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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 66 °F, and there's a bit of rain that'll finish up this morning and then move out of town. Cooler temperatures will take its place—after this morning, expect highs right around 60 °F.

Water cooler

Today is the final day to register to vote in November's gubernatorial election! You can check your registration status or apply to register to vote on the Virginia Department of Elections website. Also keep in mind: October 31st is the deadline to have an absentee ballot mailed to you.

Speaking of ballots, what's the deal with Paul Goldman's Ballot Referendum? We know that it exists, that it's championed by Paul Goldman, and that it'll show up on November's ballot—but, like, why? And what will it even do? Jackie Kruszewski in Richmond Magazine has a good piece about how the referendum has become (and always was, if you ask me), a "Rorschach test for political loyalties and associations." The final quote of the article gives you insight into some of Goldman's motivations in pushing this thing on to the ballot outside of and around our newly set up Education Compact process.

Also in Richmond Magazine, Bonnie Newman Davis lets me know about a new program out of the Richmond Public Library called the Black Male Emergent Readers literacy program. This seems awesome, and the Richmond Public Library continues to do impressive stuff beyond checking books out to folks.

Whoa, look at this neat special feature in the RTD about Dominion Energy, titled "Dominion Rules: How the Richmond-based utility company became one of the most influential political forces in Virginia". It's a three-parter plus a bunch of supplementary materials—including a podcast. I can't recall a similarly in-depth piece of reporting by the paper off the top of my head, and I'm looking forward to digging into this one.

Blanchard's, the coffee you'll usually find if you should bust into my house and open up all my cabinets, now offers a coffee delivery subscription service. Never run out of coffee and then have to rush over to Little Green House Grocery before they close again!

Do you live in Henrico? Do you want to see the county's public transportation options grow into something more useful and efficient? Well, friend, have I got the public meeting for you! Tonight, Henrico County will host the second of three public meetings to discuss planned changes to their portion of our region's transit network. This is an important opportunity to talk with County planners and let them know what you'd like out of public transit in Henrico. See you at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center (1440 N. Laburnum Avenue) tonight from 5:30–7:00 PM!


  • Kickers fell to Louisville City FC, 1-3, in the final game of the 2017 season.
  • Spiders topped Towson, 23-3.
  • Wahoos moved to 5-1 with a win over North Carolina, 20-14.
  • Washington beat San Francisco, 26-24.

This morning's longread

My Bionic Quest for Boléro

Here's a link to Boléro on Apple Music to listen to while you read this really interesting piece.

And then, on July 7, 2001, at 10:30 am, I lost my ability to hear Boléro – and everything else. While I was waiting to pick up a rental car in Reno, I suddenly thought the battery in my hearing aid had died. I replaced it. No luck. I switched hearing aids. Nothing. I got into my rental car and drove to the nearest emergency room. For reasons that are still unknown, my only functioning ear had suffered "sudden-onset deafness." I was reeling, trying to navigate in a world where the volume had been turned down to zero. But there was a solution, a surgeon at Stanford Hospital told me a week later, speaking slowly so I could read his lips. I could have a computer surgically installed in my skull. A cochlear implant, as it is known, would trigger my auditory nerves with 16 electrodes that snaked inside my inner ear. It seemed drastic, and the $50,000 price tag was a dozen times more expensive than a high-end hearing aid. I went home and cried. Then I said yes.

Good morning, RVA: School Board, liquor laws, and pop ups

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