rundown

Essential Pittsburgh
7:04 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: A Community Driven Fight Against Illegal Housing Practices in Oakland

North Dithridge street in North Oakland has a combination of home owners and tenants, young and old.
Credit Johanna/AboutMyTrip / Flickr

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

Oakwatch: Improving Quality of Life Through Code Enforcement

In the last few decades the neighborhood of Oakland has seen a major shift from residential to tenant based housing dominated by college students. Oakwatch was formed by the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation in order to tackle the many code violations and disturbances that have brought down the quality of life and make it difficult to attract new residents to the neighborhood. Each month, Oakwatch brings residents together with elected officials, building inspectors, public health professionals and police to address Oakland’s biggest problem properties. Oakwatch Co-chair Hanson Kappelman talks about the community driven way they're dealing with neighborhood offenders.

Jesse Steinfeld

West Aliquippa native Jesse Steinfeld was the first surgeon general in the Nixon Administration and spoke out against cigarette smoking, bringing new attention to the risks it posed to women and to people exposed to secondhand smoke. He died last week at age 87. We'll talk about his legacy with Stanton Glantz who studies the health effects of secondhand smoke at Stanford University.

WESA Celebrates - Saleem Ghubril

This week WESA Celebrates profiles Saleem Ghurbil who has been the driving force behind the Pittsburgh Promise. Ghubril has been working tirelessly since its inception to make sure every Pittsburgh city student has a shot at higher education.

Business of Child Care

The cost of child care has a significant impact on parents from all income ranges. Last year the New York Times reported the day care costs for middle-class New Yorkers can easily equal from $25,000 to $30,000 per child. Contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of child care. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:49 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Monday Rundown: Reducing Caregiver Stress

Credit Honza Soukup / Flickr

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

A Caregiver’s Dilemma

In an article for the Post – Gazette freelance writer Tina Calabro chronicles a tragic murder-suicide that took place in the Mon Valley borough of Port Vue. The incident involved an elderly caregiver of a middle-aged son with developmental disabilities. Tina Calabro joins us to discuss the case and the issues it raises.

Resources for Caregivers

A generation of older caregivers may not ask for help when it’s needed. This may be due in part to pride as well as not knowing what resources are available or how to obtain them. We’ll address what can be done for caregivers with Jeanine Schultz, director of advocacy and family supports for ACHIEVA, a non-profit organization that provides lifelong supports and services for individuals with disabilities and their families in southwestern Pennsylvania.

NCAA Loses Amateurism Suit

U.S. District Judge Claudia Ann Wilson has dealt a major blow to the NCAA's ideal of amateurism in college sports. In a 99 page ruling, Judge Wilken wrote that "the Court will enjoin the NCAA from enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prohibit its member schools and conferences from offering (Division I-A) football or Division I basketball recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images or likenesses in addition to a full grant-in-aid (scholarship." Post-Gazette writer Brady McCollough has been covering this case and joins us to discuss the outcome.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:01 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Monday Rundown: Caregiver Support and a Pirate Portrayal

Credit Public Domain / Wiki

A Caregiver’s Dilemma

In an article for the Post – Gazette freelance writer Tina Calabro chronicles a tragic murder-suicide that took place in the Mon Valley borough of Port Vue. The incident involved an elderly caregiver of a middle-aged son with developmental disabilities. Tina Calabro joins us to discuss the case and the issues it raises.

Resources for Caregivers

A generation of older caregivers may not ask for help when it’s needed. This may be due in part to pride as well as not knowing what resources are available or how to obtain them. We’ll address what can be done to caregivers with Jeanine Schultz, director of advocacy and family supports for ACHIEVA, a non-profit organization that provides lifelong supports and services for individuals with disabilities and their families in southwestern Pennsylvania. 

 

Character Assassination

Baseball writer Richard "Pete' Peterson joins us to talk about the unfortunate story of former Pirates pitcher Fritz Ostermueller, who was unfairly portrayed as a racist in the movie "42."  The film chronicles  Jackie Robinson's first season in the big leagues. However one of the film's most dramatic moments, depicting Ostermueller beaning Robinson in the head with a pitch, never happened. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:43 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Friday Rundown: What Does WWI Have To Do With Climate Change?

Credit Nicola Jones / Flickr

These topics air Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 at noon and 8 p.m. on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon and 1 p.m. weekdays at (412) 246-2002.  

WWI and Climate Change

What does World War I have to do with global warming? We'll talk with David Titley, the director of Penn State's Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, who finds a parallel between the choices today's elected officials face regarding climate change, and those confronting their predecessors as the Great War loomed 100 years ago.

Russian Hackers

Russian hackers have stolen 1.2 billion internet credentials from major U.S. companies and others around the world. Tribune-Review reporter Andrew Conte joins us to look at the ramifications of this attack. Who was susceptible? Who was targeted? How do these sophisticated attacks develop?

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:15 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Thursday Rundown: Deadline Looms for Civic Arena Site

Credit Public Domain / Wikipedia

These topics air Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 at noon and 8 p.m. on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon and 1 p.m. weekdays at (412) 246-2002.

Igloo Site Development Deadline

The Pittsburgh Penguins won the rights to develop the 28-acre site of the now demolished Civic Arena, which the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Sports & Exhibition Authority own, in the 2007 deal to build the CONSOL Energy Center.

Under that agreement, the team was to draw down the first parcel by Oct. 31 or possibly lose the development rights. The Penguins are asking the city and county to push that deadline back a year. One of the those who opposes the granting of that request is Pittsburgh City Councilman Daniel Lavelle who represents the Hill District. He says the Penguins and Hill District leaders are still at odds over minority participation in the project and how much affordable housing will be built on the site.

Lavelle joins us along with Marimba Milliones, Executive Director of the Hill Community Development Corporation, to discuss the future of the site.

Cross Fit

One of the biggest fitness trends in recent years is Cross Fit. The extreme workout combines cardiovascular training and weightlifting. One of the trademarks of the program is its intensity which can take a serious toll on some participants. Joe Vennare, co-founder of Fittsburgh joins us for a look at the pros and cons of cross fit workouts. Also taking part in the conversation is Jim Crowell, an elite Cross Fit athlete, trainer and former co-owner of Integrated Fitness, a cross fit facility.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:18 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: 'Reading Rainbow' Redux

LeVar Burton
Credit readingrainbow.com

These topics air Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 at noon and 8 p.m. on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon and 1 p.m. weekdays at (412) 246-2002.

A Conversation with LeVar Burton

Steel City Con is hosting our guest LeVar Burton. LeVar Burton is an actor known chiefly for starring in "Roots" and appearing on the iconic sci-fi series "Star Trek: The Next Generation," but Burton has also hosted a PBS show called "Reading Rainbow" since 1983. "Reading Rainbow" went off air in 2009.

But in 2011, Burton and his business partner, producer Mark Wolfe acquired the "Reading Rainbow" license, promising to bring to the next generations of kids the finest reading and enrichment experiences found anywhere. "Reading Rainbow" is now a fully re-imagined app bringing the beloved brand to children of the digital age and one of the most popular and highest rated children’s products in the market.

Steel City Con

Resistance is futile. Geeks have taken over the world, according to our guest Joe Wos, executive director of the Toonseum. Joe joins us this week to explain why Pittsburgh is Geek City USA, preview the Steel City Comic Con and how the role the city played in the start of the comic-con culture movement.

House v. President Obama

Last week the House of Representatives approved a plan to file a federal lawsuit against President Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Pitt Law Professor David Harris joins us to address what this means from a legal and constitutional perspective.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:50 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: An Update on the Ebola Virus

Credit Wikimedia Commons

These topics air Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 at noon and 8 p.m. on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon and 1 p.m. weekdays at (412) 246-2002.

Ebola Update

The death toll from the Ebola virus in Africa continues to climb. With two Americans infected with the disease coming back to the U.S. for treatment, health officials are trying to calm fears that an outbreak could happen here. We'll talk with Dr. Bruce MacLeod, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and physician with the Allegheny Health Network.

Sanctuaries of Sound

Percussionist and composer Susie Ibarra is creating virtual sanctuaries for cities. Working in collaboration with local artists, historians, architects, city planners and musicians, Ibarra and her partner Roberto Rodriguez have created a musical pilgrimage that takes the public on a sound walk through 12 sites in Lower Manhattan. And now thanks to the City of Asylum they are creating one for Pittsburgh.

Intrapreneurship

Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. It’s a practice being utilized by more companies. This week business contributor Rebecca Harris reports on why this concept is growing in popularity.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:29 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Monday Rundown: Better Emergency Response for Train Derailments

Credit Keystone Crossroads / Facebook

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

Responding to Derailment Emergencies

StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Katie Colaneri discusses issues resulting in legislative proposals that could increase training and resources for those responding to derailment emergencies. Senator Bob Casey is pushing for the RESPONSE Act as a rash of train derailments continues to plague communities across Pennsylvania.

Meeting the Higher-Education Needs of the Global Middle Class

The economies of the developing world are in the midst of a major economic transformation. In 2010 the Brookings Institution estimated that the 1.8 billion people in the global middle class will grow to 3.2 billion by the end of the decade. This includes developing nations such as Rwanda, which is experiencing unprecedented middle class growth. Increased prosperity means young people are clamoring for a college education. But what if traditional college lecture halls, labs and campuses are not economically feasible right now? Media contributor Jeff Ritter is department chair of communications, media and technology at La Roche College and recently spent time in Rwanda teaching a media studies course. He’ll explain how educators in that country are leveraging online learning with face-to-face instruction to create low-cost college-level learning for the masses, and what this approach can mean for us.

Sports with Bob

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to discuss the Steelers' decision to retire Joe Greene's number and why it wasn't done sooner. We'll also talk about the the 40th anniversary of the Steelers' draft class of 1974 which produced an unprecedented four Hall of Famers and the legacy of Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig who is retiring after this season. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:33 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Friday Rundown: An Update on Bidding for the August Wilson Center

Can the URA block specific developers from purchasing the August Wilson Center?
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

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

A Pittsburgher's Perspective on the Middle East

With so many critical developments taking place in the Middle East, we'll check in with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Betsy Hiel who is stationed in that volatile region. She was in Iraq a month ago and will give us an update on the situation there. She will also talk about Gaza and what's happening with Israel, as well as the upcoming presidential election in Turkey where she currently resides.

August Wilson Center Update

Recent court filings argue Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is abusing its role as a governmental agency. The URA opposes the sale of the August Wilson Center to developer 980 Liberty Partners. However black leaders support the developer's offer to purchase the debt-plagued cultural center. Tribune Review reporter Natasha Lindstrom joins us with an update on the continuing saga of the August Wilson Center.

Tough Mudder

Designed and created by British Special Forces, a tough mudder is an obstacle course which tests participants strength and endurance. It’s also a test of mental and physical stamina. The Pittsburgh/Ohio Valley Tough Mudder takes place in a week. Find out what you should know before entering one, and how to train for this type of event from Joe Vennare, co-founder of the fitness site Fittsburgh.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:16 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Thursday Rundown: Suitable Pay for Disabled Workers

Michael Kissel, 36, transports paper to be shredded at the Westmoreland County Blind Association in Greensburg. Kissel, who has Down syndrome, said he earned $57 on his last biweekly paycheck.
Credit Martha Rial / PublicSource

These topics air Thursday July 31, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Opportunity or Exploitation? 

About 13,000 disabled Pennsylvania workers are being paid far below minimum wage, earning an average of $2.40 an hour in legal sub-minimum wages. Does this practice provide opportunities for people who wouldn't otherwise have a job? Or does it exploit those who could work for minimum wage? Public Source reporter Halle Stockton joins us to examine these questions. Also joining the conversation are Charlotte Swenson, the mother of a woman with Down syndrome who is paid sub-minimum wage, and Curtis Decker, Executive Director of the National Disability Rights Network. 

Faked, Forgotten, Found

The Carnegie Museum of Art's current exhibition of Renaissance paintings that underwent serious forensic investigation is called "Faked, Forgotten, Forged." Lulu Lippincott, the institution's curator of fine arts joins us to look at the science of art preservation and restoration, as well as the winding paths that these works have followed to Pittsburgh. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:13 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: EPA Plans for Clean Power and Cutting Emissions

Looking at future energy plans and the upcoming EPA hearings on reducing carbon emissions.
Credit Roland Peschetz / Flickr

These topics air Wednesday July 30, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Clean Power Plan

This week Pittsburgh is one of four U.S. cities holding public hearings on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The goal of the plan is to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants. It’s also considered the cornerstone of President Obama’s climate action plan. The hearings will provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, and views or arguments concerning the proposed action. Taking part in the conversation is George Ellis, president of the PA Coal Alliance on the importance of coal to the region.

Clean Power Plan Overview

Public hearings are being held in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday of this week. The plan will set benchmarks for limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants. This is the cornerstone of President Obama's climate action plan. Joining us to discuss the plan in Christina Simeone, director of the Penn Future Energy Center.

Clean Power & Green Labor

Among the people giving testimony at the EPA public hearings are representatives of business, labor and health. Joining us to address the jobs and clean energy aspect of the proposed rule are Joylette Portlock, president of Communitopia and Kim Glass, executive director of the Blue/Green Alliance.

Clean Power & Health

It is expected that the clean power plan will go a long way towards aiding public health. Reduction of asthma attacks and the ability to make strides in fighting respiratory and heart disease are seen as potential benefits. Here to address the health aspect of the clean power plan are Dr. Alan Lockwood of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Kevin Stewart, director of Environmental Health American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:20 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Pennsylvania Roads Take Slow Steps to Prep for Faster Driving

A speed limit 70 miles sign along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 1942. The limit has since decreased to 65 mph, and 55 mph in some areas, but that can soon change.
Credit Ann Rosener / Library of Congress/Wikipedia

These topics air Tuesday July 29, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Speed Limit Increase

The Pennsylvania Turnpike recently debuted a 70 mph speed limit from Blue Mountain exit 201, to Morgantown exit 298. While the area stretches from the center of the state to the east, after a trial period, the speed limit increase will soon be coming to Western PA's interstate roads. With a speed limit of 70 mph already in Ohio and West Virginia, is it about time for PA to match up with neighboring states? Renee Vid Colborn, Manager of Media and Public Relations at the PA Turnpike Commission and State Senator Jay Costa address the pros and cons of an increased speed limit for area highways.

A Church Divided

This week marks the 100th anniversary of Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia, setting off a chain reaction that resulted in the outbreak of World War I. While America remained neutral, Germany came to Austria's defense, which put Germans in Pittsburgh in a difficult position, and directly affected a downtown church on Smithfield Street. Historian Donn Neal joins us to talk about how life forever changed for the German Evangelical Protestant Church now known as the Smithfield United Church of Christ, Downtown.

WESA Celebrates- Dr. Bill Neches' Heart Camp for Kids

For one special week, Camp Kon-o-Kwee is taken over by a group of very excited campers. All these campers have at least one thing in common: They’re growing up with congenital heart disease. Founded 24 years ago by Dr. Bill Neches, Heart Camp for Kids is a summer camp specifically for children and teenagers living with heart disease. Dr. Neches and the Heart Camp for Kids are profiled this week as part of 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference. 

The Business of Millennials

In the next decade the economy will experience one of the largest demographic workplace changes in modern history. By the year 2025 Millennials will make up approximately 75% of the U.S. workforce, and worldwide this generation will account for 50% of those employed. This week contributor, Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, looks at the The Business of Millennials.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:01 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Monday Rundown: Addressing Healthcare Needs of the Poor

One of the new emergency patient rooms at UPMC East, in Monroeville.
Credit Daveynin / Flickr

These topics air Monday July 28, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Poor Health

One quarter of Pittsburgh area hospitals closed in the first decade of the 21st Century, drastically reducing the amount of charitable care available to the poor. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Sean Hamill joins us to discuss his two-part series examining this problem called "Poor Health." 

Colleges Take on Student's Remedial Needs

A great deal of concern is given to young children being ready to learn once they begin attending elementary school. But what happens when those children grow up and are ready to attend college? A study by the U.S. Department of Education finds one in four college freshmen lack reading and math skills for entry level-college work. This results in students needing to take at least one noncredit remedial class. We’ll discover how California University of Pennsylvania is working to reduce the amount of remedial help needed by students with Daniel Engstrom, associate provost in the Office of Academic Success at California University of Pennsylvania.

More Bad Behavior in Sports

John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism at Penn State joins us to discuss recent bad behavior in sports, including the two-game suspension given to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for domestic violence. Many believe the sentence should have been stiffer. Also, considering some of the bad behavior carried out by Russia, are they fit to host the 2018 World Cup?

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:51 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Friday Rundown: Has the World Gotten Louder?

Are we exposed to higher decibels than previous generations?
Credit Nick Allen / Flickr

These topics air Friday July 25, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Is the World Getting Noisier?

From annoying ring tones to everyday noise pollution, doesn’t it seem like our world is noisier? Our Wonder Boys, Ellis Robinson and Daniel Tkacik, went in search of an answer. Their findings are revealed in this thrilling installment of the Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

Hearing Loss/Job Discrimination

A new research survey by EPIC Hearing Healthcare finds that 30 percent of U.S. employees suspect they have hearing loss, but have not sought treatment. Of those, almost 95 percent say it impacts them on the job yet many go out of their way to hide their hearing loss for fear of losing their job. Pittsburgh audiologist, Dr. Suzanne Yoder is our guest.

Power Player

The Pittsburgh Power, the city’s professional arena football team, are having their best season, ever. They’re undefeated at home and just clinched their first-ever playoff berth. While they don’t get as much recognition as the Steelers, what is life like for the men who play in the arena league? We’ll pose that question to Tommy Grady, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Power, join us in Studio A. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:06 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Thursday Rundown: What's Next for Net Neutrality?

Credit lizzardo / Flickr

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

Net Neutrality

The FCC has received an overwhelming number of public comments on the issue of net neutrality. In addition, Google as well as other companies are in support of the initiative. Orion Czarnecki Founder/Director of Security Threat Level joins us to discuss the latest developments on this issue.

Job Growth in the Commonwealth

How do you prepare the workforce to handle the jobs of the new millennia? Governor Tom Corbett would like to see an alignment of education, training and technology resources to better connect employers and employees. Next month Pittsburgh will be the site of Pennsylvania’s JOBS 1st Summit. We’ll preview the event and learn about job growth in the commonwealth from Julia Hearthway, Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

Philadelphia

This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme takes us to Philadelphia. From an abundance of eateries to historic sites we'll discover why the city of brotherly love is a great place to visit this summer. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:23 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: A Local Economics Professor Negotiates in Ukraine

A pro-Russian rally with members of one of the militias believed to have shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
Credit Andrew Butko / Wikipedia

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

A Pitt Professor in Ukraine

With outrage over the downing of a civilian plane over Ukraine intensifying, we'll talk with University of Pittsburgh assistant professor of economics Tymofiy Mylovanov who is in Kiev participating in talks with the prime minister. He'll describe how the Ukrainian government feels about the situation as well as average citizens there.

WESA Celebrates - Judy Bannon

This week WESA Celebrates profiles Judy Bannon, former executive director of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) of Pennsylvania. She created Cribs for Kids to combat unsafe sleeping arrangements contributing to sudden infant death syndrome.

Songs of the Summer Series

As the heat of July blazes on, we’ve been talking with some of the hosts at our sister station 91.3 WYEP, about music of the summer. Throughout July and August the hosts talk about what makes for a great summer song, and new music for the summer. For WYEP afternoon mix host, Rosemary Welsch, a summer jam is about sense of place and time. Listen to her review of a new album with an old twist.

The Economic Cost of Financial Illiteracy

How much do you know, or think you know, about your personal finances? In a world where savings and investment options are increasingly complex, studies show that millions of Americans lack financial literacy. 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 says financial illiteracy is causing a social crisis in retirement, which in turn influences unemployment. He’ll talk about the scope of this problem and how this connects to a current push for increased regulation of the financial planning industry.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:53 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Would We Be Better Off Without Minimum Wage?

What happens if we do away with the minimum wage altogether?
Credit Vincenzo Iaconianni / Wikipedia

These topics air Tuesday July 22, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Changing Views on Zero Tolerance in Public Schools

Pittsburgh Public Schools may be modifying its Code of Student Conduct to reflect changing attitudes on zero tolerance. With input from parents, educators and students, the school board will vote on whether or not to decrease the use of exclusionary discipline, such as suspension. Cheryl Kleiman is a staff attorney with the Education Law Center and was one of the collaborators in the new proposal.

Minimum Wage

While some believe increasing the minimum wage will help people out of poverty, critics feel it should be eliminated altogether. We’ve invited Brian O’Roark, a professor of economics at Robert Morris University in to give us a primer on the minimum wage.

Business of Weddings

From bridal shops to reception venues and more, weddings are big business. Whether you’re part of the wedding party or simply attending the event you can expect to shell out some serious coin. This week contributor Rebecca Harris delves into the business of weddings. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:00 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Monday Rundown: Bringing 3D Printing to the Pittsburgh Masses

One of Piece Maker Technologies' 3D printers
Credit Piece Maker / Facebook

These topics air Monday July 21, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA.

Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson takes over the hosting chair for Paul Guggenheimer.

Mass Produced 3D Printers

In addition to purchasing all of your home repair needs Home Depot is now selling a desktop 3D printer. Locally, the Carnegie Library has offered sessions on the basics of how 3D printing works. It’s the latest innovation in bringing high-tech manufacturing to the masses. Joining us are Senior Librarian Wes Roberts who runs the Job and Career Education Center at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Arden Rosenblatt, co-founder and CEO of Pittsburgh-based PieceMaker Technologies.

Summer Book Recommendations for Young Readers

According to the National Summer Learning Association, summer learning loss amounts to two month’s worth of reading for lower income students. Jonathan Auxier’s lifelong love of children’s books has turned into a career as an author writing for readers ages 8-14. We’ve asked him to recommend some books young readers will enjoy spending time with this summer.

Peace Corps

Since it’s creation over 50 years ago, the Peace Corps has been sending Americans overseas. Volunteers are sent to countries where their work can make a difference in the lives of others. However, applications for the Peace Corps are at an all time low. We’ll talk with recruiter for Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Karen Corey, about changes to the application process the Peace Corps is making in order to attract more volunteers.

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Special Programming
9:00 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Today on Q: A Revealing Interview with Tom Petty

Artist Tom Petty with a revealing interview on The Really Big Questions, with host Dean Olsher.
Credit Brian R. Grubb / Wikipedia

Essential Pittsburgh will take a summer break July 14th – 18th.  We’ll return with live shows on July 21st.

While we’re away enjoy the daily arts and culture program Q with Jian Ghomeshi at noon. At 8pm find out what drives human behavior on the program The Really Big Questions (TRBQ) with Dean Olsher. 

You can listen to past episodes of Essential Pittsburgh here or check out the podcast in iTunes.

Today at noon on Q, with Jian Ghomeshi: The first hour of the show is completely devoted to Jian’s revealing interview with Tom Petty, who talks about his new record, his extensive list of hit singles, and his views of modern music.

At 8pm, The Really Big Questions, hosted by Dean Olsher: What’s your story? Research confirms our minds depend on the story as the driving force for comprehending, deciphering, recalling and organizing our lives. Why do stories have such power over our beliefs and behaviors?

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Special Programming
9:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Today on Q: Comedian Maz Jobrani and the Challenges of Middle Eastern Entertainment

Comedian and actor Maz Jobrani tells Jian Ghomeshi the challenges of bringing those from the Middle East into entertainment.
Credit Gulzar Babaeva & Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikipedia

 Essential Pittsburgh will take a summer break July 14th – 18th. We’ll return with live shows on July 21st.

While we’re away enjoy the daily arts and culture program Q with Jian Ghomeshi at noon. At 8pm find out what drives human behavior on the program The Really Big Questions (TRBQ) with Dean Olsher.

You can listen to past episodes of Essential Pittsburgh here or check out the podcast in iTunes.

Today at noon on Q, with Jian Ghomeshi: Comedian and actor Maz Jobrani talks about the challenges of bringing those from the Middle East into mainstream entertainment and why the World Cup has helped Americans progress.

At 8pm, The Really Big Questions, hosted by Dean Olsher: What defines a “good death?” Most people hope to go quietly at home, surrounded by family. Today, we hear from people seeking to bring engagement with death back into our culture, through death salons, green funerals, and meaningful end-of-life care.

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Special Programming
9:00 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Today at Noon on Q: Zoo Animals and Their Discontents

Today on Q with Jian Ghomeshi, journalist Alex Halberstadt looks at the psychological problems of animals in zoos.
Credit Rob Bixby / Flickr

Essential Pittsburgh will take a summer break July 14th – 18th. We’ll return with live shows on July 21st.

While we’re away enjoy the daily arts and culture program Q with Jian Ghomeshi at noon. At 8pm find out what drives human behavior on the program The Really Big Questions (TRBQ) with Dean Olsher.

You can listen to past episodes of Essential Pittsburgh here or check out the podcast in iTunes.

Today at noon on Q, with Jian Ghomeshi: With his latest New York Times Magazine report “Zoo Animals and Their Discontents,” journalist Alex Halberstadt looks at the psychological problems of animals living in captivity.

At 8pm, The Really Big Questions, hosted by Dean Olsher: Today’s big question? Why does music move us? If music is a human universal, why do people of different cultures experience music differently?

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Special Programming
9:00 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tonight on TRBQ: Why Are We Giving One Day and Greedy the Next?

What makes humans cooperate? Tune in to TRBQ tonight at 8 p.m.
Credit Flickr user Flazingo Photos

Essential Pittsburgh will take a summer break July 14th – 18th. We’ll return with live shows on July 21st. 

While we’re away, enjoy the daily arts and culture program Q with Jian Ghomeshi at noon. At 8pm find out what drives human behavior on the program The Really Big Questions (TRBQ) with Dean Olsher. 

You can listen to past episodes of Essential Pittsburgh here or check out the podcast in iTunes.

Today at noon on Q, with Jian Ghomeshi: Filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, the brains behind sensational films such as “Robocop” and “Showgirls,” sees his works of the 80’s assessed.

At 8pm, The Really Big Questions, hosted by Dean Olsher: Today’s program is all about the mysteries of cooperation, collaboration and altruism. What drives us to be greedy one day and giving the next?

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:23 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Noon and 8pm Programming for Monday, July 14th

Is constant distraction affecting our ability to appreciate literature?
Credit Kate Ter Haar / Flickr

Essential Pittsburgh will take a summer break July 14th – 18th. We’ll return with live shows on July 21st.

While we’re away enjoy the daily arts and culture program Q with Jian Ghomeshi at noon. At 8pm find out what drives human behavior on the program The Really Big Questions (TRBQ) with Dean Olsher.

You can listen to past episodes of Essential Pittsburgh here or check out the podcast in iTunes.

Today at noon on Q: Is constant distraction affecting our ability to appreciate literature? UK author Tim Parks and Globe & Mail editor Jared Bland debate that question.

At 8pm on The Really Big Questions, hosted by Dean Olsher: Why do humans feel the need to pair up? Hear from a variety of guests, including neurologist Lucy Brown, who says the brain of a person head-over-heels is similar to that of a person’s high on cocaine.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:07 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Friday Rundown: Three Author Interviews Hosted by Josh Raulerson

90.5 WESA Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson interviews three visiting authors about their critically acclaimed stories.
Credit 90.5 WESA

These topics air Friday July 11, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA.

Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson takes over the hosting chair for Paul Guggenheimer.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Thomas Sweterlitsch’s debut novel Tomorrow and Tomorrow is enjoying the success every novelist hopes for. It has received critical praise. In addition, Sony Pictures has optioned the book for a film adaptation. The author joins us to discuss the novel and the role Pittsburgh plays.

Hello American Lady Creature

Lisa Kirchner’s book Hello American Lady Creature: What I Learned as a Woman in Qatar has been compared to Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. She doesn’t mind the comparison, after all both books deal with a woman’s journey of self-discovery. The author joins us to discuss her book, yoga and more.

Brutal Youth

Watch any movie about friends reuniting and it’s guaranteed one of them will be a writer. With Anthony Breznican it’s a case of life imitating art. The first time novelist is a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly magazine. He’s come home to Pittsburgh for a high school reunion which coincides with the release of his first novel Brutal Youth.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:41 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Thursday Rundown: Is Larimer The East End's Next Success Story?

Larimer Community Garden at the Village Green on Larimer Avenue
Credit Larimer Consensus Group / Wordpress

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

Budget Battle

How will Governor Corbett’s reluctance to sign the $29 billion state spending plan impact the state and his reelection bid? The Senate returned to the capitol this week to handle budget-related legislation covering a slew of topics. Corbett says he won't sign a budget that does not include a pension overhaul. Penn Live’s John Micek joins us for a discussion of the latest developments.

Rebuilding Larimer

Could the awarding of a $30 million dollar grant allow Larimer to be the East End’s next success story? We’ll pose that question to Malik Bankston, executive director of the Kingsley Association. He joins us in Studio A to address how this grant will be used to revitalize the community.

TV Dump

In 2010 a statewide ban was passed as part of the Covered Device Recycling Act. It called for E-Waste to be taken to approved recycling drop-off sites. However, discarded televisions are showing up curbside around the city. Justin Stockdale, western regional director of the PA Resources Council joins us to discuss the proper methods of getting rid of old televisions.

Southern Charm

It’s the oldest city in Georgia and was once the state capital. We’re talking about Savannah. The city draws a number of tourists who come to look at its architecture and historic sites. One recent visitor was our very own travel contributor Elaine Labalme. This week she tells us about the charms and southern comfort to be found in Savannah.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:17 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Mayor Peduto on Pittsburgh Police & Future Transportation Options

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Assistant Director of Public Works, Patrick Hassett announce three dedicated bike lanes in the city. Pictured is one that will run from Schenley Plaza to Anderson Playground in Schenley Park.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

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

Mayor Peduto

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto joins us for his monthly visit to the show. He'll discuss where things stand in the search for a new police chief as well as the best way to bridge the gap between the community and the police department. We'll also speak with the mayor about his opposition to cease and desist orders against ride-sharing companies and the future of bike lanes in Pittsburgh.

A People’s History of Pittsburgh

It’s been said every picture tells a story and the Hillman Photography Initiative at the Carnegie Museum of Art is seeking Pittsburghers' photos to tell the city’s story. Program Manager for the Hillman Photography Initiative Divya Rao Heffley explains this unique undertaking, which will be shared in a collective photo album.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:31 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Drones and Pittsburgh's Robotic Futures

A drone like this one recently appeared in the Pittsburgh sky and it's raising many questions.
Credit Don McCullough / Flickr

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

The Drones Are Coming

A recent editorial in the Post-Gazette warns that the "drones are coming." The question now is, are we prepared for them? The recent hovering of a drone over PNC Park resulted in the FAA launching an investigation. Joining us to look at the role drones will play in our future is Illah Nourbaksh, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University and author of the recently released book Robot Futures.

Summertime in the City

The July Fourth holiday weekend saw a number of activities in the city, from the Regatta to the annual visit of the Furries. Betsy Benson, publisher of Pittsburgh Magazine shares her perspective on summer in the city.

And part of what makes any summer truly great is a catchy summer tune, a laidback summer anthem. 91.3 WYEP production director and host Brian Sieworek guides us through the historic popularity of one classic summer song, composed 80 years ago, Summertime by George and Ira Gershwin.

WESA Celebrates - Joe Lagana

Prior to his retirement in 1999 Joe Lagana served as an educator in the Penn Hills and North Allegheny school districts. After his retirement he founded the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, or HCEF. The fund is committed to ensuring that homeless children have access to the same educational opportunities as their peers. Joe Lagana and his work are profiled in this week’s WESA Celebrates.

The Business of Breakfast

We have often heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In addition to helping us jump start our day, it satisfies the need for convenience, is costs less than other restaurant meals, and is readily available. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of breakfast. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:17 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

Monday Rundown: Civic Leaders and Environmental Stewards in Pittsburgh

Inspecting honeybee hive frames at the Homewood Apiary.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

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

Civic Leadership Academy

The Civic Leadership Academy provides citizens an opportunity to learn more about their local government. It is also hoped that some of the city’s most pressing needs can be tackled with help from volunteers who go through the program. We’ll take an in-depth look at the program with Melanie Ondek – Grants Officer who oversees Serve PGH and Joe Wos, executive director of the Toonseum who participated in the most recent Civic Leadership Academy class.

The State of the Honeybee

Two years ago we took a look at the world of urban farming in Pittsburgh, with a focus on beekeeping in particular. As in many cities, those who want to build apiaries in Pittsburgh have had to jump through various bureaucratic hoops and deal with the myths and fears surrounding honeybees. But President Obama recently stressed the importance of preserving our honeybee populations for the sake of food security. The White House has even announced plans to form a task force to investigate honeybee colony collapse. With renewed attention on the decline of pollinators, we’ll talk with Steve Repasky, President of Burgh Bees and David Tarpy, Professor and Extension Apiculturist in the Department of Entomology at NC State about efforts to preserve the honeybee here and across the country.

Ed O'Bannon vs. the NCAA

After three long weeks, testimony has ended in the trial of Ed O'Bannon vs. the NCAA. A decision in the case will likely come in August, following closing arguments in which each side argued whether the organization's rules prohibiting college athletes from profiting from their name, image and likeness, outweigh the alleged anti-competitive effects on Division I-A football and Division I basketball. Brady McCollough, who's been covering the trial for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, joins us in studio to discuss the case. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Rebroadcast: The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and Freedom Summer

Students from Pittsburgh, PA take part in a Civil Rights March on Washington
Credit National Archives Foundation

Listen Thursday July 3, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA, for a special rebroadcast of our June 17th show devoted to the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Freedom Summer.

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 joined us to discuss the demonstrations and the methodology of those in the movement as well as the results achieved.

"Kennywood Park had a swimming pool, and we sued them and we got the right for black folks to swim in it. Before one black toe ever got into that water, they destroyed the pool.”

Hear more of what Professor Proctor had to say about the "Jim Crowe Customs" he encountered in Pittsburgh.

Freedom Summer

We 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

"...when he left the room, she threw in some extra iodine and bandages into his duffel bag, figuring maybe he’ll get beat up a little, maybe he’ll get thrown in jail. Never did she imagine he would lose his life.”

Listen for more from Brad Herzog about Mrs. Goodman's reflections on that summer in 1964.

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 go behind the scenes of the exhibit with Cecile Shellman, communications and community specialist for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. 

"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."

Hear more of what Cecile Shellman had to say about the exhibit.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:12 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Answering Your Questions About The Supreme Court Rulings

The US Supreme Court building
Credit David / Flickr

These topics air Wednesday July 2, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

PA State Budget

While states are required to have a balanced budget Governor Tom Corbett withheld signing a $29.1 billion budget sent to him. When will the state budget be signed and what happens in the meantime? We’ll pose those questions to capitol reporter Mary Wilson.

Supreme Court Decisions

The Supreme Court has affirmed birth-control exemptions for employers and the need for a warrant to search cell phones. Our legal contributor, Pitt Law Professor David Harris, explains these and other recent court rulings, and how they will impact our lives.

What's Behind Rising Gas Prices?

Perhaps you have already noticed the marquee at your local convenience store and the display of the price of a gallon of gas which keeps inching upward. Well, you're not imagining things. The average price of a gallon of gas in Pennsylvania is $3.77, well above the national average of $3.69. Gregg Laskoski, Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy.com, joins us to explain what's behind these rising prices and whether we are headed for $4.00 a gallon gas. 

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