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

Good morning, RVA: Food in the East End, School Board update, and 100-degree heat

Good morning, RVA! It's 77 °F, and, woooo weeee, today's a hot one. Expect temperatures near 100 °F for most of the afternoon with a couple of clouds here and there providing minimal relief.

Water cooler

Tammie Smith in the RTD has the really bad news that Jim's Local Market is pulling out of the East End grocery store deal. It seems like everyone and their brother has promised the East End access to real, fresh, healthy food for aeons, but no one can deliver on that promise...yet. So while the development at 25th and Nine Mile, backed by Steve Markel and Reynolds Community College, will move forward, it will do so without a grocery store locked down and that makes me nervous. I'm also nervous about this quote from Markel: "I don’t want to exclude anybody from those conversations, but I think the goal is to have a store that is responsive to the unique needs of the Church Hill neighborhood...As a result, I am not sure the national chains will offer that solution. I don’t want to rule them out, but the more likely answer is a local operator who really can be vested in the Richmond and Church Hill community and get to know the customers and be part of the community." With all of the million and two grocery store operators in town, not a single one is interested in opening up in the East End? Do we even have any local grocery store operators left in town? The area needs a true-blue grocery store, a stable and accessible source of real food—not a limited, specialty market. Let's hope Markel can find a suitable replacement tenant quickly.

Thankfully, another grocery option just opened this weekend in the East End, albeit across the county line in Henrico. The new Walmart at 5001 Nine Mile Road sits about five miles from the 25th and Nine Mile development and would take about 15 minutes to get there via the #7 bus. Unfortunately, the #7 does not run at all on weekends. However! For the portion of that route in the City, this will change with the coming updates to the bus system, and it'd be bananas for Henrico to not follow suit with their portion of the route (although, it probably wouldn't hurt to talk to your Henrico Board of Supervisor representative about that). WRIC notes that the Walmart will provide 300 jobs, and those jobs should be accessible to folks living in the City that can't or don't own a car.

This Katy Burnell Evans piece titled "Richmond School Board cuts ties with division's HR director, chief of staff as start date looms" makes you go 🤔. A cynical take would be "The sky is falling! Abandon ship!" A less cynical take is that Interim Superintendent Tommy Kranz is doing the job as he sees fit. Something to keep an eye on as the school district works on relocating George Mason Elementary, finding a new Superintendent, and settling on that MOU with the State—the latter you can read about in this informative piece by Style Weekly's Jackie Kruszewski.

Ned Oliver had his Ask Me Anything over on the RVA subreddit—it's super interesting and worth your time to read through all of the questions and his responses. Most of the questions centered around the City Auditor, and I feel way more informed after reading them. That got me thinking: What if there was AMA paired with every bit of major reporting? How neat would it be to be able to ask follow up questions on the city's big stories from the very reporters working on them? So neat, I say!

The RTD's John Boyer crunches the numbers on 100-degree weather, which we could get a big steaming-hot plate of over the next a couple of days.


  • Squirrels pack up from a 6-8 loss to Erie and head to Akron to take on the Rubberducks tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Kickers fell to Swansea City, 1-2.
  • Nats were blanked by Los Angeles, 0-7.

This morning's longread

A Search for the Flavor of a Beloved Childhood Medicine

The pink stuff! Everyone has fond memories of weird, pink amoxicillin, right?

It has been suggested to me by a couple well-meaning dream-crushers that perhaps if I tasted amoxicillin again today, it wouldn’t be the same, either because the formulation had changed, or because my palate had. Or, perhaps it was never really as delicious as I remember. “Our memories, especially memories of being patients, are so wrapped up in moments and experience and become invested over time with additional meaning,” Greene says. “Either your vulnerability at that moment and the ability of the medicine to help you feel better, or perhaps a certain childhood relishing of this sick role, of remembering those days in which you get to stay home and watch television. I think it’s likely that you’re both encountering nostalgia for flavor and the way that particularly significant memories are oftentimes associated with smells and flavors.”

Good morning, RVA: Section 8, replica trolleys, and gubernatorial debate

Good morning, RVA: Get involved, watch for rogue curbs, and stay hydrated