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Philly becomes first U.S. city to reinstate a mask mandate
Health Commissioner Bettigole yesterday announced the return of Philadelphia’s mask mandate as a new COVID-19 variant threatens.
- Masking will be required indoors at all businesses and institutions in the city as of April 18, giving biz owners a week to prepare. The move follows the city’s pre-established policy of COVID response levels.
The announcement immediately made national news. It also brought dissent from the local restaurant association, and from some Pa. politicians.
Get ready for squishing, it’s about to be lanternfly season
Philadelphians have internalized the directive to squish spotted lanternflies on sight. But there’s a school of thought that asks whether that’s really effective.
- There were fewer lanternflies in the Philly region last year, but scientists stayed away from saying our stomping actually made a difference. They also reported less plant damage than originally expected.
So are they still a pest we should work to destroy? As the eggs prepare to hatch, Asha Prihar checks in with scientists — and the short answer is “Yes.”
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- Yesterday, the defense rested its case in the federal bribery trial of Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson. Next up is closing arguments, followed by jury deliberation. [WHYY/Billy Penn]
- Income inequality is rising in Philly. People of color account for 73% of households earning less than $10,000 a year, while white city residents are over-represented among the highest income brackets. [Axios]
- Pet adoptions were popular when people were cooped up during the pandemic. But now many folks are getting rid of those pets, few people want to adopt them, and Philly orgs are swamped trying to find volunteers to foster homeless dogs. [WHYY/Inquirer$]
- The Clay Studio has relocated from Old City to a new four-story building in South Kensington with an expanded studio, classroom, gallery, and event space. [Philly Mag$]
- Local high school student Hanna Roemer-Block won an honorable mention in C-SPAN’s StudentCam contest for her piece “Bridge Over Dirty Water,” which discusses pollution in the Schuylkill River. Her entry was one of more than 1,400. [Chalkbeat]
- Tonight is the season finale of “Abbott Elementary,” the hit ABC sitcom set in a Philadelphia school. Star Quinta Brunson, a Philly native who drew on her own and her mothers’ experiences to create the show, tweeted a thread of behind the scenes pics. The show has been renewed for a second season. [Billy Penn/@quintabrunson/Billy Penn]
Vice President Harris is in Philly today with Secretary of Labor Walsh, and Mayor Kenney joins them during a visit to the Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 HQ in South Philly (2:30 p.m.).
ON THE CALENDAR
🎤 The Ritz Five is showing “A-ha: The Movie,” the story of the one-hit wonder band that shot to fame with “Take on Me” in 1985 and is enjoying new popularity on TikTok. Tix are $12. (7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13)
💃 “RuPaul’s Drag Race” getting a little played out? Head over to Franky Bradley’s for another installment of Snatcherella 3000, a local drag competition show where some of Philly’s finest queens compete for a crown. Tickets are $10. (9 p.m to 12 a.m. Wednesday, April 13)