Fall 2010

Along the River’s Edge

Thomas Lippert flicks his cigarette into the ashtray on his wooden kitchen table, its varnish worn away along the edge by years of wrists and elbows. Lippert starts each day here, waking early to supplement his nicotine with a quick breakfast. On the mustard-colored wall, a prominent image of Jesus watches over Lippert, who hasn’t …

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Power Play

Six years ago, Keith Schaefer was reviewing a portfolio of companies for a group of investors headed by Pittsburgh financier Sam Zacharias and Andy Russell, the former Steeler. Schaefer and his group were scrutinizing a company that used power lines for telecommunication. As he met with utility executives, the conversation veered off topic.  “I realized …

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Bayer CEO: Greg Babe

Other football players were bigger and faster. That didn’t hold back Greg Babe. During summer days, he would run up and down the steps inside Magnolia High School in New Martinsville, W. Va. while his friends hung out at the pool. Those sweat-soaked workouts paid off: Babe rushed for 2,200 yards in 1975, a school …

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Brave New Search

As new technology and methods of communication develop at an exponential rate, no one stays more current than teenagers. Before parents realize that posting their kids’ baby pictures on Facebook is inappropriate or that using Twitter to detail their daily routines is embarrassing, teenagers have long since moved onto to something new. During the college application …

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The Passing of the Editor

One day in the early 1990s, the Post-Gazette newsroom was in an uproar because my wife, the society editor, had run a picture of the publisher and his brother with Jerry Springer at the Kentucky Derby. Connecting our enterprise with “Jer-ry” was so alarming to the staff that a meeting was called at the city …

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Our Future with Governor Dan Onorato

Over the last six years that I have served as Allegheny County executive, we achieved momentous results by working together, putting taxpayers first and keeping our focus, making southwestern Pennsylvania an attractive place for businesses to invest and families to live. We know the story because we’ve been through it together. Six years ago, we …

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Dick Thornburgh, Lawyer and Politician

I’ve had three distinct phases of my career—from public prosecutor to elected official to Washington lawyer—and, strangely, they all came about serendipitously. I grew up in Pittsburgh and went to Yale as an engineering student, even though I was not really suited for it. A number of my family members were engineers, so I explored …

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The Business of Politics

The year was 1955, the place the long bar at the Carlton House Hotel. Standing as bookends were Pirates sportscaster, Bob “the Gunner” Prince and KDKA newscaster, curly-haired Bill Burns. Both men were serious drinkers, but the Gunner, resplendent in a canary yellow blazer with an ever-present screwdriver in hand and another waiting in the …

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Lavelle, Chaplin, Hembree, Craig, Schott, Byrd, Ludwig

Robert R. Lavelle, 94 Lavelle founded the Hill District’s Dwelling House Savings & Loan, which helped thousands of people get loans and own their own homes. A devout Christian, the dignified rock of the Hill District viewed his financial work as his mission, advising and helping customers when they were late on payments. In 1957, …

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The Pittsburgh Project

The year is 2020. You’re driving home from work, listening to your favorite satellite radio station. An announcer interrupts with breaking news: Smallpox has broken out in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of patients are flooding hospitals, with untold more infected. The public is panicked. Local officials are scrambling to maintain control. Everything points to a terrorist …

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Follow Your Palate

All right people. Can we just chill out about food and wine pairings? It seems the more we’re interested in food and the more we learn about wine, the more stressed we are about choosing wines to have with dinner. Customers agonize over the wine list in my restaurant—so afraid they’re going to make a …

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Girasole: Dinner and a Show

As the great American playwright Tennessee Williams once said, “I think Italians are like Southerners without their inhibitions.” Williams could have made that observation from a table at Girasole, which combines the best of Italy and Pittsburgh: sometimes it can be a little bit pazzo, but it is always honest. Girasole is often crowded, usually …

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Glorious Glendorn

The monogrammed silver vanity set sits, as it has for decades, on the dressing table in Miller’s Cabin. There aren’t many resorts that would leave such a family heirloom lying around, but then again, there aren’t many resorts like The Lodge at Glendorn. Nestled in the woods of northwestern Pennsylvania, the 1,280-acre retreat is just …

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An Autumn Excursion to Bedford Springs

Nothing screams ”road trip” like a crisp autumn day, and nothing whispers “history” like the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa in Bedford, Pa. Combine them, and you have a fabulous getaway 90 minutes from Pittsburgh. Drawn to its mineral springs and their healing properties, Dr. John Anderson purchased the 2,200-acre property in 1796. Guest …

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The Cooper’s Hawk

Near the iron gates of a hidden garden in Shadyside, a vigilant Cooper’s Hawk scans for prey. A Japanese Snowbell separates the bird from a row of roses fading into fall. There is a window, and the face of a man peering out with excitement and wonder. He can see the hawk, its beautiful warm …

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Wolf Creek Narrows

Near Slippery Rock, 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh, lies one of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s landscape gems: Wolf Creek Narrows. The property affords a hike with streamside views and, at times, beautiful wildflowers. Wolf Creek, the property’s centerpiece, begins to the north at Pine Swamp, which the conservancy acquired and protected, and flows down into …

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A Checkered Past

Renaissance, schmenaissance. To read Joe W. Trotter and Jared N. Day’s new book, “Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh Since World War II,” is to realize an inconvenient truth. The skies above our city may have cleared, but racial inequities of generations past still cast a pall on the quality of life for many …

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A Gas-Based Economy

It was mid-afternoon in late winter, and the public relations man for one of the larger drilling companies in Pennsylvania was driving me back along a rutted country road from a rig we had just visited. He had been extolling the virtues of the state’s vast cache of natural gas, ticking off the ways in …

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Riazzi, Khan, Sokol, Friedlander, Sega, Liang, Washburn

Richard Riazzi is president and CEO of Duquesne Light Co. and its affiliates. He returns to Pittsburgh from Wenatchee, Wash., where he has been the CEO and general manager of the Chelan County public utility district since 2006. Previously, he led the energy-generation, marketing and trading operations for Idaho Power, an investor-owned electric utility based …

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The Golden Triangle Shines

Ten years ago, the death knell tolled for a much-vaunted plan to re-energize Downtown Pittsburgh through an explosion of eminent domain and new retail. The ambitious plan, led by Mayor Tom Murphy, succeeded in creating a gleaming new building that housed a Lazarus department store, as well as an unfortunate remodeling of the former Mellon …

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A Gordian Knot: Haiti

Port au Prince, Haiti — A band playing Carribean music greeted us as we entered Toussaint Louverture International Airport. Quite a change from our last trip five years ago, when twin SUVs with dark-tinted windows met us at a special airport door and armed guards hustled us into the vehicles. On that trip, returning to the …

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A New Chapter

After 26 years at the helm of the Post-Gazette, John G. Craig Jr. founded the Regional Indicators project and its Web site, pittsburghtoday.org. And since this magazine began five years ago, every issue has contained one of his reports on the state of the region. His goal was to provide what he called “The city-state …

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Homewood Children’s Village, Civic Complacency

Quietly, so far, an exciting change is developing in Homewood. A project called the Homewood Children’s Village is taking shape with the aim of bringing a wide array of social services to bear to help youngsters survive and thrive in one of Pittsburgh’s toughest neighborhoods. The leader of the Homewood project is John Wallace, a …

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Millvale Vista

Tucked in a valley off the Allegheny River along Route 28, Millvale teems with homes, churches and stores that follow the contours of the flood plain along Girty’s Run. Long before its 1868 incorporation, the land marked the beginning of the Venango Trail, which led to Erie. One of the earliest white inhabitants of the …

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