Happy (chilly) Valentine’s Day! Here’s the news you should know this morning.
The Senate voted to acquit former President Trump in his second impeachment trial on Saturday. Pennsylvania’s Sen. Pat Toomey was one of the seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump instead.
On Friday, an independent audit commissioned by The Inquirer and conducted by Temple University was published. It offered recommendations on how to evolve based on findings of an overwhelmingly white newsroom and news coverage that overrepresents people who are white and male. You can read more about the report’s findings here.
The week ahead
The atmosphere isn’t showing Philly much love after some snow and sleet overnight. Be careful out there, or just ... stay inside where it’s warm.
Philly attorney Michael van der Veen took a significant role in Trump’s impeachment defense. On Friday night, his suburban home was vandalized. And on Saturday, protesters demonstrated outside his Center City law office.
Philly’s storm forecasts have been conflicting and constantly changing this winter. Turns out, the increased storm traffic has caused computer models to get a little “jumpy,” and even forecasters are frustrated.
Undocumented immigrants who help police can be at risk for deportation. A Pennsylvania lawyer is trying to stop it.
A year after it was originally planned, “Unity at the Initiative” is up and rolling. It’s a sprawling exhibition of art and skateboarding — featuring art by two dozen of Philly’s queer and trans artists of color — that’s taken over almost all of the Asian Arts complex on Vine Street. There’s also an indoor skatepark.
This week’s most popular stories
Behind the story with Keith Pompey
Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with Sixers beat reporter Keith Pompey about his work.
How’s it been covering sports in the pandemic?
Let’s just say, different. Typically, I spent most of my time over at the 76ers practice facility covering practices and shootarounds before the pandemic. Now, I spend it waiting for Zoom press conferences. As a result, I’m not a big fan of covering sports during the pandemic. There’s nothing like in-person interviews and in-person conversations with sources.
What’s a normal day look like for you, and how has that changed in the past year?
The biggest difference is not heading to the practice facility or meeting sources for coffee or lunch. I still get up around 5 a.m. to do my podcast and get caught up with national news. I’m usually on the phone around 8 a.m. talking to other media members and/or sources around the league. By 10 or 11 a.m., my day is swamped with Zoom calls and writing stories for Inquirer.com and for the paper. Then I’ll spend game days at the Wells Fargo Center from 4:45 p.m. to midnight.
What are you looking for or covering in the off-season?
I’m looking forward to relaxing in the off-season. That’s when I reintroduce myself to my family. Before the pandemic, my family and I used to spend a lot of time at the movies and bowling alley in the off-season.
Do the Sixers have any chance at going far this season?
Yes, they do, but only if they make a trade before the deadline in March. This team is talented. It just needs to add a few more pieces. If not, the Sixers’ season could end in the second round of the playoffs.
Why did you become a journalist, and how did you get into covering sports and basketball?
While at the University of Pittsburgh, my goal was to become a lawyer. During my final semester, I went to The Pitt News, the student newspaper, to make a complaint about its coverage of track and field. The sports editor said the paper didn’t have anyone available to cover the track meets. He sarcastically suggested that I cover it since the lack of coverage bothered me. So I did. It was the worst article ever published in the student paper. But I was hooked, especially when a young lady I wanted to date liked the story. Instead of going to law school, I took a job at the university and did stringer work for the Pittsburgh Courier and took a job answering high school calls at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at night. That was my start. (FYI, I never got that date.)
What’s something you do for fun? Any good books/movies/TV shows you’ve enjoyed recently?
I’m currently reading the book The Spencer Haywood Rule written by two friends of mine, Marc J. Spears and Gary Washburn. Outside of that, I love looking at non-sports documentaries when time permits or attending my daughter’s volleyball workouts.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
Love this pretty shot of snow on the water at Boathouse Row. Thanks for sharing, @fleming,philly.photog.
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!
How to keep your pipes warm in the winter
It’s still cold in the Philly area, and you shouldn’t forget your pipes. If you take certain precautions, you could avoid a hefty plumbing bill. We have plumber-approved tips like what to set the heat on when you’re not home, how to spot a frozen pipe and how to thaw it if you need to. Also, we have advice on what to do if a pipe should burst.
Exploring: sledding. It’s been cold and icy, and that is usually good weather for sledding. Here’s the best hills to head to in Philly, the suburbs and New Jersey.
Growing: heirloom plants. These are plants whose seeds have been passed down from generation to generation, and you can start your own heirloom chain in Philly.
Listening to: Tyshawn Sorey’s Save the Boys. His latest composition for the Opera Philadelphia is only 20 minutes and worth listening to more than once, David Patrick Stearns writes.
Question of the week
What do you love about Philly? Because it’s Valentine’s Day, we asked our Instagram followers to share their favorite memory of the city, whether it’s a person or a place. Here are a few of their answers:
💍 “Walking through Old City after we got married and having everybody in the streets congratulate us 🥰”
🎄 “Christmas village with my cousins from across the country :)”
💉 “Got my best tattoos there”
🌱 “The houseplant community is extraordinary!”
💕 “I love that it’s an acquired taste. Everybody loves NYC and LA, but only real ones love Philly.”
Be sure to follow us on Instagram at @phillyinquirer so you can participate the next time we ask a question!
Your Daily Dose of | Paul O’Sullivans
Paul O’Sullivan, from Maryland, found three other people with his name on Facebook. As luck would have it, they all happened to share a love of music. So, O’Sullivan got an idea: “I thought, ‘we should start a band.’ It was the natural next step.” And they did.