Good morning, RVA! It's 63 °F, and today the temperatures begin to increase! Expect highs around 90 °F, but it'll take us most of the day to get there.
The Mayor's catching it from both sides on his Education Compact. Some folks thought the metrics and goals included in the document were a power grab by the Mayor's office—so the mayor took those out. Now the RTD Editorial Board says the compact is too weak and "leave[s] the children behind." Dude can't catch a break. I'm going to maintain my position that the primary aim of this document is to get all elected parts of our government to meet together and talk about schools regularly. Remember when Mayor Wilder threw the School Board out of their offices? Remember when hours worth of folks showed up at City Council a couple years ago begging for money to #SaveOurSchools? Face-to-face meetings between these groups should help smooth out some of these things before they blow up into a huge front-page Ned Oliver story.
I want to be shocked and dismayed, but I'm predictably eyerolly about this editorial in the RTD by Walter Williams re-litigating secession. Was it legal for the South to secede?! Were white supremacist Confederate generals dictionary-definition traitors?! Is it 1817 or 2017!? Sometimes it's hard to tell! The decision to publish editorials like this under the banner of "But, but, it's important to hear both sides of the story" further legitimizes the Lost Cause narrative that the Civil War was about something other than slavery. I mean, this quote, come on: "Confederate generals were fighting for independence from the Union just as George Washington and other generals fought for independence from Great Britain." Confederate generals were fighting to maintain an entire culture based on the enslavement of Black people. This is literally the opposite of independence. In the year TWO THOUSAND AND SEVENTEEN we are still having this dang conversation? In the local paper? OK, maybe I am a little shocked and dismayed.
SPEAKING OF. The Cheats Movement released another episode of The Table podcast and it's about monuments. Give it a listen—the list of participants is great and includes: Bill Martin, Julian Hayter, Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Noah Scalin, Ted Elmore, and Kelley Libby.
WTVR has a roundup of all the new ABC laws that will take effect on July 1st. I'm particularly interested in HB 1987 / SB 1391, which I think allow for open container laws in a "commercial lifestyle center." This is defined as, basically, places like West Broad Village out in Short Pump—you need a pedestrian friendly space and "national specialty chain stores." It seems like that chain store bit has been inserted to focus this more on suburbs, but whatever, I'll take it. Does anyone know of a place that's planning on applying for this type of license?
Do you like bikes? Do you like data? Do you like bikes and data? Every year for the past four years, Sportsbackers manually counts the number of bikes moving through some of the city's bike infrastructure. What have we learned? Well, most times, if you put in a nice piece of bike infrastructure, folks will use it. Two future things I'm excited about tracking the data on: the city's first protected bike lane on Franklin Street and bike share useage—the latter is theoretically coming to a Richmond near you this summer???.
I had never heard of White Tower burger restaurants, but I could look at pictures of old Richmond burger joints every day of my life.
- Squirrels finish up this seemingly endless series against Trenton tonight at 7:00 PM.
- Nats beat the Cubs, 8-4, and wrap up that series today at 4:05 PM.
This morning's longread
Another article in the "words are really important" genre.
Like a bronze statue rubbed smooth by millions of pilgrims’ hands, we collectively choose some words to hold more than their fair share of our hopes and visions. Community, impact, and change are all words that can hardly be said seriously anymore, because they’ve become so overused; but they are overused because for a while they really were perfect. There are synonyms for these words, but no substitutes, because we invested in these words by using them over and over again. Sometimes these words get co-opted (the alt-right calls itself a movement), and sometimes they just wear out through overuse. In both cases, it takes time to find new ones.