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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Spike TV's Bar Rescue looking for participants in Pittsburgh

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 4:51 PM

  • Photo courtesy of SPIKE TV
Pittsburgh is a town that really values its rough-around-the-edges dives, so it will be interesting to see if Bar Rescue, the hit docu-reality series from Spike TV, meets more than the token resistance when it rolls into town to film later this year. The series, heading into its sixth season, is hosted by bar consultant Jon Taffer, who has been called “the Gordon Ramsey of the bar business,” a towering and gregarious man who plays the no-nonsense businessman trope. His catchphrase: ”SHUT IT DOWN!”

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Study shows Pennsylvania's tax structure benefits wealthy rather than lower-income workers

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 5:36 PM

  • Stock image
The Republicans in the U.S. House and Pennsylvania House appear to have a similar goal: Raise taxes on low- and middle-income individuals, so that wealthy people and corporations avoid paying more in taxes.

The U.S. House recently passed a tax-reform plan with only Republican votes, including U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Sewickley), U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) and all other Republican representatives from Pennsylvania. The bill would offer a tax reprieve to low- and middle-income individuals initially, but those cuts would expire; by 2027, some low- and middle-income individuals would eventually be paying more in taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The ultra-wealthy (those making $5 million and up) and corporations, however, would be paying significantly less indefinitely. Politicians like Rothfus justify this bill saying expanded economic growth from tax cuts will lead to better wages for workers.

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Pittsburgh City Paper announces inaugural Pittsburgher of the Year Award; nominations taken until Dec. 6

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 5:10 PM


Nominations are now open for City Paper’s first-ever Pittsburgher of the Year Award. The nomination form can be found online and submissions will be accepted from the public until 5 p.m., Wed. Dec. 6. CP's editorial staff will make the final selection, which will be revealed on the cover of our Dec. 20 issue.

Any individual from Allegheny County who makes a strong contribution toward the betterment of the community is eligible for the award.

“We are looking to honor someone whose work and life has a real impact on Pittsburgh and this region,” said CP Editor Charlie Deitch in announcing the award. “There are more than a dozen names of worthy individuals for this honor that quickly come to mind. But we also know that there are dozens more in this community that we don’t hear from every day that are making a difference.

“Those are the people that I urge our readers to nominate and bring to our attention.”

The nomination form can be found here.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Pittsburgh Carnegie Science Center opens renovated Rangos Giant Cinema

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 3:45 PM

  • Photos courtesy of Carnegie Science Center

On Monday, the Carnegie Science Center opened the Rangos Giant Cinema, formerly known as the Rangos Omnimax Theater, after closing in July for renovations. The theater features a new 70-by-38-foot screen, making it the only “Giant Screen” in Pennsylvania, as certified by the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA). In order to qualify as a Giant Screen, a theater must meet specific guidelines regarding the size of the screen and layout of the seats.

In his remarks, Science Center Co-director Ron Baillie called the new screen "the future of cinema." According to a survey conducted by GSCA, 70% of consumers said a theater being certified as a Giant Screen would affect their theater choice.

Before renovations, the theater held a dome-style screen, which could only play costly 70 mm film reels. "When we opened the Science Center in 1991, that was state of the art at the time. But fast forward 25 plus years and the industry has changed. Technology has changed," says Chad Hunter, director of Rangos Giant Cinema.


The Science Center will continue to focus on showing movies that meet its goal of educating and entertaining through science and technology. "We want to stay true to our mission," says Hunter. "We've had millions of families in here over the years seeing our science and educational films and we want to continue to do that." According to Hunter, the theater will maintain a ratio of roughly 75 percent educational and scientific films to 25 percent blockbusters and special events.

The theater re-opened with three nature-centric films: Amazon Adventure 3D, which depicts the discoveries of Charles Darwin contemporary, Henry Bates; Tiny Giants 3D, a look into the life of the world's small animals; and Animalopolis, a compilation of wild animals acting goofy. A big draw, however, will be Hollywood blockbusters, like the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Future possibilities for the screen include concert satellite feeds, sporting events and video games.

Although Giant and 3D screens can sometimes induce motion sickness or headaches from the screen stimulation, Hunter believes that the updated technology will eliminate the disorienting feeling that previously caused some viewers to leave the theater. There will also be sensory-sensitive shows, with lights up and sound down, for some upcoming movies like The Polar Express.

The theater's renovation is part of the Science Center's broader expansion plan, which includes the PPG Science Pavilion opening in 2018 and a group of FedEx STEM learning labs.

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Light Up Night officially kicks off Pittsburgh's Holiday Season

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 12:02 PM

Fireworks above the Horne's Christmas tree during Pittsburgh's annual Light Up Night on Fri., Nov. 17, 2017 - CP PHOTOS BY JAKE MYSLIWCZYK
  • CP photos by Jake Mysliwczyk
  • Fireworks above the Horne's Christmas tree during Pittsburgh's annual Light Up Night on Fri., Nov. 17, 2017
The 57th annual Comcast Light Up Night took place on Fri., Nov. 17, officially kicking off Pittsburgh's holiday season. Check out our photo highlights from the celebration below.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Pop-up Nickelodeon begins Downtown on Friday

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 10:17 AM

  • CP photos by Amanda Reed
From being the backdrop for films like The Dark Knight Rises and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Pittsburgh is known for its small but mighty role in the film industry. But it all started in 1905, with a small storefront theater begun on Smithfield Street by Harry Davis and John P. Harris.

The Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) is honoring that history in time for Light-Up Night beginning tonight with a pop-up nickelodeon at 811 Liberty Ave., transforming the former Arcade Comedy Theater space into a 20th-century theater with donated banquet chairs from the David Lawrence Convention Center and a fresh coat of paint.

“There isn’t a whole lot of exposure in Pittsburgh about the nickel
odeon and Pittsburgh’s role as the birthplace of the commercial movie-theater industry,” says THS executive director Richard Fosbrink. “We thought, ‘What can we do to make the public aware of this?’ so we decided to do a recreated nickelodeon.”

The Nickelodeon will screen classic silent short films, including Edwin S. Porter's "The Great Train Robbery," from 1903, Georges Méliès' groundbreaking 1902 short "A Trip to the Moon" and a 1910 silent version of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol,” plus short films introducing the Theatre Historical Society of America — all for just a nickel.

The Nickelodeon also features an exhibit on Pittsburgh’s role in the film industry, beginning with Harris and Davis’ Nickelodeon.

The pop-up Nickelodeon runs through First Night festivities — Sunday, Dec. 31 — and is open from noon to 7 p.m. every day except Monday, when it is closed.

THS, which recently relocated to Pittsburgh, is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the history of America's theaters, and showcasing their role in American architectural, cultural and social history.

For more information about the pop-up, visit

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Affordable-housing advocates challenge Pittsburgh City Council on Housing Opportunity Fund inaction

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 3:38 PM

A few of the visitors to City Council on Wednesday - CP PHOTO BY HALEY FREDERICK
  • CP photo by Haley Frederick
  • A few of the visitors to City Council on Wednesday
In 2016, Pittsburgh City Council voted unanimously to create the Housing Opportunity Fund to help address the shortage of affordable housing in the city, but a year later, council has been unable to come together to decide on a way to put any money into the fund.

“It’s a shortage of over 20,000 units for the lowest income people. It’s a crisis. Everybody knows it’s a crisis,” Celeste Scott, the affordable housing organizer at social justice organization Pittsburgh United, said at a City Council meeting yesterday. “We’re seeing it in Penn Plaza...We see it visibly in the East End, but there are folks in other communities that are facing it that we don’t see as often as the East End communities.”

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hello Neighbor is looking for new mentors and mentees

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 12:15 PM

Children at a Hello Neighbor event - PHOTO COURTESY OF HELLO NEIGHBOR
  • Photo courtesy of Hello Neighbor
  • Children at a Hello Neighbor event
Hello Neighbor, a Big Brothers Big Sisters-like program for native-born residents and refugees, has received acclaim from all over. The program has been covered by Pittsburgh City Paper, local daily newspapers and TV stations; national publications like the Washington Post and NBC News have covered the program, too. Over the summer, the Pittsburgh Pirates even hosted a Hello Neighbor night.

Hello Neighbor creator Sloane Davidson says the response has been overwhelming, in a good way. Now, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Pittsburgh City Council are hosting a Hello Neighbor dinner at the City-County Building tonight, at which immigrants, refugees and native-born residents can mingle and get tours of the building (in six different languages).

“It's just so amazing, a year ago Hello Neighbor didn't exist and now we have this event with the city,” says Davidson.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pittsburgh celebrates Veterans Day with annual parade

Posted By on Sat, Nov 11, 2017 at 4:52 PM

Children wave American flags during Pittsburgh's annual Veterans Day Parade on Sat., Nov. 11, 2017. - CP PHOTOS BY JAKE MYSLIWCZYK
  • CP photos by Jake Mysliwczyk
  • Children wave American flags during Pittsburgh's annual Veterans Day Parade on Sat., Nov. 11, 2017.
Veterans and supporters gathered in Downtown Pittsburgh this morning for the city's annual Veterans Day Parade. Check out photo intern Jake Mysliwczyk's highlights from the parade below.

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Johnstown progressives are sick of national media painting them solely as Trump Country

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 1:20 PM

View of Downtown Johnstown from across the Stone Bridge. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PHIL BALKO
  • Photo courtesy of Phil Balko
  • View of Downtown Johnstown from across the Stone Bridge.
On Nov. 8, Politico published a story many in the Pittsburgh region have seen too many times. Reporter Michael Kruse traveled to Johnstown, in Cambria County, to talk to the same people he interviewed for a  story published prior to Donald Trump being elected president. The reporting investigated whether Trump voters had soured on the president, and Kruse sought their input on the ongoing political and cultural wars nationwide. Like many dispatches from the Rust Belt by national publications, the story painted Johnstown as a no-hope town, overrun by drugs and blight, and still in love with Trump.

Since its publication, the Politico story has spread widely on social media, thanks to the explosive final quote in which a white, elderly Trump voter says NFL players are “Niggers for life.”

But progressives in Johnstown aren’t happy. Indivisible Johnstown, a progressive group that has held candidate forums for 2018 Democratic congressional candidates, responded on Facebook: “We are OUTRAGED that this POLITICO reporter and EVERY reporter who comes to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is only looking to tell a story of American Carnage. … Many, many citizens here are not misogynistic, racists like the Neanderthals in this article. They are working hard to make a difference.”

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