John Fetterman is back to campaigning after suffering a stroke in May
On today’s episode of The Confluence:
Senate candidate John Fetterman’s back on the campaign trail, gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano is dealing with disclosures on photos
(0:00 - 7:23)
Last Friday was Lt. Gov. and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman’s first rally since suffering a stroke just before the May primary. During the event, he spoke for only 11 minutes.
“Right now, at this point, he does not have more public appearances on his schedule. I've been told to expect some in a few weeks in some of the rural counties,” says Chris Potter, WESA’s government and accountability editor. “I think there have been these persistent questions about the stroke and its effect on him, whether he'll participate in debates.”
Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Doug Mastriano has been updating some social media photos of himself in uniform. Mastriano is a retired colonel and combat veteran.
Some of the photos originally posted did not have any sort of disclaimer, though the Department of Defense requires candidates to say the image does not imply the candidate is endorsed by the department.
“This week they changed the photos to images of himself in civilian uniform. They changed it back to himself in military uniform with a tiny little disclaimer, very difficult to read,” says Potter. “There's a question in my mind… whether that meets the qualification that the disclaimer be produced clearly and visibly for people to see.”
50 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, the region’s waterways are more habitable, but still in need of advocacy
(7:31 - 14:34)
In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act, but after President Richard Nixon vetoed the bill, the Senate voted to override the veto and made the Clean Water Act law.
This came just a few years after the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire due to an oil slick in the water. It was extinguished, but this and other events brought attention to the health of our nation’s waterways.
“Fifty years ago, these rivers were basically devoid of aquatic life,” says Heather Hulton VanTassel, executive director of Three Rivers Waterkeeper, a local nonprofit that works to raise awareness and track the health of our region's waterways. “Today, when we look at our rivers, they're cleaner, you can recreate them. We actually have the bald eagle on all three of our rivers here in the Pittsburgh region, and when you see top predators like that, you know, the whole food chain is working.”
Hulton VanTassel says maintenance of clean water standards is an issue, but the Clean Water Act also gave organizations like Three Rivers Waterkeeper the ability to file lawsuits against polluters, or even agencies for lack of enforcement.
Bathroom access is limited in Pittsburgh’s Downtown region
(14:41 - 22:30)
A new report from Point Park University looked into what kind of restroom access exists in the Golden Triangle, and what can be done to improve it. According to the report, “Where Can We Go?” the city’s Downtown neighborhood lacks a restroom facility that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round.
“One of the things that we noticed that some other cities are doing, and with some success, is that they're there sort of showing the businesses that this can be an opportunity for them to not only be very socially responsible, but also to bring people into their businesses, especially if it's something like a retail space,” says Heather Starr Fiedler, chair of the Department of Community Engagement and Leadership at Point Park University, and co-author of this study.
Starr Fiedler says the report has been delivered to the Building Owners and Managers Association of Pittsburgh (BOMA), which initiated the research upon hearing concerns from members Downtown. Moving forward, she says BOMA is working with the city and the Downtown Partnership to see which recommendations from the report might be most reasonable to adopt.
The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.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.