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.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:51 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Contradictory Court Rulings on Expert Witnesses

Credit Lucy Skywalker / Wikipedia Commons

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court could not make up its mind on the usage of expert testimony in criminal cases, handing down two contradictory decisions recently.

In the first case, on eyewitness testimony, a majority changed the longstanding rule that no experts on the problems with eyewitness testimony were allowed; from this point forward, the Supreme Court ruled, trial courts in PA may permit experts.

But in the other case, the court ruled the exact opposite, stating expert testimony can create a false confession.

Pitt Law Professor David Harris believes he can help clarify the cases.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:28 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: New Rulings on Expert Witnesses in PA Courts

Credit Emmanuel / Flickr

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

Expert Witnesses in PA

Recently, the PA Supreme Court decided two cases on the same day, both concerning expert testimony in criminal cases. In one case, on eyewitness testimony, a majority changed the longstanding rule that no experts on the problems with eyewitness testimony were allowed; from this point forward, the Supreme Court said, trial courts in PA may permit experts. But in the other case, the court said exactly the opposite re: expert testimony on what can create a false confession. Pitt Law Professor David Harris joins us to explain how this will impact future trials in the commonwealth.

Be Book Smart Campaign

One of the problems educators face is the summer slide. This is the loss of learning skills students experience during the summer. It can sometimes result in teachers needing to re-teach certain skills or topics. A new survey being released today finds only 17 percent of parents believe reading is a top summer priority. In an effort to support children’s literacy Reading is Fundamental (RIF) is launching a Be Book Smart Campaign. Joining us to explain the program is Katherine Heffernen, Assistant Director of Communications and Development for the Pittsburgh office of RIF.

Pittsburgh Lists

From livability to walkability Pittsburgh keeps showing up on an endless series of lists. These honors were the focus of a recent column by Tribune Review columnist Nafari Vanaski who shares her thoughts in an essay.

PA Turnpike Toll Increases

The PA Turnpike Commission has approved a toll increase set to begin in 2015. This is the seventh rate increase since Act 44 of 2007. It’s also the first time, since 2011 EZ Pass rates have gone up. What do these toll rate changes mean for the future of the turnpike? We’ll pose that question to the Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Carl DeFebo. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:15 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

A Mother's Loss During The Freedom Summer

Missing Persons poster issued by the FBI on June 29, 1964, shortly after the men went missing.
Credit Federal Bureau of Investigation / Wikimedia

Fifty years ago this week, three men who were working for Freedom Summer, a project to register black voters in the South, disappeared.

The bodies of Andrew Goodman, James Cheney, and Michael Schwerner were found 44 days later by the FBI.

The men had been driving through Mississippi when they were pulled over by Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price and led off the road, where they were shot and killed by members of the local Ku Klux Klan. 

Before she passed away in 2007, Goodman's mother Carolyn collaborated with author Brad Herzog on a book called My Mantelpiece, a memoir of survival and social justice. Herzog talked about his collaboration with Mrs. Goodman, who was an activist herself, and the influence she had on her son.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:47 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Voices from the Firing Line: Jim Crowe Customs in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh students on the March to DC.
Credit National Archives Foundation

Community County of Allegheny County Professor Ralph Proctor has just released his latest book Voices from the Firing Line: A Personal Account of the Pittsburgh Civil Rights Movement.

Written as a personal narrative, the book discusses demonstrations and the methodology of those in the movement, as well as the results they achieved. Proctor said he remembers a segregated Pittsburgh, even though he was far away from the Jim Crowe laws of the south.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:22 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History Explores Race: Are We So Different?

Credit Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Race: Are We So Different? is one of the current exhibits at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The touring exhibition examines the history of how race has been defined and its impact on our lives.

Cecile Shellman, communications and community specialist for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said the exhibit’s long term goal is to be an “awareness building campaign, and to stamp out racism.”

“It’s just a taboo subject for some people," Shellman said. 

"Some people may lack the skills or the interest or the vocabulary or the courage to talk about race. And this exhibition really does invite people in overt and unconscious ways to talk about race. I think across the board, all of the other venues and here at the museum, we realize we’re actually helping people by encouraging that openness.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:23 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Freedom, Race & the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Are We So Different?

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., Whitney Young, James Farmer in January 1964. In July of that year he signed the Civil Rights Act into law.
Credit Yoichi R. Okamoto / LBJ Library and Museum

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

Voices from the Firing Line

CCAC Professor Ralph Proctor has just released his latest book Voices from the Firing Line: A Personal Account of the Pittsburgh Civil Rights Movement. He joins us to discuss the demonstrations and the methodology of those in the movement as well as the results achieved.

Freedom Summer

We'll remember the Freedom Summer of 1964 when college students traveled into the deep south to help African-Americans register to vote. Three students were murdered that summer in Mississippi including Andrew Goodman. Before she passed away in 2007, Goodman's mother Carolyn collaborated with author Brad Herzog on a book called My Mantelpiece, a memoir of survival and social justice. Herzog will join us in studio A.

Race: Are We So Different?

Race: Are We So Different is one of the current exhibits at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Examining the history of how race has been defined and its impact on our lives we’ll go behind the scenes of the exhibit with Cecile Shellman, communications and community specialist for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:34 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Checkpoint - Where Military Meets Community

Credit TeamSaintLouis / Flickr

    

Southwest Pennsylvania is home to 220,000 Veterans, with 97,000 alone living in Allegheny County. After returning from active duty, all Veterans, whether injured or uninjured, are in need of resources such as employment, physical and mental health care, job training, and housing.

Until recently, Pittsburgh-area veterans did not have a centralized, dedicated place to find these kinds of resources. This problem was solved when Pittsburgh resident and Iraq War veteran Jared Souder founded Checkpoint, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Veterans find the resources they need to help resume their lives as civilians.

Checkpoint was created out of necessity, said Souder.

“I’m supposed to be a subject matter expert, and I would still run into walls, I would run into sort of confusing things, and just see the complexity of it and really saw the need for some way to help vets navigate and reduce complexity and just get better information into their hands so they can make more informed decisions to what they can connect with and what they can benefit from.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:16 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Remembering Chuck Noll and A Turning Point for Pittsburgh

Hall of Fame Steelers Coach Chuck Noll died Friday at the age of 82.
Credit Zennie Abraham / Flickr

Last Friday night, former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Chuck Noll died in his home of natural causes at the age of 82.

Noll coached the Steelers for 23 seasons and transformed the team from a long-standing joke to a championship dynasty, becoming the only coach to win four Super Bowls.

It can also be said that he transformed the city of Pittsburgh into a football town; with Franco’s Italian Army, the whirls of yellow at each game in the form of Myron Cope’s Terrible Towels, and the one play that's been viewed as the true turning point in Steelers history "The Immaculate Reception."

Noll was there for all of this and the driving force behind it all.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:27 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Monday Rundown: Where Military Meets Community

Connecting the military world with other vital worlds of education, psychosocial support, housing, and employment.
Credit Georgia National Guard / Flickr

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

Checkpoint

Southwest Pennsylvania is home to 220,000 veterans, 97,000 alone living in Allegheny County. After returning from active duty, all veterans, whether injured or uninjured, are in need of resources such as employment, physical and mental healthcare, job training, and housing. Until recently, Pittsburgh-area veterans did not have a centralized, dedicated place to find these kinds of resources. We’ll meet Pittsburgher and Iraq War veteran Jared Souder, founder of Checkpoint a company dedicated to helping Veterans find the resources they need to help resume their lives as civilians.

WESA Celebrates - Miss Bertie, Miss Mary and Miss Dee

For over 10 years, Miss Bertie, Miss Mary and Miss Dee have been volunteering at the North Side Ministry Food Pantry. The ladies, all in their 80’s, are the profiled in this week’s edition of WESA celebrates.

Chuck Noll

Over the weekend, former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Chuck Noll died of natural causes at the age of 82. Noll coached the team for 23 seasons and transformed the Steelers from a long-standing joke to a championship dynasty, becoming the only coach to win four Super Bowls. Former Steelers linebacker Andy Russell joins us to remember Chuck Noll.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:17 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Pittsburgh Jazz Performers: Past And Present

Dianne Reeves at Carnegie Hall in 2011.
Credit Joella Marano / Flickr

Pittsburgh's Black Jazz Musicians Union

Every Saturday, a group of local musicians gathers in the auditorium of the Homewood Library to carry on Pittsburgh’s rich jazz tradition. They are the descendants of the Black Musician’s Union, a collection of pianists, drummers, and other performers who worked Pittsburgh’s clubs and dissolved in the 1960s.

Many of the clubs and musicians are long gone, but the stories of this small group continue to thrive, and they're now seeing increased attention because of a new film.  Anthology: Local #471 Musicians Union, is about the now-defunct union and some of its more famous members.

With the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival starting next week, it was the perfect time for Essential Pittsburgh to look back at Pittsburgh’s rich jazz history. Labor historian Charles McCollester and Jackie Young, whose father Harold founded the local jazz group talked about how the Black Musician’s Union was established.

“The 460 (the original musician’s union) just didn’t really want to represent the black musicians, they didn’t want to give them their share of gigs, they didn’t want to represent them if they had some type of conflict, so that’s why the 471 was erected in the first place.”

McCollester talked about the importance of the 471 in the local jazz scene.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:39 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Creator of It Gets Better, Dan Savage, Brings His HUMP Tour to Pittsburgh

Dan Savage is host and curator of the Hump Festival Tour, a syndicated columnist featured in the Pittsburgh City Paper, and LGBTQ media leader.
Credit Dan Savage / Wikipedia

Sex columnist, author, and lecturer Dan Savage is in Pittsburgh this weekend for HUMP tour, a film festival which has garnered a bit of controversy locally. It's a festival of independently made adult films, which was originally slated to screen in Dormont. But because of a local ordinance, the festival will instead be shown in Lawrenceville. 

Savage describes HUMP as a film festival of amateur porn that marries funny with sexy. The festival begins at 9 pm Friday at the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville.

Savage is best known for his syndicated sex advice column, regularly featured in the Pittsburgh City Paper and the It Gets Better Project, created to inspire and give hope to LGBT teens.

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90.5 WESA Celebrates
3:30 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Miss Bertie, Miss Mary and Miss Dee, Volunteering No Matter What

Credit Debbi Casini Klein / 90.5 WESA

Read and listen to a story about Miss Bertie, Miss Mary and Miss Dee as part of a series honoring the individuals who make a difference in people’s lives: 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference.

They may all be 80-something, but Miss Bertie, Miss Mary and Miss Dee certainly are not resting on their laurels.  

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:44 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Friday Rundown: Savage Love and Pittsburgh Jazz

Dan Savage is host and curator of the Hump Festival Tour, a syndicated columnist featured in the Pittsburgh City Paper, and LGBTQ media leader.
Credit Dan Savage / Wikipedia

These topics air Friday June 13, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Savage Love

A festival of independently made adult films will be shown this weekend in Lawrenceville. Known as the Hump Tour, the festival is curated by sex columnist, author, and lecturer Dan Savage. He joins us to discuss the festival and his It Gets Better Project created to inspire and give hope to LGBT teens.

Black Jazz Musicians Union

A group of local musicians meets every Saturday in the auditorium of the Homewood Library to play music and carry on the rich tradition of local jazz. They came into being with the dissolution of the Black Musician's Union in the 1960s. We'll talk about the group and a showing of the film "Local 471" about the union with Jackie Young, whose father Harold founded the group and historian Charlie McCollester.

Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival

The 4th Annual Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival gets underway in one week. The free festival consists of three days of jazz and jazz-influenced musical performances on outdoor stages and attracts more than 20,000 attendees from around the country. WESA jazz host Bob Studebaker joins us for a preview. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:13 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Are US-Russian Relations Dependent on Those in Power?

Credit Pete Souza / Whitehouse Photography

What does President Obama's refusal to meet with President Putin during his recent European trip say about U.S.-Russian relations?

Angela Stent is a former adviser on Russia under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Her new book,The Limits of Partnership: US-Russia Relations in the 21st Century, explores the evolution of U.S. - Russian relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Stent says the last straw in the relations between the two countries was when President Putin granted whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum in Russia. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:36 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

The Smithereens Rock the Arts Festival

Front man of the Smithereens, Pat DiNizio, will be performing with the band tonight at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.
Credit M. Jeremy Goldman / Flickr

The Smithereens perform tonight as part of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. In the 80s and 90s, the group was churning out hit songs like “Only a Memory,” “Blood and Roses” and a “Girl Like You.” Pat DiNizio is the lead singer of the rock group, and joined us in studio to talk about the history of the group, and what he’s been up to since the group’s heyday.

DiNizio describes fame as “anticlimactic.” He says he finally realized the band had “made it” when he heard “Girl Like You," broadcasted on a radio station in New York, after six years. DiNizio says it was emotionally for him, because the band never expected to sell more than 3,000 records. They sold millions.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:24 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

The Best Regional Beaches... Where to Get Away

A view of Virginia Beach, one of the most easily accessible beaches to travel to from the Pittsburgh area.
Credit Bruce Stockwell / Flickr

Grab the sunscreen, your favorite book and anything else you might need for fun in the sun.

This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests regional beaches to visit from the Jersey Shore to Virginia.

Here’s her fabulous list of beaches to visit this summer.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:24 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Thursday Rundown: US-Russia Relations and the Limits of Partnership

Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin shake hands at the G8 Summit in 2013.
Credit Pete Souza / Whitehouse Photography

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

"The Limits of Partnership"

What does President Obama's refusal to meet with President Putin during his recent European trip say about U.S.-Russian relations? We'll pose that question to Angela Stent, a former adviser on Russia under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, whose new book "The Limits of Partnership" explores the evolution of U.S. - Russian relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Smithereens

Pat DiNizio, the lead singer of the rock group The Smithereens joins us to talk about the group's performance in Pittsburgh as part of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. In the 80s and 90s, the group was churning out hit songs like "Only a Memory," "Blood and Roses" and a "Girl Like You." We'll learn about the history of the group and what Pat's been up to since the group's heyday.

Regional Beaches

Grab the sunscreen, your favorite book and anything else you might need for fun in the sun. This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests regional beaches to visit from the Jersey Shore to Virginia. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:26 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

When Opposites No Longer Attract: Coming Out After Marriage

Michael Testa is the author of When Opposites No Longer Attract, a book to help LGBT men and women who have been married, raised families and don't know how to come out.
Credit @MichaelJTesta / Twitter

Coming out can be a difficult process for anyone who realizes that they're lesbian, gay, or transgender. But what are the challenges for LGBT people who have been married, raised families and realize they’re not straight?

This topic is the focus of the book, When Opposites No Longer Attract, by Michael Testa. It's based on his own personal experience with this situation.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:38 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Mayor Bill Peduto on Act 47 & Selecting a New Police Chief

Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Hear our full interview with Mayor Peduto: We discuss the selection process for a new Chief of Police, Act 47 oversight, Ride-Sharing laws, and the recent PA marriage ruling

In the past decade, Pittsburgh has accomplished much: East Liberty was revitalized, the river fronts were beautified, and it's received many accolades from the press, including the United States’ most liveable city. Through all of this, however, the city was in a precarious financial position.

For 10 years Pittsburgh has been under Act 47 oversight for distressed municipalities. For all its improvements, the city has yet to implement a comprehensive financial management system to address legacy costs of debt, pensions, post retirement benefits, workers compensation along with a financially viable long-term capital plan.

Mayor Bill Peduto asked Gov. Tom Corbett in January to keep Pittsburgh under Act 47 state oversight for financially distressed municipalities, saying that while city finances have improved, more economic reforms are needed.

Last week the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, one of two oversight boards for Pittsburgh, called for the city to reduce services by 20 percent. Peduto responded to this while explaining how difficult it has been to get the city’s finances in order.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:04 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Mayor Peduto on Act 47 Oversight

Mayor Bill Peduto in January, asking Governor Tom Corbett to keep Pittsburgh under Act 47 oversight until at least 2018.
Credit Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

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

Mayor Peduto and the Path Out of Act 47  

For 10 years Pittsburgh has been under Act 47 oversight for distressed municipalities. While the city has seen some remarkable improvements in that time, we’ve yet to implement a comprehensive financial management system to address legacy costs of debt, pensions, post retirement benefits, workers compensation along with a financially viable long-term capital plan. Mayor Bill Peduto joins us this month to talk about plans for transitioning out of Act 47 oversight.

When Opposites No Longer Attract

Coming out is a difficult process for anyone. What are the challenges for men and women who have been married, raised families and realize they’re homosexual? That’s the focus of the book When Opposites No Longer Attract by our guest Michael Testa whose experience inspired the book. Also taking part in the conversation is Apryl Loughlin, whose ex-husband came out as gay. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:53 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Global Great Lakes Conference Attracts Immigrants to Pittsburgh

Credit Andy / Wikipedia Commons

A recent report by the Institute for Policy Innovation concludes that wages rise fastest in U.S. cities with the greatest influx of highly skilled immigrants. This could be one reason why a number of cities are looking to attract more immigrants to their municipalities.

Attracting and retaining immigrant populations will be the focus of the Global Great Lakes Conference taking place this week in Pittsburgh. Betty Cruz, Non-Profit and Faith Based manager for Mayor Peduto’s Office and Tom Buell, Director of marketing and Study Pittsburgh Initiative at Global Pittsburgh, provide an overview of this week’s conference.

Last year the Global Great Lakes conference took place in Detroit, one of the most active cities in the United States trying to attract immigrants. This year’s conference will be co-organized by Global Detroit, Vibrant Pittsburgh and GlobalPittsburgh. Buell has high hopes for how this conference may be a game changer for immigration reform and how immigration is received in Pittsburgh as a whole.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:46 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Keeping Ties In Their Place

George Howard with his creation, the Ziggi Tie Piece.
Credit Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Men’s fashion is famously static; while women’s fashion has changed greatly over just the past decade or so, men’s fashion really hasn’t changed that much over the past half-century. But every once and awhile, something catches on and changes the direction of men’s clothing. Local entrepreneur George Howard believes he has created that something.

His creation, called the Ziggi, is a small piece of cloth that attaches to a shirt’s buttons and goes through label tag, holding ties in place. Howard said that he created the Ziggi out of necessity: during a photo shoot last year, his tie would not stay in place.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:34 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Keeping the Business of Invention Alive in Pittsburgh

Inventors across the globe believe they’ve just created the Next Big Thing when they unveil their inventions, but few of these inventions are put into wide scale production and fewer still become the big thing their creators envisioned. The long odds do not discourage these inventors, and a sizeable amount of them will convene in Pittsburgh next week for the Invention & New Product Exposition (INPEX).

Business contributor Rebecca Harris stopped by to talk about what it takes to get an idea off the drawing board and onto the shelves. Harris explained why Pittsburgh’s culture of innovation makes it ideal for hosting INPEX.

“There is so much going on from technology to robotics to regular innovations and inventions. When you think of things like 4moms ... a lot of what they build is technology based on robotics ... and we’re also looking at also some inventions here in Pittsburgh helping to increase high-performance, high-quality 3D scanners at a fraction of the cost, and certainly so many inventions and patents are coming out of our universities every day, it’s quite remarkable.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:14 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Immigration and Innovation in Pittsburgh

Attracting more immigrant interest to Pittsburgh
Credit Phil Quinn / wikipedia

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

Attracting Immigrants to Pittsburgh

A recent report by the Institute for Policy Innovation concludes that wages rise fastest in U.S. cities with the greatest influx of highly skilled immigrants. This could be one reason why a number of cities are looking to attract more immigrants to their municipalities. Attracting and retaining immigrant populations will be the focus of the Global Great Lakes Conference taking place this week in Pittsburgh. Joining us in to Studio A to provide an overview of the conference is Betty Cruz, Non-Profit and Faith Based Mgr for Mayor Peduto’s Office and Tom Buell, Director, Marketing & Study Pittsburgh Initiative at Global Pittsburgh. We’ll also talk with Gabriel Berumen, a native of Mexico and owner of Las Palmas, a Latino grocery with stores in Oakland, Beechview, Brookline and Washington, PA.

Sharp Dressed Man

They say clothes make the man. While mens' wear doesn’t go through many changes local entrepreneur George Howard’s tie accessory is poised to take the fashion world by storm. We’ll meet him and find out how necessity was the mother of his invention.

The Business of Invention

An invention and new product exposition is taking place in Pittsburgh this week. What does it take to get a product from idea to store shelves? Contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of invention. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:29 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Single Payer Health Care... Not Yet for the United States

Credit Andye / Flickr

 

What does Single Payer Health Care look like? How does it work? One need look no further than England, home to the world's largest single-payer health system. Sir David Nicholson, former CEO of England's National Health Service, provided some insight to the single payer health system and how it relates to health care questions posed in our country today.

Money for health care is collected through general taxation in England’s single payer system, which is then given to the department of health, and allocated out to the clinical commission groups. These groups then essentially purchase services from hospitals. The system treats over a million people every 36 hours, according to Sir Nicholson. 

But would this work in the United States? Sir Nicholson doesn’t believe so, but offers this advice for the U.S.-- get more help from medical groups themselves, rather than the government.

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