In a region that’s experienced a dramatic turnaround but still needs to attract thousands of talented young workers in the next decade, one quality of life puzzle piece remains missing: air quality. Part I of this in-depth series includes an introductory essay by Jeffery Fraser, which puts into context western Pennsylvania’s historic struggles and current problems. Mike Wereschagin documents the top 10 industrial air toxics polluters. And, Fraser again examines the two biggest threats to public health: ozone and PM2.5. Air quality is one of the most critical issues Pittsburgh faces—we hope that, as a citizen, you’ll read these stories and understand this pressing concern. You won’t find better public interest journalism anywhere in town.
On the lighter side (and what isn’t lighter than air pollution?), we have a terrific theater essay on “1984” by Stuart Sheppard, an outstanding poem—“Assisted Living”—by Barbara Edelman, and a fascinating human interest piece by Kate Benz on the voice of Dan Dunlap. For you Greg Curtis fans, this week’s post takes a deeper dive into the new “religion” of climate science. Read on!
—Doug Heuck, Editor