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

Good morning, RVA: Layoffs, collecting cash, and equal pay

Good morning, RVA! It's 64 °F, and today's highs of 81 °F sound truly awesome. In fact, other than some possible rain on Thursday, the rest of this week (weatherwise) looks stunning.

Water cooler

First, before we get into it, an important correction: Mochi, which I had never heard of before but many people are extremely passionate about, is not, as I suggested, just a way to convey ice cream into your face. It is, in fact, "a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice." 🌠

Yesterday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch announced they'd laid off 33 people—including 13 from the newsroom. Here's the key quote from BH Media Group (owner of the RTD), which lines up with national trends: "...our digital revenue is not growing fast enough yet to offset print revenue losses from both advertising and circulation." Mark Robinson at Richmond Magazine has an incomplete list of folks who were let go; some had spent decades working at the paper. I'm not here to make jokes about people losing their jobs, so if you'd like to help increase the RTD's digital revenue and support the important work their reporters do, you can subscribe here. If you'd like to read about where I think the news biz should be headed, check out today's longread.

Michael Paul Williams continues to weigh in on the changing demographics of Chesterfield County and the response of the county's elected officials to those changes. This piece is worth reading just for the eye-opening stats in the first couple paragraphs.

Chelsea Rarrick at WTVR says Richmond's school board voted to request the semi-mysterious $8.3 million in unassigned funds that had been stashed away in couch somewhere. School Board Rep Scott Barlow closes out the article with an unfortunate but reality-based quote, "...we’ll be talking about whether we’ll be using those for operational funds and whether we will want to continue to set some aside for emergencies like roof collapses."

Mark Robinson has a great overview of Richmond's budget situation—specifically how the city can raise more money. There are definitely some things we can change to find more cash, like collecting a higher percentage of delinquent taxes and making VCU pay the teensiest bit for their use of a significant portion of downtown's real estate. But, really, the two main ways we get more money for nicer things are: increasing taxes or increasing density. Initiatives like the Pulse Corridor Plan will help with the latter.

Speaking of density, check out this 5-story apartment building planned for Jackson Ward. This sentence in particular fills me with joy: "It also will have one level of underground parking..."

It's Equal Pay Day. Today, the 94th day of the year, is how many additional days a woman must work to earn what a man earned last year. Style Weekly's Jackie Kruszewski has the word on a handful of local business that will offer discounts today to women.

Richard Hayes snapped some good pics of this past weekend's Monument 10k over on RVA Hub. Mario Kart costumes!


The North Carolina Tar Heels beat the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65 in the NCAA Championship Game. No more college basketball until fall!

  • Nats beat the Marlins, 4-2.

This morning's longread

This is what a news organization built on reader trust looks like

This sounds more like the future of news than anything I've read in a while.

Reason 2. Freedom from the 24-hour news cycle. The Correspondent calls itself an “antidote to the daily news grind.” When you’re not straining to find a unique angle into a story that the entire press pack is chewing on, it’s easier to avoid clickbait headlines, which undo trust. Not chasing today’s splashy story can hurt your traffic, but when you’re not selling traffic (because you don’t have advertisers), the pain is minimized.

Good morning, RVA: The Fed, beer collectors, and a question about poverty

Good morning, RVA: Slogs, aging, and Mochi