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SPRING FINALLY seemed to have sprung last week with various certain signs — April showers, sunny days, outdoor restaurant tables filled in Market Square, and among the most significant was the reappearance of the Pirates in PNC Park. The boys-of-summer-come-early made a good start to their new season, winning Monday’s home opener with a walk-off home run by Pittsburgh area native Neil Walker in the 10th inning against the Chicago Cubs. But the next day was also remarkable: The Buccos won that game in the 16th inning after 5 hours and 55 minutes of play, making it the longest baseball game ever played in Pittsburgh. To the Cubs it must have seemed longer than winter.

THE OLD NONSENSE poem that goes “Spring is sprung, the grass is ris. I wonder where the birdies is” made even less sense in Pittsburgh last week. The grass hasn’t ris yet and everybody knew the location of the only birds that mattered — the nesting bald eagles on a cliff above Hays on the South Side. Indeed, eagle watching via live video has become a local craze. When a third chick hatched at 2:49 p.m. Wednesday, some 14,500 viewers here and around the world were tuning in. What’s a bird got to do to get a little privacy? Be on the wing, but for the three chicks that is still some time away.

IT’S TIME for spring cleaning — and it’s more than a seasonal rite, it’s a prudent safety measure, as firefighters can confirm. As the Post-Gazette’s Molly Born reported last Monday, hoarding can be a real hazard in homes. Firefighters had to crawl over piles of books, newspapers and boxes to fight a recent blaze in Homestead and one of the firefighters suffered an electrical shock that might have been avoided if the stairwell had not been blocked. Moral of the story: Be eagle-eyed for clutter and keep your nest clean.

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