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

Good morning, RVA: Redlining, affordable housing, and climate refugees

Good morning, RVA! It's 62 °F, and you can expect today's weather—and the entire weekend's weather for that matter—to look a lot like yesterday. Expect highs in the mid 80s, tons of sunshine, and lots of folks finding excuses to cut out early for a patio-based happy hour.

Water cooler

Michael Paul Williams tackles this situation between the Henrico County School Board and a developer who maybe said they'd pull out of a development if the property was redistricted out of a more affluent school zone. Tap for the MPW thoughts, stay for the Laura Lafayette (CEO of the Richmond Association of Realtors) quotes about how we can shape our school zones to promote racial and economic integration. Here's Debbie Truong's original reporting on the matter.

But inequitable schools are ultimately all about inequitable housing, right? The Laura Lafayette awesomeness continues in the RTD with this piece about the first use of the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust. Here's how the MWCLT works: The trust buys a piece of land, which it owns forever and ever; buyers then lease the land from the MWCLT but own the house built upon it; when homeowner sells the house, they split the proceeds 50-50 with the MWCLT. Homeowners must make 115% or less of the area median income ($74,966 for a family of three) to participate. The idea behind this thing is that with the land value subtracted out of the cost of owning a home, homeownership stays more affordable—even as property values in a neighborhood increase. A personal example: in the approx ten years we've owned our home, the assessed land value has increased $10,000 (and is 23% of the total value) while the assessed value of the house has stayed the same.

One final bit of housing stuff before we move on: The NYT has this interactive feature looking at some of America's coastal cities and what happens to them when the sea level rises due to climate change. Go look at what a 6- to 7-foot rise does to Norfolk and then think about where all of those humans will move when their city slips into the ocean. This is a real and not snarky or sarcastic question: How is Richmond preparing to help Virginia's climate refugees?

Mayor Stoney named Melvin D. Carter as Richmond's new fire chief. He's an internal hire and has worked as a deputy fire chief since 2009.

Don't forget about the Greek Festival, OK? RVAHub has five tips, should you need them. I'd add that you can take the #2 bus out there, avoid parking entirely, and get a bit of a walk in to burn off some of that cheese and pastry.

Matthew Yglesias, from Vox, on Trump's climate speech yesterday: "He simply has no idea what he's talking about on any subject."

Small promotional reminder! I'd like to start a fortnightlyish, newsy interview podcast where I'd talk to the folks in the news about the news. Currently, I need $559 more in monthly pledges to launch this thing. If it sounds like something you'd enjoy, consider chipping in a couple of bucks on the ol' Patreon.


  • Squirrels beat the Yard Goats, 2-1. They host the Trenton Thunder this weekend, and you can pick up your tickets online.
  • Kickers host the Red Bulls II this Saturday at 7:00 PM. You can get your tickets online for that as well.
  • Nats pick up a series against Oakland tonight at 10:05 PM.

This morning's longread

Why We Must Build

Affordable housing longreads continue! This piece was linked in yesterday's longread, and again looks at how cities and regions can face ever-approaching housing crises.

What if we were to take a step back and examine our true hearts for what we really want? I think what a lot of people want is for every neighborhood to become desirable, to be seen as safe for investment, to see new buildings built and new stores open–but we want the lower income communities, the communities of color, to still be there to share in the benefit of that change. That is a lot to ask for, but it is not at all impossible.

Good morning, RVA: Moving forward, zoning news is cool, and Wonder Woman

Good morning, RVA: Affordable housing, big transit news, and baklava