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

Good morning, RVA: Serious bus stuff, shameful guns, and Gamelan

Good morning, RVA! It's 48 °F, and highs today will hit the mid 70s! Soak up as much sun and warmth as you can, because tomorrow rain and cooler temperatures move in.

Water cooler

This piece by Jackie Kruszewski in Style Weekly about a local Iraqi refugee family is intense and stressful. Let me quote this bit, which hits me personally: "The family arrived in Richmond a year ago in March. The culture shock was immense. 'My apartment felt like a prison,' she says of her family’s first few months in America. And they couldn’t get around well without a car in Henrico County." I know I joke a lot about expanding public transportation so I can get to CookOut or whatever new Scott's Addition brewery, but, for lots of folks, transit is a lifeline connection to the world. Without a reliable, regional transit system we're cutting our neighbors off from the basic bits of everyday life.

Related—and totally a step in the right direction—yesterday, GRTC began their informational meetings to introduce folks to the new bus lines recommended by the Richmond Transit Network Plan. This also means they released the proposed new route names and numbers (PDF, p. 9)! This is all very exciting, but, as you might have guessed, I definitely have some thoughts and opinions on the new numbering scheme—take a look for yourself, though, and see what you think. GRTC's informational meetings will continue tonight at the Goodwill on Midlothian (6301 Midlothian Turnpike) from 6:00–7:30 PM.

In the RTD, Ali Rocket writes about a gun bust in Brooklyn that resulted in the seizure of 217 guns and the arrest of 17 Richmonders. This article makes me feel shame; Virginia's ridiculously lax gun laws lead to people dying in other states. Don't take it from me, take it from one of the dudes running an illegal gun-trafficking ring: "There's no limit to how many guns I can go buy from the store...they might start looking at me, but in Virginia, our laws are so little, I can give guns away."

Ned Oliver has solved The Curious Case of the Disappearing Budget Document. If you want to dig in, the captain has now turned off the seatbelt sign and you are free to move about the PDF.

Brandon Fox at Style Weekly has Black Restaurant Week's backstory. I had no idea that Kelli Lemon from Coffee With Strangers was involved! Proceeds benefit Renew Richmond, a group dedicated to helping low-income communities grow healthier through urban gardens and educational programs.

This piece in RVA Mag by Gabriella Lacombe about Gamelan is worth reading. Make sure you watch the accompanying video, too—its hypnotizing!

You've probably already read and learned your fill about the GOP's Republicare plan, but this video with Ezra Klein from Vox is a great explainer. I enjoy this format of editorial!


  • #7 Hokies advance in the ACC tournament with a 99-90 win over Wake Forest. They'll face #2 Florida State tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • #6 Hoos beat Pitt, 75-63, and will take on #3 Notre Dame tonight at 9:00 PM.

This morning's longread

Despair is Not a Strategy: 15 principles of hope

Lots of good quotes from really smart people in this one.

Change is rarely straightforward. It does not occur in either short bursts or not at all but rather slowly, incrementally, and in a nonlinear fashion: you can feel hopeless one day and the next day have an inexplicable breakthrough. This is especially important to realize because along the road to winning there will be a lot of losing, as Ezra Levin, co-founder of the Indivisible Movement, explains: “This is the long game. We are going to lose a lot. We are going to get good at losing. We are going to lose cabinet votes for terrible nominees. We are going to lose bills that are offensive and appalling. But while we are losing, something else is going to happen. We are going to keep raising our voices and slowly our representatives are going to start listening to us… It’ll happen over months, where you keep showing up, regularly. Then, we are going to start winning. It’ll sneak up on us. We won’t understand why we are winning. But it starts with losing in a particular way- where we raise our voices and call it out when we aren’t listened to, where we get close but not quite there.”

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

Good morning, RVA: Shockoe bottom, public art, and State of the Plate