What you need to know about Pittsburgh news this week | Blogh
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Friday, January 22, 2016

What you need to know about Pittsburgh news this week

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 6:06 PM

Here's what went down this week in Pittsburgh:


click to enlarge PHOTO BY AARON WARNICK
  • Photo by Aaron Warnick
1. Marty's Market, the Strip District grocer, coffee bar and restaurant, closed its doors on Sunday. "We have had to make the extremely difficult decision to close our doors," the business' Facebook post read on Sunday after the store's regular business hours ended for the day. "All of us at Marty’s Market would like to thank the Pittsburgh community and our wonderful customers, farmers and vendors for an amazing three and a half years!" Owner Regina Koetters did not return City Paper's inquiries about the closing. Don Orkoskey, president of the neighborhood group Neighbors in the Strip, which advises on economic development, said he was not aware of the reason either. Marty's Market had been operating in the space since 2011.

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click to enlarge PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • Photo by Ashley Murray
2. The Allegheny County Jail Health Justice Project relaunched its efforts to maintain accountability for the alleged mistreatment of inmates by county officers and health-care professionals. The group began its efforts in response to last year's death toll of inmates in the county jail and the issues with the jail's former for-profit health-care provider, Corizon. The group is still calling for the firing of Allegheny County Jail warden Orlando Harper and for a large review of correctional officers' practices. “There have been significant leaps forward,” organizer Julia Johnson says regarding health care at the jail. “But we are still very critical that the county is not listening to citizens' requests. We feel they are still being ignored.”

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Gov. Tom Wolf's Facebook town hall meeting on Tuesday
  • Gov. Tom Wolf's Facebook town hall meeting on Tuesday
3. Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Tuesday new rules for the methane emissions coming from the state's oil and gas industry. The announcement came during a Facebook town hall meeting, where he answered questions people had posted about environmental and energy issues in the state. "Today we're announcing a new way forward that protects our environment," he said on the live video feed. "It reduces climate change and helps businesses by reducing the waste of a valuable product ... [methane] actually has more than 25 times the warming power of carbon dioxide." 

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click to enlarge PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
4. Of commuters living in Pittsburgh, a survey shows that 8.6 percent of trips to work were done by bike. As the stakeholders parse the data of the self-reported "Make My Trip Count" survey — which shows that the largest percentage of commuters drive alone to work — advocates at BikePGH are impressed by the bike stats. "Pittsburgh is showing a pretty good breakdown in active transportation," says Boerer. "About two-thirds of people living in the city are getting to their jobs without driving. We still have a lot of work today to increase those numbers, but we are well on the way to making that happen."

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PHOTO BY AARON WARNICK
  • Photo by Aaron Warnick
5. City Paper debuted its new podcast this week. For our first episode, we spoke to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto about his second year in office and talked politics with our editor Charlie Deitch. We also visited Smallman Galley in the Strip District for a lesson on vegetable-forward cocktails. Listen to the first episode here.

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6. Islamaphobic activity on a Twitter account titled Pittsburgh Police FOP with the handle @foplodge1pgh was reported on the Pittsburgh section of the forum reddit.  The account retweeted two Islamaphobic tweets on their page, one depicting a Muslim cleric justifying rape and another of a photo of Muslims with the words ""These are 'not' actors! These are 'not' Christians! These are 'not' your brothers. These are your 'new neighbors.'" The posts have since been taken down, and a post on the account after 4 p.m. reads, "We were contacted about a re-tweet that was rather offensive. After reviewing our log, I can understand the concern and apologize for the [m]iscommunication and will be more cautious of what we are re-tweeting in the future."

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On our political blogs:


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Earlier this week, members of the city's Wage Review Committee met with members of Pittsburgh City Council to discuss findings in a December report. The report was the result of two days of testimony from 130 hospital and service workers, along with healthcare experts and economists. Among the Wage Review Committee's recommendations is that council endorse the hospital workers' $15-per-hour wage demand. It also recommends that council "actively support workers' right to form a union without interference or intimidation from hospital management." 

"I look forward to digesting these recommendations. What I heard today though was really confirmation of already existing suspicion," said Council President Bruce Kraus. "My question is this, where do we go from here. There has to be a concrete plan of action we can take."


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This week on our PolitiCrap blog, two candidates — Dave Fawcett,  a Pittsburgh attorney with Reed Smith's Commercial Litigation Group, and Assistant United States Attorney Jack Stollsteimer — dropped out of the race for PA attorney general. Meanwhile, a slew of Allegheny County Democrats sent their cash to the Allegheny County Democratic Committee by today's deadline in hopes of receiving an endorsement.

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From the pages of print edition this week:

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Our Winter Guide dropped this week. As you're possibly holed up in your house tonight during the snowstorm, why not check it out and mark your calendar full of arts, music, outdoors, theater, children's and literary events for the rest of the winter. Our staffers have rounded up plenty of local happenings and things to do through March. After the storm settles, bundle up and head out!

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