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

Good morning, RVA: Violence, Nazis, and school lunches

Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F and rainy. You can expect temperatures to rise and the rain to continue off and on for the rest of the day. Fall was cool when it existed for a couple second a few weeks back.

Water cooler

Richmond Police are reporting two murders that occurred early Sunday morning in Shockoe Bottom. At 1:16 AM, nearby officers heard gunshots, arrived at the 1700 block of E. Main Street, and found Oscar W. Lewis II, 25, and Deonte M. Bullock, 19, fatally shot. Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene, and Bullock died from his wounds on Sunday.

The Nazis were back in Charlottesville this weekend terrorizing local residents with their white supremacist tiki torch garbage. Head Garbage Nazi Richard Spencer called it a "flash mob." On Facebook, Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy asked for enforcement of the existing state law (§ 18.2-423.01) which makes "any person who, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons, burns an object on a highway or other public place in a manner having a direct tendency to place another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of death or bodily injury" a Class 6 felony. This 2002 law is an expansion of the 1950 law which makes it illegal to burn a cross with the intent of intimidating people. We passed all of these KKK-era laws to specifically prevent stuff like this, and we should be strict about enforcing them—especially when it comes to contemporary Nazis and literal KKK morons terrorizing Virginians with their messages of racism and hate.

City Council meets tonight for their regularly scheduled meeting at 6:00 PM. You can find their agenda here (PDF), but, as always, be aware that it could change at any moment! On deck: setting an eight-year term limit for appointments to boards and commissions, a leash law for dogs, tons of special use permits, a bunch of budget line item transfers, and the legislation to kick the Mayor out of closed City Council meetings. Thrilling stuff, y'all!

You gotta love the solidarity of these quotes from the folks in charge of our region's school lunch programs! Despite new, looser guidance from the USDA, Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, and Richmond schools will continue to serve lunches that meet healthier-than-necessary requirements. Read more in this piece in the RTD by Justin Mattingly, or listen to this recent episode of the Gastropod Podcast all about school lunches. The conversation about the gendered nature of school lunch is fascinating: School lunch policy around the world has been used to either make it easier for women to get out of the home and work or to force/encourage women to stay home and provide those lunches to children.

Lorna Pinckney passed away unexpectedly on Thursday. In Richmond Magazine, Samantha Willis has this profile; and over on the Cheats Movement, Marc Cheatham has this tribute. Here's Marc: "Lorna was a poet, artist, educator, leader, role model, boss, all of those things and more. And above all, she always maintained her integrity and authenticity. Honestly, it’s impossible to measure her real impact on Richmond’s creative culture because she touched so many of us in different ways."

The New York Times sat down with Republican Senator Bob Corker who is not running for reelection and does not feel the need to hold his tongue re: Trump. Took you long enough, guy! Also, Vox explains the "deal" Trump wants in exchange for not absolutely torpedoing DACA and the DREAMers.


  • Kickers picked up a road win over Saint Louis FC, 0-1.
  • Spiders beat Albany, 41-38.
  • #16 Hokies handled Boston College, 23-10.
  • Wahoos got the win over Duke, 28-21.
  • Nats split their two games against the Cubs, and that series continues today at 4:00 PM.

This morning's longread

How to Sleep

This is a misleading title that, I think, would frustrate folks looking for ways to end insomnia. That said, still super interesting!

It’s this way of thinking—that you can power through, that sleep is the easiest corner to cut—that makes sleep disturbance among the most common sources of health problems in many countries. Insufficient sleep causes many chronic and acute medical conditions that have an enormous impact on quality of life, not to mention the economy. While no one knows why we sleep, it is a universal biological imperative; no animal with a brain can survive without it. Dolphins are said to sleep with only half their brain at a time, keeping partially alert for predators. Many of us spend much of our lives in a similar state.

Good morning, RVA: CAFR watch, public housing, and Star Wars

Good morning, RVA: Violence continues, a Tom Petty tribute band, and a trillion events