Good morning, RVA! It's 49 °F, and today's looking a bit chillier than the last couple of days. Expect highs in the low 60s and plenty of clouds. We could see some rain this evening, so keep your late-night shenanigans indoors.
Micheal Phillips at the RTD talks to Mayor Stoney about the Washington Training Camp and how Richmond can better take advantage of the team's presence in town. Getting out of the $500,000 annual fee we owe the world's eight most valuable sports team ($2.85 billion) is a ship that's long since sailed. Personally, I want to get more out of the facility than the team. It's great that they're building playground(s) and talking to kids in school, but there's a big, beautiful field just sitting empty on Leigh Street every single day of the year. I know the NFL says blah blah blah about their field conditions, but this is a place the mayor can step in and tell them what for. The team is worth several billion bucks! They can afford to let us use their precious field throughout the year!
A couple days ago, I asked what would happen if the City decided to rezone the Westwood Tract to prevent the development proposed for the land across the street from the Seminary. A smart and kind reader sent me this very detailed law PDF explaining vested property rights, which, and I Am Not A Lawyer, speaks to a lot of what is going on here. I know, I know, what's more boring than a PDF about property law? Very few things, but I feel more informed after reading it. I'm sure you will, too!
Elizabeth Ferris in Richmond Magazine writes this charming profile of Bon Air. Is your neighborhood this charming? Probably not!
We did it, y'all! Today is the very last Richmond Transit Network Plan public meeting that I am aware of. Join GRTC staff at the Powhatan Community Center tonight, at 6:00 PM, and learn all about the changes coming to the bus system—specifically, Fulton gets two great, 15-minute routes. I imagine there will be more meetings (there are always more meetings), but, for now, I think we can take a minute to chill on the RTNP.
The heavy metal Ned Flanders tribute band Okilly Dokilly is in town tonight at The Broadberry and I can't not tell you about it. RVA Mag has an interview with them and a video of their single "White Wine Spritzer."
North Carolina legislators are working on a deal to kind of get rid of HB2. I say "kind of" because the deal seems like a crap and prohibits cities from enacting non-discrimination protections through 2020. Don't make deals about giving people the right to do basic human life things like go to the bathroom or not be discriminated against at their jobs. A fascinting thing about all of this: The NCAA is driving this conversation. They've set a 12:00 PM deadline for today by which North Carolina must fix this disaster or risk losing further college basketball championship games. Also, there's this tweet from Governor MacAuliffe: "AP story says NC HB2 bill will cost state 3.76B. Come to Virginia—open and welcoming."
This morning's patron longread!
From Patron John! I will always link to banana extinction stories!
On a plate, a single banana seems whimsical—yellow and sweet, contained in its own easy-to-open peel. It is a charming breakfast luxury as silly as it is delicious and ever-present. Yet when you eat a banana the flavor on your tongue has complex roots, equal parts sweetness and tragedy.
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This morning's longread
If only there were already an extremely inexpensive and proven way to commute along a set route with specific pickup and drop-off points...
Lyft has a new offering in testing called Shuttle, which is part of its Lyft Line commuter ride sharing option, and which operates along a set route with specific pickup and drop-off points. The trial for Shuttle is currently on offer in San Francisco and Chicago, and is intended to offer increased reliability for users who tend to travel the same path every day.
Shuttle also includes fixed rate fare, which are not impacted by Prime Time, where increased demand causes normal Lyft pricing to rise. It runs during regular commuting hours, too, which is when Prime Time can impact pricing.