Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F, and today expect highs in the mid to upper 90s. Don't melt, and get ready for even hotter temperatures to finish out the week. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and read the Wikipedia article on heat exhaustion.
Y'all know I feel some kind of way about the unsigned editorials from the RTD's editorial board. Turns out, so does RRHA CEO T.K. Somanath—a generally well-respected dude that formerly headed up the Better Housing Coalition. Follow me on a journey through a chain of stories to see some beef between Somanath and the editorial board play out on the pages of the local news internet. First, blogger Jim Bacon writes this piece, "Your Taxpayer Dollars at Work: Stuffing Poor People into Hideous Housing." Bacon does some really bad, uninformed math and says the RRHA is spending their federal dollars inefficiently. Next, the RTD editorial board runs this piece, "Is this the best housing government money can buy?", which quotes a bunch of the Bacon piece and ends with a kind of shrug emoji. Then Somanath publicly corrects everyone's math in "RRHA editorial distorted facts"—describing the anonymous editorial as trading "journalistic integrity for reckless speculation, parroting the grossly inaccurate musings of libertarian blogger Jim Bacon." 🔥. Finally, the editorial board writes this mea culpa, "Some important context on RRHA." It continues to suck that the hard work done by talented reporters like Katy Burnell Evans, Ned Oliver, and Michael Paul Williams—who have all done extremely excellent recent work on public housing—gets obscured by an editorial board that seems out of touch and lazy.
Yesterday Mayor Stoney and the Planning Commission announced the kickoff to the brand new Master Plan process: Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth. As you can probably guess, I'm super excited about this and can't wait to attend public meetings, leave comments, and read PDFs. But! The Master Plan process is not only for insufferable city nerds like myself! The kickoff event will take place on July 18th from 10:00 AM–10:30 AM at the City Hall Observation Deck, after which city staff will host an activity "asking individuals to write what they love about Richmond." This is a thing anyone can do—insufferable or not! The activity will be open until 5:00 PM for all of your effusive Richmond writings. The more effusive the better, I say.
Do you want a bunch of old crap from the General Assembly Building? Michael Martz at the RTD says that today from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM you can go buy anything you can carry out of the building—even stuff like wood paneling if you can manage to pry it off. The state has decided to demolish the building and build something new and shiny in which legislators can make their sausage. While doing this, they plan on closing an entire block of the BRT lane on Broad Street (between 9th and 10th) for many, many months. More on this later, for sure, but until then, go buy some old crap!
Genevelyn Steele's review of Bocata Latin Grill in Richmond Magazine makes me hungry. This bit really got me: "meaty stuffed corn cakes I'd rather, like a dog with its prize, savor without sharing."
I went to bed without checking Twitter last night, and, whoa, did some stuff happen. Vox's Matthew Yglesias breaks downs the NYT's article about Russia and Donald Trump Jr. and connects the dots for you—which is just what I needed this morning.
This morning's longread
Mmmm...nothing like starting a Tuesday off with a good transit longread.
It’s worth pausing here for a moment to emphasize what I just said. Good cities of the future will drive less, and share more. We must move away from our reliance or obsession with a single technology, and towards an attitude and culture of interaction diversity, and sharing of space. These attitudes are just as important now as they were thousands of years ago. This isn’t about a car versus a bus, it’s about living and interacting together.