Essential Pittsburgh Archives

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Essential Pittsburgh was a daily news and talk show hosted by Paul Guggenheimer and produced by 90.5 WESA until July 2016. It featured community leaders and newsmakers in the arts, sciences, technology, business, health care, government and education.

Episode Date
Deportation Real Fear For Pittsburgh Immigrants And Their Families
Last week the Supreme Court's 4-4 vote left in place a Texas federal judge's order that has prevented President Obama from granting deportation relief to more than 4 million who are parents of U.S. citizens. One of them is Martin-Esqivel-Hernandez who was taken recently from his Pittsburgh home to prison and faces deportation to Mexico. We'll talk with City Paper reporter Ryan Deto , who recently wrote a cover story about this case, and Guillermo Perez head of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and part of the campaign to release Martin Esquivel-Hernandez from detention..
Jun 27, 2016
Expert Describes Best Practices For Conducting Executive Searches
The selection of the next Pittsburgh Public School superintendent has brought practices regarding executive searches to the forefront. Recently, PPS board members launched an investigation claims by Anthony Hamlet, who was tapped to lead the district. Media outlets allege he’d falsified some of the information on his resume and in a speech.
Jun 24, 2016
New Resource Packet Encourages Faith Leaders To Speak Out Against Gun Violence
Gun violence is the leading cause of mortality among young black men and the county needs to treat it as a public health issue, according to Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department . “ How do we help to prevent this ?” Hacker asked. “And how do we help communities to heal because the impact of this kind of violence is really like post-traumatic stress in many of our communities.” She found an ally in the local Christian community.
Jun 24, 2016
Determining Pittsburgh's 'Best Restaurants' Takes Time, Debate And Many Taste-Tests
The latest issue of Pittsburgh Magazine looks at the best restaurants in town . But what does the making the list mean for diners, the restaurants and how what does it say about the city? We’ll pose those questions to food writer Hal B. Klein.
Jun 23, 2016
Author David McCullough Reflects On His Legacy And Love Of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh native David McCullough has received two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards and has been granted a Presidential Medal of Honor. His work as a historian and author has earned him praise and acknowledgement worldwide, so much so that there is a bridge in Pittsburgh named after him.
Jun 23, 2016
Two Charged In Wilkinsburg Backyard Shootings
Two men ambushed a backyard cookout near Pittsburgh, killing a pregnant woman, her 8-month-old fetus and four other adults, because they wanted retribution for the 2013 slaying of a friend, authorities said Thursday. Robert Thomas, 27, and Cheron Shelton, 29, both face five counts of criminal homicide, one count of homicide of an unborn child, three counts of aggravated assault, three more of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, six counts of reckless endangerment and one count of criminal conspiracy to commit murder.
Jun 23, 2016
Exploring The History And Effectiveness Of Sit-Ins And Filibusters
Representative John Lewis is leading Congressional Democrats in a protest of the House's refusal to vote on gun-control measures. What are the origins of House sit-ins and the history behind them? How effective have they been? Will this one work? Franklin and Marshall College Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs, Terry Madonna joins weighs in.
Jun 23, 2016
What Will Happen If Wendy Bell's Case Goes To Trial?
Former WTAE-TV news anchor Wendy Bell has filed a federal lawsuit claiming her March 30 firing was racial discrimination. Bell was fired for comments she made on WTAE's Facebook page that station officials said were "inconsistent with the company's ethics and journalistic standards." Two weeks after the March 9th mass shooting in Wilkinsburg that killed six people, Bell wrote "you needn't be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago...they are young black men, likely in their teens or early 20s." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman weighs in on this latest development .
Jun 22, 2016
'We've Never Seen Anything Like This.' Bill Maher On The 2016 Election
Bill Maher, who has been hosting “ Real Time with Bill Maher " for 13 years on HBO, joins us by phone. Maher started his career as a standup comedian and still performs at least fifty dates a year. He’ll be in Pittsburgh on Friday, July 8 at Heinz Hall. We'll ask him about politics, religion and all of the things people aren't supposed to discuss.
Jun 22, 2016
Could A Third Party Candidate Win This Election?
Both major political parties’ presumptive nominees have faced heavy criticism throughout this election cycle. While it may seem like the perfect storm for a third party candidate to rise, Point Park University history professor Edward Meena said he doesn’t believe it can be done.
Jun 22, 2016
Excessive Antibiotic Use Could Lead To Future 'Superbug,' But Not Anytime Soon
According to our guest, Joseph McCormick of Duquesne’s Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences , “more than 99 percent of all bacteria in this world are our friends.” Is the nation's first antibiotic-resistant superbug evidence that constant hand sanitizing and antibiotics are putting us at risk?
Jun 21, 2016
For Low Income Pennsylvanians, Solar Energy Doesn't Shine On All Households
Most homeowners have heard about solar energy, but few in Pennsylvania are actually taking advantage of the option. Many are aware of the cost-saving potential, however some demographics, especially low-income residents, who can’t afford the more than $20,000 in installation fees, being left out. New state incentives and advocacy from solar energy organizations are hoping to change the narrative for solar-powered homes, making them more accessible.
Jun 21, 2016
2016 Pittsburgh Jazz Live International Celebrates City's Growing Hispanic Community
After a week of Stanley Cup celebrations, Pittsburgh’s Cultural District will again be full of music and celebration. The Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival will showcase local, national and international acts in a Pittsburgh context with free music filling the Cultural District. Bob Studebaker, WESA’s Jazz from the South Side host , said that Pittsburgh’s jazz festival has a special draw, and for good reason.
Jun 20, 2016
'The Business Of Amateurs' Tackles Complicated Relationship Between Student Athletes And NCAA
The class schedule of a full-time student, hours of homework and 40 to 80 hours a week of practice, all while balancing extracurricular and social activities. This is the life of a student athlete, or really, an “athlete student” according to Bob DeMars, former University of Southern California defensive end and creator of the documentary “The Business of Amateurs.”
Jun 20, 2016
Educational Partnership Celebrates Young Bilingual Students
Learning a foreign language is about more than the language itself. At Duquesne University’s Department of Modern Languages , students are encouraged to immerse themselves in cultural communities outside their own to enhance their experience. For many Spanish language students recently, this community manifests in the form of 4-and-5-year-olds at Beechwood Elementary School i n Beechview.
Jun 20, 2016
Loss Of Revenue Taxing PA's Rural Communities
The commonwealth is making more land tax-exempt. However, this action is having a significant impact on the state’s rural communities which could cause a ripple effect. What can be done to help these areas? We’ll pose that question to Potter County commissioner Paul Heimel .
Jun 19, 2016
Portraits Of An Artist: John Riegert On Display
A painting done by a grandmother for her grandchild, at a birthday party planted an idea in curator Brett Yasko’s mind. The artwork reminded him of paintings by Joseph Yoakum he had just seen at the Carnegie Museum of Art . “Why is one artist in this gallery and his work will be seen by thousands of people, and this other artist, her painting might be seen by a handful of people. It will sit on a night stand,” Yasko wondered.
Jun 17, 2016
1904 Olympic Medals Displayed At Oakmont
Later this Summer golf tournaments are taking place at the Rio Olympics. It will be the first time for golf to be played at the Olympics since the 1904 games held in St. Louis. The long lost silver medal of former U.S. Amateur Champion H. Chandler Egan , along with his team gold medal from those long ago games, are on display this week during the U.S. Open at Oakmont. We'll get the fascinating story behind these medals from USGA Historian Mike Trostel .
Jun 17, 2016
Pittsburgh Artist Jasiri X Performs Live Score To 1925 Film 'Body And Soul'
"Body and Soul," the seminal work of the first major African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux is being given new life in a showcase tonight at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont . The screening of this feature length melodrama starring Paul Robeson comes with an original hip-hop score performed live by Pittsburgh artist Jasiri X. We'll talk with Jasiri X about how this project came together. Joining the conversation is black film scholar Joseph Kennedy.
Jun 17, 2016
Delirium Prevention Program Helps Patients At West Penn Hospital
Often overlooked or misdiagnosed, delirium is a condition where patients experience an abrupt change in mental status. While it’s typically a short-term problem, medical officials are finding the condition can cause serious brain damage, especially to older individuals. At West Penn Hospital, a new program has been developed aimed at finding treatment and reverse delirium’s impact. Dr. Christine Herb, director of geriatric education for Allegheny Health Network and Dr. Allan Philp, Trauma Program Medical Director for Allegheny Health Network join us to talk about the new program.
Jun 16, 2016