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

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

Good morning, RVA! It's 54 °F, and that's about where things will stand until this evening when temperatures begin to drop a bit. The rain should move out of town by the time you read this, though.

Water cooler

Justin Mattingly has a more in-depth update to yesterday's story about the School Board adopting a five-year facilities plan. He continues to lead with the narrative that this move by the Board lacks transparency and the proper public process. Sounds like the Mayor mostly agrees. Here's a hot take or whatever, but if the concern really is public involvement, delaying the vote exactly one week would in no way lead to any sort of valuable public process. You've got to design public involvement in from the beginning, and you can't just drop it in on a Monday and hope to execute it by the end of the week. That said, I still haven't seen a PDF of the plan, and giving advocates a week to rally folks to email School Board members about it is definitely better than nothing. I realize those previous two sentences conflict with each other, but, hey, I contain multitudes. Anyway, I hope that as this facilities plan moves over to the Education Compact we'll see smother sailing, better planning, and more communication with the public. Mattingly says that group will gather on Monday at 9:00 AM in a meeting that is open to the public.

Ali Rockett, also at the RTD, says a local Walmart has donated a bunch of bucks to support the RPD's mounted unit. Like, mounted on horses. The police are still looking for a location to build a new stable (it's currently tucked under Chamberlayne Avenue by the train tracks), but, with all of the City's other budget priorities, this keeps sliding off list. Maybe that's OK? Horses terrify me, though, so I'm biased.

Jason Roop, writing for Style Weekly, has a piece on a new book out documenting famous people's fly fishing lures. That sounds way more boring than the reality, which is a really charming, soothing read. Just like the sport of fly fishing, I guess.

Providing on-demand paratransit to folks is complicated and expensive, and transit agencies often turn to private companies to help with the challenge. Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense has the word that GRTC has a new partner in this work, a local company called RoundTrip. Even though making this service on-demand is a big benefit to users, it still only runs from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM on weekdays and 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Saturdays. Imagine what life would be like if your access to the world was limited to just those hours!

About Trump's plan to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Washington Post puts it in perspective: "No other countries have their embassies in Jerusalem, under a long-standing international consensus that the city’s status should be decided in a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians."


  • Rams fell in the final minutes to Shaka Smart and Texas, 67-71.
  • Spiders head east to face Old Dominion tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Hokies host Radford at 6:00 PM.
  • Wahoos lost to West Virginia, 61-68.

This morning's longread

Hacking the Citi Bike Points System

From patron Maggi comes this story that makes me wish Richmond had a way volunteers could help redistribute our bikeshare bikes.

He had arranged to meet Collin Waldoch, who runs Bike Angels, the Citi Bike program that awards points, redeemable for extended membership and other modest benefits (a commemorative pin; a white bike key), to riders who help the company rebalance its network of twelve thousand bikes. Angels earn points for taking bikes from full stations and parking them at empty ones. A ride from one to the other might earn two or three points. When the scheme was launched, this spring, Waldoch thought that someone might, in the course of a year, earn five hundred points. By the fall, Glenn Reinhart had earned nearly eight thousand—twice as many as anyone else—and Waldoch sent him an e-mail and invited him to breakfast.

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Good morning, RVA: Local sexual harassment, the Cannon Creek Greenway, and Patti Labelle

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