Once upon a time I ran a news site, now I just have opinions on the news. 

Good morning, RVA: CAFR watch, public housing, and Star Wars

Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F, and we're looking at more temperatures in the mid 80s and more chances for thunderstorms. With any luck, it'll be slightly less humid today than yesterday!

Water cooler

Mark Robinson has your City Council update if you couldn't find the time to tune in. Of note: Council's proposal to keep the Mayor out of closed-door meetings failed. Also, this piece reminded me that it's almost CAFR season! Will the Mayor fulfill his promise to finally get Richmond's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report turned in on time? We'll find out in November.

Ned Oliver has some of the story behind the double homicide that took place in Shockoe Bottom this past weekend. This story is really sad—but humanizing—and something we need more of.

Also in the RTD, RRHA CEO T.K. Somanath has a column about the housing authority's plans to do a thing to get some desperately needed funding. I don't pretend to know how public housing funding works, but with the decrepit state of a lot of our public housing stock and the instability at the federal level, we've got to do...something. It's on Somanath, the Mayor, and City Council to start explaining the repercussions of these changes and how it will impact the folks living in Richmond's six public housing neighborhoods.

Melissa Scott Sinclair has this good piece about Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia's program to help move folks out of poverty. You'll read about a lot of stuff that I hope you're already familiar with: that the area a child grows up in significantly impacts their upward mobility, that people need to live near bus lines to get to work (so you can imagine how that plays out in Chesterfield), and that those escaping poverty face a ton of hurdles. While we're talking about HOME, you should consider applying to become a tester. Testers help gather information about area housing practices—like calling a bunch of mortgage lenders to suss out inequitable lending practices. You get a stipend, you help a good cause, you should do it!

This story in Politico about what White House staffers have to do to keep Trump from blowing up the world is such a bummer.

The new Star Wars trailer dropped last night! Watch it, or, if you are super against spoilers, begin avoiding all things Star Wars until December 15th.


  • Nats dropped a close one to the Cubs, 1-2. Tonght's must-win game starts at 5:30 PM.

This morning's longread

Why Conservatives Should Care About Transit

Got a conservative in your life that you want to sell on the benefits of good transit? Here's the article for you!

Sadly, American conservatives have come to be associated with support for transportation decisions that promote dependence on automobiles, while American liberals are more likely to be associated with public transportation, city life, and pro-pedestrian policies. This association can be traced to the ’70s, when cities became associated with social dysfunction and suburbs remained bastions of ‘normalcy.’ This dynamic was fueled by headlines mocking ill-conceived transit projects that conservatives loved to point out as examples of wasteful government spending. Of course, just because there is a historic explanation for why Democrats are “pro-transit” and Republicans are “pro-car” does not mean that these associations make any sense. Support for government-subsidized highway projects and contempt for efficient mass transit does not follow from any of the core principles of social conservatism.

Good morning, RVA: Water, the Folk Festival, and cyclocross

Good morning, RVA: Violence, Nazis, and school lunches