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

Good morning, RVA: School funding, crap mailers, and Richmond 300

Good morning, RVA! It's 57 °F, and, sure, we've got temperatures in the mid 70s on deck. Keep an eye—and a raincoat—out for some possible thunderstorms late this afternoon.

Water cooler

Richmond's School Board is running out of time to get facility funding into this year's budget which would be a huge bummer and a massive, disappointing letdown. Garet Prior at Richmond Forward has more details and a call for folks to show up at tonight's School Board meeting and demand action. Keep in mind, the quiet-but-meaty part of the budget season is already well underway! If we aren't working to get priorities funded now, it's extremely unlikely to see those priorities show up in the draft budgets released early next year.

Michael Paul Williams's column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch takes the Republican Party of Virginia to task for their racially-charged mailers supporting Henrico Board of Supervisors candidate Bob Witte (Brookland District). Plus, all of the mailers I've seen have been anti-bus, which you know drives me bananas. Listen to John Moeser, quoted in the article, about the importance of this special election: "This election transcends that particular district because it will determine the whole orientation of the Henrico Board of Supervisors. And if (Lynch) would win, it would bode well for a much more progressive voice on the county board." Jackie Kruszewski writing for Richmond Magazine has some more background on the race.

J. Elias O'Neal at Richmond BizSense has an update on the ABC warehouse over by the Diamond. That piece of property is the key to unlocking all sorts of theoretical development on the Boulevard—but moving the facility requires the state to get involved, so things have bogged down over the past year. Maybe this General Assembly session, ABC! Fingers crossed!

Planning Commission meets today and will consider a resolution to change the number of folks advising the Master Plan process from 15 to 21 (PDF). They'll also think about changing the name of that group from the "Master Plan Advisory Team" to the "Master Plan Advisory Council." The name change is to "increase the gravitas of the group," which makes me laugh—nothing says gravitas like a council! Snark aside, increasing the size of the group to include more Richmond humans and a "wider cross-section of the Richmond community" seems like a great idea.

I also found this cool Urban Design Typology Analysis PDF on the Planning Commission agenda. It's got maps and descriptions of Richmond's neighborhood types—things like Streetcar Village, Historic Urban Neighborhood, and Surface Parking Dominate Zone (boooo!). It's a background report for the master planning process but a short and interesting read for folks interested in what makes up the different parts of Richmond.

I enjoy these nullified Confederate monument hoodies designed by Noah Scalin and The Cheats Movement. Part of the profits go toward the Richmond Peace Education Center.

American Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon, becoming the first American woman to do so in 40 years and the first American to do so since 2009.

Matt Pearce in the Los Angeles Times covers the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas that left 26 people dead.


  • Spiders shut out Villanova, 22-0.
  • #17 Hokies fell to 7-2 with a 10-28 loss to #6 Miami.
  • Wahoos beat Georgia Tech, 40-36, and become bowl eligible for the first time in a while.
  • Washington squeaked by the Seahawks, 17-14.

This morning's longread

How Cinnabon Perfected Its Recipe


If Cinnabon could go gangbusters at a quiet mall like SeaTac, Greg remembers, the Restaurants Unlimited team figured it could succeed anywhere. When stores in more desirable locations struggled, the team learned a real estate lesson that doubled as a fundamental truth about Cinnabon itself: People don’t eat these doughy spectacles because they want to. They eat them because they lack the strength to resist. The wafting scent that caught Rich Komen’s attention back in Kansas City is a straight-up business tool, and the original Cinnabon’s high-visibility location was key to its success. “Let’s face it, people really want to avoid us,” Greg told an audience during a speech at Zillow a few years back. “We have to get in your way!”

Good morning, RVA: Vote, Vote!, VOTE!

Good morning, RVA: Housing summit, bad bike-lane news, and an adorable costume