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Opinion

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 …

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Our City, Our Water

An April 23 Forbes article describes “America’s 10 Thirstiest Cities,” and, of course, each is west of the Rockies and faces some degree of water crisis. Closer to home, the Great Lakes, which hold roughly 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, have dropped dramatically in the past decade. Explanations range from weather patterns to …

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Retaking the Governor’s Mansion

For the past 40 years, there have been three salient facts about Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial elections. Each elected governor has won the limit of two terms (Mark Schweiker served 20 months after Tom Ridge left to lead homeland security). The office has rotated every eight years between Republicans and Democrats. And three of the last six …

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Riverlife & Mayor Luke Ravenstahl

In the late 1990s, Teresa Heinz and others gazed at the new Alcoa headquarters and its North Shore neighbor, the new Lincoln Properties. Both occupied key riverfront spots. But compared with the standard-setting Alcoa structure, the residential development looked like a Motel 6. An idea was born—to conceive a holistic vision of the riverfront with …

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Ancient Lessons

After turbulent flights, impenetrable storms and closed airports, I reached Tucson in the wee hours. I went to meet three college friends and our former professor for a weekend seminar in that city of cacti and mountains. Three things reminded me of college days: missing sleep, not finishing the reading and contemplating what it means …

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Fallow Ground

Do you have children?” a new acquaintance will ask, in a natural effort to prompt conversation. My grip tightens around my wine glass, and for an instant, I glance away. Sometimes, I consider lying. “We have a daughter. She’s starting Oberlin in the fall. We think she’ll major in English.” I imagine her, athletic and …

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Coming Home

My mother would busily get the house ready. One of my jobs was to check the colored Christmas lights on the white pine that towered over our white frame house. We left the lights in all year. The tree kept growing, so every December I would add extra strands as far up as I could …

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Cure Alzheimer’s Fund & Our State Leaders

Long involved in charitable giving, East End residents Jacqui and Jeff Morby wanted to do more. They wanted to affect the lives of others for the better. So five years ago, they created the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. It’s estimated that Alzheimer’s care currently costs about $120 billion a year, or some 15 percent of the …

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A Reporter’s Carol

When Clark Kent awoke, he felt the cold in his bones. He fumbled for his glasses and put them on his now-bulbous nose. The clock said 8 a.m. “Humbug,” he muttered. Another depressing day at The Daily Planet. Kent had long since ceased complaining about the new management and staffing cuts, long since stopped bothering …

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The Pittsburgh Penguins & WQED

As America’s first public television station, WQED has a storied history. Unfortunately, it’s not living up to that legacy. We are disappointed that the leadership of this high-profile nonprofit saw fit to sell Pittsburgh Magazine to an out-of-town magazine chain. In recent years, WQED treated the magazine primarily as a revenue generator to support the …

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You’ll Manage – Fall 2009

Sabatino “Sam” DiBattista dreamed of revitalizing sleepy little Bellevue as a means of improving not only the  business at his Bellevue restaurant, Vivo, but the merchants around him on Lincoln Avenue. His dream slowly became a crucible as the forces of easy money and lax lending practices converged against him just when he thought he …

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Your One and Only

2009 has been a trying year for media organizations across the country. Several local magazines have folded; Pittsburgh magazine has been sold to a Colorado company. Let me assure you, however, that Pittsburgh Quarterly remains strong and committed to bringing the very best in magazine journalism to this region. In that regard, Pittsburgh Quarterly has …

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Why Pittsburgh?

When it was announced that the G-20 summit would be held in Pittsburgh, some in the national press corps chuckled; others raised their brows. It’s the first time the summit has not been held in a capital city. Why? On one hand, with the world’s economy in turmoil, it would seem to make perfect sense …

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Stocks & Pedestal, Summer 2009

Winding its way through the Laurel Highlands is one of the most beautiful trout streams in western Pennsylvania. If you’ve ever waded into the stream, you know its charms—the rocks, the flowing water and the trees that line the banks. You could be anywhere, but you happen to be in Somerset County.  Laurel Hill Creek, …

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Gone Fishing

At various times in a fisherman’s life, it becomes desirable to try a new spot. Perhaps an old place gets too crowded. Maybe the fish move on. Or maybe one simply wants a change of scenery. Of course, truly knowing a fishing spot means getting there early, before the fish start feeding—before the first light. …

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From the Publisher, Summer 2009

When I recently toured our new Children’s Hospital, I’d been aware that great attention was paid  to the design for at least a couple of reasons. One was to facilitate the best patient care. Another was to create a place where children would feel secure and comfortable. That well-being, of course, reinforces the care, which is …

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The Strange World of Elevens

The orderly’s name was Rich. He’d come to fill my mother’s water pitcher. Rich had eyebrows like steel wool and eyes that seemed focused anywhere but here. “My dad used to scrunch his face up all the time, just like that,” I said. “You shouldn’t frown so much.” “My wife tells me that, too,” he …

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Gray vs. Green in CEOs

Like everyone, I’ve been watching a lot of Paul Newman movies lately. A couple of his performances made me think about CEOs and how they seem to get better with age. It particularly strikes me when I watch him play two different Eddie Felsons in “The Hustler” and “The Color of Money.” The young Felson …

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From the Publisher, Spring 2009

My 17-year-old daughter wanted to go to the inauguration, and we went back and forth about it. There were plenty of reasons not to. The crowd was expected to be 2–4 million, and people had been asked to stay home. I’d been in a densely packed crowd once before, where you couldn’t move and were …

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Stocks & Pedestal, Spring 2009

The Pittsburgh Steelers: Here we go. In a season when both the landscape and the economy have been frozen and dreary, life in Pittsburgh has been full of excitement and expectation, thanks to the Steelers. So up on the pedestal they go for lighting a bonfire of Pittsburgh spirit and taking our minds off of …

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The Losses Hit Home

Justifiably, greater Pittsburgh has felt fortunate to escape the brunt of this recession so far. We’ve read the stories in the national media and seen the statistics. We had no housing bubble here, so there’s no bubble to burst. Our financial institutions are comparatively strong. The healthcare, government and education sectors have softened the blows …

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Fit vs. Fat vs. Finances

Every saturday, I sit in somber amazement and watch some tattooed, wide-body pile on his body weight in eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy onto a plate fresh out of the warming tray. My favorite part comes when he douses the whole monstrosity in cheese sauce. My incredulity is only matched by my waitress’s when I …

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