Pittsburgh Tomorrow Podcast: Sean Luther, Executive Director of InnovatePGH

Donald Bonk interviews Sean Luther, executive director of InnovatePGH, as part of the Pittsburgh Tomorrow podcast series. The transcript is abridged and edited for clarity. View the episode archive here. Read Sean Luther’s full bio here. “Pitt and CMU have evolved to be extremely complementary. They physically overlap in this really unique urban environment. That …

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Did We Do Any Good?

Did VISTAs in Pittsburgh even come close to “eliminating poverty,” the stated goal? There is no evidence that this happened, nor do any of the ex-volunteers think they even made a dent. What, then, did they achieve? Most VISTAs believe that they were able to help individuals who needed help. Some of this help was …

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Bold Action Needed: Jim Roddey, Diane Holder, Bill Strickland

At a time when the Pittsburgh region is continuing to lose population and has been seeing regional job losses the past few months, we asked a group of regional leaders to respond, in 200 words or less, to this question: What action do we need to take to create the kind of growth, vitality and dynamism that will stem …

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Local Unemployment Drops, but Rate Remains Staggering

Unemployment in southwestern Pennsylvania fell sharply in May, when the region began to relax social restrictions and reopen businesses that had been closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Still, the jobless rate remains at levels rarely seen as the pandemic continued to take its toll on the local economy. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan …

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The Power of the Press?

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. With Plans A and B dead, the Approvals Panel began to discuss a fallback plan. One way to expose the Black Hole plot would be for George—or someone—to simply make it public. Call …

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Positioning Client Portfolios: Wentling Tarquinio Loughney, Greycourt & Co, Henry Armstrong Associates

Each year in the summer issue, we ask a group of Pittsburgh’s leading investment experts to answer a question for our readers in 250 words or less. This year’s question: “The coronavirus has led to the first bear market in more than a decade with widespread uncertainty remaining. How are you positioning your client portfolios …

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Here’s to a Summer Night

The long, rainy spring is finally gone, the sun is shining and summer’s here. It’s still unclear how much we’ll be able to socialize this summer, but rather than dwell on all the things we may not be able to do in the coming months, I’m reminding myself of the summer traditions we can still …

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Could the Coronavirus Kill the Gasoline Tax?

A crisis in how to pay for roads and bridges with a gasoline tax had been worsening for decades. With Americans traveling less, the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating it. Fifty years ago, when the miles Americans traveled in their cars were soaring, a tax on every gallon of gasoline sold worked as a way pay …

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Pittsburgh Tomorrow Podcast: Audrey Russo, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council

Donald Bonk interviews Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, as part of the Pittsburgh Tomorrow podcast series. The transcript is abridged and edited for clarity. View the episode archive here. Read Audrey Russo’s full bio here. View her LinkedIn profile here. “It would be creating a culture of zero tolerance for …

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They Came to Pittsburgh to Eliminate Poverty

Now, more than 50 years hence, it is time to ask a few important questions: Did the presence of VISTA Volunteers have an impact on the communities they served, and how? And what impact did the VISTA program have on the lives of the VISTAs themselves? What follows are the stories of almost a dozen-and-a-half …

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Bold Action Needed: Patrick Gallagher, Sunil Wadhwani, Dennis Unkovic

At a time when the Pittsburgh region is continuing to lose population and has been seeing regional job losses the past few months, we asked a group of regional leaders to respond, in 200 words or less, to this question: What action do we need to take to create the kind of growth, vitality and dynamism that will stem …

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The Ways of LBJ

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional account written almost 40 years ago. As the ambulance pulled up to the farmhouse on the eastern shore of Maryland, George Leader was watching out the living room window. What he saw shocked him. An elderly, gray-haired woman was …

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Positioning Client Portfolios: Fairview Capital, Shorebridge, PWA, WesBanco

Each year in the summer issue, we ask a group of Pittsburgh’s leading investment experts to answer a question for our readers in 250 words or less. This year’s question: “The coronavirus has led to the first bear market in more than a decade with widespread uncertainty remaining. How are you positioning your client portfolios …

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Vision and Action: A Remembrance of Paul O’Neill

I first met Paul O’Neill 23 years ago. I was running a project at the Post-Gazette called PG Benchmarks, which compared Pittsburgh to regions across the country with the goal of elevating Pittsburgh’s moribund trajectory. Aside from publishing statistics and stories, we held periodic roundtable discussions, the first of which was on the economy. I …

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Pandemic Heats Up Housing Market

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted business as usual in the residential real estate industry as it swept through the Pittsburgh region in March. It shut the doors on open houses, cancelled showings and stifled home inspections. But it failed to curb demand. A Howard Hanna real estate agent helped a seller stage a home via Facetime …

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Pandemic Slams Pittsburgh Jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic continued its attack on the Pittsburgh metropolitan job market in May with the region losing 175,800 jobs since May 2019, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All of Pittsburgh Today’s 15 benchmark regions posted significant job losses in May. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area lost 14.6 percent over its jobs …

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Pittsburgh Tomorrow Podcast: Diamonte Walker, URA of Pittsburgh Deputy Executive Director

Donald Bonk interviews Diamonte Walker, deputy executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, as part of the Pittsburgh Tomorrow podcast series. The transcript is abridged and edited for clarity. View the episode archive here. Read Diamonte Walker’s full bio here. “A lot of folks didn’t believe that Pittsburgh would become what it is. …

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VISTAs in Pittsburgh

Editor’s note: This is part one of a three-part series. We came to Pittsburgh from all across the United States—from California and Oregon, from Minnesota and Michigan and Alabama, from Florida and New York, from big cities and small towns. We came to Pittsburgh with one mission in mind: To eliminate poverty. We were VISTA …

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Breathing Bad Air

Air pollution from traffic and industrial stacks finds its way to most places in Allegheny County. But minority and low-income neighborhoods are more likely to endure the highest levels and the health risks that come with not being able to find respite from bad air, a University of Pittsburgh study reports. Researchers mapped black carbon …

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A Great Mind Ponders Grim Alternatives

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. When George suggested that Grace Atkinson be summoned to the deliberations on the Eastern Shore, not everyone was enthusiastic. For one thing, Grace was recovering from a stroke. Moreover, as one Panel member …

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The Neighbors

The cookies had come out of the oven earlier in the week. Delicious and gooey and way too tempting. Free range brown eggs, Amish butter flavored with sea salt, and semi-sweet chocolate chips that had tumbled out of a shimmering gold bag from Ghirardelli, the same chocolate chips that had been pillaged from the shelves …

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Positioning Client Portfolios: PNC, Confluence Financial Partners, J.P. Morgan, Huntington

Each year in the summer issue, we ask a group of Pittsburgh’s leading investment experts to answer a question for our readers in 250 words or less. This year’s question: “The coronavirus has led to the first bear market in more than a decade with widespread uncertainty remaining. How are you positioning your client portfolios …

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