As a Pennsylvanian with a disability, I’m forced to choose between higher pay and essential benefits

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. For most people, waking up and getting ready for work is a fairly straightforward routine. You get up, probably drink some coffee, take a shower, get dressed and head out the door. I’d guess it takes you about an hour, maybe two hours at the most? 

For me, my morning routine is anything but straightforward. I have spinal muscular atrophy, a neuromuscular disease, and it means that I need help with each and every one of these steps.

Jeffrey Bolden stands looking at the camera with his back facing a shelf of books at the Lawrenceville Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Mental Warfare: What I recognized in the eyes of Nipsey Hussle’s alleged killer

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom was the man who taught me that when you have a dream or mission, the worst enemy you can have is idle time. That was 2009. Ever since then, I found myself listening to Nipsey Hussle every day. His messages of hope carried me through dark times. He was the voice that inspired for nearly a decade. Not just me, but millions. So when news broke that he was killed in his clothing store in March in Crenshaw, Los Angeles, I was not the only person who cried and mourned for the late great.

Family history, loss and hopes for a bright future fuel my fight for clean air in Clairton

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. I live in a third-generation family home. It sits on a ridge at the top of the hill overlooking U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works. My father worked hard on this house; he added onto it, extended it out, lacing it with gorgeous stained glass windows that he procured from local churches or schools when they were being torn down in our area. As long as the curtains are drawn back, I can see the smoke billowing from the stacks.

Noah Theriault on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University. Theriault moved to Pittsburgh in 2017. (Photo by Kimberly Rowen/PublicSource)

Not good enough for whom? Pittsburgh is a place worth fighting for

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. Pittsburgh is cheap, but it stinks. Or so says Google engineer Dennis Towne, whose recent PublicSource essay laments the city’s noxious pollution problem and urges tech workers to stay away. So bad is the smell, Towne observes, that he and a number of his colleagues are “transferring” elsewhere, even if it means they can no longer afford to walk to work. My reaction to Towne’s essay was equal parts recognition and outrage.

Dennis Towne (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

When better isn’t good enough: Why I tell my Google co-workers and industry peers to avoid Pittsburgh

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Editor's note, Jan. 11: Google issued a statement in response to this first-person essay. Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. In 2017, I was working for Google in the Bay Area of California, lamenting the ever-rising cost of housing, when a co-worker mentioned he was moving to Pittsburgh. I talked it over with my partner, and we did some basic research.