🎢 Help Kennywood pick the Phantom’s fresh coat of paint
Plus, the fascinating history behind our beloved Dippy the Dinosaur.
By Francesca Dabecco
Welcome to Wednesday, Pittsburgh.
I hope everyone had a nice, restful Labor Day weekend. Pittsburgh has such a rich history when it comes to labor strikes and strength in unions, all powered by the workers who have paid their dues and organized.
Today, unions are going beyond the blue-collar laborers of steel mills and coal mines; they’re gaining interest amongst museum staff, universities, uber drivers, hospitals, cannabis growers, radio reporters, etc. In fact, approval for unions are at an all time high since the 1960s, according to last week’s Pew poll. Read more about Pennsylvania’s changing labor movement in this informative piece by Pittsburgh City Paper.
Now that we’ve enjoyed our extra day of rest, let’s remember all of the people who relentlessly fought for the workers’ rights we have today: sick leave, social security, minimum wage, anti discrimination laws, and so on. Alas, there’s still more work to do.
For now, let’s get you caught up on the headlines. ⬇️
What Pittsburgh is talking about
4 things to know today
💛 You can help Afghan refugees arriving in Pittsburgh. After the U.S. announced it was withdrawing from Afghanistan for good and the inevitable takeover by the Taliban, Afghans have been fleeing the country. Locally, organizations such as Hello Neighbor and Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) have stepped up to support their transition to a new life here in Pittsburgh. Hello Neighbor is asking for donations to its Refugee Assistance Fund and Amazon and Walmart essential items wish lists. JFCS also has a fundraiser covering living and essential expenses, and you can also make in-kind donations including school and home supplies. (Pittsburgh City Paper)
- Quotable: “The number one thing that we can do as Pittsburghers is to practice kindness and empathy, and think about how we would want to be treated if our lives were turned upside down if we had to flee our homes, never to return, and how we would want to be treated.” — Hello Neighbor founder and CEO Sloane Davidson.
🖊️ Pittsburgh’s city council and school board district lines will be redrawn later this month using 2020 census data. Volunteers within the reapportionment committees will separate the city into nine sections that evenly distributes Pittsburgh’s population, as well as ensures minority representation in local government. (TribLIVE)
💵 Pittsburgh is receiving $50 million to invest in development in low-income neighborhoods through the New Market Tax Credits program. The program is meant to help fill funding gaps, and officials from the Urban Redevelopment Authority say that it will help revitalize communities by creating permanent jobs and improving access to food and health care. (90.5 WESA)
- Speaking of more funding, Pittsburgh potholes were just put on notice. By using $19 million of the $335 million in allocated funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, the city will be able to pave 120 more streets than previously planned this year. (TribLIVE)
❓The Delta Foundation is attempting to trademark the term “Pittsburgh Pride.” Days after voting to dissolve the organization back in August 2020, Delta Foundation filed an application to trademark both the aforementioned and “Pittsburgh Pridefest.” Whether the former LGBTQ organization is active or is looking to play a future role is still TBD, as the intention behind the patent applications is unknown — the reporter's requests for comment were not returned. (Pittsburgh City Paper)
4 things to make you smile
✨ Art is bringing steel mills back to life. Six local artists are sprucing up Carrie Blast Furnaces in the latest Alloy Pittsburgh exhibit. The featured artists each served a three-month residency in a neighboring community organization. It can be viewed on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through September 26 as part of River of Steel’s weekly site-wide tours. (90.5 WESA)
- Quotable: “Interactions with community members would somehow find their way either to inspiring the installations and information what went into them, [or contributing in some cases to what went into them.” — Chris McGinnis, director of arts for Rivers of Steel.
📖 Dig into this history of Dippy the Dinosaur. Everyone knows Dippy, the statue outside of the museum and public library, but what about its namesake, Diplodocus carnegii? And Dippy's complicated and dramatic history before it became the mascot of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh? Author Tom Rea details that history in Bone Wars: The Excavation and Celebrity of Andrew Carnegie’s Dinosaur, and a special 20th anniversary edition will be released Sept. 14. (Pittsburgh City Paper)
🎢 The Phantom’s Revenge is getting a fresh coat of paint, and you can help Kennywood decide on the color. Follow this link to cast your vote for Petrifying Purple or Terrifying Teal by the end of day today. (@kennywoodpark on Instagram)
📸 Proper Nouns exhibit by Justin Boyd is an inside look at the life and career of the late Pittsburgh-born rapper, Mac Miller. The exhibit, featuring moments from Mac Miller’s life as well as photographs during the pandemic, is on display at Bankrupt Bodega, a photo gallery in Bloomfield that sells unique clothing, old school 35mm cameras, and develops old film. (Pittsburgh City Paper)
🎉 We’ve got winners!
Congrats to Lynn F., Shae D., Sandra M., Krista M., Angela J., Michelle H., Helen S., Andre R., Populo M., John U., Kathleen H., Emily P., Mikiko Y., Tom M., and Rebecca M. for winning a pair of tickets to the Original Pittsburgh Taco Festival this weekend.
🌮 Join them and nom on tacos from over 25 food trucks, live music and local street vendors. Get your tickets and check out the whole lineup here.