Margaret J. Krauss

Margaret J. Krauss is a writer and radio producer based in Pittsburgh.

A Long Romance

At first, the performance was delayed because ballerina Carlotta Grisi was recovering from an injury. Then the conductor was battling a tumor. And then safety concerns slowed the set construction. But finally, on June 28, 1841—a Monday night—“Giselle” premiered at the Paris Opéra. After its Paris premiere, the two-act Romantic ballet entered almost immediately into …

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The Right Thing To Do

It had stormed the night before, hard enough to postpone the Pirates game and scrub the air, leaving it sharp and glittering for the early morning joggers along the North Shore Trail. The bridges overhead buzzed with the aggregate sound of thousands of people going to work. Halfway between PNC Park and Heinz Field, two …

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“It’s Bitcoin for Volunteers”

Dan Little has wanted to build the infrastructure of the future for a long time. So while he enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University to study architecture, he switched to civil engineering. “The recession happened and Obama got elected and there were all these promises about infrastructure. I thought, ‘It sounds like civil engineering is going …

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Remaking Learning

In retrospect, the gong makes a lot of sense. It was 2009, and a packed crowd huddled in the basement theater of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, watching and laughing as one by one, teachers, technologists, parents, gamers and roboticists took to the stage to give their pitch. They had three minutes each to describe …

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Moderate Growth in Store for Metro Pittsburgh in 2016

Metropolitan Pittsburgh is a picture of stability entering 2016. Job growth is outpacing the Pennsylvania state average, and the unemployment rate for the seven-county region is steady near 5 percent. 2015 brought a resurgence in labor force growth, providing local employers a wider pool of talent from which to fill their ever-expanding payroll needs. Pittsburgh …

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Arrival of more immigrants softens population decline

Total population fell by 4,597 people throughout the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area from 2013 to 2014. The five-year population trend, however, is one of stability. The region’s population grew slightly in three of those years. The one-year decline—two-tenths of 1 percent—occurred despite the fact that slightly more people moved into the region than left it …

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Region’s housing market remains the picture of stability

The regional housing market stayed in character in 2015, with home prices appreciating but at a slower rate than in most other Pittsburgh Today benchmark regions. Homeownership is high across the Pittsburgh MSA. U.S. Census Bureau data show that 69.3 percent of homes in the seven-county MSA are occupied by their owners. Only Minneapolis among …

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Local initiative gains acclaim, plans May celebration

In the Monongahela River Valley, where now-silent steel mills once defined the region, a traditional classroom has been stripped of its chalkboards and remade as an entertainment technology academy. Game design theory now helps engage students in English, computer science and math lessons. In childcare centers, children share their day in pictures and voice compositions …

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Air and water pollution still challenge region

Environmental stewardship is not a traditional strength of southwestern Pennsylvania, where the legacy of industrialization and growth includes periods of dense air pollution, and streams and rivers tainted with abandoned mine acid and effluent from inadequate municipal sewage systems. Gone are the days when soot from mills and home furnaces turned afternoon into night and …

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Risky Health Behaviors Run High Across the Region

When it comes to avoiding preventable diseases, southwestern Pennsylvanians are their own worst enemy. Rates of smoking, being overweight and physical inactivity across the seven counties that make up the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area are among the worst in the Pittsburgh Today benchmark regions and the nation. Such behaviors have been strongly linked to preventable …

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Voyaging to College

The road to college is much like an expedition. It can appear overwhelming, exciting, and at times too far away to be tangible. However, much like planning a trip out of town or across the globe there is preparation involved, and it is always best to start that planning early. First, you must figure out …

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South Side Visions

I only met my husband’s grandfather a few times; he died at age 92, shortly after my husband and I were married in 1988.   However, I think of Lee Dittley often, when I look at his charming paintings of the South Side of Pittsburgh. With only a ninth-grade education, he went from working in …

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Forever In Bloom

Gardens are fleeting, as anyone with a green thumb will attest. Within two weeks of neglect, weeds invade; within two years, shrubs perish and pathways disappear; within two decades, the garden is but a memory. Fast forward two centuries, when everyone who even remembers the garden is gone…   The Garden Club of America, founded …

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