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City Paper Podcast: Dirty Gertie the Poor Polluted Birdie

A look back at Pittsburgh's polluted past

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Remember when Pittsburgh was so smoggy that you couldn't see the skyline? OK, maybe you don't, but some people who do are celebrating their 45th anniversary of being air-pollution watchdogs in our city.

The Group Against Smog and Pollution, or GASP, is having its birthday bash at the National Aviary on Sept. 30. Why there? Because the group's mascot from the late '60s to the early '70s was "Dirty Gertie the Poor Polluted Birdie," and it's doing a throwback.

Freelance contributor Ashley Murray sat down with GASP executive director Rachel Filippini and lifelong board member Walter Goldburg to talk about what Pittsburgh looked and smelled like "back then" and what still needs to be done today ... and, they listened to some audio of those great old PSAs from GASP's 1970s days.


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