Pittsburgh’s transformation from steel and manufacturing to eds and meds is a well-known story that continues to attract national attention, this time from Time Magazine.
Aditya Dhere and Anes Dracic got their idea for a yogurt company when they couldn’t find what they wanted on supermarket shelves.
The recent MBA graduates of Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business ate a lot of yogurt and enjoyed making up recipes with fruit and nuts, but they wanted an organic, high-protein option.
“By being both active and engaged in physical activities … (we) thought, ‘Hey, why not give food a try and change the landscape a bit?’ ” Dracic said. “So we came up with our own brand.”
Naturi, based in the Strip District, was incorporated in February. The pair envision their yogurt as an artisanal alternative to Stonyfield, Chobani, Fage and Yoplait Greek yogurts filling grocery shelves. It tastes better, they said, because it is made with milk from grass-fed cows.
At Turkey Hill Dairy in Lancaster County, the secret ingredient in its ice cream is wind.
Along with conventionally derived power used to make its sweet treats, the dairy is the sole customer of a nearby wind farm, built in 2010, that provides 25 percent of its electricity.
“That’s honestly all we need,” said company spokeswoman Andrea Nikolaus.
Relying on wind for bigger operations, or to power the grid, is a different matter. As critics of renewable energy are quick to point out, the wind doesn’t always blow — or it does when customers don’t need it — and the sun doesn’t always shine on solar panels.
The 10 colleges and universities that make up the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education produced an economic impact of $8.99 billion and supported more than 70,000 jobs in the Pittsburgh area during fiscal year 2012-13, according to a report the council prepared in collaboration with Fourth Economy, a national economic development consulting firm.
Their collective economic impact represents approximately 32 percent of the city’s gross domestic product, the report said.
Suzy Waldo can never call off work with the excuse that her car won’t start. And she can’t really justify showing up late for her shifts, either.
Ms. Waldo lives five blocks from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh South Side where she is the branch manager, and is among the relatively small but growing number of Pittsburghers who make their daily commutes by foot.
A new Census report looking at data from the past five years ranks Pittsburgh third among large cities with commuters who walk to work.
Five years of data from the American Community Survey show 11.3 percent of Pittsburghers commute by walking — ahead of New York City’s 10.3 percent, and just behind Boston, at 15.1 percent, and Washington, D.C., at 12.1 percent.
A city that doesn’t make things can never be a real city.
The Steel City got its name and built its international reputation by making the best metal products in the world. For Hollywood, wealth and fame came from making the greatest motion pictures the world has ever seen. Silicon Valley earned its place in history by giving us the personal computer, the cell phone and just about every other indispensable high-tech gadget you can think of.
In the aftermath of the dismantling of the steel industry, Pittsburgh was especially fortunate to have a world-class health care and university system. These gems allowed us to sidestep the ruinous fate that has befallen other Rust Belt cities such as Detroit and Gary, Indiana.
However, in the long run those regional assets will not be enough to elevate this metropolitan statistical area and its wealth back to the level it enjoyed during the middle of the last century.
After seeing a technology project fall $60 million over budget and 42 months behind, state Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway has decided it’s time to pull the plug on a contract to modernize the state’s unemployment compensation computer system.
This decision announced at a news conference on Wednesday followed a $800,000 study by Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute that found the problems with the IBM Corp.-developed system to be unsolvable.
Spending any more money on trying to make the system, originally slated to cost $106.9 million, would have been a waste, Hearthway said.
The state now estimates the cost of the project has grown to $170 million but some payments have been withheld, a department official said.
1. Pittsburgh, PA: The No. 1 spot on our list went to Pittsburgh mostly because of the large number of colleges and universities in the area.
See the rest of the list: http://www.movoto.com/blog/top-ten/smartest-cities/
If you want to see the impressive list of colleges and universities in Pittsburgh, click here:
The piece by longtime Pittsburgh fan Jim Russell originally appeared on the website Pacific Standard and opened with this provocative lead paragraph:
“What does a dying city look like? Brains are draining. The population is shrinking or aging, or both. Vibrant, creative class cool Portland is the antithesis of dying. Yesterday, journalist Annalyn Kurtz tweets: ‘See! The Portland labor force lost 25,000 workers in the last year.’ ”
The next sentence was the real killer: “What in the name of Richard Florida is going on here?” Pittsburghers of a certain age will remember when Richard Florida was just a local phenomenon. The Carnegie Mellon professor from 1987 to 2004 literally wrote the book on what constitutes a livable city.
At one point during “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Kirk fumes, “Sometimes, I just want to rip the bangs off his head.”
But Kirk doesn’t do that, which is a good thing considering the amount of time consumed by the workday ritual of transforming Pittsburgh native Zachary Quinto into Spock, the half-Vulcan, half-human with a high-maintenance look.
By the time the movie finished shooting, the makeup artists had shaved a whopping 30 minutes from their application of the signature swooping ears, angled eyebrows and other facial flourishes.
Not a big deal? It started as 3 hours and 15 minutes — plus another 30 minutes in hair — so even an extra half-hour can be a luxury when you have to report to the set 2 1/2 to three hours ahead of everyone else who may be arriving at 6 a.m.
The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority board got the ball rolling Thursday for the largest piece of tax increment financing in the city’s history — an $80 million to $90 million package that would fund roads, utilities, parks and other public improvements for a proposed $900 million office and residential development in Hazelwood.
While URA board members unanimously approved preliminary plans for the funding in Hazelwood, some members criticized city council for holding up a $50 million TIF for a proposed $400 million to $500 million Buncher Co. development in the Strip District and wondered whether the Hazelwood package would suffer a similar fate.
“This is the beginning of a very long process,” said URA board member Jim Ferlo, a Democratic state senator from Highland Park. “There are going to be a lot of hurdles, if not some significant roadblocks.”
Tax-free online purchases will be curtailed in Pennsylvania starting next month, but activists pushing for a federal law say much more needs to be done to address the issue of tax-free Internet shopping, and the millions in sales tax that states are missing out on.
Pennsylvania alone would lose between $254 million and $410 million in uncollected revenues this year without legislative intervention, according to a 2011 study by Carnegie Mellon University professor Robert Strauss.
But starting Sept. 1, online retailers with a physical presence in the state will have to pay at least 6 percent sales tax for items purchased by Pennsylvanians.
And for those shoppers in Allegheny County, the online sales tax would be 7 percent — a 6 percent share going to the state, and an additional 1 percent for Allegheny County. In Philadelphia, they tack on an extra 2 percent, meaning the online sales tax — just like the regular, bricks-and-mortar sales tax — would be 8 percent.
PITTSBURGH, PA (AP) — The Marcellus Shale is about to become the most productive natural gas field in the United States, according to new data from energy industry analysts and the federal government.
Though serious drilling only began five years ago, the sheer volume of Marcellus production suggests that in some ways there’s no going back, even as New York debates whether to allow drilling in its portion of the shale, which also lies under large parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
The top spot for the Marcellus “doesn’t surprise me,” said Jay Apt, a professor of technology at Carnegie Mellon University. “But will it lead to industries that spring up to use that gas?” he asked, adding that much of the bounty could also end up being shipped to Canada, the Gulf Coast or overseas.
In 2008, Marcellus production barely registered on national energy reports. In July, the combined output from Pennsylvania and West Virginia wells was about 7.4 billion cubic feet per day, according to Kyle Martinez, an analyst at Bentek Energy. That’s more than double the 3.6 billion cubic feet from last April, and represents over 25 percent of national shale gas production.