Today, we look back at the life and legacy of longtime Phillies executive David Montgomery. The beloved baseball mind, Philly native, and family man has died after a battle with cancer. Officials are trying to rid the process of Philly’s public land sales of backroom deal-making. An instance of it occurred near Temple University where a developer wasn’t too pleased with the price of vacant lots he was interested in purchasing. Now, emails show the influence City Council members can exert over those sales.

Philly developer Shawn Bullard purchased vacant public lots in North Philadelphia in 2016. The lots on Cecil B. Moore Avenue were bought at a mysterious discount — triggering a review of the sale by the city’s Inspector General.

Now, hundreds of pages of emails and other records obtained by The Inquirer show city officials scrambling unsuccessfully to determine why the price was lowered. The records shed light on the type of backroom deal-making Mayor Jim Kenney and others have been trying to eliminate when it comes to public land sales.

The emails reveal the influence Council members can exert over such sales. Bullard ultimately got the lots with the help of City Council President Darrell Clarke.

David Montgomery, the longtime and beloved Philadelphia Phillies executive, died on Wednesday, the team announced. Montgomery, 72, had been diagnosed with jaw-bone cancer in 2014.

In his 15 seasons in charge, he helped lead the Phillies to five division titles, two pennants, the 2008 World Series title, a new state-of-the-art ballpark, a lucrative multi-billion dollar TV deal, and he even played a role in bringing the 2026 All-Star Game to town. He was always grateful to accomplish those things for his hometown team.

The Roxborough-raised Montgomery is survived by his wife Lyn, a daughter, Susa; two sons, Harry and Sam; and three grandchildren, Elizabeth, Cameron and Will. Philadelphia was Montgomery’s home. And the Phillies were family.

Carl Durkow’s unique handcrafted candles have garnered him orders from across the country. So much so, that his mom wishes he would slow down. But he isn’t planning to.

The Drexel grad’s real trade is in furniture and lighting design, but he’s used his wildly creative candles to serve as an entry point for new customers not looking to spend big on his chairs and lamps just yet.

Candles in the home serve a number of purposes from aiding in relaxation to supporting decor. Luckily, the Philly-area is filled with all of the candles you could possibly need — if you know where to look.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

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That’s Interesting

  • Inside a Philly church, Clarence Walker lives his childhood dream. He’s been an usher since he was 5-years-old because he wanted to serve — the same way he felt when his draft notice came during World War II.
  • Lego fans will take a trip down memory lane this fall. A pop-up Lego bar is coming to Philadelphia this year and will include giant sculptures and Legos to play with while you sip an IPA.
  • The Pennsylvania Ballet has enlisted Jennifer Tipton, one of the most respected lighting designers in dance, to help them close out their season. She’s designed lighting since 1971, but is still in love with light after all these years.
  • Many Philadelphians are unaware of the Chamounix Equestrian Center nestled in a corner of Fairmount Park. But to the students of a non-profit that uses horsemanship to teach life lessons, it’s like a second home.

Opinions

May 9, 2019
Signe Wilkinson
May 9, 2019

“Like many in our country and around the world, this is a close and personal cause to me. My family has been touched by autism, so I often think about the individuals who live with the daily challenges of this condition. ... Together, we are changing lives and establishing Philadelphia as a major global center for autism research and care.” — Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie on the upcoming Eagles autism challenge.

  • For generations, we’ve told young people that a college degree from a university is a key to success, but it really only guarantees costly debt, writes Thomas Charlton, chairman and CEO of Goliath Technologies.
  • Columnist Marcus Hayes wonders if Sixers star Joel Embiid is a hero or a “diva.” Embiid will tell you “he’s all guts,” Hayes writes. But his body language screams “surrender.”

What we’re reading

John Polefka, who attended Phoenixville High School but dropped out before graduating. He was killed in Vietnam in 1969.
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John Polefka, who attended Phoenixville High School but dropped out before graduating. He was killed in Vietnam in 1969.

A Daily Dose of | Remembrance

Class of 1968 alums from Phoenixville Area High School found a way to honor a former classmate who lost his life while serving in Vietnam. Now the John A. Polefka Memorial Scholarship Fund is helping students joining the military.