Good morning, RVA! It's 58 °F, but, today, things start warming back up. On deck we've got highs in the mid-80s and a couple of clouds here and there.
The Richmond Police Department is reporting another murder in the City. On Tuesday night at 10:37 PM, officers arrived to the 4000 block of Midlothian Turnpike and found Larry M. Scott, 32, shot to death.
Graham Moomaw and Ned Oliver at the RTD unpack yesterday's monument decision from a Charlottesville judge. I am not a lawyer, so I am mostly confused by this piece. Here's where I think things stand. 1. Section 15.2-1812 of the Code of Virginia prohibits localities from removing, damaging, or defacing monuments or memorials for any war or conflict (it also adds this barfy passage in the definition of defacing: "in the case of the War Between the States, the placement of Union markings on monuments or previously designated Confederate memorials.") 2. A while back, a Danville judge ruled that law only applied to monuments erected after the law was signed. 3. The new, Charlottesville judge says the law applies retroactively to all war monuments and memorials. 4. This judge questions that statues of Lee are, in fact, war memorials at all. I'm not really sure if all this is good or bad news for localities who wish to pull down these monuments to white supremacy, but the pro-monument people have 21 days to make their case to the judge.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch continues to doll out info from the recent CNU poll they commissioned. Today we learn about taxes, schools, stadiums, and a bit on transit. I feel like it'd be internally inconsistent of me to blast the usefulness of poll numbers yesterday and then celebrate them today, but the fact that 40% of County residents say they would support a tax increase to pay for regional transportation blows my mind! That 64% support a tax hike dedicated to school facilities surprises exactly no one.
Tonight, Henrico County will host the first of three public meetings to discuss the future of its transit network! This is a big deal, and if you're a Henrico citizen, you should head over to the Libbie Mill Library from 5:30–7:00 PM to tell the County all of your transit thoughts and opinions—particularly opinions of the "we should have more bus service in Henrico County" type. Tom Lappas in the Henrico Citizen has more details.
Also in Henrico, Facebook will build a $1 billion data center in the eastern part of the County. That's a whole lotta data! J. Elias O'Neal has more details in Richmond BizSense.
Richmond Magazine's Don Harrison writes about the Red Vein Army's haunted house/cornfield in Hanover. If haunted houses are your thing (they are totally not my thing), you can get your pants scared off any Thursday and Friday in October. MORE LIKE SHOCKTOBER AM I RIGHT?? Frightober? Spooktober?
The Hardywood Gingerbread House Challenge, which benefits the Better Housing Coalition, seems like a lot of fun. Form a team, build a superior gingerbread creation, and you'll have a chance to win $1000 (sign your team up by tomorrow at 5:00 PM!). Or, if that sounds like a lot of work, show up on November 5th to check out the gingerfruits of everyone else's labor. This event, of course, coincides with Hardywood's Gingerbread Stout release—RVA's chief export during the holiday season.
This morning's longread
Ta-Nehisi Coates writes this brutal account of Obama, Trump, and our national history of white supremacy. If you can't get enough of Coates, listen to his recent appearance on Pod Save America.
There is a notion out there that black people enjoy the sisyphean struggle against racism. In fact, most of us live for the day when we can struggle against anything else. But having been, by that very racism, pinned into ghettos, both metaphorical and real, our options for struggle are chosen long before we are born. And so we struggle out of fear for our children. We struggle out of fear for ourselves. We struggle to avoid our feelings, because to actually consider all that was taken, to understand that it was taken systemically, that the taking is essential to America and echoes down through the ages, could make you crazy. But after Obama’s election it seemed that perhaps there was another way. Perhaps we, as Americans, could elide the terrible history, elide the national crime. Maybe it was possible to fix the problems afflicting black people without focusing on race. Perhaps it was possible to think of black people as a community in disproportionate need, worthy of aid simply because they were Americans in need. Better schools could be built, better healthcare administered, better jobs made available, not because of anything specific in the black experience but precisely because there isn’t. If you squinted for a moment, if you actually tried to believe, it made so much sense. All that was needed for this new theory was a champion – articulate, young, clean. And maybe this new champion had arrived.