Good morning, Philly. Newsletter Editor Aubrey Nagle here, happy to join your morning routine with all your need-to-know news. My first order of business: remind you that it’s Election Day! We’ve done all the prep work for you, so don’t say you didn’t have enough info to cast a ballot. But bring an umbrella, it’s going to be a rainy day.
If you like what you’re reading, it’s free to sign up to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and feedback, so please email me, tweet me @aubsn, or reach our social team on Facebook.
— Aubrey Nagle
We’ve barely stopped talking about last year’s election, but once again it’s time to vote. Before you head to the polls, don’t miss our comprehensive Voters Guide. It has everything you need to know about the Pennsylvania and New Jersey general election races, from candidate profiles to ballot questions.
The Inquirer Editorial Board has put together its own Endorsement Guide, too. They’ve thrown their support behind Beth Grossman for Philadelphia district attorney and Rebecca Rhynhart as the city’s first female controller. In New Jersey, they’ve endorsed Phil Murphy for governor and Steve Sweeney for state senator.
Keep an eye on our results coverage as polls close tonight. Or, get some shut-eye and I’ll let you know what happened in the morning.
“Play with me with my job and see what happens.” Kristine Gillespie-Amato, an officer in the 9th District, wrote this and a few more foul-mouthed Facebook comments Friday to supporters of the Frank Rizzo statue’s removal from Thomas Paine Plaza. She made over 40 comments on the “Vintage Philadelphia” page, appearing to call Mayor Kenney an “ugly miser looking pu— mayor.” Yikes. The Police Department is looking into it.
Gillespie-Amato is far from the only one resisting the statue’s removal; the decision has stirred an intense debate. The statue’s sculptor is disappointed. Columnist Ronnie Polaneczky thinks it’s time to switch it up. And our readers’ reactions run the gamut, naturally.
Authorities now believe Sunday’s shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, stemmed from a “domestic situation.” Suspected gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, a former U.S. Air Force airman, was also previously sentenced to a year in military prison for assaulting his wife and child.
But the Air Force failed to submit record of his domestic violence conviction to the FBI as required by Pentagon rules. If the records had been shared, they should have prevented him from purchasing the weapon he used to kill 26 members of the small town community — including eight members of one family.
You’d be wrong to think the people of Sutherland Springs are embracing gun control after the attack. They’re looking to “the good guys with guns,” like Texan Stephen Willeford. He exchanged gunfire with Kelley and gave chase with a stranger who happened to be driving past First Baptist Church as the gunman exited.
What you need to know today
- A female employee of the Sheriff’s Office is suing the city, Sheriff Jewell Williams and Deputy Sheriff and Staff Inspector Paris Washington, alleging Williams and Washington repeatedly sexually harassed her. Sadly, this pattern of abuse by men in power is nothing new.
- No win, just a loss for Meek Mill: the Philadelphia rapper was sentenced to two to four years in state prison after violating his probation again, and his fans are pretty upset.
- Good news: Anxiety, migraines, and Tourette syndrome may be added to New Jersey’s list of ailments eligible for medical marijuana treatment. Bad news: the final decision could be stalled yet again.
- Comcast’s outsize influence on local politics rears its head in Seattle. Mayoral candidates are debating supporting city-owned internet services that would compete with the market leader. Turns out they don’t like competition. Who knew?
- After a lifetime of feeling disconnected from her Puerto Rican roots, a Philadelphia City Council staffer traveled to the land of her ancestors in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Reporter Tricia L. Nadolny and photographer David Swanson spent last week documenting the island’s recovery.
- The GOP tax bill would eliminate municipal bonds that are popular with nonprofit hospitals and universities. Basically it means borrowing costs for construction projects would go up, up, up.
- Today in not-very-surprising-but-still-terrifying weather news, 2017 will likely be the third-warmest year on record, making the last three years the warmest since 1880.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.
- Is a super Wawa coming to the Delaware waterfront? Not if Pennsport residents have anything to say about it. Zoning doesn’t permit the plans, and the community isn’t supporting a change. Guess it’s not so super.
- A year after the 2016 election, how has the outcome changed dating across the aisle? Talking politics on a first date has gone from faux pas to ice-breaker, and sometimes deal-breaker, too. As if dating wasn’t hard enough already.
- Don’t worry, WIP listeners: SportsRadio 94.1’s Angelo Cataldi is recovering after having emergency gallbladder surgery and could be back on air as soon as this week.
- Nightlife guru Avram Hornik, known for bars and restaurants like William Street Commons, the Dolphin, and Morgan’s Pier, has five new hot spots in the works. My question: when does this guy sleep?
- Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has changed his name, again — and it’s two letters away from Philly’s favorite nickname.
- The latest in our Clean Plates series on food safety inspections zeroes in on violations MontCo health inspectors found last month. The story starts with “Fish and meat wrapped in rags,” so maybe don’t read it on an empty stomach.
- In much better restaurant news, Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi’s latest venture, Royal Boucherie, opens in Old City tomorrow.
“Enough with the thoughts and prayers. Those thoughts and prayers seem never to include thoughts about how to prevent the next shooting, how to make sure the next person intent on doing harm doesn’t get that gun or those bullets.“ — Shira Goodman, executive director of gun violence prevention organization CeaseFirePA, responds to Sunday’s mass shooting in Texas.
- Philly police commissioner Richard Ross hopes that once the nation realizes we’re all impacted by gun violence, change may finally come.
- An expletive-laden voicemail from a “proud” racist and the arraignment of a former Bordentown Township police chief on federal hate-crime charges leave columnist Kevin Riordan reflecting on the bubble that left him surprised at both.
What we’re reading
- Don’t let the Paradise Papers pass you by. The Guardian explains how the world’s second-biggest data leak came to be and what the tangle of offshore dealings means.
- This “Know-It-All Guide” to Philly architecture is a great starter course on the city’s distinctive built environment, from “starchitects” to our most important structures. [Philadelphia Magazine]
- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will pass a new bill that makes it easier to lay off teachers, Keystone Crossroads reports. [WHYY]
- I’m rooting for the New Jersey teen who’s set his sights on making the national fencing team and diversifying a sport filled with white, affluent athletes. [NJ.com]
- Buzzfeed’s fascinating profile of the New Jersey-based Sikh Motorcycle Club of the Northeast explores how its members find community in a country where their faith can make them targets.
A Daily Dose of | Good Dogs
Adding inspiration to injury: A local hospice therapy dog broke her foot, but the pup’s wound sparked important conversations between patients and their families. Say it with me: “Aww.”