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

Good morning, RVA: Obama!, the ICA, and balloons

Good morning, RVA! It's 43 °F, and that's chilly! Highs today will top out around a significantly less chilly 70 °F. Spend some time outside enjoying Richmond in the fall (finally).

Water cooler

President Barack Obama will campaign for Ralph Northam tomorrow at the Convention Center. That's exciting! Unfortunately, if you don't already have a ticket, you won't be able to get in. That's a bummer!

Yesterday, the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU (aka the ICA (aka the big silvery building taking shape at the intersection of Broad and Belvidere)) announced their new opening date (PDF): April 21st, 2018. I'm excited to finally get a peek inside the building to see how the oddly-shaped exterior impacts the interior space. Nerd alert!

The Land Use, Housing and Transportation Standing Committee met yesterday. Their agenda originally contained the ordinance to scoop out a bit of Larus Park (ORD. 2017-087) and Councilman Jones's "can we ask the State for permission to have the authority to maybe on day take down the monuments" resolution (RES. 2017-R075). Both of these items were continued to another date, and, for the first time in my memory, Council sent out an email letting folks know that ahead of time. This is awesome! I hope we'll see Council take more action on solidifying their agendas a bit before each meeting. It's annoying to show up to a public meeting prepared to speak for or against something, only to find that that thing has been kicked off the agenda without your knowledge.

Sarah King in Richmond Magazine has a bit more about newly-appointed School Board Rep Cheryl Burke.

I am required by Good Morning, RVA law to link to any story about students launching a weather balloon to the edge of space. Justin Mattingly at the RTD has just such an article about just such a project at RPS's Franklin Military Academy. But, like, where are the pictures taken from the balloon!? What gives, Justin, my man? Don't hold out on us!

Last night, someone spray painted "racist" on the Jefferson Davis monument again. This is still vandalism and still factually accurate.

Behold these meat and beer pairings from a guy who knows a thing or two about meat.

The New York Times explains the bipartisan deal that may help stabilize the insurance markets by funding the cost-sharing reduction payment subsidies for two years. This is incredibly wonky stuff, but, hey, we live in wonky times.

This morning's longread

ESPN Can’t Stick to Sports. But Can It Stick by Its Talent?

Bill Simmons has a really excellent look into how ESPN has handled the recent collisions of sports and politics.

Here’s where the dual personalities of ESPN blossomed into full view. On the one hand, it’s the company that funded Ezra Edelman’s staggering vision for O.J.: Made in America, turned over a high-profile SportsCenter block to Jemele and Michael Smith, spent God knows how much on The Undefeated, throws a lavish espnW summit every fall, and does whatever else you’d want to stick in this paragraph. On the other hand, it’s the company that found itself paralyzed when Jemele tweeted that Trump was “a white supremacist.” Uh-oh. Now what? This was easily one of the most flagrant social media violations in the company’s history, as well as a mortal lock to draw six to eight pages in Jim Miller’s next ESPN book. Was she deliberately provoking her critics or her bosses? Maybe. Maybe she felt so overwhelmingly frustrated—about the state of the country, about social media haters relentlessly attacking her, about how poorly ESPN was managing her show, about our race-baiting, incompetent fraud of a president—and wanted to transfer that pain elsewhere. Whatever happened, Jemele did not stumble into that tweet. Well … wasn’t this the whole point of HAVING Jemele Hill?

Good morning, RVA: Meta media news, Dillon Rule requests, and GWAR

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