Good morning, RVA! It's 55 °F, and temperatures will actually sink down throughout the day. Things will freeze over night (watch your plants!), and then, this weekend, I think we'll be full-bore into spring.
With lightning speed, VCU has hired as the next men's basketball head coach former Shaka Smart assistant and current Rice head coach (well, until yesterday) Mike Rhoades. No word yet who on the current team will stay and if any of Will Wade's recruits will stick around.
3rd District has a new school board representative: Cindy Menz-Erb! Welcome to the party, pal! Mark Robinson at Richmond Magazine has more.
Ned Oliver was at the Land Use, Housing and Transportation Committee meeting last night along with dozens of people! This is maybe the most people to ever show up for a meeting of that particular committee. They were there to encourage Council and the mayor to get involved in (aka slow down) the development of the Westwood Tract—a piece of land across from Union Seminary on Brook Road. Currently that land is a beautiful bit of neighborhood green space, and the plan is to build a 301-unit apartment complex on top of it. Edwin Slipek has a good, history-based piece in Style Weekly lobbbying for going back to the drawing boards on the proposed design. A quote: "This pivot to planning, environmental and architectural mediocrity is what has so many people baffled, hurt, disappointed and now sadly, miffed." Yikes. Private land + private developer + maybe outdated zoning + intense neighborhood opposition = we'll be hearing more about this.
Ned also says that the beef between the City Auditor and the mayor's administration has mostly been resolved by a dance fight behind City Hall at the Temporary Transfer Plaza. Just kidding, they had a boring meeting and figured things out—wouldn't my thing have been more fun, though?
If you think protected bike lanes on 1st and 2nd Street are a good idea, it's time to let your Councilperson know. These planned lanes are not about providing cycle highways for chubby, middle-aged spandexy dudes, they are about connecting a diverse set of communities along a north-south corridor—Barton Heights, Gilpin Court, Jackson Ward, and the central business district. These lanes are about getting people to work, school, and the other bits of life. Jackie Kruszewski was at the meeting put together by Councilwoman Gray to discuss these bike lanes, and you can read the piece to catch the vibe of where things stand.
WTVR's Chelsea Rarrick talked to the folks who use the 64x Stony Point Express bus to get to and from work every day. She buries the lead a bit, but here's the important piece: "50 percent of the riders live in Chesterfield County." With that in mind, this quote from Councilwoman Larson is great to read: "We’re just trying to open the door to see how we can partner on this issue and solve the problem for all of our constituents so we’re meeting the needs of our bus riders." Chesterfield could totally kick in a couple of bucks to maintain the 64x status quo! It wouldn't even be that many bucks! But, alas: "CBS 6 also reached out to Chesterfield County Board of Supervisor but we are still waiting for a response."
- Spiders closed out their season with a loss to TCU, 86-68
This morning's longread
This story is 100% delightful.
The legend has been passed down by NBA generations, chronicled like a Homeric odyssey. The tale they tell is of Kevin Garnett and the 2007-08 Celtics, and the seminal moment of a revolution. Bryan Doo, Celtics strength and conditioning coach, recalls it as if it were yesterday, how before a game in December of that season, an unnamed Celtic -- his identity lost to history, like the other horsemen on Paul Revere's midnight ride -- complained to Doo of incipient hunger pangs.
"Man, I could go for a PB&J," the player said.
And then Garnett, in an act with historical reverberations, uttered the now-fabled words: "Yeah, let's get on that."