Opinion

The Strange World of Elevens

The orderly’s name was Rich. He’d come to fill my mother’s water pitcher. Rich had eyebrows like steel wool and eyes that seemed focused anywhere but here.

The Losses Hit Home

Justifiably, greater Pittsburgh has felt fortunate to escape the brunt of this recession so far. We’ve read the stories in the national media and seen the statistics. We had no housing bubble here, so there’s no bubble to burst. Our financial institutions are comparatively strong. The healthcare, government and education…
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You’ll Manage — Spring 2009

Like everyone, I’ve been watching a lot of Paul Newman movies lately. A couple of his performances made me think about CEOs and how they seem to get better with age. It particularly strikes me when I watch him play two different Eddie Felsons in “The Hustler” and “The Color…
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Stocks & pedestal — Winter 2009

Three cheers for PNC Financial Services Group for buying National City Corp. and becoming the nation’s fifth-​biggest bank. With this $5.6 billion deal — helped by $7.7 billion in federal funds — Pittsburgh’s banking prominence is rising again. We think concerns about a lack of banking choices in the wake of the deal are…

Fit vs. Fat vs. Finances

Every saturday, I sit in somber amazement and watch some tattooed, wide-​body pile on his body weight in eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy onto a plate fresh out of the warming tray. My favorite part comes when he douses the whole monstrosity in cheese sauce.

From the Publisher, Winter 2009

I’m sorry to report the passing of the co-​founder of Pittsburgh Quarterly, Smokey. He was almost seven when he was killed by a car this fall. The “Man’s Best Friend” label fit Smokey, whose picture appears for a third and final time on this page. Those who have dogs know…
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Publisher’s letter — Fall 2008

As sorry as I am to see another summer wane, how wonderful it is to look forward to fall in Pittsburgh. And what a fall it will be. When you look at what’s in store this autumn, can you really doubt the charms of Pittsburgh?
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Wasting our tax dollars

At one end of a long, rectangular table in an Aliquippa restaurant, a grandmother of 12 sporting a big, blond hairdo was talking about how everyone in Beaver County calls her when their dog is lost. Someone even called at 2:30 a.m. the other day. She wasn’t complaining — she loves dogs…

We Have the Power

A likeable 12-​year-​old is shot and killed. Children settle disputes with guns. Other children fear they may be caught in the cross fire. How can this be?

The Graduate(s)

It seems that every autumn, I start worrying about my kids. My wife and I don’t have children, so “my kids” are my current and former college students.
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Seth Wiedman /​Harrisburg

On a pedestal: A student star — Seth Weidman It’s better to light one candle than curse the darkness. That old expression found a disciple during the last school year in Seth Weidman, whose extra efforts have made him the youngest person to be placed on our pedestal.
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Stocks & pedestal — Summer 2008

Great cities take great care when it comes to aesthetics, and Pittsburgh is fortunate to be among the nation’s great architectural cities. It doesn’t continue by magic, though. It takes planning and vigilance.

One Myth Worth Dispelling

Sonoma, Calif. — On an unseasonably warm and beautiful April evening in the heart of the California wine country, an enthusiastic crowd with many Pittsburghers gathered to see the premiere screening of “My Tale of Two Cities,” a documentary about Pittsburgh and the life of the film’s creator, star and…

The Case for Consolidation

The governments of Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh – the two largest governments in our region – duplicate many departments and services, including parks, public works, human resources, computer services, emergency management and so forth. This redundancy of functions and services results in operational inefficiencies, public confusion and…

You’ll manage — Summer 2008

Mark Twain referred to golf as “a good walk spoiled.” I think of golf as more of a journey of revelation. It reveals whether you really want to do business with someone as you watch his behavior during a round. Or, as an unknown golfer said, “If there is any…
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