2016 Spring

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2016 Spring

A printing press for the future

During a pre-​Sscars movie binge, I recently saw “Spotlight,” the film about the Boston Globe’s investigation into the cover-​up of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Having spent two decades at Pittsburgh’s daily papers, the newsroom scenes brought back the vitality of a great American institution — the newspaper — which sadly appears to be…

Taylor, Ocampo, Pearson, Bennett, Hansen, Hissrich, Schörnich, Block

In March, James Taylor will become the chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPMC. A native of Rochester, N.Y., he comes to Pittsburgh from Charlotte, N.C., where he previously was the chief learning and diversity officer of Carolinas HealthCare System. He received his undergraduate degree in applied psychology from Ithaca…

Pittsburgh: 200 Years Young?

by PQ Staff
Pittsburgh’s getting younger. you hear it, read about it, and see it any time you’re out on the “tahn.” Even the demographic data back it up. But if you still don’t believe it, consider this: This year — just eight years after the Pittsburgh 250 celebration — the City of Pittsburgh is celebrating its…

American Redstart

Are we separate from nature or part of it? Superior to all creatures, the apex of creation, or simply one species among millions? Does self awareness make us unique? What about our sense of past, present and future?

Great Allegheny Passage

One of the most wonderful trail additions in western Pennsylvania has been the Great Allegheny Passage which runs 150 miles between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md., where it joins the C&O Canal Towpath and continues to Washington, D.C.

The Holmes Precedent

Time was when yogi Berra had to work off– season as a restaurant greeter. Richie Hebner dug graves. Nolan Ryan pumped gas. When Pirate slugger Ralph Kiner asked for a raise, scripture-​quoting general manager Branch Rickey told him: “We finished last with you and we can finish last without you.”

Neither, Either, Or

If you want to explore the vexing subject of global climate change, Seamus McGraw is the guy to have as a tour guide. He will not torture your brain with elaborate science, tax your patience with lectures about evil consumer habits, or bash you over the head with partisan arguments.…

Boom, bust and disaster

by Barbara Eichenlaub
Located at a horseshoe bend of the Monongahela River in Washington County — the heart of today’s Rust Belt — what would become Donora, Pa.was a farming community of 12 people in 1900. Within one year, it exploded to 4,000 — as hordes of workers built and manned numerous factories. Its population topped 14,000 by 1920,…

The City-​County Building

Ask people their favorite downtown Pittsburgh building, and many will tell you Henry Hobson Richardson’s Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail. Pittsburgh’s first really famous piece of architecture has been popular consistently since its 1888 completion.

Is being overweight the new smoking?

by Kelly Casey
Since hitting puberty four decades ago, Claudia Pianko has struggled with her weight. “When I was in 6th grade, I was 144 pounds,” she says. By last January, the 58’’ Greensburg woman weighed in at 385 pounds.

Moderate Growth in Store for Metro Pittsburgh in 2016

Metropolitan Pittsburgh is a picture of stability entering 2016. Job growth is outpacing the Pennsylvania state average, and the unemployment rate for the seven-​county region is steady near 5 percent. 2015 brought a resurgence in labor force growth, providing local employers a wider pool of talent from which to fill…

Keeping international graduates

by Julia Fraser
Alexandra Oliver had been a writer, editor, researcher, art critic, lecturer, curator, community organizer and entrepreneur. She earned her Ph.D. in Pittsburgh. She had a job offer in Pittsburgh and wanted to stay in the city where, she said, she “found a niche.”

Arrival of more immigrants softens population decline

Total population fell by 4,597 people throughout the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area from 2013 to 2014. The five-​year population trend, however, is one of stability. The region’s population grew slightly in three of those years.

New strategies emerge for strengthening neighborhood arts culture

by Julia Fraser
The arthouse in Homewood is hard to miss. It’s the house on Hamilton Avenue adorned with mosaics, from the stars against a field of blue covering one of its sides to the swirls of hearts and other images around words and phrases like “yes” and “you are beautiful” that greet…

States collaborate to grow region’s petrochemical industry

The governors of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia signaled their interest in expanding the petrochemical industry’s footprint in the tri-​state region last year to take advantage of abundant natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations underneath it.
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