2007 Summer

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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.

Wolf Wants Pot Legalized, Most Local Residents Agree

When Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced his support for legalizing recreational use of marijuana among adults, he echoed the sentiments of the majority of people living in the most populous county in southwestern Pennsylvania.

How Age Colors Views About the Environment

The air seems cleaner and the water fresher to middle-​aged residents and seniors in Allegheny County, the urban center of southwestern Pennsylvania that has had its share of environmental struggles.

A Slow But Continuing Decline

Gavriel Popper-​Keizer was living in sun-​swept Santa Barbara when he decided to leave coastal California, where he’d spent most of his life. His girlfriend, Alison, also a lifelong Californian, was on board. The sense of adventure was appealing. Neither had a dream job they would regret leaving. And they had come to grips…

Survival of the Fittest

Fran and Steve are hiding in the Monroeville Mall, spying on its creepy patrons — gray-​skinned zombies who’d once been suburbanites, judging from their apparel. One of the walking dead, a woman, staggers from an appliance store mindlessly dragging a new toaster by the cord. “What are they doing? Why do they come here?” Fran…

Pittsburgh Air Pollution Report: Particulates Drop, Ozone Rises

Levels of fine particulate air pollution, long an issue in southwestern Pennsylvania, fell in 2018, while ground-​level ozone, whose concentrations had been waning in recent years, ticked upward amid concerns that natural gas drilling may be contributing to the rise.

On the Water

The sun shines more often. Valleys are greening. Summer is on the horizon. And southwestern Pennsylvanians are taking to the region’s abundant streams, rivers and lakes for recreation, as they do each season in impressive numbers.

Jobs Grow Slowly

Jobs edged up in southwestern Pennsylvania in April compared to the previous year, but the rate of growth was slower than in most of its peer regions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More People Are Leaving the Region. Does It matter?

Sometime in 2008, more people began moving into the cities and suburbs of southwestern Pennsylvania from other parts of the country than were leaving for places and opportunities elsewhere. It was a watershed moment, the long-​awaited reversal of a decades-​long trend of being on the losing end of U.S. migration patterns. It proved…

Could Uber/​Lyft Replace Paratransit Vans?

Paratransit vans can be spotted in almost any neighborhood picking up patients whose means, health, or proximity to public transit makes getting to their doctor appointment or medical treatment a hardship. The government-​funded vans have done the job for years. But, in a growing number of U.S. counties, the expansion of ride-​hailing services…

A Greener View

People in the heart of southwestern Pennsylvania have adopted a rosier view of the region’s environment in recent years.
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