Pittsburgh Quarterly Contributors
Jeffery Fraser

Jeffery Fraser

Jeffery is a Pittsburgh-​based freelance writer and frequent contributor to Pittsburgh Quarterly. In his past life, he was a reporter and editor for newpapers large and small, only one of which is still in business. His magazine and newspaper reporting has won numerous awards.

Best-​case scenario

1985 was a grim year for Pittsburgh. The region, reeling from a historic collapse of its industry, was hemorrhaging people, mostly young adults leaving for job opportunities that had evaporated in their hometown. The air was bad, worse than it is today. Even the beloved Steelers failed to offer solace, finishing with seven…

Lack of Diversity in the Region’s Workforce Raises Concerns

Rayfield Lucas had heard there were well-​paying jobs to be had in the shale gas industry; jobs that offered the opportunity to earn his way to a future more secure than the maintenance and warehouse work he’d done in the past could ever promise. He went for it.

As Boomers Age

In a few decades, the rest of America will be as gray as Allegheny County, which not long ago stood as one of the oldest counties in the nation. But it won’t be due to a local surge of youth. Aging Baby Boomers, in fact, are driving the county’s older adult population to…

Is better good enough?

A standing-​room-​only audience has packed the Avalon Municipal Building on a rain-​soaked April evening to hear Allegheny County Health Department officials explain the latest consent decree to correct air quality violations at the coke works across the river. It’s a tough crowd.

What we say (and do) about the environment

Lori Rieger and Kim Haynes are strolling Point State Park on a July afternoon that is sunny, hot and humid enough to notice. It’s the kind of day that invites ozone pollution to accumulate at levels that violate federal air quality standards, which is something Pittsburgh and the region do on an annual…

African Americans in Pittsburgh: The data in black & white

Some 1,800 Greater Pittsburgh men and women spent a half hour on the phone late last year answering an expansive battery of questions about themselves, their circumstances, and views on everything from how tax dollars should be spent to how happy they are. It was, by any standard, the most ambitious attempt in…

The Young People Myth

In the not-​too-​distant past, Border Guard Bob was thought to have been a good idea. He was the amusing face of a short-​lived marketing campaign to staunch the flow of Pittsburgh’s young to other cities, a problem perceived by some of the region’s civic-​minded to be grave enough to warrant aggressive action.

The Cost of Blight

The Helen S. Faison Arts Academy, Pittsburgh’s newest elementary school, was built with the hope it would help kindle the revitalization of Homewood, which has long been one of the city’s most distressed neighborhoods.

Shale gas & the environment

For years the well pads, truck traffic and logos of energy companies large and small multiplied across counties like Washington and Greene as southwestern Pennsylvania became a poster child for the rush to extract natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale.

Finding Common Ground

The conversations began quietly two years ago in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Could natural gas be harvested from shale without writing a new chapter in the legacy of tainted air and water that had been the price of nearly a century of steel making and mining in the region? And was there an appetite…
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