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

Good morning, RVA: Public housing, Amazon's Richmond options, and mattresses

Good morning, RVA! It's 69 °F, and did we do it? Did we survive living inside of a mid-October sauna? I THINK SO. Highs today hit the low 70s, and there's a decent chance of rain this afternoon.

Water cooler

Police are reporting a homicide that occurred on Tuesday morning. Officers arrived to the 4600 block of Jefferson Davis Highway and found Chanti N. Robinson, 29, shot to death.

Here's an excellent piece by Katy Burnell Evans in the RTD about the violence in our public housing neighborhoods. It's well-written, informative, humanizing, and fair but not totally devoid of hope. Please take the time to read it! She also reminds me about the October 31st housing summit Mayor Stoney announced a while back, so now I'll remind you about it.

Michael Martz reveals the secret locations in Virginia—including three in Richmond—that the state will pitch Amazon as potential HQ2 locations. The closest any of them come to having access to mass transit is that one of the locations will sit near a 30-minute bus line (whenever GRTC transitions to its new routes in the spring / summer). I keep thinking about the sheer number of humans Amazon wants to suddenly dump into their eventual location. 50,000 people getting to and from work every day is a ton of people. That's, like, four times the size of the Fan! Getting that amount of people to and from work every day means we'd either need a massive upgrade to our transit network or a butt ton of parking—or both.

I really wish we could stop talking about the City's bulk and brush program—but, ALAS, we cannot. Mark Robinson in the RTD breaks the news that the program will not pick up couches or mattresses. Y'all. The dang Mayor literally said he was revamping the program to handle "couches sitting in your alleys." Now, the Department of Public Works is using Councilman Agelasto's No Couches On Your Front Porch ordinance (ORD. 2015-208-228) as reasoning to not pick up upholstered items. What in the world! I'm trying to keep in mind how DPW has absolutely crushed the backlog of bulk and brush requests—which presumably include couches and mattresses—over the last year.

Now, after Congress's however many attempts at repealing Obamacare failed each and every time, Trump plans on Executive Ordering his way towards a repeal.


CORRECTION: Yesterday I mentioned that America had been eliminated from World Cup contention. This is only partly true: The U.S. Men's National Team has failed to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup. The three-time and current reigning champions U.S. Women's National Team is most certainly not eliminated from the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. It was lazy and dumb of me to write as if men are the default athletes when that's just not true—especially since the women's team is just, like, way more successful.

  • Nats blanked the Cubs, 5-0, to move the series to 2-2. Win and move on—tonight at 8:00 PM on TBS.

This morning's longread

The Story of Jud Jud, the World’s Only A Capella, Straight-Edge Hardcore Band

I'm putting this longread in here for the exactly three people I know who both read this email and have heard of Jud Jud. You can listen to Jud Jud on Apple Music.

B.'s band is Jud Jud, an a capella straight-edge hardcore band that, in 1997, released The Demos on No Idea Records. The nine songs contained therein are surprisingly diverse for a band that, after no more than five seconds, gives you a full picture of what to expect on every subsequent track. The needle drops, it catches the groove, and then blasting out of your speakers is a series of onomatopoeias. "JUD JUD JUD" goes the left speaker, then "JUD JUD JUD" goes the right. It's arrestingly blunt, as two humans gnarl their voices until they approximate heavily distorted guitars. They ping between the channels until they join in unison, creating the illusion of two chugging guitars becoming one. They mouth the sound of a crash cymbal being hit and then dissipating. They mimic drum fills by peking their lips and blowing. And when they need a pinch of feedback, they shift into a higher register and squeal. There's no instruments to be found aside from the human voice. It's just under nine minutes long, and this is all it is. It never once gets old.

Good morning, RVA: Trains, Folk Festival, and apple pies

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