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

Good morning, RVA: An election JK, a chicken expansion, and a clever monument removal

Good morning, RVA! It's 35 °F, and it got cold again! You can expect highs around 50 °F as things cool off for a day or so before heating up.

Water cooler

Remember yesterday's dramatic news that Democrat Shelly Simonds defeated her Republican opponent by a single vote in Virginia's 94th House of Delegates District? Well, one of the folks involved in recounting the ballots remembered that news and also remembered a ballot that was originally marked as invalid but might could have gone to David Yancey, the Republican. That person made a couple of calls, and after officials took a second look at this particular ballot, it was declared a vote for the Republican. Now the race sits at a 11,608 to 11,608 tie. I am not a legal expert on valid ballots and I am not a sorcerer who can divine a person's intent from marks on a piece of paper, but when I look at this ballot I am not convinced it is a vote for Yancey. If it were college football, I'd say, "The call on the field STANDS." But, it doesn't really matter what I think, because now the election will be decided by a casting of lots. 🆗. Graham Moomaw at the RTD has the pretty ridiculous practical details of how that will work and says that the loser of the game of chance can request another recount. It sounds like the 94th won't have a seated representative in the House of Delegates for a while.

Meanwhile, Ned Oliver got the way less interesting assignment of covering the Adams-Loupassi recount in the 68th District. Delegate Dawn Adams, the Democrat, had a 336-vote lead going into the recount and left with a 347-vote lead.

Style Weekly Photographer Scott Elmquist has put together his favorite photos from 2017. This year was...not great at times, but at least we'll always have the air dog competition, right?

Jonathan Spiers at Richmond BizSense has totally buried the lede in this piece about the progress on construction at the new Whole Foods! "All of the properties involved are Sauer-owned, except the Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken building, which is planned to be updated with an addition." A Lee's expansion!?

Old people alert! Fighting Gravity is getting the band back together and playing a show at the National later this month.

The Memphis City Council quickly removed statues of Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest after voting (unanimously) to sell the parks in which the monuments were located to a nonprofit. Well, technically, the nonprofit removed the monuments—since they own the land now, they can do whatever they want. What a fascinating and well-coordinated plan from a City whose state government had paternalistically prevented them from acting on the Confederate monuments within their borders. 🤔

This morning's longread


From Patron Sam comes this article comparing Google Maps and Apple Maps. I had no idea about Google's 3D renderings of buildings (checkout Old City Hall) and Areas of Interest. Really fascinating stuff!

Over the past year, we’ve been comparing Google Maps and Apple Maps in New York, San Francisco, and London—but some of the biggest differences are outside of large cities. Take my childhood neighborhood in rural Illinois. Here the maps are strikingly different, and Apple’s looks empty compared to Google’s: Similar to what we saw earlier this year at Patricia’s Green in San Francisco, Apple’s parks are missing their green shapes. But perhaps the biggest difference is the building footprints: Google seems to have them all, while Apple doesn’t have any. But it’s not just Apple—no one else seems to have them either...

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Good morning, RVA: Happy holidays!, casting of lots, and arts coverage

Good morning, RVA: A single vote, school names, and public art