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🐋 A whale's worth of recycled Christmas trees

Plus, here's your chance to write this newsletter.

Hello, and welcome to Tuesday.

This is my last week at the helm of The Incline. I'm moving on to a new opportunity and asking for your help with my sendoff. What do I have in mind? If you or someone you know would make a great director of this local media site, tell us. 

We're looking for someone who's energetic, creative, community-minded, and ready to take this Incline to new heights.

Here's more on the role and how to apply

And here's what else we have for you today: Fetterman's running, vaccine blindspots, artsy crosswalks, best donuts, tons of trees, and a Q&A with a real-life Incline Insider.

What Pittsburgh is talking about

📍 North Side. | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @1wheelken

4 things to know today

📊 COVID-19 vaccine providers aren't recording the race and ethnicity of recipients as required in Pennsylvania. The cost? Big gaps in the kind of data used to pinpoint where more vaccines are needed and how best to protect the commonwealth's most vulnerable communities. The Post-Gazette has the story.

🌈 Seventeen people will be appointed to Pittsburgh’s first-ever LGBTQIA+ Commission today. The commission will advise city government "on plans and policy recommendations to address challenges facing the LGBTQIA+ community." Appointments will be made by Mayor Bill Peduto. 90.5 WESA has the list.

➡️ John Fetterman is officially running for U.S. Senate. The lieutenant governor and former mayor of Braddock launched his 2022 campaign for outgoing Republican Senator Pat Toomey's seat yesterday. But he's not the only Democrat eyeing the post. Politico has an early look at the field.

✏️ A plan to chip away at Pittsburgh Public Schools' budget deficit by closing six school buildings was met with outrage last week and quickly tabled. But the district's budget deficit remains very real. City Paper has a look at the options.

4 things to make you smile 

📸 That Bernie Sanders-mittens meme was made into a life-size yard sign by the folks at Commonwealth Press. Taking a cue from the senator himself, the proceeds were donated to local charities. City Paper has more.

🎿 Pittsburgh TV news veteran Susan Koeppen is now a ski instructor at Seven Springs. Let go by ViacomCBS last year, Koeppen is finding her groove on the slopes by helping others find their footing. The Post-Gazette has the story.

🎨 Millvale's artsy crosswalks are nearly all "sly references" to the small businesses nearby. Pittsburgh Orbit has a handy guide.  

🍩 The best donuts in all of Pennsylvania? Food and Wine magazine says you can find them at Oram’s Donut Shop in Beaver Falls.

Meet our Incline members: Caedyn Busche

Incline Insider Caedyn Busche in Phipps' Butterfly Room pre-COVID. (📸: Courtesy of Caedyn Busche)

Supporting members (aka Incline Insiders) make what we do possible, so we like to put them in the spotlight when we can. Today we’re introducing you to Incline Insider Caedyn Busche, of Squirrel Hill South, with a quick Q&A:

Where in town might people run into you?

When I'm not in my office at CMU, my go-to hangout spot outside of COVID times is Dobra Tea or 61C Cafe up on Murray. You can usually find me up in the business district of Squirrel Hill, down on the North Side amongst all of the museums and art spaces, or at any of the surrounding area farmers markets and cultural festivals.

What made you decide to become a member of The Incline?

I love supporting local journalism, especially (an outlet) as inclusive as The Incline. Plus I always prefer my news with a little less dread and a little more sarcasm.

What’s something you’re working on — in big ways or small — that you could use help with?

I am currently trying to get some consulting side gigs off the ground that are centered around career coaching and finding jobs that people can be themselves in. I'm really passionate about feeling like the work that one is doing is not only helping yourself grow, but helping others around you grow as well.

What local business do you think deserves a shoutout (and why)?

Pip and Lola's Barely-Scented Soap is my absolute favorite local business. Not only are their soaps and body products incredibly well-made and ethically sourced, but the owners are wonderful human beings and care so much for the community!

What’s a local event you went to recently that you loved?

I recently attended a panel discussion entitled "Museums Are Not Neutral: A Conversation on Gender, Power, and Privilege" put on by The Frick and was so excited to hear about all the progress that local museums are enacting to raise awareness around the social justice-aligned aspects of museums and institutions of learning. As someone who regularly works with museums of all types, it's exciting to see these entities talking about important subjects like gender, race, and socioeconomic inequality.

What’s a recent story you’ve read about Pittsburgh that you wish more people cared about (and why)?

COVID cases have been exploding in Pittsburgh recently because people are getting sick and tired of being cooped up inside and having to practice a ton of diligence. I want my fellow yinzers to realize that right now, it's so important to take strong mitigation efforts to protect yourself and your neighbors. Wear a mask, wash your hands, get tested regularly, get the vaccine when you can, and stay healthy for your loved ones' sakes.

What are you celebrating in your life right now?

I've recently taken up the #100DayProject, where I've committed myself to doing one creative thing a day, whether that be painting, writing, or baking something new. That excitement and desire to keep learning is still going strong, and I'm proud of myself for keeping up with a new habit.

Want your turn in the spotlight? Want to plug a project you're working on in front of the 14,000 people who receive this newsletter? Become an Incline member today and we'll send you a handy little form with questions like these. You'll also get special perks like bonus/exclusive content in the newsletter. 

Things to do 

Submit your events to our calendar.


🙏 Relax your body and mind at home with this 30-minute gentle yoga class from the Carnegie Museum of Art — multiple dates (Online)


🚲 Sneak a peek at BikePGH's new Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit with a lunch-and-learn from the pedestrian and cyclist advocacy group (Online)

🍷 Pair wine with professional dating advice at this virtual soiree (Online)


🐦 Hear all about the National Aviary's work to protect endangered birds on the island of Guam (Online)


🌳 Raise funds for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy by raising a glass with help from Threadbare Cider House (Online)


➡️ Go inside Sojourner Truth's journey to becoming an abolitionist and women's rights activist with this theatrical performance about her life — multiple dates (Online)


🎵 Celebrate Valentine's Day with "Songs from the Heart: A Valentine from Pittsburgh Opera" (Online)


🍺 Go "behind the beer" with this peek inside Penn Brewery during this Doors Open Pittsburgh event (Online)

Tuesday, Feb. 16

🔬 Hear from Dr. J’Tia Hart, nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory, in this Carnegie Science Center Career Connections chat (Online)

One more thing ....

What happens to a Pittsburgh Christmas tree once the holiday is over? If it's recycled at one of the city's designated sites, it becomes free mulch. 

This year, recycled trees made 38.15 tons of wood chippings (that's an entire gray whale's worth), which will be made available to the public for pickup in early spring. Follow Pittsburgh's Department of Public Works on Twitter for details when they're announced.

And thanks for reading to the bottom. We'll see you back here tomorrow. 

Copyright © 2021 The Incline, All rights reserved.
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