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

Good morning, RVA: Suburban poverty, #rvacouncil, and chocolate sauce

Good morning, RVA! It's 29 °F, and with highs today in the mid 40s and a decent chance for rain this evening...I'm feeling meh about this second Monday of March.

Water cooler

This piece in the RTD about shifting poverty in the region is a must read. As with everywhere else in America, poverty in Richmond is moving out of the city center and into the adjacent suburbs—more poor Americans live in the suburbs than urban or rural areas. Despite that reality, there are some really disturbing and disappointing quotes in the RTD piece from Chesterfield elected officials flat out denying the census data supporting this fact. Denial is not how the Richmond region will connect people to jobs and increase wealth building opportunities.

City Council has both a budget work session today (1:00 PM) and their regularly scheduled meeting tonight (6:00 PM). You can find the agenda for the latter here (PDF). Maybe since they're hanging out all day long discussing the budget, they've decided to keep their regular meeting agenda super short—just six total items at the moment. Perhaps more interesting is the topic of the informal Council meeting (4:00 PM): "Main Street Station Business Plan Update." What even is it that they plan to do in that cavernous but very beautiful building? Find out at 4:00 PM!

Will this year's top budget issue be trash and leaf collection? Not schools, or police, or transit, or baseball stadiums? This early-in-the-budget-process piece by Ned Olive makes me think so. I'm surprised there's this much pushback to the mayor's budget—along with grass cutting, bulk trash and leaf pickup seemed like a near universal concern for city residents. If we want better service, we've got to pay for it—we can't cut our way to $3 million of operating and capital costs.

I'm into this very honest Q&A from BizSense's Mike Platania about the cancellation of Son of Big Bike Race™. Maybe you didn't even know there were plans for a follow up event to 2015's UCI Road World Championships and are now doubly sad to remember how awesome the original event was while learning that a similar, future event has been canned. I feel you, I'm doubly sad, too. But! It does sound like there's maybe a possibility to pick things back up in a year or so!

RVA Mag's Amy David has an entire article about chocolate sauce. This includes a picture of just pouring it over pancakes! Do people do this!? That seems crazy / beautiful.

Episode 33 of the Sam and Ross Like Things podcast is out and available for your ears to listen to. This fortnight, I like my keggerator and Sam likes Final Fantasy. You can subscribe here.


For the first time since 2007, the Rams, Hokies, and Hoos have all made the NCAA tournament. All three teams will play in the first round this Thursday.

  • #5 Hoos take on #12 UNC Wilmington at 12:30 PM on Thursday.
  • #10 Rams match up with #7 St. Mary's at 7:20 PM.
  • #9 Hokies battle #8 Wisconsin at 9:40 PM on Thursday.
  • Spiders will travel to Alabama as part of the NIT on Tuesday at 9:15 PM.

This morning's longread

How to Choose the Right Tomato Varieties for Your Garden

Yes! Nerdy gardening advice from my favorite local seed vendor!

Year after year tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables grown by our customers. In our 2017 catalog we offer more than 100 different tomato varieties. There are currant tomatoes as small as a dime and big beefsteaks like Mortgage Lifter and Brandywine that can weigh well over a pound (plus every size in between and more shapes than most gardeners can imagine). In addition to the ever popular red and pink varieties there are orange, yellow, black, bi-color and even green varieties. We offer something for every gardener, but how to decide which to grow this year?

Good morning, RVA: Redistricting, budgetzzz, and The Voice

Good morning, RVA: Housing, rad designs, and Black Restaurant Week wraps up