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Sixers' arena dreams dashed on the Delaware | Morning Newsletter

And, the city opted not to clear out homeless encampments yesterday.

    The Morning Newsletter

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After months of build-up, Philadelphia officials did not clear out the encampments of people experiencing homelessness yesterday after having posted a notice that they’d be shuttered. And it looks as if the Sixers' dreams of building their own arena at Penn’s Landing have ended with a competing bid being chosen for the Delaware waterfront’s development.

Also, there’s rain in the forecast today, with a flash flood watch in place for Philadelphia, all of its neighboring counties, and northern Delaware.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

Philadelphia officials opted not to clear out homeless encampments in the city yesterday and didn’t specify what’s next in the standoff that has lasted throughout the summer. By the end of the day yesterday, the only thing that was certain was that dozens of people would sleep at least one more night on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, as well as at three other spots, my colleague Alfred Lubrano reports.

Although a third notice had been posted that the encampments would be shuttered yesterday, officials said they had planned to offer services to the people living there instead of engaging in a more forceful clearing of the sites.

It looks like the 76ers will not build a new basketball arena on Penn’s Landing. The board of the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., which oversees the development along Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront, voted yesterday to choose the Durst Organization of New York to be the site’s developer.

Durst’s plan involves a row of six high-rise buildings among grassy plazas. They’d house about 1,800 apartment or condo units, 225 hotel rooms, and office space, a supermarket, a preschool, and other commercial spaces.

Carson Wentz is about to enter Year Five with the Eagles. And after a summer of what he called “a lot of learning,” it seems like his teammates believe in him. In locker rooms across the NFL, including the one in South Philly, teams had emotional discussions about systemic racism, police shootings and killings of Black people, and what it’s like to be a Black person in America.

Those were all things that Wentz, who is white, admits that he previously “chose to overlook and look past," my colleague Paul Domowitch reports. Now, it appears that the 27-year-old QB has the respect of the room.

What you need to know today

  1. Dozens of Philadelphia School District teachers will soon be displaced from their schools and sent to new ones, meaning some students are set to lose their teachers just a month into the school year.

  2. Philadelphia renters are getting a temporary reprieve from evictions. And, the city is postponing property reassessment and will leave values the same until 2023.

  3. My colleague Julia Terruso interviewed Bernie Sanders ahead of his virtual town hall with some of his closest allies from across Pennsylvania.

  4. Philadelphia police have been seen gathering en masse at a strip club parking lot several times since protests against racial injustice and police brutality began in Philadelphia in late May. My colleague Stephanie Farr looked into why.

  5. Illegal trash dumping in rural Pennsylvania is plaguing roadsides during the pandemic.

  6. Penn Nursing students are seeking a partial refund of tuition because they say virtual clinical training isn’t worth the full cost, my colleague Bethany Ao reports.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Click through for more of @seandergen’s shots of Chinatown. Thanks for sharing.

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. 🍷This Philly winemaker has thrived during the pandemic.

  2. The Phillies' playoff fate will rest mostly on their pitching and health — and also on their ability to beat the Marlins.

  3. 😨Early yesterday morning a mild earthquake sent tremors from its epicenter in a section of Freehold Township, N.J.

  4. 🌳What are those silky white webs covering trees?

  5. 😈The founder of Satanic Delco created a group whose members say they don’t believe in the supernatural, but rather in “a science-first viewpoint.” They also organize trips to distribute care packages to people experiencing homelessness.

  6. 🏒Flyers coach Alain Vigneault is demanding a lot from his team’s top players. And that could be a hint of what’s next, columnist Mike Sielski writes.


“Welcome to the 2020-21 school year. The message gave me pause. 2020, nightmarish in so many ways, is an opportunity for education nationwide. And yet, as is so often the case, the nationwide debate thus far has been unproductive and has done little to improve education for students.” — writes Marc McDonald, a Philadelphia writer and educator, about how the in-person vs. virtual education debate ignores a bigger conversation about schools.

  1. The pandemic hasn’t ended. So, it doesn’t make sense that hazard pay has ended for grocery store workers, writes Brian String, president of the union for workers in grocery stores and other essential businesses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.

  2. Should Pennsylvania join a regional program that would limit the amount of carbon pollution power plants can emit and auction off “pollution permits”? Kelly Flanigan, the global warming solutions associate for a Pennsylvania environmental advocacy nonprofit, and State Sen. Gene Yaw, the chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, debate in this week’s Pro/Con.

What we’re reading

  1. Billy Penn built an animated map to show how the coronavirus surged around Temple in North Philly.

  2. The Guardian offers a gallery of images that show the orange skies in California as wildfires continue in that state, along with Oregon and Washington state.

  3. What lies outside our solar system? The BBC explores the answer to that question.

Your Daily Dose of | Mystery

Lynnewood Hall is a 110-room mansion that has sat empty on Spring Avenue in Elkins Park for almost a quarter-century. It’s guarded by loud dogs but few if any know what’s on the inside of the former estate of Peter A.B. Widener and his family, two of whom died on the Titanic. But in the last six months, two amateur photographers were permitted inside on separate occasions, my colleague Jenn Ladd reports.