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

Good morning, RVA: A changing Chesterfield, online privacy, and public meetings galore

Good morning, RVA! It's 60 °F, and today's highs are once again in the 70s. I think we should see clearly now that the rain is gone! Just a few clouds here and there in our way.

Water cooler

You need to read this piece by Vanessa Remmers about Chesterfield County's English for Speakers of Other Languages students. Despite Supervisor Jaeckle's comments a couple weeks ago, the Chesterfield School Board has decided to expand services to ESOL students—including reducing class sizes and providing ESOL services in those students' home schools. I had no idea that in middle and high school students were shipped around to ESOL centers throughout the county! It's totally unsurprising that parents refuse ESOL services when it means longer commutes. No one, not even kids, likes a long commute! Also, this stat blows my mind: "the school system has enrolled 800 more ESOL students since September." Chesterfield is changing, and it's nice to see that at least part of the County government is changing along with it.

Every where I turn there's another public meeting! I can't tell if it's just that I'm just too deep into the PDFs, or if there really is this ongoing, slow shift into more citizen involvement in the process of government. Whatever the case may be, Katy Burnell Evans has the word on a stack of public meetings where citizens can give their feedback on how the city and public school officials can work together better. Councilman Addison and School Board Rep Doerr will host the first of these meetings tomorrow at 7:00 PM.

Pssst, speaking of, don't forget that the final two GRTC meetings to discuss the changes coming to the bus system are tonight and tomorrow. Also, if you've done your homework and figured out how the new system impacts your life, you can take their survey.

WRIC's Nakell Williams has a short piece on The Farmer's Market Restaurant & Bar in Old Towne Petersburg. It's important to remember that not everything down there is all Woe Watch™, all the time!

Yesterday, Congress voted to repeal regulations that protect your internet browsing history (and other sensitive information) from your internet service provider. It's important to keep in mind that the privacy sky is not falling. But, if the idea of your ISP snooping on your browsing habits skeezes you out, it may be time to check out a VPN service. A VPN, (Virtual Private Network) encrypts internet traffic from your device to the VPN's servers, where they decrypt it, and send it on its way. I've been using Cloak for a while now on all my iOS devices and love its simplicity—it's great for that coffee-shop freelancer lifestyle or when you want to use the terrifying hotel wifi. Cloak has a nice blog post, "Congress, ISPs, and You," that'll explain things in more/better detail.

Bill O'Reilly said a dumb, offensive thing about Congresswoman Maxine Waters—which you don't need to watch. You do, however, need to watch her response.

This morning's longread

I Placed a Jar in Tennessee

I ordered a couple of boxes of Kevin’s jams and pickles, which he sells and barters in low quantities. Just having them has exerted an effect on the vibe of our kitchen and by extension the rest of the house. They’re like little jars of distilled sunlight, sitting there on the table. Through them I discovered the beauty of really good jam, namely that if you put it on toast—most difficult to ruin of all human foods—suddenly, almost without meaning to, you’ve started your day off well, with a little moment of flavor worth lingering over. My mother visited and ate some of Kevin’s Scotch marmalade, saying it gave her strong Kentucky-childhood flashbacks.

Good morning, RVA: Training camp, the world's most boring PDF, and white wine spritzers

Good morning, RVA: Sick burns, Woe Watch™, and Bev's return