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

Good morning, RVA: Trains, a new skatepark, and something to think about

Good morning, RVA! It's 72 °F, and that was a lot of rain yesterday, y'all! Today you can expect highs near 90 °F and the possibility of more storms this afternoon into evening. Stay cool and dry!

Water cooler

Trains are coming through Ashland one way or another—either to the left, to the right, or straight through the town. Jim Ridolphi in the RTD has some updates on the public outreach process the state is doing with Ashlanders—some still aren't super stoked on any of the proposed plans. As a bystander who is almost never in Ashland but would enjoy high-speed trains to D.C., my vote is for Eminent Domaining some land and building the western bypass. I can totally see how folks who'd suddenly have high-speed rail on their land would feel differently, though.

The Urban Design Committee will meet today to consider the Riverview Community Park. This is the abandoned lot near Texas Beach where skateboarders have built a DIY skatepark that, gasp, has the support of the neighborhood. The plans submitted for the park are neat (PDF), and it's definitely the first time I've seen schematics for a skatepark in a government PDF. The proposed park will also include some community garden plots and an all-new playground.

Mark Robinson at Richmond Magazine has picked five interesting laws that went into effect this month. I somehow missed that police are now required to notify survivors if they intend to destroy the survivors' rape kits. I also missed this news from last month that the Commonwealth landed a $2 million federal grant to help process thousands untested rape kits.

I'm having a hard time processing this article in RVA Mag: "Confessions of a Former VCU Sugar Baby." I guess read and process the tangle of sex work, college tuition increases, and female empowerment for yourself!


  • Weather postponed the Squirrels and Erie, and they'll try and finish up that series tonight at 6:35 PM—tickets available online.
  • Nats had their game against the Mets postponed, too, and will face Atlanta tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning's patron longread!

The future is emotional

From Patron Brantley, comes this longread about automation, empathy, and the importance of emotional labor in the future of work.

A growing real-world demand for workers with empathy and a talent for making other people feel at ease requires a serious shift in perspective. It means moving away from our singular focus on academic performance as the road to success. It means giving more respect, and better pay, to workers too often generically dismissed as ‘unskilled labour’. And, it means valuing skills more often found among working-class women than highly educated men.

If you’d like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.

This morning's longread

RV dwellers in Palo Alto neighborhood forced to motor on

It'd be great for Richmond to get in front of things and avoid a full-blown affordable housing crisis like what we see all over the West Coast.

For Jose Villa, 47, the camper van he shares with his wife and 19-year-old son is a temporary solution. The Villas own a home in Stockton, where work has been hard to find. Frustrated by the three-hour commute each morning and evening, he bought the RV and moved his family closer to his job as a handyman.

Good morning, RVA: Housing, Lewis G. Larus Park, and Full STEAM Ahead

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