👟 ‘In the name of the Allegheny, the Monongahela, and the holy Ohio … ’
Plus, Pittsburgh as linear art
Hello and welcome to Thursday.
We start today with a big thank you to everyone who came to last night's Incline Insider meetup. We laughed, we gamed, we cooked latkes, we talked about the snow. It was like a normal Zoom call, only enjoyable.
Anyway, if you want in on events like these, keep scrolling for more on how to join.
And keep scrolling for stories like these: Municipal money moves, introducing the United Museum Workers, Marines vs. Proud Boys in Brentwood, and the drive-thru holiday display of your dreams.
What Pittsburgh is talking about
Simply beautiful. | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @lewisatlarge)
4 things to know today
💵 It's not just the Mon-Oakland Connector project … City Council also moved this week to move millions of public dollars away from another contentious item: The city's policing budget. Council approved a reallocation of roughly $5 million in public safety funds to boost a new Stop the Violence initiative. The amount is nowhere near as large as defund-the-police advocates wanted (just a tenth, in fact), but Hill District Councilman Danielle Lavelle said “This is council doing all we can.” Budget manager Michael Strelic said the shift will not result in police personnel cuts. For more on this move and a similar one involving the contested Mon-Oakland Connector transit project, read this Pittsburgh City Paper roundup.
🗳 Carnegie Museum employees are forming a union. Employees of the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Science Center, and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History voted to become part of a 500-member United Steelworkers unit called the United Museum Workers. The vote comes after months of organizing spurred by health and safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic and joins similar efforts at museums around the country. The Post-Gazette has more on the undertaking here. Wondering how museum workers wound up joining a steelworkers union? We wrote a few years back about the push to diversify USW ranks in a changing economic landscape. Read that piece here.
🚫 The Proud Boys didn't hold an unsanctioned Toys For Tots drive in Brentwood this week, but they tried, the Marine Corps Times reports. The far-right extremist group teamed up with The Crack’d Egg — a diner best know these days for its flouting of COVID-19 rules. The restaurant's owner said she didn't realize the Proud Boys were involved and pulled the promotion once she found out. Toys for Tots was started by a Marine reservist in 1947 and is operated by the United States Marine Corps Reserve to this day. Here's the full story.
🔒 Speaking of restaurants defying COVID-19 rules ... Days after Gov. Tom Wolf announced new restrictions meant to curb surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations — citing strong correlations between dine-in service and viral spread, some restaurants across the commonwealth are either openly or covertly defying the edict. Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine on Monday urged businesses to comply and consumers to avoid those that won't. In Braddock, the owner of Portogallo Peppers N’At — an incendiary critic of the Wolf administration and its mitigation efforts — is suing the borough and its mayor, claiming defamation and targeted enforcement of earlier COVID-19 rules. TribLIVE has that story here.
4 things to make you smile
❓ A great question from the Twitter timeline: "If we’re talking about hitting every single green light, which one makes you feel the most alive? Fifth or Forbes?" Find out how folks answered here.
🎄 Overly’s Country Christmas at Westmoreland Fairgrounds is always a holiday wonderland, but it's a drive-thru light display for the first time in 30 years this season. Very Local Pittsburgh has your roadmap here.
💛 “In the name of the Allegheny, the Monongahela, and the holy Ohio, amen." Pittsburgh author and artist Paola Corso explains the mantra in a City Paper article about her new tribute to Pittsburgh's public stairways. Find the article here.
🌳 We know what North Park is getting for the holidays: 20 undeveloped acres in Hampton. The Post-Gazette has more on the Allegheny Land Trust donation here.
➡️ Become an Incline Insider for half-off
It’s been an exceptionally tough year for local journalism in an already difficult time for the industry. Our one-person team (👋 it’s me, Colin) persevered to bring you the local news — everything from mail-in voting guides to regular COVID-19 updates — at a time when accurate, trustworthy information has never been so important.
But as we approach the new year and look at our budget for 2021, we need your help to keep The Incline around for the long haul.
If our newsletter informs, entertains, and maybe even makes you smile, please join us as an Incline Insider (enter code HALFOFF for a big discount).
We're making a list … and living vicariously through it.
We recently asked our Instagram friends to tell us what they're looking forward to doing in Pittsburgh in the new year.
They responded with hugs, indoor dining, getting vaccinated, tire swinging into the Allegheny, and more.
And we want to hear from you as well. Reply to this email and let us know what you're looking forward to in 2021. We're counting down the days — and we’ll be sharing the full round-up on New Year’s Eve.
Things to do
🎊 Join a day-long birthday bash for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy on their social media channels — @pittsburghparks on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok (Online)
🔌 Let Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo host you for a salute to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with fan-favorite clips, their favorite memories of making it, and live answers to your questions (Online)
🎊 Enjoy the magic and excitement of the season with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Tapestry of Light: A Holiday Celebration (Online)
🎤 Check in with the latest installment of 1Hood Media's Power Hour, a virtual forum to discuss all things political in Pittsburgh and beyond (Online)
One more thing ....
There is something so soothing about this linear art featuring Downtown Pittsburgh. It would make a great neon sign, and we think a Kickstarter campaign may be in order.
Thanks for reading to the bottom. We'll see you tomorrow.