Good morning, and welcome to the Inquirer Morning Newsletter. It’s Monday, Aug. 30. We’re looking at why this school year is bound to be far from normal yet again. Plus, the cost of rent in Philly is on the rise — and may stay that way for a while. Let’s get into it.

— Annie Bryan (@anniebryan7,

This was supposed to be the return-to-normal school year. It’s going to be anything but.

Entering the third school year to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, students, families, and staff were hopeful that this might be a return to normal at last.

But the with delta variant’s fast spread, undetermined arrival of a vaccine for children under 12, and the potential need to quarantine, education officials are expecting yet another “rollercoaster ride” — but hope that will last only through the fall.

Expect adjustments, such as there being as much social distancing as possible and a whole lot of patience. Read more here about what else is in store for the school year.

Rent is up in Philly and beyond — and likely to keep rising

There was a brief window of time at the start of the pandemic where a renter-to-be in Philly had plenty of options as students and workers moved out of the city. But demand is up again, and even slightly higher than if the pandemic had never happened.

Zillow economic data analyst Nicole Bachaud explained this is because employees are getting more long-term plans around remote work, the economy is continuing to reopen, and students are making their way back to college campuses.

The climbing rent coincides with disappearing eviction protections, as the Supreme Court ended the federal eviction moratoriums and pandemic-related rent forgiveness programs are coming to an end.

And it’s not just us, either. Nationwide, rent has been on the rise every month since January. Your best bet to save cash? Roommates. And in case your rent goes up, remember your tenants’ rights.

Reopening resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Lovely photo by @kslouf via @lovegritphilly. We love biking and Philly’s gorgeous public mural art, too.

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

🌊 Elizabeth Wellington shares her thoughts on the new multimedia exhibit “Pool” at Fairmount Water Works, which explores how the legacy of segregated pools still denies Black people the joy of water.

🏈 Former Eagles president Joe Banner told The Inquirer that Gardner Minshew likely to become the Eagles’ backup QB. Here’s why.

🥘 Love pizza? Wagyu? Everything in between? Owners of the Montco landmark Blue Bell Inn have opened up a new spot: the Copper Crow.


“This is the story of what it took to get one Afghan woman activist evacuated and why another is still in hiding in Kabul,” writes Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin. “Their harrowing experiences reflect the greater tragedy of a precipitous exit from a 20-year war that two Republican and two Democratic presidents badly mishandled. On the 20th anniversary of 9/11 the group that hosted Osama bin Laden has returned to power.”

  • How can we improve public health issues in Philly? More. Trees. And Congress could help, argues pediatrician Paul Devine Bottone. “The physical and mental health risks coming to our area from scorching heat, flooded sewers, and air tainted by smoke from far-off wildfires are manifold and daunting to consider,” writes Bottone, who is also a fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Read the full piece for why he thinks elected representatives are key to the solution.

  • Philly teacher Shayla Amenra shares why she’s not ready to go back to school. “I don’t know if I can make it through this year,” she said to herself in the mirror.

What we're reading

  • The hottest commodity in Philly right now is Snoop Dogg bobbleheads. The rapper’s collaboration with Corona is so popular, in fact, that Philly Voice reported a string of thefts of the merchandise at Philly grocery stores. But if you’re interested in getting the bobblehead, please do pay for it, because in the words of Snoop himself: “If the ride is more fly, then you must buy.”

  • No, you’re not the only one who’s noticed a decline in the bug we all love to hate in Philly. Billy Penn says lantern flies are at a low point, but they haven’t totally disappeared. Womp womp.

Photo of the Day

And with that, we wish you a week as smooth as this roller skating instructor’s moves. Ride on, Philly.