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Sixers' arena search isn’t done yet | Morning Newsletter

And, recapping Trump’s Philadelphia visit.

Philadelphia’s coronavirus case count last week was at its lowest level since March. Much of the city’s progress, according to Public Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, can be attributed to wearing face masks. But a new study reports that less than half of us are actually wearing our face masks correctly. So, we might have a way to go still.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

A rival bidder upended the 76ers' $4 billion plan for a new basketball arena along the Delaware River, but the franchise’s hopes for a new home are still alive, with the region carefully watching for the Sixers' next steps.

The 76ers want a few things, my colleague Jacob Adelman reports. First, they want to stop leasing and control their own arena. Now, they lease the Walls Fargo Center from Comcast Spectacor. Second, the Wells Fargo Center will be 35 years old when the team’s lease expires in 2031. Third, and most of all, the Sixers want to escape South Philly’s remote, parking-lot encircled sports complex.

So, where could they look?

The tent city on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway where people facing homelessness have been living for months was organized by activists who have tied the fight for housing to racial justice, according to reporting from my colleagues Anna Orso and Oona Goodin-Smith. Organizers say that policing and mass incarceration systems that disproportionately impact Black people have resulted in homelessness.

They say they aren’t surprised that housing and racial justice have been linked in Philadelphia, one of the nation’s poorest big cities. The waiting list for public housing has about 40,000 people on it and has been closed for seven years.

The school year has really just begun in the region. Already, many parents are adamant that virtual learning isn’t working for their children. They’re pleading with school boards to consider changing course and bringing students back to school as soon as possible, my colleagues Maddie Hanna, Kristen A. Graham, and Melanie Burney report.

Parents have been organizing to write letters, circulate petitions, form committees, and pepper social to put pressure on districts. The intense advocacy appears to be largely a phenomenon among middle-class and affluent parents, my colleagues write, but the struggles with virtual learning seem to be universal so far.

What you need to know today

  1. The Trump town hall prompted protests and demonstrations near the National Constitution Center yesterday.

  2. Pitt scientists say they’ve discovered a potential coronavirus remedy — at least, for mice and hamsters.

  3. Philly Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson and his wife, consultant Dawn Chavous, have asked that the federal corruption case against them be thrown out.

  4. The Philadelphia School District launched its equity coalition yesterday as Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. responded to a no-confidence petition from the district’s principals.

  5. Incomes seemed to be up and poverty was seemingly down throughout the U.S. in 2019 ... then COVID-19 happened.

  6. Here are some of the takeaways from The Inquirer’s Election 2020 Roundtable, which brings together a representative group of 24 voters from across Pennsylvania. The group had its first virtual discussions last week, grappling with complicated issues in candid and emotional ways.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Center City is looking good. Thanks for sharing, @frozenintimebyjoebarrett.

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. 😷Less than half of us are wearing our masks correctly, according to a new study.

  2. 🐎Idris Elba came to Philly last summer to film Concrete Cowboy, which is inspired by North Philly’s Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club. After its world premiere Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival, it’s getting big buzz, my colleague Brandon T. Harden reports.

  3. 🍽️Here’s a dispatch from the first full weekend with indoor dining in Philadelphia, courtesy of my colleague Michael Klein.

  4. 🔥The impacts of the West Coast wildfires are now being felt in Philly.

  5. 🍺You might soon be able to find Yuengling out west.

  6. 💈A local businessman donated $5,000 to a South Jersey barbershop for essential workers to get free haircuts.


“It just doesn’t add up. This can’t be the best that we can manage, even if our shared goal of safely reopening schools seems unattainable by some measures. We need to start talking about what, exactly, is attainable beyond this.” — writes columnist Maria Panaritis about the long-term risks of virtual learning.

  1. Columnist Trudy Rubin writes about whether Iraq could become a Middle East stabilizer.

  2. Trey Grayson, the former secretary of state of Kentucky, writes for The Inquirer about what to expect during “election week."

What we’re reading

  1. Star Philly chef Michael Solomonov gave Eater his chicken schnitzel recipe with a matzo meal, sesame seeds, and a Yemeni spice blend.

  2. Billy Penn has a story about how Philly schools are taking counseling and trauma support online.

  3. The New York Times has an explainer on who chooses the names for hurricanes.

Your Daily Dose of | ‘Fans’

When the Birds host the Rams on Sunday for the team’s home opener, there will be fans in the stands. Well, sort of. The Eagles are installing cutouts of fans at Lincoln Financial Field to benefit the Eagles Autism Foundation. They’ll be spread around the lower seating bowl. You can see more pictures from my colleague David Maialetti here.