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Emissions reduction daunting task for Pittsburgh and other cities

More than 1,000 American cities have voluntarily committed themselves to ambitious targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. A recent case study focusing on Allegheny County, Pa., home to Pittsburgh, highlights how hard it will be for some to meet those goals, however," reports the New York Times in its green blog.

"At first glance, one would think that the county is on track. According to a study published this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, total carbon dioxide emissions in Allegheny County declined by an average of 1 percent a year from 1970 to 2000. And the Pittsburgh region’s current carbon reduction goals are, conveniently, 1 percent per year through 2023.

"The difficulty here is that over the same three decades, Allegheny County lost one-quarter of its population and the bulk of its energy-intensive steel industry; that’s what accounts for the overall decline in fossil fuel emissions. Per-capita emissions were actually unchanged.

Read the blog here.

E2 gets some love from LA blogger

Anyone who knows E2 loves E2. The Highland Park restaurant recently launched a Kickstarter campaign which netted $12,000 from the post we saw on Twitter and now this LA blogger writes a loving profile.

Read the full story here.

Pop Filter editor's video makes finalist for DATA awards

In the news again is our highly talented and wildly creative Pop Filter editor, Jennifer Baron, with her new music project The Garment District. This time she's in collaboration with filmmaker Keith Tassick as part of the production of the video for her song, "Nature-Nature," which is set to 500 of her photos in this video. The artsy and techy video was just named a finalist for the DATA Awards for--what else--the intersection of arts and tech category, given annually by the Pittsburgh Technology Council (on June 7th this year).

And who's doing vocals? Her lovely and talented cousin, Lucy Blehar from Mt. Lebanon, a student in the theatre program at DePaul University in Chicago. The song was recorded by Pittsburgh native Kevin C. Smith in his Friendship studio. Hats off to all.

See the video here.

Penn Brewery discovers beer caves on its site

The Penn Brewery team made quite the discovery on Monday…in a cave somehow connected to the brewhouse. Here are some comments from the brewery, as posted on its Facebook page (photo above from Facebook).

Hidden behind a block wall that we just opened up today. You’re seeing it for the first time today just like we are!
These are the original lagering caves from the E&O brewery est. 1848. These caves are from the 1880′s expansion phase. They connect directly to the brewhouse, although those entrances are long walled off. We opened one of the walls enough to get in for the first time, today.
Rest assured we will be very conscious historically as we clean up.

Read the full post here.

Beer apps to guide you through Craft Beer week and beyond

Yes, beer apps, some of them locally-produced, to help guide you through the rest of Craft Beer week in Pittsburgh and beyond. Check it out, from Beerby to East End Tap List and Bocktown mobile and more.

Read the full story here.

Pittsburgh gained more than 14,000 private sector jobs the past 4 years. Other cities? Not so much.

"Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released job numbers for March 2012 and they show that Pittsburgh has experienced an even greater increase in private sector job growth," reports Pittsburgh Today in a release yesterday. "The Pittsburgh region added a total of 14,700 private sector jobs from March 2008 to March 2012."

It was the only one of 16 benchmarked cities to show positive job growth.

See the benchmarking chart with more info here.

Pop City's Mad Men feature picked up by Business Week

That Mad Men masthead photo we featured a few weeks ago, along with the guide to Mad Men-esque places throughout the burgh, was republished in Business Week online, aka, Bloomberg. Missed it the first time? See it here.

Rare rhino baby at Pittsburgh Zoo gets national press

Ah, rhino love. There's nothing quite like it and perhaps that's a good thing. An intense and aggressive courtship between two 2700 lb. rhinos (that's each, not total) will result, if all goes well, in a rare black rhino baby birth in September at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Read the full story here.

Kellee Maize video does a 360 in Market Square

Kellee Maize's latest video features a fast-rapping Kellee and a 360 degree view of Market Square. View it here!

Brain drain problem in Pittsburgh solved?

Graduating students prove what census numbers are starting to show: High-tech jobs, medical institutions, higher education and finance are motivating them to stay in Western Pennsylvania, reports the Tribune Review.

"Pittsburgh has so much to offer young people, from available jobs to high quality of life and affordability, and I'm happy to remind them that Pittsburgh has what they need and want after college," Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. His "Pick Pittsburgh" initiative touts the region's benefits in a letter to graduating seniors at Pitt, Carnegie Mellon and Point Park universities and Community College of Allegheny County.

"Pittsburgh is very friendly for young people just starting out," said Totten, 21, a Churchill native who will graduate from Pitt with an exercise science degree. She lined up a job in West Mifflin while she works toward a master's degree online from California University of Pennsylvania. "It's inexpensive, and I had no problem finding a job."

Western Pennsylvania began suffering an "inordinate" job and population decline when the domestic steel industry began to suffer in the 1980s, said Chris Briem, chair of Pitt's Center for Social and Urban Research and an expert on census data analysis. In 1980, the number of people ages 18 to 24 living in the city was 67,445, census figures show. By 1990, the number fell to 51,692.

"Specifically, the people who were leaving were the young, 20-something, professional and educated workers who we really needed to transform and move our economy forward," Briem said.

By 2000, the number fell to 49,461, but the 2010 census numbers show the first increase in 30 years: a 16 percent boost to 57,745 people ages 18-24 living in Pittsburgh.

The rebound over the past decade came from investments and growth in the high-tech industry, engineering, the medical field, higher education and finance, said Court Gould, executive director of the nonprofit Sustainable Pittsburgh.
"It essentially took a generation, an entire career-span, to turn this around," Gould said.

Read the full story here.

Katz Grad School video spotlights things students love about Pittsburgh

There's a competition brewing among Katz Graduate School of Business students and the videos they're creating for their social media class. We've seen mentions on Facebook and Twitter and youtube and now you'll see one of them here. This video is from an enterprising Katz student who thought we would be interested in her group's work. Why? Because it's about Katz students' love of Pittsburgh and how they explore the city. And it has cool music by Destry.

We're so there.

See the video here.

CMU study asks, who gives a tweet?

In a joint research project, CMU learned a few things about how valuable--or not--tweets are. "Twitter users say only a little more than a third of the tweets they receive are worthwhile. Other tweets are either so-so or, in one out of four cases, not worth reading at all.

"If we understood what is worth reading and why, we might design better tools for presenting and filtering content, as well as help people understand the expectations of other users," said Paul André, a post-doctoral fellow in Carnegie Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) and lead author of the study.

Read the full story here.

Pittsburgh #2 in new job creation

Pittsburgh had a 37% hiring rate and a 15% letting go rate, resulting in a score of 22, second only to Oklahoma City in new job creation in a recently released Gallup poll.

"The results are based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews with U.S. workers conducted from January-December 2011. Gallup interviewed at least 698 respondents in each of the 50 largest metro areas in 2011, including 1,000 or more in 38 metro areas. Nationwide in 2011, an average of 31% of U.S. workers said their employer was hiring, while 18% said their employer was letting workers go, for a U.S. Job Creation Index score of +13.

The top-performing large metro areas have above-average hiring levels combined with below-average levels of letting go, resulting in high Job Creation Index scores. On the other side of the spectrum, some metro areas have relatively low hiring combined with high levels of letting go, resulting in low Job Creation Index scores."

Read the full article here.

Pittsburgh leads in small business

"Pittsburgh boasts the strongest small-business sector in the Eastern United States, according to the latest annual ratings by On Numbers. This year's first-place finish caps a two-year ascent by Pittsburgh, which ranked 17th in On Numbers' regional standings in 2010 and sixth a year ago. Rounding out the top five in the East this year are New York City, Washington, Rochester and Albany."

Read the full story here.

Experienced Dreamer finalist gets press in hometown paper

The hometown paper picked up the story of Experienced Dreamer finalist Jeffrey Metzler from Martinsburg, PA, the only finalist who is from Pennsylvania. If he lived just 5 miles closer to Pittsburgh, he wouldn't qualify.

f"Metzler, 57, is one of five finalists in the "Imagine Pittsburgh Experienced Dreamers" contest, which invites "people from all over the country to take a fresh look at Pittsburgh as a place to live, work, run a business, raise a family and realize their dreams," according to the contest's website. Applicants must be 45 or older, live more than 100 miles from Pittsburgh and have lived away from the city for more than 10 years.

Public online voting to decide the winner will take place through April 15, and being the only contestant who currently lives in Pennsylvania, Metzler hopes to be the hometown favorite.

"Keeping oneself in groceries and paying the bills sort of keeps your attention focused on the task at hand," Metzler said, as he's made a career in advertising, marketing and visual communications for the past 36 years. "It's difficult to start something else, particularly something that has capital investment involved like this would have."

Metzler is talking about his proposal for what he would do with the money - to open a studio for both his own printmaking and as a "creative incubator" for other Pittsburgh artists.
"I envision an atmosphere, a creative space where artists can collaborate, exchange ideas, share resources and provide support for one another," he said. "I think it would be a great benefit for the creative and artistic community."

Read the full story here.
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