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New Carnegie Museums President Searching For More Ways To See Collections

Courtesy of Carnegie Museums
Stephen Knapp will begin leading the Carnegie Museums in February 2020.


On today's program: a look at the impeachment process; Duquesne Light is betting on electric vehicles; and the new president of the Carnegie Museums hopes to foster more collaboration among the museums and the community.  

Democrats move forward with articles of impeachment
(00:00 — 12:48) 

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee could vote as early as Thursday on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“This is an unfortunate day for American history; I think no matter what side we’re on, we can all agree to that. But, it’s no surprise that the House Judiciary Committee did decide on these two specific articles,” says Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, a constitutional law scholar at Duquesne University.

Democrats hold a 24 to 17 margin on the panel, and if the Committee approves the articles of impeachment, they would move to the full House for consideration.

“I would expect some lively debate,” says Jefferson-Bullock.  “I have no doubt that certain procedural rules will be put into place to limit that kind of commentary.”

A simple majority is required for approval in the Democratic-controlled House, and then the case would move to the Senate where Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the trial and the Senators would serve as jurors.

David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh law professor, says that in a criminal case the prosecution has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and in a civil trial, the standard is a preponderance of the evidence. “But in an impeachment trial the standard is effectively set by the body (Senate),” he says.

“It’s not as if one standard is agreed upon, the Senators are free to choose their own standard [for conviction],” adds Jefferson-Bullock.

A two-thirds majority vote would be needed for conviction, meaning Democrats would have to convince 20 Republicans to vote to convict.

Duquesne Light revving up investment in electric vehicles
(13:08 — 17:36) 

Duquesne Light is boosting its electric vehicle offerings with new charging stations at two downtown Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages and at the utility’s Woods Run campus on the North Side. 90.5 WESA’s Maria Scapellato spoke with Sarah Oleksak, the utility's manager of transportation electrification. Oleksak says Duquesne Light’s investment is a result of demand displayed by a growth in sales of electric vehicles. 

Stephen Knapp assumes leadership over Carnegie Museums with two director vacancies
(17:38 — 30:15) 

Stephen Knapp can expect a full plate when he arrives in Pittsburgh to lead the Carnegie Museums in February. He'll be overseeing the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Out of the four museums, only the Warhol has a permanently installed director currently. Knapp says he’ll rely heavily on the Carnegie Museums board in the search to fill the open director positions. 

“I can’t at this point form any judgements about personnel,” he says. “I would expect to begin that process very shortly after my arrival in February.”  

Knapp was president of George Washington University for 10 years and before that was provost at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. While at George Washington, he partnered with the National and Corcoran Galleries of Art and the Textile Museum. According to Knapp, those experiences will inform how he develops partnerships between the Museums and community groups. 

Knapp says he looks forward to developing more interactive experiences for museum goers in Pittsburgh in order to get more people through the doors. 

“I think that makes this a very exciting time to be in the museum industry, but at the same time it is a challenging era for all cultural institutions,” he says. Stephen Knapp assumes his position as president of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh on Feb. 1, 2020. 

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.
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