Good morning, friends of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: City workers on Wednesday evicted more than two dozen homeless people from two encampments along Kensington Avenue as critics and decision makers debate imperfect solutions.

Then: Biden’s big infrastructure bill promises $100 million to expand broadband across Pennsylvania, where about one in five households doesn’t have a broadband internet subscription.

And: Get ready to roll up your sleeve. Again. COVID-19 booster shots will be available to more people starting in September.

— Tommy Rowan (@tommyrowan, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

City clears two homeless encampments on Kensington Avenue

About two hours after sunrise on Wednesday, city workers told more than two dozen homeless people, spread out over two encampments along Kensington Avenue, to get out.

The evicted were offered space in local shelters, services at mental-health facilities, and connections to addiction-treatment centers.

Their personal belongings were stored in plastic containers and filed away. Later, neon-vested workers dumped folding chairs, cushions, milk crates, suitcases, wooden barriers, shoes, and shelving left behind into a garbage truck. And street sweepers washed away any other remnants left by the people who made their home on the sidewalk.

Meanwhile, critics and decision makers continue to debate the effectiveness of clearing out encampments, and disagree over myriad imperfect solutions to a nuanced problem.

Read the full report from reporters Oona Goodin-Smith, Ellie Rushing, and Anna Orso.

Biden’s infrastructure bill could help rural Pennsylvanians desperate for internet

Scores of offline Pennsylvanians could get access to high-speed internet if a historic infrastructure bill is passed by Congress, bringing aid to about one in five Keystone State households that don’t have a broadband internet subscription.

The state could receive $100 million though the bill to expand broadband infrastructure in rural areas where there isn’t enough population density to provide an incentive for companies to set up the pipes and towers needed to carry the signal.

Funds could also be used to subsidize service and devices for families who have access to internet but can’t afford it, such as low-income families in Philadelphia.

Reporter Julia Terruso has the full story.

Reopening resources

What you need to know today

  • Beginning the week of Sept. 20, COVID-19 booster shots will be made available for everyone who is at least eight months out from full vaccination.

  • After 30 years of fighting court battles, New Jersey successfully preserved the largest undeveloped parcel in Cape May, and settled with developers for $19 million.

  • The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Wednesday advised priests not to assist parishioners in seeking religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

  • On Tuesday, some prominent community activists called on Mayor Jim Kenney to ask the state to send in the National Guard to aid Philadelphia law enforcement, which is in the throes of a gun-violence crisis. On Wednesday, Kenney firmly rejected the request.

  • Yardley Police Chief Joseph Kelly was shot in the hand and ear Wednesday afternoon after responding to a reported standoff.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Correction, @t.do___: when the temperature drops, the magic starts.

Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.

That's interesting

🍽️ Scrapple can be controversial, but it doesn’t need to be. Here’s where to get the best scrapple in Philly.

🥩 Marc Vetri will open an Italian steak house on the Main Line after Enoteca Tredici closes.

⚾ Is Phillies’ Zack Wheeler the NL Cy Young favorite? Let’s size up the rest of the field.

📺 Comcast and ViacomCBS team up to launch a new streaming service in Europe.

Opinions

“We will see in the coming days if America is truly a democracy. And it won’t be measured by our ability to convince groups like the Taliban to adopt our political philosophies. It won’t rest on our ability to airlift desperate people out of Kabul. It won’t be tied to our willingness to frankly assess our missteps during America’s sloppy exit from Afghanistan,” writes columnist Solomon Jones, asking how American leaders thought they could build a strong democracy in Afghanistan when they don’t have one at home?

  • Academics Sheldon H. Jacobson and Janet Jokela offer two steps that colleges should take in order to reopen safely this month, which includes surveillance testing, despite those who call it superfluous.

  • If Congress passes the Tobacco Tax Equity Act, doubling the federal tax on all tobacco products, writes Bishop Benjamin D. Fisher, it would wreak havoc on local communities and make it difficult for President Joe Biden’s administration to live up to its promises.

What we're reading

  • For more than 150 years, Coney Island has been a beloved summer refuge for New Yorkers looking to escape the heat, writes the New York Times, and eat the season’s best snacks. Namely, Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, and their eternal charm.

  • The name Alexa, now synonymous with Amazon’s virtual assistant AI technology, is becoming obsolete as the multinational company’s technology becomes ubiquitous: New parents are crossing the name off their lists, according to the Atlantic.

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