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Growing smarter

When drivers exit the turnpike in Cranberry, they see expansive strip malls, traffic signals and road signs leading to more highways. On its face, it’s a portrait of urban sprawl.

Chuck Bunch

The early 1990s seemed like a halcyon period for PPG Industries, one of Pittsburgh’s most venerable and best-​known companies. Its three business pillars — coatings, glass and chemicals — each was producing about one-​third of the firm’s revenue, a tried-​and-​true formula that promised decades of success.

Bike city

Courtney Ehrlichman makes the commute to her Carnegie Mellon University job with her young daughter on an Xtracycle fitted with a Hooptie. That’s a bicycle designed to haul cargo with a child carrier attached. And it’s part of the changing street scene in Pittsburgh.

Is better good enough?

A standing-​room-​only audience has packed the Avalon Municipal Building on a rain-​soaked April evening to hear Allegheny County Health Department officials explain the latest consent decree to correct air quality violations at the coke works across the river. It’s a tough crowd.

Who’s afraid of Obamacare?

by Kelly Casey
In 1998, Bob McCafferty set out to start a business that would pay the bills and give him more free time to go camping. He bought a run-​down funeral parlor dating to the 1850s. For the next several years, he spent nights restoring the building while holding down jobs as…

The export dilemma

As the Shale-​driven production of natural gas has expanded in recent years, so too has the demand from much of the industry to unleash that resource on the world market. And that chorus of voices calling for the United States to use gas from fields like the Marcellus to tap…

The sweet trouble of success

The hazards of good fortune in business are many: the physical toll of the added work, the mental toll of rethinking everything you’ve come to know, the psychic toll of raised expectations. They combine for a perfect storm that one feels guilty begrudging because the upsides of fame and fortune,…

A century of safety

It was June 1914 when John T. Ryan Sr. and George Deike, two federal mine rescue engineers horrified by the carnage they’d seen in coal mine explosions, formed a company dedicated to making the industry safer. Ryan and Deike enlisted the services of no less a luminary than Thomas Alva…

McConnells Mill State Park

In southwestern PA, it is a challenge to find remote and scenic hikes. But one is only about an hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh, just off of Rt. 422 in eastern Lawrence County, in McConnells Mill State Park.

The Equilibrium Illusion

Balance, n., a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. What an elusive state. Just the constant weighing and evaluating required to attempt balance is exhausting. My mind races: I should be working on improving the bakery’s website… no, I should be at my kids’…

Passing the test

Think you’d like to be CEO of a major corporation? Best get ready for this test: The employer informs you that over the next day and a half, you’re the leader of a hypothetical company. You prepare by reading reams of hypothetical reports generated by your hypothetical company. As you…

Zero Interest Rate Zone

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: In your opinion, what will be the ultimate impact of the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy…

Does this change everything?

by
It’s been nearly six months since the state Supreme Court rocked Pennsylvania by striking down key portions of Act 13, Gov. Corbett’s signature legislation on Marcellus Shale drilling.

Chevron’s Nigel Hearne

For the past 100 years, the U.S. blossomed in part due to an oil boom with roots in the 19th century, the beginning of the modern oil period.

Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow

Would you say this is the best shape Pittsburgh’s been in over the last 30 years?” I asked the question after a group of people, including the region’s leading economist, its top demographic expert, and the head of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, had just viewed the most recent…
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