If home is where the heart is, developers are adding a bit of both to Bala Cynwyd in hopes of reinvigorating the community’s corridors into trendy town centers to live, shop and eat. But will their lofty goals pan out? In other news, a new database released this weekend revealed that hundreds of current and former Philadelphia police officers have made racist, intolerant or otherwise offensive Facebook comments or posts — actions researchers say could “could erode civilian trust and confidence in police.”

You’re invited: Thousands of young people will graduate from Philadelphia schools this spring. Come hear from some of the best and the brightest on Tuesday, June 4. Inquirer education reporter Kristen Graham will speak with students from a variety of schools, including Mastery Charter-Shoemaker and Strawberry Mansion about their hopes, dreams, and experiences in city schools. Register for free at philly.com/inquiringminds.

Is Bala Cynwyd on the cusp of revitalization?

Developers certainly hope so. On Bala Avenue in North Bala — or “NoBa,” for those in the know — they’ve invested in luxury apartments, and say that’s just the beginning of the area’s renewed lease on robust residential life.

And on City Avenue — the congested, three-mile stretch that straddles Philadelphia and Lower Merion — revamped residential options have arrived, and some hope it, too, can become a trendy place to be.

More than 500 current and former Philadelphia police officers have made Facebook posts or comments that researchers consider dehumanizing, supportive of violence, or that “could erode civilian trust and confidence in police,” a new database from advocates researching police bias shows.

Highlighting posts from officers in eight police departments across the country, the database lists 330 active Philadelphia police officers — including an inspector, six captains, and nine lieutenants — who made racist, intolerant or otherwise offensive posts.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said he was “very troubled" by the report, adding that the city’s Internal Affairs has been investigating officers for potential policy violations since February. Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania ACLU said the database’s information should be treated as a potentially troubling “cultural issue.”

Tens of thousands of acres of Pennsylvania’s native trees that produce some of the commonwealth’s most vibrant spring, summer, and fall scenes are at risk due to climate change, a state agency says.

Facing rising temperatures, more frequent storms, and overall wetter years, species like the mountain maple, American beech, balsam fir, paper birch, and quaking aspen may not be suited for the state’s forests in coming years, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Instead, the Keystone State should look to shift to nonnative “climate resilient” species, the agency says — a change which would impact an ecosystem.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Mural, mural on the wall, who’s the newest of them all? Check out this tribute to Philly life sciences, unveiled yesterday at 11th and Sansom. Thanks for the photo, @9thday_ofmarch. 🌳🎨

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

  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese is made in New York, so how did the spread get its very Philly name? It all dates back to an 1880s marketing strategy and some dairy moo-vers and shakers.
  • UFOs are out there, yes, but don’t start checking for crop circles just yet. The aerial phenomena spotted by pilots may have a very reasonable explanation, scientists say.
  • Can you spell “champ"? Shruthika Padhy of Cherry Hill, N.J. sure can — along with “bresaola,” “thymele,” “paulopost,” and just about everything else. The 13-year-old whiz was one of eight winners at the 92nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Md.
  • After regularly seeing the heartbreak that comes when babies are born fighting for life, don’t make it, or when mothers are unable to conceive, a Macungie neonatal intensive care nurse and mother of three wanted to do something to help. So, she donated her uterus to a stranger.


“Crumbling, aging, ill-maintained school buildings with lead paint, asbestos, outdated systems, and rodents are not just health hazards to our children, but physical symbols of the decades of shortchanging the education of our city’s children, especially the most vulnerable.” - The Inquirer Editorial Board on prioritizing the clean-up of the city’s dangerous schools.

  • If you’re worried about reproductive rights in Pennsylvania and across the country, here’s what you can do to protect them, writes Kathryn Kolbert and Linda Wharton — co-counsels in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 Supreme Court case often credited with saving Roe v. Wade.
  • Beating Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2020 is just as important as beating President Donald Trump when it comes to keeping liberty alive, argues columnist Will Bunch.

What we’re reading

  • After 37 years of profiling politics, government and daily life in Philadelphia, the “aggressively fair” Dave Davies is stepping away from beat reporting. But he’s not leaving Philly’s airwaves, Billy Penn explains.
  • Inmates placed in solitary confinement spend 23 hours each day alone in a cell, which can produce negative psychological effects. WHYY highlights the new program from the Philadelphia Department of Prisons offering isolated inmates out-of-cell therapy in hopes of mitigating mental damage.
  • “The House That Quality Built,” Acme was once Philly’s go-to grocery. But will it even exist in 20 years? The decline of the middle-class staple signals America’s changing economy, writes Philadelphia Magazine.
Spectators look over at the Macy's newly refurbished Wanamaker pipe organ from the second level on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Macy's and Friends of the Wanamaker Organ unveiled the restored world's largest pipe organ at the Center City location.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Spectators look over at the Macy's newly refurbished Wanamaker pipe organ from the second level on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Macy's and Friends of the Wanamaker Organ unveiled the restored world's largest pipe organ at the Center City location.

Your Daily Dose of | Music

The famous Wanamaker Organ in Macy’s on Market Street — the world’s largest playable instrument — has a new look, complete with $72,800 in gleaming gold leaf.