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High school principal removed; No more Hurricane Idas; Mail voting is open | Sunday roundup

Round 2 without Embiid 😞

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Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

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RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

•  Building 1,000 homes on city land

Philly officials kicked off a new program that will see city-owned vacant lots sold to developers at a nominal fee so they can be turned into 1,000 units of affordable housing — defined as below the area median price, or no higher than $250k. Dubbed “Turn the Key,” the initiative includes soft loans to back mortgages so families won’t pay more than $1,200/month. [WHYY/Inquirer$]

• High school principal removed after student walkout

The principal at Bodine High School in Northern Liberties, considered one of Philly’s top schools, was removed after weeks of student protests over a lack of oversight and sexualized comments from staff. Students said they noticed an immediate culture shift, and that lost activities like International Day and t-shirt fundraisers have already been restored. [Tribune$/KYW/Inquirer$]

• Ida retired as hurricane name

There will never again be a deadly and destructive storm called Ida, as the World Meteorological Organization has added the name to its list of 12 that won’t be reused. At least 55 people died after it hit last Labor Day weekend, and it caused widespread destruction. In Philly, the Schuylkill River flooded the Vine Street Expressway and damaged homes and businesses still trying to recover. [WMO/USA Today/NBC News/Billy Penn/]

• Why can’t the city find enough lifeguards?

It’s become an annual problem: as summer approaches, Philly Parks & Rec is having trouble recruiting enough people to serve as lifeguards — which means many of the city’s public pools won’t be able to fully open. If you’re 16 or older, you can book a screening test online. Pay starts at $16 an hour, and there’s training available. [Fox29/Billy Penn/phila.gov/NBC10]

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Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Mail ballot drop boxes open across Philly

If you’re a mail voter, 16 secure drop boxes are now open across the city (here’s a map). You can also request and return your ballot same day at City Hall Room 140. If you’re not a registered Democrat or Republican — more and more common among younger voters — you only get a say on the ballot questions, since Pennsylvania has closed primaries. [Billy Penn/Billy Penn]

• Restaurants anticipate new streetery rules

Relaxed regulations for operating streeteries are expected this week from the city, likely removing the $60k security bond and mandate to dismantle the structures in advance of storms. Restaurant owners were shocked last month by added financial and logistical burdens to continue operating the outdoor dining that’s been so critical during the pandemic. [Billy Penn]

• OY/YO sculpture lands at the Jewish museum

After it was saved from bankruptcy by its new namesake donor, the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History opens its doors on May 13 for the first time in two years. A giant sculpture is being installed outside today. Titled “OY/YO,” the piece by Deborah Kass will be an immediate draw — we know because there are already two of them, one in NYC and one at Stanford. [Jewish Exponent/Billy Penn]

• Sixers enter Round 2 without Embiid

The glory Sixers fans felt when Philly dispatched Toronto to advance in the NBA Playoffs was tempered by the devastating announcement that Joel Embiid — the team’s heart, soul, and muscle — is out indefinitely. A collision with Raptor Pascal Siakam caused an orbital fracture and possible concussion. The Embiid-less Game 1 against Miami is Monday night. [ESPN/SportsKeeda]

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