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

Good morning, RVA: Vision Zero, opioids, and Richmond Restaurant Week

Good morning, RVA! It's 59 °F, and, what the heck, we've got highs near 80 °F today! Keep an eye out for some thunderstorms late tonight / early tomorrow morning.

Water cooler

Police are reporting that a driver struck and killed a pedestrian at the intersection of Forest Hill Avenue and Shelia Lane at 6:50 PM on October 18th. The driver was traveling westbound on Forest Hill, and the pedestrian was in the crosswalk.

This should sound familiar. On September 28th, around 6:00 PM, a driver hit a pedestrian at that exact same intersection—that person suffered life-threatening injuries.

How many people need to be seriously injured or die at this location before we decide to do something about it? That intersection sits in Councilwoman Kristen Larson's district, and if you'd like to see changes made to that portion of Forest Hill—changes to make that area safer for pedestrians and slower for cars—you can contact her directly.

John Ramsey and Katie Burnell Evans have a long piece from this past weekend's RTD about the impact of the opioid epidemic on Central Virginia. There are a ton of stats in this piece and almost all of them are bad—except the rise in non-fatal overdoses due to Narcan. Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover will co-host a summit to explore solutions to the opioid epedimc this week, on October 26th from 8:30 AM–3:00 PM at the Convention Center. The event is free, but registration is required.

Michael O'Connor, also at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, reports that the Short Pump Middle School football team will forfeit the remaining games of their season. This is in response to a racist video posted on Snapchat by players and seems like an OK first step. However, there are only a couple games left in the season and canceling a few games does nothing to address the underlying issues. I hope to see more from the school and the County.

J. Elias O'Neal at Richmond BizSense says the former Siegel Grocery Store at 2005 Hull Street has been sold to the Hilds (who own a bunch of property in and around Manchester). It sounds like they'll attempt to keep the building's unique Jetsons-esque architecture intact!

I...don't like Halloween, but I do appreciate folks who go all out and handcraft their own unnecessarily intense Halloween decorations. Brad Kutner writing for Richmond Magazine talks to Greg Cummings, proprietor of Oak Lane Cemetery. He makes his own skulls! What the heck!

Richmond Restaurant Week begins today. A bunch of local restaurants will offer $29.17 fixed-price menus this entire week with proceeds benefiting FeedMore. Karri Peifer at the RTD has done the thankless work of putting together all of the menus for the 30ish participating restaurant.

Partnership for Smarter Growth will host Charles Marohn of Strong Towns up the road at Randolph Macon (Copley Science Center, Room 100, 304 Caroline Street) tomorrow from 7:00–9:00 PM. He'll talk about the sustainable growth we see in some of Virginia's historic small towns and cities and if we can replicate those patterns in the state's counties. You can RSVP for the event over on PSG's website.

I like the format and vibe of Vox's "4 political stories that actually mattered this week."


  • Spiders fell to Delaware, 35-42 in double overtime.
  • Hokies unboxed UNC, 59-7.
  • Wahoos lost at home to Boston College, 41-10.
  • Washington takes on the Eagles tonight at 8:30 PM.

This morning's longread

Danica Roem: A policy wonk in a rainbow headscarf, trying to make history

We're just a couple weeks out from the election, and this is one of the most interesting races in the commonwealth.

Roem also joined the local death-metal music scene, co-founding a band called Cab Ride Home whose hard-charging songs contrast with the quiet suburban persona she has presented on the campaign trail. In 2012, Roem began her physical gender transition. Three years later, she legally changed her first name to “Danica.” Her byline changed too. Then state legislation targeting the LGBT community, including two bills sponsored by Marshall, prompted Roem to drive to Richmond to testify in opposition. Her days as an impartial observer were over.

Good morning, RVA: Dog whistles, a mystifying referendum, and a sad song

Good morning, RVA: Students, mobile gardens, and yelling at the monuments