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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 39 °F, and, wait a second, highs might hit 60 °F? And what's that? Tomorrow it might be 70 °F? Check this out: Right now, if you look at the 10-day forecast, there's a 30-degree difference between the highs on the 23rd and the 28th!

Water cooler

Graham Moomaw in the RTD reports that the pretty dumb casting of lots to decide the winner of the 94th House of Delegates election will take place this coming Wednesday. Where does one even get film canisters? Do those things still exist? Did they have to raid the ruins of a 1980s CVS to find some?

Governor-elect Northam has appointed a middle school civics, economics, history, and math teacher as his education secretary. Atif Qarni has run for public office a couple of times, but currently teaches in Prince William County. While poking around on the Governor-elect website, I found where you can apply for a job with the new administration and where you can apply for a board or commission seat. Here's a six-page PDF of all the boards and commissions.

David Streever at RVA Mag sat down for an interview with Police Chief Durham (other than the Mayor, is there a more interviewed local figure?). One fascinating bit: On Richmond's murder rate, Durham says, "Marijuana is the nexus."

Amanda Dalla Villa Adams writing for Style Weekly has ten observations "that recap the local events, exhibitions and goings-on in the visual arts world from 2017." Number seven caught my eye: "The city continues to be challenged by a lack of publications for people to debate the local arts scene. Publishers — local and national, print and online — are limited by budgets, public opinion and space. Many fantastic exhibitions and events receive no coverage this year." While space may not exist in local media budgets for in-depth arts coverage, I bet demand from Richmonders to read about it does. I'm not suggesting any someones start a local arts blog or three (because I know that's a ton of work), but...I kind of am!

Shuffle board heads to Scott's Addition—along with everything else!

I am not against this Mark Holmberg idea to decorate and light a volunteer tree growing out of one of the old railroad supports in the middle of the river.

A logistical note! The end-of-year holidays approach, and to celebrate, I'm taking a few days off next week to sleep in, drink some coffee, and focus on some PDFs that have sat unread for a while. I hope you find similarly excellent ways to spend the next couple of days. Catch you on the flip side!


  • Rams welcome VMI tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Spiders travel to Boston to take on the Boston College Eagles on Saturday at 1:00 PM.
  • Wahoos host Hampton tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Washington and the Broncos kick off at 1:00 PM on Sunday.

This morning's longread

The Story on Amtrak Cascades Train 501 Derailment

Here's a firsthand account of the Seattle train derailment from a guy who really loves trains and transit.

Then in a matter of seconds as I looked out of the window waiting for the laptop to bring up something, I reached forward out of reaction to grab onto the seat back tray as the train lifted hard, catapulting me upward toward the luggage rack above. I hit my head hard against the luggage rack. I those milliseconds I realized we were derailing and I’d hoped we didn’t have a ravine or hill to fall down, it’d be no problem then. But the drop came and it was hard, I was thrown across the seat row into the seats arm rack across from me. The impact broke 4 of my transverse process pieces on my lower lumbar vertebrae. Of course, at this point I closed my eyes for a split second as I then was thrown against the floor of the car, slightly under the seats.

If you’d like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.

Good morning, RVA: City Auditor, a craft brewer certificate, and Cone Parade

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