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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 36 °F, and later this afternoon we could see temperatures in the 60s! Sounds great, looking forward to it.

Water cooler

At last night's Richmond School Board meeting, the Board chose Jason Kamras (@JasonKamras on Twitter) as the District's next superintendent! Welcome to Richmond, Jason! Kamras comes from D.C. Public Schools where he was the Chief of Instructional Practice and helped launch that district's new Office of Equity. He also was the 2005 National Teacher of the Year. You can read all about his accolades and titles (and a quote from former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan) in the RPS press release. Kamras will get to work on February 1st, which is, like, right around the time RPS needs to approve their budget and send it on over to City Council. As you'll see in a second, there's a lot going on between then and now, and I hope everyone involved gets on the same page (aka the goal of the Education Compact).

Also at the School Board meeting last night, Interim Superintendent Tommy Kranz kind of presented two options for fixing RPS's facilities. Over in the RTD, Justin Mattingly has some of the details. It sounds like either option would cost about three quarters of a billion dollars over 20 years and include closing schools, rezoning, and building new schools. I await the release of some more detailed PDFs and for the eduheads to give me some guidance on how to feel about our choices moving forward.

Well this story by Graham Moomaw in the RTD is bananas: "Virginia official: At least 83 Fredericksburg-area voters were assigned to wrong House district, throwing election results into disarray." Would your mind further be blown if I told you the Republic lead in this election was...82 votes??

If you want to hold a White supremacist rally at the Lee Monument, you're going to need to get a permit. (Or, you know, you could just not.) The Governor announced that the Department of General Services has created a new process that "requires a permit for assemblies of 10 or more people, limits capacity at the monument to 500, restricts possession of weapons, including firearms, during permitted events and limits the duration and open hours at the monument." This new process is actually an "emergency regulation" and will remain in effect for 18 months until DGS figures out a permanent process. In the mean time they'll have some opportunities for public feedback.

Apparently there was a shoe situation at Need Supply Co., but it has been canceled due to hundreds of people surrounding the store in the middle of the night. I'm definitely not cool enough to even know why these particular shoes caused a situation, but I think it's neat when people get excited about stuff—maybe not "standing outside all night in the freezing cold" excited, but who am I to judge?


  • Rams lost to Marquette, 94-83, and will face the Bears of Cal today at 4:00 PM.
  • Spiders beat UAB, 63-50, and will take on Cincinnati at 7:30 PM.
  • Hokies will host Houston Baptist at 7:00 PM.

This morning's longread

These Researchers Dug Through People’s Garbage to Find Out Why We Waste Food

It takes a lot of work and energy to grow food, but we throw so much of it away.

In my ideal world, we would have a system so efficient that we don’t have surplus—and where we design from the start how to make sure people have enough food—not provide food assistance in a way that’s sort of happenstance. That said, we’re very far off from that, and we have so much surplus food that it feels like a better use of it to provide immediate food assistance for people than not. In Denver, we looked at how much food is not being rescued, how much of the meal gap it would address, and how much it would cost if it were. [The report shows that an ambitious but realistic 901 additional tons could be rescued to close almost 10 percent of the meal gap, costing about $2 million. The full—but more hypothetical—potential would rescue more than 4,000 tons to close 46 percent of the meal gap, with an estimated $6.2 million price tag.] The ongoing capacity to rescue food has a much larger price tag than the initial infrastructure investment.

Good morning, RVA: Disappointing bike share update, John Waters, and a food court

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