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Editor’s Notes: Fountain of Truth

Don’t give up on Philadelphia just yet. Our centuries-old city has big problems, including the legacy of lead. It’s in our paint, our pipes, our bloodstreams. When it gets in our children, it hurts their young brains’ development, negatively affecting learning and behavior. With the district-wide installation of hydration stations — filtering units that remove

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2 mins read
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Editor’s Notes: Wasted Time

Whether it’s the shame of encountering trash dumped in your neighborhood, the despair of seeing a littered landscape or the outrage of witnessing recyclables and trash being dumped into the same truck, everyone who lives in Philadelphia eventually feels the psychological toll of mishandled waste. It makes all of us feel helpless, and then, the

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2 mins read
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The new book from Grid’s long-time naturalist aims to make your urban experience richer

Bernard Brown wants to introduce you to your neighbors. Not the human ones, but the flora and fauna that surrounds, or is accessible to, us city dwellers. Brown, a longtime contributor to Grid, has been working the “Urban Naturalist” beat since 2009. His first book, “Exploring Philly Nature: A Guide for All Four Seasons,” offers

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5 mins read

Editor’s Notes: A False Choice

Once a year, police officers standing in front of barricades block my usual commute to work. The street, Spruce, is closed from 34th to 38th streets, to allow University of Pennsylvania students to move into their dorms. Upon seeing them, and realizing I’m going to be delayed, I mutter a few choice words. I understand

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2 mins read
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Editor’s Notes: Grounded in Reality

I’ve been grappling with Vaclav Smil’s provocative book, “How The World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We’re Going.” Smil, a professor at the University of Manitoba, has written dozens of books on big topics including population, food and energy, usually with scientists or public policy professionals in mind. This

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2 mins read
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Editor’s Notes: Battling for Transparency

When it comes to how the City manages public land, the deck is stacked. When the City leased the Cobbs Creek Golf Course to the Cobbs Creek Foundation, a West Conshohocken-based nonprofit, for $1 for 30 years, there were no competing bids. There was no discussion about how people in the community might like to

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2 mins read
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Editor’s Notes: Time to Get Serious

The City of Philadelphia is not serious about climate change. Yet many people who work for the city are incredibly serious about it. They are dedicated, talented and passionate civil servants. Leadership, on the other hand, is lacking. The result is a mishmash of positive programs trying to methodically tackle the challenges we face colliding

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2 mins read
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