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

Good morning, RVA: Superintendent Bedden, Office of Community Wealth Building, and Dead Rock

Good morning, RVA! It's 50 °F, and there's a pretty good chance of rain throughout the rest of the day. Pair that with temperatures in the mid-50s and lots of clouds, and you've got yourself a recipe for meh.

Water cooler

After some closed-door meetings, the Richmond's School Board decided to end Superintendent Bedden's contract two years early. A couple of things to keep in mind before putting the School Board on blast: 1) Standardized test scores are flat or down and fewer schools are fully accredited than a year ago, 2) The U.S Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has initiated a discrimination investigation into the district, 3) The secret $8 million did not go over well with anyone, and 4) Members of School Board cannot talk to the press (or anyone) about some matters relating to personnel. So keep all that in mind, but also keep in mind that this is an entirely new school board and their first major decision as a group has been to fire the superintendent. Hiring his replacement is an equally major decision. Stay tuned.

City Council will hold a budget work session today from 11:00 AM–4:00 PM. That is...quite a session. My advice to Council: Stay hydrated. At 6:00 PM they'll move directly into their formal council meeting during which they'll hold a public hearing on the budget. Then, assuming they're all still able to function, they'll do their regular business. You can find that agenda here (PDF), including all of the ordinances necessary to pass a budget (it's a lot!). As with all things Council-related, schedules and agendas are subject to change at any given moment.

Ned Oliver has an excellent piece in the RTD about the Office of Community Wealth Building generally and specifically how that office helped James Davis escape poverty. Ned ties in Davis's story with City Council's decision to remove $400,000 for the office from of the mayor's proposed budget. Really, ten thumbs up on this piece which you can tell took a lot of time and effort. Related: A couple of weeks ago a patron asked about how that office tracks the number of folks they help move out of poverty, I've got the response from OCWB which you can read tomorrow (but you can get the gist from Ned's piece today)!

Jeremy Lazarus at the Richmond Free Press talks to the mayor and some residents of Mosby Court about possible ways to reduce violence in that neighborhood. Sounds like, between police procedures and city policies, some changes are in store.

WTVR has the story on a recent Dead Rock repainting that ended with arrests. I'll tell you what, RPD, arresting folks for touching up Dead Rock is certainly not the way to keep people from painting it. I imagine this will have the opposite effect, right?

You know the bright, shiny building nearing completion at the intersection of Broad and Belvidere? That's the Institute for Contemporary Art (duh), and tonight they're hosting a conversation to talk about what you would like to see happen in that space. The ICA opens on October 28th, which feels both right around the corner and forever far away!

A new episode of the Sam and Ross Like Things podcast is up for your enjoyment. In this episode Sam likes doing his taxes (gasp!), and I like Blue Apron (shrug!). You can subscribe here.


  • Squirrels move on after a 0-8 loss to Reading. They'll open a series with Bowie tonight at 6:35 PM.
  • Kickers triumphed over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 2-1, after a one-hour lightning delay.
  • Nats handled the Mets and open a series against Colorado tonight at 8:40 PM. Nate have won seven in a row.

This morning's longread

Richmond Cycling Corps, part 2

To help illustrate the best practices to prepare kids for the ‘how’ to exit public housing, picture the three silos we have isolated: school, cycling, employment. Fundamentally, each of these silos represents a facet of a kid’s life that on one hand will ultimately help them, but on the same hand, they don’t necessarily enjoy doing. Each facet pushes them out their comfort zone, constantly challenging desires to quit. RCC obviously integrates the tough sport of cycling as a silo, but any self-driven activity could work. You’re probably seeing the trend at this point: RCC is not necessarily focused on developing Ivy League applicants, or creating professional cyclists, or becoming a youth employment agency.

Good morning, RVA: #Beddexit, CAFR chat, and Brookland Park Boulevard

Good morning, RVA: Old newspapers, Westwood Tract travails, and barcade details