claiming that the country's major medical institutions stand in favor of more research:

"We've seen over the years, a number of products that were quite helpful in terms of treating illnesses, but had such serious side effects that they were taken off the market... If the FDA, in their wisdom, would be willing to re-schedule marijuana to a category where research could be done...I think we could get the answer." -Dr. Charles Cutler 

Also, Theo Collins describes a new documentary highlighting the tragedy of veteran suicide, WESA Celebrates wooden streets with contributor Margaret J. Krauss and Rebecca Harris focuses in on the community of Crawford-Roberts.

Innovative Modular Solutions

The National Forum on Education Statistics reports Pennsylvania has the widest funding gap between wealthy and poor school districts. Ensuring every student in PA has access to a quality education, regardless of where they live, is the goal of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding. As state legislators prepare for budget talks we’ll address the need for a new public school funding formula with Patrick Dowd, executive director of Allies for Children and Cheryl Kleiman, attorney with the Education Law Center.

Dowd discusses the goal of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding: 

“We have lots of different views on lots of different issues, but on this one we have a common agenda. We want to make sure that the Pennsylvania legislature adopts, by 2016, a fair funding formula for the students of public schools here in Pennsylvania.” –Patrick Dowd

Also, Sasha King explains how to become management material, and WESA's Liz Reid and the Tribune-Review's David Conti present a three-part series on smart meters for the home. 

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