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
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 including 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. 

Read more
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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Essential Pittsburgh
10:20 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: What Does it Really Take to Indict a Police Officer?

The protests happening all over Allegheny County, like this die-in at the August Wilson Center Downtown, and throughout the rest of the country, reflect people's fear, anger and frustration at the recent grand jury decisions not to try white police officers for killing unarmed black citizens.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

These topics air Tuesday December 9, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Charging Police Officers with Crimes

The recent decisions by grand juries not to press charges against white police officers involved in fatalities involving 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 joins us for a discussion on the difficulty involved in charging officers and changing police departments.

Social Media and Big Data

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. We’ll address the use of social media and big data with Derek Ruths, assistant professor of Computer Science at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

Business Segment - Food Banks

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
5:26 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Building Neighborhood Bridges to Innovation

Credit Peter Radunzel / Flickr

Pittsburgh native, entrepreneur and Urban Innovation 21 CEO William Generett is an advocate looking to connect the city’s disadvantaged neighborhoods to the tech sector. 

He joins us in Studio A for a conversation on how he plans to accomplish this goal.

Essential Pittsburgh
4:48 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Local Perspectives on Celebrity Scandal and Damage Control

Credit Dave / Flickr

Long considered one of America’s most beloved comedians, Bill Cosby is scheduled to perform in Pittsburgh this coming February. However, Cosby has been receiving a lot of negative press lately for allegations of sexual misconduct.

He is the latest in a long line of childhood heroes and lovable icons mired in scandal.

Pop culture contributor Joe Wos shared a brief history of celebrity scandal, from 1920’s silent movie actor Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, to kiddie-show icons Paul Reubens, known by many as Pee-wee Herman and Kevin Clash, who played Elmo on Sesame Street for almost 30 years.

Wos says Reubens is a great example of someone who managed to turn his negative public image around after the scandal broke. He says that’s partially because Reubens’ crime was victimless.

But for celebrities like Cosby, who portray themselves on TV and in real life, as having a higher moral standing, Wos says when those people fall from grace, “I hate to say that there’s some enjoyment in it but there is a sense that he was put in his place. When you set yourself up to lead by example, you better be Mr. Rogers.”

Damage Control

Considering the media’s obsession with the cult of celebrity and scandal, is it any wonder that American TV viewers have become obsessed with the ABC drama “Scandal”? Millions watch Olivia Pope “handle” and “fix” the reputations and images of high profile clients each Thursday night.

But in real life what does it take to repair one’s image after falling from grace?

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Essential Pittsburgh
12:48 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Monday Rundown: Building Bridges to Innovation

Credit Peter Radunzel / Flickr

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

Building Bridges

Pittsburgh native, entrepreneur and Urban Innovation 21 CEO William Generett is an advocate looking to connect the city’s disadvantaged neighborhoods to the tech sector. He joins us in Studio A for a conversation on how he plans to accomplish this goal.

Scandal

Long considered one of America’s most beloved comedians Bill Cosby is scheduled to perform in Pittsburgh this coming February. However, Mr. Cosby has been receiving a lot of negative press lately for allegations of sexual misconduct. Mr. Cosby is the latest in a long line of childhood heroes and lovable icons mired in scandal. Pop culture contributor Joe Wos joins us for a look at the history of scandal.

Damage Control

Each week viewers tune in to the television show Scandal to watch Olivia Pope “handle” and “fix” the reputations and images of high profile clients. However, in real life what does it take to repair one’s image after falling from grace? Saul Markowitz, president of Markowitz Communications navigates us through the intricacies of public relations damage control.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:53 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Senator Bob Casey Sponsors the ABLE Act to Support People with Disabilities

Credit 401kcalculator.org / Flickr

For the first time since the early 1990’s, major legislation for people with disabilities is poised to be approved by Congress.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, also known as the ABLE Act could make it possible for disabled people to live independently and work without fear of losing important benefits. The ABLE Act just passed the House and is now making its way through the Senate.

Bob Casey, a US Senator representing Pennsylvania has been sponsoring the legislation. He joins us along with Jillian Zacks, an estate attorney specializing in special needs planning, and a mother of 2 children on the autism spectrum.

Jillian Zacks recommends the website 21andAble.org for those aiding young adults with disabilities who are transitioning into adulthood.

Essential Pittsburgh
5:43 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Soloists Luca Sbrizzi and Gabrielle Thurlow Prepare for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Soloists Luca Sbrizzi and Gabrielle Thurlow
Aimee DiAndrea

Pointe Magazine has included Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre soloists Luca Sbrizzi and Gabrielle Thurlow among its Top 10 Standout Performances of 2014. The dancers, who will be featured in PBT’s production of the holiday classic The Nutcracker, take a moment from their rehearsal to speak with us.

Essential Pittsburgh
5:40 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

How Does a Book Become a Bestseller?

In today's publishing world, what does it take to go from a manuscript to a bestselling author?
Credit m01229 / Flickr

Thousands of people set out to write a book each year and get it published. Many hope to see their book turn into a bestseller.

But even when a writer tries to do everything right, there’s still no guarantee of success. For that reason, Irina Reyn, an Assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and author of the book “What Happened to Anna K?” has developed an undergraduate course focused how a manuscript becomes a book and how a book becomes a bestseller.

She joins us along with Mitch Hoffman, Executive Editor at Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette, to discuss what it takes to get a new book into the hands of readers.

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