2017 Summer

What Does It Take to be a Living Donor?

Michaela Cook of Beaver Falls didn’t hesitate to give her husband one of her kidneys in 2010. The couple had two young children when Erik Cook’s organs were damaged beyond repair by type 1 diabetes. Like most living organ donors, Michaela was motivated by the desire to help a very sick loved one. A small …

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Starzl’s Growing Shadow

Brothers Tim and Joe Scherer have always been close. They play on the same men’s softball team in Beaver County. They talk on the phone every day. Whenever one needs help on their home, they’re there for each other. In August 2015, Tim learned he needed a kidney. For reasons unknown, his body attacked his …

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The Last Coke Works

At the Clairton Public Library in the industrial Monongahela River valley, patrons can check out “Moby Dick,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the adventures of Curious George and any number of Nancy Drew mysteries. They can read issues of Vogue and Popular Science. They can take home the music of Elton John and Rihanna, or the …

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No Money Down

It’s 11 a.m. in Judge Jeffery Manning’s courtroom. The attorneys are ready. The Allegheny County Common Pleas Court president judge is on the bench. The video screen comes alive to reveal the business of the morning, a series of people in orange, jail-issue jumpsuits: One young man with a retail theft charge and a drug …

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Does Air Quality Matter to Young Workers?

As their due date neared last fall, Ryan Poling and his wife faced a difficult decision. Did they want to raise their daughter in Pittsburgh, the city in which they’ve built a life during the last nine years, or pick up and move across the country, near Poling’s family in California? “It’s really hard to …

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Living Dangerously

Despite the improvement in the region’s air quality in recent years, southwestern Pennsylvania still fails to meet federal health-based standards for various major air pollutants, such as ground-level ozone, sulfur dioxide and fine particulates, known as PM2.5. And that regional pollution elevates risks of cancer, respiratory ailments and other serious health problems. Air pollution increases …

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Building the Buzz

On a brisk October morning, Dr. Bill Bookwalter dons a billowy, white beekeeping suit complete with veil and hikes up a hill behind his Fox Chapel home to harvest honey. Most days, you’ll find him in surgical scrubs, but during his downtime, Bookwalter, a neurosurgeon, practices apiculture: he maintains colonies of bees. While the honey …

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A Modest Proposal

Mother Nature has a sense of humor and the soul of Monet. The change in the yard was startling. In just a week it went from being a crabgrass plantation to a breathtaking carpet of fluffy, soft-white clover, a pastel hand-delivered from the French master himself. But lawns are supposed to be neat and clean …

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Christina Cassotis, Allegheny County Airport Authority

I grew up in Southern New Hampshire in essentially a suburb of Boston. My mother was a homemaker, as many women were back then, and my father was a commercial airline pilot for Pan American World Airways, having been a U.S. Marine fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. I’m the oldest of four kids: two …

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Pittsburgh to Gettysburg

During a muggy June in 1863, Civil War-weary Pittsburghers panicked at rumors that Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was marching his Army of Northern Virginia toward Pennsylvania. The rumors, as we now know a century and a half later, were indeed true—although Pittsburgh was about 200 miles west of the small farming town of Gettysburg …

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Bring on the Meat!

Years ago, the Sunday roast inevitably came from the neighborhood butcher. The relationship between the homemaker and butcher was once so significant, that the television series “The Brady Bunch” included “Sam the Butcher,” who was both meat purveyor and love interest for housekeeper Alice. This was before mega-grocery stores and warehouse clubs with inhouse butchers, …

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The Scarlet Tanager

A bird on fire, a male scarlet tanager perched just above my eye level. He was in a tree at the edge of the Upper Fields Trail at Fox Chapel’s Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve. Normally high in the forest canopy gleaning insects in spring and summer, this avian migrant, roughly robin size, had decided that …

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A Friend Indeed

In 2012, PNC Marketing specialist Shannon Tremblay brought her beagle mix, Crockett, to Animal Friends to have it neutered and take part in their puppy kindergarten program. “I just fell in love with the place,” says Tremblay. “There was something really special about what they were doing, and I knew I wanted to be a …

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Lyke, Harvey, Niepa, Snowden, Oplinger, Dambrot, Rutenbar

Heather Lyke is athletic director at the University of Pittsburgh. She comes to Pittsburgh from Eastern Michigan University where she has been athletic director since 2013, overseeing 21 varsity sports teams. A native of Canton, Ohio, she previously was an athletic administrator at Ohio State University for 15 years and has held positions with the …

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South Park Cascades, Circa 1931

South Park, a 2,013-acre Allegheny County Park in the South Hills has all the features one might expect: trails, picnic groves, ball fields, and even a golf course. In more recent years, modern updates have included a wave pool, ice skating rink, skate park, nature center and a dek hockey rink—expanding the recreational offerings. However, …

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Facing the Future

For this special feature, we invited the presidents of the region’s leading institutions of higher education to respond to the following: It’s a time of unprecedented challenge for higher education—with decliningenrollment, increased competition, concern about cost and debt, and increasinglyrapid technological change. How are you approaching your key challengesso that your institution will survive and …

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Steger, Sunseri, Sculley, Livingston, Wilkinson, Croce, Cenk

Wilbur Steger, 87: Will Steger was the creator and driving force behind Consad Research, a consulting firm that tackled practical and prospective problems from the streets of Pittsburgh to the White House. After working as an analyst at Rand, Steger left and cofounded Consad, which he ran for more than 50 years. The brilliant and …

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The Lure of Fishing

One of my earliest memories was Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s big home with its very high ceilings in Cincinnati. I was 4, and my aunt gave me a tackle box. As I examined the various fishing lures, my father said, “Be careful that the first fish you catch isn’t yourself.” I didn’t understand him …

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Home & Gardens

There’s a hand-drawn map of old Fox Chapel that shows the original estates, scattered here and there on the great pieces of property they once commanded. Many of the homes were weekend or country places the wealthy used as a respite from smoggy Pittsburgh; with better transportation they became primary residences and were built as …

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Three Simple Questions

Each year in our Summer issue, we ask a group of the region’s leading financial experts to help our readers by responding to a question. This year, we’ve asked three. The first batch of the questions and answers follow. Question 1: Since the election of Donald Trump, stock markets have soared and the confidence of …

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Remembering Three Great Pittsburgh Men

Henry Hillman, 98: Henry Hillman had a keen interest in the future and an unusual ability to see into it. In the 1970s, his was the voice that warned Pittsburgh leaders of industrial changes that would cripple the city if it didn’t diversify its industrial base. He removed money from the smokestack industries he inherited …

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A Walk in the Woods

Cook Forest State Park, home to magnificent old-growth forest, is a prime destination for anyone interested in scenic beauty, natural history and a variety of recreational opportunities. Located 75 miles north of Pittsburgh in Clarion County, the state park is named for John Cook, the first American to settle in the area, in 1826. By …

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