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

Good morning, RVA: Compact is go!, Arthur Ashe, and eclipse pics

Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F, and you should prepare yourself for heat. Today’s highs will hit the mid 90s—but there will be no eclipse to blot out the angry sun and save you from your sweat. Remember: Stay cool and stay hydrated.

Water cooler

Last night, the Mayor’s Education Compact passed both the School Board and City Council unanimously. The Compact creates quarterly meetings between the School Board, City Council, and Mayor’s administration; forms a education compact team with members that include representatives from government, businesses, nonprofits, parents, teachers, and students; and creates a children’s cabinet with representatives from “City agencies whose operations directly affect children and families.” This is Good News™. Getting School Board, City Council, and the Mayor’s administration together throughout the year, I think, will do important work in reminding everyone that they’re on the same team reaching for the same goals. Now the real, hard stuff begins. But! This is an important framework that will exist beyond our current set of elected officials. If you don’t think a communication framework is needed to humanize these folks to each other, just remember that time Mayor Wilder literally evicted the Richmond Public Schools administration from City Hall. Mark Robinson from the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the details on the small tweaks made to the Compact before its adoption last night.

One small monument update: You should read this piece by the RTD’s Graham Moomaw about Governor McAuliffe pursuing legislation to bring down the Lee Monument in Richmond. Two things to note: 1) Just listen to the tone from House Majority Leader M. Kirkland Cox: “[He] said Monday that removing statues is ‘a bridge too far. Most of us know that’s not going to happen,’ said Cox. OK, guy. We’ll see. 2) Look at the couple paragraphs about the state law preventing removal of war memorials. Currently, it is legally ambiguous about whether that law applies to monuments erected before 1998. Remember that! Anyone who tells you it is illegal to bring down monuments is being extremely disingenuous.

OK, OK, one more monument-related link! Brad Kutner, writing for Style Weekly, has a history of the Arthur Ashe monument for those of us who were too busy wearing flannels and Dr. Martens in the mid 90s to pay attention to much of anything else.

Didn’t get enough sweet, sweet eclipse action? NASA has some really great images—including an incredible one of the International Space Station and the moon both eclipsing the sun. Also, here’s a fun map of all total eclipses in North America for the rest of the 21st Century. Who’s stoked for 2099!?


  • Squirrels knocked the socks off of Erie with an 11-1 win. That series continues tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Nats and Houston get it on tonight at 8:10 PM.

This morning's longread

Constant Anxiety Won't Save the World

Remember yesterday’s longread about how the world is trying to revenge kill us? This piece directly references that piece and says a continual state of worry is maybe not the best way to live your life.

Studies show that anxiety can interfere with decision-making and working memory. “Excessive worry can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration, and muscle tightness,” Woodruff says. “The interesting thing is the fatigue and lack of concentration are the opposite of what people are trying to promote when they’re advocating for vigilance.” If that stress and worry becomes chronic, Lertzman adds, “people get overwhelmed. They burn out and short-circuit and turn their backs on the very issues that they care most deeply about.” This happens sometimes in activist communities. Cher Weixia Chen, a professor at George Mason University, studies the phenomenon of activist burnout. In interviews she’s done with activists, she’s found that common causes of burnout are: infighting within activist communities, a “culture of martyrdom” that prizes overworking and discourages self-care, and “deep sensitivities to injustice that made the slow process of social change difficult to bear.”

Good morning, RVA: Bikeshare on Tuesday, permitting woes, and George Mason volunteers

Good morning, RVA: Eclipse day, monumental update, and bike share