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

Good morning, RVA: Unveiled, overviewed, and rezoned

Good morning, RVA! It's 74 °F and totally way cooler today. Highs in the upper 80s accompanied by some clouds will feel like a blissful (yet still humid) respite to the recent Blazetown, USA we've been living in. Temperatures could return to the land of triple digits by mid-week, FYI.

Water cooler

Satuday night, police were called to the 2100 block of Brookhaven Road on the City's Southside and found Carlos Terry, 36, suffering from a fatal gunshot wound.

I hope you were able to make it to the Maggie Walker statue unveiling this past Saturday. If not, Jackie Kruszewski has a video of the Big Moment that will give you a sense of the crowd and the vibe. Ned Oliver in the RTD also has this piece on Maggie Walker's accomplishments beyond being "the first woman to open a bank." Now that the statue's unveiled and the plaza open, you can just roll by there any old time. Almost every bus you catch on Broad Street will drop you off right there!

This overview from Richard Meagher at RVA Politics will give you some good background on all the stuff swirling around Richmond Public Schools at the moment. We've got three big things that the School Board needs to work through, 1) finding a new superintendent, 2) moving forward with the Mayor's education compact, and 3) dealing with the state's Memorandum of Understanding. That last one comes from an audit that former superintendent Bedden requested and puts in place a bunch of state mandated goals and procedures—some of which you can read about in this June 22nd piece from Katy Burnell Evans in the RTD. One uneducated and tangentially-related question I have is: How many of the goals and metrics that were once part of the Mayor's Education Compact are met or exceeded by the goals set forth by the MOU?

The Planning Commission will hear a presentation on the possible rezoning of Lower Monroe Ward as part of the Pulse Corridor Plan and Richmond's Big Transit-Oriented Rezoning Adventure. The current zoning in the area is a spaghetti bowl of six different zoning districts, from the single-family R-73 to the "auto-oriented commercial and industrial uses" M-1. The proposal just makes everything B-4 and calls it a day. B-4 supports pretty much just what regular humans would expect in a place like Monroe Ward: "Multifamily, variety of pedestrian-oriented commercial uses including retail, offices, hotels, and restaurants. Parking lots not allowed as a principal use."

Richmond Magazine wonders who Richmond's leaders would be on Game of Thrones. This got me thinking: I'd love to see Style Weekly include an overly-detailed heraldry appendix with their next Top 40 Under 40.

Two bits of pop culture news: George Romero, the director who created zombies, died, and the 13th Doctor will be played by Jodie Whittaker.


  • Squirrels split the series with Harrisburg and will host Erie tonight at 7:05 PM. Get your tickets online.
  • Kickers fell to the Islanders, 1-0. This coming Wednesday, July 19th, they'll host the Premier League's Swansea City A.F.C. Tickets are $30 and available online.
  • Nats beat the Reds three times, and will try to make it four today at 12:35 PM.

This morning's longread

The Louisiana Environmental Apocalypse Road Trip


In my first story I’ll tour us through a land America should have never allowed to materialize—it’s what I’m calling the Louisiana Environmental Apocalypse Road Trip. As the Trump administration chucks environmental science out the window, evaporates industry regulations, and cripples agencies charged with protecting the environment, this tale is relevant for all Americans, because the poisoning happening in Louisiana could happen in your state too—in fact, it is probably already happening. But for now sit back, enjoy a signature New Orleans cocktail from the comfort of your couch or chair, and get ready to keep reminding yourself: Yes, this is occurring in 2017 in the United States of America.

Good morning, RVA: George Mason, housing opportunities, and a master plan

Good morning, RVA: Maggie Walker!, a question, and the City Auditor (again)