Opinion

The Bionic Entrepreneur?

For me, fall marks not only the return of autumn leaves, cider and football, but returning to my role as a college entrepreneurship instructor. Despite this being my third year teaching this subject, I’m still troubled by a gnawing, fundamental question: Can you actually teach someone to be an entrepreneur?…
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Polluted air /​Festival of Lights

In the stocks: Polluted air When we recall Pittsburgh’s old nickname, “The Smoky City,” we think of it as a pejorative description of a dirty, industrial place. But when Pittsburgh first got that appellation, in the still agrarian 19th century, it was a badge of honor. Smoke meant factories, and…
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Publisher’s letter — Fall 2007

I grew up on what had been an old apple orchard, and fall meant turning the crank of our oak-​and-​iron cider press. It meant picking up apples from the grass and quickly unhanding those whose undersides had rotted and were crawling with yellowjackets. After a strong rain, it meant the…

Cut Me, Mick!

Right about when I purchased new 36-​inch-​waist pants and my self-​loathing reached a peak, the new Sylvester Stallone film, “Rocky Balboa” opened.

The Revelation of China

To be in China now must be like witnessing the construction of the pyramids. In Beijing, the world’s most powerful totalitarian regime is preparing for next year’s Olympics. Shanghai, a garden of skyscrapers, is getting ready for the 2010 World’s Fair. New highways, airports, power plants, dams and towers are…
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No regrets

When I drove my 22-​year-​old son from our home in Los Angeles to his new life in San Francisco, I didn’t realize I, too, was starting off on a new road. I used the six-​hour drive to deliver last-​minute motherly advice. He wanted to talk about his dream of becoming…

From the Publisher, Summer 2007

If all goes as planned this summer, my family and I will sail the waters of the remote North Channel between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Canada in a 28-​foot sloop. I’ve sailed a lot on Lake Huron but have never skippered a longer voyage on open waters. It’ll mean preparation…
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Stocks & pedestal — Summer 2007

It took a little doing — the blacksmith had to add a few links in the chains — but we’ve put obesity in the public stockade.
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Stocks & pedestal — Spring 2007

What a year for college basketball in Pittsburgh! Regardless what happens in March, could there have been a more interesting and exciting hoops season anywhere in the country?

Get Some Sleep with SOX

For managers of public companies and their shareholders, the Sarbanes-​Oxley Act of 2002 has done for business what the Department of Homeland Security has done for air travel. It’s a necessary work in progress that makes us feel more secure. But for frequent fliers, such as CEOs, CFOs and their…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Training women for office

An observer of the Legislature might conclude there’s something rotten in Harrisburg. Whether it’s the middle-​of-​the night pay raise in 2005 or recent revelations about the legislators’ fatuous bonus expenses, it’s clear where their interests lie. And with 253 of them, we have the most state legislators in the nation…

The Chair, the Blow-​Dryer and the Bombshelter

The world, my father liked to say, is a dangerous place. “Just when you think you’re clear,” he’d say. “It sneaks up and bites you.” Which might explain how I ended up on the bathroom floor, my ankle twisted, my hairdryer whirring in the sink.

From the Publisher, Spring 2007

One day at work a few years ago, I asked a colleague, “Do you ever have the feeling you’re living the same day over and over again?” She told me I ought to see “Groundhog Day.” I’d heard of the movie, and even though an old family friend has a…

Hold That Thought — Now’s the Time to Act

“Things do not change; we change.” — Henry David Thoreau Soon you will be asked to choose the purpose, shape, size and basic character of your local government. Fellow citizens are organizing now to ask you whether to reorganize the many layers and types of local government that have defined Allegheny County…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Stocks & pedestal — Winter 2007

Mayor Tom Murphy used to decry the lack of risk-​tolerant Pittsburgh developers willing to invest in the city. In Damian Soffer, the city found the perfect partner. Together, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Soffer turned blight into beauty and created the dynamic Southside Works. The URA bought and remediated the…
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