It’s the end of the week, but more importantly, it’s the last full week we’ll have in 2018. As we enjoy the final days of 2018 be sure to grab your umbrella before you head out today; it’s going to rain into the evening. We took some time to reflect on how one of our biggest investigative pieces, which looked at toxic lead contamination in various buildings and areas of the city, has impacted Philadelphia and improved the safety of its children who live in these dangerous conditions. With New Year’s Day next week, the colorful Mummers Parade will be coming, and while spectators may be focused on the routines, the music, and clever costumes, marchers in the parade will be focused on something very important: avoiding injury.

To watch the Mummers Parade is to enjoy a spectacle of colorful costumes, joyous performers, and positive energy. To participate in the parade, however, takes a lot of dedication, energy, and strength. The laborious practices and heavy gear marchers carry can do damage to their bodies over time, with the spine and shoulders at risk of injury.

To offset this, musicians and performers have figured out clever ways to keep their bodies from breaking down or cutting as much weight from their floats or instruments as possible.

If you’re heading to the parade, be sure to cheer extra hard for these performers. They certainly deserve it.

In the two years since the Inquirer released a multipart series focused on the toxic conditions in several Philadelphia neighborhoods, the revelations have made Philadelphia cleaner and safer for kids in their homes, outdoor play spaces, and schools.

In the wake of the investigation, four new protection laws have been enacted, 770 landlords have been fined, and the city has spent $900,000 to protect kids from lead paint in their homes.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. The city will need to continue to address this ongoing issue and hold people accountable to ensure kids grow up in safer environments.

If you’re a minority or low-income homeowner in Philadelphia, you won’t have an easy time getting money to help fix up your house, and that’s making it harder for homeowners to maintain necessary upkeep to their homes.

A study released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia observed that homeowners in either category had more trouble getting approved for home-improvement loans from traditional financial institutions like banks.

The study also revealed that nearly 75 percent of low- or moderate-income homeowners who sought a loan to improve their homes were denied between 2015 and 2017, underlining the argument many housing advocates have been saying for years: City houses are falling apart faster than their owners can repair them.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Three is bigger than one, right? Thanks @thesidewalkcities for sharing your festive decorations.

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

Opinions

Bruce Plante, Tulsa World

“When I saw the video of a black teenage wrestler being forced to cut off his dreadlocks to compete, my mind immediately went to an image from the Holocaust that has stuck with me over the years — Nazi soldiers cutting the beards of Jewish men in the street," Columnist Abraham Gutman’s take after watching a high school trainer shear the dreadlocks off a 16-year-old black wrestler.

  • If immigrant children are dying in U.S. custody, we’re responsible for that, writes the Inquirer Editorial Board, noting that the way we’ve been treating immigrants who are seeking asylum has been worse than the violence and poverty they’re escaping. 
  • The internet laughed when Popeyes announced in jest that they would be selling “Emotional Support Chicken” to-go boxes, but in doing so, it downplayed the importance of emotional support animals, writes Saron McKee, the City of Philadelphia’s director of ADA compliance

What we’re reading

L-R: Zach Santo, Ashley Saybaugh, Liz Biron, and Shaun Dattola play The Game of Life at Thirsty Dice, a board game cafe, on Dec. 1, 2018. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
L-R: Zach Santo, Ashley Saybaugh, Liz Biron, and Shaun Dattola play The Game of Life at Thirsty Dice, a board game cafe, on Dec. 1, 2018. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

A DAILY DOSE OF | GAMES

Board games are making a comeback, and the uptick in game sales shows there’s a cultural shift in how people are moving away from technologyand choosing to socialize in person.