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

Good morning, RVA: CAFR, a bigger park, and dang teens

Good morning, RVA! It's 39 °F, and the sun should make a bit of a return today! Expect highs in the 50s once the day gets moving.

Water cooler

Whoa, y'all! Yesterday evening, the Mayor announced that the city has completed everyone's favorite financial report—the CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report)—three weeks early. I would not have bet on the City getting this thing in on time, let alone early. Hats off to the Finance Department and the Mayor, who made early promises that his administration would turn the CAFR in on schedule for the first time in four years. You can download this very large, very boring PDF and look through it yourself, or you can read Mark Robinson's breakdown in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. One quick side note: The exceptionally large surplus noted in the CAFR makes me extra stoked on Councilwoman Larson's RES. 2017-R078 (PDF), which created a special reserve fund of up to $750,000 for sidewalks.

Yesterday, I wondered about the status of ORD. 2017-087 which deals with using some of Larus Park to construct water facilities so the City can sell more water to Chesterfield County. On last night's Council agenda, this ordinance was marked as "Awaiting Withdrawl By Patron." Turns out the Mayor had another announcement up his sleeve: The city has purchased "18.2 acres of forested land adjoining Larus Park, where 1.2 acres will be used to locate a pump station and ground storage tank as part of an agreement to provide an additional 5 million gallons of drinking water a day to Chesterfield County." The City gets its water deal with the County, Richmonders get an even bigger park. This seems like a win-win?

Reminder! The Monument Avenue Commisssion will host a work session tonight at the Library of Virginia from 6:00–7:30 PM. This is not an opportunity to get in front of the Commission and let them know what you think should happen with/to the Confederate monuments—you can do that via their online form. It is, however, a public meeting, and folks who want to keep tabs on how the Commission works through making their next phase of public engagement a little more successful than the last one can drop by and listen in.

I love this story from 1986 dug up by RTD archivist Nicole Kappatos: "Teenage hangout on Broad Street caused parking drama in the 1980s." Can you imagine! Teens hanging out on public streets! Gasp!

If you just want to dive right in to national politics this morning, the Atlantic has the story about Donald Trump Jr.'s interactions with WikiLeaks, and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell tells the New York Times that, "I believe the women" re: Roy Moore.


  • Rams held on to beat North Florida, 95-85.
  • Spiders fell to Jacksonville State, 61-94.
  • Wahoos dominated Austin Peay, 93-49.

This morning's longread

Starship Chicago

This short video about Chicago's Thompson Center made me think about some of Richmond's ugly but loveable buildings.

Architect Helmut Jahn’s kaleidoscopic, controversial State of Illinois Center in Chicago, which shocked the world when it opened in 1985, may not be long for this world. Today the building is a run down rusty shadow of its former self, occupying a lucrative downtown block and deemed expendable by the cash-strapped state legislature. Despite initial construction flaws and hefty refurbishment costs, this singular architectural vision of an open, accessible, and inspiring civic building—defined by its iconic, soaring atrium--remains intact. Four years after the stinging loss of brutalist icon Prentice Women’s Hospital, Chicago preservationists, along with the building’s original champion, Governor James R. Thompson, are gearing up for a major battle to save the city’s most provocative architectural statement.

Good morning, RVA: Commission next steps, Chesterfield's lack of transit, and a clay army

Good morning, RVA: Election results still pending, school funding, and cheap(er) booze