Hello, avid readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.
First: Some antiviolence activists question new Philly efforts that they say are strikingly similar to discontinued initiatives.
Then: Interviews with doctors and nurses around the region revealed a sense of relief over a waning pandemic leavened by fears that the virus could surge again.
And: Family and friends remember a Ventnor couple who died in the Surfside condo collapse.
P.S. Tropical Storm Elsa is likely to affect the Philly region later in the week. But first, another hot spell and maybe strong storms.
— Olayemi Falodun (email@example.com)
Some activists said several aspects of Mayor Jim Kenney’s plan to invest in community-based antiviolence strategies resemble initiatives that were in place as recently as 2015 but fell out of favor.
Since then, the city’s homicide rate climbed steadily before exploding in 2020 and 2021, and the average number of people shot per day now is nearly double what it was just six years ago.
Some people involved in past antiviolence efforts here are questioning why it seemed to take a startling amount of bloodshed for the city to pledge renewed focus and resources toward strategies outside of traditional policing that call for empowering community groups, addressing young people who might be at risk, and seeking to engage potential gunmen or victims by offering access to social services.
Reporter Chris Palmer has the story on the similar tactics with different names.
In the rush to tackle a new and frightening virus, health-care workers were buoyed by urgency and a sense of shared purpose.
But its easing has left them with time to reflect on the death and sickness they witnessed, the anxieties of long hours and insufficient safety protections. Now they wonder whether COVID-19 is truly in retreat.
It remains unclear what the lasting impact of 2020 and the early months of this year will be on doctors and nurses, a former trauma surgeon said. “This is going to affect people for quite some time, almost along the lines of a 9/11.”
Reporter Jason Laughlin writes about the health-care workers coping with burnout and a fractured community.
What you need to know today
Rescue workers discovered the bodies of Ventnor couple David and Bonnie Epstein in the Surfside condo collapse. “They were just the absolute coolest,” Jonathan Epstein said, remembering his parents. “I feel so grateful to be their son.”
After years of neglect, volunteers are helping to uncover hundreds of graves at a historic cemetery for Black veterans and former enslaved people.
The Pennsylvania State Police force is overwhelmingly white, and officials offer few remedies for increasing racial diversity.
Pa. lawmakers are on summer break. Here are five issues they’ll face this fall.
Understanding the effects of voter ID laws is complicated. We waded through the research and interviewed experts to make sense of it.
A displaced family is still in search of a permanent home and answers after their neighbor destroyed their homes during a standoff with police.
A South Jersey man charged in a racist incident that went viral will remain behind bars.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
From sun up to sundown, every step counts on the way to a good day. Thanks for sharing.
Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.
👔 The suit that Rep. Andy Kim wore while cleaning up debris from the Capitol riot is headed to the Smithsonian.
🔑 A former sanitation worker driven to succeed shares the key to getting closer to her dreams.
🐔 Philly isn’t chicken when it comes to defying this law.
🥞 If you’re looking for some tasty pancakes, visit these spots.
🏀 Meet WNBA All-Star Kahleah Copper, who hails from Philadelphia.
🚌 Here’s a guide to taking the road less traveled to the Poconos.
“Awaiting trial or paying for a probation violation in jail should not be a death sentence, whether by a virus or violence,” The Inquirer Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom, writes about a solution to reform the criminal justice system.
Shipyards are integral to the economy, but they’re struggling for funding, writes Dave Galluch, a candidate for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania’s 5th District.
Schools are reopening for in-person learning again, but education scholar Nell Williams says the infrastructure spending plan needs to include crucial school repairs.
What we're reading
Your daily dose of | Unity
Northwest Philadelphia entrepreneurs Arielle and Robert Ashford are extending their “Unity” brand and growing their geographic footprint with a new Tex-Mex taqueria and a coffee shop in Roxborough.
The couple, both of whom are in long-term recovery from substance use disorder, also are staying true to the mission of the Unity Yoga studio and the Unity Recovery community services center they opened in neighboring Manayunk in 2019. Last year, they established a second Unity Yoga in Chestnut Hill.