Municipal Time Bomb

The fear was real last spring as local taxes—the lifeblood of boroughs, townships and cities—were trickling in. The COVID-19 pandemic was closing or impairing businesses in southwestern Pennsylvania, the state and nation. The U.S. unemployment rate soared to nearly 15 percent. “We worried that our revenues would collapse,” said Scott Andrejchak, the municipal manager of …

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Region Adds Jobs, but Growth Is Slow

Employers in the Pittsburgh region added workers to their payrolls in March, but the modest job gains were a weak signal of recovery from the damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area gained about 9,000 jobs from February …

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Passion and Independence: Two More Critical Requirements for Leaders

Editor’s note, updated April 14, 2021: Last Friday, April 9, 2021, brought the unexpected passing of Tom Flannery, managing partner of the Pittsburgh office of Boyden, the international search firm. Tom was, to my mind, the leading headhunter in Pittsburgh, having placed untold numbers of local CEOs, nonprofit leaders and board members over the past …

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The Spring 2021 issue:

Light as Air

Leanne Ford is working from home these days, just like everyone else. But home for Ford means Pittsburgh, as in the entire city and its environs. The interior designer and star of HGTV’s “Restored by the Fords” is positioning her new season, “Home Again with the Fords,” as part of a national trend. People across …

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The Law Works in Mysterious Ways

After I was mustered out of the army, I reapplied to law school to finish my second and third years. I assumed my readmission would be pretty much automatic, but I was wrong — I was put through the wringer. Previously in this series: “Joe Biden Saved Me from Pocatello” Eventually I was required to …

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It’s a Bird, Not an Insult

One April morning when I was watching my feeders, I noticed a woodpecker on a branch. At least I thought it was a plain, old woodpecker. Black and white plumage, chisel-like beak. But there was red on the front of its face and chin. Not the back-of-the-head, red splotch of the male downy or hairy …

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Spring Greenery

After a long winter, the arrival of early spring, however damp and cool, is always welcome. This year especially so, as warmer weather on the horizon promises a reprieve after another pandemic winter. What better way to celebrate the cheerfulness of spring than with a pasta bursting with the bright, crisp flavors of spring’s early …

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Celebrating Spring in Penns Creek Wild Area

People who have spent time around state College know the surrounding mountains hold countless opportunities for enjoying the outdoors. From winter hiking in the rocky ridgelines and snowshoeing around Bear Meadows Natural Area to spring fishing in Penns Creek’s and Fishing Creek’s famous trout waters, Centre County offers beautiful, remote landscapes in any season. One …

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Breaking the News

With their traditional revenue models already suffering a long-term structural decline, local media operations have been further weakened by the government lockdowns and economic havoc accompanying COVID-19. Or as Tom Melia, Washington director of PEN America, the 99-year-old nonprofit that protects free expression, put it: “The pandemic has accelerated almost every contributing factor to the …

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Baker, Talotta, Franco, Hearn, Reeves, Ramachandran

Gretchen Baker will become the Daniel G. and Carole L. Kamin Director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History on April 1. Baker is currently the managing director for museum experience at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles. She previously served as vice president of exhibitions for the Natural History Museums of …

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Necessary City

I’m walking in hard rain in East Liberty            no umbrella   keeping direction bythe Cathedral rising over the roofs of this city I swore            I’d never live in.   Nico and Kai shopin Giant Eagle. I know he’s taking good care of him   probably            making him laugh   feeding himcheerios. I could leave   get in my car and …

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Joe Biden Saved Me from Pocatello

I had no intention of going to law school. In fact, I’d already been accepted into a Ph.D. program in English Lit at Yale and fully intended to spend my life writing poetry and teaching literature on some leafy campus. But then I got my draft notice and suddenly I got a lot more realistic …

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Pittsburgh’s Greatest Sports Rivalry: Satchel and Josh

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson, who started his professional career with the Kansas City Monarchs, played his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers and began the integration of the Major Leagues. This past December, nearly 75 years later, Major League Baseball decided to elevate Negro League Baseball, founded in 1920, from minor-league to major-league …

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Rooney, Clarke, Habegger, Miller, Thornburgh, Gale, Robinson

Patricia Rooney, 88: Married to the late Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney for 65 years and one of four matriarchs of longstanding NFL families, Mrs. Rooney combined her love of family with a commitment to many causes, especially in the North Side neighborhood where she grew up and lived until her death. The mother of nine …

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