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

Good morning, RVA: Part-time councilfolk, changes at Style Weekly, and Turnaround Arts

Good morning, RVA! It's 43 °F, and today's highs should top out somewhere in the 70s. Cram your outside activities into the next couple days because it looks like rains a commin' later this week.

Water cooler

Ned Oliver gives you the super-fascinating recap from last night's #rvacouncil meeting. As part of the final budget discussions, Council decided they want more control of how money is spent in the City—like, down past the departmental level and into the program level. That seems like a lot of unnecessary work for our legislative body. Unfortunately, City Council is a part-time job—you can see the impact this has when budget meetings last for 18 hours and stretch on for weeks. In my opinion, there's just not enough time for these folks to put together the City's budget once a year—let alone monitor every single departmental spending decision. I could be wrong, I'd love to be wrong!, but I see this setting up Council for a lot of really long and tedious discussions over budget details when they should be spending the little time they have on larger policy issues.

In big news news, Jason Roop will leave Style Weekly at the end of this month! That's bananas! Jason has been at the helm of Style Weekly for as long as I've been a part of the local news scene, and his voice just seems synonymous with Style Weekly. I'm having a hard time fathoming how the weekly alternative can even exist without him! Luckily, there are a lot of talented folk over there that will keep things running until they find Roop's replacement.

Michael Paul Williams digs into why the commemorative site we're building in the Bottom needs to encompass way more than Lumpkin's Jail. I've said words are important, and they are, but history is important, too. This piece will give you plenty of the latter to think about.

Turnaround Arts, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, has selected three Richmond schools to take part: Binford Middle, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle, and Woodville Elementary. The idea, from dang First Lady Michelle Obama herself, is to incorporate arts education as a foundation for improving some of the lowest performing schools. Aso Jason Mraz is involved. You can read the press release here.

A Henrico police officer driving in eastern Henrico hit and killed two pedestrians this past weekend. WRIC has this ridiculous quote from VDOT, "At this point, up to this date we've not received any requests to improve that area." Tap on the above link and look at the picture of that area—no street lights, no sidewalks. That humans have to beg either the County or VDOT for basic pedestrian infrastructure is an absurd excuse.

The Washington Post has five takeaways from Sally Yates's testimony yesterday before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. I'm not sure I've ever seen my Twitter feed live tweeting their reactions to a public hearing before, but, hey, 2017.

P.S. As part of RVA Bike Month, tomorrow is Bike to School Day!


  • Squirrels picked up a win against Altoona, 3-1. That series continue tonight in the Diamond at 6:35 PM. Tickets are available online.
  • Nats lost to Baltimore 4-6, they'll finish out the series tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's longread

How African-Americans Disappeared From the Kentucky Derby

I had no idea!

In the 19th century – when horse racing was America’s most popular sport – former slaves populated the ranks of jockeys and trainers, and black men won more than half of the first 25 runnings of the Kentucky Derby. But in the 1890s – as Jim Crow laws destroyed gains black people had made since emancipation – they ended up losing their jobs.

Good morning, RVA: Townhalls, debates, and otters

Good morning, RVA: East End, East End, and East End