Plus, some of the best bagels in America are right here in Pittsburgh.
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🌊 Raising hell over hellbenders

Plus, some of the best bagels in America are right here in Pittsburgh.

Welcome to Wednesday.

What are you reading these days? (Besides this newsletter, of course.) We’re reading about how the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is commemorating its 125th anniversary with its new library cards designed by local artists Takara Canty, Cue Perry, D.S. Kinsel, and Janel Young. The cards were inspired by the question: “What does ‘Free to the People’ mean to you?”

Speaking of free to the people, your library card is a free tool to unlock a lot of cool resources. From our archives, here are some library hacks to bookmark. And if you’re looking for something to read, we got tips from a local librarian on 13 books to read during the pandemic — several with a Pittsburgh twist.

Now onto today’s reading of the news: Rough waters for Pennsylvania’s state amphibian, putt putt for socially distant fun, a Pittsburgh bagel shop’s national attention, and a vacant lot raising flowers and community awareness.

What Pittsburgh is talking about

Soon, all those trees will be green. | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @crazycitylady)

4 things to know today

🏦 Pennsylvania is set to receive about $13 billion from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package, and $5.7 billion of that sum will go to local governments. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s Department of Education is asking for more money to help school districts bounce back from pandemic challenges. (Associated Press / 90.5 WESA)

➡️ Related: Here’s how you can calculate how much you’ll receive for the third stimulus check. (TribLIVE)

🐟 Conservation groups are fighting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision not to protect Pennsylvania’s state amphibian, the eastern hellbender salamander. “Nearly 80% of hellbender populations have already been lost or are in decline due to agricultural and industrial water pollution, habitat destruction, sedimentation, warming waters, dams and other impoundments, and climate change,” a release from the Center for Biological Diversity said. (WPXI

The city’s first pop-up mini golf course will open tomorrow on Oakland Avenue. Set up by the Pittsburgh Innovation District, the nine-hole course welcomes (socially distanced) putters. Players will receive $5 discounts at nearby shops and restaurants. (TribLIVE)

🎨 Local artist Shikeith tells a story of the Black, queer experience in the aftermath of slavery in Feeling The Spirit In The Dark, an installation at the Mattress Factory. (90.5 WESA)

4 things to make you smile

🏆 This calls for a toast, literally! Food & Wine Magazine named Squirrel Hill’s Pigeon Bagels one of the best in America. (Food & Wine Magazine)

♻️ From hand-me-down to hand-made, local bowtie company Knotzland led by Nisha Blackwell upcycles old fabric with style. (The Verge)

📖 She puts the “City” in City Books. Arlan Hess, the owner of Pittsburgh’s oldest used book store, is raising money and collecting donations to put books in the hands of children at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center in Lincoln-Lemington. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🌸 Planting for change, Burghblooms’s micro flower farm in Larimer spreads beauty while also advocating for social justice. (Pittsburgh Magazine)

Get in on the fun

How’s your yinzer knowledge?

Why not put it to the test by becoming a member? Today our members are getting an exclusive round of I Spy in their newsletters. Join us as an Incline Insider and get access to members-only content right here in your morning newsletter.

Ready to join? Come spy with us.


➡️ Tune in for a discussion of mental health strategies for cancer survivors and their loved ones with Pittsburgh's Cancer Caring Center (Online)

🤖 Join in on an in-depth panel discussion with Pittsburgh’s leading experts in robotics (Online)


🐸 Bring the sounds of spring into your home on this live virtual hike with a naturalist where you'll visit a wetland to experience amphibians on their annual return to their breeding grounds (Frick Park)

🇫🇷 Master the art of French cooking in this series with Phipps Conservatory taught by Chef Emily Larsen — three-part series (Online)


🇮🇪 Feel the music of some classic Irish tunes with the Pittsburgh Irish Festival's performance featuring Shane Hennessy (Online)

☘️ Grab a green outfit and get ready for the Shamrock Shindig, featuring Irish beer, Irish music, dancing, and demos to support local businesses (Online)


🇮🇹 Journey to Rome — from the comfort of your own home — in this virtual tour with Pittsburgh's Istituto Mondo Italiano (Online)

📜 Learn about the life of William Trent, one of the founding fathers of Pittsburgh, with a local re-enactor and author (Online)

🦁 Join the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium's veterinarian, Dr. Alicia Hahn, as she shares her story during "A Day in the Life" (Online)


☘️ Try your luck at a St. Patrick's edition of trivia night with the Group Against Smog and Pollution (Online)


⚖️ Be inspired by dramatic readings of the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's most monumental opinions and arguments from today’s acclaimed feminist voices at this Women and Girls Foundation event (Online)

📜 Get nostalgic and reflect on the lost treasures of Pittsburgh with The Incline's Rossilynne Culgan, who is writing a book about local history (Online)


🗺️ Hear from the experts on redistricting, gerrymandering, and how it affects communities in Pennsylvania in this Spotlight PA event (Online)

📜 Travel 19,000 years back in time — all from the comfort of your couch — on this exploration of Meadowcroft Rockshelter (Online)

One more thing …

It’s still early March, but if you’re anything like me, you’re already in “spring cleaning” mode. I loved seeing this photo of the kiddos clearing up a street in my neighborhood this week. It’s from the Pittsburgh Street Stewards, which aims to keep our city clean and pretty by encouraging residents to “adopt a block.” Check out their Instagram to see what streets could use your help.

That’s it for today. See you back here tomorrow!

— Francesca at The Incline

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