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Climate report’s troubling findings for Pa., N.J.; first blood tests in Bucks, Montco after tainted water | Morning Newsletter

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A large ghost forest of dead Atlantic White Cedar at Dennis Creek Wildlife Management Area in Cape May County, N.J.
A large ghost forest of dead Atlantic White Cedar at Dennis Creek Wildlife Management Area in Cape May County, N.J.Read moreFrank Kummer / Staff

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

The Philadelphia skyline is really something special. There's nothing like the first sight of it on a trip home, at least to me. If you feel the same, you'll want to dive into my colleague Julia Terruso's story on how the city's skyline has transformed over the past few decades, and what it says about Philly. On a more serious note, this morning we've got a look at the troubling findings of a new climate report and what it means for our region, plus news on the effects of water contamination in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

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— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

As the story goes, it was a gentleman's agreement that kept Philadelphia buildings shorter than William Penn's hat atop City Hall until 1985.

The city skyline has changed rapidly ever since, from the towers at Liberty Place to the Comcast Technology Center opening next year. Its evolution reflects the city's shifting story as clearly a skyscraper's blue glass windows reflect the sun.

Want to get a nice look at our ever-changing skyline? Don't miss the 10 best places to view it around town.

The subtle, less distinct turn of the seasons in our region is just one of the multiple visible signs of climate change that will continue to impact the Northeast, according to a new national climate assessment.

The report found the Northeast is among the areas most heavily impacted by rising temperatures, effects of which will include sea level rise along the coast, less snowpack, more rain, and more deaths from extreme heat.

The Trump administration released the Congress-mandated assessment over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Environmental groups claimed the timing was intended to bury the sweeping report.

First results are in after residents in Bucks and Montgomery Counties participated in a blood-testing program because their drinking water was contaminated by chemicals on nearby military bases.

The averaged results mailed to the 235 residents in Horsham, Warminster, and Warrington Townships who participated show a dramatically higher presence of some chemicals in their blood than the general U.S. population.

The letter, sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, offers a first look at the potential health effects of the water contamination on more than 70,000 residents in the affected towns before a full report is released.

What you need to know today

  1. Police have identified the four victims killed in an execution-style quadruple homicide in West Philadelphia last week, including two sisters and two men who considered themselves stepbrothers. Police are still working to identify suspects and a motive.

  2. The Flyers fired general manager Ron Hextall Monday in a move that stunned the team's fans and has reporter Sam Carchidi writing they got rid of the wrong guy.

  3. Disgraced former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has exhausted her legal options and must begin serving her jail sentence after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal Monday.

  4. It's ok to eat some romaine again, U.S. health officials said Monday. The romaine linked to an E. coli outbreak appears to be from California's Central Coast, and labels will soon mark romaine from safe regions.

  5. This week Democrats who will soon control the U.S. House will have to vote on whether Nancy Pelosi should be the next House Speaker. Here's where Philadelphia area Democrats stand.

  6. Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins is calling for reforms to the city's money-bail system after helping to bail out nine Philadelphians before Thanksgiving.

  7. Three boys, including an 8-year-old inside a house hit by a stray bullet, were injured in a street shooting Sunday night in West Philadelphia. State Rep. Joanna McClinton says the neighborhood is no longer safe for children.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Too true, @mr_breig.

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. Hucksters know you want to be in the room where it happens, so they're selling overpriced and sometimes fraudulent Hamilton tickets. Single tickets for its Philly run are not on sale yet, the Kimmel Center warns.

  2. What can you get tickets to? Meek Mill's first tour since his release from prison. He'll stop at the new Met Philadelphia in March and tickets go on sale Friday.

  3. Despite Sunday's win, Eagles fans will need their good luck charms next week. The team's offense may have taken a step forward against the Giants but they've got a tough road ahead.

  4. The Penn Museum has a new addition bringing its collections to life — but it's no exhibit. It's a program for museum guides to lead tours through the treasures of their home countries.

  5. Villanova's men's basketball team was busy over the Thanksgiving holiday, but not with eating turkey. After winning an invitational in Florida they seem to be trending upward among the City 6.

  6. You've never seen the Titanic like this: BalletX has turned the story of one woman's escape from the doomed ship into a modern dance.


"Everywhere around the world where bikes have been prioritized over motor vehicles, positive outcomes have resulted for health, safety, transportation and economics. And there's no reason to believe doing the same to one of Philadelphia's most famous retail and cultural destinations won't reap similar results."
— Randy LoBasso of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia on why Philly should ban parking on South Street.
  1. The smoke from the California wildfires that traveled to Pennsylvania is a sign that the climate change apocalypse we fear is already here, writes arts reporter John Timpane.

  2. A coalition of 20 African American pastors representing congregations across Philadelphia has voiced its opposition to the city's beverage tax, writing that it harms their communities and businesses. 

What we’re reading

  1. In light of his own experiences, Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill has published an essay for the New York Times advocating for prisoners' rights. It's a must-read.

  2. For your morning inspiration: WHYY tells the story of two Bucks County men who teamed up to make it easier for those in recovery to find work.

  3. Vox's analysis of the "birthday cake" flavor now found in everything from M&Ms to pretzels reads more like a rant against its ubiquity, which makes it way more fun.

  4. Speaking of cake, if you've ever watched The Great British Baking Show, you'll want to get to know the guy who draws all those delicious-looking recipe illustrations via Vulture.

Your Daily Dose of | Giving

It’s Giving Tuesday, and one group of South Jersey women is making their mark with a cooperative giving circle.