Good morning, RVA! It's 43 °F, and today's highs are in the low 50s. Expect plenty of sunshine to go with the more seasonally-appropriate temperatures.
The RTD's Tammie Smith doesn't explicitly say that Martin Agency creative director Joe Alexander left the agency to preempt a sexual harassment investigation, but she sure implies the heck out of it. Assuming the implications are true, this would be the first local dude (that I'm aware of) removed from his position of power because he sexually harassed a person, and he's surely not the last! Gross dudes in positions of power: You are on alert.
Election updates! Graham Moomaw, also in the RTD, knows the official date for the recount in the 68th District—that's Adams vs. Loupassi. Jeff Branscome in the Free Lance-Star says Virginia Dems have officially requested a special election in the 28th District after folks in a split precinct got the wrong ballots on Election Day. Recounts are also pending in the 40th and 94th. Assuming Adams keeps her seat, losing a single recount would split the House of Delegates 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats.
UDC meets today and will consider the Cannon Creek Greenway project (PDF), which seems super rad. The plan is to add a 3/4 mile long nature trail adjacent to Cannon Branch in the Northside, a creek that was enclosed in a sewer pipe forever ago. Currently this area is pretty much a secret forest hidden in a ravine in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It's neat! Take a ride on the nearby Cannon Creek Greenway bike path to check it out.
The City has an update on their Bond Thing I talked about a while back. I'm still not really sure I understand it, but as a result of the Thing, they'll "reduce their debt service by roughly $13 million over the next 15 years." Good work, Finance Team!
Bill Lohmann in the RTD writes about Dale Hanks, a now-Richmonder who served as one of the National Guardsmen assigned to protect the Little Rock Nine on their way to school. Hanks has a new book out, When All Hell Broke Loose, that he wrote with the help of a writing workshop at the Virginia War Memorial.
RVA Mag's Madeline Ashworth and photographer Jason Lappa talk to some of the folks in Giles County that would be impacted by the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline. I'm into these photos of people in their homes holding the enormous stack of legal papers they've been forced to deal with.
This Patti Labelle video brought me joy this morning. Now, I will share it with you!
- Spiders fell to Old Dominion, 60-79, having now lost six straight.
- Hokies handled Radford, 95-68.
This morning's longread
Some great writing about Olive Garden and Gauguin, of all things.
I feel an intense affinity for Olive Garden, which — like the lack of olives on its menu — is by design. The restaurant was built for affinity, constructed from the foundations to the faux-finished rafters to create a sense of connection, of vague familiarity, to bring to mind some half-lost memory of old-world simplicity and ease. Even if you’ve never been to the Olive Garden before, you’re supposed to feel like you have. You know the next song that’s going to play. You know how the chairs roll against the carpet. You know where the bathrooms are. Its product is nominally pasta and wine, but what Olive Garden is actually selling is Olive Garden, a room of comfort and familiarity, a place to return to over and over.
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