Good morning, RVA! It's 44°F, and highs today look like they'll hit the mid 60s. Trick-or-treat weather should be chilly and clear—maybe add another couple of wraps to your mummy costume. Happy Halloween!
Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a good preview of the Mayor's Housing Summit, which takes place this morning. A draft housing plan exists (a PDF I haven't yet found) that attendees will use as a starting place for a conversation around restoring our public housing neighborhoods. I look forward to reading whatever new PDFs come out of this morning's work sessions.
Bad bike-lane news, y'all. Yesterday, I mentioned that construction of the Semmes Avenue Bike Lane would begin on November 8th. Today I found this update in my inbox: "Due to the installation of new gas lines by the Department of Public Utilities and the repaving of Semmes Avenue, the project outlined below will begin in April 2018." Not only am I super bummed about a five-month delay, I'm mystified by the lack of communication between the Department of Public Works and the Department of Public Utilities. Get it together, and stop teasing me with the promise of sweet, sweet bike lanes.
Good bus-lane news, y'all! Alix Bryan at WTVR sat down with GRTC's Carrie Rose Pace to talk BRT construction progress. Crews have installed the steel for 15 of the 26 stations! Bricks are going in at the Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken station! Now that all the underground work has finished up, we can actually see progress with our eyes. Exciting stuff.
Justin Mattingly, the RTD's education reporter, was hanging (skulking?) around the School Board's closed superintendent search session yesterday. Here's his mostly no-news Twitter thread, but he does get chairwoman Dawn Page to give us a potential deadline for the Board to make their decision.
Andrew Miller, co-founder of the local marketing firm Workshop Digital had an adorable picture of his four-year-old's Halloween costume go pretty dang viral. It's a double Richmond connection tweet and a perfectly charming way to start your morning.
I know it's early, but for reasons noted below, I need to remind you about InLight Richmond, which lights up this coming Friday. InLight is one of my favorite annual Richmond events, and you should put it on your calendar at this very moment. This year's iteration takes place on Broad Street in the Arts District and is ultra accessible by just about any bus that exists—it's the perfect excuse to try public transportation!
Ezra Klein at Vox does the best job I've read at stringing together a timeline of the Trump campaign's Russia-related fishy business. Rick Gates, one of two men indicted yesterday by Robert Mueller, has Richmond ties.
An election note! Today at 5:00 PM is the last possible moment to request an absentee ballot be mailed to you—you can still pick one up in person through Saturday.
A logistical note! I'm headed out of town tomorrow and will spend the rest of the week talking about transit in Chicago. This is your final Good Morning, RVA until Monday. As always, if something incredible happens while I'm away, please let me know! Good luck, and Godspeed.
The World Series continues tonight at 8:20 PM. With the Astros leading 3-2, this is a must win game for the Dodgers.
This morning's longread
There are millions of interesting paragraphs in this article. Read them all!
“This is all anybody buys,” said Mai Thu Sien, a 19-year-old salesman. He didn’t seem bothered to be squeezed onto a street bustling with other shops selling exactly the same thing. “There are many customers for phones. People buy and buy.” For the equivalent of $3, Mai Thu Sien sets up an email address, opens up a Facebook account in any name the customer wants, and sends them on their way. When asked whether customers choose their own email address, Mai Thu Sien looked confused. “Nobody asks, they don’t care about the email,” he said, explaining that most don’t know that creating an email address is free, and easy. “No one is using that. They have Facebook.” If they forget their login information, or get signed out, they simply come in for a new Facebook account. Of the dozens of people interviewed by BuzzFeed News in Myanmar, all said they had more than one Facebook account. None knew about Facebook’s policy that users must use their real name