The return of outdoor dining in Philly has been welcomed by many people as a small step forward after being cooped up for months at home — not to mention the restaurants that were feeling the financial pinch of the pandemic. But for people with disabilities, it’s added yet another challenge to getting around the city.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia police union president issued a more forceful condemnation of the alt-right group the Proud Boys after photos surfaced of officers openly mingling with the group’s members outside a union-sponsored fund-raiser late last week. That appears to have struck a nerve with the Proud Boys.
Restaurants are using sidewalks, parking lots, and other public spaces to expand their outdoor dining to reopen their businesses while keeping tables six feet apart. This has created major barriers for people with disabilities who are struggling to navigate city sidewalks, and advocates say it is making long-standing accessibility issues in the city even worse.
As one person put it, “it sends a message that disabled people are not welcomed in this reopening.”
One day after my colleagues published a story about how police officers openly mingled with members of an alt-right group at a fund-raiser hosted at the FOP lodge, police union president John McNesby took a more forceful position on the Proud Boys party crashers.
He said he was unaware that the men — one of whom was carrying a Proud Boys flag while others donned baseball caps embroidered with the organization’s name — were even at the after-party for Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance. In a Twitter post, John McNesby said that FOP leadership and members “condemn their hateful and discriminatory speech in any form.”
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party and a group of 15 politicians of color filed a lawsuit that seeks to preserve mail-in voting. The lawsuit would extend the mail ballot deadline and require counties to contact voters if they turn in a ballot with errors, among other changes.
The state court lawsuit comes less than two weeks after the RNC and President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign sued Pennsylvania to block the use of mail ballot drop boxes, calling them unconstitutional.
What you need to know today
Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy will resign in the coming weeks, according to an administration source with knowledge of the decision. Abernathy came under fire for the city’s response to the unrest sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.
Ocean City is searching for a missing 26-year old, whose presumed death would mark the third drowning within a week at the Jersey Shore.
Residents of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway homeless encampment say they won’t voluntarily leave the site Friday when city officials are expected to show up and clear it out.
State agencies failed to protect Pennsylvania residents by skirting responsibilities to test water and air that had been contaminated by fracking, according to a damning report.
The group that donated the Penn’s Landing Columbus monument is suing to keep it from being removed.
Local doctors and researchers are learning how to treat inflammation related to COVID-19.
A pro-Trump super PAC will pump $7.5 million into advertising in Pennsylvania.
Are you ready to vote? Registrations are down across Pennsylvania, which is unusual for a presidential election year. Consider it another side effect of the pandemic.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
Just breathtaking. Thanks for sharing this glimpse of heaven, @shutter.sean!
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!
🌎 DeSean Jackson had a Zoom call with a Holocaust survivor who invited him to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp. Jackson said he’ll make the trip.
⚾️ Phillies games will feature fake crowd noise, cardboard cutouts of fans, and a socially distanced Phillie Phanatic.
🏠 If you’re looking to sell your house, don’t forget to shop around real estate agents.
📸 Check out these photos of the Philadelphia Fire Academy graduation.
“The only problem with this choice is its implication that the franchise would capture the country’s attention intensely for a brief period of time, then get really strange, then be completely forgotten. Just like Robert Griffin III.” — Columnist Mike Sielski with a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the Washington NFL team change its name to the Washington Tiger Kings.
The residents that surround the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery have lived with toxic emissions as high as 21 times the federal limit. They shouldn’t wait any longer for the building’s new owner to clean it up, the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board writes.
What we’re reading
Just more than three weeks ago, Pittsburgh celebrated its first day without a new coronavirus case. Now, cases are suddenly surging. The New York Times studies how the outbreak happened.
A rare flower will bloom soon at Longwood Gardens. The 5-foot-tall “corpse flower” — named because the mature plants are said to stink like rotting flesh — will be fully visible for only one to two days. You can spare your nose and watch the garden’s livestream, PhillyVoice says.
A six-story building that formerly housed a daily paper in Memphis, Tenn., has been converted into an overflow hospital for COVID-19 patients. An employee of the Commercial Appeal writes about the transformation for Editor & Publisher Magazine.
Your Daily Dose of | Charity
8,500 individual and corporate donors pitched in over the last four months to raise $17.5 million for the PHL COVID-19 Fund. Nonprofit La Communidad Hispana said that its $50,000 grant drastically affected its ability to provide health care for people who cannot afford health insurance.