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Kevin Gavin

Host of The Confluence

Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and has worked in public broadcasting since his college years. Gavin served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years, and since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects, and for the last five years as host of "The Confluence."

kgavin@wesa.fm

  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: Allegheny County announced a pilot program to offer low-income residents reduced fares to ride Pittsburgh Regional Transit; Republican state lawmakers introduced what they are calling a "parental bill of rights," which legislators in support say give parents more say in what content is taught in schools; and as pawpaw season comes to a close, we learn about how to forage this native fruit.Today’s guests include: Laura Chu Wiens, executive director of Pittsburghers for Public Transit; Justin Sweitzer, senior reporter for City & State PA; and Ryan Utz, professor of environmental science at Chatham University.
  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: The board of the Pittsburgh Public Schools is scheduled to vote tonight to revise the district's sex education policy to be more inclusive and remove the emphasis on abstinence-only education; the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Governance and Markets has received a $2.4 million grant to study how society can overcome differences; and a conversation about independent state legislature doctrine. Today’s guests include: Sarah Schneider, WESA education reporter; and Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, founding director of the Center for Governance and Markets and a professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: The U.S. Department of Energy is considering Pittsburgh for a lab to research removing carbon dioxide from the air; and it’s been 20 years since the firings of two head coaches that inspired the Rooney Rule, meant to diversify leadership among National Football League teams — we discuss where the league stands today. Today’s guests include: Anya Litvak, energy reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Jeremi Duru, professor of law at American University, specializing in sports law and employment discrimination, and Jim Rooney, son of former Steelers owner Dan Rooney and author of “A Different Way to Win”.
  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: U.S. House Republican leaders unveiled their "Commitment to America" platform in western Pennsylvania last week, ahead of the November election; Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Child Protective Services 2021 Annual Report found there was an increase of reports of child abuse, but the department anticipated the uptick after a decline of reports in 2020 attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic; and we speak to a co-founder of an organization helping women and trans people reenter society after incarceration.Today’s guests include: Chris Potter, WESA’s government and accountability editor; Richard DiBello, senior forensic interviewer with the Child Advocacy Center at UPMC Children’s Hospital; and etta cetera, co-founder of Let’s Get Free.
  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: State lawmakers are considering companion bills in the House and Senate that would establish a statewide rape-kit tracking system; a coalition of organizations representing Asian American and Pacific Islanders have put forth an AAPI policy platform for the state; and a conversation about why it’s so hard to identify who is lacking broadband access in the state. Today’s guests include: Donna Greco, policy director with Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape; Lani Mears, president of the Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh; and Sascha Meinrath, Palmer Chair in the Telecommunications Department at Pennsylvania State University and director of X-Lab at Penn State.
  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: Pace-O-Matic, a skill games company that’s been lobbying to have their games formally recognized as legal, invited a group of state legislators to Wyoming; data from the U.S. Census Bureau found 5% more Pittsburghers were living in poverty in 2021, compared to two years prior; and the city will be hosting its inaugural Architecture Week. Today’s guests include: Angela Couloumbis, investigative reporter at Spotlight PA; Anita Zuberi, an associate professor of sociology at Duquesne University; and Michelle Fanzo, executive director of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: Some conservative activists want to eliminate electronic voting machines and are petitioning their counties to add a ballot question, taking the proposal to voters; an initiative from the University of Pittsburgh looks to make homes more accessible so aging residents can continue to live independently; and we speak to two professors at Pennsylvania Western University who received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study the influence of learning communities on student outcomes. Today’s guests include: Gillian McGoldrick, Harrisburg bureau chief for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Everette James, director of the Health Policy Institute at the University of Pittsburgh; and Peter Cormas, associate professor in the Department of Education, and Kyle Frederick, professor in the Department of Geosciences, at Pennsylvania Western University.
  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: We talk about the widening availability of COVID-19 vaccines that target certain variants of the virus; and a conversation with an organizer and speaker for the second annual Eradicate Hate Summit, which is convening nearly 300 experts in Pittsburgh to talk about solutions to a rise in hate crimes and hateful rhetoric.Today’s guests include: Dr. Amesh Adalja, infectious disease physician and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security; Laura Ellsworth, partner-in-charge of global community service initiatives at Jones Day and co-chair of the summit, and Julie Platt, board chair of the Jewish Federations of North America.
  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: State Rep. Dan Frankel has renewed calls to expand the state’s Hate Crimes law after criticizing gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano for giving money to Gab, a right-wing social media site where others have posted antisemitic speech; an organization serving unhoused people has found an increasing need in Pittsburgh as pandemic eviction protections have been rolled back; and an investigation into how although marijuana is permitted for medical use, lawmakers have not clarified the protections workers when it comes to using the substance, even on personal time.Today’s guests include: State Rep. Dan Frankel; Dan Palka, administrative director with Allegheny Health Network’s Reaching Out on the Streets (R.O.O.T.S.); and Ed Mahon, investigative reporter with Spotlight PA
  • On today’s episode of The Confluence: Gov. Tom Wolf is arguing the GOP-led legislature’s effort to combine measures in one bill violates the state constitution which prohibits passing laws regarding multiple, unrelated issues; the longevity of Roberto Clemente’s Sports City is under debate as the Puerto Rican government claims the player’s family has let it fall into disrepair; and the state Department of Education is updating its science standards, the first revision since they were created in 2002. Today’s guests include: Sam Dunklau, capitol bureau chief for WESA; Tom Fontaine, editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; and Karen Molchanow, executive director for the State Board of Education, and Brian Gasper, chief of the Division of Instructional Quality in the Department of Education.