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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 61 °F, and today's highs are back up in the mid-70s. After last night's rain, we've got plenty of sunshine lined up for the rest of the day.

Water cooler

Michael O'Connor at the RTD writes about the pretty misleading mailers the Republican Party of Virginia has sent out on behalf of Bob Witte, Henrico Board of Supervisor Candidate in the Brookland District. Weird photoshopping aside, one of the "dog whistle" angles everyone in this article keeps bringing up but refuses to mention by name is bus service. The quotes in question from the two mailers I've seen are: "Lynch has earned Levar Stoney's backing because she supports a multi-million-dollar bus line. This will come as a benefit for the residents of Richmond, but not for the people of Henrico County. With Courtney Lynch in office, Henrico County gets the short end of the deal." and "By supporting a multi-million-dollar bus line that benefits Richmond, she is ignoring Henrico County. Courtney Lynch is giving our county the short end of the deal." First, I assume we're talking about the Pulse, which will end up costing $64,916,000 to build. Henrico's contribution is exactly $400,000, just 0.6% of the total cost. Second, a lot more Henricoans would benefit from the Pulse if it went further west into Henrico County. The decisions to terminate the route at Willow Lawn, within sight of the county line, was totally up to the Henrico Board of Supervisors. If they wanted it to serve more county residents, it could have. Third, there's lots of us vs. them language in these flyers, and when a bus line is the only specific example of a "them" policy, things get racially tense really quick. Fourth, regardless of what the Republican Party of Virginia thinks about buses, better public transportation is coming to Henrico County whether they like it or not. The County is in the middle of redesigning their bus lines to work better with the Pulse and dreaming big on what a much-improved county transit network would look like. Change is coming and weird/offensive mailers won't stop it! So, if you've got a second and live/work/play in Henrico, read the report (PDF) on what a rethinking of the transit network could look like, or take the survey to weigh in on what you'd like to see in a future, more connected Henrico. Also, here are screen shots of a couple of the mailers if you want to take a look: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Paul Goldman and State Senator Glen Sturtevant have a co-column in the RTD today about Paul Goldman's Ballot Referendum. I continue to be mystified. If you took out all of the bits about modifying the City's charter, this column would read as an excellent description of the Mayor's education compact, which, like, is a thing that already exists! From the Mayor's original letter introducing the compact (PDF): "The Compact is not itself a long-term funding strategy; rather, through its organizational proposals and accountability measures, it sets in place the framework and process by which a multi-year strategy encompassing operational and facility needs can be developed, endorsed and implemented." And from the column about what the referendum seeks, "It asks the mayor, after consulting with the City Council and the School Board, along with allowing for public input, to develop a fully funded school modernization plan." AUGH. But, here we are, just weeks from Election Day, and I still have no idea why we need to UPDATE THE CITY CHARTER to do this thing we're ostensibly already doing. BUT SURE.

I promised to check back in on the City's tax amnesty program when it wrapped up. According to the Mayor's office, the program collected $2.79 million, exceeding the goal by $390,000.

The season's final Breakaway RVA is this Thursday! If you've never done a Breakaway before, I strongly recommend you check it out—Thursday's forecast looks like incredible bike-riding weather.

Uh oh, Richmond BizSense's J. Elias O'Neal reports that the Anchor Bar in the Stony Point Fashion Park is closed. That was my son's favorite wing spot in town, and he's going to be reeeeal bummed.

Ha! People actually showed up to that Yell At The Lee Statue While Drinking Out Of A Container In A Brown Bag thing, and RVA Mag has some pictures. The State Police were even there and were totally cool about it. More of this, please!

The new GWAR album dropped, by the way. The song "Phantom Limb"—which I assume is about the previous lead singer, Dave Brockie, who passed away in 2014—is actually pretty sad.


The World Series begins tonight at 8:09 PM on FOX. The Los Angeles Dodgers will host the Houston Astros in Game 1.

  • Washington fell to 3-3 with a 24-34 loss to the Eagles.

This morning's longread

Men paralyzed by #MeToo: Here’s why you need to speak up—and how

Here's a good list of easy ways men can support women and thoughtfully participate in #MeToo.

I believe that it’s necessary for both women and men to engage in productive conversations about sexism. Sexism is not a women’s issue, or an issue for women and men with daughters. Until all of us, irrespective of our gender identities, take responsibility for ending misogyny, it will continue to oppress us and those we love. So I’ve decided to publicly answer some of the questions men have been asking me, and themselves, about how to engage with the reality of sexual harassment and assault. It’s important to note that men also experience sexual harassment and abuse, and that no person’s experience of sexual harassment and assault is the same. My responses—drawing on the wisdom of friends, writers, and colleagues—are not comprehensive, nor is my advice flawless. But at a time when many men are wondering what to do, here is a place to start.

Good morning, RVA: Expensive rallies, Henrico Schools followup, and 40 folks

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