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

Good morning, RVA: Pedestrian victory!, training camp contract, and kitchen fires

Good morning, RVA! It's 73 °F, and temperatures today are back up in the 90s. Stay in the shade, stay hydrated, and stay cool.

Water cooler

Listen. Everyone has the right to use our city's and sidewalks to get around, and when construction closes or obstructs those sidewalks, there should be an easy and accessible way for pedestrians to get through or around that construction. Last week, I linked to Bike Walk RVA's post about this very topic, and today I'm linking to it again, because at least two of the offending sidewalk shenanigans have been cleaned up! The lesson I've learned from this is: If you see a bogus pedestrian situation, say something. You can always, always tweet your bad sidewalk pictures at me (@rosscatrow), and I'll do what I can to signal boost them!

WTVR's Vernon Freeman Jr. and Brennan Somers talked to Mayor Stoney about the Washington Training Camp and the effort to renew the contract to keep them in town. It'd be cool if the new contract didn't require the City to pay the super-rich, private sports franchise several hundred thousand dollars each and every year—I enjoy the lede in that link: "in what has become an annual rite of pain in the cash-strapped city's relationship with one of the NFL's richest teams."

Jackie Kruszewski at Style Weekly has some more info / details / quotes from Monday's meeting on the fate of George Mason Elementary school. Remember: the Richmond Public School Board will meet on August 7th to (theoretically) decide how to move forward (or not move forward) with the school.

The Enrichmond Foundation has some details on the new 17th Street Market construction—which finally began on July 31st! They're very concerned that you know there are still places to park your car around the market, on almost every adjacent block in fact.

If it seems like there's been a lot of restaurant kitchen fires lately, it's because there totally have been! Vanessa Remmers at the RTD has the kind-of-obvious-when-you-think-about-it cause of all these fires.

I found this piece on Vox about critical upcoming dates for Obamacare useful. Through August, the federal government should make payments to the insurance industry; early in September the Senate will have some hearings on how to improve the market; and, by the end of September, insurance companies need to decide if they'll participate in the marketplace next year. Stuff to keep an eye on if you enjoy millions of Americans having access to health insurance.

From the NYT: "The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants..." 😐


  • Squirrels fell to Portland, 3-4, and will try again tonight at 7:00 PM.
  • Nats lost a close one to the Marlins, 6-7. They'll wrap up that series tonight at 7:10 PM.

This morning's longread

The North’s Role in Supplying the South with Confederate Monuments

It's Monument Avenue Commission week, so here's another longread about monuments. We've got a couple of these "soldiers" monuments in town, and now I'm super interested in where they were made.

As with their zinc counterparts, these soldiers were often made in close likeness of those produced for the North. The monument in Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, North Carolina, erected in 1872, is a facsimile of the Union soldier appearing on a monument at the Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York, and at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Both were cast by the National Fine Art Foundry, located in New York City. (An ad for the foundry, published in the October 9, 1892 edition of The Sun, a daily newspaper published in New York until the mid-20th century, reads: “Soldiers’ Monuments a Specialty.”) The only difference between the two statues are the initials on the belt buckle: one reads “US,” while the other reads “CS.” Another replica of this same statue, as a Confederate soldier, was erected in Greensboro, NC, in 1888. A very similar version, in a slightly different pose, appears in Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia (1879).

Good morning, RVA: Gotta educate, public space in the Bottom, and RIP Guinness

Good morning, RVA: George Mason debate, transfer plaza options, and the Monument Avenue Commission