The Allegheny Front for the week of

July 20, 2013

PA Explosives Maker Has 400 Times More Ammonia Than Texas Plant

On April 17, when 30 tons of fertilizer detonated in West, Texas, a shock wave travelling faster than the speed of sound crushed homes.  The same chemical that blew up West—ammonium nitrate—is manufactured in Donora, Pa., 20 miles south of Pittsburgh.

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Weird Environmental News

Sometimes environmental news is surprising. It makes connections between science and nature and public policy.  It can be enlightening, or even touching.  And sometimes, it’s just plain weird.

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The Green Legacy of Helen Clay Frick

When many people hear the name “Frick” it sparks turn-of-the-century memories of black, billowing smoke stacks of an industry long past—the product of Henry Clay Frick. Despite thousands of visitors to Pittsburgh’s Frick Park each year, few consider another Frick, Henry Clay's daughter Helen, who established the park.

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Pest Threatens Old-Growth Hemlock Trees

The trees of Cook Forest State Park survived the clear-cutting of Pennsylvania more than a hundred years ago. Now the virgin old-growth hemlocks in the park are threatened by a pest that has plagued trees from New England to Georgia.

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Close Encounters: Bears and Frick Park, Oh My!

Dick Wilford, a longtime park foreman in Pittsburgh, once encountered a black bear cub and mother in the wild. The experience reminded him that nature, if left untamed, is inherently a little bit dangerous. It's an idea he keeps close while managing new wildlife in Frick Park—the biggest and most natural park in the city.

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