2011 Fall

Schools ‘R’ U.S.

College costs are rising, but that has yet to deter one group of students from entering American schools. International student enrollment has surged since the middle of the decade, after dipping during the years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Nearly 700,000 foreign-born students are enrolled in U.S. universities, up from 550,000 a …

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The College Cost Question

Jerry schmitt had just finished paying for the college educations of his two older sons, Ben and Jordan, when it came time for the college years of his daughter, Ameeta. Jerry knew what to expect. Large tuition bills. Loans. Paperwork. A rush of financial decision-making that induced an odd mix of confusion, outrage (how could …

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You’re in ‘Steelie Country’

When summer gives way to early fall and warm days yield to cool nights, an annual obsession begins to surface on Lake Erie streams. Steelhead and those enamored of the silvery salmonid (Oncorhynchus mykiss) migrate en masse to dozens of tributaries in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. Anglers wade knee-deep into the chilly, slate-blue water …

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The Cost of Blight

The Helen S. Faison Arts Academy, Pittsburgh’s newest elementary school, was built with the hope it would help kindle the revitalization of Homewood, which has long been one of the city’s most distressed neighborhoods. With its modern red brick and glass facade, innovative interior design and grassy five-acre campus, it’s clearly an asset any community …

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Breakthrough

On a hot afternoon in late summer 2010, a man in his 30s drove an all-terrain vehicle on an unpaved path. He was doing nearly 40 miles per hour on rough terrain. And though he was strong—a construction worker by trade—his ATV hit a bump for which he wasn’t prepared. He drove off the road. …

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City Chic

Like many diamonds, the house that sits discreetly back on one of the most beautiful streets in the city was in the rough when the owner first saw it. “I walked through the front door and immediately loved the home, but envisioned five or six changes I would make,” she recalls. Standing in the entrance …

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Road Trip

In May, my wife, Cindy, and I became the first Americans to drive from coast-to-coast in a natural-gas-powered vehicle. The idea first occurred to me last fall after retiring from EQT. I had the time, and the project intrigued me. First, I’m a believer in energy independence for America. We import more than 65 percent of …

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The Jewels of Grove City

Say “grove city,” and most people think outlet shopping or the college. Few are aware that it is also the location of an outstanding jewelry store. Joden World Resources features a staggering array of antique, estate, and modern jewelry, tucked into an unassuming shop on South Broad Street. In the late 1960s, Joe Murawski was …

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Major Dilemma

A few months ago, as graduates donned caps and gowns and set their sights on their futures, parents snapped pictures of the end that marked the beginning ​ The day after, however, graduates facing an uncertain future wondered, “Will I get a job?” The good news for recent college graduates is that 19 percent more …

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On the Green

This is the biography of a golf tournament. Bob Murphy, a Pittsburgh real estate entrepreneur, had every reason to believe his newest venture in the late 1980s would succeed. He had jumped into the golf boom, buying Fallen Timber, a hardscrabble course near Midway in Washington County, and turning it into Quicksilver Golf Club. He …

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Bold & Beautiful

I have always had a thing for road kill; not for death as spectacle, but for the opportunity to see something wild up close. Though there are limits to what I’ll inspect, I’m usually drawn to at least making an identification of the species, particularly if it happens to be avian. Thus, one afternoon, I …

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A Tale of Two Pittsburghs

Those of us who live in Greater Pittsburgh understandably feel we know a great deal about this region. We certainly know about our neighborhoods, our friends, our families and our jobs. We know about our hobbies, our favorite sports teams and the Pittsburgh weather. In short, we know about our lives here. What we know …

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Middle East Connection

For 18 years, the Columbia, Md.-based engineering and construction firm Allen & Shariff grew quickly in the mid-Atlantic area, opening its Pittsburgh office in 2000, and looking to expand internationally. It had enough success with projects in the United Arab Emirates that it opened an international office in 2008. But it couldn’t break into another …

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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, …

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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 …

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In the American Grain

Who are the preeminent individuals in American business history? A strong case might be made for a quintet: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, John D. Rockefeller and Sam Walton. Who is primus inter pares? It’s Henry Ford in a walk-away. Here’s why: Ford was an industrialist, inventor, aircraft pioneer, museum curator, horticulturist, labor progressive, …

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Mascara, Gilliam, Feeney, Epperson, Gruber, Armstrong

Frank Mascara, 81 The son of Italian immigrants, Mascara was orphaned at the age of 16. He overcame a hardscrabble childhood to become Washington County controller, 14-year Chairman of the Washington County Commission, and four-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives. A native of Belle Vernon, the moderate Democrat lived most of his life …

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Muscat Love

Mankind has been making wine for millennia, so it’s rare to find a wine that’s truly new. But sometimes we see a grape that’s ripe for a comeback. Consider the Muscat family of grapes: Muscat Blanc and its many mutations, including Muscat Ottonel and Black Muscat. Muscat Blanc is one of the oldest grape varieties …

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White Rocks

One of the region’s most beautiful and diverse outdoor destinations is the Laurel Highlands. When people think of visiting the Laurel Highlands, they often focus on some of the best-known spots, such as Ohiopyle State Park, Fallingwater and Bear Run Nature Reserve, or the Ligonier Valley. But farther south are more remote parts of the …

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A New Pittsburgh Biennial

The pittsburgh biennial, which you will have encountered before in smaller incarnations going back to 1994, is back with a vengeance. It now lasts six months, putting it on a par with The Carnegie International; it engages more artists (some of whom might be more valuably presented in that International); and it has no fewer …

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A Natural-Gas Ponzi Scheme?

It was, on the surface, a devastating indictment: a report in The New York Times, the nation’s leading newspaper, alleging that the natural gas industry—an eclectic and fiercely competitive collection of players that included in its ranks everyone from cowboy drillers to staid overseas nationals like StatOil Hydro—may have joined together in a secret cabal …

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Waldrup, Opfer, Glassman, Thomas, Walsh, Mosse, Britten, Young

Jeremy Waldrup is president and CEO of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Before joining PDP, Waldrup worked with New York City’s Department of Small Business Services.Waldrup holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master’s from the University of Colorado’s School of Public Affairs. Waldrup moved to Pittsburgh from …

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