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

Good morning, RVA: City-wide goals, Brewer's Cafe, and kids eat free

Good morning, RVA! It's 39 °F now, but the sunshine and highs in the low 60s will return. Should be a pretty fine day.

Water cooler

Mayor Stoney released his administration's response to the city-wide audit conducted this past summer. You can read the realease or download the PDF, which is only 25 pages long and super readable. Not only does this document lay out what the City has done to already improve day-to-day business over the past year and how it will improve that business moving forward, but it sets up some big, city-wide goals (p. 4). In short:

  1. Improve schools and the lives of children.
  2. Promote social and economic inclusion.
  3. Promote public safety.
  4. Provide high-quality services.

All of the recommend changes support these four goals, which has a larger impact on some city departments than others. For example, it sounds like Economic and Community Development will be reorganized to separate out and focus on the "community" part of their responsibilities. I'm also stoked on the "Improving Communications Sub-team" which is tasked with...improving communications...between City agencies and with the public. They've been asked to create a Public Information Officer under the CAO to oversee all of the City's internal and external communications. This makes my heart sing with gladness! Anyway, give this thing a read—if nothing else, it's a great way to familiarize yourself with a big-picture view of the City's everyday responsibilities.

Pair this news of an off-duty Richmond Police officer shooting and killing a teenager during an attempted robbery with this column from Michael Paul Williams asking for more police oversight. In the latter, the ACLU says that citizen advisory groups typically don't have the teeth (or resources) to provide meaningful police oversight. I'd love to learn more about what a successful and healthy model for this looks like. If you know, send some links my way!

Graham Moomaw at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has an update on the w-w-w-wild and crazy ballot situation in Fredericksburg. To summarize: ¯\(ツ)\/¯.

Somehow, I missed this profile of Ajay Brewer by Patrick Wilson in the paper this past weekend. Brewer owns the wonderful Brewer's Cafe over in Blackwell. I love this spot and its excellent vibe.

Parents of tiny humans and lovers of delicious food, take note! Laura Lee's now has a kid's happy hour: Children under 14 eat free before 6:00 PM on Monday–Thursday. Whoadang!

I just want to point out that in Richmond Magazine's Monday Rundown, their "picks for the best things to see, do, fand experience in the region over the week ahead," includes City Council's Finance Committee meeting. It's like they're in my head!

If you'd like a complete timeline of all the Trump-Russia shenanigans, Vox has one that's really easy to scan through quickly. And, if you can stomach the president making inappropriate and racist jokes this early in the morning, watch this video of Trump calling Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" during an event honoring Navajo code talkers that took place in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson.


  • Rams host Appalachian State tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Hokies welcome Iowa to Cassell Coliseum tonight at 9:00 PM.
  • Wahoos beat Wisconsin and held them to just 37 points.

This morning's longread

Rulebooks, Playgrounds, and Endgames: A Constitutional Analysis of the Calabresi-Hirji Judgeship Proposal

This nerdy historical analysis of packing federal courts is way interesting.

That’s not the way that the major political parties thought of each other for most of the last century and a half. It is the way that many Democratic-Republicans thought about Federalists in 1801, when the first bill monkeying with the size of the Supreme Court was enacted. With certain nuances, it’s also not far from the way most Republicans thought about most Democrats in the 1860s, when the last such bill was enacted, not long after most Democrats responded to the election of a Republican President by taking up arms against the Union. So not to put too fine a point on it: Yes, it’s true that early in the history of the Republic, Congress altered the size of the Supreme Court several times in order to shift partisan control. But it’s also true that the America in which those things occurred was an America in which political parties often saw each other not as legitimate rivals but as threats to the Republic—and, not coincidentally, an America on the road to civil war, or cleaning up after one. One of the nice things about living in post-Reconstruction America has been that conflict between the major political parties has not escalated all the way to the point of ultimate crisis. I’d like us to keep that going.

If you’d like to recommend a longread, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.

Good morning, RVA: Join the Education Compact, zoning, and ice cream

Good morning, RVA: Two action plans, board vacancies, and the return of Richbrau?