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Inside Pittsburgh (Aug 16th, 2019)

Hey Inside Pittsburgh readers,

We made it to the weekend. Hooray!

So, most of you hopefully follow me on Twitter for my amazing takes on all things Pittsburgh and other things. (If not, give a follow.) But we’re branching out at Inside.com and giving each newsletter some Twitter love, so go on and give @InsidePgh a follow for, you guessed it, all things Pittsburgh.

I'm looking for your help at curating a list of the best people to follow on Twitter, and I’m calling it the Best of the ‘Burgh. Subscribe, suggest and interact!

Also, I started a mini war on Pittsburgh Twitter this morning. Take a look at item No. 6 and give me your feedback.

– Bobby

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1. A 13-story building in Oakland was questioned Thursday during a city zoning board hearing. Wexford Science + Technology is proposing the structure along Forbes Avenue. But some residents and community groups say the building is too tall for the neighborhood. The developer wants a variance to increase the building’s height to 188.6 feet – the max height permitted us 128 feet. A proposal for the building includes first-floor retail, nine floors of office and lab space and three floors for parking. “This site just seems not to be the appropriate site,” Oakland Planning and Development Corp. Director Wanda Wilson said. Hilton Garden Inn owners and the Oakland Business Improvement District testified in support of the project. – PG

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2. All hope seems lost for the return of amphibious tour boats in Pittsburgh as the Just Ducky Tours company plans to liquidate its equipment next month. An online auction is set for Sept. 23-25 for eight vessels, one trolley and a slew of other related assets. The company began operations in 1997. You probably recall seeing the tour boats on city streets, where guides would occasionally encourage passengers to “quack quack quack” at pedestrians. Tours ended last year following a fatal duck boat incident that killed 17 people in Missouri. – KDKA

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3. Two days after a gunman shot six Philadelphia police officers, Gov. Wolf signed an executive order on Friday setting up the Office of Gun Violence Prevention. State police and other agencies have been directed with addressing gun violence. He also directed the new Special Council on Gun Violence to recommend ways to decrease the number of mass shootings and other gun-related violent acts. The special council has six months to make recommendations. – WTAE

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4. Sit down for this one, Pittsburghers: CCAC is offering a class to help people get rid of their Pittsburgh accent. The class is taught by Marilyn Caye, who grew up in Perry Hilltop. After moving to California, Caye said she discovered that she still spoke like a Pittsburgher (I’m assuming the ‘n at and git aht type of words we tend to use). It’s not the first time she taught the class at CCAC – the class lasted three years in the ‘90s before ending. Part of the description says students will learn to “subdue your Pittsburghese.” For those of yinz who want to ditch your accent, here’s the link to register for the two-session course. – TRIBUNE-REVIEW

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5. GIT AHT: Here’s a look at some events you should check out over the next several days:

  • National Thrift Store Day Celebration: Thriftique Pittsburgh and Designer Days are hosting a celebration in honor of the day that includes “old-school” picnic food, raffles, games and more. It’s from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 17 at 125 51 St. in the Strip.
  • Little Italy Days: This annual event continues through Aug. 18 in Bloomfield. And it has caused some controversy because some say it lacks a celebration of Italian heritage in Pittsburgh’s Italian neighborhood.
  • Woodstock Night at the History Center: Heinz History Center marks 50 years since Woodstock rocked America with 1960s music, specialty cocktails, activities, and (of course) a whole lot of tie dye. There will be special activities for kids. The event is 6-9 p.m. Aug. 22. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children.
  • The Ultimate Liver Function: This day-long music festival to raise awareness and funds for liver health organizations includes food trucks, Millie’s Ice Cream, legendary musicians like Mike Vale (of Tommy James & The Shondells), The Marcels and – no Pittsburgh event is complete without – Johnny Angel and the Halos. The event will be held at the Roxian Theatre in McKees Rocks from 2 to 11 p.m. Aug. 24. Tickets are $50 each.
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6. With one tweet, I struck a nerve among Pittsburgh pizza joint enthusiasts on Friday, suggesting that slices in and around the Steel City leave much to be desired. Some folks agreed, some folks didn’t. I learned that Pittsburgh apparently has the second highest pizzeria density (Orlando apparently ranks higher). Here in the ‘Burgh, there apparently is 10 pizza shops per 10,000 people. Dan Tallarico, who dubs himself the pizza journalist (and for good reason), seemed to agree with my take.

What's your take: Think Pittsburgh pizza stands out or could be better? Hit me up on Twitter or reply to this newsletter.

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7. InstaBurgh: @themralex notes that it’s the calm before the storm in Oakland as a new class of freshmen are about to move in.

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Bobby Cherry is a senior editor at Inside.com. Follow his love of all things Pittsburgh and more on Twitter and Instagram.

Editing team: Inside Managing Editor and Pittsburgh-based freelance journalist Kim Lyons and David Stegon, senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology.

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