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Pittsburgh : In the News

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Pittsburg ranks No. 5 among best cities for retirement

Livability ranks Pittsburgh No. 5 on its list of America's best cities in which to retire.
The city scored well in hospitals and cultural engagement. The Pittsburgh metro area has 43 hospitals, and among those eight are top ranked by U.S. News & World Report. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the highest-rated hospital in the city, is nationally ranked in 15 specialties, including geriatrics, neurology and pulmonology.
Original source: Livability
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Smart innovation policies mean clean energy rebirth for Pittsburgh

Smart innovation policies lead to Pittsburgh's clean energy rebirth, reports The Energy Collective.
The result of Innovation Works’ focus – and the focus of the city of Pittsburgh in general – on energy innovation is its status as an emerging clean tech hub. According to the Brookings Metropolitan Policy program, as of 2010, Pittsburgh was ranked in the top 25 in the United States for its clean economy growth. Its fastest growing industry segments included solar PV, pollution reduction technologies, and green buildings.
Original source: The Energy Colective
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Consol sells coal mines, shifts focus to natural gas

Pittsburgh-based Consol Energy sold five of its coal mines to focus more on natural gas and coal exports, reports The New York Times.
Nicholas J. DeIuliis, president of the company, which is based in Pittsburgh, said in a conference call with reporters that the five mines being sold to the privately held Murray Energy in the transaction, worth $3.5 billion to $4.4 billion, were “a very profitable business, a very stable business.”
But although they historically represent the center of the 150-year-old company’s business, they have limited growth potential, he said. 
Original source: The New York Times
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A road trip to Randyland, North Side Pittsburgh's bright spot

Roadside America checks in at Randyland, an offbeat North Side Pittsburgh attraction.

The neighborhood's revival is due, in some significant part, to Randy, who began planting guerrilla mini-gardens in the community in the early 1980s (They now number in the hundreds). His job as a part-time waiter gave him some free time, so in 1996 he purchased the abandoned buildings and yards that now comprise the Mr. Rogers-on-hyperdrive Randyland.
"I bought it for 10,000 bucks on a credit card," Randy says. "People said, 'You're a waiter; you don't have any money; what are you gonna do with it?'"
Original source: Roadside America
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Pittsburgh's College Prowler triples revenue, expands and rebrands

CNN Money checks in on Pittsburgh-based College Prowler, which is expanding and rebranding.
College Prowler founder and CEO Luke Skurman says he thinks the Internet needs more user-generated reviews, which is why he's expanding his 11-year-old user-curated online college guidebook and rebranding it as Niche, a site that allows students and families to grade high schools and will eventually give them the ability to evaluate grade schools, cities, and neighborhoods.
Original source: CNNMoney
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Lights, music, avatar: Why you can't miss Pittsburgh's VIA Festival

Huffington Post compiles nine reasons why you should experience the VIA Festival, the annual music and new media festival born from a creative collective of Pittsburgh's most cutting-edge musicians and visual artists.
The entirely volunteer-run fest is six days of A/V showcases, film screenings and live collaborative performances, all uniquely integrated into the city of Pittsburgh. The self-proclaimed "Festival as Laboratory" is constantly experimenting and reinventing the idea of what a festival can be in today's world.
"Basically," Goshinski said, "VIA's not something we can best express in words. You just need to experience it."
Original source: Huffington Post
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Pittsburgh among those leading the maker revolution

The Kids Creativity Network, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and Maker Corps. are among the reasons Pittsburgh is leading the maker revolution, reports CNN.
The Elizabeth Forward School District, south of Pittsburgh, is integrating the maker movement into the core of its education mission. The district is "remaking education," transforming traditional classrooms and the library into interactive digital learning labs.

"It helped me learn more, actually," says Alyssa, a junior.
Original source: CNN
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Station to Station public art train stops in Pittsburgh

Wired reports on Station to Station, the barnstorming public art project that made its way to Pittsburgh recently.

The rotunda was roaring. As Station to Station’s latest event got underway last night at Pittsburgh’s Union Station, the crowd members outside were greeted by the deafening approach of the Kansas City Marching Cobras, whose thunderous, sky-high drums (and equally aerial pom-poms) signaled the start of the show. After leading a swell of audience members into the station, they were paired with the swarming guitars and drums of No Age, whose buzzsaw set felt a bit more menacing than it did on Friday in Brooklyn.
Original source: Wired
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Making the case for Pittsburgh as best place to launch a startup

Avere Systems CEO Ron Bianchini Jr. writes in the Wall Street Journal why Pittsburgh is the best place to launch a startup.

We all know that Pittsburgh unites when it comes to football, baseball and hockey, but innovation and technology is becoming far and wide what sets the city apart.  Pittsburgh is a hotbed for many incubators and technology organizations that aim to support technological growth in the area. Early stage investors like Innovation Works, where I have an active leadership role, as well as incubators like AlphaLab and associations like the Pittsburgh Technology Council, are all prime examples of how the local community is helping startups thrive in Pittsburgh.
Original source: Wall Street Journal 
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Philadelphia No. 7, Pittsburgh No. 24 on 25 Most Pedestrian Oriented and Walkable Cities list.

List 25 puts Philadelphia at No. 7 and Pittsburgh at No. 24 on its Most Pedestrian Oriented and Walkable Citiest list.
With five of its neighborhoods ranking really high on walkability and biking scores, Philadelphia ranks among the top five most walkable large cities in the US. They have really good walk paths and with the number of restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the city, one can walk pass four shops in five minutes on average.
Original source: List 25
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Inside the ever-growing Pittsburgh vs. Portland matchup

It has become commonplace for Pittsburgh and Portland to land on lists of cities touting all that is cool, innovative or green. The Think Urban blog considers how these two cities stack up head-to-head.

So is Pittsburgh the next big thing? Quite possibly. But that’s not the point. What’s happening in Pittsburgh is great, that’s true. But the same sorts of things are happening in cities all over the country – young people changing their city to be more livable, making their way, riding bikes and making waves. Maybe Pittsburgh and other cities like it will continue their rise in the “best city” charts, and I applaud them. This is a paradigm shift, not a popularity contest. The more we can make cities better for bicycling, creative enterprises, and general all around livability, the better we’ll all be. There’s no need to fight about it. If these top city lists help spur better cities, then I support them. May the best city win? Sure. But if that’s the case, I hope we all win eventually.

Original source: Think Urban
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Wilmerding and its 90 year-old mayor protect their castle

Tiny Wilmerding in Allegheny County is home to a historic, five-story standstone castle that needs saving by a Pittsburgh entrepreneur.

Like the castle, Wilmerding has seen better days. Most of its factory jobs are gone. Median household income, at about $20,800, is 60% below the national level. Even so, John Graf, a Pittsburgh entrepreneur, has proposed to buy the castle and turn it into a luxury hotel. That plan hinges on whether he can raise $11 million to buy and renovate the leaky, creaky structure.

Original source: Wall Street Journal
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Watching Warhol: Webcam fixed on artist's grave near Pittsburgh

The New Yorker writes about the Andy Warhol Museum's round-the-clock webcam feed of the Pittsburgh-bred artist's grave in Western Pennsylvania.
I have angled for reasons to snoot the webcam stunt. I can’t think of any. Along with more or less everybody else, I find it Warholian to the, well, life: watching the present habitation of a man who liked to watch. Warhol pioneered motion pictures of motionless subjects; and we have him to thank, or not, for prophesying reality television. His strictly beholding bent became, as it remains, a default setting of artistic and popular culture absolutely everywhere.
Original source: The New Yorker
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Pittsburgh's YinzCam among VentureBeat's 20 fastest-growing mobile startups

Carnegie Mellon spin-off YinzCam was included in a VentureBeat list of the 20 fastest-growing mobile startups.
In-stadium mobile video/replay for sports events
Average Weekly Growth Rate – Mobile Downloads: ? 19% Last Week: ? 12%
Funding: No known funding, Carnegie Mellon spin-off
Original source: VentureBeat
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CSA's leap from ag to art evident in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia

The New York Times catches on to the community supported art movement in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
“It’s kind of like Christmas in the middle of July,” said Ms. Johnstone, who had just gone through her bag to see what her $350 share had bought. The answer was a Surrealistic aluminum sculpture (of a pig’s jawbone, by William Kofmehl III), a print (a deadpan image appropriated from a lawn-care book, by Kim Beck) and a ceramic piece (partly about slavery, by Alexi Morrissey).
Original source: The New York Times
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