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

Good morning, RVA: Project Exile, an impossible feat, and wild beers

Good morning, RVA! It's 71 °F and today's highs will hit the mid 90s! Sweat! As of right now, there's a 50/50 chance of Thunderstorms during tomorrow's fireworks window—so keep an eye on that if your plans involve rockets red glare.

Water cooler

Ned Oliver and Ali Rocket write about a possible return of Project Exile—a gun control program that had its origin in the epically high murder rates of the 1990s. As the number of people dying from gun violence continues to rise in Richmond and around the country, it makes sense that folks are going to return to past programs that worked. But did Project Exile work? No one really knows—here's a long piece on FiveThirtyEight about Richmond's program and its unclear results. I think I'd like to see more creative problem solving than a rush to implement something from decades ago, but stay tuned to see what eventually hits the ground.

Paul Goldman's trying to get access to voter registration information, so he can better organize to collect signatures, so he can get a voter referendum on the ballot, so he can do...something...about public schools. It's a bit of local politics If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I'm really confused about the end game, though, and if it's related to or connected with the folks who are against the mayor's Education Compact. Goldman's proposed referendum would, to quote from Katy Burnell Evans's article, "give Mayor Levar Stoney six months to either develop a fully funded plan for overhauling the division’s outdated facilities without raising taxes to pay for it or declare the feat impossible." Does this then give us more leverage with the State? Force the City to raise taxes? Like, I don't get what it does.

Transit-oriented development on Broad Street continues, as BizSense's J. Elias O'Neal reports that the Sunny Menswear building at Broad and 4th has been purchased. This is at the Convention Center stop of the Pulse and a block from three other 15-minute bus lines. Someone on Twitter wondered if anyone was keeping track of all this development going on along the Pulse Corridor—I think that'd be a really neat side project for someone!

A Henrico judge ruled that FOIA requests may not apply to individual legislators, just the "public body" they serve in, says Patrick Wilson at the RTD. This does not seem awesome or how FOIA law has been interpreted in the past—not that it's always a breeze to dig up records from legislators or their public bodies under the existing interpretation of the law.

Wild fermentation freaks me out a little—science and nature and beers! I always think about that first person who left some juice or whatever in a bucket, came back a couple of months later, and was like, "You know what? I'm going to drink that." Robey Martin at Richmond Magazine writes about Ardent's release of their first wild fermented beer which went through a slightly more scientific process.

Also beer-related, I have to link to this Vox piece just to remind you that a Guinness has fewer calories than a Heineken.


  • Squirrels dropped two games to Reading over the weekend and finish up that series tonight at 6:35 PM.
  • Kickers battled Bethlehem to a 1-1 tie.
  • Nats split a couple of games with St. Louis and start a series with the Mets tonight at 6:05 PM.

This morning's longread

The Elusive Teacher Next Door

What do we miss out on when it's too expensive for teachers to live near their students?

When I moved to West Oakland in 2014, I turned down offers from San Francisco Unified School District because San Rafael City Schools offered $15,000 more a year. That boost, of course, comes with sacrifices: Each weekday, I spend an hour-and-a-half driving 40 miles to and from school, and each month, I spend a total of $240 on tolls and gas. My insurance is higher thanks to the thousands of miles I drive. I pay a price for this in other—more deleterious—ways, too. When they don’t have to fight traffic, teachers tend to hang around campus after the final bell. I won’t make it across two county lines to pick up my daughter from her nanny share in time if I dawdle. So I don’t tutor, go to school plays, lead clubs, attend games, or coach.

Good morning, RVA: Public housing conversion, gone fishing, and fireworks!

Good morning, RVA: ICA delays, Coliseums, and Nick's Deli