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

Good morning, RVA: Segregation, jobs, and connections

Good morning, RVA! It's 52 °F, and another charming day is set before us. Expect temperatures in the low 70s throughout the day and less charming weather (clouds and possibly some rain) to roll in this evening.

Water cooler

It is finished! I think! Ned Oliver says City Council has concluded their budget talks after another 5-hour meeting—which President Hilbert promised would take only an hour, but still. Before you tap through to read this piece, take a guess at the total number of hours City Council spent in meetings about the budget. It's a big number and, while I love budget season more than the next person, I'm kind of glad its over. Oh, also, some good news I wanted to mention from this most recent meeting: Council and the mayor's administration were able to save 100% of this year's $1.6 million budget increase for GRTC—they even paid for it with money previously allocated toward parking and roads! Council will introduce their final budget this coming Monday, vote on the 15th, and then probably take a nap.

The Reverend Ben Campbell has an essay in Richmond Magazine about Richmond, segregation, and transportation. This is the unfortunate and embarrassing reality of transportation in our region—and why City Council deciding to fully fund GRTC is such a big deal. We're decades behind and as a region we've got to start building now, or, like the Reverend says, we'll be left behind. Shameless plug: If reading this piece gets you fired up and you want to get involved, sign up for the RVA Rapid Transit email list. Also, the illustration by Linas Garsys for this piece is A+ work.

I don't know anything about how businesses work, but this news about Tranlin gives me some general workforce development anxiety. Tranlin plans on opening a massive paper plant in Chesterfield off Route 1 which could be a major source of jobs (like, 2000 jobs) for folks living in that part of the county. It's an area that could use the jobs now, not ten years from now.

Ryan Rinn, one of the awesome minds behind 6PIC, unwinds with a weekly scream on the T-Pot bridge. I told you he has an awesome mind! Richmond Magazine's Kate Andrews talks with Ryan, and a bunch of other folks, about how they connect with the world around them. Also featured is former RVANews photo intern Finnouala Bradley! What a great list of folks.

I love street fashion photos, and Style Weekly's Scott Elmquist delivers a bunch as we creep closer to summer. I almost love how people describe their personal style more than the pictures—sometimes people are great.

Today, the House of Representatives will vote on Trumpcare...2.0? 3.0? It's hard to keep track of which failed attempt to take healthcare away from millions we're on. No one really knows what's going to happen or what the bill even does. So that's comforting. Matthew Yglesias at Vox explains / rants.


  • Squirrels were swept by Altoona but return home tonight to take on Bowie at 6:35 PM. Tickets are available online.
  • Nats beat the D-backs, 2-1, and wrap up that series today at 1:05 PM.

This morning's longread

The Very Hungry Plastic-Eating Caterpillar

Worms are gross, but cool—I guess.

In both cases, the microbes did their work over the course of weeks or months, which is impressive since plastics can last for decades without decay. But Bertocchini saw that her waxworms—from a different species called the greater wax moth—were working much faster. When she put them in a polyethylene shopping bag, holes would appear within 40 minutes. After a few hours, the bag would be a shredded mess. To check that the insects were truly digesting the plastic, rather than just chewing holes in the bags, Bertocchini mushed them up and applied the resulting paste to polyethylene. After half a day, around 13 percent of the plastic had disappeared. Even a waxworm smoothie can destroy polyethylene.

Good morning, RVA: Staggering terms, Westwood math, and the importance of words

Good morning, RVA: Budgets, beers, and Brandermill