Dani Jenae reports on a new report from Black Women’s Policy Agenda, a nonprofit formed in the aftermath of the Peduto administration’s Gender Equity Commission, whose 2019 report determined Pittsburgh was, by most measures, the worst city in the country for Black women to live. This new report, which surveyed 287 women in 2019-2020, “highlights the lived experiences of Black women in Pittsburgh, including topics found in previous studies such as work and labor, pay disparity, and treatment by health care professionals,” and is designed to “center the social, economic, and healthcare disparities that are disproportionately affecting Black women in the Greater Pittsburgh region,” and will situate BWPA’s work moving foward.
RELATED: Jenae last year interviewed three Black women for City Paper, asking them why they left or were planning to leave Pittsburgh.
Mark Belko reports on the ongoing legal battle surrounding three 19th century buildings in Firstside/Market Square, including the old Froggy’s spot (no connection to the new one, in Bloomfield). In 2020, the city rejected Troiani Group’s request to tear down the structures; they intend construct a 200 thousand sq. office complex on the site. Appellate courts recently upheld the city’s decision, so Troiani is petitioning the PA Supreme Court to take up the case. (Ironically, Belko notes, while the litigation plays out, “the city has condemned [the buildings] as unsafe and ordered corrective action — one possibility being demolition.”)
Justin Vellucci takes a deep dive into a Green Tree landfill operator “asking the state Environmental Quality Board to reclassify some waste it processes as non-hazardous,” including sites in rural Washington and Westmoreland Counties.
Ryan Deto digs deep into the over $1 million in new attack ads running in PA’s 12th Congressional District race. According to information published on OpenSecrets, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) disclosed “nearly $1.1 million in advertising so far in spots attacking Lee, the Swissvale Democrat, or boosting candidate Steve Irwin, one of her opponents.”
The National Transportation Safety Board issued an update into the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse. The report indicates that the forward-facing camera on the PAT bus that survived the collapse “showed the bridge deck separating at the east expansion joint,” while the curbside camera showed that “at nearly the same time, the west end of the bridge had already fallen off the west abutment.” The January 28 collapse was due to a structural failure at its west end, the cause of which is still unknown, and “all aspects of the collapse remain under investigation while the NTSB determines the probable cause.”
RELATED: Megan Guza reports that “public input on rebuild of Fern Hollow Bridge will be limited,” Deputy Mayor Jake Pawlak says, given the “urgent nature of the rebuild.”
Presente, Pittsburgh’s Latino magazine, reports on the US Department of Justice’s decision to close its Pittsburgh immigration court. Advocates say people from Western PA and West Virginia will have to attend their hearings in Philadelphia, inflicting additional travel costs and time away from work on people with already limited financial resources.
We reported that Shell Polymers new plastics plant in Beaver County is now 95% complete, and remains on track to open later this year. Some 600 full-time employees work at the 386 acre plant, which takes fracked natural gas and “cracks” it into ethylene, which is then transformed into polyethylene, the most commonly used form of plastic. Opponents are concerned that the plant could negatively impact Pittsburgh’s already abysmal air quality or that tiny plastic nurdles could pollute the Ohio River and surrounding ecosystem.
Last but not least: playoff hockey is back in the City of Pittsburgh (*Mike Lange voice*). Game 4 is Monday night in Pittsburgh. The Pens, standing on the shoulders of third-string goalie, Louis Domingue, beat the Rangers 7-4 in a back-and-forth affair in Uptown Saturday. Tonight’s Game 4 takes place 30 years to the day the Penguins beat the Rangers in overtime 5-4 at the Civic Arena in Game 4 of the Patrick Division finals. Ron Francis beat John Vanbiesbrouck in overtime after Larry Murphy stripped the puck from Mark Messier deep in the Rangers zone. That win in ’92 was especially sweet after Game 3, when Adam Graves broke Mario Lemieux’s wrist with a vicious slash. It looked like the Pens, and the season, would be dead in the water. They went on to win the Stanley Cup.
May Mike Lange’s joyous cry of “the Penguins win in overtime!” set the table for tonight’s Game 4, when the Pens look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The puck drops at 7:00.
He is a 2x 2023 Western PA Press Club Golden Quill award winner, in feature and business reporting. And a 3x finalist in the investigative reporting category.
He is a 2018 first prize winner in environmental reporting from the Keystone Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for reporting on lead in Pittsburgh’s drinking water.
In 2022 and 2021, he was awarded a grant from The Gumshoe Group to support his investigative reporting.