Summer 2012

Chryst, Burns, Hall-Russell, Haney, Norton, Chambers, Fitzgerald, O’Brien

Paul Chryst is the head football coach of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. He comes to Pittsburgh from Madison, Wisc., where he was offensive coordinator of the University of Wisconsin Badgers. During his eight-year tenure at Wisconsin, he became known as one of college football’s leading strategists. The Badgers played in the Rose Bowl this …

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New Country Classic

Half of the charm of a new home in Sarver is getting there—it’s a 25-minute drive north from Fox Chapel, where the owners used to live. This stretch of Route 28 is downright bucolic, with hilly vistas, pretty pastures and none of the traffic that has given other parts of the highway a bad reputation. …

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Is Sitting the New Smoking?

The headlines have been frightening. CNN says, “Sitting for hours can shave years off life.” Men’s Health magazine declared in bold type, “Why your desk job is slowly killing you.” Google “sitting disease” and the first link is juststand.org, where anyone can download a free “info graphic” featuring a skeleton typing away at a desk. …

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Jacqueline C. Morby, Businesswoman & Private Equity Investor

Pittsburgh has changed dramatically since I first arrived here in 1988. It’s much more entrepreneurial now. There are more small companies and greater interest in financing them. We still have a problem, however. We don’t have a Microsoft. None of the technology companies that originated locally have blossomed into anything particularly huge, which is something …

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The Seniors Come to Pittsburgh

As public relations announcements go, this one was so benign, so coolly and corporately efficient, it might have been an update on pork belly and potassium futures: Pittsburgh, Pa. and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.—The Constellation Senior Players Championship and the PGA Tour’s Champions Tour announced today that the tournament will move to Fox Chapel Golf …

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Was Rachel Carson  Right?

Patricia DeMarco, Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University, has heard the question before. Has history—and science—proven that Springdale, Pa., native Rachel Carson was right in her book, “Silent Spring”? Not just about the most celebrated of her attacks—the impact on the environment of the widely used herbicide DDT—but the other big-picture points …

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A  World Leader

Sitting in the bright, airy café at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Richard Piacentini stamps his foot on the floor. The tiles he thuds against are simple white squares. However, that hardly noticed floor has proven to be both bane and catalyst to a sea change in thinking about every aspect of Phipps’s operations. In …

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Changing the cottage

In April, my wife and I made the 600-mile drive to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula unusually early. We went to meet with contractors to begin fixing up the old cottage. What we call “The Big Cottage” was completed for the summer of 1908, the first built on LaSalle Island along the northern shore of Lake Huron. …

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225 Years of Pitt

When Gwendolyn Hays graduated from high school in Potter County, the idea of a female engineer seemed laughable to some. It was 1960. After rejections from two colleges, she turned to the University of Pittsburgh, which welcomed her and her dream. Pitt commemorates its 225th anniversary this year, and Hays is celebrating the university’s commitment …

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Greening the region

It was 1868—when looking down from the Hill District to smokestacks belching fire and smoke, a riverbank littered with coal barges and railroads, and a bottomland saturated with muddy streets and gritty row houses pressed hard against the Allegheny River, Boston writer James Parton described Pittsburgh as “Hell with the lid taken off.” Today, Parton …

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Warning Signs

On the first warm day of May, Jim Chestney cuts through thickets of black huckleberry and laurel and ponders his impending climb to a timber rattlesnake den on a central Pennsylvania mountain. It’s a toss-up as to which poses the greater threat—the venomous pit viper Crotalus horridus or its unforgiving habitat. Chestney can attest to …

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Financial Focus

2011 was a year of historically low interest rates, wide stock-price fluctuations and concerns about a faltering U.S. recovery and the European debt crisis. And the Standard & Poor’s 500 ended 2011 just four one-hundredths of a point from where it began. But in this year’s first quarter, the S&P posted a 12 percent gain …

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Divorce in Morningside

Hallelujah! at last, there is a novel about contemporary divorce that eschews shallow revenge-fantasy clichés of dream jobs, boytoys and boob jobs in favor of a thoughtful, balanced and gently humorous representation of the end of a marriage. Local author Jane McCafferty laudably transcends melodrama in “First You Try Everything” to marvel with unaffected wonder …

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A Model Specimen

There is a reason i am a birder and not a surgeon. As I was driving one spring, I passed something bright orange on the side of the street. I couldn’t quite make it out, but I had my suspicions. Like many birders, I’m willing to watch a bird wherever it might be: perched on …

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Judging the Best

Say “state fair” or “county fair” and most folks picture themselves under the summer sun, snacking on corn dogs and deep-fried Twinkies. It’s a summertime tradition across the country. My state fair routine is a little different. Maybe I’ll be in a conference room sorting through dozens of chardonnays or debating the merits of one merlot …

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Hyeholde

The goddess Diana plays many roles. She is goddess of the moon and the likely source of the name of Moon Township, which sits along a crescent-shaped bend in the Ohio River. Here, English settlers farmed the land after the French and Indian War, following the signs of the moon, as farmers have done since …

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Keeping your Deals

I never really wanted a dog. But all eight of our children kept clamoring for a dog. One night—I think it was a summer night, because the Cardinals were in town—I finally said, “OK, you can have a dog.” Lots of cheering. The oldest son said, “When?” And I said, “When I get back from …

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Sit, Stay, Play

The “dog days of summer” means exceptionally steamy temperatures for us, but for our canine friends, every day is a “dog day.” Now, however, pet owners can give that phrase new meaning by paying a visit to Misty Pines Dog Park Company in Franklin Park. The son of a veterinarian, owner Jeff Woods made his …

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The Problem of Price

From the moment the rush began to develop the vast untapped resources of gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale, economists and industry analysts warned that the massive explosion of cash that was pouring into the state—and in many cases right back out of it—would ebb and flow. There would be times of expansion, when drillers …

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Stocks & Pedestal – Summer 2012

Between Feb. 13 and April 21, 46 bomb threats struck the University of Pittsburgh. The anonymous emails closed buildings, forced middle-of-the-night dorm evacuations and cancelled classes. The threats targeted the heart of our city, taking aim at the region’s most important institution. They also bared a still-darker specter: Because of the anonymous nature of global …

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Shaver, Haller, Root, Nordan, Krieger, McDowell, Chalfant, Psihoulis, Fawcett, McNall

Dr. James Shaver, 77 A master with the stethoscope who could both diagnose and mimic the sounds of the human heart, Dr. Shaver was a 45-year cardiologist at UPMC who taught generations of cardiologists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. He was chief of cardiology for 25 years and a recipient of the Pulse …

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Quebec Run Wild Area, Fayette County

One of the nicest hikes in western Pennsylvania is the Quebec Run portion of Forbes State Forest. Quebec Run is located in the southern Laurel Highlands on the eastern flank of Chestnut Ridge, in Fayette County, and is a property with beautiful streamside trails, rhododendron thickets, sandstone outcrops, eastern hemlock groves, and a mature dry …

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