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

Good morning, RVA: Foster care, budget season, and important school board meeting

Good morning, RVA! It's 35 °F, but highs will head back up into the mid 50s today. With plenty of sun, it's enough to make you forget we're headed towards the end of November.

Water cooler

Katy Burnell Evans at the RTD continues her reporting on foster care and adoption in the City. The headline of the piece, "With number of youth in city foster care at five-year high, Richmond celebrates 33 adoptions", reads negative to me, but that's not the story at all. The number of children in foster care was, and this seems counter-intuitive, too low for a long while, but the new numbers represent progress. There's still work to be done, which Burnell covered in her previous piece, but most folks involved feel like things are headed in the right direction. There's lots of heart and humanity in this piece, and I recommend you set aside some time to read it.

Y'all! It's the most wonderful time of the year: Budget season! City Council will meet today at 8:00 AM for their budget retreat. Thus begins the process of sorting through all of the City's needs and figuring out what gets funded, which, in turn, clearly illustrates the City's priorities. Listening to these meetings is fascinating and an incredibly insightful look into how Richmond works. Look for a return of The Boring Show—an easy way to listen to these meetings—soon!

Richmond's School Board will meet tonight with at least two things of note on the agenda: First, a report from the superintendent search committee; Second, they'll receive a draft of a full facilities plan. As always, Garet Prior at Richmond Forward will catch you up to speed on the latter and provide you with some action items ahead of tonight's meeting. Critically, as noted above, budget season is now underway. Any further delay in action on some of our schools facility needs threatens to push those needs out of this year's budget cycle. Unacceptable!

Annie Tobey, writing for Style Weekly, dispels a beer myth held by many: That stouts are heavy, thick beers. The Irish Dry Stout—neither heavy nor thick—is one of my favorite beer styles and is perfect in the middle of the summer or deep into the winter. Unfortunately, most of the local stouts listed in Tobey's piece have too many flavors, too much body, and way too much alcohol for me. But if anyway stumbles across a super-dry, low-ABV, locally-brewed stout, holler at me, OK?

Also on the beer tip, RVA Mag has an interview with Stone's Director of Operations. If you're a beer nerd and know about things like harvesting yeast, fermentation and filtration, and bright tanks, then you'll be into this.

Here's an editorial from the RTD Editorial Board that begrudgingly praises the City! Of course they can't help themselves and do throw a few digs in the closing paragraphs, but you don't see kind words for the City proper from this group often.

This picture of the fondue burger at Brenner Pass is something else. I don't how it tastes, but dang! Look at that thing!


  • Rams lost in the final minutes to the Wahoos, 67-76. They'll match up with Marquette today at 2:30 PM.
  • Spiders (roundball) face UAB today at 5:00 PM.
  • Hokies (roundball) walloped Washington, 103-79.
  • Wahoos (roundball) managed Monmouth, 73-53.
  • Spiders finished out their season with a 27-20 win over William and Mary.
  • Hokies escaped Pitt, 20-14, with a dramatic goal-line stand to end the game.
  • Wahoos couldn't get it done against Miami, 28-44.
  • Washington slippers against the Saints, 31-34.

This morning's longread

Walking While Black

This is an important piece of journalism for all of us to read—especially as Richmond works towards developing a Vision Zero policy of our own. Equitable enforcement of pedestrian laws is critical to any Vision Zero work.

Communities along those arterial roads were left with treacherous four-lane thoroughfares that stretch for a half-mile or longer before offering crosswalks. Along Beach Boulevard, for instance, there’s one stretch where crosswalks are 1.3 miles apart. There are multiple low-income apartment complexes in between those crossings. But the city’s issues for pedestrians went beyond its network of dangerous highways and broad avenues. Those who travel on foot in Jacksonville are faced with a disconnected network of sidewalks, which are often in disrepair. City officials haven’t even completely mapped all of them. And while Jacksonville is the country’s largest city by land mass, its public transportation system has consistently been found wanting in national studies. People who rely on the bus system can put themselves in danger just trying to access their rides. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority, for example, has 321 bus stops on roads without sidewalks and 993 bus stops not within 300 feet of a crosswalk, according to the most recently available data.

Good morning, RVA: A new superintendent!, a school facilities plan (kind of), and a shoe situation

Good morning, RVA: Bad bus legislation, marathon doping, and another friendly Ross