Morning Headlines: Ruben Amaro Takes the Field
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:
Up in Boston, former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is now the first-base coach.
It’s an unusual transition, and the New York Times checked in on him over the weekend. “I think he’s going to be a manager,” said Pat Gillick, Amaro’s predecessor as Phillies GM. “He’s a smart guy; he’s bilingual. Consequently, I think he’s going to get an opportunity.” In the meantime, Amaro has been put in charge of Boston’s outfielders. “Listen, as far as my intensity and desire to do my job well, I don’t think that’s changed all that much,” he said. “I want our outfield to be the best outfield in baseball. We have a chance to do that.”
It’s not just Flint — Philadelphia has a huge lead problem, too.
Philly Mag’s Holly Otterbein reports: Here in Philadelphia, officials are adamant that the water supply is safe. But that doesn’t mean children are not being exposed to lead. Far from it, sadly. According to the state Department of Health, more than 10 percent of kids from Philly who were tested in 2014 had elevated blood lead levels. City officials say the main source of lead in Philly is not the water we drink in our homes, but the old, lead-based paint surrounding us on our walls. It has been recently estimated that a whopping 85 percent to 92 percent of the city’s housing units were built before 1978, which is when the country’s lead ban went into effect. Comparatively, 54 percent of homes in the United States were built prior to that year. As if that weren’t enough, Philadelphia is also the poorest big city in the country, making it difficult for many residents to maintain their homes so that lead-based paint doesn’t crack, chip or turn to dust, at which point it can become a hazard.
Gov. Tom Wolf on Sunday endorsed Montco’s Josh Shapiro to be the next attorney general.
“Josh Shapiro is a proven reformer who will restore integrity to Harrisburg and he is the best choice to be our next Attorney General,” Wolf wrote in a letter released to journalists and Shapiro’s supporters. Shapiro increasingly seems to have the support of the Democratic establishment — he also has an endorsement from Ed Rendell. But AP points out that Shapiro is running against two district attorneys for the Democratic Party nomination, Northampton County’s John Morganelli and Allegheny County’s Stephen Zappala. TribLive’s Brad Bumsted writes that voters look for prosecutorial experience in an attorney general, but observers are divided if such experience is necessary. Says one former acting attorney general: Prosecutorial experience “is not necessary to be a good, or outstanding, attorney general.”
POWER, the urban activist coalition that helped bring you #BlackLivesMatter protests and demonstrations for a higher minimum wage, is expanding to the suburbs.
POWER Metro, made up of 16 faith congregations in Montgomery and Delaware counties, will focus on issues of crime, poverty, homelessness, and education, Philly.com reports. People think the suburbs don’t suffer from the same problems,” said Dwayne D. Royster, POWER’s executive director. “A lot of politicians want to segment these issues as ‘urban problems.’ But they are issues that affect the boroughs and townships, too.” The new chapter opened with a service on Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansdale. “There have been pockets before of church groups working together on issues in their own communities,” Royster said. “But we’re aiming for a larger stage. We’re thinking counties-wide.”
Camille Cosby is scheduled to give a deposition today in one of the lawsuits brought against her husband.
AP says it is believed that this is the first time Bill Cosby’s wife has given a deposition since dozens of women made public their sexual assault allegations against him. Her lawyers tried to stop today’s deposition, saying it would create “an unnecessary media circus and personal security threat that serves no purpose other than to harass and embarrass her.” A judge late Sunday ordered her testimony to proceed as scheduled.
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