Spring 2013

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail

Many of us from Pittsburgh regularly visit the Laurel Highlands to ski, hunt or fish. But to really get a feel for the forests and streams of the Laurel Highlands, a long hike can be a way to see more and to get a better sense of this exceptional place. One of the best hikes …

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Richardson, Allen, Bork, Musial, Potter, Horne, Krugman, Millar, Hughes, Cardinali, Ferriero, Jones, Novak

Jim Richardson, 75 Jim Richardson was the creator of the Post-Gazette’s “Seen” column. While running the salon at Kaufmann’s, he suggested a society column to Post-Gazette editor John Craig, and the idea took off. The slight and stylish Texas native had a big sense of fun. A keen observer who spoke with a drawl and …

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Gauging the Second Term

For months last year, as the campaign for the White House shifted into high gear, opponents of President Obama tried to paint his first-term administration as hostile to the development of domestic fossil fuels, including the vast natural gas resources contained in the Marcellus and Utica shales, as well as other unconventional shale plays across …

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The retirement question: Part II

This is part two of a three-part series in which we ask a group of the region’s leading financial advisors to address retirement-related questions. Barbara Layton First Vice President JANNEY MONTGOMERY SCOTT LLC Americans are taking better care of themselves and living longer, so you have a better shot at a longer, healthier retirement than …

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Choose your brews

The name alone is overwhelming. Yet intriguing. Go to 357 Freeport St. in New Kensington, and you will find everything from Allagash (Belgian-style stout from Portland, Maine) to Zywiec (from a Polish brewery founded in 1856 in Austria-Hungary and once owned by the Hapsburgs). The House of 1,000 Beers (HO1KB) is owned by Dave and …

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The 30-year cycle

Thirty years ago, in 1983, Pittsburgh was in the midst of a massive upheaval. The mighty industrial engines were going quiet, and the metropolitan unemployment rate exceeded 18 percent. The following year, 50,000 people left the region, and most of them were young adults, forced to seek new futures elsewhere. Then in 1985, Rand McNally …

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You’re not the boss of me

The sweatshirt is off-pink. It has shoulder pads. “The shoulder pads make it slimming,” my mother says. “And it’s not pink. It’s burnt salmon.” We sit on my mother’s bed, two co-eds at a sleepover. My mother is just back from a vacation she wasn’t well enough to go on. She’s still dressed for the …

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Laugh Out Loud

David Russell isn’t a stand-up comedian. But without much effort, he regularly gets a room full of people laughing for a good 20 minutes or so. Russell is among a handful of certified laughter yoga leaders in the Pittsburgh area. A laugh is often the response he gets when he introduces his line of work. …

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Robotics has Changed Surgery Forever

During the first 8,500-year history of surgery, surgeons stood at the patient’s side using tools that evolved from knapped flints to tiny, high-tech cameras. But, in 2000, when the da Vinci Surgical System was cleared by the FDA, surgery changed forever. Surgeons could now sit several feet away from their patients, controlling robotic arms doing …

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The Challenge of Independent Education

Whether it’s the tepid economy or how to adapt to changing technology, educational institutions across the country face a changing landscape. In this issue, we ask the heads of some of the region’s top independent schools to respond to this question: “What are the most significant challenges facing independent schools and how is your institution …

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The Maple

Long before Jim Pappas founded the Maple Restaurant in Ambridge, he and a partner ran an eatery that was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One year they decided to close for Christmas and spend a few hours with their young families, but no one could find the key to the front …

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Raising the Bar

Going to law school as a get-rich plan? Maybe you’ve come to the wrong place. That’s the message the University of Pittsburgh’s new law school dean, William M. “Chip” Carter Jr., relays to incoming students or existing ones seeking guidance. This is no cliché in Carter’s mind: The law is a calling. He’s serious, driven …

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In Jeopardy

The final Jeopardy category: Phrase Origins. My wager: $6,999—all I had. The clue: “This two-word adjective for going against accepted speech or conduct first appeared in a 1933 translation from Izvestia.” It wasn’t exactly my best subject—I would have felt more confident in, say, “The Beatles”—but phrase origins are the kind of English-major trivia on …

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For the children and the community

Mist emerges with an audible hiss from the vertical stainless steel poles of “Cloud Arbor,” the new artwork by Ned Kahn in the redesigned Buhl Community Park on the North Side across from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. A delighted toddler runs toward it, to assess the wafting, San Francisco-like fog that collects and disperses …

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Signs of Spring

Pittsburgh turns green in more ways than one come mid-March. Budding trees line the roads and crocuses pop up in sidewalk gardens. Along East Carson Street, the South Side’s main drag, drunken revelers laugh and shout, adjust their shamrock hats and “Kiss Me I’m Irish” T-shirts as they search out one more green beer. Up …

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The Smart House

When Peter Karlovich and Steve Herforth were searching for a site on which to build their new home, they could not have known that a decade later much of Pittsburgh would know it as the Smart House. Completed in 2003, the modern residence sits on the edge of Mt. Washington, but on a quiet street …

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A seasonal song

Walk to the trailhead behind the Audubon Society’s Beechwood Farms nature center on Dorseyville Road, and you’ll briefly head down toward the meadow and then uphill, west, toward the upper fields. Stroll beneath the canopy of older trees until you reach the clearings. Look up, look low and listen. That black, white, and rufous bird …

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Ecce homo!

Feeling discouraged? Lacking self esteem? Skip the self-help books and read “Last Ape Standing” instead. Subtitled “The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived,” this engaging précis of recent developments in paleoanthropology is imbued with enough enthusiasm for evolution to cheer and inspire even the most miserable Homo sapiens. Author Chip Walter, a Pittsburgh …

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David McCullough, Author, Narrator, Historian & Lecturer

When he was about 15 or so and was reading about writers and their lives, one of my sons turned to me one evening and said, “Dad, I don’t think you’re ever going to be a really great writer.” “Why is that?” I asked him. He said, “You had way too happy a childhood.” And …

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Van Wyk, Hackler, McAllister-Lucas, Behler, Dalling

Steven Van Wyk is head of operations and technology at PNC Financial Services Group. He succeeds Tom Whitford, who will retire in March. A native of Iowa, Van Wyk comes to Pittsburgh from Amsterdam, where he was global chief operating officer for ING. Previously, he held several positions at Morgan Stanley including global CIO and …

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Stocks & Pedestal

This summer, when Jared Cohon retires from the presidency of Carnegie Mellon University, he will leave enormous shoes to fill. Since he took the helm in 1997, CMU has seen dramatic growth in the number of overall students—from 7,758 to 12,569—in programs across the globe; the endowment has risen from $592 million to $987 million, …

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Keep the home fires burning?

In our yard, there’s no shortage of trees that old age or wind bring crashing back to earth. I cut and split this wood the old-fashioned way—with a wedge and a sledge. And as the old adage goes, “He who chops his own wood warms himself twice.” I work at home, and on winter mornings, …

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