Tuesday Rundown: The Significance of Jury Duty

Nov 17, 2014
TfUnQ / Flickr

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

Jury Duty

Jury duty is a civic duty many people hope they’ll never have to endure. While many are summoned, few serve. Pitt law professor David Harris joins us for a look at juries from their history to how they’re selected.

WESA Celebrates Dr. Jim Withers

For more than 20 years Dr. Jim Withers has been making his rounds in a most unusual way….he makes house calls to the city’s homeless population. He’s profiled in this week’s edition of WESA Celebrates.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Entrepreneurship has become the new American dream. However, this business concept isn’t strictly American as evidenced by this week being designated Global Entrepreneurship Week. Contributor Rebecca Harris joins us for a look at the overall growth in entrepreneurship. 

David Gilkey / NPR

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

David Greene

Public radio listeners are familiar with David Greene as the host of Morning Edition. Prior to his role on the popular morning program, Greene covered politics and events for NPR. He spent two years as a foreign correspondent based in Moscow. The Pittsburgh native joins us for a conversation about his new book "Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia."

Suggestions for Young Readers

The last time author Jonathan Auxier stopped by the program, he had summer reading recommendations for children. He recently stopped by our studio and spoke with WESA’s man of letters, Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson to offer up some book suggestions for young readers.

The Album Art of Mozelle Thompson

Mozelle Thompson just might be the greatest Pittsburgh artist you’ve never heard of. The Garfield raised native designed album covers, clothing , window displays and more. A retrospective of his album covers is currently on display, through the end of the month, at Most Wanted Art. Joining us to discuss the life and work of Mozelle Thompson is Most Wanted Art Resident Artist Jay Malls who curated the exhibit. 

Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

The adoption of zero tolerance policies in schools has risen sharply since the 1999 Columbine shootings.  But are those policies making schools safer? Many education stakeholders in Pittsburgh say the widespread use of zero tolerance policies has increased the likelihood of students entering the criminal justice system based on school incidents. 

“If we can move from a zero tolerance policy, which excludes children who are having trouble, to progressive discipline, which includes those with a rehabilitative effort to get them back on their feet and back into school, we can do a better job with community safety,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, David Hickton, said at WESA’s community forum entitled "Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline" on Monday.  

Thursday Rundown: George Takei's Symphony Sci-Fi Spectacular

Nov 12, 2014
Scott Smithson / Flickr

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

Ghosts of Amistad

"Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels" is a documentary by Tony Buba, based on Marcus Rediker's book "The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom." It chronicles a trip to Sierra Leone in 2013 to visit the home villages of the people who seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839. The film premieres Saturday at The Three Rivers Film Festival. We'll talk with both Tony Buba and Marcus Rediker.

George Takei

The man who originated the character of Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise, George Takei joins us in studio. He's in Pittsburgh to host this weekend's PNC Pops "Sci-Fi Spectacular." We'll talk about that event and the upcoming Broadway musical "Allegiance" in which he has a starring role.

Matthew Paulson / flickr

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

Catching Up with Mayor Peduto

It’s been about 2 months since Mayor Bill Peduto has sat down in studio A for his monthly live interview. We’ll catch up with him and his take on the recent purchase of the August Wilson Center, what the election of Tom Wolf for governor means for Pittsburgh, his recent budget address and we’ll follow up on last month’s live community and police forum. Oh, and what's up with this "Jagoff" in the dictionary thing???

WESA Celebrates - Josh Verbanets and Gab Bonessa

This week WESA Celebrates profiles Josh Verbanets and Gab Bonesso who have combined rock and roll and comedy to create and anti-bullying program for kids.

Blue Mind: This is Your Brain on Water

Why is the sound and image of water so soothing to us? Why does being near water improve our wellbeing? And how can this understanding help us make better decisions about water conservation and urban design? Author, lecturer and neuroscientist, Wallace J. Nichols explores these questions and many more in his book “Blue Mind: The Surprising Science that Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.” He’s coming to Pittsburgh to take part in the Inspire Speakers Series, in conjunction with Riverlife, a local organization that works on the development of Pittsburgh's riverfront park systems. Wallace J. Nichols joins us along with Stephan Bontrager, Director of Communications for Riverlife. 

Tuesday Rundown: Honoring Local Veterans

Nov 10, 2014
U.S. Army / Flickr

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


Southwest Pennsylvania is home to 220,000 veterans, with 97,000 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.

Purple Hearts Reunited

Purple Heart recipient Captain Zachariah Fike has been helping to return lost medals to their the families of their rightful owners. Since 2012 the founder of Purple Hearts Reunited has devoted his spare time to researching and repairing medals. He joins us to discuss his work and the history of the Purple Heart.

Goldstar, OH

Actor David Conrad has appeared in theater, film and television. However, the Pittsburgh native’s latest project has returned him to his alma mater, the Kiski School. As an artist in residence he’s directing the school’s production of the play "Goldstar, OH." David Conrad joins us in Studio A with a preview of the play. 

Monday Rundown: The Return of the Polar Vortex

Nov 9, 2014
Daveynin / Flickr

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

Ferrante Homicide Case

Did neuroscientist Robert Ferrante poison his wife with cyanide? It's a question many Pittsburghers were asking when the jury began deliberating the homicide case against him. Post-Gazette reporter Paula Reed Ward discusses the strange twists and turns this case has taken and why it has received international attention.

Separating Cyber Crime and Terror

Tribune-Review reporter Andrew Conte joins us to discuss how the lines between online thefts and all-out warfare continue to blur as hackers become more effective at attacks that threaten to cause serious economic damage. The Department of Homeland Security last week issued a bulletin to cyber security insiders reporting that a destructive malware program known as "BlackEnergy" has been placed in key U.S. infrastructure systems.

The Polar Vortex

The Polar Vortex is back and it's ready to blast 200 million people with arctic air, lunging into the North Central U.S. this week and expanding southward and eastward. The outbreak of unusually cold air is expected to linger well past the middle of the month.We'll talk with John Radzilowicz, Director of Professional Development at ASSET STEM Education. 

Friday Rundown: A Diabetes Breakthrough and Expo

Nov 6, 2014
Umberto Salvagnin / Flickr

These topics air Friday November 7, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

What's Next for the August Wilson Center

Now that a group of local foundations has purchased the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, and it's back in community hands, what is the best way for the Center to move forward? We'll talk with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman who has plenty of ideas about what the AWC needs.

Diabetes Breakthrough and Expo

After fifteen years, Harvard researchers are reporting a diabetes breakthrough. Joining us in Studio A to tell us more about this discovery and what it means for diabetes treatment is Linda Siminerio, executive director of the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute. We’ll also preview the 2014 Expo, aimed at helping people manage their diabetes with Terri Seidman, associate director of the American Diabetes Association of Western PA.

BBC Pop-Up Project

The BBC's first mobile bureau is currently in the middle of its six-month experimental project and they’re stopping here in Pittsburgh. Joining us in Studio A to tell us more about this latest British invasion are BBC journalists Benjamin Zand and Matthew Danzico. 

Thursday Rundown: Aging and Dying with Dignity

Nov 5, 2014
orangefan 2011 / flickr

These topics air Thursday November 6, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Dying with Dignity

With the recent suicide of a woman in Oregon named Brittany Maynard, we want to talk about how conversations on death and dying are changing or need to change between medical professionals and terminally ill patients and their families. Dr. Robert M. Arnold, professor of medicine and Medical Director at UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute says before the need for assisted suicide comes up, we need to look at how quality of life can be better for people who are terminally ill.  

New Views on Aging

According to our guest Dr. Bill Thomas, an internationally recognized expert on elderhood and geriatric medicine, Americans need to rethink their attitudes on aging. Dr. Thomas joins us for a conversation about aging. He is also the founder of the Eden Alternative and Green House Project.


If you’ve ever been told to take a hike that might not be a bad idea. This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests some great places for hiking in the region. 

Wednesday Rundown: Post-Election Wrap Up

Nov 4, 2014
Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

These topics air Wednesday November 5, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Election Results

The political ads are gone, the polls have closed and the votes have been tabulated. We'll get analysis of yesterday's gubernatorial race from John Baer, political columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. And WESA Senior News Editor Mark Nootbaar joins us with a wrap-up of local races.

WESA Celebrates - Annie Yonas and Griffin Kerstetter

An inability to spell homeless resulted in the naming of the Home Lost project. An initiative begun by Annie Yonas and Griffin Kerstetter as a means of helping the homeless stay warm in the winter. Their efforts are profiled in this week’s WESA Celebrates.

Future of the Global Economy

Is there a connection between yesterday's national elections and globalization? We'll pose that question to Dr. Michael Mandelbaum, professor of American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. 

Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

These topics air Tuesday November 4, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

August Wilson Center

Now that Dollar Bank has purchased the August Wilson Center for African American Culture at a sheriff's sale, can a foundation group's plan to take over the building and re-open it under new leadership still go ahead? We'll talk with Tribune-Review reporter Natasha Lindstrom about the latest developments.

Grand Juries

A grand jury is a legal body that is empowered to conduct official proceedings to investigate potential criminal conduct and to determine whether criminal charges should be brought. One of the most famous grand juries was used in the investigation of President Clinton by Ken Starr. More recently a grand jury is now investigating the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. University of Pittsburgh Law professor David Harris joins us to discuss the role of grand juries and their role in our justice system.

Neighborhood Biz - Greenfield

Cities are made up of a collection of neighborhoods with unique features and characteristics. Beginning today, on the first Tuesday of the month, business contributor Rebecca Harris will focus on one of the city’s neighborhoods. Today's focus is on Greenfield. 

Monday Rundown: The Signature of All Things and Life in a Walk

Nov 2, 2014
Martin Fisch / Flickr

These topics air Monday November 3, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Pittsburgh Promise

In 2008 the Pittsburgh Promise began offering scholarships to high school students. Since then 1,084 scholarship recipients have graduated from college. While the program is having its successes, it isn’t without critics who say it hasn’t resulted in any meaningful improvement in academic achievement. Joining us for a conversation about the organization, which recently delivered its annual report is Pittsburgh Promise executive director Saleem Ghubril.

Yogi Roth Explores "Life in a Walk" With His Father

Yogi Roth has turned a trip with his ailing father into a documentary called "Life in a Walk." Roth, who played football at the University of Pittsburgh from 2001-2003, is now an analyst with the Pac-12 Network. When his Dad developed prostate cancer, the two of them decided to take a three-week walk through Portugal and Spain. Yogi joins us to discuss the trip and his documentary.

Elizabeth Gilbert and "The Signature of All Things"

Before Elizabeth Gilbert wrote her bestselling memoir "Eat Pray Love," she was known for critically acclaimed novels about travel, adventure and characters who defy convention. Gilbert comes to town for the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures’ Monday Night Speakers Series at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland. But first she joins us in studio to talk about her latest book, “The Signature of All Things” and her return to novels. 

Matt Niemi / flickr

These topics air Friday October 31, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

The History of Halloween

Halloween is the second biggest consumer holiday after Christmas. But what are its origins? Pop culture contributor Joe Wos joins us to provide a history of All Hallow’s Eve and how it’s been celebrated in the Steel City.


Bricolage Theatre's "Midnight Radio" has created its' own stage adaptation of the horror film "Carrie," with a musical called "Scarrie"which casts Carrie as a senior at Alderdice High School. We'll talk with Tami Dixon, creator of this musical version that is true to Bricolage's Midnight Radio style.

Bill Cardille

For over twenty years, Bill Cardille hosted Chiller Theater, a television institution for Pittsburghers. Running from 1963-1984 on Channel 11, Chiller Theater was a late-night movie program highlighting spooky films from throughout cinema history. Cardille also acted in the original 1968 “Night of the Living Dead,” as well as the 1990 remake of the film. He joins us to discuss his illustrious career on stage and screen. 

Thursday Rundown: A Rare Retirement for the Steelers

Oct 29, 2014
The Steelers / NFL / wikipedia

These topics air Thursday October 30, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Retiring Mean Joe Greene's Jersey

Thirty-two years after retiring, Steelers legend Mean Joe Greene’s number 75 will be retired this coming Sunday. We’ll address the significance of this coming event and what it means for the Steelers organization with Gary Pomerantz, author of the book "Their Life’s Work: the Brotherhood of the 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers."

ReelAbilities Film Festival

The second annual ReelAbilities Film Festival is taking place in Pittsburgh. It focuses on people with disabilities. We'll talk with director Sam Fleischner and Jesus Sanchez-Velez  who stars in the film "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors." The movie won a Special Jury Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival and has played at film festivals around the world.

Haunted Travel

From Salem to Savannah, there are a number of sights across America that are home to things that go bump in the night. If you're in the mood for a little ghost hunting, travel contributor Elaine Labalme will recommend some of her favorite haunts. 

Wednesday Rundown: Adventures in the Upside of Fear

Oct 28, 2014
Scarehouse / Facebook

These topics air Wednesday October 29, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Finding Fun in Fear

Halloween is a great time of year to be a thrill-seeker. Many people search for an adrenaline kick of fear in haunted attractions, horror movies and pranks. But why? What makes a good scare so thrilling? And do other cultures enjoy recreational fear in the same ways? If you’ve visited Scarehouse recently you may have been part of research which explores these questions. Greg Siegle, Director of the Program in Cognitive Affective Neuroscience (PICAN) at the University of Pittsburgh and Sociologist Margee Kerr talk about their Ecological Emotional Experience Protocol (EEEP!) experiments and Kerr’s forthcoming book, “Scream: Adventures in the Upside of Fear.”

Supernatural PA

How haunted is Western PA? From the ghost of Slag Pile Annie to fog that engulfs Blue Mist Road, we’ll explore the region’s haunted history with Thomas White, author of the book "Supernatural Lore of Pennsylvania."

Gamergate and What Can Be Said About Cultural Change

Video games -- as well as the people who play them -- have changed a lot in the last 10 or 20 years. With improvements in gaming technology and a host of new video game platforms, more people are gaming than ever before. The old stereotype of video gamers as straight, young, white men has been challenged by a growing diversity of gamers, especially women. The recent Gamergate controversy, however, shows that some hardcore gamers are not happy with the diversification of the video game culture. Joining us to talk about Gamergate and what it shows about how video games -- and society -- are diversifying, are Max Parker, video game journalist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Susan Rohwer, a Providence, RI-based freelance journalist who has been following Gamergate.


These topics air Tuesday, October 28, at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Erin McClelland

With the election a week away, we'll look at the race for the seat in the 12th Congressional District. Democratic candidate Erin McClelland joins us to share her views on several issues including health care and how she started a nonprofit business specializing in addiction treatment.

Sites to Save in Pittsburgh

The Young Preservationists Association has announced its list of places to save in the Pittsburgh region. We’ll discover what sites are being saved, threatened by the wrecking ball or simply being neglected by from Ellen Kitzerow, Chair of the Young Preservationists.

WESA Celebrates - Paul Abernathy

Four years ago, after graduating from the seminary, Paul Abernathy made it his mission to help people living in the Hill District. His efforts resulted in the opening of the thrift shop called FOCUS. It stands for the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve. It also stands for Food, Occupation, Clothing, Understanding and Shelter, which are needed in this community. Paul Abernathy is the profile subject of this week’s WESA Celebrates.

The Business of Artisanal Cheese

Artisanal cheese is becoming the latest food trend. Much like craft beers, people are using local ingredients to make their own cheeses. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of artisanal cheese.

Monday Rundown: Recognizing the Work of Jonas Salk

Oct 26, 2014
The Pitt Owl Yearbook 1957 / Wikipedia

These topics air Monday October 27, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

100th Anniversary of Jonas Salk's Birth

We'll join the Pitt School of Public Health in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jonas Salk, the man who discovered and developed the first successful polio vaccine. His son Peter Salk, scientific director of the Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation, will join us to talk about the Jonas Salk Centenary Symposium on Sustainability: Survival of the Wisest.

On the Job with Sasha King - Riveting Resumes

While there are new methods for job searching in today’s economy two things remain constant. You need a good cover letter and resume. This month independent career consultant Sasha King is here with tips for creating riveting resumes that will get you noticed.

Brett Keisel

With his Grizzly Adams beard, Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is one of the most recognizable athletes in Pittsburgh. But now in his 13th season, and having reached the age of 36, Keisel knows the end of his playing career is near. He joins us to talk about football, hunting and raising money for the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. 

Lehigh Valley PA / Flickr

These topics air Friday October 24, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski

Pittsburgh is often hailed as a success story of Rust Belt recovery. Despite the lyrics of a certain Billy Joel song, Allentown, PA is also gaining ground as a more broadly based, post-industrial economy. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is in Pittsburgh talking with local officials and sharing his experiences as Mayor of the 3rd largest city in the Commonwealth. He joins us to discuss the moves that Rust Belt cities can make to rebuild their economies in the twenty-first century.

44th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert

The 44th annual Jazz Seminar and Concert will take place next week. WESA Jazz host Bob Studebaker previews the event with Geri Allen, director of the Jazz Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Thursday Rundown: Fall Films and Filming in the Steel City

Oct 22, 2014
Work the Angles / Flickr

These topics air Thursday October 23, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

State Supreme Court Suspends McCaffery

The state Supreme Court has suspended one of its own, Justice Seamus McCaffery, with pay. The suspension is a response to McCaffery's admitted exchange of sexually explicit emails with people in the state attorney general's office, among other things. 90.5 WESA's capitol correspondent Mary Wilson will have the latest from Harrisburg.

Fall Movie Reviews

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Film Editor Barbara Vancheri discusses the movies "Ouija," "Gone Girl," "The Judge," "Fury," "St, Vincent," and "Birdman," as well as movies being filmed, or about to be filmed, in Pittsburgh. She says it's been a remarkable year for movies being shot in and around Pittsburgh.

Five Quick Fall Getaways

Are you feeling an overwhelming need to get away? Would a quick autumnal excursion sate your wanderlust? This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests five quick fall getaways. 

Photojunkie / wikipedia

These topics air Wednesday October 22, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Social Media and the Gubernatorial Election

Do Governor Corbett and his challenger Tom Wolf have as many followers on Twitter and Facebook as their campaigns would lead you to believe? We’ll look at the role social media is playing in this year’s gubernatorial election with reporter Andrew Conte.

Buhl Planetarium 75th Anniversary

Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium opened to great fanfare in October of 1939. The Buhl's Zeiss II Planetarium Projector was the first such projector to be placed on an elevator, and the Theatre of the Stars was the first planetarium theatre to include a permanent theatrical stage and a special sound system for the hearing-impaired. We'll talk with Glenn Walsh, Project Director of Friends of the Zeiss, and Former Astronomical Observatory Coordinator and Planetarium Lecturer for the Original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in Pittsburgh. 

Tuesday Rundown: The Legacy and Personal Stories of Flight 93

Oct 20, 2014
Dave Whelan / Flickr

These topics air Tuesday October 21, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Market Volatility

The American economy has experienced gradual improvements in the 6 years since the 2008 market collapse. But for many investors, memories of those economic losses of are still raw. Throughout the last month, the volatility of global politics and events have affected the stock market with disconcerting spikes and dips. Financial planners such as Paul Brahim, Chairman and CEO of BPU investment firm and a member of the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Financial Planning Association, are faced with concerned investors who want to know what they’re in for. He joins us to talk about the causes of the latest market volatility and how best to react.

Flight 93: the Legacy

The book "Flight 93: the Story, the Aftermath and the Legacy of American Courage on 9/11" is an in-depth look at the events and people involved in the United Airlines plane that crashed in Shanksville, PA. Joining us to discuss this detailed account is journalist Tom McMillan.

WESA Celebrates - Ian Cummins

The devastation of his younger brother Ryan’s suicide motivated Ian Cummins to action. He began a mission to shed light on mental illness and the stigma of suicide. Ian and his work are the focus of this week’s WESA Celebrates.

The Business of Fair Trade

Fair trade is a win-win proposition for nations and their citizens. According to contributor Rebecca Harris there’s a great deal of it available here in the city. This week Ms. Harris looks at the business of fair trade. 

Monday Rundown: Tracking with the Pennsylvania State Police

Oct 19, 2014
dfirecop / Flickr

These topics air Monday October 20, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Tracking Marcellus Shale Drillers

Are state police in Pennsylvania tracking activists for Marcellus Shale drillers? We’ll pose that question to journalist Adam Federman who recently reported on this issue for the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia City Papers.

The Manhunt Continues

As the search continues in northeastern PA for Eric Frein, the man accused of ambushing two state troopers, killing one and wounding another, we'll get an update on the manhunt from AP reporter Michael Rubinkam.

Mass Hysteria

The spread of the Ebola virus is the latest news issue receiving widespread coverage. From the Y2K panic, to killer bees and more, pop culture contributor Joe Wos joins us to discuss the history of public panic and hysteria. 

Friday Rundown: The Gaza Kitchen Comes to the Conflict Kitchen

Oct 16, 2014
Courtesy Conflict Kitchen

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

Palestinian Takeout

Conflict Kitchen -- an Oakland restaurant that specializes in cuisine from nations with which the United States is in conflict -- recently introduced a Palestinian menu to coincide with Middle East talks at the University Honors College at Pitt. This week, the restaurant has hosted Laila El-Haddad, a Palestinian journalist, blogger, chef and author of the book “Gaza Kitchen.” Friday night at 8:00 she will cook a large, public Gazan dinner and give a talk about Palestine, its food and its politics. She joins us to talk about food, culture and politics in the Middle East.

The Volunteer Economy in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is home to 7,500 non-profit organizations and about 300,000 people work in the sector. Many of these organizations also rely on volunteers in order to fulfill their missions. In recent years, for-profit businesses have increased their reliance on volunteer labor as well. Peggy Outon, Executive Director of Robert Morris University’s Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, joins us to make sense of the volunteer economy, and talk about the future of volunteering.

Sheena Easton and the Symphony

The Pittsburgh Symphony pops is making it a movie night this weekend with "Heroes and Villains," a show that will have Grammy award winning vocalist Sheena Easton taking center stage. Easton will sing the title song of the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only," which she recorded for the film's title sequence and "Nobody Does It Better" from "The Spy Who Loved Me" by Marvin Hamlisch.

Jiuguang Wang / Flickr

These topics air Thursday October 16, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Ebola Preparedness 

The Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola from a Liberian patient is reported to be in good condition. However, a second person has been diagnosed with the virus. This has heightened concerns about the spread of Ebola in the United States. Although, medical professionals think chances of an outbreak in the area are low, how is the region preparing for the possibility? We’ll pose that question to Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

Quality of Life Technology 

The Quality of Life Technology Center is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center located in Oakland. The program incorporates disciplines from Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittburgh and other groups, all focused on improving quality of life for older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers. Director Dan Siewiorek joins us to explain how the center addresses the needs and activities of everyday living by prototyping robots, mobility assistance technologies and new ways to monitor health and wellness.

Wild and Wonderful West Virginia

West Virginia holds the distinction of being the only state formed by seceding from a confederate state. The signs welcoming you to West Virginia proclaim it wild and wonderful. This week, the always wonderful Elaine Labalme, takes us to our neighboring state to the south. 

Marcus Charleston / 90.5WESA

These topics air Wednesday October 15, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Kelly-Strayhorn Theater Centennial

This year the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, originally the Regent Theatre, will mark its 100th anniversary. Joining us in studio to discuss the theater and her hopes for turning the East Liberty neighborhood into another cultural district is Janera Solomon, executive director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

Day Room Window

Last year the Christian Science Monitor reported juvenile incarceration rates in the U.S. were at their lowest point in 38 years. However, the sentencing of juveniles is still a challenge for the justice system. We’ll explore this issue with Jeff Shook, associate professor in the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. We’ll also speak with playwright Bonnie Cohen whose play Day Room Window is based on her experiences working in the juvenile justice system. 

Tuesday Rundown: How Do Yinz Feel About the Pittsburgh Accent?

Oct 13, 2014
Dauvit Alexander / Flickr

These topics air Tuesday October 14, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Email Scandal

We'll talk with Harrisburg Patriot News Editorial Page Editor John Micek about the latest news related to the scandal involving current and former state employees trading raunchy emails. How will it impact the governors race with three weeks left before election day? And what's on tap in the final days of the legislative session.

Ugliest Accent?

Pittsburgh has made it to the final four in America's ugliest accent tournament. But is it a source of pride? Not according to some area linguists who have a problem with making fun of accents. They say the accents tend to belong to poor and working class people. We'll talk with Pitt Linguistics Professor Scott Kiesling.

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.

Business of Candy

If you’re trying to avoid sweets, October may not be the best month to test your resolve. With Halloween right around the corner contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of candy. 

Monday Rundown: Alzheimer's and Support for Caregivers

Oct 12, 2014
sparkle glowplug / flickr

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

Alzheimer's Awareness

In addition to National Breast Cancer Awareness, October is also Alzheimer’s Awareness Disease Month. Our guest, Hayley Jameson is founder and president of the Clear Thoughts Foundation which raises funds to discover drugs and treatments to stop dementia and eventually end Alzheimer’s. Also taking part in the conversation is Dr. Susan Catalano, chief science officer of Cognition Therapeutics which is focused on finding new medicines to stop Alzheimer’s.

Caring for Caregivers

Caring for a loved one with dementia can take an emotional, physical and financial toll on caregivers. We’ll address the services available and particular concerns of caregivers with Karen Schaeffer, founder of Age and Dignity which provides education and guidance for families. Also taking part in the conversation is Suzanne Weessies Family Services Coordinator Alzheimer’s Association Greater PA Chapter. 

Peter Max / Facebook

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

A Conversation on Biking Infrastructure and Cultural Change

Recently Pittsburgh debuted a substantial amount of new bike lanes. Many cyclists are celebrating the changes, but those who don’t bike may be scratching their heads. Why is bike infrastructure beneficial for a community? Who benefits? What about the costs? We’ll speak with Ngani Ndimbie, Communication Manager of Bike Pittsburgh, and Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, about how bike infrastructure impacts communities -- regardless of whether you bike or not.

Alto Madness

After living abroad for a number of years, jazz saxophonist Roby Edwards has returned to Pittsburgh. This weekend he’ll be taking part in the Alto Madness concert at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. He speaks with WESA jazz host Bob Studebaker. Also taking part in the conversation is Mensa Walli, artistic director of the Kente Arts Alliance.

Peter Max - A Retrospective

The iconic pop culture artist Peter Max is in Pittsburgh this week for a gallery exhibition and retrospective. The German-born Jewish-American painter is known for creating vibrantly colored works based on Americana such as the Statue of Liberty, sports figures, American presidents and other symbols that have made him a commercial success. Before you go see his work at the Christine Fre’chard Gallery in Squirrel Hill, hear his stories of travel and what it’s been like creating art for some of the most well known public figures in recent history.

Thursday Rundown: Cases to Watch on the Supreme Court Docket

Oct 8, 2014
David / Flickr

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

The Supreme Court

The 2014-2015 session of the Supreme Court began on Monday. The court wasted no time in making news by refusing to rule on same-sex marriage. There are a number of other issues on the docket including first amendment rights in the digital age and whether to hear a challenge to the affordable care act. The current term also marks John Roberts’ 10th year as chief justice. Joining us for an overview of the cases the Supreme Court could be ruling on is University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris.

Don't Feed the Deer

While it might be tempting to feed the deer that may wander into your surroundings this fall, the Pennsylvania Game Commission advises against this. We’ll find out why from Dr. Justin Brown, a veterinarian with the state Game Commission.

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.

Cleveland Rocks

It seems Cleveland’s efforts to shed the image of “the mistake on the lake” are paying off. LeBron James has returned to the Cavaliers, the latest Captain America adventure was filmed in the city and the GOP has selected it for the next Republican convention. With the Steelers set to play the Browns, travel contributor Elaine Labalme takes another look at Cleveland. 

Keith Allison / Flickr

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

Reducing Recidivism at Allegheny County Jail

Breaking the cycle of jail and prison re-entry is not an easy process, especially for repeat offenders. There are lifestyle choices that need to be considered and often times avoided. But that requires the right behavioral coaching and support. The Allegheny County Jail runs a collaborative program with Pittsburgh Mercy Health System which was recently evaluated by the Urban Institute in Washington D.C. and found to successfully reduce recidivism. We’ll talk about how the collaborative works with Karen Cordaro Team Leader Prevention/Intervention Services for PMHS. We’ll also talk with Darrell Robinson, from the Point Breeze area of Pittsburgh. He’s a repeat offender currently on work-release and going through the collaborative program. He’s also enrolled in the Mechatronics Program at CCAC.

Sustainable and Shareable Cities

When he lectures throughout the country, Dr. Antwi Akom focuses on two main questions: How do we create more just, sustainable and smarter cities? And how do we create more democratic models of civic and community engagement? If those don’t sound like typical talking points on sustainability, that’s because Akom, with an impressive list of environmental, educational and sociological credentials, has a very broad view of sustainability. As a guest of the Green Building Alliance’s Inspire Speakers Series, Akom will talk about how he sees too many communities today with limited access to resources and wonders what the cities of our future would look like if we designed them with everyone in mind. We’ll also talk about what this can all mean for our town, with Grant Ervin, the first Sustainability Manager for the City of Pittsburgh.