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Delaware’s port expansion plan is moving forward. What does it mean for Philadelphia?

Greetings, Philly. It looks like a mostly sunny Thursday, with high temperatures in the mid 70s.

After a change in leadership and legal challenges, Delaware’s port expansion plan is back on track — and reigniting regional rivalry with Philadelphia.

In the meantime, it’s a damn fun time to be a Phillies fan. But will the team’s hot start lead to a World Series title? We crunched the numbers to find out.

Here’s what you need to know today.

Julie Zeglen ([email protected])

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The Port of Philadelphia is an economic powerhouse, handling 743,000 container freight units last year carrying goods such as fruits and vegetables from around the world. Hundreds of millions in state investments have contributed to substantial growth in recent years.

Now, just 25 miles south on the Delaware River, it faces competition as the yearlong expansion of the Port of Wilmington continues. The Inquirer’s business and power reporter Andrew Seidman has the full story on why Pennsylvania officials and companies see the expansion as a threat to Philly.

For more background, here’s what Seidman told me about why this development is so remarkable:

Anyone who enjoys shopping online has probably experienced shipping delays or shortages of certain goods. This was a major problem early in the pandemic. Ports play a big role in supply chains, so it’s worth paying attention when there’s a big proposal like this. In addition, the public has invested a lot of money in this area: the deepening of the Delaware River, completed in 2021, cost federal and Pennsylvania taxpayers approximately $500 million. Politicians in Harrisburg have allocated another $500 million or more to the Ports of Philadelphia in recent years.

Could Delaware’s new project effectively threaten some of those investments by taking freight from Philadelphia? Or will it make our region as a whole more competitive? These are some of the questions I wanted to explore in this piece.

Red October, here we come?

Our Phils posted the best early-season stats in franchise history and now leads the National League with a 39-18 record after yesterday’s win against the San Francisco Giants. But at a third of the way through the season, it’s still too early to tell if all these wins will lead to a World Series title… right?

Phillies reporter Scott Lauber dug into the stats and discovered that, indeed, a good start hasn’t always gotten this team to the playoffs, and more wins don’t guarantee they’ll become World Series champions. For them, it is the end of the season that really matters.

And yet, statistically speaking, the Phillies are in good company when it comes to the league’s history.

Check out Lauber’s full breakdown of what should and shouldn’t lead to optimism, with plenty of charts to put this series into context.

PS This week, Major League Baseball announced that it would recognize the statistics of more than 2,300 players who played in the Negro Leagues in the early 20th century. Columnist Marcus Hayes wrote about Josh Gibson, now (officially) known as the greatest hitter in history.

What you need to know today

  1. President Joe Biden came to the Philadelphia area for the fifth time this year on Wednesday to lay out his arguments for why Black voters should support his re-election bid.

  2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Medicaid provider Keystone First have reached a deal for a new, multi-year contract, ending months of negotiations.

  3. A former pastor admitted to killing an eight-year-old Delaware County girl in 1975. His lawyer says last summer’s confession was coerced.

  4. Twenty years ago, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Paul Offit of CHOP to educate him about vaccines. The now presidential candidate then misrepresented what the vaccine expert told him in a dangerous disinformation campaign.

  5. Under a bill introduced in the state Legislature, cosmetology schools in New Jersey would be required to teach stylists, barbers and braiders who apply for state licenses how to work with textured hair.

  6. Washington Square West could house one of Philly’s largest historic districts, despite the objections of some residents.

  7. Campbell Soup Co. is investing $230 million in its supply chain, which translates to 20 million pounds of additional chips produced annually in Pennsylvania. In other snack news, Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages invested $3.5 million in switching to a recyclable paperboard carrier at its Philadelphia plant.

  8. Visit Nicholas Ducos, a partner in Fishtown’s Mural City Cellars, at the Shark cage-esque Fox series Food Stars by Gordon Ramsay.

We asked, you answered: Where exactly does South Philly begin?

The deceptively not so simple question generated a lot of responses. After readers marked their picks on The Inquirer’s interactive map, Washington Avenue won the popular vote — but the average showed a new limit.

Check out the full results and what people had to say about what the real South Philly *feels* like.

🧠 Trivia time

You may owe money because of last year’s chemical spill in Delaware. How much is each payout worth, according to the class action lawsuit settlement?

A) $25

B) $100

C) $2,500

D) $10,000

Do you think you know? Check your answer.

What (and who) we are…

🎶 Jealous of: Everyone who will hear André 3000’s flute styles live this weekend during the Roots Picnic.

🚗 Sympathize with: The local car buyers are faced with these high interest rates.

🥪 Ranking: The best pastrami in the region, including from Philly’s Jewish Deli King.

🧩 Decipher the anagram

What does the new mascot named Keystone Kid represent?

SEA SPINNEY

Send us an email if you know the answer. We’ll randomly select a reader to shout it out here. Cheers to Elsa Newman, who solved Wednesday’s anagram: Wuffle ball. A Ridley Park competition keeps a childhood favorite alive for Delco adults.

Photo of the day

The outfits – especially the hats – at the Devon Horse Show’s Ladies Day did not disappoint.

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday! Back at it tomorrow.

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