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Post Route Podcast: Episode Five

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

POST ROUTE PODCAST: WEEK FIVE

Hello and welcome back for another week of the Post Route Podcast, hosted by Post-Gazette college writers Sam Werner (Pitt) and Stephen J. Nesbitt (WVU).

In episode five, we prep for Pitt's big Thursday night matchup against ACC Coastal foe Virginia Tech and look back at West Virginia's last-second win at Texas Tech, a game saved by the right foot of kicker Josh Lambert.

On a time crunch? Here are some helpful time stamps:

1:01-10:11: How much of a must-win is this Pitt-Virginia Tech tilt at Heinz Field? The ACC Coastal is wide open, and it's games like this will decide who loses to Florida State in the ACC title game. With two decent losses under their belts, are the Hokies better than their record? What can Pitt do to fix its quarterback and its eighth-worst passing attack? Will James Conner actually get some snaps at defensive end, or is that a bye-week bluff?

10:12-20:57: Taking the winding country roads down to Morgantown, W.Va., where West Virginia will host No. 4 Baylor Saturday, the Mountaineers third top-four opponent in the past seven weeks. Is this the kind of game Lambert can save again? Definitely not. Is it going to be the Big 12 shootout to end all Big 12 shootouts? It just may be. Can Clint Trickett and Kevin White, college football's top pitcher-catcher battery, keep pace with Bryce Petty and Antwan Goodley and friends? Can the West Virginia defense make a key stop or two? 

20:58-31:09: It's not the wildest weekend of games, but there's plenty of hot, hot ranked Big 12 and SEC action. Which Big 12 teams can separate themselves from the pack? And can West Virginia join that top tier? And it all leads toward a No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Florida State showdown in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday night — two top-five teams with plenty on the line. Come back and hear about it all on the Post Route Podcast next week.

Sam Werner: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @swernerpg. | Stephen J. Nesbitt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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White calls out opponent on ad's 'blatant lie'

 

State Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, is accusing his Republican challenger of fabricating a claim in a recent television campaign ad and mailer.

Mr. White says the assertion in Jason Ortitay's ad that he "supports a 40% income tax increase," is a "blatant lie."

The commercial cites a story in The Morning Call on Aug....

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6340-white-calls-out-opponent-on-ad-s-blatant-lie

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U.S. bishop head: Synod paper good, needs work

Written by Peter Smith on .

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has applauded a document issued Monday that calls for the church to affirm the positive aspects of gay unions and other couples who lack a church marriage, but he also wants to see strengthened language affirming church teachings and those who live by them.

In comments at a press conference on Wednesday in Rome, Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz calmly wove a diplomatic thread through the hoopla that has accompanied the document released Monday, half-way through a two-week synod at the Vatican to discuss issues and challenges related to the family. Some bishops there have denounced the document for failing to emphasize church teachings against homosexual acts, while many advocates for gays and others alienated from the church found the language to be surprisingly welcoming.

Archbishop Kurtz called it a "wonderful working document" but that the one to be issued at synod's end would be more important and lasting.

 

His three calls for revisions:

“One would be to highlight the importance of the witness of sacrificial, loving families today. ... (Second would be) to make sure all our words are truly welcoming and come truly from the heart ... and the third one was to locate clearly our pastoral ... outreach as being located within the beauty of sacred Scripture and Church teaching.”

 

Before the synod started, Archbishop Kurtz wanted to emphasize that while the traditional family has indeed become much less the norm than it once was, 

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, the former Pittsburgh bishop, is among those helping revise the document.

 

 

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It's official: we're ridiculous

At least we're in good company.

The Fix , the Washington Post's political blog, issued a list on Tuesday outlining the nine most ridiculous campaigns of 2014 – and it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone here that The Battling Toms made the list.

Specifically, the scandal over pornographic emails that circulated through the office of the state...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6339-washington-post-names-wolf-corbett-race-among-most-ridiculous

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How to control (or not) climate change in Pittsburgh

Written by Ethan Magoc on .


(Ethan Magoc/Post-Gazette photos)

Professor Peter Adams asked for a show of hands Tuesday night.

How many in the audience use energy-saving LED bulbs in their homes?

About 90 percent of hands went up among the 110 or so attending "Building a More Resilient Pittsburgh," a discussion at Carnegie Mellon University that examined climate change and Pittsburgh's future.

"That's pretty good," Mr. Adams said of the bulb usage. "This is not a representative crowd."

And that moment encapsulated the challenge humanity faces in stemming effects of climate change. The global crowd that believes severe changes in weather patterns are already taking place — changes that humans have caused — is not yet large enough to form a critical mass to reverse them.

There also exists a quandary for citizens who want to help but feel limited. You can change a rather small number of energy consumption patterns. Switch in LED light bulbs. Take shorter showers. Live in a potentially more expensive apartment or house closer to your job to save commute time and burned gasoline.

In the end, you can't directly control the industrial polluters, poor existing infrastructure or rising rents that cause people to live further from their jobs.

Political inertia is at work, too, noted one of the guests who asked questions of a five-person panel.

What can be done to push politicians to act?

Grant Ervin, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability manager, pointed to efforts in local communities.

Too often, he said, "practice is ahead of policy," and the public needs to drive the conversation.


Grant Ervin, left, and Fred Brown.

Fred Brown of the Kingsley Association backed up that suggestion. Larimer, a neighborhood in which his organization works frequently, has built a unique relationship with Mayor Bill Peduto. Residents there have his administration's attention for their efforts to create a net zero community.

Some day Larimer will use no more energy than it produces and saves. It's getting there through a mix of efforts, though not because its residents devised a magical way to alter their energy consumption.


Kelly Klima and Peter Adams.

"No silver bullet is going to solve the problem," said Kelly Klima, a CMU research scientist in engineering and public policy. "Solar won't do it."

Solar power is too intermittent, she said, and quite expensive to build the infrastructure needed to harvest sunlight. You'd need a backup in places like Pittsburgh.

Still, Mr. Adams said, there are benefits to shifting away from burning coal wherever possible. He researches the effects of particulates on public health.

"Forget the problems caused by climate change, and there are still benefits to getting coal out of the system," he said.

And what about transportation, a daily thorn for many Pittsburghers? Why can't high speed rail be part of the equation for traveling and getting to work?

"The short answer?" Mr. Ervin said in a deep tone. "Mouuuntains." The area's geography is going to prevent a reality of speeding commuter trains in the short (and maybe long) term.


From left, CMU professor Neil Donahue, Mr. Ervin and Mr. Brown.

As for students in attendance and those who otherwise make up a large part of Oakland's transient population, one asked: what can they do?

Mr. Brown spoke of a moral obligation, even if it's just in a Pittsburgh dorm room.

"Whether you're living here for six months or six years, everything we do has an impact," he said.


Even at the dessert table, there were guilt-inducing reminders of the need to conserve. "Eat what you take," the sign reads.

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