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

Good morning, RVA: Violence, budget proposals, and old fake news

Good morning, RVA! It's 61 °F, and today begins a string of really pleasant days. Highs will approach 80 °F, we'll see plenty of sun, and there's almost zero chance of rain. Expect more of that—and warmer temperatures—over the next couple of days.

Water cooler

State Police are reporting two people—Tanna D. Gardner, 23 and Sharayne Danielle Nichole Holland, 26—were shot and killed on I-95 northbound near exit 75.

Alright budget fans, City Council meets tonight to...do something with the budget. Ned Oliver has an excellent breakdown of what exactly that could be and which way the meeting tonight could go. Also read this editorial in the RTD by the mayor. Still at issue is whether Council should require an ordinance for City departments to move any amount of money between their programs and sub-programs. My issue continues to be, not with the idea of added transparency, but with whether Council will have the bandwidth to handle all of the legal legwork necessary to execute on this plan. Budget Director Jay Brown says Council can expect between 50 and 100 ordinances requesting shifts of funds each year! My thoughts go out to the poor, poor staff charged with putting together all of those dang ordinances. So. Where are we now, other than in a room full of people who clearly do not trust each other? It sounds like Councilman Addison will introduce a new amendment tonight to clear up some of the issues, and the mayor will also introduce his own amendment to hopefully provide the information Council is looking for without the need for them to approve each and every budget transfer. But with deadlines looming—the schools portion of the budget must be approved tonight—it's unclear whether there's enough time, political will, and procedural loopholes left to get in a fix that everyone agrees on. Not great stuff, and I'm looking forward toward a better budget process from everyone involved next year.

Over the weekend, a group of white supremacists gathered at Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue with torches and chanted pro-Russia and Nazi-era slogans. It is not awesome to see a ton of angry White people rallying around Confederate statues with torches, but it is historically unsurprising. Angry White people erected these statues to make people afraid and celebrate the Fake-News story of the Lost Cause. That they should use these statues in a similar way today feels sadly predictable. As cities like Charlottesville diligently work to take down these statues, read this sentence from Taber Bain over and over again, "Monuments to the Confederacy will all ultimately be dislodged from public spaces as they aren't compatible with the United States of America."

Tammie Smith writes for the RTD about the Richmond Pinball Collective's new game room out in Chesterfield. If you join the collective—by paying a monthly fee—you can play as much pinball as you want. Unlimited! Honestly, the price of a single-month membership seems like it'd be worth it even if you only made it out to play a couple of times.


  • Squirrels won the last couple of games against Bowie and travel to Akron today for a 6:35 PM game.
  • Kickers played to a scoreless draw against the Harrisburg City Islanders.
  • Nats went 2-3 against the Phillies and have the day off today.

This morning's longread

Good Coffee Shouldn’t Have to Cost More Than $1

I enjoy this concept.

Locol’s stated mission is to bring wholesome, affordable food to underserved neighborhoods. The coffee delivers. Obtained and roasted according to the same lofty standards found at Intelligentsia Coffee, Stumptown Coffee Roasters or any of the small, innovative companies that have transformed the high end of the industry in the past decade, Locol’s coffee is clean and flavorful. But unlike those shops, where a cup can cost $3 or more, Locol charges just $1 for a 12-ounce coffee, or $1.50 if you want milk and sugar. Rather than offer free condiments and pass on the cost to all customers, those who want milky, sweet coffee pay for their pleasures, while drinkers of black coffee get a break. As for getting it chilled, that’s on the house: Iced coffee costs the same as hot.

Good morning, RVA: Transit Tuesday, memorials vs. monuments, and secrets

Good morning, RVA: "Paucity of trust," fixing the glitch, and Murrayfest