Rundowns

Pages

Essential Pittsburgh
11:59 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: From Climate Change and the UN to Green Municipalities

More than 300,000 demonstrators marched in the streets of New York last weekend in an effort to spotlight climate change, before this week's UN Summit.
Credit Climate Action Network / Flickr

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

Climate Summit

The United Nations Climate Summit took place in New York City this week. While more than 100 world leaders took part, and thousands demonstrated in the streets of NYC for the People's Climate March, it's not certain how much, if any, tangible action will be taken on a global scale. We'll talk with John Radzilowicz, Director of Professional Development, ASSET STEM Education, about ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And hear from some PA residents who participated in the NYC march.

Etna's Green Masterplan

The borough of Etna recently debuted its green infrastructure plan. Like many other communities along the Allegheny river, Etna has had a history of problems with flooding, and the community of some 3,400 people was hit especially hard as a result of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Etna’s recent green master plan was designed to handle large amounts of storm water without flooding the sewage systems. What can their experience in Etna tell us about how other communities in our region can institute green projects of this kind? We'll talk with Etna borough manager Mary Ellen Ramage and Janel Everly, programming director for the Green Building Alliance.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
9:56 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Searching for Life on Mars 2020

Artist's Concept of the SuperCam Instrument for Mars 2020 Rover
Credit NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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

1st Gubernatorial Debate

The first of three Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate debates were held last night. Republican Governor Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf had their face off at a Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce and Industry dinner in Hershey. We'll talk with journalist John Baer of Philly.com who covered round one.

Pitt Professor Helps NASA Probe Mars

Technology using ultraviolet light to analyze and examine pieces of matter invented by University of Pittsburgh chemistry professor Sandy Asher is expected to be part of NASA's Mars 2020 Rover mission. The goal is to determine whether life exists on the Red Planet. Sandy Asher joins us to talk about the UV technology he's developed.

Salary Negotiation

Conversations about money are never easy. They’re especially difficult in the workplace when it comes to negotiating your salary. This month independent career consultant Sasha King guides us through the dos and don’ts of salary negotiation.

WESA Celebrates – Todd DePastino

Todd DePastino and his friend Dan Cavanaugh both had fathers who were veterans. They decided to bring together other former servicemen on a weekly basis. The result was the Veterans Breakfast Club. This week WESA Celebrates profiles Todd DePastino.

The Business of Robotics

In a November 1999 article the Wall Street Journal dubbed Pittsburgh “Robo-burgh.” The city is one of a handful of locations in the U.S. leading in the development of robotics technology. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of robotics. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
9:15 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Monday Rundown: The Manhunt for Eric Frein Continues

An honor guard carries the casket of Pennsylvania State Trooper Cpl. Bryon Dickson from his funeral service, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Scranton, Pa. Dickson was killed in an ambush shooting at the state police barracks in Blooming Grove Township. Authorities are looking for 31-year-old Eric Frein, of Canadensis, who has been charged with killing one trooper and wounding another outside the barracks.
Credit Matt Slocum / The Associated Press

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

The Manhunt Continues

As the search continues for the man accused of ambushing two state troopers more than a week ago, killing one and wounding another, we'll get an update on the manhunt from AP reporter Michael Rubinkam. He is reporting that, according to authorities, the man they're looking for is a heavily armed survivalist. 

An Assassin's Mindset

Former FBI profiler and expert on terrorism Larry Likar teaches criminology at La Roche College. He describes suspected cop killer Eric Frein as an assassin type of shooter. Likar joins us to examine the complexities involved in the search for the man who ambushed two state troopers.

The Troubled National Football League

Former NFL quarterback Don McPherson joins us to discuss domestic violence issues involving NFL players including Baltimore's Ray Rice and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will get its house in order, the question is how. McPherson regularly speaks on college campuses as a critic of gender roles, saying they contribute to incidents of domestic violence, stalking, and rape. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
10:15 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Friday Rundown: Permitting Firearms on School Grounds

Credit Ken / Flickr

These topics air Friday September 19, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Firearms in Schools?

State Senator Don White wants Pennsylvania school districts to be able to permit their staff to carry firearms in school buildings and on the grounds. Supporters say his proposal would make schools safer but critics are arguing for more police. We'll talk with Senator White and Shira Goodman, Executive Director of Cease Fire Pennsylvania.

Range Resources Receives Record Fine

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced it has signed a consent order and agreement with Range Resources for violations at six of its impoundments in Washington County. The $4.15 million fine is the largest ever brought against a company in the Marcellus Shale era. We'll be joined by DEP spokesman John Poister.

MacArthur Grant Recipient

The MacArthur Genius Grants were announced this week. University of Pittsburgh Writing Professor and Poet Terrance Hayes was among the twenty-one recipients. He speaks with WESA Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:45 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Thursday Rundown: A New Generation of TED events

Credit TEDxYouthHMB / Facebook

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

TEDxYouth@HotMetalBridge

At age 15, Sophia Sterling-Angus attended her first TED talk, the first TEDx Grandview. She was so motivated by the event that she began to plan her own TEDx. Now as a 17 year old high school senior at the Ellis School for Girls, Sophia organized a group of volunteers to create TEDxYouth Hot Metal Bridge at the Carnegie Museum of Art on September 7th. One thing that made this event unique was the fact that it was developed with a younger demographic in mind and by teenagers. Find out how Sophia Sterling-Angus developed the TED talk and what she thinks about the future of TED.

Justin Currie

When Justin Currie was the lead singer for the band Del Amitri, he scored a top ten single in the U.S. and was heard regularly on top 40 radio. But earlier this month he had sold only nine tickets to his upcoming solo show at the Club Cafe. That's when he posted a desperate message on facebook saying that he was going ahead with the show and that the people of Western Pennsylvania ought to show up. He joins us along with WYEP Program Director Mike Sauter to discuss the business model for the modern musician.

Fall Festivals

In case the football games, cooler weather and heralding of all things pumpkin flavored escaped your attention, the celebration of the autumn season has begun. This week our woman for all seasons, travel contributor Elaine Labalme, joins us with a lineup of fall fairs and festivals you might enjoy. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
1:55 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Community Health and Shale Drilling in Washington County

Credit Ari Moore / Flickr

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

Drilling Study

A new study has found that residents in Western Pennsylvania living close to natural gas drilling sites were twice as likely to report health problems than those living farther away. We'll talk with the study's lead author Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, who says public health researchers surveyed nearly 500 adults and children in Washington County, southwest of Pittsburgh.

Scottish Independence?

Tomorrow, Scots will vote on possible independence from England, one of the most important issues facing the Scottish people and their heritage. We'll talk with Ron Linden, director of the European Studies Center and professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh. Along with John Kelman, one of the many natives of Scotland living in the Pittsburgh area, about which way he'd like to see the vote go. 

Ligonier Highland Festival

A gathering of the clans will take place this weekend at the Ligonier Highland Festival. From bagpipes to kilts, and don’t forget the haggis we’ll get a preview of this weekend’s festival from Richard Wonderly, executive director of the Ligonier Highland Games. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
10:05 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Technology and its Impact on Our Health

Dr. Brian Primack director of the new Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health at the University of Pittsburgh
Credit UPMC

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

Pitt Announces New Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health 

We’re living in age of rapidly advancing technology. With so much of our everyday tasks being done online is it taking a toll on our health? We’ll pose that question to Dr. Brian Primack, director of the new Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

WESA Celebrates - Rev. Harold Hicks

The Miracle Field of Murrysville is a special baseball field constructed for anyone age 10 and older with physical or mental challenges. While the idea for the field came from George O’Donnell his friend Rev. Harold Hicks, former president of the Murrysville Rotary Club helped to make it a reality. Rev. Hicks is profiled in this week’s celebrates.

Women in Bio Sciences

Next week Pittsburgh’s Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally (P.O.W.E.R.) will host a conference promoting leadership for women in life sciences. We’ll address how much economic breakthrough is being driven by women in this field with Susan Catalano, chapter chair if Women in Bio Pittsburgh and Rebecca Harris, director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
11:23 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Monday Rundown: Could a Cancer Diagnosis Give an Employer Cause?

Credit Dennis Matheson / Flickr

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

Employment Law

The revelation of her cancer diagnosis has resulted in a Hopewell woman being laid off by her employer, a Beaver County oral surgeon. She was informed of her layoff via a letter which has been posted online and gone viral. We’ll address the employment issues this situation raises with attorney Allison Feldstein.

VFW Centennial

In September of 1914 a gathering of 250 delegates from across the United States and its territories took place in Pittsburgh. It was the beginning of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) We’ll mark the centennial of the event with Matthew Hannan, a Marine veteran, graduate student and president of Pitt vets.

Of Rice and Men

In her latest column our guest, Nafari Vanaski of the Tribune Review, takes the NFL to task for its handling of the Ray Rice assault case. She also poses the question of why athletic organizations don’t hold players to higher standards of conduct when they’re involved in wrongdoing. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
10:28 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Friday Rundown: Music and Milestones in Pittsburgh

The crowd at one of last year's Thrival Festival shows.
Credit Thrival Festival Facebook page

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

Lawrenceville Turns 200

The neighborhood of Lawrenceville was established 200 years ago, by the father of Stephen Foster. In that time the riverside area has seen an interesting range of people, events and industries which helped shape American history and culture. On Friday the 200th anniversary will be commemorated with movies and lectures presented by the Lawrenceville Historic Society, at the Row House Cinema. Community Historians Carol Peterson and James Wudarczyk join us to chat about Lawrenceville history and share a few lesser known stories.

Thrival Innovation + Music Festival

The now two-day Thrival Innovation + Music Festival is being held this weekend in Bakery Square. While the music is the big draw, the organizers say the goal of the festival is to provide an outlet for entrepreneurs to get the word out on their projects as well as the opportunity to bring major national music acts to the city. We'll talk with festival organizers Bobby Zappala and Dan Law in studio and Justin Pierre, lead singer of Motion City Soundtrack.

50th Anniversary of the Beatles' Pittsburgh Concert

It was fifty years ago Sunday that the Beatles performed at the Civic Arena, their one and only appearance in Pittsburgh. We'll talk with legendary concert promoter Pat DiCesare, who brought the band to town and is producing this weekend's 50th anniversary events. Also joining us in studio is Chuck Brinkman, a former KQV disc jockey who introduced the Beatles on stage on that memorable night in 1964. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
1:23 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Thursday Rundown: The Future of Arts Education

Credit Navy Hale Keiki School / Flickr

These topics air Thursday September 11, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. 

This week the Arts Education National Forum is being held in Pittsburgh. The theme of this year’s program is Preparing Students for the Next America in and through the arts. As part of WESA’s Life of Learning initiative, Essential Pittsburgh is devoting this hour to arts education.

State of the Arts

Is arts education being cut at national and local levels? If so, is it being done equitably? We’ll begin our look at arts education by posing this question to Sandra Ruppert, director of the Arts Education Partnership and Sarah Tambucci, director of the Arts Education Collaborative.

Arts Education and the Community

What role do community arts organizations play in arts education? We’ll get a national and local perspective on this issue with Doug Herbert, special assistant at the U.S Department of Education and Carol Wolfe, director of Education and regional director of Western PA Wolf Trap Gateway to the Arts.

The Future of Arts Education

Can arts education be saved by incorporating it into other disciplines? We’ll address this issue with Ayanna Hudson, director of Arts Education, National Endowment for the Arts and Sarah Tambucci, director of the Arts Education Collaborative. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
11:04 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: How Well Does the Steel City Handle Constructive Criticism?

Can we really help it if Pittsburgh keeps showing up on the top lists?
Credit Flickr user jmd41280

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

Decision Making and the Mayor

Like any new city mayor, Bill Peduto has a whole lot on his plate, and room for creative decisions. This month we’ll talk with him about some of his most recent plans for the city, from selecting a new police chief, to improving pre-k education and developing bike lanes on some of the city bridges. Share your thoughts with us on these topics.

Exit Interview

There’s no doubting Pittsburghers take pride in their city. However, can that civic pride result in turning a blind eye to ongoing issues such as race, transportation and poverty? We’ll pose that question to Joe Wos, executive director of the Toonseum and Chris Potter, editor of the Pittsburgh City Paper. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
10:08 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: The Politics of Fracking

Marcellus shale gas-drilling site.
Credit Nicholas Tonelli / Flickr

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

Engaging Iran: A New Way Forward?

It has been months since President Obama announced an interim deal had been struck between the group known as P5+1 and Iranian leadership over Iran's nuclear program. Many open questions remain as the deliberations move forward and the details of the agreement emerge. How will this play out? We'll talk with Dr. Jessica Tuchman Matthews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a global think tank.

Zone of Influence

This week WESA and the Allegheny Front are airing a special series on hydraulic fracturing and state politics – specifically the money spent on lobbying. We’ll speak with Allegheny Front reporter Reid Frazier and WESA Morning Edition Host Josh Raulerson whose investigation looks at the influence this money is having on Pennsylvania’s oversight of the natural gas boom.

WESA Celebrates - Erika Strasburg

Erika Strasburg, a singer/actress and graduate from CMU drama school, has used her talent to comfort the young patients at Children’s Hospital, where she volunteers every week to go room to room dressed as a princess. Erika is profiled in this week’s WESA Celebrates.

The Business of Physical Therapy

Whether it’s an athlete, injured soldier or senior citizen people needing physical therapy cover a broad spectrum. In addition, as the population ages the need for people trained health professions, such as physical therapy increases. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of physical therapy. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
10:15 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

Monday Rundown: The Legacy of President Ford's Pardon of Richard Nixon

President Gerald Ford appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on pardoning former President Richard Nixon, Washington, D.C.
Credit Library of Congress / wikipedia

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

40th Anniversary of the Ford-Nixon Pardon

The Duquesne University School of Law will commemorate one of the most controversial presidential decisions of the 20th Century when it presents President Ford's Pardon of Richard Nixon: A 40-year Retrospective Monday on the Duquesne campus. We'll talk with Benton Becker, former special counsel to President Ford, whom Ford sent to California to negotiate the pardon with the embattled ex-president. Also joining the conversation is Duquesne Law Dean Ken Gormley.

American Afterlife

American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning is a provocative book looking at the way Americans mourn, with particular emphasis on the ongoing evolution of how we pay tribute to our deceased loved ones, i.e. roadside shrines, memorial tattoos, green burials, etc. The book's author Kate Sweeney joins us in studio.

Shattered Image

Bulimia is often thought of as a woman’s disorder. However, men can suffer from it as well. In his memoir Shattered Image, our guest Brian Cuban chronicles his battles with bulimia as well as his addictions to alcohol, cocaine and steroids. He joins us in Studio A to discuss his struggles and recovery. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:29 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Friday Rundown: Pittsburgh Filmmaking and a No-Hitter Dockumentary

Credit www.nonoadockumentary.com/

These topics air Friday September 5, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

The State of Movie Production in Pittsburgh

Film production in Pennsylvania, and the Pittsburgh area in particular is an important economic driver. The Pittsburgh Film Office has reported more than $100 million brought in to the region each year, for the past 4 years. 10 years ago, Pennsylvania was at the forefront of the film industry tax incentive program, which has made the commonwealth a more enticing place to shoot movies and TV shows. But with annual limits to the tax credits available, how competitive does the region remain? Dawn Keezer, Director of the Pittsburgh Film Office joins us to talk about the state of movie production in the region.

No No: A Dockumentary

No No: A Dockumentary is opening in Pittsburgh, Saturday night at the Regent Square Theater. The film tells the story of former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, who pitched a no-hitter on June 12, 1970 - while under the influence of LSD. After retiring he became a counselor, helping other addicts in their recoveries. We'll talk with director Jeffrey Radice.

Sports with Bob Pittsburgh

Post-Gazette Sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to discuss the Steelers' regular season opener as well as the possible outcome for two Steelers players who were stopped for marijuana possession. Also, the NFL takes a stronger stance on domestic violence. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:57 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Thursday Rundown: A New Plan for the August Wilson Center

The August Wilson Center
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

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

Future of the AWC

The August Wilson Center's future remains uncertain, but a group of community volunteers and activists have been holding community meetings to formulate a plan for a new August Wilson Center. The August Wilson Center Recovery Committee laid out the plans yesterday. We'll talk with Group leader Janera Solomon and committee member E.J. Strassburger.

Combating Anti-Semitism

Ira Forman joins us to talk about his work as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Throughout his career Forman has spoken and written extensively on Jewish history and public policy. He will discuss the reported global rise in anti-Semitic sentiment and activity. He is speaking in Pittsburgh tonight at the Katz Auditorium in Squirrel Hill.

Fall Sports Travel

Before the boys of summer give way to the athletes of autumn, travel contributor Elaine Labalme has some sporting travel ideas. From following the Pirates to destinations within driving distance to college football and pre-season hockey, she stops by Studio A with some fall sports travel suggestions. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:07 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Discussing Pittsburgh's New Chief of Police

Credit Andrew Bardwell / Flickr

These topics air Wednesday September 3, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

New Police Chief

Now that Mayor Bill Peduto and Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar have named Cameron McLay the city's new police chief we'll sample reaction from the community with Tim Stevens, chairman and CEO of the Black Political Empowerment Project and take your calls. We'll also talk with University of Pittsburgh Law School Professor David Harris, who was on the Police Chief Screening Committee.

PA Job Growth

One of the major issues of this year’s gubernatorial race is sure to be job growth. The good news for the commonwealth is that is has seen an increase in job growth and a decrease in the unemployment rate. However, a recent report by the Keystone Research Center indicates Pennsylvania falls below other states when it comes to job growth. We’ll discuss the report findings with Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
7:00 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Governor's Race and Personal Safety

Credit Pennsylvania National Guard, Tom Wolf via Flickr

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

Governor's Race

In two months Pennsylvanians will head to the polls. As the gubernatorial heads into its final phase, will Tom Corbett break the streak of PA governors serving a second term? And, what would a win by Democratic challenger Tom Wolf mean for the commonwealth? We’ll pose those questions to our guest John Micek, opinion editor for the Penn Live website.

Just Whistl

The past year has seen a number of news stories about safety on college campuses. From Time magazine’s cover story on sexual assaults to a Forbes Magazine article on the Clery Act which requires colleges and universities to compile and publish data on campus crimes. Campus safety was one of the motivating forces behind the development of the personal safety device Whistl. Here to tell us more about its creation and use is one of its developers, Jayon Wang, CEO and Co-founder of LifeShel, a device company creating smartphone cases.

WESA Celebrates - Lyndsey Sickler

Every week we profile someone in our region who is making a difference in people’s lives as part of 90.5’s WESA Celebrates. Lindsey Sickler who has made an incredible impact in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community is the subject of this week’s profile.

Business of Bad Driving

In a report issued by Allstate Insurance company ranking the nation’s 200 largest cities for driver safety Pittsburgh came in at 187. Is there money to made from this ranking and if so by whom? Contributor Rebecca Harris will answer those questions in this week’s business segment. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
10:19 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Friday Rundown: Meet the Woman Who Married Pittsburgh

Credit Tom Jefferson / performanceheartist.wordpress.com

These topics air Friday August 29, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA, with Weekend Host Liz Reid filling in for Paul Guggenheimer

Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Positive Change for Port Authority Transit

When we hear news of Port Authority of Allegheny County service changes, it usually means we’ll have to brace ourselves for cuts in service. But with transportation funding legislation approved by the legislature and Governor Tom Corbett last fall, the authority plans to add more frequent service to some of the busiest routes. Pittsburgh Port Authority Communications Officer Jim Ritchie explains what went into the route expansions.

Campaign Messaging

As campaign season shifts into high gear, Pennsylvania voters are being inundated with political messaging. From television commercials to social media to live debates... it can be hard to find the truth behind messages so carefully crafted to win hearts and minds... and ultimately votes. Jerry Shuster teaches Political Communication at the University of Pittsburgh. He talks about the strategy and the psychology behind political messaging.

The Woman Who Married Pittsburgh

When 90.5 WESA Weekend Host Liz Reid found out she'd be filling in as host of Essential Pittsburgh, she took to her Facebook page and asked followers who they'd like to hear interviewed on the show. Overwhelmingly, people wanted to hear a conversation with Etta Cetera, a prison justice activist and performance artist who married the city of Pittsburgh earlier this summer. Etta joins us to talk about why she married the city and how it ties in with her advocacy work. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
9:50 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Thursday Rundown: Cracking Down on Cyber Crime

U.S. Attorney David Hickton talks about what it takes to fight cyber crime.
Credit US Department of Justice

These topics air Thursday August 28, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. 

Featuring guest host Andy Conte of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. 

Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Under Investigation

U. S. Attorney David Hickton’s interest in cyber crimes is getting noticed by the Justice Department. Hickton and his team have investigated the Pitt bombing threats and the PNC denial of service attacks. Their recent work has resulted in the indictment of Chinese military hackers. David Hickton joins us to explain why the Western PA Attorney’s office could be a model for cyber crime units across the country.

Under Observation

Some of the nicest views of Pittsburgh and the night sky can be found at the Allegheny Observatory. Electronic technician and administrator Lou Coban takes guest host Andy Conte on a behind the scenes tour of the building from the rooftop to the telescopes to something you might not expect to find in the basement.

European Vacation

While a Roman holiday wasn’t part of her trip, contributor Elaine Labalme did venture to London, Paris, Amsterdam and Madrid. She’s back in Studio A this week with a recap of European cities fall travelers may want to visit. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
11:31 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Attaining and Keeping Workforce Talent in the Region

Credit David Brossard / Flickr

These topics air Wednesday August 27, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Kevin Gavin guest hosts for Paul Guggenheimer. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Increasing Qualified STEM Educators in Western PA

Westminster College has been awarded a grant through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at the National Science Foundation to increase qualifications of secondary educators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We'll speak with Dr. Amy Camardese, Professor/Chair in Education at Westminster College. We'll also talk with Science Department Chair for the North Allegheny School District Chris Omasits.

Workforce Development

In an increasingly global job market how do you attract and maintain the best talent? What if that talent isn't local but global? Those were some of the questions posed at the Governor's Jobs 1st Summit held here in Pittsburgh. Immigration attorney and former U.S. diplomat Kamana Mathur joins us to discuss the challenges employers face in attaining and keeping talent from around the world.

LemonAid

When his wedding plans fell through our guest Phil Laboon, CEO of Eyeflow Internet Marketing decided to make the best of the situation. We'll discover how his breakup is going to benefit others especially the charity Surgicorps founded by Dr. Jack Demos who also joins us in Studio A. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
9:22 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Italian Heritage Passed on Through the Garden

Each year hundreds of traditional Italian plants are raised by the Mercurios on this sloped quarter acre of land in Bethel Park.
Credit Chris Squire / 90.5 WESA

These topics air Tuesday August 26, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Local Miners' Black Lung Benefits Delayed

U.S. Senator Bob Casey is laying out a plan to reduce a claims backlog that has impacted residents throughout the region. He recently chaired a hearing to explore the challenges that former coal miners are dealing with. Dr. Kevin Gibson of the UPMC Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine department talks about the illness and Senator Casey joins us to discuss his plan and what should be done to protect the health and safety of coal miners and prevent black lung disease.

The Italian Garden Project

When Fenice and Nicola Mercurio moved to the United States from Italy decades ago, they brought their cooking traditions as well as a knowledge of Mediterranean gardening. As members of Pittsburgh's Italian Garden Project, the Mercurios and project founder Mary Menniti hold events and demonstrations in order to pass along their Italian heritage. Join us for a visit to the Mercurio garden, and hear about late summer cocktail pairings from contributor Hal B. Klein.

WESA Celebrates - Carolyn Hare

Carolyn Hare has been an advocate for those with autism for more than 20 years, but she never realized how providing a creative outlet could have such an impact on their lives. Five years ago she visited the Joey Travolta Film Camp in Bakersfield, CA, a two-week camp for anyone ages 10 and older with autism. The visit resulted in her starting the Arts for Autism Foundation of Pittsburgh. Carolyn Hare and her work are profiled in this week’s WESA Celebrates.

Business of School Lunches

Whether they brown bag it or purchase the cafeteria offering, lunch can be one of the most important parts of a student’s day. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of school lunches.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
1:13 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Monday Rundown: Setting Students Up For Success From Start to Finish

Credit Robert Donovan / flickr

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

Ready Freddy

New kindergarten students at ten Pittsburgh Public Schools will be welcomed on the first day of school by groups of parents and supportive volunteers as well as the "Ready Freddy" green frog mascot, the symbol of the program developed by Pitt's Office of Child Development that helps make the first day of kindergarten easier for little ones. Ken Smythe-Leistico, assistant director of Pitt's Office of Child Development joins us in studio to talk about the program.

Head of the Class: How to Set Yourself Up for Post Graduate Success 

How can students set themselves up for jobs, internships, fellowships and service opportunities after graduation? We’ll pose that question to independent career consultant Sasha King in this month’s installment of On the Job.

Nittany Lions in Ireland

The Penn State football team is playing its first international game this Saturday when the Nittany Lions take on the University of Central Florida. The clash takes place at Croke Park, the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association in central Dublin. John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State's College of Communications is leading a group of students who are already in Ireland ahead of the team. He joins us for a preview.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
11:35 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Friday Rundown: Making Tough Economic Choices After High School

Choosing those crucial next steps with your child, among a sea of high school graduates.
Credit John Walker / Flickr

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

Trade School vs. College

While college may not be for everyone, gone are the days when you could go from work to longtime employment without some form of higher education. As the costs of college increases and more jobs require a level of education beyond high school, trade schools are seeing a boost in enrollment. What are the economic benefits of attending trade school over college? We'll pose that question to Brian O'Roark, professor of economics at Robert Morris University.

Summer Melt

Pitt Education professor Dr. Lindsay Page discusses her research on Summer Melt. It's an unfortunate trend among recent high school graduates who plan to start college in the fall but fail to enroll due to a lack of resources or mentors. Her forthcoming book is called "Summer Melt: Supporting Low-income Students Through the Transition to College."

Upcoming Fitness Events

Before summer comes to a close and the autumn chill is in the air, there are plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy. Joe Vennare, co-founder of the online fitness and health magazine Fittsburgh, joins us with suggestions for some upcoming fitness events you may enjoy. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:53 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Thursday Rundown: What We Can Learn From Ferguson, Mo.

Credit Elvert Barnes / Flickr

These topics air Thursday August 21, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Police Dept. Handling of the Ferguson, Mo. Shooting

Much of the nation’s attention has been focused on the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. The shooting of a young African American man by a police officer has led to riots, looting and tension between law enforcement officials and the citizenry. Pitt Law Professor David Harris evaluates the police department’s response to the incident, why it went wrong and what could happen next.

Getting Medical Aid to Ebola Victims

The Pittsburgh-based medical relief foundation Brother’s Brother has been trying to distribute medical aid throughout Western Africa since an outbreak of the Ebola virus began last spring. More than 1,200 lives have been claimed by the virus, many were health care workers. Luke L. Hingson, President of Brother’s Brother joins us to talk about what caregivers face when treating people with Ebola, and how the 56 year-old foundation can keep up with demand in the affected regions.

Upcoming Fitness Events

Before summer comes to a close and the autumn chill is in the air, there are plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy. Joe Vennare, co-founder of the online fitness and health magazine Fittsburgh, joins us with suggestions for some upcoming fitness events you may enjoy. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:52 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Chelsa Wagner on Mental Health Services in Allegheny County

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner on deficiencies in the County's Department of Human Services.
Credit Allegheny County

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

Deficient Mental Health Services

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner has announced that a recent audit revealed that complex procedures and internal deficiencies in the County's Department of Human Services (DHS) could cause dysfunction in the facilitation of mental health services in Allegheny County. Wagner joins us to discuss her concerns.

Natrona Bottling Company

Whether it’s called soda or pop consumers can’t get enough of the sweet carbonated beverage. Here in Pittsburgh the Natrona Bottling Company has been making it’s brand of specialty beverages for quite some time. In fact, this year marks the company’s 110th anniversary. We’ll discover what makes the small, local bottler unique with Vito Gerasole the “Sultan of Soda” who acquired the company. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:34 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Dangers of a Crude Oil Train Derailment in Pittsburgh

Credit John Mueller / Flickr

These topics air Tuesday August 19, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Oil Trains

More than 40 percent of Pittsburgh's residents live in areas that would be at risk if a train carrying crude oil through the city derails and catches fire. We'll talk with reporter Natasha Khan of our content partner Public Source, which created a map tracking the route of rail lines known to carry crude oil in the city.

Superheroes of the Holocaust

The Toonseum and the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh have produced a comic book, "Chutz-Pow! Superheroes of the Holocaust" to honor the bravery of five Pittsburghers during a tragic period of the 20th Century. We'll talk with the comic book's writer Wayne Wise and artist Marcel Walker.

The Business of Franchises

Can you be an entrepreneur if you buy into a franchise? Also, what should you know if you’re considering opening a franchise? Contributor Rebecca Harris answers those questions this week as she looks at the business of franchises. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:09 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Monday Rundown: Remembering Roberto Clemente

Credit Public Domain / Wikipedia

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

Remembering Sophie Masloff

Former Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff died Sunday at the age of 96. In the spring of 1988 she became Pittsburgh's first female and first Jewish mayor, after the death of Mayor Richard S. Caliguiri. We talked with Joseph Sabino Mistick, Masloff's longtime friend and former top aide about her legacy in Pittsburgh. And hear an excerpt from her 2012 conversation on Essential Pittsburgh.

"21" the Clemente Musical

In October a new play about Pirates legend Roberto Clemente is coming to Point Park University’s Conservatory Theater Company. The musical, “21,” is written and composed by Alki Steriopoulos, who grew up in Pittsburgh. Steriopoulos began working on the play in 2007 but October will mark the debut of “21” as a full production. Steriopoulos joins us to talk about “21” and the significance of its debut in the Steel City.

Steve Blass

Former Pirates pitcher Steve Blass was a teammate of Roberto Clemente's for nine seasons and together they led Pittsburgh to the 1971 World Series Championship. Blass will help us celebrate Clemente's 80th birthday with stories and recollections of their playing days both on and off the field.

Character Assassination

Baseball writer Richard "Pete' Peterson joins us to talk about the unfortunate story of former Pirates pitcher Fritz Ostermueller, a Pirates pitcher who was unfairly cast as a racist in the movie "42." The movie tells the story of Jackie Robinson's first season in the big leagues and portrays Ostermueller beaning Robinson in the head, which never happened.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:05 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Friday Rundown: Life of Learning Special on Universal Pre - K

Credit U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

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

Overview of Universal Pre-K Universal pre-kindergarten is just one attempt, in a long line of educational reforms, to better educate our children. New York City begins a universal pre-k program this year. Will Pittsburgh follow-suit? Our look at universal pre-k begins with an explanation of the basics of this educational program for early learners. The discussion begins with Michelle Figlar, executive director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC) and Bob McCall, co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development.

Universal Pre-K in PA

Our look at universal pre-k continues with a look at programs in Pittsburgh and the commonwealth. Our guests for this segment are Dr. Cosette Grant-Overton Manager, Educational Policy and Workforce Development Office of Mayor Peduto and Michelle Figlar, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC).

Assessing the Success Universal Pre-K

How do you measure the success of universal pre-k? We’ll pose that question to Michelle Figlar, executive director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC), Bob McCall, co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development and Ellen Smith a recently retired Pittsburgh Public Schools kindergarten teacher.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:48 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Thursday Rundown: New Pitt Chancellor and the View From the Top

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

The New Pitt Chancellor

Patrick Gallagher, the new chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, is our guest. The Pitt alum officially took office on August 1st. With a number of universities seeing declining enrollments and budget cuts we'll ask how he plans to tackle these challenges as well as his vision for Pitt's future.

High Point Pittsburgh Project

The Empire State Building, CN and Sears Towers are famous tourist destinations for viewing their cities. Can the U.S. Steel Tower be added to that list? That's what David Bear, creator of the High Point Pittsburgh Project, is hoping for. He thinks we ought to have an observation deck atop the building. He'll explain his plan and how he thinks it will benefit  the citizenry of Pittsburgh.

Fitness Technology

Whether it's a pedometer or an app tracking your calories there's no shortage of technological devices to track your fitness endeavors. But, do they work? Are they necessary? How long do people actually use them? We'll pose those questions to Joe Vennare, co-founder of the online fitness and health magazine Fittsburgh.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
11:52 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Neighborhood Feedback for the Mayor

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

Spending the Night with the Mayor

This month we’re having a neighborhood-centric conversation with Mayor Bill Peduto. He’s traveled throughout the city, hosting a monthly “Mayor’s Night Out” and “Night In,” where anyone can talk with him and his staff in person about neighborhood issues. We’ll get his take on the community feedback he’s been getting, police residency requirements and development of the former Civic Arena site in the Hill District.

What are your biggest neighborhood concerns?

Pedestrian Safety in Pittsburgh

With more than 2,000 serious accidents since 2006, the problem of pedestrian safety in Pittsburgh is one neither money or enforcement has been able to fix. This week the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has printed the first data-driven look at pedestrian safety in Pittsburgh. We'll talk with reporters Andrew McGill and Madeline Conway. 

Read more

Pages