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The high cost of Ida’s destruction | Morning Newsletter

And, how educators teach 9/11 to young people.

    The Morning Newsletter

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Good morning, good people. You’re reading The Inquirer Morning Newsletter, catching you up on all the news that’s fit to email. Today we inspect early financial estimates of Ida’s destruction, look at educators tasked with teaching young people about 9/11, and dive into the rehabilitation of a historic cemetery.

We’d love to know what you think. Send a reply to this email, and let’s start a conversation.

— Tommy Rowan (@tommyrowan,

The early estimates are in.

And according to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the remnants of Hurricane Ida left more than $100 million in public infrastructure damage across the state.

As of late Tuesday, the agency reported that nearly 400 homes in the southeastern part of the state suffered major damage, or were destroyed, and at least another 400 suffered minor damage.

The early approximations come as teams from PEMA and FEMA continue their damage assessment in the region, a week after Ida’s heavy rains, severe flooding, and multiple tornadoes displaced hundreds of residents in Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties, specifically.

Reporters Justine McDaniel, Julia Terruso, Erin McCarthy, Oona Goodin-Smith and Laura McCrystal have the full report.

It’s unbelievable when you realize it (or it just reminds you that you’re not as young as you used to be), but it’s true: There are kids today who have no memory of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The most horrific attack next to Pearl Harbor that unfolded on U.S. soil will have occurred 20 years ago this Saturday.

At the same time, the way the country has come to understand what happened and why has matured in the last two decades.

Four Inquirer reporters talked to educators around the region about how they teach about that tragic day, how their teaching strategies may have evolved, what they do to bridge it to the now, and the one thing you need to get a reaction (hint: connection).

Here is the full story, from reporters Kristen A. Graham, Melanie Burney, Maddie Hanna, and Susan Snyder.

  1. What happened on United Flight 93? Follow this interactive timeline from Patricia Madej and Sam Morris for the whole story.

  2. I (Tommy Rowan) spoke with L.A.-based architect Paul Murdoch yesterday for an Inquirer Live interview. We discussed Murdoch’s vision for his design of the Tower of Voices portion of the Flight 93 memorial, and how his Philly roots have influenced his work.

Reopening resources

  1. Here’s our latest list of restaurants, large performance venues, universities, and gyms in the Philly region where you need to show proof of vaccination.

  2. Should you laminate your vaccination card? What if you lose it? Here are the dos and don’ts.

  3. Here’s what you need to know about medical exemptions.

  4. It could be time to upgrade your face gear. Which masks work best?

What you need to know today

  1. Mt. Vernon Cemetery, once a magnificent cemetery across from Laurel Hill, home to the Barrymore family and 19th-century beer barons, has reverted to an urban jungle in recent years under the stewardship of a neglectful owner who lives in Washington. But a local group has gone to court to wrest control away from the D.C. attorney, and put the cemetery in the hands of a local conservator.

  2. Pennsylvania agreed to pay the family of Tyrone Briggs $8.5 million and change its rules around the use of pepper spray, in response to a lawsuit filed after Briggs died of an asthma attack when he was sprayed and then denied treatment, telling staff, “I can’t breathe.”

  3. Hunger increased “significantly” for children, Blacks, and Latinos during the pandemic year of 2020, according to a new report.

  4. A Bucks County man bilked $300,000 from the Veterans Administration, claiming he was a decorated Navy SEAL. Now he’s off to prison.

  5. On the second day of Pennsylvania’s mandatory school masking order, Gov. Tom Wolf and Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, traveled to Hancock Elementary to emphasize what they say it will take to keep children in classrooms all school year. Hint: masks and vaccines.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Nailed it,

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

🍽️Kalaya Thai Kitchen, the James Beard-nominated Thai BYOB in South Philadelphia, plans to open a second location in summer 2022 in Fishtown.

🦅Brian Dawkins seemed invincible with the Eagles, writes columnist Mike Sielski, but he shows another side in his new book.

🖼️For the weekend planners, check out our insider’s guide to the 22 essential Philadelphia museums.

👑The African American Museum in Philadelphia has picked a new leader, Ashley Jordan, after a yearlong search.


“Even before this nightmare in Texas, 2021 was already the worst year for abortion rights in history. A record-high number of abortion restrictions advanced through state legislatures by July. This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case anticipated to further undermine, if not overturn, Roe v. Wade. Will a Texas-style law come to Pennsylvania? The appetite is there,” writes Tara Murtha and Susan J. Frietsche of the Women’s Law Project, arguing that a governor’s veto pen is the only thing standing between Pennsylvania and Texas-style abortion laws.

  1. While a lot of attention has recently gone to the difficulties in the United States’ departure from Afghanistan, this should not affect how we treat the refugees, writes retired Army Lt. Col. Daniel Vinsand, who served for 24 years, including two deployments to Afghanistan.

  2. Mike Danay, a dealer at a Pennsylvania casino, demands that state legislators finally close a loophole that forces casino workers to breathe harmful secondhand smoke while on the job.

What we're reading

  1. Billy Penn reports that a small group of Philly rollerbladers turned a a freshly constructed roundabout in Fishtown into a full-blown roller disco. Gotta love it.

  2. In rural areas of Afghanistan, life under the U.S.-led coalition and its Afghan allies became pure hazard. The endless killing of civilians turned women against the occupiers who claimed to be helping them, writes the New Yorker.

  3. As the pandemic drags on, more people are starting and leaving new jobs without once seeing their colleagues face-to-face, leading to an easy-come, easy-go attitude toward workplaces, writes the New York Times.

Photo of the Day

Way to represent, Coach. ... I mean “Nick.”