90.5 WESA's Essential Pittsburgh

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

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

  • Call (412) 246-2002 from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays to participate in the discussion.
  • Dial (412) 256-8783 to leave a question or comment before or after the show.
  • Follow #EPLive on Twitter or tweet your question to @esspgh.
  • Continue the conversation on our station Facebook page.
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
  • What stories are we missing? Send your thoughts to esspgh@wesa.fm 
Genre: 
Composer ID: 
5187f157e1c837e16b69e499|5187f152e1c837e16b69e482

Pages

Essential Pittsburgh
9:16 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Watch As Pittsburghers, Including Our Own Paul Guggenheimer, Get a Handle on Curling

Essential Pittsburgh host, Paul Guggenheimer, gets a handle on how to get these stones to curl across the ice.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5WESA

Curling is growing to be one of the most watched sports at the Winter Olympics. Although it may be a little while before Team USA wins a medal, Pittsburgh has a growing curling culture.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
8:52 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Oil & Gas in Western PA, Fort Pitt Block House, and Classes in Curling

The Fort Pitt Block House turns 250 years old this year
Credit Kevin Myers / wikipedia

These topics air Wednesday February 19, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Comcast Merger with Time Warner Concerns FCC

Philadelphia-based Comcast hopes to buy New York-based Time Warner.
Credit Steve Garfield / flickr

Media giants Comcast and Time Warner may change the way consumers receive their cable, television, and internet, pending negotiations with the FCC over a merger of the two companies.

Critics worry that a merger would create a cable monopoly with zero competition in areas where Comcast and Time Warner serve as the sole provider.

Philadelphia Inquirer consumer and technology columnist Jeff Gelles says the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department had to update how they define essential services to include cable TV as the dominant provider of broadband Internet. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
3:58 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

The Chair: One Movie Script, One City, Two Directors

Credit Brook Ward / flickr

One feature film, two directors, a pool of equal resources and the city of Pittsburgh.

This is the premise of a new documentary series titled The Chair starting production this month.

Chris Moore, creator of Project Greenlight and producer of movies such as Good Will Hunting and Promised Land, developed the idea for the series.

Moore has reached out to directors Shane Dawson and Anna Martemucci to see what direction a single production can take under different directors

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
3:49 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

The Good & The Bad for Businesses in the Winter

Credit Marcus Eubanks / flickr

With the abundance of cold weather, there has been no shortage of news stories about the climate, energy issues and snow-related complications.

But in addition to an increase in coverage by media outlets, many businesses that sell winter items and services are seeing a big boom in revenue. While others may see a decrease in earnings as a result of the unsettling weather.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris divides the good from the bad and shares the implications of a long winter.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
8:12 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: The Big Media Merger, The Chair, and The Business of Winter

The future of media access in an era of media giants
Credit James Stewart / Flickr

These topics air Tuesday February 18, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
7:39 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

(Rebroadcast) Presidential Walking Tours in Washington, PA

Credit Doug Kerr / Flickr

Washington & Jefferson College has a unique way to celebrate and honor past American Presidents that have spoken, stayed, or visited Washington, PA.

Professors Jennifer Harding and Thomas Mainwaring developed a walking presidential tour which offers a historical look at the connection between fifteen Presidents and the City of Washington.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:24 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

(Rebroadcast) President Taft at Rodef Shalom

President Taft visiting Rodef Shalom Temple in 1909
Credit Wikimedia

In May of 1909, a Shabbat, President William Howard Taft became the first American President to speak  from the Bimah of a Jewish Congregation while in office.

The Rodef Shalom Congregation, in Pittsburgh played host to the touring President. Archivist Martha Berg talked with us last year about Taft's visit to Pittsburgh and the importance of his speech.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:16 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

(Rebroadcast) On the Trail of George Washington in Western PA

Judge O’Brien had a painting commissioned by Deac Mong to commemorate Washington’s journey. It depicts Washington & his companion being shot at by a Native American loyal to the French. The painting is currently on display in the Butler County courthouse.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

260 years ago, a 21-year old George Washington had two brushes with death in the Pittsburgh area that could have dramatically altered the course of American History.

He was on a dangerous diplomatic mission in the Western Pennsylvania wilderness. We explored this little known chapter of Washington's life last December, with retired Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Martin J. O'Brien.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:04 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Pennsylvania's Only U.S. President and His Neutral Stance on Slavery

James Buchanan's home, Wheatland, in Lancaster was purchased by Buchanan in 1848.
Credit Jim Bowen / Flickr

While the White House is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, only one Pennsylvanian has ever occupied the executive office; Lancaster area native James Buchanan, the fifteenth President of the United States.

Patrick Clarke, Director of President James Buchanan’s home Wheatland, believes that Buchanan’s childhood in the Keystone State helped him develop into the leader he would become.

“There are some historians that believe growing up so close to the border of Virginia, today of course the border belongs to West Virginia, but some believe it kind of shaped him and his thinking.”

Buchanan's presidency was at a time when the nation was in growing turmoil.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
8:02 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Monday Rundown: Following the Footsteps of U.S. Presidents in Pennsylvania

Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

These topics air Monday February 17, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:40 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Update on Crude Oil Derailment in Vandergrift

Officials say about 4,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled following the train derailment in Vandergrift, but all of it was contained in a parking lot.
Credit Reid Frazier / The Allegheny Front

Authorities say about 4,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into a parking lot Thursday, when more than 21 cars on a Norfolk Southern rail line between Vandergrift and East Vandergrift derailed around 8:30 a.m.

No injuries were reported. Allegheny Front reporter Reid Frazier, covered the story for WESA, and NPR news.

Frazier says the area is reported to be safe, because the parking lot managed to contain the spill. But how can area residents be sure it's safe?

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:01 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Does Legislation Combating Revenge Porn Go Far Enough?

The organization, End Revenge Porn, has talked to thousands of victims of Revenge Porn and that is just scratching the surface according to founder Holly Jacobs.
Credit lizzardo / Flickr

A bill to punish revenge porn has been passed by the Pennsylvania Senate. How big a problem is this issue and could the Commonwealth’s bill be a model for other states to follow?

City Paper reporter Charlie Deitch, investigated the topic for this week's cover story. He spoke with Holly Jacobs for the article. She's a revenge porn victim and founder of the organization End Revenge Porn.

The new legislation gives victims retribution for the initial posting of graphic imagery, but Deitch says this legislation is not enough.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:37 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Crafting a Great Love Story with StoryCorps' David Isay

All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps, is a book by David Isay, host of StoryCorps.
Credit Barbara Steinacker / flickr

Everyone enjoys a good love story and Dave Isay knows that.

That’s why the founder of StoryCorps wrote the book, All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps.

The oral history project documents everyday people sharing stories about their lives.

Isay believes that there is not much difference between what makes a good story and what makes a good love story.

Read more
90.5 WESA Celebrates
3:30 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Josh and Gab, Confronting Bullying Through Song

Josh Verbanets and Gab Bonesso
Credit Debbi Casini Klein

Read and listen to a story about Josh Verbanets and Gab Bonesso as part of a series honoring the individuals who make a difference in people’s lives: 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference.

Sometimes there’s no better way to get kids excited about something than through music. Add some laughter, and you’ve got the perfect combination.

That’s the Josh and Gab show.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
10:21 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Friday Rundown: The Many Complexities of Love

Credit katerha / flickr

These topics air Friday February 13, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:29 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Beyond the Funny Pages: The Rich History of Pittsburgh African American Cartoonists

Phantom Lady #17, drawn by Matt Baker
Credit Wikipedia

Visitors to the City County Building this February may find themselves captured by the rich history of Pittsburgh-based African American cartoonists.

In a new exhibit titled Beyond the Funny Pages: The Works of Arts and Life Captured in Comics, Toonseum collaborates with the City Parks office of special events to create a time capsule of art by black cartoonists living in the Steel City. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:24 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Part 2 of the New Girl's Presidential Homes Tour

The Hermitage in Nashville, Tenn.
Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/awj68/8538842288/

Last week travel contributor Elaine Labalme recommended some presidential homes worth visiting. However, with forty-four U.S. presidents to choose from, there are more residences worth visiting.

Here are a few more presidential homes to add to your list of trips to take!

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:17 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Specialists Called in to Subdue Chevron Blaze

Credit Katie Colaneri / StateImpact PA

According to the Department of Environmental Protection, Greene County residents can expect the Chevron shale gas well fire to burn into the weekend, but face no immediate danger.

StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Katie Colaneri is following developments in this story and says a Texas well control company that specializes in shale gas fires has arrived at the scene, but the size of the flames has halted progress. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:53 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Thursday Rundown: Groundbreaking Comics, Gas Well Fire Update & Presidential Homes

Torchy Brown, created by Jackie Ormes was the first independent African-American woman featured in a nationally syndicated comic strip.
Credit Pittsburgh Courier / Public Domain Super Heroes

These topics air Thursday February 13, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

Read more
Government & Politics
6:05 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Taxi Operators Push for Legal Challenge to Ride-Sharing Service Lyft

Ride-sharing Lyft cars have been on Pittsburgh streets for less than a week. You might have seen them—they’re the ones with the bright pink mustaches.

Now, those behind the city’s largest transportation companies are reaching out to Mayor Bill Peduto to crack down on what they say amounts to an illegal taxi service.

James Campolongo, president and CEO of Pittsburgh Transportation Group, which owns Yellow Cab, partnered with the head of Star Transportation Group, Robert Delucia, in writing a letter to Peduto asking him to pass an ordinance to crack down on Lyft.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:34 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Credit Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 

Dazzled by the bizarre and eccentric characters of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, children’s author Jonathan Auxier has always been fascinated by peculiar storytelling.

The Vancouver native moved to Pittsburgh to pursue a theater and writing degree from Carnegie Mellon University and fell in love with the city’s charm and enchanting geography. His book, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, spins the tale of a blind orphan who happens to be the greatest thief to ever live. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
3:53 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Neighborhood Bonds: A Partnership Between Allegheny General Hospital & the Northside

View of Allegheny General Hospital and surrounding neighborhoods from Frank Curto Park along Bigelow Blvd.
Credit Rob Bratton / Flickr

Twenty five years ago an interesting partnership developed between North Side neighborhoods and the Allegheny General Hospital. That partnership continues today and has proved to be beneficial on both sides. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Diana Nelson Jones recently reported on this collaboration.

We took a further look at how large institutions and neighborhood groups can work together to increase the quality of a community.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
3:07 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

How to Own a Piece of Pennsylvania History

Pictured is the Conestoga Wagon that will be up for auction Saturday at 10 a.m. in Harrisburg.
Credit PA Historical and Museum Commission / Cordier Auctions

This weekend citizens of the Commonwealth will get the opportunity to purchase a piece of Pennsylvania history.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will auction off items which include a Conestoga Wagon, prints and antique tools.

Mary Jane Miller is collections manager for the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission. She says this Saturday's auction includes a diverse variety of items.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
10:05 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Neighborhood Partners, Owning PA History & Writing for Children

View of Allegheny General Hospital and surrounding neighborhoods from Frank Curto Park along Bigelow Blvd.
Credit Rob Bratton / Flickr

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

Read more

Pages