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

Good morning, RVA: Facilities plan, CodeRVA, and fruitcake

Good morning, RVA! It's 46 °F, and I'm back from Milwaukee! Today, on this December Tuesday, expect highs in the mid 60s and a chance of rain later this evening.

Water cooler

Richmond's School Board met last night and approved a five-year facilities plan. This plan, at least moneywise, accounts for about 30% of the District's total facilities needs. The narrative of the aforelinked Justin Mattingly story is that the School Board rushed through a major facilities plan with zero public input. While this is true—although I don't know how much of what the Board voted on duplicates previous plans that did see a public process—we're also running out of dang time. The Schools need to get the Mayor their budget soon, and they can't ask for money for facilities if they haven't approved a facilities plan. Budget season this year will be fascinating. Also, while we're talking schools, congratulations to 3rd District School Board Member Kenya Gibson who was sworn in to office yesterday—just in time for the big facilities vote.

Also by Justin Mattingly in the RTD is this long piece about the new CodeRVA high school in Richmond. Check out how intentional they're being about trying to create a classroom that looks like the the region in terms of gender, race, income, and disabilities. If you'd like to learn more, head on over to Code RVA's website. Applications for the 2018-2019 school year will open on January 8th.

Michael Paul Williams writes about Henrico County's steady march towards a more progressive future. To the Republicans on the County's Board, he writes, "Today, a lot of what migh be euphemistically called philopsophical differences sounds like a reluctance to accept the reality of the county's growing, less-affluent demographic." I'm excited to see how / if the Democrats on the Board start to exert their majority.

Samantha Willis in the Richmond Free Press writes about the disparities in health care Black people face. The numbers are pretty stark: In Virginia, Black people have a life expectancy of 75 years versus 79 years for White people.

I just want to point out that the owner of Black Sheep, which just closed, will open a new spot in the old Betty on Davis space just off Broad Street. Transit alert! This is a block from the Pulse station at the Science Museum. J. Elias O'Neal has the details.

Did y'all catch the groundbreaking for the Virginia Women's Monument at the Capitol yesterday? I think Barbara Johns and Maggie Walker are the only statues of women on public land in town, so this new collection of statues would certainly change that.

The Science Museum is cool. I'm just going to quote this bit from Mandy Loy in Richmond Magazine about their Fruitcake Science program: "...museum educators smashed fruitcakes that had been doused in liquid nitrogen with hammers."

If you're looking for something to do tonight, The Valentine and Kelli Lemon will host a conversation about monuments and tourism at 6:00 PM as part of their Controversy History series. You know I absolutely love talking about monuments and would totally be there if it weren't for...


  • Rams host Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Wahoos head to Morgantown to face West Virginia also at 7:00 PM.

This morning's longread

The Flynn Plea: A Quick and Dirty Analysis

It reflects something else too: that Flynn is prepared to give Mueller substantial assistance in his investigation and that Mueller wants the assistance Flynn can provide. We are not going to speculate about what that assistance might be. But prosecutors do not give generous deals in major public integrity cases to big-fish defendants without good reason—and in normal circumstances, the national security adviser to the president is a very big fish for a prosecutor. The good reason in this case necessarily involves the testimony Flynn has proffered to the special counsel’s staff. The information in that proffer is not in any of the documents released Friday, and it may not even be related to the information in those documents. Prosecutors tend to trade up. That is, for Mueller to give Flynn a deal of this sort, the prosecutor must believe he is building a case against a bigger fish still.

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Good morning, RVA: A hot take, horse cops, and fishing lures

Good morning, RVA: THE holiday weekend, punting on facilities, and December birthdays