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

Good morning, RVA: Deadly violence in Vegas, Pulse construction, and Portland Loo drama

Good morning, RVA! It's 52 °F, and it got fall all of the sudden. Today's highs will top out in the mid 70s—but beware, highs near 90 still exist on the 10-day forecast.

Water cooler

The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that at least 50 people have been killed at a mass shooting during a country music concert.

The RTD's Robert Zullo has a piece about Pulse construction on Broad Street and its impact on a few local businesses. Yeah, construction is annoying, but like the owner of Rider Boot Shop says, "It's the city. You're always under construction. It's part of the deal and, in the end, you have better infrastructure." That opinion seems to be common among businesses the RTD spoke to, so I'm really not sure why this article got such a negative framing. Of the six businesses they talked to five said construction either had no impact or that their business has actually improved over the last couple of months.

Councilfolk Gray and Larson have proposed legislation (PDF) that would ask the State to update our charter and remove the mayor from closed-door city council meetings. Mark Robinson has the details. This seems mostly fine to me, but what I'm really interested in, though, are the "more sweeping changes" to the City's charter Councilwoman Robertson is looking into. I can totally see that after a dozen years of the strong mayor format of government, there are probably some things we'd want to tweak about the setup.

If you're a regular reader, you know I've followed the plan to put a Portland Loo in Monroe Park with irrational excitement (says you!). Planning Commission will discuss it today as part of their regular agenda (PDF)—but in an exciting twist, the Department of Public Works has issued their strong opposition (PDF) to the Urban Design Committee's recommendation to install the Loo on the sidewalk adjacent to Franklin Street (PDF)! DPW's main concern is that the Loo would take up too much space in the sidewalk, or as they put it: "The proposed location of the 'Loo' as recommended by UDC is a change in use from space for people to walk, to space for people to complete the digestive process." That made me laugh, as did their submitted list of pros and cons for putting the Loo on the sidewalk (pros: "None (that DPW can envision)") or putting it in the park (cons: "None that DPW know of"). As much as I love a public place to pee, I might love unimpeded sidewalks more. Let's see if there's an opportunity to compromise.

I learned a lot from this piece by Dina Weinstein in Richmond Magazine about Ilene Paley, a certified kosher kitchen inspector.

Also in Richmond Magazine is this Cher-themed, illustrated list of projects they're excited about. I...don't understand why it is Cher-themed, but I certainly don't hate it.

RVA Mag has a bunch of photos from the first weekend of the State Fair of Virginia. Experience all the Fair has to offer with none of the smells!

Starting tonight, The Byrd Theatre will show a Miyazaki classic every Monday night through the end of the month! First up: My Neighbor Totoro at 7:15 PM.

The Washington Post has an article that you should read if you'd like to get informed on this past weekend's chaotic vote for Catalonia independence from Spain.


  • Kickers lost their final home game to Orlando City B, 0-1.
  • #16 Hokies fell to #2 Clemson, 17-31.
  • Nats went 50-50 against the Pirates over the weekend. They'll face the Cubs in the National League Division Series on Friday.
  • Washington heads to Kansas City tonight at 8:30 PM.

This morning's longread

Speaking Ill of Hugh Hefner

If you were like "Wait, why are folks writing all these glowing pieces about Hugh Hefner? Isn't the lifestyle Hefner epitomized gross and exploitative?" have I got the piece for you. Just check out this lede:

Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain’s hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying manse where porn blared during his pathetic orgies.

Good morning, RVA: Guns, teachers, and doughnuts

Good morning, RVA: VISION ZERO, the State Fair, and contemporary art