CHRISTMAS brings out the best in people and many acts of kindness have occurred in Western Pennsylvania in recent days — but none as unusual as Braddock Mayor John Fetterman and the community’s Free Store giving away free Legos. Kids In Distressed Situations, an international charity based in New York, donated the Legos to Free Store. Some 7,500 sets, which were from the Legends of Chima series, were distributed from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve. In his Santa-like role, Mr. Fetterman wore shorts, boots and a jacket but no hat in the 20-degree air. If only Legos could be used to construct another Braddock hospital, which closed there in 2010.
IT IS A POPULAR misconception but Penguins do not live at the North Pole, a sadness to Santa Claus. Penguins are mostly denizens of Antarctica and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere, but Pittsburgh has some — and not all play hockey. As it happens, the Pittsburgh population of penguins recently rose by two. A pair of African penguin chicks made their first public appearance Thursday at the National Aviary on the North Side, a post-Christmas treat for visitors. African penguins, native to the rocky shorelines of South Africa and Namibia, are an endangered species. The penguins are expected to add 10 percent of their body weight every day and be fully grown in less than three months, so people better waddle over soon to see them at peak juvenile cuteness. Waddling comes easily to humans and penguins alike after big holiday meals.
PENGUINS like fish and Pittsburghers like fish, too, especially in sandwiches. The place for those is Wholey’s Fish Market, identified in the Strip District by a big red sign in the shape of a lighted fish. While Wholey’s is staying in business, the building with the sign is being turned into an apartment complex, so the sign has to go. But where? Wholey’s and Mayor-elect Bill Peduto are seeking Pittsburghers’ suggestions (they can be left at the store or mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org). Perhaps the county police need the iconic sign (they investigate things that are fishy). Maybe the National Aviary needs the sign (to make the penguins happy). Possibly Braddock needs the sign (unusual events happen there). When it comes to the fish sign, the world is our oyster.