Pittsburgh

City in Transition
9:22 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Pittsburgh Lands Highly Regarded Candidate for Planning Department

The City of Pittsburgh has landed a highly regarded candidate to head the Department of City Planning.

Ron Gastil formerly served as planning director for Seattle and director of the Manhattan office for the New York City Department of City Planning. He said he is excited about the new administration.

“One that has a combination of real commitment to neighborhoods, and a big picture vision,” Gastil said. “It is also a city that is excited and believes that you can plan your built environment and plan your communities, and address questions of sustainability and equity.”

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New to the 'Burgh
12:40 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Why Doesn't Pittsburgh Have an NBA Team?

Pittsburgh has had major league basketball teams before, such as the Pittsburgh Pipers, but they didn't work out in the long run.
Photo courtesy of the Heinz History Center Library and Archives

Sports teams enjoy an intense amount of popularity in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers hold more Super Bowl victories than any other franchise, the Penguins enjoy the highest TV ratings for any NHL team since 2000 and the Pirates are experiencing a surge in popularity following their first winning season in 21 years.

Even college teams like the Pitt Panthers or the Duquesne Dukes hold strong followings.

So why doesn’t Pittsburgh, with its avid sports fans, have a major league basketball team? And will we ever get one?

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Economy & Business
1:18 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Google Expanding Pittsburgh Office, Mum on Jobs

Internet search engine company Google Inc. is expanding its Pittsburgh office in the city's Bakery Square development, but not commenting on a developer's estimate that it could increase the company's employees to 1,000.

Google has confirmed the lease for 66,000 additional square feet, giving the company about 200,000 square feet in a development linked to the city's repurposed Nabisco bakery.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:49 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

George Washington's Near Death Experiences in Western PA

Historic markers along Washington's route through the Western Pennsylvania countryside. They mark a driving route that follows young George Washington's first military and diplomatic venture in the Fall and Winter 1753 - 1754.
Heather McClain 90.5 WESA

260 years ago this month, a 21-year old major in the Virginia militia named George Washington had two brushes with death in the Pittsburgh area, which could have dramatically altered the course of American history. Decades before he became the father of our county, Washington was on a dangerous diplomatic mission in the Western Pennsylvania wilderness.

We explored this little known chapter of Washington's life with historical re-enactor Daniel Nehrer, and retired Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Martin J. O'Brien at the Harmony Museum, not far from where Washington was on December 27, 1753, at the boundary of French and English territory.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:04 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

What Conventions Mean for Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a hub for conventions and part of the reason why is the David Lawrence Convention Center.
Credit glindsay65 / Flickr

Pittsburgh may be known as the city of bridges, but it also holds many different conventions.

The reason for the popularity of Pittsburgh for conventions comes down to accessibility, maximum capacity, pricing, availability, and external attractions according to business contributor Rebecca Harris.

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Government & Politics
3:22 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

ICA Chairman Steps Down, New One Appointed

The Pittsburgh Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority has a new chairman.

The resignation of former chair, Dana Yealy, was announced at the group’s October meeting. The board appointed member Nicholas D. Varischetti as the new chair.

“I think you’re going to see the ICA working very closely with all the city stakeholders to come up with smart solutions on how we can be an asset and not a hindrance to helping the city,” Varischetti said.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:11 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Is Pittsburgh a Baseball Town Again?

With all of the postseason excitement for the Pirates, is Pittsburgh finally a baseball town again?
Credit Flickr user RJ Schmidt

From the days of the first World Series game, played here in 1903, Pittsburgh was considered a baseball town. That is, until the Steel Curtain and the Super Steelers seemed to take over in the 1970s.

But Bob Dvorchak, sportswriter emeritus for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and creator of the website Sports ‘n ‘at, has a different view of Pittsburgh. “Pittsburgh is an event town.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:58 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

An Uncertain Future for the August Wilson Center

The August Wilson Center is in financial trouble as the organization faces a threat of foreclosure.
Credit AWC / Facebook

When it comes to the August Wilson Center's current financial situation, cost and constructions fees caused “substantial debt” from the beginning, says Mark Clayton Southers, a playwright and former producer at the center.

Charlie Humphrey, CEO and Executive Director of Pittsburgh Filmmakers, says a problem the August Wilson Center faces now is that “nobody wants to fund debt” people want “to fund programs.”

Southers agrees that it's hard to fund a sinking ship and adds that some creative solutions are needed to gather enough funds to clear $7 million in debt.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:54 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

"En Plein Air" - Painting the Town in Mt. Lebanon

One of the plein air paintings created by David Csont.
Credit David Csont / Mt. Lebanon Plen Air

This Monday marked the beginning of the week long 2nd Annual Plein Air Mt. Lebanon Arts Festival where twenty-five artists from around the country are quite literally painting the town.

The festival gets its name from the French expression “en plein air”, meaning “in the open air” and describes the style of painting outdoors. Plein air painting began in the impressionist era led by famous artists such as Claude Monet and Edouard Manet who took their easels, brushes and tubes of paint into nature.

Linda Csont, co-organizer of the art festival and competition says last year’s event was inspired by a similar plein air painting exhibition one summer in Easton, Maryland, which her husband competed in. Their goal was to bring plein air painting to Pittsburgh to showcase the area of Mt. Lebanon and raise funds for the town’s art programs. Artists paint scenes, architecture, fall foliage and people from all around the city, rain or shine. 

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Arts & Culture
10:56 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

VisitPITTSBURGH Promotes City with Photo Contest

Travel and tourism generates $28.6 billion a year in Pennsylvania, but Allegheny County’s official promotion agency thinks Pittsburgh is not living up to its potential because of its smoky history.

VisitPITTSBURGH hosted a photo contest with the goal of attracting tourists to Pittsburgh by showing it as a “vibrant” city.

Spokeswoman Connie George said the agency wanted to break the stereotype associated with the city.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:02 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Giving Voters a Say on Natural Gas Drilling

Who should decide whether Allegheny County drills in its parks?
Credit Flickr

When it comes to drilling for natural gas in the county’s parks, Allegheny County councilman Matt Drozd thinks the decision should be up to the voters. That’s why he recently introduced a resolution that will require the board of elections to ask voters if they should be consulted before the county approves drilling beneath a county park.

“Let them make a decision too and join in. They’ll learn more and they’ll feel more a part of the process,” Drozd said of his proposal.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:18 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Trailblazing Admiral Visits Pittsburgh

Navy Rear Admiral C.J. Jaynes discussed the challenges and satisfaction she finds in her high ranking naval position.
Credit US Navy

Being promoted to the position of Rear Admiral in the US Navy is both a tremendous responsibility and an honor. But for Rear Admiral C.J. Jaynes, it was even more than that. Along with the promotion came the understanding that, as the first female Rear Admiral in the Naval Air Systems Command, she would serve not only as a member of the navy, but a role model for female naval officers to follow.

“It means that I have to be a trailblazer, and I have to be looking out for all the other women that are coming up behind me,” Jaynes says, also adding that this realization fully set in when she was told by other women that she served as an inspiration.

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Pittsburgh
3:30 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Project Aims to Make Use of Pittsburgh's Empty Space

It’s 1950 in the city of Pittsburgh — the population is more than 600,000, and Pittsburgh is the Steel City.

Fast forward 60 years — the population is half as large, and Pittsburgh is working to become a “green” city.

The shrunken population has left once crowded neighborhoods with empty plots and less money from tax revenue to maintain those spaces and local parks.

“Given the times, there’s not enough resources to go around, so we’re trying to look at our parks and how we could manage it better,” said Director of City Planning Noor Ismail.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:16 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Pittsburgh and Detroit: A Tale of Two Cities

Did the federal government's bailouts of the auto industry worsen the city's predicament?
Credit Dave Rezendes/Flickr

Since the beginning of the great recession, Pittsburgh has often been touted as a shining symbol of economic recovery in the rust belt, while Detroit has become the poster-child of nearly apocalyptic economic strife. So what has allowed the Steel City to thrive while the Motor City has stalled? According to Antony Davies, an Associate Professor of Economics at Duquesne University, the answer lies in the two city’s differing approaches to the collapse of their largest industries.

He notes that while Pittsburgh weathered the painful collapse of the steel industry without support, “when Detroit fell on hard times, it turned to the federal government.”

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City Government
9:46 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Pittsburgh Projected to Finish the Year with Budget Surplus

The city of Pittsburgh is on track to finish 2013 with a budget surplus, according to the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) released by Controller Michael Lamb.

The earlier, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), showed the city ended 2012 with a surplus in excess of $20 million. Lamb also gave an update on how the city is doing so far this year.

Citing a national report out this week, Lamb said this year the Pittsburgh region is experiencing moderate growth, while many other parts of the nation are experiencing slower, modest growth.

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Health
11:40 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Pittsburgh Under Code Orange Air Quality Alert

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is warning children, the elderly and those with respiratory issues to limit outdoor activities in the Pittsburgh area Thursday.

The DEP issued a code orange air pollution alert for five Pennsylvania regions.

The pollution comes from an overabundance of ground-level ozone, a fundamental element of smog. The ozone forms during hot, sunny days when pollution from cars, factories, homes and power plants mix with nitrogen oxides in the air, causing people to breathe in the volatile organic compounds.

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Election 2013
1:01 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Pittsburgh Black Political Convention Throws Support Behind Wheatley

The Pittsburgh Black Political Convention has voted to endorse State Rep. Jake Wheatley in the city's upcoming mayoral election.

More than 200 people gathered over the weekend for the city's first-ever convention of black voters. The convention also aimed to create a clear agenda on issues including poverty, unemployment, police/community relations and violence, among other things.

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Pittsburgh
1:45 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Firm Hired to Examine How Pittsburgh Handles Cash

Following the indictment of former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper on theft of public funds, a public accounting firm will examine the city’s internal control structure when it comes to cash.

The Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA), a financial oversight board, approved $90,000 for an analysis by Gleason and Associates.

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