Sponsored by

Opinion

Billionaire by mistake

Thanks to a computer glitch in our online brokerage account, I knew what it felt like to be Mark Zuckerberg for a glorious few days. Last summer, my wife called to me from her den, “You’ve got to see this!” When I looked at our online brokerage account on her computer screen, the balance showed …

Billionaire by mistake Read More »

The Sky Is Falling

In June I bowed to the demands of my three college-aged children and got the whole family smart phones. As I waited in line at the AT&T store, a guy behind me suggested I should get the “Siri” iPhone. “You can ask it anything, and it answers,” he said. Perhaps I should do that, I …

The Sky Is Falling Read More »

Stocks & Pedestal, Fall 2012

Early four years ago, businessman and philanthropist Henry Hillman called Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon with an idea. With the wealth of information technology experts at CMU, why not apply some of that brainpower to regional transportation issues? Improving transportation-related technology could improve the lives of regional residents, build Pittsburgh’s reputation as a “knowledge” …

Stocks & Pedestal, Fall 2012 Read More »

Stocks & Pedestal, Summer 2012

Between Feb. 13 and April 21, 46 bomb threats struck the University of Pittsburgh. The anonymous emails closed buildings, forced middle-of-the-night dorm evacuations and cancelled classes. The threats targeted the heart of our city, taking aim at the region’s most important institution. They also bared a still-darker specter: Because of the anonymous nature of global …

Stocks & Pedestal, Summer 2012 Read More »

Changing the Cottage

In April, my wife and I made the 600-mile drive to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula unusually early. We went to meet with contractors to begin fixing up the old cottage. What we call “The Big Cottage” was completed for the summer of 1908, the first built on LaSalle Island along the northern shore of Lake Huron. …

Changing the Cottage Read More »

A Remarkable Time for the Region

Twenty years ago, when newspapers were strong, the coin of the realm for ambitious reporters was winning awards. A slightly caricatured general rule was: The more intractable, insoluble and depressing the issue you wrote about, the more awards you’d win. Newspapers were in the business of problems, not solutions. In 1995, I marked 10 years …

A Remarkable Time for the Region Read More »

Giving Footnotes the Boot

While I was reading an essay written half a century ago by the distinguished historian and long-ago colleague, Peter Gay, I got to thinking about footnotes. His illuminating piece turned out to be somewhat annoying to read because of all those footnotes! You get to the end of a sentence and that little superscript numeral …

Giving Footnotes the Boot Read More »

A Pittsburgh Original

At a civic event 11 years ago, I saw an unusually dapper fellow—navy pinstripe suit, rep tie and perfectly combed white hair. The fact is, I thought he was someone else. I went over and introduced myself, and he said, “Bill Dietrich.” The name meant nothing to me. But after chatting for a minute or …

A Pittsburgh Original Read More »

Neighborhood Academy / Saks Fifth Avenue

A calling made good slowly but surely, like the Little Engine That Could, something remarkable has been climbing and climbing in Pittsburgh’s East End. It started as a vision to help children for whom effective guidance and results had been wanting.  The Neighborhood Academy’s mission is to “break the cycle of generational poverty by preparing low-income …

Neighborhood Academy / Saks Fifth Avenue Read More »

Into the Wild

What could be nicer than a family trip with all three kids just before they head off to college and my wife and I become empty nesters? This, at least, was my thinking when I signed up for a three-day, two-night pack trip into Yellowstone Park this summer. Ride in on horseback, do some fishing, …

Into the Wild Read More »

Stocks & Pedestal, Fall 2011

When your team’s winning, there’s nothing like baseball. Nothing like listening to the radio in the late innings of a close game. The pitcher waves off signals and finally goes into his motion. You hear the crack of the bat, followed by the announcer—“If it’s fair, it’s outta here—foul ball!” The din of the crowd …

Stocks & Pedestal, Fall 2011 Read More »

Stocks & Pedestal, Summer 2011

Last summer, Susan Crookston looked at the 8-acre Aspinwall Marina site on the Allegheny River, which was about to become a 650-car parking lot. When she saw it, the Aspinwall mother of three said, “If this plan falls through for some reason, we should try to buy this ourselves.” Laughter met her idea, but when …

Stocks & Pedestal, Summer 2011 Read More »

The New News

It’s said the stock market climbs a wall of worry. Equally so, society. And for the past several years, there’s been great concern about journalism. The common wisdom is that, with newspapers significantly weakened, citizens no longer get the information they need about their communities, and public officials who would be held accountable by the …

The New News Read More »

Thoughts of Spring

It’s been another long winter in Pittsburgh. Snow, ice and cold, mixed with work, responsibility and deadlines. So what’s the best thing about a Pittsburgh winter and its low, gray skies? Perhaps that it makes the coming of spring a gift from God. In the spring, as Tennyson said, a young man turns his thoughts …

Thoughts of Spring Read More »

Stocks & Pedestal, Spring 2011

Medrad: Top manufacturing, again If there is one economic sector that lives in the minds of Americans when they consider Pittsburgh, it’s manufacturing. And excellence in manufacturing is not just in the pages of the region’s history. For the second time in eight years, Medrad has won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, given …

Stocks & Pedestal, Spring 2011 Read More »

Pittsburgh Quarterly—Five Years Old

On a frigid Saturday in Jan. 2006,  I packed my three children—ages 12, 14 and 15—into our family car, loaded to the axles with magazines. I’d mailed most of the 40,000 copies of our first issue, but to save money, I planned to distribute magazines door-to-door through Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. And so with the car …

Pittsburgh Quarterly—Five Years Old Read More »

The Googling of Pittsburgh, Threats to Our Liberty

In the same day this fall, local headlines described three separate events that, taken together, should give all of us pause:       The state Office of Homeland Security issued security bulletins, warning of threats by various groups, including those planning peaceful protests and demonstrations, such as environmental groups concerned about the Marcellus Shale.  The Justice …

The Googling of Pittsburgh, Threats to Our Liberty Read More »

Homewood Children’s Village, Civic Complacency

Quietly, so far, an exciting change is developing in Homewood. A project called the Homewood Children’s Village is taking shape with the aim of bringing a wide array of social services to bear to help youngsters survive and thrive in one of Pittsburgh’s toughest neighborhoods. The leader of the Homewood project is John Wallace, a …

Homewood Children’s Village, Civic Complacency Read More »

The Passing of the Editor

One day in the early 1990s, the Post-Gazette newsroom was in an uproar because my wife, the society editor, had run a picture of the publisher and his brother with Jerry Springer at the Kentucky Derby. Connecting our enterprise with “Jer-ry” was so alarming to the staff that a meeting was called at the city …

The Passing of the Editor Read More »

The Art of the Haberdasher

It’s been almost six months since John Lohr, a salesman from Brooks Brothers, passed away, but I keep thinking about it. I don’t know what shocked me more. Was it that I had purchased a couple of shirts and ties from him the day before he died? Was it that, at 53, he was just …

The Art of the Haberdasher Read More »

My Summer “Reading” List

The first time I listened to a book was after a cocktail party. For a variety of reasons, I couldn’t get out of the party. The trouble was, I also had to be in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a noon meeting the next day. So, while it was not a great idea, I …

My Summer “Reading” List Read More »

Ben Roethlisberger, World Environment Day Leaders

Over the past several years, Pittsburgh has hosted one signature event each year—an event that’s drawn attention and visitors to our city: Pittsburgh Roars, Pittsburgh Celebrates Glass, Pittsburgh 250 and the G-20 Summit. And now, this year, Pittsburgh is hosting World Environment Day in June. These major events don’t happen by wishing. They come off …

Ben Roethlisberger, World Environment Day Leaders Read More »

Top