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

Good morning, RVA: Tax Day, budget amendments, and the Boston Marathon's first runner

Good morning, RVA! It's 59 °F, but temperatures should warm up as the day goes on. Expect highs in the low 70s late this afternoon, some clouds, but no rain.

Water cooler

Its Tax Day...but if you didn't already know that, it's probably too late for you. Good luck!

Yesterday, City Council introduced their amendments to the mayor's budget (PDF). All told, the amendments increase the budget by $19,109,723 while proposing only $8,286,620 worth of cuts, so obviously there's some work left to be done. A big chunk of that budget boost goes toward salary increases for police and fire fighters, which should definitely help with personnel retention—now to figure out how to pay for it...Further down the budget sheet, you could probably guess that Councilman Agelasto's proposal to cut $1.6 million from GRTC's operating budget did not sit well with me. That $1.6 million will pay wage increases for drivers and set aside additional money to fund the Pulse, neither of which are things we can cut. Ultimately, that amendment will lead to cuts to regular, fixed-route service—which is exactly the opposite of what the entire City Council said they wanted after voting 9-0 to support the Richmond Transit Network Plan. But! In a wild Turns Out moment, Councilman Agelasto said the amendment was introduced solely to be used as leverage to get VCU to pay for students and staff to use GRTC. Now that's something I can totally get behind, but the councilman's shoot-the-hostage strategy is too dang stressful for my blood! Ned Oliver at the RTD sat through the entire budget work session and lived to tell the tale, so you should give him the courtesy of reading his recap.

Oh, also! Council discussed cutting $400,000 from the mayor's budget dedicated toward the Office of Community Wealth Building. So far, this is the only thing to elicit a response from the mayor himself.

Micheal Paul Williams takes to task the city's relentless desire to subsidize Main Street Station's train shed. This piece has everything you're looking for: 6th Street Marketplace references, Washington Training Camp shade, and Councilwoman Gray quotes. The last paragraph is great.

I don't know what to make of the federal civil rights investigation of Richmond Public Schools. Jackie Kruszewski at Style Weekly has the background info to get you caught up to speed, though.

More words about Richmond's glut of grocery stores in Richmond Magazine! This quote is great, "Robert Kelley, assistant professor of management at VCU’s school of business, looks at the number of retail supermarkets in Richmond and asks, 'My god, how are they all going to survive?'"

The first runner to arrive at the Boston Marathon? Richmonder Shihan Wijeyeratne! That's awesome.


  • Squirrels fell to Bowie, 2-3. That series continues tonight at 6:35 PM.
  • Nats begin a series with Atlanta tonight at 7:35 PM.

This morning's longread

How shoelaces come undone

This did not help me figure out how to keep my son's shoes tied.

The “someone” in question was Ms Gregg, who endured numerous sessions on a treadmill so that the behaviour of her shoelaces could be monitored. Using cameras, and also tiny accelerometers attached to the laces, the researchers realised that two things are important. One is how the act of walking deforms the reef at the centre of a bow. The other is how the different inertial forces on the straight-ended and looped extremities of the bow conspire to pull the lace though the reef in the way a wearer would when taking a shoe off.

Good morning, RVA: Police, numbers, and storefront churches

Good morning, RVA: Plans within plans, Main Street Station, and SotJ turns 10