Good morning, RVA! It's 36 °F, and you should expect highs right around 50 °F today. You'll see the sun this morning, but then clouds will roll in later this afternoon.
Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch attended last night's Monument Avenue Commission meeting which focused on process and next steps—for the commission not the monuments. From the article, it sounds like any community organization can request a meeting, and a handful of folks from the Commission will come out and listen to what you've got to say. This is definitely a more hands-on, labor-intensive approach to public outreach. However, I wonder if the Commission will be proactive in reaching out to community groups that represent the more marginalized voices in town? How will folks even know that they can schedule their own meeting with Commission members? I imagine these are things we'll learn over the next couple of weeks! P.S. You can always submit a written comment to the Commission via their website.
Jackie Kruszewski, writing for Richmond Magazine, digs into the status of public transportation in Chesterfield County, which, I hope all of you already know, is officially Not Great™. But, it's not hopeless! The County has asked the State to study public transportation options on Route 1 from the city limits to John Tyler Community College, and that report is due out at the end of the year. Supervisor Jim Holland puts it excellently, "We have the resources to do it. The question is whether we have the commitment and will."
Also at the RTD, Katy Burnell Evans looks at a national survey on the outcomes of foster care systems. A sobering statistic: "By ages 25 to 26, only 8 percent of former foster youth in Virginia have obtained a post-secondary degree, compared to 46 percent of young adults generally..." Children's Home Society of Virginia and the Better Housing Coalition commissioned the survey, which means we have a Virginia-centered report (PDF) available that you can and should read.
As Richmond's premiere daily zoning and rezoning email, I have to admit that I've let you down. RVA Hub reminds me that last night the City hosted a public meeting about the potential rezoning of Hull Street south of Commerce Road, and it totally slipped my mind. You might know this part of Hull Street as the "Whoa! Look at this charming downtown from ages gone by!" section. The proposed B-5 rezoning would allow for more height (more humans) and require less parking (fewer cars).
Style Weekly has a preview of the VMFA's Terracotta Army exhibit which opens this weekend. I'm excited to check this one out as it treads the line between art and "arms and armor"—the latter being my most favorite art museum thing.
I guess we're repealing Obamacare again? Tax policy is super boring and hard for normal people to care about, so slipping awful healthcare-tanking legislation in there is pretty smart—if you like doing awful stuff.
61.6% of Austrialians have said yes to same-sex marriage in a national survey. Now their parliament will consider same-sex legislation this winter and possibly pass something before Christmas.
This morning's longread
You'd have to think these massive companies bringing their massive bankruptcies to Richmond has a significant economic impact—hotels, restaurants, wherever else it is that people billing $1,700 per hour like to frequent.
But in September, when Toys “R” Us filed for one of the largest bankruptcies of the year, it did not go to nearby Newark. Instead, the toy company followed an increasing number of corporations — from Gymboree to a major coal company to a Pennsylvania fracking company — that are choosing to file for bankruptcy in Richmond, Va. In recent years, Richmond has become the destination wedding spot for failed companies. The United States Bankruptcy Court there offers several features attractive to the executives, bankers and lawyers trying to get an edge in the proceedings.