Good morning, RVA! It's 68 °F, and today looks a lot like yesterday but a bit warmer. We could see some clouds later in the afternoon, but, until then, expect highs in the upper 80s and lots of sunshine.
The RTD's Katy Burnell Evans was at last night's public hearing on what to do about George Mason Elementary School. It sounds like any action has been deferred to the August 7th School Board meeting. Now things start to get complex and who has the authority to do what starts to get fuzzy. Stay with me: If the School Board wants to build a new School, it needs millions of more dollars, School Board has no control over how much money it has or doesn't have so they have to rely on City Council to fund them, City Council can't just borrow that money because the City's debt capacity is maxed out, and previously Council has been against raising the City's debt capacity as it jeopardizes the City's credit rating. So even if, on August 7th, the School Board voted to tear down George Mason and build a brand new facility, they'd need to get the other parts of the government involved and onboard. Stay tuned for their decisions on August 7th.
Michael Paul Williams is neck deep in transit this month! This week he writes about the deplorable state of the "Temporary" Transfer Plaza behind City Hall. It's great to see that everyone agrees that the current situation is crap and needs fixing—adding bathrooms and shelter from sun, rain, and snow needs to happen ASAP. But, as my pal Nicholas says in the article, with the opening of the Pulse and the coming changes to the transit network, there won't be as much of a need for a central transfer location. Additionally, you can probably guess how I feel about building a massive structure within the Pulse corridor that includes a jillion parking spaces. Remember, we just adopted a plan that pretty much says parking is not a best use for this area!
It's Monument Avenue Commission week! The group put together by Mayor Stoney will have its various workgroups meeting over the next couple of days—and we've already missed one! For this I apologize, but you can read a quick recap by Mark Tenia over on WRIC. Today, at 10:30 AM, the Historians Review Group will meet; tomorrow it's the New Monuments and Interpretation Group at 1:00 PM and the Community Engagement Group at 3:00 PM. You can totally show up to these oddly-timed subgroup meetings, but the August 9th meeting at 6:30 PM is the first one intended for wider public participation. Here's a full list of the dates and times so you can put them on your calendar!
At the end of this year, John Murden will step away from Church Hill People's News—the oldest of Richmond's community news sites. He's looking for someone to take over the site, maybe that someone is you?
Anthony "The Gross Mooch" Scaramucci got fired yesterday, and there were many, many jokes on Twitter. I like this best, though: This past Friday the NYPost published a Survivor-esque cover, and already two people featured on it have been kicked off the island.
If you didn't catch it yesterday, make sure you listen to my interview with Jon Baliles about this year's RVA Street Art Fest at the Diamond.
- Squirrels head north to take on the Portland Sea Dogs tonight at 7:000 PM.
- Nats beat the Marlins, 1-0, and continue that series tonight at 7:10 PM.
This morning's longread
Well, this is fascinating.
In the forests of central Africa, there’s a plant that looks like it’s growing its own Christmas decorations. Shiny baubles sprout from between its leaves, shimmering in a vibrant metallic blue. Look closer, and other colours emerge – pinpricks of red, orange, green and violet. It looks as if Seurat, or some other pointillist painter, had turned their hand to sculpture. But these spheres, of course, are no man-made creations. They’re fruit. They are the shiniest fruits in the world. Actually, they are the shiniest living materials in the world, full-stop.