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

Good morning, RVA: Guidance for schools, the chia story, and burger relocation

Good morning, RVA! It's 48 °F, and our wonderful, summery weather from the past couple of days is gone. Highs today will hit the mid 50s, and we'll see plenty of sun. Wear some layers and expect some gusty winds!

Water cooler

The state's Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples issued this guidance for schools "regarding division responsibilities and actions under the law in reference to students and immigration." School districts across the state are nervously asking what their role is in Trump's immigration-related edicts and how they can best protect their students. First, schools are required to provide education regardless of immigration status. Schools may also not "inquire into a prospective student's citizenship or visa status in order to enroll that student in school." Second, schools have a legal responsibility to protect the privacy of student education records and the recent executive orders do not change that or force schools to enter into any type of agreement with ICE. Third, immigration officials can't just bust into schools and arrest students—they must have subpoenas and warrants. Finally, schools should put policies in place for students whose parents have been arrested during the school day leaving the student with nowhere to go. That's an awful sentence to write. You should read the entire memo, it's well-written, scary, and hopeful all at the same time.

SCOTUSblog has the explainer you need on the Supreme Court's recent look into gerrymandering in Virginia. While they weren't like, "Oh man, look at all this wild racially-motivated gerrymandering—makes me wanna vom!", they did say the lower court needs to rethink some things about their decision. It sounds like there's lots more work to be done by redistricting advocates, but also some movement towards reform.

This Christmas, my mom got me and my son Chia Pets—until then it had never occured to me that Chia Pets chia and chia seeds chia WERE THE SAME DANG CHIA. If you've ever wondered how everyone got super stoked on those little seeds that get stuck in your teeth, Style Weekly's Brandon Fox has the very Richmond-centric story!

Also in Style Weekly, Annie Tobey pours out the details on Charlottesville-based Champion Brewing Co., which just set up shop downtown. I drink their Killer Kölsch and their Shower Beer on the regular and enjoy both (sometimes in the shower!).

J. Elias O'Neal at BizSense reports that Burger Bach will move down Cary Street a couple of blocks. I am fascinated by which new building they chose. Now: Who will fill Burger Bach's existing space?

What's the over-under on how many more days Jeff Sessions has as Attorney General? Three?


VUU's women's basketball coach, AnnMarie Gilbert, and men's basketball coach Jay Butler, were both named CIAA Coaches of the Year!

  • Rams lost a close one to Dayton, 72-79, and missed out on a shot at the Atlantic 10 regular-season title.
  • Spiders picked up a win against Massachusetts, 75-64.

This morning's patron question!

Patron Hayley asks:

Can I give a shoutout to the City for completely replacing the Carillon Tot Lot playground? A year and a half ago or so, I went and found it sagging, broken, and swing-less. In March 2016 it got fixed, and a year later seems like a good time to say a thanks for how great it's been. This is not really a question so I made the first part into a question, but I realize I'm playing with fire here. How's this for an ending? Do you, too, feel that this is a great improvement?

I don't make it over to the Carillon Tot Lot a ton, but, yeah, I do think this is a great improvement. Just to make sure my typically razor-sharp gut instinct was on point, I asked one of my pals who lives over that way what he thought: "It is much better than it was." Boom! There you have it, folks. JOURNALISM.

If you’d like your question to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.

This morning's longread

Twitter, live, and luck

What even is Twitter's purpose? Here are some good nerdthoughts on the topic in light of the recent Oscar envelop mixup situation.

Imagine a Twitter app that, instead of a generic Moment that is little more than Twitter’s version of a thousand re-blogs, let you replay your Twitter stream from any particular moment in time. Miss the Oscars gaffe? Not only can you watch the video, you can read the reactions as they happen, from the people you actually care enough to follow. Or maybe see the reactions through someone else’s eyes: choose any other user on Twitter, and see what they saw as the gaffe happened.

Good morning, RVA: Bank Street, bikes, and Brookland Park Boulevard

Good morning, RVA: Taxes, redistricting, and emotions