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Still changing at 150

On April 19, 1864, America was preoccupied by several rather sizable events, including the Civil War and the recent emancipation of slaves. So citizens could be excused if they paid scant attention to the festivities that day in Cumberland, Md., where an entity called Consolidation Coal Company launched its operations…

Considering a Pittsburgh tradition

It was two years ago that Bill Dietrich, our longtime Pittsburgh Quarterly history writer, died and left $500 million to community institutions. I mentioned Bill to out-​of-​towners recently while explaining Pittsburgh’s unusual social fabric. He’d studied Pittsburgh’s industrial titans and the legacies they left that still shape our city. If…

Raising a glass (and a local industry)

It is near mayhem inside the headquarters of Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries, a drafty warehouse next door to a glass factory along an industrial stretch of Shaler. A forklift topples over a pile of cardboard boxes waiting to be filled with vodka bottles. Giant fermentation tanks are hot with bubbling CO2.…

Voyaging through the hollow

Pittsburgh’s Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway doesn’t exactly rank among the eight manmade Wonders of the World. It may not even rank among the eight wonders of Pittsburgh. But even busways have birthdays, and its 30th is a fine occasion to consider this distinctly local specimen of infrastructure and…

Public Interest Radio

Marco Cardamone offered a blunt assessment in recalling the transformation from Duquesne University’s radio station WDUQ to 90.5 FM WESA, an all-​news National Public Radio format: “We got pretty clobbered,” he said with a chuckle. “The backlash was much greater than we anticipated. You always lose part of an audience…

The royalty rub

When Mary Jane Foelster and her husband, Richard, retired five years ago and left Philadelphia for a secluded 50-​acre tract of land in Bradford County, they never figured they’d get rich.

The path to sustainability

Bike lanes and buses, clean water and clear skies, and prosperity without poverty and its corrosive effects — the vision of a sustainable city and region can seem like a Sim City blueprint for the ideal future. Until the nagging obstacles of reality are considered. And nowhere is that more true than…

Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., Highmark CEO

At Highmark, we probably spend in the range of $2530 billion a year in paying claims. That’s a lot of money, and we take the responsibility seriously to try to help organize a system that spends that money wisely — because ultimately that’s all of our money.

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…

Visions of Pittsburgh’s Future

Twenty-​five years ago, Pittsburgh hosted the Remaking Cities Conference, an international gathering of architects, visionaries and dignitaries, including England’s Prince Charles, the honorary co-​host and keynote speaker. This year, Oct. 15-​– 18, 2013, Carnegie Mellon University will host the Remaking Cities Congress, with 300 invited urbanists and thought leaders who will…

What we say (and do) about the environment

Lori Rieger and Kim Haynes are strolling Point State Park on a July afternoon that is sunny, hot and humid enough to notice. It’s the kind of day that invites ozone pollution to accumulate at levels that violate federal air quality standards, which is something Pittsburgh and the region do…

A few (awkward) questions for your financial advisor

Suppose you were Mr. Moneybags, with, oh, say, a billion dollars to worry about. How would you go about finding a good financial advisor?

Red flags rising

It’s been more than a year since Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, stepped to the lectern on a sweltering summer day in Houston and issued a stern warning to a gathering of energy executives.

Credit card fraud

“Lara, I’m at the checkout at Restaurant Depot and my credit card has been declined,” says our delivery driver on the other end of the phone. Ugh. I know what this means. It’s not that the bakery is short on funds. It’s that one of our credit cards has been…

The aftermath of an 88 season

Last year wasn’t the type of season that we are used to having. In any organization, there are always going to be high moments and low moments. I have been very fortunate to be part of two Super Bowl victories and one Super Bowl loss. It’s a great feeling, the…
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