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How development can erase Black history in Philly | Morning Newsletter

Plus, the Phillies will get to play again this weekend.

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

New Jersey officials are worried, as the state’s average number of new daily coronavirus cases hit its highest peak in a month yesterday. There’s been a “worrisome” pattern of community clusters, with many related to parties or other events, the state health commissioner said. In Pennsylvania, the seven-day average of new positive tests has not dropped or plateaued since late June.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

Alongside the mural of jazz great John Coltrane in Strawberry Mansion — the Philly neighborhood he called home more than 60 years ago — construction workers are laying the foundation for an apartment building that will cover a significant part of the mural, my colleague Jason Laughlin reports.

It’s not the first time a Coltrane mural has come and gone. The current developer has promised to donate money to replace the mural, which has been there for just three years. Its predecessor was demolished in 2014 by a developer after being created in 2002.

The fight over this mural and others can be “proxies for larger tensions over Philadelphia’s development, and questions about who cities lionize with monuments,” Laughlin writes.

Gun violence, the coronavirus, and systemic racism have led members of the Church of Christian Compassion in Cobbs Creek to lead a call for change. They’re hoping America is listening.

My colleagues Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker explore how this church community has faced a year like no other. And they’ve taken matters into their own hands.

After their roster tested negative for a second time yesterday, the Phillies were allowed to return to Citizens Bank Park. But their game scheduled for tomorrow against the Blue Jays has been postponed, meaning that the team will return to the field Saturday for a doubleheader. The Marlins, meanwhile, continued to be isolated at their Center City hotel, and have had 16 players and two coaches test positive in recent days for COVID-19. Instead of facing the Marlins again, the Phillies are expected to play the Yankees next week.

In columnist David Murphy’s view, MLB’s coronavirus chaos was “guaranteed.” As far as football is concerned, it’s up to the NFL to see if they can avoid the same fate. The Eagles’ Lane Johnson has already tested positive for the coronavirus.

The NBA will start its seeding games today with the league’s bubble being a success. No NBA players have tested positive since July 20. The Sixers tip off Saturday night.

What you need to know today

  1. Mayor Jim Kenney has selected Tumar Alexander to become the city’s acting managing director. Alexander will succeed Brian Abernathy, who plans to step down Sept. 4 after criticism of Philadelphia’s response to protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

  2. Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. pledged to make sure that the thousands of families who lacked internet access when schools first went remote this spring don’t face the same issues while the district has remote learning this fall.

  3. The Streets Department will hire 120 temporary sanitation workers for trash pickup as major delays drag on.

  4. Malik Abdul-Basit, a founding member of the Roots, known as Malik B., has died. He was 47.

  5. Philly’s top doctor said this week that “the epidemic is likely to be worse before it gets better.” Across the region, cases are rising fastest in Delaware County, which doesn’t have its own health department.

  6. My colleague Chris Palmer reported on how tensions are boiling over between Larry Krasner and bail reform advocates who accuse his office of trying to send too many people accused of crimes to jail during the pandemic.

  7. Is it possible to get the coronavirus more than once? Experts weigh in on reports of people who tested positive for COVID-19, then recovered and tested negative only to reportedly test positive again months later.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

It just feels like a perfect day for a gallery of drone photos. Thanks for sharing, @seandergen.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s interesting

  1. ⛪The future of the St. Laurentius Catholic Church in Fishtown took another turn this week with the Philadelphia Historical Commission’s architectural committee rejecting the idea of demolishing the structurally unstable, century-old building.

  2. 🖼️The Philadelphia Museum of Art revealed to its staff what its workplace assessment uncovered. In short, it “found problems and deficiencies at all levels of the hierarchy,” my colleague Stephan Salisbury writes.

  3. 🍝It’s crab gravy season in Philly. And you can make Palizzi Social Club’s crab gravy at home.

  4. 🏨The owner of a mansion in Society Hill wants to replace it with a 15-story hotel. There’s a lot of opposition, but the idea has support from some members of Philly’s historic-preservation community.

  5. ⚗️After falling down a fermentation rabbit hole, 24-year-old Jamaar Julal is creating Philly’s culture of kombucha.

  6. 🚘Uber drivers should be eligible for unemployment benefits, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled. It sets the stage for app-based gig workers to get protections they haven’t traditionally been entitled to.


“Whether high school students at Shore parties or Generation Y/young millennials hitting bars after virtual work, too many are acting as though the words discipline, sacrifice, and once-in-a-century crisis don’t apply to them.”writes columnist Maria Panaritis about the dangers of the under-30 crowd’s ignorance of social distancing.

  1. These are three factors you should consider when deciding if your child should opt for virtual learning, according to Terri Erbacher, an associate professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and school psychologist for the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.

  2. Imam Abdul-Halim Hassan and the Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler, both leaders of POWER, write about standing together against anti-Semitism, denouncing the social media post by Minister Rodney Muhammad, the leader of the NAACP in Philly.

What we’re reading

  1. 6ABC reports on the community reaction to exotic dancers demonstrating at Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia last weekend.

  2. WHYY spoke with teachers who are looking to use outdoor classrooms when in-person teaching resumes.

  3. Due to the coronavirus, the U.S. population’s growth rate might be its lowest in a century, the Atlantic reports.

Your Daily Dose of | River Hot Dog Man

On the shallow, non-tidal stretch of the Delaware River north of Trenton, Greg Crance is known for the free meals he provides for those floating by on pink and orange inner tubes. Chief among them: hot dogs.