Happy Sunday, readers of the Inquirer Morning Newsletter. Here is what’s going on in the region.
More and more people in Pennsylvania are getting vaccinated, including at a Delco clinic. Some of the more than 100 people who got shots on Saturday said they were motivated less by reports of the delta variant and more by looming deadlines like going back to school or work, or on vacation.
That’s good news as coronavirus case numbers are on the rise in Pennsylvania and nationwide because of the highly contagious delta variant.
The week ahead
Philadelphia is planning to hand out $22 million in anti-violence funds to community groups next month, with applications on a rolling basis.
Eagles great Harold Carmichael is finally getting his spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
For a ferocious 20 seconds, a tornado came to a paradise on Long Beach Island. This is how the town is dealing with the damage.
Philly scientists are among the women running Dear Pandemic, a social media source of science-based COVID-19 information. Here’s a look behind the scenes.
The Eagles are having their first open practice of the season today. And it’ll be the first time since the pandemic that Lincoln Financial Field will allow fully capacity at almost 70,000 fans.
This week’s most popular stories
Behind the story with Frank Kummer
Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with reporter Frank Kummer, who covers environmental issues in the Philly region.
How would you describe your coverage area?
I cover the environment, but try to focus on stories that people can relate to on a personal level. Typically, my beat spans Philadelphia and its immediate suburbs, including South Jersey. But on any given day, it can range from the Poconos to the Pinelands, through to the Shore.
What’s something new you’ve learned through your reporting?
That the impact of climate change is worse than I believed when I wrote my first story on ‘global warming’ in the early 1990s while I was working at another newspaper. Consider that the average temperature for the city in the summer of 1970 was 75.09 degrees. Last year, it was 78.39. So the average summer temperature in Philadelphia has gotten 3 degrees warmer in just that relatively brief period of time.
What are a few recent stories that you’re proud of?
A few of the stories I personally enjoyed writing recently include one on a mystery illness that’s killing songbirds, another on how the pandemic and labor shortage conspired to cause trash collection backups around the region, a piece on volunteers who maintain the hidden gem parks scattered around Independence Mall, and a Chester County burial site that a woman is trying to donate to Native Americans. Some of these might not sound ‘environmental’ but I think the beat is a big tent, not a small one.
What trends or topics are you keeping an eye on in the near future?
Environmental justice is a key topic and I have two stories ready to land in the next few weeks regarding that. But definitely climate change as it impacts the region, especially New Jersey’s two coasts: one facing the Atlantic and one facing the Delaware Bay, which is particularly suffering from the impacts of sea level rise. That poses a whole host of consequences. And renewable energy such as offshore wind in New Jersey and the large amount of solar capacity being proposed on the farmlands of Pennsylvania are other topics I’m monitoring closely.
What do you do for fun in your free time? What are you looking forward to this year?
I’ve been running for a long time, but I only seem to get slower. However, I am really looking forward to the Broad Street Run and Half Marathon in the coming months. Hopefully, the delta variant won’t curtail those yet again. But I also hike, backpack and kayak especially in the fall — my favorite time of year.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
Hope you’re having a happy Caturday. Thanks for sharing this adorable clip! (Click through to see the video if you’d like.)
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!
The dos and don’ts of your vaccination card
No, you shouldn’t laminate it. If you lose it, don’t stress. There are electronic records that you received your shots. You can take a photo or make a copy, but don’t share it on social media to protect your personal information. Here are other dos and don’ts — and if you have any questions about the delta variant, drop them here.
Exploring: The most picturesque bike trails and routes at the Jersey Shore.
Experiencing: Japanese Breakfast’s joyous show at Union Transfer was a triumphant homecoming, writes music critic Dan DeLuca. This was the first show at the venue since the coronavirus shutdown began.
Anticipating: The screenwriter for “Respect,” the new Aretha Franklin biopic, went to Temple for grad school. We spoke with Tracey Scott Wilson about her process as the movie is set to release this week.
Question of the week
Who is your dream “Jeopardy!” host? The game show is close to choosing a new host to replace Alex Trebek, so we asked our Instagram followers who they would prefer. The most popular answer by a mile is LeVar Burton. But here’s a few different ideas too:
📚🌈 “Levar Burton periodT.”
👔 “Neil Patrick Harris.”
✨ “Oprah Winfrey.”
📰 🧀 “Anderson Cooper or Aaron Rodgers.”
🏀 “Charles Barkley.”
⭐ “George Takei.”
🧪 “Bill Nye.”
Follow us on Instagram at @PhillyInquirer so you can share your thoughts next time.
Your Daily Dose of | New Jersey tomatoes
Philly food pros took on a recipe assignment involving 50 pounds of New Jersey tomatoes. The cooking assignment was for seven cooks. Here’s what they created.