Happy Friday, Philly. Why don’t you get outside and enjoy the sunshine as two of Philly’s newest — and most anticipated — outdoor spaces debut to the public? As Philadelphia continues to wait to find out if Amazon will select the city as the location for its new headquarters, officials want to make it clear that if a new construction tax passes, Amazon will be off the hook. There’s been little oversight when it comes to Pennsylvania state troopers’ handling of immigration checks. That is set to change by the end of the month. With Father’s Day on Sunday, I asked Eagles fans to share stories about dad and clearly I’m not only one who learned a life lesson or two from being raised in midnight green.
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As the days get longer and warmer, Philadelphians have two new outdoor spaces to enjoy — the Reading Viaduct Rail Park and Farm for the City both debut this week.
The Rail Park repurposes a stretch of land in the Spring Arts District that was once only frequented by urban explorers. The former abandoned railway has a brand new vibe, perfect for relaxing outside.
If you rather roll up your sleeves a bit, Farm for the City, an interactive working farm in the heart of Thomas Paine Plaza, might be for you. The area has transformed from a concrete desert into a lush green space that will benefit a good cause.
My colleague Grace Dickinson has all the details on when and how you can fully enjoy these new Philly destinations.
Philadelphia wants to make one thing very clear for Amazon: If the company picks Philly in its headquarters search, it won’t have to pay the proposed construction impact tax.
If passed, the tax would fund affordable housing in the city, but City Council added an exemption on Thursday that would save Amazon a few dollars if the company selected one of the locations the city proposed for a new site.
The head of the city’s building trades unions warned City Council that the tax on construction could scare businesses away, including Amazon. The hope is that this exemption will ease any of Amazon’s potential concerns.
Pennsylvania did not have specific policies for state troopers when it came to handling immigration checks, but that is about to change. The move comes two months after our investigative series with ProPublica examined how state and local officers in Pennsylvania were helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement in their deportation efforts.
By the end of June, state troopers will have a new set of requirements to follow any time immigration authorities are called to the scene of a traffic stop. Part Two of our series outlined how Pennsylvania became a “free-for-all” for officers who want to round up undocumented immigrants.
Lawyers and advocates say it is unclear whether the new policy will result in fewer immigration calls. The Philadelphia ICE office has become one of the most aggressive in the nation when it comes to arrests of immigrants without criminal convictions.
What you need to know today
- 219 diamonds make up the Eagles Super Bowl ring which players received last night in a special ceremony that reunited the underdogs — a detail that also made it onto the ring.
- Philadelphia sports fans are remembering the life and legacy of broadcasting icon Al ‘Big Al’ Meltzer. The former voice of most of Philly’s teams died this week at the age of 89.
- A Philadelphia woman arrested for shoplifting at a Deptford mall after a confrontation with police that left an alleged accomplice dead has been ordered released from prison as she awaits trial, despite opposition from prosecutors.
- Authorities say the cause of a fatal explosion at a Bensalem gas station was a tragic accident that stemmed from the use of a shop-vac. Neighbors nearby say the late owner had a major impact on the neighborhood.
- Rob Rogers, a longtime Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist, announced that he was fired on Thursday. Rogers gained attention recently after a number of his Trump-related cartoons had been killed.
- A photo of a handcuffed student being escorted to an ambulance by police officers in Lancaster County has sparked outrage on social media. The School District of Lancaster said the use of handcuffs was to “protect” the child.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
Congratulations to @positivemag1, the winner of this week’s #OurPhilly poll after sharing this unique perspective of City Hall.
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!
- “I looked around and I was, like, ‘You know, it’s really not so bad around here,’ ” Michael Burch said when he returned to the Parkside neighborhood he grew up in. A newly unveiled renovation plan for Fairmount Park could make things even better.
- Sports betting kicked off on Thursday in New Jersey and Monmouth Park Racetrack took the first bets. Among the first to wager was Sixers legend Julius Erving. Let’s just say Dr. J. likes the Eagles again in 2019.
- You wouldn’t expect to buy a Ferrari while surrounded by country roads and fields of corn, but reporter Jason Nark found a collection of high rollers that snagged some rare rides in Dauphin County.
- Ahead of Father’s Day, my colleague Anna Orso writes about her mother’s quest to find her birth mother — a quest that led her to a father who never knew she existed.
- If that Fitbit isn’t motivating you to hit those fitness goals, trust me, you’re not alone. A new study says the best route to fitness might be through your wallet.
- Philadelphia is taking the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to a new level. You might notice something a little different about trash cans across the city.
“I think about a second grader who found his father dead from an overdose. Or the fourth grader who needs a doctor’s note excusing his absences from school — though his health is fine. He stayed home because he couldn’t get his heroin-using mother out of bed.” — Daniel R. Taylor, D.O., of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children writes about the children of Philadelphia who are suffering through the opioid crisis.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions, writing for the Inquirer, argues that Philadelphia is not giving “sanctuary” to Americans. “They’re giving sanctuary to foreign criminals.”
- Patty-Pat Kozlowski, the GOP candidate for Pennsylvania’s 177th District, is sharing her side of the story. She drew criticism after confronting an alleged drug dealer outside of her home with a baseball bat.
What we’re reading
- This is the best home run you’ll ever see. Sports Illustrated tells the story of Alex Estrada, a 7-year-old Chicago White Sox fan who is battling cancer. Thanks to the team, he got to live out a dream on the diamond.
- Hollywood Reporter sat down with six of TV’s top funnymen — including Tracy Morgan and Ray Romano — to discuss how political correctness is damaging the industry.
- The Ball family is known as the loudest family in basketball. The Washington Post highlights the quietest member of the family, Tina Ball, who has exhibited great strength since suffering a major stroke in 2017.
- Philadelphia is among the cities that could potentially host World Cup games in 2026 and Billy Penn highlights some pretty obvious reasons why the event belongs in Philly.
- The new U.S. policy that separates families who cross the border illegally has sparked criticism. Vox examines the policy and looks at some of the most extreme examples of it in action.
Your Daily Dose of | Phillies
Former Phillie Jim Thome was back in town Thursday – 14 years after he hit home run No. 400 at Citizens Bank Park. He was honored by the team for his upcoming Hall of Fame induction.