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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 61 °F, and, by George, today's highs will hit 70 °F and not much more. Over the weekend, things may heat up a bit in a last-ditch effort for 2017 to deny the impending fall.

Water cooler

Richmond Police are now classifying a deadly shooting which occurred on October 5th as a homicide. Officers arrived at the 3900 block of Crestview Road in the City's East End and found Hakeem W. Winston, 24, shot. He would later die of his injuries.

Michael Paul Williams weighs in on where we should put our high-speed rail station(s), and I disagree! It definitely will cost a ton of money to get the tracks set up right for high-speed trains to access Main Street Station, but building an entirely new station on the Boulevard will also require a trainload of cash. Other than some federal regulations that I'm not super familiar with requiring train stations in city centers, here's my main reason for wanting to keep Boulevard train-free, from the article: "As a Hanover County resident, I can drive to North Boulevard as quickly as I can travel to Staples Mill Station. Chesterfield and South Richmond residents might fare even better." I think my head will explode if we decide to use up more of our valuable and limited City land to build parking for folks from the counties to store their cars while they take trains away from Richmond.

Vanessa Remmers at the RTD has an update on the industrial megasite planned in Chesterfield, which is a huge project—both in terms of physical space (1,700 acres) and cash ($15.5 million). It's been interesting to watch coverage of the citizen invovlment against this project ratchet up in the press over the last couple of weeks. It makes me think we could use some more county reporters to dig in to the government haps in Chesterfield and Henrico.

The Folk Festival begins tonight at 6:00 PM! Check out the full schedule here, which, dang, is overwhelming in the amount of folky goodness contained therein.

This piece in Richmond Magazine by Genevelyn Steele taught me that there is a place called Country Food and Furniture in Powhatan where you can buy "Ole Time Apple Fried Pie." Don't put it past me to drive forever and a day for a delicious apple hand pie!

Dylan Scott at Vox has two pieces explaining how Trump is short circuiting Obamacare via Executive Order. The first, looks at the EO to task federal agencies with expanding the use of association health plans. The second covers his decision to quit paying the Cost-Sharing Reduction subsidies. Not great, Bob.

This NYT quiz about what Facebook considers hate speech is really interesting.


ESPN's College GameDay returns to JMU this weekend! The show, which runs from 9:00 AM–12:00 PM on Saturday, will set up in front of Wilson Hall. Learn more over on JMU's site. Go Dukes!

Also! VCU will host its annual Black and Gold Game on Saturday at 2:00 PM (doors at 1:00 PM) at the Siegel Center. This scrimmage is free and an excellent opportunity to catch the Rams in action before the season starts in November.

  • Kickers will play Louisville City FC in the final game of their season on Satuday at 7:30 PM. You can watch on CBS 6.3.
  • Spiders head to Towson for a 4:00 PM kick off.
  • Wahoos take on the Tar Heels in Chapel hill at 3:30 PM.
  • Nats blew a lead and lost to the Cubs, 7-4, ending their season. The game was not without controversy.
  • Washington will face the 49ers on Sunday at 1:00 PM.

This morning's longread

100 Years Since Her Execution, Was Mata Hari A Sexy Spy or A Sexy Scapegoat?

It's never really a great time to be a woman, turns out.

There was the money, and then in December 1916 an incriminating meeting with the German military attaché in Madrid. Mata Hari was arrested in February 1917, and put on trial in July. A panel of seven military judges took two days to find her guilty and sentence her to death; an appeal and plea for clemency both were rejected. She was kept at the Conciergerie prison during the trial; a previous occupant to await trial there was Marie Antoinette. “The situation of a foreign woman like me is extremely delicate at this time in France,” she wrote on July 6 to her maid in the Netherlands.

Good morning, RVA: Register to vote, referendum questions, and coffee

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