Summer 2013

Elk Creek in Erie County

Unusual and beautiful places lie just off the beaten path in Erie County—sites that even those who frequently travel to Pennsylvania’s northwesternmost county may not know. Most visitors to Erie County are familiar with Presque Isle, the curved spit of land that juts into Lake Erie and harbors a wide range of unusual flora and …

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Lofty Aspirations

When you have access to just about everything in the world of style and interior design, falling in love can be difficult. The sheer volume of merchandise, coupled with the insatiable hunger for the newest trends that drives the home furnishings market, could easily overwhelm an ordinary person. But Stacy Weiss is hardly ordinary. As …

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Yellow-billed cuckoo

Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods, and the patchwork-quilt variety of them gives everyone a place to call home and a sense of identity to go with it. We say Shadyside, Bloomfield or the South Side, Fox Chapel, the Strip or Swissvale, and certain images, people and lifestyles come to mind. Each place is a …

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The Yield Dilemma

Editor’s Note: Each year in our summer issue, we ask a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to help our readers navigate financial waters by responding to a question. This year, the question is: Many investors are hungry for yield as the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates very low; what strategies can investors …

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The Arts Engine

On a cold spring night in April, arts traffic streamed along Penn Avenue in several frenetic directions. Downtown, patrons for the PSO’s performance of Bach’s beloved Brandenburg Concertos poured out of restaurants toward Heinz Hall, dodging ticket-holders for the sold-out “Book of Mormon” at the Benedum Center. Four miles miles east, the cheap end of …

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The Sport That Didn’t Quite Make It

Here’s what you should know about the mystery sport in Western Pennsylvania history: It’s against the rules to catch the ball with your top hat. The game is played by silly mid wickets and other Monty Python candidates. And this game didn’t catch on in the U.S.A. The growth of sports in the United States …

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Rainy Nights in Paris

Just after midnight in Paris: The Left Bank boulevard glitters from a downpour. Street lamps, a white “HOTEL” sign at the end of the street by the Seine, a distant sing-song police siren. It’s mostly deserted. Two young women scoot by, then four guys. A few people slump on a bus. “A demain,” says a …

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Mind Over Matter

“Let me eat chocolate.” That was quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann’s simple request when she committed to a trailblazing UPMC and Pitt School of Medicine study that would let her control a robotic arm with her mind. “The doctors asked me: ‘What is your goal?’ ” Scheuermann recalled with a laugh. “I could tell they wanted to …

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Gettysburg: The 150th Anniversary

On a beautiful April Sunday, I got up early and drove to Gettysburg. July marks the battle’s 150th anniversary, and I had signed up for a two-hour horseback battlefield tour. I’m not a history buff, but I am an American, and Gettysburg has always held a unique gravity. We had a relative who disappeared during …

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Dardanell, Seigle, Perloff, Pietragallo, Dixon, Lancaster, Bartley, Hunter, Rosen

Edward Dardanell, 89: A decorated Army combat officer in World War II and Korea, Dardanell became a national leader in the suburban newspaper business, publishing 16 local papers, which later became Gateway Publishing. As a two-term state representative, he championed environmental legislation. Dardanell led efforts to raise $5 million and create Forbes Regional Hospital, to …

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The Retirement Question, Part III

This is the final installment in a three-part series about retirement in our region. Mark D. Bondi President & CEO Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community What kind of future do you want? Experts tell us that there are several components to feeling well, including the emotional, spiritual, cognitive, social, physical and vocational aspects of life. As …

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A Sustainable Aesthetic

What is sustainable, or green architecture, anyway, and what is it supposed to look like? The fact remains that the operation of buildings uses 40 percent of the earth’s energy resources, so construction aimed at reducing that consumption is both admirable and necessary. But do you know it when you see it? A high-tech skyscraper …

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The Lost Cyclist

On June 15, Pittsburgh will celebrate the completion of the Great Allegheny Passage, the 330-mile trail that stretches over the rugged Alleghenies to Cumberland, Md., where it links with the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath and continues to Washington, D.C. Those who pedal the scenic, car-free route are following, at least in spirit, the …

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Fall, Shlomchik, Hees, McFarlin, Cook, Suresh, Beehler

Kevin Fall is deputy director for research and chief technology officer of Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute. He will direct the research and development portfolio of the SEI’s technical programs in cybersecurity, software architecture, process improvement, measurement and estimating. A native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., he comes to Pittsburgh from Berkeley, where he was …

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Shale Agreement, Pittsburgh Dataworks, Air Quality, Mayor Ravenstahl

We all want abundant domestic energy, and we all want a healthy environment. For years, though, a reasonable middle ground has been absent from the Marcellus Shale debate. Finally, change is at hand, and Pittsburgh can be proud that it started here. For two years, natural gas companies and environmental groups have put aside their …

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Choosing our city

We all have a unique personal introduction, the thing a friend always says to get the ball rolling. It’s the arms around the shoulders at the cocktail party followed by “Have you met Andy? He’s from Argentina.” Mine is “This is Lara. She’s one of the owners of Prantl’s Bakery.” This elicits a short gasp …

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The Century Inn

The national road, America’s first federally funded road, was built from 1811 to 1834 at the urging of former President George Washington and then-President Thomas Jefferson. It connected Cumberland, Md., and the Ohio River in Wheeling, W.Va., as a gateway to the West. The road was once a stagecoach route where towns had sprung up …

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Heart Trouble in your Future?

A prominent cardiologist calls it “one of the worst examples of medicine gone wild.” Other physicians say it is a useful tool when used in the right patient for the right reason. Still others think it’s somewhat underutilized in healthcare. Not many imaging screening tests have generated such differences of opinion. The object of this …

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More Than Skin Deep

As a teen growing up in Mt. Washington, Jessica Vega Rogowicz remembers her dad being diagnosed with skin cancer. He went to the doctor to have it removed and came home with a Band-Aid on his nose. Because he had basal cell carcinoma, which rarely spreads beyond the skin, that was pretty much the end …

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Mateo’s

Grandson Mateo, now 8 years old, was a newborn when Franco and Lisa Gualtieri started cooking real Italian food in a small kitchen for pickup and delivery. When Mateo was 4, his grandparents opened the tiny restaurant they now operate on Brookline Boulevard and named it after him. Easy to pass before turning around, the …

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Just Ripe

Our little house in Pittsburgh was wedged between two widowers on the South Side slopes; John to the left, George to the right. George liked to wander out into his adjoining backyard and give me lawn cutting advice. John talked about tomatoes. John’s house shared a wall with ours, and sometimes we could hear his …

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The Sentimental Anarchists

Sentimentality is not often associated with terrorism, yet authors Paul and Karen Averich display an unmistakable nostalgia for the so-called first American Age of Terror in their wildly sympathetic history, “Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman.” Once upon a time, they tell us, violence actually meant something, great literature …

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The STEM Gap

In the decade ending in 2020, United States employers will create about 2.1 million jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as the professional sector, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. As America moves to assert or retain leadership in such fields as robotics, unconventional energy plays and next-generation computers …

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Finding Common Ground

The conversations began quietly two years ago in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Could natural gas be harvested from shale without writing a new chapter in the legacy of tainted air and water that had been the price of nearly a century of steel making and mining in the region? And was there an appetite among energy …

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A Natural Playground

It’s a sunny summer Sunday afternoon and everybody’s out there. Pittsburghers in pairs and groups and alone, walking or running or being pushed along in strollers, with or without dogs of every size and breed—they lace the trails from Homewood Cemetery to Duck Hollow. An Ultimate Frisbee game electrifies the Fern Hollow playing field, while …

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The Beauty of Commitment

Bob Coward, dog-eared scorebook in hand, hurries through the turnstile at PNC Park for what will be his 2,600th-and-something Pittsburgh Pirates home game. A compact man who once worked as a prison guard at Western Penitentiary (now SCI Pittsburgh) on the city’s North Side, Coward darts through the thickening crowd, greeting ushers and vendors as …

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Jared L. Cohon, Academician

My grandfather’s name was Kogonovich. He arrived at Ellis Island from Poland in 1918 and didn’t speak a word of English. The immigration agent he encountered somehow believed he had called himself “Cohen,” and apparently didn’t know how to spell that, so he wrote “C-O-H-O-N,” a highly unusual spelling of a very Jewish name. Let’s …

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