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

Good morning, RVA: Budgets, beers, and Brandermill

Good morning, RVA! It's 57 °F, and temperatures continue to fall bit by bit. Today, you should expect highs in the mid 70s and plenty of sun throughout the day.

Water cooler

The theoretically very last budget work session for City Council takes place today at 11:00 AM. This gives Council just enough time to introduce budget amendments at this coming Monday's formal meeting and then vote on the final budget May 15th. Richmond Public Schools must have their budget established by the 15th as well...so no pressure. Council President Hilbert has promised everyone that today's meeting will last no longer than an hour. Fingers crossed, I guess. I have lots of thoughts about this year's budget process but, "Man, that went smoothly." is not one of them.

Also in budget news, Jackie Kruszewski at Style covers Councilman Jones's thoughts on the City's nondepartmental spending, some of which is earmarked for nonprofits, community contracts, and economic development partnerships. I'm compelled by Jones's argument that if we don't have enough money in the City's budget to fund basic City services, then maybe we should be giving less of it away. On the other hand, a lot of these nonprofits provide needed services that the City just could never hope to provide on its own. I'd love to listen to smart people have a conversation about this on a podcast or something.

Richmond Magazine's Mark Robinson has the details about Superintendent Bedden's severance package and word of a couple public meetings later this month to collect input on the superintendent search process.

This story by Melissa Hipolit at WTVR about Brandermill's Home Owners Association surprised me in a couple ways. First, I just assumed that people wanted their HOAs to stay out of their biz, not get more involved. Second, I love that shuttle service in Hallsley is seen as a competitive advantage. These suburban planned communities are typically built in a super transit-hostile way, and providing a circulator or shuttle to get folks out to the main thoroughfares is a good fix. Of course you need transit on those thoroughfares, too, but baby steps.

I love these From the Archive pieces in the Times-Dispatch. This one about a woman-only coffee shop in the basement of St. James's Episcopal on Franklin is fascinating. I need to know more! Also, I need 2-cent coffee in my life.

Andy Garrigue at the RTD tells us about warm-weather beer trends, and my takeaway is that everyone just loves juice. I'm not a big fan of fruit in my beer, but I do love a lower-ABV offering like a Kolsch, Schwarzbier, or Pilsner. Or a High Life, of course.

Meanwhile, over in Style Weekly, Annie Toby gets into lupulin powder and how brewery nerds are using it in their beers. I love beer scientists!


  • Squirrels got blanked by Altoona. They'll wrap up that series today at 10:30 AM.
  • Nats fell to Arizona, 3-6, and will try again tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's longread

You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you

Here's a longcomic about the backfire effect. This was a good medium to talk about this topic! Tap through and start scrolling.

This comic was inspired by this three-part series on the backfire effect from the You Are Not So Smart Podcast...I would also like to thank my wonderful girlfriend Theresea for calling my attention to the backfire effect in the first place. The past year has been rough for a lot of people, and she pointed me in a direction that could actually help people.

Good morning, RVA: Segregation, jobs, and connections

Good morning, RVA: Council all-nighter, #Beddexit, and ospreys