A journalistic innovator, Heuck has been writing about Pittsburgh for 37 years, as an investigative reporter and business editor at The Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette and as the founder of Pittsburgh Quarterly. His newspaper projects ranged from living on the streets disguised as a homeless man to penning the only comprehensive profile in the latter years of polio pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk to creating a statistical means of judging regional progress that has led to similar projects across the country. Heuck's work has won numerous national, state and local writing awards. His work has been cited in the landmark media law case "Food Lion vs. ABC news."

A Sailing Odyssey, Part II: Peril on the Seas

It is said that no two trips to the North Channel are ever the same. With a maiden voyage behind me, though, I felt confident about my second trip, which I would undertake with three college classmates, all 60 years old. I put the boat in the water early, eager to push the engine a …

A Sailing Odyssey, Part II: Peril on the Seas Read More »

A Sailing Odyssey, Part I

When I was a boy during summers in northern Michigan, there was one adventure that dwarfed all others: sailing to the North Channel. It was a distant, mythic place of pristine beauty and wrecked boats where intrepid sailors matched their skills with the forces of nature — where islands had rattlesnakes, fish were huge, and …

A Sailing Odyssey, Part I Read More »

A Sailing Odyssey, The Conclusion

Killarney was our eastern apogee, where we spent the rainy day in the Killarney Mountain Lodge, had drinks by the fire and I taught the guys to play bridge. From there we started the long trek back, exploring the North Channel’s most beautiful places by day and playing bridge in the cozy cabin each night. …

A Sailing Odyssey, The Conclusion Read More »

A Final Chat with Franco

My wife and I were at a party Friday night at the History Center, and after a cocktail, chit chat and getting our picture taken with Santa, we were going to check out the John Kane painting exhibit before the seated dinner.  As we were making our escape from the crowd, however, I saw Franco …

A Final Chat with Franco Read More »

A Pittsburgh Wedding

It all started in March of 2020, when my daughter’s boyfriend flew to Pittsburgh for lunch to ask for her hand. Liking him a great deal, I said yes, not knowing that, thanks to the vagaries of COVID, we would have 30 months to think and rethink the wedding, and experience all the drama accompanying …

A Pittsburgh Wedding Read More »

Let’s Take “the Pits” out of Pittsburgh

In my spring column, I wrote about the borough of Wilkinsburg, encouraging Pittsburgh City Council to vote in favor of annexing the failed municipality. When I wrote it though, it had been years since I’d veered off of Wilkinsburg’s main drag — Penn Avenue — and actually explored the borough. Last month, I drove all …

Let’s Take “the Pits” out of Pittsburgh Read More »

A Q&A with Senate Candidate David McCormick

After leading Pittsburgh high-flyer FreeMarkets, McCormick returns for a Senate run. (Editor’s note: McCormick is the only Western Pennsylvanian in the Republican Senate Primary.  After the May primary, we hope to profile whichever Western Pennsylvania candidates remain in the Senate race from either party.) Why are you running for the Senate and what are the …

A Q&A with Senate Candidate David McCormick Read More »

Needed: City Leadership

Until yesterday, in 60 years, I have only called a political representative once to try to persuade him to vote on something I thought was important. It was in October 2008, when Congress was again considering the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Days earlier, the bill failed to pass the U.S. House by 13 votes, …

Needed: City Leadership Read More »

Into the Woods

June 15th was crisp and cloudless. carrying a chainsaw, orange surveyor’s tape and a compass, I started walking in a straight line into the pathless woods. Trailing me was my Airedale, Hawkins, and behind both of us was the little cabin that a group of friends and I built the previous summer on an island …

Into the Woods Read More »

A Lifelong Friend

I’ve been lucky to have many close friends. But as I look back, it’s clear to me that, of all of them, my life has been most closely intertwined with that of my friend Chris Bentley. Chris and I were born less than two months apart, in early 1962, and we met before either of …

A Lifelong Friend Read More »

The Year of Fear

The first time the phrase “stay safe” stuck in my memory, I was watching a TV news broadcast. After the correspondent gave his report, the anchor thanked him and then with a concerned look said, “Stay safe out there.” It was actually jarring to me because I’d been a reporter and editor for decades and, …

The Year of Fear Read More »

Civil Discourse

As I consider the divided state of our country, I imagine my father’s voice repeating an old adage to me. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” We can all agree that America has problems, though we’ll likely differ on what they are. Some will say the mob that former …

Civil Discourse Read More »

Seeking a Broad-Based Pittsburgh Economy

Q. What is Pittsburgh Works? How and why did it come about? A. Pittsburgh Works is a coalition that believes in the importance of having a strong and balanced local economy that includes and appreciates all of the important industrial sectors, including energy and manufacturing. We need jobs of all kinds for all kinds of …

Seeking a Broad-Based Pittsburgh Economy Read More »

Finishing the Cabin

In the Fall issue, I wrote about how five friends and I escaped the hunker-down COVID malaise last summer by building a 16-by-20-foot cabin on a remote island in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U.P.). None of us had done it before, and by the time they left July 25, the footers, subfloor and four walls were …

Finishing the Cabin Read More »

My Summer Vacation

It all started back in April, when the virus was young… I had big plans for making this the summer of exploration, intent on getting away from the quarantine/hunker down mentality and surrounding myself with the beauty of nature. The first plan was renting an RV in June and driving to Alaska via the Alaska …

My Summer Vacation Read More »

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 …

Vision and Action: A Remembrance of Paul O’Neill Read More »

Working in the Coronavirus Era

Q. How do you expect the aftermath of the coronavirus to change the working conditions for the American workforce? A. It’s definitely going to change working conditions. It’s also going to change the way we arrange work. Social distancing is going to change the workplace. The recovery is going to be gradual. I think you’re …

Working in the Coronavirus Era Read More »

Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

By chance, in early January, I watched a Netflix series called “Pandemic,” so my sensors were attuned early for the virus news from China. I was initially surprised that people were slow to give it credence and that financial markets blithely reached all-time highs Feb. 19. Soon enough though, as virus news swept the globe …

Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste Read More »

Pittsburgh Tomorrow Podcast: Douglas Heuck

Pittsburgh Quarterly’s Douglas Heuck reads his editor’s letter from the Spring 2020 issue. Editor’s note: The following column was published in the Spring issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly, just before the coronavirus changed the landscape across the world. It was part of an overall package entitled “Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow” dedicated to considering changes that we …

Pittsburgh Tomorrow Podcast: Douglas Heuck Read More »

Pittsburgh Tomorrow: Facing Facts and Seizing Opportunity

I arrived in Pittsburgh on July 5, 1985, for a 12-week internship at the old Pittsburgh Press. I expected to stay that long. However, from my entry through the Fort Pitt Tunnel to my first front-page story on one of the last big steel strikes, Pittsburgh was a fascinating place. It was also a place …

Pittsburgh Tomorrow: Facing Facts and Seizing Opportunity Read More »

The Migrations of Hunting

“Nature is a wet place where large numbers of ducks fly around uncooked.” —Oscar Wilde I didn’t grow up in a hunting family. When it came to wild animals, we enjoyed simply seeing them, not killing them. And the least likely kind of hunting for me might have been ducks. I liked the book “Make …

The Migrations of Hunting Read More »

Holiday Thoughts from the Dalai Lama’s Physician

Dr. Barry Kerzin, Buddhist Monk and physician to the Dalai Lama, is back in Pittsburgh, continuing his work with UPMC nurses, building compassion, resilience and mindfulness into their daily activities, with the goal of decreasing stress and increasing fulfillment. (See a longer PQ story on Kerzin here). He is in discussions to possibly begin similar …

Holiday Thoughts from the Dalai Lama’s Physician Read More »