2011 Winter

Chu, James, Fox, Sobehart, Gourlay, Wheeler, Kulielski, Baumann

Dr. Edward Chu is chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and deputy director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. A native of New England, Dr. Chu comes to Pittsburgh from Yale University School of Medicine, where he was a professor of medicine and pharmacology and chief …

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Baby Byron Turns 18

In the 1990s, the “Baby Byron” case exposed the nation to Allegheny County’s child welfare system—and one family’s ultimately unsuccessful battle to complete a cross-racial adoption. “Baby Byron” turned 18 in July. And his story is far from over. It’s 90 degrees as we sit in front of the main Carnegie Library branch in Oakland …

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Chip Ganassi, Auto Racing Entrepreneur

Growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, Pittsburgh was the center of the universe. All the biggest companies were here: U.S. Steel, Gulf Oil, Alcoa, PPG, Westinghouse; you name it. And on top of that, we had the Pirates and the Steelers. The city was firing on all cylinders, and I pictured myself running one …

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Tillotson, Scully, Winner, Soergel, Detre, Brown, Lucas

Willard J. Tillotson Jr., 82 Industry pioneer Bill Tillotson founded and led one of Pennsylvania’s oldest and largest wealth-management firms, Hefren-Tillotson. Born with a competitive and friendly nature in the village of Tillotson, near Erie, he served in the U.S. Army for two years before entering Allegheny College, where he was a successful athlete and …

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A City-Centric Provost

To hear Patricia Beeson describe it, driving into Pittsburgh through the Fort Pitt tunnel is like stumbling upon some kind of hidden Brigadoon. When she arrived in the city in 1983 after driving across the country from her native Oregon, Beeson had Simon and Garfunkel’s on-the-road anthem “America”—complete with reference to Pittsburgh—cued up for that first view …

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Found in Translation

Come on, Ima, vamanos! That was the exhortation from my 3-year-old recently when she wanted me to hurry up and get out the play dough. Like now, Mommy—before I scream… Interesting, I noticed (after gritting my teeth), that a little girl still grappling with the complexities and pitfalls of English has begun to integrate words …

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Try a blind tasting

We ran a fun little wine-tasting experiment at the restaurant the other day, one you should try at home. It will be educational and thought-provoking. And if it goes as ours went, you may be a bit miffed by the results. With some family and colleagues, we gathered nine bottles of wine, all domestic red …

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Triangle Bar & Grill

The Bermuda Triangle—that vortex in the Atlantic Ocean that starts at Miami, follows a line southeast to Puerto Rico, then north to Bermuda and back to Miami—forms a region that some have imbued with mysterious powers. Over the decades, many ships have entered this triangle, never to be seen again. But there is one triangle …

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The Frank House: A Bauhaus Beauty

At a glance, the buff-colored residence nestled among the more traditional homes on Woodland Road seems an oddity, an almost institutional-looking structure resplendent in its obscurity. The mature trees that soften its façade testify to the fact that the home has stood on its spot for many years—70, to be exact—yet few have noticed. Until …

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The Wild Side

In his Westmoreland County office, Scott Tomlinson displays a photo of four men with camouflage-painted faces and a pile of dead deer in their blue pickup truck. As a state wildlife conservation officer, Tomlinson has apprehended dozens of poachers over the years, and the image has come to symbolize the bravado he has encountered again …

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The Bald Eagle

Whenever I see something white in a riverbank tree, I’m hopeful it’s a Bald Eagle. More than once, I’ve called out the sighting in eastern Pennsylvania, crossing the Susquehanna at 70 miles an hour. Most of the time, I’ve been wrong. And why would there be a Bald Eagle in Sharpsburg on the Allegheny, a …

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Our Water and the Marcellus Shale

The rig, a 70-foot steel spire, soared above the manmade moonscape atop the plateau that Chesapeake Energy’s contractors had hewn out of the hillside on my family farm in Wyoming County. And as my 8-year-old daughter and I trekked along the ridge above it to get a better look, I was struck with an odd …

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Bear Run

Bear run, the stream that inspired Fallingwater, flows under the famous Frank Lloyd Wright house. In dramatic cascades, it drops in gradient 30 feet to provide the iconic waterfall view that we all know. But that familiar portion of the stream is just a part of Bear Run. More than five miles long, the stream …

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E Pluribus Region?

It is often said that “a new era is at hand.” On an individual level, new eras can present themselves whenever a person chooses to see and act in the world in a different way. For a nation, new eras are harder to come by, though with every federal election, such is promised. But what …

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The Power of the Pelt

Behold the beaver! Beady-eyed, snubnosed and bucktoothed, it is hardly a thing of beauty, yet the pursuit of this oversized rodent across North America launched more ships (and keelboats, rafts and canoes) than the lovely Helen of Troy, for all her charms. Desire for the legendary queen may have prompted the decade-long Trojan War, but …

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Riding Out the Storm

As the curtain rose on the last scene of “The Barber of Seville,” it grazed a table that had been placed too close to the front of the stage. A miniature cannon propped on the table fell  with a clang. Everyone in the theater stopped. From his seat in the darkened Benedum Center, Pittsburgh Opera Director …

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An Artrageous Centennial

Centennials don’t happen every day. For the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh it is lasting a good year and then some. In 2008 Vicky Clark curated an exhibition at The Carnegie Museum of Art, “The Popular Salon of the People,” which surveyed the history of the AAP’s Annual Exhibition and showed just how good and diverse …

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Masters of their Fate

Dawn was still hours away when Jim Rohr emerged from National City Corp. headquarters in downtown Cleveland on Oct. 24, 2008. The streets were empty, but familiar. His grandfather’s deli had stood just across the street. Not far from there was where his father had moved the deli, which later became a restaurant. Rohr worked …

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Point and Shoot

You would never have thought it. That an ordinary medium, which simply traps the light that falls onto a surface and somehow saves it could be so powerful. You could rank it with the invention of the printing press. Nearly 200 years later, my little point-and-shoot may surprise you, as you have been surprised by …

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Pittsburgh Quarterly—Five Years Old

On a frigid Saturday in Jan. 2006,  I packed my three children—ages 12, 14 and 15—into our family car, loaded to the axles with magazines. I’d mailed most of the 40,000 copies of our first issue, but to save money, I planned to distribute magazines door-to-door through Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. And so with the car …

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A Gilded Age Holiday

In 1882, Henry Clay Frick purchased an Italianate-style mansion on Penn Avenue in Point Breeze. The “Coke King” named it Clayton, commissioning two major renovations for his growing family. Within 10 years, though, Frick and his wife, Adelaide, suffered the loss of two of their four children, 8-year-old Martha and infant Henry Clay Frick, Jr., …

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The Googling of Pittsburgh, Threats to Our Liberty

In the same day this fall, local headlines described three separate events that, taken together, should give all of us pause:       The state Office of Homeland Security issued security bulletins, warning of threats by various groups, including those planning peaceful protests and demonstrations, such as environmental groups concerned about the Marcellus Shale.  The Justice …

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