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

Good morning, RVA: Fat Tuesday, Confederate monuments, and adorable goats

Good morning, RVA! It's 49 °F, but today we'll see temperatures in the mid 70s! There's a chance of thunderstorms this evening, but, until then, enjoy the warm weather and sunshine.

Water cooler

It is Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday / Shrove Tuesday. Eat a king cake or whatever, because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and Lent begins! Here's the Wikipedia page, just in case.

Last night at City Council, the mayor dropped his Annual Report on Poverty Reduction and Community Wealth Building Initiatives in the City of Richmond, Virginia. This is a long and comprehensive report, and it mostly looks like an update to similar reports issued by Mayor Stoney's predecessor. It'd be interesting to see what happened if someone diffed this year's and last year's reports. Also last night, the ordinance to accept the funding for the one-time implementation cost of the Richmond Transit Network Plan passed 9-0! Who's ready for an entirely new bus system later this year??

Today's Michael Paul Williams column is about contextualizing our Confederate monuments and is the first thing I've read on the subject that makes me feel like we might make some real progress in the next couple of years. There's a lot of quotes from a lot of people in that article—including the mayor!—all in favor of (or at least not against) adding context to Monument Avenue. I think the very next step in this process is to make sure the Public Art Master Plan contains the necessary language to support and guide further steps and conversations. I also think, and have said this for a bunch of years now, it'd be a really useful step to set up a group tasked with cataloging all of Richmond's Confederate art—Baltimore recently did something like this and set up a commission to review four of their monuments (PDF). Maybe someone should just make a page on the This Dang City wiki for this...

Speaking of the Public Art Commission, there's an informational meeting tonight at 6:00 PM at the Hull Street Library (1400 Hull Street) to hear a call for public art at that very location! Local artists: There's a giant shrub out front just waiting to be replaced by a piece of your art!

I wanted to get out to Pony Pasture this past Saturday to watch adorable goats tear into the invasive ivy out there, but was stuck inside learning a ton about bicycle advocacy. Luckily, Jackie Kruszewski of Style Weekly tells me what I missed—which was, basically, adorable goats eating plants.

Sometimes, I casually eat a thing a chef has made and never think about how it took days to make. This is because I am a bad and self-centered person. Genevelyn Steele at Richmond Magazine reminds me that chefs are crazy sometimes!

Trump addresses Congress tonight at 9:00 PM to outline his budget, FYI. Related, these are rad charts from the NYT showing what Americans think the most important problem facing the country is.


  • Hokies beat the Hurricanes, 66-61.
  • Hoos took down the Tar Heels, 53-43.

This morning's longread

Who Is Guy Fieri?

Maybe Guy Fieri is an OK dude???

The king of flames pulls the toasted buns from the grill. The red-faced line cook has flipped our patty and added a slice of cheese. He puts a lid on top to let it steam. “So if we look at all my restaurants and what I do, the band would be called The Guy Fieri Band. It’s not all Guy Fieri songs. You have to be willing to be creative. Look at Sammy Hagar, one of my favorites: If you look at Van Halen songs, there’s a lot of people that write the songs, and if you keep creative people around you, you all create the jam together. It doesn’t have to be a solo album. Half the stuff musicians sing; they don’t write.”

Good morning, RVA: Taxes, redistricting, and emotions

Good morning, RVA: #rvacouncil, trigonometry, and sympathy anxiety